Arts & Culture

Black is the New White by Black Swan State Theatre Company

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Since the days of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, star crossed lovers and their conflicting families have been a staple of theatre and film.  Nakkiah Lui's Black is the New White returns to this familiar theme, taking the race conflict of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner but reversing the typical power dynamic shown between Aborigines and Caucasians to great effect.

Charlotte Gibson is a rising Aboriginal lawyer from an upper middle-class family who has just won a high profile lawsuit which has left her exhausted and questioning the values of her upbringing. She has returned to the family holiday home with her new partner Francis Smith, a white Australian who composes experimental classical music and who scrapes by on his small trust fund allowance.

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The Farewell at Luna

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American director and writer Lulu Wang’s latest movie The Farewell follows the troubles and tensions of a widespread Chinese family who reunites to visit their dying grandmother whilst concealing the fact that she has been diagnosed with cancer and does not have long to live.

The family visit the grandmother on the pretext of going to China to attend the wedding of a grandson and his Japanese wife to be.

The main character Billi is a young New York woman and budding writer, who has fond memories of her grandmother from when she was a young child growing up in China,  before her parents migrated to America.

As well as being funny and heartfelt, the drama comedy raises some interesting and poignant issues about what it means to be family, with Billi being caught in the middle of traditional Chinese culture and the Western values she has developed while living in the USA.

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The Apparatus at The Blue Room Theatre

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The Apparatus grabs your attention as soon as you walk into the theatre. Mostly because Tim Green is munching on snacks behind a mixing desk in the corner of the stage, with his face painted white, wearing nothing but his underwear. Humphrey Bower soon joins him, similarly dressed, but unlike Green, he acquires more costumes as the show progresses. (As a word of warning, the show in question does get pretty graphic, but not because of the semi-nudity.)

The Apparatus has been adapted from three Franz Kafka stories: Before the Law, The Burrow, and In the Penal Colony. In Part One of the play, a man spends his life trying to gain access to a door guarded by a gatekeeper. In Part Two, Bower seamlessly transitions into the role of an animal, paranoid about defending the burrow he has created. Finally, in Part Three, Bower transforms again, this time into a camo-wearing, broad-accented Australian man, channelling certain politicians as he showcases a new torture device.

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The Third Wife at Luna

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Beneath the tranquil waters of 19th century rural Vietnam, we see the turbulent undercurrents through the eyes of 14 year old May as she enters an arranged marriage to the head of a wealthy family in payment for her father's debt.

“The Third Wife” is a cinematically beautiful piece, showcasing the ebb and flow of life and its interconnectedness with nature and its seasons. We see the family go about their everyday routines – putting food on the table, and attending to daily chores.

As May adjusts to life with her new family, she comes of age, and soon realises that bearing a son will bring her an increase in status within the patriarchal household.

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Scandinavian Film Festival 2019 at Luna

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 It's that time of the year as we gaze northwards to enjoy special offerings from the 2019 Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival.

Opening Night kicks off Wednesday 17th July at Cinema Paradiso, with the premier of the Danish comedy Happy Ending followed by an after party Scandi celebration of drinks, Nordic flavours and music.

This year, the film festival brings to Perth audiences movies from across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, along with a series of highly charged Nordic noir works - Millennium Trilogy and Department Q. The Millennium Trilogy series of films pay tribute to the famous late author Stieg Larsson whose Millennium Trilogy novels – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels - sold more than 90 million copies worldwide and were made into feature films.

Here are Perth Walkabout’s top picks from this year’s #ScandiFilmFest :

 

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The Torrents by Black Swan State Theatre Company

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Imagine a time in the late 1890’s where a newspaper in a town called Koolgalla (think of a town somewhat like Kalgoorlie) has hired a new editor “J.G. Milford”.

She also happens to be a woman!

And so in The Torrents - Black Swan State Theatre Company’s latest co-production with the Sydney Theatre Company, the mayhem and madness begins as the staff have to cope with the introduction of the gentler sex into their traditionally masculine workplace.

On stage, in the midst of the Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre of WA, the set takes on a distinctive look with stacks of old newspapers piled high in the newsroom, surrounded by its period style furniture and adornments. You can almost smell the ink from the printing press. It is another triumph from the creatives at Black Swan State Theatre Company.

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Revelation Perth International Film Festival

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Fancy a short or a long short?!

Not of the coffee variety – we are talking about celluloid here. Now in its 22nd year, the Revelation Perth International Film Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, boasting an impressive line up of independent films from around the globe.

From snails to submarines to shorts, there is plenty on offer with a large selection of genres to suit a wide range of tastes.

Here are Perth Walkabout’s picks for the 2019 #revfilmfest :

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