Posts tagged Melbourne Reviews

RAW: ABBA World – Melbourne – To End Oct

Elitists may cringe at the thought that such a topic be a major exhibition but given their role in world music in the 1970s and 80s and in various guises since, ABBA makes for a fascinating revisit.

This exhibition in Federation Square, in the old Racehorse Hall of Fame site, covers everything you would want to know and wish to indulge with the Swedish Fab Four (other than perhaps having them over for dinner.) The material from their folk singing days through to the final chapters of their time together is all there – interviews, the recording studios, how they toured, the get-ups etc etc.

Adults and children alike can indulge themselves in remixing, singing and recording their own versions of the hit songs as well as appearing on stage with Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida and then collect their own DVD of it all to take home at its conclusion. Oh the wonders of modern technology and what it can do for interactivity at exhibitions.

I was surprised to learn what an important role Australia played in their success, adoring the group in the wake of the Eurovision Song Contest triumph with Waterloo when most of Europe was only luke warm. It was this hype from down under (at least allegedly) that reignited interest in the group in the Northern Hemisphere and saw them surge again – another Molly triumph? – I just can’t remember.

But ABBA World also reminds you of what excellent songs Benny and Bjorn produced and how superb the girls were singing them, both vocally and visually. That complexity and competence is often lost in the apparent ease and excess of their performances.

Not cheap at $35 for an adult but one can spend a good two hours wandering the various levels and if all that downloading stuff takes your fancy, then good value abounds. A great visit back in time to timeless popular music but expect to be humming Ring Ring long after you have got home.

RAW: Tim Burton – The Exhibition – ACMI Melbourne

Any lover of modern, edgy media or graphic design will wish to make a bee line to Melbourne for Tim Burton – The Exhibition at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square before 10th October.

This exhibition, straight from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is the complete retrospective. To its credit, and what is usually rare from such a display, is copious material from his pre-fame days when growing up as the outsider kid in Burbank, Ca. The first two rooms highlight the array of Burton’s mental and physical doodling and concepts that would become consistent and now famous motifs of his work, all well before he carried studio support – the dark settings, the wiry fingers, arms and legs, the bits that stick out from heads, his love of black and white working together in rings and leafless, winter beaten trees.

Also fascinating is the almost child-like way he presents film concepts to producers and his, at times, very clever sense of humour. Certainly Burton has a distinctive personal artistic vision evoking humour, fantasy and nightmares, living often in between worlds. While some regress to child like stories and fantasy as a comfort zone, Burton says his films are not an attempt at recapturing a childish impulse but a way to make the world fresh and interesting.

While mentioning at the outset media buffs and graphic designers will wish to ensure they see it, a great many other starting points will also attract attendance. Kids will love it, though this is probably more for adults than may be expected, psychologists will have a field day and film buffs generally will be intrigued. Certainly, as much as Burton’s genius is front and centre in his films, one comes to appreciate there are standout performances that actually make those movies hits such as from Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Johnny Depp (various) and Jack Nicholson (especially as the Joker).

There is great deal to do on any weekend in Melbourne this winter but this should be a priority.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K