Still, ‘Blue Jean’ by Georgia Oakley, 2023
Days are getting longer, which means more time to do stuff, loads of stuff. Here’s some stuff to do this weekend.
It’s 1988 in North East England and Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government has introduced Section 28 – a series of laws prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality” – one of the most harrowing decisions in recent British political history (although with the recent Tory thumbs up to the death penalty, it could have stiff competition). Georgia Oakley’s debut feature film Blue Jean is set in the midst of it all, telling the story of a secondary school teacher who is forced to hide her sexuality from her colleagues. When a student arrives seeking support only she can provide, Jean is caught between her public and private life. Blue Jean is an intense character study painting a portrait of a life shrouded in secrecy, battling with the powers at play.
Blue Jean is out in cinemas now.
Women, Life, Freedom
Taking place at Espacio Gallery on Brick Lane, a group exhibition has been curated in support of the Zan, Zendegi, Azadi (Women, Life, Freedom) movement in Iran. An offering of solidarity to Iranians worldwide, the showcase celebrates the work of twelve brilliant artists native to the country. Each dealing with a different medium, animation artist Sarah Saidan, pop collagist Marziyeh Saffarian and filmmaker Saleh Kashefi are just a few of the talents to keep an eye out for. Accompanied by a programme of events including poetry readings, live music and performance art, Jorat sheds a much-needed light on Iranian talent.
Jorat (Courage) runs at Espacio Gallery until February 11th, more info here.
You think your family’s messed up?
Simon Stone makes his National Theatre debut with a reimagining of the Phaedra myth, after interpretations from Euripides, Seneca and Racine, Stone is making his mark on the infamous tale by translating the story to London’s dodgy elite. Janet McTeer takes on the titular role of Helen, a doomed heroine whose status as an MP is undermined by family waring and a fling with her ex-lover’s son. Accompanied by co-stars Assaad Bouab and Mackenzie Davis, the production offers a fresh take on an age-old tragedy.
Phaedra runs at the National Theatre until April 8th, more info here.
BFI’s latest exhibition focuses on female and non-binary artists working in XR, presenting work from those pushing the boundaries of storytelling and immersive tech. Spanning interactive virtual reality, immersive audio experience, NFTs and screen-based installations, the group showcase challenges the perception of emerging technology as a male-dominated space. Highlights include Minimum Mass by Raqi Syed and Areito Echevarria, an interactive journey set inside a hyperrealist computer-generated world, and Bambou Kenneth’s Kindred which highlights the unique challenges faced by non-binary parents going through the adoption process.
Shifting Perspectives runs at the BFI Southbank until February 12th, more info here.
Still, ‘Minimum Mass’ by Raqi Syed and Areito Echevarria, 2023
The 80s are getting a lot of airtime this week but we certainly aren’t complaining, BBC’s latest series The Gold is the perfect Sunday watch. Telling the story of one of South London’s most famous crimes, The Gold adapts the 1983 Brinks-Mat robbery for the screen (the heist saw a team of six armed robbers attempt to steal £1 million, but they ended up coming away with £26 million in gold bullion – quids in!). Starring a stellar cast of Jack Lowden, Dominic Cooper, Hugh Bonneville and Charlotte Spencer, the story tells of the cat-and-mouse chase between criminal and detective. Plus, all the episodes arrive at once on BBC iPlayer so you can binge it one day – weekend plans sorted.
The Gold premiers on BBC and BBC iPlayer on February 12th.
Thai supper club Ginn Khao is back in East London to host a two-night takeover at The Plough. Known for creating a bustling social space with a focus on celebrating delicious Thai food, this time around chef Dow Panyawong and his team have crafted a delicious menu on small plates. Highlights include the gaeng som curry with cauliflower, kanom gui chai, and chargrilled naem Laos, while drinks are being supplied by The Plough so you can wash it all down with a cold pint. Walk-ins are welcome but we’d advise booking, it’s a fleeting visit after all and one not to be missed.
The Plough is located at 25-25 Homerton High Street, E9 6JP, more info on Ginn Khao here.