WRITE NOW

WRITE NOW – tonight – Stewart with his choice of books; plus I have an article to talk about and later I’ll speak with Liz Porter about her excellent latest book: Crime Scene Asia. Please join me, Gaytana

Songs of Hope podcast

Listen again to Songs of Hope Sunday worship, broadcast on Sunday 10Jun18. Play time is 12 minutes.

Also available is our Christian music podcast for 10Jun18

Songs of Hope website

ANGUS GILL ON ALL NEW SATURDAY AUSMOSIS

Rising country music superstar Angus Gill joined us on Saturday for a quick chat as he wound his way across the country roads of NSW. The brilliant songwriter is about to go viral with his catchy but thoughtful lyrics and you can hear what he has to say about the present and future here as well as hear a couple of his recent releases.


Film review: ‘KODACHROME’, by Nick Gardener from ‘Built for Speed’

The road trip drama has long been a convenient cinematic device for forcing warring family members to cohabit and thrash out their issues while imbibing the attractive landscapes through which they travel. The low-key, low-budget film Kodachrome is a familiar road trip redemption story but one that benefits from better-than-average performances.

Jason Sudeikis stars as arrogant and once successful record company talent scout Matt Ryder who is now struggling to find his place in a changing world. When he loses a major artist, he’s given two weeks to sign another big-name band or he’s fired. In the midst of this dilemma he’s asked to accompany his long-estranged, contemptible and terminally ill photographer father Ben (Ed Harris) and his personal assistant Zoe (Catherine Olsen) on road trip to Kansas to develop Ben’s last roll of Kodachrome film before the film company shuts forever.

With the protagonist a disillusioned son with employment problems and the film evoking nostalgia through music, Kodachrome may on paper resemble the Cameron Crowe clunker Elizabethtown. Thankfully, Kodachrome is a much more believable and grounded film than Cameron Crowe’s borderline turkey and through its modest ambitions comes closer to a film like the touching Aussie drama Last Cab to Darwin.

As he showed in Pollock, few can do it irascible artistic genius as convincingly as Ed Harris; he’s an obnoxious git for much of this film but there’s just enough humanity bubbling below the surface to make him tolerable. Jason Sudeikis has spent most of his film career seemingly trying to usurp the Chevy Chase throne as Hollywood’s premier purveyor of smarmy smart-ass characters but thankfully he’s started venturing into different territory with oddball dramas like last year’s Colossus and more humanist efforts like Kodachrome. Given that the music scene defines his character, though, it would have been good to learn more about Matt’s favourite bands and what inspired his career. Catherine Olsen is largely known as Red Witch from the Avengers films but she shows she can deliver an engaging performance in a low-key drama.

The film mostly follows the terminal illness/ road trip formula which makes it a little predictable and deprives it of some emotional impact but it’s still effecting at times. The metaphor of a redundant technology (in this case photographic film) reflecting Ben and Mark’s lives is fairly obvious and a couple of times the dialogue unnecessarily spells this out but it’s not too distracting.

Within its limited scope, Kodachrome is an engaging if not essential drama.

Nick’s rating: ***

Genre: Drama/ Road trip.

Classification: M.

Director(s): Mark Raso.

Release date: 7th June 2018.

Running time: 105 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. http://subcultureentertainment.com/2014/02/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-film-show

Film review: ‘HEREDITARY’, by Nick Gardener from ‘Built for Speed’

Creepy, slow-burn supernatural horror film Hereditary is one of the more stylish additions to the genre of recent times and announces an impressive new filmmaking talent in writer/ director Ari Aster who makes his feature debut here.

Hereditary sees the Graham family: Annie (Toni Collette), Stephen (Gabriel Byrne), late-teen son Peter (Alex Wolff) and 13-year-old daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) slowly unravelling after the death of Annie’s mother. When another tragedy strikes, the family begin to experience strange, unexplained and increasingly distressing phenomena which, as Annie discovers, may be linked to a bizarre family history.

Like the best supernatural horror films Hereditary works hard to establish a believable world so that any scares are more visceral and effective. Rather than launch into a barrage of shocks, Aster slowly pieces together mysterious fragments that have us feverishly guessing as to what’s happening. He effectively adds increasingly frightening incidents as strange names appear on the walls, unexplained beams of light sweep past people and more deadly events occur.

Hereditary has been hailed as this generation’s Exorcist but while often very tense and featuring a couple of excellent pop-out scares, Hereditary is never as chilling as The Exorcist and won’t have the social impact of William Friedkin’s malevolent classic. It has more in common with Rosemary’s Baby which is a fine recommendation in itself. It also occasionally echoes other horror classics such as Poltergeist and The Changeling. As much as a horror film, though, this is a dark, brooding, family drama driven by themes of guilt, grief, domestic conflict and possibly mental breakdown.

Hereditary is also just as much an artistic statement as a fright-fest and continues a recent trend in horror cinema – as seen in films such as The Witch and It Follows – in which European arthouse sensibilities take precedence over ugly, simplistic slasher and torture porn. With his meticulous framing, deliberate pacing and striking use of colour, Aster’s film also at times recalls the work of Stanley Kubrick. As in Kubrick’s films, Hereditary’s mood is often driven by music and Aster employs extremely ominous orchestral and electronic pieces that will be ringing in audiences’ minds for days after seeing the film – as will one of the character’s vocal tics.

Hereditary also makes excellent use of creepy dolls as Annie creates tiny representations of her life (gruesome deaths and all) for an art installation. The images of her carefully constructing and arranging these models alludes to the idea of a sinister manipulative power at work in their lives.

The film benefits from a fine cast. Toni Collette recalls her Sixth Sense character as a mother trying to cope with supernatural forces although this time those forces are much more malevolent. The film centres on Annie and Collette’s intense and at times manic performances fuels its sense of unease. Like the young boy in Poltergeist the son Peter cops the brunt of supernatural harassment and Alex Wolff convincingly plays a young guy heading over the edge of sanity. As the younger sister and lightning rod for spooky occurrences, Milly Shapiro is both disturbing (including her fondness for decapitation) and sympathetic as a troubled youngster. The only real disappointment in terms of character development is Gabriel Byrne as the father who is a little underused here.

Hereditary is arguably more build-up than pay-off but in constructing the Graham family’s unnerving world this film is nearly always remarkable.

Nick’s rating: ****

Genre: Horror.

Classification: MA 15+.

Director(s): Ari Aster.

Release date: 7th June 2018.

Running time: 127 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. http://subcultureentertainment.com/2014/02/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-film-show

 

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