Weekend Combo

Paul Thomas Anderson in 70s Cali, Leigh Bowery and Bowie season at BFI
7 January 2022
Above:

Still ‘Licorice Pizza’ directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, 2022

This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

FRIDAY 7th January – SUNDAY 9th January 2022

Film

California Dreamin’
A slice of 70s California has arrived courtesy of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest work, Licorice Pizza. Let us take you deeper: it’s 1973 in San Fernando Valley (like the same director’s Boogie Nights and Magnolia) and boy meets girl in a nostalgic trip as warm as the West Coast breeze.

Anderson’s coming of age story is as much about first love as it is about his artfully curated character’s journey of personal self-discovery. Gary Valentine (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son Cooper Hoffman) is the hustling 15-year-old child actor still auditioning for parts he’s now too old for who has fallen for Alana Kane (played by Haim sister Alana) a 25-year old trying to get her grown-up act together as a photographer’s assistant. Waterbeds, pinball machines, gas shortages, Barbara Streisand’s sex-crazed lover, motorcycle stunts performed by Sean Penn and encouraged by Tom Waits, a magnificent soundtrack and some of the most stunning PTA shots ever – this film has everything, plus two newcomer lead actors odds on to bag Golden Globes.

Licorice Pizza is out in cinemas now. 

Exhibition

“Flesh is my most favorite fabric”
Club kid, designer, artist, Lucien Freud collaborator, trailblazer… Leigh Bowery was one of a kind. Renowned for his incredibly DIY looks and taboo-melting performance art, the visionary became an integral figure on the London club scene for many decades, inspiring a generation of creatives to never give a fuck.

Opening this weekend at The Fitzrovia Chapel, a new exhibition celebrates Bowery from all angles, showcasing his life and legacy through a curated display of his most iconic costumes against the poignantly chosen location – the last remaining building of Middlesex Hospital where Bowery died of AIDS in 1994. Accompanying the exhibition is a specially produced short film with interviews from the likes of Boy George and Sue Tilley, regaling tales of Bowery’s legendary escapades in the 80s and 90s.

Tell Them I’ve Gone to Papa New Guinea runs at The Fitzrovia Chapel until 6th February, more info here

Read our full piece on the exhibition here. 

Leigh Bowery, The Fitzrovia Chapel

Film Festival

Rebel Rebel
For the month of January BFI Southbank are celebrating the life and work of David Bowie, having put together a programme consisting of feature films, television and documentaries in which he starred along with films that inspired a legend.

Celebrating the icon’s 75th birthday, this weekend sees two special screenings: Jim Henson’s 1986 cult classic film Labyrinth – starring Bowie as the balls-out Goblin King Jareth – and the BBC’s 1975 documentary Cracked Actor, following Bowie in Hollywood as he prepares to discard his Ziggy Stardust persona and assume a new, more enigmatic role. Also on the lineup are talk’s from author Graham Rinaldi as he dissects Bowie’s transcendent career and a return of the BUG series hosted by comedian Adam Buxton, with a special episode honouring Bowie’s brilliance.

Bowie: Starman and the Silver Screen runs at the BFI Southbank until January 30th, more info here

Still, ‘Cracked Actor’ directed by Alan Yentob 1975

Exhibition

Portrait of a community
US photographer Zora J Murff’s exhibition at the Webber Gallery questions America’s uncomfortable relationship with race, power, violence and hierarchy through his intimate photographic style. The focus for At No Point In Between falls on the black community of Omaha in Nebraska, a Midwestern town that has been dictated to by systemic racism and oppression for decades. Murff’s work encapsulates both the personal and social environment of his subjects, interrogating how the legacy of white supremacy and its evolution over time has shaped, altered and defined their existence.

At No Point In Between runs at Webber Gallery until 14th February, more info here.

‘Terri (talking about the freeway)’ by Zora J Murff, 2019

Film

Psychedelic pets
Benedict Cumberbatch stars alongside Claire Foy as eccentric British artist Louis Wain in Will Sharpe’s biographical comedy-drama The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Although a man of many talents it was when adopting a stray feline friend that Wain’s true calling emerged – painting cats. As an eclectically delusional character it is no secret that Wain’s beliefs strayed far from the straight – professing all cats would eventually turn blue and communicate with humans – but he was nonetheless known world over for his exquisite artistry. Sharpe’s typically off-beat and poignant interpretation charts the life of a man who had a brilliantly creative but ultimately troubled mind.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is out in cinemas now. 

Read our full interview with Will Sharpe about the film inside The HERO Winter Annual 2021. 

Food + Drink

The future is Bright
Hailing from the founders of Dalston’s favourite wine shop P. Franco, Bright is the culinary sibling offering up an eclectic menu of delights. The menu changes daily and according to what produce is in season – so let go of preconceived ideas and place your trust in these maestros. However, a few dishes do make a fairly regular appearance on the menu such as the signature neatly cubed katsu chicken sarnie, while there’s always a delectable array of pasta dishes. If you’re lucky enough to see the pizza fritta on the line-up, do it.

Bright is located at 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL, more info here.  

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