Skip to main content

Sue Tompkins – Country Grammar – A Film by Luke Fowler

The Modern Institute Airds Lane, Glasgow until November 4th 2017
Four stars

Anyone who has ever witnessed a performance by Sue Tompkins will be familiar with her dynamic delivery of fragmented texts, be it solo in gallery spaces or as vocalist with seminal turn of the century Glasgow-based quartet, Life Without Buildings. Luke Fowler's films have adopted a similar cut and paste approach to transforming more straightforward documentary footage into something more poetic.

This second collaboration between the pair sees Fowler filming Tompkins in the recording studio as she lays down a version of Country Grammar, one of her earliest performance pieces, which dates from 2003. Rather than adopt a make-believe verite approach, Fowler disrupts the process in various ways, from having sound and vision exist independently from each other to making the camera appear to be jumping up and down. This echoes the playful physicality of Tompkins' performance, which here uses two different microphones, so her torrent of words come at you from all sides.

Tompkins' sing-song incantations continue to be heard as Fowler takes his camera for a walk outside. Fowler's collage-like approach superficially resembles recall One Plus One, Jean Luc Godard's 1968 film, which jumped between the Rolling Stones recording Sympathy For the Devil, and various staged revolutionary and counter-revolutionary activities. Here, however, Fowler takes a more everyday approach that's just as instinctive as Tompkins' own.

Image and audio work in counterpoint, as if thoughts were rubbing up against each other, flying blind into the next thing in tandem. Tompkins' words and Fowler's camera are unable to keep up, deliriously out of synch with their own thought processes that they're chasing throughout the film's eighteen minute rush. With four small paintings by Tompkins on the gallery wall possessed with similarly urgent splurges, the result is an ever-expanding mutual tapestry of words and worlds in motion.
 
The List, October 2017

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …