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Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight at mac birmingham

MagicIntheMoonlight-f
12A (98 min)
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins
English | 2014

Magic in the Moonlight is a charming, whimsical tale that is entertaining without ever being enthralling. Set in the 1920s French Riviera, it is shot beautifully and invokes the trademark feeling that I get when sat in front of the latest Woody Allen cinematic slice. Colin Firth is his usual debonaire self, this time as a world famous illusionist with an enormous ego hellbent on exposing fraudulent mystics, and Emma Stone is generally captivating barring a few uncomfortably modern line readings as the fraudster in his sights. It was witty, classy and clichéd. I watched with content which then turned to pride after I correctly guessed the major plot twist 20 minutes before it happened. It has nowhere near the amount of bite as Allen’s last film, Blue Jasmine, but it was a worthwhile 100 minutes spent, even if the predictable love story between the 54 year old Firth and 25 year old Stone is quite gross.


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Film Review: The Riot Club at mac birmingham

TheRiotClub-f
15 (107 min)
Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Max Irons, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger, Jessica Brown Findlay
English | 2014

I went into this film having read the play on which it is based, Posh, only a few days ago. It was therefore an interesting experience to see how the film made the leap from stage to screen. It’s certainly been Hollywoodified in order to appeal to a broader audience and a new love interest has been woven in who accentuates the class divisions explored in the film. This new take means the portrayal of class division is more blunt and subtlety is certainly not one of its strengths, but the very strong cast featuring some of the leading lights of the new generation of British acting talent charm, dazzle and repulse. As a young fresh faced actor it feels like I’m receiving a constant Chinese burn when watching a 28 year old play an 18 year old but personal gripes aside, Max Irons and Sam Claflin in particular offer superb performances.

Written by Laura Wade and directed by Lone Scherfig, the film offers a hypothetical example of what the high-class youngsters of the Riot Club (based on Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club) could be capable of and what their ideology might be and it is an entertaining ride. It is easy to be seduced by the allure and mystique of the club and its members in the first half before it all turns sour as their behaviour descends into repugnance.

The film also suggests that the club holds enormous influence in who holds high political and financial positions. It is hard to know what to believe about the real elite dining clubs of Oxford but there is something about the concept of out of control over-privileged toffs running amok that is richly intriguing.


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#NextGenBrum Cannon Hill Café

New collaborative commissions for young people and emerging artists aged 16-24yrs at mac birmingham
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Deadline for submissions: 1st March 2014

Cannon Hill Café is a new programme aiming to develop emerging artists by offering young people aged between 16-24yrs the chance to engage and connect with mac birmingham: by initiating, producing and delivering their own events.

The aim of these commissions is to encourage new and meaningful creative collaborations as part of theNext Gen programme at mac birmingham and to create roles for young people as producers, curators, programmers, artists and leaders. Offering young people resources including, space, production support and funds to make creative work, collaborate and test out ideas.

What’s on offer?

• 5 x young people’s commissions for an alternative events programme – the Cannon Hill Café

• £500 on offer per event

• Use of space, technical support and production support from mac staff and associate producer Amy Martin

• Free skills workshops in; events management, marketing, production and audience engagement

This commission is open to:

• Existing youth groups, youth companies and youth charities or newly formed collaborative groups of young people

• Groups based in the West Midlands

• Aged 16-24yrs – led by young people

Location: Arena Café, mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH

Fee: Successful applicants will receive £500/per event to be spent as a programme budget

How to apply:

Application is by proposal via email to nextgen@macarts.co.uk

Your proposal should be on no more than 2 sides of A4.

Your proposal should include:

• The skills and experience of you and your group

• An outline of what you’d like to do – your ideas and how you would create a new one off event at mac for young people

• An indication of who you would like to collaborate with or programme, and how you intend to engage your audience

Please note your event must suit a public space café with limited tech resources. You will have access to a sound and light PA, projector, screen and technician. Your event must be on either 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th May or 3rd June between 5pm-8pm. Your event must be a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 3 hours in duration.
Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to pitch their idea on Saturday 15th March 2014.
We understand that proposals will be subject to change and development.
We are happy to receive proposals as video, audio files, or web-based applications.

To help you to develop your application you can sign up to the following free Cannon Hill Lectures in events management and/or take part in an information surgery. Further information below.

#CannonHillLectures

From Set Up to Clean Up, a crash course in Events Management Pt 1 with Amy Martin

Thu 30 Jan, 6pm-8pm | Free | Hexagon Theatre

Planning an event, exhibition, party or workshop? Need help getting started? Then this crash course in Events Management is for you. You will explore the planning process, going step by step through the different elements, along the way creating a useful timeline. You will look at how to get people to attend your event and how to manage the process from set up to clean up.

From Set Up to Clean Up, a crash course in Events Management Pt 2 with Amy Martin

Thu 6 Feb, 6pm-8pm | Free | Hexagon Theatre

Building on from Pt 1 this lecture offers a practical guide to Events Management. You’ll leave with a toolkit that will help you organise future events, the confidence to get started and the skills to manage the process from set up to clean up.

Information surgeries

Tue 28 Jan, 4pm-5pm | mac birmingham café drop in

Thu 30 Jan, 4pm-5pm |  mac birmingham café drop in

Thu 6 Feb, 4pm-5pm | mac birmingham café drop in


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Theatrical Three Days

I’ve been really lucky to have seen some amazing theatre this week. On Thursday night I went down to @AE Harris with Emma to see The Cardinals by Stan’s Cafe. It was a farcical puppet show exploring those forbidden dinner party topics, religion and politics, and I thought I had it pinned, but an almost imperceptibly slow build-up took it from hilarious to shocking. It left us both speechless, and took a while afterwards to think over. The aesthetics were beautiful, with some really stunning images, and it was executed with the amazing precision it takes to create what looks like total chaos.

On Friday, I went to Warwick Arts Centre on my university campus to see Ubu Roi by Cheek by Jowl. It was another farce; the story of tyrannical ruler King Ubu, told in the context of a refined French dinner party. But despite the battles and torture being reenacted with kitchen utensils and lamps, I found myself really engrossed in the story as well as in fits of giggles.

With all this in mind, we began the first rehearsal for Off Print Tales, the project Emma and I are co-directing. We brought together Cannon Hill Collective members and other performers and jumped straight into devising. We’ve got poets, actors, dancers and musicians and are bringing them together to make a storytelling style which incorporates them all. We got together in a beautiful mac studio and asked them to respond to the first part of the story, and we got some amazing material to begin creating the piece with. We had a lot of fun, and the piece is really promising so I’m looking forward to devising with the group. So it’s been a very inspiring and theatrical few days.


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Applications have now closed.

If you applied to be part of Cannon Hill Collective with mac, Birmingham, please keep an eye on your email, we will be inviting shortlisted applicants to a recruitment workshop on Friday 28 September from 4 to 6pm.

For mac’s full programme and further opportunities check the IdeasTap partner’s page – mac, Birmingham.


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Apply to be part of Cannon Hill Collective…

Calling all you young makers, creators, movers and shakers!

How would you like to work with the Midlands’ liveliest arts centre?

mac birmingham is looking for a group of 20 young people, aged 16 to 24, to be part of mac’s cannon hill collective. You can be from any creative discipline but you must be based in the West Midlands.

As part of the collective, you will come up with new ideas and develop projects from scratch, putting your stamp on mac’s fantastic arts programme.

During six months spent working alongside professionals from the field, you will be introduced to top notch art, have access to mac’s events and artists, and devise original work to share with young people across the region and beyond.

In the process, you will sharpen your project coordination, leadership and teamwork skills and gain confidence in decision-making, boosting your creative abilities.

The collective will run from 1 October 2012 to April 2013, meeting one evening each week (with a break over Christmas) and at additional events as required.

The cannon hill collective is part of the Next Generation strand at mac birmingham, which celebrates work made by, with and for young people, to discover and nurture the Next Generation of creative talent. The cannon hill collective is supported by the Monument Trust and IdeasTap.

Interested? Fill out the application form and tell us why you want to be part of the collective! Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an open interview at mac birmingham on Friday 28 September, 4 to 6pm.

Apply through IdeasTap- here