Tag Archives: Hunter Page- Lochard

FLiCKERFEST 2020

FLiCKERFEST 2020

Film lovers flocked to Bondi Pavilion on Friday night for the opening of Sydney’s star-making short film festival which is now in its 29th year. Guests joined for the line-up of premiere films drawn from 200 shorts (selected from over 3,500 entries this year) screening in competitive programs, including International and Best of Australia. Some of Australia’s best – known acting faces were amongst the opening night crowd. Following the screenings, guests headed up to the balcony to kick up their heels overlooking Bondi Beach and munch on delicious rice paper rolls and pizza.

 

The screenings selected were innovative, thoughtful and entertaining. The film makers incorporated great humour, horror and drama into their brief creations.

 

The evening opened with a Korean animation, DIVISION SERIES, in which a Prime Minister goes into a takeaway chicken shop, but the chicken is all sold out. At another table, presidents from other countries start playing cards to win the last chicken basket. I thought the interplay and the expressions on the characters faces was priceless. Writer Ho Kwon Kim is to be commended.

 

Chloe Sevigny has written and directed WHITE ECHO, a horror film with Carla and her girlfriends playing with a Ouija Board. The atmosphere and shocks are created by a claustrophobic house and location, ghosts and a wonderful soundscape. The dance scene is powerful and electrifying.

Hunter Page-Lochard and Carter Fred Simpkin’s CLOSED DOOR is a disturbing and haunting exploration of loss. Regaining consciousness in a car wreck, a young father finds that his daughter is missing.

Director Ben Brand and writer Andy Weir’s RE-ENTRY is a thoughtful and challenging film about human interconnectedness and has an interesting perspective on re-incarnation and the after-life. When a man (who could be everyman) dies in a traffic accident and gets into a conversation with a wry and quirky God, he is presented with a simple but insightful view on what it means to be a person.

Gabriel Abrantes’ THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY is a little gem of a film. It is a very funny film about personalities, art and revolutionary struggle. Tired of being a banal architectural ornament, a sculpture runs away from the Louvre to confront real life on the streets of Paris.

Lydia Rui’s THIS PERFECT DAY is a well structured film, with minimal dialogue that nevertheless says a lot about families and relationships.

Florence Keith-Roach’s A FAMILY AFFAIR is an excellent comedy. Annabelle wakes up in a stranger’s bedroom on her 30th birthday. She thinks her day can’t get any worse but then Bernard walks in. It is cringe worthily awkward and then it gets worse. Florence Keith-Roach story is beautifully outrageous as she takes us down some unexpected rabbit holes.

The Flickerfest short film festival continues until January 19th at Bondi Pavilion before hitting the road and travelling interstate across 50 dates and various locations. It is highly recommended and a great opportunity to experience some innovative short films.

 

Sugarland

Elena Foreman and Dubs Yunupingu in SUGARLAND. Pic Tracey Schramm
Elena Foreman and Dubs Yunupingu in SUGARLAND. Pic Tracey Schramm

From time to time a new Australian production comes along that contains all the elements of great theatre – good writing, direction, acting and the accompanying creatives of lighting, sound, costume and set design.

SUGARLAND is all this and more.  Playwrights Rachael Coopes and Wayne Blair spent two months in the Northern Territory top end town of Katherine from 2011 to research their new play that was commissioned by ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People). Continue reading Sugarland

BLACK DIGGERS

BLACK DIGGERS1
One of the few light moments in the trenches

What a great story for a leading Australian theatre company like the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) to tell at this time! And what timing! Whilst the show was still playing, on Australia’s Day, Koori AFL star Adam Goodes was announced ‘Australian Of The Year’.

BLACK DIGGERS tell of how, at a time when Kooris in this country were treated as less than second class citizen without voting rights, more than 1,000 indigenous soldiers fought side by side alongside their white countrymen in the battlefields of the Great War- in Palestine, the Somme, Gallipoli and Flanders Fields. Some became highly decorated soldiers…

It was another chapter in Australia’s- ‘White Australia has a very black history’- that the treatment that Koori returned servicemen received was no different from what they were used to before they left for the War.

With such a tough story, it would have been very easy for the playwright Tom Wright and the director Wesley Enoch to come up with a depressing, even spiteful production. Not so….Instead they have come up with a vibrant production.

The show went for 100 minutes without break, allowing the actors to maintain their momentum. We closely followed the individual journeys of the soldiers.

There were some sixty scenes- some stand-outs…The scene where two Kooris walk into a pub. The publican blocks their entrance. ‘We don’t have Kooris here’. From inside the pub a guy they fought alongside in the war spots them. He comes up to them and says to the publican- ‘You let these guys in- they fought with me in the war- or I will have words to the RSL about you’. His two mates are let in.

The play’s setting authentically changes from pre-war Australia to the horrors of the trenches to a cold, ineffectual post war country, giving us ‘the whole picture’. There was humour amongst the men with them just trying to stay on top of things.

A feature of Stephen Curtis’s set design was the chalkboard walls. Through the play the cast would inscribe telling details on these walls- signifying time periods, locations and much more.

The cast were great, delivering strong performances. The team comprised George Bostock, Luke Carroll, David Page, Hunter Page-Lochard, Guy Simon, Colin Smith, Eliah Watego, Tibian Wyles and Meyne Wyatt.

This was a show that absolutely called for something special and powerful. Wesley Enoch and his team  delivered.

A Sydney Festival and Queensland Theatre Company World Premiere production, BLACK DIGGERS played the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House from the 17th to the 26th January, 2014.