All posts filed under: videos

Tanderrum: As it happened

Last Friday, the Melbourne Festival 2013 kicked off with a Welcome to Country ceremony performed by the Ilbijerri Theatre Company and Elders from the five Kulin Nations of central Victoria. For all those who didn’t make it to the wonderful Tanderrum event on Friday, here’s a small taste. The festival runs until 27 October, so make the most of it.  

at the movies

    Aah, Margaret and David. For many Australian film lovers, these two little names carry a whole lot of weight. They conjure up memories of heated debates, squealing laughter, a delicious clash of personalities. They speak of a decades-long professional relationship between two of Australia’s most respected film critics, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton — that fantastically idiosyncratic pair who currently preside over the TV show ‘At the Movies‘ on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation channel). I can’t remember a time before Margaret and David. The first incarnation of ‘At the Movies’ was an SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) program called ‘The Movie Show’, which the duo founded back in 1986. In 2004, they decided to move to the ABC, where their show was given a slight facelift, although the format has remained essentially the same: Each week Margaret and David review upcoming film releases, occasionally including interviews with filmmakers and actors. These days, they also review one classic film every week — a great addition for anyone interested in the history and evolution of film. …

somebody that i used to know

    Occasionally, a song comes along that makes you feel as though it’s been written just for you — as though someone has been following your life and taking notes. Of course, this is the mark of a truly great song. And when a truly great song has the pulling power to make millions of people around the world look over their shoulders and wonder who has been able to capture their experiences so truthfully, a global hit is born. Melbourne is currently bristling with pride that local singer-songwriter Gotye‘s beautifully painful song ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is at this moment sitting atop the US charts, and has hit the number one spot in eighteen countries so far. Written by Gotye for his album Making Mirrors, the song also features New Zealand singer Kimbra, who appears with Gotye in the mesmerising music video that was produced and directed by Melbourne filmmaker Natasha Pincus. If you’re unfortunate enough to have been through a break-up recently, this song can be tough listening, but that’s just …

anzac day

    On the 25 April 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed in Gallipoli, Turkey. This was the ANZACs’ first major military action of World War I, and it was to be a devastating campaign for both the Turkish and Allied forces. Just over 8700 Australian troops died at Gallipoli, along with over 2700 New Zealanders and over 32,000 other Allied soldiers. Around 60,000 Turkish soldiers died protecting their lands, which they did successfully after a horrific eight-month campaign. I could write much more about the Gallipoli offensive — the ludicrous nature of the campaign, the presence of the revered Turkish commander Mustafa Kamal (today known as ‘Atatürk’ or ‘Father of Turkey’) who went on to revolutionise Turkish government and society, Gallipoli’s ongoing significance in shaping certain aspects of Australian culture — but I won’t. The reason I’m writing about the Gallipoli offensive is its date: 25 April. Tomorrow. Every year on 25 April, Australians and Kiwis commemorate the ANZACs who fought in wars throughout our history. Originally held in honour …

discover the first australians

    For those of us who live in Australia’s major cities, particularly the largest cities in the country’s south and east, it’s easy to forget that we are living on land that has been inhabited for more than 40,000 years. We think of Australia as a ‘new’ country devoid of mature culture and history, when in fact Australian Aboriginal culture is widely considered to be the oldest continuing culture in the world. Unfortunately, Australian Aboriginal culture and history is largely passed over by the majority of Australia’s non-Indigenous population. Even the history of white settlement in Australia is known only in its broad outlines, and has traditionally been taught from the perspective of the English settlers. In 2009, SBS television made a seven-part series that told the story of white settlement and its ramifications from the perspective of the Aboriginal people. This fascinating series is called First Australians, and should be required viewing for all Australians, as well as travellers who want to learn more about Australia’s history. The series begins with the arrival …

aussie rules explained

    So, you’ve just arrived in Melbourne. You step into a pub and see a television on the wall that shows a bunch of beefy men wearing short shorts running around an enormous oval. ‘What’s that?’ you ask a couple people sitting at the bar nearby. ‘AFL,’ says one. ‘Footy’, says the next. ‘Aussie Rules,’ says another. Right. It’s difficult to understand Australian rules football (or Australian Football League football, aka AFL footy) without seeing it. Luckily, some proactive person in the USA has made up this little YouTube video to explain the game (complete with the required ACDC ‘Thunderstruck’ background music):     As you can see from the clip, AFL football is extremely physically demanding. Players need to be able to run long distances, kick, tackle, and jump very, very high. To read a full run-down of the rules, see Wikipedia’s ‘Australian rules football’ page. The most interesting thing about AFL is that the game’s activity and popularity is intensely concentrated in Melbourne, where it originated in the mid-1800s. This is quite a …

q&a

Qanda – that word won’t mean much to non-Australians. To be honest, it probably doesn’t mean much to a fair slice of the Australian population, either, but I wish it did. It refers to Q&A, the live panel-discussion television show aired by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) every Monday night, in which questions are put to a panel by audience members. Moderated by veteran journalist Tony Jones, the panel generally features five experts or public figures of some kind: political and social commentators, writers, politicians, economists, academics…  anyone with something to say. (This week’s show, for example, featured Australian feminist Germaine Greer and conservative American ‘porn pastor’ Craig Gross, among others.) During the show, twitter comments using the hash-tag ‘qanda’ are also aired, giving it an interactive element. If you’re new to the country, much of the discussion of domestic politics on Q&A will probably go over your head; even so, the show may be useful in helping to wrap your brain around how Australian politics works and, more interestingly, how Australians view different issues. But it’s not all politics. …

for a spot of nature…

    Maybe my favourite YouTube clip of all time. Strictly speaking, it isn’t about Melbourne per se, but you can find these incredible creatures in the rainforests surrounding the city (head up to the Dandenong Ranges National Park or Kinglake National Park if you’re keen for a touch of lyrebird spotting). I promise you this clip is completely legit.