The last Until the Light Goes Out of the year was a beautiful show, and not least because Mike picked up a set of blue fairy lights on his way to the venue. We had three gorgeous ladies on the bill: Sunshine Faggio read some intense poetry; Catherine Brogan left us speechless with her hula hoop tricks (she can SING while hula hooping!) and Emily Mae Winters sang beautiful, folky melodies – I can’t find words to describe her, so just click on the link, OK? Great stuff in the open mic as well. I’ve been giving up on poetry recently (it’s probably just the time of the year; last December I could only write drama and non-fiction, and the poetry ability returned in late January. Now I’m only writing prose fiction) so the only thing I read out yesterday was a piece of flash fiction, which I felt worked for me quite well. That’s one of the best things about our night, I think: it’s not that strict with what category your performance goes under, since we’ve been doing poetry, music, magic tricks and anything in between already.
Another intimate North London poetry and beyond event is co-organised by one of yesterday’s feature poets. Sunshine Faggio and Tom Bland’s Before I Die returns tomorrow night to the Torriano Bar, featuring performance artist, poet and a great tango dancer Anthony Howell. It’s probably the only chance you’ll ever get to see Anthony for a £3 door charge, so don’t miss it! I’m not sure he’ll do any dancing, but do come for the poetry.
This week at university we’re studying Stephen King’s Carrie and discussing the role of the abject (bodily fluids outside the body and other unpleasantly transgressive things) in horror fiction. It’s incredibly interesting, and although I’ve never been particularly into reading horror, I’ve experimented with writing stories with the psychoanalytic aspects to horror fiction picked up from recent lectures in mind. There’s a new film version of Carrie in the cinemas now; Brian DePalma’s 1976 film is amazing and hard to beat, but I’ve heard the remake is worth seeing as well. The ’76 film does do the gore as well, but the emphasis is more on terror than horror: the absolutely scariest bits of the film are the ones where all the characters are happy and the scene looks all beautiful, but there are subtle hints in the slightly creepy music and the camera lingering on a red spotlight a bit too long that suggest that something bad is about to happen. Meanwhile the scenes with actual violence aren’t that scary at all. That’s definitely an effect I’m looking to learn to create with writing.
The British Film Institute will be showing some Gothic Romances in January; one that I definitely want to see is Cocteau’s film adaptation of The Beauty and the Beast. And about a million others, if only I could afford it. In any case, there’s a whole dark and depressing imaginary world out there to escape the unbearable cheerfulness of the holiday season. Bring on the fairy lights. I’ve got True Blood box sets for company.