Looking for fun things to do in Melbourne this week? There's plenty to get around this week including an outdoor festival on the Peninsula, a Christmas-themed pop-up in Fitzroy and a Polish festival takes over Federation Square. So much fun!
Things to do in Melbourne this week
Night Noodle Markets are returning to Birrarung Marr this year with a killer line-up of Asian market stalls, covering street food favourites from Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and more. And they're going cashless again – you can use your card to pay for your snacks or purchase $50 cash cards on the night. This year's line-up is confirmed and includes past Melbourne market favourites like Filipino barbecue from Hoy Pinoy, Thai classics from Shallot Thai, Poklol x Puffle’s quirky cone-shaped cheese waffles, homemade fresh steamed buns from Wonderbao, OTT waffles from Waffleland, gravity-defying Flying Noodles and the Original Korean Twistto Potato. Newcomers to the Noodles Markets will be Miso Fresh, Kumokumo’s fluffy pillow-soft pancakes, and Scoopy Milk Bar’s Korean shaved ice desserts. You'll also get to choose from other stallholders like Gelato Messina, @Roll Up, Bao Brothers, Bangkok Street Food, Calabang, Donburi Station, Drumplings, Flying Noodles, Fry’D Ice Cream, Fusion Paella & Tapas, Let’s Do Yum Cha, May’s Malaysian, Nem n Nem, Okonomiyaking, Pham Sisters, Pinchys, Raijin, Sambal Kampung, Teppanyaki Noodles, Tokosan, WAWA and Wok Master. Phew! This year, the Night Noodle Markets introduces the Night Poodle Markets. Dog owners are invited to bring their little pups to the market and get a cute paw-trait and get a Night Poodle Market dog treat. It's $5 for the photo and the treat, with all proceeds going to RSPCA Victoria. The Night Noodle Market run on November
Every year Melbourne Music Week explores the undercurrent of Melbourne’s vibrant local music scene in some of the city’s most forgotten corners. Throughout the week (well, technically it’s ten days) Melbourne's hefty list of live music venues go into overdrive hosting dozens of artists around the city. The centre of MMW each year is the festival hub, the venue for which changes every year. These hubs aren't just function spaces – in fact, previous hubs have included St Paul's Cathedral, the state library, the old Royal Women's Hospital and Queen Victoria Market. In 2019 a fan favourite is returning as the MMW hub. Kubik – a giant maze of glowing, colour-changing cubes – has been named as the new hub, having first appeared at the festival in 2011. The structure (designed by German designers Balestra Berlin) changes colour in response to music and is popping up at Alexandra Gardens for the duration of MMW. The luminescent hub is the perfect backdrop for Melbourne-born, international dance star CC:Disco. She’ll be opening the festival proceedings alongside Raphaël Top-Secret at the hub on November 15 in a show that’s bound to get even those with two left feet dancing. Back again this year is the Melbourne Star Music Menagerie – a night when bands board the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and guests get a lucky dip of who they board with. This year’s artists include Rara Zulu, Lucca Franco, Tatafu and more as they perform intimate shows in the Star's cabins with only hand
Spend your Saturday evening with the night owls at Scienceworks for Party Beyond. This event blends live music, drinks, science and tech in one big after-dark party. Punters will get after-hours access to the varied and interactive exhibitions currently on at Scienceworks. Each gallery space will feature a different musician or DJ spinning tracks inspired by the themes of each exhibition. The line-up has been curated in collaboration with Footscray Community Arts Centre and Due West Arts Festival. November's event will feature Sui Zhen performing in the illuminating Beyond Perception exhibition, BATTS performing in the Planetarium, Mike Gurrieri on the Scienceworks Arena, SHOUSE in the Think Ahead exhibition space, DJ Manchild spinning in the Scienceworks Arena, MAI in Sportsworks, Nuestro Planeta in the main foyer and Rara Zulu on the Scienceworks Arena. The event is for punters 18 and over, as there will be food and drinks available to purchase while you disco. It kicks off at 7pm and tickets start at $20 each.
Some of the world's top international brewers are coming together for Moon Dog Craft Brewery Co’s inaugural Mate Fest this November. Moon Dog is inviting its best brewer mates from around the world to town for this festival – the first of its kind. Breweries are attending on an invite-only basis, with many of the international brews showing in Australia for the first time. So naturally, you should invite your beer-loving mates along too and get tasting. There will be 120 beers from 22 international brewers on offer over the festival weekend (November 15 to 16). Try the Jam Doughnut Beer by Tiny Rebel, Boysenberry Ice Cream Ripple by Duncans’s Brewing Co, Pavola Beer by Carbon Brews and an 18 per cent ice-distilled sour IPA by Yardley Brother’s and Moon Dog Brewery. Moon Dog is bringing the goods with their very own beer cocktail slushie and Splice of Heaven ice cream floats. Plus you can have a first-look at Moon Dog World’s new ten million-litre brewhouse. With all the drinking, don’t forget to carb load with food on offer from Burn City Smokers and Moon Dog World's kitchen. You can also go home with a whole bunch of cool merch including limited edition stubby holders and T-shirts. Basic tasting packages start at $40 and VIP tickets go for $99 (which includes plenty of goodies like a T-shirt, 20 100ml tasters and a lei on arrival).
Mornington Peninsula’s Vinehop festival returns this year to once again celebrate beer, wine and cider. Hop-on-hop-off shuttles will take you to over ten venues in the region. Each bus stop will provide beverage tastings, live music and food trucks along the way. The event is split over two days, and if you have a lot of oenophile friends, you can hire an entire bus for between 11 and 57 people. If you can't fill a bus with just your crew, you can book a ticket on one of the festival's buses (private cars aren't allowed, so you have to get a bus ticket one way or the other). Vinehop is on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17. Bring some cash to purchase food and extra drinks.
What do an actor and an asylum seeker have in common? At first, you mightn't spot many similarities, but that question is a driving force in this new theatre piece by Outer Urban Theatre Projects. The work brings together theatre veterans Irine Vela (who is directing the production), Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas and Melissa Reeves (known for their collaborations on the landmark Who's Afraid of the Working Class and the recent Melbourne Festival hit Anthem) with Iranian artists, Sahra Davoudi and Milad Norouzi. Davoudi and Norouzi are appearing in the piece, alongside actors Mary Sitarenos and Peter Paltos.
Are you a wine connoisseur? Or just simply enjoy drinking it? Wine-lovers near and far can rejoice this spring because Victoria is getting a wine festival that’s befitting of a king. The nine winemaking families of the King Valley are bringing Italy to Victoria for La Dolce Vita Festival this November. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, Nonna’s authentic cuisine, competitions, live music and kids’ activities. The nine collaborating wineries are Brown Brothers, Dal Zotto, Darling Estate, King River Estate, La Cantina, Pizzini, Politini, Sam Miranda and Symphonia Fine Wines. Try your luck with some prosecco fishing at Dal Zotto (exactly like regular fishing but you'll be trying to hook a bottle of prosecco), enjoy one of Otto’s porchetta rolls and pick up a food lover’s pass to enjoy dishes from around the world – with matching wines of course. Or pop into Sam Miranda to create a custom Spritz with the house prosecco and a range of syrups, fresh fruit and sorbets. King Valley is a comfortable three-hour journey from Melbourne by car so grab your partners in wine and plan a road trip to this gourmet destination. Entry to the festival is $25 and includes a souvenir tasting glass. Book your tickets online. Kids entry is free.
Here's a guaranteed way to not cure your fear of flying: step inside a plane cabin recreated inside a 40-foot shipping container, don a pair of high quality binaural headphones, and plunge headfirst into complete darkness. Flight is the latest immersive sound experience from Melbourne company Realscape Productions, the team behind the brilliantly scary Séance, which has had two successful runs in Melbourne. That experience was legitimately terrifying, conjuring up nefarious spirits inside a shipping container using nothing but cutting edge 3D sound design and some lowkey seat vibrations. We don't know exactly what to expect from Flight, and that's part of the fun. What we do know is that the shipping container has been fitted out with seats and overhead baggage bins from a real commercial plane, adding to the authenticity of the experience. All we can really hope for is a safe landing, but judging by our Séance experience, we're not exactly optimistic.
East Malvern’s leafy Central Park will be packed with stalls selling Victorian gourmet produce, food trucks, craft beers and local wines at the third annual East Malvern Food and Wine Festival. Melbourne restaurants will open pop-up stalls for the one-day festival on Sunday, November 17, and you'll be able to sample wines from wineries scattered across Victoria’s northwestern region including Turners Crossing, Innocent Bystander, Balgownie Estate, Red Edge, Noble Red Winery, Silver Spoon Estate, Chambers Rosewood Vineyards, Linnaea Vineyards, The Farmer & The Scientist, Rob Dolan Wines, Montalto, Heathcote Winery, Trentham Estate, Wine Selectors, Bike and Barrell, Buckshot Vineyard and Mount Avoca. You can also get amongst tastings from Great Ocean Road Gin and Mr Black cold brew coffee liqueur. Peckish? Dive into food from 48h Pizza and Gnocchi Bar, Mushiki Dumplings, Nepal Dining, The Greek Shop, The Smoke Pit and more. You can even stock the Christmas pantry early with locally produced cheeses, gourmet condiments and Christmas puds. Entertainment will be programmed by the House of Voice. The festival is a family-friendly event – kids can check out roving entertainers and pick up a few tricks from a visiting master magician's classes. Entry to the event is free, but wine tasting packages are available from $37.50.
You know the saying, but have you ever actually done it? Walked a mile in somebody else's shoes, that is. That's the concept behind A Mile in My Shoes, a storytelling experience that's travelled all around the world and is making its local debut on the forecourt of Arts Centre Melbourne. It's a simple enough idea – every person who visits the giant pop-up shoebox is given a stranger's shoes and an mp3 player. As you set off on a stroll in their shoes (don't worry, they clean them), you'll hear the story of the original owner of those shoes and take a moment to connect. A Mile in My Shoes is by the Empathy Museum, an organisation that creates unique experiences to help audiences see the world through someone else's eyes. When we saw the work in Perth in 2016, we were surprised at how moving and intimate it was to give yourself over to the stranger's stories. All together, there'll be 35 pairs of shoes in the Melbourne season, and they're all new stories collected specifically for Melbourne. So we'd recommend paying a repeat visit and seeing what you'll score in this lottery of footwear.
Remember Spot? The adorable yellow pupper with the brown spot? Eric Hill’s beloved children’s book is headed to the stage this Novemner in this new show that blends puppetry, songs and puzzles for children aged three and up. There is a relaxed performance on Saturday, November 16, and an Auslan-interpreted performance on Friday, November 15. Find out more about the show here.
Director Elizabeth Banks takes the helm as the next generation of fearless Charlie's Angels take flight. In Banks' bold vision, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world's smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs everywhere. The screenplay is by Elizabeth Banks from a story by Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn.
You might remember Meagan Streader as the artist behind the intriguing light installation 'Slow Rinse' at Dark Mofo this year, or from her solo exhibitions Fold in Time (2018) or U-Bend Pillar (2017). As one of Australia’s brightest (sorry) young artists, her site specific installations have also been seen as far away as Kerala, Amsterdam and New York City. Now, for the first time, MARS Gallery presents Streader’s new solo exhibition, Silent Structures. Using her trademark electroluminescent wire, Streader will transform the MARS Gallery, encouraging viewers to reconsider their perception and relationship to the existing space, and how light determines the way in which we navigate the world, both physically and socially.
Cabaret chanteuse, and master of pandemonium, Meow Meow stars in this fabulously shambolic show. She’ll come wandering into the Malthouse at each performance looking for room in the Inn. Yes, she’s taking on Christmas. “Obviously we don’t do pantomimes in Australia, but this is the closest we’d do to a Christmas show,” says Malthouse's artistic director, Matthew Lutton. See what else is in Malthouse's 2019 season.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate's barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snowfall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart . . . and you gotta have faith.
Melbourne’s west is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country and home to a whole range of vibrant communities and artists making edgy, provocative and inspiring work. That’s why Footscray Community Arts Centre launched Due West Arts Festival last year to celebrate just about every aspect of Melbourne’s west with an eclectic and wide-ranging program of arts and entertainment. The festival is returning for its second year from November 15 to 24, with an even bigger program, headed up by local contemporary artists and some international acts. The festival is designed to be properly inclusive, meaning there really is something for everybody. There are a whole bunch of free events and the most expensive ticket is only $35. So where do you begin? If diving into a program of more than 40 events is a little intimidating, here are some of our highlights: The free Opening Night party at Footscray Community Arts Centre is a good place to start and get your bearings. Led by Indigenous elders and artists from the west, the party will feature free art and music, and audiences will be invited to participate in making a new sound work. Footscray by Night (A Second Call) will take over the Nicholson Street Mall with karaoke videos and performance, in tribute to the Little Saigon market, which was lost to a fire in 2016. It’s the work of Hoang Tran Nguyen, designed to pose questions about gentrification of community spaces. In Children of the Evolution, youngsters will be armed
Steve Martin and Martin Short first met in 1986 on the set of Three Amigos and immediately got along and started making each other laugh. But it wasn't until 2016 that these two giants of American comedy joined forces on a live tour. The show was filmed for a Netflix special called An Evening You'll Forget for the Rest of Your Life, which was nominated for four Emmy Awards and won rave reviews. They're bringing the follow-up show to Australia, the provocatively-titled Now You See Them, Soon You Won't (Martin is 73 and Short is 69, after all). If you've seen their Netflix special, you know that they love to roast each other and are constantly trying to win bigger laughs from the audience and each other. They're taking on the vacuuous nature of Hollywood and celebrity, and will be joined by by Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers. The duo, whose combined CVs are enough to make any Hollywood superstar jealous, are playing big venues in Australia, kicking off with shows in Perth before touring to Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, with a show at Melbourne Arena on November 15. The producers are saying no extension of the tour is possible, so you'll want to have your credit card ready when tickets go on sale on Tuesday, May 7 at 9am.
Federation Square is travelling to Poland this November. On Sunday, November 17 the central civic space is hosting the Polish Festival, a one-day celebration of Poland. In 2019 the free festival is turning 15, with a stack of events highlighting the central European country. From 10am to 5pm guests can watch traditional performances, enjoy Polish folklore, see craft demonstrations (Polish folk art features colourful painted eggs and intricate papercut works), art exhibitions, kids activities and lots of delightful Polish dishes like pierogi (Polish dumplings). The free festival is on from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, November 17.
After a long day at work, many Melburnians find themselves faced with a dilemma: do I go to the gym or crack into a bottle of wine? At least at Fargo and Co that decision is made a little easier thanks to their Yoga, Wine and Dine events. Pop into the pub every second Wednesday evening and you can join a yoga class then be treated to a glass of wine at the bar. The vinyasa yoga class runs for 45 minutes and will set you back $25 for the yoga and wine. Given the price of a yoga class alone, that’s not a bad deal. Plus you can leave your yoga mat at home as Fargo will provide one for you. The yoga and wine classes are held on Wednesdays once a fortnight and booking are a must. Arrive at 6pm for a 6.15pm start.
An orchestra and a physicist are collaborating for an event that will bring science and music together at Hamer Hall. Professor Brian Cox, one of the world’s pre-eminent physicists, will join the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with conductor Daniel Harding for three concerts on November 15, 16 and 17 and take you through the big questions of eternity, death, rebirth and existence. Paul Dean’s violin concerto A Brief History of Time, which was dedicated to late physicist and professor Stephen Hawking, will be performed by violin virtuoso Jack Liebeck with the orchestra. The first movement from Mahler’s Tenth Symphony will be the centrepiece of this musical movement as it communicates the composer’s struggle with the idea of the finite nature of our existence. Guests will be treated to music from the pre-scientific age, and Cox will talk about our universe and solar system, presenting what was known about the world when the composers created their music and what is known now. The performance on Saturday, 16 November will begin at 7.30pm and will feature a post-concert conversation with Professor Cox and special guests. The performance on Sunday, 17 November will begin at 4pm. Ticket prices range from $124 to $199 and can be purchased here.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of your own Japanese game show? Well, wonder no more, because Tokosan holds pub trivia, Japanese-style, on the first Wednesday of every month, called Ninja Nite Battle. There are no ninjas, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Instead of flexing your brains, Ninja Nite Battles pits teams against each other in eating competitions, sumo wrestling, human curling (we don't know what this is, but we imagine it is ridiculous and awesome), takoyaki mouth catching (yes, that is catching a hot octopus fritter with your mouth) and many more – all performed while under the safe and calming influence of alcohol. Aside from being extremely fun and potentially embarrassing, you get to win prizes along the way, as well as go up for larger prizes like a $100 dinner for two, bar tabs and merchandise. It is free to participate, but you do have to register each month.
Things are warming up in Melbourne, summer is soon upon us and MPavilion will once again be taking up residence at the centre of the Southbank Arts Precinct. With a focus on Australian design, the pop-up modern-day amphitheatre is home to over 400 free cultural events and interventions, lively talks, performances, workshops, installations and kid-friendly experiences. DJs and live music sets take over the pavilion every Friday night from November 15 for Summer Sunsets featuring Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS), DJ Sara Savage and more. The Archibald Weekend, over November 30 and December 1, invites guest speakers including Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand, artist Lindy Lee and 2019 Archibald Prize winner Tony Costa and includes hands-on arts workshops. Co-curated by Transitions Film Festival, Climate Emergency Cinema is an outdoor, bicycle-powered program of short films and award-winning feature documentaries celebrating grassroots action around climate change over three evenings – January 14, 21 and 28. Canine fanatics can join Dog Walking Adventures. On the third Sunday of every month from November to March the team behind Tom + Captain Dog Walking Adventures embark on meanderings through the city with and a bunch of good boys and girls. BYO pup or just join the pack. This is just a taste of the diverse program, which also includes Sound Bath Sessions, nature-based creative kids workshops with artist and next-gen crafter Beci Orpin, Indigenous arch
JIFF has brought the best of Jewish cinema to Australia for the past 30 years and this year is no exception. It will showcase a whopping 60 films from 23 countries, so no matter what genre you’re into, there’ll be something for you. The festival will kick off with Ask Dr Ruth, an uplifting story of America’s most famous sex therapist by Primetime Emmy-nominated director Ryan White. The film is an inspiring account of how Dr Ruth revolutionized the conversation around sexuality and her uninhibited approach to sex therapy. Audiences can also catch international award-winners including Berlinale Golden Bear winner Synonyms, an existential drama about a young man embarking on a quest to erase his Israeli heritage by moving to Paris; and satirical rom-com Tel Aviv On Fire, which won the award for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. The film is currently nominated for four Ophir awards, which are kind of like the Israeli Oscars. The festival will close with the first Australian screenings of Jojo Rabbit, fresh from winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is directed by and stars Taika Waititi (whose mother is Jewish, while his father is Maori) and makes a powerful statement against hate. The Jewish International Film Festival will screen at Classic Cinema (Elsternwick), Lido Cinema (Hawthorn) and Cameo Cinema (Belgrave) from October 24 to November 21. Check out the full program here.
Watching a sequel can sometimes feel like wandering down the carpeted hallways of an old familiar place. Doctor Sleep, an unearned and cringeworthy follow-up to The Shining, is this idea literalised. It feels more like a theme-park experience than an actual movie, deploying the 1980 horror classic’s butchered twin sisters and a blood-gushing elevator on cue, but without any purpose. You could call it fan service, if the service is to teach fans that mimicking Stanley Kubrick’s chilly elegance – and even reshooting scenes from the original film with lookalike actors, a crime bordering on sacrilege – doesn’t make your take nearly as scary. The mimicker, director Mike Flanagan, should know better. His multi-episode TV version of The Haunting of Hill House showed him nailing a similar assignment, finding a side door into a revered novel while supplying fresh chills. This time, though, he’s saddled with weak material, namely Stephen King’s own 2013 continuation, a book that sagged with unusual obviousness. Wide-eyed Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is all grown up now, struggling with alcoholic urges, just like his dad did. He needs to dry up fast and join the Stand–like fight against a roving pack of evil essence-suckers, led by Rose (Rebecca Ferguson), whose alt-country black hat and crazy eyes make her look like a reject from The Voice. Flanagan pumps up the nostalgic sonic assault – Wendy Carlos’s ominous synth burbles, pounding heartbeats in your head, plenty of third-hand Pe
U2 is bringing their Joshua Tree tour to Australia. The Irish stars have built a four-decade career off the back of powerful rock anthems and heartstring-tugging ballads. Bono, his signature tinted sunnies (they’re for his glaucoma) and the rest of the band will be headed to Melbourne this November. The upcoming tour is a celebration of the band’s 1987 album The Joshua Tree which features some of U2’s best-known hits and truly raised the group to superstardom (think 'With or Without You', 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'Where the Streets Have No Name'). The victory-lap tour was first run in 2017 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the namesake album’s release, however, Australia, New Zealand and Asia missed out. The Joshua Tree tour 2019 will be the first time U2 has played in Australia for almost a decade and they’re bringing some pretty big name friends with them. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds has been announced as the tour’s support acts, which basically makes the gig a double bill. You can see U2 perform at Marvel Stadium on Friday, November 15. Tickets for U2 subscribers go on sale Tuesday, June 4 and general sales start Tuesday, June 11.
Ho ho hooray, the team behind Melbourne’s sweetest experience Sugar Republic are back with a Christmas-themed extravaganza. Christmasland is an all-ages yuletide playground that’s taking over MacRobertson’s Chocolate Factory in Fitzroy this silly season. Just like with Sugar Republic, Christmasland is made up of several themed rooms that you can explore freely. There are ten immersive spaces to explore including Naughty and Niceville, Tinseltown and Candy Cane Lane. And of course, they’re all highly ‘grammable. Guests can explore a gingerbread house, slide into a giant marshmallow pool, hop aboard a sleigh and enjoy a live snowfall session every 30 minutes, among additional experiences. There will be lolly tastings throughout the space and Sugar Republic’s ever-popular, ever-photogenic ball pit is making a Christmas-themed comeback (featuring candy cane inflatables). Christmasland also has plenty of spaces perfect for a family Christmas photo. Ballarat-based illustrator Travis Price has created a number of hand-painted murals to be used as photo backdrops, including a pink Christmas-themed forest and a giant advent calendar. Even Santa himself is going to be there – you’ll find him hanging around the peppermint ball pit and gingerbread house. You can also relax with a milkshake at the Mrs Claus Milkbar at Christmasland’s entrance – even non-visitors are welcome to stop by for a glass. Christmasland is open Sunday, November 10 until Monday, December 23. Tickets are avail
Did you know that it’s been 50 years since the beloved children’s television show Sesame Street premiered? To celebrate this huge achievement, Melbourne Central is putting on a free exhibition in the space next to the Shot Tower. The exhibition has been curated by creative director and curator Eddie Zammit, who asked 50 local and international artists to put their spin on some of the most popular Sesame Street characters. You’ll be able to see the likes of Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie and heaps more. The exhibition is free to attend.
The Russian Resurrection Film Festival is one of the largest, oldest and most respected Russian film festivals outside of Russia. For its 16th anniversary, the Melbourne season of its national tour will screen new releases and favourites from both stalwarts of Russian cinema and rising stars, plus a special retrospective of Russian director Pavel Lunginat’s huge canon at the Capitol Theatre on Swanston Street. There’s everything from comedies to thrillers on the cards this year amongst the 19 featured films. In the horror department is Kirill Sokolov’s Why Don’t You Just Die!. This chaotic, bloody masterpiece will bring together murderous mayhem, very dark humour and gallons of gore in this non-linear story set in a single apartment. If you’re looking for laughs, check out the empowering story about a collection of women hell-bent on retribution against their philandering lovers, Mistresses. Those seeking out action should book tickets to Hero, a tale of double-crossing spy agencies, or director Pavel Lungin’s controversial film Leaving Afghanistan, which chronicles the withdrawal of the USSR from the Soviet-Afghan war in 1989. Your nerves will be on high alert during thrillers like Outbreak, which follows a family during an epidemic which paralyses Moscow, and New Year’s Eve disaster flick, Breakaway. For families who loved Frozen, there’s an even more magical animated icy adventure coming to the festival. In Snow Queen: Mirrorlands, it’s up to heroine Gerda to return ma
On January 30 2003, legendary writer Joan Didion’s life changed forever. On Christmas Day, her beloved only daughter, Quintana, had been hospitalised with an unknown and rapidly escalating illness. Then, five days later, after returning from visiting the now-unconscious Quintana, Didion’s husband, the novelist John Gregory Dunne, suffered a massive heart attack and died. Didion’s retelling of the aftermath of these events was documented in her bestelling 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, and was adapted for the stage two years later. It went on to have sold-out runs on Broadway and the West End with the equally legendary Vanessa Redgrave in the title role. Now director Laurence Strangio (Krapp’s Last Tape) has teamed up with Green Room Award winner Jillian Murray (The Lady in the Van) to present the heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful tale at fortyfivedownstairs.
The National Gallery of Victoria has always been quite forward-thinking in its integration of design and fashion into its exhibition program, but it also has a hugely impressive collection of design, including a heap of pieces from Japanese label Comme des Garçons. The label is led by founder and designer Rei Kawakubo, who has been creating innovative fashion since the 1970s, and is continuing on that journey today. The NGV collection includes key pieces by Kawakubo, which are being shown in this free exhibition. They've been donated by Takamasa Takahashi since 2005, and together show how Kawakubo's designs challenged tradition to create a new fashion vocabulary. The pieces range from 1981, when Kawakubo first showed work in Paris, to recent designs from the 2014 'Blood and Roses' collection.
What Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It like Beckham did for football, her effervescent latest does for Springsteen. And Sony Walkmans. And double denim. For viewers of a certain age – if you ever owned a Level 42 cassette, that’s you – there’s loads of easy ’80s nostalgia to feast on. Blinded by the Light is about connecting with music in a way that finds you a tribe and respite from your worries – even when they’re as grave as the racist thug stalking you across your estate. It’s set in Luton at the mass-unemployment- and National Front-stained end of Thatcher’s ’80s, but Chadha gives it a sparky American-high-school-movie sheen and a Bruce-heavy soundtrack to banish the minor-key moments. Its hero, Javed (Viveik Kalra), is a British-Pakistani teenager who writes poetry, dreams of escape and gets his spirits crushed daily by his ultra-strict dad. But when his new friend Roops (Aaron Phagura) chucks him a couple of Bruce Springsteen tapes, salvation arrives in the form of the Boss’s uncannily relatable blue-collar anthems. "Bruce knows everything I’ve ever felt," he marvels. Based on a book by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor (who also co-writes), it’s peppered with the kind of loving details that can only be real. Javed’s sister chops onions in swimming goggles, while it takes the whole family to jump-start his dad’s old banger. His musical epiphany comes during the Great Storm of 1987, which has him spinning through the tempest, lost in the Boss’s tunes. With the lyrics pinwheeling acr
Melbourne is growing and developing at a rapid pace, but how much do you really know about it? Now you can learn about some of the state’s most influential people, events and icons. Velvet, Iron, Ashes is an exhibition located in the State Library's newly refurbished Victoria Gallery. The exhibition will showcase more than 200 items from the Library's own collection plus additions from other major institutions and private collections. It gives visitors an opportunity to learn some illustrious stories about Ned Kelly, the Ashes Urn, Yalloum Power Station and even Nappie Wash. Visitors can learn how fairy floss is linked to fancy dress, how the Freddo Frog is tied to one of the greatest air races in history, and what the Ashes Urn and Ned Kelly’s armour have in common. A retro-style Map-o-matic device allows visitors to print out a map, opening up a world of storytelling to a new generation of Victorians. The exhibition is open to all ages and runs from October 24, 2019, until July 12, 2020. It is free to attend. The Ashes Urn is exclusively loaned from Marylebone Cricket Club in London and will be displayed from November 2019 until February 2020, so don’t miss out on seeing it in the flesh.
This strenuous but soapy real-life drama adapted from Peter Quilter’s play End of the Rainbow bookends Judy Garland’s life in a way that leaves no doubt over who it blames for the star’s later-life struggles. Hollywood – embodied in the bullying, Weinstein-like form of mogul Louis B Mayer – is shown stage-managing her life, plying her with pills and crushing her self-esteem, reminding her that she was nothing without its spotlights shining down on her. MGM, the studio that would make Gaslight, got in some early practice in the art with the budding starlet. The dramatic choice to bolt on scenes of the young Judy (Darci Shaw) prepping for The Wizard of Oz leaves it feeling disjointed and reductive in parts. Each of her travails – pills, booze, insomnia – gets its own origin story as Judy jags back and forth between the early years and the 47-year-old version (Renée Zellweger) enjoying a final hurrah on the London stage. It puts its protagonist on the couch and offers a diagnosis when it would have been much better off letting its iconic star speak for herself. Its trump card, of course, is Zellweger, who blows through the film in a gust of jittery energy, wounded ego and half-buried star quality. The transformation is startling, with dark lenses and a birdlike physicality essaying a faded but still formidable life force who’s at once unknowable and, by 1969, wildly overexposed. We see her bitter feud with ex-husband Sidney Luft (Rufus Sewell) and a love affair with handsome b
What could be better than opera? Maybe opera with matching craft beer? And artisanal cheese? And all in the glorious surrounds of Melbourne's St Paul Cathedral? For one night in November, five opera singers will perform some of opera's best-loved arias under the stained-glass windows of St Paul's Cathedral. Better yet, the audience will receive a handpicked beer and cheese pairing for each song. The beer is provided by the likes of Hawkers, Fury and Sons, Bent Spoke, Stomping Ground and Two Brothers Brewery, and the cheese comes from the delicious Milawa Cheese Factory. Rev-ale-ation aims to break down barriers and make opera more accessible, as well as elevating craft beer and excellent cheese to their rightful place in the cathedral. The event bills itself as 'a symphony for the senses', and it looks like a visual, auditory and gastronomic feast. The host for the evening is Kirrily Waldhorn – aka the Beer Diva – and she also promises some theatrical surprises along the way.
It’s only relatively recently that artists have started embracing virtual reality as a medium, but New York-based visual artist Jess Johnson and New Zealand animator Simon Ward use the technology better than just about anybody in this exhibition of five works that take you into different realms. Some are curiously beautiful and relaxing, while others are a total sensory overload. And as with all virtual reality, the viewer is in complete control. There’s also a physical element to the exhibition, with the entire floor covered by a tesselated pattern relating to the worlds they conjure up in virtual reality. Terminus premiered at the National Gallery of Australia in 2018 and is now embarking on a national tour. Heide Museum of Modern Art is the first stop.
It's the laugh that gets you: Joaquin Phoenix’s half cackle, half rasp has all the soothing aural balm of a vulture in a blender. It’ll be ratting around in your ears long after the old-school “The End” card flashes up on this unrelenting, grimly funny and brilliantly visceral reinvention of the DC supervillain. Joker is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism – arguably the best social horror film since Get Out – and Phoenix is magnetic in it. He runs Heath Ledger cigarette paper-close as the finest screen Joker. Like everything in this drum-tight movie, the title’s lack of pronoun is no accident: it’s not the fully formed Joker being introduced here, but Arthur Fleck, a man whose ambition to tell jokes for a living is at odds with the living he scraps as a clown-for-hire on Gotham’s grimy streets. Judging by the movies playing – Excalibur and Blow Out – it’s 1981, but it feels more like the ’70s of Death Wish. He lives with his frail mom (Frances Conroy) in a broken-down tenement, eking out a little joy watching a TV chat show hosted with oily relish by Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). He’s on seven types of medication and has a neurological condition that causes him to laugh – OK, cackle – uncontrollably. In these domestic early scenes, Phoenix establishes Arthur as a man who sees himself less as an underdog than a mutt waiting to be put down. “I just don’t want to feel so bad anymore,” he says. And no wonder: It’s a seriously bleak world he inhabits, a citysc
If you’ve visited the cellar door or restaurant at Terindah Estate, you’ll be well acquainted with its exquisite views of Port Phillip Bay. Now you can experience those soul-soothing waterfront views in a whole new light – literally – with the vineyard opening up one of its back paddocks for glamping. Barely five minutes' walk from the carpark are 15 canvas bell tents bookable every night of the week from the first of November until early May. The tents embrace the aesthetic of glamping – inside it’s all comfy soft furnishings, jute rugs and macramé ornaments. Most people will find themselves able to stand inside the tent, which, for tall people, is a bigger luxury than expensive sheets. Photograph: Ferne Millen What really makes glamping at Terindah special is the location. The tents are pitched in a straw-coloured moor, giving you the feeling like you’re roughing it in an Australian adaptation of Wuthering Heights. Once you are set up, follow the dirt track towards the ocean and then turn left when you reach the cliff edge – eventually you’ll find yourself on a tranquil private beach with calm, shallow waters perfect for a dip. We recommend packing your own dinner (be aware no camp stoves or open flames are allowed) or having dinner at Terindah’s restaurant the Shed (which is open for dinner on Saturdays). The Bellarine also boasts a stack of dining options like Merne or the Queenscliff Brewhouse. For an easy breakfast, pre-order a $50 brekkie hamper from Terindah,
Nicole Kidman starred in the West End premiere of this play by Anna Ziegler about scientist Rosalind Franklin, who played an integral role in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA but is often overlooked. Nadine Garner will play the role in this Australian premiere production, directed by Pamela Rabe, with a cast rounded out by Gig Clarke, Nicholas Denton, Paul Goddard, Yalin Ozucelik and Dan Spielman. “This play finally celebrates [Franklin] and brings her to the attention of the world,” Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director Brett Sheehy says. “I think it’s a fantastic, heartbreaking, but really important story.”
If there’s a corner of a foreign field that is forever England, then it’s Palace Cinemas during the annual British Film Festival. The line-up is usually packed with big star names, well known directors and popular genres ranging from protest to literary adaptation – and 2019’s program is no exception. An ignominious Brexit may be just around the corner, but the Union Jack flies proudly in Melbourne this November. This year the festival welcomes a very special guest – actor Timothy Spall, whose stunning portrayal of artist JMW Turner in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner won him the Best Actor award in Cannes. Spall is familiar from movies including Secrets and Lies and The King’s Speech and for playing the loathsome Peter Pettigrew in several Harry Potter movies. He will appear in Q&A at the screenings of Mrs Lowry & Son, in which he portrays another artist, LS Lowry, opposite Vanessa Redgrave as his mother. Another UK acting great, Dame Helen Mirren, will be the subject of this year’s retrospective, titled Mirror on Mirren. Films screening span from her eye-opening starring role in the erotic 1969 film Age of Consent, filmed in the Whitsundays, through to her Oscar triumph in The Queen (2006). Ken Russell’s little-seen Savage Messiah (1972), Lindsay Anderson’s surreal anti-capitalist masterpiece O Lucky Man! (1973), The Madness of King George (1994) and Calendar Girls (2003) are the other Mirren films in the series. Mirren stars opposite Sir Ian McKellen in the festival’s brand ne
A languid, undercooked affair, writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s playful stab at the zombie movie returns the genre to the backwoods America of George Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead and gives it a half-meta reworking. It sprinkles in an ensemble cast to die for, bursts of OTT flesh-chomping gore, nods to zombie classics (look out for Living Dead’s 1967 Pontiac LeMans) and a few big laughs, but its zeitgeist-y concerns and self-conscious final-act twists don’t quite land. It’s a love letter to zombie movies typed in Comic Sans, and it reminds you that Jarmusch’s best work has an invisible rigour, even at its loosest. Sadly, that’s missing here. In the spirit of Romero, the undead apocalypse arrives in the Midwestern town of Centerville via interrupted radio signals, daylight that lasts too long and, most alarmingly for this rural spot, a missing chicken. Is the cranky hermit outside of town to blame? (He’s played by Jarmusch lucky charm Tom Waits, 50 percent gravel-voiced omniscience, 50 percent beard.) Disturbing news bulletins about fracking knocking the Earth off its axis point to a bigger story. But at the urging of an obnoxious MAGA type (Steve Buscemi), cops Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) investigate, with the latter oddly certain that it all points to an invasion of the undead. Sure enough, said invasion arrives, presaged by a zombie Iggy Pop and a particularly chewy scene at the town’s diner. The shufflers themselves are a bla
Think Ocean’s Eleven with strippers and you’ve got the premise of Lorene Scafaria’s surprising, gripping Hustlers. Constance Wu stars as Dorothy, aka Destiny, the new girl at a hot Manhattan gentlemen’s club. The wildly successful Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) takes Dorothy under her wing and shows her how to get ahead in exotic dancing. But after the 2008 financial crash, the pair and their friends resort to criminal means to keep the cash coming in. This is a deeply feminist film, one where men are given less screen time than the cameoing Cardi B and Lizzo. These women are objectified by the world (though rarely by Scafaria’s camera) and they use that fact to scam money and take revenge on Wall Streeters. The director treats the women as flawed, fractious characters and folk heroes, not sex dolls. She packs in some visual flourishes too, like a shaky-cam shot of one of the crew’s walk of shame to her daughter’s school. It’s a reminder that there’s more at stake for these women than the ability to buy designer clothes. If Wu is compelling as Destiny, Lopez is magnetic as her savvy mentor. It’s her most authoritative role since Out of Sight. The plot, in contrast to the stars, sags in the middle and there are a few more celebratory hang-out scenes than we need, but the gang is so charismatic, it’s no great chore to spend extra time with them. Some people would pay thousands for just a few minutes.
Between 1990 and 1999, the number of babies named "Keanu" skyrocketed in the US. It’s no coincidence that these were the crucial ascendant years – beginning with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in ’89 and reaching the zenith of A-list Hollywood with the first Matrix movie in ‘99 – of the man, the mystery, the marvel that is, was and ever shall be Keanu Reeves. Whether you fell in love with his stoic, brooding portrayal of Jack Traven in Speed, his stoic, brooding portrayal of Neo in the Matrix trilogy, or perhaps his stoic, brooding portrayal of the anti-hero assassin John Wick, there’s no denying the stoic, brooding appeal of Reeves in whatever role he inhabits. Any Melburnians who are crazy for Keanu can now immerse themselves in an epic celebration of this modern-day matinee idol courtesy of the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn. Every Friday between October 18 and December 13, some of Reeves’ most beloved blockbusters will be getting an airing, including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, My Own Private Idaho, Point Break, Speed, The Matrix, The Lake House and John Wick. If despotic robot overlords wanted to enslave our bodies by hijacking our minds, well, a Keanu Reeves film fest would be one surefire way to do it. So plug in, sit back, and surrender to the two-month Keanu Reeves-a-thon.
A decade after Zombieland became a hit film and a cult classic, the lead cast (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone) have reunited with director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and the original writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool) for Zombieland: Double Tap. In the sequel, written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham, through comic mayhem that stretches from the White House and through the heartland, these four slayers must face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. But most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family.
Polixeni Papapetrou was one of Australia’s leading contemporary photographers before her tragic death last year at the age of just 57. Best known for her images of children, particularly of her daughter Olympia and son Solomon dressed as characters from historical, artistic or imaginary settings, her work was frequently concerned with imagination, storytelling, childhood and issues of identity. Curated in conjunction with Papapetrou’s family, Olympia marks the first major museum retrospective of her work, bringing together never before seen works alongside those from celebrated series, including Phantomwise (2003), MY HEART - still full of her (2018), Eden (2016) and 2014’s Melancholia, which reflects on Papapetrou’s grief upon hearing her second, and ultimately terminal, cancer diagnosis.
Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly familiar with Brian Donnelly's (aka Kaws) larger-than-life sculptures and paintings. Kaws take icons from cartoons and pop culture and reimagines them in vulnerable and unexpected situations. His signature? Their hands are marked with sharp crosses. For several decades, Kaws has been one of the world's most prolific contemporary artists and his work is equally in demand with major modern art galleries as it is with brands and pop artists. He's collaborated with MTV (and redesigned their Moonman in his signature style), Nike and Uniqlo, designed album covers for Kanye West and Towa Tei, and crashed New York's Museum of Modern Art's website when they sold a limited edition Kaws action figure. This new exhibition at the NGV (which is running at the same time as the gallery's Basquiat and Haring blockbuster) features paintings, sculptures, graphic design and product design, covering the full spectrum of his creative output. Central to the exhibition is a monumental sculpture, which is his largest work in bronze so far. And which characters should you expect to see? Well, definitely his take on Mickey Mouse, probably The Simpsons (or 'Kimpsons' in the world of Kaws) and maybe even Spongebob.
Some exhibitions bring you joy. They lift your spirits by capturing the sublime beauty of the world, the whimsy of nature and the base altruism of humanity. This is not one of those exhibitions. Hope Dies Last self-identifies as “one of the most depressing events of the year,” promising to leave audiences emotionally crippled and wracked with negativity. It puts the dead in deadpan, examining our own mortality, suffering and failure through the lens of gallows humour. The exhibition (which is coming to Gertrude Contemporary and Margaret Lawrence Gallery as part of Melbourne Festival) picks away the final threads of hope that stop you from spiralling into the void. Hope Dies Here features works like Tony Garifalakis’s ‘Fucking Optimism’; a large black and red felt banner overlaid with ‘so much for my Fucking Optimism’ in a gothic typeface that serves as a fairly unsubtle metaphor for the entire exhibition. Unsurprisingly Hope Dies Last contains adult themes so be mindful it may be unsettling. Bring a pal along for emotional support if you must but as Hope Dies Last ominously states, “we all arrive at the final exit alone.” Hope Dies Last is on at Gertrude Contemporary from Oct 5-Nov 9, and at Margaret Lawrence Gallery from Oct 18-Nov 14. Discover more, less disheartening events to check out at this year’s Melbourne Festival.
It’s time to say goodbye to Mish Grigor. Not that her career is over or anything, but her next darkly funny performance piece is all about grand exits. Teaming up with contemporary art organisation Aphids (Lara Thoms and Eugenia Lim), Grigor will perform a series of exits on repeat; she’ll leave the stage, leave the building and maybe even leave the country. Through storytelling, lecture and theatrics, Grigor will consider how we escape, change and disappear. Grigor is one of our most adventurous, funny and original theatre-makers, known best for her work with Zoë Coombs Marr and Natalie Rose (who make up the theatre company Post), Ich Nibber Dibber and Oedipus Schmoedipus. She’s worked with Aphids since the start of this year, making funny and feminist performance.
Now I don’t know about you, but I would personally like to be well-informed when aliens invade earth and claim their place as our overlords. In this regard, the Planetarium at Scienceworks might be able to help. This season, the Planetarium will be offering guests the chance to explore the cosmos with a series of after-hours and adults-only film screenings on the huge planetarium dome. Every Friday night those over 18 can explore everything from black holes to fluorescent coral. You won’t go spacing out with these shows, either, as they’re loaded with amazing visuals and stellar content. Each night features two screenings, one at 7.30pm and the other at 9pm, with films varying from month to month. Some of the films being screened include Europe to the Stars, Chaos and Order, Ticket to the Universe and Capcom GO! Don't miss December's screening of Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon where you'll be able to listen to the entirety of Pink Floyd's seminal 1973 album while colourful, psychedelic visuals are projected over the full dome. Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until December 27.
Screening a bunch of fresh new releases, golden oldies and critically acclaimed alternative films, American Express Openair Cinemas offers movie fanatics much more than the average cinematic experience. From October 9 until November 3, Yarra Park will be taken over by a packed program of live entertainment, dining, music and dog dates. Yes, that’s right, dogs. Proud puppy parents can snuggle up to their own wonder dogs while they settle in for a season of new release flicks, including Downton Abbey (Oct 25 and 27), Ad Astra (Nov 3), It: Chapter 2 (Oct 31), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Oct 9), Rocketman (Oct 10), Yesterday (Oct 18), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Nov 11), Abominable (Nov 2), The Australian Dream (Oct 22) and plenty more. You’re sure to work up an appetite with all the excitement, so grab a slice of something covered in cheese from the Italian masters at Ladro. They're curating a menu for the evening, complemented by beers by Urban Alley Brewery, aperatifs by Pimms and wine from Giesen Wines. Speaking of wine, every Wednesday has officially been coined Wine Wednesdays at American Express Openair Cinemas. Guests can sample Giesen Wines' full range and even purchase bottles at Happy Hour prices. If you have an American Express Card membership, this will be is your golden ticket to the exclusive lounge area at the event. You’ll receive the VIP treatment, complete with a comfortable bean bag chair, blanket, movie snacks and the best view in the hous
Oh buoy! The team behind massive outdoor eatery and beer garden Arbory Bar and Eatery have brought back their famed floating bar and restaurant Arbory Afloat for the 2019/20 season. The giant floating pontoon has once again moored itself alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 of Flinders Street Station. This year the bar will be taking inspiration from Miami in the '70s, with a pastel blue and pink colour palette and palm trees aplenty. The upper deck has been extended so there will be plenty of room to kick back, grab a drink and celebrate in your own private cabana. Probably the most exciting part is the introduction of Arbory Afloat's own pool, which will be located on the upper deck level. Don't forget your bathers! As well as boasting 360-degree views of the Yarra River and the CBD skyline, Arbory Afloat has an extensive cocktail list (think fruit-driven cocktails served over ice for those hotter-than-hot days) and a Mediterranean-inspired wine list. Hungry? You can dig into American-inspired wood-fired pizzas like the New Jersey pepperoni, the cheesy Chicago and the Boss, with provolone, pork sausage and barbecue sauce. There are also Miami-inspired sandwiches and a seafood bar with oysters, ceviche, kingfish tiradito and build-it-yourself fish tacos. For the second year running the live entertainment aboard Arbory Afloat has been curated by Sky Lab and will feature some of the country's buzziest DJs, who will be soundtracking your balmy eveni
If you like your space odysseys brimming with formula-filled blackboards and quantum mechanics, consider this a trigger warning: Ad Astra is not that kind of sci-fi. Unlike 2001: A Space Odyssey or Interstellar, two obvious points of parallel, there’s no Arthur C Clarke or Kip Thorne behind the scenes to bring Nobel-worthy science to the fiction. This is a movie where a man travels to Neptune, a distance of 2.7 billion miles, without ageing a day – a reach even when that man is Brad Pitt. It features killer baboons in zero gravity. At one point, Pitt jacks a spaceship – while it’s taking off. On paper, at least, it’s just Moonraker with a PhD. Leave any disbelief at the door, though, and you’ll be rewarded with an often gorgeous, soulful sci-fi that’s charged with emotion and bursting with spectacle. It has meaningful things to say about letting go, dads and their sons, and the challenges of reconciling with the past. Sure, it’s set in “the near future” and mostly against the endless solitude of space – captured by Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema with lunar greys and Martian ochres – and it boasts possibly cinema’s first moon-buggy chase (as awesome as it sounds), but director James Grey and his co-writer Ethan Gross never lose sight of its intimate heart. They’re aided in that by a terrific, nuanced performance from Pitt. For the most part, Ad Astra wears its near-future-ness with a light touch.
You’d have expected footage of a peak Aretha Franklin powerfully singing gospel to be protected at all costs. However, the singer’s intimate 1972 show, filmed over two days at a Baptist church in the Watts neighbourhood in Los Angeles, was fumbled by famed director Sydney Pollack (Tootsie, Out of Africa). He failed to properly archive the filming, which resulted in audio and visual footage that didn’t sync and a film that never saw the light of day. Amazing Grace is the result of music producer Alan Elliott and editor Jeff Buchanan remedying this issue by spending hundreds of hours in an editing suite fixing Pollack’s mistake. And their sacrifice is worth its weight in gold, with the result being one of the best music documentaries of recent times. Backed by the Southern California Community Choir, who are each bizarrely dressed in silver vests that look like the inside of a packet of crisps, and conducted by the enigmatic Rev James Cleveland, who fights back the tears as he watches Franklin hit frankly outrageous high notes, this documentary captures the Queen of Soul at her purest. It will make even the biggest atheist want to shout out ‘Yes Lord!’ from the back of the cinema – something that happened three times in my screening. One of the best moments in Amazing Grace captures Franklin as she struts through the church in a fur coat, a sparkily confident blueprint for the modern pop diva. Another brilliant sequence shows her forcefully instructing one of the musicians t
READY OR NOT follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's (Mark O'Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.
It’s pretty common to get caught in the rain while walking around Melbourne. What’s less common is to get caught in the rain while walking around indoors in Melbourne – and even weirder when you realise that the rain is inexplicably falling everywhere except on you. This August Melbourne will be the first city in the southern hemisphere to host ‘Rain Room’, an immersive artwork by London-based collective Random International. ‘Rain Room’ is one of Random International’s most famous works and has previously shown at the Barbican in London, MoMA in New York and at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Guests are invited into a darkened room filled with continuous rain. No need to bring an umbrella though because this rain won’t dampen your clothes or spirits. Thanks to motion sensors in the ceiling ‘Rain Room’ detects where visitors are and ensures a dry six-metre radius around guests. The artwork is being brought to Melbourne thanks to a collaboration between the currently closed ACMI and uber-luxe hotel Jackalope. For at least seven weeks (tickets can currently be purchased for dates between August 9 and September 29) you can experience the installation for yourself at the Jackalope Pavillion, a pop-up space on the corner of Acland and Jackson streets in St Kilda. Tickets are available to the public from July 4.
There's a good chance you don't know Haroon Mirza's name just yet, but the London-based artist is making a huge impression overseas with his artworks, which combine installation, electricity and a frequently startling use of sound. This exhibition is Mirza's first solo show in Australia, and will utilise all of ACCA's gallery spaces as one giant musical instrument. From there, other artists will be invited into the space to collaborate. Read our interview with Mirza about all you'll experience in the exhibition.
On the first Sunday of the month Arts Centre Melbourne host High Tea Live, a traditional high tea with a different live act every month. Performances range from jazz to broadway and it's all paired with a traditional three-tier cake stand of sweet and savoury tea favourites. Make sure you leave room for the scones though – these fluffy, golden nuggets are served still warm from the oven. Held upstairs in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Pavilion function space, High Tea Live is just fancy enough to impress without feeling stuffy. The sparkling wine on arrival is a nice touch, as is the free-flowing tea and coffee that staff will happily top up for you throughout the musical performance. Note that High Tea Live seats guests at eight-person tables. If you're not feeling up to meeting new people then make sure you book in with seven of your friends. The 2019 High Tea Live line-up kicks off with a family event called High Tea Party. Kids and their parents will enjoy snacks (yes, mum and dad still get that glass of bubbly) before getting to bop around with Andrew McClelland's Starting School, Anna Go-Go and All Day Fritz. Other High Tea Live sessions includes Lady Be Good (an Ella Fitzgerald-inspired event with Nina Ferro), What the World Needs Now (a high energy celebration of the 60s with Melissa Langton and Mark Jones), Exposing Edith (where Michaela Burger and Greg Wain will showcase the songs of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf) and Michael Cormick sings the hits of Broad
More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother (Diego Boneta) and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator- a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna)- travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah's past that may be their last best hope.
What’s better than gorging yourself on scones, finger sandwiches and Champagne at a regular high tea? Gorging yourself on piles and piles of cheese at the Westin’s un-brie-lievable High Cheese event. Yes, the insanely successful, sold-out event is back for 2019. The idea for High Cheese began when Westin executive chef Michael Greenlaw teamed up with Anthony Demia from Maker and Monger to bring a series of cheeses together in both sweet and savoury dishes. Now extended until December 31, High Cheese brings some favourites from last year's menu plus a few new additions to the table. Traditional scones and cream are swapped out for L'amuse Signature Gouda scones served with whipped spiced butter. There's also black truffle, porcini and walnut layered Brie Fermier la Tremblaye; Swiss Gruyere Vieux Gougères with burnt green leek; and Marcel Petite Comté Réservation custard tarts for the savoury section. For the sweeter side, there's poached French pear with stracciatella, fresh honeycomb and smoked roasted macadamia crumble; ruby chocolate parfait with Brillat Savarin Frais and raspberry jam; caramelised salted white chocolate tiramisu; plus ricotta cassata cannoli. The coup de gras (pun intended) is the whole baked Normandy camembert served with lavosh that you can dip right into the cheese, like your very own cheese fondue. Holy cheesus. The Westin's High Cheese is priced at $70 per person and is available every day from 5pm. Guests can also add on a wine pairing which
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after Maleficent, in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney's most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.
In 2017, Melbourne suffered a mighty blow. Dracula’s, arguably Melbourne’s premiere theatre restaurant and cabaret venue, closed its glittery doors after 37 wild years of G-strings, pasties and ghost train rides. Luckily, Melbourne’s other two theatre restaurants were available to fill that void: Witches and Britches and Williamstown’s Titanic Theatre Restaurant. But in 2019 something new came along to add to the list. Say hello to the Gaol Experience, a dinner and show experience. As you might have guessed, it takes place in the Old Melbourne Gaol and dredges up the site’s 174-year history for a show that combines burlesque, sideshow and comedy. Guests are served a two-course dinner in the original cell block of the City Watch House, which is the place where felons were brought to face justice when the jail was in operation. Fancy taking things up a notch? VIP guests can serve more time, kicking back cocktails in old jail cells as the evening goes on. The show itself includes the talents of a team of inmates (also known as cabaret performers Queen of the Damned) and includes lots of classic songs – think anything from Tina Arena and Queen to Wolfmother and Beyoncé. And because it’s burlesque, you should expect some risqué scenes – these inmates were charged with indecent exposure, after all. The show takes over four areas of the old jail and includes anything from laser beams to wanted photos and even a flash mob. Tickets start at $75, and you can organise special hen
Visiting South Australia’s Flinders Ranges last year, Mexico-born, Berlin-based artist Mariana Castillo Deball was fascinated by what she saw. Known as the Ediacara Hills, the area is famous for a group of fossils so significant that they spawned their own geological age, the Ediacaran Period, some 635 to 542 million years ago. Drawing on her knowledge of anthropology, archeology and paleontology, Castillo Deball used ink rubbings to capture impressions of the fossils she found there, which in turn became the foundation for her new exhibition, Replaying Life’s Tape. Incorporating immersive textile dioramas, linocut-silicone prints, drawings, photographs and fossil casts, the exhibition casts a light on a part of history so distant it is impossible to imagine. It’s the first time the artist has exhibited in Australia.
New York artist Kaws (aka Brian Donnelly) is bringing his larger-than-life sculptures and paintings to the NGV this summer for Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness. Alongside this mega exhibition will be something for the littlest art fans. Kaws: Playtime is a free and immersive exhibition for kids that includes a number of hands-on activities that draw inspiration from Kaws’ work, especially his BFF character which is inspired by popular cartoon characters (including a certain blue-furred cookie-munching larrikin). The exhibition is on display from September 20 until April 13 at NGV International and it’s free to attend.
Anna Schwartz Gallery celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a landmark exhibition that brings together work from more than 50 Australian and international artists. Ranging from the late '80s to today. Never the Same River draws on the history of four Australian galleries past and present – the now defunct United Artists and City Galleries in Melbourne, and Anna Schwartz Galleries in Sydney (now closed) and Melbourne – to trace the ways in which artists engage with or against the social and political contexts of the time. Among the 59 artists featured are plenty of big names, including Joel Elenberg, Janet Laurence, Mike Parr, Anne Zahalka, Clement Meadmore, Antony Gormley, Shaun Gladwell and Yinka Shonibare. There will also be a public program of events running alongside the exhibition.