AUSTRALIA DAY REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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When I get a chance I will write about my memories of the Brisbane International Film Festival. BIFF returned this year and was a joy to have back. On the last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the screening of Australia Day to do a film review for Scenestr. To be on assignment for Scenestr was a special treat for me.

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Me after the screening in the foyer at Palace Barracks. © Copyright by Lloyd Marken.

Not every film I saw at BIFF wowed me so it’s a delight to report that Australia Day was one of my favourites. There was a Q&A afterwards with the director Kriv Stenders, the producers and two of the actors. Unlike previous Q&As I’ve attended at BIFF in the past there wasn’t many questions from the audience, the times seems to fly by but there were many illuminating stories from the sessions. The producers and directors are Brisbane boys and have made a film in their hometown.

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Part of my way to work. © Copyright by Lloyd Marken.

This holds a special delight for us locals, I was astonished to find a road I walk on my way to work featured in the movie and there was an early scene near a train station that I once travelled through and thought this would make a great place to shoot a scene. Locations were around the CBD, Darra and Rocklea. I believe its just coincidence but these were places I went to that were heavily affected by the 2011 Brisbane floods.

 

The first feature film from Hoodlum, they chose discerningly the script by Stephen M. Irwin wanting to make a splash and getting Kriv Stenders hot off the success of Red Dog to direct and casting Bryan Brown alongside an exciting group of newcomers. Reviews have been mild at other publications, complaints of not enough sub in the subtext and a certain flair in the cinematography for the sake of style rather than substance. All I can say is I was riveted from beginning to end and think its one of the best Australian films of the year. You can read more of my thoughts here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/australia-day-review-20170904

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Libertines. © Copyright by Lloyd Marken.

My wife and I attended a nearby restaurant Libertines after the screening, as I left the bar I not to go to our table I noticed the producers at another table with some cast. One had his suit jacket off standing up on the edge of the table listening and gesturing. Was he ordering drinks? Sharing congratulations? I don’t know but he was beaming with a wonderful smile. I went to my table and seated myself with my back to them not wanting to pry. Libertines specialise in Asian cuisine with a colonial French influence. Karen and I make a point of ordering entrees rather than main meals. Goat curry in lettuce cups are what first turned us on to the place, sand crab sliders are the popular favourites, duck crepes were missing in action so we were advised to try the pork spring rolls which were great. We discussed the merits of the film not 20 metres from the men who made it possible. An hour passed and I paid our bill.

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On the way out I noticed the party had fallen to the producers and their partners I assume. Australia Day’s premiere at BIFF had followed triumphant screenings at the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Now it will be about the money. A limited run at Dendy cinemas will begun nationally September 20 before the film moves to screening on Australian cable provider Foxtel who were a funding partner of the film. On the night of September 2nd though, two young lads from Brisbane screened their first feature film with in front of an approving rapturous audience. In the wee small hours they enjoyed a delicious meal with loved ones content in one victory. The victory to create art that you can be proud of and put it out into the world and have it be enjoyed by others. They are dreamers living the dream. It made me smile to see that.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. The magazine is focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

-Lloyd Marken

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‘UNCLE VANYA’ BY THE CURATORS AND ‘LORD OF THE THRONES’ BY IMPROMAFIA REVIEWS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Last Thursday evening I attended the opening night of the Brisbane International Film Festival, Friday night I went to an old Western suburb and took in the first professional theatre production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in Brisbane in 86 years and Saturday night I was in the city again back at Metro Arts Theatre to see an improvised comedy show parodying the No.1 show in the world. A weekend like that is few and far between and often I let other things take some of the joy out of things I should be grateful for. Not last weekend, last weekend was magical and I feel so very lucky and blessed these days that I’m looking for the anvil above my head.

I volunteered at BIFF once upon a time, which I hope to write about soon,  but I never went to an opening night. With the two theatre shows I attended I was on assignment with Scenestr magazine and you can read my reviews here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/uncle-vanya-magda-community-artz-review-20170823 and here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/impromafia-s-lord-of-the-thrones-metro-arts-review-20170823

Keen readers may note I previously interviewed the director of Uncle Vanya, Michael Beh earlier and he spoke with such passion about theatre and Chekhov that it was great to get a chance to go along and see the show which featured some first rate acting. Impromafia’s production of Lord of the Thrones was scheduled a while back and something that I’ve been looking forward to. The venue was Metro Arts theatre which I saw as a good sign after catching England there earlier in the year. It was a privilege to attend both and to write reviews on them.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month which as a GenXer I have been thrilled to have interviews published in. The magazine is focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH ‘UNCLE VANYA’ DIRECTOR MICHAEL BEH AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I tackled my second interview for Scenestr magazine a few weeks back and it was published in print in my hometown. The first professional production in Brisbane of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in 86 years is being done by director Michael Beh. A veteran of theatre productions, Beh spoke with passion and thoughtfulness for over twenty minutes and I hope I have done justice to how interesting he was to listen to. A digital copy of the Queensland edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2017/1094-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1094.html where the print version of the interview is on Page 44 Scenestr12.jpgand the full version went online here yesterday http://scenestr.com.au/arts/anton-chekhov-s-uncle-vanya-returns-to-brisbane

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

The interviews create more nerves, take more work and prove more rewarding. Doing this work remains a privilege and I hope I prove worthy of it. The Brisbane International Film Festival returns next week and I can’t wait to share some highlights with you.

-Lloyd Marken

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VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS REVIEW ON SCENESTR

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Earlier this week I was fortunate to be sent along to attend a preview screening of the new Luc Beeson movie Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets at New Farm Cinemas. New Farm is an inner city suburb of my hometown Brisbane but not a place I regularly visit. The nearby Powerhouse is where we saw The Soldier’s Wife performance. I found the independent New Farm Cinemas magical with an assortment of old movie and cinema memorabilia throughout its foyer. Additionally the seats were comfortable and modern. We may have to return soon.

Valerian itself has had a weak debut stateside while tearing up the box office in its home territory of France. Following bad reviews I attended with serious misgivings but hopeful. I was pleasantly surprised, there are many flaws with it but the 3D is the best I’ve seen since Avatar, there was a message to the film and while the humour, characterisation and dialogue was noticeably weaker I had a good time. Perhaps see and judge for yourself, those who only attend the cinema a handful of times a year face a difficult decision. There will be no doubt better films to see but maybe few that make as good a use of the big screen and 3D.

You can read more of my thoughts here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planets-review-20171008

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

I consider myself very lucky to have had five film reviews published with them consisting of ones for Hidden Figures, Logan, The Fate of The Furious, 20th Century Women and now Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH THE LEADS OF ‘GREASE – THE ARENA EXPERIENCE’ AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I did a Work Elective subject in my final undergrad year in 2004. There were about five of us and we did the Brisbane Writer’s Festival Newspaper in 2004. I was hardly the star of the team but I did get to interview some people which was a real thrill for me. Perhaps one day I’ll recap some of that. Almost 13 years later I downloaded a free app onto my phone to record interviews I might do for Scenestr.

Two weekends ago I finally landed a gig and interviewed performers Meghan O’Shea and Drew Weston who are touring Newcastle this month as Sandy and Danny in Grease – The Arena Experience. I spoke to them one at a time for less than 13 minutes each while struggling to contain nerves and excitement throughout. They couldn’t have been nicer and more thoughtful on what they see as strong points about the show, their co-stars and the arts in general. I’ve tried my best to honour that and to put across how charming and articulate they were over the phone onto the written page.

In addition to being the first interviews I have done for Scenestr, this piece has been printed in their Sydney magazine as well on the website. A digital copy of the printed magazine can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/NSW/2017/13-NSW/scenestr-NSW-13.html#p=27 where the piece is located on Page 27. The online version is here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/grease-is-the-word-in-newcastle and includes an extra paragraph that took us over the word limit for the printed version. It concerns a story Drew told when I was inspired to ask an impromptu follow-up question after listening to one answer. That was a nice little moment for me, Parky eat your heart out. I’m grateful my editor decided to keep it for the online copy.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

What doing these things for these publications does for me, your continued support…. After I finished the first interview I walked up and down the living room for a few seconds and took some deep breaths. Then I focussed on doing the next one. I am not a brave man but not for the first time it occurred to me that the things that have scared me have always been the things that have been the most rewarding to have done. I am on a journey I guess, no idea where it will end up and that’s okay. Because it is the journey itself that I am eternally grateful for and I’m just enjoying it in and of itself. And…….. I am happy you are with me.

-Lloyd Marken

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SOLDIER’S WIFE REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The Queensland Cabaret Festival has been running the past couple of weeks and on Saturday night I was on assignment for Scenestr to attend the show Soldier’s Wife at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

I was excited to see the show, as stories about veterans and their families touches me. You can read more about my thoughts at http://scenestr.com.au/news/music/soldier-s-wife-queensland-cabaret-festival-review-20170612

While I feel some songs engaged me more fully than others they were all written with big hearts, the performances were world class and in the small intimate theatre where the show was performed the crowd was visibly moved throughout. I remain extremely grateful for these opportunities to see such shows and review them for such a great publication. Any love you can show by clicking on the review and liking and/or commenting is appreciated.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

-Lloyd Marken

20th CENTURY WOMEN REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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20th Century Women has taken its sweet ass time getting to Australian cinemas but it proved worth the wait and justified every nomination or award win that came Annette Bening’s way during Awards season. You can read more of my thoughts here http://scenestr.com.au/news/movies-and-tv/20th-century-women-review-20170607

I’ve been very lucky to get published online for a few publications these past 3 months. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity and appreciate the support from my fellow bloggers.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

-Lloyd Marken