In a marquee, this cinema. We’re the first in, so we get the best table, right in front of the screen. To our left, a little video camera is pointing at a small black backdrop, under an Anglepoise. In the middle is a portable projector. To our right, a heap of musical and non-musical instruments: autoharp, electric guitar, tambourine rattles sticks laptop keyboard. Waiters wearing bandannas and short kimonos bring us sashimi, then tempura, a seafood platter, saké, beer. This is the Paper Cinema night at Moshi Moshi, Brighton. A three-course meal and two – what? films? performances, really. Because it’s all live.

Exquisite cut-out drawings, black ink on the reverse of cereal-box cardboard, are filmed, live, in front of the black screen, and projected, while two musicians play the score. Many cut-outs are manipulated by the two puppeteers, moving, one in front of the other, in and out of focus, side to side. Live cinema. The drawings are pen and brush-stroked, solid blacks, the faces minimal yet full of character, the stories surreal and gripping, the music full and rich. It’s enchanting, engrossing, though you can’t help glancing at the two puppeteers wielding their characters and scenery – bushes, rocks, clouds, stars – that they take in turn from a stack beside them. It’s beautifully low-tech, inspirational and heart-warming, in an age of computerised 3–D sensationalism.

Walking back, we drop in to the Verdict: upstairs a small café, but downstairs a jazz club. It’s nearly finishing, but we take our drinks down to watch Tony Kofi’s trio winding up their set with John Coltrane’s Alabama, written after the bombing of a black Baptist church by the Ku Klux Klan – sobering and passionate. A small, dedicated audience (why are jazz audiences so small and dedicated and predominantly male?) wants more, and Tony’s happy to play more, and launches, solo, into Charlie Parker’s Relaxin’ at Camarillo, with the tricky tune then echoed by the drummer, then the bass-player – thrilling. We walk back to the car, amazed at a great night out. All live.

http://thepapercinema.com/
http://www.tonykofimusic.com/
http://www.verdictjazz.co.uk/

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