There’s something eerily beautiful about Peter’s images. His night photography collection has won him the coveted 2010 NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize and he’s sharing his series Illuminated Landscapes at the Centennial Parklands this summer. “This is a wonderful space. Much of my new works have been created in the park and there is a wonderful sense of harmony between the works and the surrounding environment. For example, visitors can witness an image of one of the park’s grand fig trees and literally step out the door and see the real thing. You can’t always get that sort of proximity in a gallery space,” says Solness.
Every Weekend until 31 Jan 2011. 11am-6pm. The Superintendent’s Cottage, Centennial Park. centennialparklands.com.au, illuminated-landscape.com
And now for some out-of-this-world fun. Fantastic Planet is Sydney’s very own Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival and if you aren’t a fan of the genre, this line-up might just turn you. Watch a holiday movie like no other in Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, a world premiere of author Philip K. Dick’s (Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report) Radio Free Albemuth starring Alanis Morissette and/or Australia’s own contribution Mortal Fools, a sci-fi comedy based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by director Phil Moore. But it is tickets to the highly-anticipated closing night film Machete that you should really get your hands on now. Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City and Grindhouse), Machete is a classic revenge story starring Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Danny Trejo.
Until 5 Nov. Dendy Newtown, 261-263 King Street. fantasticplanetfilmfestival.com, dendy.com.au
What happens when five 30-something singles walk into a bar? They live, damn it, they live! Especially if the aforementioned group is Irish, you can expect a black comedy filled with plenty of laughs and tender moments of insecurities spoken in an endearing accent. Production company Devil May Care’s Songs of Grace and Redemption was a hit at the recent Sydney Fringe Festival and is back to entertain at the intimate upstairs theatre at the Tap Gallery. Join Sarah, Steve, Nicola, John and Peter for a tipple at Soleby’s bar.
2 – 20 Nov. The TAP Gallery Theatre, 278 Palmer Street Darlinghurst. $15-$27. 1300 GET TIX, moshtix.com.au, devilmaycare.com.au
With the World’s Funniest Island sinking disastrously as organisers canned a weekend of laughs at the Cockatoo Island, Improv Australia is treating fans of comedy to two months of laughter. In the style of Thank God You’re Here and Who’s Line Is It Anyway, the Cranston Cup will be awarded to the funniest team after weeks of gruelling heats. And the winner is set to represent NSW at the Theatresports National Championships in 2011. Watch real artists at work as they react instantaneously to scenes and situations thrown at them by audience members and judges. Get your hands on these hot tickets and watch the heats (31 Oct), semis (14, 21, 28 Nov) and/or grand finals (11 Dec) to support our local comedic talents.
Click here to read my interview with the organiser, Lisa Ricketts, of Cranston Cup 2010.
Until 11 Dec. The Fuse Box, The Factory Theatre. 105 Victoria Rd, Enmore. $19-$22. 9020 6966, factorytheatre.com.
You have a few must-try restaurants in your foodie list but time and budget are not on your side. Why settle for one sit-down meal when you can treat yourself to various entrees, mains and deserts from some of Sydney’s leading restaurants? This is no ordinary food festival. Big names like Cafe Sydney (pictured), Flying Fish, Guillaume at Bennelong, Jimmy Liks and Longrain will bring class and panache to Hyde Park just after playing host to the Night Noodle Markets (ended 22 Nov). Get in early and buy sheets of five coupons for $15 that you can exchange for lovely wines from New South Wales and food that’s bound to sell out quickly. Proceeds go to The Aids Trust of Australia. There will also be live music and entertainment so make the best of this rare opportunity kids.
30 October. 12pm – 2pm with entertainment continuing till 5pm. Hyde Park North, Sydney. 9285 4400, aidstrust.com.au
DOCO: EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
One of my fav Banksy pieces.
This film is as much about Banksy as it is about the bizarre character Mr Brainwash. Absolutely brilliant, and proof that you can sell anything to Americans (no offense) if marketed properly. The special features are gold. See trailer below, although it’s a little cryptic:
DRAMA/COMEDY: CITY ISLAND
If you know me, you’ll know that I love quirky films and this ticks every box. It’s funny, strange at times and thoroughly entertaining. And I am so glad, Andy Garcia is back, in full force! There’s a little crew get together in the extras, not a bad watch. And may I just add that Julianna Margulies gets hotter with age. She was after all George Cloony’s crush in ER aeons ago.
ROM COM: LEAP YEAR
There have been a few shockers in this category of late, but this one is not bad. Might have something to do with the hot Irish and Welsh accents. There are still loads of cheesy elements, like the fact that every Hollywood studio thinks there’s something hilarious about a chick in a super successful job wearing high heels in an unlikely situation, like getting them stuck in mud, sand, grass – you get the picture. Seriously! Oh yes, the lead Matthew Goode is just gorgeous. He recently played Collin Firth’s lover in A Single Man. This is strictly for the ladies, so don’t be disgusting and force your boyfriends to watch it.
1927, a theatre company based in East London was described as “frighteningly gifted” by The Times, UK, and I understood why last night. With the use of modern technology, 1927 likes kickin’ it old school, their performances reminiscent of a silent film. An animator, writer, storyteller and musician come together to tell a dark fairytale set in a decrepit city, Red Herring Street to be precise, full of fly-by-night characters – including shadow nannies and cat killers. The four unique talents are also actors in their own show.
So far so good, but it is the manner in which the story is told that makes 1927 “frighteningly gifted”. The four performers stand in front of three large screens with cut outs that function as windows on buildings, ice-cream trucks, and trains depending on the animation that’s projected on it. The actor perhaps screams and the word “help” dances across the screen or the performer sweeps and a dust cloud appears precisely on the projection. I spoke to the pianist and singer Lillian Henley whilst they were still in rehearsals in London and she assured me that synchronizing the acting to the animation was a lengthy process.
“It takes a long time to coordinate the actor and animation to be working together. As much as it is cut and choreographed, I still give musical cues for the actor to get the timing precisely right.”
Leaving aside the technicalities (which is hard to do because the animation was fantastic), 1927’s basic storytelling was close to stealing the show. They sang, spoke in accents, acted without speaking at all, made fun of themselves and if you paid careful attention scattered hilarious one-liners and inappropriate references until one of the two endings, which the audience was prompted to choose.
For just over an hour, 1927 makes you forget that we live in a 3D-crazed 2010 and reminds you that technology can and should accompany a great story first and foremost.
Until 6 Nov. The Studio, Sydney Opera House, $30-$49, 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com
Two things come to mind when the words mistaken identity are uttered. That Blur song Girls and Boys and William Shakespeare. And the more I think about it; the chorus to Boys and Girls quite accurately sums up Twelfth Night. It goes a little something like this: “Girls who are boys who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they’re girls, who do girls like they’re boys. Always should be someone you really love”. Directed by Lee Lewis, theatre company Bell Shakespeare’s production is about love at first sight and then some.
Olivia is in love with the new boy on the block Cesario who is really Viola in disguise as a boy. Viola has the hots for Orsino who in turn is totally into Olivia, whom we know really digs Cesario. Yes, I see you slapping your forehead in agreeance with the Blur comparison. Boys and girls, this is a classic Shakespearean comedy that will never go out of style.
26 Oct – 27 Nov. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. $30-$60. 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com
It’s heating up! Spells of summer tease you every weekend of what’s to come. Dresses are getting shorter and jackets are slipping off. And you are finally ready for a proper boogie. Join some of Sydney’s best voices including Young Boy Old School, Berni Love and Mike Champion as they belt out your favourite tunes from Earth Wind & Fire, The Mac Band, Rick James, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston amongst many others. There will also be live music from funk/soul band The Harlem Knights and expect DJ Nasser T to play all your much-loved tunes from the era of big hair and bigger dance moves.
Oh, you know you want to dance.
30 Oct. Notes Live, 75 Enmore Rd, Newtown. $30-$52. 9557 111, noteslive.net.au
What do you get when you mix John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving and Andrew Upton together? You get some crazy hot tickets that you should get your hands on now to avoid disappointment. Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya will be adapted by Upton and directed by Hungarian Tamás Ascher. An ordinary farm is turned upside down by a surprise visit. Chaos and disruption ensue but nothing will prepare them for the shocking twist the visitor has brought with him. Also starring Sandy Gore, Hayley McElhinney, Anthony Phelan, Andrew Tighe and Jacki Weaver, the Sydney Theatre Company is going out with a bang for its final show of 2010. Two words. Book early.
9 Nov – 1 Jan. Sydney Theatre Company. Pier 4, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay. $40-$130. 9250 1778, sydneytheatre.com.au