Tuesday, August 13, 2002

New Art Attack Site

Please feel free to visit the new Art Attack site at
http://athene.riv.csu.edu.au/~jmarkh01.
It's currently under construction, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, April 28, 2002




Good Luck
Everyone!
Under The Microscope

For those of us studying Introduction to Multimedia at CSU, the coming week will see the assessment of the weblogs - Art Attack included - that we started in response to the subject. On the eve of such terror - sorry, I'm still processing Richard lll - it's undoubtedly appropriate for the creator as well as the assessor to cast a critical eye over his efforts.

Looking back at what I've presented over the last 2 months, I recognise that my job has been largely pleasurable, because there's been on a lot happening within the arts of late, and hence, plenty to communicate. I enjoyed the fact that we were restricted to the use of text only. The project's allowed me to enjoy writing on a regular basis, and to present the results in a different way - an open journal on a very public platform - the internet. As we venture further into the arena of web-site design at uni, I'd like to take with me from Art Attack the idea that at a grass roots level, sound writing is not to be sneezed at. Within the wizardry of web-site design software, it seems that the ability to engage your audience with your words will always be a bonus.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

A Weekend With Hitler and Stalin

Well, it's a relatively quiet weekend on the cultural front in this neck of the woods, and hence, the perfect opportunity for me to roll up my sleeves and get some research under way for an essay that's coming up at uni. I'm writing oh how Hitler and Stalin were promoted in the media of their respective regimes. As someone said to me recently: "Why would you do it to yourself?"

On a lighter note, a special cheerio to my sister, Fay, and my nephew, Jason, who, apart from being curious as to why they're appearing in a post with Alolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin - are apparently popping on-line over in the ACT this weekend to have a browse at Art Attack. I hope you enjoy it, and don't forget to write something positively glowing in the guestbook!

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

A Week In One Day

There are some days when you know you shouldn't go anywhere near a computer, but you do, and you end up paying the price. Today was one of those days for me, and consequently, the weblog now looks like I've tried to make up for a bout of writer's block by staging a rapid succession of epiphanies! The entries were originally spread over a week, but they were lost - Johannes did warn us - and had to be reposted from SimpleText. Some entries, which were particularly date-specific, were deleted. Curiously, my nedstat data was also lost, so I've launched a new account from today. Here's to smooth sailing.

Monday, April 22, 2002

The Big Friendly Giant

The Wagga Civic Theatre, where I work, is currently experiencing a rapid turnaround of shows. Having just hosted John Bell's sublime Richard lll - if you missed it, my condolences - we're now preparing for Terrapin Theatre's Big Friendly Giant. This show is an adaptation for puppetry of Roald Dahl's well-known story of the same name, and is presented by Australia's premier puppetry troupe, Terrapin. The publicity stills for the show are positively magical, so my recommedation is for kids of all ages to hot-foot it to the Civic over the next couple of days. BFG plays at the theatre tomorrow night, with 2 daytime performances on Wednesday.





Terrapin Theatre:

Roald Dahl's

BIG
Friendly
GIANT!

An Adaptation For Puppetry

Wagga Civic Theatre

April 23rd - 24th


Phone 02 69269688

The Four Seasons

No matter what part of the world you're in at the minute, you're probably recognising a change in the seasons. In my neck of the woods - the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia - we're in the grip of autumn. The prospect of winter being just around the corner is daunting, but the autumn itself is beautiful. The leaves on the tree outside my study are turning from green to gold, and as they change, they drop. Brisk breezes make for an ever-changing carpet. This morning I rose early, and when I stepped outside I was amazed to see the neighbourhood enveloped in fog. What a sense of mystery and abstraction it brings with it. Those out for an early morning stroll appeared like ghosts, and disappeared just as quickly. A bit like life itself, I guess - we take shape for a few brief years, then find ourselves drifting back into the realm from which we came. The eternal fog?

And the seasons they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down.....
One Of Life's Little Mysteries

On advice from my CSU Multimedia lecturer, Johannes, I've been having a look at my weblog on different computers and platforms. It's largely looking OK, however, for some inexplicable reason, on PCs, the entry dated March 13th is sporting an obvious aberration - there is a large gap before the start of the table. The gap doesn't exist when the weblog is viewed on Macs, but on PCs, it's well and truly there. I've checked the HTML re the construction of the table, and it's fine, so if anyone out there has any thoughts or suggestions, I'm all ears. Maybe it's just one of life's little mysteries.
Please Consider

Recently, a friend of mine in Sydney offered up a gem of Buddhist philosophy for my consideration, and in turn, I now offer it up to you.

"When it comes down to it, we don't know what will be next - our next breath or our next life."

Extended pause.....

It's a simple but profound truth, isn't it? It challenges us with its potency and its pinpoint accuracy. And of course, we wouldn't expect anything less from the Buddha.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

The Game Of Life

For personal reasons, I've been out of action for almost 2 weeks now, for which I apologise profusely. From previous experience, I know that the universe sometimes deals cards that we don't know are coming, and that we'd rather send back to the dealer, and this occasion was definitely one of those. The Queen of Spades dropped into my lap just after Easter, crushing my balls and my soul in the process, and delivering her usual irretractable ultimatum: "Sink fucker, or swim!" Well, it's taken me a while, but I'm finally back in the swim, and I have to say, the water's never felt so good. I will, however, as a matter of caution, be keeping my nose cocked to the wind for a while, just to make sure that the bitter perfume of that Black Queen is well and truly out of range.

Sunday, March 31, 2002




Happy Easter
from
Art Attack!

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Quite A Double

The Sweet Hereafter and Run Lola Run, with their respective themes of life and death and choice and destiny, made for a formidable yet rewarding movie double.

The Sweet Hereafter is a somber yet compelling film which explores the impact of a tragic accident on a rural Canadian community. The painful subject matter and the wintery Canadian landscape - beautifully filmed - make for an atmospherically charged experience. The scenes of the school bus moving through the snow towards its fate remain particularly haunting. Ultimately, Atom Egoyan offers us a rare and exquisite insight into terrain that is more often than not left alone. The monologue at the end of the film, with its reference to the place/the state that is the Sweet Hereafter, feels perfectly placed. This film that makes considerable demands on its audience, but for those prepared to wrestle with the pain, the rewards are considerable.

Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run is a very different experience to The Sweet Hereafter, but within its exploration of choice and destiny, it also has some provocative things to say about the life and death cycle. Essentially, the film presents the same set of cirumstances three times, but each time, the protagonists make different choices which alter the outcome. Hence we experience three different conclusions. One of the questions that arises is how much do we influence our lives through choice and how much is pre-destined? It's a question that's fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Call me old-fashioned, but in this instance, I went straight for the ending which afforded Lola and her boyfriend the opportunity of ongoing life and love. Considering the options, who wouldn't?

Wednesday, March 27, 2002



as you see her, 2 years later
I wonder if you realise something
I wonder if you understand that all of us -
delores, me, the children who survived
the children who didn't -
that we're all citizens of a different town now
a place with its own special rules
and its own special laws
a town of people living in the sweet hereafter
where waters gushed and fruit trees grew
and flowers put forth a fairer hue
and everything was strange and new

everything was strange and new

Monday, March 25, 2002

With This Ring 2

Art Attack recently joined the !tzalist Performing Arts Ring.
The navigation bar is located at the bottom of the page.
The !tzalist Arts Directory is also worth a look.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Cinemania!

After what seems like an interminably long wait, I finally have the video of Atom Egoyan's film, The Sweet Hereafter. I'm really looking forward to seeing it over the weekend. And as an added bonus, I also have Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run lined up by the trusty VCR. Tykwer's film was shot in Germany in 1998, and stars Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu. If you happen to live in my neck of the woods - the Riverina region of NSW - you can catch Run Lola Run at the SVPA theatrette at CSU on Tuesday 26th March at 6.30pm. From what I've heard, it's a very good film, and like The Sweet Hereafter, it's one that I'm really looking forward to seeing.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

All Aboard!

If you're into Cole Porter, you'll undoubtedly be keen to book a berth on the S.S. American, which sets sail nightly for the next four weeks from the Wagga Civic Theatre. The S.S. American, of course, is the setting for Porter's fabulous 1930s musical, Anything Goes. In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking / Now heaven knows, Anything Goes! The show features some great songs, sung by some genuinely colourful characters, and is guaranteed to have your toes tapping within minutes. This particular production is directed by Colin Anderson for our very own Riverina Theatre Company. Berths can be booked at the Civic Theatre box office on 6926 9688. Get those bags packed NOW!

Tuesday, March 19, 2002






RTC:

Cole Porter's

Anything
Goes!


********

Directed by Colin Anderson

Wagga Civic Theatre

March 22 - April 13


Phone 02 69269688

Sunday, March 17, 2002

With This Ring...

Art Attack is now part of the bamm@csu webring - the navagation bar is pretty obvious. I guess the great thing about a web ring is that you get to visit other people's pages, and conversely, you get more visitors to your own page. It sounds good to me, and it's great also to be able to see what other people are up to. Variety, arter all, is the spice of life.
The Sweet Hereafter

Screening this Tuesday 19th March at the SVPA Theatrette at CSU is Atom Egoyan's 1997 film, The Sweet Hereafter. I have to confess to being completely in the dark about this film. I haven't seen it; I can't make it Tuesday night; but I am looking forward to catching the video when the sole copy is returned to the store! Johannes from CSU's Multimedia Department tells us that the film is a "quietly devastating depiction of a small Canadian community". He goes on to say that the film "has a complex time-jumping structure and multilayered texture created by intercutting disparate images", and that it is "a work that is psycologically dense and visually transcendant". If you can make it out to the uni on Tuesday it sounds like you won't be disappointed. Kick-off is at 6.30pm.

Friday, March 15, 2002




Have a great
weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Love's Fire

The University Theatre Ensemble opens its production of Love's Fire at the newly refurbished Studio Theatre at CSU this Friday, 15th March, at 6.00pm. The program is made up of two one-act plays that deal with obsession and power, as inspired by Shakespeare's love sonnets. The writers in question are Tony Kushner (Angels In America) and Wendy Wasserstein, and this particular production is directed by Trish Ryan. Love's Fire plays again next week from Monday to Friday, 18th to 22nd March, at 6.00pm. Plenty of time to get burnt!
Madonna

There's no doubt about it - the internet certainly offers up some diverse opportunities. This morning, for instance, completely out of the blue - liar, liar, pants on fire - a question came to me that I needed to ask of Madonna. Yes, that's right, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, as in THE Madonna! After a quick surf, an appropriate e-mail address was found, the question entered, and voila, with a click of the mouse it was on its way.

Now, I can't guarantee of course that the lady herself is going to respond, but hey, at least I've had the satisfaction of asking the question. And if you DO hear a deafening scream of delight ringing out through yonder landscape over the next few days, you'll know that a response has in fact come through. Feel like embracing this pathetic trend and communicating with a genuine icon? Good, then simply click on the M word - Madonna - and the operator will put you through.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Happiness

Feeling blue? Then fear not – Happiness is just around the corner. Todd Solondz’s provocative film screens at CSU’s SVPA theatrette on Tuesday 12th March at 6.30pm.

I went into a video store recently to hire this film, and was told quite emphatically that I would find it in the comedy section under 'H’. I laughed out loud at the naivety of the shop assistant’s directions – I couldn’t help myself. It’s true, Happiness is a funny film, but it’s also much more than that. The humour is bleak, to say the least, and if you do end up rolling in the aisles, it’s probably more from the punch to the guts that the film delivers, than any Lucille Ball type antics.

Happiness takes a long, hard look at the lives of a contemporary New Jersey family. It cuts quickly and effortlessly through the paper-thin veneer of respectability to reveal an underbelly that is decidedly dark. We find pain, dysfunctionalism and crippling isolation. The human condition is positively ravaged by the potency of Solondz’s light. The fact that the film manages to be so funny within all of this is part of its genius. The performances are all perfectly pitched, but for me, Lara Flynn Boyle’s dry and understated Helen is particularly outstanding. And the scene at the end when the dog bounds in and licks Trish’s face is simply to die for.

I’m giving this one 5 stars. What about you, Margaret?

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Cinematique

For movie buffs, the Sydney Travelling Film Festival rolls into town this Friday, with screenings at the Wagga Forum Cinemas until Tuesday 12th march. The festival will showcase the best of contemporary international cinema with documentaries, recent French films and films from Iran, Brazil and Hong Kong. Titles include Divided We Fall, Blackboards, Vengo and Tigerland. Full subscriptions, half subscriptions and tickets for individual sessions are all available from the Forum Cinemas in Trail Street – 02 6921 6868. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

The Laramie Project

On Friday of this week, the University Theatre Ensemble’s production of The Laramie Project opens at the Riverina Playhouse. I’m an ardent supporter of UTE, having previously enjoyed their productions of Angels In America, The Talented Mr Ripley and The Importance of Being Earnest, to name but a few. While many companies these days are obliged to stick to product that is relatively safe, UTE is in the luxurious position of still being able to push the theatrical envelope.

Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project is billed as “a story of healing after a terrible tragedy”. The tragedy in question was the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student from the University of Wyoming. The brutality of the crime is said to have “shocked the nation”. In the wake of the tragedy, Kaufman and the members of his New York-based Tectonic Theatre Company made 6 trips to Laramie to interview the locals. The material from these interviews formed the foundation stones of The Laramie Project.

The play has been hailed as “nothing short of stunning” (New York Magazine), and in this instance, is being directed by local luminary, Ray Goodlass. It plays at the Playhouse form 7th-23rd March, Thursday to Saturday at 8.00pm. Don’t miss it!
Delicatessen

I love the look and atmosphere of Delicatessen – the squalor, the leaking roofs, the ever-present menace. The grim resignation with which the tenants maintain the terrible status quo is both mesmerising and abhorrent, a potent audience hook indeed.

When I first saw the film some years ago, I was oddly uncomfortable with the appearance of the underground army. I felt like I was suddenly watching a different, less satisfying film. This time ‘round I felt the same. The army is obviously pivotal in driving the plot towards its conclusion, but for me, its members still look like they've wandered in from some dubious 60s’ TV show.

Nonetheless, it’s satisfying at the end of the film to celebrate, with the lovers, the overthrow of the oppressors and their deadly regime. It seems that in film, at least, good is still able to win out over evil.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

What's On?

Well folks, it’s almost the start of a new week, and if you happen to living in/near the city of Wagga in New South Wales, there's plenty coming up to keep the grey matter stimulated.

Delicatessen is screening at the SVPA theatrette at Charles Sturt University (Wagga campus) on Tuesday 5th March at 6.30pm.

Also on Tuesday night, Nick Enright’s Daylight Saving opens at the Civic Theatre at 8.00pm. It plays again on Wednesday 6th at 8.00pm.

At the Civic at 11.00am on Wednesday, Frankie Holden and Michelle Pettigrove from Daylight Saving will perform their intimate cabaret, All In Love Is Fair. A light luncheon will be served after the performance.

On Thursday 7th March, Ron Howard’s highly anticipated film, A Beautiful Mind opens at the Forum Cinemas here in Wagga.

And on Friday night, the University Theatre Ensemble opens its production of Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project. Ray Goodlass is in the director’s seat for what will be, I’m sure, a not-to-be-missed experience.

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Saturday Night Fever!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone - have a wonderful night!
And a special "Cheerio" to my friend Stuart, who's marching - or should I say dancing - his way up the Golden Mile tonight with the acon float. Wish I was there to see it, but since I'm not, I can't wait to hear about it.

And also on a celebratory note tonight, Happy Birthday to my friend Dino, who's currently in Canada visiting his family. Many happy returns of the day, Dino!

Friday, March 01, 2002

Delicatessen

Hungry for a good film? Then go no further than Delicatessen. It screens this Tuesday 5th March at 6.30pm at the SVPA theatrette at Charles Sturt University here in Wagga. The film was shot in 1991 by Jean-Paul Jeunet and Marc Caro and presents a world in which "cannibalism operates as a metaphor for oppression" (Johannes Klabbers, CSU). It’s a blacker than black film that’s bound to satisfy the hungriest appetite. Thanks to reelindies and the Multimedia Department at CSU for offering up such sustenance.
Mardi Gras

If you’re gay and happen to be in Sydney this weekend, you’re in for a helluva good time. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s Mardi Gras, and as usual, the city will be going off with one almighty bang!

For those who can’t make it, don’t despair - there’s always Channel 10’s telecast on Wednesday 6th March at 9.30pm. Yes, I know it’s not the same as actually being there, but hey, as the saying goes, beggars can’t always be choosers. May I recommend a little caviar, a glass of schnapps, a TV of course, and voila, you’re well and truly on your way!

The festival leading up to this year’s big event was once again directed by David Fenton, a former artistic director of the Riverina Theatre Company here in Wagga. If you know David, you’ll know that he’s a lovely guy, and we vigorously applaud his ever-ascending star.

For more news on Mardi Gras fly to
http://www.mardigras.com.au/
Sayonara Summer

With today being the 1st March, we are officially out of the summer and into the autumn of 2002. “The autumn leaves fall by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold…..” Some people feel that autumn is tinged with melancholy, and it may well be, but the subtle power with which it can reel you in can be hard to resist. Wouldn’t you agree?

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

"Daylight Saving"

For theatre aficionados, Nick Enright's entertaining comedy, "Daylight Saving", will be at Wagga's Civic Theatre next week for 2 performances only - Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th March at 8.00pm. The production is Melbourne-based, and features luminaries such as Glenda Linscott, Frankie J Holden and Joe Petruzzi. Student discounts are available on 02 6926 9688.
Robert Altman - Words of Wisdom

Following on from the screening of the 1993 Altman classic, "Short Cuts", at CSU on Tuesday, I thought a few words of wisdom from the great man himself may well be appropriate.

"I was first drawn into the film business because of girls. Then I found that the movies were an art form as well, one I could really relate to."

"I'm not part of the Hollywood establishment. We're in a different business. They sell shoes and I make gloves."

"At the end of the day, you want to have a laugh and sit and smoke a joint, which I do every day of my life."

- Robert Altman, UK, 2002