Tuesday, June 30, 2009

about last night

we shot a little film. it will play in a couple of days time for KINO KABARET which is an extreme filmmaking showcase.

all films featured are made in 48 hours. ours will technically be a bit over. due to crew/cast obligations we just couldn't shoot in the timeframe for my hyperreal staged concept which is a derivative nod to lynch in conjunction with the themed KINO screening this coming thursday night: a homage to "the man".

another punk monk, dermot [our lovely DOP] has a haiku screening tonight amongst loads of other intensive short films to see. to make up for blurred lines, i might just make another couple of films. that is, if anyone still wants to work with me...

only one death, five litres of blood-letting & a face-full of blown capillaries. insurance anyone? welcome to guerrilla filmmaking.

if you're in sydney please come to the red rattler theatre to see "the retweeted tale of annabel lee" & enjoy the punk monk propaganda lynch installation. the film screening commences 19:00.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

snuff movie

the photographic evidence is in. it's not my fault ky contracted hypothermia today on her surprise conditioning mid-winter swim where she was convinced to enter stage right for an upcoming punk monk KINO kabaret 48 hr film.

yes, the water was 12 degrees celcius. yes, i sent her the SMS after visualising her semi-naked & wet which she incorrectly assumed was jest. yes, i dropped her off to get swimmers prior. yes, i told her she had to get in... but i'm only the ideas chick, the writer, the director, the gentle massager of friendships, sometime inciter of violence or passion.

most definitely however i am the good cop. the rest was all kate. she is the goebbels to my adolf, the hutch to my starsky. she callously turned our dear yellow-skinned friend completely blue. note the poised wrists & well-turned ankles. we take pleasure in the torture of others. beware a producer meets 1st AD who wants to get things moving. fast. shh, thou doth protest too loudly.

if you're interested in being involved in one of our future productions & have any kind of a death-wish please contact me directly. i'll send your details on to my trusty producer. we are branching out into snuff movies at a theatre near you soon. there's potentially many executions to come. lynch or no.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

fried sushi love

bondi beach has fried mars bars. ashfield has fried sushi. and boy do they do it in style.

after a morning of perusing car sales yards admiring 4WDs this is where stevie & i found ourselves on the eternal quest for the perfect fish 'n' chips before we left hurredly accompanied by dolly parton singing "joelene" blaring from our newly acquired rust-ridden to-be-gaffered-together mountain meets production landcruiser bundeena wheels.

needless to say, we're still looking for the perfect chippie but if there was a quintessential golden fried sushi vendor this would have to be it... it's a tough niche to fill.

Friday, June 26, 2009

this magic moment

today was a day like no other. forever i will have lou reed's "this magic moment" fused with slightly askew classical radio, charlie's angels TV theme song combined with uncontained electricity, sleep deprivation, swine flu & you melting into a thriller-esque tribute embedded into my mind.

these were the sounds of friday morning june 26, 2009. angel of the 70s blowwave farrah fawcett, dead. the king of 80s pop, michael jackson, dead. sasha grey's fish, dead. for awhile there, king of the dinosaurs AKA jeff goldblum didn't look so crash-hot either but he was later resurrected from the interwebs hysteria which suddenly resulted in "add your own celebrity & stir = instant death formula". to my shame, i was temporarily suckered too.

but then it was time to eat, leaving my computer, twitter et al far far away [until the need to jack in on the run via mobile is all consuming]. after a morning of perusing costumers with clare to create the perfect cowgirl, i headed towards the quay in a cab which insisted in stopping for gas preceded by the rhetorical question of "you're not in a hurry are you?" um, yes actually i'm running late for lunch and potentially should be in ambulance being tested for mutating flu strains, hence the taxi over public transport... and still stopping & being charged for the pleasure. aah, sydney cabs...

the overseas passenger terminal is a whole world away however. it promises the mystery of yesteryear, the traditional berth and departure dock for many great ships coming in and out of sydney's harbour. today something akin to the flying dutchman [actually the james craig miraculously restored for 22 million] on cue arrives & the dead have risen again.

despite being mega-late, i'm early at the ocean room & immediately bury my michael jackson [the later years] red stained lips into a bloody mary for alleged restorative powers after a slightly embarassing entrance. if vodka gargling works for the russians, i plan to follow suit. today i plan to drink a lot -- i am in mourning after all. besides i need to paralyse my throat with alcohol so the glands will work & i can swallow.

i've flicked my hair in homage to farrah but it didn't work so well & requires more length so hat is firmly back in place. wearing one glove [i couldn't find the other in the jungle which is my semi-unpacked room] i moonwalk the last leg to the table with billy jean from the cab radio under my breath, promptly tripping over my dangling scarf. entry FAIL. thank god for the most fantastic invention of last century: sunglasses. the staff pretend not to notice.

i decide to stop thinking about dead people, stop planning my own timely funeral & focus on the menu even though i already know before looking what i'm going to have... there are two places in sydney to have superlative salt & pepper prawns and chef raita noda's interpretation is one of them [the other is the malaya]. the salt and five pepper king prawns are extremely addictive and moreish. mmm, the pepper, the salt, the prawns...

i struggle to finish my main today but it's only because my appetite is off & i'm tired. my arms are sore from my failed signature blowwave in a salute to the once pin-up woman who bravely video documented her later battle with cancer in the hope it might benefit others involved in a similar struggle. she had already shaved off her own signature locks by then. i feel for farrah that her death today has been completely overshadowed by michael jackson -- they were both incredible popular culture idols in their own right. as my friend tom said, today is the gen Y JFK question: where were you when michael jackson died?

i drink a couple of glasses of delicious seresin savignon blanc from marlborough, nz, even though i was too young to drink in the pinnacle of both the red swimsuited & one gloved years. i'm certainly not now. what's freaky about michael jackson is that he was fifty when he died. um, how did that happen? i drink more to try to forget.

sometime earlier before our mains arrived we ate california art being tempura battered spicy tuna & salmon california roll with citrus-soy. it's not where i'd normally go but i'm in preproduction for another experimental film and feel i should merge realities more than usual. it's good but i'm not in love [at least not with this dish but that says more about me than the food]. it reminds me of something else however which i have other photos for which i mentally bookmark as a potential blog because it's so awesome, pure and weird i have to share it. maybe tomorrow if i can find the pics before going geisha shopping in chinatown.

the peppered calamari pops however are so much fun i want to play knuckle bones with them and maybe create some kind of manga ad campaign with. they really do pop, are malleable and dry curry salted. frivolously delightful.

jump back forward to mains: my dearest friend, john, is eating the pan seared ocean trout as we share the japanese roasted pumpkin with seeds which is so incredible but suddenly i realise this night meets morning of emotional intensity fused with illness has really taken it out of me more than i gave credit for. it's a chore to take photos & i keep micro-sleeping at the table with a montage of eclectic meets iconic imagery slow-dancing in my scrambled head. john looks concerned and tells me i don't look so well... hot date FAIL. thankfully we're old friends.

what i'm even more concerned about as i consider inserting toothpicks in my eyes piling into the cab en route for a mid avo nana nap, is that i have not done nearly enough justice to the ocean room. hopefully its million dollar views & exquisitely salted signature japanese fusion dishes will speak for themselves.

i'll let the dead: these defining pop culture icons of their day, of this day, have the last word despite most high profile MJ youtube vids having embed request disabled now. RIP farrah fawcett. RIP michael jackson.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the frontier's edge

yesterday after perusing glendyn ivin & tom russell's incredible the last ride movie production blog where outlined are the 7 most epic road trips ever, i was inspired. with no time to leave the city to go on a road trip this month, here are some photos of my own from a previous trip in the stunning south australian desert.

a day in the life of wild west outback town coober pedy: all that is missing are the scintillating saloon girls. the prospectors & cowboys run amok in this small town of broken dreams where the townspeople have opal fever burning in their sideways shifting eyes.

opal licensing restrictions mean that there are confirmed solitary bachelors in town who are excavating their fifth bedroom in underground housing that predominates the desert landscape. these men leave with full sacks in the dead of night...

my greatest memories of this place were mistakingly ordering the prawns so far from the ocean in a bizarre greek restaurant. later driven by awkwardness & possibly irrational fear of the overzealous proprieter i stuffed them, sauce and all, into my jacket pockets leaving not a suspicious trace on the plate.

in a town like coober pedy you're never quite sure how anyone is going to react. "mmm, delicious thanks"... that coat has never been quite the same.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

for the longest time

...i tried not to call.

i wonder what you filed my number under?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the courtesan’s lot

skimming on a razor thin edge of the hooker with a heart of gold construct, the just ended sydney film festival delivered not one but two distinctly different but equally powerful films which explored with pathos the double edged sword that courtesans gracefully glide over when the worlds of business & pleasure collide. these two films were: the girlfriend experience [dir. steven soderbergh] and chéri [dir. stephen frears].

both films arguably delivered in a poignantly rich but cold environment the knowing detachment that is the pragmatic prostitute condition when regarding men in a contractual mode. this attitude inexplicably bleeds subtlely into the personal too. true romance comes at a price.

it is not the protagonists; cheri’s lea de lonval [michelle pfeiffer] or GFE’s shades of brett easton ellis’s patrick bateman, chelsea/christine [sasha grey] who are vapid or lacking in dimension: it is fundamentally their superficial relationship with their environment that the chilling separation stems from. like passing ships in the night they cannot afford to let the water breach their well-oiled duck's back seals. in the game of seduction it is dangerous to fall in love. there is an undeniable conflict of interest: the cost [financial & emotional] is high.

stylistically distinct and separated by timeframes/locations [chéri is set in early 20th century belle époque paris, whereas the girlfriend experience explores the wall street centric world pre-obama election win] both films deliver a visually stunning mixed bag of budget & cinematography style ranging from artistic verité, to jumbled chronological cuts, to classically choreographed mise en scène.

the two films are nonetheless so closely aligned thematically & similarly charged dealing with the emotional bankruptcy which ironically occurs in a world which is swathed in textural wealth. to the unfortunate detriment & decline of the women involved, there are no greater trade-offs. more often than not, the career choice, their life gamble, does not pay-off. winners of material fortune yet losers of idealism, despite being well-versed in the artifices of love. forearmed with this knowledge they still seek the impossible realm. for this reason, no other, they are fallen.

the men, clients/lovers, in both stories are rather inconsequential. their overshadowed almost caricatured weak identities lie where they must remain purely to illustrate their constant misdirected drain under another guise. the women’s alienation & strong internalisation renders the outside almost obsolete but at the same time the choice of the male characters illustrates the vulnerability and reality check that superwomen need not necessarily fall in love with supermen. they’re just "regular" guys with their own set of flaws. as are the women fundamentally.

these stories ultimately belong to the brave travellers who are the solo warrior women who dare battle in a loveless & socially misunderstood terrain. paradise is lost. beneath the polished veneer of nonchalance lies dire fragility & emotional heartache. like pandora’s box, it will probably one day be opened again.

love is the drug not even the artisans and purveyors of can avoid indulging in. they say one should never buy their own wares. it would seem in love we all want to believe. noone is immune. and nor should they be denied.

as lea de lonval says,"i'm probably making a fool of myself... but then again, why not? life is short!

both these films are extremely moving and compelling. they spoke to me and i hope others too in a way that realistically captures the dilemma which faces the much maligned woman of the night. she deserves to be humanised & allowed to stand basking in the light of her social achievements.

the greatest tragedy of the archetypal heroine, the tart with a heart, is the success of her projected illusion of happiness & glamorised independence. ultimately the greatest fear must be the reality of being completely alone.

[NB.all images are copyrighted to the relevant film productions]

Sunday, June 21, 2009

love not for sale

one of the few lessons worth remembering which my parents instilled into me as a child was the value of giving. giving in the true sense of the word: when one gives a gift of any variety it is so much better from the heart. to invest a piece of yourself into a gift rather than randomly buy stuff, so yeah, all my cards & presents as a child were handmade...

every year at christmas time i would present to primary school classmates my painstakingly painted, flower pressed, collaged, photographed handmade cards. they were often delivered with a mixture of pride & embarassment.

my parents were young hippies so in a time when society was in the grip of the ubiquitous aesthetic of mass-produced retail shine it wasn't always that cool. materialism & labels were becoming hip, st vinnies was second hand not vintage, so my creations became a symbol of novel yet impoverished pariahity.

we were outsiders my left-wing long-haired political idealist reluctant baby-boomer parents and i. vivid childhood memories include my little sister's eighth birthday party & one of her friends crying because she was scared of my father's beard. the only dad who didn't wear a suit. he and charles manson share a startling similarity which has a certain irony considering the company i keep. rebel oediphus much?

the point of this story sharing is that recently my beloved friend & invaluable incredible psychic preemptive shadow, clare, who translates intangible things from my head into actions, made me a zine. usually she makes zines with alex for ALGAE RHYTHM but this one was just for me. one copy only. pieces of paper, fabric & card painted, drawn, glued & morphed to become a nano tribute. all housed in a handmade, hand-dyed reversible fabric envelope...

apart from the beautiful rawness, loyalty, love & purity of spirit which this demonstrated, what was so deeply moving is how much i realise my friends, who are my family, actually know me. my secrets & character flaws have somehow become visibly ingrained into an apparently endearing ID package. they have been recorded whether i like it or not. i cannot cease to exist even if i want to. i am not a mirage.

AWOL monk has somehow become an intimate brand. but you still can't buy me. my wealth is in the hum of friends, energy and ideas which buzz around me like filthy fly-like electrons to the eclectic meat-filled honey nucleic pot.

if this is poverty i'd rather continue avoiding the shopping mall & alt benchmarks of capitalist affluence. this is hard because artists must place value on our work in order to live, to love. it's sometimes difficult to reconcile: one's financial worth.

if i charge you for my time by default then it means i don't care. the most precious thing anyone can ever give to anyone else is a piece of their inner self, to freely infuse that into/onto another. it is priceless. therefore it follows that i am exceptionally rich. perhaps you are too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

subterra sangre

it's been raining in sydney for what seems an eternity. with the advent of winter, nesting urges kick in & the womb of the earth sucks us down. we come in peace seeking shelter, sustenance & perhaps a dash [or two] of sangria...

enter subsolo, an undergound haven in the thick of sydney's CBD. only thing lacking from the tapas bar is an enormous fire to complete this hidden gem amongst the 4 magic C's of a girl's best friend's precinct on king & castlereagh where others seek refuge in the cut, colour, clarity & carat of prestigious designer & jeweller retailers above.

me, i'll stick with the basement oozing rich warm tones of blood & brown allowing the leather & organic fibre surrounds to comfortably caress curves like maurice sendak's max melting through the walls. we are embedded within de toro bravo, the city beast. it's cold out & there's no reason to leave. the spanish influenced cocktail selection needs to be researched in greater depth until the wild things from within come out to play & are crazy enough to go back out to face the on/off umbrella-begging fray.

we could be under rivington st in the lower east side, new york -- this place has a latent hum which needs to be explored one late night leaning over the bar with both hands & ears full of tastes & sounds... it feels decidely un-sydney especially for the two dimensional lack-lustre CBD and if anything needs to get a little dirtier/sexier. still, there are a lot of lawyers lunching here.

you can actually get a mini fire at your table when the toffee-coated crème brulée is flambéed... but before we get that far the signature drink: sub sangria must be experienced pronto! a lively mixture of havana club blanco, curacao, sweet vermouth with seasonal fruits, soaked in tempranillo has me wanting to drag davey our resident punk monk apprentice sommelier down so we can perfect our own staple ALGAE RHYTHM blend.

it barely touches the sides as i reach for more & distant internal warning bells start to ring. this aint no 7-11 slushie & there's plenty more to be achieved before this friday is over. with two hangovers already under the belt for the week something closer to abstinance should be on my cocktail chart. the principle of give-and-take overrides, so we move onto the wine list muga garnacha-viura – rioja [rosé] then mantel blanco, 06 sauvignon blanc - rueda... compromise need not be a dirty word.

after the sublimely delicious spanish olives & warmed parika smoked almonds are rabidly consumed a selection of tapas start streaming onto the table in wonderfully orchestrated perfectly timed waves. the best is saved for first & all i can hear above the appreciative groans is my friend, john uttering repeated declarations of love that "these are the best mussels i've ever had". it's true: the steamed mussels in tomato, green olive and chilli broth are very very good.

next are the crispy bacalao croquettes with aioli --a salted cod afficiondo's wet dream, sadly we're not but persevere nonetheless & are rewarded by a palette that slowly embraces the sodium assault. after all, i do snack on maldon flakes at parties...

the successive wave brings field mushrooms topped with pistachio & currant couscous to negotiate along with batatas bravas before we finish later with crispy gambas fritas with chilli & lime. gotta love those school prawns. yum, except the bravas are too much like wedges for my taste... there's so many cool things you can do with potatos even when you're not irish. i'm quietly disappointed but at the same time realise my special request has been catered for so i should just shut up & suck back on the carbs [followed by more wine which is of course excellent]. followed by dessert which is so much fun to crack amélie poulain style with spoon firmly in hand. aaah...

subsolo is open for lunch all day tuesday - saturday & it's definitely my new inner city wintry oasis from the grey cold inanimate combat zone above in a city dotted by phony hemmes factories. but what i'm really looking forward to is coming to explore one evening soon. as a pre or post theatre venue its location & vibe are positioned perfectly. now all that is required is to find someone to take me out to the theatre as well as lunch... not all idioms need be true.