Let AnOther guide you through this month's cultural wonders
The Best of Film
As temperatures drop, it looks like we’ll be hitting the cinema more often than we’d thought this summer. Luckily, August is filled with exciting new releases, starting with Noah Baumbach’s widely anticipated comedy, Mistress America. Co-written with his partner Greta Gerwig, it is the high-spirited story of a New York college student who overcomes her loneliness by allowing herself to get taken in by her adventurous stepsister. Then there's Andrew Haigh’s poignant drama 45 Years – the big winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival – which follows a married couple (played brilliantly by Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) as they prepare to celebrate their 45th anniversary. Following the news of a tragic death, past feelings resurface leaving their decades-long relationships profoundly tested.
Fans of Italian cinema will be glad to find out that Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1962 classic L’Eclisse is getting a big-screen rerelease this month. In the film Alain Delon and Monica Vitti play a troubled couple struggling to come together in an alienating world. Meanwhile in Australia hazy sunsets meet beautiful cinematography in Sophie Hyde’s drama 52 Tuesdays, the timely story of a teenage girl trying to come to terms with her mother transitioning gender. We can’t wait to find out why the seven Angulo brothers are locked away in an apartment on the Lower East Side of New York City, which is why Crystal Moselle’s documentary The Wolfpack is our fifth pick for a summer flick. While if you’re more on the philosophical side, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality is the film for you. The cult Chilean filmmaker blends in metaphor and history in his whimsical cinematic interpretation of his childhood.
Finally the BFI’s Love Season: a wonderfully curated selection of romantic movies kicks off with the Summer Love Weekend over the August Bank Holiday. A series of special sunset screenings at The British Museum, take your pick from A Room with a View (1985), Badlands (1973) and The Princess Bride (1987), screening consecutively from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 August.
Duane Hanson – Until 13 September
It's your last chance to catch the late Duane Hanson's startingly lifelike depictions of middle America, in his first survey show in London since 1997. The show at the Serpentine Galleries features key works by Hanson, whose sculptures of working-class Americans and overlooked members of society, capture moments with a sensitivity to political and social change in the United States. See if you can spot them from the other gallery-goers.
Geta Brătescu – Until 18 October
Head over to Tate Liverpool for the first solo exhibition of UK work by Romanian artist Geta Brătescu. Brătescu describes her recent collaging as "drawing with scissors" but it's not only scissor art you'll get to see – the exhibition features drawing, sewing, print-making, performance as well as film and installation pieces, demonstrating Brătescu’s singular, often political vision across a variety of media.
Shirley Baker: Women, Children and Loitering Men - Until 20 September
Women, Children and Loitering Men is the first London exhibition of the work of pioneering British photographer Shirley Baker. Baker’s humanist documentary work is thought to be the only street photography taken by a woman during the post-war era and shows the urban clearnace programmes of Manchester and Salford with a rarely seen intimacy.
Southbank Centre Meltdown – August 17-30
If there’s anyone’s taste we trust its David Byrne’s. This August sees the Talking Heads frontman follow in the footsteps of David Bowie, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker as he curates the 22nd Southbank Centre Meltdown, a festival that brings legendary artists to the Southbank for a week of one-off performances. Highlights include Anna Calvi and Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains, as well as a live screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood accompanied by a live orchestral performance of Jonny Greenwood’s score. Byrne has even shipped 250 of his own music books from New York for festival-goers to delve into the reading habits of the icon himself.
Amy's Kitchen: A Handcrafted Summer – 11-25 August
This August, organic and vegetarian food brand Amy's Kitchen is putting on an array of exciting evening workshops at the artisanal E5 bakery in London Fields, each accompanied by a delicious vegetarian dinner. From a wild flower arranging course with one of our favourite florists, Grace & Thorn, to a ceramic painting workshop with Charlotte Mei, book yourself in now for some summer self-improvement.
Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk – Until September 13
Grayson Perry's ongoing exhibtion at the Turner Contemporary focuses on the anti-elitist strain of the artist's creativity – the "Provincial Punk" that drives so much of his work. More that 50 works are on display, tracing Perry's career from a young man finding his own artistic language in 1980s Britain right up to the present day. Be sure to catch the rarely seen super-8 films Perry made in the 80s set against a backdrop of Thatcherite Britain.
Darrell Hawkins - Immaculate Confection – until August 24
Darrell Hawkins' exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery sees the artist continue his exploration of the past and the present through a gloriously colourful blend of fact, fiction, and illusion. Many of the works have been newly created for the exhibition, Hawkins is not one to miss! While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to book your tickets for Exhibitionism, The Rolling Stones’ first major exhibition showing at the Saatchi from April to September 2016.
Wilderness – August 6-9
As August arrives so too does our favourite food and music festival; in amongst the woods and lakes of Cornbury Park, Wilderness Festival rises with something to suit everyone’s tastes. This year sees Björk take to the stage along with all sorts of brain-watering talks and debates. Swim as the sun rises, indulge in long table banquets or learn to bake artisan bread and Japanese comfort food. No other festival has its own private nature reserve alongside art, intellectualism and gastronomy.
Great Theatre Productions
Catch Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s adaptation of 1984 at London's Playhouse Theatre. A production that channels Orwell through the lens of contemporary culture, it explores surveillance, identity, and mind control in a modern context. Meanwhile William M. Hoffman’s As Is transfers to Trafalgar Studios, shattering the ignorance and apathy surrounding the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. The sensitive, humorous and poignant play will be supplemented by debates and Q&A sessions presented by eminent speakers. Finally, there's The Almeida Theatre's ongoing summer festival, Almeida Greeks, featuring plays, talks, readings, and more. Highlights include a durational reading of the complete Iliad, which begins at The British Museum and ends on the Almeida stage, and the all-female ensemble Gaggle performing a retelling of Lysistrata.