Monday, December 31, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Three principals from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba have defected and crossed the border to the US while on tour in Canada. Hanya Gutiérrez, Taras Dimitro Suárez and Miguel Ángel Blanco are all quite young and promising, and they have decided to leave their country to "dance in freedom and reach new styles, new things" said Miguel Ángel Blanco, who added "We are young, this is our opportunity. In Cuba, time has stopped"

We will of course remember the defection of Nureyev and Barishnikov from the Soviet Union in the second half of last century.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back in the limelight

The wonderful Luz Casal has managed to wack out the tumour that was diagnosed in her breast earlier this year, and has a new album out in Spain. It's already Disco de Oro (40 000 units sold)
Rock on girl! Short hair suits her well by the way!

Find out more about her new album Vida Toxica and her forthcoming tour on her website!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Carbon Myths

Awesome article in the Guardian about several carbon-saving myths, telling us why some of the best-known carbon-saving actions are not that efficient, and what we should do instead.

1. It's ok to buy some low-energy light bulbs, but those big fashionable plasma TVs or game consoles consume A LOT of electricity and would outweigh any energy savings. So keep your old tv and buy a more efficient fridge instead of a new TV.

2. Plastic bag and food packaging are almost irrelevant to climate change. What we need to do is waste less food, as food rotting in landfill produces methane, a far more serious cause of global warming.

3. Food miles are only a small part of a meal's carbon impact. Reducing the amount of meat you eat has far more effect than deciding to buy locally. Remember: it takes 3 kilograms of cereals to produce a kilo of pork, 8 for a kilo of beef!

4. Generating your own electricity is a good idea, but what's the point if your house is badly insulated. The most cost-effective way to reduce your house's carbon footprint is by insulating it. British houses are the worst insulated in northern Europe.

I have to say I like this article cause it makes me feel less bad about having a lot of plastic bags in my kitchen drawers, having an old TV and complaining about my flat being draughty (it shouldn't be!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Spain (un)censored @ the BFI

La Caza (the hunt), Carlos Saura, 1965

Very exciting season this January at the British Film Institute on the South Bank: a selection of films made by brave film makers under Franco's dictatorship. From Carlos Saura to Juan Antonio Bardem and Victor Erice and Luis Bunuel, the names are huge. Expect to see some amazing movies! I am going to 6 screenings in a week, and particularly recommend The Spirit of the beehive (probably the best Spanish movie ever), The Hunt, Viridiana and Welcome Mr Marshall (a funny one!).

All those movies cleverly manage to criticize and denounce the regime they were made under and convey the state of Spanish society at the time. Some are inspired by the Nouvelle Vague techniques, others are more classical, but they are all strong pieces of film making that have influenced Spanish cinema up to now. We looked at quite a few of these when I studied Spanish cinema in Granada, I can't wait to see them again, considering few of them are available on DVD in the UK. Book now!

The Spirit of the Beehive, Victor Erice, 1973