Friday, October 01, 2010

Culture losing out...

On Wednesday night, I discovered that this year's edition of the Manhattan Short Film Festival (which I much enjoyed last year) was to be held at Yugong Yishan.... this Wednesday night.  That's a week or so later than last year.  And - inconveniently for those of us in China - right on the brink of the big National Day holiday week here.  And, strangely, it seems to have received no advance publicity this time around.

When I happened to discover the event was on, I was just on my way out of the door to meet some friends for a drink at MaoMaoChong.  They didn't show up until 8, 8.30, so.... we rather ran out of time to head over to YGYS.  And I fear I was feeling a bit too knackered anyway, not really in the mood for an extended dose of 'culture'.

Ditto last night.  I discovered through a friend that there was a Pecha Kucha event in the new(ish) Sanlitun SOHO.  A couple of these that I'd attended in the past I found severely disappointing (scrappy presentations, and far too much shameless plugging of commercial enterprises rather than advancing any higher purpose), but this latest one was to be themed on photography, which made it far more appealing to me.

Unfortunately.... the venue they'd chosen this time - a kind of doughnut-shaped pavilion in the sunken area in the middle of the mall - was far too small, and had hardly any seating.  The mini-bar outside didn't have any power, so wasn't able to provide the promised draught Stella and Hoegaarden.  And the event - inexplicably - got under way half an hour or more late (with a very tedious, bilingual introductory speech involving protracted hat-tips to the various sponsors).  Time was dragging badly.  If I hadn't been waiting for a friend, and if I hadn't known a couple of the presenters, I probably would have given up and walked out before it even got started.  As it was, I only survived to the half-way point.  [PK organisers, you need to get yourself a venue that can hold 500 or so with relative comfort.  That cramped little 'tent' was really not a suitable choice.]

Again, fatigue and ill health have probably undermined my receptiveness to such events this week; but I feel regretful about having missed them.

There's a Chopin recital by Maurizio Pollini at The Egg in a couple of days, but I've probably left it too late to get tickets for that now.  And there's an art exhibition (or two) out at Dashanzi I've been wanting to see but still haven't got around to.  Culture takes so much goddamn planning.... compared to, say, an evening on the lash, which you can just do at the drop of a hat.

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