/ Sunday Arts Magazine / Arts / MIFF, The Coloured Girls, AroundTheWorldin 80Days, Bill Armstrong

 

Brendan gives a brief summary of his MIFF experience now that it’s ending. He reviews 4 films starting with The Lure–a Polish horror-musical with a dark humour – 4 stars.  Next is The Handmaiden an erotic, psychological thriller from South Korea based on Sarah Water’s novel Fingersmith. There are also 2 queer male stories–firstly Being 17 a French coming-out story which mostly’ stays out of the box’- 4stars. Next is Paris 05:59 (aka Theo and Hugo)a character driven film set over a night in Paris which really stood out for Brendan.  A listener also recommended Ella the story of The Australian Ballet’s first Indigenous dancer.

Special guests today are:

13:03 to 31:03 mins–Photographer Lisa Minogue and Curator Josephine Harkin are here to talk about Lisa’s exhibition The Coloured Girls at fortyfivedownstairs from 16 to 27 August. Lisa met Jo at a photo-imaging course at NMIT (now Melbourne Polytechnic) and Jo was her first teacher.  When Jo went to study curating, Lisa jokingly suggested that when she does her first exhibition, Jo should curate it. And it’s happened!  Jo was a commercial photographer, worked at NMIT, and also studied there, RMIT & Melbourne Uni, in order to be able to work in a museum context and is now working full-time at Linden New Art in St Kilda. Lisa now spends more time on Photoshop than with the camera and considers herself a visual artist. She specialises in images of African Australian and non-white multicultural people. She explains how this came about,  starting when she was in the process of adopting her 2 Ethiopian children.  Lisa loves studio lighting as it gives her a lot of control. The photos in her exhibition The Coloured Girls are A1 size i.e. 59.4 x 84.1cm which is very big. People will be face-to-face with them; staring into the eyes of the subject. Lisa felt this was important. Also every girl has a different colour on her face such as pink or green so that viewers will not lump them into one category. Lisa’s business name is Liberation Images and the models in the exhibit are now her friends; with one model being her 17yo daughter. Lisa asked all the women what it feels like, to them, to be coloured in 150 words and these stories are part of the exhibition.  Next will be Men of colour.

31:26 to 52:53 mins–Actors Pia Miranda and Grant Piro are here to talk about a production they’re starring in called Around The World in 80 Days at the Alex Theatre in St Kilda from 23 August to 4 September. Grant always considered himself an actor and got into his first soapie when a teenager and has been acting ever since.  He and Pia talk about the acting life in Australia with relatively low pay and periods of unemployment supplemented by hospitality or driving jobs. What keeps them going is the passion or fire within, and their wonderful community of ‘show folk’. Pia spent many years doing ballet until she got burnt out at 17. By then the acting bug had increased in size via watching many old movies over time. She starred in Neighbours, studied drama at uni and got her most famous role at 24yo i.e. Looking For Alibrandi.  Pia and the others discuss the phenomenon of early success and also Australian actors and crews overseas. In Around the world… there are only 3 actors; Pia and Grant playing multiple roles and Ian Stenlake playing the main character Phileaus Fogg–who makes a bet saying he can traverse the world in 80 days. The production has been ‘re-invented’ so that it’s comically appealing. Pia and Grant talk about how they pulled off playing multiple characters with many different accents.  The set is very simple and all the means of travel are ‘secreted’ within the design of the set. The script is excellent and funny and there is a lot of action. The play will tour Victoria, with plans for a wider tour next year. Pia and Grant talk about touring and its effect on family life.

54:08 to 1:26:33 mins–Recording Producer Bill Armstrong is one of the most important people in the recording history of the Australian music industry. He has had a long, productive and colourful career and is here to talk about it, and play some of his recordings. Bill started up Armstrong Studios (later called AAV)  in South Melbourne at a time when the rock n’ roll scene was big in Melbourne and a London producer was visiting and able to advise him on the latest techniques. He learnt his craft through Neil McRae and many other people and was actually able to build a lot of the audio equipment himself.

Bill talks about the following along with samples of some recordings (most available at JB HiFi):

-Operating the sound system at the MCG during the 1956 Olympics

-Working at WMG Records in the 50s

-Starting with one studio and then taking over house after vacant house, ending up with 7 studios connected with illegal cables

-Famous songs recorded at his studios such as ‘The Real Thing’ by Russell Morris (produced by Molly Meldrum)–(sample played)

-Orchestral music recordings through multi tacking and mixing via talented sound engineers

-Recordings of Barry Humphries as Edna with orchestra (sample played)

-Recording jazz musicians from early days and in 1949 recording them on a Pyrox wire recorder (sample played)

Johnny Farnham pre-Sadie… singing a commercial for Ansett ANA in 2 different styles (samples played)

-An anecdote about famous Jazz musician Don Burrows along with a recording (sample played)

-How he and his team started up the first FM licenced radio station in Melbourne called EON (now Triple M)

-His sound engineering of ‘It ain’t necessarily by Normie Rowe  so’ (sample played)

 

About the author: Julia

 

 

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