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Books are many things to many people, from status symbols to life-savers to dangerous portals to unwanted experiences, but few of us get to see them born. This charming short offers a swift tour of the Smith Settle printing and bookbinding company in Leeds, in the north of England, where books are still made the old-fashioned way. The director Glen Milner charts each step in the process as bookbinders piece together a new hardbound edition of the memoir Mango and Mimosa (1974) by the British writer and painter Suzanne St Albans. From folding pages to sewing and gluing paper to the leather spine, skilful human hands are front and centre throughout. Milner documents this melding of mechanics and craft with an almost musical rhythm, conveying skills and methods born of centuries of refinements.
Director: Glen Milner
A song of ice, fire and jelly – exploring the physics and history of the trumpet
Tour the European architecture that dreamed of a wondrous, fictitious China
Trek alongside spiritual pilgrims on a treacherous journey across Pakistan
Thinkers and theories
Photographs offer a colonialist window to the past – one that must be challenged
Animals and humans
An artist and ants collaborate on an exhibit of ‘tiny Abstract Expressionist paintings’
How a curious question about colouring maps changed mathematics forever
The rise and fall of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong’s infamous urban monolith
Inside the unique creative space where ‘outsider’ artists find their form
A dreamy tribute to the music of Brian Eno, rendered in paint, soap and water