Axe falls on Millers Point public housing
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march 20, 2014
T2 building: dykes or bikes?
theatre of hard knocks
Milk Crate Theatre raising money for Wayside Chapel
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL Four years after purchasing the site, the City of Sydney has endorsed a plan to turn the old T2 building at Taylor Square into a bike hub. The building at 1-5 Flinders Street formerly housed a 24-hour nightclub, which was shut down by council in 2008. Since then, the building has seen some temporary use as a studio, but has largely remained vacant. The project scope approved on Monday is for “an accessible, safe and active bike and community hub” that “will preserve and activate the heritage building”. The outline includes a ground-floor café, retail, bike hire, community and studio space and a rooftop terrace which “could be used for informal meetings and low key activities associated with the bike hub”. The site cost $7.14 million to purchase in 2010 and City News understands the project is estimated to cost a further $7.6 million. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the number of people riding bikes in the LGA had more than doubled since 2010. The bike hub would “move the focus away alcohol-related activities” at Taylor Square. “The building’s position at the intersection of the Bourke Street Cycleway, the soon to be built Campbell Street Cycleway and Oxford Street...makes it ideal for bikerelated activities,” Cr Moore said. But Liberal councillor Christine Forster, a vocal opponent of the city’s bike lanes, said the plan for a cycling hub is misguided. “This is not the best use of this very iconic building, which is after all located in the spiritual heart of the LGBTI community,” she said. “They’re effectively asking ratepayers to subsidise a café.” Cr Forster said the council has no contingency plan if the business fails, as did Deus Cafe, “the exact same type of operation”. The bike shop and café was located a few dozen metres down Bourke Street but closed after a short period.
Instead, Cr Forster wants council to turn the former T2 building into a gay and lesbian museum and exhibition space. Her motion to pursue that option was defeated at council on Monday. The Lord Mayor told City News such a museum should be run by the community, not by politicians, otherwise it would be subject to political interference or “nervous bureaucrats”. “Imagine a conservative council trying to pressure the curator into toning down or removing an exhibition they thought offensive,” she said. Cr Moore said philanthropy, fundraising and sponsorship were better funding models, as conducted by other LGTBI museums around the world. Sydney Mardi Gras and the City worked to establish a pop-up museum in 2013. The T2 building was offered but Mardi Gras declined. Cr Forster said that’s because it lacks the necessary resources. “[The museum] wouldn’t be a council thing, it would just be councilfunded, because nobody else has the funds to put up to do it,” she said. “The one thing that the experience with the pop-up museum in 2013 made clear is that such a museum needs street frontage, and this building would have offered the absolutely ideal location.” Both the Lord Mayor and independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich accused City Liberals of playing politics with the issue. “This debate is being driven by major parties desperately trying to distract people from the fact that they have worked against granting the LGBTI community the basic human right of full equality,” Cr Moore said. Mr Greenwich argued there is no point pursuing uncosted policies the community has not even asked for. “When even the Liberal Party starts using the LGBTI community for grandstanding, I guess it’s a weird sign of how far we’ve come,” he said.
State to sell Millers Pt property Students to take financial blow BY Triana O’Keefe The state government will sell almost 300 public housing properties at Millers Point, it has announced, just two days after the City of Sydney called on the government not to proceed before issuing a social impact statement. Long-standing terraces and the Sirius apartment block are among the buildings to be sold, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday. The community services minister Pru Goward said money spent on maintaining the buildings would be better invested in social housing elsewhere. Cr Moore expressed concerns about the residents’ future at Monday’s council meeting. “I am extremely concerned about the distress being caused by the NSW government’s failure
to inform Millers Point public housing tenants about the future of their homes,” Cr Moore said. At a press conference at Millers Point yesterday, the Lord Mayor warned all public housing tenants their property is at risk if Macquarie Street deems their land value is too high. “As we speak, people are going from door-to-door in Millers Point telling people they’re going to have to leave their homes,” she said. On Monday, Cr Moore recommended to council that it call on the NSW government to honour it’s commitment to release a social impact assessment, and commit to re-house any tenants displaced by any sales in the Millers Point neighbourhood and re-invest funds from divested properties in renewing inner-city
Public housing at Millers Point. Source: Tenants’ Union of NSW
Clarification: An article appearing in the March 6 edition of City News titled “TAFE cuts threaten access needs” wrongly implied that disability services were under threat at the Sydney Institute of TAFE. They are not. City News regrets the error.
Published weekly and distributed in the CBD, Pyrmont, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, East Sydney, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Chippendale and Glebe. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by the Alternative Media Group of Australia. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, The City News takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 48 135 222 169 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Michael Koziol City News Editor: Triana O’Keefe Contributing Editor: Paul Gregoire Contributors: Adrienne Chilcott, John Gooding, Sean May and Joshua Tassell Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Live Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: David Sullivan, Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama and George Tinnyunt Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover: Chris Peken - Shanti Woodend Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Contact: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Web: altmedia.net.au
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social housing estates. Ms Goward told the Herald that relocation will occur with the help of specialist teams. Independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, yesterday accused the government of breaking a promise on the social impact statement. “Millers Point is one of the oldest and strongest communities in Sydney, and we can’t underestimate the health and mental costs, and impact on residents of [this] cruel announcement,” he said. At Monday’s meeting, Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis agreed that this is an “appalling state of affairs and we need to act in order to protect the tenants” of Millers Point. Labor councillor Linda Scott wanted the City of Sydney to put its opposition to the sale on the record. Liberal councillor Christine Forster said she believed the government would honour its commitments and said the mayor’s motion would “do nothing but inflame the fears of residents”. It is now clear those fears were well founded. Cr Moore said the government’s decision has been driven by the adjacent Barangaroo development, but Ms Goward has previously denied this. When nearby properties were last sold they fetched an average of $1.3 million, the Herald reported. With Michael Koziol
BY TRIANA O’KEEFE University students are set to take a major hit to the back pocket, with tertiary education costs on the rise. According to the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) Planning for University Education Index, university fees will rise by twothirds over the next decade. “Yearly course costs for accounting, law and medicine degrees are estimated to rise from $10,085 per year to $16,775 by 2024,” said the group’s CEO, John Velegrinis. The index, compiled by the not-for-profit organisation, considers a range of variables including university fees, transport, computers, study placements and rent to estimate the cost of a university education. The index also forecasts that regional students could face more than double the amount of living expenses compared to metropolitan students who are more likely to be living at home. Mr Velegrinis said he sympathises with today’s university students because they face the toughest financial costs to date. “During part of the 1970s and 1980s, university students could receive a free education in Australia” he said. “Today, a three year degree
is estimated to cost more than $31,000. If you add on living costs and expenses, this figure could reach $114,000.” When university costs are combined with living expenses, the ASG index estimates the cost of a three-year accounting degree will rise to $169,623 over the next decade, an increase of $55,325. Wages and government payments would rise in that period, too but not by such a degree. According to the marketing and communications director and the Social Inclusion Unit at the University of Sydney, living costs per week are above $400 on average. This figure includes rent, food, utilities, transport, stationary and entertainment. “Not all students are the same however, and therefore not all students will have the same costs,” the unit’s advice claims.
“Don’t let the costs of study stop you from coming to university. We can help you in many ways including scholarships, bursaries and interest-free loans”. Clare Howard is a thirdyear law student at Sydney University who is struggling to find the time for both her education and the job that pays for it. “It’s a catch-22 really,” Ms Howard told City News. “I work to pay for uni, but struggle to find the time to do my uni assignments because I’m at work” Mr Velegrinis of the Australian Scholarships Group urges families to plan for rising fees ahead of time. “It is important that families are aware of the costs involved and prepare early so they can have options when it comes to post-secondary study,” he said.
Food trucks to rev Sixty is sexy? That’s debatable up numbers, fees BY ADRIENNE CHILCOTT cunning approach I will be “In ads you see people BY JOHN GOODING Sydney’s food truck operation will be quadrupled, with up to 50 set to roam the streets providing day and night food options around town. After a 22-month trial, the City of Sydney has approved a report recommending the program be made permanent and expanded from the nine trucks currently licensed to serve. The council has received more than 500 enquiries from potential operators. But the report also recommends a dramatic increase in the fees charged to mobile food vendors. Previously operators were charged $300 over a 12-month period; the new fees could be up to $16,830 for those who want to operate in what council terms “high demand areas”. “These sites may have access restrictions or rigorous plans of management,” the report notes. In submissions to the review, several food truck operators objected to the increase, with one claiming that it would render their business unsustainable. Another owner, Elly Tse, who runs the ‘Tsuru’ truck selling Asian street food, said that while she had been forced to adapt she is glad to have made the move into mobile food vending. “It has definitely been a worthwhile and enjoyable venture,” she said. “I’d say 50 trucks can only do good in terms of public education. At this infancy stage, there are not many people who are aware of the food truck phenomenon and by having more trucks to roam the streets of Sydney I believe it will naturally educate and give this new industry a little boost.” Lord Mayor Clover Moore was also optimistic about the program’s future. “Not only are the trucks generating new business and creating jobs across the city, they’re also giving Sydneysiders fantastic new late-night dining options that simply didn’t exist a few years ago,” she said.
Are dentures desirable? Is senility seductive? That’s all up for debate on Friday, when some of Sydney’s most seasoned comedians contest the motion “that 60 is sexy”. The debate is hosted by the City of Sydney and is part of NSW Seniors Week. Team captains are the well-known comedienne Jean Kittson, speaking for the affirmative, and ABC personality James O’Loghlin, speaking for the negative. Kittson’s team will also feature Henri Szeps and Gretel Killeen while O’Loghlin will be joined by Geraldine Turner and Gary Scale. O’Loghlin was bristling with ideas for the tussle. “I will be arguing that sixty is not sexy…but the
taking is to suggest that this is a good thing, because sexy is over-rated and shallow and ultimately worthless,” he said. “There are far better and more worthwhile markers to measure ourselves against, especially as we get older.” When preparing for the debate O’Loghlin had a chance to reflect on the importance of placed on ‘sex’. “I’ve been noticing how much status our society seems to give to the notion of ‘sexy’. “There’s something ‘sexy’ on so many ads, and in so many movies and TV shows, and magazines…sexiness is clearly seen as an aspirational and desirable quality, more so sometimes than cleverness or wisdom or kindness.
being sexy probably more than you see them being wise or kind or clever.” Asked if he had canvased his parents for their opinions on the topic, he was coy. “Not yet, but I will, although any conversation that involves parents and the word ‘sexy’ is inevitably awkward.” As part of seniors week, the City of Sydney has also launched an “after dinner walking group” for seniors, aimed at getting older residents out and about in the city at night. The first 1.6km guided tour of Walsh Bay ran on Tuesday night. The “60 is sexy” comedy debate will take place on 21 March from 1-2pm at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place.
Going head to head: James O’Loghlin and Jean Kittson
Mayor backs affordable housing levy Consulate criticisms reach MP inboxes BY PAUL GREGOIRE Like so many inner city suburbs, Marrickville’s gentrification and rising real estate prices are resulting in a crisis of affordable housing. Marrickville Mayor Jo Haylen last week addressed a NSW parliamentary inquiry on the issue and recommended a housing levy for the local area. Cr Haylen said Marrickville suffers from one of the highest levels of homelessness in Sydney and fears the cultural diversity of the area is under threat. “Our traditional diversity is diminishing and escalating housing prices are putting intolerable pressure on the disadvantaged and lower-income members of our community,” she said. The mayor’s proposed solution is a compulsory affordable housing levy on property developers. The three per cent levy would apply to dwellings of more than $200,000 and be similar to existing schemes such as the successful City of Sydney and Willoughby models. “In some models the money goes into a fund and when there’s enough, housing is constructed. This housing is usually leased or divested to registered community housing providers,” Cr Haylen said. “Council has officially planned for 4000 dwellings to 2031, so
assuming a construction value of $400,000 per dwelling construction cost, a three per cent levy would equate to $48 million or 120 dwellings.” South Marrickville resident John Atkins said the major issue is a lack of affordable rental housing, especially for singles. “Another [issue] is the loss of key workers. Key workers are people who are employed in community services like teachers, police officers, nurses,” he said. “As the houses become increasingly unaffordable they’re forced out. So there’s a loss of those people and it’s very difficult to find employees to provide those essential services.” A member of the local advisory Affordable Housing Committee, Mr Atkins said the biggest opportunity council has to contribute to affordable housing
is to utilise the old Marrickville hospital development. “We’ve actually got council to agree to a minimum of four per cent affordable housing within that development.” A successful example of an affordable housing scheme funded by developers is the developer contributions scheme of City West Housing. Janelle Goulding, City West’s CEO, said her organisation has been delivering affordable rental housing in the Pyrmont/Ultimo area since 1998. “Many of our residents fall into very low, low and moderate income brackets and would most likely not be able to afford to live in areas close to their employment,” she said. “The maximum rent payable by our tenants is 30 per cent of the gross household income.”
Marrickville Mayor Jo Haylen after addressing the Housing Inquiry
BY PAUL GREGOIRE A group of Falun Gong practitioners have complained to the Chinese Consulate about a press release they regard as defamatory that was emailed to New South Wales members of parliament. Dr Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association, said they were informed by a member whose office had received the press release from the consulate on February 25, along with 90 other MPs. City News obtained a copy of the press release which criticises Shen Yun Performing Arts along with the Falun Gong movement. “Clearly, the so-called ‘Performing Arts’ is not a cultural performance but a political tool of Falun Gong to preach cult messages and spread anti-China propaganda,” the document states. Ms Zhao said the show, which will be performed at the Sydney Theatre in April, is at odds with the ideology of the Chinese government. She accused the consulate of exceeding its mandate by interfering. “What they’re doing is outside their consulate function and also what they do is actually defaming the reputation of…an organisation which is legally registered in Australia,” she said. A similar incident was reported in March 2008, which involved emails sent to Victorian MPs urging them not to visit a Falun Gong show. Falun Gong, which is also referred to as Falun Dafa, is a Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy. There are two main reasons why the Chinese government began cracking down on its members, Ms Zhao explains: the popularity of the movement and its spiritual ideology. “[In] 1999, a government survey showed that there were a 100 million [Falun Gong practitioners] in China, which actually
Under duress: Falun Gong practitioners
outnumbered the Communist Party members, which were 60 million,” she said. Ms Zhao said the Chinese government has carried out a campaign to demonise the movement and its practitioners have been tortured and detained in jails, labour camps and “brainwashing centres”. A spokesperson for the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney said the press release was sent to “Australian friends” to help them understand Falun Gong. “The Falun Gong cult, originated from China and with the nature of “anti-human and anti-society”, caused grievous loss of life and property in China,” the spokesperson said. “The so-called Shen Yun Performing Arts is directly controlled by the Falun Gong cult. It is manipulated by Falun Gong cult as a political tool to preach cult messages.” More than 100 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the Chinese Consulate in Camperdown on March 11 to present a letter to the Consul General Li Huaxin. However, security refused them entry.
Artists fight ‘malicious’ government attack
artworks. All proceeds will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which works to provide services like food banks and social support for asylum seekers in Australian communities. “One reason I’m doing this art auction for refugees is to show that not all artists are just out there taking funding like beggars. Sometimes we support ourselves, sometimes we give back,” he said. Elsewhere the Sticky Institute, an artist-run initiative, recently pulled out of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art because the gallery is sponsored by Transfield. “We believe that participation in the fair would contribute to the creation of cultural value and
validation for Transfield Services, a company whose profits partially derive from the mandatory detention of people seeking protection from abuses of their human rights,” the group stated. In his letter, Mr Brandis argued that the Arts Council of Australia should discourage artists from spurning corporate funding because it may in turn discourage corporate sponsors from offering funding. “The decision sends precisely the wrong message to other actual or potential corporate sponsors of the arts: that they may be insulted, and possibly suffer reputational damage, if an arts company or festival decides to make a political statement about an aspect of their Photo: Chris Peken
BY JOHN GOODING Local artists have reacted with outrage at suggestions from the federal government that artists who reject corporate funding should not receive government funding. In reaction to the Biennale of Sydney’s decision to drop the Transfield Foundation as a sponsor, arts minister George Brandis sent a letter last week to the Australian Council for the Arts asking them to limit government funding to those who reject corporate sponsorship. Transfield Services, parent of the Transfield Foundation, has a contract to provide welfare services in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. Shayne Chester, an artist working in Potts Point, criticised the move by Mr Brandis and said it may have a chilling effect on artists. “I think it’s very malicious of Brandis to be demonising artists in the same way it’s malicious of the government to be demonizing asylum seekers,” he said. “Artists like any workers have the right to withdraw their labour or the fruits of their labour if they have a problem with those who are providing the funding. It’s fairly obvious that taking dollars made from cruelty and illegal incarceration is not only immoral but delegitimizes the art of that artist.” Chester is currently holding a charity auction of his own
Shayne Chester auctioning his artwork in support of asylum seekers
commercial relationships with government,” he wrote. Gabrielle Devietri, spokesperson for the Biennale artists’ working group, said: “By logical extension, George Brandis’ ultimatum would see public funding stripped from a children’s sports festival that refused sponsorship from a tobacco company.” Mr Brandis’ comments came after an ABC interview with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in which Mr Turnbull suggested: “If they don’t like the government’s policy they should reject any arts event that has funding from the federal government.” But Mr Chester rejected this line of thinking as a double-standard and an impossibility. “It’s the same as saying everybody who disagrees with the asylum seeker policy but receives some benefit from the government, be it welfare or child support or a tax break, should refund that money because they have a grievance with the government,” he said. Ms Devietri said the future of ethical sponsorship is in no way jeopardised by the actions she and others took against the Biennale. “This is the beginning of greater accountability for individuals, organisations, corporations, and hopefully, eventually, government,” she said.
news in brief Raue on the ropes The vice-president of the University of Sydney student union, Tom Raue, may be expelled after the NSW Supreme Court ruled that the union’s board of directors has the power to remove fellow directors. The board moved to expel Raue after he leaked a sentence from a confidential report to the student newspaper Honi Soit late last year, at which point Raue filed an injunction. “[The judgement] will have a chilling effect on board directors engaging in debate or critical thinking, which will lead to worse decision-making, deference to non-student staff and a continuation of the current transformation from a student organisation to a corporation,” Mr Raue said. The court has ordered him to pay the legal costs of the defendants.
White Bay blues Action against the White Bay cruise terminal has reached a new level, community organisers say, following a meeting of 105 residents and aggrieved parties at the weekend. Some Balmain residents
have expressed concern about air and noise pollution emanating from the ships using the terminal, and the response of Sydney Ports, which has committed only to further monitoring. The meeting at Balmain’s Clontarf Cottage on Sunday heard from Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne and Greens MP Jamie Parker. Both have pledged to pursue the matter with the state government and Sydney Ports, said campaigner and former councillor John Stamolis. “It would be simply unfathomable for any business to operate as Sydney Ports and cruise lines operate, in a highdensity residential area,” he said. “It is just not seen and would not be allowed.”
War in Iraq, 11 years on Today, March 20, marks the 11th anniversary of the Coalition of the Willing’s invasion of Iraq. Many in Australia are still calling for an inquiry into how and why we went to war. Those interested can visit iraqwarinquiry.org.au to sign the appeal.
Bronte trial verdict: let the dogs out Young filmmakers fight bullying
Dogs will be given more space in Bronte Park
order to find a good balance in the usage of the park. “We received a lot of feedback from dog owners saying it was unreasonable that dog owners were being fined for having dogs on the leash on grass areas,” he said. “Every good council communicates, talks, listens, adjusts, modifies, and that’s what we’ve done.” Although 34 fines have been issued during the trial period, a Waverley Council spokesperson confirmed none have been issued since March 1, when the changes to the trial were first introduced. Mr Cusack said although the majority of Bronte Park now allows dogs on-lead, there are zones where dogs remain prohibited in accordance with state legislature, such as the baths and kiosk. The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 prohibits an animal from being within ten metres of a food preparation area and children’s playground equipment to prevent incidences of harm. But Bondi resident and personal trainer Eric Avetisian believes more needs to be done to enforce penalties at Bronte Park to ensure dogs remain within their designated zones. “I come here quite frequently for my fitness sessions,” he said. “The dogs are often barking, causing a fair bit of commotion and getting in our way with the groups. The owners sometimes just don’t do anything about it.”
BY DANIEL PAPERNY Picking up his phone, 16-year-old Savas Aragon is buzzing with excitement. As one of nine finalists in the REELise film festival, his movie Hold On will be screened at Blue Giant Park, Rose Bay this Sunday, in what he describes as “a dream come true”. “My mates and I always loved making films,” he said. “When we first heard about the short film festival and the awards, it was so interesting.” Founded by director Karen Hamilton and a Rose Bay police youth liaison officer, constable Yasmin London, the inaugural event is open to filmmakers aged 12-18 and promotes using mobile phones as a positive tool of change against cyber-bullying. REELise will be free to the public, with a special tribute to ambassador Charlotte Dawson on the opening night to raise awareness about the perils of cyberbullying and how it affects young people. Accordingly, a unique aspect of the festival is its requirement for all entries to be filmed entirely on a mobile phone. “It’s such a good way to do it, because it doesn’t matter who you are...this will keep it fair [and] balanced. [So much of] bullying is done on the phone these days,” Savas told City News. “It was completely difficult to get used to filming at first, especially in scenes with a lot of movement. It’s the first film that we’ve ever entered [but] it was completely different to making all of our other films.” Shot across the streets of Randwick and Maroubra, Hold On explores the consequences of social abuse by following the trajectories of David and Alex – two young boys whose lives are inter-twined
when Alex becomes the victim of cyberbullying. “It’s about a kid who practises magic and then he...is being continuously pressured by these three bullies until...he can’t handle it anymore,” Savas said. “It’s a sad but really powerful ending with a message that you’ve just got to hold on.” For Savas, cinema is a great way of shedding light on the different kinds of abuse that schoolchildren go through, with one in 10 Australian students affected by cyber-bullying according to a December 2010 report conducted by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. “It’s such a good way to spread the word, having a fun festival to get a solid message about bullying, film is one of the best ways to do it,” he said. The REELise festival is this Sunday, 4:30pm at Blue Giant Park in Rose Bay. Photo: Chris Peken
said the expansion of the zones was a response to community feedback which characterised the original boundaries set by the trial as “impractical”. Cr Betts said the changes will allow for the unification of separate boundaries with a view to protecting local biodiversity and the vegetation areas in the gully. “With over 9000 dogs registered in Waverley, we need to strike the right balance between the dog owners and the enjoyment of our limited public spaces by everyone else,” she said. Councillor Andrew Cusack agreed, saying Waverley Council was “relaxing and tweaking the trial” in
Photo: BuzzFarmers via Flickr
BY DANIEL PAPERNY Waverley Council has capitulated on its dog-walking trial in Bronte Park and will expand accessible areas following a backlash from residents. The changes will see on-leash areas widen to include the eastern end of the park between the shelters and the beach, together with an increase to the off-leash area, allowing dogs now to be taken to the lower section of the Bronte Creek waterway. In October, off-leash arrangements were proposed for both Bronte Park and Raleigh Reserve in Dover Heights, with a 12-month trial commencing in December. Waverley Mayor Sally Betts
Young filmmaker Savas Aragon
By DANIEL PAPERNY Waverley Mayor Sally Betts has conceded council’s events policy needed to be reviewed in the face of criticism surrounding its application to social media events and gatherings of a political nature. The issue was instigated by the ‘Beachsaver’ campaign incident on January 24, where Waverley Council rangers confronted Greens MLC David Shoebridge and his eleven volunteers for distributing pamphlets at Bondi Beach without a permit. Pressed about the policy’s failure to distinguish between social gatherings and political
Waverley Mayor Sally Betts
campaigns, Cr Betts affirmed the policy wording needed to be amended. “We can certainly fix that very easily, we have already got that in process to firm up the wording...just to avoid any future misunderstanding,” she said. Outlining where the revised events policy would apply, Ms Betts emphasised the significance of an individual or group’s intentions, with the desire to amass a public audience of 50 or more classifying this gathering as an event and therefore requiring a permit. “When you’re mobilising
people who you’ve never met to come to something, to fulfill your own ambition, which in that [Beachsaver case] was to launch a political campaign then, that is an event, it is not a social gathering,” she said. Heated debate over the legislation ensued at the March 18 council meeting, with Labor councillor John Wakefield arguing the use of the events policy against the ‘Beachsaver’ campaign was “counter to common law” and an attack on public democracy. “The events policy has never applied to political events. This is an absolute loss of control, the old slippery slope to political fascism,” he said. “There is a long-standing right within our country - the right of people to gather, talk and distribute materials on issues they are interested in. It is a pity [the Liberals] don’t have the grace to see what [they] are doing is undesirable.” But Liberal councillor Leon Goltsman said council has a “duty of care” to its community in controlling crowds to prevent Bondi Beach being used continuously for publicity. Cr Betts agreed, arguing management is important in preserving Waverley’s local spaces and avoiding any potential clashes between events, such as that which led to the
January 24 incident. But Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak questioned whether council has the right to control such events, particularly those facilitated by social media, as this could set a dangerous precedent for free speech. “Sea level rise education should not be restricted by an onerous policy that ignores or penalises contemporary social media methods of gathering groups for environmental awareness,” he said. A spokesperson for Waverley Council refuted claims the new policy will attempt to control events organised online, arguing any enforcement of restrictions on social media was impractical. “In recent years, Waverley Council have never issued a fine to an event without a permit, however they have asked for relocation. No fine has ever been issued for events organised [via] social media, nor has it ever been considered,” she said. The new changes will focus on allowing for conditions to be imposed regarding commercial promotions and the publicity of events. “We are trying to protect our beaches from overcommercialisation. We don’t want Bondi Beach to be overrun by 20,000 people for a Pepsi promotion,” the spokesperson told City News.
Cartoon: Peter Berner
Mayor admits event policy needs ‘fixing’
No sex please, we’re Australian By LAWRENCE GIBBONS The Australian government’s recent decision to censor an American film containing six minutes of gay sex scenes has been condemned by filmmakers, free speech advocates and the gay community at home and globally. Starring James Franco and directed by Travis Matthews, I Want Your Love was scheduled to screen this week at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. More than 700 people bought tickets to see the film, which has been screened in world class cities like New York, Toronto, Sao Paolo, London, Milan, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong - but not in Melbourne. The movie debuted at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival in June 2012, where a local critic called it, “one of the most important queer films we’ve seen [in] a very, very long time”. The Melbourne Queer Film Festival applied to the Australian Classification Board for a festival exemption, which was granted to the Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) to screen Donkey Love a year and a half ago. According to the SUFF Program: “Donkey Love is a documentary that introduces the unknown tradition of Colombians having sex and falling in love with donkeys.” Proudly sponsored by this paper, SUFF screened the film in Marrickville in September 2012, a year before Australia elected a hard-line conservative government and the calendar moved back more than 40 years. In 1970, while much of the free world celebrated free love, the then conservative government led by John Gorton introduced the Australian Classification Board to protect the moral standards of the local citizenry. Nowadays, when anyone with access to a
computer and the internet can download pornographic images, videos and content at the click of a button, the federal government’s attempt to prevent 700 film-goers from watching six minutes of gay sex is as bizarre as it is byzantine. It is also “embarrassing”, to quote James Franco, the actor whose performance has been banned. I Want Your Love was still screening at the Castro Theatre in the heart of the city’s gay district a few months ago while I was in San Francisco. I missed the flick. Instead I spent my time at an alternative newspaper conference. Amid panel discussions on internet censorship, banner advertising strategies and how to make money digitally, I received an unusual proposition from the publishers of an alternative newsweekly in Seattle: would this paper be interested in helping to bring a successful independent porn festival to Australia? Produced by Seattle’s Stranger, the Hump Festival is curated by the syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, whose advice column “Savage Love” got its start in that publication and now appears in alternative papers all around North America and is podcasted globally. Six months ago, Dan was here in Australia at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas and appeared nationally on the ABC’s Q&A program. Launched in 2005, the Hump Festival showcases homemade erotica in an annual short film competition. The festival has screened in cities across the US and Canada with many sessions sold out. This year’s line-up contains a smorgasbord of polymorphous perversity with a range of consensual passions under
the microscope. What could be more natural? Straights do it. Gays do it. Groups do it. Two women exploring the boundaries of pleasure and pain do it. A disabled woman does it, exploring new uses for her walking stick. Anyone in Australia could easily download similar images onto their computer, courtesy of Google, were they so inclined. Back in Sydney, I met with my old mate Craig Donarski - aka Master Tom co-founder of the Sydney S&M Hell Fire Club, former ABC identity, and the marketing director of the Sydney Film Festival - to get his opinion on whether or not it would be possible to bring the Hump Festival
down under. After a discussion about how the festival exemption works in Australia and the politics of porn censorship locally, Craig went back and sounded out the Sydney Film Festival brain trust on the feasibility of getting it up here in Sydney, so to speak. Their answer was unequivocal: in light of the Classification Board’s recent decision to ban a film with only six minutes of unsimulated sexual activity between consenting adults, it is highly unlikely that the current government would ever allow the Hump Festival to be screened in Australia. As a freezing chill blasts our once hot continent, the local climate has definitely changed. Guess we’ll never know what they’ve been lining up to see in Seattle, Chicago and New York City anytime soon. Lawrence Gibbons is the publisher of City News
I Want Your Love: What the censors don’t want you to see
You are here By SEAN MAY It’s late Friday afternoon and the Wayside Chapel in Potts Point is packed. People have congregated out the front, chatting amongst one another, while some line up at the café for a meal. Off to the side, a photo shoot takes place for an upcoming play titled You Are Here. The Wayside Chapel is a community services centre that provides social programs for the Sydney’s homeless, drug dependent and socially disadvantaged. The Wayside Chapel is also one of three venues in which You Are Here will be performed. “It investigates blindness in our society and our willingness to ignore people when they’re experiencing crisis,” director Sarah Emery says of the production. You Are Here, by Milk Crate Theatre, is a collection of stories exploring social marginalisation. “The main protagonist is a character called Hood, who’s a young person experiencing homelessness for the first time. So we travel through that character and then think on a more societal level how we might approach this issue if we see it in our everyday life,” Emery says. You Are Here is performed in a style of theatre known as ‘forum theatre’. Created by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal, forum theatre is an interactive style of performance in which the members of the audience and the actors can stop the play to analyse particular problems acted out onstage. “It opens up a conversation with the audience through forum theatre, to invite people on the stage to problem solve solutions to issues we see everyday,” says Emery. The audience plays an integral role in You Are Here, opening up a dialogue to discuss the issues of homelessness. The play is performing at the Wayside Chapel and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre in front of a community of people who have experienced homelessness in the past or are currently experiencing it. The play then moves to the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta for an education season, performing in
front of high school students. “It invites young people into the problem solving and the process in finding a solution to youth homelessness,” says Emery. Youth homelessness is an issue that often does not garner enough attention despite its prevalence. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, of the 105,000 people who are homeless on any given night in Australia, nearly half are under 25 years old. Perhaps the reason youth homelessness remains invisible is due to the varying degrees of homelessness. While the notion prevails that the average homeless person is living rough on the streets, homelessness by definition does not equate to whether someone has a roof over their heads or not. Those who move from one temporary shelter to another, including people at refuge centres and couch surfers, also experience secondary homelessness. It is also referred to as ‘hidden homelessness’ and the majority
of young homeless people fall into this category. “I think when people think of homelessness, they tend to think of old blokes sleeping rough,” says Michael Coffey, the Chief Executive Officer for Yfoundations. “I think there is a blindness in the community to recognising when youth homelessness is happening. For example, most of the kids that are homeless are most likely couch surfing or hanging around friends places for long periods of time.” Yfoundations is a peak body seeking to end youth homelessness through policy and structural advocacy. Raising public awareness about youth homelessness is also at the core of Yfoundations’ work, and they are involved with the annual Youth Homelessness Matters Day held on April 9th this year. “The main reason why young people are out of homes without care is because of family breakdown. I don’t say that to blame the parents, but there
are a whole lot of conditions to cause families to breakdown,” says Coffey. Some members of the ensemble of artists at the Milk Crate Theatre have personally experienced homelessness or social marginalisation. Michael, an actor who has been involved with the Milk Crate Theatre since 2010, is one of them. “It’s kind of like walking a tightrope,” Michael says about performing in front of an audience. “You’ve got to get it right and convey something to the audience. And when you get a positive response, where people are clapping and even crying sometimes, it’s really, really rewarding.” For Michael, it seems, there are few better places to call home than the stage. Mar 26, Wayside Chapel, 29 Hughes Street, Potts Point, free, Mar 28, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford Street, Newtown, free, (02) 9331 0555, milkcratetheatre.com
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EAT & DRINK
Rocafelas “If everyone’s going to evacuate and be scared of the area, I’m moving in,” declares Rocko Tozzi. He’s got more right than most to sound cocky: he’s the son of Kings Cross hospitality royalty - Antonello Tozzi – owner of Sugareef from the mid-90s. Rocko’s winning formula is to update and offer new, inexpensive ways $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Mille Vini Chef John Lanzafame rattling the pans gave me cause to visit this Italian wine bar, in operation for over a decade. The beautiful heritage-listed space lined with wines does inspire a powerful thirst. A dry yet strawberryscented 2012 Italian Collefrisio Cerasuolo Rosè ($12/glass) goes well against warmed Sambuca Fritti Olives ($6.50). They defy aniseed expectations with compelling, syrupy sweetness. Slow-baked Ricotta Infornata ($16) drizzled with green olive salsa proved another hit; eclipsed by a decadent Radicchio Salad ($17) with orange segments, walnuts and
By Jackie McMillan of eating and drinking all the way up to the city’s new witching hour of 3am.. Expect a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner. The roof looks like a scene from American Beauty; the walls bear screen sirens Brigitte Bardot and Sophia ‘Everything you see I owe to spaghetti’ Loren, plus a helpful organisational chart of New York Mafioso. There are nooks, crannies, nods to skate culture, and rock’n’roll; plus another of Alex Lehours artworks that subtly pushes you at their bootleg Stolen ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ Spiced Rum in a Dark & Stormy ($14). Tasty Meatballs ($14) with rich tomato sauce and crusty bread beg for Mulo ($16) – basically vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti - an aperitif with a Chinotto-type edge. Kick on with wines, tinnies and longnecks in paper bags; all suited to simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with grilled chicken, avocado and mozzarella, and light’n’bright pastas like Capelli D’Angelo ($16) angel hair with rocket, chilli oil and Parma prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 rocafelas.com.au Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
yes, more cheese! Pull back to shared Rigatoni ($24) with chilli, pine nuts and muscatels, so you can clink spoons in Meringata ($12) with the pretty 2012 Pizzini Brachetto ($12/ glass). 397 Crown Street, Sydney (02) 9357 3366 millevini.com.au Bar,Wine, Italian $$$-$$$$ Verde Restaurant & Bar This Stanley Street stalwart serves up home-style Southern Italian - “basically what you’d find on my Mother’s table” explains Chef Antonio Ruggerino. He sends out some antipasti, including her hockey puck-shaped Potato and Parsley Fritters ($10), meaty warmed Sicilian Olives ($10) and tender Chilli Dusted Calamari ($12). They’re great against a fruit-driven 2012 Woodlands Margaret River Chardonnay ($52/ bottle). Simplistic pastas, like Linguine
$$$$ - mains over $30
Vongole ($36), keep crowds of mostly regulars coming back, but it’s outclassed by Pan Fried Snapper with Saffron Pappardelle, Peas, Capers and Butter Sauce ($36). Throw in something more substantial - Confit of Duck Leg with Herbed Gnocchi and Caramelised Balsamic Pear ($36) – before honey-drizzled Gelatissimo Buffalo Milk Gelato ($14). 115 Riley Street, East Sydney (02) 9380 8877 verde.net.au Italian $$$$ Macleay Street Bistro In an age when restaurants are constantly rebadging, new owners Mark Campbell and Phillip Fikkers are swimming against the tide. Patrons for over eighteen years, they bought the restaurant they loved; preserving the spot’s thirty-year history all the way down to the Classic Steak Tartare
The Carlisle Bar By Alex Harmon With fear and loathing spreading through the Cross, it is nice to see The Carlisle restore our faith in Sydney drinkers’ humanity. This bar wins my most clever and sexy cocktail title: the Rye An’ Gosling ($18) made with Rye whiskey and Goslings rum, ($22) – lovingly beaten out tableside by a waiter who’s been there for five years. It sings against the 2011 Framingham Riesling ‘Classic’ ($13/ glass), that’ll also work with new Head Chef Tom Williams’ accessible Chicken Liver Pate ($16). Sous Chef Sophie Heath provides kitchen continuity – and excellent pan-fried Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Beurre Noisette ($24). The serving size leaves space for her simple, White Chocolate Cheesecake ($16) too. 73a Macleay Street, Potts Point (02) 9358 4891 macleaystbistro.com.au Modern French,WIne $$$-$$$$ EASTERN SUBURBS Elmo’s Restaurant Yes, it’s in a club, but this deceptively exciting restaurant is in a glass box overlooking Coogee Beach. Manager Vinni Dias is an excellent guide (and
ginger beer and freshly squeezed apple juice. If Sydney’s women weren’t drinking whiskey before, they are now. Once you’ve had your fling, retire to the workman’s bar – a ‘steerage class’ lounge suited to post-work drinking and tapas snacking. The Homemade Haloumi ($14) is out of this world, and sadly out of our reach – made by an 86 year old Greek woman who only dishes it out to three Sydney chefs. Made with real milk (as opposed to powder), it’s the best haloumi I’ve ever had. Tortilla Chips ($16) with a fresh guacamole go hand-inmouth with a Skinny Bitch ($18) cocktail: because excess in denial is the Kings Cross way. Handsome and toothsome is the Spicy Chicken ($16), however the chef isn’t giving any secrets about the sauce away. Luckily he’ll talk you through the Prawn and Calamari ($18) with its three delectable dipping sauces. Don’t be alarmed, the Cross is a beguiling destination – and if you’re really concerned – just call it Potts Point. 2 Kellett St, Kings Cross (02) 9331 0058 thecarlislebar.com.au Bar, Bar Food, Cocktails $$
enthusiast) for the traditional end of this Brazilian-influenced Australian menu that includes Pão de Queijo ($8) cheese bread and Sydney Rock Oysters ($18/6) with flavoursome ‘kiss peppers’, lime, Spanish onion, coriander and palmito. The latter ingredient is a revelation in Baked Palm Heart, Tomato, Chutney, Pimento & Gorgonzola ($16), too. Escondidinho de Cogumelos ($15) delivers four types of mushrooms sautéed in garlic and butter, buried under cassava and cheese; but their biggest hit is Moqueca ($34) a red, coconut-enriched fish and prawn stew – oh and eight-buck Mojitos! Coogee Legion Ex-Service Club, 200 Arden Street, Coogee (02) 9665 8230 coogeelegionclub. com.au/elmos-restaurant/ Brazilian/Modern Australian $$-$$$ Mr. Moustache “Are you going to search me,” a
giggling diner asks. Wearing rubber gloves, we’re about to dive into Tortita Ahogada ($12) - the cantina’s messiest dish - a delicious pork sandwich you “drown” with spicy salsa. On one side there’s an opulent bar, and on the other, a colourful kitchen reflecting Mexican street food culture. So drink Mezcal-based cocktails like El Original del Diablo ($18) with homemade ginger beer against share plates: Seasonal Ceviche ($10); Tostaditas Pato ($12/3) mini tacos with spicy duck - and Huitlacoche ($12/3) - black corn truffle, roasted corn and fresco cheese. Their star dessert is Plantos Machos ($11) – plantain, coffee liquor and burnt goat’s milk. 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach (02) 9300 8892 mr-moustache.com.au Mexican, Cocktails $-$$
EAT & DRINK
By Jackie McMillan
Three Williams Bursting onto the café scene late last year, in a part of Redfern not exactly overflowing with great brunch options, Three Williams was certain to make a splash. Utilising the same architects as Chippendale’s Ester, what makes the stripped-back minimalism of concrete, ramps and plywood work here, is builder Neil Hardwick’s carpentry and attention INNER WEST The Merton Hotel With “no pokies, and no gambling of any kind,” The Merton Hotel is “very family-oriented,” explains Bar Manager Jake Dylan. After a Peroni ($7.00/schooner) in the cosy front bar, we head to the bistro armed with the 2011 Botanica Chardonnay ($30/bottle). The menu combines the talents of a Thai Head Chef and a Mexican Sous Chef. We settle for Curry Goat ($23) - tender Booma Boers goat meat in a rich, flavoursome Caribbean curry. Tableside Pickapeppa Spicy Mango Sauce adds an element of sweetness to the robust flavours, enhancing Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($22) and Pulled Pork Tacos ($14/3) too. The
Betel Leaves ($8/3) convince me to return to try the Thai dishes soon. 38 Victoria Road, Rozelle (02) 8065 9577 themertonhotel.com.au Pub Bistro,Wine,Thai, Jamaican $$ Nithik’s Kitchen Hankering for good Indian? This Rozelle gem by Chef Vikram Arumugam (ex-Aki’s) has an innovative and flavoursome menu. Southern Indian Samuthiram ($18.90) is a definite favourite, layering school prawns, crab and rice pancakes with a creamy coconut sauce and a side of Bengalese shrimp, chilli and tomato paste. Tree of Taste ($12.90) gives an oral and artistic demonstration of Vikram’s flavour palate. Great coconut chutney and homemade ghee notches Masala Dosa ($13) above most I’ve tried.Vikram’s
Heritage Belgian Beer Café What a difference 90 years and 40 storeys makes! This beautiful beer cafe is housed in a restored 1914 St Patrick’s Girls’ School hall, sympathetically integrated with the neighbouring Cove Apartments designed by Harry Seidler and finished in 2004. Start your Belgian beer adventure with Stella Artois ($9/330ml). Its silky mouth feel and creamy mousse come courtesy of staff being ”trained in the ritual – the nine
ROCKS & CBD Gowings Bar & Grill Despite the glamour, I found this restaurant surprisingly approachable, and frequented by a diverse range of people. A casually dressed woman, relaxing with a novel and classic Prawn Cocktail ($18) for companionship, proves my point. Entertained by the lively sounds of the upstairs function space, you’re unlikely to feel lonely if you pop in for flavoursome Hot Spanner Crab Cakes ($19) or perfectly handled Darling Downs Black Angus Rib Eye ($48/350g) with condiments on the side.
to detail. Despite the distinct lack of adornment in the cavernous space, it’s welcoming to people who stretch beyond hipster clichés, including little people, with a dedicated (but not acoustically separated) play space. The yummy Mummy set slide in for slick salads like Chicken, Spice Roasted Carrots, Avocado, Cashew and Citrus Dressing ($14) accompanied by house-made Pineapple and Mint Soda ($12/jug). On naughty days they head straight for Crunchy Brioche French Toast ($14) decked out with roasted pecans, blueberries, yoghurt and a dash of maple syrup, or swap it for dessert in a glass: a clever Banana, Medjool Date and Walnut Praline Smoothie ($7). As for me, I’m all about egg cartons of creamy Fish Croquettes ($3/each) with lemon and aioli, and Chef Tim Bryan’s ‘Narnies’ (re-imagined sandwiches).Yep, you could keep me happy with a mitt full of buttery naan bread dripping with chipotle mayo and stuffed with tender Beef Brisket, ‘Slaw ‘n’ Gerkins ($14) any day! 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern (02) 9698 1111 threewilliams.com Café $ curries are all great: from Meen Manga Charu ($25) of barramundi, coconut and green mango, to labourintensive lychee-stuffed cottage cheese balls Lagaan Ke Kofti ($18) liberally dunked in cashew gravy and scattered with dried fruit. 679 Darling Street, Rozelle (02) 8084 8921 Indian $$-$$$ The Oxford Tavern Hopefully the super cute fivebuck Cheeseburger ($5) here – sandwiching beef, mustard, crunchy pickles, ketchup and gooey cheese between soft brioche buns – will be the death knell for Stanmore McDonalds. Michael Delany’s remodelling of Petersham’s infamous pole dancing and jelly wrestling venue is now the most family-friendly of the Drink’n’Dine venues… if
steps of pouring Stella Artois,” explains Manager Gonzalo Burgos. He’s a Gallagher Hotels stalwart who’s been brought over to settle in their latest acquisition. As he takes me through a matched food and beer journey he explains: “Belgian beers are all about cleanliness.” My favourite was Leffe Blonde ($9/250ml) with a distinctive clove note that made it the perfect companion to Abbey Cheese Croquettes ($15) with pear jam. The sweet jam made a nice counterpoint to Homemade Duck Rillettes ($18) with sharp pickles (including pickled green olives) and fluffy rye bread, accompanied by Duval ($13.50/330ml). The house speciality is Moule Kilo Pots ($30) of Kinkawooka (SA) mussels; I take mine ‘Roquefort’ with Chardonnay, cream and spinach. They’re not bad with Peche Lambic ($13/330ml) - probably the nicest fruit beer I’ve tried – which also suits a salad of Brussels Sprouts, Roast Duck, William Pear, Hazelnuts and Honey Vinaigrette ($26). 135 Harrington Street, The Rocks (02) 9241 1775 heritagebarandrestaurant.com.au Pub Bistro, Belgian $$$$
Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18) is marvellously simple, whilst a pair of Whole Roasted Quails ($38) prove indulgent. Sides are necessary, and so is dessert – the perfectly pink pleasure of a layered verrine of Berry Mousse ($15). Level 1, 49 Market Street, Sydney (02) 8262 0062 qtsydney.com.au Modern Australian $$$$ The Flynn What struck me as a sports bar heaved a collective sigh of relief when the throbbing mass of Happy Hour suits gave way to casual, relaxed diners. Pushing through to the cave-like interior, one is rewarded with a spot of
Teutonic sophistication with Bar Manager Luke Reimann turning out a Blue Cheese Martini ($19) that highlights Crystal Head Vodka in a way that’d make Dan Aykroyd smile. It’s a shoe-in with Gorgonzola-stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ($14); while his Rum Chocolate Manhattan ($22) sets off the Rangers Valley Angus 300day Grain Fed Steak ($28) a treat. Even the thin Chorizo Artisan Pizza ($19) is a winner, with lashings of piquillo pepper mayo. 2A Bligh Street, Sydney (02) 9223 0037 theflynn.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktail $$-$$$
haloumi and a zucchini fritter, plus mixed leaves and dill yogurt, it’s a vegetarian game-changer. I even liked their brown-paper serving method that keeps ‘em separated; cuts down on mess, and allows you to two-hand them with crafty brews, like Pikes Oakbank Pilsner Lager ($8.50). Additionally, the mainstays of this old-boozer turned local community hub have been updated rather than forgotten. The Pie of the Week ($17), bearing duck, chicken and mushrooms wrapped with credible pastry and topped by intense gravy and mushy peas, makes a mighty meal. However if you’re really starving, The Vic Roast ($26) with crisp-skinned pork belly, roast vegetables, greens and gentler apple’n’cider gravy, should curb even the fiercest of appetites. A generous Sailor Jerry Jug ($22) made on fancy, organic StrangeLove ginger beer provides enough drinking fuel to check out The Projects – their outdoor space offering seating, parking, graffiti and basketball! 2 Addison Road, Marrickville (02) 9557 1448 vichotel.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktails, Burgers $$-$$$
Vic on the Park In my ever-widening search for a pub with something different, I’m forced to admit I might have misjudged the humble slider. This fast-paced yellow kitchen – clearly delineated with a suitably hipster font – produces four winning Sliders ($20/4) from a repertoire of six. “Beef” ($6) with pickles, onion, cheese and French’s yellow mustard mayo is hard to beat; but by doubling up “Vego” ($6) with grilled you think up an age-appropriate explanation of The Jelly Wrestle ($20) dessert that comes with gloves not cutlery. Kid-free, I availed myself of a Swinging Tit ($9) with Kraken Spiced Rum and pink jellied foam sprayed onto your arm. Buffalo Cauliflower Balls ($14) with blue cheese and hot sauces will stick to your ribs during a dive bar drinking session. 1 New Canterbury Road, Petersham (02) 8019 9351 theoxfordtavern.com.au American, Pub Bistro, Cocktails $$ NEWTOWN & ENVIRONS The Henson Your hipster pub life needn’t stop when you have kids! Bring your beard, your tatts, your children,
yes, even your dog (true story) and save on funky Mac & Cheese ($14) rippled with silver beet, cauliflower and leek. The rest of the menu is eclectic but inviting, from Duck Shepherd’s Pie ($23) baked in an enamel-coated tin plate, to Brown Rice Kim Chee Goreng, Pork Belly, Fried Egg and Sambal ($24) – a curious Indonesian/Korean collision that works. If you’re into craft brews, the on-tap Stone & Wood Summer Ale ($5.80) is a beauty; if not, a bottle of 2011 Belgravia ‘Apex’ Chardonnay ($40) will get you into the friendly backyard vibe. 91 Illawarra Road, Marrickville (02) 9569 5858 thehenson.com.au Pub Bistro $$-$$$ Mojo By Luke Mangan Enter a virtual temple of Luke Mangan, starting at the door with
name-brand products, and ending in the rear with his name in lights. He built it, and they have come, in their BMWs and Audis, to slum it warehouse-style under cage fight lights, eating from enamel-coated tin plates. Sure the Lobster & Vietnamese Salad Bao Bun ($15.50) is a slider by another Mother, but it’s a goody; ditto the Tempura Prawn Steamed Bun ($9.50) with chipotle and pineapple salsa. Raw Beef Fillet ($14) takes tartare to Mexico, whilst Morocco produces my dish of the night – Cauliflower with Harissa Yoghurt ($14). The 2011 Kooyong Beurrot Pinot Gris ($12/glass) suits it. 8-10 Danks Street, Waterloo (02) 9002 5346 lukemangan.com/ restaurants/mojo-by-luke-mangan Tapas $$
FOOD NEWS While most of my time is spent in restaurants, everyone snacks sometimes. This week I’ve been getting into Duck Creek Farm Macadamias, grown and hand-packaged in the beautiful Byron hinterland. Called It’s The Duck’s Nuts, their eye-catching 80g packets [RRP $6.90] are
the perfect size for a snack. They come in a variety of sophisticated flavours; on top of the expected Dark/Milk Chocolate-Coated, HoneyRoasted and Sea Salted ones. My favourites were Wasabi and the utterly compelling Abalone – trust me, they go down well with beer! www.duck-creek.com.au I’m also a sucker for South American alfajores – shortbread-style biscuits containing dulce de leche (milky caramel). I usually head out to Sugarloaf Patisserie in Kogarah or Lion D’Or in Carramar to buy mine, so hearing that
BAR FLY Karl Schlothauer reckons when he first opened Pocket Bar, he sold more crêpes than booze. Perhaps that’s because Pocket Bar, was one of the first small bars in Sydney. Now we’ve grown up, we know what we’re doing, so Sydney heads into his Darlinghurst burrow for crafty mixology and old faithfuls: whisky and wine. Pocket change pumps cocktail value from the Snozberry ($7) to Palomita ($11).You might recognise Schlothauer as a whisky drinker – he also owns (Ardbeg heaven)
AlfaChoc will post them to me direct, may well save me some petrol money for my favourite sweet fix. I favoured the AlfaChoc Classico ($23.40/6) over their chocolate-coated versions. www.alfachoc.com
By Rebecca Varidel Stitch and Button in Sydney and Terrigal, plus a bar in Paris. So it’s no surprise that the whisky list – bourbon, rye, Scotch and Japanese – is extensive. It heads up the spirits menu and extends to cocktails: No Money No Honey ($18) is a Scotch take on the Negroni; and the Talisker Ginger Scot ($22) sings with the addition of apricot brandy. 13 Burton Street, Sydney 9380 7002 pocketsydney.com.au
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Little Spoon Theatre’s third offering is sure to get audiences talking - the play has been banned in certain parts of Europe. Now the raw, poetic and oddly humorous Stitching finds itself onstage in Sydney. “The controversy’s been taken a little out of context,” says Wade Doolan, actor and co-founder of Little Spoon. “In conservative parts of Europe it was banned and full-on, but I think Sydney audiences are open-minded enough to see it how it should be.” The show follows Stu and Abby as they contend with a difficult decision: to keep the baby or not. Stitching refers to the decisions that have the potential to unravel the fabric of their relationship. What’s the biggest challenge in dealing with such sensitive material? “I think some of the things my character says and does come off as hard and callous … I suppose he’s trying to function out of love and logic. The biggest hurdle is definitely making him empathetic and accessible and not wholly brutish or loathsome,” Doolan says. “You have to handle these themes delicately and subtly.”
Starring co-founders Wade Doolan and Lara Lightfoot, and directed by renowned Scottish director Mark Westbrook, Stitching promises audiences a poetic and uncompromising play about concerns we seldom see this scrupulously on stage. (RG) Mar 26-Apr 12, Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $20-30 (Strictly 18+), littlespoontheatre.com
A MOMENT ON THE LIPS Mad March Hare Theatre Company will stage Jonathan Gavin’s awardwinning all-female production, A Moment On The Lips. The play, set during a dinner party, moves backward and forward in time, as seven powerful women confront their jealousies, rivalries and their respective ambitions. The Old Fitzroy Theatre, which staged the production ten years ago, will again play host. Real life sisters, Sarah and Beth Aubrey, will also play sisters onstage, their first performance together. Sarah Aubrey says, “It’s truly a dream come true and also slightly bizarre to be working together. It’s almost like we’ve been researching this role for
the last 33 years.” The Aubreys are the only female siblings to ever graduate from NIDA. “The first time we got up to rehearse we couldn’t stop laughing because we know each other so well. The way we speak and move is very similar.” Aubrey continues, “I saw the play ten years ago and it’s been in my head ever since. I was incredibly moved by it and excited that there was a play with seven intelligent, well-rounded, articulate women, who weren’t all sitting around talking about a man - a rarity in the acting world.” (GF) Mar 25-Apr 12,The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, $21-39, sitco.net.au
Photo: Bob Seary
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young girl’s courage in the face of ignorance and bigotry during her father’s defence of a young black man in 1930’s Alabama, arrives at New Theatre Sydney. Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird will be directed by Annette Rawlinson in this instance. The play will be performed by nine-year-old Tegan Croft (Scout), Hudson Musty (Jem), Kai Lewins (Dill), Lynden Jones (Atticus Finch) and Craig Meneaud (Tom Robinson). “For me it is both exciting and daunting to perform in a play that has generated quite a resonance What happens when lions try to out-renovate each other? With a premise like this, The Pride is sure to be an entertaining, if absurdly bizarre production. “I was fascinated with looking at the behaviour of lions, the structures of their families and thought what happened if you overlayed those behavioural patterns on human characters?” says writer/director Zoe Pepper. Or in other words, “What would a David Attenborough about humans be like?” Beside the promise of anthropomorphic lions struggling with decorating dilemmas, just like any other nature doco, The Pride provokes some sobering commentary on “us” - humans. Focusing on the “takeover” – where a younger, more virile lion challenges the ageing
alpha-male for his pride - Pepper found human relationships and love were just as cyclical as in the animal kingdom. “We use love as a determining factor of why one marriage broke up and one stays together. It makes some behaviour acceptable, whereas in the lion pride, the takeover sounds brutal and kinda inconceivable in human terms. It’s not necessarily that dissimilar,” she says. However, despite these lions committing savage and seemingly indefensible actions, The Pride is hopeful, exploring “people’s willingness to forgive and how love gives people permission to forgive terrible deeds,” says Pepper. (MT) Mar 20-Apr 5, Bondi Pavilion Theatre, 1 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach, $21-35, rocksurfers.org/ thepride
with so many people. Even those that don’t normally go to the theatre are telling me they are coming,” says Lynden Jones. “It’s wonderful to be able to play a character that is so passionate & willing to fight even though he knows he can’t win. Performing a play in which the children have such prominent roles is also so engaging and [it’s] wonderful to see the energy and excitement they bring, and have passed on to all of us, to come to rehearsals and perform the play” says Jones. (JA) Mar 18-Apr 19, New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown, $17-32, newtheatre.org.au
17 STAGE 18 SCENE 20 SOUNDS 22 SCREEN
Review Tchaikovsky’s late 19th century opera, based on Pushkin’s classic Russian novel-length poem, remains the composer’s most popular and enduring opera. The story of an ill-fated love triangle is brought to life by Opera Australia and Covent Garden. Tatyana (Nicole Car) youthfully confesses her love for Eugene Onegin (Dalibor Jenis) who initially dismisses her advances. After shooting his best friend Lensky (James Egglestone) in a duel, Onegin comes to regret rejecting Tatyana’s affection. Vocally Nicole Car dominates, with more than enough presence to hold the stage during the lengthy
solo love letter scene. Egglestone’s performance as Lensky is also a highlight. He convincingly portrays a young man in love and betrayed by his best friend. Guillaume Tourniaire leads a spectacular orchestra, audibly conveying the inner turmoil of the characters. Sets are overindulgent, with the dead Lensky left onstage for the final scenes only to be never referred to, while a tree branch in later scenes proved to be nothing more than an underutilised distraction. (LD) Until Mar 28, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $44-315, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com
EUGENE ONEGIN Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
For more A&E stories go to www.altmedia.net.au
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Angela Stretch, Anita Senaratna, Catherine Knight, Cheryl Northey, Ciaran Tobin, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jamie Apps, Jemma Nott, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Lisa Ginnane, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Nerida Lindsay, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams, Tom Wilson,Vanessa Powell
Photo: Gez Xavier Mansfield
SMOKIN’ MIRRORS Smokin’ Mirrors are a metal rock four-piece from the central coast who are tearing it up with their new EP Set to Ignite. These dynamic hard party kids with guitar-fuelled bursts hark back to the big hair & hard-rocking of the ‘80s. The group pride themselves on their live shows which are jam-packed highenergy events. Bassist Matt Coleman
says, “We think it is sort of weird to go see a rock band and not jump around and go nuts. Because that’s all of our first instinct. So that’s what we try and create onstage. To have no barrier between us and the audience,” he says. Starting out in early 2011, Coleman had known lead singer Emmy Mack and drummer Sam Goldie since they
GREEN PORNO Audience participation – it’s as old as the hills. Think the colosseum, where a few bored thumbs pointed downward sends the unlucky gladiator out of the contest for good. Then there was reality TV, where no matter how hard and often you voted – somebody remained to carry on next week. Of course, modern politicians have turned riding the wave of audience participation into an art form, with their blessed focus groups. That’s leadership from ‘behind’, thinking the public’s thoughts after them. Fight Night takes audience participation to a new level. Pushing the boundaries of polite theatre by attempting to read the minds and hearts of the audience, every
PERFORMANCE THE WINTER’S TALE is one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays. John Bell’s production stars Myles Pollard, Helen Thompson, Rory Potter and also newcomer Liana Cornell (Love Child, Schapelle). Set in Sicily and told in two parts, the first involves King Leontes who wrongly accuses his pregnant wife Hermione of adultery and throws her in jail.When the baby Perdita arrives, the King forces Hermione to abandon her into the wild. The second half of the play reunites
member holds the electronic power to vote in the palm of their hands. Created by maverick Belgian collective Ontroerend Goed and direct from a season at the Adelaide Festival, they are old friends of the STC. Plenty of fun but challenging and provocative for those with the ears to hear, there is nothing like a bit of good old audience participation to shine the spotlight on one’s own personal politics. After all, there is complicity in the press of a button as well as the downward thumb. You’ve gotta love democracy. (GW) Mar 20-Apr 13, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf 2, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $35-65, 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au
us with the lost child who is unaware of her royal lineage. Her identity is unveiled and themes of compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation come into play. (LK) Until Mar 29, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $35-79, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Set in a New York apartment, this “small quirky ensemble show” reveals the tale of a die-hard musical theatre fan who plays his favourite Broadway cast album on his turntable.The musical literally bursts to life in his living room and
Isabella Rossellini is a well-known multi-talented Italian actress. The daughter of late Hollywood screen legend Ingrid Bergman is also a model, author, philanthropist and filmmaker, known as much for her talent as for her classic beauty. As if that wasn’t enough, Rossellini is now studying animal behaviour at Hunter College in New York. Her interest in animal behaviour led to the creation of a critically acclaimed and provocative short film series on the mating rituals of animals. During the shorts, Rossellini dressed in a variety of colourful insect and sea-creature costumes to describe and enact the mating rituals of those creatures. Green Porno, written in conjunction with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, is the new and quirky onewoman comedy show culmination of all of this. Rossellini is coming to Australia to take the audience on an unusual and
is transformed into an impressive Broadway set. An energetic production like this being performed at the new Hayes Theatre Co Potts Point location, provides a much more intimate theatrical experience for the audience. Director Jay James-Moody promises an amazing show with a star-studded cast of Sydney’s finest musical talent. (CT) Until Apr 6, Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point, $30-48, hayestheatre.com.au JUMP FOR JORDAN goes some of the way to explain what it is like
fascinating journey into the sex life and mating habits of a number of land and marine animals – the snail, the worm, the fly, the shrimp, the deadly spider, the praying mantis, the
to be part of the mosaic of cultures that make up Australia. It centres on Sophie (played by Alice Ansara), an independent Arab-Australian woman who must lie about her life, career and Aussie boyfriend for fear of shaming her traditional Jordanian family. Director Iain Sinclair was attracted to the relatability of the script (written by Donna Abela). Much of the cast are of Arab descent and Sinclair says it is not so much a work in progress, but rather a live reflection on the experiences of second-generation women.Women who not only cope with the typical
were teenagers and they later held auditions for a guitarist. “He (Alex Richmond) was the first to come in. After five or ten minutes of him playing we told everyone else not to bother,” says Coleman. They cancelled the auditions scheduled and the group have been smashing out their electrifying tunes ever since. (CK) March 21, Hermanns Bar, Butlin Av, Darlington, Tickets at the door, 18+ only, hermannsbar.com
anchovy and the bi-phallic snake. Green Porno mixes live performance with several of the original short films and each story, read and performed by Rossellini, is scientifically accurate. It will no doubt be fascinating. (LL) Mar 22 & 23, City Recital Hall, Angel Pl, Sydney, $79-99, (02) 8256 2222, cityrecitalhall.com
work-life-family-balance, but whom also negotiate clashing cultures. “I can’t think of the last time I saw Arabic women on stage just being themselves,” says Sinclair. (ATS) Until Mar 29, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $49, 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au TRAVELLING NORTH An ageing couple flee Melbourne’s cold for the warmer far north Queensland and a change of lifestyle, but Frank is soon beset by heartproblems and Frances has to deal with possessive, needy daughters. Written in 1979, it’s sometimes assumed to be about writer David
Williamson’s move to Sydney; in fact it’s about the experiences of his mother-in-law, a gentle and perceptive woman who’d remarried to an older man – an opinionated, intelligent, ex-Communist. The concept of the ‘grey nomad’ is now an established one but “. . .living in paradise isn’t quite enough without having a social context of friends, families and meaningful activities to fill in the time,” says Williamson. (MM) Until Mar 22, Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4/5, Hickson Rd,Walsh Bay, $5085, 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au
MAKING THE BEST OF GRIDLOCK
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz Gridlock - it’s a word that instils fear and trauma into any peak hour motorist. It’s defined as “a state of severe road congestion arising when continuous queues of vehicles block an entire network of intersecting streets, bringing traffic in all directions to a complete standstill”. Whilst last week’s Barangaroo barbeque didn’t quite generate quintessential textbook gridlock on the streets of Sydney, we certainly came close. Given the highly congested nature of our roads and the inevitability of breakdowns and incidents like the Barangaroo inferno, it seems only a matter of time before Sydney does in fact achieve the perfect storm of unmitigated gridlock. When this does finally occur we wonder what kind of strategies will be in place, not only to get the city moving again but deal with the psychological damage to drivers and passengers trapped motionless in their vehicles for what might seem like an eternity. Should the dreaded gridlock strike during the morning or evening peaks we are looking at a period of emotional distress that could leave some motorists scarred for life. What can be put in place to alleviate the shock and suffering that thousands might endure if the mighty city of Sydney grinds to a calamitous halt? Here at the Naked City we have come up with a number of innovative solutions designed to make the best of a bad situation and lift the spirits of the stationary. We would love to see the ABC’s 702 switch to an all-karaoke format for their morning or evening drive shows. All motorists are encouraged to wind down their windows and join in a chorus of mass communal singing
to tunes such as Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive or Pete Seeger’s We Shall Overcome. The ‘peak’ is normally a dog eat dog combat zone of jostling vehicles and bad-tempered drivers but for once a sense of harmony, mutual love and common purpose would prevail. Peace! Given that motorists could be stranded for an hour or two, the City of Sydney Council could rally over a thousand bike riders, Clover herself included, to weave in and out of the gridlock distributing complimentary bottles of Mount Franklin, blueberry muffins and assorted nibblies. The often despised cyclists would soon be seen as angels of mercy and embraced forever by their former nemesis in the daily traffic scramble. Finally, the State Government could actually profit from the chaos by conducting a snap ‘Gridlock Rescue Lotto’. Using their smartphones, stranded motorists could enter a $5 lottery, with a different winner drawn every ten minutes. Employing a fleet of heavy-duty helicopters, the lucky winners would be whisked away, car and all, and deposited safely at their final destination. The monies raised could go towards building even more roads and expressway projects. It mightn’t solve Sydney’s traffic problems, but hey it does guarantee an even bigger and better gridlock when the inevitable strikes! THE HIT LIST: Adrian Cunningham is a Sydney jazz musician who has made New York his base for the last six or so years and has just survived one of the coldest winters ever experienced in the Big Apple. Back in sunny Australia for his annual sojourn, Cunningham will take sax, flute and talented quartet to Venue 505 on Wednesday March 26th to launch his brand new album Ain’t That Right, recorded in New York and featuring the compositions of the great Neal Hefti. adriancunningham.com.
TALKING THROUGH YOUR ARTS NEWTOWN SHOPKEEPERS Newtown shopkeeper Bob Gould passed away aged 74 in 2011. His family were left to find ways to keep his accumulated 30-year legacy of book selling, open for business. While the retail industry struggles to survive increasing rent, a shift in online consumerism and the economic binds of government policy, a photographer living in Newtown has pointed his lens on the people who work in his neighbourhood shops. Nic Bezzina’s portraits of a commercial community are a nostalgic testimony of the characters behind the counters of Newtown. Newtown Shopkeepers is a 126-page book of 50 colour photographic portraits accompanied by 50 interviews. The collection is supported by the City of Sydney Archives Department and features an essay by city historian Lisa Murray. Murray observes the photographs to have historical themes of migration and gentrification of the inner city. She sees the significance of the shop interiors and the stories that these portraits convey as an album to be enjoyed now and into the future. Bezzina’s project began in 2009 with an expected completion date of 2012 to coincide with Newtown’s 150th anniversary, but a shortfall in funding
pushed back plans to 2013. A recipient of the Marrickville Council Visual Arts Grant, Bezzina built up public momentum by exhibiting a series of selected works at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in 2012. The growing support helped secure a successful crowdsourcing campaign through Pozible, raising $5,000 in November 2013. The portraits are varied and are as vibrant as the shopkeepers themselves. Heather Marsh of Reactor Rubberwear shares a fondness for a stocked item, “the black rubber blow-up Michelin Man body suit with a blow-up hood and breathing hose
was a fascinating piece.” The shop names are also a wonderful exploration of Newtown’s cultural diversity and word play - Hawleywood Barber, Polka Dot Cookies, Caramba and Azzi Fruit. Gould’s daughter Natalie speaks of her father’s passion for books when she relays, “to have Bob Carr say that Bob Gould was the most well-read man that he had known was not only truthful, but also a great compliment.” The book is available for $60, as a limited edition print run of 1,000 copies, signed and numbered. (AS) Newtown Shopkeepers launch, Mar 20, Gould’s Book Arcade, 32 King St, Newtown, free, nicbezzina.com Photo: Nic Bezzzina
THE NAKED CITY
HOME TOWN - HEATH FRANCO
‘Home Town’, by Heath Franco
A little bit disturbing, a little bit funny and a little bit poetic, Home Town by Heath Franco is an original and reflective audiovisual piece that exposes the lunacy of life. Using raw footage of the beautiful Australian landscape, Franco portrays eccentrics from his hometown of Berridale with comic dialogue and costuming. The characters of Franco’s imagination preen and pose for the camera like video game characters, transforming into rocks, camouflaging into trees and disappearing through portals. The artistic piece offers an unconventional insight into
how our manic society tries to understand its foundations and make meaning of life. Seeing these quirky characters in the setting of Australian bushland, through stunning landscape shots, paired with the evocative soundtrack composed by Franco is a unique experience. Home Town speaks to the viewer about how returning to home makes us realise its strangeness, yet appreciate the underlying beauty. (SOC) Until March 30, Galerie pompom, 2/39 Abercrombie St, Chippendale, free, galeriepompom.com
19TH BIENNALE OF SYDNEY Australia’s biggest contemporary visual arts festival, the Biennale of Sydney, will kick off on March 21st. The festival, held every two years, will exhibit artworks across Sydney from both local and international contemporary artists. The three-month long festival will also host artist talks, forums, film screenings, family days, performances, guided tours, and other special events. Two Berlin-based international artists, Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens, will exhibit their installation, entitled Manners and Habits and Other Received Ideas, at Carriageworks in Redfern. “It’s our first artwork with the Sydney Biennale and it’s our first time in Australia,” Maxwell Stephens says. “We really enjoy it here, the climate is
particularly amazing.” Howes and Stephens’ installation features sculptures made using a black aluminium foil normally used for cinematic lighting effects, called Cinefoil. When pressed onto other sculptures Cinefoil forms a temporary skin over the sculpture. When removed the impression of the absent sculpture remains on the Cinefoil. The artists use these impressions to create the final sculptures. “We look especially at gestures, symbols of power, symbols of status and different criteria like this,” Stephens says. “We have collected this huge inventory and from that inventory we make new structures. It’s the largest use of the material and we’ve evolved from
human figures into architecture, so it’s a step forward for us.” Howes and Stephens have been working together since 1997. They see the Biennale as important for sharing artistic ideas between artists. “It’s like the equivalent of a conference,” Stephens says. “It’s this exchange between international artists and artists from Australia.” The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire begins with a launch party on March 20th at the Australian Technology Park, organised by The Events Authority. Tickets for the opening night party are $150. (FM) Mar 21-Jun 9, various venues, free, biennaleofsydney.com.au
SWAYING WIRES SOME BLUE SKY Swaying Wires’ album Some Blue Sky is perfectly named. Its sweet innocence echoes through a more opaque and non-spoken sense of loss. It is intriguing and it lightly draws the listener in, deeper and deeper into the vocal waves. Presenting a unified sense of two sides of the same experience, Some Blue Sky exists in the present with ghosts of the past dancing around it. Reaching out to their listeners Swaying Wires is lovely to listen to, it is a beautiful, pure experience that speaks between universal lines and touches a place without words. (SP)
THE URBAN CHIEFS - RISE ABOVE When listening to The Urban Chiefs, there is an immediate sense of being off-kilter thanks to the ambient steel guitar. It evokes a strong image of rolling through the dreamlike desert cover art of their album Rise Above. The pace changes between songs, speeding into a magical mix that is part funk & part country. It drops to a bare instrumental and then brings back an ambience, pulling in and out like a longed for distant tide. The work of The Urban chiefs and their collaborators pays off in Rise Above, melding warmly into a well-rounded album. Brave the desert and saunter on in. (SP)
Takadimi are starting the year off with a bang at Sydney’s hippest jazz music venue, Foundry 616 in Ultimo. The vibrant jazz quintet have been playing together for over seven years and have no plans to stop in the near future. Takadimi’s music reflects an authentic obsession for the possibilities within genres. Their unlimited boundaries create a resonant blend of jazz, world and folk music. With their diverse style and refreshing body of contemporary new era music, Takadimi have made a lasting impression. The five-piece was formed in 2008 at the Australian Institute of Music, where all members studied contemporary performance. Their debut was at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in 2009, and they have been touring and performing ever since. The band comprises of Brianne Curran (violin), Kieran RyanColton (electric guitar), James McKendry (acoustic guitar), Joshua Munn (bass) and Ben Kidson (drums). “People’s musical upbringings and backgrounds all come together and we just mix and match,” says Brianne Curran about the band’s unique style. Takadimi launched their debut album, New Common Sense, in 2011 and it received wonderful reviews with widespread recognition across the ABC and community radio. They have toured extensively across
LIVE WIRE Glen Hansard: He’s won a Tony Award and played sold-out shows with his band The Frames, but this Irish troubadour will be hitting the white sails alone this time. His solo shows have been known to rouse his most devoted fans, with impromptu sing-a-longs and classic covers. Joined by fellow Irish sensation Lisa O’Neill. Thu, Mar 20th, Sydney Opera House. Ian Moss: Originally from Alice Springs, this man is more famously known as one
Australia performing at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Sydney Fringe Festival, just to name a couple. “We’re playing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra this year… then a whole bunch of regional tours around there,” says Curran. “It’s just so cool because people look after you and they love the music, it’s really inspiring.” Apart from all the members having other jobs, “music is still a priority” for them. They are currently writing new music for their upcoming album, which will be released in 2015. “We’ve spent a lot more time together as a group and we hang out a lot… we can test the barriers a bit more now,” says Curran. “It [the album] will be a bit more explorative… we’re all very open and seeing where that goes.” Takadimi have broken the boundaries when it comes to creating music and performing in front of huge crowds. When the jazz quintet play live, they “bounce off each other’s energy and play in the moment.” The distinctive style and versatile performances of Takadimi are fast becoming the future of Australian jazz music. (CT) March 21, Foundry 616, 616 Harris St, Ultimo, $1620, foundry616.com.au
Sydney Live Music Guide
of the founding members of legendary rockers Cold Chisel.Tonight all that will be on show is his smooth voice and blues attitude. It will be a stripped back affair for a man who was rated as number three by Australian Guitar Magazine’s Definitive Top Ten Australian Guitarists of All Time. Fri, Mar 21st,The Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Shapeshifter: Tonight in Camperdown, prepare to fall into the waves of classic electronica. Hailing from New Zealand, these guys
have just reigned supreme at their homeland’s music awards last year, picking up recognition as Best Group and Best Electronica Album. Together for over a decade, they have graced the stages of Big Day Out and Parklife, as well as UK mud-pit Glastonbury. Tonight they will be joined by the likes of Foreign Dub, Highly Dubious, NCrypt vs Commit, Mad Cow and Sakura. Sat, Mar 22nd, Manning Bar, Camperdown. Lost Picnic: Take a day to immerse yourself in some
of the finest musical talent of the scene today.With a chance to bring the whole family along, entertainment for this event will be from the likes of ARIA & APRA award-winner Megan Washington, Menangle mob The Rubens, Queenslander Emma Louise, Dustin Teebutt and Sons of the East. Food will be provided with a gourmet flourish, featuring Northern European inspired eats by Martin Boetz and The Keystone Group. Sun, Mar 23rd, Centennial Park. Dave Kemp Group: Joined by Nic Vardanega, Andrew Challoner and Josh
TAKADIMI Bedoukian, this group will be performing original music featuring contemporary jazz, electronic vibes and snippets of chamber music. It will be a debut for this band, whose use of percussion instrument the vibraphone, as well as mallet synth, will add a unique element to their appeal. Tonight they will be joined by Passionfruit Trio, who will inject some melodic noise into the night’s festivities. Tue, Mar 25th, Foundry616, Ultimo. M: What better way to spend a Wednesday night than raising money for a great cause? This night will
use the gift of music to raise money and awareness for the Melanoma Institute Australia, in memory of Tess McGowen Chan.There will be performances by the likes of Cloud Control, who will perform a fantastic acoustic set of some of their catchiest hits. Folk man Brett Winterford and singersongwriter Eleanor Dunlop will also be showcasing their respective talents on a night that, though tinged with sadness, provides an optimistic ambience. (CD) Wed, Mar 26th,The Basement, Circular Quay.
The Holocaust Film Series is presented by the Jewish International Film Festival and contains 22 premiere feature films, shorts and documentaries from countries including Holland, Sweden, Germany, Serbia, France, Albania and Denmark. Series director Eddie Tamir explains there were many Holocaust themed films left out of the recent Jewish Film Festival which deserved to be screened, so the Holocaust Film Series was devised. The Promise is one of the highlighted films and tells the story of an Albanian Muslim and the Jewish refugee he helped to hide. Harbour Of Hope contains
rarely seen footage of Jews being rescued from the concentration camps and relocated to Sweden for a new life. “Many of these stories are bleak, dark and depressing but they need to be told.You will come out in a positive frame of mind, as they provide optimism for our future,” says Tamir. “Effectively, each film brings the events of 70 years ago lost in history books, to life and viewers can celebrate the incredible resilience of the human spirit.” (MM) Mar 23-30, Sydney Jewish Museum, 148 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, $20-95 (5 film pass), (02) 9360-7999, jiff.com.au
HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES Kevin Hart and Ice Cube star in this comedy involving a high school security guard named Ben (Hart), who tries to impress Detective James (Ice Cube) and convince him he is worthy of marrying James’ sister, Angela. The video game junkie and goofy character comes into his own as the unlikely hero during a ‘ride along’ in Detective James’ car.
MADE IN AMERICA
Directed by Ron Howard, this documentary is an insightful behind-the-scenes look at last year’s Budweiser Made In America music festival, a twoday annual event in Philadelphia. Music succeeds where politics and religion fails in aiding the American dream of harmoniously bringing people together regardless of colour, religion or sexual persuasion and that’s what the Made In America Festival is all about. Artists including Jay Z, Kanye West, Parl Jam, Rita Ora and
The humorous Kevin Hart helps move this classic storyline of the underdogcoming-out-on-top along. The camera work and visual effects are convincing, but that’s all there is - the plot is lazy and dull – this is definitely a DVDonly movie full of mindless entertainment about the guy who gets the girl. (LK) W
RIDE ALONG ALL IS LOST stars Robert Redford in his most demanding role to date, as a man lost at sea. Without navigational or communication systems he manages to skilfully survive the elements but as food and water diminish, so does the prospect of survival. Redford delivers a tremendous performance in this riveting and incredible story of one man’s endurance when all hope is lost. He plays the sole character and speaks few lines, but conveys the desperation and hopelessness effectively. The escalating tension will have audiences at the edge of their seats. (MM) WWWW 22
Skrillex candidly reflect on life, discuss their love for music and the ideology behind the great American dream. Food vendors, spectators, security officers, stage hands and neighbouring residents all offer their thoughts on the festival, life in America and their expectations for the future. Riveting concert footage and Ron Howard’s casual on-screen interviewing technique delivers an entertaining, inspiring and humorous documentary. (MM) WWW
GLORIA is a movie about a lady who’s determined to defy old age and re-establish happiness and romance in her empty life. Gloria (Paulina Garcìa) is a 58-year-old divorcee, has two grown children and attends singles’ parties hoping to find love. She meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernàndez) but problems arise, as the bond he shares with his ex-wife and daughters is suffocating. Gloria is initially engaging, but stagnates in the second half owing to a sudden change in direction and a story which lacks substance. (MM) WW½
Pompeii is an action/romance/ disaster film set in 79 A.D. The story centres on a gladiator named Milo (Kit Harington) and his race against time to save his love Cassia (Emily Browning) from the corrupt Roman senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The story contains all the key elements that make a film enjoyable. The captivating gladiatorial fighting sequences, romantic entanglements,
political intrigue and a horrifying natural disaster all ensure audience interest is maintained. Adversely, Harrington’s British accent is detracting and he’s oddly paired with Browning. Sutherland also lacks credibility as a Roman senator. The spectacular 3D and CGI effects utilised in the climactic sequences as the volcano erupts heightens the realism of the explosive lava bombs, ash blizzards, tidal waves and earthquakes, which collectively deliver a visually stunning film. (MM) WWW
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a 10-year-old tomboy growing up in the Saudi capital. She enjoys pop music, wears Converse and dreams of owning a bicycle. The rules of conduct forbid her to ride one but Wadjda is undeterred, and when her school announces a cash prize for a religious competition, she sets her mind to winning. Wadjda’s mother worries about her daughter’s reputation NEBRASKA is a look at life close to death in the backwaters of America’s Midwest. Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) plays an aged alcoholic who keeps trying to walk from Montana to Nebraska. Eventually his son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him. The characters often teeter on the edge of senility, as well as between humour and sadness. At times the plot meanders and stagnates like the thread of an octogenarian’s well-told story, but has some wonderful moments. (HC) WWW WINTER’S TALE is a fantasy drama set in New York spanning
and her teachers fear the worst. However, Wadjda strives for freedom of expression and she learns how to push, gently, against the boundaries. Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, (who sometimes directed from inside a van) commands beautiful performances from her mainly female cast; 12-year-old Waad Mohammed is sweet and spunky and easily carries the film, and Saudi TV star Reem Abdullah is divine as her lovelorn mother. (RF) WWWW over two different time periods. The story revolves around master thief Peter Lake’s (Colin Farrell) strong love for dying heiress Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Even an enchanting musical score, beautiful cinematography and respectable performances from Farrell and Findlay fails to ignite this bizarre tale of destiny, miracles, magic and the battle between good and evil. A stellar cast in supporting roles also fails to compensate, as questionable storytelling techniques and complexities in the screenplay deliver a film that is drawn out and perplexing. (MM) WW½
The latest incarnation of Frankenstein’s monster, Adam (Aaron Eckhart), seems to be ‘developing’ a soul. Two hundred years after his creation he battles it out for the fate of humanity against the forces of darkness led by demon Prince Naberius, played by Bill Nighy – who is better suited to comedic characters. On the side of the angels (literally) are the Gargoyles led by their Queen, Leonore (Miranda Otto). It’s a joint American/Australian (Lakeshore/Hopscotch)
LONE SURVIVOR In 2005 a four-man team of US Navy Seals are tasked with hunting a Taliban leader deep in Afghanistan hostile territory but when their cover is blown they find themselves vastly outnumbered and in a vicious firefight. Based on Marcus Luttrell’s true account of the same name, the filmmakers (surprise, surprise) have been criticised for taking liberties with the story. What’s left is a very visceral and confronting account of a fight for survival. (MMu) WWW
production filmed in Melbourne and employed a lot of Australians on-screen and off – roughly 500. What does it say about the state of the Australian film industry? It says that we are technically very clever at telling other people’s stories – but seem to have little inclination to tell our own. Audiences that like a good oldfashioned battle between good & evil with multiple special effects will enjoy this. (MMu) WWW
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Based on a true story, Matthew McConaughey stars as a damaged rodeo cowboy (Ron Woodroof) in 1985, who has contracted HIV. In his downright refusal to die, he researches alternative medicine and opens a clinic in Mexico with the help of unlikely ally and transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto). This is a brutally honest portrayal of the severity of the disease and its reception by the public in the 1980s, along with Ron’s personal journey and growth. There are amazing performances by both of these actors in a sad but inspiring tale. (LK) WWWW½