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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

This Happened: The Lives Beyond Us Launch

Cliff Hammett with chronophotographic image of a falling cat.
A huge thanks to everyone who came last Tuesday to help up launch Lives Beyond Us: Essays and Poems on the Film Reality of Animals!

For the uninitiated, Lives Beyond Us is a cross-genre anthology with gorgeous colour illustrations throughout. Covering topics as diverse as voyeurism, comic pratfalls and bear interventions, it's a fresh look at a beloved topic, curated by Kirsten Irving (poems) and Seb Manley (essays).

The anthology is a super-thick bundle of Sidekick-style guile and intrigue, and costs £12 plus postage. Click here to see more and buy.

Cat watches humans watching bird.
We launched the book upstairs at the Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel. Since Sidekick started life in Whitechapel and was based there for five years - less than ten minutes' walk from the Genesis, in fact - it seemed an oh-so appropriate place to unveil a book that dives face first into film history.

Here's how the book in question fared under UV light as Jon was setting out the table:

Before the hoard descended.
We had readings and a slideshow, and there was an animal film quiz with a tricksy rebus round by long-time Sidekick ally Siân Moore. Alongside the editors, contributing writers Mike West, Rebecca Wigmore, Sophie Mayer, Simon Barraclough, Angela Cleland, Abigail Parry, Cliff Hammett and James Coghill were all present and correct.

We piece this account together now from whirling fragments, as we spent much of the evening rushing between the projection room (well, the cupboard with the technical things in it), the book stall and various old friends - a little chaotically, since this was our first book launch in over a year and we'd forgotten just how much needs doing to keep things running semi-smoothly.

Lessons learned: always give five-minute warnings in a quiz show host voice; PCs can project to a second screen in one of four different ways; electric fans give poets a neat 'windswept' appearance when placed correctly.

Finally, evidence that a selection of readers, hosts, editors and audience members felt the animal magic and posed it out onstage. What a grrrrrand night.

Post-launch cast and crew superhero pose

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