Nitram

March 28, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Untethered

(Directed by Justin Kurzel) (2021) Suspense need not be a mystery. Out of the so-called 7 plots, the dramatist’s art is to finesse the selected one. As with Shakespeare, it matters not that we know the ending. In Nitram (‘Martin’ backwards, as is Martin), the story (about Martin Bryant, going ‘postal’ in April 1996) is notorious. Here, the director creates an intimate, very private background to a very public tragedy, and does it with great depth of feeling and beautiful pacing. It is a small town saga (the south-east coast of Victoria standing in for Port Arthur, probably for political…

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Icehouse

Adelaide Oval’s Village Green, 8 February, 2022 ‘Icehouse’ were never really the techno-guys they were painted as – Nothing to Do from their first (best?) album (when they were ‘Flowers’) is a song Lou Reed would have liked to write and perform – and this terrific retrospective, conceived around the 40th anniversary of the inaugural release of Great Southern Land, written by Iva Davies in homage to Australia and its landscape while homesick on the band’s first overseas tour, showed how their hits were basically great rock/pop, performed by a band that is pretty much as cohesive and professional as…

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Albo in the Hawse

February 15, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, AUSTRALIANIA, POLITICS |

Ever since Rats in the Ranks, socialist leader Anthony Albanese has overcome his natural shyness and backed into the political limelight. He is now likely to be the next Prime Minster of Australia, according to published polls. We await not his campaign platform but rather the inevitable consequences of his stewardship of the nation, most of which will occur due to desuetude of governance, owing to Albo’s lethargy and indifference to issues such as energy security, border protection, national debt, freedom of the individual and the rise of China. Albo is enthusiastic about the movies, though, especially one with a…

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Queensland Museum

November 29, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, TRAVEL |

November 2021 TVC loves V & A style museums, the ones that pile-up objects, so that stuffed animals lie cheek by jowl with ancient graves, next to planes, trains and automobiles, and so on. (For example, Edinburgh). Housed in a repulsive building after the New Brutalism style of architecture (main image), near to the Queensland Art Gallery’s quaint homage to the Louvre pyramid, the Queensland Museum was opened by then Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen (it’s a wonder the current Premier’s myrmidons haven’t covered-up the plaque).  It was a welcome respite from the heat after a brief stop at the Gallery of Modern…

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Stuffing One’s Face in Brisbane

November 25, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, FOOD, LIFE, Restaurants, TRAVEL |

November 2021 The Varnished Culture spent a (very) warm week in Brisbane sampling, inter alia, some of the very nice eateries. From restaurant to cafe, Brisbane serves good food in elegant settings and a relaxed mode. Here’s a sample. Otto (Shop 1, River Quay, Sidon St, Brisbane, Qld) Very posh. A short walk through the steamy riverbank gardens and then seats in the bar with delicious cocktails (a “Sicilian Sunset” – Vodka, Limoncello, Lemon sorbet, Vanilla and soda; and an “Arancia Sour” – Johnnie Walker Black, Lemon, a Chinotto reduction and whites).  Then in to lunch. There we encountered some…

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