My experience of cinemas before I moved to London wasn’t particularly inspiring. When I lived in Eastbourne (I call it Brighton’s boring, miserable and paranoid older brother), there was either a new cinema complex that was ugly and characterless but had all the new releases, or there was an old and classically-decorated cinema that had real character but only showed Jumanji. Now in London I’ve found the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, where I pretty much get the best of both worlds.
The tabloid press likes to refer to almost anything in Britain that it doesn’t like as being fascist (I’ve read of fascist postmen, fascist nurses and even fascist lollipop ladies), and this has to some extent rendered the term redundant. However, actual fascism, as in that which we attribute to have started in political form in Italy in 1921, is generally thought to have by-passed Britain when it spread its ugly wings throughout Europe. This is not necessarily the case. Interwar British fascism did manifest itself, and met its most famous resistance in the East End of London.
**Dalston offers a great selection of coffee shops, bars, resturants and clubs. But the area actually has a few hidden gems when it comes to shopping. This is the first part in a new series that puts the spotlight on those Dalston-based retail havens. This week we’re starting with the HUH store Dalston.
A gruesome murder. A macabre cover up. These things are not uncommon in London, especially in the days of yore. But when I found out about what happened to Anne Naylor, a sickly girl who worked for a milliner in the late eighteenth century, I had to investigate further. Are there really ghosts on the London Underground? Is there really a Screaming Spectre?
Thierry Noir shot to fame in the 80s when he decided the old Berlin Wall was looking a bit shabby and that the whole totalitarian state thing needed a bit of zhoozh. I do not seek to make unnecessary light of such a horror – thank goodness, frankly, for people like Thierry seeking to demystify the dehumanising effect of the wall. And it was joyous poetry that the man himself was not only there to see it come down but was also one of the first to paint the East side.
There aren’t many better things to do in London than see great street art – if you’ve not been on one of our street art walking tours yet what on earth have you been doing with your life?!? – but that aside, every so often we here at Insider London do have a look at what’s been painted on walls inside buildings. And one bright Wednesday I trotted round the smoke to have a looksee.
It’s an ongoing debate – and it won’t go away. Should street artists put their work in galleries? Do (some) street artists that decide against such a pursuit get too het up about people wanting to earn a living from it? At what stage do you cease to be a street artist?