Things to do in Melbourne this week
The National Gallery of Victoria's latest winter blockbuster was a look back at the last 130 years of modern art, but their major 2019 winter exhibitions are looking a fair bit further back. All the way to the third century BCE. For more than 2,000 years an army of 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors have stood guard at the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, in the Shaanxi province. The army was entirely unknown until it was discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974. It's not every day you stumble across one of the wonders of the world. In winter a delegation of eight warriors will visit Melbourne as part of an exhibition at the NGV called Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. True, eight warriors out of 8,000 feels a little bit measly, but they'll be presented alongside more than 150 treasures from ancient China. But the NGV is a gallery that always has one eye on the present and the future, which is why it's presenting another exhibition from China this winter: all new works from contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, inspired by his home country. At the centre of his exhibition is an installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds flying high above visitors' heads.
It's back! Brunswick's Barkly Square is hosting its fourth annual festival for dogs and dog-lovers, celebrating all things pooch with free activities, pop-up stalls and fun for dogs and their human servants. The dog parade is back on with a bunch of different categories for Fifi or Fido to compete in, from Fastest Floof to Best Costume and Best owner Dog-elgänger. This year, the festival is joining forces with the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre for a dingo-centric pop-up. You can learn all about the country's native doggos and raise awareness for the sanctuary's important conservation work. Snap a selfie with dingoes Pumbah and Aussie for $5 a pop and all proceeds will go to the Australian Dingo Foundation. Pop-up stalls will be offering a range of products from treats to pet accessories, while others can witness talented dogs in a series of pooch performances. Forgot to bring a treat for your pup? The Canine Wellness Kitchen food truck will be on site to feed the good doggos in attendance, serving up dog-friendly beer, bone broths and puppy street food. There will also be obedience classes, live music and heaps more to keep you and your pup occupied. Don't have a dog? Rock up anyway, make a few new furry mates and live vicariously through those lucky dog owners. Barkly Barks Dog Festival is on from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, May 25.
White Rabbit, a privately owned four-storey temple to 21st century Chinese art, is a big deal in Sydney. It shows Judith Neilson’s epic and eclectic collection to hordes of Sydneysiders every week, ranging from small-scale works to massive installations. This is the first time the collection is being shown at the NGV, with a selection of 26 artists, and several works never before seen in Australia, all of which paint a contemporary portrait of China. Highlights include Zhu Jinshi’s ‘The Ship of Time’ (2018), a massive cylinder made of 14,000 sheets of xuan paper, 1,800 pieces of fine bamboo and 2,000 cotton threads. And yes, you can walk straight through the middle of it. There’s also Mao Tongqiang’s ‘Order’ (2015), a 45 square metre piece of mirrored stainless steel embedded with 2,000 bullets fired from a gun. And Yang Jiechang’s ‘Tale of the 11th Day’ (2012–14), an epic, 20-metre silk work depicting an imagined paradise.
Get ready to open up this winter season as the Immigration Museum introduces Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks, a collection of new exhibitions and experiences focusing on tattoos and the meaning behind them. There will be two main photography exhibits that focus on the intersection between ancient and modern tattoo practices as well as a series of contemporary installations curated by tattoo artist Stanislava Pinchuk, also known as Miso. Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World will explore the artistry and extensive history of Japanese tattoos, which has persevered despite the criminal stigma thanks to its association with the yakuza, the country’s most notorious mafia syndicate. Held in tandem with this is an exhibition exploring a traditional Samoan art form called Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, showcasing the works of both traditional tatau masters and emerging artists that are still practising this 2,000-year-old art form. Keep an eye out for a series of four installations titled Documenting the Body curated by Stanislava Pinchuk. These works will be located over all three levels of the Immigration Museum and will include works from Australian tattoo artists including Paul Stillen, Brook Andrew and Angela Tiatia.
Markit is returning to Federation Square this winter. The one-day market is generally held twice a year in the Atrium and Deakin Edge Theatre and features more than 100 artists and designers, as well as local food stores stocked with delicious goodies. Remember to come hungry because Markit goers will be able to visit stalls from Q le Baker, Coffee Supreme, 5 & Dime Bagel, Candied Bakery, Mörk Chocolate and All Day Donuts. There will also be take-home Crackle Corn popcorn, Chai addict chai syrup and Love Tea organic teas. There's a big focus on eco-friendly brands at this year's Markit with stalls from Big Bite Eco, Rolla Bottle and Cutler Carriage. You can also expect stalls from Melbourne ceramist Bridget Bodenham, work from Noferin, leather products from Farrah and so much more. Markit is free to enter and takes place on Sunday, May 26 from 10am to 5pm.
To celebrate Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, NGV’s upcoming winter exhibition, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins and Dulux are calling on the curious, the creative and the hungry for a new high tea series. Treat yourself to an Asian-inspired high tea in which guests are invited to paint chocolate Terracotta Warriors using Dulux’s signature chocolate paint. China’s terracotta sculptures date back to around the 3rd Century BCE, but the original colours have remained unknown for over 2,200 years. Think you know what they would have looked like? Have a go at painting (and then eating) your own chocolate warriors. This weekly high tea aims to unite traditional Chinese culture with the "artistic flair" of Sofitel's pastry chef David Hann. And yes, you'll finally be able to live out your childhood dream of playing with your food. The high tea will feature an assortment of Asian-fusion dishes including smoked salmon, sweet chilli cream cheese and teriyaki sandwiches; sticky lemon, chilli and ginger beer; prawn and chive wontons; and char sui pork buns. The sweeter section includes a red bean curd white chocolate bombe on coconut shortbread; salted coconut sago with palm sugar caramel; pandan crème brûlée; crispy wontons with chocolate, ginger and pineapple; and black sesame matcha macarons. Diners are invited to head along from 2.30pm every Saturday and Sunday starting May 25. The high tea will run until October 13 at Sofi's Lounge at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
While there are few people whose lives have been documented in as much detail as Britney Jean Spears, she can still be a bit of a mystery. We know what's happened to her – from the meteoric rise, to the devastating lows and the balance she's managed to find in recent years – but we don't necessarily know a great deal about how she's personally persevered through those challenges. This cabaret by Christie Whelan Browne has been around since 2012 and has picked up rave reviews and legions of fans ever since then. And while its subject might be serious, it's delievered with plenty of laughs, all Britney's biggest hits, and live vocals that'd make Britney Jean green with envy. When the show went to London in 2017, Time Out said of Whelan Brown: "Her performance is pitch-perfect and she plays the rabbit-in-the-headlights, sadness-in-her-eyes charm of Britters to full effect. Some of the jokes are good simply because they’re so obvious, set to the tinkling of the ivories and with the occasional jazz hand." Whelan Browne has previously promised that she's putting the show to bed, but keeps John Farnhaming it back out of retirement. But on the chance that she's seriously done with it, you don't want to miss this one-night-only return performance.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s cooler cities (in more ways than one), but it’s still pretty rare to see snow within the city limits. That’s changing this winter, though, with Federation Square transforming into a frosty winter wonderland. The Skyline Terrace at Federation Square (the roof of the Fed Square car park) is home to the Winter Village: a (faux) snow-covered pop-up bar inspired by European winter markets. The pop-up is surrounded by snowy pine trees à la the Black Forest, while inside guests can enjoy an ice skating rink, 21 toasty warm private igloos and a mega igloo where it snows (inside!) every hour. You can stave off the winter chill at Feast Kitchen and Sip Bar. There are winter-themed treats to keep you warm or you can book a private igloo and get an inclusive food and beverage package. The Winter Village is also open until late on Fridays and Saturdays so you can really chill out with local DJs and after-dark events. Keen to skate? You can book into daily 45-minute sessions every hour. Prices start at $12 for kids and $24 for adults and include skates, locker hire, kangaroo skate supports and helmets if required. The Winter Village is free to enter and is open every day until Sunday, September 1. It's open Monday to Thursday noon-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am until midnight and Sundays 11am until 11pm.
Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for unique, large-scale artworks that draw on his cultural heritage. In this exhibition, part of the National Gallery of Victoria's prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, he's presenting all new works, ranging from a monumental installation that will see 10,000 porcelain birds suspended over visitors heads to a 31-metre artwork created using silk and gunpowder. This exhibition is being presented with Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, which features eight of the world famous terracotta warriors and other archaeological and historical objects from China. A ticket grants entry to both exhibitions, which stand side by side.
After the success of their monthly yum cha night, Heroes karaoke bar in the CBD is introducing ‘Curry-oke’ Sundays. As the name suggests, guests can expect a hearty Malaysian curry followed by endless sing-a-longs, with drink and cocktail packages available. For $25 per person, diners will get a choice of meat or vegan curry, plus a soy- braised dish, sambal stir-fried veggies, a variety of pickles and complementary rice or deep-fried buns. For an additional $20, patrons can get a drink ticket that includes the signature ‘Curry on My Wayward Son’ cocktail on arrival. This punchy drink features lemongrass and chilli- infused vodka, coconut cream, jalapeno hot sauce and is garnished with dried curry leaf. Drink tickets also include two house drinks throughout the night. Rest assured that everyone will be singing and dancing like no one’s watching, as the team at Heroes are carefully constructing the ultimate karaoke playlist. Curry-oke nights will run from 6-10pm on Sunday May 26, Sunday June 23 and concluding on Sunday July 28. Book ahead to secure your spot.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh met? You can see that scenario play out in Damiano Michieletto's production of Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims, the centrepiece of Opera Australia's 2019 Melbourne season and the first ever production of the opera to be staged in Australia. The opera itself has a relatively simple plot about a group of VIPs travelling to the coronation of the French King Charles X, but Michieletto's production, which is headed to the Metropolitan Opera in New York after Australia, takes place in a gallery where famous artworks burst out of their frames and interact with one another. Daniel Smith will conduct a predominately Australian cast with singers including Lorina Gore, Julie Lea Goodwin, Warwick Fyfe, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and newcomer Shanul Sharma. See what else is in Opera Australia's 2019 season.
If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Real Ghostbusters! The real ghostbusters of Australia will be coming together in May for a conference at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. The conference will run from May 24 to 26 and will feature five speakers, four of whom have been helping people get rid of persistent disturbances they’ve been experiencing. The conference will begin with a ghost tour of a haunted place in Melbourne, with the speakers on the night of May 24, followed by seminars on May 25 and various workshops on the last of the conference. The speakers will cover a lot of ground regarding the paranormal, including 'real' cases of hauntings and the causes of potential paranormal activity, and they will be open to any questions that you might have. There will also be a chance to network and talk with other attendees, some of whom might themselves be ghostbusters and investigators. If you’re interested in the subject of ghosts and hauntings or are experiencing disturbances that might otherwise be ridiculed, check out the conference website for more information and book your place at the conference here. Bustin' might make you feel good, but it's not cheap – a ticket to attend all three days of the conference will set you back $345. And that might be the scariest part of all.
A healthy life is all about balance. It’s important to eat well, exercise and get enough shuteye, but it’s just as important to act like a loose unit occasionally. Or you could save time and be healthy and get lit at the same time at Two Wrongs. Every fortnight the Chapel Street bar hosts beer yoga and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. The one-hour yoga classes are run by a mix of different yoga teachers who incorporate drinking beer (or cider if that’s your jam) into the session’s poses. An average of three beers are consumed during each class, all of which are free. Even better, the boozy yoga sessions are free for first-timers and $10 for return yogis. Given that you can barely get a single schooner of beer for $10 in Melbourne (not to mention the price of yoga classes), Two Wrongs beer yoga classes are almost ridiculously good value. Leave your mat at home, Beer Yoga provides them for free. You can join Beer Yoga at Two Wrongs every second Saturday at 3pm (then lean into happy hour, which starts at 4pm). Bookings are essential and can be made online.
Start your day with a relaxed mind at the Southbank Dawn Raga Series, a free Arts Centre Melbourne event happening from April 26 to June 21. It’s a monthly event where you can enjoy a range of classical Indian music, from the meditative sounds of the sitar to the exciting beats of the tabla – a traditional Indian percussion instrument that is sure to lift your spirits for the day. Three Melbourne-based musicians are lined-up to attend the series: Jay Dabgar (tabla), Vinod Prassana (bansuri) and Hari Sivanesan (sitar). They will be joined by international sitar star Pandit Purbayan Chatterjee. This is your opportunity to get more in touch with your spiritual side and head into work with a sense of calm. There are three dates available. On April 26 the event will be held at the Arts Centre Melbourne, while on May 24 and June 21 you'll find it at Hamer Hall (in the St Kilda Road foyer). All events start at 7.30 am and don’t forget to bring your mats or towels to fully enjoy the experience. The Southbank Dawn Raga Series is free to attend but bookings are essential.
Muriel moved from Porpoise Spit to the big lights of Sydney for her world premiere in November 2017 and now she's finally headed to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre from March 2019, before heading back to Sydney in June. The musical was adapted for the stage by PJ Hogan, who wrote and directed the original 1994 film starring Toni Collette. It features an original, Helpmann Award-winning score by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, which Time Out Sydney described as "irresistible" (seriously, we challenge you to leave without humming one of the tunes). But ABBA fans needn't worry about the prospect of an original score – the Swedish supergroup's songs and spirit are threaded through the whole show. Casting is still underway for the upcoming tour. Maggie McKenna, who played Muriel in the original Sydney production, has recently scored a role in the US tour of Dear Evan Hansen. She won't be reprising her role, but other actors are expected to return. The original production of Muriel's Wedding The Musical was produced by Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, who were behind the Strictly Ballroom and King Kong musicals. We fell head over hells in love with the show when it premiered and we're willing to bet Melbourne will too. To put it simply, it's the best Australian musical to premiere in years. It's distinctively homegrown but with plenty of flair and great laughs. And it's directed by Simon Phillips, who did Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and just about every ot
In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin's guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world's most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.
Attention sweet tooths: arguably the state’s sweetest destinations – Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie – are throwing a month-long Rocky Road Festival of Flavours this May. The chocolateries will be taking this old time favourite treat to new rocky heights, reinventing the traditional mix of chocolate, nuts and marshmallows into a line-up of 31 different flavours. European Chocolatiers will use couverture milk, dark and white chocolate, as well as a few seasonal ingredients to handcraft rocky road creations. Some favourite flavours like cookies and cream, salted caramel popcorn and rum and raisin will be returning, as well as some new varieties like cherry matcha, Turkish delight and satay peanut. For young chocolate connoisseurs there will also be a few special themed flavours available like Unicorn (white chocolate with rainbow marshmallows, mini freckles and berry jellies), the Cookie Monster (white chocolate with cookie balls, Oreo chunks and blue and white marshmallows) and the Snap Crackle Pop (milk chocolate with peanuts, chocolate crackle chunks and popping candy). A special menu of rocky road infused desserts, ice creams, sundaes, waffles and hot chocolates will be available at the venue's all-day café. Rocky road fans can also take part in Rock around the Block tasting classes where you'll learn how to make your own rocky road to take home. Classes are $18 per person and bookings are essential.
ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE is a major festival all about the ways that artists are approaching climate change, with more than 30 exhibitions around Melbourne. But this exhibition of immersive projection works by Melbourne artist Yandell Walton is one of our highlights. Developed over a series of international residencies in 2017 and 2018, the exhibition explores the human relationship with our natural world and looks at how our environments are shifting. But this isn’t a dry scientific experiment; Walton’s installations are inspired by – and respond to – the architecture of the Substation, where the exhibition is being presented.
At long last Melbourne muggles will be able to get a glimpse inside JK Rowling's Wizarding World with their own two eyes: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is headed to the Princess Theatre. After becoming the highest selling play on both Broadway and the West End, Melbourne is the third stop on the Hogwarts Express. The official opening is set for February 23, 2019, but there'll be preview performances from January 18. If you don't know a lot about the play, then here's the lowdown: it's a sequel to the series, based on a story conceived with Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. It's presented in two parts, which you can watch on the same day or across two consecutive evenings. We won't give too much away about the plot, but audiences can expect to find the gang 19 years on from the Battle of Hogwarts.
It was the final project he worked on before his death, and now David Bowie's Lazarus musical will have its Australian premiere in Melbourne, thanks to the Production Company. The musical played New York in 2015 and London in 2016, with direction by the theatre world's leading auteur, Ivo van Hove. The Australian production will be helmed by visionary director Michael Kantor and star Chris Ryan. It's a sequel of sorts to Walter Tevis's 1963 novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth, about a humanoid alien who comes to Earth. Bowie himself starred in a 1976 film adaptation of the novel. The show features 18 songs from Bowie's career, including 'Life on Mars?', 'The Man Who Sold the World', 'Changes', 'Heroes', and 'Absolute Beginners'. The musical attracted mixed reviews in its New York and London seasons; most critics were dazzled by the music and the visuals, but felt it was a little bit muddled. In a four-star review, Time Out London argued that it shouldn't really be viewed as a musical: "Even if he’d lived, Bowie had apparently sworn off further live shows, and I would guess ‘Lazarus’ was part-conceived as a substitute. Almost none of the songs – even the four moody new ones – feel integral to the plot, and could probably be swapped for something else without really changing the feel of the show. But as a concert setlist it makes perfect sense."
If you’re a filmmaker who isn’t Armando Iannucci, maybe sit the next election cycle out on the evidence of this toothless, if diverting, political comedy. Its set-up already feels a bit passé: Bob Odenkirk plays a dim US President whose only qualification for the job is having portrayed one on TV (a credential that actually makes him more qualified than the current POTUS). Intending to resign and make the ‘more prestigious’ shift to movies, he endorses Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), his workaholic Secretary of State, whose marketing firm ranks her attributes like a Dungeon & Dragons character sheet, giving her low marks for ‘humour’. How will this Hillary-esque candidate crack the glass ceiling? By employing the speechwriting skills of Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), an unemployed journalist she used to babysit. Ostensibly verbal and cutting, Long Shot actually works best during its bits of physical comedy. Theron continues to prove herself a genius of ungainly moments: her podium wave has an unnatural elbow wobble that makes Elaine's dancing on Seinfeld seem smooth. And Rogen gets more mileage out of a turquoise windbreaker than you’d think possible. The central joke, briskly directed by Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), is that these two oddballs could somehow fall in love. It’s a gag that’s somehow insulting to both Theron and Rogen. But when Long Shot has Charlotte dropping MDMA and spacing out in an impromptu war room, it has just the right amount of irreverence. The perfo
Melbourne has seen Simon Stephens’ Birdland and his record-smashing adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But this 2015 play takes a step away from those large-scale works to tell an intimate story of a 42-year-old woman (played by Offspring star Kat Stewart) who falls for a much older Englishman (Peter Kowitz). The Melbourne Theatre Company production will be directed by Tom Healey. “After the scale and epicness of Curious Incident, this very intimate, bittersweet romantic comedy seemed kind of out of left field,” Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director Brett Sheehy says. “I loved it, sent it to Kat Stewart, and there was this immediate email straight back to me saying ‘yes’.”
It can be difficult for many of us to grasp exactly how violent extremism seduces ostracised young people, but it’s something we desperately need to understand. British writer and performer Javaad Alipoor seeks to uncover the truth about how extremists are attracting new recruits online, and the ways in which they’re exploiting technology to find tech savvy young people in dark corners of the internet. So it makes sense that this show, which combines performance lecture with film and storytelling, uses technology to speak to its audience: you use your mobile phone throughout the show and an instant messaging system to respond to the performance and interact with it. In a four-star review of the show’s Edinburgh Fringe season, Time Out London said: “it’s undeniably eye-opening, inventive stuff, a window into the frightening virtual world the resentment-fuelled young men whose anger has so terrifyingly spilled over into Syria and the US of late.”
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 autumn, 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 (except Good Friday) 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 Moon: Worlds of Mystery, Distant Worlds – Alien Life, DARK, Einstein's Gravity Playlist and Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way. Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until May 31.
He was the world’s greatest shonk, its most famous flimflam man, the original master of the alternative fact; when one character tells him he doesn’t belong in politics because “politics is no place for humbug”, the audience audibly gasps. We don’t need to imagine what PT Barnum would have been like if his run for office had been successful; he’s already in the White House. Which gives this new production – by Storeyboard Entertainment in collaboration with NICA – a veneer of relevance that the show can’t quite fulfil. It’s entertaining as hell, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that, where it counts, it’s having us on. The real Barnum, who was famous in his time for his dubious taste as much as his knack for drawing a crowd, is almost impossible to separate from the ludicrous self promotion of his legend. He made his name with a garish, and incredibly popular, museum in New York, but perhaps his greatest claim to fame was his collaboration with James Bailey that became “Barnum and Bailey’s Circus”. He’s been a recurring figure in popular culture pretty much from his death, most recently as the subject of the Hugh Jackman film The Greatest Showman. Every age interprets him through a different lens, but he’s mostly seen as a loveable rogue, a dreamer who dared to dream big. This is pretty much the way Barnum: The Circus Musical (how awkward is that official subtitle?) wants to see him too. The program notes talk a big game about the character’s darker side – and with a lega
There might never be another time in western history like the late 1960s. It was a time of the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, revolutions, civil rights, social justice and monumental change. This exhibition comes from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and includes more than 500 objects. Highlights include John Lennon's real-life glasses and the suit he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", Mick Jagger's stage costume and a guitar the Who's Pete Townshend once smashed on stage.
Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet has come out on top in just about every poll of Australia’s favourite books since its release. Some of us probably even love the Pickles and the Lambs – the two families at the centre of this saga, sharing a ramshackle house in Perth for 20 years – more than we love our own families. The book has been turned into a TV series, an opera and even a radio play. But it’s been almost two decades since Nick Enright and Justin Monjo’s acclaimed stage version of the novel has been seen in Melbourne. And there’s one clear reason why – it’s a huge undertaking for any theatre company and runs to about five hours. But Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director Matthew Lutton has been on a crusade in the last few years of bringing Australia’s classic stories to the stage with fresh eyes. And you can’t do that without bringing Cloudstreet back to life. “If we take our own culture seriously then we should take our stories seriously,” Lutton says. “I think that’s what informs us in thinking about Cloudstreet rather than doing a massive cycle of the Greeks or Shakespeare.” We know what you’re thinking: five hours of theatre sounds like a tough slog. But if you can do five hours of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you can do five hours at Malthouse. On certain nights, the company will be performing the whole thing back-to-back, with a dinner break in the middle. But if you’re going to be a wuss and skip the marathon, you can see the two separate parts on different ni
It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda. “People sometimes don’t see any further than that – just think it’s about consumerism,” says Sylvester. “Well no, it’s not at all. I have no interest in any kind of consumerist topic or talk.” What Sylvester is interested in is far more relatable and can be seen in his new exhibition at the NGV's Federation Square gallery. Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact. Growing up near Byron Bay, Sylvester describes his childhood as lacking identity and (like many) he used TV to fill the cultural void. It was the aspirational quality of TV shows that he was drawn to – the impossibly happy families and eternal sunshine. Ever since the saccharine depictions of everyday scenes, branding and pop culture have formed the basis of his work, with the imagery serving to be instantly recognisable and relatable to the average Jane or Joe. “You want that genericness because I want the biggest possible range of people to read into them,” says Sylvester. In a co
Arriving with the sledgehammer momentum that only 21 previous global blockbusters can provide, Avengers: Endgame is the multiplex-rattling and curiously emotional culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least until the next chapter. You know it’s going to be long (three hours, but there’s no need to sit out the end credits this time); you know it’s going to be high-level homework for even the most advanced fan. But what you don’t know is how deeply invested you may be in these 11 years of movies, a compendium of destruction and heroism that altered our culture but also reflected it, sometimes weightlessly, at other times grandly. Endgame often pays tribute to itself, which makes it as fascinating as it is self-serious. It taps into a live wire of epic, doomy tragedy and phoenix-like rebirth that comics do so well. Working from an intricate screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely that sometimes finds calm in the storm, the film begins (after a brief cold open for all you Hawkeye fans) just as the whole MCU did: with Robert Downey Jr’s neurotic Tony Stark grappling with his responsibilities. Downey is the actor upon which the franchise was launched, in 2008’s whiz-bang Iron Man, and there’s a symmetry to giving him the floor during Endgame’s downbeat early stretch – when it's an operatic grief drama in which half the world’s living creatures have blown away in clouds of dust. Cities are now ghost towns, dating is apparently a d
The German Film Festival 2019 is recognising the 30th anniversary of the reunification of Germany with a program of comedies, dramas, thrillers, docos and more. Opening the festival on a high is Balloon (Ballon), the true story of two families who constructed a hot air balloon in secret and used it to escape East Germany in 1979. The film stars David Kross (The Reader) and Freidrich Mücke. Three films co-presented by the German Embassy also commemorate the 30 years since the Wall fell. Adam and Evelyn (Adam und Evelyn) is a lighthearted look at a woman who wants to move to the West while her partner doesn’t understand the appeal. Gundermann is a memoir that documents the life of East German folk singer, activist, family man and spy Gerhard Gundermann. And Sealed Lips (Und Der Zukunft Zugewandt) stars Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall, Control) as a German communist returning home following imprisonment in a labour camp in the Soviet Union. The Centrepiece Selection of the festival is The Captain (Der Hauptmann), a black-and-white war thriller from German-born Hollywood director Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler’s Wife). Young private Willi Herold deserts his ranks in the final weeks of World War II, chances upon a Luftwaffe uniform, and uses it to gain and abuse power. Styx concerns a paramedic who takes a solo yacht trip from Germany to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Sea, only to encounter a trawler that has desperate refugees on board. A documentary tackles one
Louis Nowra’s Così, telling the story of a young director who stages an opera starring the patients of a mental health facility, is one of the best known Australian plays of all time. But it’s somehow never had a production at a state theatre company. Melbourne Theatre Company is bringing it to the mainstage with a little help from co-producer Sydney Theatre Company and a cast featuring Esther Hannaford, Katherine Tonkin and Rahel Romahn. MTC's associate director Sarah Goodes is helming the dark comedy.
If you've ever spent time in London, you know the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park is kind of a big deal. The Presidential Suite there is more than £5,000 a night. That's pounds, you guys. So when the executive pastry chef of the Mandarin Oriental comes down to Melbourne for a residency, you know he's cooking up something good. Paul Thiéblemont has created an English-style high tea menu for Conservatory, including a twist on a Yorkshire tart, Battenberg bake, Braeburn apple tart and plum Bakewell slice. The prettiest and most Instagrammable dessert on offer looks like a perfect peach, with an ombré red-gold exterior and a little leaf at the top. Slice it open and you'll discover the exterior is made of coloured white chocolate, and it's filled with a cream and jelly. For those who are less avant-garde in their dessert preferences, Conservatory also offers a lolly bar, sundae bar and white and milk chocolte fountains, with fruit, cake and other sweets available for dipping. There are plenty of savoury treats too, with sandwiches (crusts cut off, natch), mini pies and tiny pastries weighing down multi-tiered stands. And as it would not be high tea without scones, they are available too, in fruit and fruit-free varieties. Thiéblemont's specialty desserts will only be available until the end of June. The high tea is $75 per person with tea and coffee, $95 if you want one glass of Champagne rosé and $120 per person for free-flowing Champagne.
If you love eating but don’t love eating animals then it can be tricky to find a degustation that suits you. Not so at Rice Paper Scissors. On Saturday, May 11 (and again on Saturday, June 15) the Fitzroy restaurant is hosting Vegastation – a vegan degustation event. Everyone who books in for the vegan degustation is treated to ten courses highlighting dishes from South East Asia, all of which come sans animal products. The menu features a mix of tried-and-true vegan favourites from Rice Paper Scissors as well as some new treats to keep diners on their toes. Because the vegan lifestyle extends beyond just food, the Vegastation will also give you the chance to try vegan beers, cocktails and organic wines. The ten course degustation will set you back a reasonable $45 per person and sittings are available all day on both dates.
Long, densely scripted and full of thunderous passions, Mike Leigh’s urgent grassroots epic about an infamous 1819 massacre of peaceful Manchester protestors by cavalry is a whole lot of movie. It’s meticulously crafted, every scene drawing you in with precise period detail and full-bore performances from its ensemble cast, and it powers through great slabs of British social history, finding contemporary relevance every step of the way. The iniquity of the Corn Laws, the struggle for the vote and the birth of England’s Reformist movement are all covered en route to the violent climax we know is coming. The authenticity is immersive, even if the historical exposition occasionally feels like prep for an exam no one’s warned you about. It opens with shell-shocked young bugler Joseph (newcomer David Moorst), on the shattered battlefield of Waterloo in 1815, before swiftly introducing a country where the spoils of war are shared equally between the rich and the very rich. As the Tory Prime Minister hands £250,000 to the victor of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, the traumatized ex-soldier returns home to Manchester to find his mother (Maxine Peake, terrific) barely able to afford bread. The tariff-fixing Corn Laws are keeping prices inflated, stiffing the city’s textile workers as farmers and landlords continue to ratchet up the profits. You don’t need to be a grassroots activist to feel the modern-day resonances. Laudably, Leigh ignores the “great man” theory of history to det
If there’s one Melbourne suburb that doesn’t like being neatly assigned to a box, it’s Fitzroy. And that's why the team behind the Fitzroy Market are polevaulting over to the CBD and launching a pop-up market in the heart of Chinatown. For seven weeks starting April 25, the Fitzroy Market will be popping up in the vacant block of land on Little Bourke Street (between Russell and Exhibition streets). As with the regular northside market, the Chinatown pop-up will have a mix of food, artisan crafts, vintage wares, second-hand goodies and top-notch local products. Unlike the OG market, however, the new pop-up will be on four days a week from Thursday to Sunday. The space the market is Chinatown pop-up is happening on is a large block of land that has been unused for several years. In early 2019 The Age reported that Maz Salt, the owner of Section 8, wanted to plant trees on the site and turn it into an outdoor restaurant. The Chinatown Pop-up Market is free to attend and is on every Thursday to Sunday from April 25 to June 16 at 132 Little Bourke.
Inspired by a short story by Haruki Murakami (which was itself inspired by a story by William Faulkner), it centers on Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in), a farmer’s son-turned-deliveryman who dreams of becoming a writer. One day in Seoul, he meets Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), an impulsive girl he half-remembers from school. Soon she’s asking him to feed her cat while she travels to Africa; later that night, she's seducing him. So when she asks him to meet her at the airport upon her return, he’s put out to find her in the company of wealthy sophisticate Ben (The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun), who immediately treats them to a meal.
When is the last time you really considered your gut health? Or thanked the tiny microbes that live your intestinal track and digest your food, boost your immunity and keep you healthy? Scientists are learning more every day about the fascinating community of microbes that live inside each and every one of us. There are more microbes inside the human body than there are stars in the Milky Way, and they weigh up to 2kg. Melbourne Museum's Gut Feelings exhibition will change your mind about the tiny creatures (yes, they're alive!) that you share your body with. The interactive exhibition is a multi-sensory experience, with things to touch, hear and see.
Working in a secret lab, scientists at Melbourne's main three zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA, found inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. They've filled in the missing sequences using frog DNA to create moving, roaring dinosaurs, which you can see for 100 days throughout the zoos. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo you can experience Dino Park, where dinosaurs made by Erth Visual & Physical Inc come to life. At Werribee Open Range Zoo, you calk walk through the new Zoorassic river trail. There are nine life-sized dinosaurs to see. The wide open plains will also be opening after dark for an adults-only dino experience. Over three nights Werribee is opening its gates for Dino Files, an evening event for over 18s who want to walk, eat and drink with dinosaurs. Grab a cocktail and meet the dinosaurs on the zoo’s river trail (including a mighty 15 metre-long tyrannosaurus rex) before enjoying a round of dino pop culture trivia or comedy show. And Healesville Sanctuary has ten examples of megafauna (think giant kangaroos, giant crocodiles and giant wombats) in its MegaBeasts exhibiti
Pet Sematary is exactly the kind of horror movie that is ripe for remaking. The 1989 film version of Stephen King’s creepy novel is fairly well remembered, but it’s far from a classic, not even the cult kind. You can reinvent it without really annoying anyone. That’s exactly what the creative team on this movie have done. They’ve hacked up the narrative and resurrected it in a slightly different, weirder form. The script keeps the same rough shape as King’s novel. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their young daughter and son move to a quiet Maine town in the hope of a simpler life than the one they had in Boston. Louis learns of a spooky burial ground behind his house, which he discovers has the power to raise the dead. First, he buries his dead cat, which comes back whiffy and mean, but soon grief drives him to test its powers on someone human. In the details, the writers have some mischievous fun, changing key elements to give the film its own surprises (avoid all the trailers if you want some major ones preserved). Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer make the tone just a little cheesy, as the premise deserves, but not overripe. The scares are easy – sometimes literally a cat jumping from the shadows – but cleanly done. And thanks to intense performances from Clarke and Seimetz, there’s a deep vein on of human sadness running beneath the silliness.
Elijah Moshinsky's La Dolce Vita-inspired production is one of Opera Australia’s most enduring (in fact, it's outlasted another Rigoletto production that's fallen out of the repertoire), thanks to its spectacular revolving set and ultra glam costumes. It’s still a perfect introduction to the world of opera. Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat will sing the title role and rising Australian star Stacey Alleaume will make her role debut as Gilda. Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan will play the Duke, singing one of Verdi's most famous tunes, ‘La donna è mobile’ (which you may know from a pasta sauce ad). Verdi specialist Andrea Licata is conducting. See what else is in Opera Australia's 2019 season.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's (Angel) case, by shouting out one word SHAZAM! this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart inside a ripped, godlike body Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he'll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
Even if you’re more pro-Republic than a Peter FitzSimons bandana, there’s no denying the impact and ongoing appeal of Britain’s royal families. Over the ages England’s kings, queen, princes and princesses have been responsible for everything from divorce (Henry VIII’s desire for a son is to blame) to white wedding dresses (before Victoria white wedding dresses were unusual), while their desire to stick union flags into far-flung corners of the world had permanent and frequently destructive political effects. Bendigo Art Gallery will be home to five British dynasties and more than 500 years worth of history when Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits opens in March. The exhibition features more than 150 works from the National Portrait Gallery in London, many of which will grace Australian shores for the first time. And just like the real royals themselves, the portraits didn’t fly in on the one jet. “Because of the size, scale and intrinsic value you can’t send them all on one plane,” curatorial manager Tansy Curtin explains, “we have to make sure they don’t all go down!” The southbound line-up includes all the major monarchs – you’ve got Henry VIII and his revolving-door wives; his flame-haired daughter Elizabeth I; Charles I; the “mad king” George III; and Queen Victoria. The exhibition has scored “the Ditchley portrait” (named after lands belonging to the painting’s commissioner, Sir Henry Lee), a neck-craning work of Elizabeth I that stands at 2.5 metres high – ea
Girls Trip's Regina Hall and Black-ish's Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders - Hall as the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self's penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation. Insecure's Issa Rae plays Jordan's long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. Little is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up - and glow up - right.
Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.
Let’s tackle the baby elephant in the room first: how does Disney’s beloved Dumbo look in a live-action movie? Happily, the teeny pachyderm is a suitably heart-melting presence in Tim Burton’s relatively orthodox redo of the 1941 animation classic. All giant expressive eyes and beach-towel ears, he’s a computer-generated creation that exudes picture-book warmth. It’s only when flying that he seems a bit clunky. Then again, maybe that’s the point. He is, after all, the least aerodynamic character to fly in a movie since Brian Blessed wobbled through Flash Gordon. The fact that you know his story inside out presents a challenge that Transformers screenwriter Ehren Kruger tries to overcome by introducing swathes of new human characters. Danny DeVito plays pompous impresario Max Medici, whose travelling circus is going a bit Grapes of Wrath in the dust bowls of the Midwest. Money is short and his last hope is the magical baby elephant tended to by damaged WWI veteran Holt Farrier (an oddly forgettable Colin Farrell) and his two willing kids, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins). Both are grieving for their mom, providing an obvious connection with Dumbo when the baby elephant’s own mother is sold. In truth, Burton, that great lover of scrappy outsiders, struggles to mine much beyond ponderous sincerity from these sluggish early scenes. Even a cast of oddball circus regulars – strongman, mermaid, snake charmer – fails to fire the director's i
It’s not an exaggeration to say Alexander Calder changed the face of modern art. Known as “the man who made sculpture move”, his gravity-defying mobiles are instantly recognisable. Now, in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the first retrospective of Calder’s work at an Australian public institution. Bringing together more than 100 of the artist’s works, from childhood pieces to three-dimensional wire portraits and the mobiles and “stabiles” (grounded sculptures) with which he made his name, at the heart of the exhibition will be an immersive canopy display of Calder’s hanging mobiles, including 'Jacaranda' (1949), and the landmark 'Black Mobile with Hole' (1954).
Imagine chocolate desserts of all kinds and colours, from Granny Smith apple, white chocolate and frangipane layer cake to 55% bitter chocolate terrine with raspberry croquant. Picture Belgian milk chocolate and Vittoria coffee éclairs with caramel pearls, miniature dark chocolate and hazelnut tarts with gianduja mousse, white chocolate and passionfruit pops, chocolate cannoli filled with coconut, Malibu gel, white chocolate and berry cream, Bailey’s Irish cream pannacotta with coffee crumbs and chocolate spaghetti, and vanilla and white chocolate mousse. Throw in a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows and cake. Now imagine you can eat as many of these treats as you want. You've just imagined the Langham's Chocolate Bar High Tea. The traditional high tea tiered stand comes loaded with savoury goodies such as cucumber sandwiches (crusts cut off, of course) and mini pies. There's even a truffle macaroni and cheese (with bacon crumbs), and of course, there are warm scones with jam and cream. But the real star of the show is the chocolate buffet, a chocolate lover's paradise where every dessert is made of some kind of chocolate, and you can return as many times as you like. Don't be shy – you know you want to return over and over. The high tea is $84 and includes a glass of sparkling wine. And unlimited chocolate treats – did we mention that part?
Film review by Joshua Rothkopf Los Angeles women have no better avatar than Julianne Moore – film after film, she turns her complexity into a gift to the city’s quiet and desperate. Moore is brittle and close to self-ruination in Todd Haynes’s majestically chilly Safe; zonked out on pills (and guilt) in Magnolia; a distracted lust object in Short Cuts. You really have to go back to Gena Rowlands’s immortal turn in 1974’s A Woman Under the Influence, spitting and fidgeting on her Hollywood lawn, to find someone as good. So it really should be a Marvel-level event that Gloria Bell sees Moore adding to her LA pantheon in a major way. Don’t let the movie’s deceptively banal title fool you—this is as complete and full-bodied a performance as you’re likely to see all year. Subtly, Moore etches in the details: Gloria has been divorced for 12 years. She seems fine with that, shooing away the neighbour’s cat that keeps slipping into her apartment when she’s working her blah insurance job. (Anyone who belts out Olivia Newton-John songs in her car would never think of herself as a cat lady.) Gloria loves to dance, and it’s at these disco nights, the silver foxes prowling, that Moore cuts loose with her most heartbreaking work, every song an emotional dip and a rebirth. Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, an Oscar winner for his trans-compassionate A Fantastic Woman, has been here before, quite literally: his homegrown 2013 film, Gloria, was a first run of this material, which he now r
“What I do is to read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema,” said Alfred Hitchcock, explaining his technique for adapting novels. Writer-director Barry Jenkins, it’s fair to say, has a different modus operandi: his adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk is so faithful to the original 1974 novel, they’re practically joined at the hip. He channels all of Baldwin’s lyricism and righteous anger into a story of love and injustice that burns with a gentle flame that occasionally blazes into a white heat. The resulting film is beautifully crafted and, despite what Hitch might say, definitely cinematic. As with Moonlight, his Oscar-winning breakthrough, Jenkins moves seamlessly through time. When he introduces the central young couple – the newly pregnant Tish (newcomer KiKi Layne) and her beau, Fonny (Stephan James) – they’re living in Harlem and already deeply in love; then he gives us glimpses of their shared childhood before we move forward to a more uncertain future. The majority of the film takes place in an early ’70s in which Fonny has been flung into prison on trumped-up rape charges, thanks to a racist cop with a grudge. The plot, such as it is, has Tish’s formidable mother (the terrific Regina King) leading the fight to solve his legal quandary. If a great tenderness and a rare celebration of African-American family life fills the story’s heart, its eyes glimmer with fire. When Fonn
Where does the line fall between selfless assistance and obsession? That’s the question raised by this thorny drama. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s teacher, Lisa Spinelli, is a vaguely dissatisfied wife and mother who struggles in the poetry classes she takes with charismatic lecturer Simon (Gael García Bernal). But everything changes when she hears Jimmy (Parker Sevak), one of her pupils, reciting a poem he has written. She becomes convinced that he is a prodigy and believes she must nurture his talent, whatever it takes.
If you've ever spent time in London, you know the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park is kind of a big deal. The Presidential Suite there is more than £5,000 a night. That's pounds, you guys. So when the executive pastry chef of the Mandarin Oriental comes down to Melbourne for a residency, you know he's cooking up something good. Paul Thiéblemont has created an English-style high tea menu for Conservatory, including a twist on a Yorkshire tart, Battenberg bake, Braeburn apple tart and plum Bakewell slice.
If you've ever wanted to make your own cheese, this is the masterclass for you. Henry and the Fox is offering a series of masterclasses to teach you how to make all kinds of cheese from around the world – and yes, tasting is encouraged. Classes offered include everything from brie to tallegio to peccorino, halloumi and mozzarella, and each class is marked with a level of difficulty. Each class is $89 per person, and they run for three hours. The classes include a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir on arrival, plus a shared cheese board. You'll also get to take home your cheesy creations at the end.
Call this actors’ duet sentimental and simplistic at your own peril. Green Book may well move you, possibly to tears, at the thought of real social change and kindness (at a time when we need it badly). Something of a reverse Driving Miss Daisy, it charts a road trip into racism shared by two well-worn stereotypes, characters that, almost surprisingly, come from real life – a true tale that happened in 1962. Tony "Lip” Vallelonga (a pizza-chomping Viggo Mortensen) is a brutal NYC club bouncer prone to howyadoins. On the hunt for work, he gets an unlikely gig at the invitation of Don Shirley (cryptic Mahershala Ali, superb), a finicky black jazz pianist who requires a tough driver to escort him on a tour of the Deep South. Tony’s no bleeding heart, but for the right price, he’s willing to swallow his pride. The mouth, however, can’t be closed: Tony cuts loose with deliriously rude arias about Little Richard, fried chicken and the proper way to write a love letter, and both actors shade their roles with unexpected nuance and a generosity of spirit. They widen the already spacious Cadillac into a stage for some of the most relaxed banter of the year. If you recall the movies that Green Book’s director Peter Farrelly made with his brother Bobby (There’s Something About Mary, the Dumb and Dumber saga), you won’t be surprised by the crassness or the unexpected heart, both Farrelly trademarks. The new film creates a beautiful friction eased by conversation – somewhat calculated, ye
There aren't many images from Australian art history that are quite as famous as Sidney Nolan's series of paintings depicting Ned Kelly and stories of his famously ferocious Kelly Gang. Nolan completed the paintings over 12 months in 1946 and 1947 at Heide, Sunday and John Reed's Bulleen house and storied haven for Australian artists. While at work, he created one of the most recognisable images of any Australian artist: Kelly's helmet, rendered as a simple black box with a slit cut out for vision. The National Gallery of Australia holds 26 of the 27 paintings in the series and is sending them on the road, with Geelong the only stop in Kelly's home state. The paintings have been exhibited in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of the Art, but are rarely seen in Australia outside of Canberra.
Created to encourage family groups and members of the Stolen Generations to reconnect with their culture and express their family histories through art, Baluk Arts’ new group exhibition uses materials inspired by the fundamental elements of nature – earth, air, water, fire, wood and metal – to explore issues surrounding loss, motherhood and places of belonging. It features extended bodies of work by artists Lisa Waup and Dominic White, alongside selected works by Baluk artists Gillian Garvie, Tallara Gray, Robert Kelly, Cassie Leatham, Beverley Meldrum and Rebecca Robinson. The exhibition is presented as part of ART + CLIMATE = CHANGE 2019, a Victoria-wide festival of exhibitions, theatre, lectures, events and forums around the threat of climate change and environmental destruction.
Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. Highlights include a Games of Thrones-worthy 17th century goblet, complete with intertwining dragons coiling around the stem, and a contemporary patchwork vase by renowned Murano glass artist Fulvio Bianconi.
Five years and two spin-off movies later, writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller return to Bricksburg for a bigger, louder and brasher second Lego installment. But while it maintains the same level of playfulness, it doesn’t quite capture the novelty or fizz of the original. At the end of The Lego Movie we learned that the characters’ adventures were a product of a boy named Finn’s imagination. Now, his sister is here to play and their rivalry has caused a downbeat change in Bricksburg. Everybrick hero Emmet (Chris Pratt) is still his glass-half-full self, while Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), his Master Builder girlfriend, has become more brooding as their town, now known as Apocalypseburg, takes a beating from Duplo invaders. When an alien kidnaps Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett) and pals, Emmet mounts a solo mission to rescue them. There are some hilarious new songs (look out for “Gotham City Guys”) and the jokes are more meta than ever, with Arnett’s Batman still invariably the funniest figure in the room. But the comedy feels like overcompensation for a story that gets more convoluted as it shifts back and forth between the human and Lego worlds. Still, if you’re willing to let the quantum mechanics slide, you’ll have a pretty awesome time.
When it comes to comfort foods dumplings are pretty high on the list. The team at Horse Bazaar are taking dumplings to a whole new level of cosy by offering a dumpling and massage combo on Tuesday nights. Every Tuesday night at Horse Bazaar is Dumplings 'N' Massage night where you can get three dumplings and a ten-minute massage for $15 (plus online booking fee).
Why does the desire for a single and unambiguous national identity persist in Australia? Why, when our country is home to people from all variety of cultural backgrounds, of all sexualities, genders, abilities and ages, do we still seek to flatten out that richness and diversity? The 24 artists who are showing work in this exhibition curated by Kate Just all deal with critical questions of national identity, challenging racist, homophobic and misogynistic ideas about Australia's identity.
After beloved Melbourne artist Mirka Mora passed away last year at the age of 90, many of her artworks and personal possessions were put up for public auction. Horrified at the thought of the artist’s legacy being split up, members of Melbourne’s art community set up a crowd funding campaign to allow Heide Museum of Modern Art, the museum co-founded by Mirka and her husband Georges, to purchase a selection of the auction’s contents. The campaign reached its target in just over 24 hours, and the resulting free exhibition, Mirka for Melbourne, is now at Heide. Featuring a collection of Mirka’s artworks, diaries, letters, furniture and personal effects, it recreates the artist’s colourful home and studio, as well as featuring major acquisitions, including the painting 'When the Soul Sleeps' (1970) and the famous 'Tolarno' mural (1966) from the wall of the Mora’s popular St Kilda restaurant.
The famous weekly Fed Square book market shut up shop in 2017, much to the despair of Melbourne's bibliophile community. But the closure was only a temporary one, with the free market now open at Queen Victoria Market every Sunday till April 14. Whether you eat, sleep and breathe books or are just curious, the market has over 5,000 new and second-hand titles to browse from. From sci-fi to non-fiction, the Melbourne Book Market has every genre presented by a revolving cast of veteran Melbourne booksellers. Tweed jackets are encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be around 20 pop-up stalls giving bibliophiles plenty of options to spend all their life savings on, including stalls by the founding members of the book market. After deciding on your next bedtime read take some time to stroll around the market and check off your grocery list with the fresh produce or go into one of the cafés and satiate your hunger. For more information on the next market visit the Queen Victoria Market website or the Melbourne Book Market Facebook page.
Thinkers debate with passion in Mimi Leder’s intellectual On the Basis of Sex, a knowingly old-fashioned (but far from dated) biopic of the inimitable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Written by the 85-year-old Ginsburg’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman with affection for his aunt’s lifelong work on behalf of women’s rights – as well as her decidedly ennobled marriage founded on pure equality – On the Basis of Sex (like the stirring documentary RBG) is both a welcome cinematic dissent from today’s disastrous politics and a reminder that words, paired with meaningful action, can change the world. A winning, inspirational crowd-pleaser à la Hidden Figures, Leder’s film follows the early accomplishments of the young Ginsburg (an assured Felicity Jones, convincingly slipping into the trailblazer’s shoes), beginning in 1956. That’s the year in which the bouncy, opinionated Ruth marches into male-dominated Harvard Law School – at a dinner party, the handful of female students are asked to justify their academic seats, ones that could have gone to “Harvard Men”. It’s also where her devoted, ever-supportive husband Marty (Armie Hammer, lovably pragmatic) studies. Through Marty’s unforeseen health crisis and Ruth’s unfairly deterred professional aspirations (excuse after sexist excuse, law firms refuse to hire her), the film patiently advances toward the ’70s, focusing on the couple’s family life and Ruth’s career as a professor, leading sizzling feminist discourse among razor-sh
Rosslynd Piggott is one of Australia's most diverse contemporary artists, working seamlessly across painting, drawing, photography, textiles and installation to create her unique multisensory works. Presented 21 years after her last survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, I Sense You But I Cannot See You brings together more than 100 of Piggott’s works, many of which have not been seen in Australia before. Highlights include Collection of air 2.12.1992-28.2.1993, which saw Piggott travel Europe for three months capturing vials of air from 65 locations, and a group of engraved glass sculptures created in collaboration with artists on the Venetian island of Murano.
Father and daughter artists Hans and Nora Heysen helped shaped the course of 20th century Australian art. Both accomplished artists in their own right, Hans is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian landscape painting, while Nora was an established portraitist and still life painter who became the first female winner of the Archibald Prize and Australia’s first female war artist. Yet, until now, there has not been a major exhibition incorporating both their works. The NGV is changing that, bringing together 270 works from the artists, including Hans’ famous landscape Driving into the light 1914-21, letters, sketches and preparatory studies, and furniture and homewares from the Heysen family home in South Australia.
Who knows what makes mountain climber Alex Honnold – the daredevil at the heart of the so-terrifying-you’ll-hyperventilate ‘Free Solo’ – risk his life thousands of feet up with no ropes or securing gear of any kind. Maybe it’s a quest for perfection, or a death wish, or a unique biological inability to feel fear, or a pursuit of the ‘goddamn warrior spirit’ (his own words). All of these possibilities are suggested during this mesmerising documentary, but you won’t be looking for an explanation. Just like the sheer rock face, El Capitan, that looms like a one-kilometre-tall dare, Honnold himself is a force of nature: shy, prone to solitude and, by his own admission, potentially on the autism spectrum. He studies the complex moves in his climbing journal and waits for the right moment to head out, and up. Already a gripping watch, ‘Free Solo’ becomes extra special when it widens out to accommodate the people hanging on to Honnold’s vertical trajectory. We see him transition living in a van practising pull-ups to settling down with a doting girlfriend. Sanni McCandless takes huge emotional risks in getting close to Alex, who might die because of a single misstep, but his evolution through their relationship is heart-meltingly romantic – and ominous. Will it destroy his concentration? Meanwhile, a crew of rappelling cameramen, led by co-director Jimmy Chin, wrestles with its own ethical questions. Are they enabling decisions that could result in a fatality, all for the sake of a
It's now been a year since Buxton Contemporary, collector Michael Buxton's impressively designed contemporary art gallery, opened in Southbank. It's celebrating that anniversary with dual exhibitions: National Anthem curated by Kate Just and A New Order curated by Linda Short. A New Order brings together painting, drawing, sculpture, video and installation from 12 artists whose work is included in the Buxton Collection. All of them have some relation to a pretty broad central theme: order and chance, and the push and pull between the two.
Film review by Joshua Rothkopf You lean forward while watching Us, the new horror film from Jordan Peele, since his last one, Get Out, rewarded that kind of attention. So, when his movie tells us early on that there are thousands of miles of tunnels under the United States with “no known purpose,” you squirrel that away in your brain, knowing it’ll be important later. When Peele shows us a TV commercial for that weirdly faceless 1986 publicity stunt Hands Across America – or when there are a bunch of bunnies in cages or an apocalyptic Bible quote on a sign – those details get stored away, too. But none of it quite adds up to the nightmare in your head. Us is too confidently made, too expert in its scene-to-scene command, to call it an example of sophomore slump. Still, after the film reveals itself to be the home-invasion thriller it is (and then the lesser Invasion of the Body Snatchers it becomes), you feel a slight letdown. Peele, as ever, blends comedy and screams like a champ – muscles he toned on TV’s radical Key & Peele – and his actors are terrific. After a brief mid-’80s prologue in which a lonely kid (Madison Curry) in a Michael Jackson T-shirt encounters something awful in a beachside carnival fun house, she becomes the grown-up Adelaide (a finely haunted Lupita Nyong’o), now with two children of her own and a dad-joke-dispensing husband (Winston Duke). For some reason, they’ve bought a summer house by that same beach, and it’s where Adelaide must return – unless
Tokyo Tina is entering Melbourne's overstuffed brunch scene, but it is doing things a little differently. This year they've launched 'bingo academy' – a rather illustrious title for what is essentially a boozy, Japanese-style brunch with some bingo thrown in. Every Sunday the venue runs two bingo brunches complete with Bloody Marys, bottomless Aperol spritzes, bubbly and beer.
This wistful, heartfelt celebration of the friendship between comedy giants Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C Reilly) contains plenty of cosy movie-biz nostalgia and some mishaps with hats. It’s a love song played in a minor key, and it leaves an unexpectedly lingering impression. It’s also suitable for grandmas, if you need an option. Scripted by Philomena’s Jeff Pope (working closely from a book by Laurel and Hardy historian AJ Marriot), the story charts the duo’s final years as they embark on a gruelling tour of British theaters while trying to get a new Robin Hood picture off the ground. It’s 1953, and the world has long since moved on from their brand of slapstick to new talents like Abbot and Costello. The crowds are thin and their prospects look thinner. Imagine This Is Spinal Tap with extra pratfalls. The two leads are terrific: Reilly defies a slightly iffy fat suit to give us an avuncular but creaky Hardy, bemused by his friend’s work ethic and obsessed with the finer things in life. Coogan, in particular, is a revelation as Laurel, dialling down the trademark head-scratching mannerisms and unpeeling layers of disappointment and melancholy as the funnyman grapples with their failing film project and past wounds. Both disappear entirely into their characters, nailing the pair’s comic routines in a way that quietly speaks to a thousand hours of practice. Stan & Ollie sprinkles in some of the pair’s classic lines (“I’m never getting married again,”
The Melbourne's longest running and most successful improv comedy night, the Big Hoo Haa, is improvised comedy at its rawest: minimal pretension, audience participation and maximum laughter. Anything could happen! Well, not anything. Scripted comedy, for example. That definitely won't happen.
Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.