Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Gainsbourg in seminal glory?

Gainsbourg is showing at the Rio this evening, I’ll be there with my text from orange momentarily on display. Rio is a wonderful community focused cinema located on Kingsland Road, Dalston with a white art deco exterior. I once wound up there surrounded by pensioners on a rainy Wednesday matinee with my friend Emma (we were both unemployed at the time) it was there monthly cinema club. Needless to say a packed house of OAP's is quite a sight, we had the attention/conversation of many grannies and a sparkly 78 year old gentleman who cornered us during the interval - so that's what they used to be for.

The Rio shows a considered selection of art house/world cinema, yet still catering for the masses with crowd pleasers such as Sex & the City 2, the vibe is all encompassing. Available to purchase is beside the usual cinema fare is homemade cake and Samosa's washed down with a fantastic tea selection, which is allowed to accompany you into the auditorium. However, being an old theatre it is limited to one screen, with a multitude of tastes to satisfy I find myself seeking out alternative venues. Wandering down the Kingsland Road to Rich Mix in Shoreditch or even further afield to Curzon Soho, Prince Charles, Ritzy, BFi and on occasion Screen on the Green, Angel. Although notably the last time I indulged in the £11 entrance fee was for September Issue; I sat there alone on a hot August day gorging on Anna Wintour and the mesmerising Grace Coddington (stylist extraordinaire) in action during the build up to American Vogues September issue. Which posthumously is a rehash of the television documentary on Wintour, I watched as a student during my Art Foundation at BIAD, still, just as entertaining.

I would like to also take this opportunity whilst I’m were on the subject of cinema to doth my cap to the Watershed (which has an unrivalled selection of contemporary film, so much so I check it’s listings as a starting point for any new cinema I plan to see) and The Cube, undoubtedly the most bizarre and unique venue, showing an interesting back catalogue of weird movies – I watched Time of the Gypsies there. And once upon a time the Electric Cinema (the oldest working cinema) in Birmingham, I had friends who wouldn’t enter on account of the red gloss toilets and skeletons hanging from the exterior windows - a great venue to watch Irreversible and the only place brave enough to show at the time of release (unfortunately it’s reopened under new management, so I am unable to validate it’s current artistic leanings). I’m also a huge fan of Little White Lies and of course Peter Bradshaw, whose opinion I rarely find discourse with.

Gainsbourg has received mixed reviews; the main crux is the lack of detail into his life, after the week I’ve had I’ll happy if they cover the main points - I can piece together the rest at a later date, most probably a Serge Gainsbourg enthusiast will put me right. I get to lean back with tea in hand on plush red seating and marvel at Birkin/Bardot/Gainsbourg extravaganza. You can also catch up on the music of Gainsbourg as his 1969 seminal album Light in the Attic featuring temptress Jane Birkin and the ground breakingly sexy hit Je T'aime has been re-issued.

Bardot and her hair

Gainsbourg didn't do too badly on the female front.