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Archive for December, 2012

Don’t Blame It On The Moonshine – Lawless Review

Lawless – Film Review



I’m one of a handful in the 10am audience at Hoyts. No previews screened that I had not previously seen – Dredd:3D, End of Watch, Seven Psychopaths,the third of which might be worth a look.  Ads for multi-coloured housewares, discount curtains and for flavoured milk.  I have no idea what this means, assuming it is meant to be a code for the people they think might be watching*.  Maybe Canberra is full of healthy cheapskates who redecorate.  Whatever.

And the Iron Chef ingredient this morning was bootleg whisky made of pretty well anything that may once have fallen within the vegetable class**.    Franklin County, Virginia, appears as beautiful as Virginia can be.  The Depression is not having so large an effect on people who have pretty well nothing anyway.  Prohibition is failing utterly to do anything useful except redistribute money and get people killed***. Lawless_jpg

Three Bondurant brothers, the eldest reputedly immortal, engaged in the production of the local distilled product.  A tough girl on the run and a highly protected daughter of the local minister provide the love interests for two of the brothers, Forrest and Jack****.  They manage a stable, respectful, cooperative and corrupt relationship with the local law.

Cut to scenes of the carnage in Chicago.  Then the apple cart***** is overturned by changes in the larger world, wanting the rivers of corruption to flow a different way.  As a consequence another, human-sourced, fluid provides a comprehensive red spattering.  A new State Attorney with a Special Deputy who has more charm than scruples or mercy, has.  The feeling is apparent pretty quickly that no-one is playing for a win/win outcome.  The music is exceptional, varied within the types found in the region, and suggests that the soundtrack would be a smart choice for those who don’t fancy the violence.

Oz watchers note.  Guy Pearce as the Bad Cop******.  Mia Wasikowska as the virgin-with-religious-father.  Noah Taylor in a small role.  Nick Cave did the screenplay and gets a music credit.


* You know, the way some of the more bogan end of television is increasingly populated with ads for insurance products (specifically funeral insurance) and few questions asked personal finance.

**Pauses to bite yellow capsicum. Adopt supercilious smile.

***Speaking of which, the SBS series – currently placed just before Boardwalk Empire – is a beauty.

****The other brother, Howard, is a couple of steps above Mongo from Blazing Saddles.  (I saw that Alex Karras, the footballer/actor who played Mongo, died recently without having emulated OJ SImpson’s career).

***** Which would be empty, all the apples having been converted to something resembling calvados or palinka, except that it’s sold in jars like all the bars do now in Melbourne.

****** An inch, or an ounce, more and he’d be channelling every elegant but sadistic Nazi ever seen on screen.  “Acch! Herr Bigglesworth.  We have your friend Algy and plan to have our vicked vay vit him”  etc.  Nothing at all like Jack Irish.


JEP & DEP – Deep In Newtown

Jep and Dep are the delightful folk duet, Jessica Cassar and Darren Cross. Their melodious sound is inspired by the folksy, country music of the 1960’s. They say they are just a boy, a girl and a guitar but the commercial potential of this group who have only been performing together for 8 months, suggests that they are so much more than that.

Recently returned from a 6-week tour of Berlin, they played last Thursday night to a heaving Union Hotel in Newtown for ‘Proper Music Social, A night of Folk and Country at The Union’. So far, they have been happy to tour the local music haunts and drinkers dives that are the standard stomping grounds for anyone seeking out live music in their hometown, Sydney.  Listening to their  sweet harmonies  and mournful heartbreakers as they sing pretty ditties about ‘love gone right and love gone wrong’ you might be tempted to think of Regina Spektor and Jack Dishel.

While I was lining up at the canteen for chocolate milk and paddlepops with Cassar, Cross was fronting 90’s alternative group – Gerling – and selling out the Metro. But he seems to have journeyed, musically, far away from those heady days where he was playing Big Day Out with Ben Lee standing in as the guitarist. Gerling is currently on an indefinite hiatus and if that means that Cross has more energy to throw at Jep and Dep, it’s not such a bad thing.

jep_and_depThe potential is obvious and free for you to behold tonight at Oxford Art Factory where they will be playing along with new talent, the Battleships from 8pm.


You can check out more of their music here > and or stalk them on Facebook to find out how to be a groupie.

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The Smith Family is a national, independent children’s charity helping disadvantaged Australians to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.

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