Highly qualified in things other then 'the Arts'; Carolyn's life long love of theatre, movies, comedy and music has meant that she has spent much of her life in dark rooms with strangers - sitting upright and paying attention.
So now - please sit upright and pay attention...
The audience of TIME STANDS STILL are welcomed into the home of Sarah and James, and into the rawness of relationships between physically and emotionally injured people; internal and external conflict, and naivety conversing with jaded worldliness. The Tap Gallery is currently home to a robust innovative production of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Don Margulies’ Tony award nominated play.
Sarah, a photo-journalist, and her boyfriend, James, a war-correspondent, are passionate about reporting on the world war zones. The play opens with them back home in Brooklyn, ‘grounded’ by injuries sustained in the Middle East. In their damaged condition, they attempt to regain domesticity which is starkly contrasted to their tales of chaos and danger in Iraq. James circumnavigates Sarah’s crutches as he attempts to cushion her and cover his sense of guilt. He had returned to the United States before Sarah’s accident, after suffering a breakdown. Continue reading TIME STANDS STILL @ THE TAP GALLERY→
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, has been written at a time where there are current media reports of suicides of young doctors and high levels of mental illness in the medical profession. There are frequent cases of ongoing workplace bullying and harassment and overwork.
The Seymour Centre is presenting this important verbatim play as part of The Big Anxiety -festival of arts + science + people; and the Great Ideas Performance Series 2017. Co-writers David Williams and Paul Dwyer in collaboration with the Sydney Arts & Health Collective have developed a harsh rendition of stories from many doctors and nursing staff from hospitals across NSW. Continue reading GRACE UNDER PRESSURE : THE MEDICAL PROFESSION UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT→
Chatswood Musical Society’s Australian premiere of the Broadway hit, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, music by Barbara Anselmi and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, is 90 minutes of non-stop hilarity. With his production of the show, Director James Worner has been able to spread the joy he felt when he saw the play on Broadway.
This is a roller coaster musical farce featuring nervous grooms, overbearing mums, unexpected guests, and the odd blushing bride.
The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic. Their mothers are gale force matriarchs. The audience related to, and many times laughed at, the familiar fears, expectations and tensions that come with family celebrations. As old relatives staggered about, young friends weaved in and out of the melee seeking reassurance. When the bride’s ex-boyfriend crashed the party, it was up to the sister of the bride to turn things around to enable the happy ending.Continue reading IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU : AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF A BROADWAY HIT MUSICAL→
A sense of fun and joie de vivre is the dominant theme in two current exhibitions at the Australian Design Centre (ADC) : Annie Gobel: Edge In and Chili Philly: Crochet Social. The ‘wearable sculptures” jewellery by Annie Gobel and colourful garment pieces by Chili Philly both intrigue and delight the senses.
Annie Gobel Edge In.
This exhibition is presented by the ADC in collaboration with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Annie is Indonesian born and Melbourne based. As well as exhibiting around Australia this young artist has recently exhibited in Japan.
Beginning with a thick bold outline, the jewellery is simply set against corrugated cardboard backdrops, which are closer to skin tones than stark white walls. The texture also lifts the works and allows pastel colours to shine. The objects are often candy coloured enamel and some of the playful pieces are made from toys. This renders them more tactile and enticing.
Chili Philly Crochet Social
Melbourne based artist Phil Ferguson goes by the name Chili Philly. His work is being exhibited in partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with one of the organisers describing it as ‘fun, camp and clever’.
Philly’s wearable art often takes the form of everyday objects, mainly food-related, which are transformed then captured as self-portraits and uploaded on Instagram. They sprang from the foods surrounding him in his earlier hospitality jobs.
The transformations use wool, acrylic and poly-filler. The video and photographic aspects are less self aggrandisement than an avenue naturally allowing his self deprecating humour to gain a wider audience.
His brightly coloured crocheted garments have gained a strong following on social media in the past few years, especially since March 2016 when this art became his full-time occupation.
At the launch of this exhibition the majority of the full house were obvious fans, many adorning food based head gear, crocheted and other. Their dedication was all the more extraordinary given the Sydney heatwave, as they queued for selfies with the creator.
Some serious trained crochet craftspeople wonder how he does it. He remarked that he started each work only knowing only one stitch, and he continued working to meet more people when new in town – hence the ‘social’ aspect.
Both exhibitions of jewellery and garments are fun and induce play. The Australian Design Centre organised kids’ and family workshops with the artists. Young attendees at the launches were impressed by the work. The exhibitions are truly fun for all ages.
The Australian Design Centre is located at 101-115 William Street Darlinghurst. The exhibitions are on display until the 15th March.
Featured image is from the Chili Philly Crochet Social exhibition. Pic by Simon Cardwell.
Terrapin Puppet Theatre presents sixty minutes of charming, poignant theatre, with this production, playing as part of this years’ Sydney Festival.
Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and directed by Sam Routledge, the tale is told through the words of 12 year-old Eve, the narrator/actor (Raelee Hill). She is supported by a digital artist (Cathy Wilcox), a composer/multi-instrumentalist (Dean Stevenson) and a projectionist/ puppeteer (Felicity Horsley) with overall design by Jonathan Oxlade.
“In the ocean stood an island” narrates Eve a child who unlike other Proud Circle Islanders wonders about things beyond the island. She describes life on the Proud Circle Island as it is concurrently illustrated by a digital artist with cartoon characters projected on a white back sheet.
Proud Circle Island life is changed when the Island springs a leak. There is debate over the cause and solution. After several attempts to work things out internally, they row the Island into other Island’s waters.
Eve is the one who comes up with the best idea for rescuing the Proud Circle, and it is children who make first direct contact with the people of the Long Cliff, the land which provides refuge for Proud Circle.
The story is told by narration and digital cartooning. A projectionist shines the spotlight on areas under focus. Puppetry is used to add characters and ocean swell in the foreground. There is ingenious use of a paper set that is shaped, torn, mended and moved in serious childlike play. A multi-instrumentalist provides the appropriate soundscape. Continue reading YOU AND ME AND THE SPACE BETWEEN @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE→
Featured image- A scene from the award winning feature film 4 KINGS.
The 15th German Film Fest is being heldon 15-29 November 2016 at Palace’s Chauvel and Norton Street cinemas in Sydney, as well as in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
The 36 films in this festival include features and documentaries, retro classics, kids films and were selected from 250 German language films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They include 25 Australian premieres, and films such as Dirty Games an investigative sports documentary; this year’s biggest box-office hit The Most Beautiful Day about two terminally ill patients who decide to go out with a bang on an African road trip; and James Franco starring in Wim Wenders’ 3D epic Everything Will Be Fine.
The Goethe-Institute Director, Sonja Griegoschewski declared that it is a “particularly inspiring year for women, both behind and in front of the camera with Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann (Winner of the FIPRESCI Grand Prix in Cannes), Doris Dorrie’s Fukushima, Mon Amour, Julia Jentsch in 24 Weeks, and many more.”
These others include 4 KINGS, the award winning feature debut from Theresa von Eltz, about four emotionally troubled teenagers from Hamburg who spend Christmas in a psychiatric unit.
Christmas is approaching, a time where there are societal messages of close happy families, of love, welcome gift giving and hope. It is also a time for reflection and contemplation. This film reveals lives in stark contrast to these messages and provides a contemplative air and time for viewer reflection.
In DIVALICIOUS –LICENCE TO TRILL, two devious divas apply James Bond tactics as they try to outwit, out sing and out trill each other.
Since they became nationally known in their DivaLicious performances on TV’s “Australia’s Got Talent” and “The Voice”, these two opera-trained sopranos, Fiona Cooper Smyth and Penny Shaw, have expanded their corporate repertoire and toured their two shows ‘Opera Rocks’ (reviewed in Sydney Arts Guide in 2015) and ‘Licence to Trill’.
Flirtatious and audacious, they flaunt their ambition and other attributes to capture variously the hearts, minds, votes and wallets of their audiences and audition judges.
Though operating as a duo, they each try to be the only diva on stage. They admit that they were and still are “divas-in-waiting” with the song, “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables. Continue reading DIVALICIOUS- LICENCE TO TRILL @ UTZON ROOM SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE→
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT is a black and white picture painting a vivid tale. One which could have descended into moral preaching, yet instead languidly transports the viewer along the Amazon River across time revealing moral and ethical codes for us to choose to learn and adopt or merely to observe. The landscape is beautiful yet hides brutalities on its banks.
The Colombian movie, nominated for a foreign-language Academy Award, weaves two parallel stories 30 years apart. The movie was inspired by the travel journals of ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grunberg and biologist Richard Evans Schultes. Continue reading EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT→
AT LAST – THE ETTA JAMES STORY saw its world premiere in 2013 and since then has played to packed theatres throughout Australia and New Zealand. Having recently completed a sell-out season at Arts Centre Melbourne the show came to the Sydney Opera House, for just one week.
Starring the sensational Vika Bull the show tells the story of soul legend Etta James turbulent life and features some of her most beloved songs including Tell Mama, It’s A Man’s World, I’d Rather Go Blind, her iconic signature song At Last and many more.
Vika puts her heart and soul into this unforgettable show and is joined on stage by The Essential R&B Band – seven talented, multi-instrumentalist musicians. At times their enthusiasm and the sound system encroached a little on Vika’s message.
On the night I went, the lighting lagged just behind the narrators as they moved forward to reveal another peak or trough in her tale. The backdrop of a few black and white period photographs, whilst appropriate, was a bit stagnant. More changes and a few more scenes in the backdrops may have added interest.
The arrangement of songs interspersed with narration flowed well, with the relatively low-key end of the two Acts being sealed by Vika’s high energy encore.
Etta’s story is an engrossing one. During a long career she won six Grammy Awards and a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Etta James influenced a vast array of artists from Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, to Amy Winehouse and Adele. Sadly, her frantic recording and touring schedule coincided with her ever-growing addiction problems including doing time in jail. She not only sang the blues…she lived the blues.
Mercifully, her passion for life and strength of character saw her conquer her demons and she continued to record and perform into her seventies. This is her story. The night ended with Vika receiving a standing ovation. I am sure she will have others, as Etta herself frequently enjoyed, over many decades of performing.
Featured pic- Rosemary Valadon – Sleepy Cat -Oil On Canvas.
This exhibition comes at a time when animal rights are becoming an increasingly significant issue and more and more city dwellers are adopting them as companions.
Michelle Perry, the gallery owner, has selected works which celebrate animals in their beauty, their grace and our connection with them. We love, eat, revere, abuse and anthromorphise them.
A diverse range of animals are displayed using a range of media, in a range of art forms that includes sculpture, drawing, painting and soft furnishings.
Artists that are featured include Suzanne Archer, Karen Barbouttis, Michelle Belgiorno, Danelle Bergstrom, Michael Esson, Geoff Harvey, Sylvia Ross, Luke Sciberras, Ian Smith, Rosemary Valadon, Emily Valentine and ARDMORE Ceramics.
Michael Esson’s etchings Animals of the Chinese Zodiac (numbers 1-x) is a crowd favourite and talking point. It is quirky and at times disturbing. A more political message is conveyed by his Feathered Rhino.
Also political are Sylvia Ross’s photographs of the Grey Squirrels from her Feral – Dislocated Series as the squirrels allegedly are being poisoned.
Karen Barbouttis draws a range of birds, donkeys, a dog and a camel in her various fine detailed works. Her use of colour and light makes them easy to view.
The way animals can exude amiability and distinct personalities, are shown in Geoff Harvey’s depiction of dogs and in the delicate lines of Danelle Bergstrom’s silkscreen print of a friend’s Siamese.
Rosemary Valadon’s oil artworks of cats reveal that even when sleepy, cats can still be unsettling, if not scary.
Michelle Belgiorno’sUntitled (Cat, Bird, Caterpillar) elicits a chilling feeling of foreboding.
A range of works from Ardmore Ceramics, comprising artists from the Drakensberg region of Natal in South Africa, demonstrate the use of vivid colours.
Different forms and function are presented including teapots, dishes and candlesticks. Frog Vase by George Manyathela & Msomi/Roux Gwala has yellow frogs ‘settled’ on green leaves yet still displaying significant energy and movement.
Both Elephant Monkey Jug by Sviso Mvelase & Sthabiso Hadebe and Warthog Teapot by Sviso Mvelase & Wiseman Ndlovu show dynamism, robustness and fecundity.
This is not a restful exhibition. There is plenty of motion, grace, beauty and humour. Foreboding and at times political, the messages are at different times- disturbing, pretty, quirky, classic, unsettling, robust, fecund and forlorn. Appealing and repulsive, we are drawn towards and away from the intensity of the works.
This enlivening exhibition of our fellow sentient beings, ANIMALS, continues until Sunday 26 June 2016 at SPOT81, 81 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday 11a.m. to 5p.m.
Every smart phone user is a photographer. See it all on Instagram! Whilst some photographers have been concerned about the impact of the social media, Michael Reid of Michael Reid Galleries surmises that the market for photography has been expanded and that good quality ‘percolates to the top’, clearly identifiable because it is rare.
Such quality is evident in Brock Elbank’s BEARD currently on at Michael Reid Gallery. Brock praises his foundation in film photography as underpinning the quality of his work. He has spent over 18 years as an advertising and portrait photographer in London, Sydney and US. Brock uses social media to source subjects, to obtain interim feedback and to market his work. Yet seeing the work in a gallery allows scale and light to touch the viewer in a way that social media images don’t. Eight images are on display in Sydney and a further five concurrently in Berlin, both exhibiting in Michael Reid Galleries. Continue reading BEARD- BROCK ELBANK @ MICHAEL REID GALLERY ELIZABETH BAY→
Cross media collaborations across states and countries are not that common and it is great to find an instance where it works and in this case on many different levels and senses.
THE SCENT OF PAINTING brings together the artist Alesandro Ljubicic, the Sydney-based florist, Mr Cook; the Brisbane-based perfumer, Damask Perfumery, and the bespoke scarf manufacturer Kmossed, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Alesandro Ljubicic uses his oils sculpturally, the scale and texture draws the viewer in wanting to approach and touch. When this is combined with the floating sensuality of the scarves, the perfume plus the comprehensively creative floral arrangements, beauty pervades.
There are still life floral paintings on stretched linen and gestural colour studies on birch boards. The exhibition features some 25 works on linen and 30 colour studies.
Ljubicic draws inspiration from a diverse selection of florists both nationally and internationally. For this exhibition, he has collaborated closely with floral designer Sean Cook.
A Magnolia theme was selected as it offered a wide colour palette. Ljubicic has placed his own interpretation on the floral arrangements, including rearranging the placement before applying his sumptuous paint. Often on a white background which makes the colour even more vibrant, but occasionally very dark blue backgrounds subdue the tone.
To complement this new body of work, Ljubicic, for the first time, has also created a unique magnolia infused scent and limited edition, hand-made scarves printed with his artwork. The scent from Damask Perfumery had several different versions before the final one was selected.
Alesandro Ljubicic summed up, “In essence I am creating a multi-layered experience that provokes all the senses. This new body of work moves beyond the canvas to explore new creative forms that the audience can interact with in an intimate way.”
The viewer may wish that one could walk through the gallery in a mist of Magnolia scent draped in the limited edition scarves.
This exhibition features truly beautiful, accessible and sensual art and made for a very memorable experience.
THE SCENT OF PAINTING is on exhibition between the hours of 11 and 5 Wednesdays to Saturdays at the Michael Reid Gallery, 44 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay until the 27th February.
Domestic abuse, corruption, criminality, quick bucks versus sustainable planet are just a few of the issues reflected in what is a surprisingly enjoyable play.
The play is set in Italy where everyone knows, “the anarchists are crazy, but better than the fascists”. Australian big-city Elle unexpectedly inherits an olive farm in Italy. She knew nothing of her father’s family before she arrived, and is seeking to make a quick buck before returning to Australia. Everyone appears to be stringing her along, often with humour, making the flashbacks to a violent past all the more brutal.
Daniela Giorgi, writer/producer, skilfully crafts this cross culture and class drama into an intriguing commentary about how little the characters really know about each other.
The play sees five characters interact in a rustic rural kitchen and form a loosely held together community under constant threat of breaking apart. Director Paul Gilchrist keeps the action flowing well.
Rebecca Mills’ set and costume design are appropriate, interesting and not too sparse. Liam O’Keefe manages seamless flashbacks and the passage of time through lighting shifts.
Whilst the actors are not Italian, authenticity is conveyed by all. In particular, Randa Sayed as Anna shows the quick changes of range of emotions including suspicion, disgust, pleasure, hope, anticipation, joy and secretiveness. Each character needs to ‘please’ Elle to get something from her.
With the many ideas and issues covered, achieving balance could have been a challenge. At times the message of sustainable agriculture may feel a bit over-emphasised to city audiences, but in all else Daniela has achieved a good balance.
Wolves are referred to in the play and Anna finally wishes Elle ‘In Bocca al Lupo’, meaning ‘In the Wolf’s Mouth’ or ‘Good Fortune’. It is a metaphor for coming out on top in the face of a difficult or challenging situation.
This was an enjoyable, satisfying, thoughtful production.
Daniella Giorgi’s THE POOR KITCHEN is currently playing at the Old 505 Theatre, Newtown until the 6th February.
Please note- The venue is in an old building and accessibility may be an issue for some.
Famous for assembling large numbers of bottle caps and various bits of aluminium attached with copper wire, Ghanaian-born artist El Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Working in Nigeria, his art is exhibited throughout the world including UK, USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Japan.
EL ANATSUI : FIVE DECADES is the first major retrospective shown in Australia. More than 30 works are displayed including ceramics, drawings, sculptures and woodcarvings alongside the representative large-scale installations. El purposely allows the curators freedom of installation. This means that each installation can be significantly different. El has said that if ‘art is life, life is not static and so art should be dynamic’. This allows opportunity for change and re-creation. At the micro level, discarded and damaged objects can be transformed into something new. Existence is fragile and transient. Continue reading EL ANATSUI : FIVE DECADES @ CARRIAGEWORKS→
A thought-provoking exhibition, When silence falls is currently showing at the Art Gallery of NSW until 1 May 2016. It presents works from artists across Australia and the world who speak for those often silenced by horrific massacres, displacement and political dictate. Their art is powerful and arguably more emotive and sensual than the written word, thus making this an important striking exhibition.
The artists are from Australia, Iran, South Africa, New Zealand, Columbia, Vanuatu and Pakistan and include Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Richard Bell, Paddy Bedford, Daniel Boyd, Fiona Hall, William Kentridge, Rusty Peters, Ben Quilty, Pedro Reyes, Doris Salcedo, Timmy Timms, Hossein Valamanesh, Kara Walker and Judy Watson. Continue reading WHEN SILENCE FALLS @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES→
Chinese contemporary Wuxi painting drawn from a rich history of porcelain art was brought to Sydney for the first time in November 2015. Initially shown at Gallery Klei in Sydney, the exhibition had previously successfully toured Britain, Taiwan and France. A VIP viewing was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney on 30 November 2015.
Whilst the history of blue and white porcelain dates back to the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907), the current exhibition adds contemporary abstract art and colour to the historical mix. The current technique of painting on porcelain sourced from the famed city of Jingdezhen, known as the capital of porcelain, has emerged only in the last thirty years.
The Wuxi Painting on Porcelain Exhibition, originally from the Quxi Qian Kiln at the Wuxi Hai Lin Culture Centre, featured 27 porcelain painted works by acclaimed Chinese painting and calligraphy artists including Wang Chao-Yong, Yang Yu-Qing and Gu Qin. Innovative young Chinese art entrepreneur Joseph Qian, 24, is the man who has brought this exhibition to Sydney. He is the General Manager of Wuxi Hailin Culture and Art Development Inc, committed to bringing the works of Wuxi porcelain artists to the world.
The majority of the pieces are by Wang Chao-Yong and demonstrate his breadth of skill, use of colour and design. It is hard to have a favourite. His Story of Spring includes shades of blue on the white with a touch of blossom, surrounding a female nude. The picture masks the layers of history showing the depiction of spring on porcelain. Another of his works uses the naked figure complementing the roundness of the bowl. He paints rich ripe coloured fruit in his Harvest Painting. This contrasts with his Lotus Painting which portrays two solitary slender plants reaching up and balancing the tall narrow neck piece. He readily utilises the blue lines to produce his Blue-White, a tumultuous maze-like Fantasy Painting.
The densest colour with glossy white blossoms appeared in Chen Ying’s famille rose Magpie on the plum tree. Chen Ying’s Flower Painting attracted much interest from viewers who commented on the fineness of the delicate petals on hard porcelain.
Gu Qin provided a number of pieces with blue white inscription painting. Yang Yu-Qing’s blue-white painting Strangers When We Meet shows a man in a tangle of vegetation making eye contact with a bird that appears slightly aggressive.
Also exhibiting are works by Shen Zi-Chun, Zhang Yun-Hua and Ye Jian-Xing, all top level artists. All boldly original and with distinctly individual style and each purposely selecting the porcelain shape to complement their brushwork and composition.
The combination of smooth porcelain shapes with contemporary painting and calligraphy which pays tribute to its historical past makes this exhibition a treat for art lovers. In Australia for a short time only.
Be prepared to experience happiness, chuckling, gasping and sober reflection as you stroll through the ANIMALS AND THEIR ART exhibition presented by The Sculptors Society. It runs until Sunday 29th November in the Art Space on The Concourse in Chatswood.
Thirty one pieces by twenty three artists involving joy, action, calm, drama, satire, political messages, grim reality, all appear through animal depiction using a wide variety of media. This review highlights a few of the pieces, though all have their own charm, message and often beauty. Continue reading THE SCULPTORS SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘ANIMALS AND THEIR ART’→
SOHO Galleries is holding its first ever photography exhibition after 20 years in operation. SOMEWHERE IN JAFFA by Australian photographer Nathan ‘Natti’ Miller is part of this year’s Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival. It is an attention-grabbing collection of black and white photographs showing the Israeli district’s vivid cultural identity.
Jaffa is part of Tel Aviv, one of the oldest cities in the world. It has a diverse population of Jews, Christians and Muslims and is a hub of culture, entertainment, food and tourism. With this exhibition Miller aims to capture the ambiance and the diversity of Jaffa, in its ethnicity, traditional and contemporary aspects.
In the photographer’s own words, “There are few places in the world where you see a person in a café, ask permission to photograph them, engage in a conversation with them and then end up being invited for a meal at their home. Jaffa is one of those places where this happened more than once.”
Nigel Messenger, Director of SOHO Galleries was thrilled with having Nathan Miller and this first photo exhibition at the Gallery. “Somewhere in Jaffa perfectly captures unique moments and the relationships between people and places”.
It is notable that the photographs are all untitled. This recognises that each photo contains a multiplicity of perspectives. People are co-located but apart, diverse in their backgrounds and current experience. One photograph can depict smiles, concern, discomfort, cheekiness, fatigue and more.
People, streets and buildings contribute to the experience. Their place and movement suggests history yet transience.
This photographic exhibition shows that black and white can be warm and colourful. There are many varied smiles and hinted colour of garments and marketplaces. The photos may be of the commonplace but are never banal, and the viewer leaves enriched.
As well as the opportunity to view and purchase individual photographs in the exhibition, there are also two books of Millers’ photography available for purchase- Somewhere in Jaffa and Notes from the Mississippi Delta.
SOMEWHERE IN JAFFA is exhibiting at the Soho Galleries, 104 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo until 5th June 2015.
For a titillating night of mirth and seduction taking place within the world of magic, you cannot go past THE NAKED MAGICIANS. Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler are performing their 90 minute show at the Concourse in Chatswood from the 7th to the 9th May as part of the 2015 Sydney Comedy Festival.
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, Noah Baumbach’s comedic mid-life crisis film rotates around a bromance between Josh, a mid forties documentary maker and film lecturer played by Ben Stiller, and his new buddy, the cool mid twenties student Jamie, played by Adam Driver.
Baumbach has been praised for insight into the generation gap between Generation X and the rise of the Millennials. The lead actors, Ben Stiller, Adam Driver, Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried, aim to portray this well. Yet the setting, storyline and characters tend to constrain any genuine character development The characters are stereotypical, white and privileged.
They have expensive New York apartments, there are ‘mommy-and-me’ music lessons for mothers and babies, hip-hop classes and black-tie dinners. Jamie demonstrates privileged narcissism and manipulative behaviours and this is forgiven because he is just being young. Continue reading While We’re Young→
Filmmaker Tim Burton grew up with paintings of waif like children with saucer sized dark haunting eyes. These paintings were popular in the 1960s. In his film, BIG EYES, Burton reveals the drama behind the career of the painter, Margaret Keane. Her paintings were extremely popular despite being derided as ‘kitsch’ by art critics. The sales success was due to the efforts of Margaret’s husband, Walter, a tireless self-promoter.
Margaret (Amy Adams) meets Walter (Christopher Waltz) who has taken a stand next to hers at a San Francisco outdoor art market. She is trying to support herself and her daughter after leaving her first husband. The two get married quickly, but it is their business relationship which dominates their lives. Walter becomes the salesman-at-large, appearing with celebrities and on national television. Margaret stays at home, retreating to her studio to continually produce paintings of children with big eyes. Continue reading Big Eyes→
Love, ageing and losing one’s home underpin this character focused film written by Mauricio Zacharias and Ira Sachs who also directs.
The two main protagonists are gay but their trials resonate with all who have been in love.
The score is laden with Chopin’s works and provides the drifting rhythm of the story.
George (Alfred Molina) is a music teacher who comments vigorously on the playing of Chopin by one of his students. The grace of the music is personified by the nearly 40 year commitment of Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) who decide to tie the knot with an idyllic wedding ceremony that takes place in lower Manhattan. Continue reading Love is Strange→
It may be surprising to find out that Chippendale boasts more than just the White Rabbit Art Gallery. In fact there are about 16 art galleries dotted through the area. This is a major surge from the lonely NG Art Gallery opened just 8 years ago.
Nicky Ginsberg is the founder/director of the NG Art Gallery and president of the Chippendale Creative Precinct (CCP). She is passionate about transforming and promoting the area to make Chippendale Sydney’s answer to New York’s Chelsea. The CCP commenced free monthly guided art walks on 7 March 2015 lasting around 2 hours through 5 of the 16 art galleries. It is anticipated that the walks will be from 2-4.30pm on the first Saturday of every month and rotate through different galleries over the year. Both gallery directors and featured artists talk at each gallery with plenty of time for viewing, buying and questions. This is an interesting enlightening intimate art experience which enhances viewing pleasure and provides the artists with immediate feedback. Continue reading Chippendale Creative Precinct Comes Alive→
Just a block from Bondi Beach is the Bondi Art Lounge, an artists’ space to paint and exhibit. It opened in July 2014 increasing the number of art galleries in Curlewis Street.
Sally Belcher (originally from Melbourne) opened doors for artists painting at home who needed easing in with the next step. Most hadn’t backed themselves and hadn’t exhibited before.
This Creative Hub includes a coffee lounge and Creative Art classes. Located at 151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach, it is open 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm. The space is light, open and welcoming. Unfortunately, for the time being it is not wheelchair accessible.
For a good chuckle, see WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY. This inter-generational comedy reflects back to the audience familiar family chaos among issues of loyalty, honesty, keeping up appearances, how much you protect children and whether it really matters in the end anyway.
Set in the scenic north of Scotland, the smooth rolling green landscape and score belies the family conflicts ahead.
Doug and Abi take their three children on a car trip for a big family gathering for his father Gordie’s 75th birthday. The biggest secret they are trying to hide is that they are divorcing. This film unravels this and other secrets, much to the horror of their eldest daughter, Lottie, who diarises the many lies told by her parents. Continue reading What We Did on Our Holiday→