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Monthly Archives: August 2010

This could easily end up being the subject of the feature story on A Current Affair: “Terrorists in your neighbourhood! Suicide bombing, not a joke.” Or can it be? The plot in a line – four Muslim men in Britain plotting a terrorist mission. Not that simple is the genre this film falls under, comedy. A satire to be more precise. Director Chris Morris was inspired by the sheer stupidity behind the mundane details that occur at jihadis training camps like shooting each other’s feet off and martyrdom video bloopers. Although it wasn’t spelled out, there were parallels drawn between jihadis and the American military culture. Put a group of young, testosterone fuelled blokes together, feed them ideas and watch them take off. Imagine watching a reverse Fox News and you get Four Lions. The eventual weapon of choice here is not a bomb, it’s blatant ignorance. And the victims are always innocent and one too many. When I first started on a review for this film, I wanted to take it apart and write a three-pager on it but I was faced with space restrictions. So, I wrote a longer commentary style piece on it that the National Times has published. Click on the image below for the full version.

The Sydney Morning Herald

In cinemas 19 Aug 2010


Best friends don’t always make the best of travel companions. Some people lose their inhibitions and take on a different persona and others crawl deeper into their oragnised guidebook shell. Meet Naomi and Ruth, former best friends turned travel nightmare. Whilst there is an avalanche of travel stories out there, writer/director Paul Gilchrist has chosen to expose in one play the psychology, sociology, politics and phoniness behind our fascination with travel. And he does it all with a combination of laugh-out-loud one-liners and attention to detail in vivid recollections of adolescent memories. For those who may have just seen Gilchrist’s last play Two Gates, may feel a slight sense of déjà vu – one perfectly cast actress, in this case Jo Richards, keeping an audience captivated for the entirety of a play about traveling – but hey, two brilliant plays toying with the same idea in my books is better than one half-baked performance. Julia Roberts’ Eat, Pray, Love may be the most highly-anticipated travel story this spring but I reckon our very own Jo Richards will give the other J.R. a run for her money. We raise your money-making teeth and gums with one inspired one-woman show.

Until Sep 6. Old Fitzroy Theatre, cnr Cathedral St & Dowling St Woolloomooloo. $15-$22. 1300 438 849,,

10 – 18 Sep. The Boiler Room, The Factory Theatre. 105 Victoria Rd, Enmore. $16-$20. 9020 6966,,

The Boy at Heart and Boy

Director/actor/writer Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark) and first-time actor, 11-year-old James Rolleston were in Sydney recently to promote their film Boy, which has been hailed the highest grossing Kiwi-made film in New Zealand. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend watching the trailer (below) before reading the highlights of my chat with the very talented duo.

Taika Waititi

Do you prefer working with kids or adults?

Block your ears for a second, James. Adults. I don’t really mind but it is harder working with kids. (To James) You can unblock your ears now. You have to go at their pace. If a kid has a meltdown and doesn’t want to work, you can’t force them. You’ve just got to stop and wait for them.

Do you like telling stories through a child’s eyes? Why?

They were memories I had as a kid. You know those formative years where you are just finding out who you are and the things that happen around that time, the people you meet – the older you get they hold more significance. The film is quite personal in that I shot it in my hometown in my grandmother’s house. But the stories were completely made up. Using those personal things was important to me just to make it authentic in my mind.

Did you see your father as Boy did in the film?

A little bit. I think everyone sees one or both of their parents in that fantasy. They start understanding that their parents aren’t who they think they are. They aren’t as incredible. That’s what part of this is about, changing of someone’s perception of their parent. They are people we think we understand but they are strangers as well. There are so many mysteries about them. There’s no way you can really tell what your parents’ secrets are or what their hopes and dreams were before you were born.

Explain what an egg means?

Egg? It’s a small, oval receptacle. (laughs) It’s just an insult from the 80s. We’d call each other egg or spoon. It’s just like calling someone a dork.

How did you feel when you were told you were nominated for an Oscar for your short film, Two Cars, One Night?

I was quite speechless…

Is that still a dream?

I’m not sure. I’m quite happy doing my thing. It would be really nice to get another nomination but if that was the reason for making films then I’ll be pretty clouded in my judgment.

You decided to write, direct and star in Boy. Did you not trust anyone else to do the job right?

In the end no, actually. I only cast myself about two months before the filming. I didn’t want to baby sit another actor on top of the kids as well.

Why are stories about New Zealand important to you to tell?

I guess because nobody else is telling them. Well the stories I want to tell, I don’t think anyone else is going to write or tell properly. Especially for us Maori. Traditionally, it is one of our strong points. We come from an aural culture and I hope it will encourage other Maoris to tell their stories and get better at it.

Was this your chance to show the Michael Jackson dance moves you’ve been practicing in your room?

Oh most definitely. I was a huge fan, still a huge fan.

Were you devastated?

Yes. We were just editing the film. I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it. I was hoping it was one of those hoaxes.

James Rolleston

Did you know about Michael Jackson before Boy?


Were you a fan?

I wasn’t as big of a fan as I am right now.

Do you have a favourite song?

Ooh… I like Man in the Mirror and Beat It.

What was it like working with this guy?


You were the hero in the film. What did you think of your performance?

I don’t really know because it was my first time acting. I don’t really know what a good actor looks like.

Are you a bit famous in New Zealand now?

Yea, big-ass. And I am shy-ass.

Signing autographs?

Just taking photos really. That’s the new autograph.

In cinemas 26 Aug

Kitty is a lot more cautious about what she says than she appears. While she jokes around like a friend with certain questions, she also just as easily draws the line with succinct answers that say “move on” when need be. The comedian who started out doing sketch shows here on Full Frontal and in the UK on The Sketch Show is now a regular presenter of “99% fact free humour” on The 7pm Project. Her stand-up show Charming & Alarming returns to say one last good bye after debuting at the Sydney Opera House last year before it toured the country. Here are the highlights of my chat with the intelligent, funny and big-haired comic goddess.

Tell us something about The 7pm Project panel we don’t know.

I can tell you something I don’t know either. I don’t know why Charlie Pickering is doing that to his hair.

What’s the strangest thing a fan has done for you?

I don’t have fans as such. But that’s very kind of you. Besides, I wear so much make-up on The 7pm Project, people probably think: “oh that looks like quite an ugly version of that woman on television”.

What are your thoughts on Catherine Deveny’s dismissal from The Age after the Twitter-Logie incident?

I’m not on Twitter and I don’t really have an opinion.

Is the industry harder for women to break into?

I don’t think the industry is harder for women to break into. I know that’s what most people say and probably think but there are not that many women in the industry so you tend to get noticed a lot faster. There are obviously elements to the job, like when you walk out on stage and people immediately assume women aren’t funny. You have to quickly prove that you are. When a man walks on stage, people will actually assume that he is funny. When you are funny, they are very happy for you. They come up and compliment you: “oh we hate women but you were good!” Most of the female comedians I know have had that.

You’ve done television, stand-up, copywriting and film. Is there anything you won’t do?

Oh god you make me sound like a whore there Komi. Yea! I do have standards, you know.

13 – 21 Aug. The Playhouse Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $34.90-$44.90. 9250 7777 or

Chance Waters is the face of Phatchance and the voice of alternative Australian hip hop. With his stage partner Coptic Soldier, Chance will be dropping some smooth beats and rhythmic lyrics at a one-of-a-kind event that will see audience and the band covered in face paint. Having already played to a full house earlier this year at the Oxford Art Factory, Phatchance is back to entertain with the launch of his new album Inkstains. Supporting local talent, especially when they are this good, is easy. So get out and show your love for local hip hop.

6 Aug. The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville. $15-$20. 9550 3666,,