Skip to main content

See, Watch, Hear: February 2015

A monthly round-up post of what I’ve seen on stage, watched on film or TV and listened-to podcast-wise.

SEE

Just like in January, I only saw two things on stage: WOT? NO FISH!! at the Malthouse – which is an exquisite little show about a Jewish family’s history in the east end of London, stretching from the 1920s through the 1980s and right up until now. Danny Braverman is an engaging performer, who brings his great uncles’ sketches to life in a charming and sometives very moving way.

I also saw Flesh Eating Tiger at the Owl & Pussycat. This is the first show at the Owl & Pussycat, under co-Artistic Directorship of Gabrielle Savrone & Thomas Ian Doyle. Previous artistic director Jason Kavanagh has returned to direct this new work by American playwright, Amy Tofte. Really great performances by Zak Zavod and Marissa Bennett. A solid start to a new year at the Owl & Cat.

Wot? No Fish!!


WATCH

Film

The Academy Awards were on this past week and I’d probably seen the least number of nominees before the ceremony than I ever had before. I’d only seen three of the Best Picture nominees – and I’m glad that Birdman won. Though I would have liked to have seen Boyhood take a prize or two.

I saw Julianne Moore’s Academy Award-winning performance in Still Alice just the day before she won. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Moore give a bad performance and not here, either. I just didn’t think much of the film, overall. Odd that she would be finally honoured for a film that is not a patch on the films she’s previously been nominated for.

Julianne Moore in Still Alice


Television

Parks & Recreation is over and it went out in an emotional one-hour finale. It used a clever structure to really pay off seven years of a sitcom that, at the height of its powers, was one of the best on television.

Agent Carter had quite a strong first season and wrapped up in solid fashion. I really hope it gets another season, because I’d hate to never see Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter again.

I caught up on Galavant, which was a bunch of silly fun. Better Call Saul started really strongly. Looking continues to impress. And The Americans & Justified have returned, and are still exciting in their own ways. Oh, and I hadn’t noticed Episodes was back – so I’m catching up on that.

And I must say that the fifth season of The Wonder Years on DVD is very odd – mostly because early 90s TV really doesn’t care much for continuity, plus it had sidelined most of its regular characters to focus on Kevin and a bunch of new kids. Weird.

Parks & Recreation - the final season


HEAR

This American Life is never dull – and their two-part episode “Cops See It Differently” is a fascinating insight into how police see recent news stories very differently than most of the general public. It’s engrossing and depressing.

Invisibilia’s “The Power of Categories” was a highlight from that series.

Scriptnotes’ interview with African American screenwriter Malcolm Spellman (who writes for the series, Empire) is incredible: he talks about the evolution of his career and they discuss writing black scripts and black series and how the landscape is changing. Highly recommended.

And I’ve started Pleasuretown, a serial drama podcast. I’ll have more to say when I’m done with the first season, I’m sure.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favourite Theatre of 2018

It’s that time of year again, when I look back over everything I saw on stage and put together a list of my favourite shows. I saw over 100 shows this year, mostly in Melbourne and a small number on one visit to Sydney.

I will link to reviews if I wrote one.
TOP TEN (alphabetical order)
The Almighty Sometimes – Griffin Theatre, Sydney
Kendall Feaver’s extraordinary debut play is about Anna, dealing with mood disorders and medication and the complicated relationship she has with the treatments and her mother. Superb cast and beautifully directed by Lee Lewis
Blackie Blackie Brown – Malthouse Theatre
Nakkiah Lui’s work is always amazing but this production, directed by Declan Green, was another step up for her – the satire sharper and bleaker and more hilarious than ever before.
Blasted – Malthouse Theatre
Sarah Kane’s debut play from 1990s London is a tricky beast tackling difficult subjects but Anne-Louise Sarks nailed it with a superb production.
The Bleeding Tree – Arts Centre Melbourne

You are far away: Agent Cooper and his troubling return to Twin Peaks

“What year is this?” Dale Cooper asks in the final scene of Twin Peaks: The Return, the last of many unanswered questions left as the 18-part feature film concluded a week ago.
It’s far from the first time we’ve seen someone who looks like Dale Cooper lost for answers over recent months. But it might be the first time we have definitive proof that he’s in over his head.
Mr C, Dale Cooper’s doppelganger, who was first seen in the original series’ finale back in 1991, returned to the town of Twin Peaks with a goal in mind. Mr C was flexible, though. He had to be; he’d set so many things in motion over twenty-five years, if he’d remained fixated, he would never have come as far as he did.
Dougie, Dale Cooper’s tulpa – created by and from Mr C, wandered aimlessly through life, but slowly made every life he touched better. Plans change and Dougie changed with them. Slowly but surely, Dougie pieced together Cooper’s past life and became richer for it.
Agent Cooper, the third part of this T…

A Thing Isn’t Beautiful Because It Lasts: Avengers in the AGE OF ULTRON

The latest film in the Marvel Universe series feels like nothing so much as a season finale. And since Joss Whedon was once the master of creating season finales that were both emotionally satisfying and thematically resonant, it’s good to have him in charge for the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.
I’d like to compare it to the epic scope of Buffy’s “The Gift” but it feels more like Angel, if anything. Things change, the world moves on – and the best you can do is keep fighting. And embrace change.
Tony Stark has always been flawed, but by the third film in his own trilogy, he seemed to have found an emotional peace. But with that peace comes the idea that he can use his technology – his faith in machines being his tragic flaw – to create a replacement for the Avengers. He births an army of robots to calm the populace and fight alien foes.
Robert Downey Jnr’s Stark is such a towering figure in the Marvel Universe films – and to make him partly the villain of this new film is a s…