Thursday, April 30, 2015

Yeats in London

We are coming up to the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats - he was born in Sandymount, County Dublin on 13 June 1865.

Yeats spents some very formative years in London, and next month at South East London Folklore Societu. Yeats authority Niall McDevitt will be giving a talk on 'Yeats in London'.

As mentioned at Transpontine before, there's an interesting connection between W.B. Yeats and the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. He also visited Madame Blavatsky in Norwood, and spoke at Southwark Irish Literary Club. Hopefully there will be some more South London connections

Wednesday, May 13th 8:00pm, The Old King's Head, The Kings Yard, 45 Borough High Street, SE1 1NA

Talk starts at 8pm. £3/1.50 concession

To be sure of a place you can email to book

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reptilian terror in Peckham Rye

A reptilian monster is lurking in the depths of the lake on Peckham Rye, terrorizing passing wildfowl... or not. This terrapin seems to be just chilling out on a wooden island floating on the lake. I wonder how did terrapins become established in the park - were they deliberately introduced or did someone just abandon their pets?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Burn the Sea at Deptford Cinema

Tomorrow night at Deptford Cinema - Amakino present Burn the Sea 'an evening of documentaries about migration and the Meditteranean border'. The Cinema is at 39 Deptford Broadway and the films start at 7:30pm.

Very topical - this image was released by Amnesty this week, who say: 'The ongoing negligence by European governments of the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean has contributed to a more than 50-fold increase in migrant and refugee deaths since the beginning of 2015 compared with last year... As many as 400 migrants are feared to have died off the coast of Libya in recent days'

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Railman: a 1974 film made at Grove Park Station

A rare showing this Friday at the Mayday Rooms (88 Fleet Street EC4Y 1DH)  of an experimental film made in 1974 at Grove Park Station, Lewisham.This from the organisers:

'RAILMAN: A First Attempt at Collective Film Making - FOUR CORNERS FILMS in 1974

Friday 17th April 2015 7-9pm, MDR Screening Room

In 1976 Four Corners Films (Joanna Davis, Mary Pat Leece, Ron Peck and Wilf Thust) released Railman, a film concerned as much with the distribution of roles within the film collective as with getting "as close as possible to the life and routines" of an NUR station master. Filmed at Grove Park Station, Lewisham, in south east London, and set against the backdrop of state divestment in transport infrastructure, Railman might be regarded as a modest and experimental corrective to more technically accomplished and officially sanctioned British Transport Films: Rush Hour, Wires over the Border and Accident.

In the spirit of MayDay Rooms' commitment to opening out historical material onto the present, Wilf Thust, a founder member of the Four Corners collective, will introduce the film and help shape a discussion on the terms and conditions of collective filmmaking as a mode of political or politicising practice, as a form of group process....

In 1974, four London Film School students - Joanna Davis, Mary Pat Leece, Ron Peck and Wilf Thust - agree to work together as part of a course requirement to hand in a film script. They begin by interviewing the PR rep of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and then meet with the course director of the London Film School, Ralph Bond, who in turn secures an interview with Ray Buckton, the general secretary of the rail drivers' trade union ASLEF. This preparatory work predictably draws the filmmakers into the labyrinth of British Rail bureaucracy, culminating in a failed negotiation to obtain permission to film on BR property on the grounds that an "irresponsible film" or any form of misrepresentation might damage the company's recruitment drive. This exchange is scripted and then re-staged as the opening sequence of the film. From that point on, the filmmakers move into a more clandestine mode and having identified a location, Grove Park Station in Lewisham, decide to circumvent management and contact workers directly.

As with much Four Corners' work from this period, the 'subject' speaks and Railman is filmed almost entirely in the station master's place of work, the platform office. In this setting, albeit only for a brief moment, the relationship between the film collective and station master permits the unarticulated a voicing and the unrepresented a hearing'.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival 2015

Some great events coming up in this year's New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival, here's a quick summary from the organisers, for full details check out their website.

New Cross + Deptford Free Film Festival 2015.
Fri 24 April - Sun 3 May

'The fourth annual New Cross + Deptford Free Film Festival is shaping up to be a cinematic extravaganza. This year there really is something for everyone - from Youtube Cats to radical politics (there’s an election on!).

The festival launches with Friday Night Fever, a screening of Saturday Night Fever followed by a 70s disco. Strut your stuff at Number3, the new warehouse space on Creekside. 
The festival closes with a very special guest. Legendary DJ, musician and filmmaker Don Letts will be talking about his documentary film The Clash: Westway To The World followed by a DJ set at the Job Centre in Deptford.

Other highlights include:

Tuesday 28 April: Westmonster / Spirit Level - Two politically charged films with Q & A and discussion at New Cross Learning

Wednesday 29 April: Carrie – the original teen horror at Deptford Lounge

Thursday 30 May: Global Shorts - 16 films from 16 countries at Deptford Lounge

Friday 1 May: Old Kent Road -Everybody’s heard of the Champs-Élysées. The Old Kent Road’s the same. It must be one of the best known names in Europe.” - at The Hill Station Cafe

Saturday 2 May: Wizard of Oz - Follow the yellow brick road to this bike powered, open air event in Telegraph Hill upper Park

Throughout the festival Sanford Housing Co-op are presenting Ways Out: Unfolding the topography of the possible. Six films investigating alternatives to generic Capitalism. Join filmmakers, activists and guest-panellists for discussions'

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

US Chicken Chain set to Open in Greenwich

A leading US chicken chain is set to open its first UK restaurant in SE London. In a further sign of  the attractiveness of the area to cash-rich international investors, Albuquerque-based 'Los Pollos Hermanos' expects to open for business in Greenwich within the next few weeks.

In a joint statement with the company released yesterday, Greenwich Council welcomed the news, saying: 'The Royal Borough has been a centre of global trade for hundreds of years. From the tea brought back to England on the Cutty Sark to the modern consumer products so expertly marketed by Los Pollos, we have always welcomed the best that the world has to offer'. Speaking for the company, Mr Gustavo Fring said: 'Our motto at Los Pollos is "The finest ingredients are brought together with love and care, then slow cooked to perfection". We can't wait to get cooking in Greenwich'. Customers who bring a copy of the Council newspaper 'Greenwich Time' to the restaurant will be eligible for a free sample of the Los Pollos' specially-tailored new range - the Greenwich Meridian Line.

Mr Gustavo Fring
Notes for editors:

- Los Pollos Hermanos has 14 restaurants in the South Western United States between Albuquerque (New Mexico) and Nevada. In Greenwich it is planning to operate from the premises on Church Street recently vacated by Desparadoes, for further details see here.

- the Cutty Sark played an important role in international trade between India, China and Britain: 'clippers, such as the beautifully dry-docked Cutty Sark in Greenwich, often did double duty: serving as tea
clippers between Guangzhou (Canton) and London, and opium clippers between Calcutta and Guangzhou. By 1840 the British were shipping 40,000 opium chests to China each year' (source).

yes, this was an April Fool's joke - Los Pollos is the chicken chain that is a front for a drugs empire in the series Breaking Bad.