Directed by Meera Menon, featuring strong female leads, and having had women involved at all levels including financing, production and research, the film has a refreshingly different patina to others in the genre, without overtly pushing any agendas.
The plot is compelling. Naomi Biship (Anna Gunn) is a premium level investment banker who, at the top of her game, has a very important IPO go terribly wrong. Desperate to redeem herself, she gets a second opportunity with a very promising start-up. Machinations and deception care of her love interest, Michael Connor (James Purefoy) and her assistant, Erin Manning (Sarah Megan Thomas) threaten to derail her yet again.
Prosecuting attorney, Samantha (Alysia Reiner) already has her eye on Connor. Samantha is shrewd and tenacious. That she is gay is a subtle detail that adds yet another new dimension to this type of film.
There are no car chases, fist fights or raunchy parties. Instead the film has a pulsing intensity that makes it riveting. (RB)
(Currently scheduled for Perth and Melbourne only.)
BY RITA BRATOVICH]]>
“There is a weight to playing Romeo that I feel. Many people – if they only know one text, they’ll know Romeo & Juliet. They’ll be able to spin off quotes and misquotes of the famous lines,” he admits. And yet, rather than seek out a new twist or angle, Winckle believes the best way to perform the iconic character is tap into the pulse and soul of Shakespeare’s original text, and ignore the ubiquitous familiarity of it.
“If you are going to recite the lines as if everybody knows them, it’s like you’re leading a pub song,” he explains.
What’s more important to Winckle is delivering the lines with sincerity and instinct. Having insight into and affinity with a character is paramount, and Winckle felt he understood Romeo on many levels.
Also important is having faith in the director, and Winckle is clearly in awe of Steven Hopley, especially with regard to Hopley’s knowledge of the Shakespearean universe.
“He’s like a living glossary,” Winckle says of Hopley’s ability to answer any question on any aspect of the bard.
In turn, Hopley is clearly in awe of Shakespeare:
“It’s great writing, it’s as simple as that…and he’s the greatest writer that ever lived.”
Hopley, who founded the Sydney Shakespeare Company, believes in staying true to the original text and staging as authentically as possible. This production will have period costumes and minimal sets, lighting and effects. Finding the right venue to create the right space is very important to Hopley. He’s particularly keen about the “black box” potential offered by The Pact Theatre:
“We’re making it as intimate as we can…we are trying to make it a slice of Verona.” (RB)
Sep 28–Oct 9; Wed–Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm. PACT Theatre 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. $27-$37. Tickets & info: www.sydneyshakespearecompany.com
BY RITA BRATOVICH]]>
Thu, Sep 29, aMBUSH Event Space, Central Park
Totally Unicorn: Sydney’s unimpeachable lords of ‘what the fuck’ chaotic metalcore, the mighty Totally Unicorn have stormed back into the nation’s collective riff-loving consciousness with their latest EP Dream Life. Tonight they hit Sydney as part of their tour which has seen them criss-crossing the nation for the past month.
Thu, Sep 29, Newtown Social Club
Harry Coulson: Harry Coulson’s got a thing about dogs. They turn up in both of his recent albums, and they represent something very specific and very personal to the Melbourne based guitarist and singer/songwriter. This week he celebrates the release of his second album, Blue Dog, which follows on from debut album Rain Dogs.
Fri, Sep 30, Old Growler
Save Sydney Park Festival: This long weekend don’t just party, be a part of some social activism as Reclaim The Streets (RTS) and WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) protest the destruction of Sydney Park and support the anti-WestConnex blockade. The family friendly festival will feature multiple stages hosting local acts playing a diverse array of musical styles.
Sat, Oct 1, Sydney Park
Sydney Chamber Choir & Orchestra Seventeen88: Ross Edwards’ contemplative, Aboriginal-inspired ‘Mass of the Dreaming’ and Joseph Haydn’s joyous ‘Mass for Troubled Times or Nelson Mass’ – composed in defiance of Napoleon’s victories across Europe – will be given new voice in a special concert from the Sydney Chamber Choir. The remarkable period orchestra Seventeen88, using instruments from Haydn’s time, will join the 36 singers of the Sydney Chamber Choir in this one-off concert.
Sat, Oct 1, City Recital Hall
Dami Im: Pop sensation, X-Factor winner and Eurovision runner-up, Dami Im will be joining the free BEYOND event to celebrate the evolution of the south-west Sydney suburb Hurstville by singing some of her many hits.
Sat, Oct 1, BEYOND
Yours & Owls Festival: Now celebrating it’s sixth and largest year, the boutique festival will play host to some amazing local and international artists such as The Belligerents, The Hard Aches, Chastity Belt, Client Liaison, Kilter, KLP and Hermitude just to name a few. In true Yours & Owls tradition, they will also be hosting a collection of mind-blowing art, visual projections and film, plus a great selection of food and drink.
Sat-Sun, Oct 1-2, Stuart Park – Wollongong
Josh Rennie-Hynes: After spending three weeks working everyday from morning until late night on his families farm in Woodford, Rennie-Hynes has now unveiled his new album Furthermore. This weekend he will serenade Sydney with his silky country, folk stylings.
Sun, Oct 2, Lazybones Lounge
The Bear Hunt: Reminiscent of 90’s alt rock with fuzzed out guitars, big melodies and big outros; angular, weird, but super melodic. Following the release of their new single ‘Who Made You God?’ The band have packed their suitcases and arrive in Sydney this weekend to showcase the tune.
Sun, Oct 2, The Record Crate
Abby Dobson: The much loved singer with Leonardo’s Bride and Baby et Lulu has a dream to record her long awaited solo album in Nashville so in order to help her out Camelot Lounge presents an intimate evening of song with Abby, with 100% of proceeds going directly towards the fundraising campaign. Come and support one of the greatest voices this country has ever produced, and be swept away by the sheer beauty of her singing and songwriting.
Sun, Oct 2, Django Bar
Pup: Hot off a festival performance in Wollongong at the Yours & Owls festival, the Toronto punk four piece will return to Sydney for an intimate headline performance early in the week to help extend your long weekend.
Tue, Oct 4, Oxford Art Factory
Cate Le Bon: The Welsh trailblazer of avant-pop will perform in Sydney this week in support of her fourth record, Crab Day, a harvest of psych musings that was released earlier this year.
Wed, Oct 5, Newtown Social Club]]>
Denzel Washington leads a stellar cast (which includes Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio) as Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter who recruits a group of gunfighters to help farmers fight for the ownership of their town against an evil tycoon.
Many of the fundamental elements of the story have changed, the most notable being the diversity in ethnicity of the magnificent seven with the inclusion of a Comanche warrior, an Asian and a Black. What remains however, is the fast paced gun-fighting action and high body count which should enthral enthusiasts of this style of films.
Themes of courage and honour and the bravery of seven men who fought and faced death for a township who couldn’t fight for themselves are still prevalent.
The panoramic beauty of locations, the skilful editing of the gun fighting sequences and an effective musical score all collate to make this one of the better and more respected reboots in recent years. (MMo)
Forget what … Read more]]>
Forget what you think you thought you knew about the storybook characters we’ve all grown up with, as Matty Grey and Teddlie Bear turn traditional tales on their head with their chaotic wit.
Little Red never wore a hood, she lived in it; Goldie-Locks’ story is actually a lot older than you think; and “Rapunzel doesn’t have lovely flowing hair growing out of her head in this beautiful ideal of feminine beauty anymore, it’s her eyebrows that have gone crazy!…”
The Nitwits, Kat Placing (Teddlie Bear) and Matty Grey, are not only renowned children’s entertainers, but descendants of the godparents of children’s literature, Hans Christian Anderson and Beatrix Potter.
“Surely it was time we did some damage to these beloved fairytales,” said Kat.
Evoking the pantomimes they saw in their youth, Kat and Matty hope that their “not typically commercial” style of theatre filled with “attitude, fun and naughtiness” will “foster an early love of the arts in kids and make the theatre a really fun place to go”.
As Teddlie Bear, Kat also hopes to break the mould of strictly “feminine and gentle” female characters in children’s entertainment. “We didn’t fell that things should be ‘boy vs. girl’,” she said.
(Fractured Fairytales is recommended for children 5-12 years old. Younger children may be overwhelmed by the ridiculous comedy stylings.) (AM)
Oct 3–8; Mon-Fri 10.30am + 1pm (no 10.30am on Mon), Sat 1pm. King Street Theatre, Level 1, 644 King Street, Newtown. $20-$25 (group + family packages available). Tickets & info: www.kingstreettheatre.com.au or 0423 082 015]]>
For Novacastirans Safe Hands they have leaned more towards the later with subtle odes to their past. These tracks truly depict the growth of the band members as people and the difficulties of fitting a budding independent music career with the rigours of everyday life.
Although unfamiliar with Safe Hands until this record came across my desk, I was locked in after just two songs. Both the opening track ‘The Coliseum 1921′ and then ‘Traffic Island Wreath’ show the dichotomies of the band’s two distinct eras, with the former learning more towards their heavier roots whilst the latter is more post-punk/pop-punk.
Safe Hands excel when they’re moving down the new sonic path, it allows them to latch onto their strength for writing and telling stories. Look for this band to break out if they continue down this path. (JA)
Here at the Naked City we have yet to formulate an opinion on the pros and cons of the new ultra bright LED sign, other than to point out it does at least alleviate some of the gloom imposed by the closure of the old Crest Hotel and the somewhat sinister skeleton of the (under construction) Omnia Building. Whether the high-tech wizardry of the new ever-changing sign does anything to alleviate the current malaise in the Cross remains to be seen.
In a bygone era, when car loads of semi-inebriated punters joined a late night procession up William Street to wallow in the sins of the Cross, the Coke sign stood like a kind of navigational beacon – welcoming all and sundry to a nocturnal world of late night music, sexual titillation and endless booze. In anthropomorphic terms it was like a huge winking eye, seductive and sexualised as it lured testosterone charged youth on their weekly rite of passage.
It was a landmark then and in its new manifestation, either a landmark or an eyesore now – depending of course on your point of view. Without a doubt it’s the most strategically placed piece of signage in the entire city of Sydney. During the week we took the opportunity to conduct a ‘straw’ poll amongst residents and visitors in the Cross as to their reactions to the sign and it’s fair to say opinions were mixed.
One diehard Pepsi drinker described the new sign as “bollocks”, whilst a self confessed sugar addict blamed the sign for her 12 can a day addiction. Others suggested that it be turned off at midnight to allow nearby residents a good night’s sleep, free of the intrusion of animated ambient light. We even discovered the existence of a curious group calling themselves “Friends Of The Coke Sign” who meet regularly on the balcony of the nearby Kings Cross Hotel to quote “bask in the electronic good vibes and radiant energy of the almighty sign” (we suspect hallucinogens might have been involved).
Coca-Cola have indicated that the new LED sign is far more energy efficient than the old neon, however the power bill for keeping the sucker on 24/7 must still be astronomical, let alone the rental paid to the building’s owners for such a prominent position. As Coke battles to maintain its market share and promote its feelgood image, perhaps the sign could be programmed for uses other than the endless promotion of Coke itself.
Once a week the sign could be used for a free outdoor screening of a classic or long neglected Australian feature movie, maybe even the 1985 production of Frank Moorhouse’s The Coca Cola Kid. Locals and tourists could set up deckchairs and cushions in the surrounding areas and enjoy a free al fresco cinema. As a concession to Coke, they could flash subliminal messages for their product during the movie, with the promise of a stampede to the soft drink section of Coles Supermarket immediately after the screening.
The sign could also become a valuable noticeboard for community announcements, regularly punctuating the red and white onslaught. Coke could still have their say with witty endorsements like “Ice Cold Coca Cola” but “Ice Dealers Keep Out”. Finally, and whilst we are by no means suggesting it, the new computerised Coke sign (like anything these days) is no doubt vulnerable to hackers. Cast your mind back to that brief moment in the late 90s when ‘explicit adult movies’ were projected on the outdoor screen atop the Metro building in George Street and the possibilities are endless!]]>
Earlier this year the organisation handed out 95 disposable cameras to individuals impacted by homelessness and asked them to take photographs of “their Sydney” over the course of a single week. Of the approximately 1200 photographs received back from the process, 400 were given to a panel of judges and 20 finalists chosen.
It is these 20 finalists that will be at the centre of the exhibition alongside each participant’s story of their life and why they took each particular image.
The exhibition is part of a platform enabling those impacted by homelessness to engage with the public directly, about something other than their predicament, namely about their art and about their lives.
“A similar project was run last year on a slightly smaller scale and we were astounded not just by the quality of the images that the participants produced, but also at how powerful the response to the project was from both participants and the public at large,” said Michael Allwright from Cafe Art Australia.
A Public Vote is being conducted at the exhibition to identify the 13 most popular images from the 20 on display. The popular images will feature in a calendar for 2017 which has an associated Kickstarter campaign also launching this Saturday, enabling people to make a pledge for the calendar and in so doing help support the ongoing work.
Until Oct 30. Lentil As Anything, 391 King St, Newtown. Info: www.cafeartaustralia.com]]>
The Queen of Ireland tracks the life and times of the larger-than-life Rory O’Neill and how his glamorous drag queen alter ego, Panti Bliss, became an “accidental activist” and the face of the fight for same sex marriage equality in Ireland.
The legalisation of same sex marriage by way of a public vote is of course the climax of this film, but it is all the surrounding, seemingly innocuous details that give this documentary its weight.
From O’Neill recounting the otherness he felt in his small, conservative hometown; to navigating underground gay nightlife; to creating Panti Bliss and finding freedom on the dance floors of Dublin, London and Tokyo… These stories are interlaced with the history of homophobia entrenched in a society where homosexuality was not decriminalised until 1993.
We see how Panti Bliss was born out of defiance to discrimination, how O’Neill is affected by intolerance in his everyday life, and how with the help of Panti he stood to change history rather than merely be affected by its repercussions.
Interspersed with intimate interviews, including with his incredibly accepting parents, and capped off with a redemptive hometown show with all the hallmarks of a Hollywood ending.
The Queen of Ireland starts at a slow pace but is ultimately moving – and perhaps a persuasive case study for anyone still opposed to allowing same-sex marriage in Australia… (AM)
Roger Ross Williams’ documentary film is an inventive and moving adaptation of Suskind’s book. Splicing together interviews, family videos, excerpts from Disney cartoons and original animation sequences, Williams has created a movie that evokes tears, laughter and wonder.
Owen Suskind and many of his autistic friends are prominently featured in a way that evinces compassion, curiosity, admiration and enlightenment without ever being patronising.
It’s an incredible story, creatively told that will leave you feeling and thinking deeply. (RB)
BY RITA BRATOVICH]]>