Viewing all posts by Becky Ayre


Feature Film: Trance

The opening sequence of Danny Boyle’s Trance is by far the most entertaining in the film. Here we are introduced to Simon (James McAvoy), a slick but otherwise unsuspecting, bright-eyed young auctioneer, running through the auction-house procedures for securing valuable works of art from a robbery. This is interspersed with a cooly delivered monologue from McAvoy that suggests there is something more than meets the eye here. The protagonist is informed that no piece of art is worth a human life. “Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career …” wrote John Hodge for Boyle’s Trainspotting (Hodge is also the screenwriter of Trance). Don’t choose art, apparently. As this sequence unfolds, Simon will appear to ignore this advice when a bunch of thieves descend upon the auction-house. Read more →

Documentary: Cotton for my Shroud

It strikes me that the film, Cotton for my Shroud, has an ominous title with various connotations. The word “shroud” refers to a cloth used to wrap a body for burial. It can also mean a thing that screens, obscuring something from view. It is, additionally, something that protects. The first definition is evoked most directly in this film, which follows the lives of cotton farmers and their families in Maharashtra, India, home of the highest recorded suicide rate in the world today. As an investigative piece of journalism, the film exposes and explores the untold stories that have been shrouded by these statistics. Read more →

Introducing Litro Library

At Litro Magazine we aim to bring together a broad community of readers with a common interest in good literature. We want to know what you are reading that is worth reading, and we think others would like to know too. That's why we are launching Litro Library, an interactive gallery of books recommended by you, our readers, to other like-minded book enthusiasts. You may never be stuck for your next new read again, as we will continually update our virtual shelves. Read more →

Artists’ Film: Under the Cranes

Cities are challenging: to live in and to define. They are each a unique life form constructed from many smaller ones. For some they are amazing, baffling or frustrating, particularly for the planners and architects responsible for so much of the life that goes on within them. For others, they are a place for living. You may feel alone in the city but you are actually always among others. Read more →

Feature Film: The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is a good-looking film with a dramatic composition and a narrative that is full of ideas, peppered with intriguing spaces for thought. It is a remarkable accomplishment for these reasons. I have been left mulling the story over in my mind for the last couple of days since I saw it, but why did it also leave me feeling rather cold? Before reading on, I recommend you go and see the film and decide how you feel about it, for fear of spoiling your own experience. Having seen the film, I felt I needed to explore these engaging and niggling ideas that had been washed up behind. Read more →

Feature Film: Wonderful Town

A stranger rolls into town in a car carried by the force of a great wave, a wave that lives on in the memories and haunts the dreams of the local people. This is the moment that marks the opening to Aditya Assarat’s 2007 film Wonderful Town, a beautifully observed and subtly nuanced film from Thailand. Ton is a young man working for a big-city architectural firm, here to supervise the new hotel resort being built along the beach. He checks into a small hotel in the town, further inland, owned and managed by Na, a young woman who has grown up here, and witnessed first-hand the terrorising wave that swept through the area in 2004. Read more →

Writing Prize Explores New Possibilities in the Digital Age

Screengrab image from Underbelly by Christine Wilks

Today’s new feature on Litro from Robin Stevens considers the possibilities for new, formative and  ‘truly interactive and immersive storytelling’ by way of new media technologies. These possibilities are also on the agenda at the New Media Writing Prize. In recognising the new opportunities that have arisen for writers since the proliferation of new media platforms like Amazon’s Kindle, Blackberry’s Playbook and Apple’s Ipad, the prize aims to raise awareness, reward those working in new media and add to the current and emerging debates surrounding digital publishing.

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Weekend Events Round Up: November 9 2012

Whether it’s music, literature or contemporary art that interests you, here are some events happening this weekend in London:

Sounds and Colours: Book and CD Launch

Front cover of Colombia by Sounds and Colours

Colombia is a country whose reputation is too often dominated by stereotypes, but a new project seeks to present a different perspective to the country, focussing on the country’s music, film, art and culture, while also taking into account the political and social issues it faces.

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Weekend Events Round-up: November 2, 2012

This weekend (like every weekend in London), there is a whole range of activities on offer. Here are a few that we like the look of:

South Asian Literature Festival

An illustration of the ancient Indian animal fables found in the Panchatantra

The South Asian Literature Festival, which runs until November 11, celebrates South Asian writing and culture from venues across London, acting as a platform for generating interest and discussion about the themes and literary heritage of the subcontinent.

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The Silent Traveller: An Outsider’s Perspective of Britain, 1933-1955.

‘Umbrellas under Big Ben’—ink on paper, 1938. Courtesy of V&A.

The Tate Britain’s summer exhibition this year was “Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930–1980”. Timed to coincide with the London Olympics, it featured photographs of London by photographers who were not British nationals. It was the city itself that took centre stage in the show, which celebrated the fact that well-known foreign photographers brought their “outsider” perspective to London and documented a “dynamic metropolis, richly diverse and full of contrast”.

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The Greatest Parties in Literature in A Curious Invitation by Suzette Field

Bawdy peasant girls performing a bear dance. Masked revelers spinning to the sound of a mariachi band. An accordion-playing polar bear. Collective onion-chopping commiserations to a Jazz accompaniment. The haunting sounds of a Japanese Koto played under cherry trees. Saucy snacks served by naked serving girls and boys. If you were to come across any of these spectacles, you might think you've wandered into a work of fiction; and you would be right. Read more →