Arts Features

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 4:06pm

There are plenty of things out there in the world that can’t be explained: giant tracks in the Himalayan snow, shadowy shapes in Loch Ness, lights in the sky over Roswell, monstrous pink worms in South Gippsland.


But every so often, an intrepid explorer-cum-theatremaker comes along to unravel the mystery. 


Enter Melita Rowston. Back in 2013, The Giant Worm Show...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 3:58pm

As far as artistic goals go, “getting to as many regional shows as possible and delivering ballet to places that have never had ballet before” might fall into the category of the slightly unusual.


But that’s the self-confessed aim of Michael Pappalardo, the artistic director of the Melbourne City Ballet (MCB), in...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 3:35pm

Zahn Pithers: Photographer


The iconic Australia Street runs from Newtown to Camperdown, straight through the heart of Sydney’s Inner West. It is also commercial photographer Zahn Pithers’ stomping ground, one he is paying homage to in his portrait project Australia Street – Portraits From The Inner West.


“I have been a photographer for 18 years,” he explains, “...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 2:59pm

What’s in a name? As far as Kerri Glasscock’s concerned, a lot.


The chief executive of the Sydney Fringe Festival is still reeling from the recent difficulty she had overseeing the process by which each of the Festival’s bevy of performers slotted themselves into genres. After all, the Fringe is dedicated to bucking the...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 12:24pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. My bugbear of unresolved problems on a script level comes roaring back this week, along with some refreshing horror and painterly drama.


Six films again? Goodness, I spoil you. To be fair, there's seven releases, but ...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 10:00am

The times, they are a-changin’ – and not always for the better.


Margaret Cho is all too aware of this, with her Twitter feed often bemoaning the rise of Donald Trump, police brutality and the continued mistreatment of LGBTQIA people. How then does Cho face up to issues like these while also maintaining her role as an entertainer and a stand-up comedian?


“I think...

Posted 25 Aug 2016 @ 2:00pm

By his own admission, Julian Clary isn’t having the most exciting of mornings.


“I’ve spent the last hour on the phone talking to people like you – though it could [be] worse, I suppose,” says the comedian/author/all-round media personality, with a laugh so dry it’s barely there. 


Clary admits he has had his fair share of unpleasant journalistic encounters, which...

Posted 24 Aug 2016 @ 4:00pm

During World War II, a young Jewish woman named Yehudit Arnon was imprisoned in Auschwitz.


The Nazi guards discovered she was a dancer and asked her to perform for them at Christmas. In an inspiring act of defiance, she refused, stating that they would not be allowed to have that important part of herself. As punishment, Arnon was forced to stand out in the snow, but she...

Posted 24 Aug 2016 @ 10:30am

Many people are suspicious of visiting psychics, but for TV host and stand-up Alan Carr, having his fortune told might have been a shrewd investment.


After all, it was a chance meeting with a soothsayer that set him on his career path from an early age.


“The psychic told me that my future lay in comedy. This was before anything. Everything she said was spot on...

Posted 24 Aug 2016 @ 9:00am

If it’s true that there’s no rest for the wicked, Trevor Noah must be one of the most wicked men working in entertainment today.


When he’s not at the helm of The Daily Show, Comedy Central’s successful satire staple that deconstructs the news of the world, he’s on the road working as...

Posted 23 Aug 2016 @ 3:07pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Another six film week for you lucky scamps, though there's no accounting for quality.


Hollywood shits on another great foreign-language director, a comedian gradually decreases the quality of his own obituary, and a great franchise trods the path most taken. Fortunately,...

Posted 19 Aug 2016 @ 12:00pm

Gone are the days of Barnum & Bailey, of elephant teams and performing lions, of freak shows and fright.


Given our standards for the quality of life have changed rather significantly since 1900, this is no unhappy alteration, but the allure of the Big Top itself has never wavered. Circus remains one of the most enchanting and otherworldly of arts, and it’s no secret that...

Posted 18 Aug 2016 @ 10:00am

When it comes to Philip Roth – one of the most celebrated authors since, well, ever – the track record of film adaptations of his work isn’t exactly gleaming.


Adapting any novel for the screen is a weird mix of creativity and surgery, and for a debut director to take on the task is almost asking for trouble. Yet Indignation, helmed by veteran producer and long-time Ang Lee...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 3:24pm

It’s hard to feel particularly positive about the state of the world’s climate – 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded, and 2016 has already smashed those temperatures.


But all that bad news only increases the need for positive programs like Footprints Film Festival...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 3:09pm

Abe Forsythe is onstage, his extensive ensemble cast around him, introducing his darkly hilarious feature Down Under.


He’s not here to mess around, either. “A lot of exhibitors don’t want you to see this,” Forsythe bluntly tells the room. 


He’s chosen a controversial topic – racism – and set the film in the aftermath of the infamous Cronulla riots, which...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 2:56pm

Australian cinema has a genre problem, though perhaps not the one you might assume.


It’s not that horror movies aren’t being made in this country – it’s that audiences aren’t rushing out to see them in big enough numbers. The Babadook made more in the first weekend of its English run than it did for the entirety of the time it screened in Australia, and Wolf Creek had to earn...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 11:08am

The popularity of geek culture has grown exponentially over the past few years.


It’s a trend that has become all the more visible thanks to the increasing size of conventions such as Oz Comic-Con, a two-day event that will be hitting Sydney again in September. And with impressive guests such as Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger [pictured above]), Daniel...

Posted 16 Aug 2016 @ 3:14pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. A sense of déjà vu has set in, not least because I realise I've been duped by online media - The Shallows releases this Thursday, and not in June as previously announced.



Posted 11 Aug 2016 @ 4:43pm

Australians and Kiwis aren’t good at making horror movies – we’re fucking great at it. 


That ain’t hyperbole, either: take a look at our track record. We have contributed a great deal more to the international horror scene than we are ever given credit for, and yet when it comes to discussing our output, it’s only ever the same names that get mentioned: Wolf Creek. The Babadook...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 5:13pm

There are some out there who claim Damien Ryan doesn’t actually exist, and despite having interviewed him once before, I’m starting to feel there is truth to the rumour.


Finding time to speak with the man is like being granted an audience with the Pope, and with good reason; not only are his energies focused on the 60th anniversary of Look Back In Anger, which he co-directs at...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 10:00am

The Korean Film Festival In Australia (KOFFIA) is back and bigger than ever for its seventh year running.


The program of 20 features and four guest sessions covers everything from blockbuster cinema to arthouse and rom-coms, all screened with English subtitles. To help wade through a sprawling lineup, KOFFIA artistic director David Park introduces his five hottest picks of the...

Posted 9 Aug 2016 @ 2:30pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Today is an auspicious day, as I've finally given up completely on DC after its total botch job on Suicide Squad.


Two big studio comedies hit screens this week, along with a local offering making waves on the festival...

Posted 4 Aug 2016 @ 11:12am

Sydney’s street artists and makers are set to get another platform for their works and wares thanks to Liverpool Council’s newly minted Street Art Festival


The free event is happening this month at the Bathurst Street South Car Park, adjacent to Liverpool’s Eat Street, AKA Macquarie Street (future plans aim to see its lower half turned into an eating and dining precinct, hence...

Posted 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:00am

Dean Haglund sounds like a fairly chipper guy, and despite the role that brought him international, conspiratorial renown, it’s easy to see why.


His casting as one of The X-Files’ Lone Gunmen turned out to be a sweet gig, but his long-standing passion has been for all things comedic. You can see this in the flesh at Celebrity Theatresports, where Haglund and a host of others...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 4:40pm

A story as ancient and timeless as Aladdin carries a strange sense of simulacra as it comes to the Sydney stage.


This mammoth production, itself an adaptation of Disney’s latest Broadway musical, finds its roots in both the animated film that enchanted a generation and the mythos of One Thousand And One Nights.


Naturally, finding one’s own voice within such a...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 2:15pm

The inaugural Cine Latino festival of Latin American cinema sambas its way onto screens this month.


The program opens at the Palace Cinemas in Sydney before making its way to Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, and boasts more than 30 films from across Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. It’s a lot to take in, so...

Posted 2 Aug 2016 @ 5:01pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Hey, you know how you got a bonus film last week? Well, now I'm taxing you. Or, more accurately, there's only four films out this week.


I'm making up the shortfall with a SURPRISE GUEST that shows how deeply current I am. Witness me.


Thing is, for me, there's...

Posted 1 Aug 2016 @ 12:00am

There are scenes from certain films that will stay with you forever, whether because they were incredibly emotional, horrifying, funny or touched you in some significant way. Either way, nine times out of ten, those iconic scenes were probably paired with an iconic soundtrack. 


What is a classic movie without an equally timeless soundtrack, anyway? We revisit some of the...

Posted 29 Jul 2016 @ 9:00am

Eternally curious, unabashedly forthright and driven by an unwavering dedication to the truth, Louis Theroux has spent his entire career diving into the ostracised fringes of society, determined to discover the humanity that exists behind the extreme.


He’s spent years exploring the world’s most deviant ideologies and believes the common thread that runs through them – from the...

Posted 28 Jul 2016 @ 1:13pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Our first film may be typical white tears material, but it's otherwise a diverse and broadly representative week for the big screen.


OK, it's not that big a week...