Sen’s Mystery Road Finally Delivers

Ivan Sen's 'Mystery Road' finally makes its release in Australian cinemas

Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ finally makes its release in Australian cinemas (source: Huhonuts)

Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ finally makes it’s awaited, yet limited, release in Australian cinemas.

Mystery Road has finally been released in Australian cinemas this week after it’s debut at the Sydney Film Festival in early June this year. The film has since performed well, featuring at the Toronto International Film Festival, the London Film Festival and many othersMystery Road is Sen’s fourth feature film following his very successful 2002 film, Beneath the Clouds.

Mystery Road stars Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan, a lone aboriginal detective investigating the murder of a young girl on the side of a road, however, the investigation reveals the corrupt underbelly of the small community whilst exploring ideas of racism, drugs, violence and poverty. Starring along Pedersen are Australian favourites, Hugo Weaving, Tony Barry and David Field, with their performances described as superlative and enigmatic. Below is the trailer for Mystery Road.

The film is also very unique as Ivan Sen, the director, was also writer, editor, cinematographer and even composer. However, Sen’s ‘one man band’ has been criticised as the movie lacks a plot that David Stratton describes as unable to “always join all the dots, that important questions remain unanswered”. Nevertheless the film boasts artistic brilliance, being shot in outback Winton, Queensland. With such a gritty and sinister story line, Mystery Road contrasts this with eloquent cinematography depicting the beautiful Australian landscape.

Despite all the features of a Australian cult drama, the film has only secured a limited release in 16 theatres nationwide, expecting to hit a further 30 regional theatres. Mystery Road has thus far pulled in $60, 000, which Producer David Jowley commented as “a good result”. Jowley distributed the film through Dark Matter, which is co-owned by Sen and Michael Wrenn. The film’s US distributing rights were sold to Well Go USA at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, however, an US release date hasn’t been determined yet.

Despite such a small release, you can catch Mystery Road at the Hoyts Cinema Paris, Fox Studios and the Dendy Cinema in Newtown. For more information, you can listen to an interview with Mystery Road‘s Aaron Pedersen on Triple J at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s3874579.htm. There’s also an interview with director Ivan Sen at  http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s3864749.htm.

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Nothing is Stopping Illawarra’s Dlinkwnt

Dlinkwnt (Louis, Jack, Paul, Stuart, Aimee, Nicholas, Er-Chih, missing: Des & Jake)

Dlinkwnt (Louis, Jack, Paul, Stuart, Aimee, Nicholas, Er-Chih, missing: Des & Jake)

The 9-piece, Jazz/Hip-Hop band Dlinkwnt have picked up a wild card entry into tomorrow’s Hard Rock Cafe ‘Breaking Ground’ competition after pacing 3rd at the National Campus Band Comp in Canberra this month.

No, that’s not a typo, they’re called Dlinkwnt and boast an extremely well experienced and large group of musicians ranging from brass, bass and drums to keys, a lead singer, and frontman Nicholas Johnson as MC. The band’s obscure, yet catchy mixture of Jazz and Hip-hop are unstoppable, claiming 1st at both Regional and State finals and 3rd at Nationals in October. The band has also been busy having released their first EP, Make It So, in late September. Amongst their hectic schedule, I was lucky enough to score a quick interview with Dlinkwnt during one of their practice sessions.

Having placed 1st at the State finals, the band began the road trip to Canberra in hopes of first place and claiming the National Championships. Not new to the pressure, Dlinkwnt‘s MC Nicholas Johnson states, “we were in a good chance as much as everybody, we gave it a really good go and came in third out of 400 which was great”.

Despite only just missing out on the top spot at Nationals, Dlinkwnt have received a wildcard entry into tomorrow’s Breaking Ground competition at Hard Rock Cafe. The band appears a bit more confident with this competition, having performed at so many in such a short period. When I asked if they had any new songs to show off at the competition, all I got from the band was “Well James, are you feeling good?”, a hint from the bands keyboardist, Er-Chih Li. Nevertheless I was lucky enough to film a teaser for the band’s latest and currently favourite song, Last Night.

Dlinkwnt's first EP Make It So

Dlinkwnt’s first EP Make It So

With nine band members, preparation and organising practice time would seem difficult.

“Honestly you think it would, and lot of people are like ‘ahh! How do you manage that?'”, Nicholas said, “But we’re all seasoned musicians who have worked in bands since little kids so we know not to muck around. Too much”.

The band is planning for a new EP release sometime within the first quarter next year, or as drummer Pauly Pozzacchio put it, “by first quarter we mean third quarter”. Their first and latest EP as a band, Make It So (pictured to the right), was launched late September. The band admitted that the release for their EP has caused a major surge in popularity and following on social media.

Frontman Nicholas admits that such a large following on social media was a contributing factor in leaving KP Records only this week, “I don’t think with this day and age, with access to social media, that we really need a label at this point”.

The EP is named after one of the band’s hit songs “Make It”, which Nicholas remarks as a turning point for him and the band.

When I left the last hip-hop crew, there was a bit of bad blood between me and a few members. A lot of them were like ‘You’re not going to get anywhere’. So it kinda just came from that, you know? It was saying to them ‘Yeah, you said we couldn’t do it and here we are, going strong’

You can listen to the song, as well as others on the EP below on Sound Cloud.

Dlinkwnt are also headlining at the UniBar End of Session Halloween party. Tickets are available at the UOW Unishop. Dlinkwnt’s EP Make it So is available on iTunes now. Don’t forget to like Dlinkwnt on Facebook to keep up to date about any future gigs.

For more information, you can check out Dlinkwnt at the following links:

http://dlinkwnt.bigcartel.com/
http://soundcloud.com/dlinkwnt
http://www.reverbnation.com/Dlinkwnt
https://new.myspace.com/dlinkwnt

 

‘Grand Designs Live’ comes to an end for Sydney

(Photo credit: Grand Designs Live)

(Source: Grand Designs Live)

Today marks the final day of Grand Designs Live at Sydney’s Exhibition Centre as UK’s Kevin McCloud finally makes his anticipated appearance.

The exhibition, which began on Friday, showcases the latest innovations and architectural designs split up into Outdoors, Interior, Building,  and Kitchen & Bathroom. Today also featured a live conversation on the downgrading of pollution in major cities between Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud, Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, and Wendy Moore, editor of Home Beautiful. The exhibition also included many other TV celebrity experts such as Peter Maddison.

I’ll leave you with some pictures that stood out amongst the show with links in the captions.

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Design Stage #1 (Source: James Keogh)

'Big Ass Fans' by Haiku

Haiku ‘Big Ass Fans’  (Source: James Keogh)

Design Stage #2

Design Stage #2 (Source: James Keogh)

Lorraine enjoying the 3D Remedial Deluxe Massage Chair by Masseuse

Lorraine enjoying the 3D Remedial Deluxe Massage Chair by Masseuse Luxury Recliners (Source: James Keogh)

Bonsai Design Studio #1 (Source: James Keogh)

Bonsai Design Studio #2

Bonsai Design Studio #2 (Source: James Keogh)

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Kevin McCloud, Clover Moore and Wendy Moore discuss ‘What Makes a Green Hero?’ (Source: James Keogh)

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Kevin McCloud (left), Clover Moore (centre) and Wendy Moore (right). (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #1 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #2 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #3 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #4 (Source: James Keogh)

For more information on Grand Designs Live check out their website http://www.granddesignslive.com.au/ or go to their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GrandDesignsAusLIVE.

Although Sydney’s exhibition is over, the show continues in Melbourne 25-27 of October.

Avenue Q: Think Sesame Street, But Much More Naughty.

Avenue Q - Wollongong (source: Avenue Q Facebook)

Avenue Q – Wollongong (source: Avenue Q Facebook)

The hilarious Avenue Q had it’s last performance tonight following a successful season at the IPAC theatre in Wollongong.

Avenue Q returned to Wollongong due to popular demand after it’s very successful and highly praised performance earlier this year in January. Directed by Amy Copeland, this is her third installment of the musical puppet show for Wollongong-based production company So Popera! The show, which hit Broadway in 2003 has since become a musical classic performed by theatres around the world and winner of three Tony awards, including Best Musical.

Avenue Q is a musical production similar to Sesame Street, however, it is definitely not for the kids. The show is set on a little avenue in New York for puppets and their puppeteers where scenes of simulated puppet sex, songs about porn, racism, unemployment and “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” know no boundaries.

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“Loud as the Hell you want” (Source: Avenue Q Facebook)

Wollongong local Harry Brizga saw the show on its opening night. “It’s a humorous and raunchy reimagining of a children’s puppet show”.

 

Avenue Q set, created by Mal and Donna Copeland. (source: Avenue Q facebook)

Avenue Q set, created by Mal and Donna Copeland. (source: Avenue Q facebook)

The Wollongong rendition of Avenue Q stars many of Wollongong’s stellar musical regulars, including Ron Seymour, Jess Wilkinson and Jack Arnold whose performances have been described as magnificent.

What has evidently stole the show was the set (pictured left), created by director Amy Copeland’s parents, Mal and Donna. It maintains the reminiscence of Sesame Street whilst giving off an Avenue Q-esque slum-like vibe.

The last two shows to Avenue Q are on tonight at the IPAC theatre, Wollongong. If you’ve missed out, make sure you like Avenue Q Wollongong on Facebook for more details about future shows. 

 

What exactly have I learnt so far?..

I originally chose BCM111 as a filler subject, you know? One of the three core first year subjects. But this course has developed my understanding of the world, hence I have decided to change my Communications and Media major to International media. Prior to this course I had a brief understanding of globalisation, but not much beyond what I learnt in Year 10 Geography. So if I had to define Globalisation, before I begin this course, I would say:

Isn’t globalisation when countries communicate better with eachother?

hmm… I guess that’s a really, really simple way of putting it.

SCM_Ch1_Pt4_The_impact_of_Globalisation_on_Supply_Chains

“Instantaneity, Interconnectedness, and Interdependence”

So what have I learnt?

Well, revising from my first blog post on this course, O’Shaughnessy & Stadler words, “instantaneity, interconnectedness and interdependence” come to mind. These words reflect on each weeks topic, which range from international education, hip-hop, media capitals, film, TV, global news media and false balance reporting. From O’Shaughnessy & Stadler’s key words we can understand how globalisation isn’t just about “countries communicating better”, its about how multiple forms of media, communication and technology are all interrelated.

One of my favourite weeks was on transnational film. Prior to this week I had no clue what transnational or hybridity meant. I just thought transnational film was just international film.

life-of-pi

Life of Pi transnational mapping (Photo credit: Mollyniu)

As our world becomes more interconnected, our world of entertainment likewise follows this trend. Consider the 2012 film Life of Pi. The film is directed by Ang Lee who is Taiwanese-US, yet based on a story by French-Canadian Yaan Martel. The film stars Indian actor Suraj Sharma, yet is filmed in Taiwan, India and Canada. The film is a great example of what is classified as transnational, yet this is beginning to be common amongst the film industry. This is identified by Schaefer and Karan as “Asian film industries, particularly those of India and China, will wrestle control of global film flows from Western Dominance”. This “wrestle” of “control” (pp.309, 2010) might explain why non-western films, such as those of East Asia, are “generating huge theatrical profits” (Schaefer & Karan, pp. 314, 2010).

Another key concept that emerged from the transnational film topic is hybridity. Hybridity is essentially an umbrella term for the mixing of cultures and races, but is elaborated by Schaefer and Karan as “central to glocalization… combining local with global cultural formations” (pp.309, 2010). In terms of transnational film, this could include iconic representations of, for instance, Taiwanese and US film styles to be incorporated with that of India. As a film shares multiple cultures, the audience size not only increases, but more importantly it becomes more involved in the film that they can relate to.

Another informative topic was on Media Capitals, which was also what I gave my group presentation on. In this topic I focused upon the popular dating show Fei Cheng Wu Rao.

As depicted in the video above, the TV show, which is produced in Nanjing, is one of the most popular in China with followings worldwide. The show continues to shock audiences, in which footage instantly goes viral around the world. Although controversial, as creator Wang Peijie claims, “through this show, you can tell what China is thinking about and chasing after”. The show isn’t just titillation and banter, its showcases in a somewhat lucrative manner the current cultural trends that are dominating throughout China (and particularly the media capital Nanjing) and their influence worldwide. This re-direction of cultural flows didn’t even cross my mind prior to this course, now it is evident everywhere.

Essentially, what I have learned from this course is that the world continues to interconnect through communication and media, that it is instantaneous where news is spread around the globe in seconds, but also that the world has become interdependent, it relies on other nations – whether it is news, film, TV or education. Globalisation is our world getting closer by the minute, yet always expanding to new great heights of achievement.

Sources:

O’Shaughnessy & Stadler; Media and Society (Fifth Edition); Oxford University Press: Melbourne, 2012

Schaefer, D & Karan, K 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 309-314

Pictures:

Globalisation Map : http://toolkit.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au/part/17/83/356
Life of Pi: http://mollyniu.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/global-multi-production-life-of-pi/