Category Archives: Festivals

Dirty beats, clean fun: Hong Kong’s unmissable music festivals

From homegrown heroes like Clockenflap to international imports Sónar and Creamfields, Hong Kong’s city festivals are easy to enjoy – and mud-free

Most of us associate Hong Kong with gleaming skyscrapers, bustling industry and frantic markets. But a succession of homegrown and international music festivals are turning it from staid metropolis into a city of song.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Isaac Julien: 'It's another watershed moment for history of queer rights'

In Sydney for the 40th Mardi Gras, the pioneering proponent of New Queer Cinema reflects on once radical ideas that have made it to the mainstream

The significance of this moment in time is not lost on the artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien.

The London-born son of St Lucien parents, Julien, 57, has spent much of his career exploring sexuality, race and the iconography of queer history. Having just watched his home country celebrate 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised, he has arrived in Sydney to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – the first since Australia legalised marriage equality.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Damsel review – Robert Pattinson goes a-crooning in twisty Old West quest drama

Pattinson cast off more of his matinee-idol past as a gauche galoot seeking his bride in the Zellner brothers’ grotesque, beautiful and unpredictable movie

While the western as a living genre continues to fade into a folk memory, the postmodern neo-western – melancholic, world-weary and demystifyingly ironic – is well established as its inheritor. Jim Jarmusch arguably provided the modern template for this strain with his 1995 Dead Man, and the British director John Maclean rode in that film’s wake with his recent Slow West. Jacques Audiard looks as if he’ll be continuing the tradition with his forthcoming The Sisters Brothers, based on the supremely knowing, not to say Coens-y novel by Patrick deWitt. Meanwhile, playing in the Berlin competition, here is Damsel from eccentric film-making duo David and Nathan Zellner.

The Texan brothers weighed in with a quest narrative with their last film, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, about a young Japanese woman on a deranged mission to find the money stashed away in the Coens’ Fargo. With Damsel, the Zellners are questing again. We’re in the Old West, and things kick off with a prologue in the desert, where an exhausted old preacher (a cameo from Robert Forster, as sun-battered as the mighty mesas around him) gives his black suit and Bible to a forlorn traveller (David Zellner) hoping to make a fresh start in life.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Isle of Dogs review – Wes Anderson's scintillating stop-motion has bite

Marooning a pack of dogs on a dystopian Japanese island, the auteur’s new animation is an inspiringly detailed and surprisingly rough-edged treat

It’s well known that for Wes Anderson, the world is one big toy box. The prodigious American auteur proved that with his last feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which turned its human cast into comic puppets placed in a gorgeously crafted train-set universe. Now he proves it again – if anything, more extravagantly – with Isle of Dogs, an animation which, like its predecessor, opens the Berlin film festival in scintillating style.

Anderson has tried his hand at stop-motion animation before with the Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr Fox, but this new talking-animal entertainment is considerably more sophisticated and ambitious. It’s set in a near-future Japan, where Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura, one of the film’s co-writers), the corrupt mayor of fictional city Megasaki, has taken draconian measures to curb the spread of various canine diseases, including the dreaded “snout fever”. He orders all Megasaki’s dogs to be exiled to a bleak island, essentially a huge offshore trashpile.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

How to eat flowers without poisoning yourself

I spent a week adding a floral touch to my meals – but if you don’t know what you’re doing, swiping flowers from the meadow can be a risky business

There are ups and downs in the world of edible flowers. By her own admission, Jan Billington, who grows and sells them from her organic farm in Devon, “smells amazing”. On the downside, she is regularly stung by Italian honey bees and is badly allergic, “although it’s just a matter of swelling”, she says. “It goes down eventually.”

Billington sells seasonal flowers to chefs and cocktail-makers, but more recently she has begun selling to amateur cooks who are hoping to inject a little personality into their cooking. Edible flowers are in the spotlight, or rather the polytunnels (thanks to the frost), because of Instagram, where they are used to zhoosh up food shots, and because of the rise of veganism, where they provide a bit of textural variation.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Gurrumul review – stirring and soulful ode to Australia's most important voice

Paul Williams’ must-see documentary about the late, great musician does justice to a life lived between two worlds

In a scene in the Shawshank Redemption, Red (Morgan Freeman) contemplates the sound of Mozart: “I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it.”

Those words returned to me while watching the writer/director Paul Williams’ new documentary about the late, great Indigenous Australian musician Gurrumul Yunupingu. How could a documentary possibly do justice to a voice like that? Against the odds, perhaps, the film succeeds: a rich, dense, stirring and soulful work, laced with footage of many of his performances, from jamming at home to playing in front of adoring concert crowds.

Continue reading…
Source: gad