Thursday, 17 March 2016

So . . . I'm tossing up about my very random recommendation system. Let's try something different using the number system:

5/5              = Unmissable
4 to 4.5 / 5  = Wholeheartedly recommended
3 - 3.5 / 5    = Recommended 
2 - 2.5 / 5    = Maybe (you've got better things to do with your time)
Below 2      = well, that speaks for itself!  

And while we are on something new, though I don't purport to be a theatre reviewer, I must tell you all about two brilliant 5 out of 5 theatre performances I've seen.

Showing at 45 Downstairs, this mix of music and theatre tells the story of the emigration of Greek girls and women to Australia in the 50s. Spoken and sung, mainly in English, but with translations for the Greek songs, this had me in tears, so overpowering was the emotion of their stories and their singing. I simply loved it! 

The Secret River
Based on Kate Grenville's novel, this production is a powerful and important story of what happened when the white settlers came up against the Indigenous occupants of Australia. Two families are divided by culture and land, and the outcome is devastating.  Adapted for the stage by writer Andrew Bovell (of Lantana fame) and directed by Neil Armfield (of Holding the Man fame), this is a theatrical experience that will do more than move you - I came away saying it's the best piece of theatre I've probably ever seen.  

The Daughter  
Director: Simon Stone
Length: 96 mins

Broody, moody and totally gripping, The Daughter is the story of what havoc is wreaked when a selfish man decides to reveal a family secret that would be best left hidden. Christian returns from America for the wedding of his father Henry (Geoffrey Rush) to a much younger housekeeper. He hangs out with his old schoolfriend Oliver (Ewen Leslie), who is married to Charlotte, (Miranda Otto). Their daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) is adored by her father, and grandfather (Sam Neill), and when the proverbial hits the fan, she will be the one to most suffer. Beautifully shot around Tumut, compellingly scripted and flawlessly acted, this is a must-see. 


For my full review:

The Witch
Director: Robert Eggers
Length: 95 mins

This is scary film-making at its best. It's nothing like the slasher-horror nonsense that churns out of Hollywood; rather this is a frightening tale based on folk tales of witches in the early 1600s in America. The Puritan family that eke out a living on the edge of a foreboding forest turn upon each other when their little baby goes missing. Whether external evil forces are afoot, or the machinations and fears of over-active minds are at work will be revealed. Maybe it's both! Shot in near black and white, acted by virtual unknowns, and feeling totally authentic to the period, this should offer good scares, and also intriguing insights into the psychology of  repression, fear and blame. 

4! (Exclusive to Cinema nova)

For my full review:

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