/ Sunday Arts Magazine / Arts / Polyfaces(doco),Falling in love with Frida(dance),The Pride(play)


All 3 of our hosts are in today.  Daniel survived his exams. He is invited to talk about Spotlight with the others and, like them, he was impressed 4.5 stars. Brendan saw Steve Jobs which has a great structure and performance from Michael Fassbender — but screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue is rather tired 3.0 stars. Music today has a Valentine’s day theme except for a birthday song for David. David briefly talks about the upcoming Marilyn Monroe exhibition in Bendigo Art Gallery. Later

13:53 to 31:07 mins—Actor, singer and director Lisa Heenan is in to talk about her film Polyfaces premiering on 20 February and is part of the Transitions Film Festival on from 18 February to 3 March at The Nova Cinema.  The youngest in a large Irish Catholic family in Bendigo, Lisa was influenced by her creative relatives particularly with film, photography and music/singing performance. Lisa acted in countless ads and played bit parts in films but less so now due to constant overseas travel with her farm designer husband doing workshops on this subject. Lisa’s doco Polyfaces is about regenerative agriculture and aims to inspire the consumer to look at the food choices they make every day and thus, who they’re supporting. i.e. supporting those helping regenerate the planet or those helping destroy it. Specifically the doco depicts a 4th generation Virginian farming family who feed about 5000 families, plus cafes and restaurants.  They only deliver within 3 hours of the food shed from their farm and thus restoring their landscape, customers’ health, the local economy and the soil. Chemicals used in conventional farming are very toxic and make people sick. The film has won awards in Prague, USA, qualified for the Oscars but this will be the first Australian showing.

David talks about the NGV.  This last week 130 arty dresses arrived from Paris purchased (with help from a major donor) for $1.4m from collector Dominic Sirop.  There will be an exhibition of these in about 2 years including sketchbooks from designers such as Dior. Brendan went to Hares and Hyenas last night to see Mama Alto a Counter tenor and was most impressed.  David had seen her 2 years ago and wasn’t impressed. Our hosts talk about the film Deadpool, another Marvel comics adaptation, starring and produced by Ryan Reynolds.  It’s doing well in the US, following a formula that’s worked well for previous ‘first’ superhero movies.  They also discuss upcoming superhero movies. Daniel saw Zoolander2 with trepidation as critics hated it but it wasn’t as bad as he expected. The plot is absurd and stupid but it has just enough ‘smart humour’ to be engaging–satirising fashion, celebrity etc  and with many first class cameos 2.0 stars. Brendan has joined a film group– Melbourne Cinematheque, based in ACMI, in order to improve his already vast knowledge of film. The group sees 1 or 2 rare films every Wednesday such as Heaven Can Wait (1943) starring Gene Tierney.  At the end of the show, Brendan reviews The Big Short about the collapse of the real estate industry in the US which resulted in the GFC.  He regards it as a good film 3.5 stars.

38:00 to 59:34 mins—Choreographer and disabled dance performer Caroline Bowditch talks about her show Falling in love with Frida in NSW and then on 18 & 19 March at the Melba Speigeltent in Collingwood .  A Melbourne girl, she moved to the UK for a marriage which eventually broke down, but she stayed there due to better opportunities in her field and is now well supported by their arts funding organisations.  In a wheelchair, she considers you don’t need to stand on 2 legs to dance. She choreographs for the individuals in a group that she’s working with rather than imposing a readymade one.  Caroline used to work as a dance agent for change with Scottish Dance Theatre. She worked with orgs, dance teachers etc to expand their thinking about dance and its possibilities.  Her show is based on painter Frida Kahlo’s life and loves and who was disabled most of her life due to childhood polio and an accident on a bus later in life.  Caroline also saw correlations between hers and Frida’s life so there is a lot about her in the work too. She thinks most people don’t associate success and disability.  It was a revelation when she discovered Frida’s background. Caroline travelled and followed Frida’s footsteps in Mexico, and beyond, to research and ‘to fall in love’.

1:13:33 to 1:22:38 mins—Shane Bosher director of a Mardis Gras show called The Pride 5 February to 6 March at the Eternity Playhouse in Sydney.  Initially an actor in NZ, moved into direction.  Became artistic director of a major theatre company in Auckland for 14 years.  Left in 2014, travelled in Europe for some months and then ended up in Sydney where he’s now based. Daniel saw The Pride in London and discusses its structure with Shane.  The play is a story of the same 3 people in both 1958 and today, where the sins of the past are repeated in the present but in a very different guise.  And does it actually get better?  That question is left unresolved, so that audiences can chew over it and argue at the end.  Pride to Shane means being more centred and true.  The characters are grappling with authenticity and achieving happiness. The London production had a political ‘air’. Shane sees the politics as clearly there and the author has said that no-one can be apolitical. Waving the political flag would be too didactic. Shane then talks generally about the Mardis Gras program, which he considers really diverse.



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