Monday – Akira 9pm @ FACT
Set against the backdrop of a dystopic Neo-Tokyo where gang violence threatens a fragile post-war society, and secret military experimentation is par for the course, Akira follows the (mis)fortunes of a group of friends. For some it needs little introduction – it opened the floodgates to the West for manga and anime in the 90s – a landmark film, its impact and influence still resonate on both sides of the pond. There has also been much speculation of a live-action version being on the horizon, but don’t hold your breath just yet…
Tuesday – The Artist 7.30pm @ Liverpool Philharmonic £6/£7 boxes
Winner of five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, this movie did well to avoid buzz-fatigue. Telling the story of a silent film star and a young actress on the cusp of a career in ‘the talkies’ The Artist is an odd phenomenon; a love-letter to another age, it could so easily have lived out life as a curio, but modern audiences responded so well to long-disused techniques, ironically, it achieves a freshness of sorts. And screened at The Philharmonic one suspects, if it where needed, an extra layer of added nostalgia-value.
Wednesday – Beyond Human 1pm @ FACT
Beyond Human: From Animality to Transhumanism is a collection of essays investigating what it means to be human. With one eye on our distant past and one on what the future may hold for the species, two of its editors, Dr Claire Molloy and Dr Steven Shakespeare, lead an introduction and round table discussion at FACT, followed by a screening of Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.
Thursday – Germ Free Adolescents PV @ LJMU Art & Design Academy: plus all Art Academy Grad Shows
Taking its name from the X-Ray Spex track, Germ Free Adolescents is a queer feminist exhibition using as its starting point the UK punk scene. Curator Luca Bartozzi has brought together original photos of the era, negatives, promo artworks, and recorded material to provide what should be an incredibly wide-ranging look at the impact of punk. The private view will be appropriately soundtracked by Luc B and Chew Disco Djs Emma O and K Rev. Fine Art, Graphic Design & Illustration, Architecture, Interior Design, Fashion, Spatial Design, History of Art and Popular Music Studies will all open their doors to visitors on the same night, so providing a perfect opportunity to spot the next rising star in Arts, Design and Music with a glass of wine in hand.
Saint Etienne 8pm @ The Kazimier £16.50
Latest album Words and Music is the band’s first since 2005, but the perennial Saint Etienne’s fans will no doubt have never given up hope that there was always one just around the corner. Now that it’s here, this week’s Kazimier gig offers a perfect opportunity to consider whether the electo-pop outfit – with a bevy of hits under their belt – still have what it takes. We’re betting they do.
Friday – John Carlos in conversation 6pm @ FACT
“All we ask for is an equal chance to be a human being … as far as I see now we’re five steps below the ladder and every time we try and touch the ladder they put their foot on our hands, they don’t want us to climb up,” so said John Carlos when questioned about his partaking in the black power salute at the 1968 Mexico Olympics; a protest which led to him becoming an icon to millions but ostracised by the athletics community. Carlos is joined in conversation by award winning journalist Dave Zirin to discuss the impact of the gesture.