art in all its forms

art in all its forms


Race to studiofilmclub

TT Film Festival 2011


Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday Sept 29&30th doors open 7:00pm feature commences 7:30pm(curfew/state of emergency hours..sigh.)

STUDIOFILMCLUB are pleased once again to be collaborating with the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival in 2011 - our fifth year together.
This year we are extremely excited to be screening two films by 
the London based director ASIF KAPADIA. We will be screening his critically aclaimed first feature THE WARRIOR and his most recent sensation SENNA. Two very different types of film..
A very special thanks to Asif and his producers for so kindly allowing SFC to present his films to a Trinidadian audience for the very first time!

Thursday Sept 29th 7:30 screen time

SENNA (Asif Kapadia/UK/2010/106')

PERHAPS YOU HAVE NO INTEREST in Formula One racing. Perhaps you’re resistant to documentaries in general. Neither of these should keep you from seeing Asif Kapadia’s Senna (2010), a marvel of a movie that has at its center the very thing one longs for and seldom finds on screen today: a brilliant, charismatic, romantic hero. Three times a world champion in a ten-year career, the Brazilian racing car driver Ayrton Senna is considered by aficionados of the sport to have been the greatest driver of his generation—and perhaps of all time. He was also wildly handsome, generous, honest, intelligent, and intensely spiritual. He loved racing, his family, and his country. He donated millions to educating poor Brazilian children. He faced down the Formula One hierarchy that looked on him as an upstart from a third world country—not that that prevented Formula One from capitalizing on his audience appeal—and he challenged himself in every race, not only to win but to achieve the perfection of a form. In other words, he was an artist and a superhero, who tragically is unavailable for a sequel to the most exhilarating and heartbreaking action movie of the summer. Senna was killed in 1994 in a race about which he had grave misgivings, but from which he could not bring himself to walk away.

Friday Sept 30th 7:30 screen time

THE WARRIOR (Asif Kapadia/UK/2005/86')
Narrative elegance and rapturous imagery highlight The Warrior, which won two BAFTA awards: Best British Film & Best Debut film. The first feature by Asif Kapadia and co-writer Tim Miller let their story of a repentant warrior unfold slowly. Set during an unspecified ancient time in the seldom-captured picturesque locales of India's northwestern desertland and the western Himalayas, Asif Kapadia's feature debut is a minimalist but strikingly beautiful tale of renounced violence told with uncommon precision and depth. The title warrior, Lafcadia (Irfan Khan), is a longtime indentured servant and executioner whose livelihood consists of ravaging small villages — and their women — with his menacing gang of brutes. During a routine pillaging, he experiences a flash of clarity and resolves to never again pick up a sword. But his vicious warlord master immediately retaliates by calling for the head of Lafcadia and the death of his disloyal servant's only son. Instead of becoming a typical revenge-driven killfest like many of the westerns that were clear inspirations for this film, it develops into a rich journey of repentance, redemption and acceptance of fate.


A new space of sound and fury

TT Film Festival 2011: New Media show
From Atlantic Transformerz by Dutch artist Charl Landvreugd

AT A CORNER of the basement of the brand new Medulla Gallery on Fitt Street, Woodbrook, is a large black LCD screen. The rectangular screen plays a looped video showing several faces, each adorned with all sorts of different objects and textures. The faces look at you with an intensity that is almost disconcerting: the eyes, lips and features jump out and literally shimmer as slow movements capture changes in light. This is Atlantic Transformerz a work by Dutch artist Charl Landvreugd, one of several artists gathered for "New Media" one of the side-events of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

"Atlantic Transformerz explores the multiplicity of hues of the colour black, and makes an issue out of distinguishing black diversity," notes the liner notes to the show, curated by ARC Magazine's Holly Bynoe and Nadia Huggins. "Inspired by the African diaspora in Amsterdam, Landvreugd unites the four continents around the Atlanic Ocean." But there is something that happens to work when it is placed in a room where it interacts with its audience. Atlantic Transformerz managed to raise issues about blackness, yes, but also provide a glimpse at deeper mysteries: its half costumed subjects revealed more through their covered skin. They sought answers to the viewers questions.

Basement of the Medulla Gallery, Fitt Street, Woodbrook

This is the kind of exciting thing that happened at the New Media show which completed its run over the weekend. The show saw several video pieces share the same audio track, to disorienting yet unifying effect. What helped too was the fact that the entire ground floor was devoted to the stunning photographs of Trinidadian artist Abigail Hadeed. Viewers then descended a small spiral staircase hidden near the back and became submerged in the video pieces, which included 'Amphibian Mode' by Puerto Rican artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens, a work which united text and noise with nonlinear narrative and "post-aphabetic" communication.

Trinidad artist La Vaughn Belle's 'Somebody's Been Sitting in My Chair' worked well in the space. The video work showed the artist re-enacting the scenes of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, wandering an 18th century colonial great house, dressed in casual wear. The idea of the house echoed the space, which is itself a kind of house with wandering viewers encountering work and asking: who owns the work? For whom are these pieces intended? These complex questions mirror the complex issues in the piece which throws up ideas of ownership, identity, 'beauty', colonialism, race and class struggle. Is the artist/walker an intruder or the real owner reclaiming the space? Does she reclaim the space or is the space reclaiming her? In other words: what power does she really have? Who is she?

Installation view of Atlantic Transformerz by Landvreugd

Similar questions are raised by Jason Keeling's 'Jesus Speaks of Me as I Am': a series of clips of men walking. Who are they? Where are they? When are they walking? Costumes change, reflecting apparently different periods, walkers move from city to country landscapes and back. If the artist in 'Somebody's Been Sitting in My Chair' reclaims a space, then what are these men doing? Are they running away for a space? Or is the action of movement a space itself? Something about the piece reminded me of the gangs that have sprung up all over the Caribbean with their own vernaculars and iconography. Who really are these men? Gangsters or something else? Who decides?

This, then, is a show of affirmation curated with some ingenuity by Bynoe and Huggins. The assemblage, like Lorraine O'Grady's video-work 'Landscape (Western Hemisphere)' is a hybrid of perspectives all asking the question who are we in this brave new world.

SEE more here.

Pieces of history

Hew Locke. West Indies Sugar Corporation, 2009. Acrylic paint on paper. 12 x 8 3/5 in. (30,7 x 22 cm.).

"Curators Christopher Cozier and Tatiana Flores presented a model for viewing or representing history as an emerging and fragmented partiality. A partiality, however, that does not preclude, but rather enriches one's ability to contemplate the circumstances it seeks to describe..." READ MORE here.


Eat, sleep, dance, live music

TT Film Festival 2011: Hit Me With Music (74 mins, Directed by Miquel Galofre)

Here is a film which understands all sides of its subject matter, dancehall. Miquel Galofre's sharp documentary examines how dance becomes a mode of expression, a realm of violence and, for some, an act of redemption. We eat, sleep, dream dance, one dancer remarks. In Hit Me With Music, this becomes poignantly true.

The film, screening at the TT Film Festival makes keen social observations without coming to a didactic conclusion. It is an open, breathing, living thing that reveals its director's understanding and compassion for humanity. This is one the best films of 2011 and continues a winning streak for Galofre whose last film was Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast? Here is a director of great sensitivity whose films play like odes to the people who inhabit them. *****


Miquel Galofre


A little mirror, little shot


See more from Rodell's website here. Also more in this Artzpub series here (Mariel Brown) here (Charles Campbell) and here (Brianna McCarthy).

A love affair


"On February 2, 1911, when the London Electric Theatre opened its doors at the corner of French and Baden Powell Streets in Woodbrook, a local love affair with cinema was born.

One hundred years on from the opening of that first cinema, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), presented by Flow, is celebrating a century of cinema in T&T.

The ttff/11 takes place from 21 September to 4 October, and comprises screenings of the best new and recent films from T&T, the Caribbean and its diaspora at venues across the country.

At MovieTowne in Port of Spain, in addition to film screenings, an exhibition on the early decades of the cinema industry in T&T will be held. The exhibition, which is supported by bpTT, traces the birth and rapid growth of cinemas in the country, including the phenomenon of “tent cinemas” in rural areas.

The exhibition also looks at the rise of film-going culture, and the popularity of various genres of films, including the Western and Indian films.

A number of the pioneers of the cinema industry—including cinema owners and film distributors—are highlighted in the exhibition. These pioneers will also be honoured at the ttff/11 awards ceremony on 2 October, and will be the first inductees of the ttff’s Caribbean cinema and film industry hall of fame."

CHECK the TTFF website here.


Inward Hunger

A NEW documentary series, exploring the life of Dr Eric Williams and depicting him as, among other things, a tragic figure and a prime minister who turned a blind eye to corruption in his Cabinet, was launched last Wednesday night by the director Mariel Brown.
Brown said she has a strong belief that an audience will be interested in, “a fuller picture of the man we know as the father of the nation.”

“A few years ago I was talking with my father Wayne Brown,” she told the audience gathered for a private screening of Inward Hunger: The Story of Eric Williams at the Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain. “He said he thought that in the end Williams life was a tragic one.” Brown said of her series, which airs at
1 pm on Saturday (Republic Day) on Government Information Services Limited Channel 4, aims to depict the country’s first prime minister “as a human being rather than a politician.”

“He was deified and despised. He was imperious and intellectually arrogant,” she said of Williams in an address before the screening of part-one of the series.

“As he grew older, he became increasingly paranoid and withdrawn until he became a virtual recluse.

He was a man who cared little for wealth and material possessions. Yet, he was known to turn a blind eye to corruption running rampant in his Cabinet.”

“Many saw Williams as a kind of messiah: a man who could save them. Yet some argue that this has led to an entrenchment of a culture of dependancy in our society,” Brown, the director of The Solitary Alchemist, said. “He was a fearless man. He believed in celebration, he believed in Caribbean integration and unity: he was a man of many contradictions.”

The documentary series, which was initially approved under the GISL under the PNM but also later endorsed under the new management of the company, was also funded through support from the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited and First Citizens Bank.

Speaking at the launch, GISL chairman Andy Johnson noted that Williams was a figure who provoked extreme reactions, but few could remain indifferent to him. The documentary series is divided into three parts.

Episode 1: “Great Expectations” follows Williams from his birth in 1911, and covers his parents and childhood days, his difficulties at Oxford, his first two marriages and then his entry into politics.

Brown effectively uses photographs, archive and file footage to build an impression of the times.

There are interviews with historians and academics, as well as Williams’ daughter, Erica Williams-Connell.

An actor — Albert Laveau in a bravura performance — renders the voice of Williams, breathing life into some of his speeches and letters.

The script, written and researched by Alake Pilgrim, has a literary sensibility: making profound observations in understated ways. There is also a powerfully haunting score by Francesco Emmanuel which fuses different local musical traditions into a somber and potent mix. 

Even with this gathering of material, however, the sense of who Williams actually was remains elusive as it must; a few bits of information are also, deliberately, not clarified.  There are hints of the influence of key figures such as CLR James on Williams, but the first 55-minute episode ends by asking the question: did we really know Eric Williams? This is a question which strikes at the heart of the ambition of the series.

Episode 2: “Movement of the People,” deals with Williams and the PNM’s emergence and the events that led to independence.  This is a complex examination of Williams race politics and suggests far-reaching repercussions to some of his more controversial moves amidst an all-emcompassing search for national identity.

Episode 3: “Power” deals with the interaction between Williams’ public and private life and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his death.

Inward Hunger airs on Saturday at 1pm on Channel 4.

ARC has an invitation for you and it says:

(CLICK to enlarge)

Patterns of Darkness

FROM Briana McCarthy's blog.

FOR more information, check out the blog or go to a sale Brianna is having from this Friday to Sunday at 33 Murray Street, Woodbrook. Sale pieces can be found on Facebook here.


***BLOGGED LIVE: Miss Universe 2011

It was a dark, rainy night in Port of Spain. And across the pond, over thousands of miles of rainforest, in a country called Brazil, our favorite annual event is about to begin: MISS UNIVERSE. I'll be blogging live, following the progress of Trinidad and Tobago's Gabby Walcott. (DISCLAIMER: If she does not make it in the final, I shall immediately terminate this live blog. I might get a bit bitter, you see.) So buckle up, we're in for a bumpy ride.

(NOTE: click refresh every now and again to get updates/fresh bitchy comments)

9.02pm: And we're off! A little late, but that's okay. It's not like we're going anywhere tonight besides the front of our screen.

In this part of the show, each contestant comes out and shouts the name of their country out loud just in case we don't know how to properly pronounce it.

The announcer just said the show has a viewership of 1 billion, which means about one sixth of the planet is watching. No pressure.

9.07pm: Judging from her greeting, Miss Indonesia wants to beat everybody up.

9.10pm: Miss Trinidad and Tobago! Yayy! (Big hair, too ;)) Hmm was Miss Venezuela smirking?

9.12pm: Okay they just announced the hosts. I always love how they choose real celebrities everyone knows to host these things. And they speak foreign languages too! (Why have I forgotten the names of the hosts already?  Oh well I shall call them: 'the woman' and 'the man' from now on.) The woman and the man just noted that the hardest part of the night is that tough final question...(shivers!)

Okay commercial break. Quick muffin break. ***Update(NOTE to the anonymous commenter who just disparaged my last muffin remark: shame on YOU!)

9.12pm: We are back. Only 16 out of 85 will survive.... They are calling the countries now: France. Kosovo. Columbia. (Suspenseful pause.) China. Angola. (Woman host: "Yayy Miss Angola! How cute is that?") Australia. (Woman host, demonstrating apparent bias: "I love this girl!") Puerto Rico (Woman: "Happy Birthday!"). Brazil. (Shocking development, really.) Netherlands. 10th spot: USA (Woman host: "My home country!") Ukraine.


Panama (Woman: "I love Panama, she's one of my favorites.")
Costa Rica (Woman: "So many women, so little space left.")
Philippines (Woman host: "Her country is dying right now am sure.")


Trinidad and Tobago

Okay guys, well as you can see, TT didn't get in. I might still continue to blog though, in between my copious glasses of red wine as I drown my sorrows.

9.56pm: Gabby's sister just posted this on Facebook:

Wow that axe was swift! Def feeling my heart breaking for Gabz. But proud of her for reach that far. Hope she's ok and will enjoy the rest of her trip!!! So Glad my parents are there to give her lots of Hugs! Now Im excited to see who's gonna be crowned. Who's your favourites of the top 16? France? Ukraine?

10.04pm: Final top ten! Brazil, China, Australia, Costa Rica, France, Angola, Portugal, Ukraine, Panama, Philippines. Surprise that Venezuela did not make it.

10.09pm: One of the women hosts just remarked that Miss Angola looks like "a Miss Trinidad and Tobago".

Lots of buzz on the net around Miss China. Very timely.

10.15pm: Male host just tried speaking Portuguese. Female host said what he said sounded like the name of a shade of nail polish.

Musical interlude now. Will anything ever top the "make the world a better place" sequences of the pageants of the 80s?


Australia: woman host says, "this dress almost did not make it here and it got tonnes of emails before it was approved." Costa Rica: woman host says, "she was a self-proclaimed nerd." France: a white Wonder-Woman inspired ensemble. Ukraine: dress gets rave reviews from the hosts who gingerly note that the Ukraine has never won the competition. She adds, "this might be the night." Portugal: It's red and furry!

I am not sure what is going on with the music/dance/cabaret interlude. "You can close your eyes and never be alone" the singer informs us.

Panama: woman host gingerly discloses that Miss Panama almost fell during rehearsals. Philippines, then Angola and then China, in red. China is 6 feet tall, too. Angola gets the highest fan votes!

10.28pm: TOP FIVE


Hmm a tough one to call. But we shall see how things go when they answer the questions (shiver!)


A controversial segment. Lots of interpreters. Who's gonna get an easy question and who's not?


Q: If you could trade lives with anyone who would it be?
A: I live my life and I am very satisfied with it. But if I did have the chance, I think I would choose Cleopatra: a very powerful and strong woman who is worthy of respect and I think a woman can also be  leader like Cleopatra.


Q: Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love?
A: I would not because the first person I love is my God. If that person loved me they would love my God too.


Q: Nude beaches are popular. Is public nudity appropriate or not?
A: Each country has its rules and regulations. We should respect them, thank you.


Q: What would you do to avoid fighting a war if you did not agree with it.
A: Hello Brazil, good evening San Paulo. First of all I would explain to people that the mere quality of human beings is respect and no war is based on respect. It's always based on misunderstanding or a lack of education. I would tell this person that they should respect each other as human beings, thank you.


Q: What physical feature of yourself would you change?
A: I am very well satisfied with the way God created me and I would not change a thing. I am a woman of inner beauty. I have my principles and now I would like to give all of you a piece of advice: respect one another.

10.55pm: Apparently Miss Philipinnes is the fan favorite according to a poll. But the judges have the final say.


5th: China
4th: Philippines 
3rd: Brazil
2nd: Ukraine

1st: Angola

Well that's a wrap! What a ride, but it was fun. I still have some red wine to finish. GOODNIGHT ALL!




FIND out more about Alice Yard's fifth anniversary and some fundraising activity HERE.


Portrait of the artist

By Danielle Boodoo-Fortune

A portrait is not a picture, it is a process. The artist encounters her subject, and discovers, afresh, how to see. This involves a ruthless kind of gaze that strips all to nothing in order to build something. The poet Danielle Boodoo-Fortune shares her portrait work HERE.

A new film on an enigmatic figure in history

Got this striking invite in the mail for a film by director Mariel Brown (Solitary Alchemist). FIND out more here.