Sunday, September 09, 2007

This month in Beijing

For reasons which I'm not going to go into now I'm working like crazy at the moment. I will probably be up all night at least for tonight, tomorrow we'll just have to see.

I'm taking a five minute break and so will put up a post I wrote a few days ago about the current goings on in Beijing. If work continues like this I'm not going to get to any of it, but I can always hope.

With less than two months left in Beijing I'm keeping a close eye on the things that I haven't done yet which I would like to. There aren't many places that I haven't explored in Beijing that I'm aware of but I'm sure there are many interesting hidden treasures to be found. The ancient observatory I would like to check out when I've time and the underground tunnels which are rumoured to go for hundreds of miles under the city sound intriguing.

There's plenty on over the next month too. There will be a couple of weeks of movies commemorating Bergman on at D22. This week there was The Seventh Seal, which is excellent and I'll definitely see it for a second time when I have a chance. The Bergman season continues with Wild Strawberries and The Magician on the 12th and 13th and finishes with The Virgin Spring on the 19th. Michaelangelo Antonioni's death is not going unnoticed with L'avventura, La Notte and L'eclisse on the 20th, 26th and 27th. Sadly Blowup is not being screened.

At the Box Cafe on the 25th is Au Hassard Balthazar, a very moving story about the life of a donkey, named Balthazar, directed by Bresson. Very very sad but a fine film.

Director Diao Yinan will be talking at Cherry Lane movies before his film Uniform, which I haven't seen but is promoted in That's Beijing.

Cory, from BoingBoing will be in Beijing next week at the Beijing Bookworm, so go early if you're around Sanlitun on Wednesday.

On the music front there's the Beijing Pop Festival in Chaoyang park this weekend, with a truly bizarre line up of Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Brett Anderson, New York Dolls, Marky Ramone and a few decent Beijing bands (Joyside and the Scoff being the two who I've seen and enjoyed). Carsick Cars, Beijing's favourite band to make it outside China (currently on tour with Sonic Youth in Europe) will be back in D22 on the 29th which is bound to draw a big crowd.

I'll definitely be heading to the Beijing Jazz Festival ( For jazz in the meantime the Red Hand Jazz band every Sunday at D22 are well worth coming to listen to. I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw them for the first time a few weeks ago, though with D22's reputation and a manager who used to own a bar in New York, I shouldn't be.

Beginning of next month sees Faithless and Talib Kweli with Ozomatli on two consecutive nights at the Star Live. Ozomatli are supposed to be superb live.

For big nights out Armin Van Buuren is coming to Ba Hao at Chaoyang park on the 30th of September. The Tuesday night experimental electronica also continues at Dos Kolegas which is well worth a trip if you're feeling like something a little more interesting.

Beijing is getting in on the molecular gastronomy game with a relatively new restaurant, the Blue Lobster, which has superb reviews though is very very expensive. Depending on how work and cash flow goes it may be a treat for myself later in the month.

A friend and I have vowed to go to a new restaurant every week. Next week I have been promised by a friend that I will be taken to eat san nak ji (산낙지). (Only click on this link if you're not feeling squeemish - I really really mean it. - no, really!)

ok, that will do, but with many hours ahead I will need a break later...

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