Good places to put zines in Hong Kong [No.5] – Kubrick Cafe
Type of place: Film/book cafe
Where? Yau Ma Tei
Ah, Kubrick. You give a helping hand to the local arts community by selling their stuff. You bury books written by locals in the corner of your cafe, where only really bored people will find them on the weekend. Here’s the rest of it:
Prosecution: You should help local, amateur, probably not very good writers and artists to sell their stuff even more than you do already.
Defence: Some of the stuff dumped on you is awful. Some of it’s good, but looks awful. You could always tell local writers and artists to fuck off and stick to Dave Eggers and Miranda July.
Yeah, maybe Kubrick’s not so bad after all.
In fact, they’re pretty decent. They always give you the time of day, they never look at your zine and shake their head or say, ‘what is this shit?’ even if it does look like shit [Evidence: First issue of the Gupter zine]. They may not put your zine or book or art at the front of the cafe, but space seems quite limited in there, so it’s understandable. Let’s face it, people don’t come to look at local things, they come to look at famous/obscure things.
Also, people are usually there to kill time while waiting for a film to come on next door.
Is it next to a cinema?
Yup, the Broadway Cinematique. That’s French for ‘cinema’. Some of us at Zizek Press used to think ‘Kino’ was French for cinema, and even wrote it in one of our books, but now we know it’s not. Never mind, there is no such thing as a mistake in fiction anymore. You can just call it a character flaw.
Is it a good cinema?
Well, not if you’re going to see Transformers. The screens are too small to do justice to the themes Michael Bay is trying to put about, but if you wanna hold something small and weird like an Angolan film festival then this is your place. It’s unclear how much cash they make from these kinds of things, but they keep doing them so someone must be watching.
Basically, if you wanna sit on a couch for a couple of hours, reading the backs of World Cinema DVDs then go to Kubrick. They have magazines too, including Total Film, Empire, that one where the famous people interview each other, and Sight and Sound, the magazine that ruins new films by giving you a full synopsis next to their reviews. No one at Kubrick can tell you why Sight and Sound do this…they’re mostly students, they only know things from 1990-2011 and Hollywood in the 70’s…but you can always not read the thing. Though that’s part of the problem: Sight and Sound knows that will power is a thing of the past, and that reading the film synopsis is almost the same as seeing the film itself. In effect, you watch 20-30 films a month by reading Sight and Sound. Unethical is an interesting word.
How to get there?
It’s easier than you think [if you’re a thinking person]. Get off at Yau Ma Tei MTR and skip out of exit C. Walk down the pavement behind the exit and turn left, ignore all the wretches and poor people, then turn right down the first road you come to. Cross two more roads and then veer left when you see a 7-11 or a steady flow of middle class people. Kubrick is next door to that.
Note: Kubrick Cafe is stuck in a seemingly eternal renovation period right now. They’ve said, ‘Start of November’, but that was one start of November ago. Never mind, just go there every weekend until it opens its doors again and you’ll get in eventually.