Movie: The Hobbit on Fri 13 Dec and Anchorman 2 on Weds 18 Dec, Various Cinemas
Throw out anything from a book by Tolkien or featuring satirical 70s news anchor Ron Burgundy and you’re more likely to have a hit than a QuornDog vendor at a fracking protest. The same applies to anything involving 50 Shades of Hungry Twilight Games… Potter. Right then.
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed nearly all of the money in the world, the first of The Hobbit trilogy snaffled what was left (over $4 billion between them), The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, the second of the series and the pork in the hobbit pie involves Bilbo, Gandalf and a troop of dwarfs chasing a magical ring… no a magical stone… or is it an underground kingdom… maybe a sword... or gold... or dragon? I think it’s all of them but you can never be sure. Regardless of the nineteen storylines expect your eyeballs to melt in wonder at the spectacle.
Oh, and the new Anchorman is coming out. I’d tell you more but I wrote too much about The Hobbit and I’m bored now. The trailers look ace though. Enough 'to make a wolverine purr'.
Art: Albert Adams Exhibition, Oldham Gallery, Until April 2014
With the passing of former South African president Nelson Mandela, there has never been a more apt time to showcase an artist that suffered at the cruel hands of Apartheid.
Albert Adams (1926-2006) was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, his father, a Hindu, had come from India, and his mother was classified by the white South African government as Cape Coloured (a title given to those of mixed race). Unable to enter the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town because of his colour, Adams left South Africa in 1953 for a scholarship in London. He spent most of the rest of his life in Britain.
This exhibition, on loan from the University of Salford, who received a gift of over 70 of his works following his passing, includes paintings, drawings, prints and objects from his own personal collection.
Family: Christmas Carol Afternoon, The Violet Hour, Burton Road, West Didsbury, Sat 14 Dec, 12pm-5pm
During the festive period, try as we might, it’s hard not to fill the listings entirely with Christmas events. So here’s one. The Violet Hour in West Didsbury (it's more placid out there) are throwing a joyous festive family bash. There’s carol singing (naww), live music, festive drinks, mulled wine (naturally), hot cider, a seasonal cocktail menu, mince pies, cakes, a bloke pretending to be jolly Old Saint Nic and a Christmas menu including The Violet Hour’s pulled pork burgers. Nothing says it’s Christmas like pulled pork. Except turkey. And geriatric flatulence.
Entrance free. Santa £3 with gift. Info here.
Season: The Other Side Of Yuletide, Cornerhouse, Sat 14 Dec-Mon 23 Dec
The second of 42 film events in ‘Things’ this week. The Other Side Of Yuletide, is not, as you may think, 'editeluy'. That’s not even a word. This other side refers to the less fluffy side of Christmas, think the polar opposite to that John Lewis ad with the cutesy rabbit and bear with the cutesy song set in a cutesy woodland that’s unknowingly programming you to spend a fortune on iPads, £200 Swiss pens and bubbling foot spas you'll never use. Hum-bugger.
So Cornerhouse are presenting a darker take on the holidays, from eerie Christmas noir to macabre tales of devil pacts and a 1944 celebration by Second World War captives. Films in the season include: Lady in the Lake (1947), Curse of the Cat People (1944), A Midnight Clear (1992) and Dead of the Night (1945)… Oh and It’s A Wonderful Life for the ones who love the Christmas fluff and guff.
Music: AllAboutGoodMusic Live, Matt and Phreds, Sun 15 Dec, 7.30pm
Manchester’s award-winning live music event AllAboutGoodMusic Live returns to Matt and Phreds for their final show of the year bringing their usual eclectic mix of RnB, hip-hop, rock and spoken word.
Performing on the night will be Prose with their indie rock and hiphop merge, ‘urban’ rockers Coldside (they won't play in the countryside), accomplished spoken word performer Keisha Thompson, soul singer Oliver Louise and scouse rapper Aydoe will also be on the bill. Unity radio’s breakfast show presenters Tango and Envy will be hosting the event, while DJ Stylus and Bizzy B will keep the music coming.
£7 guestlist. £8 door. Info and tickets here.
Gig: Primal Scream, Manchester Academy, Sun 15 Dec, 7pm
They’ve been around much longer than you think this lot. Now into their fourth decade, they’re still going strong and still making new records. Frontman Bobby Gillespie appears to have a spot of the Dorians about him, he practically looks the same as he did twenty years ago. Like the bastard lovechild of Mick Jagger and a flophaired goofy dog.
Following a successful and tight warm up at this week’s Xfm Winter Wonderland at the Apollo (a review that this writer WILL eventually get round to starting), the band will be bringing their own tour to the Academy. I can state from experience that the Scream are on top form. Yes the crowd mostly tolerates the new stuff like 2013 (not bad), but favourites Rocks, Movin’ On Up, Come Together, Loaded and Country Girl are worth the ticket price alone. Philistine? Shurrup.
Art: CUE: Art In Manchester, 4 c/d Piccadilly Place, Until Sat 21 Dec, 10am-7pm
There’s nothing artists love more than an empty space. Like bees to honey. No sooner has somewhere been vacated than a ‘collaborative’ group of artists have established themselves there, sheets down, paint everywhere. I just went to get a coffee and three had set up shop on my desk by the time I’d got back. You don’t get this bother in Grimsby.
Still, CUE have dumped themselves into an empty space in Piccadilly. Comprising of six award-winning artists working in Manchester in 2013. Photography, painting, sculpture, film and installation by Samantha Brandolani, Helen Wheeler, Sarah Hill, James Moss, Elizabeth Jane Winstanley and Sophie Brown will all be on show in Piccadilly Place until December 21
FREE. Visit their tumblr here.
Film: Confidential Film Club presents Die Hard Tues 17 Dec and Elf Thurs 19 Dec, Dancehouse Theatre, 7.30pm
The last (I promise) of the film events on this week’s list and undoubtedly the best value for money. But then, I would say that. Did I mention the fully stocked bar?
Confidential presents two rather contrasting Christmas films. The first on Tuesday, Die Hard, is less about Christmas, more about shooting terrorists, so deck those bells. Sure there’s a Christmas tree in there somewhere, there’s definitely snow, mostly guns though. But then we’ve all seen it seventeen times anyway so we know the flavour. Maybe just one more time, on the big screen. Yippee-ki-yay.
This second screening of Elf (the first one sold out quick sharp) is offering you the festive jackpot. A bun, booze and one of Empire magazine’s greatest ever Christmas films. The tale of an overgrown elf, Will Ferrell, leaving the North Pole behind to track down his real father in New York. How come they always end up in New York? Elf, Crocodile Dundee, Macaulay Culkin.
We’re having to show Elf because those miserable gits over at Channel 4 have inexplicably cancelled their annual Elfday. Well, everything’s funnier after three cocktails anyway. And a bun. Plus the bar is open till midnight.
Thing Not To Do This Week: On Thursday 18 December, Spinningfields shall be showing a film on the big screen above the ice rink for the skaters to watch… while they’re skating. Surely nothing can go wrong there. Now where’s my gameboy? I’m taking my paraglider out for a spin over a windfarm.
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