Monthly Archives: February 2012
Philip Noyce is a well-established figure on the Hollywood scene; responsible for such cinematic tyranny as the diabolical Salt, the pedestrian Patriot Games and The Bone Collector; among other such tedium. But Noyce is indeed an accomplished filmmaker despite the somewhat lame exploits of his latter years. His days of old were much more colourful and sublime; Backroads being his directorial œuvre d‘art. This 1977 film presents an unequivocal view of the ocker (or ‘bogan‘) and his frustration with the views of his Koori peer. The film documents Jack (Bill Hunter) and Gary (a triumphant Gary Foley) as they traverse the Australian outback alongside guests such as Terry Camilleri‘s ‘Frenchie‘; all the while blissfully charmed along the highways by the warmth of Gary‘s sometime-muse Joe (Zack Martin). This is one of the great films of late 70s Australian filmmaking.
The accompanied video offers some of the great moments in this tremendous film:
Tokyo is full of iconic locations and landmarks, and to list them all would take a stupidly long time. However, without a doubt, my favourite icon would be Tokyo Tower. Sure, there are a lot of things that catch the eye in places like Harajuku and Shibuya; but Tokyo Tower offers something that the others (in my opinion) simply can‘t match -the view.
Standing at a height of 333 metres, it is the tallest self-supporting steel tower in the world. Originally built for broadcasting purposes, the tower nestled in Shiba-Koen now serves as a popular tourist destination, whilst remaining a principal provider of digital and analog broadcasts. Visitors are treated to a 360-degree view of Tokyo from the main and special observation decks. In a country where a lot of time is spent walking backstreets and traveling in underground subways, the view from Tokyo Tower offers a new perspective on what the city is truly like. People become the size of ants, and the buildings resemble Lego blocks stacked tightly (and somewhat chaotically) together. It makes you realise how small you really are in an electric metropolis.
If you ever have the good fortune of going to Japan, make sure visiting Tokyo Tower is on your list of to-do things.
What would the Melbourne graff scene be without our beloved Reka? It‘d have nothing on the contemporary Euro‘s or Californians that’s for sure. I remember riding the Franga/ Dandy line back in 2002; everyday relishing the Reka characters adorning the embankment walls along the lines -particularly between South Yarra and Malvern.
The once elusive Reka has since inspired legions of next-generation writers and toys, whilst building an artistic practice that has seen him adorn the walls & galleries of New York, San Fran, LA, Berlin etc. One of the founding members of the EverFresh Crew and Skinny White Boys stalwart, Reka continues to aspire to great heights, luckily, taking us punters along for the ride! Now, witness the Primary Suspects show at the nucleus of Melb‘s fine art graffiti community: Backwoods Gallery - 2nd until 18th March, Easey St. Collingwood:
We might look upon on colonists and early settlers as rogues; political vagabonds if you will. And we‘re familiar with Western infilitration and Euro-centric exploits that have ravished our centuries. With that in mind, I‘m drawn to the stewardship of Captain Philip. However, I‘m more concerned with his global re-positioning than with his conquering and self-important impositions. I mean; as with a vast number of these colonists: when they‘d move house they did not fuck around. You might have visited Cook‘s Cottage in the Fitzroy Gardens of inner-city East Melbourne. That cottage was originally the childhood home of Captain James Cook, European explorer of the Australian East coast. The cottage was de-constructed brick-by-brick in 1933 and moved from Yorkshire to Melbourne in celebration of the European settlement of Australia. But that, of course, was in the 20th Century. Captain Philip wasn‘t the type to wait over a hundred and fifty years for his estate to arrive post-humously. Philip led the First Fleet on its‘ mission to colonise and subjugate the Australian continent. The mission was one of utmost importance: the British were utterly compelled to be the first foreigners to settle the continent. This haste was borne out of the fear that the Dutch and the French would beat them to it. So Philip led the 11 ships of the fleet: 1030 people (of which 767 were convicts), 7 horses, 7 cattle, 74 pigs, 29 sheep, and 6 rabbits. And then we get to Arthur Philip and all his shit: This crusading Captain was able to halt the embarkation of the fleet until the Crown had roused all of his ‘effects‘ -that which made up over half of the cargo. It was composed of windows fom his house, his cast-iron stoves, tons of his furniture & crockery, and wood cut from his estate. He had a house constructed in England prior to embarking; in sections that were assembled in Australia. I re-iterate: Philips and a surprising number of his contemporaries didn‘t fuck about with their relocations; although contrarily (as with Philip), more often than not their estates did not stand the test of time in foreign climes, and were obliterated. Curiously, Philips himself ended up back in England living in a whorehouse, anyway.
We caught up with French graffer and Street Artist BetterWith TwoFingers, and hit him up with a bit of a quick Q&A on where he‘s at dans ce monde:
INFX: These days you’ve made paste-ups your street art medium- Why the departure from aerosol?
BW2F: I choose this way because I’ve always been inspired by the power of images and their impact in the streets, on books or other medias. The fact is I used to make graffitis for a long time with a crew and paste-ups were a good way to mix others kind of techniques and to express more ideas. And of course, the penalties are less expensive for paste-ups than for sprayin’ in the streets.
INFX: You get around Europe a bit. Where are we most likely to see your work?
BW2F: I’ve travelled a little bit in Europe for example in Amsterdam and recently in Austria, but you can most likely see my works in France in cities such as Lyon, Paris, Grenoble and some others cities but also in deserted areas just because the spot was cool enough for me.
INFX: So when in Paris we‘ll keep our eyes peeled! Now, Why do you make street art?
BW2F: I only love streets and cities for two things: makin’ and seein’ a lot of street art stuff and makin’ skateboard. Street-Art is the way of expressin’ myself, sharin’ with others and meetin’ people even they don’t have any relations with Street-Art, and also it’s a concrete jungle adventures at each time.
INFX: Do you have a day job -what kind of work?
BW2F: I’m workin’ in a library.
INFX: Buried in the books! What is your favourite pizza?
BW2F: Good question!!! Calzone of course!
Well, that answers the question of what I‘m having for dinner tonight. Merci, BW2F -and all the best!
You can find BetterWith TwoFingers on Facebook.
Yosuke Yamashita is a Japanese musician and artist from Tokyo. He has performed extensively worldwide, and has composed music scores for various films, from the late 60s until the present; most notably for Shohei Imamura‘s 1998 Dr. Akagi. He has also recieved various awards, including Japan‘s Award for Fine Arts in 1999 and the Medal With Purple Ribbon in 2003. Currently, he is a visiting professor at both the Kunitachi College of Music and the Nagoya University of Arts. The ten minute video featured below has its‘ origins in one of Yosuke‘s most intruiging works. This 2008 piece, titled Burning Piano is exactly that; albeit with Yosuke playing an improvised jazz piece on the piano throughout its‘ inflammation. However, this was not the first time Yasuke had played a burning piano. That was some 35 years earlier, when he was approached by filmmaker Kiyoshi Awazu to play a burning piano for his short film of the same name. The 2008 version was filmed after Yosuke had revisited the original work, and thus he felt it needed a revival. The 1973 film can be found on Awazu‘s website: www.kiyoshiawazu.com
It was splendid to meet the guys from Givers -they were very cheerful, attentive, and courteous. But when they hit the stage last night at The Corner Hotel all that changed. Their indie pop form of psychedelic & melodic rock sashayed from the whimisical to a thrashed out, totally heavy prog-rock finale. They were clearly focussed upon the music only, and not mere pleasantries. The band hails from Lafayette, Louisiana in the deep South, but the vocals (mostly by the enchanting Tiffany Lamson and guitarist Taylor Guarisco) are geographically much more varied; perhaps in need of a definitive style. And although they‘re touring side-shows off the back of the Laneway Festival and double-headlining with Portugal. The Man I believe this young group is still in its formative stage. It‘s not simply their melding of styles; but Givers are incompetent in much of their vocal endeavours, and they perhaps need some kind of ‘hook‘ or ‘thread‘ in their style that will help define their identity. Regardless, and despite my opine that their hit Up, Up, Up is tired and motionless, they did in fact strut their varied talents quite well and I‘m still revelling in the fact they were such a nice group of novice rockstars! Have a listen to Meantime and see what you think:
Never before has Melbourne‘s graff scene witnessed such an exhibition as the Project Melbourne Underground collection. Over 6 months in the making, this unprecedented graffiti bonanza encompasses 800 square metres of Burn City‘s finest talent: we‘re talking 90 artists over 3 levels of the Emerald House car park, at 105 York St. South Melbourne. Featuring our local kings of the culture Tres, Phibs, Deb, Awol, Lister, Drew Funk, Sofles, Maka, Adnate and the Everfresh massive, alongside international heavyweights Does, the ominous Banksy, Nash, Ces, and so many more. The emphasis is overwhelmingly on the graffiti (rather than ‘street art‘) scene; with epic letters on the make -straight from the streets and the fine art galleries that have defined this creative talent pool.
It‘s all happening at the Emerald House car park; with the venue open publicly as part of the South Melbourne Street Fair on Sunday 19th February -so get on down there and check it out!
Charles Manson once said that ”If you‘re going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy“. In the case of this engrossing but tiresome film,there is a witchiness but it unfortunately falls short of a production ‘done well‘. I say this because I was irked by its‘ many mediocrities. The parallels established betweeen our protagonist, Martha, and her dual realities of the communal dystopia and the corporate-citizen mundane left me in disbelief. I felt that these comparisons were highly unrealistic in an otherwise believable scenario: the characters of Ted and Lucy were far too stereotypical and I was glad actors Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy had salvaged the most they could from the roles. Equally, Martha was played very well by Elizabeth Olsen; her performance increasingly compelling following Martha‘s egress from the clutches of Patrick. This Manson-like figure was also played adeptedly by John Hawkes (Winter‘s Bone) but none so convincing as to warrant accolades. The film‘s climactic drive was equally powerful to the acting, but unfortunately lacked the production values to let this film accomplish.
At the end of the day, Martha is director Sean Durkin‘s smugly crafted amalgamation of his previous projects (such as the short Mary Last Seen) into what I believe is a failed attempt at understanding the mindset of someone shell-shocked by indoctrination.
Vectrex? Yes, the name is both confounding and mesmerising. It sounds like some sort of cross between Electronics, Geography, and Chemical Warfare coloured with Prog Rock. And it is all these things & more: Vectrex was an early 80s video game console that was manufactured using surplus military electronics, was the first vector-based system (similar to an Oscilloscope), and could bust out glitch-metal anthems at the drop of a hat. Amped with an unencumbered 1.5 MHz of processing power, and smashing the gameplay with a whole 1 KB of RAM, this baby was born out of the rapid development of video game systems prior to the market meltdown of 1984. The system (created by John Ross) was the ultimate in technology: new Vectrex games came with a plastic sheet; inscribed with coloured designs to affix to your monitor. It also had a Laser Pen and 3D Imager glasses that featured colours on a disc that spun past your eyes while playing the game; developed by the unstoppable John Ross nearly a decade before any other 3D system. Alas, these innovations were not enough to save the system from widespread disdain by the masses. Following a 9-month shelf life, and the introduction of the Atari 5200 was the unfortunate death of the Vectrex. Thankfully, though, during the 90s the entire system, games, and components were released into the Public Domain.
BEING an artist can be tough. You're up against so many others and the pressure to please an audience can be enough to send you into a clichéd height of madness. This is why we bring to you some clever tips from the industry's best: Just Another Agency. Founding partner Toby shares 5 tips for all you budding artists out there.