The Movie: The Skin I Live In

The Skin I Live In

A mad plastic surgeon, a woman kept captive, a revolutionary new human skin, an attempted rape, sophisticated interiors, a man kept underground in just his dirty underpants… it can only be the new movie from Spanish enfant terrible Pedro Almodóvar. It’s called The Skin I Live In and quite apart from being right up there with his best (though we still like Pepi, Luci, Bom the best), it also marks his reunion with Antonio Banderas who first came to the world’s (and Madonna’s) attention through his collaborations with Tio Pedro. He’s referred to the movie as horror without the screams but it still has the campiness and the humour that you would expect from our maestro. The Skin I Live In opens today, Friday. Which is tomorrow for some.

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The TV: Page Eight

Page Eight, David Hare

When it comes to television, rarely if ever has a programme had so much class. In fact it has class coming out of its ass. It is Page Eight and it is David Hare’s first original screenplay in two whole decades. The cast reads like a dream – Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Judy Davis, Ralph Fiennes – while the theme of a dodgy government having its cover blown by MI5 couldn’t be more apposite. Add dialogue that crackles like a log fire, London looking even sexier than it does on The Apprentice and some lovely jazz bubbling along and you are looking at a one-installment argument to be used against those who still think it’s smart not to have a television in the house. The philistines! Page Eight is on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday, 28th August.

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The Meet-and-Greet: Confessions of a Mormon Boy

Confessions of a Mormon Boy

‘Moving’, ‘funny’, ‘powerful’, ‘hot man in pants’… the accolades for Confessions of a Mormon Boy have been off the scale. The basic everyday story of a good Mormon lad who becomes a high-class hooker and major drugs whore in New York City, Confessions was an off-Broadway hit and it’s coming to London. And not only do we highly recommend it, we have used all our best contacts to wangle a meet and a greet (with alcohol in the room) for Jake members and the guy in pants. His name – he has a name, rude! – is Steven Fales and he will be meeting and greeting, mixing and mingling with you lot, a glass of fizz in his hand on Monday, 19th September at the Charing Cross Theatre, just across the tunnel from Heaven off Villiers Street. All you have to do to get yourself into that champagne reception is book a ticket – just £15 – which means you’re already five golden coins the richer than if you were just any old one buying a ticket! – at Enter the code ‘Jake’ to get the package (there’s a smutty joke in there somewhere if you want it). You can also phone the box office on 020 7907 7075. Warning: Steven will probably be wearing trousers during the meet and greet. Wise man. You will have had a glass of champagne!

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The Club: Downtown

Downtown, Brixton Clubhouse

We can count the number of things that will drag us non-kicking and screaming across the river on two fingers… one we can’t mention here without a bit of US-style puritanical pixellation, the other is Downtown, that cracking night of homosexual dancing on the roof of Brixton Clubhouse, a place which, according to our notes, is ‘notorious’.
A collaboration (or coalition, to be news angle-y about it) between Room Service and MEAT (two of the hottest nights in the whole of gay London Town), Downtown makes its final appearance of 2011 this Bank Holiday Sunday, August 28th from 3pm until midnight. We’d write a bit more but we’d just be repeating what’s on the poster (big, isn’t it!), and time is money is drinking, apparently.

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The Boot: Unconditional Rocco

Unconditional Rocco boot

Welcome to our new favourite boot. It’s shiny in all the right places, is three-tone to your common-or-garden two- (suede, plain leather and patent leather. This boot’s on fire!), elevates the wearer without getting cocky about it, can pull itself off from all angles, looks great with a fastidiously cropped jean and/or peeping out of something a little more formal ‘n’ full-length, doesn’t cross the line into too dolly (youknowwhatwe’retalkingabout, right?), is from UNCONDITIONAL, and comes in at £249. Which is three shillings in old money. And you can get it here, or by going to Unconditional+, 16 Monmouth Street, WC2.
Our work here is done.

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The Musical: South Pacific

Paolo Szot South Pacific

The handsome thing is Paolo Szot, the openly out gay homosexual who won a Tony for his work in South Pacific at New York’s Lincoln Centre, the very same South Pacific that he is starring in at The Barbican round about *checks watch* now! Yes, we mentioned it before so that you could get your tickets in advance, but now it’s actually here we thought we’d give you another nudge. Containing some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s finest tunes ‘Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair’, ‘Bali Hai’, ‘There Is Nothing Like a Dame’, ‘Voulez Vous’ (OK, not ‘Voulez Vous’, just checking you’re still with us), and someone from EastEnders into the bargain, it’s the hot ticket du moment. See if there are still any of them going by clicking here.

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The Film: In A Better World

In A Better World

Anyone who likes the work of German cineaste Michael Haneke of The White Ribbon and Hidden fame (have you ever heard a more erudite opening remark on the Jake Briefing? We’ve impressed ourselves!), will be very interested in the Best Film Not in the Queen’s English Oscar winner, In A Better World. No it’s not by Haneke but by one Susanne Bier, but there is a definite Haneke strain with children getting out of control, deep themes of what sort of stand you make against bullies and how far violence is justified – and great performances even from pint-size actors. It’s in Danish, it’s one you have to think about and it has got four- and five-star reviews pretty much across the board. And we loved it. What higher recommendation could you ask for?

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The Books: Tattooed Penguins

Notes on a Scandal Penguin books

The London riots found that people certainly don’t loot books (well, you need to browse really, don’t you? You can’t just go in and grab), but does anyone still actually buy them? The smart people over at Penguin certainly seem to think so, even if it is more in a ‘collectors’ kind of way, which is why they have commissioned the world’s top tattoo artists to come up with covers for books that you already own. Our favourite is the really rather brilliant Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller but you can also get The Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe, The Book of Dave by Will Smith, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby and White Teeth by Zadie Smith. They will set you back ten golden coins a piece.

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The Evening: Celebrating Terence Conran

celebrating terence conran

As we all mourn the passing of Habitat by crying into our Helena Christensen designed pillows (we know she did a lamp – it wouldn’t work with this joke though), at least we get the chance to celebrate the 80th birthday of the mastermind behind not only The ‘Tat but the whole middle class style revolution that started in the 60s. The Way We Live Now: An Evening Celebrating Terence Conran at Tate Modern will be chaired by the director of the Design Museum (which recently received a huge wedge from Mr. C) while the whole thing gears us up ready for the TC exhibition that’s being prepared at said same Design Museum, due to open in November. This night of which we speak doesn’t happen until 20th September but if you don’t get your tickets here now, there won’t be a Robin Day chair spare down at Tate Modern.

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The Film Festival: FrightFest

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Katie Holmes

According to research that we don’t really have time to go into right now, gays like scary films. Maybe it’s the affinity with overbearing mothers, maybe it’s the affinity with asymmetric hairstyles, maybe it’s the fact that once you’ve seen an overweight man lean out of a white van to hurl homophobic obscenities the only way is up, aesthetically speaking – but either/or, our sources tell us those of a same-sex oriented nature aren’t averse to a whole bunch of serial killers and decapitation on their silver screens. Which rather neatly leads us to FrightFest, the UK’s biggest/best horror film festival, which kicks off (saws off more likely) on 25th August at Empire Leicester Square and features films with titles like Vile and Atrocious and The Only Way to Die. Fun for all the family.
Oh, and one of the films being shown is Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Katie Holmes and a bunch of frightening small creatures (not Tom Cruise in a house of mirrors. That was far too easy).

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