Home' InDaily : January 15th 2010 Contents www.independentweekly.com.au
January 15 - 21, 2010
The Independent Weekly
1) Closing Time at the Local
'Last drinks yells the barman
Through the haze of stale smoke
And the drunken buzz.
The glassy-eyed punters
Push their elbows
And their glasses across the bar.
The guilty check their watches
Remember their wives at home.
Weave through the crowd
Spill out onto the footpath.
The real drinkers
Try not to rush their last drink
Dread the leaving
The slam of the door behind them
The loneliness of the dark night ahead
Of all the dark nights ahead.
2) Child s Play
Late afternoon beach
and a child is burying
with his bucket and spade
the last scraps of sunlight
waves are collapsing onto
with the weight of continents.
1) Jill Gower and 2) Jules Leigh Koch contributed to
Poet's corner in 2009.
Readers unpublished poems to 30 lines can be emailed
with postal address to poetscorner@independentweekly.
com.au or posted with an SAE to the Poetry Editor,
Independent Weekly, GPO Box 114 Adelaide 5001. A
poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.
You may remember the Muppets, but
you can forget them when the lights
light up at Her Majesty s Theatre.
Avenue Q draws on Sesame Street
for inspiration. The plot, however, is
urban street-smart, the foibles and
follies are entirely human, and the
songs and dancing is Broadway at its
It s the story of a newly graduated
job-seeker living in one of New York s
poorer districts (all he can afford),
when he meets his neighbours:
among them a Republican banker, two
monsters and Bad Idea bears, poor Mrs
Thistletwat and the luscious Lucy T.
All these are puppets -- glove
puppets, mostly, with uncanny human
expression and deliverance -- who
share their stories and dances on
stage with real-people characters in a
It s a love story, a comedy, a
of "purpose" and a musical romp
through failure and success. It s
unique. It s funny. Its production is
almost flawless. The set design is
clever and innovative.
The four-piece band (it s worth going
just to hear Damien Hurn s alto sax)
hits every note, musical and sensory,
and the puppets and puppeteers
work together so well that it really is
possible to suspend belief and just ride
the imagination until final curtain.
Don t be dissuaded by thinking
puppets can t do real theatre.
This production of Avenue Q is a
memorable -- and thoroughly enjoyable
-- night out.
-- Hendrik Gout
Avenue Q is playing at Her Majesty's
Theatre until January 31
POET S CORNER Compiled by John Miles
EJECTS LEO BERIBERI
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THEATRE REVIEW Avenue Q
Solutions from 10
It s a love story,
a comedy, a deep-and-
of "purpose" and a
musical romp through
failure and success.
When Chris Bishop was
growing up in the Clare
Valley, there was no cinema
he could visit to indulge his love of
film. The area once had a drive-in,
but it closed when he was six years
However, this didn t stop Bishop
pursuing a career in the film
industry and now he has returned
from his current base in London
to share his passion with others
through the inaugural Clare Valley
"I love the Clare Valley, but
London is where I need to be at the
moment," he says. "However, when
I heard they had opened a new
cinema in Clare (in 2005) and that
there was interest among young
people in becoming film-makers, I
wanted to be a part of that."
The valley s Blyth Cinema is
a beacon for film lovers, opening
at a time when many of the few
remaining small regional and
rural cinemas have been forced to
close their doors as they struggle to
secure new-release and blockbuster
movies. About 10,000 people
attended movies at the cinema in
its first two years, with a team of
volunteers operating screenings.
In 2007, the cinema took out the
inaugural Emu Award for "having
a go", and in 2008 it was named the
Westpac Community Idol 2008.
Bishop worked with co-director
Seeta Indrani and Blyth Cinema
chair Ian Roberts to get the Clare
Valley Film Festival off the ground,
with planning beginning around
April last year.
"We targeted independent short
films," says Bishop. "We wanted a
large variety of different styles and
genres from all over the world."
More than 140 short films were
submitted for consideration,
and Bishop watched nearly all of
them. "Each evening for about two
months I sat down and watched four
or five films every night."
The number was whittled down to
17 by a judging panel that included
Paul Greenaway from Greenaway
Art Gallery in Adelaide, Fiona
Gunn from the National Film and
Sound Archive, and representatives
of several UK film production
"There is an incredible diversity
of entries from all over the world
-- short comedies from Germany,
experimental films from the UK,
and social justice shorts from
the US," Gunn says. "It s been
a pleasure to watch these mini
Films being screened at the
festival include an animated
Danish drama about a little girl s
fateful search to find her mother,
a British arthouse film about two
men who clean the streets, and a
Sydney film telling the story of a
boy who wants to be the next rugby
league superstar. From these will
be chosen the best world short film,
best Australian short film, and an
audience choice winner.
Among the festival highlights,
Bishop singles out a Spanish film
called The Attack of the Robots from
Nebula-5, which has won about 40
awards from film festivals around
the world, including Sundance.
"I like the honesty of it," he says.
"It s a very naive but honest little
film that I think will reach a wide
Five additional films have been
included in the festival program,
including The Banker, about a
lonely worker in a sperm bank who
dreams of love. It was made by two
Australians in London and won
a British Academy of Film and
Television Arts (BAFTA) award.
"It shows that as long as you have
a good idea and follow it through,
anyone can make a film," Bishop
He has just finished work on
a feature-length documentary
in England called The Sweeney,
about the life of Jim Sweeney, who
is considered the grandfather of
improvisational comedy and retired
only a year ago despite a 20-year
battle with multiple sclerosis. A
six-minute clip from this will also
be shown as part of the closing
screening at the festival.
Although the short film
screenings are on Saturday,
January 23, the festival begins
next Wednesday with a one-day
film-making workshop, followed by
a 24-hour film challenge the next
day. The challenge is aimed at young
people, who Bishop hopes will be
inspired to pursue a career in the
"What we are looking for is not
so much technical brilliance, but
ideas," he says.
The last screening of the festival
was almost sold out at the time of
going to press, and Bishop says he
is pleased with the response to the
event, which organisers are hoping
to run every second year.
"It s one of only two rural
festivals of this type in Australia ...
it s quite rare and we re hoping to
make an impact."
For the full Clare Valley Film
Festival program, visit www.
A passion for
all things film
Clare Valley Film Festival directors Seeta Indrani and Chris Bishop on location.
Letters to Sally.
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