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Archive for March, 2013

Whitebread Magic – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone



PLACE: 10:10, Hoyts Woden, Cinema 8.

PIC: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

PEOPLE: One, un, uno, ein.

If one is the only one in an enormous cinema, and one still sits in the allocated seat, should one give a damn?

The ads include the now-grating PillowTalk summer ad – we’ve been having single digit nights for a while here, and summer is probably over. Other highlights include Nepali food, sportspeople counselling against drinking and driving. Lexus. More previews than one could possibly absorb and enough to create some concern about what was about to appear. The Host (Stephenie Meyers and aliens or something), Iron-Man 3, GI Joe:Retaliation, Man of Steel*. And Scary Movie 5, which looks like the usual chundering of cliches, but this time with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan**. How the potentially quite good have fallen!

And it was a decline from grace that we (well, I) saw in the feature. The small boy who became Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) was small, geeky and neglected in 1982 but found a love of magic and a friend, who became his side-kick/co-star Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi).

Years later, they strut the stage At Bally Casino in Las Vegas, delivering the same show every night for proprietor Doug Munny (James Gandolfini), while leading a life of prodigal luxury. The fall is fast, with the arrival of Steve Gray, the Brain Rapist (Jim Carrey), a magician whose work and persona are provocative, abrasive and disturbing. The team breaks up, and finds different grades of misery while Steve Gray goes from strength to strength and Burt finds counsel in the old magician Rance Holloway (well-played by Alan Arkin.)

olivia wilde wonderstone

So, will the boys get back together? Will they recover their old status? Will Steve Gray get a big smack in the face with a hubris pie? Will Burt get Jane (Olivia WIlde) the girl he really loves**? Is this an American movie?

This movie is pretty competent and fairly harmless, the latter of which is its main problem. Even the out-there stunts of Steve Gray are merely unpleasant rather than genuinely confronting. Probably safe for most audiences, like most big-stage magic acts. But there is, with respect, no magic in it.

Two skinny flat whites. Some kind of artificially-sweetened, gluten-free pretend biscuit.


* – yup, another Superman movie. This time, though, there seem to be some lovely shots of small-town America before the silliness starts.

** – he could have been a great actor, but remains my wished-for role model. She less so.

*** – he’s 50, she’s 32. Has my whole life been missing something?

PINHOLE COLLECTIVE / Vol 03. Call For Submission


Our favourite little Aussie zine, PINHOLE is releasing Volume 3 and calling for submissions.

They say:

“We’re going fishing for submissions and want to ask; ‘what are you chasing?’ Is it love? Money? The idealistic dream lifestyle? What captures your  imagination? What are you suddenly aware of? What moves or inspires you? Makes  you think twice or even look back in anger?

We present ‘The Catch’ – The devil is in the details.

Often referring to a catch or mysterious elements hidden in the  details. You can have it all, but you better read the fine print. We explore the  dark side of a good thing and vice versa. So what is the catch for you?

We’d like to invite you to unleash your creative mind and show us your best  artistic interpretation of ‘The Catch’ by adding your words, visuals, tales and  stories to our Volume 3 for your chance to have your work printed in our  zine.

Max four A5 pages for each submission. Words 500-1500 – max | Images,  illustrations and all visuals to be sent in high res 300dpi for print  purposes.”

Get your creative thinking caps on and submit!

Submissions for Volume 3  close end of March 2013

Pinhole Collective Follow us @pinhole_3


Go Red Threads to Knock Em Dead


Newcastle, for all its glorious beaches, fecund palm trees, broad streets and pop-up shop awesomeness, is not a destination known for its shopping. Trust me, this is for good reason. Severely sparse pickings on the fashion retail therapy front.

Baking in the Hunter Valley sun after schlepping from the beachfront, through the Hunter St Mall and up the celebrated Darby street seeking shopping relief. I panted my way along Glebe St to discover The Junction – according to Vogue Forums – had a redeeming boutique called Lillies at the Junction. And yes, Lillies is swell, if you love love love Trelise Cooper and were looking to blow a cool couple of grand on your afternoon shopping spree. So, no offense to Lillie’s or Trelise, I moved on rather disheartened and was starting to consider the whole mission a failure, dragging my feet along Union St when the Red Cross shop caught my eye.



In I walked and was immediately soothed by the conducive shopping tunes of ABBA’s greatest hits (play Dancing Queen next time you’re trying on a skintight pair of jeans and you’ll agree, there’s something in that disco mix that makes everything OK). The lovely Adele was busily working her visual merchandising magic and I was so taken aback by the loveliness of the shop displays, I had to poke my head back out the door to check the sign. Yep – Red Cross Op Shop – most peculiar.

Then my busy hand fingered the racks turning up label after label of beautifully pressed, barely worn clothes. Jigsaw, Witchery, Country Road, Escada, Max Mara, Cue… all in my size! The final assault were the price tags. Almost new, trans-seasonal wool-blend trousers for $12.99, dresses for $15 and jackets for $20, I needed to know what was going on.

Patient Adele explained it all to me – luckily – because now I can share this news with you (unless, of course, you already have known for ages in which case WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?).  Red Threads is the Red Cross’  fashion initiative where they only keep premium quality donations and attract partnerships with fashion labels who donate their seconds stock. Store Manager, Megan, has decorated the boutique with bunting and cute signs which, along with Adele’s zjooshing make this one happy little oasis of bargain bliss.

It’s fabulous. You can nab a new outfit for less than $50 and enjoy warm fuzzies all in one fix.


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The Concourse Lunch Hour Series

Jane Rutter

Escape from the rat race with world renowned flautist Jane Rutter who presents The Concourse Lunch Hour Series, a showcase of classical music set against the backdrop of the Concert Hall on The Concourse, Chatswood.

Featuring Simon Tedeschi, Cho Ki Wong, Rick Price and Taryn Fiebig, The Concourse Lunch Hour Series will commence from Wednesday 17 April until Wednesday 11 September, 2013.

Known for her classical, multi-media and cabaret performances, Jane Rutter has appeared as guest soloist with prominent artists such as Richard Bonynge, Michael Crawford, David Helfgott and Slava Grigoryan.

“The site of The Concourse has many wonderful memories for me – as a child I remember performing at the Willoughby Town Hall and studying with the legendary Victor McMahon at his studio on Victoria Avenue,” said Jane. “It gives me great pleasure to present world-class music in what will always be one of my favourite stomping grounds,” she said.


The Concourse Lunch Hour Series:

French Kiss – An Australian in Paris

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 17 April

Featuring Jane Rutter (Flute) with Cho Ki Wong (Piano)


Gershwin and Me

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 15 May

Featuring Simon Tedeschi (Piano)


PS I Love You

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 19 June

Featuring Taryn Fiebig (Soprano) with Jane Rutter (Flute)


Rick Price Unplugged

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 17 July

Featuring Rick Price (Vocals) and Band


Beethoven and Chopin

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 21 August

Featuring Choki Wong (Piano) with String Quartet


An Irish Fantasy

12.30pm – 1.30pm, Wednesday 11 September

Featuring Jane Rutter (Flute) with String Trio and Harp


For more information, please visit The Concourse website

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