THEATRE REVIEW: CANDIDE @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Photo credit: Grant Leslie For years people have been perplexed by Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Is it an operetta? A comedy? Musical theatre? A little of all of the above? Perhaps the safest description is that of “comic operetta,” where the draw-card is some dynamic and electric music. Mitchell Butel directs this latest production, which coincides with what would have been Bernstein’s…

BOOK REVIEW: BETOOTA’S AUSTRALIA

  When you’re a kid from a small, country town, the prospect of leaving home and moving to the big smoke can be scary. The guys from The Betoota Advocate know all about this so they’ve written Betoota’s Australia – A Guide to the Great Southern Land by Australia’s Oldest Newspaper (although in truth, it’s actually by…

FILM REVIEW: ALI’S WEDDING

  It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. The events depicted in Ali’s Wedding, the new Australian film and Muslim rom-com are based on true events. Unfortunately. This comedy is a funny and vibrant look at life in Australia for a family of Middle Eastern immigrants and like Looking For Alibrandi, The Family Law and Acropolis Now, it is another…

FILM REVIEW: SNATCHED

  A more appropriate title for the film Snatched would be “Botched” because this was a wasted opportunity. The movie is an uneven one starring comedian Amy Schumer and Hollywood’s own, the truly wonderful Goldie Hawn making her silver-screen comeback after a 15 year hiatus. It’s one that has some decent-enough ingredients but the overall…

FILM REVIEW: THE GOLD SPINNERS

  Peedu Ojamaa once had the world’s greatest job. He was the founder and boss of the only commercial film studio in the Soviet Union at a time when the iron curtain ruled and there was a strictly planned economy. Advertisements were unnecessary as there was a shortage of goods due to government controls, but these…

FILM REVIEW: CHINESE PUZZLE (Casse-tête chinois)

  The film, Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête chinois) could be re-named “Xavier’s Travels” or “It’s Complicated”. The French film and final instalment in director and writer, Cédric Klapisch’s trilogy puts middle-aged life and all of its vagaries and difficulties under the microscope. In some ways the John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other…