As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Monday, 13 September 2010

20 Years of Twin Peaks @ The Temple Works

"Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
Once chants out between two worlds: 
Fire, walk with me."

David Lynch. After four decades of making controversial and unforgettable films, there cannot be many words in common usage which have not been applied to him and his catalogue.
However, if you were inclined to understatement, you might say he likes to sway towards "the unconventional."

From his first feature length, the deranged Eraserhead, to 2001's seminal Mulholland Drive, Lynch has always filled his films with equal amounts of humour, absurdity and unease. As is the case with the most visionary of film-makers, all of his works remain instantly recognisable - and undeniably his own.

His latest ventures outside of film have been equally bizarre, not least upon the release of his own brand of coffee, the "David Lynch Signature Cup." The tag-line being from Inland Empire: "It's all in the beans ... and I'm just full of beans."

Over time his fans have become a die-hard bunch, and have rewarded his efforts by giving him impenetrable  'cult' status. Evidence of this can be found this Saturday, 18th September, when the Leeds branch of the sect will gather together for an evening celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

A wonderful and 'most Lynchian' venue, the creative folk at Temple Works have turned the inside of the theatre into Twin Peaks, Pop. 51,201. Whether you fancy catching a live band at 'The Roadhouse,' or even want to bring a cherry pie to the 'R&R Diner,' there are activities to suit all levels of devotion. It's fancy dress competition too, with a prize for the best character costume.

Perhaps the best of all, it's for an excellent cause. Fire Walk With Me is a fund-raiser for the theatre, and will allow them to invest in a new PA system for the space.

Tickets are still available from Visit the website for further details.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sarah in Wonderland

A good friend of mine from high school has recently become a jewellery designer.

Not only is that sort of thing that makes me so pleased for her, but it just so happens that her designs are truly lovely. They're the sort of thing that if she didn't make, I would be dreaming and wishing that someone did.

As Sarah puts it herself: 'I'm inspired by Alice in Wonderland, fairytales, afternoon tea, France, romance and literature.' I think of it as clever, pretty Jewellery for clever, pretty girls. 

Take a look:

Alice in Wonderland Red Red Rose Bracelet 
(I have the necklace version myself!)

La Fee Vert (Green Fairy) Necklace

I don't think I really need wax lyrically about it further, the pieces speak for themselves! Only to say that you can find her website here: and keep an eye on her blog also for giveaways and competitions: 


Tuesday, 7 September 2010


(Thanks to Matt Reid of Chickenhawk for this beautiful new banner.)

It's lovely isn't it? Well, it comes with some rather big news. I've loved doing the blog over the past couple of years, but it has run it's course. We were itching for a bigger challenge.

And so, as of 1.10.10 this blog will be no more. But I am extremely proud to announce the arrival of our new project:

The new website aims to branch out into a proper swish online community. We're going to be doing features and interviews with all the interesting folk we find, as well as talking about al the shitty music artists and new releases we like.

If you're an artist/photographer/writer/illustrator who'd like to contribute, or you'd just like to suggest what you'd like most to read about, I'd love for you to drop us a line. 

All enquiries to: natalie[at]wearelowculture[dot]com
or Review Submissions to: reviews[at]wearelowculture[dot]com

Ta for all your suppport,
N xx

Friday, 3 September 2010

This is British Cinema: A Night with Shane Meadows

Picture: Colin Baldwin
Shane Meadows’ appropriated title, ‘the Scorsese of the Midlands’, though no doubt meant as a compliment, fails to stick properly. Whilst his cinematography is certainly on a par with some of these greats, it is his character development that sets him apart from his American contemporaries. Scorsese films, Di Palma films, Stone films: however much we are confronted with the ‘grit’ of criminality, we still view it with an element of cinematic distance. The construction of Meadows characters from his endless workshops, in some cases casting individuals with no prior acting experience; results in an intimacy with his characters that has rarely been furthered. You know his people and put simply, you care about what happens to them.

Thankfully, the transposition from big screen to small screen did not hamper this much with the arrival of This is England ’86, Part 1. of which was screened last night at The Showroom, Sheffield.

Picture: Colin Baldwin
A great deal of time was invested into making the experience authentic. The interior was kitted out like a Working Men’s Club down to the minutest details, with scooters revving up outside the doors, vol-au-vent buffet and stubbed-out rollies in plastic ashtrays. The choice of The Showroom as a venue was in part down to the relocation of filming to Sheffield. ‘The [Nottingham] estates we shot the film on were just about to be torn down after the original film,’ Meadows explained, ‘I hadn’t been to Sheffield before but as soon as I came I fell in love with the landscape.’

Picture: Colin Baldwin
Alongside Meadows and the serial’s Producer Mark Herbert, most of the cast of part 1 were in attendance, including Thomas Turgoose (Sean), Vicky Mclure (Lol) and Joe Gilgun (Woody).

To give a brief synopsis, the four parts are one hour each in length, allowing the story to play out much farther than the original film. Part 1. begins with the impending nuptials of Woody and Lol, and Sean’s exit from school with few prospects on the horizon. As could be predicted with any Meadows production, Part 1. reaches the banality, the humour, the sadness and darkness of real working-class life. The depth of development with characters such as Lol shows promise for the further 3 installments, particularly from the excerpt that was shown of the continuation of the end. It is not without its faults. The relationship between Sean and Smell never seemed to make much sense, yet despite this it sees a continuation in Part 1. And some of the costumes seem a little elaborate, perhaps a little too eager to get a cross-section of all 80s sub-cultures.

All in all, the devil really is in the most microscopic observations, and it is this that makes This Is England ’86 compelling. The dialogue is often clumsy and rather stunted, and the scenes don’t always achieve cogence. This is the opposite of what you have come to expect in cinema but then, life is awkward: it isn’t always carried out with a dramatic flourish. This is England ’86 has a common beauty - the flashes of remembrance that surface when watching it for anyone who grew up through that strange and difficult decade. The crap beaded seat covers supposedly meant to make cars look posh, Panda Pops, those awful brown patterned bus seats. You almost can hear yourself saying some of those cringeworthy adolescent assertions, too.

With the death knell for the British Film Council ringing out, it’s sad to think that the next Meadows may not have the support to carry out his or her vision. Meadows’ continues to prove that there is a real vitality in British cinema which needs to able to thrive.

Picture: Colin Baldwin