Many years ago a film caused a bit of excitement among film lovers in Poland. The word on the street was that Mike Figgis, known only for his musical career, had made a film with a Polish jazz band in it. Everyone was intrigued – why and how. There was anticipation, there was doubt. The film was released and we could finely see Krakow Jazz Ensemble. As it turned out they were actually Brits playing Poles (hahaha) but there were Poles in the film as well, speaking Polish.
About a moth ago I had a pleasure to watch ‘Stormy Mondays’ again. It was screened before the concert of all the musicians from ‘Krakow Jazz Ensemble’ playing the soundtrack from the film.
And I have to say, I loved it.
The film is based in Newcastle. It’s a story about a club owner (Sting), a young man (Sean Bean) who starts working for him and gets involved in dodgy affairs. He also falls in love with an American girl (Melanie Griffith) and crosses paths with a corrupted Texan businessman (Tommy Leigh Jones) who also happen to control the girl and wanting to take over the club.
The story, which is a bit of a homage to ‘Get Carter’, is not important. The most important thing about the film is the atmosphere, the way it was shot, great, great cinematography by Roger Deakins (probably my favourite cinematographer) and costumes (especially Griffith’s). There are my favourite 80s night scenes with wet pavement and lights reflecting on the surface, gloomy shots, constant rain and amazing music composed by Figgis himself. The film is imperfect and that’s what makes it perfect. Its imperfections make it less polished which suits the story, making it more gritty and real. But the cinematography, music and the atmosphere make the film magical.
There is also a sub story with the avant-garde Polish jazz band coming to UK to play in Sting’s club. There is a brilliant scene where the musicians are taken to Newcastle Polish Community Centre which involves dancing, music and drinking, also lots of untranslated speaking in Polish. The story goes that Mike Figgis knew all the band members and promised them that when one day he makes his own film, they would be all in it.
I still haven’t found out why they were Polish (although Poland produced some fine jazz musicians) but it is a quarky and funny addition.
So on a stormy Monday why not start the day with pancakes. These are gluten free and frankly, quite delicious.
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup coconut milk (or any plant based milk)
1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
1 tsp lucuma (optional, but adds great berry flavour)
coconut oil for frying
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix using hand mixer. You can add more milk if you prefer your pancakes less thick.
- Heat your frying pan, melt coconut oil. Fry pancakes in batches.
- Serve with maple syrup and lemon juice .