I <3 MCR

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

As part of my internship at Cornerhouse in Manchester I had to mooch around the Northern Quarter for the best part of today, putting up posters for their exciting new Chinese photography exhibition, State Legacy.

I set out at about ten-thirty this morning with a small grainy map freshly printed off of Google, a pile of posters and leaflets, a wadge of blu-tac and a list of the places I needed to visit. I'd never experienced the Northern Quarter before and had a lovely time (when I stopped panicking that Thomas Street was nowhere to be found and that I was lost in an alleyway full of sex shops). This part of Manchester rivals London for the sheer amount of kooky independent coffee shops and clothes and music stores. I popped into a little vinyl shop and sheepishly asked the uber cool looking blokes at the counter if I could stick my poster to their desk and they were lovely! I met some really interesting people and decided that this was my new favourite place in the north west (closely followed by the abandoned insane asylum in Clitheroe).

I also discovered new coffee delights in Coffee Republic which was lurking on the corner of Oldham Street... or maybe Hilton Street, they all became a blur after a while... But it was great and had a hippy slash rocky vibe with pipes all over the ceiling and hearts painted everywhere.

Highlight of the day had to be in Chinatown when I walked into a little Chinese restaurant, thinking it was deserted at first but then noticing a tiny old Chinese man sitting in the dark shadows at the very back of the room. I tried to ask him if I could put a poster up and he looked fairly intrigued to start with, but didn't say much. I was about to give up on the idea and go and rest my weary feet somewhere comfortable but then a very lively and camp young Chinese man came downstairs and told me, in the most enthusiastically expressive way, that of course I could put the poster up, daarrrling, and don't worry about him, he doesn't understand English. The whole episode was fairly ridiculous and when I stepped outside the restaurant I had to pinch myself to check I was still on planet earth.



Sunday, 29 March 2009

Nostalgia is great. The senses can be awakened by various things such as taste, smell and sound, I would say the most evocative is sound. Where am I going with this I hear you cry! Well, I was listening to the radio whilst doing some work (distinguishing fact from opinion in The Telegraph... only faintly interesting) and the song, Club Foot by Kasabian poured out of my laptop and into my ears which instantly dragged me back in time to Leeds Festival '05 when I was 16!

It was the summer of 2005 and I had just completed my time in secondary education and discovered true independence; going to Leeds Festival with just a couple of friends (and NO PARENTS) was a pretty big deal at the time. The atmosphere was warm and happy (the amount of weed everyone had absorbed may have added to this happiness) and my friend Clare and I were running around from stage to stage trying not to miss a thing, when we accidentally but wonderfully stumbled upon the Radio 1 Stage that Kasabian were playing in at the time. We jumped around amongst the sweaty people and I remember feeling wildly free and excited.

Music is delightfully evocative and I was taken right back to that moment with the lovely Clare in that smelly tent in 2005. Good times. Back to the Telegraph...


Student Cinema Screening - Princess Mononoke

Friday, 27 March 2009

Last night I was involved with the screening of a Japanese anime film at the on-campus cinema, Mitchell and Kenyon. The film, Princess Monononoke, drew a small audience of around thirty people and the evening was a definite success.

There is something about the arts industry that generates good feeling and positive thinking. This may sound like a load of nonsense but I really believe that it's the best area to work if you're enthusiastic about meeting new people and being creative or innovative.

My friends, Dom, Hannah, Kath and Emma and I had so much fun last night, during the set up of the cinema, meeting people on arrival and posing for photographs next to our tiny exhibition of Japanese-type regalia.

I am so excited about starting a career in the filmy-art industry, if it follows last night's theme of having a friendly, fun atmosphere and not having to sit in an office all day then I'm all for it.

Also, I am LOVING Japanese cinema, any recommendations for the next film I should watch, let me know!


An extremely stupid boy

Thursday, 26 March 2009

I was fortunate enough to sit in the same room as Jon Snow last week. The sixty-one year old journalist and news presenter came to Preston to talk to journalism students about career options and the like. The room was rammed with people, something that surprised me slightly as UCLan is well known for it's apathetic nature and lack of interest in anything mildly educational.

His train was late and as I waited, impatiently tapping my biro against my notepad, I actually felt a sense of excitement, this man had changed the face of television news reporting and I imagined he would be able to have an entire lecture theatre in the type of silence that drips with anticipation and belief.

He walked in eventually and, as I expected, held his audience completely captivated for over an hour, with tales of his childhood, great journalistic memories and hopes for the future of an industry, like many others, that has been feeling the pressure of the current economic climate. One thing that really interested me was his experience in Uganda during his gap year, from which he "emerged a radical revolutionary". These kind of tales are so inspiring for a budding journalist on the cusp of a career and fueled a new sense of enthusiasm for me.

He described himself as "an extremely stupid boy" when talking about his early years at a private school and pointed out that he was somewhat of an "accidental journalist" who was a rebel at university and worked in Soho, London with heroin addicts. He made his break in journalism when he wrote about his experiences and sent it to The Guardian, who published it. I think all the journos in the room shared a little of his excitement when he told us the joy he experienced the first time he saw his work in print.

The thing that really shone from Snow's entire persona was his absolute passion for what he does. I could see the fire in his eyes and the enjoyment he found in answering questions from eager students. I could really go on forever about his enthralling charisma and hilarious wit but fear that you may get a little saddened by my deep and pathetic love of this man so will cease my rantings here.

Interesting fact - Jon Snow blogs and twitters! I'll try and get a link up for you soon.


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