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cinema Reviews BY JOHN CAMPBELL



Creative professionals now outnumber mining sector employees by three to one. Gone are the days when a creative career was seen as foolish, or unrealistic. Creative careers are very much the currency of the future.


I hate to be confounded by my own prejudices (who doesn’t?), but sometimes you inescapably must give credit to where credit is due. Most of us are selective about the movies we view, according to their genre, so it is intellectually invigorating when the boundary-hoppers come along. Though some Our local hub of creative media education, the SAE Institute in sequences take place in what look like nothing more than Byron Bay, is keen to offer our local creatives the chance to grow regurgitated, overblown TV sets, what is genuinely likeable their employment opportunities by offering a 2017 Northern about Morten Tyldum’s film, overriding its predictable pastiche Rivers Creative Media Scholarship program. and unoriginal design, is the engaging boy-meets-girl story Lee Aitken is the general manager for SAE Southern Campuses, (the oldest in the world) involving Jim and Aurora (Chris Pratt which includes six in Australia, and three outside Australia, in and Jennifer Lawrence). They are among 5,000 passengers on Auckland, Jakarta and Capetown. board one of those giant Spielberg-ish spacecraft, travelling As industry educators, Mr Aitken sees the valuable role creatives in slo-mo at half the speed of light to an outpost established have in the national GDP. by the Homestead Corporation a long way from planet Earth. ‘The creative industries in 2014 were valued at $33 billion and they Everybody on board, including the crew and all of the new are expecting the entertainment media market to grow to $39.8 colonists, is in an induced coma, but a malfunction awakens billion in the coming years. Jim ninety years too soon. He is totally alone, except for his companionship with an android bartender, Arthur (Michael We are seeing a focus towards digital industry, the increased Sheen – a bizarre but reassuring casting). If you had the ability growth of a creative economy, and that’s where our courses are to open one other sleeper’s cocoon, to be your partner in skilling people – for that future. It’s providing people for skills in the future that we don’t know how to define in some instances. In condemned solitude, would you do it? Would you indulge in many instances we are training people for jobs that haven’t been an act so selfish? Or does the drowning man instinctively take another down with him? This is the crux of the matter. What is created yet.’ original about the movie – apart from its underpinning moral The $8,000 scholarships will be made available for up to 50 question, to which it takes students commencing a diploma course at SAE in Byron Bay in the tried and true ‘I love you‘ February 2017. escape route – is that there That includes a Diploma of Screen and Media (Digital Media are no spider-legged aliens Production), Diploma of Music Industry (Electronic Music against whom Jim and Aurora Production) and Diploma of Music Industry (Sound Production). are fighting. The enemy is ‘We recognise that the northern rivers is a creative media hub,’ technology, before which we says Mr Aitken. ‘It produces award-winning creative projects on all now cower. When their a regular basis, and there are significant employment projects in precise, computerised lifethe area. We know study options are limited in regional locations, journey through space starts so we want to support locals in that creative community and we to go pear-shaped, what is recognise the value in having them do their study here at home.’ there to revert to? One glitch after another puts the entire Scholarships are open to all local residents. project at risk and Jim and ‘Whether you are a school leaver or a mature person, it’s open to anyone who is residing in the area or has the intention to reside in Aurora must work together to save the day. The soundtrack the area,’ says Mr Aitken. gets ear-splittingly louder and One of the key strengths of the Byron SAE campus is its louder as the crises unfold, engagement in local industry. but if you can cope with that ‘I see community engagement as vital,’ says Mr Aitken. ‘It’s the brain cells will be keenly important to be involved and to be listening and working in the activated. creative culture – and it’s important for our students to have work experience.


Based on a series of graphic novels by Camille Jourdy, Julien Rappeneau’s poignant but adorable comedy-drama is easily the most refreshing and original movie that I’ve seen in yonks. Vincent Machot (Kyan Khojandi) is a hairdresser in the French provincial city of Nevers (the location is perfectly off the beaten track). Loveless and dominated by his mother who lives upstairs, he encounters Rosalie (Noémie Lvovsky) in her grocery shop and is immediately mesmerised by her. He follows her every move, from her singing in a church choir to drinking alone in the local bar. Unbeknown to Vincent, Rosalie has twigged what is going on and got her niece, Aude (Alice Isaaz), and a couple of her girlfriends to spy on Vincent. Rappeneau creates an unfolding mystery by employing the device of repeating a number of plot points shot first through Vincent’s and then through Aude’s perspective – the incident of Rosalie’s demonic flame dance in the woods is beautifully set up before later being logically explained. But what is it that is driving Vincent to his obsessive stalking? The sense of déjà vu that he experienced when he first saw Rosalie was not shared by her, but he is too shy to approach her. And why does she visit the penitentiary? As is the case in a lot of European cinema, glamour and brazenness are not required to create a slow-burn sexiness – Vincent is bald, Rosalie, forty-something, is detached and damaged and smokes throughout. The humour is dry, apart from the laugh-out-loud scene in which one of Aude’s friends pees herself when being chased out of Mme Marchot’s apartment, and the drama built in imperceptible layers with the lightest of touches. The legacy of the past governs the present for all of us, but by fitting it all together like a jigsaw puzzle we are sometimes allowed to see the big picture. A warm and wise movie arrives at an outcome that is completely unforeseen and is illuminated by an epilogue that touches the heart.

‘We have strong industry liaison as its the core of what we do. That relationship with industry and that connection makes the employability of the student much higher.’ Mr Aitken believes that the scholarships will offer support to students who are faced with challenges around access and equity. ‘That is part of the reason we value the regional campus and want to make sure it’s accessible for local students.’ Applicants can submit online or contact SAE by phone or email and speak to a course adviser. ‘Applicants do not necessarily have to have a portfolio or a show reel. We recognise that not all students have been exposed to creative means. All applicants participate in an interview because it’s about motivation and aspiration,’ says Mr Aitken. A scholarship information session will be held at Byron Bay SAE campus on 19 January, 4–7pm. Applications for scholarships close on Monday 23 January 2017. For more information visit

North Coast news daily:

The Byron Shire Echo January 11, 2017 43

Byron Shire Echo – Issue 31.31 – 11/01/2017  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.

Byron Shire Echo – Issue 31.31 – 11/01/2017  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.