Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

"Kiss Me Kate", "The Mountaintop", film festivals etc

I got a late call to review “Kiss Me Kate”, from Welsh National Opera at the Wales Millennium Centre, which I was unable to resist – it’s not often that one gets the chance to see one of the classic Broadway musicals performed by one of the great companies. It helped that I already knew many of the songs, although listening to them in the context of the plot (which, frankly, didn’t really hang together), one gained a new appreciation of Cole Porter’s musical inventiveness and lyrical wit.

Other recent review assignments were Alan Harris’ playful examination of guilt, “The Terrible Things I’ve Done” at Chapter; and, at The Other Room, Fio’s wonderfully acted Welsh premiere of “The Mountaintop”, Katori Hall’s multi-award-winning examination of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King.

"The Mountaintop" (photo - Aenne Pallasca)

On Friday, I attended a day-long workshop for emerging filmmakers, organised by BFI Wales, at which Rwandan-born director Kivu Ruhorahoza spoke, outlining his struggles and strategies, and giving insights not only into the kinds of films which inspire him (e.g. “Elephant”, “American Psycho”), but also about the practicalities of surviving as a creative, and of selling your work to producers and festivals. Inspiring, in a subtle way. It was also interesting to note that many of the attendees were reassuringly middle-aged.

There have been a couple of small ego-boosts – my film of Lissa Kiernan’s poem “Census” has been accepted into the Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Munster, Germany – my first successful entry for this prestigious, biennial event; and my adaptation of Carl Sandburg’s “Jazz Fantasia” will be screened at the inaugural New York Jazz Film Festival in a few weeks’ time. Which is nice.

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