Monday, June 25, 2007

Catching Up

A busy few days kept me from here. A brief resumé of the activities: Fête de la Musique was spent in the 11th, hopping between a reggae soundsystem with suburban posses engaging in fearsome rhyme-offs and a brass band set-up around the corner which veered from Afro-Beat to Yiddish folk to Balkan gypsy. Then the Beckett exhibition at the Pompidou, which brought together an impressive collection of multi-media installation with pertinence to Beckett's work and also a display of Beckett's manuscripts, on loan from Reading University Library. These were the highlight, as were a number of Beckett's personal correspondence, which fleshes out the allegedly unplaceable nature of the man's work.

Made in Jamaica, a documentary on Jamaican music by the French director Jérôme Laperrossaz, which was sporadically interesting but overall a missed opportunity. The film focusses on mainly contemporary dancehall and the gun culture that accompanies it; links to the past of reggae are provided by way of Third World, Toots and Gregory Isaacs but the fascinating evolution of Jamaican music, which heavily influenced everything from punk to house, from hiphop to drum 'n' bass, is ignored, and Laperrossaz gives the impression that music on the island began with Bob Marley.

Much better, and surprisingly so, is Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, which is gruesome, inane, funny and as irritating as a film by Tarantino can be expected to be. Kurt Russell is great and the final half-hour makes it all worthwhile. Hardly a return to form after the mess that was Kill Bill but much less annoying. More later.