Monday, 29 September 2008

Hope's Suffering - writing in lieu of a review of 'Linha de Passe'

The film sets it out neatly at first. Loneliness and belonging. On the side of the latter, the crowd at the Corinths football game, and the preacher's congregation. On the former, the boy riding the buses alone, the woman we saw at the game in her bedroom alone as her waters begin to break. The player in the try-outs, whose team-mates are his rivals.

It's not so simple. The church-goer has bought his place in the world at the price of the respect of his peers - nothing but scorn left for the 'bible-boy.' The boy on the buses has his family to go to - but he knows his real father is a bus driver and so he rides in the hope of catching a glimpse. And a motorcycle gregariousness sends him down a road that will end with complete alienation from his fellow human beings.

All of these characters are sited in one family - sons around a single mother in a São Paulo household too small to fit them. Their hopes play off one another and of course come into conflict, inevitably creating tensions in the plot - but they are not how the film moves. Fulfilment or otherwise depends on decisions made in each individual's sphere.

Most moving for me were the moments in which hope's embers faded. A lame legged woman is baptised in the river. The preacher lets her go and commands her to walk - but each time he has to catch her as she falls down into the water. Once he gives up the look of relief is palpable. It's the ending of hope's cruelty, the release of hope's suffering - that which happens when a hope is fulfilled, or put beyond reach.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Brockzilla II

This October is the return of the 'Brockzilla' exhibition in the Broca cafe in Brockley, London, near Brockley train station. They are still looking for submissions of pictures of monsters attacking Brockley by month's end, so if you happen to live in the area there's still time to whizz one off and drop it in, either physically or electronically.

I mention it because last year's Brockzilla was the inspiration for the Foxleigh Battles Death in All Its Forms pictures and computer game featured in Fox. I might try to run something simple off for this one as well, but alas, so little time!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

FuseLit: Mixtape event!

Wonderful Fusettes! We bring glad tidings of great joy, for FuseLit is very proud to present our latest event, Mixtape!

Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 7pm
Place: The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3BL
Nearest tube: Farringdon
Price: £3

The premise is simple: a fine gaggle of poets have each put together a ten minute selection of their favourite poetry cuts (plus one of their own compositions) and will be performing them live for your delectation. Witness:

Mr Tim Wells
Ms Amy Key
Mr Simon Barraclough
Mr David Floyd
Mr Andrea Tallarita
and Mr Cliff Hammett

all presenting their personal poetry mixtapes. Comperes Jon Stone and Kirsten Irving will also be slipping in their own choices between the acts, the whole event thus taking the shape of one giant, unique live poetry compilation disc quest!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Introducing: the first Fuselit Commemorative Paper Plate!

What’s that, you say?

We're offering a downloadable template for a decorative plate that you can cut out, construct and then proudly display on (a) your mantelpiece (b) your windowsill or (c) the top of your green recycling bin.

The plates are made to commemorate a person or event selected in connection with a previous Fuselit’s spurword, and will be published on a suitably auspicious date. Each plate is lovingly hand PDFed and will be dispatched to you by our diligent team of electronic cyber monkeys simply by clicking the link below:

Download Commemorative Paper Plate #1

The first word used is from Fuselit’s first issue: Demo.

Today is one hundred and twenty-eight years since the birth of Harriet Shaw Weaver. She was a supporter of women’s suffrage (but one wily enough to realise that the vote alone would not be a panacea to all the injustices women face) who later became a Labour party member and then a dedicated communist. ‘Comrade Josephine’ – as she was known – could be seen out on the streets on protests and selling copies of the Daily Worker; that is, when she wasn’t spending her not inconsiderable inheritance to bail out fellow comrades who had been ‘picked up’ by the police.

This was not all she had put her wealth to though – she had been the main financial backer (and company treasurer) for the journal ‘The New Freewoman.’ This later became ‘the Egoist’, and featured some of the most important modernist writers. She had a stint as editor, during which one of her prime achievements was ensuring the serialisation of James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man – no mean feat considering the First World War was on and he was in Austria at the time. She kept the full extent of her backing a secret, feeling that her unearned income should gain her no personal benefit, whether through gratitude or influence.

In everything she was involved in, she attained a reputation for steadfast reliability and a willingness to take on the unglamorous nitty-gritty that others shy away from. Conversely she avoided the limelight and had little confidence in her own writing. I think she's a fascinating figure, not least because of what her life reveals about the economics of the arts and of politics at the time, and what it means to be a key figure in both without a body of personal artistic achievement or substantial political standing.

There’s an excellent biography by Jane Lidderdale and Mary Nicholson (aka Mary Crawford), which I’d definitely recommend if you want to find out more. I may follow this up with a cut out paper doll of Miss Weaver and maybe a chum or two– watch this space!

Creative Commons License
Fuselit Commemorative Paper Plates #1 Demo: Harriet Shaw Weaver by Cliff Hammett / Fuselit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Click here to download a jpg version, which should be easier to edit if you so desire.