"In the middle of the journey of life, I came to myself within a dark wood" (Dante). Waking in the night I sometimes wonder if Kirsten Reynolds is in a wood somewhere or by a lake. Alone, dressed in black, melting into the shadows, she is setting up her time-lapse camera, putting her coloured light … Continue reading Kirsten Reynolds. The Elegance of the Maverick.
Director Otto Bell. 2016 This outstanding documentary shows a young Mongolian girl breaking with the traditional male preserve of eagle hunting. We're fascinated by her joyous connection with her eagle, the harsh environment, her father who trains her; and as we sit, centrally-heated and post feminist, we're amused by the elders' grumpy opposition. We glimpse … Continue reading The Eagle Huntress.
"Being Penny" Director Keith Rodway 2016 "Hijra- India's Third Gender" Director Michael Yorke 1991. Electric Palace 21st January. "Being Penny" follows on from "Becoming Penny" which recorded the journey of transgender Penny Panaji from male to female. Keith said that from the first moment, she was just Penny: neither male, female nor transgender. This directness … Continue reading Exploring the Liminal.
This portrayal of the relationship between Jacqueline Dupre and her sister, met fulsome praise and bitter criticism when it was released. If you have never met an artist, or a child, you may experience this film as ‘an astoundingly rich and subtle exploration of sibling rivalry and the volcanic collisions of love and resentment’ ( … Continue reading Hilary and Jackie. Director Anand Tucker 1998
By Simone Witney On the west coast of Turkey, near the town of Balat, lie the ruins of Miletus, which in the 6th century BCE, was the most important city in the Greek world. Here Anaximander was brought up, in a city teeming with traders from Ethiopia, the Ukraine, Italy, France, Asia Minor and the … Continue reading No WIMPS* in this Dark Matter
Homer’s Iliad, translated by Stephen Mitchell, audiobook, read by Alfred Molina,. Review by Simone Witney. ‘Rage’ is the first word of the Iliad and its theme. ‘ Anger’, says Achilles ‘far sweeter than trickling honey, expands in the breast like smoke’. Mitchell prioritises contemporary idiom (for which he has a gift) and smoothness of delivery … Continue reading We Can Be Heroes.
Simone Witney and Stephen Cullis. Greek Mythology is full of bizarre tales of humans becoming animals, plants and even stones. They gave the poet Ovid, born in Italy in 43BCE, a rich resource for a beautiful poem which links the disparate stories by the theme of transformation: a hunter is changed into a stag and … Continue reading A Hundred and One Uses For a Dead Poet.