RAW: Africa by My Darling Patricia – Space – Til 14th May – 4K

It is refreshing to see a theatrical work that focuses on the realities of home grown Australian domestic life rather than the usual struggles of refugees or indigenous Australia. Refreshing but sobering.

It is perhaps a coincidence only that Africa opens in Adelaide in the same week or so as Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys does on the ABC and the movie Snowtown gets launched. Each paints in different ways a highly troubling picture of suburbia.

A young woman in her late 20s, Jules (Jodie Le Vesconte) has three children under her care but a desire to sustain an obligation free lifestyle. Her occasional beau, Brad (Anthony Ahern) flits in and out of her and the children’s lives, with their interests and needs long last on the list of priorities. The children (as puppets) are entranced by a TV documentary about Africa and wish to go there, for the freedoms, excitement, love and for its partial resemblance to the bleak life they lead. In time, the savagery of the jungle plays out in their own cluttered living room.

The puppetry is of the highest order and the stage and lighting constructed skilfully to give the children a human touch. Certainly by the end one is very touched by the plight of the eldest of them, Mika. The interplay between the puppets and the humans is also a masterstroke, very believable and credible.

Africa is a surprisingly short play (just more than an hour) but it pacts a punch that is both haunting and hopeful. For the world beyond the indulgences of new sports stadiums for the elite, Africa is the place to go.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

See all Kryztoff’s previews and profiles in our on-line magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Green Room WASABI Short Film Competition

Budding young filmmakers have the chance to get their short film screened at this year’s OzAsia Festival, as well as the rare opportunity to take part in a workshop with internationally-renowned company, The People’s Republic of Animation.

The winner of the Wasabi Short Film Competition, launched this year by the Adelaide Festival Centre’s youth arts membership GreenRoom program, will have their entry shown before every OzAsia Festival film at the Mercury Cinema and played in the Festival Centre foyers during the festival.

Early bird entrants who register by 20 May can participate in a free “Storytelling for Screen 101” workshop with animation producer Hugh Nguyen from The People’s Republic of Animation, who will give participants tips on how to bring their story to life on screen.

GreenRoom Coordinator Leanne Cotter said the Wasabi Short Film Competition and workshop are fantastic opportunities for young filmmakers.

The Wasabi Short Film Competition gives young filmmakers the chance to gain exposure at a major festival and have their work screened alongside professional filmmakers,” she said.

“Entrants will be able to make invaluable connections within the arts community, and have their works judged by respected arts and film industry professionals.

“Filmmakers who register early and take part in The People’s Republic of Animation workshop will gain insight from someone who works for a world-class company in their chosen field.”

“They’ll learn about storytelling principles, film structure and how to emotionally connect to an audience.”

The winning filmmaker will also receive Media Resource Centre membership, and the 1st and 2nd runners up will each win a Ten News Adelaide Cinémathèque pass.

Film entries will need to feature the theme “Wasabi”, should be no longer than 10 minutes, and will need to be submitted on DVD in 16:9 format.

General registrations for the Wasabi Short Film Competition close on 20 August. The People’s Republic of Animation workshop will be held on 24 May. All entrants must be a GreenRoom member before registering if not already a member.

The OzAsia Festival runs 2-17 September 2011.

For more information on GreenRoom and about how to register for Wasabi Short Film Competition, visit www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/greenroom/

For more information about GreenRoom membership, please contact Leanne Cotter, GreenRoom Coordinator on (08) 8216 8512 or leanne.cotter@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au.

RAW: AFL Round 7 Wrap

They're Standing Behind Their Man, They're Just No Longer Interested

By The Silver Bullett

Seven rounds in (or six for some and who knows exactly nowadays when rounds start and end) and the pressure is starting to mount on more than a few coaches and administrations.

As predicted pre-season, the School girl and related incidents were symptomatic of a St Kilda club that has lost its mojo (the footballing one at least.) With just 1½ wins from six rounds and its two best players in Nick the Dick and angry Brendan Goddard hopelessly out of touch and their next best, Lenny Hayes, out for the year, things look bleak.

Now they face charges of being ‘un-Australian’. I mean how low can you go – what’s un-Australian about bumping a guy when he is injured after their off season hi-jinx?

The history in the next year of sides that get to two (or their case three) grand finals and can’t bring home the bacon is not good and the Saints look like being another entry added to its annals.

Not so predicted is the slump of the Western Bulldogs. With Rodney Eade being somewhat from the rant and rave school, history is also against a comeback for the Dogs. When players tire of that bullsh*t, there is no turning back and the only way forward is a fresh start. David Smorgan needs to talk to his number one ticket holder, the PM, about how to unexpectedly end the pain now. If Richmond wins on the weekend, the dogs fans will be after blood.

Speaking of fresh starts, the Lions might as well concede now that the Voss experiment has been a complete disaster with the rebuilding club he inherited gutted by the pursuit of one big punting, big drinking dick head. If this wasn’t Voss’ decision, preference or choice, then stay the course, but if it was then, with his contract up at season’s end, you might as well get rid of him now and start again.

What delicious irony that the mercenaries stuck it up their old team.

In Adelaide, while the cricket and football elite voted to gorge themselves on half a billion dollars of other taxpayers’ money, the harsh reality is whether Port is going to survive long enough to ever play on a redeveloped Adelaide Oval. Other than their Showdown home game, their three home attendances to date have varied by a mere 1,927 people – from 21,287 to 23,214 – a set of numbers you would have to admit are of stunning consistency.

While always fielding the developing squad excuse, Port needs to face the reality that their team , talent wise – is the weakest in the AFL. With a major sponsor, My ATM, now on the financial ropes, one wonders how Port will manage to sustain itself for the three years necessary to the time those rivers of gold associated with an average projected attendance of 50% greater than these current (oh yeah, for sure) rolls up.

The Crows face not much better prospects, though their financial position is steadier. That mauling by Melbourne, no stranger itself to being (and still being) a thoroughbred or twoshort of a stable when it comes to talent, must have sent shivers down the spines of SANFL and Crows administrators. With Crows CEO, Stephen Trigg, acknowledging that football as a business in Adelaide is in decline, again the thought of two and half more years of this before those projected rivers of gold arrive on the banks of the Torrens must be sending the number of mogadon prescriptions soaring in the city of churches.

The art of goal umpiring has always been one of the great fascinations of our national game (and oh how we miss the good guy in the white lab coats.) The cock up in the Pineapple Bash has always been coming since the goal umpires started relying on their judgment of the line of the ball before dashing to the side to watch action on the goal line. A swirling wind will one day have the ball clearing the post the other side altogether and still twin calicos will be signalled. It is remarkable how many games this season are coming down to very bad decisions – St Kilda v Richmond in Rd 2 kicked things off. You have to think video refs are necessary, at least for behinds called goals.

Finally, I was fascinated by the events surrounding Nick the dicks’ dazed state against Adelaide last week. Having hit the ground hard, he was removed but not substituted and despite the game being in the balance and Nick himself remonstrating about coming back on, he sat out the last quarter on the bench.

Now this concussion rule is wholly designed to stop concussed players doing more damage to themselves either in that game or the next by playing when they shouldn’t be, whether the damage becomes obvious then or some years later. Full marks to the St Kilda doctors for not putting him back on but no marks if by not declaring him concussed their thoughts were only about his availability the week after. Ask any doctor about a concussion incurred in a parklands match and they will always recommend taking the next week off.

Yeah, footy is big business and these guys are big boys, but with the scent of litigation already hanging in their air for past medical mistakes, the AFL needs to make sure its message is actually being heard and acted upon. Still, their cant on respect for the fairer sex hasn’t got far.

RAW: Pokies Reform – The ‘Un-Australian’ Ads

Two typical Aussies, Mike and Bruce, chat about the potential of a license to punt”. This is the description given by Clubs NSW on Youtube of the ‘A license to punt… It’s Un-Australian’ ad, which is part of Clubs Australia’s campaign against the federal government’s new pokies reform proposal. The link to the ad is: Clubs and Pubs Pokies TV Ad

The Fed government shouldn’t be surprised as the ad displays the exact type of fear mongering and speculation that you’d see in a government election campaign, but no doubt, it certainly displays a lack of moral high ground and a whiff of desperation from Clubs Australia.

So the plot is pretty basic. Two typical Aussies, Mike and Bruce (I’m surprised one of them wasn’t called Barry), finish a hard day at work and decide to go have a beer and a flutter down at the pub. They then discuss the new pokies reform and how you “can’t even put $10 in the pokies with out getting a license” before ‘Brucey’ goes on to explain that “see some bloke in Tassie got voted in, and Gillard needs his vote and he hates pokies”. Mike’s concerned of course, “No way! A license to have a punt? It’s Un-Australian…”.  They then go on to discuss that if this reform goes through, what’s stopping the government from capping the amount of beers you have? “That’ll never happen… (Mike looks directly down camera) Will it?”. Stirring stuff.

What confuses me about this ad is, I’m the first to admit that the new pokies reform has to take into consideration pubs and clubs who stand to lose money and could possibly close down, and the closure of pubs and clubs has certainly been an issue covered by Clubs Australia in the media, however this is not the focus of the campaign. Rather than focus on legitimate concerns they have decided to try and scare problem gamblers whilst spur on some type of patriotism. An interesting combination.

This is ignoring the basic fact that as the pokies reform is still only a proposal, that the ad completely works on the basis of speculation, but not even accurately as it completely ignores statements made by the government about the proposal. That gamblers will only need to register to play ‘high risk’ pokies machines that allow $10 a spin bets. Low risk machines such as 1c machines, which are already popular in pubs and clubs, will be available to play by your average punter with out any form of registration.

It is also interesting that the ad pins the motivation for the reform solely on the election and politics of Andrew Wilkie, which just may be a massive factor, but there is no denying that gambling addiction is a very important issue that needs to be dealt with.

Whatever credibility Clubs Australia may have had arguing in support of pubs and clubs, that may face losses and closure, is now gone with the angle this campaign has taken. The fact the campaign has ignored pubs and clubs and focused on exaggerations, speculation, fear mongering and horribly portrayed Australian banter point to desperation and a quick grab for ignorant support.

Clubs Australia are desperate because they know that they get their money from the pockets of gambling addicts (and at the expense of gambling addicts) and so are trying to confuse the debate with notions of being Un-Australian and fear of politicians controlling your social behaviour, whilst ignoring actual concerns from pubs and clubs. But really the only support the campaign will get from the public is from problem gamblers but they seem unable to help themselves much anyway.

See our profiles and features in our monthly magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Snowtown – Meet Lucas Pittaway – Pt 1 – Video Interview

Lucas Pittaway By Harry Pearce

Snowtown, the most acclaimed Australian movie of the year and perhaps of the millenium to date, opens next week.

Starring as Jamie Vlassakis, Lucas Pittaway recently spoke at length with Kryztoff in an exclusive interview. In this the first of a three part series entitled ‘Meet Lucas Pittaway’, Lucas speaks of how he got the part and his experiences from being involved.

The video is at: Lucas Pittaway Speaks With Kryztoff

See also Kryztoff’s preview interviews with both Lucas and Kristina Sedgwick, Director of the Adelaide Film Festival that premiered the film in February at Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown

From Thursday 12th May, see also our interview with Justin Kurzel, Snowtown director, in our monthly mag at: Kryztoff\’s May Edition

RAW: Henri Mallard – Building The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Artspace Til 29 May

Henri Mallard At Work

Coming up to the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Henri Mallard’s photographs and film record more than a significant public works project but a monumental Australian undertaking.

The design of the bridge itself offered all kinds of photographic possibilities and Mallard has taken them all. From closely cropped images of work being undertaken and of the workmen involved, the use of the lattice of cross beams and the arches, to panoramic vistas of the harbour, the boats and ferries below and of workmen suspended between the two. They are gritty, heroic and stunning in equal portions.

As good as the images are in and of themselves, much is added by the film that goes with the exhibition. While requiring 20 minutes of attention, the time is well spent as they not only place in great context many of the photographs, giving them greater meaning, but the sheer engineering and logistical genius involved in making the project happen is made plain. The quality of the commentary is hard to believe in this day or professional voice overs and documentaries but for raw authenticity this is terrific stuff.

When one appreciates that the safety concerns of the Chief Engineer, Bradfield, almost prevented this record being made, the fact this was the first such undertaking of a project like this by an art photographer in this country and the equipment involved was all somewhat new in itself, these are the works of a dedicated artist who knew what to record and where and how to get it. The results are quite memorable.

Whether viewed as a record of a great Australian achievement done in the depression (that also cost 17 lives) or of a committed and brave artist working in the industrial aesthetic of the time, this exhibition is stirring stuff and worthy of a visit.

[Images shown are allHenri Mallard Untitled c. 1930

Photographic Images © Paul Mallard and the Australian Centre for Photography

Kryztoff’s Rating  4.5K

See Kryztoff’s other visual arts reviews and features and profiles in its magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

Procrastinate: Yet More Bad News For The Jihad.

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike next Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement. The unrest began when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death would be cut by  just under 20% this month from 72 to 60.   A company spokesman said increases in recent years in the number of suicide  bombings have resulted in a shortage of virgins in the  afterlife.

The suicide bombers' union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs (BOOM) responded with a statement saying the move was unacceptable to its members and called for a strike vote.  General Secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, "Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad.  We don't ask for much in return, but to be treated like this is like a kick in the teeth".

Speaking from his shed in Tipton in the West Midlands, Al Qaeda chief executive Osama Al Laden explained, "I sympathize  with our workers' concerns, but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands.  They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad  in a competitive marketplace.  Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife.  It's a straight choice between reducing expenditures or laying people off.  I don't like cutting benefits, but I'd hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won't be able to blow themselves up."   He further added that " the timing could not be worse given the opportunities created by the recent demise of that great leader and martyr, Osama bin Laden."

Spokespersons for the union in the North East of England, Ireland, Scotland and the entire Australian continent stated that the change would not hurt their membership as there are few virgins left in their areas anyway.  According to some industry sources, the recent drop in the number of suicide bombings has been attributed to the emergence of Scottish singing star Susan Boyle.  Many Muslim jihadists now know what a virgin looks like and have reconsidered their benefit  packages.

RAW: Adelaide Oval – One Week On – Part 1

One week on from the surprise 80% SACA members’ vote what has changed? Well quite a bit actually.

First thing is this surprise vote. Questions linger over how such a vote was obtained given the historic difficulties in getting anywhere near a 75% majority for any proposition where there is a bona fide ‘No’ case. Former Federal Labor member for Port Adelaide, Rod Sawford is staggered as were all pundits who had followed interest in the matter. Of course, consistent with every other sticky piece of information that came up in the Oval debate for either the SACA or the SMA (see further below), the SACA says it won’t provide access to the votes to anyone. It is hard to believe a member has no right to review such major things like this of their own association or would have an association that would prevent it.

Then, the Government came out with the usual stream of held back announcements. The forests are going to be sold (we heard the next day), a position not declared in the lead up in case some SACA country members didn’t like the sound of that. Premier Rann also announced the oval would be ready just in time for the 2014 State election. Kryztoff is happy to have a bet with anyone that there will be a football game played in the new stadium between Port and the Crows just prior to the election – try 7.40pm on Friday 28th February 2014 (yes, in cricket season) – under the State’s reserve rights to stage whatever it likes, whenever it likes. Then Rann can make his debut appearance at a football game in 12 years as premier to show the football princes and proles alike what he has done for them.

Under attack from Kryztoff and the No case, last week the Stadium Management Authority changed its constitution so that the anomaly that had existed from the outset that its CEO can’t also be a director is now gone. Interestingly, one of our gonged investigative journos from the SA Media Awards, did not believe that such an issue existed when asked to consider writing an article on the sloppy way the SMA was operating relative to its constitution. Well I suppose if you cover your ears, eyes and mouth and turn the music on really loud not much will get through.

Greg Howe of the No Case also revealed what a croc of dust the report of the SA Centre for Economic Studies was. This is the one that every cheerleader for the project chirped on about that suggested $110m worth of benefits were coming the State’s way. As he showed, the $110m related to gross expenditure, not any net economic gains (as say after including costs involved in earning that revenue, likes wages.) Then around half comes from a transfer of expenditure from West Lakes and much of the rest comes from dream world crowd projections for Port football games, rugby internationals, soccer games and concerts (see separate article to come.)

Nowhere in the document did it deduct from the gross interest costs on the $535m debt the State will be incurring ($40m pa approx). Anyway, any body worth their salt and worried about their integrity would never have been associated with such a piece of crap or allowed its report to be so badly misused. Kryztoff understands some SACES directors did exactly that – endeavoured to distance themselves from the production of the report. Now, let me guess, who do your reckon funds the SA Centre for Economic Studies?

Interestingly, all comment about the economic benefits seems to have been dropped in recent days in both The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail.

Then in a triumphant act of schutzpah, The Advertiser just on Tuesday happened upon a copy of the Macquarie Bank investment proposal that showed the Royal Adelaide Hospital will be built with a $1b over spend up front and annual on-going costs of $1m per day to the taxpayer thereafter. Trying to show to its readers (who generally hated the Adelaide Oval proposal – 90% against in two large phone in polls leading into the SACA vote) that it still cared for Government waste and the plight of the battler, the paper let rip on the Premier and Minister Hill. Little was made of the fact that Jim Katsaros, the doctor who ran the Save The Adelaide Hospital campaign had promoted the exact same figures in the lead up to last year’s State Election.

Again, full marks to those highly honoured investigative journos we have in this State. We are so lucky to have you on our side.

We could go on and we will but in separate pieces about the political machinations since and also further review of the dream world crowd and fixture projections for this ‘game changer’ that will transform this State from the summer of 2014 and make us all feel a lot better.

PS           Taking a walk around the so called Riverfront precinct this afternoon, there were about 500 people there, 50 of whom were young guys doing parkour. Just where all these people will come from to fill all those restaurants and cafes that are going to be built is anyone’s guess. Let us not forget that the fabled Federation Square sits next to one of the great railway stations of the world and is a major meeting spot to boot. Adelaide railway station is nothing like that, or will it ever be.

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Theirs Yours Mine – Light Square Gallery – Nic Brown et al

Too Precious #1 - Peta Alannah Chigwidden

By Genevieve Brandenburg

Theirs Yours Mine is a group exhibition by five Adelaide artists currently showing at the Light Square Gallery in Adelaide. Nic Brown, Peta Alannah Chigwidden, Lara Merrington, Alice Potter and Talia Wignall are presenting a vast array of different artworks, united under the idea of what’s theirs, is yours, and mine.

The artwork of Nic Brown is inspired by the concept of memory, daydream, the future and reality. In her Monte Carlo landscape series, dreamy sun- and mist-filled landscapes are painted on glass biscuit platters, adding a unique element to the works. We’ll Meet Again involves taking a seat and listening to piano melodies played by the artist’s grandmother – beautifully nostalgic pieces, they are able to transport one out of the gallery setting and back to a simpler time, a trait inherent in this body of work.

Peta Alannah Chigwidden’s artwork is inspired by thought and imagination, manifesting in portraits of women and her own children. Her painting Too Precious #1 is a charcoal and watercolour portrait of the artist’s daughter. A seemingly simple work, Peta has captured not only the innocent and naive beauty of childhood, but also the child’s inner strength of character that could only be brought out by both a skilled artist and loving mother.

Lara Merrington’s photographs have captured the minute details of moments in time that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Ephemeral yet imbued with a hint of timelessness, they remind us of the importance of living in the moment. Her work Greetings from Here is an interactive piece that invites the audience to write a message on the back of postcards, thus sending a message from one point in time into the next, ensuring the precious fleeting moment is preserved.

Alice Potter’s mixed media artworks revolve around the idea of being materialistic about anything. Quirky and endearing, the artist has used all manner of objects and items collected on her travels to create unique one-off jewellery pieces. Her work The things I do possess, sometimes they own me too contains a range of items, each imbued with significant meaning and each adored by the artist. Such a varied array of objects in this artist’s body of work means that there is something for everyone to respond and relate to.

The work of Talia Wignall is inspired by our own personal universes as well as the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. One particular work, titled I will leave you by yourself, acts as a statement of brave, pure, yet melancholy connotations that can be used to interpret the rest of this body of work. Distant memories of long-lost childhood worlds; teenage dreams and adult fantasies that we may have left behind in the course of our lives – it is here that we can rediscover fragments of those worlds that all of us have lived in.

Theirs Yours Mine is everything its title suggests. An exhibition of what we may have forgotten, lost, overlooked, or left behind in the course of our daily lives, the work of these five artists succeeds in breaking the walls between ‘them’, ‘us’ and ‘I’; reminding its audience that as human beings, we have more in common than we may always think.
Dates: 5 May – 26 May 2011
Where: Light Square Gallery, AC Arts Tafe SA, 39 Light Square, Adelaide 5000
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, closed weekends and public holidays

Did you get to see Stop The Gap at the Samstag, then check out your impressions against our review in our April edition at: Kryztoff\’s April Edition

RAW: November – State Theatre Company – Dunstan Playhouse – 3K

Charles ‘Chuck’ Smith is coming to the end of his first and – with a lack of support from the Election Committee, a barely existent re-election campaign and poll ratings so low they can barely be seen – final term as American President. He is less than happy about the situation and the news that he will not even get a library when he leaves is the last straw. He decides that he must be re-elected, even if that means making shonky deals with local Native Americans, calling his sick speech-writer into the office and extorting funds from the nearest available source.

The set, from Victoria Lamb, is a very good representation of the Oval Office, capturing its best known features and opulence. The lighting (Mark Pennington) is well adapted to suit the time of day visible through the large windows behind the President’s gorgeous carved timber desk. Together they set the scene well.

Gary McDonald’s portrayal of Chuck brings to mind a petulant and spoilt child. While this is probably an accurate interpretation of the character as written and there is a lot to enjoy in the performance, it does get a tad grating. As his brown-nosing but slightly more world-aware personal adviser Archer Brown, Peter Michell is suitably unctuous. The character of Clarice Bernstein (Barbara Lowing) – Chuck’s speech writer who chooses to use his desperation to her own advantage – is written and played for laughs, however the interactions between her and Chuck seemed inconsistent and, at times, pointless.

Michael Habib embodies “the turkey representative” well, creating a man who is not overburdened with intelligence himself and lives for his turkeys. In him, Chuck may have found the Cash Cow he needs to be able to buy enough air-time to convince the American people to vote him back in. Jason Chong fills the small and less than inspiring role of Chief Dwight Grackel, adequately. While all of the actors do a decent job with their individual characters, there is no overall cohesion as an ensemble and the energy is sadly lacking for the majority of the show.

The humour in this play seems to rely on the old adage “it’s funny because it’s true”, however it misses the mark slightly due to everything being so over the top that it becomes too unrealistic. The lack of energy also detracted and the American accents used appeared to affect the actors’ projection, making it difficult to hear and understand some of the dialogue (and jokes). Though not a triumph, there is potential in this show and hopefully as the run goes on, the energy will rise and it will be fulfilled.

Kryztoff Rating: 3K

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine