Festivals

ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2017

 

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will return to Palace Cinemas throughout March and April with a host of contemporary movies and documentaries exemplifying the very best of France’s vibrant film industry. 

Brimming with highlights, the 2017 event will present 45 films, unveiling the artistry of renowned directors ranging from Emmanuelle Bercot, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Nicole Garcia, Benoît Jacquot and Mia Hansen-Løve, to Philippe Lioret, Martin Provost, Jérôme Salle, Bertrand Tavernier and Roschdy Zem.

Helming the Festival for the first time, Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, has assembled a brilliant programme encompassing romance, adventure, comedy, historical tales, thrillers and dramas, that will be showcased across 10 aptly named sections, incorporating many Australian première screenings. Continue reading ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2017

A QUIRKY DOUBLE BILL @ SYDNEY’S BEAUTIFUL DARLING HARBOUR

Darling Harbour is always a colourful, multi-cultural melting pot on any given weekend. This was very much the case when we visited one lovely Sunday afternoon in early February.

Ben had plenty of opportunities to use his camera with two events taking place on a lovely Sunday afternoon-  the RTX fans convention and the annual Serbian Festival, now in its 5th year.

The Cosplayers at the RTX fans convention

The RTX fans convention, held at one of Darling Harbour’s main convention centres, was a time for Cosplayers to get together and do their  thing. Their shtick is to get dressed up and act as characters from a range of video games, cartoons, movies, and television shows.

This was very much a young person’s scene, and my God did the kids really get into it. The costumes, the make-up, the expressions were all wonderfully over the top.

We moved on from this bright world of fantasy to soon find ourselves immersed in the fascinating and proud Serbian culture.

The Serbian Cultural Festival 2017

A large stage/bandstand area was set up and there were a host of musicians entertaining audiences through the day and into the evening. The highlight was the folk dancing, as young women, dressed up in traditional garb, danced together.

There were plenty of stalls set up around the Festival grounds, a  large marque for people to mingle and relax and have a break from the sun, and there was even a mini tennis court which proved very popular with families. This was definitely a nod to the most famous Serbian tennis player of all, one Novak Djokovic.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

 

CHINESE NEW YEAR : 28 JANUARY – 12 FEBRUARY 2017

The Chinese community usually holds a huge parade down George Street but due to the construction of the light rail their substitute cultural expression is manifested in a display of lanterns depicting the Chinese signs of the Zodiac.

As it is the Year of the Rooster the lantern took pride of place by the Opera House and there have been various sculptures of the Rooster throughout the city including the QVB.

The Rooster always has its beak facing east towards the dawn and so Chinese people born under the sign of the Rooster look to the future with optimism and confidence.

Images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

TROPFEST 2017 : 25 YEARS STRONG

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c). Featured image of Matt Day receiving his award. Among the onlookers are Rose Byrne and Will Gluck.

TROPFEST, in its 25th year, survived the heatwave that spread over the Sydney region on the weekend.

Matt Day was announced as this year’s winner with the Festival taking place at its new venue at Parramatta Park.

The winning film was  The Mother Situation  which tells the comedic story of three adult siblings who assist their terminally ill mother to commit suicide.

The 16 finalist films went head to head to take out the top prize, chosen by the impressive lineup of judges, which included Head of Jury, Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, X-Men: Apocolypse, upcoming Peter Rabbit), George Miller (Academy Award Winner, Mad Max: Fury Road), Sam Neill (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jurassic Park, upcoming Peter Rabbit), Rachel Perkins (Bran New Dau,upcoming Jasper Jones), Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Wild, TV’s upcoming Big Little Lies) and Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits, upcoming Peter Rabbit). Continue reading TROPFEST 2017 : 25 YEARS STRONG

Cementa17 – contemporary arts festival in Kandos

The contemporary arts festival Cementa is back for 2017, offering an entirely FREE four-day showcase of independent and experimental arts spread across the New South Wales post industrial town of Kandos from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 April.

Cementa17 will present the work of over 60 artists at the vanguard of Australia’s creative community and artist collectives. Since its debut in 2013, Cementa has grown to become a popular destination event with its total focus on arts, community and the environment.

Cementa is an independent not-for-profit Australian cultural festival event that takes place in Kandos, a small regional town located on the side of Coombermelon Mountain between Lithgow and Mudgee in Central West NSW. The region provides the backdrop to which artists make, exhibit and perform work relating to the social, historical, or environmental context of the town and its surrounds.

A unique festival experience, Cementa17 will offer four days and nights of performance, sound, cabaret, interactive and electronic arts, video, installation, painting, photograpy and ceramics spread across more than twenty venues. Artworks will pop-up in Kandos’ shopfronts, cafes, on the streets, in the local museum & nursery, at parks, garages, cars, backyards, the tennis courts, a golf club, community halls, church yards and for the first time beyond the town perimeter to include two new satellite sites – the natural arena of Ganguddy, (Dunns Swamp picnic grounds and nearby Bird’s Hut) and a local farming property, Marloo.

Building on the success of the previous two festivals, Cementa celebrates the state of Australian contemporary art across the spectrum of practice, from emerging to established, from urban to regional.

Highlights include: A performance by ‘Dauntless Movement Crew’, a Fairfield Parkour, hip-hop and tricking team that will adapt their technique to the unique pagoda rock formations at the stunning landscape at Ganguddy (Dunn’s Swamp).

‘Super Critical Mass’ – a large-scale found object orchestra composed of regional choristers with up to 40 participants performing in The Kandos Community Hall.

‘Correspondence of Imaginary Places’ – an exchange of work between seven Australian artists with seven New York artists, (with the Australian work being installed in Manhattan and the New York artist’s work being installed in an historical hut outside of Kandos).

Artist John A. Douglas remaking scenes from sci-fi classic, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, adapted to the local landscape.

Installations from acclaimed Aboriginal artist Tony Albert and a portrait series by legendary documentary photographer, Mervyn Bishop, plus much much more.

Cementa17 is a celebration of contemporary art in Australia and of the small town that hosts it – developed and fostered by three creative directors who live and work in the region: Ann Finegan, Christine McMillan and Alex Wisser.

info@cementa.com.au

DATES
6th – 9th April 2017

For more about cementa17 – contemporary arts festival, visit https://www.cementa.com.au
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SHORT+SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK THREE @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

 

Every week of the Festival which runs from January to March, Short and Sweet features brilliant new plays with the very best  returning to compete in March in the Gala Finals.

This very successful and now international ten minute play Festival is now in its sixteenth  year.

Festival Director Wayne Tunks chose just nine plays to be included in Week 3 with every play being very good in its own way. It was a treat to have four wonderful comic delights included in this selection. Continue reading SHORT+SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK THREE @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCH

Diversity within the LGBTIQ community? Search no further than the 24th Mardi Gras Film Festival program. Curated by Queer Screen, the range of topics and genres is truly impressive.

At the season launch last night, Queer Screen’s President Lisa Rose spoke about their mission to provide a “celebration of queer storytelling on screen”. Inclusive, respectful stories full of creativity, inspiration and pride.

There are big big films and there are small big films and everything in between. Like MOONLIGHT  which has just been nominated in several categories including Best Picture for the 2017 Oscars. There is singalong, a smellovison 3 D FINDING DORY for the rainbow family and even mystery movie plus more superb international and home-grown documentaries, dramas, romances etc than you can poke a glitter wand at.

Then there are the shorts. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Asia/Pacific shorts all have showings and if this doesn’t suit there is even an evening of Mixed Shorts. Continue reading MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCH

DON’T CALL ME SON

DON’T CALL ME SON is an intimate film. The story, the characters, the setting … all personal.  The filmmaking… close-up and exclusive of clutter in dialogue, plot and technique.  One of the films chosen for Queer Screen’s 24th Mardi Gras Film Festival, this offering from Brazil, subtitled from the Portuguese, has been on the Festival Circuit since its premier at the Berlin Film Festival in February last year.  At that event it won the Teddy which Berlinale’s site calls ‘the most outstanding queer film prize in the world’.  It was in Australia for last year’s Melbourne Film Festival and has been selected for 20 Festivals from Transatlantyk to Ljubljana.

True to the intimacy which pervades the film, the film’s protagonist is in tight shot as we follow him through a party before the credits. The colours pulse blue and sexy, the music thumps distantly and he is wearing a confusingly closely feathered bird headpiece.  He accepts an intimate hug from a male partner and a deep kiss from a female dancer.  Then the realism sets in.  Suddenly he and the girl are having sex in a starkly white, brightly lit bathroom.  As the camera tilts down from the activity it is clear that he is wearing lacy female underwear. Continue reading DON’T CALL ME SON

FORM DANCE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘CHAMPIONS’ @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Production photography by Heidrun Lohr.

CHAMPIONS is a stonkingly good dance work … with the common touch.

It’s a large scale work with 11 dancers filling a field of dreams inside the vast space and it begins like any large scale sporting event with the team captain interview.  Sports presenter, Mel McLaughlin, well known to viewers as one of the anchors of Seven’s Olympic coverage, is on the screen wall which dominates the upstage area of the arena.  She is interviewing Carlee Mellow and we get a team update on the selections for today’s match.

Pre-game, a suitably comic and silly swan mascot has entertained the large and vocal crowd to a pounding pizzicato on the soundtrack and the audience is ready for the action.  At interval she reappears in a circular lake of light … I loved that! There are cheers and claps as the players wander on with their yoga mats to warm up.  In the same way that everyone’s a sports fan during the Olympics, this work begins with expert coverage to inform and guide us.  Mellow and McLaughlin go through each dancer stats, temperament and what they bring to the line-up while a manufactured playing, smiling, concentrating image of each woman fills the screen. Continue reading FORM DANCE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘CHAMPIONS’ @ CARRIAGEWORKS

NICOLE LIZEE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA @ RECITAL HALL

 The Sydney Festival promises quality collaboration and a celebration of cutting-edge creativity. Nicole Lizée’s innovative program of manipulated image and music fulfils this promise several times over.

The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) , which started under the leadership of Paul Grabowsky, is seen here obviously thrilled to work on stage with the award winning composer. In the two works it plays in, the orchestra boldy realises Lizee’s reworkings of sound and scenic fragments from popular TV, film and karaoke film clips.

For an event which champions the Canadian turntablist and composer’s clever manipulation of elements, the title is also tweaked from Steven Soderbergh’s popular 1989 comedy, Sex, Lies and Videotape to describe Lizee’s twentieth century influences.

During the opening Lynch’s Etudes, on a screen above the stage we see small excerpts from the TV and film classics of David Lynch. These are reworked through savage reiteration, visual scratching and dragging. Time and vocal pitch in scenes from Wild At Heart, Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks are also warped heavily. Continue reading NICOLE LIZEE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA @ RECITAL HALL

URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘HOME COUNTRY’

As the wafting smoke from the Welcome to Country drifts through the audience it seems to help me focus. It envelops so that the traffic speeding past seems distant. The smoke is pungent and yet soothing. It heightens my senses and increases my receptivity, yet several times during HOME COUNTRY I find little moments of wondering why I feel … whatever it is I am feeling.

HOME COUNTRY is the latest work from Urban Theatre Projects with Blacktown Arts Centre as part of the Sydney Festival. It is staged in Blacktown; it has three stories in a multi-storey carpark; it has a culturally diverse creative team of, writers, musicians, advisors, designers. But it is the actors who do the job here. They are a wonderful cast.

The first characters we meet are from the story BLACKTOWN ANGELS (Andrea James). Angel (Shakira Clanton) has been guarding the audience for quite a while, perched over us on the edge of one of the car park levels. What a presence this actor has. And then she begins to sing. What a voice! The words are unfamiliar but so beautifully rendered to be as enveloping as that smoke. Continue reading URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘HOME COUNTRY’

SHORT+ SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK TWO @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

 

Short and Sweet Theatre Sydney is the largest festival of ten minute plays in the world. Now in its 16th year, the festival takes place over a period of three months starting in January each year. Around 160 brand new scripts by Australian and international writers, will be performed during the festival. Spoilt for choice, with nine brand new plays this week:-

1 – T3 Trojan

ITC presented by Bare Bones Theatre Co.

Written and Directed by Judith Duncan

Cast: Karishma Mathur

Very entertaining, dramatic injustice monologue of woman versus machine, with essential content very reminiscent of “Fahrenheit 451” and “Divergent”. The human element has been removed, dystopian justice is now very blind, a computer is your judge jury and executioner, because all justice is badly administered by artificial intelligence, with urgent need for change. Continue reading SHORT+ SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK TWO @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

HANUKKAH – THE JEWISH FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

This eight day Festival celebrates the Festival of Judah Maccabbee over the Greeks. He and his troops recaptured the holy Temple in Jerusalem which the Greeks had defiled in one of its attempts to ‘Hellanise’ the Jews. In order to  re-consecrate the Temple, holy oil was needed to light and clean the Temple for a period of eight days. Judah found only one vial of oil, enough insufficiently for one day. By a divine miracle the oil lasted for the requisite eight days.

To this day Jews all over the world, by lighting the eight pronged candelabra called a Hanukkiah. Each night a candle is added until the final night when all flames are ablaze. Continue reading HANUKKAH – THE JEWISH FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

DAYS LIKE THIS FESTIVAL 2017

Days Like This is a one-day boutique electronic music festival set to vivify Sydney. Immersive, yet subtle, loose, yet sophisticated, Days Like This has a sharp taste for discerning electronic music, and a penchant for glorious food and arts. With a forward-looking music policy, the four main stages will present a fresh perspective of the very best in electronic music, whilst the event precinct will offer a creative hub featuring bars, market stalls and premium food options: A tasteful menu of glorious food and amazing arts await those who enter. Immersed within the plush surroundings of Royal Randwick prepare for a day and night of musical exploration.

DATES
11 March 2017 @ Randwick Racecourse

For more about Days Like This Festival 2017, visit http://www.dayslikethisfestival.com.au/
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TIPPING POINT @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

Ockham’s Razor is a London based performance company who are back for the Sydney Festival. Patrons who saw them in 2014 will have some idea what to expect, though this is a very different show. The philosophical concept Ockham’s Razor is often minimalised to … the simplest answer is probably true. But more interestingly it originally translated as something like … to solve a problem don’t allow too many options. This influential and internationally recognised company have most certainly taken that advice to heart. Continue reading TIPPING POINT @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

ALL ON BOARD THE ELVIS EXPRESS TO PARKES

The Parkes Elvis Festival is held in the 2nd week of January to coincide with Elvis’ January 8th birthday. It was started 25 years ago by some Elvis fans who ran the Graceland Restaurant when at that time of year, tourists were non existent.

Elvis had an early hit with Mystery Train, whose lyrics inspired indie writer/director Jim Jarmusch to make a cult film with the same name, but the Elvis Express is anything but enigmatic.

The exuberance, joie de vivre and sense of anticipation at Central Station on January 12th was infectious. Thousands of fans lined up, first to be entertained by some excellent Elvis impersonators and then to queue for the rebranded XPT.

The variety of costumes of the train travellers to Parkes, would have added a riot of colour to the 150 events with this year’s theme – Viva Las Vegas.

The town’s population triples, as 25,000 visitors are hosted by a majority of Parkes’ 12,000 residents.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

CIRCA PRESENTS ‘HUMANS’ @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP, PARRAMATTA

 

The young, fit, highly trained human body is capable of astonishing things.

Circa is a very exciting Brisbane based company.  HUMANS asks what it means to be human. How much weight do we carry? Who can we trust to support our load? It leads us to reflect on our lives, our loved ones, the burdens we carry and the physical and emotional strength it takes to overcome them.

Directed and created by Yaron Lifschitz, HUMANS, performed in the round at the Spaghetti Circus Big Top is a breathtaking combination of acrobatics, contortionism , tumbling, balancing, aerial trapeze, handstands and back flips.

Contact improvistaion, pyramid building, banquine and risley, and hand-to -hand partnering are also featured and strikingly blended with elements of contemporary dance.

At times the audience audibly gasps. There is no real narrative, rather a fluid sequence of various dazzling and surprising interactions combining various finely honed circus skills.

There is much use of haze and the lighting is delicately, warmly vibrant and atmospheric.

The scintillating cast of ten wear a uniform of autumn/russet coloured shorts/leotards and a semi -transparent black top. They wear ankle and/or wrist supports .Some have tattoos,

At the beginning the cast wear casual street clothes and have fun rolling acrobatically twisting in and out of them.

There is a fiercely tender and intimate sense of trust between the cast – some of the lifts, drops, throws ,twists and catches,  let alone the pyramid balancing, are extraordinary.

HUMANS is full of hot and sweaty bodies in explosive, movement , leaping, twisting ,twirling jumping, somersaulting ,precariously balancing , intimately entwined , swooping and swinging from a trapeze , dragged by the hair, sliding across the stage and  forming sculptural poses,

One hilarious sequence that had the audience in rapture was where the cast twisted and bent in almost impossible shapes attempting to lick their elbow. Floating balancing lifts in other sections are contrasted with this A breath, a clap, a bend of the knee,  a beautifully flexed and pointed foot or extended arm are all important .

With astonishing strength, grace, agility and integrity, each moment is seamlessly connected.

The relentless, pulsating soundscape varied from an assortment of popular songs to music theatre standards to techno thump to the sound of a single clap..

The almost hysterical standing ovation at the end was richly deserved.

Running time – 80 minutes without interval.

HUMANS, presented  by Circa, is playing atat the Spaghetti Circus Big Top,  Prince Alfred Square Parramatta up until 19th January.

A MILLION HAPPY NOWS

It’s often said that the opening credits of a film tell the story.  A MILLION HAPPY NOWS begins with a short journey through a glare filled  garden of jagged branches into an indistinct  washed out, white walled home through a room in chaos to a terrible fear associated with the precipice-like drop from a balcony.   

The traveller under the credit roll is Eva Morales (Jessica Leccia) but she is not the only voyager of the film.  Her partner is Lainey Allen (Crystal Chappell), a woman of a certain age, a Soap Opera TV star, the winner of an Emmy and a woman with secrets.  Not just the ten year love story between she and Eva but her secret fear that there is a looming health crisis.  The bright lights and sudden flashes of the ever-present cameras worry her, lines are not “sticking” and names and recent events seem to be lost.  Lainey suddenly quits a 20 year career and moves with Eva to the isolation of a house above a beach and a small town.

Playing as part of Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, this film is a labour of love and it’s there in every frame and every word.  Written by Marisa Calin, actress and writer… she is the author of the respected YA novel BETWEEN YOU AND ME… it is a story close to home.  Calin’s grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s and she created the production company Perfect Pictures in 2014 to ensure the story was told. Continue reading A MILLION HAPPY NOWS

CANADA’S CIRQUE ELOIZE PRESENTS ‘iD’ @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA

The old timers, especially flyers, often talk about it. So do the trap catchers, slack and tight walkers even modern aerialists on silks and rings and Chinese poles. They will tell you about the people with terminal illnesses who seek them out after a show. Who thank them for confronting the unknown beyond, for staring mortality down. iD, from Canada’s Cirque Éloize as part of the Sydney Festival, is vibrant and exciting, thrilling and skilful. It’s fantastically entertaining fun but the finale is that rare moment when the physical gives way to the spiritual. When human beings are suspended for just that second of time between corporeal and divine. Continue reading CANADA’S CIRQUE ELOIZE PRESENTS ‘iD’ @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA

HAKAWATI @ EL PHONECIAN RESTAURANT PARRAMATTA

 

HAKAWATI is an Arabic word which translates to “teller of tales”. Stay with me now as, oddly, I quote Dolly Parton from Facebook in 2010 “My weaknesses have always been food and men – in that order”. Go Dolly!

Moving on. We all have our weaknesses and I also have food at the head of my own list. But next in line for me is stories… old, new, sad, uplifting, about my world, about other lives … I don’t have a preference. How intrigued was I then to hear about HAKAWATI, playing in Parramatta as part of the Sydney Festival!

Created and directed by Wayne Harrison this is an experience which is intimate and alive: the food is delicious and the storytelling expert. Continue reading HAKAWATI @ EL PHONECIAN RESTAURANT PARRAMATTA

THE SEASON @ THE DRAMA THEATRE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Very early on in THE SEASON, daughter Lou thinks out loud that she might take herself diving to get a fresh fish dinner. It makes sense; 3 generations of Duncans are gathered on this small island in the Bass Strait for the annual Muttonbird harvest. But the whole family around the rickety table is suddenly still then turn slowly to look at her. There’s a pause until unexpectedly, the Duncans, and us, burst into gales of laughter at Lou’s expense. We the audience don’t know Lou, we just met her but we have been enveloped by this family and we think whatever is going on is hilarious too.

In a nutshell, or more appropriately a nest, that is the brilliance of THE SEASON. We love these people. And we love them from the beginning.

After the seven cast appear from the shadows upstage reaching towards the spirit of the birds which come each year to these traditional lands, we meet Ben and Stella Duncan. Long married but still lovers, their hopes for this season are tinged with some undefined worry but it won’t stop them from enjoying every moment of having the family together for the birding season. Continue reading THE SEASON @ THE DRAMA THEATRE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

SYDNEY FESTIVAL : ANTHROPOLOGIES IMAGINAIRES @ SEYMOUR CENTRE

Above : Performer Gabriel Dharmoo. Featured Image: Gabriel Dharmoo in front of the Anthropologies Imaginaires screen. Photo credit Greg Locke.

This fifty-minute experience from French-Canadian Gabriel Dharmoo is a unique and highly entertaining one. It combines a one-man tour de force performance of singing and sound effect with voluptuous accompanying movements. A subtitled documentary-style commentary on a screen behind the performer matches the vocal gymnastics to language and behaviours of imaginary cultures.

This event could be described as the Umbilical Brothers meet a deceptively satirical SBS. This performance’s subtle start is quite believable and resembles the canon of anthropological films on non-fictional tribes. However, as the show progresses the tongue in cheek comedy around the validity of commenting on a single aspect or practice by an ‘other’ culture becomes increasingly obvious. Continue reading SYDNEY FESTIVAL : ANTHROPOLOGIES IMAGINAIRES @ SEYMOUR CENTRE

BRIEFS : THE SECOND COMING @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

They describe part of their act as “boylesque” but these are not boys. BRIEFS: THE SECOND COMING are men, seven beautiful men with a substantial variety of maleness on display. Briefs aside and cleverly skirting the edge of what is legal (yet enough to please a sold-out crowd last night at the Magic Mirrors Speigletent in the Meriton Festival Village) there is nudity abounding.

Self-described in the Festival program as the “love child of RuPaul’s Drag Race and an Aussie version of Cirque du Soleil”, the extravaganza, opens with a fan dance. Pump up the jam on steroids! Opulent, clever, slick and decidedly sexy, in true burlesque style the ensemble of seven eventually rip down to their briefs. To the considerable approval of the hooting, cheering audience. Continue reading BRIEFS : THE SECOND COMING @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

YANA ALANA COVERED @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

“It if don’t fit … don’t force it or you’re gonna make your momma mad.” The 1939 ditty by Barrel House Annie reinterpreted by the gorgeous, grandiose, garish, gifted diva provocateur. All hail YANA ALANA.

When casting around for companions to come with me, way too many said no, mostly after viewing the video on the Festival website. Quoting one of my friend’s text exactly “I pity you having to sit through that dear Judith”. Boy is he wrong. Couldn’t be wronger. So I am out to spread the word, to proselytise in the name of Yana.

Do not miss this show! YANA ALANA COVERED is cabaret at its brassy, brilliant best. Some kind of bastard child from Meow Meow and Bette Midler in her heyday. Continue reading YANA ALANA COVERED @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

BAD GIRL

There have been 10 ‘teaser films’ released to herald the full Mardi Gras Film Festival launch on Jan 11th. Documentaries, romances, international films etc. all reflecting the lives, interests and passion of the LGBTIQ community.

“By widening our search across the most influential film festivals, as well as the key LGBTIQ festivals, we know we are bringing the very best of the best to Sydney,” explains Festival Director Paul Struthers. “Interestingly, we can now do this as more LGBTIQ characters and storylines appear in mainstream movies.”

BAD GIRL is one such. This is not a ‘lesbian film’. This is a cracker of a thriller in any context with a charismatic young woman at its centre and an equally compelling young woman circling her, their sexuality merely one element of their attraction to each other. Continue reading BAD GIRL