Saturday, March 25, 2006

"He's not a drunk, he just has that look about him".

The I.C.A are currently showing Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary’s documentary ‘Favela Rising'. The film details the band Afro Reggae which started life as a movement to encourage young children into music and away from drug related activities in the Rio favela of Vigario Geral. Focussing predominantly on the main instigator of the Afro Reggae movement, Anderson Sa, the film follows him and the main members of the band whilst giving a historical record of the band’s achievements over the past 10 years.
Afro Reggae has made real progress in aiding a cultural change in the youth of Vigario Geral, music and art have encouraged the youth away from the glamour and easy money of the drug world. These efforts have been noticed by the authorities who are now asking Anderson and his colleagues to start Afro Reggae programs in other favela’s around the city.
The film adds tension to the story by following the personal thoughts of Anderson and the worries of his girlfriend. She is clearly concerned at the possible problems Anderson’s increasing profile might bring as his anti drug message brings him into conflict with his druglord neighbours. Anderson recounts one such occasion when the band became caught up in tensions between warring factions.
Ultimately we are absorbed into Anderson’s story, an episode where a tragic accident looks to change his life and put the whole Afro Reggae programme in jeopardy makes us consider even more the achievements he and his colleagues have made.
The soundtrack is great and the clips of the band’s performances convey the energy of their music, the film has a gritty feel and combines a variety of interview, TV reports and location filming to piece together a highly watchable film.

Kate Moss has received plenty of press coverage recently with her recreational activities and her relationship with fanzine boy Pete Docherty. So it was with some irony that I went to see Corinne Day's photos of the 15 year old Kate which are being exhibited at the Gimpel Fils Gallery on Davies Street, W1. The photos were those which started Moss’s career.
Day ‘s fresh approach to fashion photography is at its most iconic with this set of images, photographed on a south coast beach they look as they were intended, to catch the personality of your average teenage girl. I must admit if I hadn’t been passing I wouldn’t have made a trip out for this exhibition, despite my reservations I was pleasantly surprised. Corinne Day’s photos made me look at Kate Moss in a different light, despite all the coverage of Moss’s career and associated activities the photographs managed to make me forget the cult of Kate and see her as the teenager she was when the photos were taken.
Four images are particularly telling, the first is of Moss wearing a woollen beanie looking self conscious but happy just farting about on the beach like anybody’s teenage daughter, the second shows her pouting like a ‘model’ but actually looking like your average sulky 15 year old girl.
Right next to this is Kate laughing, her eyes are screwed tight. This image is in stark contrast with the other, it makes you understand how an older brother might feel towards their younger sister, she goes from being a completely unlikeable, pouting brat to charming and amusing in an instant.
The final image is the one that faces you from the distance as you enter the gallery, it is the iconic Kate Moss, cropped close to highlight her features this is the Kate to be, Kate the Model.
The exhibition runs until 1st April and a video by the Thai artist, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is showing in the downstairs gallery.

In the spirit of ‘those mobile voices’ and ‘overheard underground’ I thought I’d tell you what I overheard on the bus outside Kings Cross yesterday.
"He’s not a drunk, he just has that look about him".


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