Inside: • Middle East scholar pushed from UWS Page 6
• Strike threatened over unionist trial Page 6
• Eat & Drink Page 16
• What’s On Page 18
JUNE 17-30, 2010
Backlash against the cycleway on Bourke Street page 4
Give Us Your Best
VOTE NOW page 14
Not a bad place to be on planet earth By Lawrence Gibbons Sydney is one of the world’s truly great cities. Over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art on a stunningly sunny Saturday at the invitation of Creative Sydney. Down at the harbour front the beaming masses strolled along the promenade past the nineteenth century heritage terraces towards the billowing sails of the Sydney Opera House. All in all, it was not a bad place to be on planet earth. At the front desk of the MCA, I told a local arts aficionado my name. “You are Lawrence Gibbons,” he proclaimed. “Who the hell are you and why are you on a panel with some of the most prominent arts people in this town?” “The problem with Sydney,” I replied, “is they’ll let anyone in.” I had been invited to participate in a debate as to whether or not Sydney had lost its cultural edge. Also invited to speak were NSW Minister for the Arts, Virginia Judge; Shadow Minister, Anthony Roberts; the CEO of the Sydney Opera House, Richard Evans; Executive Director of the Sydney Festival, Josephine Ridge; and Tim Jones, the Artistic Director and General Manager of the Seymour Centre. I was invited to discuss whether Sydney is falling behind or leading the way as a culturally significant global city on a panel moderated by Peter Carr, CEO of the Sydney Development Agency. The consensus opinion of the participants was that Sydney generously funds and supports some impressive signature events and venues. “What about the struggling underdogs?” I asked the participants. At the risk of being controversial, my position
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was that Sydney’s big cultural institutions may be well fed but that our unique precincts are underrated by the locals. Bondi, Balmain, Enmore and Surry Hills are some of the world’s best urban neighbourhoods, despite government’s efforts to shut down the party from King Street to Kings Cross. “Sydney still has a vibrant night life,” I proclaimed. “Even after the government introduced pokies at the expense of live entertainment, sent in the sniffer dogs to harass and intimidate the gay party scene and sent 15 police officers to close down one X-rated arcade in the Cross just last month, Sydney is still one of the world’s best cities.” Culture is more than a few well funded elite arts institutions around the harbour foreshore. In greater Newtown alone, there is a vibrant underground scene of more than a dozen live performance spaces, flourishing despite inadequate government funding and a regulatory framework that makes it almost impossible for a small business owner to operate. Our unique urban villages are under threat. Small businesses from Oxford Street to Glebe Point Road are doing it tough. Fifteen years ago, when the City Hub was launched, Glebe was a thriving urban enclave chock-ablock full of little guys offering original, non-homogenised goods and services. Nowadays the Broadway Shopping Centre generates more revenue than the whole of Glebe. Across town, Oxford Street’s daytime economy has been sucked dry by Westfield’s Bondi Junction. Today there are more retail shops in the Bondi Junction mega mall than there are in the whole of the Bondi basin. And Westfield delivers the same sanitised corporate consumer culture as chain franchise outlets all around the globe. “If
Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Editor: Flint Duxfield Deputy Editor: Kieran Adair Advertising Managers: David Sullivan, Reagan Murphy, Genevieve Reynolds, Jasmin Moret Arts Editor: Angela Bennetts What’s On Editor: Komi Sellathurai Environment Editor: Roger Hanney Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan
you were to join me on a tour of San Francisco,” I told the audience, “you wouldn’t want to visit the new Westfield on Market Street.” Meanwhile, here in NSW, rather than support, champion and celebrate the few remaining small businesses that create a unique urban village in what remains of Bondi, Darlinghurst and Newtown, the Keneally government is allowing major retail barns to open in Sydney without even assessing their economic impact on Sydney’s authentic, old fashioned high streets. It is little wonder tourists are spending less and less time in this town. International tourists used to spend three days in Sydney, now they spend less than a day and a half before they fly off to Melbourne or Queensland to find an authentic Australian experience. Fifteen years ago this August, when the first issue of the City Hub hit the streets, we pledged “to champion local Australian arts and culture. To counter the cultural cringe. To define what is next. To seek what is new.” In order to celebrate the harbour city’s truly unique local businesses and support the struggling creative industries that make Sydney special, each year we produce our annual BEST OF SYDNEY guide. This week you will find a readership poll in the pages of this paper. Take the time to tell us what you value, treasure and support. Sydney is more than a soulless shopping centre, a chain store and a pretty harbour. The results of the readership poll will appear in our FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY edition of the City Hub on August 19 because, lets face it, Sydney really is the world’s best city and it deserves our support.
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Three years of shame for the NT Intervention by Jean Parker Three years of federal intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory has created a mounting pile of reports damning it as racist and destructive. But to the despair of those living with the policies, Labor’s new legislation entrenches and extends the intervention. Despite having spent over a billion dollars on the intervention, the government can’t point to any evidence of progress in the 73 Aboriginal communities ‘prescribed’ under the intervention. The children of the 1960s whose lives were controlled by mission managers and the rations system say that intervention-appointed Government Business Managers and compulsory income management have taken their communities backwards - to the days before equal wages, before land rights, before self-determination. Jenny Macklin and Kevin Rudd say their Aboriginal Affairs policy is ‘evidencebased’, but have spent recent months papering over evidence that links the intervention to increased rates of alcohol related violence, childhood malnutrition and overcrowded housing. On the eve of Macklin’s planned expansion of income management (or welfare quarantining) across the
NT – a move that allows the government to claim the policy is no longer racially discriminatory – the Medical Journal of Australia published the first quantitative evaluation of income management, conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research. Income management sees half of all welfare payments paid into a “BasicsCard” that can only be spent in particular shops on particular items. The Menzies School research contradicts Macklin’s claims that income management leads to more healthy food in the stomachs of Aboriginal children, and shows that tobacco and soft-drink sales had remained the same or increased since the imposition of the BasicsCard system. Compulsory five-year leases have seen the NT government in control of all 73 townships for over two years. This takeover of Aboriginal land and housing has also required the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). Yet the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure program (SIHIP) has delivered only seven houses in over two years. 7500 people working in the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) before the intervention were thrown onto the dole in order that their
incomes be quarantined onto BasicsCards. After Rudd’s election CDEP was reinstated. But now what’s called CDEP compels thousands to work running services in their communities, sometimes working more than 24 hours a week for a $200 Newstart payment. Half of this money is quarantined onto the BasicsCard - effectively a food card. Aboriginal people are working for rations again. The federal government’s refusal to provide $8.5 million annual funding will see a further 500 paid jobs - which were created with the abolition of CDEP - lost in June. At its heart the intervention blames Aboriginal communities for their poverty. Rather than building houses and creating jobs in the communities where they are needed, the government enacts punitive control measures accompanied by rhetoric about fostering Aboriginal ‘responsibility’. Three years of intervention has brought great shame to Aboriginal people. But the real shame is the Labor government’s continuation of racism through such failed policies. Jean Parker is a member of the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney, which will be holding a demonstration against the intervention at Town Hall Square on Sunday June 20 at midday.
Return to the ration days for indigenous workers Mr Inverway works 24 hours a week for a private company on a building site in his community but is paid the equivalent of the dole. “Half my money goes into the BasicCard but I don’t see that,” Mr Inverway said. “That’s only for ration, all my tucker, but I don’t get smoke out of that.” CFMEU NSW Assistant Secretary, Brian Parker, says construction workers were horrified to hear that Aboriginal people employed on building sites Peter Inverway meeting CFMEU members in Sydney in the Northern Territory are working 30 hours per week by Liz Cush for less than four dollars per hour. Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory “The vast majority of Australian people would are getting paid less than a quarter of the think it’s absolutely appalling,” Mr Parker said. award wage of workers in NSW. “Building workers see that here are the people Peter Inverway, a building worker from who originated from this land being treated Kalkaringi, formerly Wave Hill, addressed worse than second class citizens, right at the workers at construction sites across Sydney bottom of the barrel.” and NSW last week to talk about the stripping Mr Inverway said workers in the Kalkaringi back of pay and conditions under the federal community were planning a strike for August NT intervention. 23, the anniversary of the 1966 Wave Hill “In the late eighties we had the [Community walk-off. Development Employment Project] program “I think we have to make a stand about the all around the Northern Territory and people intervention, we have to strike again,” Mr were working for proper wages and proper Inverway said. work,” Mr. Inverway said. “We are still going to keep on fighting for that “Since the intervention came in with the and make it stop, because we need real wages shire mob, there are no jobs available in the and real work.” community now.”
Backlash on Bourke Street By Kieran Adair and Flint Duxfield Sydney's cycle wars are about to intensify with businesses around Taylor Square set to join in a class action against the City of Sydney over its cycleways project. Threats of a class action by businesses at the southern end of Bourke Street were raised last month after Alan Jones heavily criticised the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, on his 2GB radio show. Now Darlinghurst businesses are also looking to take part in the class action due to concerns over the impact of cycleways on their businesses. “The whole of Bourke street is down 50 per cent in business,” said Vaia Tappas, owner of Vaia Beauty, Taylor Square. “We have all lost patronage due to limited parking and access.” Ms Tappas questions the value of the cycleways construction and plans to take part in the class action expected to take place later this year. “As far as I'm concerned its just been a big waste of money. They need to excavate the streets and take them back to the way they were.” “I'm not prepared to let Clover Moore waltz in and destroy our businesses.” Cyclists have criticised the call for a class action, saying it would be a
backward step for Sydney. ''Sydney has to do something to make it a liveable city and cycle lanes are a central part of that,'' said Bike Sydney spokesman, Andrew Dodds. ''Cyclists have told us time and time again that they feel unsafe on the roads and not having cycleways are a major reason for that.'' But concerns about the cycle lanes has seen the Lord Mayor lose support from some of her closest allies. After running on the Clover Moore Independents ticket in the 2008 Council elections, Darlinghurst Business Partnership Vice-President, Andrew Duckmanton, is unimpressed with the 'Sustainable Sydney 2030' vision. “I don't like council bashing,” Mr. Duckmanton told the City Hub, “but this sort of change is nowhere near what we were told two years ago.” “The idea is solid but there hasn't been enough talking, there hasn't been enough consultation, and there hasn't been enough promotion of the area while the development’s going on.” He stressed that the construction has also affected areas surrounding Bourke Street, and expressed frustration at the Council’s lack of communication with store owners. “Any council that isn't aware of the
kind of impact you're having on work processes isn't in contact with the community.” A spokeswoman for the Lord Mayor said the Council undertook large scale community consultation before commencing the cycle ways construction, and stressed the economic benefits of the cycle network. “Building an inner city cycle network will generate half a billion dollars in economic benefits – that's four dollars for every dollar spent,” she said in a written statement. Disclosure: Lawrence Gibbons, publisher of the City Hub, is the President of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership. He was not involved in writing this article.
Middle East scholar pushed to resign from UWS by Liz Cush An internationally renowned academic in the field of Islamic and Gender Studies, Dr Samar Habib, says pressure from management at the University of Western Sydney caused her to resign from her staff teaching position. Dr Habib said she felt under intense pressure from the university while setting the course material for her compulsory first year subject Texts and Traditions. “There were constraints placed on me in terms of what texts I was able to include and who to teach with, and it became very difficult to exercise academic or creative control over my unit,” Dr Habib said. After her popular unit, Women in Arabic and Islamic literature, was dropped without explanation by the university, Dr Habib was dismayed to no longer be teaching in her area of research. “It started to become a stifling environment in terms of expressing my expertise and teaching in an area in which I was widely published,” Dr Habib said. Dr Habib submitted her letter of resignation on Feburary 28 after her doctor advised her to take a month off work. She had requested sick leave but this was not approved until a month later. Dr Habib believes she made a poor decision in a moment of unguarded weakness and asked to withdraw her resignation. The university refused Dr Habib’s request to withdraw her resignation and until now has not responded to her two letters of complaint asking who made this decision and why. “I wanted to withdraw my letter of resignation,
Dr Samar Habib.
Photo: Jon Harris
take some time after work, look after my health and get back to work. Unfortunately that’s not what transpired.” “I’d like to think this was an ordinary blunder of some sort. I hope that in future should a similar situation arise with another academic that they do the right thing by them and not pounce on the opportunity to out them,” Dr Habib said. The day after Dr Habib requested to withdraw her letter of resignation, two primary texts were removed from the course material These were Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s Memory for Forgetfulness, about the 1982 Israeli invasion and siege of Beirut, and Joe Sacco’s Palestine, a graphic novel set in 1990s Gaza.
A spokesperson from University of Western Sydney said in a written statement that the university has no objections to the texts taught by Dr Habib and did not pressure her to resign. “Of the many texts taught by Dr Habib, only two specialised novels were not taught in 2010 because no suitably qualified member of staff was available to teach them,” the June 11 statement said. Dr Habib disputes this claim. “When I inquired why these particular texts were removed, the answer was that they were trying to lighten the reading load. What interests me is that one of those texts was a graphic novel,” Dr Habib said. “What’s also curious is that the co-lecturer had expressly wanted to teach Memory for Forgetfulness prior to this whole issue, so it does beg the question of managing anxieties about what is mainstream and what isn’t.” “Palestinian suffering is a taboo because it necessarily implies who is doing the suffering, and the whole idea of being critical of the Israeli state is a big taboo, which we need to counter.” Dr Habib said there was a general anxiety across Australian academia about certain issues that are controversial like gender and sexuality. “I think there is a lot of anxiety about trying to keep intellectualism mainstream. This sometimes might conflict with the very spirit of groundbreaking work, with creating new knowledge, with effecting social change.” “But what I want to stress is that academics and intellectuals have a right to be treated with respect and they have a right to be informed of processes and procedures,” Dr. Habib said.
Strike threatened over unionist trial By Kieran Adair A landmark trial set to close today could see an Australian worker jailed for participating in union activities for the first time in Australian history. Ark Tribe, a builder from South Australia, has spent the last two years in and out of Adelaide’s Magistrate Court for refusing to meet with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) in 2008. He faces a penalty of six months imprisonment. Andrew Ferguson, state secretary of the CFMEU construction division, has threatened a national shut-down of all construction sites nation wide if Ark Tribe is convicted. Following the Howard Government’s 2005 workplace reforms construction workers suspected of workplace organising may be called in to the Commission for interrogation. During that time workers have no right to silence or a lawyer, rights that are even preserved during Australian Federal Police interrogation. “I was never gonna dob on my mates. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and I’d never do it,” Mr. Tribe told the City Hub when asked why he refused to go before the Commission. Thousands of unionists took part in mass demonstrations around the country on Tuesday in support of Mr. Tribe. Around 2000 unionists protested in Sydney outside the ABCC offices on Elizabeth Street, calling for the charges against Mr. Tribe to be dropped and the ABCC to be abolished. According to the CFMEU, there has been a 95 per cent jump in workplace deaths for construction workers since the Commission was established in 2005. “With its coercive powers and ideological targeting of construction workers, the ABCC plays a political game rather than a useful or meaningful role in the industry,” said Dave Noonan, national secretary of the CFMEU construction division. “Ark Tribe is accused of nothing more than attending a meeting about safety issues on site.” If convicted, Mr Tribe’s imprisonment is expected to add more strain to an already weakened union-ALP alliance in the upcoming election.
Hugs in the City by Joel Tozer At a time when relationships are increasingly being managed through the internet, a new party scene is seeking to restore the importance of human touch by having strangers ask each other for cuddles. In public halls and private homes across Sydney, people of all ages are handing over money in exchange for the latest form of therapy: a cuddle party. Conceived in the United States five years ago by sextherapist-couple Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, this new wave of relaxation is an opportunity for the touchdeprived to indulge in an anonymous act of pleasure. Andrew Barnes, an Australian spokesman for Cuddle Parties says the concept of cuddling pyjama-clad strangers is “kind of edgy enough to make people curious, but it’s not out there enough to scare people away.”
But Mr Barnes says some people still have their reservations. “One of the first questions people ask me is ‘Oh my god, do I have to throw my car keys in a bowl?’” But the guidelines are clear – cuddle parties are a nonsexual party of unadulterated touch. Relationships counsellor, Frances Amaroux, facilitates a personalised version of the cuddle party – called ‘Snuggle Parties’ – which she says are very popular. At the beginning of each party, the first time cuddlers introduce themselves in a welcoming circle. They comprise a broad range of men and women from their early twenties to late fifties, both couples and singles. Before getting touchy, the rules of ‘cuddle language’ are made clear. Clothes stay on and genitals remain untouched. Ask permission and receive a verbal ‘yes’
before touching anyone. Participants go through an exercise at the start of the party where one person asks for a hug and the other says no, regardless of whether they want a hug or not. Frances Amaroux admits that not everyone comes to the party to touch, some people just go to practice saying ‘no’. “I’m sure there are a bunch of guys that will turn up hoping to get a free grope, and good on them! But the reality is, people ... are told to ask for what they want and to say no. And for that ‘no’ to be respected,” she said. With such an intimate setting, couples are advised to set out their rules before the party and stick to them. Jacqui Ward, 32, full time massage therapist and second time cuddler took her partner along to a cuddle party. “We were a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. The idea of hugging a stranger, or the awkwardness of communicating what I wanted was freaking me out,” she said. Relaxing in a pile of blankets
and pillows brought from home, Jacqui said she felt at ease knowing that it was a nonsexual environment. It has even been good for her business. “As a massage therapist there is an agreed set of boundaries that you work with and the cuddle party is so different to that. I feel a lot more relaxed interacting with people,” she said. But what makes people so keen to ask for touch from strangers? Frances says most people that come to the party are looking for a partner or a new circle of friends. With over 45 registered cuddle party facilitators in the United States and two in Australia, not to mention the many people holding cuddle or snuggle parties of their own, the feel-good cuddle therapy is gaining converts. Perhaps it is a reaction to our increasingly touch-starved online relationships with our friends and partners, but more likely, it’s an excuse to get up-close and personal with other cuddle-hungry adults in an anonymous session of touching and laughter.
Leichhardt group shines light on Palestinian plight by Liz Cush A photography exhibition on Palestinian refugees that was deemed too hot to handle in 2008 will finally be shown at Leichhardt Town Hall during Refugee Week. The Leichhardt Friends of Hebron group is launching a Festival of Friendship and photography exhibition on Friday June 25 at 7pm, raising funds to support a pre-school for Palestinian children. On Saturday June 26 at 3pm, a forum on the censorship of the Palestinian story will be held at the town hall with speakers including journalist and academic Peter Manning, and Peter Slezak, co-founder of the Independent Australian Jewish Voices website. The issue of censorship is close to the heart of the group since their first attempt to hold this exhibition in 2008 was thwarted when a visit from NSW counter-terrorism police spooked the local library staff. Jennifer Killen from Friends of Hebron said they were surprised when their first exhibition was taken down. “The terrorism police didn’t ask the
library to take down the exhibition, but it was a matter of concern that one of their exhibitions should draw this attention,” Ms Killen said. “I understand that the terrorism police paid their visit without looking at the exhibition so in fact it had nothing to do with the content.” “I think it was more to do with someone not wanting the story of Hebron to be told.” Ms Killen has visited Hebron on the West Bank and was upset to see people living in extreme poverty, especially in the rural areas surrounding the city. “If a family builds a home, frequently it will be demolished. I visited a village outside Hebron where the mayor was living in a tent because Israeli armed forces had demolished his home,” Ms Killen said. The Australian premiere of the documentary film Welcome to Hebron, depicting life under Israel’s military occupation through the eyes of a Palestinian teenager, will take place on Saturday June 26 at 7pm. The festival includes music, food and an indoor market on Saturday to raise funds for a pre-school in Hebron.
Grayndler to swing on climate change by Roger Hanney As results from the first of a series of national doorknocks come in, two things are apparent: Newtown residents want climate action, and Anthony Albanese, just like Lindsay Tanner in the seat of Melbourne, is a minister under genuine threat from the Greens. The survey, which was conducted by Climate Action Newtown, showed that three quarters of voters and 95 per cent of swing voters were more likely to vote for a candidate who committed to a price on carbon and significant investment in renewable energy. CAN spokeswoman, Moira Williams, said the survey showed that climate change needs to be in the spotlight leading up to the election. “I think it’s currently off the agenda and it needs to be back on. That’s our job,” she said. CAN is one of the first of many groups to begin a door-knocking and public survey campaign that will continue across the country throughout most of this year. Ms Williams said that although their outlook may be seen as favouring the Greens, they are actually non-partisan. CAN’s focus is to encourage all parties to formulate effective climate policies that voters can support. A team of 15 fanned out across
Climate Action Newtown member Lydia Andrews talks to Newtown resident Karen Haire
Newtown recently, attracting about 100 respondents from 500 households. According to the survey, the typical Newtown voter, and swing voters in particular, are critical of weak federal climate action, in favour of some type of carbon pollution levy, and keen to see renewable industries and employment better supported in Australia. The survey asked people about
their attitudes to a carbon price, rather than a more complicated model like that abandoned by the Rudd government. Environmental groups and NGOs roundly decided not to support the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) because its targets lacked ambition, it heavily rewarded polluters and would have done little to reduce carbon emissions, said Ms Williams. “We are looking to have a price
of some sort on carbon as soon as possible to create support for renewable investment through the marketplace.” While green fingers continue to point at the federal government and its backdown on climate, soul-searching continues within the environment movements over the failure of their message to connect with the public. While the Global Financial Crisis couldn’t have come at a worse time for tax-based climate proposals, Ms Williams feels that the focus on worst-case scenarios and predictions of apocalyptic impacts are counterproductive. She expects that the new push across climate groups will be tied to positive expressions of the potential benefits of change. “Selling those opportunities to the public and politicians is really important,” she said. “We don’t have to step back into the dark ages to make a change, and it also means healthier communities, clean air, long term sustainable energy sources and protection of our forests.” Based on feedback from the survey, some people believe that putting a price on carbon is just a scheme to make money. Some note the selfevident problem in creating a new market to solve a problems created by an old market. But apparently even climate sceptics can agree that totally renewable energy has advantages over brown coal.
Sydney to cut emissions through trigeneration by Aaron Cook A method of power generation as old as the light bulb is set to help Sydney meet 70 per cent of its electricity needs through local electricity production, while slashing the city’s carbon emissions. The City of Sydney is pushing ahead with plans to install 330 megawatts of “trigeneration” technology by 2030 and is calling for tenders from electricity companies for the first stage of implementation. Trigeneration works by capturing waste heat used in electricity production and using this to run both the heating and cooling systems of buildings. It is three times more energy efficient than coal fired power, which is responsible for more than 80 per cent of Sydney’s carbon emissions. Allan Jones, a British energy expert hired by the City of Sydney, said that trigeneration makes electricity cheaper to produce and less carbon intensive. The capital investment for the scheme is likely to need a loan, but the benefits achieved will make the venture economically viable. “These schemes are big enough to warrant an energy services company implementing them,” said Jones. “You have the capital investment, you have the fuel costs to run that capital investment and you have the operation and maintenance costs. “It follows that the interest you’re paying on the loan, the costs that you’re paying on the fuel input, and also the operation and maintenance, has got to be lower than the income you get from selling the electricity, heat and cooling.” The location and size of the first plant is still to be decided, dependent upon the tender process to be completed in the next few months. This process will also decide the financial structure of the venture, which could involve a partnership between the City of Sydney and a private company. Mr Jones said the plans have the potential to save the state billions of dollars, which will otherwise need to be spent on two new coal fired power stations in the Hunter Valley and upgrades to the electricity network to cater for the new stations. “You’re going to reach a situation where 60 per cent of your electricity continued on page 12
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The light rail breakthrough by Nick Possum “Ohhh, look down there. There’s Leichhardt, and Dulwich Hill over there, and I can see where the light rail’s going to run”. I craned my neck and peered past Joadja through the tiny cabin window. It was a bright Sunday morning and we were flying into Sydney after leaving SodomOn-The-Swan at the ungodly hour of 5:45am. Yes indeed, there it was, the old Rozelle Goods line, beside the Hawthorn Canal, crossing over Parramatta Road and under the Main Western Line, heading south towards Dulwich Hill station. Sometime early in 2012, we’d be seeing trams scooting down that line. How ironic, I mused, that such an important breakthrough should come in a dysfunctional and unloved government’s last months in office - with Macquarie Street haunted by the Living Dead - yet here it was, the most exciting public transport breakthrough, since, well, the sorry day back in the 1950s when some idiot decided to close down Sydney’s historic tram system. “Yep,” I replied, “It’s been a hell of a fight, but the logjam’s been broken and suddenly there’s a light rail bidding war. Everybody who ever had a vision for a tram line is seeing the possibility of it happening in the medium term and
trying to get it on the agenda.” Out in the inner west, Neil Kenzler, a Labor councillor for Canada Bay, was pushing for a branch line from the forthcoming Dulwich Hill extension out to Five Dock. He’d barely issued his media release when the Mayor of Ashfield announced that he’d rather any addition to the system went via a different route and serviced his area. Meanwhile, Cherie Burton, the state Labor MP for Kogarah, was calling for the light rail to be extended from Dulwich Hill station down to Tempe and another line from Cronulla to the CBD. That’s the one EcoTransit have been pushing for ten years, the one they call the Bay Light Express. Actually you wouldn’t terminate a line at
Tempe station, you’d push it across the Cooks River, to Wolli Creek station. By doing that, people could connect with the East Hills line and the Illawarra line, and then you’d push it a bit further to the east and link it to the Bay Light Express. The extension to Dulwich Hill is going to go easily enough, because it’s all off-road, but the really big development is going to be in the CBD where construction is most unlikely to start before the Keneally government loses office. As the plane banked, I got a clearer view of the light rail line. Soon there’d be a shared path alongside it for cyclists and pedestrians and over time the ribbon of green on either side - now mostly weeds - would be transformed into a migration corridor for native birds and a refuge for the famous ‘yuppie bandicoots’ of the inner west. “How long can it be before somebody pushes for a tram line from Central to the south-eastern suburbs down the old tram easement along Anzac Parade?” Joadja asked. “It’ll happen any day now. It’s another no-brainer. You know, I’m old enough to remember that line. I even rode on it when I was just a little possum.” “But I still worry. Sydney isn’t going to be safe for light rail until the last
of the hidebound bureaucrats, who opposed it for so long, retire or are driven out of the transport and infrastructure ministry. The political change of heart isn’t enough. With all the new proposals for light rail lines, we really need an expert light rail group in the bureaucracy. We need professionals – probably from Europe – to assess all these proposals, prioritise them and develop real construction plans that can be contracted out. And these boys and girls will need to be protected from any counteroffensive by the old anti-light rail bureaucrats.” There was a scream of air and a bump as the wheels went down. Sydenham flashed beneath us. As we braced for landing my thoughts turned to getting home. We could, of course, take the train, except that another idiotic political decision had left the stations on the Airport line in the ownership of the construction company who are, even ten years later, charging such huge ‘surcharges’ for entering their stations that it was cheaper for the two of us to catch the cab. It was another legacy of the insane ‘public-private partnership’ era, another silly anomaly that would have to be corrected sooner or later and at the cost of another stand-up political fight. In Sydney, nothing comes easy. More Nick Possum at: www.brushtail.com.au
Sydney to cut emissions through trigeneration continued from page 10 bill is network charges, the cost of shifting the electricity from the Hunter Valley to Sydney” said Mr Jones. However a spokesperson for Energy Australia said the $17 billion being invested in the electricity network across NSW between 2009 and 2014 is still required. “Much of the electricity network is being upgraded and replaced because it is reaching the time when it will begin to become less reliable,” said the spokesperson. The Stockland’s building in the CBD has already got a private trigeneration system installed, but the City’s plans will lead to the first public trigeneration supply in Australia. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City could be a role model for other cities in Australia. “Australian cities could halve their greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years if they implemented a plan similar to ours,” said Ms Moore. At present, regulations would prevent the City from selling any excess power it generates back to the grid, but the City has made a submission to the Prime Minister’s Energy Efficiency Task Group, seeking a change to the rules. Coal fired power generation has traditionally been thought of as the cheapest method of producing electricity, because of Australia’s ready supply of cheap, high quality coal. But existing coal fired stations are located more than a hundred kilometres from Sydney in the Hunter Valley. Chris Dunstan from the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the Sydney’s University of Technology has carried out modelling on the costs of various methods of additional power generation. He said that when the price of transporting electricity is taken into account, building trigeneration closer to the city is a cheaper option. If the federal government eventually places a price on carbon emissions through a tax or emissions trading scheme, then trigeneration, which is less carbon intensive, will become even more cost effective than coal fired generation.
Give Us Your Best Sydney is one of the world’s BEST cities. Sure New York, London and Tokyo are mega cities, great to visit… but you wouldn’t want to live there. Along with a handful of the world’s truly best cities, Sydney has it all: picture perfect good looks, hip districts, an urban vibe and a multiculti mix. In order to celebrate the harbour city’s truly unique local businesses, each year we produce our annual guide to the BEST OF SYDNEY. Take the time to tell us what you value, treasure and support. The results of our annual readership poll will be published in mid August.
EAT & DRINK By Jackie McMillan
F o o d i e s ’ D i a ry: n e p t u n e & b ac c h u s technology like rice cookers and “Australian Chux – very, very good.” While you’re there, poke your nose into the fish auction space for a great behind-thescenes glimpse at Sydney’s seafood industry! www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au
As you can see, this column’s dedicated to the gods of the sea and the vine, Neptune and Bacchus. Neptune When you’re hubby’s a fisherman, you get to be pretty creative with fish. Rachel McGlashan’s new book Dinner With the Fishwife (RRP $45) is very imaginative. I’m not entirely convinced of the relationship between fish and breakfast, and I’ll still be eating my oysters as Neptune intended, but I might just try out some of her other family recipes. Most recipes use flavours the kids will not find off putting, like Coconut Crumbed Fish. McGlashan writes from a classic Australian sensibility, and has a great guide to what’s seasonally available in NSW.You’ll find every
ingredient in her simple recipes available from any supermarket, and there’s not too many things to buy either. No weird tools, technology or difficult techniques; anyone could pull these dishes off – so get over your fear of fish. Warm up winter with a series of hot classes at the Sydney Seafood School. As well as their fast-filling name brand classes with iconic chefs like Damien Pignolet (Bistro Moncur) on 10th July; Justin North (Bécasse) on 12th July and Guillaume Brahimi (Guillaume at Bennelong) on 24th July, there’s also more basic classes.You can learn to make dishes like chilli crab, bouillabaisse, Thai seafood, Spanish Paella or Japanese tempura. I popped in recently for a bit of sushi and sashimi instruction from the funny and talented Grand Master Hideo Dekura. Hideo has a surprisingly modern sensibility that incorporates convenient
Bacchus If you’re a regular reader, you’ve heard me talk about Wooing Tree’s excellent Pinot Noir. Talk’s cheap; here’s a chance to drink the bloody stuff at a corker of a restaurant. Imagine five courses of satisfying wintery dishes in the unmistakeably contemporary style of Chef Tomislav Martinovic. Tomislav is a
lovely little restaurant, with stellar city views from their deck - just the place to sip Wooing Tree’s Blondie, Champion Rose at New Zealand’s Royal Easter Show. Get in quick on (02) 9356 4535 because at $120/ head including wine, the dinner on Wednesday 23rd June, 2010 is sure to book out. www.tomislav.com.au French Champagne and a tasting plate of chocolates with flavours reminiscent of the Middle East are on offer at Boon Chocolates all through June. Alex and Fanny Chan were inspired by the release of Sex and The City 2, though after reading Helen Razer’s scathing
review, I’m going to skip the film itself and head straight for the Marakesh, a dark chocolate ganache praline infused with fresh mint leaves. So gather the gal-pals and take them for a $20/head experience they’ll really enjoy. www. boonchocolates. com.au With a sister, a wife, his mother and an aunt all called Mary, it’s no wonder that Hunter Valley winemaker Bob Lusby has the name on the tip of his tongue. I recently had his Tintilla Estate Four Marys Pinot Noir 2007 (RRP $30.00) on the tip of my own tongue. It’s nice to see that the Hunter Valley can produce a decent Pinot Noir that can stand proudly with all of those Shirazes. www.tintilla.com.au With the coffers a bit tight, I’ve also been doing some drinking at the other end of the price scale. Yellow Tail’s 2009 Pinot Noir (RRP $10.99) is on offer for less than a tenner at most bottle
shops. It’s surprisingly smooth, with liquorice, berries and a hint of stem. It’d be a good choice for the budgeting cook who likes a splash in a glass as well as some in the pot. www.yellowtailwine.com Speaking of grapes, Il Grappolo Cucina e Pizzeria in Rozelle really knocked my socks off with a stellar meal (see review section) and a truly wonderful wine. It’s hard to get your head around all those Italian varietals, but the Quercia Antica Lacrima Di Morro D’Alba DOC 2008 is one wine that comes up smelling violets! www.ilgrappolo.com.au The best way to learn more about Italian wines is to drink them! Alessandro Pavoni and the team at Ormeggio at The Spit are running a series of Italian wine dinners, starting with the region of Brescia on Thursday 1st July. For $125/head you’ll be dining on game, “the very best quality fresh Australian game from Vic’s Meats; including Cervena venison tartare with amaranth and quinoa crust, pomegranate and mustard chestnuts” explains Alessandro. Wines come courtesy of leading Italian wine merchant, Lario International. www.ormeggio.com.au
EAT & DRINK By Jackie McMillan Capital Grill *NEW* Meeting a new chef is a bit like starting a romance, except for most people Head Chef Zac Sykes isn’t new. He started cooking at the tender age of fifteen, and during his last seventeen years in the kitchen, he’s cooked alongside Stephen Hodges, Greg Doyle and Neil Perry. Call me crazy, but I like to go into a new restaurant fresh, no expectations. My evening began with two textbook entrees – a beautifully balanced (and exciting) Kingfish Carpaccio with Pomegranate, Salmon Roe and Watermelon Vinaigrette ($22); and a nicely wintery plate of fat Scallops with Sweet Corn, Trompette Mushrooms and Onions ($22) that reminded me of a good ol’ Aussie barbeque. Zac followed that with the most challenging Bouillabaisse ($36) I’ve ever eaten. I wanted to scream those fat, slippery mussels are raw! But then I tasted them, and just like that first kiss, and they were the best damn mussels I’ve had. Hang in there; he cooks seafood exactly as it’s meant to be cooked. His Scotch Fillet ($49) with sinful onion puree, delicately treated King Brown mushrooms, roasted garlic and red wine jus is even better. He treats June’s Leaves ($7) with verjuice and great respect, in an avant-garde setting with well-constructed wine and cocktail lists. Brad Cox’s Pine and Apple Grilltini ($17) is nuts! The Gateway, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney (02) 9247 4445 www.capitalgrill.com.au Steak/Seafood $$$$
Pricing $ - mains less than $15 $$ - mains between $15-$22 $$$ - mains between $22-$30 $$$$ - mains over $30
ROCKS & CBD Number One Wine Bar A mostly monochrome environment where colour shines – a red banquette; a neon blue Julie Rrap; the golden curls Lily Bilson who shines on the restaurant floor. A Pheasant, Pork and Foie Gras Terrine ($21) is rustically served on a wooden board; while at autumnal Boudin of Crab with Pine Mushrooms ($21) places columns of pale creamy crab on a pine mushroom forest floor. The 2005 Mitchelton ‘Airstrip’ Marsanne, Roussanne Viognier ($70) is a great winter white, complementing the Ballotine of Spatchcock with Foie Gras, Sweetbreads & Mushroom Risotto ($35) well. Crème Caramel with Strawberries and Champagne Jelly ($14) wins via texture, clarity and restraint. 1 Alfred Street, Goldfields House, Circular Quay (02) 8252 9296 www.numberonewinebar.com French $$$$ Neptune Palace This tucked away Circular Quay gem’s been here for seventeen years, serving up beautifully cooked Braised King Crab with Singapore Chilli Sauce (market price $78/
kilo) with a comprehensive wine list. Try a stunning 2006 Johanneshof Gewürztraminer ($68) with good Chinese dishes like succulent Salt and Pepper Prawns ($31.80) and tender Diced Fillet Steak with Wasabi Sauce ($29.80). Malay offerings like creamy, Penang Kapitan Chicken ($22.80) and a dry, intense Daging Rendang ($22.80) are even better, as are Malay desserts like Pandan Crepe ($7.80). Service feels like you’re in good hands. Level 1 Gateway Building, Corner of Pitt and Alfred Streets, Circular Quay (02) 9241 3338 www.neptunepalace.com.au Chinese/Malaysian $$$$
DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS Al Aseel Sydney’s definitive Lebanese dining experience with benchmark aromatic Felafel ($6.90), complimentary pickles and a free plump bag of fluffy Lebanese bread. Kibbeh Naya ($11.90) is addictive raw minced lamb, perfect with the soft and lightly floral Château Ksara Blanc de Blancs ($40) from Lebanon. Create an abundant feast with creamy, garlic Toom ($6.90), smoky Baba Ghanouj ($9.90), tender cubes of Laham Mishwee ($17.90/3 skewers) and impossibly moist Fried Kibbe ($8.90). Mansaf Lamb ($22.90) on seasoned rice is a revelation; plus there’s the juicy chicken breast in Shish Tawook ($17/90/3 skewers). Retire to the cute cushion corner
Stanley Street Station *NEW* Clover Moore would fit right in amongst these polite, young, conservatively dressed inner-city types who order chardonnay as they unwrap their scarves. Some curl on a lounge with a book and a bowl of Sautéed School Prawns ($14) – slightly large on the day I dined, making them sharp but very crunchy. The menu provides both biggins and smalls; Grilled Chorizo and Pumpkin ($14) is hearty and satisfying, though begs for more sweet relief in the form of tiny pumpkin cubes. I was happiest with the delicious Pumpkin and Macadamia Bread ($12) served with a clever, house-made white truffle and pumpkin paste; followed by a puffy Braised Beef Cheek, Pea and Shitake Pie ($20) balanced by gentle sauerkraut and a good Saskia Beer beetroot jam. I’d return for both of them on another cool evening, when comfort beckons. Looking around at the full tables, I doubt I’d feel lonely – though floor and kitchen staff will need to step it up a notch (it’s early days). Winemaker Nick Candy (McWilliams) has put together a relevant, easy-drinking wine list to match the very well priced menu. Stick your nose into a Coates 2009 McLaren Vale Rose ($8/glass, $35/bottle), and leave the cute terrarium on the table when you go! 85a Stanley Street (Cnr Crown & Stanley), East Sydney (02) 9331 5375 www.stanleystreetstation.com.au Modern Australian $$-$$$
Alio *NEW* “When you’re twenty three and you go to the bank and get a loan, you don’t move to Circular Quay,” quips owner/Chef Ashley Hughes. He’s neatly accounted for the location of his spacious stalwart on the ‘wrong side’ of the Surry Hills; but not it’s longevity. Ten years is outstanding in the restaurant trade – heck in any trade. It speaks to consistency, value for money, and making most of what diners eat - from the crisp Grissini, to the light, fluffy Focaccia, to the tart Blood Orange Sorbet - in house. Dine throughout June on a well-priced, celebratory ten-course Greatest Hits Degustation ($80/person, $110/with wines). The menu presents a dish from each year of operation, sans tricks - well, unless you count the truffled green peaches cut to look like olives on the standout Bresaola as tricky. Ashley’s Barra in a Bag is nicely cooked and popular for a reason. I was more excited by the excellent cooking of the Hawkesbury River Calamari with Chilli and Lemon, refreshingly plated up to look just like a squid. Spring for the matching wines; sister and co-owner Tracey Hughes goes the extra mile to find interesting yet easy drinking wines including a fragrant Italian Pecorino. 5 Baptist St, Surry Hills (02) 8394-9368 www.alio.com.au Modern Italian $$$$
for sweets and a hooka. 529 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills (02) 9690 1099 Lebanese $$-$$$
INNER WEST (Pyrmont/Balmain Leichhardt/Glebe) 1945: Dutch East Indies Cuisine The nicely appointed dining room is a rich tapestry of Indonesia’s history. They’re serving up Rijsttafel, the Dutch inspired festive banquet, in reasonably priced small plates or as a set menu. Grand Rijsttafel ($80/serves 2) delivers all dishes simultaneously with small portions, hits and misses, cooling quickly. So design your own with sweet Chicken Wings with Caramelised Cashews ($10); tasty Grilled Pork Skewers ($3), Corn Fritters ($2) and whole Grilled Prawn Skewers ($6). Rice is essential – Tumeric Rice ($3) scrubs up best. Malty Bir Bintang ($8) an addictive palm sugar and coconut dessert, Es Tjendol ($7) complete the experience. Shop 2, 42 Harris Streeet, Pyrmont (02) 9660 9699 www.1945.com.au Dutch Indonesian $$ Efendy After three years winning over the Balmain peninsula, Somer Sivrioglu is finally making the Turkish food he wants to eat. For $43/head, you get four meze and a main apiece. Lamb Kofte vie for meze line honours with Pacanga Boregi, pastry triangles filled
with air-dried beef and cheese. For mains try Kuzu Kuzu, a daily duo of lamb; or the seven-hour, melt-in-themouth lamb shoulder, Kuzu Tandir. Cough up for pillowy Pide Bread ($2/ head) with baharat and excellent oil; and drink the wine with the Turkish name – the 2007 Magpie Estate Fakir Grenache ($44/bottle). A soothing Kazandibi ($12) burnt cinnamon and mastic pudding is the way to finish. 79 Elliott Street, Balmain (02) 9810 5466 www.efendy.com.au Turkish $$$
NEWTOWN & ENVIRONS (Marrickville/Petersham/ Dulwich Hill/Waterloo) Bitton Café & Grocer The Club Sandwich ($16.90) in this light and airy gourmet food store meets café gives five star hotels a run for their money, even on a ballistic Sunday. An efficient blackclad battalion of staff deliver food and drinks quickly. Expect smallish portions in dishes like the French Crepes with Strawberry and Vanilla Jam ($10.90) and a skillet of OnePan Bacon and Egg ($15.20). French Toast à la Bitton with Fresh Fruit and Orange Jelly ($13.50) impressed by avoiding an overly-gooey centre. Owner David Bitton was expediting coffees – perhaps that’s why I enjoyed so my smooth, strong Grinders Latte ($3.40 + $0.50) so much. 36-37a Copeland Street, Alexandria (02) 9519 5111 www.bittongourmet.com.au Cafe $-$$
Il Grappolo Cucina E Pizzeria *NEW* For me the heady violet aroma of Lacrima Di Morro D’Alba DOC 2008 ($41/bottle) will always be united with this wonderful, new neighbourhood restaurant.The beautiful wine was from Marche, the same region that owner Simone Ciuccoli hails from. Simone is passionate about authentic Italian food; serving up the best pasta (Garofalo) and mozzarella (Fior di Latte). Everything else is house-made by co-owner Marcus Bosshart, who doesn’t miss a beat in the kitchen. Extraordinarily silky Gnocchi Gorgonzola ($17) top a carroty, stick-to-your-ribs Pappardelle with Lamb Ragout ($23).With cooking this simple, there’s nowhere to hide mistakes; lucky there are none in the glorious Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli ($16/entrée, $24/main). Mains show seasonal awareness - John Dory with Sauteed Zucchini and Bay Leaf Sauce ($27) is delicate and compelling; Spatchcock with Fennel and Potato ($27) is super moist. Instead of dessert I opt for an excellent Patate Pizza ($17), topped with little more than Fior di Latte, rosemary and thinly sliced potato. Lucky locals will even find a Tropicale ($19) on offer. Simone explains: “Last time I went to Italy, they’re starting to do pizza with pineapple on it…” The only thing I can temper this glowing review with is: it’s over lit - too good to be ‘locals only’. Balmain Shores, Shop 1/41 Terry Street, Rozelle (02) 9810 3355 www.ilgrappolo.com.au Italian $$$
Nielsen Park Kiosk Café *NEW* With the glistening winter sun reflecting on a harbour full of sailors trimming frantically to account for an unpredictable breeze, it’s a good time to mosey on down for weekend brunch. Parking’s abundant and the crowd’s relaxed and ninety five percent local.Very few tourists find this picturesque spot. Perhaps as a result, the portions are exceedingly generous and the cooking unpretentious.The Bacon Chorizo, Portobello Mushroom and Scrambled Eggs on Turkish Toast ($19.25) wins with stellar produce, well handled. Smoky bacon is a particular standout; and the eggs are light, golden and fluffy. It’ll feed you for both breakfast and lunch - but it’d want to for the price. Noting that the net is down for winter, I smile to see a trio of Shark Beach Burgers.The Angus Beef Burger ($18.15) has the perfect ratio of beef to tomato to onion to bun, tarted up by a good beetroot relish. Drink a pleasing 2008 Thorn Clark Chardonnay ($8.50/glass) or a robust Flat White ($3.50); then finish with five flavours of Home-made Ice Cream ($9.50), or a Passionfruit Tart ($9.50) with good curd but an uninspiring shell. Boating failures, winter bridal fashions and avian antics keep conversation flowing. Nielsen Park, Graycliffe Avenue,Vaucluse (02) 9337 7333 www.nieslenpark.com.au Café $$
EASTERN SUBURBS & BEACHES Amarcord The name means ‘I remember’. The mural down one wall of the pretty dining room shows where co-owner/Chef Andrea Riva (exZeffirelli) grew up. He cooks the food of his boyhood – a delicate Fritto Misto Tricolore ($18) balanced by strips of zucchini; a gooey-centred Flan di Grana Padano ($16) offset by a grape reduction. Addictive hand-made Italian flatbread or Piadina ($5) with a pot of Slow-Baked Cuttlefish with Peas ($16). House-made pasta’s a highlight – try beautifully chewy Ravioli di Ricotta e Parmigiano ($25) or hand-twisted Strozzapreti ($24) with smoked salmon and asparagus. Charming, regional Italian that Nonnas often cook. BYO. 96 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction (02) 9369 4071 Italian $$$ La Scala on Jersey Experience primeval pleasures like punching in the knife to extract juicy bone marrow from roast veal Osso ($16). From the first bite of Darren Simpson’s Deep Fried Dates ($12 / 4 pieces) to the last spoonful of his Panna Cotta with Grappa Moscato di Nonino ($14), I was in heaven. Rustic, produce-driven dishes like excellent Carpaccio Cipriani ($17);
Pesce ($33), a pair of sand whiting with parsley, lemon zest, dried chilli, sultanas and pine nuts; and Scampi Alla Griglia ($39), will have you dripping with butter and begging for more. Eclectic décor, great staff & a corker of a wine too in the 2007 Felton Road Vin Gris ($65). Corner Jersey Road & Melrose Lane, Woollahra (02) 9357 0815 www.lascalaonjersey.com.au Italian $$$$
GREATER SYDNEY Ormeggio at The Spit Amble to the water-side land of the long, lazy lunch, following the aroma of the Spiedo Alla Bresciano ($44/head, 10 people) rotisserie of quail, pork, chicken and rabbit. Try the excellent Flavours of Lombardy Degustation ($85/head, $125/wine). Stellar produce meets simplicity in Baked Buffalo Ricotta ($20); Pan Fried Sardines ($22) sing with pine nuts and Marsala; and house-made Wholemeal Pici Pasta ($24) with rabbit ragout warms the soul. Tanned, friendly staff keep our NV Col Di Luna ‘Rose di Valmonte’ ($53) at the ready. Fig Crudo, Pistachio Gelato and Cinnamon Bread ($15) wraps it all up perfectly; chef didn’t miss a beat. D’Albora Marina,The Spit, Mosman (02) 9969 4088 www.ormeggio.com.au Italian $$$$
The Tea Room, Gunners’ Barracks *NEW* Wind and rain drove me into the former officers’ mess during my daytime visit to this historic and spectacular cliff top venue. A whiteout over the 270 degree Sydney Harbour view did make it easier to choose the interior of the picturesque 1873 sandstone building with blown glass Venetian Murano chandeliers and an Australian bush colour palate. A weekday lunch special offers up Two Courses ($50) with a glass of wine and a cuppa, from a menu that favours fishes including a nicely cooked Baked Blue Eye Trevalla with Clams, Chorizo and Savoy Cabbage ($29). An entrée of Roast Scallops ‘Minestrone’ ($19) and a lovely main of Escalopes of Salmon with Gnocchi, Broad Beans, Champagne and Sorrel Sauce ($29) would both benefit from a moment less in the pan. They suited a golden and substantial 2008 Cool Woods Pinot Gris, Eden Valley ($9/$42). David Gregory leads a warm, engaged floor team, who happily explain dishes, and offer up whiffs of the extensive tea collection served in Royal Albert china. What’s tea without cakes? Traditional Afternoon Tea ($40/head) includes bright Jaffa Macarons with the perfect ratio of stickiness to shatter; and a great Opera Slice with layers of decadent chocolate, coffee and sponge. End Of Suakin Drive, Mosman (02) 8962 5900 www.thetearoom.com.au Modern Australian/High Tea $$$
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Hubba Hubba Hub BY ANGELA BENNETTS This grand old dame on the King St strip has had its fair share of guises; ballroom, chintzy cinema, peddler of porn and empty, desolate hall, its outer walls a canvas for local graffiti artists. Its latter incarnation – as a vacant piece of real estate – has dragged on since the 1990s, with only a few sporadic stagings of theatre and comedy shows. A proposal in 2008 to convert the space into a combined commercial and retail premises was nixed by the council on the grounds of sound levels, heritage concerns and lack of adequate parking. While there has long been community support to bring The Hub back to life, until now that support has lacked the groundswell or administrative back-up to turn those dreams into any kind of reality. Enter Kris Stewart, Festival Director of the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival; on a mission to turn The Hub into, well, the hub of fringe culture in the Inner West. “We felt the Hub could be a jewel in the crown for the Fringe Festival, because it’s such a significant, iconic venue in Newtown,” says Stewart. It would operate as the centrepoint for all the festival activities, both geographically and literally. Unlike past one-off revivals (for instance, the Comedy Festival’s ticketed events of a few years back), The Hub would be open to all and free. “There’s such a limited number of theatre and entertainment venues in Sydney when you compare it to Melbourne, or even Brisbane, that having The Hub dark is a real opportunity lost,” says Stewart. But will it last? And what makes this gambit more likely to succeed where others have failed? “It’s been a challenge because the owners have never really wanted it to become
Feel the fear and improvise anyway BY MICHELLE PORTER Held at the Actors Centre Australia (ACA) in Surry Hills, ImproActive: Games, Thrills and Skills is taught by Daniel Cordeaux, a lead cast member on the hit television show, Thank God You’re Here. His repertoire also includes theatresports events and improvisation shows like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Singapore Arts Festival. Cordeaux has a long history with ACA, not only as a teacher but also as a student. After working with Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) when he was a teenager, he began classes at the centre because they were flexible and offered on-going training. “No one’s made to look stupid, there’s no pressure to be funny,” says Cordeaux. “The comedy comes out of the situation that people put themselves in.” So far in the class, he’s true to his word. There’s no pressure to perform. Instead we play various warm-up games. The chaos that ensues as we all scramble around is overwhelming yet hilarious. After many years of teaching overseas and in Australia at renowned institutions like NIDA and WAAPA, Dean Carey, the Co-founder and Creative director, began ACA in 1987 with actor friend, Stan Kouros because he
felt there was nowhere in Sydney besides drama schools for actors to continue training within a contemporary education model based on choice, flexibility, encouragement and collaboration. This is a philosophy that seems to hold true today. There are two other drop-in classes: Camera Connection, which examines how to best tell a story through the lens, while Acting Arena, focuses on the dynamics of character. (One ACA course was completed by Hugh Jackman before his film career took off.) Again Carey says you don’t have to be an actor. The courses are regularly attended by people working in the corporate sector. “Particularly with the Global Financial Crisis, people’s best investments are in themselves at the moment...” he says. “Acting skills are life skills and life skills are business skills, so it all feeds into each other.” His classes are based on the exercises of theatresports, a form originating in Canada, which has helped shape the careers of Australia’s most famous comics, such as Andrew Denton and Frank Woodley. “It’s about making offers and dealing with them. [There’s] a lot of play, so you’re trying to get yourself into the headspace of a kid.You don’t see kids stressing over pretend games,
like: ‘Oh god, like what, I was the king yesterday. What do I do?’” On the journey home, I’m on a high. I feel like something inside has been rekindled, something I didn’t know was lost. It’s the part of me that’s always loved the sense of play that comes with telling stories, but has, somewhere in the course of pursuing my literary ambitions, been replaced with ‘the writer’, a conniving task master obsessed with getting the words right. I understand now what Cordeaux means when he says he applies the energy of improvisation to other things. He will sometimes perform in a Shakespearean play to see what elements and attitudes he can bring to this more structured discipline. “In Elizabethan England, they were insane shows; they were wild shows with the audience calling out constantly, ‘Kill him. Kill him,’” he says. “There was that interaction – we are so loyal to the script now.” “The actors had to deal with completely unexpected stuff and they just did. I hope Shakespeare would’ve understood. Probably would have written it in if it worked.” Free workshops until Jun 26, Actors Centre Australia, 241 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, 9310 4077 or www.actorscentre.com.au
a night club or a big beer bar. They’ve been very specific, as have the council, about what they wanted to see happen,” agrees Stewart. Elsewhere, the owners have pleaded their frustration; “We’re getting sick and tired of it all,” said the Vlattas family representative in January this year, “Rest assured we’ve tried every angle to get this running.” Stewart acknowledges that, “Realistically, reopening the Hub itself, especially long term, is a bigger project than the Fringe could take on.” He is hoping that the old adage of right place, right time, will work in their favour – as well as giving the community a tangible focus and ability to get involved. The Raise the Hub initiative, which has other community and artsinterest groups involved (Tortuga Studios, 107 Productions, as well as leading local residents and independent artists) is the locus of this effort. More than just literally raising The Hub from the ashes, it’s about, “Raising the idea, getting the word out there.” With the owner’s tick of approval already attached to the project, The Hub only awaits the Council’s sign-off. While the past 15 years of inaction do not set a good precedent, Stewart assures me all signs seem positive for the September 10 launch of both the Sydney Fringe Festival and the reopening of the space. And just as Stewart foresees the Festival filling a cultural vacuum in the Sydney landscape, so too is it hoped that The Hub will be the venue we’ve all been waiting for – and that someone will step up to the plate to keep it running. After all, as Stewart admits, “In Newtown, there’s a strong value of creativity and things being real. People will call bullshit on you where they won’t elsewhere.” Hopefully, we won’t need to.
Sydney, do you have a vision? By Ken Saunders With less than two months to go, the Sydneyvision Song Contest is still anyone’s to win and organisers are calling on the songwriters, performers, filmmakers, even the satirists of Sydney to come to the aid of their suburb. The Sydneyvision Song Contest pits suburb versus suburb in a musical challenge to find the Song of Sydney. To enter, performers need to submit a video of an original song in which the name of a Sydney suburb appears in the lyrics. The 14 best entries will be screened at the Sydneyvision Grand Final at the Dendy Newtown. “You don’t have to live in the suburb you claim to represent,” a contest spokesperson said. “You just have to find a way to get Woolloomooloo or Wolli Creek into a song line. No one is going to ask to see your electricity bills. Bands should note that, in something never tried at Eurovision, we plan to judge the songs on actual merit. The song doesn’t have to be appalling to win.” The contest is open to all musical genres and filmmaking styles. Organised by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and supported by 2SER, Sydneyvision offers a chance for filmmakers and songwriters with ingenuity and daring to show their creativity, get their work out there and have a chance to rhyme something with Glebe. The contest prizes include money, gigs and fame everlasting…but, organisers caution, “not necessarily groupies.” For contest details visit the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre website at www.newtowncentre.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org Entries for Sydneyvision close on Aug 2 with the Sydneyvision Grand Final screening at the Dendy Newtown on Aug 25.
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EXHIBITION: DA VINCI SECRETS
Photo by Heidrun Lohr
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
THEATRE: MEASURE FOR MEASURE BY Angela Bennetts At the pub last night, a heated discussion about Measure for Measure took place. “I heart it,” said one friend, “I loved it,” said another. As the night wore on, and loosened by liquor, those statements became spiced with, “I was actually more just whelmed,” that is, neither over nor underwhelmed. It’s a telling response to something that is both one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, by one of Australia’s most renowned directors, Benedict Andrews. In it, a police state governed by the twofaced Angelo becomes a hotbed of greed, lust and injustice when Claudio is sentenced to death for fornication. Meddler and saggy-bum party boy Lucio (a convincing Toby Schmitz) sends in Claudio’s chaste sister Isabella (Robin McLeavy) to persuade Angelo. Unsurprisingly, when presented with a hot and desperate virgin, Angelo’s purported morals go out the window. With some whores, pimps, drunken crooks and dukes-in-disguise thrown in for good, ahem, measure, this is a surprisingly compelling and sexy story trading on its own adage; “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” The same could be said of the production’s ambitious if not-new technical ambits; a rotating stage, two screens with concurrent filming of the action. These are tricks we feel we’ve seen before; most recently at the Sydney Festival’s German production Hamlet, for instance. This is no coincidence - Andrews spent some time with Schaubhne Berlin, the theatre company responsible. But with such a strong story, told by such strong actors, were these flourishes really necessary? Were they conceptual, or merely aesthetic? “It’s because it’s a surveillance society!” claimed my friend, still defending till the end. “The mild motion-sickeness ... it’s meant to unsettle,” enjoins another. Perhaps, but with my attention trained firmly on the flesh and blood, I didn’t even notice. Until Jul 25, Belvoir St Upstairs, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills, $35-57, 9699 3444, belvoir.com.au
EXHIBITION: THE CLASH
WHAT’S ON music
movies Go to:
Until Jun 26, 90 May St Gallery, St Peters, 0488 568 251 or 0401 833 353, call beforehand
for more A&E stories
Photo by Danielle Lyons
Arts Editor: Angela Bennetts Listings Editor: Komi Sellathurai Music Editor: Chris Peken Contributors: Aidan Roberts, Michelle Porter, Kate Britton, Adam Guetti, Rebecca Keane, Mark Gertskis, James Harkness, Lucy Hearn, Lucy Hill, Lena Rutkowski, Nell Greco, Alex Bodman, Alex Britton, Sam Moginie, Sophie Mallam, Anna Klauzner, Tara Parsons, Brianna La Rance, Claire Martin, Jess Noble, Anthony Edward Bell, Daniel Ghezelbash & Alice Fenton
By Angela Bennetts Streetscapes are the modern take on rolling pastoral hills, the haystacks replaced by telephone boxes, the trundling cows, cars. Local artists Bede Kulcher and Hillary Latta (winner of the Hervey Bay Society Award and illustrator of children’s book Buzzy Bee) have tackled the scenes that Glebe-ites, Newtownians and Surry Hillsers will know well in striking swathes of colour and light in an exhibition now on at 90 May St Gallery. Kulcher says, “I seek to elevate the overlooked, to glory in the ordinary, presenting the viewer with a shock of recognition.” There is no doubt there will be many such a moment when wandering around - see if you can spy your favourite coffee shop or strip of tarmac.
“Who am I? I was born in Florence, Italy at the dawn of the High Renaissance. During my life I was an accomplished sculptor, anatomist, scientist, engineer, writer and painter who produced arguably the most iconic artworks in history (the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man’) ...my story also has more intrigue than author Dan Brown would dare poke a stick at.” Only Leonardo Da Vinci Renaissance poster-boy, polymath and all-round uber-genius - could boast such an exhaustive list of achievements. Da Vinci Secrets: Anatomy to Robots is essential viewing for Sydneysiders hoping to become acquainted with the legend himself. On loan from Florence, this richly visual, anecdotal and interactive exhibition provides an intimate study of Da Vinci’s complex, historically significant artworks (including the once-lost Battle of Anghiari). Equally as awe-inspiring are the elaborate and revolutionary inventions (flying machines, breathing apparatus etc) and graphic anatomical models that have been faithfully reproduced from da Vinci’s enigmatic Codices (which he wrote in mirror image cursive no less). The only superfluous inclusion is Antonio de Vito’s replica da Vinci artworks. While beautiful and immaculately realised, de Vito’s fresco-style reproductions are merely a nonessential, indulgent footnote to an exhibition already sufficiently designed to astonish. This humbling, expansive exhibition is not to be missed (and for sci-fi fans, da Vinci’s interactive ‘world-first robots’ are worth the price of admission alone). Until Aug 2, Sydney Town Hall, Druitt Street Entrance, $15-22, davincisydney.com.au
BY BRIANNA LA RANCE Bang, written by award-winning playwright Jonathan Gavin, is a story as direct and to the point as its title. The play presents us, on a global platform, with an oyster of contradictions: hope and hopelessness, terrorists and the terrified, belief and the unbelievable. And within this ‘oyster’ lay one’s moral code and the confronting reality of morality. Director Kim Hardwick has delicately manoeuvred this multi-layered story of religious-fuelled violence, heartbreak, hilarity, death and memory. I found it gripping. Every word, almost poetic in delivery, was timed beautifully as all six actors weaved about the intimate space, paralleling the character’s inter-connected lives. It sounds complex, and it was to a certain degree, but I related to its core. What also worked was the simplicity of the space. Things, objects and walls that could have belonged to anything and everything became familiar possessions and surroundings at the end. And the precise lighting became an effective tool for place, emotion and intensity. The work was daring. It pushed the sensitive buttons. We flinched, we cried, we laughed and we learned about truth, and the chaos that it brings with it. Until Jul 4, Belvoir St Downstairs, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills, $24-32, 9699 3444, belvoir.com.au
Photo by Bob Seary
By James Harkness
By Tara Parsons Vivian Bearing is a professor of 17th century poetry, specialising in the works of John Donne. She is unmarried, childless and lives for her work, a dedicated and unrelenting teacher and academic. She also has stage four ovarian cancer. Margaret Edsons’s W;t follows Vivian as she undergoes eight brutal months of intense treatment from doctors who are cold in their approach and see her as nothing more than a study to use for research purposes. She tries to deal with her illness and treatment in the exact same way she deals with her studies, drawing upon her intellect as a way of avoiding her emotions. But as her health declines Vivian struggles to keep her pain and emotions at bay. And she soon realises that the thing she really needs and wants is love and kindness. While death is the obvious driving force of the story, it is not the most important theme. W;t reflects on what’s truly important in life and just how fleeting time can be. “The play is not about doctors or even cancer,” playwright Margaret Edson explains. “It’s about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It’s about compassion but it shows insensitivity.” And by showing the opposite of kindness the audience is made to desire it more than ever. Unfortunately, this wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. Some of the performances felt forced and a couple of the players seemed to favour overacting in search of a laugh, to the detriment of the script. It was distracting and lessened my connection to the story. That said, there are standout moments. Karen Bayly performed well as Vivian and Shondelle Pratt is endearing as the bubbly nurse Susie. One of the final scenes between Vivian and her old college professor (a stellar performance by Margaret McManus) was genuinely moving and brought tears to my eyes, a credit to the actresses’ skill and their commitment to the script’s themes. Set designer James Croke has crafted a smart set that makes excellent use of the New Theatre’s relatively small stage, and cleverly interprets the script’s interchanging setting. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play evokes as much emotion as it does thought. It’s a brave choice for any director let alone one who has never before directed a full-length play but first-timer Jane Eakin has embraced the challenge. And while certain aspects have fallen short of the mark, it’s still a solid performance with content that’s strong enough to fill the gaps. Until Jul 10, New Theatre, King St, Newtown, $10-28, 1300 306 776, mca-tix.com.au
w h at ’ s o n Pubs, Clubs and Bars
THEATRE: THAT OLD CHESTNUT By Nell Greco “I think bands have more fun than theatre companies, generally.” Really? But there’s all those actors running around and you get to dress up and ‘be’ someone else! Well, according to Michael Booth, theatre directors - with all their rules and ah, directions have taken the fun out of performance, so That Old Chestnut, written by Booth and performed by Cathode Ray Tube (the theatre collective created by him and two friends) is their experiment without one. Booth tells me, “There are so many advantages to not having a director. Like a jazz band, we are tight because while a jazz band may seem unpolished or may seem kind of messy or spontaneous, they’re free so that anything might happen.” So rather than have one person instruct their performance, Cathode Ray Tube lets their actors ‘act’ intuitively from the script and the drama that ensues dissolves that fourth wall and is captivating. This tale of cheating, lying and love has already been tested on sold out crowds in the back room of a dingy Surry Hills pub and there’s nothing like enjoying the familiarity of your own city in a new piece of theatre. Actors just want to have fun, you should go along and have some too. Jun 15-Jul 10, Old Fitzroy Th
THEATRE & PERFORMANCE Bang (see full review) Until 4 Jul. Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $20-$32, 9699 3444, www.belvoir. com.au Oresteia The psychological cost of war, sexual politics, state corruption and the powerlessness of reason are just some of the concerns explored in Tom Wright’s often-inspired new adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy. (ABo) Until 4 Jul.Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay. $30-$75. 9250 1777 or sydneytheatre.com.au The Sapphires This small town musical has heart, soul and a whole lotta Motown. It’s not every season that a home grown, well written, produced and performed musical comes to town and if you didn’t get the chance to see it in 2005,The Sapphires are a girl group you can’t miss again. (NG) Until 30 Jun. Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St Surry Hills. $47-62. 9699 3444, belvoir.com.au Vampire Theatresports I was watching re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the other day. Gosh, Angel was a bit of a jerk wasn’t he? Well a 90s jerk, easily replaced by a pale Pattison today. It seems vampires are back in vogue.They are on the big screen (the Twilight series, Let the Right One In), small screen (True Blood) and best-selling books (erm the Twilight series and True Blood). What Bracula did for Dracula,Theatresports is doing for all vampire crazies of today. Taking suggestions from the audience, talented improvisional artists will make you laugh till you are blue in the face. Sundays. Until 18 Jul. Belvoir St Upstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir St Surry Hills. $27-$32. 9699 3444, belvoir.com.au Theatre of Blood Graphic, blood-soaked and over the top horror was a staple of the
Grand Guignol – a Parisian theatre that specialised in what was then considered naturalistic horror shows in the 19th and 20th centuries. In its second installment, Newtown Theatre brings back the tradition to a 21st century audience who are just as enthralled by dark tales. Fris from 30 Apr. 11pm. Newtown Theatre, Cnr King and Bray Streets, Newtown. $15-$19. 8507 3034, newtowntheatre.com.au Wicked Long before Toto and Dorothy turned up, two girls had a rendezvous in Oz: one beautiful and popular, the other smart and fiery but decidedly – well – green. Wicked follows the girls as they grow to become Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, with appropriate dashes of wit and warmth. Until late 2010. Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell St, Haymarket. $69.90-129.90. 1300 723 038, wickedthemusical.com.au, ticketmaster.com.au Wrong Prom This is a performance with the ultimate twist – you are the performer. Learn dance moves from professional dance instructors from films like Flashdance, Blues Brothers, Grease and Chicago then let your hair down as you would in a club. Sip on cocktails and re-enact those hairbrush to face dance routines that you practice in front of the mirror on those lonely Friday nights. Until 25 Aug. 7.30pm. CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh. $15-$18. 1300 723 038, carriageworks.com.au
FOR THE KIDS Baby Musical Tots Don’t want to pass on your two left feet syndrome to your children. At Baby Musical Tots, 2 to 5 year olds are taught simple dance steps coordinated with uplifting songs and music. Enhancing memory, movement and balance, these classes are fun for the kids and parents alike. Tsh Drama. Ocean Room. Bondi Pavilion. Queen Elizabeth Drive. Bondi Beach. $18-$160. 0401969606 or tshdrama.com
Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island It was a prison and a shipyard but the Cockatoo Island has once again been transformed into a massive floating art exhibition with the 17th Biennale of Sydney. Pack a picnic and spend the day with the kids as you explore the nooks and crannies of this historical location. Until 1 Aug. cockatooisland.gov. au, bos17.com, biennaleofsydney. com.au DisAbility Short Film Competition Make a five minute film for a chance to win $5000. And you will be doing it for a great cause raising awareness for the need to focus on someone’s ability rather than their disability. There is no age limit, so get your minds and camcorders to work. Applications close 30 Jun. focusonability.com.au
COMEDY Thursday 10 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24-$31) David Schmeidt, Mick Meredith – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Jon Dor & others – Sydney Comedy Store ($15-$25) Russell Brand – Sydney Entertainment Centre ($89.90) Friday 11 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ( $24-$31) David Schmeidt, Mick Meredith – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Jon Dore& others – Sydney Comedy Store ($15-$25) Saturday 12 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) David Schmeidt, Mick Meredith – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Jon Dore& others – Sydney Comedy Store ($15-$25) Sunday 13 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) Monday 14 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) Tuesday 15 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) The Anything Goes Show – Laugh Garage ($12-$27)
The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Wednesday 16 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Comedy on the Rox – Roxbury Hotel ($12-$15) New Comics Night – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Thursday 17 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) MC, Michael O’Connell, Brad Upton – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Friday 18 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) MC, Michael O’Connell, Brad Upton – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Saturday 19 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) MC, Michael O’Connell, Brad Upton – Laugh Garage ($12-$27) Sunday 20 Jun Alex & Eve – Factory Theatre ($24$31) Tuesday 22 Jun The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Jacques Barrett, Daniel Townes, Steve Philp – The Sugarmill ($10) Wednesday 23 Jun The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Comedy on the Rox – Roxbury Hotel ($12-$15) Thursday 24 Jun The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Friday 25 Jun The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30) Saturday 26 Jun The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth – Sydney Comedy Store ($10-$30)
GALLERIES & MUSEUMS Art Gallery Of New South Wales Alfred Steiglitz:The Lake George Years 17 until 5 Sep
Cnr Nelson St and Parramatta Rd, Annandale. 9550 1078, www.annandalehotel.com.au The Argyle: 18 Argyle St,The Rocks. 9247 5500, www.theargyle.biz Bank Hotel: 324 King St, Newtown. 9557 1692 The Basement: 29 Reiby Pl, Circular Quay. 9251 2797, www.thebasement.com.au Beach Road Hotel: 71 Beach Rd, Bondi Beach. 9130 7247, www.myspace.com/ beachroadbondi Candy’s Apartment: 22 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross. 9380 5600, www.candys.com.au Club 77: 77 William St, Kings Cross. 9361 4981, www.myspace.com/club_77 Cricketers Arms Hotel: 106 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills. 9331 3301 The Different Drummer: 185 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe. 9552 3406, www.differentdrummer.com.au The Duke Hotel: 148 Enmore Rd, Enmore. 9519 1935, www.duke-hotel.com Empire Hotel: 32 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. 9360 7531, empirehotel.net Enmore Theatre: 130 Enmore Rd, Newtown. 9550 3666, www.enmoretheatre.com.au Excelsior Hotel: 64 Foveaux St, Surry Hills. 9211 4945, www.excelsiorhotel.com.au The Factory Theatre: 105 Victoria Rd, Enmore. www.factorytheatre.com.au Friend in Hand Pub: 58 Cowper St, Glebe. 9660 2326, www.friendinhand.com.au Fringe Bar: 106 Oxford St, Paddington. 9360 5443, www.thefringe.com.au Gaelic Theatre: 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills. 9211 1687, www.thegaelic.com Gaslight Inn: 278 Crown St, Darlinghurst. 9360 6746 The Harold Park Hotel: 70A Ross St, Glebe. 9660 4745, www.haroldparkhotel.com.au Hopetoun Hotel: 416 Bourke St, Surry Hills. 9361 5257, www.myspace.com/ hopetounhotel Lansdowne Hotel: 2-6 City Rd, Chippendale. 9211 2325 The Laugh Garage: Cnr Church and Market St, Parramatta. 8883 1111, www.thelaughgarage.com The Loft: University of Technology, 15 Broadway, Sydney. 9514 2000, www.myspace.com/utsloftbar Manning Bar: Lvl 1, Manning House, Manning Rd, University of Sydney. 1800 013 201, www.manningbar.com Mars Lounge:
16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills. 9267 6440, www.marslounge.com.au Melt Bar: 12 Kellett St, Kings Cross. 9380 6060, www.meltbar.com.au Metro Theatre: 624 George St, Sydney. 9550 3666, www.metrotheatre.com.au The Nags Head Hotel: 162 St Johns Rd, Glebe. 9660 1591, www.nagshead.com.au Newtown Theatre: Cnr King St and Bray St. 9519 5081, www.newtowntheatre.com.au The Oatley Hotel: 8 Oatley Ave, Oatley. 9580 1117, www.oatleyhotel.com.au Opera Bar: Lower Concourse Lvl, Sydney Opera House, Sydney. 9247 1666, www.operabar.com.au Oxford Art Factory: 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. 9332 3711, www.oxfordartfactory.com Rag & Famish: 199 Miller St, North Sydney. 9955 1257, www.ragandfamish.com.au The Roxbury Hotel: 182 St Johns Rd, Glebe. 9692 0822, www.roxbury.com.au Roundhouse: University of New South Wales, Anzac Pde, Kensington. 9385 7784, www.unswroundhouse.com Ruby Rabbit: 231 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. 9332 3197, www.rubyrabbit.com.au The Sound Lounge: Seymour Centre, cnr Cleveland St and City Rd, Chippendale. 9351 7940, www.seymour.usyd.edu.au Sandringham Hotel: 387 King St, Newtown. 9557 1254, www.sando.com.au Sapphire Suite: 2 Kellet St, Kings Cross. 9331 0058, www.sapphiresuite.com South Sydney Juniors: 558A Anzac Pde, Kingsford. 9349 7555, www.southsjuniors.org.au Spectrum: 34 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. 1800 438 849 (moshtix), www.pashpresents.com Star Bar: 600 George St, Sydney. 9267 7827, www.starbar.com.au The Vanguard: 42 King St, Newtown. 1800 438 849 (moshtix), www.thevanguard.com.au World Bar: 24 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross. 9357 2755, www.theworldbar.com.au The White Horse: 381-385 Crown St, Surry Hills. 8333 9999, www.thewhitehorse.com.au
w h at ’ s o n Art + Soul from 28 Aug 17th Biennale of Sydney until 1 Aug Colour, Rhythm and Design until 11 Jul Dadang Christanto:They Give Evidence 2010 until 25 Jul The Dreamers until 15 Aug Victorian Visions until 29 Aug 10am-5pm, 7 days a week. Art After Hours – every Wed until 9pm. Art Gallery Rd, The Domain, Sydney. 9225 1744, artgallery.nsw. gov.au Aquabumps Gallery (see website) Tue – Sat. 10am to 6pm. 151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach. 9130 7788, aquabumps.com Australian Centre for Photography Hijacked 2 – Australia/Germany until 4 Jul Workshop Term 2 Student Exhibition 8 – 17 Jul Tue – Fri 12pm–7pm, Sat & Sun 10am–6pm. 257 Oxford St, Paddington. 9332 1455, acp.org.au The Australian Museum Birds Exhibition permanent Dinosaurs permanent Indigenous Australians permanent Museum Mummy permanent Planet of Minerals permanent Surviving Australia permanent Skeletons permanent Mon – Wed 6am-10pm, Thur – Fri 6am-11pm, Sat – Sun 8am-11pm. 70 Riley St, East Sydney. 9361 4613, austmus.gov.au Australian National Maritime Museum Australia-America permanent Eora First People permanent Navigators permanent Navy permanent Sea Journeys permanent Watermarks permanent 9.30am-5pm daily. 2 Murray St, Darling Harbour. 9298 3777, anmm.gov.au Breenspace Beata Geyer 16 Jul – 14 Aug Dani Marti 16 Jul – 14 Aug Phillip George: Edge of Empire until 10 Jul Tue – Sat 11am-6pm. 289 Young St, Waterloo. 9690 0555, breenspace.com Craft NSW Riches of the Earth until 26 Jul Mon – Sun, 9.30am-5.30pm. Craft NSW, 104 George St. 9241 5825, artsandcraftsnsw.com.au Customs House Gary Heery: Endangered until 4 Jul Mon – Fri 8am-12am, Sat 10am-12am, Sun 11am-5pm. 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay. 9242 8551, cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/ customshouse Darren Knight Gallery Louise Weaver: Capsize until 17 Jul Michael Harrison:Waking Up Late until 17 Jul Tue – Sat 11am-6pm. 840 Elizabeth St, Waterloo. 9699 5353, www.darrenknightgallery.com Global Gallery Land of Giants until 20 Jun Portal until 1 Aug Recent Works: Linus Dean until 20 Jun Recent Works: Lorna Crane until 21 Jul Recent Works: Mazin Ahmad until 21 Jul Wed – Sat 11am–6pm, Sun 12pm–4pm. 5 Comber St, Paddington. 9360 5728, www.globalgallery.com.au Justice & Police Museum Sin City from 1 May Mon – Fri 10am-5pm, daily in school holidays. Cnr Phillip & Albert St, Circular Quay. 9252 1144, hht.net.au
Macleay Museum Macleay Reworked permanent Outlines - Koori Artefacts until 30 Jun Mon – Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sun 12pm4pm. Gosper Ln, near the Footbridge St entrance to the University of Sydney. 9036 5253 Museum of Contemporary Art We Call Them Pirates Out Here until 29 Aug 17th Biennale of Sydney:The Beauty of Distance (Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age) until 1 Aug 10am-5pm daily. 140 George St, The Rocks. 9245 2400, mca.com.au Museum of Sydney Skint! Making do in the Great Depression until 25 July Up the Cross: Rennie Ellis and Wesley Stacey until 8 Aug 9.30am-5pm daily. 37 Phillip St, Sydney. 9251 5988, hht.net.au Nicholson Museum Charles Nicholson: Man and Museum until Dec 2010 Classical Fantasies:The Age of Beauty until Dec 2010 Mon – Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sun 12pm4pm. Southern entrance to the Quadrangle,The University of Sydney. usyd.edu.au/museums NG Art Gallery Lizzie Buckmaster Dove: Still Light until 19 Jun Roger Foley-Fogg aka Ellis D Fogg: Lumino Kinetics until 19 Jun Tue – Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 9am10pm. Upper level, 3 Little Queen St, Chippendale. 9318 2992, ngart.com.au Powerhouse Museum The 80s Are Back until late 2010 The Tinytoreum until Feb 2011 Trainspotting:The Powerhouse Museum Photo Competition until 29 Aug 10am-5pm daily. 500 Harris St, Ultimo. 9217 0111, powerhousemuseum.com Sheffer Gallery Surface to Space until 26 Jun Wed – Sat 11am-6pm. 38 Lander St, Darlington. 9319 5683, www.sheffergallery.com Stills Gallery Anne Feran: Lost to Worlds until 15 Aug Ricky Maynard: Portraits of a Distant Land until 15 Aug Sat 11am-6pm. 36 Gosbell St, Paddington. stillsgallery.com.au White Rabbit Gallery The Tao of Now until 30 Jul Thu – Sun 10am-6pm. 30 Balfour Street Chippendale. 8399 2867, whiterabbitcollection.org
Australia’s Richest Radio Play Writing Competition 2010 With a prize package worth $6000 for the top 4 scripts, it is no wonder that this is Australia’s richest competition in its genre. If you are an aspiring playwright with an opinion about contemporary issues faced by everyday Aussies, then get your pen to paper now. Entries close 30 June. dogwoodcrossing.com, 46271131, email email@example.com DigiSPAA Digital Feature Film Competition Calling all Aussie and Kiwi digital filmmakers. Here’s your chance to make the next big digital feature film.You won’t need to dig deep to enter, just a story worth telling and a good dose of passion in the tradition of great filmmaking will do. Films must be at least 70 minutes long and independently funded. Applications close 5pm, 17 Sep. spaa.org.au Recycle Your Cartridges Did you know that you can recycle your empty ink cartridges to produce pens, park benches and new printer cartridges? Find your nearest ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ recycling bins and rescue our overstressed planet one cartridge at a time. Until 1 Jul. 1800 2424 73, cartridges. planet.org, recyclingnearyou.com. au, zerowaste.org.au Ruby’s Place Performance Café Are you an aspiring artist? Do you live in Bondi? Would you like to showcase your talent to the public in a friendly, inviting atmosphere? Whether you are a musician, poet or magician, Ruby’s Performance Café is inviting you to be a part of their weekly open mic get together. Every Wed. 7pm. Chapel by the Sea, 95 Roscoe St, Bondi. $10. 9130 3445, chapelbythesea.unitingchurch.org.au Strange Places Film Series The Chauvel Cinema wants to bring you places with its latest film series, strange places that is. So let it kidnap you to these dark places as you squirm your way through Eraserhead, Paris Texas, Apocalypse Now, Jaws, Kids, Blow Up, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Badlands. Until 9 Jul. 8.30pm. Chauvel Cinema. Paddington Town Hall, Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd, Paddington. $12. 9361 5398, chauvelcinema.net.au
TALKS & EVENTS
Art Museums in the 21st Century Modern art may not be everyone’s cup of tea. What seems like an inventive way of expressing an idea to one person may be interpreted as a lazy stroke of line on a crumpled paper to another. Can we please everyone? Join the Director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Glenn D. Lowry as he discusses the importance of contemporary art in the future and shares his thoughts about art museums in the 21st century at our very own MCA. 25 Jun. 6.30pm. Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks. $7-$10. 9245 2484, mca.com.au
Animania Festival 2010 Who didn’t love Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo last year? Although his films are embraced by the wider community, there is a lot about anime and Japanese pop culture that is still foreign to us. And here is an excellent opportunity to eradicate that. 11 – 12 Sep. Australian Technology Park. Conference Centre, Bay 4 Locomotive St, Eveleigh. $11.50-$25. animania.net.au Biennale of Sydney The Beauty of Distance – Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age With half of its 166 artists being Australian, the 17th Biennale of Sydney has given our local talent a fantastic platform to show off their creativity alongside their
TH E N A K E D C I T Y
FEAR AND LOATHING AND FESTIVAL FRIES!
By Miss Death, Jay Katz and Coffin Ed These days there’s a film festival in Sydney just about every week but the big one remains the Sydney Film Festival and of that we should all be glad, given its illustrious history. In recent years the Festival has endured a bit of a bumpy road with finances and changing public attitudes but it now seems to have found its equilibrium with a user friendly marketing of tickets and a more expansive program. There are those of course who still long for the nostalgia of the 70s and 80s when the Festival was synonymous with obsessively dedicated film buffs and massive feats of endurance - like sitting through four or five movies in the one day in a chilly (then unheated) State Theatre. Those were the days when Festival-goers packed their own picnic baskets and in the intervals between each film spread their cheese plates and goose liver pate with almost religious ritual in every nook and cranny of the cinema. Around 4.30pm in the afternoon, as many insatiable Festival patrons lined up for their fourth film of the day, the number of those fast asleep often outnumbered those enjoying a three hour slice of social realism from Kazakhstan. Loud and
International peers. In addition to an exciting line-up at Cockatoo Island, explore the beauty of different cultures at various locations around Sydney including experimental performance based events at Artspace (see below). Until 1 Aug.Various Locations. biennaleofsydney.com.au World Cup 2010 If, like me, you only indulge in sports once every four years, then you ought to make a proper party of it. Unfortunately, most of the World Cup games are telecast here at ungodly hours, which really takes the social aspect out of the series. Fortunately, Helm Bar has come to the rescue. Their doors will be open for all Australian, 9.30pm and 12am games and select 4.30am kickers. And with an extra late license, you can still drink at this hour. God bless Australia! Now boys, get your permission slips from the other half in advance and ladies, finally a sports event you can dance to. Goal! Helm Bar, Aquarium Wharf, Wheat Road, Darling Harbour. 9290 1571, helmbar.com.au SuperDeluxe@Artspace: PechaKucha Nights Founded in 2003 by Tokyobased architects Astrid Klein
disruptive bouts of snoring were not uncommon and if you had suddenly curled up and died, your corpse would not have been disturbed until the cleaners moved in, well after the final session. To have sat or even slept through every film at the Festival was a cultural badge of honour that you could display with pride for many months to come. Freezing to death in the name of art or expiring from as a result of goose liver botchulism was an even greater accolade worthy of inscription of your tombstone. These days only a tiny handful of the old style Film Festival fanatics are left to drag their bedraggled picnic hampers from one session to another, shouldering their way through the hordes of philistine office workers as they scurry from the State to the Dendy. Perhaps it’s time to erase that tradition for once and forever and propel the Festival into the totally crass and vulgar world of 2010. The Iraq War introduced us to the concept of Freedom Fries so why not a special issue of Festival Fries, free to every festival patron along with a fast food menu of sugar, carbs and fat designed to have both your heart and your intellect racing. The Red Bull Sydney Film Festival does have a certain ring to it and if we could somehow meld culture with the fast food generation, then we are surely on a winner baby!
and Mark Dytham, PechaKucha onomatopoeically meaning ‘chit chat’ in Japanese is a casual gathering of people where ideas are shared. To keep things moving, each presenter has to express their vision with 20 slides, each in the limelight for 20 seconds. Every Thurs. 20 May – 1 August. 7.30pm. Artspace, The Gunnery Building, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo. 9356 0555, superdeluxe-artspace.com.au, bos17.com
live music Thursday 17 Jun Basic – 202 Broadway (free) House Cabaret – Sydney Opera House ($19-$49) Here We Go Magic – Oxford Art Factory ($44.85) Hot Damn! – Spectrum ($10-$12) Kid Finley, Pee Wee Pete – The Gaff (free) Latin Night: Merenia & The Way & Carlos Velesquez – 505 ($10-$15) Mal Eastick, Richard Madden – The Vanguard ($20-$25) Merenia & The Way, Carlos Velesquez – 505 ($10-$15) Night of Noise – Sedition ($10) Peter Head – Harbour View Hotel (free) Rumpunch – Macquarie Hotel (free) The Suspects – Marble Bar (free) Tash Parker & others – Ravel, Macquarie Hotel ($10) Teenage Kicks – World Bar (free)
Friday 18 Jun Alestorm & others – Gaelic Theatre ($43) Brown Sugar – Marble Bar (free) Cafe Carnivale – Eastside Arts ($10$28) Cassette Kids & others – Oxford Art Factory ($12-$15) House Cabaret – Sydney Opera House ($19-$49) Deborah Conway,Willy Zygier – The Basement ($32) The Domestics, Junk – Oxford Art Factory (free) The Gin Club & others – Annandale Hotel ($18) Gyroscope & others – Metro Theatre ($35) The Hellfire Club & others – The Gaff ($25) Jonesez & others – Sandringham Hotel ($10) Kim – Docks Hotel (free) Mark Isaac’s Visions – 505 ($10-$15) Purple Sneakers – Gladstone Hotel ($12) Silent Alarm – Spectrum ($5) To The Next – Macquarie Hotel (free) Underlights & others – Melt Bar ($10) Saturday 19 Jun Betty Airs & others – Oxford Art Factory (free) The Break – Beach Road Hotel (free) Deep Sea Arcade & others – Annandale Hotel ($15) House Cabaret – Sydney Opera House ($19-$49) Eclipse Alley Five – Strawberry Hills Hotel (free) Jamrock – 202 Broadway ($7-$15)
What’s On HOYTS – BROADWAY Sex and the City 2 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Animal Kingdom Robin Hood Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos Harry Brown Iron Man 2 StreetDance 3D The Back-Up Plan The Losers A Nightmare on Elm Street
SYDNEY HERITAGE FLEET
Saturday 19 June James Craig sailing adventure - Winter Windjammer Special (much reduced cost). Your opportunity to board this magnificent 19th Century ship for a glorious day out to sea under sail (0930 - 1600). Phone (02) 9298 3888. Saturday 19 June Fleet Discovery Day. Want to join us? See the Fleet working and see what you could do as a member volunteer (working member). The day includes a boat trip to the Heritage Shipyard to see the restoration work being done and inspect the Fleet vessels berthed there, followed by a Wharf 7 tour of our collections, workshops and James Craig. It includes the Fleet Induction for those who decide to join, with the essential OH&S. Set aside the day for it. Booking is essential. For more information and to book, ring 9298 3888 or Volunteer Services 9298 3870 (leave a message) or email firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday 19 June Harman for Fleet Discover Day Monday 21 June Fleet Morning Tea on board James Craig at 10.30am. Bring a mug and a contribution - buns, cakes, biscuits, savouries or fruit - or just bring yourself. Everyone who works in the Fleet is
warmly welcome. It is our chance to catch up on the chat. No booking necessary just turn up. Saturday 26 June Sydney Harbour Secrets. Enjoy a three hour cruise on our historic VIP steam launch Lady Hopetoun past Goat Island, Garden Island, Mort’s Dock, Woolwich Dock, Spectacle and Cockatoo Islands. Learn about their historical significance to Sydney Harbour and the people of Sydney.. Wednesday 30 June Lucky Gangway Prize drawn. More details here. Wharf 7 Pyrmont Cnr Murray St & Pirrama Rd Ph: 9298 3888 www.shf.org.au
Don’t miss your chance to see the amazing Imperial Ice Stars performing their show at the Lyric Theatre for 13 shows only. WEST SIDE STORY Sold out in London, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing, the international smash hit West Side Story comes to Sydney in July 2010 for a strictly limited season at the Lyric Theatre. SHOW TIMES: Tues – Sat 8pm Wed 1pm Sat 2pm Sun 3pm Star City Casino 80 Pyrmont St Pyrmont Ph: 9657 9657 www.starcity.com.au
STAR CITY CASINO
David Moore - Portraits of a shipping company
CATS CATS, one of the most recognised and adored musicals the world has ever known, is returning to Sydney’s Lyric Theatre for a strictly limited season from May 2010. Don’t miss out on tickets to this amazing show. Book now through Ticketmaster! SWAN LAKE ON ICE The world’s premier theatrical ice skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars, are back with a dynamic new interpretation of their awardwinning masterpiece Swan Lake on Ice. This adrenaline-infused Swan Lake on Ice will bring you to the very edge of your seat. 27 August - 5 September.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM David Moore, worldrenowned Australian photographer, was commissioned by Columbus Line to create photographic portraits of their shipping activities. Columbus Line began operating between North America and Australia and New Zealand in 1959 and was the first company to regularly schedule a containerised shipping service. USA Gallery 13 May Dec 2010 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour Ph: 9298 3777 www.anmm.gov.au
THE 80S ARE BACK Were the 80s just one big party or was there more going on? This new exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney takes you back to the music, fashion, parties, politics and the people to find out.
Free with Museum entry Rubik’s Cube
$25 family / $10 adult / $5 child / $6 concession / Powerhouse members free / Gift vouchers available BOOK ONLINE or phone 02 9217 0222. 13 December 2009 until late 2010 ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2009 Each year the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia presents awards for the most outstanding Australian engineering projects. A selection of six award-winning projects is displayed at the Powerhouse Museum. The exhibition showcases how Australian engineers are developing innovative solutions for society in areas such as education, technology and infrastructure. 3 February 2010 – February 2011 FROCK STARS: INSIDE AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK To celebrate 15 years since the inaugural Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, Frock stars will unveil the history, highlights, controversies and achievements of an event that has challenged and changed perceptions of the Australian fashion industry. 22 April to 29 August 2010 500 Harris St, Ultimo Ph: 9217 0111 www.powerhousemuseum. com
UNDER THE SEA 3D UNDER THE SEA 3D, the newest IMAX 3D underwater
adventure from the awardwinning filmmakers behind Deep Sea 3D, will transport audiences to uniquely exotic locations in the Asia-Pacific region, to experience face-toface encounters with some of the ocean’s most mysterious and unusual creatures. Duration: 45 minutes Rated: G ULTIMATE WAVE TAHITI 3D Feel the crash of the waves, smell the ocean and be immersed in one of the coolest surf films seen through the eyes of Kelly Slater and his big wave companion and Tahiti resident, Raimana Van Bastolaer. Ultimate Wave Tahiti is the first 3D IMAX® and giant screen theater film to use extreme surfing to focus on the science of waves. Presented by Quiksilver, Tahiti Tourisme and Suzuki. Duration 45 minutes. PG. Mild Themes. FORCES OF NATURE The ground moves, mountains explode, the sky turns black and violent — paradoxically, the natural forces that helped create life on our green planet can also destroy it. With National Geographic’s trademark combination of scientific excellence, dramatic storytelling skill and human emotion, Forces of Nature will showcase the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes and severe storms as we follow scientists on their quest to understand how these natural disasters are triggered. Rated PG, Duration: 45 minutes, Distributor National Geographic Gs Films SHACKELTON’S ANTARCTIC ADVENTURES Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure is a giantscreen film that tells the extraordinary true story of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s now-legendary 1914-1916 British Imperial
Trans-Antarctic Expedition. While never accomplishing its goal of the first crossing of the Antarctic continent, this expedition has become a larger-than-life testament to heroism and human endurance, with all 28 men surviving nearly two years in the barren, frigid Antarctic when their ship, Endurance, was caught in pack ice and eventually crushed. Rated G, Duration: 45 minutes, Distributor National Geographic Gs Films AVATAR 3D
Sam Worthington in Avatar
BOOK NOW FOR THE BIGGEST GROSSING FILM OF ALL TIME - ON THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SCREEN In the epic action adventure fantasy AVATAR, James Cameron, the director of Titanic, takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination. On the distant moon Pandora, a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption, discovery and unexpected love -- as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization. Guarantee your seats and avoid queuing by booking online now for James Cameron’s Avatar - in IMAX 3D. Rated M. Duration 162 mins approx. 31 Wheat Road DARLING HARBOUR Ph: 9281 3300 www.imax.com.au
CD Reviews email@example.com
APPLES IN STEREO TRAVELLERS IN SPACE AND TIME Where were you in 1980, the year that Olivia Newton-John unleashed Xanadu on an unsuspecting public? Your enjoyment of the latest Apples in Stereo album will hinge upon the answer to that question. Travellers in Space and Time is perhaps an apt title, if the time we are talking about travelling to is the early 1980’s, and the space is in the close proximity to disco and spandex clothing. In the three years since we last heard from Apples in Stereo some strange metamorphose has occurred, seeing them move from being contemporaries of Sterolab to being soul-mates with ELO. The Apples standard elements are still in attendance, hooks aplenty (often overflowing) along with Robert Schneider’s reedy vocals. But this time there are zany synths, vocoders and disco beats. There is no doubt that they are enjoying themselves, and it’s hard to fault that. But i still have a hard heart when it comes to ABBA and big hair, so at least i have made my position clear. Enjoy at your own peril. (CP)
ASH GRUNWALD - HOT MAMA VIBES Whether the sight of Ash Grunwald makes you swoon, or want to take the garden shears to his top-heavy dreadlocks (or both); his new album proves he has moved well beyond John Bulter’s shadow. Taking his blues roots - with huge debts to the likes of RL Burnside - and adding large slabs of hip-hop inspired beats, and a lot of Tom Waits-like mega-phone vocals, has provided an interesting blueprint for Hot Mama Vibes. The lead track Walking was an obvious first single, with its Bo Diddley footstompin’ riff and thumping rhythmic accompaniment. It is well backed up by Raw, a slower, bass heavy tune that runs around a sampled matra/chaingang chant with great effectiveness providing the sort of dynamic palette that shows off Grunwald’s playing to best effect. He sounds uncomfortable at times trying to find his place in the groove, and he is at his best when he leads from the front. The exception to this is the excellent Lady Luck, where Grunwald kicks back on the vocals, and plays just sparse leads on guitar, allowing the track to hang on a cooler than cool keyboard refrain from Fingers Malone. To shear or not to shear, that is the question. (CP)
SCOUTING FOR GIRLS EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE ON TV What appears at first like a tongue-incheek dig at popular culture and hypemongering, the title of this record by UK pop wunderkinds Scouting For Girls actually serves as a horribly appropriate platform from which their cheesy teen rock springs forth in blinding techni-colour.There is nothing ironic in here - it’s music made for the kids, big glistening tunes, songs about mirrors on the wall and not being able to forget that Saturday night last year, all chiseled to commercial perfection with big, loud, British pop production. In a way these guys could be seen as channelling the same good time vibes of Supergrass; but with a regretful lack of killer melodies or that kind of jagged honesty and punk spirit that makes bands like the aforementioned really shine. It’s always hard to listen to an album like this with any great empathy if it’s not what you’re into - but cheesy ditties like Little Miss Naughty and Posh Girls just push the annoying button a bit too often. (AR)
RUTH MOODY - THE GARDEN Australian-born, Canadianraised folkie Ruth Moody’s songs nestle somewhere between the removed, Appalachian eeriness of contemporaries Gillian Welch or Marissa Nadler, and the down-toearth, open-hearted warmth of her native Australian contemporaries. A lonesome banjo picks off the beginning of the title and opening track, the excellent The Garden, where Ruth Moody’s voice floats like a leaf, delicate and thick with soul. This and some of the other tracks on the album sing like a hymn for discovered loneliness, or a plaintive cry for guidance. But the sometimes uncertain or despairing lyrics, like all good folk music, are hidden among uplifting and inviting melodies. It’s all played with aplomb - when it’s not just Ruth solo with a guitar, she is joined by guest musicians from the backing bands of Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, and The Wailin’ Jennies (for whom Moody’s song One Voice was a major hit). Moody’s music is such that it requires careful attention to reveal its heart and soul - rising above the noise (or lack there of) some of the quieter moments can reveal the most affecting details. (AR)
For more album reviews go to www.altmedia.net.au
what ’ s on Katie Noonan & The Captains,The Jezabels – Metro Theatre ($35) Nadastrom & others – Oxford Art Factory ($10-$20) Nitro Burlesque, Nitro Rockers – The Vanguard ($20-$25) Paul Dianno – Gaelic Theatre ($40) Skipping Girl Vinegar – Ravel, Macquarie Hotel ($18) Song Summit – Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre ($180-$420) Virna Sanzone – 505 ($10-$15) Wham! – World Bar ($15-$20) You Only Live Once & others – The Basement ($20) Sunday 20 Jun The Break – Annandale Hotel ($25) Doc Jones & the Lechery Orchestra – The Vanguard ($12-$15) Jason Hicks – Docks Hotel (free) House Cabaret – Sydney Opera House ($39-$49) Radio Social – World Bar (free) Song Summit – Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre ($180-$420) Monday 21 Jun Peter Northcote – The Basement ($20) Song Summit – Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre ($180-$420) Tim Rollinson & others – 505 ($10) Train – Enmore Theatre ($69.90) Yusuf – Sydney Entertainment Centre ($119-$199) Tuesday 22 Jun Club Jazz Open Mic Night – Manhattan Lounge (free) Coyote Tuesday – The Gaff (free) Emma Pask Quintet,The Ben Panucci Trio – 505 ($8-$10) The Little Stevies – Beach Road Hotel (free) Ultimo Tafe Diploma in Performance Showcase – The Vanguard ($10-$39) Wednesday 23 Jun Annandale Hotel 10th Birthday Week: The Vines & others – Annandale Hotel ($25) Aston – The Basement ($10.20-$59) Birds of Tokyo, Midnight Youth – Beach Road Hotel (free) The Little Stevies – The Vanguard ($12) Pugsley Buzzard – Macquarie Hotel (free) Remco Keijzer Quartet – 505 ($10) Wednesdays at 202 – 202 Broadway (free) Yusuf – Sydney Entertainment Centre ($119-$199) Thursday 24 Jun Annandale Hotel 10th Birthday Week: Dallas Crane & others – Annandale Hotel ($18) Basic – 202 Broadway (free) The Devil Rides Out & others – Sandringham Hotel ($10) Donna McKechnie – Factory Theatre ($59) Espirito – 505 ($10-$15) G3 – Marble Bar (free) Hit the Road Jack: Jeff Duff, Evelyn Duprai, Natasha Stuart, Juanita Tippins, Tim Jenkins – The Basement ($25) Hot Damn! – The Spectrum ($10$12) Jazz: Cool for School – The Sound Lounge ($17.50) Kid Finley, Pee Wee Pete – The Gaff (free) Rumpunch – Macquarie Hotel (free) Tara Simmons & others – Ravel, Macquarie Hotel ($10) Teenage Kicks – World Bar (free) Friday 25 Jun Annandale Hotel 10th Birthday Week: Cloud Control – Annandale Hotel ($18) Brown Sugar – Marble Bar (free) Café Carnivale: Fiesta – Eastside Arts ($10-$28) Dust Tones:The Nomad & others – Beach Road Hotel (free)
GIG: MIKELANGELO AND THE BLACK SEA GENTLEMEN
By Angela Bennetts It’s quite strange to find yourself discussing hair gel with someone you’ve never met. But then I guess you can expect the unexpected with Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, a group of Balkan folk troubadours with one boot firmly in the theatre camp, after acclaimed seasons at Edinburgh Fringe and the Sydney Festival. Their self-titled style is Kabaret Noir; or as the ringmaster Mikelangelo says, trawling, “The depths of the black sea of the hard things in life, and [coming] up with the jewels that you can draw from that experience.” If that treasure includes a glistening tub of pomade, then so be it. “I’m happy to talk about male grooming at any time,” laughs Mikelangelo. This is unsurprising for someone who unabashedly dons a superhero persona every time he steps onto the stage. “The personas are drawn from aspects of our own life,” he says, “But the warts are amplified too. It’s a way of laughing at the The Felas – 505 ($10-$15) Hell City Glamours:Various Artists – Oxford Art Factory ($16) Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Enmore Theatre ($77.10) Jason Hicks – Docks Hotel (free) Mark Seymour – The Vanguard ($25-$30) Mr Percival,The Little Stevies – The Basement ($25-$28) Pawno Winter Party:Various Artists – Fitzroy Hotel ($5) Purple Sneakers – Gladstone Hotel ($12) Silent Alarm – Spectrum ($5) SIMA: Steve Hunter’s Nine Lives – The Sound Lounge ($20-$25) To The Next – Macquarie Hotel (free) Underlights – Melt Bar ($10) Saturday 26 Jun Annandale Hotel 10th Birthday Week: Ozi Batla & others – Annandale Hotel ($20-$25) Betty Airs,The Jewel & the Falcon – Oxford Art Factory (free) Boogie Wonderland – A Journey Back to the 80s – Forum Theatre ($55.20) Dale Barlow – 505 ($10-$15) Eclipse Alley Five – Strawberry Hills Hotel (free) Jamrock: Nick Toth, Joe – 202 Broadway ($7-$15) Mark Seymour – The Vanguard ($25-$30) Operator Please & others – Metro Theatre ($25) Pan Magazine Fundraiser and Launch Party – The Red Rattler ($15) Radio City Cats – Marble Bar (free)
absurdities and difficulties of life.” I ask if friends and family find the overblown characters amusing - or if they see a truth not revealed at home. “My family often come, and it’s great seeing my father in the audience beaming as I’m ... speaking in his accent.” That’s a Croatian accent, appropriated by Mikelangelo and his siblings in lieu of actually learning the language. Similarly, “There’s a core of our music and stylings that speaks of an old world Europe - a Europe of our imagination. Longing and wondering about a world I never knew, a world of my father and mother.” For a mixed-bag of musical styles and theatrical leanings, this is the bedrock - the nostalgia and longing for an evocative continent. “It’s the things I heard as I was growing that became formative in my mind,” says Mikelangelo, as he cites Harry Belafonte, the cowboy lament of Streets of Loredo, “Those songs go on deep.” Jun 17-19,The Studio @ Sydney Opera House, $24-39, 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
HOT TIX Bill Bailey Live Music and comedy seem to be a magic mix for stand-ups. A comedian with an edge like Tim Minchin, a band with a sense of humour like the Axis of Awesome or a duo that sings just as well as they make you laugh like Flight of the Conchords.With a deep knowledge of music and its history, British funny man Bill Bailey does more than just perform, he exudes intelligence in his comedic delivery. Although it is his colleague and fellow stand-up Dylan Moran (Black Books) who packs venues instantaneously in Australia, Bailey has been building a cult following of his own.With a brand new show in hand, Bailey may just surpass Dylan’s popularity. 23 Jul. Sydney State Theatre, 49 Market St. $79.90. 136 100, 9373 6655, www.ticketmaster.com.au Parklife 2010 Yep, we are already planning for summer. And what better way to welcome sunblock season than with a huge outdoor music festival that’s celebrating its 10th birthday.Touted as the best Parklife line-up to date, this year’s Parklife tickets went on sale July 1st.To avoid disappointment and as a reminder that summer is just around the corner (sort of), get your hands on these hot tix today! Line-up includes Groove Armada, Missy Elliott, Soulwax, Kele, Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, Darwin Deez,The Wombats and Mix Master Mike amongst many others. 3 Oct. Moore Park. parklife.com.au, fuzzy.com.au Red Room – Hotel Chambers ($20) SIMA:The Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band – The Sound Lounge ($12$20) Wham! – World Bar ($15-$20) Sunday 27 Jun Bill Dudley’s New Orleanians – Strawberry Hills Hotel (free) Drama – The Gaff (free) The House of Blues – Town Hall Hotel (free) Jessica Cain – Docks Hotel (free)
Jimmy Barnes – Annandale Hotel Masha’s Legacy & others – Notes Live ($20) Radio Social – The World Bar (free) Screaming Sunday – Annandale Hotel ($12-$15) Shoshana Bean – Factory Theatre ($53.50) SIMA’s 25th Anniversary – The Basement ($50) Sun Sets: Billy McCarthy, Lucy Hall – Fringe Bar ($8)
moviemicros MOTHER AND CHILD Imagine a ball of twine all twisted and seized up in a deplorable bundle of knots - so begins the story of Karen, Elizabeth and Lucy in Mother and Child from writer/director Rodrigo García. Forced to give her daughter up for adoption at birth, the now socially inept Karen (Annette Bening) is still dealing with her grief some 40 years later while, unbeknownst to her, her controlling, man-eating daughter Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) wallows in denial on the other side of town. Lucy (Kerry Washington), unable to have children, begins her quest to adopt a child and slowly the knots start to loosen. García’s script is tangled but not unfathomable and ever since he began writing his female characters have always been stronger than his male ones he says, “I write about women...how they love their loved ones and how they drive each other crazy.” As events unfold, Karen warms up with some help from the endearing Paco (Jimmy Smits) and Lucy leans on her mother for extra support. The knots slowly untangle in this intense drama but it’s well scripted and heartwarming to consider that human bonding might be the best remedy of saving each other from ourselves. (NG) ANIMAL KINGDOM During this grittier than gravel Australian cop drama, I had to keep pinching myself. Am I dreaming, or are two impossible things happening; one, the police are efficiently doing their jobs; two, I am enjoying an Australian film. Centring around a Melbourne crime family and their inevitable demise, Underbelly comparisons are unavoidable. But where Underbelly is mewling kitten, Animal Kingdom is ferocious lion, jaws still dripping with blood. (AB) A PROPHET Grim, gritty, violent, and almost entirely set in a prison, A Prophet is by no means a glorification of crime and neither is it a seat-ofthe-pants action thriller with twists and turns at every corner.Yet it is about criminals and it is a thriller, but within a slow human drama that is as much about growth and friendship as it is about organised crime and power. (MG) BENEATH HILL 60 Directed by Jeremy Sims and written by David Roach, Beneath Hill 60 is the story of the ‘silent war’ fought between allied and German forces, underneath the Western Front. It casts a spotlight on a little known aspect of Australia’s involvement in WWI. (AF) THE BLIND SIDE is inspired by the life of NFL linesman Michael Ohler. It’s a mawkish and ideologically questionable sporting drama, enlivened only by Sandra Bullock’s career-best performance. (ABo) THE BOOK OF ELI, directed by Allen and Albert Hughes, is the story of one man’s journey to protect one of mankind’s most sacred texts. With powerful ideals and heavyset references, this film unfortunately becomes repetitive. (BLR) THE BOUNTY HUNTER In this romantic reimagining of genre classic Midnight Run, a fugitive reporter (Jennifer Aniston) tries to allude her bounty hunter ex-husband (Gerard Butler). Perfunctory plot aside, this playful offering works when the leads are given enough space to chew the scenery. (JH) BRAN NUE DAE Flimsy plot elements aside, this vibrant and funfilled outback adventure jaunt about an indigenous boy’s return home from a religious mission in 1965 has a lot to recommend it. Worth it for genuinely toe-tapping tunes and the spectacular visual beauty of Broome itself. (SM) BRIGHT STAR The story of John Keats’ and Fanny Brawne’s tragic love is beautifully told in Jane Campion’s latest feature Bright Star. Abbey Cornish and Ben Wishaw shine with authenticity as the two
lovers and evoke genuine empathy in this true, Romantic tragedy. (NG) BROTHERS A film about love, war, betrayal, death and family, Brothers is a deeply emotional film. It doesn’t set itself on happy endings but with strong performances and some solid themes it is still a rather enjoyable experience. (AG) CIRQUE DU FREAK:THE VAMPIRES ASSISTANT, directed by Paul Weitz, follows Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia), as he is recruited, perhaps unwillingly, into the vampire world by Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) in order to protect him from the fate that awaits him. Tossing and turning between moralities, immortality, love and the underworld, this new take on the vampire ideology brings more than just teeth to the table. (BLR) CLASH OF THE TITANS This action epic remaster of the 1981 story follows Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, as he embarks on the journey to stop Hades and his minions from taking over humanity and the heavens. Suspend your disbelief and buckle up for this extreme feast of visual effects. (AG) DAYBREAKERS The latest offering to vampire lovers, Daybreakers, is set in 2017 where most of the world’s population have become vampires and humans have been farmed virtually to extinction. The last hope for humanity rests on the brooding shoulders of Ethan Hawke. (ABr) FISH TANK Set amongst the peeling walls of British housing estate, violent, erratic adolescent Mia (Katie Jarvis) finds her life complicated when her alcoholic mother brings home a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender), who displays a paternal, borderline sexual, interest in Mia. But this film is so much more than a series of depressing events in the life of a luckless girl. (LRu) FROM PARIS WITH LOVE is not a movie with strong character depth and an engrossing story. What is provided however is pure off the wall action and it comes in spades. Don’t pay too much attention to plot and enjoy this summer shooter. (AG) THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Since this is a Swedish production of a darkerthan-you-expect bestseller, I had high expectations that it wasn’t going to be another Da Vinci Code (shudder). Larsson set the director a hard task: a film’s length just couldn’t permit all his minutiae and extreme detail, which meant the opening and
closing scenes were unfulfilling and much of the book was omitted. But the mid-section was riveting. (RK) HARRY BROWN Following the ‘last straw’ moments in the life of widower and former British Marine, Harry Brown (Michael Caine) this skirmish of a film is at moments heart wrenching, and at others, simply hardcore. Do not miss this film. (AEB) THE HURT LOCKER A refreshing portrayal of the Iraq War, this is one of the best films based on the conflict to date – a stellar showcase of intense action and suspense while exploring a fascinating insight into the psyche of the American soldier. (AG) I, DON GIOVANNI Lorenzo da Ponte, Giacomo Casanova’s protégé, is hired by composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to write an opera about a legendary lothario, ‘Don Giovanni’. Carlos Saura’s handsome period piece is slow, but will reward opera enthusiasts with its extended, and immaculately staged, opera sequences. (JH) I LOVE YOU TOO Every clichéd character from a bad beer commercial comes to life in this broad romantic comedy, written by Peter Hellier. It won’t offend anyone, however it may insult your intelligence. (ABo) IN THE LOOP Bureaucracy and international politics are skilfully thrashed in this black comedy about UK-US alliances during the lead up to a fictional Middle East invasion. Infused with cynicism, dry British humour and plenty of punch, In the Loop is political satire at its sharpest. (LRu) INVICTUS South Africa’s new president, Nelson Mandela, enlists the Springboks rugby team, abhorred for evoking the nation’s racist past, to help reconcile his people. Morgan’s nuanced portrayal of Mandela is pitch-perfect, while Clint Eastwood’s ‘no bull’ direction offers heart and sports spectacle. (JH) KICK-ASS As masked vigilante Kick-Ass, teenager Dave (Aaron Johnson) trades blows with the mafia. Wonderfully depraved, bitingly funny, yet sweet; Kick-Ass proves that legitimate superhero films don’t have to be dour or humourless – they can also be a helluva lot of fun! (JH) THE LAST STATION Love, religion, sexuality and honour play out in this theatrical tale of Leo Tolstoy’s last days. The acting is great across the board but hinges on stellar performances by Christopher Plummer (Tolstoy) and Helen Mirren (his wife of 48 years). (AF)
ROCKET SCIENCE Shooting for the cultish and cool cinematic constellation populated by Napoleon Dynamite and The Garden State, Rocket Science unfortunately flounders and ends up crashing somewhere in the boggy, repetitive marshes of Yawnsville, uncomfortably close to Why Did They Bother? In it, geeky boy with a stutter (Reece Thompson) meets confident debating star (Anna Kendrick) when she tries to recruit him for the team (with rather dubious motives). They make out, she moves on, his heart is broken and stutter boy goes loop-de-loop in an effort to prove himself. It’s all OK on paper – but even this earnest and talented young cast could not rescue Rocket Science’s half-hearted script and awkwardly quirky ‘look at me, I’m indie!’ posturing – and so ultimately it fails to fly. (AB)
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN If you can manage to leave your brain at the door for the sometimes ridiculous plot, Law Abiding Citizen is a fairly enjoyable thriller that showcases a father taking revenge for the murder of his wife and daughter. (AG) LETTERS TO JULIET could perhaps go either way, a concoction of nostalgia, simplicity, and tenderness or, stereotypical, corny, and weak. It goes with the latter. Intrigued after discovering an unanswered letter written to Juliet, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) meets the author of the letters Claire (Venessa Redgrave), and ventures through Tuscany to reunite her with the long lost Lorenzo. (CM) THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS Walking through walls and killing goats by simply starring at them are just some of the psychic weapons used by the U.S. Military’s New Earth Army. Sounds kooky? Well, it is a kooky kind of a movie except that it flaunts a dream cast and is based on a true story. (KS) MY ONE AND ONLY In what is more than an average ‘road-trip’ story, Anne Devereaux whisks her two sons Robbie and George around America to find herself a new husband and unexpectedly finds instead, that she doesn’t need one. (NG) NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG When the Green’s are at risk of losing their family farm, the magical Nanny McPhee turns up to help out. So ensues the tale of Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, a solid kids movie enough straightforward laughs to keep you watching happily to the end. (LHe) NOWHERE BOY Sam TaylorWood’s charismatic biopic Nowhere Boy meditates on John Lennon’s rollicking teenage years prior to the genesis of the Beatles. Newcomer Aaron Johnson gives a spirited performance, investing the rock and roll icon with irreverence, pathos and lad humour. (JH) PRECIOUS Based on the 1996 novel Push by Harlem poet Sapphire, Precious is a hard knocks with heart tale following an illiterate, overweight and pregnant teenager. Honeycombed with fantastical escapism, and straying stylistically somewhere between Dangerous Minds and a gritty, heartrending reality, Precious works best in the latter. A diamond in the rough. (AB) PRINCE OF PERSIA Loosely based on a video game, Prince of Persia details the adventures of Dastan, an orphan turned prince who stumbles upon a magical dagger capable of rewinding time. This
action extravaganza is not a classic movie, but is most definitely an enjoyable one. (AG) THE ROAD John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is a bleak, post-apocalyptic story of a father and son struggling for survival in a world on the brink of death. Its sparse and eerie landscapes make the perfect setting for the ultimate question, is survival enough? (KB) THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES A retired Argentinean criminal court investigator recounts his greatest personal and professional failure – a murder case still unresolved after 25 years. Director Juan José Campanella’s utterly captivating film meditates on obsession, truth and the pursuit of justice within – and outside of – a flawed judicial system. (JH) SEPARATION CITY is in essence a comedy drama about romantic relationships in all their dysfunctionality – from the old shtick of the wife who finds her philandering husband in a compromising position with some blonde bimbo, to the wife who tells her husband she’s actually a lesbian. At times predictable, it does make you think about the high price of keeping love going, while staying light and funny. (MG) SOUL KITCHEN In Soul Kitchen, a young German restaurateur must fight to stop a smarmy property shark from taking over his modest eatery. Director Fatih Akin’s fun comedy uses idiosyncratic charm and earnest character moments to extol the virtues of love and livelihood. (JH) THE TOPP TWINS An utterly endearing biopic laying bare the lives of kiwi entertainment icons: the Topp Twins. Funny, touching and inspiring portrait of the all singing, all dancing lesbian twin sisters. Go see this and let them yodel their way into your hearts. (ABr) UP IN THE AIR Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a travelling businessman whose busy lifestyle keeps him distracted from reality until the company’s keen upstart, Natalie I type with a purpose Keener (Anna Kendrick) comes along and thoroughly disrupts his routine. (NG) THE VINTNER’S LUCK Based loosely on the novel by Kiwi writer Elizabeth Knox, it follows one sandyhaired man and his satin sheet-clad angel in 1800s Bordeaux. What would’ve been an interesting and mildly believable tale of not only eking out an existence on the land but yielding poetry from it becomes an over-fermented piece of froth
YOUR LOCAL SCREENS Bondi Junction Greater Union Level 7 & 8 Westfield Shopping Town, 500 Oxford St, Bondi Junction, 9300 1555, www.eventcinemas.com.au Broadway Hoyts Cinemas Broadway Shopping Centre, Broadway Ph: 9211 1911 www.hoyts.com.au CHAUVEL CINEMA Cnr Oxford Street & Oatley Road, Paddington 9361 5465 Dendy Newtown 261 King St. Newtown Ph: 9550 5699 www.dendy.com.au/newtown DENDY OPERA QUAYS Shop 9, 2 East Circular Quay, Sydney, 9247 3800 Eastgardens Hoyts Westfield Shopping Centre, 152 Bunnerong Rd, Eastgardens, 8347 5900, Entertainment Quarter Hoyts & La Premiere Building 206, ph. 9332 1300 Cinema Paris Building 215, ph. 9332 1633 Entry via Lang Road on Bent Street, Moore Park, www. hoyts.com.au George St Entertainment Complex 505 George St. Sydney Ph: 9273 7431 Market City Reading Cinema Level 3, 9-13 Hay St, Haymarket, 9280 1202, www. readingcinemas.com.au PALACE ACADEMY TWIN 3a Oxford Street, Paddington, 9361 4453 Palace Norton St 99 Norton St. Leichhardt Ph: 9550 0122 www. palacecinemas.com.au PALACE VERONA 17 Oxford Street, Paddington, 9360 6099 Randwick Ritz Cinema 39-47 St. Pauls St Randwick, 9399 5722, www.ritzcinema. com.au thanks to the angel. (AB) WELCOME To reunite with his girlfriend in England, an Iraqi teenager plots to swim the English Channel with the reluctant help of a cynical French swimming instructor. Don’t let the washed-out colours fool you; there’s tenderness in this rare human experience. (JH) THE WHITE RIBBON (GERMAN: DAS WEIßE BAND) One the eve of World War I, a German village experiences a number of bizarre incidents. Using masterful restraint, Director Michael Haneke provides a perverse sense of satisfaction in being continually strung out by the film’s slew of titillating enigmas. (JH) THE WOLFMAN Although altering from the original story of the first Wolf Man, this lycanthropic tale still tries to carry the same level of horror and haunting sadness that captivated horror fans worldwide. A fur clad, fanged, modern day monster movie. (AEB)
FREEWILLASTROLOGY Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Istanbul is the world’s only mega-city that spans two continents. Many Turkish commuters take the 15-minute ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait, traveling from their suburban homes in Asia to the urban sprawl in Europe. I’m seeing a comparable journey for you, Aries: a transition that happens casually and quickly, but that moves you from one world to another. Prepare yourself, please. Just because it unfolds relatively easily and benevolently doesn’t mean you should be nonchalant about the adjustments it will require you to make.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When you want to get rid of a weed that’s impinging on the autonomy of your growing tomato plant, you don’t just tear away its stalk and leaves; you yank it out by the roots. That’s the approach I urge you to take with the saboteur that has inserted itself into your otherwise thriving patch of heaven. There’s no need to express hatred or rage. In fact, it’s better to be lucid and neutral as you thoroughly remove the invasive influence and assert your right to care for what you love.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A lot of people never got the mothering they needed in order to grow up into the confident, secure lovers of life they have the potential to become. But even greater numbers suffer from a lack of smart fathering. And that happens to be the deprivation that’s most important for you Geminis to address right now. If there was anything missing in the guidance and mentoring you got from your actual daddy, I urge you to brainstorm about how you could make up for it in the coming months. For starters, here’s one idea: Is there any father figure out there who could inspire you to become more of your own father figure?
Plato advocated the use of dogs in courtrooms. He thought that canines were expert lie detectors; that they always knew when deceit was in the air. I suspect you’ll display a similar talent in the coming days, Leo. You will have a sixth sense about when the truth is being sacrificed for expediency, or when delusions are masquerading as reasonable explanations, or when the ego’s obsessions are distorting the hell out of the soul’s authentic understandings. Harness that raw stuff, please. Use it discreetly, surgically, and with compassion.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you’ve been aligned with cosmic rhythms these past few weeks, Virgo, you’ve been rising higher and feeling bolder. You’ve taken a stand on issues about which you had previously been a bit weak and cowardly. You have been able to articulate elusive or difficult truths in graceful ways that haven’t caused too terrible a ruckus. Your next challenge is to rally the troops. The group that means the most to you is in need of your motivational fervor. I suggest that you think deeply about how to cultivate more dynamic relationships among all the parts, thereby energizing the whole.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Human beings are in a state of creativity 24 hours a day,” wrote Raoul Vaneigem in his book The Revolution of Everyday Life. “People usually associate creativity with works of art, but what are works of art alongside the creative energy displayed by everyone a thousand times a day?” I say “amen” to that. All of us are constantly generating fresh ideas, novel feelings, unexpected perceptions, and pressing intentions. We are founts of restless originality. But whether we use our enormous power constructively is another question. Typically, a lot of the stuff we spawn is less than brilliant and useful. Having said that, I’m pleased to announce that you’re entering a phase when you have the potential to create far more interesting and useful things than usual -- longer lasting, too.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In 1965, two Russian cosmonauts orbited the Earth in the Voskhod 2 spacecraft. Due to equipment problems, they had to land the vehicle manually. Instead of hitting the target area, they mistakenly set down in rugged mountainous country covered with deep snow. While they waited overnight inside their capsule, wolves gathered outside, howling and pacing. But the next day their recovery team reached them and scared off the hungry predators. Soon they were safely on their way back home. Let this little tale be an inspiration to you, Cancerian, as you come in for your landing. Even though you may not end up quite where you intended, there’ll be a happy ending as long as you wait for your allies to be ready for you and you don’t try to rush your re-integration.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you have been engaged in any S&M scenario, even metaphorically, now would be a good time to quit it. Whether you’re the person who’s whipping or being whipped, the connection is no longer serving any worthy purpose. The good news is that freeing yourself from compromising entanglements will make you fully available to explore new frontiers in collaboration. You will also be blessed with an influx of intuition about how to reconfigure bonds that have become blah and boring. And what if you’re not currently involved in any S&M scenario? Congrats! Your assignment is to transform one of your pretty good relationships into a supercharged union that’s capable of generating life-changing magic.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The ancient Greek philosopher
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I wouldn’t say that
things are about to get darker for you. But they’re definitely going to get deeper and damper and more complicated. I don’t expect there to be any confrontations with evil or encounters with nasty messes, but you may slip down a rabbit hole into a twilight region where all the creatures speak in riddles and nothing is as it seems. And yet that’s the best possible place for you to gain new insight about the big questions that so desperately need more clarity. If you can manage to hold your own in the midst of the dream-like adventures, you’ll be blessed with a key to relieving one of your long-running frustrations.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The eulachon is a fish that lives off the Pacific Coast of North America. Its fat content is so high that the Chinook Indians used to dry it, thread it with a wick, and employ it as a candle. The stink was bad, but the light was good. Remind you of anything in your life right now, Capricorn? Something that provides a steady flow of illumination, even if it is a bit annoying or inconvenient? I say, treasure it for what it is and accept it for what it isn’t.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): When I was growing up in Michigan, playing in the snow was a great joy. As much as I loved the arrival of each new spring, I endured a mourning period as the ground’s last patch of dirty sleet melted. Once in late March, though, I talked my mom into letting me store five snowballs in the freezer. It wasn’t until my birthday in late June that I retrieved the precious artifacts. I was slightly disappointed to find they had become more like iceballs than snowballs. On the other hand, their symbolism was deeply gratifying. I’d managed to invoke the tangible presence of winter fun in the summertime. I urge you to attempt a comparable alchemy, Aquarius. Figure out how to take a happiness you have felt in another context and transpose it into where you are right now.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Even Norah Jones got bored with Norah Jones,” wrote critic Aidin Vaziri in his review of her recent concert in San Francisco. For years she has tranquilized us with her safe, soothing music, he said, but not any more. It was like she was fresh from a “makeover reality show.” Her new stuff, which included an “indie-rock jolt” and quasi-psychedelic riffs, exuded grit and defiance and weirdness. Norah Jones is your role model for the next couple of weeks, Pisces. If there have been any ways in which you’ve been boring yourself, it’s prime time to scramble the code. Homework: Chant this string of magic words five times a day as you visualize yourself feeling happy: “Bravo Viva Whoopee Eureka Hallelujah Abracadabra.” Report results to Truthrooster@gmail.com.