Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Several months later....

Well I had every intention of keeping this blog regularly updated, and then of course got so busy with all my other committments that I totaly forgot about it until today, when someone gently reminded me about it (thanks Brett!). Part of me is thinking: is this just self indulgent? Do I even have time to update my life? Aren't blogs like, soooo 2001?

The other half of my brain (well, actually the quarter that I have spare at any given time that's not preoccupied by thoughts of work, sex, volunteer work and other committments) is saying: Make your mark! Write something! Document your life before you destroy all your brain cells or develop early Alzheimers or get hit by a bus!

So I'll try a little harder, I promise.

So, what have I been up to lately?

Well, the football season is about to start, with the pre-season tournament The Wizard Cup starting this Friday night, but because I've committed to going to see a new piece of physical theatre about Australia's mandatory detention of refugees policy, I won't be going. I have to review the show for a great website that a girlfriend of mine edits: Go check it out, and read some of my other reviews while you're at it.

Speaking of reviews, I watched the DVD release of Gregg Araki's 1995 film 'The Doom Generation' the other night, and here's what I had to say:

(Palace Films)

Asian-American director Gregg Araki’s first "heterosexual movie" (as the opening credits declare) is a lurid, drug-fuelled romp about teen angst, sex, voyeurism, murder, consumerism and homophobia. It’s also a lot of fun, in an ironically kitsch, acquired-taste sort of way.

At the time of its release The Doom Generation was firmly entrenched as part of the ‘new queer cinema’ (a movement which sought to break down notions of ‘normal’ heterosexuality through transgression and subversion rather than through polemic statements). The film sets out to explore a sexual dynamic that lies well outside the traditional boy-meets-girl (or even boy-meets-boy) structure of 99% of American movies, but it does do with its tongue firmly planted in (between) cheek(s).

The plot is extraordinarily simple. Teen couple Amy White (Rose McGowan, best known as small screen witch Paige Matthews from Charmed) and Jordan White (James Duval, more recently seen as Frank in cult film Donnie Darko) accidentally save the seductive, psychotic bisexual Xavier Red (Jonathon Schaech) from a gang of queer bashers (played by members of industrial band Skinny Puppy) before throwing him out of their car a short time later. The trio meets again later that night at the scene of an accidental convenience store murder, forcing them into an uncomfortable intimacy as they flee the scene of the crime. Before long this intimacy develops significantly, in scenes which display a truly erotic frisson.

The film is deliberately trashy, satirising western culture’s love of consumption and surface beauty while simultaneously commenting on the homophobia underlying traditional macho braggadocio. It’s also influenced by such classic genres as the road movie and the horror film, in particular taking the horror movie’s obsession with bodily penetration and perverse sexuality (as typified by the likes of Alien and The Fly) to occasionally shocking extremes.

With its garish, adolescent energy and deft ear for teen culture’s dialogue and self-obsessed behaviour, not to mention a too-cool-for-school soundtrack of mid-90’s alternative bands (as well as a cameo by Janes’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell), Gregg Araki’s The Doom Generation is an occasionally infuriating but wildly entertaining sex-murder romp whose ending is all the more powerful for the light tone the film has previously employed. Sadly this Australian DVD release presents a truncuated pan-and-scan version of the film rather than showing it in letterbox format, while the only extras are the original film trailer, four unrelated trailers, and unsatisfying cast and crew filmographies."

That should appear in Beat magazine next week, I think.

Hmm, maybe that's what I can do with my blog: post reviews of all the things I go and see and thus in some small way help document the diverse Melbourne arts scene.

Recently I have attended:

Little Black Bastard, a monologue by queer indigenous actor/writer Noel Tovey at Midsumma Festival:

The season launch of The Store Room, a Melbourne independent theatre company: (it was one of those nights: The Store Room's launch or the prestigious, highbrow Bell Shakespeare Company's season launch? Hmm, cool cutting edge art or top end of town sponsors and schmoozing? Bloody easy decision to make!)

And of course I'm presenting a new weekly show on Melbourne's community radio station 3RRR - - called 'Smartarts', every Thursday between 9am - 12 midday. Feel free to tune in - we webcast live, so you can hear me anywhere on the planet. There's no escape! *cue maniacal laughter*

Okay that's all from me for now, I have to go tidy up before friends come over for a spot of role-playing in an hour or so.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Black Holes In The Sand, by UK band Gravenhurst, and loving it.

CURRENTLY READING: Life In A Medieval City by Joseph and Frances Gies (published in 1969, when I was two years old)


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