Dark Night: Bromance, 1 – “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley”

Ted and Elaine from AIRPLANE/FLYING HIGH

You know Ted and Elaine from Airplane* are the most romantic couple of all time, right?

*(“Flying High” to some of you Antipodeans out there)

You’ve probably forgotten. That’s okay. I’ll give you a quick reminder.

Last Friday I was at the launch for Dark Night, Auckland Libraries’ festival exploring sex and sexuality on page, stage, and screen. Afterwards, in the pub, the conversation got pretty deep as we considered the ways in which society influences the way we show our gender and sexuality to the world.
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On A Dark Night, You Can See Forever, part 3: That Mad Daffodil Summer

As we finally reach the opening of Dark Night, Auckland Libraries’ guerrilla season of events exploring sex and sexuality, I’m blogging on the way that films and literature shape the way we think about relationships.

It’s a different take on the arguments I’ve been making in recent weeks, that libraries offer a place for us to immerse ourselves in culture and participate in a way unique from any other space.

Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, still

The books we read and the movies we watch can have drastic effects on the lives we lead: in this third Dark Night post, I look at the way films skewed my take on romance and led to me poisoning myself for love at a London railway station.
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On A Dark Night, You Can See Forever, part 2: Sex and the Super City

As we approach the opening of Dark Night, Auckland Libraries’ guerrilla season of events exploring sex and sexuality, I’m blogging on the way that our culture and our intimate relationships speak to one another. As part of my job is pushing librarians out of their comfort zone, I figured I should probably do the same to myself as a writer…

Michael Fassbender in SHAME
Michael Fassbender in SHAME

I’m also offering you a different take on the arguments I’ve been making in recent weeks, that libraries offer a place for us to immerse ourselves in culture and participate in a way unique from any other space. Libraries as a place of imagination, learning, and connection applies to everyone, from the guy who wants an auto repair manual to the devotee of erotic fan fiction. As I argued last time on this blog, in a world where Fifty Shades of Grey sells 70 million copies world wide, libraries need to be part of the conversation around contemporary erotica.

Here, I wanted to connect our most intimate relationships with two kinds of text – the movies and literature we consume, but also the wider discourse of city life. As Auckland’s Dark Night opens with the New York-set movie Shame, I figured the time was ripe to contemplate “Sex and the Super City”.

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On a Dark Night, You Can See For Ever: Library Burlesque hits Auckland

Dark Night at Auckland Libraries
Image by Dylan Horrocks

21st June sees the launch of Auckland Libraries’ Dark Night, a guerrilla festival of burlesque, literary, and cinematic events that question, celebrate, and challenge sex and sexuality on page, stage, and screen.

Opening with a screening of Steve McQueen’s Shame, a harrowing portrait of sex addiction starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, the season includes library services in Auckland bars, author talks, and a cabaret evening including the sultry, saucy stars of Auckland Fringe Festival, Oh! Is For Opera. Read more