Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Random Roadside Drug-Testing...

Scene 32: Ext, night.

A late model Holden Commodore glides smoothly to a halt beside a line of witch's hats, stopping easily despite the light rain.

A handsome POLICE OFFICER wearing wet-weather gear steps forward as the DRIVER winds his window down. The flashing blue lights of the police alcohol and drug-testing unit play across his unshaven face.

OFFICER: Roadside drug testing, driver.

DRIVER: Oh, no worries.

The DRIVER leans across to the glove compartment and takes out a small plastic bag.

DRIVER: I got these brown Scorpions from a mate last night; can ya tell me if they're any good?

OFFICER: Give us a sec and we'll test them for you, but from what I've heard, this batch are a bit smacky, but almost as good as pure MDMA.

DRIVER: Sweet!

The Night Stalker is dead!

Vale Darren McGavin, the actor who played journalist Cark Kolchack in the telemovies The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler, and went on to play the character in the cult TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. He later appeared in a two-part story in The X-Files, whose creator Chris Carter credited The Night Stalker with inspiring his series. McGavin died Saturday, in Los Angeles, aged 83.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Gay films I want to see (Part One)

Romeo and Julian - enough said; just please, don't cast LeonardoDiCaprio in it - I mean, did you see his take on Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse?
The Ghost and Mrs Muir - saw it again tonight (the lighting! the pathos!) and want to see a modernised queer version. In fact, maybe I'll just write it myself....
Rebel with a Cause - in which Sal Mineo's Plato tenderly consoles Jimmy Dean's Jim Stark after Judy (Natalie Wood) has been blown away by the jacks.
Robin Hood and his Merry Men - academics tell us that Maid Marion was a late addition to the story cycle, so just what were Robin and Much the Miller's Son doing together during all those years in the greenwood, hmmm?
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid - the movie that set the trend for homosocial buddy movies for years to come is allegedy to be remade, with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the lead roles. For starters, how gay is that? Secondly, all I want to know is, will they pash each other before they jump off the cliff or before they burst out guns blazing to fatally face the Mexican police? The subtext was always there, folks; don't tell me you haven't seen it!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Australian Values

Dear Ethnic Immigrant,

Thank you for choosing our great nation to be your new home. In order to help you assimilate more quickly, we've prepared this handy check-list of Australian values to which you should aspire.

Although we welcome you to Australia, please don't forget to leave your unwanted foreign belief systems at home (unless you're from the United Kingdom or the United States of America; your cultures are vastly superior to ours and we wouldn't dream of making you abandon the values and activities to which we ourselves aspire).

Please select at least three of the following values to adopt as your own:

Please note that notion of a fair go, and the concept of supporting the underdog, have been phased out of operation in order for Australia to remain competitive in the global economy.

Yours smugly,

The Hon. Peter Costello

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Trans Horseman Of The Apocalypse

Richard speaks with writer/director Duncan Tucker about his first feature film Transamerica.

“Somebody told me that they’d read a conservative Christian website where some writer was comparing Transamerica, together with Capote, Brokeback Mountain and Breakfast On Pluto, to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse,” Duncan Tucker laughs. “My reaction to that was, ‘Wow, cool!’ I mean, I don’t want to offend any good, god-fearing people, but I think there are some people out there who are just afraid of anything different.”

We’re discussing the Christian Right’s reaction to his debut feature, Transamerica, one of several high profile and queer-themed films that have been released this season. Compared to earlier films such as The Silence of the Lambs, which demonised transgendered people, Transamerica is definitely different.

Staring Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman in a Golden Globe winning performance, the film depicts a turbulent week in the life of a pre-operative transsexual woman, the prim and conservative Bree Osbourne, as she prepares for her gender-reassignment surgery. Scant days before entering hospital Bree learns that she has a teenage son, Toby, fathered while she was still living as a man, who has been arrested by New York’s finest for prostitution and drug offences. Urged on by her therapist, she flies to the east coast to meet the boy, a surly young hustler played by Kevin Zegers, and in a classic comedy of errors, ends up embarking on a cross-continental road trip with him.

In keeping with the traditions of the road movie, their journey is as much internal as it is geographic. It is a journey which, Tucker says, was partially inspired by Peter Jackson's epic The Lord of the Rings.

“I wanted to make a movie that would really hold me in my seat, and since I couldn’t afford to make The Lord of the Rings, I thought ‘How can I make a film like it on a budget?’ Because just like Peter Jackson’s film this is a quest story. Frodo and my character Bree both have to leave their safe homes and go on a dangerous adventure through uncharted lands, and they make friends and meet enemies, and they come back home changed.”

At the same time, as Tucker was trying to decide what sort of film he wanted to make, a female friend sat him down one night to explain that she was transgendered.

“She told me that what was under her skirt wasn’t what I thought was under her skirt. I just about fell off my chair,” he says. “That’s when I thought “I’m doing Frodo but I’m putting her in a dress.”

Bree Osbourne, consequently, is not just a memorable transgendered character; she is a memorable character, period. As Duncan Tucker speaks about her, both his words and his tone make it clear just how much he cares about this fictional woman he has created.

“Bree has such great, fragile dignity and nervous determination, and she triumphs. She’s had a hard time but she’s got such guts and heroism. I think when you first see her you see an awkward looking human being, but within five minutes you just start rooting for her, and by the end of the movie you’ve forgotten that she’s awkward looking and she’s just 100% adorable,” the director says proudly.

“I think Felicity Huffman is a brilliant actress, a transformative actress. She disappears into the skin of this character. But as well as I know Felicity now, as friendly as I’ve become with her, I still miss the character that she played. She brought Bree to life and I miss her.”

Transamerica opens nationally this Thursday 23rd February.

This article originally appeared in MCV #265 on Friday Feb 17 2006

Bi any other name...

While I cheerfully admit to having a bit of a thing for 'straight' men (the sort of straight men who feature in the song 'Six Beer Queer' by Brisbane's queer punk band Anal Traffic), I don't actually believe that they're straight at all. They can think of themselves as straight all they like, but if they're getting off with another bloke then in my book, they ain't completely heterosexual.

They probably don't even think of themselves as 'bi-curious', unless they inhabit some of the same gay chat rooms that I sometimes do. Having known more than a few bi-curious blokes in my time (not always in the biblical sense), while I think it's a rather feckless, artificial phrase on a par with 'straight-acting', it does definitely have its uses.

Anyway, the reason I'm posting this entry this morning is because I just read an article by UK queer writer Mark Simpson on his blog about bisexuality, bi-curiousness, and the commodification of male masculinity:

"Male bisexuality as a phenomenon is here already and is something that society is going to have to get used to, or at least stop pretending doesn’t exist – except when it wants to make money out of it in the form of advertising, fashion, pop-promos, movies and porn. A generation of young men have been programmed by our hypocritical culture to be bisexually-responsive – so long as it makes corporations rich, but they are told it’s wrong and ill and makes their pricks drop off if they take that as a cue to be anything other than passive, veal-pen consumers. If I was Herbert Marcuse I might argue that reaching for your buddy’s shorts instead of your wallet – choosing the Real Thing – over Diesel and Nike is still verboten because corporations are making so much money selling straight men ersatz homosexuality."

Although his style tends towards the florid and hyperbolic, it's a fascinating read all the same. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Updating, Not Dating, and Other Things

Here's a quick guide to what I've been up to the last week...if reading it makes you exhausted, imagine how I feel.

Presented Smartarts in the morning, then in the evening, prior to DJ'ing at Q + A, went to the launch of this year's Melbourne Queer Film Festival program. Lots of good stuff in the festival this year, or so it seems; the problem is that everything is written up with a glowing review, so it's sometimes hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Former rugby league icon (an aggressive, uncompromising player and at one stage the captain of the North Queensland Cowboys), Dancing with the Stars celebrity, and NIDA student Ian Roberts was at the launch, as he's one of the judges of the Oz Shorts this year; I hope to get him on my show, as I used to have a crush on him back in about 96-97 when he first came out. Unlike Midsumma, and other major events on the GLBTI calender, I truly love the MQFF, as it attracts the most diverse crowds of any queer event in town. Plus I love movies.


Went to a media preview of the new indie American flick TRANSAMERICA, described to me by Lisa Daniel from the Melbourne Queer Film Festival as 'the sort of film about trans issues you'd take your parents to see.' She's right. It's a safe, comfortable and occasionally moving film about a trans woman who goes on a road trip with the son she fathered while still living as a man. The director has already described it as 'not a film a transsgender issues, but a film about love' or words to that effect. Bullshit. Instead of gadding around town on Friday night I stayed in, and watched Joss Whedon's SERENTITY, which I enjoyed immensely.

A morning coffee at Arcadia with Michael, who I used to know in high school; missed a media preview in the arvo so went to see JARHEAD instead, and was disappointed: the direction, by Sam Mendes, is lackluster, while the characters are cyphers rather than 3-D people. Consequently it was hard to give a fuck about any of them. Oddly enough, the film is more homoerotic, and features more nude scenes of Jake Gyllenhaal, than BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Great cinematography though. Saturday evening I was supposed to attend the opening of the REAL LIFE ON FILM documenatary film festival, but I took a nap instead, then went to a party in the city hosted by Alexis Glass, the director of Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces. As you'd expect, more artists and curators than you could poke a stick at. Great party though. I drank, I danced, I had fun. Went home via Ding Dong (although I missed Bit By Bats) and Control HQ.

Hungover. Had lunch with old friends Terry and Jane, Sean, and Hugh and Chiara. A lovely, relaxed afternoon. Another friend, and a neighbour of Terry and Jane's, Mark Holsworth, joined us late in the day. Went home and did fuck all. Then took an E, just for the hell of it, and caught up with the lovely Lisa Greenaway at an illegal public gathering under a bridge by a nameless body of water while a band played and the full moon shone overhead. Tres bohemian, darling.

Worked at Triple R on a couple of grant applications for most of the day. Instead of attending a media preview of SYRIANA at 6.30 I stayed in, and watched the first two episodes of The West Wing, which alicia sometimes has lent me the first season of. Good TV, other than the script-writers' habit of giving the President speeches rather than real dialogue from time to time. Then I watched a preview disc of one of the films showing at this year's Queer Film Festival, as I have to review it for MCV. Then I went to bed.

Got up around 9am, and prepped for an interview with Duncan Tucker, the director of TRANSAMERICA. In classic freelancer style I plan to use the interview for RRR, MCV and The Age. Thereafter, after a bit of editing, I attended a media preview of David 'Scanners/Videodrome/The Fly' Cronenberg's A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Wow. What an devestating, amazing, and disturbing film. I'll say very little about it, as to avoid spoilers, other than that it continues the director's obsession with the human psyche, and our propensity for violence, in a stylish and startling way. And of course, because it was Velentine's Day, I had a twinge of angst about being single, although to be honest, it was a very minor blip on the radar. Thereafter I went to the opening of a new exhibition at the artist-run-space Bus Gallery, after which I went out for dinner with two old Fringe friends, Jude and Liza. Yes, I spent Valentine's Day night with two straight chicks and no cute boys. Story of my life, really...

So far, pretty quiet. Up at 8.30 for a 9.30 chiropractor's appointment. Then went to the media launch of the 2006 NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL, more on which in a later post, and had a couple of glasses of champagne. Am now at home and planning to write up my MCV article about director Duncan Tucker, although because of the bubbly, I think I might have a nap first. Tonight is my first Express Media board meeting as a potential board member rather than as a staffer, followed by the opening night of a new play at LA MAMA by Kieran Carroll (whom I'm interviewing tomorrow on RRR). If I'm lucky, I might get to the lauch of a new book about Melbourne's stencil art scene after that...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Boys and their Toys

A new sex scandal involving footballers has erupted - this time in the UK. Unlike our rugby and AFL players though, this particular scandal allegedly involves two bisexual players from opposite teams and a 'musical identity', together with a mobile phone used as a vibrating sex toy. Damn, I knew there was a reason I wanted to get a mobile!

According to that always-reliable source, the News of the World:

"The players—one capped several times for England— were caught on camera cavorting with a pal well known in the music industry in a homosexual orgy that will shock soccer.

The three men—who cannot be identified for legal reasons—are pictured wearing just vests and boxer shorts as they tackle each other in ways fans never expected."

This is one sports story I'm going to follow with interest (and thanks to Towleroad for bringing it to my atention)...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day

Despite my armour of post-modern, post-industrial, post-everything irony; despite the fact that I know, intellectually and emotionally, that it's a commercial crock of shit designed to boost sales of roses and soppy Hallmark greeting cards; despite the fact that I'm actually rather happy being single: I suspect I shall still have a twinge of angst tomorrow about not being in a relationship.

Cupid's a heartless bastard. I wish he was dead. Well, what do you know? He is! See?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Some more reviews

'Big City Life' – Mattafix [BuddhistPunk/EMI]
An engaging composition that melds a pop sensibility with warm yet restrained dub-influenced beats and a social conscience, this single from UK duo Mattafix is lifted from their debut album Signs of a Struggle. It recalls the Bristol sound of 90’s bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead, and with its restrained take on contemporary hip-hop, is sure to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Australian Tour EP – José González [Imperial/Shock]
Swedish-born singer-songwriter José González (whose parents are of Argentinian extraction) was a recent visitor to our shores, and this EP will be a treasured memory of his gigs for those of you lucky enough to have seen him performing live. For the rest of us, it’s an aching reminder of what it was we missed. From his simple and affecting acoustic covers of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and Kylie Minogue’s ‘Hand On Your Heart’, to his subtle, low-fi pop originals, González plays his guitar as if it were our heartstrings. His gentle voice and the warm production of this EP will ensure a new and loyal audience at his next tour.

First Impressions of Earth – The Strokes [Sony/BMG ]
Following the adulation heaped on their 2001 debut Is This It?, a second album from The Strokes was always going to face a rough reception, and sure enough the underwhelming Room On Fire generally disappointed. On their third full-player, New York quintet The Strokes have a chance to salvage their reputation and display their versatility. Opening track ‘You Only Live Once’ is a classic Strokes tune, taut, aloof and rocking, but not particularly exciting. It’s with the driving, bass-heavy first single ‘Juicebox’ that things start to get interesting, while on the heartfelt ‘Ask Me Anything’ vocalist Julian Casablancas takes a dig at those who criticise his lyrics as meaningless and his bandmates swap guitars for a melancholy pairing of cello and synth. While a handful of tracks are little more than filler, overall First Impressions of Earth is a vigorous album from a band who are trying to shrug off the hype and focus on their music.

The Rude Boy Returns – Neville Staple [Reign]
The former lead singer of ska legends The Specials, and a founding member of Fun Boy Three, Neville Staple, returns with a new solo album on which he playfully updates his sound instead of wallowing in nostalgia. On The Rude Boy Returns, Staple mixes up Jamaican dub, reggae and even Indian ska to great effect, as well as exploring remix territory on a curiously effective ‘duet’ with Leadbelly. Overall the album’s vibe is laidback, but there’s enough energy in tracks such as ‘Pressure’ to get you up and skanking in no time.

Amber – Clearlake [Domino/Remote Control]
The third album from English band Clearlake is out of step with the current UK rock trend, and sounds all the better for it. On Amber, Clearlake hold off the irony and invest in passion, mixing a shoegazing vibe with a darker, sharper guitar sound – and even throwing a harmonica into the mix on ‘Neon’, the heaviest track on the album. A superb CD that’s full of surprises, creativity and sonic diversity.

Kitchen Tea Thankyou – Minimum Chips [Trifekta]
Melbourne-based, ex-Brisbane quartet Minimum Chips create winsome, warm and organic electro-pop on this, their long awaited debut album. Kitchen Tea Thankyou is quite simply inspired: a CD that blends icy beauty with 60’s-inspired creativity in equal measure. Its complex yet melodic blend of drums, gently-droning guitars, keyboards and occasional dissonance, coupled with the distant, breathy vocals of Nicole Thibault, are an aural treat, and are sure to delight fans of Stereolab or Saint Etienne.

Sound Mirrors – Coldcut [Ninja Tune/Inertia]
Featuring a dazzling array of guest artists, from Jon Spencer and Roots Manuva through to Beat Generation poet Amiri Baraka, the new album from producers, promoters, VJs and DJs Jonathon Moore and Matt Black – the fourth released under their Coldcut non-de-plume - is quite literally breathtaking. With its hard-hitting funky beats, dancehall influences, euphoric waves of electronica and diverse vocals (a different guest artist is featured on every track) Sound Mirrors is a thrilling and delicious musical banquet for newcomers and old fans alike.

Voices – Matchbook Romance [Epitaph/Shock]
Compared to their 2003 debut album on Epitaph, Stories and Alibis, the new album from emo outfit Matchbook Romance is darker, heavier, and more interested in mood than instantly catchy hooks. Swapping accessibility for intensity, the band admirably demonstrates their passion and diversity, with Voices featuring everything from hardcore guitars to keyboard-driven introspection. Cleanly produced without being over-produced, Matchbook Romance have birthed an album that might just save emo from total derision.

The Life Pursuit – Belle and Sebastian [Rough Trade/Shock]
The seventh full-length album from Scottish indie outfit Belle and Sebastian sees the band at last scaling the dizzying heights of pure pop to which they have long aspired. Co-founder Stuart Murdoch’s lyrics are still literate and clever, but instead of his former art-school melancholy he now sings observationally about everything from laundrettes to playing football. On tracks such as ‘Another Sunny Day’ and ‘The Blues Are Still Blue’ the band, similarly, embrace a fatter, stronger sound than their previous, slightly fey standard. There’s a hint of soul, a dollop of glam and a lot of funk on this album, proving that Belle and Sebastian have truly earned their right to adopt a rock and roll swagger.

'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' – Arctic Monkeys [Domino/EMI]
British Quartet Arctic Monkeys are in the running for the most intensely hyped band of the year, and it’s only February! This single is the first taste of their debut album Whatevever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not to be released locally. Its abrasive intro quickly segues into a tight, angular piece of rock-pop that recalls label-mates Franz Ferdinand, while lyrically the song concerns itself with a a robotically-dancing girl. The song’s frenzied guitar-drum combo sounds speed-assisted, and is sure to capture local fans in a very short time.

Self-titled EP – Anal Traffic [Independent]
This six-track EP by Brisbane band Anal Traffic is exactly the kind of CD that would have excited me 10 years ago, when queercore bands such as Pansy Division first burst onto the scene. From the opening track ‘Six Beer Queer’, documenting the familiar story of a straight guy who strays after a couple of drinks, to songs about fisting and anonymous sex, Anal Traffic’s in-your-face honesty can’t be denied. Sadly their limited punk rock chords are as simplistic as their often-basic lyrics.

Lay – The Morning Birds [Mescalito Records]
Lay, the debut album from Melbourne trio The Morning Birds is a revelation. It bristles with alt-country anguish, lyrical balladry, robust arrangements and sun-drenched warmth. Colin Wynne’s vocals are accomplished, engaging and rough enough around the edges to ensure that these 11 songs don’t sound over-produced, while a range of guest musicians, and the versatility of core members Simon Bailey and Anita Quayle enrich the band’s flexible sound.

Tender Buttons – Broadcast [Warp]
Having slimmed down to just two members, dreamy vocalist Trish Keenan and musician James Cargill, UK outfit Broadcast have taken a similarly stripped-back approach on their new album, a collection of 14 aloof electro-pop songs. They’ve also moved beyond their previous homages to their influences, for Tender Buttons sounds more original than anything the band have previously released. Emotionally detached, contemplative and glacially cool, its avant-guard approach to electronica should win new fans and delight existing Broadcast devotees.

Guerolito – Beck [Interscope/Universal]
A track-by-track remixing of Beck’s inspired eighth album Guero could, in the wrong hands, be a masterpiece of self-indulgence. The likes of The Beastie Boys’ AdRock, Air, and Boards of Canada ensure that this project, while not always delectable, is still a rich and mostly satisfying musical banquet. The best tracks are those that accept the challenge set by the original track and run with it, such as Homelife’s inspired take on ‘E-Pro’, which replaces the original song’s guitars with Casio keyboards. Fans expecting every song to be reworked for the dancefloor will be in for a surprise; this album is an exploration of the remix as art, not as disco fodder, and it’s all the better as a result.

These reviews originally appeared in my weekly column in the queer community newspaper MCV in the last couple of months, which is why they're so brief: I only get 300 words each week, and there's always a lot to try and squeeze in!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Love and Rockets

Flying a spaceship, according to Captain Mal Reynolds, is all about love. That's something I'd like to experience again some day. Love, that is, although flying a spaceship would be kind of cool too.

I've just finished watching Joss Whedon's SERENITY. Not an earth-shatteringly great film, but a great ride all the same, and an impressive continuation from his previously-axed series (perhaps an option for Ms Fits to consider?). Love is one of its main themes: love for a sibling, for a partner, for a cause, for friends.

It's also the main theme - together with acceptance - of another film I saw earlier today at a media preview, TRANSAMERICA.

It's been a long time since I was in love. My last relationship ended in spectacularly messy circumstances in early 2000, and I've been single ever since. I spent a year nursing a broken heart, then another year being a slut, and lately, well, I think I've become somewhat of a recluse, to be honest.

I could do with another dose of romance again.

There's this guy called Dave who I really, really like, and who I've had feelings for, for, oh, a couple of years I guess, but I've also realised that nothing's ever going to happen between us. For a start I'm not his type, and I'm also much to out for him: he's bi, and in the closet, and although I'm a confidante, he's told me he can't ever see himself in another relationship with a gay man, given how fucked his first and only man-on-man relationship was. Given how psychotically jealous that particular guy was, though, I personally don't think he should be judging all gay men by that standard.

And if he's reading this, he's going to be really freaked out and pissed off that I'm discussing him in a public forum, so I better stop now, although I'm pretty sure he doesn't know I have a blog, or at least I hope he doesn't. Dave, if you're reading this, give me a call, ok?

So, I'd like to fall in love again. I've become somewhat solitary over the last few years; it seems much easier for me to go out on my own, knowing I'll probably run into someone I know at a bar, or a club, or a party or whatever, rather than organise to hook up with people I actually care about.

What's that all about?

This post is going to start sounding maudlin if I'm not careful.

I blame the wine (I'm halfway through an excellent bottle of Cab Sav).

So anyway, dear circle of bloggers and friends, I think what I'm trying to say at this stage is: feel free to try and set me up on dates! I've only ever been on one blind date, and it was a disaster, but I'm more than happy for people to start inviting me to dinner parties, movies, gigs etc, with the alterior motive of introducing me to your single gay or bi friends. As long as he's blokey rather than queeny, and aged, oh I don't know, somewhere between 26-36, give or take a year or two.

Actually I don't know where that last paragraph came from; it certainly wasn't the reason I started writing this particular post five minutes ago.

That's the problem with a subconcious; you give it leave to start blathering on and you never know where it's going to end up.

Now that I've suggested the idea though, I actually kind of like it. Why not use my E-grade level of fame/notoriety to try and find a new romance? At the very least it will give me something to blog about!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

International fame at last!

My London-based mate Rick (who's actually American, but has lived in the UK longer than the decade-plus I've known him, and who generously allowed me to crash on his couch for several nights last year) sent me an e-mail alerting me to the fact that the club I've helped run for 10 years, Q + A, has been written up in the London newspaper the Guardian:

He writes: "On Saturdays they ask for reader's tips about the places to go in various city that wouldn't necessarily be covered in tourist guides. This Sat they did Melbourne - and I was on the train beaming because there was a write up of Q+A!"

The full details are here, in The Guardian's 'Been There' section, but here are the juicy highlights:

Q+A at A Bar Called Barry

Posted by boyonwheels 30 January 2006

Stands for Queer + Alternative. A weekly alternative to the europop blandness of most of melbourne's gay scene. Indie boys and grrrls galore bouncing to top mocker toons until the smallish hours. Thursday nights.

64 Smith Street, cnr of Gertrude St. Collingwood

Monday, February 06, 2006

Growing old disgracefully

Last night I went to have birthday drinks in honour of the lovely Jeff Khan, at Yarraville's version of the Supper Club, and a bar I now highly recommend, the delightfully decadent Acqua E Vino (you simply must try their La Fee absinthe, one of the best I've tasted; it creates a wonderfully lucid drunkeness in the imbiber).

On the way home, waiting for my train, I was listening to The Cure's Disintergration (the best album ever, dude, according to Kyle from Southpark) and grooving along the platform - not quite dancing, but more than walking - when I had the sudden realisation that at the age of almost 39, I'm not at all grown up.

Somehow, I suspect I never will be.

I'm largely free of responsibility, being unburdened by mortgages or children. I think nothing of taking lots of drugs and staying up for 36-48 hours straight, and after sleeping for 15 hours straight, feel more than ready to do it all over again. I cry easily in some movies, and laugh easily in others. I'm just as happy eating cold pizza and strawberry ice-cream for breakfast as I am discussing art and cinema over a cafe brunch. I still dress the way I did as a teenager, albeit with more emphasis on black.

About the only signs of maturity I ever display are an improved and varied palate, and (thankfully) a lessened ability to fall tragically in love with my straight best friends.

To quote Tom Waits:

"I don’t want my hair to fall out
I don’t wanna be filled with doubt

I don’t wanna be a good boy scout
I don’t wanna have to learn to count
I don’t wanna have the biggest amount
I don’t wanna grow up"

And I'm not going to, either!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A truly atrocious film!!!

Kate Beckinsale thinks "I think it's time to kill my agent..."

Words are not enough to describe how ghastly, terrible and atrocious Underworld Evolution is! One-dimensional characters, wooden acting, banal dialogue, constant awkward exposition - it takes the prize for worst film of the year without a doubt! Oh, I know we're only barely into February, but truly, I doubt I'm going to see anything worse. Avoid this stinker at all costs; it's not even so bad as to be good, it's just baaaaaaaaad!

And if you don't believe me, try these choice quotes from other reviewers, courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes:
0.5/4 "I suppose bloodlust is enough excuse for anyone willing to endure 105 minutes of monster derby, but really: Who are these characters?"

5/10 "What's Kate Beckinsale doing in a movie like this? Oh yeah, her husband directed it "
-- Jackie K. Cooper, JACKIEKCOOPER.COM

1.5/5 "This is one sequel that has devolved into the realm of the boring instead of evolving into something great."
-- Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, THEMOVIECHICKS.COM

1/4 "Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't the word evolution suggest that something must grow or develop into something else?"
-- Michael Elliott, MOVIE PARABLES

"There's no guiding power at work here; it's Evolution without a shred of intelligent design."
-- Ben Kenigsberg, VILLAGE VOICE

1/4 "As far as gratuitous follow-ups go, it is neither evolution nor devolution. A more appropriate title is Underworld: Stagnation."


It's been a busy week, but not a particularly interesting one. Not that it's been boring, either. It's just been.

Tuesday night I went to see Franz Ferdinand play The Palace, and after initial doubts about the sound mix, it all came right, with the band playing a bloody good set. Those boys definitely know how to entertain. I was kneeling on a stool up the back for most of the night, which gave me a great view over the heads, fists and camera phones (so many camera phones!) of the band themselves.

I also managed to make a young woman very happy once my knees got sore by offering her my vantage point during the encore, as I'd seen her texting a friend earlier saying that it was a good gig but that she couldn't see shit. Consequently I stood, while she got to see the band properly for the last four or five songs. Her boyfriend seemed slightly suspicious of my motives, then he shook my hand, called me 'mate' very seriously, and bought me a beer (which I don't drink, so I gave it away).

The other good thing about the night was that myself and my DJ partners, Peter and Helen, got to have dinner together and see the band together; we've been working together for years but we hardly ever seem to find time to socialise with each other.

I'd planned to meet up with another friend, Glen, at the gig, but I couldn't find him in the crowd. Sorry mate! It's times like that I can see the value of mobiles...

The other highlights of the week were sleeping in (no more Breakfast! Yay!); returning to the mike for my own show, Smartarts on Thursday mornings on Triple R; and starting a new job - which is at the station. I'm now a casual worker at Triple R, employed two days a week to write funding applications, which is something I did for years at Express Media, so hopefully my well-honed skills in grant-writing can bring in some cash to the station.

Now it's the weekend, and I've slept in til almost midday. I'm debating what movie to see. I have a perverse desire to see Underworld: Evolution even though I know it's going to be crap; I'm a sucker for vampires.

To balance things out, I'm going to check out a new exhibition, Game On! at the Ian Potter Museum for Contemporary Art at Melbourne Uni, as I have to interview one of the artists next week. He's a visiting Scotsman, so I've got my Glaswegian spies digging up some dirt on him for me. It should make for an interesting interview!