My challenge to blog everyday for the whole of June is still under-way, I haven’t done too badly in keeping up-to-date. I have to say, there isn’t much to say. ha ha
Car registration expires today, this never used to concern me, as I didn’t drive, but now it’s a different story. I asked Dave to renew the rego weeks ago, but he didn’t do it until today… hmmmpf. Let’s hope I don’t get pulled over in the 850m from the mechanic’s to home in the morning.
Went to visit dad today, he made a quick lunch of instant noodles with fresh chinese cabbage and some Wagyu steaks from Glenmore Meats. How’s that for a budget gourmet lunch?
Tonight’s Film Festival pick Crazy Horse was a bit of a dud.
The self-tagged ‘best nude dancing show in the world’, legendary nightclub Le Crazy Horse de Paris comes under the sharp eye of ‘one of today’s greatest living documentary filmmakers’, Frederick Wiseman. In his first digitally shot film, the cinéma vérité pioneer follows two obsessive perfectionists, choreographer Philippe Decouflé and artistic director Ali Mahdavi, as they create a new erotic revue entitled Désirs. The performance, complete with eye-catching projections and exquisite less-is-more costumes, showcases the outrageously beautiful nudes in an abstract manner reminiscent of Helmut Newton or pop artist Allen Jones. As in many of his films (he’s made roughly one a year since 1967, including La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet and Ballet), Wiseman, unintrusively records the routines and rhythms of performance, the backstage chat, the clash between creativity and practicality, beauty and vulgarity – and the complex mesh of modern-day institutions.
Screens with the short Rauch und Spiegel
I just found it so boring and slow. Sure there was some nice T&A and the girls were were very flexible and talented dancers but it just wasn’t compelling. The performances were nicely shot and the lighting effects were pretty amazing for the dance productions but it just went on so long, about an hour too long! This documentary didn’t really seem to have a narrative. I wanted to know more about the venue, the characters, the two guys tap dancing, did they actually end up closing the Crazy Horse to spend time to improve the show? Was the footage we saw the old show or the new improved show? (OK, in hindsight, it appears that it was the new show). There were many unanswered questions… and yes, I definitely nodded off in this one, even though I tried not to because closing my eyes would mean not being able to understand the dialogue. Have to admit that I didn’t watch the trailer before choosing buying the tickets. oh well.
2 more films to go!
I got totally excited today when I saw a couple in matching Coogi-like jumpers in the queue for the Sydney Film Festival. They were seeing the same film as us, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, this striking and unforgettable feature-film debut is set in ‘The Bathtub’ – a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Six-year-old Hushpuppy is devoted to her father, Wink, who frequently goes off on sprees, leaving Hushpuppy to fend for herself in an isolated compound filled with semi-wild animals. The community is a resilient and joyous one, but there is a sense of inevitable destruction. At school, Hushpuppy is taught about natural selection, global warming and the ecological shifts that have placed them in a perilous position. Things come to a head when Wink comes down with a debilitating illness, a massive storm hits, and the ice caps melt, releasing destructive prehistoric beasts who descend on The Bathtub. Little Hushpuppy has to find in herself the courage and heroism to survive the catastrophe and re-instil a sense of community. Fusing recent history and contemporary environmental concerns with a mythic quality, Beasts of the Southern Wild defies easy classification or description, instead forging a new path that firmly establishes director Benh Zeitlin as a bright new cinematic talent.
Really loved this, the little girl was brilliant, such emotion and intelligence! Great film 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Straight after this we saw High Tech, Low Life. The director introduced the documentary and there was a Q&A afterwards. Now boys and girls, does everyone know the difference between a question and a story.
High Tech, Low Life.
A vegetable seller on the streets of his village in Hunan province, 27-year-old ‘Zola’ is also a blogger, defying the Chinese government’s censorship and disputing its propaganda. His fellow blogger, Beijing-based 57-year-old ‘Tiger Temple’ earned his tag as China’s first citizen reporter when he documented an unfolding murder. Mobiles and laptops at the ready, the duo travel the country reporting on the unreported – from rapes to pollution to homelessness. Zola’s parents disapprove – ‘country comes before individual’ – and they fear for his future. The older Tiger Temple is more cautious, keeping friends and family at arm’s length and avoiding the limelight. As he says, “The Arab Spring made the authorities more nervous.” High Tech, Low Life is an important and timely look at China’s bloggers as they battle the infamous Great Firewall of China.
I found this doco interesting, but did have a little nap in the middle. Around the same time there was a technical difficulty, and the house lights came on… so that woke me up. It was interesting how they focussed on two very different Chinese bloggers, who were both trying to do a similar thing. It was funny to observe Zola, a Chinese Gen Y’er from the “village” and how he managed to get all that tech gear. I guess in Australia his stuff may be basic, but it did the job – got his blogging out to the world. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. We also had the treat of a short film before the main feature called Catcam, it was a lot of fun, and I don’t like cats. There was a bit of a recurring theme with cats through the two films in this session.
We had dinner at Danks Street Depot with my in-laws tonight. Really love the food there, it’s not cheap but it’s ethical. The giant veal shank with risotto was yummy! We attempted to get dropped off at the cinemas on George Street but the traffic was so bad! Seemed worse than the usual Saturday night traffic, maybe it was everyone trying to check out the last weekend of Vivid Festival.
The 3rd SFF film of the day was Moonrise Kingdom… I was really looking forward to this one. Caroline & Teresa came along for the ride.
Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore) creates unique worlds within his films, and the utterly charming Moonrise Kingdom is no exception. The opening film at Cannes this year, Moonrise Kingdom is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. Sam (Jared Gilman), an industrious orphan who is frequently bullied, sees a kindred spirit in Suzy (Kara Hayward) and the two 12-year-olds fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Various authorities try to hunt them down, including local sheriff Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), and Suzy’s parents (played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) are crazy with worry. Meanwhile, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.
Yeah, sure this will come out on general release eventually but it’s one of those times, I like to say I already saw that premiere at the Film Festival. I’ve loved most of Wes Anderson’s films so Moonrise Kingdom was much anticipated. I didn’t realise it was co-written by Roman Cappola (I still need to write about his Google+ hangout from the Semi-permanent conference). Anyway, I loved the art direction, the story, the crazy characters and Sam reminded me of a young Sean Lennon. It was a quirky film and I really enjoyed it. The end.
Didn’t do much today. It rained all day, it was miserable. I only went out to the supermarket and back. Dave made a soufflé for lunch, but the recipe was so big we had enough for dinner as well. When the weather is bad, my tv goes all glitchy, so I couldn’t even watch Masterchef
I love, love, love Prince. I’ve loved his music since the 1980s. I remember my school pal, Jo used to love him the most, her older brother had all the pre-Purple Rain era albums in their house. For innocent, young year seven students, he was a confusing, unusual and strange pop star. He wasn’t “cute” like Simon Le Bon or George Michael. I didn’t understand most of his saucy lyrics at 12 years old, but the music was damn funky! In 1992 I attended the Diamonds and Pearls tour, even going twice to the Entertainment Centre to see him. Prince finally toured Australia again in 2003. For some dumb reason we didn’t go, opting to save money for our home loan deposit, and having just recently bought tickets to see Craig David (doh! where is he now?). So when the Welcome2Australia tour was announced, I was totally hyped and excited to see Prince again.
I couldn’t handle the stress of trying to buy the tickets when they went on sale to the public, so somehow convinced Dave to go for a “pre-sale” package called the TOTAL Concert Experience. This is what you get for your money:
Get out of the Queue and enjoy the Prince TOTAL Concert Experience!
Hosted by Richard Wilkins – Australia’s pre-eminent entertainment reporter (He was really working the room, even got a pic with him, ha ha)
Gold Reserved Seated Ticket
2 hour pre show hospitality Function
Substantial Canapés (yes, they were substantial) & Premium Beverage selection served at pre Show
Resident Disc Jockey for Entertainment
Power Dance Performers (Didn’t see any dancers, not sure if they were replaced by the vocalist and percussionist who were on stage when we arrived)
Souvenir lanyard for each guest
Fully Themed Function Room (it was purple!)
1 Hour Post Show Party with Cash Bar and complimentary dessert item
1 guest will win a Lucky Door Prize (Another TOTAL Concert Experience to George Michael or Lady Gaga) #
This was for the first show of the Australian tour, so I was really hyped. Dave, Confused Machines & Boztek joined me for the fun at the TOTAL (yes CAPITALS) Concert Experience! The show was great (though after seeing reviews of the shows after this one, it could have been even better). I was so happy to see one of my all-time favourite artists live in concert. After all the bad stuff that has happened to me this year, it was really nice to be able to enjoy myself and be happy. I was clapping, singing, (daggy?) dancing throughout the night. My favourite tracks were:
Little Red Corvette
Take Me With U
Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough/Cool (members of the audience from the really expensive “Purple VIP” seats got to go on stage and dance with Prince – how awesome would that have been. They really got their money’s worth!)
Sometimes It Snows in April (with beautiful white confetti falling from the sky)
When Doves Cry
Nasty Girl (Vanity 6)
I Would Die 4 U
The set lists for the whole Australian tour are here. The great thing about Prince is that he has so many songs, each night is going to be quite different. I think there were quite a few songs that he sang the next night that I wished he’d played on Friday. I would have loved to have gone again, but I’m thankful that I could afford to see the legend Prince in my hometown Sydney again after 20 years!
Here is the review in SMH