PREVIEWS


White Mink-The Voodoo Rooms

 

This summer Edinburgh will be electro-swinging to the sound of the
UKs most stylish and successful retro club night!

Electro Swing Speakeasy White Mink is the zeitgeist-capturing, critically acclaimed club night where the
sounds and styles of the 1920s and 30s are turned on their head and smuggled into the 21st century.

Bringing a brand-new, late night club experience to the fabulous Voodoo Rooms every Thursday, Friday and
Saturday night throughout the Fringe, these spectacular nights will elegantly blend elements of music and
theatre performance with sheer decadent pleasure.

Each night will feature a varying line-up of live music, DJs, cabaret, visuals and specially commissioned dance
pieces including:

4th, 5th, 6th August: The Correspondents. Possibly the UK’s best live act right now. Swing-Hop MC and DJ duo
hot off another amazing festival season… plus The Twilight Players, DJ Nick Hollywood (curator of the White
Mink : Black Cotton CD series), Black and White movie mash-ups and more…

11th, 12th, 13th August: Le KKC Orchestra. Amazing
French swing-beat quartet that pit jazz musician
brother and sister on guitar and piano respectively
against slamming beats, turntables and a French
rapper. It sounds improbable but this is a jumping live
act…. plus The Twilight Players, DJ Chris Tofu
(founder of London’s original Electro Swing Club),
Black and White movie mash-ups and more…

18th, 19th, 20th, August: AlgoRhythmik. Energetic
electro swing trio from Lyon, France. Head-nodding,
top hat wearing swing-breaks maestros with East
London Dance Charleston Breakdance, The World’s
Tallest DJ (Invisible Circus, Bristol), Black and White
movie mash-ups and more…

25th, 26th, 27th August: Grandma Stflash And The Furious Granddads (a brand new electro-swing mash-up
from a re-configured version of Scotland’s Orkestra Del Sol) plus East London Dance, Charleston Breakdance,
DJ Chris Tofu (founder of London’s original Electro Swing Club), Black and White movie mash-ups and more…

“Yes, this really is a new genre and an exciting one at last.”

Time Out, London

NOTE: Although it is by no means obligatory, the audience are strongly encouraged to dress up in
order to fully participate in the White Mink experience!

Edinburgh International Film Festival

 

So it is ‘back to basics’ for the EIFF 2011. No more red carpets, Hollywood stars and glittering parties that add a little sparkle to an otherwise lacklustre time of year in Edinburgh. Instead it is down to the serious business of promoting the films and only the films with as minimum fuss as is possible. In other words turning an event into a non-event and creating a festival that will appeal, very much, to those within the industry but very little to those outside the sphere. This may be a move that will lower the profile of the event when basically the whole purpose of a festival is to raise profiles and interest.

This approach is that of new Festival Director James Mullighan- after the departure of Hannah McGill- who obviously believes that this stripped back approach is one that mirrors the austere times that we live in.  People don’t want to be bombarded with opulence and glamour apparently. How this can be true is difficult to comprehend when cinema is one of the few areas continuing to flourish in the recession. The removal of the position of Artistic Director to be replaced by a series of guest curators has raised controversy with Tilda Swinton- obviously a major Hollywood player with an Oscar under her belt who mirrors the austerity of our times- and Mark Cousins taking a U-turn and distancing themselves from any major involvement although both continue to make significant background contributions.

Swinton lowering her profile was a major blow to Mullighan who despite all his claims of going back to basics obviously still hankered after the prestige a ‘star’ of Swinton’s calibre would have lent the proceedings. Rumours abounded concerning the very future of the festival after this year after such a heavy blow had been dealt. It is all very well having films being allowed to stand on their artistic merits alone but ticket sales from the public are what keep such an event alive. Without the glamour and glitz of  stars and red carpet events there is very little incentive for many of  the public or press to attend as the escapism of the cinema is what most associate with the world of film not a bunch of industry insiders dissecting and discussing technical issues, camera angles and the like. Film has the ability to articulate so many interesting ideals but it does so on the back of ultimately being entertaining. Taking away the entertainment value of the event may be a mistake that will cost the future of the festival dearly.

As has already been noted rumours concerning the future of the EIFF are flying. It would be a tragedy if such a long standing event were to collapse as it provides a great forum for many new films to launch themselves and has provided huge successes over the years. Following in the footsteps of Cannes and before the London festivals the EIFF was perfectly positioned to continue to attract major league players and the worlds press. Without this influx there is very little likelihood that the national and international coverage that a festival requires will be generated and this is detrimental to all involved. Several sources are whispering that this approach may precipitate the demise of the EIFF. To be pensioned off in, this, its 65th year would be more than a sign of the times but also goodbye to a bygone era that represents the glamour that lies at the crux of the film industry.

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