Estonia, 2021 107 minutes, rated R Dendy Canberra Tuesday 17 May at 6.30pm celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
It always comes as a shock how recently it was that homosexuality and relationships between people of the same gender were illegal across the world. In Australia, it was not until 1997 that Tasmania became the last jurisdiction to decriminalise homosexuality.
This film, set mainly in Soviet-annexed Estonia and Moscow in the 1970s, is the true story of a love affair between Russian conscript Sergey Fetisov (Tom Prior) and fighter pilot, Roman Matvejev (Oleg Zagorodnii). At the time, Soviet men in uniform caught having a sexual affair were subject to severe punishment.
During Australian Dance Week the Ausdance National Network promotes dance as an essential part of our lives. Ausdance ACT holds the largest Dance Week in Australia.
It is an annual umbrella festival of events, highlighting a thriving and diverse local dance scene. It includes studio classes, workshops, and activities for all ages with many free classes and showings.
National Folk Festlval Exhibition Park in Canberra Until Monday 18 April 2022
ARIA Award-winning First Nations singer-songwriter Archie Roach will feature at the opening concert of the 2022 National Folk Festival on Friday 15 April.
The Let Love Rule opening concert at the vast Narragunnawali Stage venue on the EPIC oval from 6pm, also features the Hauptmann Trio, the Phoenix Collective String Quartet, Layla Barnett, Katie Noonan, Alinta Barlow, Tibetan refugee and musician Tenzin Choegyal and the Folk Festival Choir.
Listen to interviews and music with Tenzin Choegyal and other festival performers, including Snowy Mountains-based Folk/Americana duo Montgomery Church, and Canberra performers the Super Rats Romanian Band and the Shanty Singers.
Photo of Archie Roach at rehearsal by Living Arts Canberra
Natalie Quan Yau Tso: I have arrived at Yellow LUCA’s Daughters: Ventre Karri McPherson: More Than Meets the Eye 9 April until 21 May 2022
These three immersive exhibitions explore colour, surface, co-creation and collaboration. The artist’s works use the mediums of video, painting, movement, installation, and performance and investigate self-reflective themes including racial identity.
Kyeema Gallery, at Capital Wines 13 Gladstone Street, Hall ACT Thursday to Monday 10.30am to 5pm Until 1 May 2022
A selection of works by Lake House Studio students, artists – Jeanette Zvargulis, Ivy Bahr, Sharan Fergie, Jenny Wardrobe, Richelle Eaton, Bec Langridge, Kathryn Adams, Hannah Wardrobe and Caroline Deeble (artist and mentor)
Bungendore Fine Art 42B Ellendon Street Bungendore NSW Fridays to Mondays 10am to 4.30pm From 2 April 2022
An exhibition of acrylics, mixed media and water colours in works from realistic to abstract. The artist’s work in this exhibition is often impressionistic with delicate colours flowing into one another to create a dream-like sensation.
All work is for sale and may be viewed on the website
Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2022 Cover design by Mika Tabata Cover photo Getty Images
Rural romance is a very popular genre in Australia and Nicole Hurley-Moore certainly knows how to grab her readers – this is the seventh of her books and it’s bound to be as successful as its predecessors. Many people are grasping for some cheerfulness in dark times and this author is a fan of happy, or at least positive, endings.
Louie Louie, upstairs at Verity Lane Market Sydney Building, 50 Northbourne Ave, Canberra Thursday 31 March 2022 (one night only)
The Gentleman’s Companion is a new cabaret show. It is based on the popular recipes and cocktails of author Charles H. Baker who travelled the world during prohibition in search of alcoholic beverages and interesting people to drink them with.
National Folk Festival Exhibition Park in Canberra 14-18 April 2022
COVID travel restrictions mean this year’s National Folk Festival will feature an all-Australian lineup – but artistic director Katie Noonan says she probably would have largely planned it that way anyway.
Currently showing at Dendy Canberra Also in limited release in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Bonsai Films, Australia, 2021, 84 minutes Rated MA+ (strong coarse language) Starring Fergus Wilson and Emma Diaz Directed by James Vaughan
Two privileged millennials team up for a kind of of road movie, described in the blurb as ‘a dryly comic exploration of displacement and ennui in contemporary Australia.’
Paul Kelly and his band with Fanny Lumsden, Llewellyn Hall, Canberra, 11 March 2022 Frances Madden, The Street Theatre Canberra, 12 March 2022
It’s great that live music is back in Canberra after a long COVID hiatus. Last week we attended concerts as paying patrons over two nights in venues a stone’s throw away from each other – but in some ways, worlds apart.
Great music, but an experience diminished
I guess we should have twigged what was ahead when the long lines for bar service showed no sign of shortening when the bells rang for the start of the show.
Llewellyn Hall at the Australian National University is best known as a classical music venue. Whether it was a lack of available alternatives (such as the Royal Theatre) or other reasons, the organisers of Paul Kelly’s concert (a second show was held the following night) made a poor choice of venue.
Don’t get me wrong – the acoustics and facilities were fine, and the all-too-short opening set by Fanny Lumsden and her band was great. Paul Kelly, his guests Vika and Linda Bull and his band, were most generous with their time, performing for well over two hours including two encore sets.
But a classical music venue with limited legroom and long rows of seats is not the right setting for a rock concert, at which, it appears, people expect to come and go as they please in the middle of the performance, with or without liquid refreshments in tow, and seemingly oblivious to their fellow patrons.
When you gotta go you gotta go, but if you do, please at least wait till the end of a song before you clamber back to your seat and disturb others in the process. This behaviour is not only disrespectful to the performers, but in a closely-packed and dark licenced venue like Llewellyn Hall, it raises potential safety issues. And the youthful door staff appeared not to have the authority to hold people back from re-entering the auditorium until an appropriate break.
Our enjoyment was also not enhanced by a couple of people in the row behind us conducting a singalong when everyone else just wanted to listen to the band.
Kelly is a masterful singer-songwriter and I’m looking forward to his next visit to Canberra – but at a different venue, please.
Picture of Paul Kelly: emimusic.com.au
Jazz hits all the right notes
I have no claim to be a jazz expert, having come to appreciate the genre later in life – but I know what I like, and I loved Saturday night’s performance by Sydney-based singer, pianist and composer Frances Madden and her band.
Madden was at The Street to launch her third album, Beautiful World, for which she wrote all but two of the 10 tracks.
The concert also featured jazz standards, and Madden’s beautiful voice and virtuosic playing were accompanied by four excellent musicians on double bass, drums, brass and guitar, plus two female backing singers. Of particular note was the band’s versatility, and Carl Dewhurst’s solo jazz and blues guitar performances were simply outstanding.
The audience certainly appreciated the concert, and I hope we will see more of Frances Madden before she departs our shores for an extended period overseas.