Shine A Light

Films, Photos, Music, Fashion, Aesthetic, Narrative, Style, Image, Dialogue....

Thursday, 25 November 2010


A black comedy from Finland about Santa Clause is a seemingly bizarre concept. And the result is really bizarre movie. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is this, and it is awesome! Set the cold, cold Korvantunturi Mountains in northern Finland scientists are setting off explosions on a mountain. Soon enough the local inhabitants starts noticing weird stuff going down, livestock is massacred, children go missing….ears get bitten off!. This reminds one small boy of the real legend of Santa Claus, not the ‘Coca-Cola’ version. When the boy’s father accidentally captures the real Santa in a baited trap, the real version of Christmas reveals its real darkness.

Rare Exports is by far one of the weirdest mainstream films of recent times. A wonderfully original idea, that fuses a unique sense of comedy with action and family drama in way that is largely unparalleled. There are nods to 80s adventure films like ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Poltergiest’, there is an air of young Spielberg at work making kids action films with a dark twist, but Rare Exports might take a little from these types of films and makes its own out of them. It can’t be easy to make a film that is laugh out loud funny and genuinely creepy and keep that balance without one eventually rendering the other void, but this film achieved it consistently. On leaving the cinema a woman from Finland (many native Fins attended and were very enthusiastically vocal throughout) asked me if I ‘got’ the Finnish humor. I think I did, but what I think I ‘got’ most was discovering that this movie was not pandering to any Hollywood type of Christmas, or more to the point what a comedy, action, horror movie should be. Rare Exports will hopefully usher in more unique mainstream movies from other cultures that will as equally and as boldly and as entertainingly showcase themselves.

Also check out this Short Film that would lead to the feature..

Hyvää joulua

Laura Marling - The Needle & The Damage Done (Produced by Jack White)

Two of the best artists keeping traditional(esque) song writing interesting and relevant have joined forced to cover a classic Neil Young track!

Laura Marling's pale yet powerful voice combined with her simple guitar picking tehnique fits perfectly with Jack White's organic production style...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


The SimonSound

‘From Inner Space To Outta Space’ @ The Duke of York’s Picture House

The Duke of York’s Picture House cinema is hundred years old and the September they celebrated what movie going was like back in 1910. But on the night of December 10th it’s heading straight for the future…but in a retro 60s, sci-fi, psychedelic kind of way (often the only way to go).

The Simonsound will be bringing live rescoring to old 60s sci-fi TV shows, being projected on the big screen (real 16mm stuff), the night will also include a psychedelic projected light show and a live mix by DJ Format.

The Simonsound’s first album Reverse Engineering has been championed by Radio 1’s Giles Peterson, and the show at the Duke’s promise to be the full, visceral experience. Their live set mixes analogue synthesisers, space echo, tape loops, Debbie Clare on vocals and Laura J Martin on vocals, flute and mandolin. A strong visual element is provided by a montage of 50’s and 60’s science, science fiction, psychedelic and space exploration footage. The film screenings will Timelash - a trippy episode of 60’s sci-fi TV series UFO; Space Place – a 60’s psychedelic trip into space with electronic sound; and Kosmodron R. 1999, a wry comic Eastern European animation on the vicissitudes of space flight.

Ian Helliwell will be providing a multi-projector light show to accompany the live music and there will also be special DJ set from DJ Format who will be leaving his old school hip-hop, funk and soul aside and bringing out some of the weirdest and and most unusually pysch rock rarities that you wish you’d been hearing all your life.

This is shaping up to be an awesome night displaying the power and immensity of music and image, fusing old and new, retro and prog(o?) with a spaced out trippy feel that everyone craves on a Friday night! Don’t miss out!

Get tickets at the Duke’s website


This is the best late birthday present I ever got...straight from Owl Farm, Woody Creek. Home of the good doctor!

Thanks Flora! x

Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting based on William Faulkner's idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism -- and the best journalists have always known this. True gonzo reporting needs the talents of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor. Because the writer must be a participant in the scene, while he's writing it -- or at least taping it, or even sketching it. Or all three. Probably the closest analogy to the ideal would be a film director/producer who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least a main character.

Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, 15 November 2010


I'm reading a book called Hella Nation by Evan Wright (Generation Kill). It's about sub-cultures in America. People with 'completely opposing attitudes towards today's dominant culture.' Weird social and political groups of people, that are either self organized and constructed, or exist as a result of the fallout from the society around them.

In one segment of the book, Wright explores a neo-Nazi society calling themselves the 'Aryan Nations' and their religion, 'Christian Identity'.

This segment (about one of my favourite films) made me laugh...and wince.

...Pastor Butler lays the blame for the degeneration of social values on the Jewish influence in Hollywood, citing the movie Independence Day as an example. "A nigger and a Jew save the whole white race!" Pastor Butler says, outraged at the preposterousness of it.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


FOUR WINDS is an amazing song that I constantly keep I guess thats more like consistently enjoying (?) but never mind...written by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and first appeared on the Cassadaga album from 2006 .The song has timeless country sound largely fueled by the distinct violin hook and Oberst poetic lyrics filled with vivid imagery.

It turns out The Killers did a cover of it as b-side to one of their (generic-europopesque-bassy-pop tunes) last year!.....(I do like The Killers...but you know...there's not that much to say about them any more)

Anyway here's The Killers version

...and the original (unfortunately the single version hasn't got the long violin intro...fuckin' MTV!)

Personally I'll take the original and the violin over bassy synths any day....but good songs can take many incarnations...this is one.

...A squatter's made a mural of a Mexican girl
With fifteen cans of spray paint in a chemical swirl
She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world
Four winds blowing through her hair...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

SIX FLAGS - a real 'Zombieland'

Found this on the VBS's kinda mad...part Zombieland, part Spirited Away, but mostly kinda eerie and tragic and cool...

Here's what the guys and VBS have to say about it:

Somewhere between an apocalyptic zombie hangout and the place where Louisiana’s teens go to swap STDs exists the New Orleans Six Flags theme park. The amusement center has been closed for business ever since it was retrofitted as a water park by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Saltwater deposits in the foundations of the park have compromised the safety of so many rides that the theme park was recently marked for permanent closure. Photographer Teddy Smith got permission from the City of New Orleans to visit the Six Flags and has put together a somewhat stunning film documenting the damage. The result is an eerie collection of images portraying one of pop culture’s trashiest landmarks as a dilapidated husk of abandonment. The only ride to survive Mother Nature’s tantrum was Batman: The Ride. Because Batman is forever.

See the rest at VBS.TV:

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


THE AGITATOR are back with another awesome track GIVE ME ALL YOU THAT YOU GOT!

See Derek rabble rousing his way his way through central go with your bad-self bro!

The Agitator - GIve Me All That You Got

A pulsing, raging and up lifting track from Derek and Robert, who continue to make remarkable music that hits the pulse of contemporary life and still works as great music and songwriting in its own right!

...and like everyone else I know... The Agitator does not like David Cameron's (fucking) face!

The Agitator are on tour very soon....go to the website for details and for more tracks!

JURASSIC PARK @ THE DUKES - and a video of Jeff Goldblum chatting about acting

Oh yeah oh yeah!...We (at the Duke of York's) have finally got our Jurassic Park screening sorted!...

One of the most essential movies for anyone of certain age, and a film that still stands up today as a bench mark in action/adventure movies, and still (in my opinion) an unparalleled achievement in special effects. And a thorough and unique understanding and example of film making and storytelling that is a hallmark of the genius of director Steven Spielberg.

The film also boasts some of the best lines in film history... "...clever girl!"

Brighton's Duke of York's Picture House will be screening a spacial one off screening of Jurassic Park early in the new year...Saturday January 15th @ 11:00PM

Tickets (available soon) from -

In the's a recent video from co-star of Jurassic Park, the best 'scientist' actor of recent film history, the one and only...Jeff ("always on the lookout for the future ex-Mrs Malcolm") Goldblum...


(Thanks for this Katy! x)

Get ready...Jurassic Park is back online....HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

ENTER THE VOID - sex money power...and everything else...(and The Vice Guide To Film: Gaspar Noe

Alfred Hitchcock, Luis Bunuel, Fritz Lang, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese...Gaspar Noe!

I watched Enter The Void the other day and have been dwelling on it since. There was so much going on in this film on technical, narrative and emotional levels that surpass most concepts of modern film making.

Gaspar Noe has taken ideas and themes from films by the names listed above and has literally ran off with them into his own mind, and created a film of incredible unique beauty and intrigue with a story that may be polarizing for audiences, yet holds masses of material and concepts to dwell on or dismiss, but will no doubt agitate.

The scenes of Oscar's spirit flying over a stylized and real Tokyo, the horrific car crash, the convergence with the air plane and the most up close sex scene (possibly ever) are stand out set pieces that should rank highly in terms of technical achievement for creating a dramatic effect in any film.

A remarkable film...try and see it on as bigger screen as possible with the best sound you can muster...

I missed the opening credits...I wish i hadn't! This is so good!

The good folk at VBS have made a film following Gaspar Noe and the part of the making and immediate reception of Enter The Void. Have a look:

Check out all three parts. The show only really details one side of Noe's style and approach to film making, but it's still a mad little journey into a twisted Japanese underworld you probably wouldn't know about.


I'm not gonna start a long rant about how messed up American politics and American media are(/is !?) But they really are! So once again it takes comedy and satire to see through the plain obscene weirdness of it all and show things in some kind of understandable reality.

Of course this is quiet deep...but the guy is regularly hilarious, insightful and entertaining on The Daily Show.

"Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes, it's just New Jersey"

If you have never seen it before check it out on either Comedy Central or 4oD

Monday, 1 November 2010


Dragonfly Love - The Film from The Dragonfly Love Project on Vimeo.

I mean seriously just on a damn phone!....respect to that!

NZAMBI - Halloween Special with the Haitian Zombies

Halloween was yesterday...hope y'all had fun with the blood and the booze and make up....but here's where the zombie really came from...

In this VBS doc Hamilton Morris sets of for Haiti to explore the concept of Haitian zombies and voodoo magic in Nzambi. Staring of with the case of Clairvius Narcisse. Pronounced dead by two US trained doctors and appropriate paper work filled and death certificates signed. 15 years later Narcisse turns up in his home village, turned into a 'zombie'!

The documentary then endeavors on mission to do a detailed exploration of ideas of 'zombificiation' and voodoo magic in Haiti. Although our host is kinda weird looking and annoyingly-awkwardly-pretentious, Hamilton Morris still knows (scientifically) what he is talking about. This series explores the subject scientifically and historically very thoroughly. Giving great background research on a country, a people and religion that are easily misconstrued and misunderstood by western ideals. Hamilton also explains the actual chemical science aspects with knowledge and in an understandable way.

The series also demonstrates how the modern folklore of zombies, perpetuated by pulp novels and then Hollywood originated from Haitian voodoo mythology....

Watch all Six Parts at VBS now.

Another intriguing aspect of the show, is that it promotes the idea that to explore ideas of 'other' cultures, to look into beliefs, ideals and lifestyles that are fundamentally foreign to your own, requires you to leave preconceived ideas, thoughts and comparisons to things you know on the shelf for a moment...