Wednesday, 21 December 2011

the modernist issue 3 and other publications I have enjoyed recently

Issue 3 of Manchester Modernist Society's magazine the modernist, themed Boom or Bust, is out now, just in time for Christmas. I've been loose with this issue's theme and used it as an appreciation of some of my favourite, underrated 1960s films: Charlie Bubbles (written by Shelagh Delaney, directed by and starring Albert Finney and featuring Liza Minelli), The White Bus (written by Shelagh Delaney and directed by Lindsay Anderson), Mrs Brown, You'e Got a Lovely Daughter, a comedy musical starring the pop group Herman's Hermits, A Kind of Loving, and The London Nobody Knows (starring James Mason).

Whilst some of the films are seemingly slight or frivolous, all share a preoccupation with the new housing projects and changing types of living that were replacing bomb damaged cities and Victorian slums, capturing a sense of optimism and hope for the future that we now know was short lived.

Mrs Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter might come across as slightly cheesy, but I've watched it twice and find it genuinely charming. I found myself singing It's Nice to be Out in the Morning every day when I left the house for weeks afterwards!

If you're interested in finding out more about Manchester and Salford on screen, look out for historian CP Lee's talks which take place at the Cornerhouse from time to time, as well as his Hollywood of the North Coach Trip, or visit his sites It's A Hotun and Manchester Film History.

the modernist issue 3 also features an introduction from Shrieking Violet inspiration Owen Hatherley, as well as Eddy Rhead on TV broadcasting from the north, Matthew Whitfield on Liverpool's Brutalist sandcastle, Dan Russell on Liverpool International Garden Festival, Aidan Turner-Bishop on Hornsea Pottery, Morag Rose on Modernist Essex, Benjamin Tallis on Leningrad, Stephen Hale on FIAT's Lingotto factory, Christien Garcia on Canadian Modernism, and news and reviews. For stockists or to subscribe visit

Other publications which have made me happy recently:
  • FEAST is a new food and art journal initiated by Manchester-based curator and writer Laura Mansfield. Issue 1 is out now, themed Indulgence, featuring everything from recipes to an essay on food and film.
  • The latest edition of annual arts journal Corridor 8, which assumes a different form each year, is out now. Issue 3 is divided into three editions, the first of which focuses on commercial galleries across the north of England, containing interviews with their directors on their motivations and the challenges and advantages of operating outside London.
  • Canning is a beautifully designed and illustrated fanzine about the area of Liverpool by writer Kenn Taylor, artist Natalie Hughes and designer Mike Carney that combines creative writing with personal observations on place. Kenn Taylor has also recently written a more in depth book about another part of Liverpool, entitled A Brief History of Edge Hill, as part of the Metal Culture project in the city, designed by Ultimate Holding Company.
  • COPY is a publication compiled by Yorkshire-based Critical Writing Collective. The current issue, titled Unfold, features a contribution by Manchester-based artist Daniel Fogarty. 'In Public' is a photo of a small belemnite fossil embedded in the polished stone of a basin in the toilets of the Bridgewater Hall. Due to certain obstacles (the fossil being in the ladies' toilets), I was asked to take the photograph.
  • During a recent visit to London I bought a copy of art and culture magazine Garageland, which is published by east London's Transition Gallery. The current issue plays with the theme 'Fake'. Highlights include articles on the south Kent coast's 'pluto' houses and the craze for mock Tudor.
I also really enjoyed spending a couple of hours browsing the Archizines exhibition at the Architectural Association in Bloomsbury, featuring architecture zines from all over the world, including the modernist and Preston is my Paris. Other highlights included Block and Matzine from the UK, and a zine which photographed street furniture and public art across Latin America.

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