MONTH END PROCESSING FOR OCTOBER 2010
Movies: As promised, my comedown after two and a bit weeks of the London Film Festival was a trip to the Barbican to see yet another film: Big Tits Zombie (the more accurate Japanese title is actually Big Tits Dragon: Hot Spring Zombie Vs. Stripper 5). Crikey, it's not very good. Even in the context of the sort of tongue-in-cheek nonsense that Japanese studios deliberately make with one eye to the Western market, it's a feeble mixture of slapdash gore and clumsy titillation. Its late attempt at finally getting tits and blood within the same shot feels like a half-hearted attempt at offence rather than anything more transgressive. And its 3D sequences (amounting to no more than a few minutes spread thinly across the film) may well be the worst I've ever seen: you can appreciate the lo-fi aesthetic of going for old-school red/green glasses, but not when the image separation bears no relation to the distance between the average person's eyes. It just about worked as a curtain raiser for the upcoming Zipangu Fest, but not as anything else.
Music: Unexpected highlight of the month has been the album Vanibest by Vanilla Beans. When we saw them tear shit up live in Tokyo last May, they hadn't recorded very much: half a dozen or so singles and an album, no more. Which makes it all the more peculiar that their new release is a best-of compilation. Still, it's a enjoyable collection of oddities - old songs, new songs, cover versions, things written for adverts, and a couple of ancient tracks Stalinistically re-recorded to remove all traces of former member Rika. Latest single 100bankai no SMK gives you a good indication of their current poppier direction, though I defy anyone to come up with a non-obscene interpretation of what happens at 1:19 in the video.
Travel: I've never really got around to doing a food and drink section on the site - that sort of stuff tends to get lumped in under Travel. So, earlier this month, we travelled to trendy Shoreditch to sample the one-week-only delights of the Innocent Cafe. A pop-up restaurant devised by the notoriously whimsical smoothie people, its aim was simple: feed several thousand people their five portions of fruit 'n' veg a day, and only charge them a fiver for it. With regrettably-named celeb chef Gizzi Erskine concocting the menus, the food was scrummy, the atmosphere charming and the value for money sensational. And because it was only there from October 1st-8th, you probably missed it. Pay more attention next time.