Tag Archives: Sydney Arts Guide

SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE IS ON PANDORA, AUSTRALIA’S WEB ARCHIVE

PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the National Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications/websites.

Australia’s national library  is committed to preserving selected websites of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community. In 1996 the Library set up Pandora, Australia’s Web Archive.

Only a relatively small number of websites are assessed as being significant enough for PANDORA and Sydney Arts Guide is proud  to advise that it is now to be included in the Archive. Continue reading SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE IS ON PANDORA, AUSTRALIA’S WEB ARCHIVE

10 DOUBLE PASSES TO PREVIEW SCREENING OF ‘UNA’ @ PALACE NORTON STREET

UNA follows a young woman’s journey to reclaim her past. Fifteen years earlier,  when she was a minor, Una ran away with an older man, Ray, a crime for which he was arrested and imprisoned.

When she comes across a photo of him in a trade magazine, Una tracks him down and turns up at his workplace. Her abrupt arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new life and derail her stability. Unspoken secrets and buried memories surface as Una and Ray sift through the wreckage of the past.

Their confrontation raises unanswered questions and unresolved longings. It will shake them both to the core. UNA gazes into the heart of a devastating form of love and asks if redemption is possible.

The film is  an adaptation of Scottish playwright David Harrower’s celebrated, Olivier Award-winning play Blackbird.

Ex-pat Australian director Benedict Andrews is the helmer and Ben Mendelsohn is in the cast playing Ray. Academy Award nominated actress Rooney Mara plays Una.                        Continue reading 10 DOUBLE PASSES TO PREVIEW SCREENING OF ‘UNA’ @ PALACE NORTON STREET

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

SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE ANNUAL AWARDS 2015

last cab to darwin.large

2015 SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE STAGE & SCREEN AWARDS               

 

Sydney Arts Guide is a key part of stage and film culture, and exists to celebrate the art of performance, in theatres and cinemas.

2015 was a year of amazing diversity, and our twenty accredited specialist reviewers, were all spoiled for choice in the quality of the live theatre performances to be experienced in the City of Sydney, and the suburbs of Sydney.

As the old adage goes, “live theatre is not dead theatre, as there is a different performance to be experienced every night”. Our team of professional reviewers, have each nominated their personal preferences for both theatre and cinema. A small number of movies were nominated out of the hundreds of cinema films that were seen during the last twelve months.

Unfortunately some live theatre venues closed permanently in 2015.

Having reached the end of another outstanding year for the arts in Sydney, on Thursday 31st December 2015, Sydney Arts Guide announced its 2015 awards in these Stage and Screen categories:-
Continue reading SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE ANNUAL AWARDS 2015

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe @ The Riverside

A wonderful cast of ten women vividly bring to life, the tearful stories of four African women refugees and their escape to Australia.

The four harrowing stories as survivors of abuse and violence are sensitively presented with both lightness and humour in an inspiring show that is filled with music, song and dance.

The writer has brought to life in broad strokes, all of the terrors and the impact of Violence Against Women, of becoming sex slaves whilst prisoners of war, rebel kidnapping, stolen childhood and ultimately the failure to obtain justice.

In the context of war or domestically, each has suffered extraordinary human rights abuses, and each has struggled to transcend their particular traumas.

These four inspiring women broke from the tyranny of silence, and gained the necessary confidence and courage to finally tell their extraordinary stories, and the subsequent journey of healing, transformation and acceptance that meant they were finally able to re-build their damaged lives.

At every performance, you will be shocked and deeply moved as these inspirational women have survived their past and now have the freedom to be who they want to be, to say what they want, and to be as amazing as they can be.

Yarrie grew up in a camp in Guinea. She is now doing her HSC.

Aminata is from Sierra Leone. She is now an ambassador for the UNHCR.

Big Mama Rosemary is from Kenya. She is now a community leader.

Yordy was a child soldier. Now she’s the mother of four amazing kids.

This highly recommended show (running 1 hour and 40 minutes without interval), is a ‘celebration of women, human rights, laughter and resilience’.

THE BAULKHAM HILLS AFRICAN LADIES TROUPE   last played the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta in May 2013.

The show is now having a return season at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta  playing between the 18th and 21st February 2015.

LIVE PERFORMANCE Theatre Venues and Companies in CBD SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE presents the complete list of all available LIVE PERFORMANCE Theatre Venues and theatre companies in the CBD SYDNEY AUSTRALIA,  within THE CITY OF SYDNEY area as well as in the SUBURBS OF SYDNEY:-      

THE LIST – FULLY  UPDATED  ON  25th  October  2018  –  Living in New South Wales there is much to be proud of, particularly when it comes to the performing arts sector which includes eleven of Australia’s major performing arts organisations working in the fields of dance, theatre, opera, orchestra and chamber music. These organisations are internationally renowned and regularly perform outside Australia as well as in a number of regional arts venues. Each year more than 1.3 million people in New South Wales attend performances by major companies, with close to 450,000 students and children being engaged in educational activities in NSW.

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/
http://www.arts.nsw.gov.au/

 Within Australia, there are 28 major performing arts companies, of which ten companies are located within New South Wales. These ten companies work across a range of art and cultural spectrums from opera, theatre and drama, music and dance and include:-

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bell Shakespeare Company

Belvoir

 Musica Viva Australia

Opera Australia

Sydney Dance Company

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Sydney Theatre Company

It is estimated these ten companies alone, represent circa 40% of the private sector arts funding received through sponsorship and giving in New South Wales.

Continue reading LIVE PERFORMANCE Theatre Venues and Companies in CBD SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

Sydney Cinema Locations – The List

Sydney Cinema Locations

THE LIST  –  FULLY. UPDATED  on.  25th  October  2018 SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE presents the complete list of all available Cinema Venues  within THE CITY OF SYDNEY area, and in the many SUBURBS OF SYDNEY including many of the small cinema screening room venues.  The many locations where Australian and Hollywood Motion Picture Films are screened, and where many exhibitors also regularly screen World Movies:-  

Darling Harbour Imax Cinema   (still currently closed during  2017-2018-2019-2020   for complete demolition and then re-construction and full conversion  into  two  IMAX  cinema  screens)   CITY OF SYDNEY   area, located at  31 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW   Tel: (02) 9281-3300   with one screen, located on the waterfront in the heart of Sydney’s Darling Harbour.   The minimum size of an IMAX screen is 22 m × 16.1 m (72 ft × 53 ft), Sydney used to have the world’s largest IMAX screen which was eight  storeys high and measured 35.7 m x 29.7 m (117.1 ft x 97.4 ft) and offered a vertigo inspiring experience, plus this was also the world’s largest cinema screen.     (Venue Seating Capacity = 540)              https://www.imax.com.au/

Sydney Event Cinemas     CITY OF SYDNEY  CBD, street level at 505-525 George Street, Sydney, NSW Tel: (02) 9273-7300  with seventeen screens including  Vmax Cinemas  and  Gold Class  Cinemas.  Gigantic  premium seating price is charged for the limited range of  popular 4DX Movies that are now being offered only in their Cinema Eight.  However Sydney is still waiting for a cinema venue offering  the currently limited range of popular ScreenX Movies.  (Venue Seating Capacity = *** )          http://www.eventcinemas.com.au/

Movie Times Website:   http://www.movietimes.com.au/

Continue reading Sydney Cinema Locations – The List

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

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What’s in a name? A rose by any other would smell as sweet. Call a spade a spade but you’ll still shovel shit if you pick a name that digs up contentious connotations.

In western culture, names such as Jesus, Atilla, Adolph, and Osama are eschewed from birth registers, but more mundane reasons are raised among family and friends at the imminent patter of tiny feet, where naming rights can produce near riot.

Appellations of those who are unliked from the past or the present, or carry with them some sort of high falutin’ allusion or pretention is the most likely impediments to nixing a moniker.

When Forty-something father to be Vincent announces to his family the nomenclature of his unborn son he figuratively flings that shovelful at the fan.

What should have been a civil celebratory occasion devolves into a dinner where the stable door of secrets is left so far ajar that the stampede of revelations seal the deal of unable to conceal.

Based on a super successful stage play, WHAT’S IN A NAME? (LE PRONOM) makes for a marvelous movie where the comedy has sparkle and bite and the story’s spine has a vertebrae full of funny bones with slipped dramatic discs.

Blessed with a fine ensemble cast that relish in spitfire delivery and comedic timing, WHAT’S IN A NAME is reminiscent of the golden age of comedy where character and situation combine to power the turbine of intelligent entertainment.

What’s in a name turns into what’s in a joke and at whose expense as this clever comedy illustrates the thin line between social decorum and civil disintegration.

Marie Cheminal’s production design is exquisite. Almost all the action of the film takes place in an apartment and it looks and feels so real, so lived in that it’s a marvel – so marvellous and fully dimensional that it becomes a key character in the film.

From the opening credits where all the collaborators are identified by their first names only through to its colossal conclusion, this fabulous film is a joy to the ear and the eye.

Written for the screen and directed by MATTHIEU DELAPORTE & ALEXANDRE DE LA PATELLIÈRE from their original stage play, WHAT’S IN A NAME? is arguably the best comedy to grace our screens since Roman Polanksi’s CARNAGE.

 

THE TABLE OF KNOWLEDGE

Arky Michael, Jane Phegan and Kym Vercoe. Pic Heidrun Lohr
Arky Michael, Jane Phegan and Kym Vercoe. Pic Heidrun Lohr

Using actual transcripts and wiretaps from the ICAC hearings into Wollongong Council lends THE TABLE OF KNOWLEDGE a gripping sense of immediacy. The corruption saga had a heady mix of bribes, sex, developers, ICAC impersonators and threats of violence. We are voyeuristically entertained with numerous scenarios from this tawdry media sensation.

This innovative production by Version 1.0 and Merrigong Theatre Company makes use of a wonderful set and video presentations. The audience is greeted by large blocks of colour dominating the rear of the stage and during the play these alternate between actual video footage and cartoon like representations of Wollongong streetscapes, greenfield sites and proposed developments. Sean Bacon’s visuals are quite stunning. The use of large plastic toy blocks is a colourful and clever device.

The actors play various characters and as they are often reciting ICAC transcripts it is very clear who they are portraying. “Mr Vellar, can you explain to the court…..etc”. There are also video screens further explaining who is speaking and in what particular context. Occasionally the actors will address the audience.

There is an opening address by Russell Kiefel explaining that these type of events could only happen in Wollongong, until the other actors, Angela Bauer, Jane Phegan, Kym Vercoe and Arky Michael chime in with “or Port MacQuarie, or (very topically) Ryde, or Randwick, or Burwood.” It is tacitly conceded that corruption in local government is widespread.

The performances are consistently strong and engaging. Kym Vercoe’s performance as Beth Morgan, the town planner who had sexual relations with two of the developers, starts out as confident and enjoying the expensive gifts she receives for assisting with planning applications before deteriorating into a scared and nervous wreck. Arky Michael’s performance as corrupt developer Frank Vellar captures the hubris and confidence of such a colourful character. Russell Kiefel’s Rod Oxley, General Manager of Council, has the audience almost believing that his unlawful practices were really in the best interests of Wollongong.

There are many laughs in this play, mostly from the outrageous behaviour of the main protagonists. At other times the mood is dark and threatening as the criminals exert menace and pressure on the corrupt and vulnerable.

THE TABLE OF KNOWLEDGE runs until July 21 at Glen Street Theatre, Belrose.

 

RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2013

gentleman of fortune
A scene from the poignant GENTLEMEN OF FORTUNE

Celebrating a decade of détente, a veritable glasnost of cinema, The Russian Resurrection Film Festival kicks of July 24 at the Chauvel Cinema for a fortnight of fun, thrills, thought provocation, and soul searching.

Opening with LEGEND 17, an ice hockey extravaganza that made the Russian box office give a puck , Russian Resurrection Film Festival continues its ten year tenure with a myriad array of movies including dramas, documentaries, and even a disaster flick. Two of the selections, MARATHON and THE GEOGRAPHER are screening here ahead of their Russian release.

One of the highlights is the short and bittersweet THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME, a superbly succinct study of the slings and arrows of ordinary lives set on New Year’s Eve, as two brothers contemplate their father’s imminent demise after receiving a devastating diagnosis on his behalf.

One of the siblings is a city slicker navigating the slippery slide of ambition whilst the other has remained in the less cosmopolitan country town of their birth. Both have moribund relationships with their partners, the mundanity and mendacity of modernity grinding them down.  the hope of the New Year, when things are born anew, the chance of fresh starts and new beginnings lends a poignant motif, especially when The boys become surrogate dads to a disenfranchised teenage girl, neglected by her real parent.

Set to the music of a Seventies Soviet classic, THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME has the tonal ambience of Dorothy Parkers poem, Resume.

The disintegration of the filial paternal paradigm is explored in THE CONDUCTOR, the story of a Moscow maestro taking an orchestra to Jerusalem to perform The Passion of Matthew. The conductor is not there just to make music but to organise the funeral of his estranged son. Disapproving of his son’s apparent lack of discipline, the devastated dad must deal with the grief and guilt of surviving his son. Vladas Bagdonas is majestically monolithic as the maestro, brilliantly conveying the inner turmoil of his distress; a granite like gravitas, sturdy stoicism in the face of despair. To add to his woes, members of his orchestra are experiencing psychological and emotional meltdowns as well, and there is the palpable danger of extremist action in the streets of the city.

A lighter tone is struck with LOVE WITH AN ACCENT, a multi story apartment movie which takes its template from Love, Actually. It could easily have been called Georgia on My Mind as all the stories are set there, eschewing any recent dispute or conflict between the state and Russia, and concentrating on the whimsical and ephemeral. The mountains and valleys and general Georgian scenery are gorgeous and give ample armchair traveller payoff even when the rom com flags.

Also in a lighter vein, GENTLEMEN OF FORTUNE – both the original 1971 film and the remake from 2012. The original concerned a kindergarten teacher recruited by the police to pose as a notorious criminal in order to reclaim an iconic treasure. It was pitched as a family film and had a lovely naivety and charm. The remake is a brasher, bigger budgeted affair, still charming thanks to its leading man, now a children’s entertainer, but it’s certainly more violent and mildly malevolent in comparison. It’s also 12 minutes longer and doesn’t need to be; movie makers whether in Moscow or Malibu all seem to suffer from the malaise of bloated runtimes, especially with comedies that should be bright and breezy and brief.

Some 28 films make up the festival with about half a dozen being retrospectives, reminding us of the difference in style and content from Iron Curtain days to the present.

So crack open the caviar, sip from the samovar or kick back with a vodka, and submerse yourself in some subversive cinema. Screenings at the Chauvel, Paddington from July 24 – August 7, with sessions at Event Cinemas Burwood on Saturday and Sunday August 3 and 4. Tix through MCA or at the Cinemas