All posts filed under: ongoing

Fred Schepisi in conversation at ACMI

There’s only a small handful of internationally successful Australian film directors around — a very small handful — and they tend to keep out of the spotlight, so having the chance to hear one of these elusive characters speak publicly is pretty exciting. Particularly if said director has a career spanning 40 years and has worked with the likes of Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Caine, Juliette Binoche, John Cleese and Helen Mirren — to name a few. Fred Schepisi’s best-known films include the Australian classic The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), Roxanne (1987), Evil Angels (1988, also released as A Cry in the Dark), Last Orders (2001), the mini-series Empire Falls (2005), and most recently Words and Pictures (2013). He’ll be speaking with producer Sue Maslin at ACMI this Friday as part of the free Friday on My Mind series. If you missed his 2013 talk, make sure you catch this one. Note the new FOMM time of 6pm.   Friday on My Mind: Fred Schepisi Date: 27 March …

Free public lectures in Melbourne

“Learning never exhausts the mind,” said the great Leonardo da Vinci. Another wise man had similarly encouraging words for his readers: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” That was Dr Seuss. We are never too old to learn. And, in Melbourne, not being enrolled in a university course doesn’t mean you can’t go to university. Several of the city’s largest universities host free public lectures on a weekly or biweekly basis. If you’re craving some juicy brain food, check out the public lecture series at The University of Melbourne in Parkville, Monash University in Caulfield or Clayton, and La Trobe University in Bundoora. You can find more info on talks and lectures in Melbourne (not all free, mind) by clicking here.  

Melbourne Literary Salon

One of the occupational hazards of being a writer is loneliness. It is not, unfortunately, the most social of activities, so I’m sure the writers of Melbourne are thanking their stars for the good folk at Melbourne Literary Salon, who have set up a monthly meet-and-mingle event for Melbourne’s literary crowd. The Salon is open to all storyteller types — producers, animators, journalists, illustrators, editors, novelists. Held in Loop Bar in the CBD, the event is designed to be a casual affair, with established professionals mingling with literary fledglings. For more info about the Salon and what to expect, check out the MLS blog. The very first Melbourne Literary Salon of 2014 will be held tonight, starting at 6pm. If you can’t make this evening’s event, the next Salon will be held on the first Tuesday of next month. To keep up to date with the MLS happenings, ‘like’ their Facebook page here.   Melbourne Literary Salon When: First Tuesday of every month Time: 6pm Venue: Loop Bar Address: 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne  

The Night Market at Queen Vic

The 2013–14 season of the much-loved Night Market at Queen Victoria Market kicked off last week and will be rolling on all through the summer. If you’ve never visited this weekly shindig before, make sure you get there this year. You’ll find a mishmash of stalls selling everything from fashions to handicrafts to tarot readings, over 60 street food vendors and three stages showcasing local live music. Come here on a warm summer night and the place will be packed with locals and tourists soaking up the festive atmosphere. You can expect to pay between $8 and $15 for most stall meals, and there are a few licensed vendors selling alcoholic drinks, too. Check the Night Market website for weekly music line-ups and other details.   The Night Market Dates: Running ever Wednesday until 26 February 2014 (excluding 25 December and 1 January) Time: 5pm–10am Where: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne    

No Lights No Lycra

I doubt there’s anyone in world who doesn’t like to dance. Even people who say they don’t like dancing probably do, they just don’t know it yet. In mainstream culture, dance has become more of a social construct than a form of personal expression; most people dance in a style that’s socially acceptable, and I suspect many people dance to impress rather than fulfil an innate desire. Of course, if we feel self-conscious dancing, we don’t feel particularly impressive. Instead, we feel uncomfortable, uncoordinated, judged. But put someone in a dark room and turn on some toe-tapping music and most people, I’m betting, will start a’ tappin’. Or jiggin’. Or jivin’. Or just flaying their limbs around to the sound of the beat. This theory has been put to the test by No Light No Lycra, a dance ‘class’ that began in Melbourne and proved itself so popular that it can now be found around the country and other parts of the world. The idea behind NLNL is to provide a friendly, non-threatening drug- and alcohol-free environment in which people can dance …

regent honeyeater project

    Here’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone who finds themselves in Victoria over the next few weeks. The Regent Honeyeater Project is a volunteer conservation program that works to restore box-ironbark forests in the Lurg Hills of North Eastern Victoria. This bushland was heavily forested in the century following European settlement, resulting in the decimation of a number of native bird and animal species, including the Regent Honeyeater (pictured above). Each year the RE Project runs seasonal activities such as seed collection, checking nest boxes and tree planting. And, as spring quietly approaches, now is the time for planting.     Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, or even if you’re not a particularly passionate environmentalist, I can promise you these planting weekends are a lot of fun. They’re hard work — you’ll be either digging ditches all day or crouching down to plant seedlings — but it’s incredibly satisfying and great to be out in the beautiful Victorian countryside with some friends for a weekend. If you’re concerned about your budget, …

outside-in cinema

– I love the State Library of Victoria. Not only is it beautiful, with its glorious books and artworks and soaring architecture, but it also features exhibitions and events throughout the year, most of which are free to attend. One of these is the Outside-In Cinema. I only stumbled across this recently, but judging by the line-up of films screening over the next few months, it looks like a great find. The cinema shows contemporary documentaries and animated features in the Experimedia room every second Wednesday from 6.30pm. This coming Wednesday (9 May) showcases the film Crossing The Bridge, a documentary about Turkish music directed by Fatih Akin. You can bring food and non-alcoholic drinks along, and entry is free, although you will need to book a seat online. A few of the other films due to be screened over the next couple months include Babies, Being Elmo and Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times. I’ll try to give you heads up when the screening dates approach. – Outside-In Cinema Film: Crossing The Bridge Address: 328 Swanston …

Friday On My Mind

Attention all filmmakers, film students and film enthusiasts: cancel your Friday after-work plans. The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) runs a weekly free event that brings successful film professionals to ACMI to discuss various aspects of the industry. Running from March until November, these ‘Friday On My Mind’ talks take place from 6pm until 7pm, although occasionally the event will also include a film screening. Guest speakers have so far included actor Eric Bana, and filmmakers Matthew Saville and Tony Ayres, with many more to come. These intimate talks are a great opportunity to hear from the country’s leading filmmakers and ask your own questions towards the end of the session.   Friday On My Mind Address: ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne Vic 3000 When: Fridays, 6pm (check the website to confirm) Damage: free – but you will need to pick up a ticket from the ACMI box office (open from 10am)

melbourne cinémathèque

    Film lovers who are despairing at the high price of cinema tickets in this country should get themselves hooked up with the Melbourne Cinémathèque. This not-for-profit organisation began its life in 1948 (then known as the Melbourne University Film Society) and screens ‘significant films from the history of international cinema’, as its website states. During the Cinémathèque season (Feb–Dec), two films are screened every Wednesday evening at the ACMI cinemas in Federation Square, usually focussing on the work of one director per evening. To attend screenings you need to buy an MC membership – either an annual membership ($119 full / $99 concession) or a ‘mini-membership’, which gets you admission to four consecutive Wednesday nights ($25 full / $20 concession). Either way, you get an amazing deal as well as access to the world’s best films presented in their original mediums and formats. Check the website for screening details.   Melbourne Cinémathèque Address: ACMI in Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne 3000 Tel: 8663 2200 V  

treat your grey matter at the wheeler centre

    One criticism often levelled at Australian culture (usually by Australians themselves) is that our society largely ignores – sometimes even demonises – people who are considered too ‘intellectual’. Scientists, writers, mathematicians, philosophers, artists, academics of any kind – these people are generally neither seen nor heard within mainstream Australian culture. (Except if you’re Nicole Kidman and you win an Oscar. Then suddenly you’re ‘our Nic’.) This is one cultural evaluation that I happen to agree with. If you’re doubtful, stop a few people in the street and ask them if they can tell you anything about Peter Doherty or Patrick White (hint: each of these Australians won a Nobel Prize). You might be surprised by how many blank looks you get. But never fear: if you’re visiting or living in Melbourne there is some respite for your downtrodden brain cells close at hand. One of my favourite cerebral rehab clinics is The Wheeler Centre, which hosts frequent events dedicated to exploring ‘books, writing and ideas’. The centre was established in 2010 after Melbourne …