All posts by Izabella Staskowski

A Melbourne based writer and photographer, Izabella Staskowski is completing a Bachelor of Journalism at RMIT - majoring in Literature. Izabella has studied theatre and photography over a number of years, and has grown up surrounded with visual and performing art. In her spare time she can be found at a live music concert, gallery or at a production.

NEW KAYNE WEST MURAL APPEARS IN MELBOURNE

A new Kanye West mural has appeared in the Melbourne suburb of Cremorne.

The mural adds to the increasing list of large-scale celebrity inspired pieces that have appeared across Australia over the past year.

Visible to public transport commuters between South Yarra and Richmond stations, the piece by local artist Lushlux is in reference to West’s music video Famous, which premiered on TIDAL a few months ago.

Snider Lane in Melbourne
Snider Lane in Melbourne

Other notable pieces of this kind include Lushlux’s RIP Taylor Swift Mural in Hosier Lane and his Kim Kardashian Emily Ratajkowski liberated selfie piece in Sniders Lane. Scott Marsh’s Kanye loves Kanye piece in Sydney also made headlines earlier this year, as he was allegedly given $100,000 by West’s management to remove the piece.

Hosier Lane has been home to many famous pieces
Hosier Lane has been home to many famous pieces

There is no telling how long this new work will stay up for, with the nipples in the image already having been censored with Kimoji’s.

As Lushlux told SMH “It had to become a more ‘family friendly’ mural, people seem to get very triggered by nipples these days.”.

 

MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2017 SEASON

John Bell AO will play the lead role in Florian Zeller’s ‘The Father’, one of the featured productions in the MTC’s 2017 season.
John Bell AO will play the lead role in Florian Zeller’s ‘The Father’, one of the featured productions in the MTC’s 2017 season.

The Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC)  is to premiere 3 new Australian plays in it’s 12 part 2017 season.

Launched on the weekend by Artistic Director Brett Sheehy in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, the 3 plays – written by Joanna Murray-Smith, Eddie Perfect and Lally Katz – sparked a special kind of excitement in event attendees.

Alongside them is a diverse selection of local and international work that is sure to delight an array of both new and continuing theatregoers.

There were, of course, a few standouts presented in this weekend’s launch.

According to Sheehy, Michael Frayn‘s Noises Off  is “considered by many to be the funniest play ever written”.  Actor Louise Siverson presented the play to subscribers, in a depiction that was nothing short of hilarious. Noises Off will be playing mid year, throughout July and August and will definitely be the comedic relief of next years cohort.

The Father by Florian Zeller is also a promising standout. The intriguing french play has garnered world wide acclaim, and the MTC is rightly bringing it to Australian shores. With John Bell AO playing the lead, it is an understatement to say that audiences are in for a treat – with Sheehy suggesting this could be the performance of Bell’s lifetime. This performance will be co-produced with Sydney Theatre Company. Not to be missed, The Father will premiere in November of 2017.

For the first time in 5 years, the MTC will be showing a Shakespearean tragedy. Sheehy, who has been directing the company in this time, said “In my view you never tackle Shakespeare lightly.” Therefore, Macbeth will be directed by Simon Phillips, who has allegedly waited  5 years for the “planets to align” in anticipation of this play. Phillip’s is remembered as directing Richard III andHamlet in previous MTC seasons. Although the full casting announcement is still to come, audiences can gear up for the June/July when this mammoth of a play will be presented.

In addition to this weekend’s season launch, the MTC also announced a few major successes in their social justice projects. They were proud to announce that in accordance to their Women In Theatre motion, 7 of the 12 plays in the 2017 season are written by women, and 5 are to be directed by women.

The 2017 Season will bring something fresh and dramatic to audiences, and is definitely worth travelling to Melbourne for!

Subscribers can access tickets now, however ticketing for the general public will be available in early March and can be booked through the MTC website.

MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2017 SEASON

THE FATHER
John Bell AO will play the lead role in Florian Zeller’s ‘The Father’, one of the featured productions in the MTC’s 2017 season.

The Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC)  is to premiere 3 new Australian plays in it’s 12 part 2017 season.

Launched on the weekend by Artistic Director Brett Sheehy in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, the 3 plays – written by Melbourne’s own Joanna Murray-Smith, Eddie Perfect and Lally Katz – sparked a special kind of excitement in event attendees.

Alongside them is an exciting selection of local and international work that is sure to delight an array of both new and continuing theatregoers.

There were, of course, a few standouts presented in this weekend’s launch.

According to Sheehy, Michael Frayn‘s Noises Off  is “considered by many to be the funniest play ever written”.  Actor Louise Siverson presented the play to subscribers, in a depiction that was nothing short of hilarious. Noises Off will be playing mid year, throughout July and August and will definitely be the comedic relief of next years cohort.

The Father by Florian Zeller is also a promising standout. The intriguing french play has garnered world wide acclaim, and the MTC is rightly bringing it to Australian shores. With John Bell AO playing the lead, it is an understatement to say that audiences are in for a treat – with Sheehy suggesting this could be the performance of Bell’s lifetime. This performance will be co-produced with Sydney Theatre Company. Not to be missed, The Father will premiere in November of 2017.

For the first time in 5 years, the MTC will be showing a Shakespearean tragedy. Sheehy, who has been directing the company in this time, said “In my view you never tackle Shakespeare lightly.” Therefore, Macbeth will be directed by Simon Phillips, who has allegedly waited  5 years for the “planets to align” in anticipation of this play. Phillip’s is remembered as directing Richard III and Hamlet in previous MTC seasons. Although the full casting announcement is still to come, audiences can gear up for the June/July when this mammoth of a play will be presented.

In addition to this weekend’s season launch, the MTC also announced a few major successes in their social justice projects. They were proud to announce that in accordance to their Women In Theatre motion, 7 of the 12 plays in the 2017 season are written by women, and 5 are to be directed by women.

The 2017 Season will bring something fresh and dramatic to audiences, and is definitely worth travelling to Melbourne for!

Subscribers can access tickets now, however ticketing for the general public will be available in early March and can be booked through the MTC website.

Continue reading MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2017 SEASON

OSCAR WILDE’S THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE

 

The Student with the Red Rose
The Student with the Red Rose

In 2010, acclaimed artist Del Kathryn Barton and renown filmmaker Brendan Fletcher had a casual conversation about working Barton’s series of Oscar Wilde inspired artworks into a short film.

Six years later, Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose, was born.

Currently showing at ACMI, the 14-minute adaption of Wilde’s tale of the same title is now open to the public.

The film took three years to produce with Barton and Fletcher working closely with award-winning post-production house, Method Studios. The team used a mix of handmade props and post-production animation techniques to meticulously craft the piece.

What they have created is an intense and beautiful rendition of Wilde’s original, featuring a chilling score by Sarah Blasko and the voices of some of Australia’s most celebrated actors including Geoffrey Rush and Mia Wasikowska. Continue reading OSCAR WILDE’S THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE

SUICIDE SQUAD

 

Margot Robbie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Kinnaman, Will Smith, Karen Fukuhara and Jai Coutney for Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Kinnaman, Will Smith, Karen Fukuhara and Jai Coutney in Suicide Squad

The hype for David Ayer’s DC film Suicide Squad has been incredible.

With a two year lead up and countless trailers, it seemed that the film was to be a sure fire cult classic.

But this was not to be.

People excitedly poured into Australian pre-screenings earlier this week, and although hardcore fans did laugh at the jokes there was a clear sense of disappointment in the air.

Critics have been trashing the movie online, and it’s IMBd rating has been dropping rapidly.

So why was the movie bad?

Summed up into three categories, the answer is: pace, characterisation and explanation. Continue reading SUICIDE SQUAD

DAVID BROMLEY’S SOUTH YARRA HOME OPEN TO PUBLIC

David Bromley is a prominent Australian artist, known internationally for his Female Nude series and daring bold style – using colour and whimsical subject matter to communicate his perception of the human experience.

His South Yarra house was open to the public over last weekend, in light of the Leonard Joel auction. The unique property is situated in the heart of Chapel street, and is not only home to an eclectic mix of works but also breathes opulence through it’s architectural narrative. These are some of the photos that I took of this extraordinary property and some of its unique possessions.

 

 

FRIDAY ON MY MIND WITH GREG MCLEAN @ ACMI

ACMI- seconde
Photos (c) Izabella Staskowski.

 

How an unknown director created an Australian horror franchise and is now helping others to accomplish similar feats.

Greg McLean is the man behind Wolf Creek. He wrote, directed and produced the 2005 film that went on to world wide acclaim.

McLean spoke to James Hewison at Friday on My Mind: Melbourne, presented by ACMI and AFTRS. The hour-long event was attended by cinephiles and aspiring directors – eager to learn more about McLean’s humble beginnings.

Whilst writing Wolf Creek, McLean was broke and sleeping under a couch in the office he rented. Ironically, at the same time he wrote three other scripts – a romantic comedy, drama and what would become Rogue.

He admitted to the audience, that Wolf Creek wasn’t intentionally a horror film.

“I was not trying to make a horror movie but I accidentally made a good horror movie because I was trying to be truthful”

McLean wanted to create a Hitchcock style thriller with an Australian horror icon, “so good that Geoffrey Rush would play the mad man”.

The result is Mick Taylor, played by John Jarrett, who McLean describes as “Slim Dusty meets Mick Dundee”.

From both a narrative and cinematic perspective, there is clear reference to McLean’s country Victoria upbringing in his work. He says it’s this unexpected rawness that initially fascinated overseas viewers.

His “dirty little horror film” found great success in Sundance and Cannes before it was shown on Australian shores.

He says Australia wasn’t ready for the film, and needed it to be accepted overseas first.

Almost 10 years on, Wolf Creek has become a franchise – with a sequel and new 6 part series on Stan.

The series aims to flip the horror genre on its head, with a female hero chasing Mick Taylor across the outback.

McLean says he knew the protagonist had to be female, not only “because you can’t do the same trick twice”, but also to give power to female heroines in an otherwise clichéd genre.

This humble yet seasoned director understands what it’s like for young people aspiring to make their mark in the arts.

“I get frustrated for other people sometimes… I try and help”

This has lead him to executively produce emerging director Abe Forsythe’s new film Down Under, which is set to centrepiece the Melbourne Film Festival.

The film satirically tackles racism in the Cronulla riots.

Currently, McLean is directing Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film is in its final stages of production and will be released in 2017.

FRIDAY ON MY MIND runs from early March to the end of October each year. The free talks are held at AFTRS in Sydney and ACMI in Melbourne.

 

FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA EXHIBITION @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Kahlo-main

FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA, presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is a story of love.

The 33 artworks presented in the exhibition open a door to the enigmatic relationship between the two artists.

Sourced from the private collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman, the exhibition follows the linear development of Kahlo and Rivera as activists, lovers and creatives.

Rivera, who is said to have influenced Picasso, was already an established muralist when Kahlo met him. She became his student and further his wife in 1929, ensuing a famously volatile marriage that is present especially in her work.

The linear nature of the exhibition allows viewers to see how both artist’s individual style developed over time.

Viewers see Rivera’s earlier cubist pieces progress to the more unique, thick,colourful aesthetic he is known for in his large-scale canvas paintings.

It is also exposed that Kahlo’s surrealistic portraits have their roots in earlier work, exemplified by the pencil sketches she created whilst Rivera worked on commissioned murals.

Kahlo and Rivera’s works are hung side by side at eye level on white walls, with standouts pieces – such as Self Portrait with Monkeys 1943 – showcased on walls of bold colour.

The exhibition is broken up with over 50 photo-journalistic prints and comprehensive time-lines detailing Kahlo and Rivera’s lives with political and social reference.

The prints are especially captivating as they welcome viewers into private moments of both passion and sorrow.

Towards the end of the exhibition is a series of multi media pieces and draft like sketches, which reveal creative processes the artist’s have taken to reach their finished works.

Concluding the exhibition is a room containing three projected screens. Viewers are welcomed to sit down and take in the silence of the projections – rolling both black and white and colour footage.

The exhibition takes a full hour to go through, but is a beautiful celebration of the life and love of the “elephant and the dove”.

FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA will be showing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 25 June – 9 October 2016. Tickets can be bought online or at the gallery itself.

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/frida-kahlo-and-diego-rivera/

DAVID HARE’S ‘SKYLIGHT’ @ SOUTHBANK THEATRE

MTC SKYLIGHT photo Jeff Busby_1395 (1)
Production photography by Jeff Busby.

SKYLIGHT  is an argument. It’s the aftermath of what lies beyond.

Kyra (Anna Samson) faces her past as it barges through her dingy council flat door.

She is the ghost of an affair that destabilized Tom (Colin Friels) and his late wife Alice, who were once Kyra’s employers and in a way, family.

It is difficult to say whether the contemporary classic is a love story or a battle of juxtapositions. Tom is Kyra’s direct antithesis –a representation of business and age where-as she is the cold youth and the public. His son, Edward, (Toby Wallace) who both opens and closes the performance, can be seen as potential. He can follow the path of his wealthy father, or estrange himself from privilege, and like Kyra, face the reality of the world.
Continue reading DAVID HARE’S ‘SKYLIGHT’ @ SOUTHBANK THEATRE