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Arts Features

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 11:01am

In 2000, Clinton Walker dropped his three-pronged attack: a book, film and CD bundle named Buried Country. The trio of works were linked in their desire to unearth and document the history of Indigenous music in Australia, tracing the art form from its early beginnings all the way through to its contemporary incarnation. To that end, as both an exhaustive study of an underexposed style and a...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:34am

“Poetry holds a mirror to society, and shows what that society is going through. It’s authentic and truthful, and yes, sometimes dark, but that was the basis for Ancient Rain.” Filled with excitement over the world premiere of Ancient Rain, Camille O’Sullivan sounds like she’s singing at all times; her melodic voice floats around as she talks about the raw and honest part that poetry plays in...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:31am

Who says David Bowie is dead? It certainly doesn’t feel like he is. Spend any time talking to one of the musician’s many devoted fans and it’s almost like the man has simply taken a long overdue vacation. He’s distant, rather than gone, and there’s the palpable sense that he might still be able to surprise us – as though a new album might drop any day.

 

Indeed, only recently it...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:28am

It's a remarkably busy time in the world of Holly Throsby, who is doing a daring balancing act between the various roles in her world. She's a doting mother to a young daughter – “She's almost two now, and she's really hilarious,” Throsby laughs. She's a singer/songwriter, working incrementally on a new album with Sarah Blasko and Sally Seltmann as Seeker Lover Keeper. On top of all of that,...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:26am

Lady Eats Apple is the largest-scale production to ever come out of Geelong’s subversive Back to Back Theatre. It’s one of the flagship events on this year’s Melbourne Festival programme, which speaks to the theatre’s reputation for presenting ambitious works of immersive theatre. During a week of performances at Hamer Hall, Lady Eats Apple endeavours to be transformative in more ways than one...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:24am

It would be safe to assume that you've never seen dance quite like Attendance before. The first in the three-part exploratory choreography series Thank You for Coming: Attendance shatters expectations with its experimental theatrics and abstract approach to movement. The boundary-pushing approach in exploring the vastness of human connection comes from the creative mind of choreographer and...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:21am

It's hard to imagine a concept like secret music. So ubiquitous is music these days, we have it blaring in our earbuds, streaming down the internet, booming through shopping malls; it's used liberally in film, TV and advertising. Driving in our cars, we have the radio on. Hanging out at home, stereo on. In this multi-media world of ours, we can access music whenever and wherever we want to and...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:19am

Gravity is an essential component of the work of a circus performer, and an element Canadian dance makers, Les 7 Doigts De La Main, aim to challenge and explore in their latest production, Triptyque.

 

Transcending beyond the common understanding of movement, the show will take audience members on a two-hour journey, demonstrating the sheer strength and unique capabilities of the...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:13am

British-German theatre renegades Gob Squad will be gracing Melbourne with a very special twist on a classic work of literature. They'll be performing an interactive interpretation of Leo Tolstoy's seminal masterpiece War and Peace, but as the collective's Sean Patten describes it, this may prove to be an experience you've never seen before.

 

"I think anyone who's expecting to...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:07am

Melbourne Festival is here, and you best believe it's bigger than ever. We've sifted through the immersive program to offer some of our top picks. 

 

Les Tambours de Feu 

 

Drums, pyrotechnics and brazen passion come together in Les Tambours de Feu, a spectacular free event...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:54pm

With The Polished Man founder, Elliot Costello.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about the origins and goals of The Polished Man?
Polished Man originated from a trip I took to visit a project partner Hagar International in Cambodia. One evening, I met a young girl named Thea. Due to our language barrier, we played naughts and crosses and other games for hours. At the end of...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:01pm

The premise of The Money is simple. Presented by UK theatre company Kaleider, the show involves a group of audience members engaged in a discussion about how to spend a certain amount of money. They must reach a unanimous decision by the end of the night or else the money carries over to the next show. And that’s it. It’s so simple that it seems impossible to guarantee each show will be an...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 1:00pm

Spontaneity is an invaluable tool for keeping theatre performances fresh and captivating, and this is particularly the case when it comes comedy. Tourette’s syndrome makes UK theatre-maker Jess Thom neurologically unable to stay on script, which means unpredictability and spontaneity are rampantly present in her show Backstage in Biscuit Land.

 

Biscuit Land will have its...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 12:57pm

Generally speaking, mainstream movies and television don’t do the world’s best job of accurately portraying the lived experience of people with disabilities or the deaf community. While there are some notable exceptions – it’s been far and few between. The Other Film Festival (TOFF) kicked off in 2004 to rectify this imbalance and has run every two years since, featuring local and...

Posted 19 Sep 2016 @ 7:36pm

Melbourne Festival is back for 2016, bringing with it a plethora of brilliant performances for you to sink your teeth into. From cutting edge drama and thought provoking theatre to reality-bending circus and dance, there's something for everyone in this year's program. That's why we're breaking the program down to offer up some of our top picks. But remember, this isn't a be all and end all....

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 11:41am

Melbourne-based director, writer and actor Nathan Hill is no stranger to the power of cinema. His works encapsulate the pure thrill, shock and excitement of independent genre-filmmaking, and his latest sensation Revenge Of The Gweilo has the honour of closing this year's Melbourne Underground Film Festival. 

 

"I don't write a film that looks like a sci-fi blockbuster on paper...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 11:21am

Henry Rollins is a dangerous man. Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, the punk rock icon has systematically set his sights on a thousand different forms of authority, all the while resisting the conformist pull of the very industry he manages to make a living from. There are a lot of so-called rebels out there who look like children’s show hosts next to Rollins, and...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 2:34pm

“God, her writing!” Brett Cousins is on the phone enthusing about 29-year-old writer Clare Barron, likening her to the theatre equivalent of Lena Dunham. “She's of that generation of women writing amazing stuff and she has such a fresh voice and absolutely incredible play,” the theatre director says.

 

Just like New Yorker Dunham, the creator, writer and star of the HBO series...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 2:32pm

Not meaning to be salacious, but it’s all sexy and disruptive over at Malthouse. Malthouse’s 2017 program picks up the 2016 trend of theatre as provocateur and bolts with it. The fact that the company’s program is the antithesis of staid theatre is, in no small degree, due to Malthouse’s artistic director Matthew Lutton’s deft and bold leadership.

 

Lutton is...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 10:17am

The often confronting and ever-exciting Melbourne Underground Film Festival celebrates a whopping 17 years of shock and awe in 2016. For filmmaker, founder and festival director Richard Wolstencroft, the independent spirit of the experimental and high-octane genre features that populate its bounds rage stronger than ever.

 

Wolstencroft worked at Beat Magazine around 1991, and...

Posted 7 Sep 2016 @ 3:12pm

Welcome to the Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This just in: TOO MANY MOVIES. There's nine films coming out on Thursday, and I am but one man.

 

As such, your recommended dose of five is below, and it's a shame, really, given I have had to skip four. The first two honourable mentions are Aussie flicks deserving of your...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 1:10pm

Dance is often considered to be a fairly traditional artform – but one French production, opening in Melbourne this week, is set to change the way we see dance, and take it into the future.

 

Pixel, an hour-long immersive dance show co-created by Mourad Merzouki, one of France's most prolific choreographers, alongside Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, two innovative digital...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 1:08pm

Nine years into hosting the Heart of St Kilda Concert at the Palais Theatre, Australian comedian and personality Brian Nankervis still remembers vividly what drew him to support the Sacred Heart Mission.

 

“I was doing a show at a school out in Ivanhoe, a well-to-do school, and I got chatting to a guy after the show and it was close to Christmas so I asked him what his plans were...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 1:05pm

In 2013, Michael McIntyre was revealed to be the world’s highest-grossing comedian, and his popularity certainly hasn’t waned since then.

 

Last year he sold out London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena an astounding ten nights in a row. Such widespread approval could easily go to one’s head, but McIntyre’s success hasn’t alienated him from his core fan base. His stand-up isn’t...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 12:49pm

Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. My bugbear of unresolved problems on a script level comes roaring back this week, along with some refreshing horror and painterly drama.

 

Six films again? Goodness, I spoil you. To be fair, there's seven releases, but ...

Posted 30 Aug 2016 @ 3:04pm

Jasper Jones is knocking at our windows.

 

In the past two years alone, Craig Silvey’s iconic novel - being hailed as Australia’s answer to To Kill A Mockingbird - has been turned into a film, added to the VCE booklist and adapted into not one, but three stage productions. Adapted and scripted by local playwright Kate Mulvany, Jasper Jones is Melbourne Theatre Company’s latest...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 12:00pm

Melbourne has undergone a bold stylistic change over the past few years. Whether people have caved into the endemic hipster movement or just undergone a contemporary shift, hairstyles and haircut requests have ranged from trendy to peculiar to downright weird. But that’s us, and that’s what we’re supposed to do, and our barber shops have been forced to pull out all the stops to respond. Some...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:30am

The incredibly talented musician, beatboxer, humourist and tech-wiz Beardyman – real name Darren Foreman – is no stranger to a challenge. He's embraced a multitude of creative trials, leaving an impressive legacy and countless amazed audiences in his path.

 

He'll be coming to Australia with his 'One Album Per Hour' tour, in which he'll undertake the gargantuan task of completely...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 9:47am

“It’s ludicrous, the amount of blood going on stage,” explains Eddie Perfect of The Beast, preparing to stage his black comedy at the Sydney Opera House before it hits Melbourne. It’s a unique sales pitch for a unique play. But how did it come to this?

 

The origins of The Beast date back to when Perfect lived in Healesville. He recalls a big, save-the-date dinner party between...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:52pm

The Korean Film Festival In Australia (KOFFIA) is back and bigger than ever for its seventh year running with a program busting at the seams covering everything from blockbuster cinema to arthouse and rom-coms, all screened with English subtitles. To help wade through the sprawling lineup, KOFFIA artistic director David Park introduces his five hottest picks of the festival.

 

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