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Nick Dent

Nick Dent

Associate Publisher, Time Out Australia

Nick Dent joined Time Out in 2008 and is the Associate Publisher, Time Out Australia, heading up the Creative Solutions team.

Based in Sydney, his area of expertise is Film, but he also writes about Art, Theatre, Travel and Music, and he has many years of experience as a sub editor. In addition to writing about Film for Time Out, he has published more than 1,000 film reviews in NewsCorp's Australian Sunday papers. These days he largely wrestles with branded content for clients, and in 2019 he had his first children's book published, the award-winning Goat on a Boat.

Reach him at nick.dent@timeout.com

Articles (81)

Best free things to do in Brisbane

Best free things to do in Brisbane

Nothing in life is free. Nothing! And you might disagree and say something like “what about walking along a beach? That’s free!” And you’d be right, but Brisbane doesn’t have beaches, so you’d be wrong.  So if you’re in Brisbane, and you’re broke and looking to have some fun, what do you do? Well, after living here a long time with varying amounts of disposable income we feel we’re in a position to offer some suggestions. Here’s what we’d do, in no particular order. Cashed up? You may like to go eat at one of Brisbane's best restaurants.

The best yum cha in Sydney

The best yum cha in Sydney

Is there a better way to start the day than a torrent of fluffy pork buns, sea-sweet prawn har gow, chewy siu mai, slippery cheong fun, silken tofu, hearty beef tendon, braised chicken feet, mango pancakes and custard tarts? Absolutely not. Here's our definitive list of the best spots in Sydney to relish this morning ritual. Bring your strongest hangovers, a whole bunch of mates and an appetite for destruction and gallons of tea. Still hungry? These are the best restaurants in Sydney.

The best cinemas in Sydney

The best cinemas in Sydney

In Sydney, going to the movies is almost as popular as going surfing, having a barbecue, dining out or watching the Test series. Even as the world becomes filled with screens and accessing movies becomes as easy as looking at your phone, Sydney's top cinemas are thriving, because Sydneysiders love the communal experience of watching a film. While several cinemas have closed in the last decade, others have sprung up in their place. So what are the best cinemas in Sydney? We've ranked them according to the quality of film selection, the architecture and the overall pleasure of the experience.  

The best classic LGBTQIA+ TV shows you need to watch

The best classic LGBTQIA+ TV shows you need to watch

Representation matters. In more recent times, we've witnessed an explosion of queer representation on our screens. There’s the ever-churning engine of RuPaul's Drag Race turning out new seasons and spin-offs at a dizzying rate, incredible series like Pose bringing authentic trans POC stories to the screen, and It's a Sin finding the joy and heartbreak in queer '80s London. Then there’s children’s show Steven Universe, a delightful animated adventure featuring a race of lesbian space rock aliens. We’re also seeing more diversity in LGBTQIA+ characters, including those involved in mainstream shows. Though the fanfare around absurd adult cartoon BoJack Horseman's asexual character Todd Chavez is a testament to the fact that we still have a way to go to make sure all letter of the alphabet receive the recognition they deserve.  While bingeing away on TV shows can be a source of entertainment and escapism, when they reflect back our own identities, or the identities of people we love, or even those we have never heard of – it can be an incredibly enlightening experience. But in a time not so long ago, before streaming and the saturation of social media, queer show recommendations were passed down in tattered DVD (or even VHS) box sets, dodgy hard drives, and knowing advice. We've rounded up some of the best classic queer television shows of the past to put on your watch list. Go on children, do your homework!  Recommended: The best new TV shows and movies to stream this month.

French Wine Tasting Tour at Bastille Festival French Christmas Market

French Wine Tasting Tour at Bastille Festival French Christmas Market

Papiers s’il vous plaît… It’s time to take that journey to France you’ve been hankering after for two years, with the Bastille Festival French Christmas Market arriving at Circular Quay on December 17-20. And like any overseas adventure, you’re not going anywhere without your passport. The market features a French Food Feast with melted raclette, crêpes, baguettes, macarons, flammenkuchen, an Oyster & Champagne bar and more, but one highlight you won’t want to miss is the self-guided French Wine Tasting Tour.  The tour costs $37 and comes complete with your own French passport that gets stamped at each of the bars you’ll be visiting. The passport gives you priority bar access (because queuing is for the English, n'est-ce pas?) and lets you taste up to five different premium wines from the country's famous wine regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, Loire and Provence.  And when we say ‘taste’ we mean wine tasting à la French: not a sip, but half a glass. Incroyable! You also get your own reusable, Bastille-branded eco wine glass to take home. Enjoying what you’re sipping? Don't forget to make a stop at Chapoutier Wine Cellar to acquire some wine and cheese to take home for Christmas. All the premium wines are available at the Cellar and are perfect for celebrations or gifting.  To take the French Wine Tasting Tour​, purchase your passport online then head to the Bastille Festival Information Tent (in front of the Light Rail stop) one any of the four Christmas Mar

12 recipes of Christmas: How to make Farmer’s Daughters’ BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

12 recipes of Christmas: How to make Farmer’s Daughters’ BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

Christmas is a time for getting together with friends and family, which comes with the joy of indulging in a hearty meal or having a few drinks. For some, these celebrations can trigger heartburn or indigestion, but thanks to Gaviscon, you can enjoy this delicious time without hesitation. In celebration, we’ve partnered with Gaviscon to bring to you the 12 recipes of Christmas by some of our favourite Aussie chefs. See all 12 recipes here. When chef Alejandro Saravia arrived in Australia after years of working in Europe, there was at least one way in which it was like coming home.  “I’m Peruvian, so I’m used to a warm southern hemisphere Christmas – in Lima we say you need to be tan by Christmas! So coming to Australia was like taking me back to growing up in Peru, with summer ingredients and barbecues in the backyard.”  Saravia’s family Christmases were always a major celebration presided over by his grandmother. “She was in charge of the menu, but we all had to bring something to the table – we all had a role.”  Saravia opened Farmer’s Daughters in January 2021, a combined deli, restaurant and bar designed as a showcase of Gippsland, one of the food bowls of Victoria. His extra delicious BBQ Pork Spare Ribs recipe is partly inspired by the stunning quality of the organic meat from Farmer’s Daughters suppliers Eaglehawk Creek Farm.  Key to his recipe is the homemade barbecue sauce, made healthily from scratch. “It’s not overly sweet because we use the natural sugars of the t

Squid Game explained: it’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for grown-ups

Squid Game explained: it’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for grown-ups

This article contains spoilers. An impoverished hero who needs a lucky break. A Golden Ticket that takes him into a colourful, childlike wonderland that is much more sinister than it first seems. A process of elimination in which there can only be one winner. A strange and mysterious ringmaster whose motives are only revealed at the very end. A popular narrative ripe with garish images of capitalism and inequality. Yep, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is pretty dark stuff wouldn’t you say? Think about it. Netflix’s biggest ever show, Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Squid Game, bears more than a slight resemblance to Roald Dahl’s ever-popular 1964 kids’ novel and the 1971 movie based on it, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Readers of the beloved book have long noted its menacing undercurrents, namely Wonka’s barely masked disregard for the safety of the children in his charge and his contempt for their follies. There’s even a parody true-crime podcast that portrays Charlie Bucket’s adventure as a dreadful ordeal, which it certainly is for the other four kids who take Wonka’s fateful tour. I’ll come clean. I’ve been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my six-year-old son. And after his eyes droop and he heads off to nodsville, I’ve been taking some daddy time to binge on ultra-violent Korean TV drama. The two narratives may have gotten a little muddled in my head. But the parallels are more than obvious.  In the book, the factory is an object of fascination for the world. Ev

Win one of three date-night experiences at Ella Melbourne

Win one of three date-night experiences at Ella Melbourne

The hospitality industry has taken a few hits over the past two years, there's no denying it. HungryHungry has been there from the beginning, helping venues set up their digital menus and online ordering and laying the groundwork for the going-out experience in the world we now live in.  Because the Melbourne CBD has been hit especially hard, and to help get foot traffic through the CBD, HungryHungry has partnered with Ella Dining Precinct at Melbourne Central to give away three ultimate date night experiences each valued at $400. The prizes include a $100 Hoyts Lux voucher; a $200 HungryHungry voucher to venue/s of the winner's choice within Ella; and a $100 voucher to spend at Melbourne Central. The competition, which goes for three weeks, will be run through Instagram using the steps in HungryHungry’s posts: 1. Follow both @hungryhungry.co and @ellamelbourne 2. Comment on your favourite food and tag a friend on the post (you both need to be following these accounts). One comment = one entry. 3. Share on your Instagram story to get extra entries. Winners will be announced on HungryHungry’s stories after the competition closes on November 11, 2021. Ella Dining Precinct is located in the heart of the CBD within Melbourne Central, on the corner of Elizabeth and La Trobe. Ella has a large capacity of outdoor dining space, making it a perfect post-lockdown dining experience for friends and families. Pop in for some good food, great drinks, local music and cool art.  The deliciou

10 great bars and restaurants to visit as soon as lockdowns lift

10 great bars and restaurants to visit as soon as lockdowns lift

The Time Out Bar & Restaurant Revive Awards are here: a way for customers to show their appreciation both for the venues that have kept our spirits up in 2021 with creative pivots, and for the ones we just can’t wait to visit once again in real life. Time Out readers are urged to vote for their favourite venues now or before October 31.  The Revive Awards are presented in partnership with American Express, who have been backing small businesses during the pandemic with their Shop Small campaign. Shop Small works like this: save the offer to your eligible American Express Card then spend with participating Shop Small venues to get 3 extra points per $1 you spend up to 40,000 extra points, up until March 31, 2022. Among the many nominees for the Revive Awards are the following businesses where you can take advantage of the Shop Small offer. Order online or visit in person as soon as it’s safe to do so. Now is the time to support the places that you love!   

The best kids' shows to stream online right now

The best kids' shows to stream online right now

It’s true that kids will watch anything so long as there’s colour and movement, but every parent knows the difference between a show they’d happily let their child watch all day (ah, Bluey! So much warm humour and good parenting!) and one that makes you want to stab your own eyes out with a teething rusk (don't get us started on Thomas the Tank Engine. Just don't).  So with that in mind, the parents among the Time Out family did a straw poll and came up with this top ten. Old and brand new, highly educational or just a lot of fun, these shows are all available to stream right now and a fantastic way to keep the little monsters from driving you up the wall, now that we’re all cooped up together for a while.  Need a laugh? Try Time Out's list of the 100 best comedy films of all time.  

Singular Voices at City Recital Hall

Singular Voices at City Recital Hall

City Recital Hall is presenting a series of extraordinary singer-songwriters in concert – one a month from May. The line-up in this series, Singular Voices, ranges from young First Nations performers to veteran songsmiths, but they have one thing in common: the ability to captivate an audience with their lyrics and their vocalising. The chance to hear them perform solo in an acoustically resonant venue is not one to pass up lightly.  The first four acts in the series have been announced, and tickets are on sale now. More shows in the series are to come later in 2021. Listen to City Recital Hall's Spotify playlist here.

Five reasons to head to Darling Harbour these Easter school holidays

Five reasons to head to Darling Harbour these Easter school holidays

Two weeks of Easter school holidays means parents are going to be wracking their brains for things to do for the young ones. Have you thought about taking your little darlings down to Darling Harbour? Apart from having one of the most awesome children’s playgrounds around with a giant slide, flying fox and water play, it’s the home to top attractions such as Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney and the Chinese Garden of Friendship. There’s even a big Ferris wheel!  Getting there is super easy too: there’s $10 parking deals at Harbourside car park, or you can catch the light rail, bus or ferry straight in. What’s more, during the holidays there are special events every day including dance workshops, movies, performances and more. Here are five great reasons to take a family trip to Darling Harbour these Easter school holidays.  Find out more about Darling Harbour's Easter School Holidays events here.

Listings and reviews (65)

Kirribilli Art, Design & Fashion Markets

Kirribilli Art, Design & Fashion Markets

Fans of expertly curated market events such as the Finders Keepers will be happy to know there is a bi-monthly market offering a comparable experience a stone’s throw from Luna Park. The second Sunday of every month sees the art, design and fashion iteration of Kirribilli’s historic (est 1976) markets, centred on the weather-proof location of the Burton Street Tunnel right under Milsons Point Train station.  You’ll find quirky millinery by Nitascraft, hilarious knitted parrots, octopuses and Barbie outfits by Irene, and cool laser-etched wooden phone cases by Bare-wood. An antiques corner features groovy typewriters from the 1960s and several stalls offer funny and handmade greeting cards. Vintage spoons are refashioned as bracelets, and if you’ve ever hankered after a large photographic portrait of a wombat, you can get it here – the place is a goldmine for non-tacky Sydney souvenirs. On the last Saturday of the month is the general and fashion market, where punters have been known to snap up luxurious, one-of-a-kind finds from labels like Gucci, Zimmermann and Acne, thanks to the well-heeled crowds selling their wares. Arrival by train is recommended as parking is expensive and hard to come by.  There is an excellent food court area where you can get a roast pork roll, quesadillas, churros, gözleme, paella, blynis, dim sum, banh mi or gelato and sit down undercover to eat them while watching a talented teenage girl reinventing ‘Sweet Child ‘o Mine’. Afterwards, head over t

Hidden World Playground

Hidden World Playground

No, it’s not actually hidden, rather clearly visible from Roghan Road. Still, this large playground in Brisbane’s north has something quite unusual: a (fictitious) backstory.  Plaques claim that the park exists over the site of a prehistoric habitat for a race of sentient marsupial mice that was discovered in 1989. The plaques contain a code that purports to be the language of these creatures, and kids (should they be so motivated) can use the code to decipher messages hidden around the playground.  But it’s likely that they will be too busy gallivanting around the series of little wooden pavilions with brown corrugated iron roofs that are joined by boardwalks over a large sandpit. There are accessible swings and a wheelchair-accessible roundabout, several slides and a couple of large insect creatures with tall spines to climb on. A 360-degree tyre swing offers plenty of vertiginous fun for one or two littlies at a time. There are toilets, barbecues, and clusters of local parents chatting away while their kids play epic games of tag.  

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0

3 out of 5 stars

“Have we got any midwives in the audience?” Nobody deserves a good laugh right now more than the medical profession, and judging by the overwhelming presence of nurses and doctors in her Comedy Festival crowd, Georgie Carroll is just the cure for what ails them. Carroll, 47, is a Lancashire-born nurse by trade who pivoted into comedy after moving to Adelaide. She’s now the author of a book (Off the Charts), a semi-regular TV presence, and something of a safety valve for overworked and underappreciated healthcare workers everywhere. But Carroll makes a point of not grumbling about Covid in her show or making any political statements: she’s more interested in getting down to the juicy anecdotes about the Bristol Stool Chart (a classification system for excrement that’s fun to recite in a pirate voice), her three favourite things that fall out of humans, and a medical condition involving a crayon lodged in an unfortunate place. When she’s not lambasting patients who write petty Google reviews of hospitals, she’s ribbing her own teenage sons and 74-year-old mother, whose Christianity doesn’t preclude her (allegedly) from admiring male jogger’s arses. Laughter may not be a match for a jab of Pfizer, but as medicines go, we'll take it.  This show was reviewed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022.

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0

3 out of 5 stars

“Have we got any midwives in the audience?” Nobody deserves a good laugh right now more than the medical profession, and judging by the overwhelming presence of nurses and doctors in her Comedy Festival crowd, Georgie Carroll is just the cure for what ails them. Carroll, 47, is a Lancashire-born nurse by trade who pivoted into comedy after moving to Adelaide. She’s now the author of a book (Off the Charts), a semi-regular TV presence, and something of a safety valve for overworked and underappreciated healthcare workers everywhere. But Carroll makes a point of not grumbling about Covid in her show or making any political statements: she’s more interested in getting down to the juicy anecdotes about the Bristol Stool Chart (a classification system for excrement that’s fun to recite in a pirate voice), her three favourite things that fall out of humans, and a medical condition involving a crayon lodged in an unfortunate place. When she’s not lambasting patients who write petty Google reviews of hospitals, she’s ribbing her own teenage sons and 74-year-old mother, whose Christianity doesn’t preclude her (allegedly) from admiring male jogger’s arses. Laughter may not be a match for a jab of Pfizer, but as medicines go, we'll take it. 

Pier Paolo Pasolini: When Cinema Meant Poetry

Pier Paolo Pasolini: When Cinema Meant Poetry

Even if you don’t know his name, perhaps you’re aware of Pasolini’s last, and most divisive movie, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975). During World War II, four wealthy Italians kidnap 18 teenagers, take away their clothes, and subject them to violence and psychological and sexual torture. Inspired by the Marquis de Sade and intended as a critique of fascism, Salò was banned in Australia for several years and represents one of the apexes of taboo-breaking 1970s art cinema.  To be sure, the movies of Pier Paolo Pasolini are not for the faint of heart. The Italian filmmaker whose life and death were as lurid and shocking as his art made films that still carry considerable impact today. A novelist, poet and cultural critic as well as a filmmaker, Pasolini foregrounded sex, politics and the struggles of marginalised people. A dominant and polarising figure on Italy’s intellectual landscape, he criticised what he called the “totalitarianism of consumerism”, scandalised the mainstream with his homosexuality, was expelled from the Communist Party, and eventually met his end in horrific and unsolved circumstances.    To mark the centenary of Pasolini’s birth in 1922, the Italian Institute of Culture is presenting a comprehensive retrospective of his movies, documentaries, ephemera and films by other directors that echo and respond to Pasolini’s ideas. Pier Paolo Pasolini: When Cinema Meant Poetry runs at the Astor Cinema from April 2 throught to May 25 in five sections titled Cine

Neighbourhood Watch Sunset Cinema

Neighbourhood Watch Sunset Cinema

Any time's a good time to watch a classic Australian film and if it's in the open air with a bunch of mates enjoying some of the best Fitzroy eats and drinks, so much the better.The City of Yarra and Umbrella Entertainment are hosting free sunset screenings every Friday in March, and the line-up celebrates a range of Aussie films that every adult should see. Ever wonder what Ben Mendelsohn and Claudia Karvan were like as hot young things? Find out on Friday March 4 with a screening of Nadia Tass's 1990 comedy The Big Steal, in which larrikin Danny Clark (Mendelsohn) thinks he needs to drive a Jaguar to impress Joanna Johnson (Karvan) and does a deal with the dodgiest second-hand car dealer in the southern hemisphere (a scene-stealing turn by Steve Bisley). On Friday March 11 check out 2018's The Merger, a redemptive sports movie about a former pro footy player who returns to his home town to coach the local team and recruits asylum seekers to bolster the ranks. If you've never seen Storm Boy (1976), then your chance is here on Friday March 18. This out-and-out masterpiece portrays life for a lonely boy (Greg Rowe) living in the coastal wilderness of South Australia's Coorong and the friendships he forms with a First Nations man (the late and sorely missed David Gulpilil) and a pelican called Mr Percival.  Then on Friday March 25 prepare to jump right into a stranger's lap as Jennifer Kent's The Babadook casts its terrifying spell. You'll never look at children's books the sam

Japanese Film Festival Online

Japanese Film Festival Online

It’s not always easy to find non-mainstream movies to stream, especially free ones, but happily the Japanese Film Festival Online website has a free film streaming service called JFF Online running for two weeks in February.  It’s part of a global initiative that has recent, cutting-edge films available in 25 countries at the same time, including thrillers, dramas, comedies and documentaries. Time Out is a little bit obsessed with tonkotsu, so we’ll be streaming The God of Ramen, a doco about the founder of a famous Tokyo ramen shop who had a big influence on the ramen industry. There’s also a documentary about the intriguing sport of sumo wrestling titled Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai. The question of whether robots have souls has been a Japanese trope since the dawn of Astroboy, and a new anime called Time of EVE The Movie explores the theme in an innovative style. A young man in the future discovers a café where androids are treated the same as humans and is forced to reassess his relationship with his household servant. Traditional women's roles in Japanese society loom as the not-very-hidden subtext to this one. It’s also a theme of Aristocrats, a drama that tackles class in Japan in the story of an upper-class woman who meets the former partner of her future husband, who has a hardscrabble rural background.  We’re excited to see It’s a Summer Film!, a coming-of-age drama in which a teenage girl who loves old samurai films decides to make her own swords-and-kimonos

Japanese Film Festival Online

Japanese Film Festival Online

It’s not always easy to find non-mainstream movies to stream, especially free ones, but happily the Japanese Film Festival Online website has a free film streaming service called JFF Online running for two weeks in February.  It’s part of a global initiative that has recent, cutting-edge films available in 25 countries at the same time, including thrillers, dramas, comedies and documentaries. Time Out is a little bit obsessed with tonkotsu, so we’ll be streaming The God of Ramen, a doco about the founder of a famous Tokyo ramen shop who had a big influence on the ramen industry. There’s also a documentary about the intriguing sport of sumo wrestling titled Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai. The question of whether robots have souls has been a Japanese trope since the dawn of Astroboy, and a new anime called Time of EVE The Movie explores the theme in an innovative style. A young man in the future discovers a café where androids are treated the same as humans and is forced to reassess his relationship with his household servant. Traditional women's roles in Japanese society loom as the not-very-hidden subtext to this one. It’s also a theme of Aristocrats, a drama that tackles class in Japan in the story of an upper-class woman who meets the former partner of her future husband, who has a hardscrabble rural background.  We’re excited to see It’s a Summer Film!, a coming-of-age drama in which a teenage girl who loves old samurai films decides to make her own swords-and-kimonos e

Japanese Film Festival Online

Japanese Film Festival Online

It’s not always easy to find non-mainstream movies to stream, especially free ones, but happily the Japanese Film Festival Online website has a free film streaming service called JFF Online running for two weeks in February.  It’s part of a global initiative that has recent, cutting-edge films available in 25 countries at the same time, including thrillers, dramas, comedies and documentaries. Time Out is a little bit obsessed with tonkotsu, so we’ll be streaming The God of Ramen, a doco about the founder of a famous Tokyo ramen shop who had a big influence on the ramen industry. There’s also a documentary about the intriguing sport of sumo wrestling titled Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai. The question of whether robots have souls has been a Japanese trope since the dawn of Astroboy, and a new anime called Time of EVE The Movie explores the theme in an innovative style. A young man in the future discovers a café where androids are treated the same as humans and is forced to reassess his relationship with his household servant. Traditional women's roles in Japanese society loom as the not-very-hidden subtext to this one. It’s also a theme of Aristocrats, a drama that tackles class in Japan in the story of an upper-class woman who meets the former partner of her future husband, who has a hardscrabble rural background.  We’re excited to see It’s a Summer Film!, a coming-of-age drama in which a teenage girl who loves old samurai films decides to make her own swords-and-kimonos e

Otello

Otello

Love, envy, deception, betrayal: Shakespeare’s play Othello traffics in big emotions and themes, and that’s what Verdi’s opera version Otello delivers at scale. The composer was coaxed out of retirement to write it, and it premiered in 1887 to immediate success.  The successful governor Otello, married to Desdemona, promotes Cassio, enraging his ensign Iago. Iago plots to destroy Otello, planting the seeds of jealousy and suspicion. Fascinated by the villain who dominates the story, Verdi originally wanted to name the piece Iago. But it’s perhaps Desdemona who gets the best arias, ‘Willow Song’ and ‘Ave Maria’.  This production from German director Harry Kupfer locates the action on a single set – a dramatic red and black staircase.The part of Iago is sung by Italian star Marco Vratogna, with Yonghoon Lee taking the title role and Karah Son, the tragically devoted Desdemona. See what else is in the Opera Australia Summer Season. 

Sydney Symphony in the Park: Feel-great Classics

Sydney Symphony in the Park: Feel-great Classics

Nothing elevates the soul like live music, and that goes doubly for the classics performed by a 40-piece orchestra. To wave goodbye to summer and put a smile on the face of Western Sydney, City of Canterbury Bankstown – living up to their city brand of 'Where Interesting Happens' – is welcoming the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to play a Covid-safe outdoor concert of feel-great classics. The concert will take place in Paul Keating Park, Bankstown, on Saturday February 19. Roger Benedict will conduct a program of all-time favourites, ranging from Mozart’s bouncy and optimistic Overture to his opera The Marriage of Figaro to Sibelius’s moving and dramatic ‘Valse Triste’. ‘Pavane’ by the early romantic French composer Gabriel Fauré is a very popular and familiar piece, and very soothing too – just the ticket in trying times. By contrast, the Hungarian Dance No 5 by Brahms is lively and super-catchy – you’re bound to recognise it when you hear it.    Did you know that Beethoven’s immortal Symphony No 5 in C minor was a flop at its first performance in 1808? Audiences at the time did not know what to make of its muscular dynamics and the reception was chilly. That’s unlikely to be the case when Sydney Symphony takes to the amphitheatre to play the first movement of this most popular of all pieces of classical music.  There will also be performances of two highly enjoyable works by Australian composers: Natalie Nicolas’s ‘We Won’t Let You Down’ and Elena Kats-Chernin’s ‘Moon Feather M

Transitions Film Festival

Transitions Film Festival

Few film festivals can claim to be as suited to the crazy times we live in as Transitions Film Festival, which returns online and IRL with its 'visions for a better world' in February and March.  Climate, sustainability, the environment and artificial intelligence are the focus here in a program of documentaries as well as the odd dramatic feature such as Ecocide. This one is a legal drama that is set in 2034 and puts forward the very reasonable scenario of a prominent politician (in this case former German chancellor Angela Merkel) put on trial for failing to act on climate change. In a similar vein the doco Youth vs Gov follows the US kids who have been suing the US government for failing to protect them.  The Danish people have set an ambitious benchmark of 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – find out if they can achieve it in 70/30. Meanwhile Barricade looks at Germany's 'forest defenders' who have literally set up camp in the trees to defend them from destruction.  Also from Germany is Dream On: Yearning for Change, homing in on five quirky and inspirational humans on their search for brighter futures, including makers of tiny houses, zeppelins and floating islands made from trash. There is a feature-length session of Australian Shorts to watch as well, on topics such as bushfire resilience, ocean health and sustainable food systems.   In 2014, American neurologist Phil Kennedy shocked the scientific community when he put an implant into his own br

News (187)

Melbourne International Comedy Festival opens to a grateful audience, and more grateful comics

Melbourne International Comedy Festival opens to a grateful audience, and more grateful comics

UK comic Mark Watson perhaps summed it up best.  “I’ve got three years of stuff to tell you!” jetlagged Londoner Watson told the sold-out Palais crowd, begging them not to applaud during his four-minute set. “There’s no time!” With all the cancellations and digital pivots of the recent past, Melbourne International Comedy Festival has not been truly international for a while. At the Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow on Wednesday March 30, Watson noted on his return to Australia that he had “not seen the sun since March 2019”. At it was sheer relief that fuelled many of the 24 acts marshalled to the stage by neurotically dapper host Rhys Nicholson, along with their reports on how Covid has been for them.  While South African superstar Urzila Carlson reflected on her new appreciation for her wife’s role as a stay-at-home mum (not as gratefully as you’d expect), and laconic Melburnian Kirsty Webek extolled the unexpected benefits of cutting your own hair while homebound, Joel Creasy spotlighted Melburnians’ perverse disappointment at being superseded by Buenos Aires as the world’s most locked-down city.  Anti-vaxxers did not get any kid-glove treatment – but then, as a sparkly suited Zoe Coombs Marr quipped: “They’re not allowed in here – we can say what we like!” UK double act Flo & Joan offered an eviscerating musical tribute to the vaccine averse, showcasing their incredible lyrical dexterity.   The gala format has its pros and cons. Rapid mic handover means it’s imposs

Music venues can avoid police shutdowns thanks to a new way of dealing with noise complaints

Music venues can avoid police shutdowns thanks to a new way of dealing with noise complaints

It’s a tale as old as time: rich person buys property next door to a pub in Sydney, is outraged to hear loud music, and calls upon law enforcement to have it shut down.   Right now, post-lockdown re-openings are expected to bring a deluge of noise complaints from residents unused to the sounds of people enjoying their city, and the rise of alfresco venues will only exacerbate the issue. In response, a new community campaign is here to provide the resources for venues and residents across Sydney to work together and manage the potential of increased complaints. Let’s Hear It has been launched by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in partnership with the Sydney City Liquor Accord. The campaign calls on communities to support their local venues and engage with them directly before pursuing assistance from their local council if necessary, rather than calling the police. “Our local venues have been hard hit in the past two years and this campaign appeals to communities to be a part of the solution,” says Justine Baker, NTIA chair.  “Many residents are not aware of the channels available to them when it comes to noise complaints and tend to call the police, where in fact local councils are far better placed to deal with the issue if need be.” The campaign is promoting a three-part approach. Step one is ‘Let’s Say Hi’ – venues are encouraged to reach out proactively and start a positive conversation with their residential neighbours. Step two is ‘Let’s Talk’. In the event

You can take a kayak tour and help clean up Sydney Harbour at the same time

You can take a kayak tour and help clean up Sydney Harbour at the same time

Maybe you’re on the lookout for some unforgettable, fun, Covid-safe things to do outdoors during this weird-as-heck summer. Well, what about something that might actually do our struggling environment some good rather than harm?  Sydney by Kayak offers Sydney’s first Clean Up Kayak Tour. The tour takes you around the Lavender Bay foreshore armed with a paddle, a sieve, a bucket and a litter picker stick. Your mission? To help Sydney by Kayak pull 200kg of rubbish out of Sydney Harbour by the end of February.   Two experienced guide/instructors lead up to 12 paddlers at a time. Get your photo taken with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as a backdrop as you enjoy some exercise and fresh air. On the way, find and collect pieces of rubbish that would otherwise mar your enjoyment of the waterway.  At the end of the tour the group’s trash tally is weighed, and members of the group that collects the most by summer’s end will win a $50 gift certificate for another kayak tour plus an eco-friendly, glass drinking bottle. And the single person who collects the most rubbish will get a Sunrise Kayak and Coffee for two people. Clean-up Kayak Tours cost $50, with $15 from the cost going directly towards the purchase of a ‘Seabin’ for Lavender Bay (Seabins are submersible devices that can capture 1.5 tonnes of rubbish per year). You can book into one of the tours leaving daily at 9.30am or noon, or book a private tour for your group of eight to 12.   This is a 100 percent outdoors e

'Baby Done' star Rose Matafeo talks Potter, Covid guilt and Taika Waititi

'Baby Done' star Rose Matafeo talks Potter, Covid guilt and Taika Waititi

Kiwi comedian Rose Matafeo may not have had any babies, but she does know a thing or two about life-changing events. In 2018, her standup show Horndog won the Edinburgh Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. To understand how huge a deal this is you only have to glance down the list at previous years’ winners: Hannah Gadsby, Sam Simmons, David O’Doherty, Daniel Kitson, Dylan Moran and Steve Coogan are just some of the names that leap out. And yet Matafeo, 28, can’t help feeling like an imposter. “I mean, I didn’t feel confident calling myself a comedian until like maybe a year before I won that award,” she tells Time Out. “I’m only kind of semi-confident in it now. To be a ‘comedian’ feels like it’s an occupation that’s a matter of opinion. Although I suppose I am a comedian now, I have literally no other skills.” Matafeo is lying on her bed in London at 10.17pm, drinking a beer (“the publicist is in Auckland, so they can’t take the beer off me”), speaking on her phone about another arguably life-changing event: her first starring role in a movie. In Curtis Vowell and Sophie Henderson’s Baby Done, executive produced by Taika Waititi, Matafeo plays Zoe, a tree surgeon who reacts to the news of her pregnancy by going into denial and trying to cram as much DINK fun into her life before everything changes.  Matafeo, who’s “nowhere near getting pregnant”, says she can relate to the story, which is based on the filmmakers’ own experience of parenthood. “I’m an incredibly an

MIFF 68½ breaks the record with the festival's largest audience ever

MIFF 68½ breaks the record with the festival's largest audience ever

When the virtual curtain comes down on MIFF 68½ on Sunday night it will mark the end of the most attended Melbourne International Film Festival ever, organisers say.  The festival has registered over 205,000 streams, which means the estimated overall audience has exceeded 300,000 for the first two weeks of the 17-day event.  “Despite the complexity and challenges of wholly reinventing the Southern Hemisphere's largest film festival, it is heartening to see the simple, resilient truth here: that stories, whether viewed on a big screen or in your living room, still connect and compel us, perhaps more than ever,” said festival director Al Cossar. Audiences had been predominantly Victorian but 20 per cent tuned in from outside the state. The festival's free content, which represented 36 per cent of the line-up, helped contribute to the overall big numbers. Box office expectations had also been surpassed, organisers said. The festival's other achievements include half of all films screened having a female director.  MIFF 68½ closes on Sunday night with a screening of Pablo Larrain's dance-themed drama Ema, which 3,000 viewers are predicted to watch.  Read Time Out's reviews of MIFF 68½ films here.    

Time Out has launched a podcast exploring what the future holds for our cities

Time Out has launched a podcast exploring what the future holds for our cities

Things have changed, and they're probably never going back to the way they were. What does this mean for restaurants, bars, theatre, the arts, business and life in the city? That's the topic Time Out is exploring in the new Time Out for Business Podcast.  The podcast is the brainchild of Time Out Australia's managing director Michael Rodrigues (who also co-hosts the hospitality podcast Back of House). Mike is interviewing visionaries who are making our cities vibrant places to live – from hospitality professionals to festival directors, entrepreneurs to creatives. Episode one features a chat with Earl's Juke Joint co-owner Pasan Wijesena about how bottled cocktails will be an ongoing trend post-lockdown. In episode two, musician Josh Pyke describes what it was like cancelling his planned tour and instead launching his new album with livestreamed concerts.   Photograph: Time Out for Business Episode three has Mike talking to Sydney city councillor Jess Miller, who is famous for her creative approaches to sustainability, strategy and innovation. Miller talks about the unique chance posed by the pandemic to improve our cities. And episode four features a chat with theatre maker Andy Henry, who got Alec Baldwin to star in his livestreamed play reading and reached an audience of many thousands online. In the latest episode, Mike catches up with our very own Time Out Melbourne and Sydney editors, Rebecca Russo and Maxim Boon. How have their jobs changed in 2020? What are Time Out r

Time Out has launched a podcast exploring what the future holds for our cities

Time Out has launched a podcast exploring what the future holds for our cities

Things have changed, and they're probably never going back to the way they were. What does this mean for restaurants, bars, theatre, the arts, business and life in the city? That's the topic Time Out is exploring in the new Time Out for Business Podcast.  The podcast is the brainchild of Time Out Australia's managing director Michael Rodrigues (who also co-hosts the hospitality podcast Back of House). Mike is interviewing visionaries who are making our cities vibrant places to live – from hospitality professionals to festival directors, entrepreneurs to creatives. Episode one features a chat with Earl's Juke Joint co-owner Pasan Wijesena about how bottled cocktails will be an ongoing trend post-lockdown. In episode two, musician Josh Pyke describes what it was like cancelling his planned tour and instead launching his new album with livestreamed concerts.   Photograph: Time Out for Business Episode three has Mike talking to Sydney city councillor Jess Miller, who is famous for her creative approaches to sustainability, strategy and innovation. Miller talks about the unique chance posed by the pandemic to improve our cities. And episode four features a chat with Sydney theatre maker Andy Henry, who got Alec Baldwin to star in his livestreamed play reading and reached an audience of many thousands online. In the latest episode, Mike catches up with our very own Time Out Sydney and Melbourne editors, Maxim Boon and Rebecca Russo. How have their jobs changed in 2020? What are T

The original 'Star Wars' returns to the big screen for one week

The original 'Star Wars' returns to the big screen for one week

Back in 1977, cinema audiences lost their minds as first an impressively big space ship zoomed into view, only to be followed by a vastly bigger Imperial Star Destroyer in hot pursuit.You can relive that more innocent time – long, long ago, before sequels, prequels and global shutdowns – with the Hayden Orpheum's one-week season of George Lucas's original Star Wars, retrospectively titled Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope.  Feel the pull of primal storytelling as farmboy Luke Skywalker embarks on a quest to rescue Princess Leia, mentored by ageing Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and aided by roguish smuggler Han Solo, gentle giant Chewbacca and comical droid sidekicks C-3PO and R2D2.  If this is the big-screen nostalgia hit you've been craving then bookings are now open for the season, which runs August 13-19 with nightly screenings as well as weekend matinees.  As C-3PO once complained, it sometimes seems like we've been made to suffer: so stay on target, get tickets and surrender to he power of the Force one more time. Extra points if you show up in a transmission-safe Tusken Raider mask. Seen it too many times? Check out the latest movies screening in Sydney.

MIFF artistic director Al Cossar launches a sensational 2020 online lineup

MIFF artistic director Al Cossar launches a sensational 2020 online lineup

“I’ve barricaded the door so my one-year-old daughter doesn’t make too many cameos in too many Zooms.” Like many other people, Al Cossar has had to make a few adjustments in working from home. But attention-seeking toddlers were far from the biggest problem for the director of the Melbourne International Film Festival when the city went into lockdown in March. Cossar and the MIFF board had to make a call on whether or not to cancel this year’s event, which was still five months in the future.  “It was a difficult decision and a heartbreaking one, but it was done with the utmost clarity,” Cossar says. “You’re talking about people’s safety first and foremost and the situation demanded a cancellation.” Following the lead of other major international film festivals, and with the help of major benefactor Susie Montague, MIFF was able to announce a digital pivot. Subsequent events have only confirmed that the right decision was made. “We would have stuck by it regardless. With these additional restrictions in place, we’re happy we can still connect to audiences in a substantial way.”  And he means substantial. In contrast to the radically stripped-back, virtual Sydney Film Festival that took place in June with 33 films, ‘MIFF 68½’ boasts a healthy lineup of 113, including new movies from major international directors such as Kelly Reichardt and Benh Zeitlin; 12 world premieres; 82 Australian premieres; and a program of events including a script table reading of an Australian film c

The Ritz will screen every James Bond film in the lead-up to No Time to Die

The Ritz will screen every James Bond film in the lead-up to No Time to Die

The 25th official Eon James Bond movie, No Time to Die, had its April release postponed due to Covid and will now release on November 12. To ramp up the anticipation, the Randwick Ritz has announced it’s going to screen every one of its predecessors, from 1962’s Dr No starring Sean Connery right up to Daniel Craig in 2015’s Spectre.  Whether you’re a Bond tragic keen to experience the series on the big screen, or a Bond newbie about to discover how brilliant, cheesy, exciting, clichéd, romantic and misogynistic the series has been over the last 58 years, then the Ritz's Bondathon is your chance to don a tuxedo or evening gown and order a Vodka Martini from the bar to take in with you – shaken or stirred, we're not judging. Screenings take place every Sunday and Wednesday from August 19 at "double-O" 7pm, and tickets are on sale now. For what it’s worth, our critics’ picks are From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1976), The Living Daylights (1987), GoldenEye (1995), Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall (2012).    

You can watch St Kilda Film Festival’s opening night for free tonight with host Claire Hooper

You can watch St Kilda Film Festival’s opening night for free tonight with host Claire Hooper

Major short film festival the St Kilda Film Festival opens tonight (Friday June 12) at 8pm with a live ceremony followed by the streaming of 11 highlight films. The session is free to watch from the festival website, along with the full festival program from 10pm until June 20.    Produced by the City of Port Phillip and curated by Richard Sowada, the St Kilda Film Festival is a showcase of the 100 best new short films made in Australia. Switching from the Palais Theatre to online for the first time, tonight’s event will be hosted by top Australian comedian Claire Hooper, who spoke to us from her home in Brunswick while fending off her small daughter. Hi Claire, how are you?Hold on just a sec [speaks off the phone]. Sorry, I’ve got a four-year-old at home. Remember that BBC reporter and the two little kids walking into his office, and how we laughed so hard? That’s just every day of our lives now.  So tonight’s opening event will be livestreamed. What will that involve for you?The Welcome to Country will be done in the Palais foyer, and I will be in front of a shiny curtain up in Brunswick at an independent film studio called Stupid Old Studios, and somebody will be toggling over to me at the right moment. Gosh, it’s weird. My duties are to bring people on, and then kick off the short films. There’s 11 highlight films in the session, a lovely little night’s viewing. Any favourites in tonight’s lineup?They’re all incredible in different ways. There’s a horror film that I love

Discover the only Indigenous-run police station in Australia at Sydney Film Festival

Discover the only Indigenous-run police station in Australia at Sydney Film Festival

This article names a person who has died. Ian Ward, known as Mr Ward, was an elder from Warburton, WA. A conservation worker, an interpreter for local police, and a teacher of children of the Gibson Desert, he also travelled to China with a delegation representing the Ngaanyatjarra lands. In January 2008, the 46-year-old was charged with a drink driving offence, put in the back of a van and driven for four hours by the G4S prison transfer service. Air conditioning in the rear of the van was faulty. Given no way to communicate with the officers driving the vehicle up front, he collapsed in temperatures so severe that he suffered burns to his stomach from the metal floor, and died shortly after arrival.  This notorious incident, one of the 432 deaths in police custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since 1991, is one of the reasons why trust in the police in the Gibson Desert region has been in short supply. It’s also why the existence of an Indigenous-run police station in the remote community of Warakurna, 330km west of Uluru, is a welcome development.  “The community has been directly affected by a death in custody – a senior member of the community,” says filmmaker Cornel Ozies, whose half-hour documentary ‘Our Law’, profiling the Warakurna Police Station, screens in the Sydney Film Festival this month. “Right now with the drama unfolding in America and the spotlight turning to Indigenous issues in Australia a lot of people are looking at the problems, but