2016-2019 Series/Volume





Uploaded July 7, 2019





June 2019 Picks of the Month






Ian Victoriano. Makukulay na Misteryo 1 (Colorful Mysteries 1). 2019. watercolor on paper. 14 ¼" x 11 ½"

Ian Victoriano. Makukulay na Misteryo 2 (Colorful Mysteries 2). 2019. watercolor on paper. 14 ¼" x 11 ½"

Ian Victoriano. Makukulay na Misteryo 3 (Colorful Mysteries 3). 2019. watercolor on paper. 14 ¼" x 11 ½"

Ian Victoriano. Makukulay na Misteryo 4 (Colorful Mysteries 4). 2019. watercolor on paper. 14 ¼" x 11 ½"

Ian Victoriano. Makukulay na Misteryo 6 (Colorful Mysteries 6). 2019. watercolor on paper. 14 ¼" x 11 ½"

Makukulay na Misteryo watercolor series. In this late era of post-Modernism, when the abstraction revolution at the turn of the 20th century that progressed onwards into the 1980s seems to have already dissolved in the present into mere accepted imagery for decerebrated decor, or otherwise into mere extensions of the surrealist or Zen-minimalist run still attracting some/many like some retro thing, what could be a relatively other (not necessarily new) sort of purpose behind one's abstract art practice? Well, writer-painter Ian Victoriano found for himself a purposeful approach for his abstract art-making inside the present, one that goes beyond the facile surrealism or the mood-making for interior design aficionados and pseudo-Buddhists that is manufactured each day by hundreds of our country's artists. His practice straddles that space between the religious man's and the scientist's respective religiosities toward "the mysteries." Let us elaborate:
    Whilst most other abstract artists continue to ride on the accepted tradition of the genre either as celebration of process, as emulation of the coffeehouse or fastfood shop spirit nestling in luxuriant prettiness or classiness that both conscript abstraction's openness, as Rorschachian refrains, or as producer of stimuli for Zen ends, or whatever else, . . . Victoriano approaches the abstract image fully aware that there cannot be pure "abstract things" anymore, nothing that can convincingly be independent of any association (go to hell, Kandinsky and Malevich), just as musicians today recognize that all music is ultimately program music, and therefore that it, the abstract image, must henceforth both be itself (a square is a square, lines are lines) and then be (attached to) something (or some things) else.
    So, Victoriano would wake up each day allowing the abstract images that erupt from his newfound brushes (newfound after leaving painting for a while) to stay in their alien mysteriousness, as abstract images are almost always allowed to by their makers
in the way that, let's say, Carlo Zinelli would allow his to carry lives of their own, . . . but, realizing at the same time that his studied kind of art brut (he graduated from the Mount Makiling High School for the Arts) is located in our (social) science-saturated present (he used to work as a medical writer and currently works as a writer of television scripts with social or political allusions), he knows he cannot escape adapting the now-traditional act of abstract-image-making to fit into that gap in the world that swings between automatist awe and learned recognitions, thus emulating the same creative-lab attitude that Luis Gordillo likely had with his own science-inspired "abstractions".
    The five pieces above (please forgive the reflections on the glass) were first shown in a group show at J Studio in February this year. It reappeared this June at Victoriano's solo show that inaugurated X Gallery. The new gallery occupies walls within and above that Kapampangan cuisine resto along Maginhawa Street in Diliman, Quezon City, called Pigar x Pigar, which made an apt setting for some of the artist's 2019 pieces palatably oscillating between the unfamiliar and familiar ingredients of our (not necessarily always edible) environment. His show lasts until July 14.



the trailer for The Brink

The Brink. Remember Alison Klayman and her award-winning 2012 documentary, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, and her 2015 short docu on Carmen Herrera, The 100 Years Show? Well, she's back. This time covering another artist in an entirely different genre: the art of propaganda warfare. In the film The Brink, welcome the persona of Steve Bannon, strategist for the conservative and alt-right movements of Donald Trump's United States and the rest of the globe. Already released in the US last March 29, it only debuted in Germany last June 29 at the Munich International Film Festival and will be seen in France come September 25 yet.
    Owen Glieberman wrote in his Variety review: "Bannon has a way of revealing himself when he thinks he's not" in the film. That's absolutely true, because, as David Fear describes the film in his Rolling Stone review, it's a fly on the wall sort of docu that ultimately functions as a "give-'em-enough-rope" thing for all of us to see and judge for ourselves the subject of the film and what hate he actually stands for in spite of all that sporty niceness he displays in public.
    True, being a fly on the wall docu, what is revealed on the surface here is what may look to us as a completely normal guy who may be irritated at times but is also amiable, simple, accommodating, and eloquent, and even tolerant of a heckling alt-right-hating audience at whom he neither gets angry nor intimidated. The filmmaker, by the way, is herself a Jew.
    Yet, since even documentary filmmaking is an art, that is to say, subject to editing wherein the filmmaker can choose what goes in first, a more focused picture of the subject's person may have already emerged behind the normal-guy image during the opening sequences. Two minutes and 23 seconds into the film Bannon observes this about the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum - Former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp: "And I'm walking around going, 'Oh, my God.' It's precision engineering to the nth degree. By Mercedes and Krupp and Hugo Boss and the whole... it is an institutionalized industrial compound for mass murder. Here it finally hits you that... think about it, good people back in Germany were sitting at their desks drawing and having arguments and meetings like you have at any company in the world. No, I think this... I mean, this thing was so planned and so engineered down to perfection... you could see the conference meetings, you could see all the cups of coffee and all the meetings and all the argument. There were people that actually sat and thought through this whole thing and totally detached themselves from, you know, the moral horror of it. That's when you realize, 'Oh, my God, humans can actually do this.' Humans that are not devils, but humans that are just... humans."
    Bannon might as well have been describing with those very same words the alt-right nationalist movements of the globe that he helped motor to full speed. But he obviously doesn't realize how those words could apply to his crowd, having been convinced by his faith in divine providence that he has been brought to Earth to do exactly the things that he's now doing as part of God's work. Alleluia? In the 47th minute, he asks, as if forgetting the camera's presence, "What would Leni Riefenstahl do?"
    Never mind. For as long as many flies on the wall realize that what they're actually seeing and hearing is a persona whose ideas will have consequences at implementation time, and that these consequences will be much more visible as well at the full accounting of their results in the near future, we'll be okay. Be forewarned, therefore, for the film does show how Bannon is no monster of a devil. It shows him, with all the cups of coffee and all the meetings and all the argument, as just... human.



photo from Turntablelab.com

Old Star. It's already the seventeenth album from this Norwegian stalwart of the second wave of black metal, that notorious heavy metal music subgenre, and they're still unyielding in their ethos to never surrender the sound to people beyond the walls of the DIY garage studio. If Norwegian black metal albums are still being frowned upon for sounding like demos, the hell Darkthrone cares, not even caring if their latest album sounds better than the last (or so they'd like us to think). In fact, black metal's lo-fi shriek and growl has been the subgenre's signature and appeal, sometimes at the expense of an imbalance, here almost like a brother to the kind of DIY hip hop that, in contrast, boasts of speaker-breaking excess-bass outputs. But, if hip hop's impact has not been due to its ear-splitting bass (many hip hop records are not much into bass), then black metal's shock broke throughdespite its already popular (in Europe) "unprofessional" lo-fi muffling of vocals and even drumsbecause of its sound's associations with outsider behavior/thinking. That's not to say that the genre did not introduce a novel set of creativity parameters by itself; but its anti-establishment, anti-corporate recording philosophy added its own to those parameters.
    Yes, Darkthrone are still at it, scoffing at the rock culture of press first listens, album tours, even simple live appearances and awards shows, and so on, even staying with those black and white xeroxed album covers that death metal, black metal's sister, found itself throwing out the window in favor of a little more glamour through color.
    Now, what sets this two-piece band apart from their brethrens, however, is an open-mindedness, the kind lacking in those others within the subgenre who had gone on with their purist irreligion to literally burn Christian churches and then to suicides in the name of Satan as well as venture into spurious racist activism against Moslems and Jews. Fenriz, one half of the duo, has been somewhat of an enemy of the purist, having dabbled as a solo act in black ambient and folk metal, later also donning the hat of a businessman when he encouraged bandmate Nocturno Culto to put up with him a record label called Tyrant Syndicate Productions (to help the other metal bands in Norway); he also has a job at the Post Office and is married. Meanwhile, Nocturno Culto, the other half, has a day job as a schoolteacher and now has two kids.
    No wonder that we saw the duo slowly widen their scope as time progressed, embracing classic heavy metal and even faithful grindcore and speed metal to mix into the structures inside their later albums. Now comes their 2019 output, Old Star, released last May 31, which contains riffs from Black Sabbath, some from doom metal, from thrash, from d-beat. Is this how a black metal band would make a statement, short of crafting a paean to the entire metal library, in order to define themselves, going forward, as the true pioneers of black metal's development (black metal's true philosophers or politicians) who don't see a need to depart too much from or be independent of their mother genre? That is to say, make a statement out of not seeing a need to veer away from their being a couple of matrix-metal lovers at the beginning of things who just happened upon some of the right formula for their narrow subgenre, and then are now reversing things by invading other metal manners in the name of black metal lyricism?
    The present album's tracks spread themselves thin in the six long tracks (the two longest being 7+ minute-long tracks), quoting riffs at many a turn from the history of metal, as many as they could accommodate in this collection, so that only the opening track {"I Muffle Your Inner Choir") and "Duke of Gloat" could be said to still operate from within their old black metal evil. The rest of the tracks collectively expose some joy beneath the darkness, just by being all-metal, any metal, with the lyrics sometimes almost purposely made puzzling, as if to make things more open.
    What statement again? First, did you notice the echo in the vocals in this album's still demo-sounding production? It's almost like a salute to Metallica's '80s classic, Kill 'Em All. Bravo, then, to a pioneering black metal band that's now exhibiting the subgenre they've been devoted to as no more than an old star of an aesthetic and philosophical subgenre located within a bigger mother star of an aesthetic/philosophical genre that also bore black metal's brother and sister aesthetic/philosophical subgenres. Instead of treating their subgenre at this point as still the sole soundtrack to a problematic way of life, the band are now clearly treating it as just one of those gangsta-rap kind of things that an artist can embrace to function as a palette for fiction-making instead of as a model for real living, and then as a palette springboard from where one can jump in order to bring its vision to other shores both sympathetic to its aesthetic direction and not. This way, the whole of metal can be incorporated into its kind of ultra-cynical words. Truly, the best way to convert other metal heads into the black metal ethos is to be within metal rather than apart from it.
    So, go ahead. Play this record loud to squeeze the varied outsider emotions in it. After all, it's been proven once again that the whole of metal can still be a matrix for horror music-making. That is, the whole of metal can be made black metal.



Alwin Reamillo. un cimbalo di cipresso e piano e forte (or, the duttertefly effect). 2019. mixed media installation. dimensions variable.

un cimbalo di cipresso e piano e forte (or, the duttertefly effect). One of Alwin Reamillo's installations at his Pian o Fort e show that opened on June 22 at Altro Mondo Creative Space was this one titled un cimbalo di cipresso e piano e forte (or, the duttertefly effect). A complex collection of images and allusions, it gave us the sense of being both a collection of butterflies or moths and then of being a formation of bomber planes.
    But let's zoom in on the images transferred or painted onto the piano and toy-piano lids hinged together to form wings and we'd have a sense of an ominous garden of dictatorship-embracing imageries flying upwards to the right (or alt-right), with all this flight happening in front of our awake eyes. To others this is no flight towards a garden of flowers, this is a composite image of an attack obedient to a leader-plane moving to the right. To some, that leader could be Imelda Marcos (seen on the obscure small plane at top right), the now-often-silent matriarch of the Marcos family, the family said to be one of the movers of the Duterte regime, . . . or it could be the big butterfly or plane in the center of the installation which carries the image of Rodrigo Duterte (half of whose face turns out to be that of Ferdinand Marcos, his idol) in the middle. The big plane is the "Duttertefly" in the title, and in it is Xi Jinping's face to Duterte's near left and the Vladimir Putin-leaning Donald Trump's image to the far right of the twin Philippine demagogues' composite face.

details of the piece

    But why piano lids? True, the piano lid is one of the objects most accessible to the installation artist who comes from a piano-manufacturing family, but Reamillo has already proven through the years of his practice how he can be quite resourceful in getting what he wants for his desired compositions to here be accused of being a composer only of objects within easy access. That wrong impression put aside, therefore, let it now be known (as per the conversation we had with the artist) that the piano lids he hinged together to form butterfly or moth wings became the artist's recent favorites because of their ability to dramatize both a society's (and art society's) music or hymn or noise and then this society's collective movement or flight.
    As to the ambiguity of the wings as referencing those of butterflies or moths, consider the fact that these flying objects can actually be butterflies during the day and moths during the night. Reamillo has been quite a fan of the story told by Jose Rizal's mother to the young Rizal, concerning the moth that flew close to danger, in this story's case the reality bite of the lamp's wing-burning flame that ultimately burned the knowledgeable adult Rizal, as it were. Reamillo may be alluding to our delight in the garden of our myths that may actually bring us (through our bravery or our stupidity) to the moth-laden fire of our nightmares.
    In the same manner of servicing ambiguities or double entendres, in both this June show's title and the title for the above installation Reamillo references the word "piano" as pointing to the popular instrument for music-making and then to that term in music notation that means "soft". In this June show where this particular installation gives its presence (until July 15), specifically inside the Monteverdi Room of Altro Mondo, the artist calls in the soft music of art-making and art-viewing and then how the realpolitik music inside our respective partisan heads operate within the loudness (or forte-ness) of our ongoing sympathies or fears.



Russia Beyond's video on Artmossphere, uploaded June 19 to the publication's YouTube channel

History of street art: how contemporary street art was inspired by the Russian Revolution. Russia Beyond is a publication owned by Rossiya Segodnya, a state-owned Russian news agency. The video above titled History of street art: how contemporary street art was inspired by the Russian Revolution (click on the cc button for closed captioning) was uploaded to the publication's YouTube channel on June 19 this year to boast about Artmossphere, the street art biennale started in 2014 that the video traces back to Moscow's legalization of street art in 2013. The festival is due to show again next year.
    We are including the video in our June picks of the month list not to endorse state-approved street art over the illegal form of it but for the reason that it gives audiences quite a guide into the history of legal street art in Moscow, pointing to the first wave of Communist art that promptly took over in 1918
after the October Revolution of 1917as its root. At the finale of the video, the host implies a preference for the legal sort of street art that monetizes its images and devotes its function to the "masses," implying in turn that illegal street art is against the interest of such masses, even when the organizer the host interviewed only used the word "community" to refer to the community of local and foreign artists, curators, art public, and art patrons, and not necessarily to the Russian masses.
    Along with sculpture and traditional mural painting, legal "street art" has long been appropriated globally as one of the public art forms available to governments and corporations, way before Moscow gave it its approval in 2013. Even in our country, we had had such public institutions as the NCCA or city governments providing funding for such art on spaces like the walls and ceiling of even ostensibly-private pedestrian underpasses or subways. (Filipino writer Angelo Suarez once criticized on Facebook the guards of one of these ostensibly-private tunnels for prohibiting the public from taking photos of the allegedly publicly-funded art therein).
    Which art would end up as truly for the masses, the state-sponsored ones or those not? Ideally, that question should be answered on an artwork-to-artwork basis. After all, all art found in public zones of a city must already be deemed public and for the masses, even when these pieces run counter to what the masses collectively want or understand. Also, public funding for art does not make that art wholly public, especially, as in the alleged case concerning a privately-owned pedestrian tunnel, when that art can only be consumed according to the parameters allowed by the owner or guardians of the private space. Additionally, since much public funding also goes to art meant for display in galleries, whether it's public or private galleries doesn't matter, it stands to reason that some citizens would question the validity of such funding in consideration of the elitist context of most gallery art and spaces.



the Edinburgh International Film Festival trailer for She's Missing

She's Missing. Reviews would tell you the obvious about She's Missing, that it's about a friendship and the half of that extreme friendship that goes missing.
    We, however, love the film more for being an allegory of America, or, okay, an allegory of a lot of populaces, or of a nation's citizenry embedded in spots of innocence/ignorance and operating lives under the myth of their nation's supposed wide expanse of opportunity. It's much more ironic to dramatize that socio-political problematic or conundrum from the democratic perspective (as against the, say, Ancient Roman perspective) when you put women into the anecdote, specifically young women still trying to make it in the free world through the day of the week or the week of the month and/or trying to reach better positions for themselves within such lofty ideals as, say, the American Dream.
    This is not so much a feminist film as it is a female buddy film examining a pretty-close two-women friendship cum support system that, nonetheless, falls into a pit of sad mystery. The strange atmosphere starts when the other half of the friendship, the one that's eager to get out of a cycle of sexual harassment in her work as a barmaid in a casino and then out of loserville after failing to achieve her rodeo-queen dream, goes missing. Naturally, the other half, our camera perspective, starts looking for the lost friend.
    In this era of many lost women quickly made obscure by their non-notability within a star-based landscape of heroes and heroines, it's natural to build the film's suspense around the tragedy of that non-notability in need of someone's notice. But, in the end, we find that the film has actually avoided confronting the strong issues of kidnapping and sex trafficking, sexual harassment/exploitation, even that of equal opportunity, to be able to give us a setting wherein the specific women's status of innocence/ignorance would play a huge part both in getting into these situations of disadvantage and in getting out of them after a moment of quick realization. In fact, even though there is the wealthy man with a mansion who has built a cult harem around him with the help of a narcotic cactus juice that empowers (for an hour or so) everyone who takes it, there is also the wealthy aunt who offers the lead character an opportunity to get out of the mire of poverty or disadvantage simply through the natural breeze of clarity.
    It's also significant that while the missing part of the friendship went missing because of her ambitiousness, the other has initially been content with her job at a truck stop diner, even when the men there would intermittently ask for her phone number, wink at her, or pinch her ass. In fact, our lead character waitress does go to bed with one of these men, a border patrol guard. That's significant, because in the end our lead character playing her role of contentment must soon find herself opting for progress after experiencing power at play over her innocence via the man in the mansion. Thanks to a little bit of intelligence and knowledge within her memory's alert access, realization ensued.
    How else is this an allegory? Although the film's David Lynch-like recurrent dream-derived narrative can be approached as a repetitious memory of something traumatic that just transpired, it also gives hints that it could actually also be an ESP-like or time-warp advance preview of what could happen in certain situations. An allegory, then, of two kinds of female knowledge: the emotion learned the hard way and the power of a priori knowledge gained through films like this, even without outrightly-visible tragedies occurring in it.
    Here's hoping the film becomes available on DVD soon.



the album art for Bad Books' June-released album, III

III. Paul Simon is considered to be one of the best song lyricists of our time, from the beginning of Simon and Garfunkel up to even Simon's In the Blue Light album from last year, and we agree. Now, . . . we think it's a miracle of a coincidence that the side-project band Bad Books that often sounds like Simon and Garfunkel also have one of the best song lyricists in 2010s indie folk in the persons of Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull.
    Under simple but emotional melodies and sophisticated harmonies in their latest album, titled III, Bad Books bind personal narratives with the heavy leather of today's reactionary and tense societal and environmental developments.
    "If the people you meet are mostly you in disguise," Devine waxes poetic about empathy in "Wheel Well," the opening track, "Want what you want," continues the song, "something good in their lives. / Is that a socialist song? / An invocation of Christ, I guess. / It's whatever you like." That's the songwriter's answer to the philosophical problem introduced in the track's opening lines that went, "The birds on my stoop, they don't know the words / For the pain in my tooth or for other birds." Everything here is a beautiful display of humanism that must be ruined by the song's outro that goes, "No one's alone, or it's the one thing we are. / Beasts with big brains, computers with hearts, / Obsessed with control or frightened and power-starved. / It will get you so far."
    Hull follows this song with his similarly outstanding mastery of semantic prosody in track 2, titled "UFO," to allegorize on Alzheimer's disease with a deep understanding.
    It's a mesmerizing experience by itself to see this ping-pong between two amazing wordsmiths, seeing their similarity and dissimilarity, and then hear them support each other with ear-candy harmonic arrangements on each of the precious items here.
    We'd lean more toward the politics inherent in Devine's pieces, however, so that you'd find us biased towards such tracks as "Myths Made Plain," which ambitiously tries to present a poetic anatomy behind why America later "landed here," and Devine's "I Love You, I'm Sorry, Please Help Me, Thank You," on complex feelings about raising a newborn daughter in these times of alt-right Trumpism, wherein Devine sings, "When the nationalist demagogues eat the desperately confused, / We're so far past civility it feels useless to argue.” He then immediately follows that bleak picture with the advice to her daughter that goes, “Love isn't passive, a trick or a tactic. / It's radical action, so go let 'em have it.”
    Devine is even the one to follow through on that dark path with another whopper, the Bob Dylanesque "Neighborhood," this time treating of the mob mentality that sends lone, quiet dissenters in a neighborhood ruled by violent racists or religious/cultural bigots into an abyss of further cowardice or wise acquiescence. Devine intones his groan thus: "They're gonna tie him to the back of my neighbor's car. / They're gonna drag him naked out in the street. / They're gonna tell him that he chose to be different, / And that's a lofty irredeemable fee. / That man has never once harmed me in any way. / That man has always been thoughtful to me. / But I just can't disagree with the neighborhood; / I'm afraid they'll start talking 'bout me."



the official trailer for Ray & Liz

Ray & Liz was released in the UK last March but has yet to grace even select US theater screens from July 10, so here's how our June previewing of it went, writing our views on it here as we hope it somehow finds its way to Philippine cinematheques within the year, too.
    Director Richard Billingham started as a photographer in the '90s (yes, he was part of that sensational Sensation group show in 1997). It's been charming to see his still-photo subjects in squalor transported to moving pictures, essentially because his work in the latter medium would almost mimic the stillness of his former medium's output simply by way of Billingham's sticking to his subjects' visible inaction. How else would that transport be made possible if not for the artist's devotion to those same subjects in squalor, mainly starring his family, upon whom he focused his lens as subjects already made immobile by either indecision or an inability to do anything much except unconsciously retract further into immobility from a belief in their inability to go anywhere or do something about anything. And once we do see these subjects doing something in Billingham's moving pictures, those actions would be so utterly banal for us to even consider them as real actions for entertainment cinema, and we know at once that these images and actions are not here to entertain.
    The character's actions in Billingham's first full feature, Ray & Liz, about his parents and their neglect of their two children, as well as in the 2016 short feature Ray and the documentaries that preceded it, have not exactly always been minimalist, to be honest. In fact, in Ray & Liz a collection of robust actions would include Liz repeatedly pummeling on the head with the heel of her shoe her brother-in-law with the learning disability. But what we mean by a sense of immobility is that when such actions occur in his films, including this aforementioned one in the current film instigated by the most able of sociopaths, they would still only extend still photography's mood into the frames of moving action, all because the scenes' settings are both cramped and photogenic in their own limited spatial terms, and then because Billingham would still be using a 16mm stock for a camera that he would still mostly leave instead of pan or tilt or zoom in with. The large percentage of time occupied by that camera (and editing) inaction in the film highlights the despair of smallness in these actions, especially in relation to the atmospheres covered by the cramped, squarish 16 mm frame. Whether these atmospheres or environs involve a dirty small room in a West Midlands council flat, a foggy park, or a high-ceilinged zoo room housing a giraffe, Billingham's naturalist intent is clear as an open small-apartment window.
    What we mean is that all this naturalist discourse does not come without effort. Firstly, it is made believable by Billingham's craft in deciding, for instance, how much time the parents should be present and how much time absent for the film to ferret out the needed truth concerning their neglect of their children. Notice, also, how he would subtly (almost unnoticeably) present the ongoing regress of the couple's housing status, starting from their family's placement in a terraced house that later moved to a council flat and then finally to Ray's lone, estranged existence in a single room unit that his wife visits once in a while. We are not even discussing yet the symbolism presented by the animals in the film made incapacious by various manner of confinement both accidental and not.
    But, again, this is a biographical-cum-autobiographical film revisiting the director's parents, childhood, and circumstances leading to his loss of a brother to the state. The filmmaker, through this re-visitation, is at once trying to face this past and reconciling facts about that past and challenging us to make judgments upon them. As a naturalist, Billingham himself has made no judgments at the end of the film, coming out as having simply recorded the addictions to cigarettes and homebrewing products (later delivered to a lone Ray by a generous neighbor who also pays the former's poll tax and gives him money), the neglect and self-neglect, and the regret, as well as the effect of the welfare state's support or Tory lack thereof within this story's tragic developments. And if we are to find ourselves being judgmental towards the characters, we should wonder how similar we might be to Liz who, in a scene after she pummeled her brother-in-law, there denies (by destroying) the cassette tape evidence's crucial ability to go against her supposed correctness.
    It's a charm, too, that Billingham's script would every now and then mention "Bible fascists" and Nazis, as if the film is pushing us to recall the condition of the Jews in the ghettos. With this, Billingham gambles that a Nazi-Tory similarity in their ability to be apathetic might be read into the narrative, along with other thoughts, including perhaps those to do with Thatcherism's impact on unemployment, and even with the issue about discouraged workers. This film is not exactly about Ray and Liz alone. [d]






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