Tag Archives: film

Escher X Nendo

Between two worlds

With the St Kilda Festival scheduled on a Sunny Sunday, I set off in the opposite direction of the beach and into town to the Art Gallery, hoping that the festival would draw crowds away from the Escher exhibition. What I wasn’t expecting was a Metro meltdown.

No buses, no trains and no trams! The 246 bus decided to by-pass my area, in an effort to avoid picking up or dropping people off to the bayside shuffle. The trains were off, due to track work and the trams had a ‘disruption’. The lone carrier was the notorious ‘Replacement Bus’ that answers to no schedule.

Boarding the bus required tactful manoeuvring as the commuters jostled for a seat and standing room, the less skilful were left behind. Just as the ‘Replacement Bus’ has no timetable it also has no set route and maundered it’s way through the inner suburban neighbourhood, like a scenic tour.

I passed places where I used to live and Cafes I once frequented and what began as a commute had become a journey, instead of taking 45 minutes to reach my destination, I arrived at the Gallery, after 2 hours. The girl at the ticket desk, attempted to talk me out of buying a ticket, as only an hour of viewing remained. My restraint was thinning.

Despite being rushed through the exhibition by enthusiastic guards saying;

“30 minutes to go and 6 more rooms!”

“20 minutes to go and 4 more rooms!”

“10 minutes to go and 2 more rooms!!”

The one prediction in my favour was that it was not crowded.

The exhibition soothed my fatigue and quickened the light of inspiration that thrives beneath the surface of mediocacy. Escher is a Master printmaker, designer, artist and architect; it is of no surprise that his father was an engineer. The exhibition weaves through the development of his style and skill, which is illustrated within landscapes and town streets, that journal his travels through Europe

The exhibition combines the Art Star with the works Nendo that compliment the show, with ambient structures and light shows. Like an Escher’s design; the art patron is led through props and floor space that dupes the eye and challenges those that are prone to vertigo. The layout of the show combines the physical and visual journey, it incorporates the optical illusion within the simple building blocks of drama. Beautiful work and a brilliantly curated.

by A. Forward

Until April 7 2019

 

Complicit

IMG_6385
Dictionary meaning:

Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.'the careers of those complicit in the cover up were blighted'

Complicit, a documentary by Heather White and Lynne Zhang, has completed a 2 year journey around the globe. Opening night began in London on March 11 2017 and it screened at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on July 14 that year; since then, it has completed its epic run at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, Washington this month. It took 3 years to make and has earned 16 prestiges awards. The story is told by the victims.

We heard about a young man suffering from occupational leukemia who had decided to assist others also suffering from occupational diseases. We first met Yi Yeting—COMPLICIT’S main protagonist—when he invited us to join him on a visit to Ming Kunpeng, a 26 year-old former worker with late-stage occupational leukemia.

Kunpeng had developed cancer linked to a cleaning solvent containing benzene, a known carcinogen. He entered the factory when he was 19 years old and—by age 22—was diagnosed with leukemia. During our many interviews with electronics workers as well as those from other industries, we discovered that the incubation period for occupational leukemia in China’s electronics factories typically occurred after 2-3 years of exposure in the workplace.

For 18 months, Kunpeng’s family had unsuccessfully tried to get his medical expenses paid for by his employer, Dutch semiconductor manufacturer—one of Holland’s largest producers of components and semiconductor equipment for the electronics industry. The family and the company were at a stalemate when we arrived in 2013.

Yi was helping Kunpeng’s family petition for an acceptable settlement . They weren’t able to pay for chemo or surgeries without the company’s support, which eventually they received. Ultimately, Yi’s help led to a much higher settlement agreement (US $100,000) than the industry average. However, early treatment is critical, and doctors said Kunpeng had no chance of survival. Not wanting to be a burden on his family he committed suicide in 2015.’ H.White

Kunpeng is only one of the young men and women whose life is cut down. The gadget they were making will be upgraded for newer version in the same time that they receive their diagnoses. One persons smart purchase is another death sentence, how can this quandary be understood within a moral and economical context.

Is moral responsibility a luxury we can’t afford

In a world rich in technology have we become so poor in Spirit that we are scrimping to find time for each other, are we slaves to money and has money made us so poor that we can’t see the suffering anymore, or even care. What does it matter if we can park a car in front of a big house if the water and air is toxic. Chinas problems today are our problems tomorrow, it is the investing countries that have set the standard that our children will inherit.

‘Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see’  Revelation 3

How can someone believe they are wealthy, when they can’t afford morality; to think they are free when money has bound them to silence.

COMPLICIT was filmed in several provinces in China— something we cannot imagine trying to do under today’s Chinese government crackdown on civil society. We also filmed in the U.S. and Netherlands. I decided the public interest would be better served by a film which powerfully conveyed all that we discovered, and put the book on hold to make a feature length documentary.

I hope that after watching COMPLICIT viewers will feel a sense of increased connection to the workers that make the devices we as consumers can’t live without, and understand the risks associated with chemicals used during their production.’ H White

As I complete this article and read todays news, the headline reads:

‘Teenage girl left with a screw lodged in her cheek after blow dart attack …narrowly avoided losing her eye.’ 9News

We have lowered our standards for economic wealth and our social environment is in tatters. It’s never to late to turn back and amend our wrongs. We have to boycott companies and banks that don’t merit our business.

 

WATCH NOW

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complicit-Heather-White/dp/B07CJP6LQZ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1527670915&sr=8-3&keywords=complicit

 

Prizes:

*Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary Paris Alliance Cine – Human Rights Film Festival; Best Documentary Life After Oil, Sardinia, Italy;Best Documentary Workers Unite Film Festival NYC * “DOXA”  Documentary Film Festival Finalist, Best Female – Directed/  *”Best Social Media Award” 

Raw Science Film Festival/ * International Labor Film Festival Sao Paolo Brazil, Luis Espinal Prize/ award* semi-finalist: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival 

 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:

 Human Rights Watch Film Festival – London, New York, TIFF/ Toronto, San Diego, Amsterdam / Geneva Switzerland Human Rights Film Festival / Melbourne Australia Documentary Film Festival//Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights Film Festival/ ACT Human Rights Film Festival, Colorado/  Sedona International Film Festival/  Belgian Millennial Film Festival/ Addis International Film Festival, Ethiopia/  New York Workers Unite Film Festival / 

SF-DOCFest San Francisco / Human Rights Nights, Bologna, Italy/ DocuDays – Documentary Film Festival, Kiev/Friday Harbor Film Festival/Galway Film Fleadh, Galway and Belfast Cinemagic –  Ireland

 

Everything is not as it seems

TRIENNIAL NGV Melbourne

The show stopping art storm is fixated on capturing the Melbourne imagination with no expense spared, and this year it is free.

The journey starts and ends in the Moroccan coffee house but our focus is on the second floor, up the Reko Rennie elevator, an elevator that is part of the Galleries structure; not imported. From the Australian Aboriginal world, without excess to the post-communist decadance, up the spine into the heart and soul of the human mind.IMG_1147We arrive at the GOU PEI exhibit, a Chinese Fabric Artist that engineers her Masterpieces, stitch by stitch, bead upon bead, golden thread and a mantle of dreams. Inspired by an ancient past with dresses that would inspire the Pope. Her exhibit arrived in Melbourne, as precious as the Emperors Palace treasures and is located in the eye of the TRIENNIAL storm at the NGV.

Pei claims her work denies what it succumbs to, human vanity. Heart, soul and creativity, with a barrage of craftsmen on the floor, and this has happened before, in Dynasties past, a royal glass slipper for the ball. Rhianna , contemporary Diva, herald in the Artist at the Met Gala, formally the Costume Institute Gala, in New York.

The NGV hive, houses the Queen in an exhibition that begins in a blaze of glory.

IMG_1157

Like Michelangelo, one can imagine that she is ripe for Vatican success.

The NGV has gone wild, Curated by Simon Maidment’s team, a wonderland passing from one installation to another, a mind altering experience of Art.

As art-life drifts out of the fringe into the mainstream an unholy alliance bridges the gap between today and tomorrow. The current stream sedating, a war brewing.

It’s an epic bombardment, a Cultural revolution in it’s full thrust of life bordering on the ruin of decadance. Ron Mueck explores the human condition and its vulnerability in the wake of God-like delusions.

 

 

 

Review A.Forward

MONA, the road to OZ

MONA; the Museum of Old & New Art

FullSizeRender-176
FRENCH BAKERY in Devonport ; We got egg n bacon roll em up baby , savory toast that’s the most , sausage and fries what kind of pie? a la mode if you will……..T.W. include tel 036427 1077 Drop in, before you head off.

Prior to the visit I had heard plenty of favourable comments and recommendations about MONA; surprisingly they were coming from a range of people varying from art lovers to people with typically little interest in the arts. This intrigued me on the lead up to the visit. After visiting the gallery I understand its broad appeal; it’s a place where enjoyment and the experience are placed as the ultimate priority over pretension. Before any art is viewed, visitors have already been captivated by fun from the roaming roosters, kids trampoline, boat ride (dependent on arrival method), Tasmania’s oldest vineyard and the spectacular and awe-inspiring architecture – it has already been a successful venture. From here on it’s all a bonus, but it continues to intrigue with atmospheric galleries that range from tight quirky spaces to vast open areas. The art itself is diverse in its appeal with a little something to tickle everyone’s interest.’ MONA Visitor

 

MONA is not what you would expect regardless of all you have heard. We took ‘the journey ‘ beginning on the historic Station Pier for a Bass Straight crossing on the Spirit of Tasmania. The large window portals in the cabins gave a haunting view of the black water peeling back into white foam as the ship cut into a calm night sea. We arrived on the chilly Devonport coast at 6am with a temperature of zero.

The road to the museum of OZ has a few enchantments on the early Spring morning that perpetuate the unfolding drama of the landscape. As a typical Melbourne crew we anticipated a home-grown cuisine and strong coffees at the next town, we were mistaken, as each village was merely half a dozen rooftops and no signs that pointed us to a cafe. We regretted not dropping into the All Nice Things Bakery that beckoned from the corner, with the signed promise of a warm breakfast, if we had have known that cafes were few and far between, we would have eaten and stocked up.

Rumbling stomaches and caffeine withdrawals aside ,the natural resplendent views that the winding roads were drawing us into, satisfied the Winter frayed mind. Each scene was vast and framed within majestic snow-capped peaks. Our first stop was within the heavily mossed rainforest of the Liffey Falls , a gushing river flowing into cascading waterfalls. This area was once heavily populated by the Pattittore Aboriginal people, they held their social gatherings there, on this day there was only our small group.

The second wonder on the journey was the ice stalactites along the roadside, rain that was petrified into a dripping beauty. A short journey onward and random clumps on snow begin appearing on the side of the road unfolding into an expansive  snow field amongst the lakes. Naturally a snow fight ensued.

When we arrived at OZ, or rather MONA we were expecting a Glass City, not an old Vineyard, chooks and a small building set amongst outer shed like structures. It’s appearance is provincial, as though it was being considerate of the natural beauty that encased it. The real drama was yet to come.

Mona is built into the ground, not above it. The evaluator takes us deep into her interiors and we arrive at the lower floor of a towering bedrock wall, flanked by a contemporary Bar at one end and a 50’s Tea Room at the other, passing by a waterfall of words.

 

The current exhibition is the The Museum of Everything  and although Mona is a highly contemporary venue , this exhibit invites you into wallpaper drawing-room with a random collection of worldly works and audio stories to match the vision.

 

Is Mona the interior of a rich persons fantastical world? – Yes  

Is it Art-worthy? – Yes

Is it magnificent? – Absolutely

FullSizeRender-163
Sidney Nolan Room

 

Catch the ‘Spirit’ and sleep in the dark waters, it’s a genuine adventure, but eat before leaving Devonport, or you will be hungry.

DISPLAY BAKERY 009
ALL THINGS NICE A French Bakery located at 175 Tarleton Rd Devonport

Plundered & Broken

FullSizeRender-191

The tale of Aboriginal plunder is a never-ending ballad that sings in the winds of this great country, a land that Elea (Albert) Namatjira painted so lovingly in watercolour. Namatjira’s world-renowned artistic status may have provided him with a thin shield against racism but it was easily shattered, even his greatness, wealth and innocence could not protect him from incarceration.

FullSizeRender-111
Namatjira surrounded by family as he painted

The legend begins when Artist , Rex Battarbee took a painting trip into the Outback, after returning from the devastation of War in the 1930’s. He met Namatjira and it was through their collaboration that the 30-year-old Aranda man learnt to paint and exhibit. They went onto become lifetime friends, able to see pass the bigotry of the day.

International success took this humble man to great worldly heights, he was awarded the Coronation Medal and was the toast of the town. His exhibitions sold out shortly after they opened and most kitchens had one of his reproductions on a calendar or tea towel.

FullSizeRender-119

Before the 1967 Referendum, Australian Aboriginals where denied Human Constitutional Rights and were categorised as part of the wildlife or wards of the state. They were denied most basic human rights and in an insipid twist of irony could not own their land as it had been acquired by the Commonwealth.

Namatjira’s unprecedented rise on the world stage would require him to have a passport and his growing wealth attracted taxes, thus him and his wife Robina were given Australian citizenship  in 1957, enabling him to buy a house in Morris Soak .

Unfortunately his children were not granted citizenship and were regarded as ‘Wards of the State’ as all Aboriginal people were. They did not have the right to choose their marriage partner, be legally responsible for their own children,to change location or socialise with non-aboriginals. It also meant that when the Great Artist and his wife died the Legal Will that aimed to financially protect their children was made void as his children belonged to the state. Their financial copyright royalties were ‘acquired’ by the state and sold on.

The Namatjira Project  began as an objective to buy back the royalties (which will expire shortly) but has become a legal investigation.

The most moving part of the film is when Namatjira’s  homeless grandson gives his artwork to the Queen in her palace and walks away empty-handed. The documentary is a thoughtful journey, full of beautiful archives and an artistic vision, they tip toe over a mine field but I think they have let off a bomb.

*Due to the humane efforts of The Namatjira Project, the Royalties have been returned.

fullsizerender-189.jpg

FullSizeRender-190

Another victory in justice for the family

img_5886.jpg

IMG_5887

The Namatjira Family continue the water-colour tradition as their cultural inheritance.

A Message from the Family

It is a with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that our dear friend and watercolour artist of true talent, Kumantjai K Namatjira has passed away. On Saturday afternoon 3rd November in Alice Springs Hospital, he bid farewell, surrounded by family. One year after his cousin, Kumantjai L Namatjira, and 5 years after meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

unnamed-3

 

by April Forward

THE NAMATJIRA PROJECT

DIRECTOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER Sera Davies

PRODUCER

Sophia Marinos

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Julia Overton

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS (CULTURAL)
Lenie Namatjira
Gloria Pannka

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

IMG_7817
He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. He led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.

The Dressmaker

Have you seen the Dressmaker?

image

“Yes, it reminded me of Daylesford when we were kids, it gave me the shivers.”

Have you seen the Dressmaker?

“Yes, isn’t Liam Hemsworth gorgeous?”

Have you seen the dressmaker?

“Yes, wasn’t the interaction between Judy Davis and Kate Winset amazing, they must have had heaps of fun.”

Have you seen Dressmaker?

“No, but country towns always have their secrets.”

Have you seen the dressmaker?

“Yes, I Loved it.”

Kate Winset sets fire to the screen, in a cathartic survival movie. The very chic Tilly (Winset) returns to her childhood home in the dead of night, to clean up and overcome her troubled past. Armed with a sewing machine she manifests as the fairy godmother with a cutting edge. The film explores ‘the heart of darkness’ in rural Australia, within a playful drama about frocks.

It’s definitely a film to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Kate Winset
Kate Winset

Costume designer Margot Wilson, runs up a series of ‘show stoppers’ for Winslet to flaunt. Marion Boyce is the ‘muse’ of Tilly’s designs.

“In particular, for this film the costume is everything, most incredible dresses in my career, we start off with a palette of brown, grey and dull…’she’ (Tilly played by Kate Winslet) brings in the wealth of colour”  Boyce

Judy Davies wrings out every essence of her character in her performance, as a tormented shrew.She is brilliant.