Category Archives: art

Favourite sons

This needs to be noted by somebody because the local rag is pretty deeply wedded to the local status quo so here goes.

The local NRL team (who originally came from Queanbeyan btw) have been the beneficiaries of years of government generosity mainly through the availability and use of a pretty reasonable stadium which sits empty most of the time. They also have a highly valuable chunk of real estate smack bang in the middle of town, coincidentally next to an emerging government arts facility.

Now they (the raiders) are pushing the government to give them $20M for a so-called high performance centre in Braddon, presumably on this large block of land in the middle of town they received for virtually nix years ago.

Meanwhile this year’s ACT government budget “contains a $21.6 million package for the Arts over four years”

You might not think the arts are important. But it is also questionable why one professional football team is more deserving than an entire sector of human creativity. It is also questionable why they should continue to enjoy so many favourable deals when artists have to beg for a living.

This is apparently modern progressive politics.


Anime gets real

My daughter who is a bit of an anime fan alerted me to this…

The concert is real, that is, the audience are really there as are the musicians. The “star” Hatsune Miku is a vocaloid with some distinctly anime characteristics. Wikipedia says a vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizer, someone inputs lyrics and melody, pushes a button and presto! The synthesizer is called Vocaloid by a few corporations like Yamaha and the products are referred to as vocaloids.

The step of taking the vocaloid and animating it was made possible by something called MikuMikuDance

Now the whole universe of fantasy in real life is a very subjective matter but something about this “development” makes me somewhat uneasy. There’s this angle where a concert is the last bastion of live music. So when the vocaloid concert replaces the lyricist with a animation, not only is the voice not human but the combination of music and performance is contrived by a machine. How can we humanly relate to the vocaloid? All we are left with is our fellow audience members, being in the crowd.

But I think more disturbing is the “god” angle. Could the vocaloid be the forerunner of a constructed God? Could masses of people flock to attend the performance of an unblemished artifice? Listen to the sermon of God? Watch God perform miracles? Religion could make a serious comeback…

Welcome to the future.


ABC murders Jack Irish

Guy Pearce as Jack IrishThe first telemovie production based on Peter Temple’s brilliant book is just short of appalling. Forget about the bastardisation of the plot because that’s the least of the problems. The biggest problem and one Peter Temple himself must have been conscious of when he publicly stated Pearce had a lot to offer in the role is Guy Pearce isn’t Jack Irish. He’s too small, he’s not funny enough, he’s not tough enough and he’s not really deep enough to do Jack any justice.

The second really serious problem is the rest of the movie lacks any feel for Temple’s unique grasp of Australiana. The language and its delivery seems pedestrian and commonplace. The wintry scenery of Victoria is replaced with largely clear skies, presumably because it’s easier to produce and less depressing for the viewers. The movie totally misrepresents Jack’s relationship with Charlie and the carpentry work, nor does the movie do anything decent with Jack’s other life with Harry and Cam. Instead we are presented with some kind of superior Pearce who just happens to do a bit of woodwork and hangs around with a funny little man who likes to bet on the horses. If you didn’t know the story it might just seem ok but the depth of character doesn’t come through on the small screen nor is there any real motivation for anything other than the plot to uncover Danny’s killers (in movie #1).

Some other rather serious problems include the modernisation of the story’s setting, moving it tardis like from the early 90’s to 2012. Again it’s hard not to form the view that a modern setting was easier to produce (read cheaper) but it removes a powerful force from the story, the sense of history which pervades Temple’s original stories. Then there are the bad guys, read the bit about bastardisations to plot above. It’s almost like the producers assume Guy Pearce’s name would sell the show to the audience and potential backers but forgot to actually produce anything remotely sympathetic to the original Temple story.

I guess it had to be made but I’m almost cringing at the lack of imagination or sophistication on show here. These stories are classy examples of a particular genre that just happen to be situated in Melbourne and I would have thought something better could have been done with them. Instead we get what really looks like a second rate production, hamstrung by budget and the choice of leads which might fulfil some ABC charter for Australian production but is hardly something to put in our trophy cabinet. Shame really.


In pictures: 100 places to remember before they disappear | Environment |

100 photographs from 100 different places around the world that are threatened by climate change.The pictures are taken by some of the world’s best photographers and all the places are based on reports from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC.

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