Weekend Combo

Del Toro’s Pinocchio, a surrealist trip and David Shrigley sarcasm
9 December 2022
This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

Temperatures are dipping – best way to keep warm? Running around the city hitting up all the cultural gems we’ve highlighted below. Pneumonia, be gone! 

A tale not for the faint-hearted
When it was announced that Guillermo del Toro was set to make a Pinocchio adaption, it just made sense; what with the US auteur’s dark appetite for outsiders with heart, and Pinocchio‘s twisted undertones. Finally complete as a stop-motion film out on Netflix today, this isn’t your average children’s story. Here, after his son Carlo is killed by a WWII bomb, Geppetto (David Bradley) carves his wooden boy in a drunken frenzy as Mussolini’s fascists rule over Italy. Once conjured to life, Pinocchio has an existential dialogue with Death, while the local Catholic churchgoers scream “sorcery!” Also starring Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket and Tilda Swinton as the Wood Sprite that brings Pinocchio to life, this is a Christmas film for the whole family, kinda.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is streaming on Netflix now.


American auteur Antoine Fuqua’s repertoire includes hits such as Training Day and The Equalizer, now comes his latest work, Emancipation, telling the story of ‘whipped Peter’, the man who was the subject of one of the first viral photographs to display the brutality of slavery. After escaping from a Louisiana plantation in the 1860s, an image of his scarred back caused the world to finally take notice after turning a blind eye for decades. Will Smith stars in the leading role as Peter alongside Ben Foster as the inhumane hunter attempting to track him down, as Fuqua’s interpretation carves out an unflinching of a man whose unwavering faith and love for his family motivates him to defy the odds.

Emancipation is out in cinemas now and streaming on Apple+ TV. 


Art is fun
Known for his instantly recognisable style, David Shrigley’s artwork playfully explores the nuances of modern life with a deadpan sense of humour. Merging vibrant colours, whimsical characters and ironic captions, Shrigley embraces a cartoon aesthetic with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Outside of his personal work, since 2015 the artist has contributed a cartoon for The Guardian’s Weekend magazine every Saturday, directed music videos for Blur and designed for the London Underground. Now, in Hoxton’s Hang-Up Gallery, a solo exhibition has arrived of over 30 works comprising a limited edition series of prints and ceramics from his three-decades-long career to celebrate the artist’s definitive style.

David Shrigley: Mainly Multiples, Some Paintings & Other Stuff Too will run at Hang-Up Gallery until 27th January 2023, more info here.


Designer bargains!
The UK’s national homeless charity Crisis has joined forces with fashion editor Tom Stubbs and Anda Rowland of Anderson & Sheppard to host Crisis at the Cop Shop as part of this year’s Pop-Up Crisis initiative. Taking over a decommissioned police station on Savile Row, over 100 brands have been enlisted to make donations including the likes of Burberry, Wales Bonner, Jimmy Choo and Charles Jeffery. Before heading down to get your hands on some designer gear for a good cause, check out what Tom Stubbs had to say about the initiative.

Pop-Up Crisis at the Cop Shop runs from 5th – 14th December at 27 Savile Row, more info here


A different kind of crown jewel
In spring, the then Prince of Wales, in his role as Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy, unveiled a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees in celebration of the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Renowned British photographer and environmentalist Adrian Houston was enlisted alongside Charles Sainsbury-Plaice and Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis to capture them in all their glory, spending a year documenting these fascinating figures across the country. Now on display in an exhibition titled Nature’s Crowned Jewels at Sotheby’s New Bond Street, the pieces will be privately auctioned with a donation being made to the QGC’s tree planting initiative.

Nature’s Crowned Jewels will be on display at Sotheby’s until 20th December, more info here


Dance yourself warm
Over at Cafe Oto, catch the debut London show for Bunny, the new project featuring Daniel O’Sullivan, Thighpaulsandra and Keel Her. A supergroup for music aficionados, the band’s debut single Surrender Rah, is one hell of a groove. Impeccably described by Cafe Oto as “Prince arm-wrestling with Arthur Russell overlapped with the hum of Blue Velvet” – if that doesn’t tempt you, nothing we say will. Just hit play below.

Bunny play at Cafe Oto on Friday 9th December with support from Yosa Peit.


Embrace the weird
Spanning a century, The Design Museum’s latest exhibition charts the intimate relationship between surrealism and design. From its birth in 1924, surrealism’s uncanny obscurity has left an imprint on cultural change through film, art, fashion and everything in between. When it comes to design, the movement’s questioning of the conventional and its commitment to exploring the mind, unconscious and mystical allows for an endless springboard of inspiration. This latest exhibition brings together designers from the worlds of furniture, interior and fashion, alongside renowned artworks from Surrealist pioneers Salvador Dalí, Man Ray and Lee Miller as well as pieces from contemporary visionaries such as Schiaparelli, Dior and Björk.

Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today runs at The Design Museum until 19th February 2023, more info here

Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today, The Design Museum, 2022

Food + Drink

Warm, tasty grub
Thomas Straker has worked in kitchens at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner and The Dorchester but since going viral on Tik-Tok over the pandemic, the British chef has now opened the doors to his very own restaurant. Situated on Notting Hill’s Golborne Road, Straker’s menu focuses on sustainability and seasonality, working with small-scale suppliers to formulate a menu that’s a mix of small and sharing plates. His tagline across social media became “food you want to eat”, creating simple and comforting dishes which now exist across a menu of dishes such as stracciatella flatbread, grilled langoustine and middle white pork loin. When it comes to drinks, Alex Percy of The Modest Merchant has it under control with a carefully curated wine list from across France, Italy and Spain.

Straker’s is located at 91 Golborne Road, W10 5NL, more info here.


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