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икониThe Sydney Underground Film Festival has today announced their audacious line up for the fifth annual festival. True to its pursuits as a festival showcasing films that push the boundaries of convention, this year’s line-up will include a unique mix of both local and international films that delve in to the perverse, the political and the diabolical.

Screening 100 shorts and 21 features over one huge weekend, the Festival will kick off on 8th September with the Sydney premiere of the eagerly anticipated SUPER from director James Gunn (TROMEO AND JULIET, SLITHER) and starring Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler and Ellen Page.

Festival highlights are also set to include GUILTY OF ROMANCE from acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono (SUICIDE CLUB), music documentary LAST DAYS HERE from American filmmakers Don Argott and Demian Fenton, WILLIAM S BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN by American filmmaker Yony Leyser, the politically charged documentary BETTER THIS WORLD from Kelly Duane de la Vega & Katie Galloway, and Sydney based film X from local filmmaker Jon Hewitt. There are also favourite short film sessions such as ANIMATION FORNICATION, LOVE/SICK and LSD FACTORY and also screening will be short films by Guy Maddin, Jonathan Caouette, Don Hertzfeldt, and Harmony Korine.

Sydney Underground Film Festival director Stefan Popescu said ‘We are delighted to present the program for the 5th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival. Our aim for 2011 was to present a diverse program that was wild, edgy and unconventional and we are certain this year’s line-up will titillate the senses and provide Sydney film-goers with a cinema experience they will never forget!’

DATES: 8th – 11th September 2011
LOCATION: Factory Theatre, Marrickville

Green Tea, the Australian Way!


Almost every day, lovers of tea and coffee wait for their next caffeine fix to get through the day, and if you are like a certain friend of mine, then you might just have a huge crush on imported Japanese green tea. In fact, it’s more like an infatuation, as they carry their own green tea around with them all the time.

So after watching a Landline episode on green tea that is now grown in Victoria and also shipped back to Japan, I thought what better than to purchase some for them as a gift for their graduation.

One of the companies mentioned on the show was The Alpine Tea Company, which is located on a “family farm in the upper reaches of the picturesque Kiewa Valley” and sells all sorts of Green Teas, from a first harvest to a roasted green tea.

After a quick online search I found their website and it was very easy to make a purchase online. No need to sign up, it will create an account for you at the end, making the whole process painless.

…3 tins of tea later and my friend is a convert, spruiking the quality of the green tea to all and sundry. So now you don’t have to pay $50 for 100 grams of fancy imported green tea, and you can support Australian farmers and have great tea at the same time.

So if you are looking for quality locally (Australian) produced green tea, then check out the Alpine Tea Company Website and keep it local! 

Article by Zag Zaggart

Australian Dance Festival- Sept 16-18

икони на светцииконография

Have you always dream’t of being Britney’s back up dancer, soft shoe shuffling like Fred Astaire or free styling like Usher?  Well here’s an event that will have you tapping your feet in no time.  From September 16-18 Homebush Olympic park will transform into one big dancehall for the 2011 Australian Dance Festival. A dance extravaganza that celebrates the best of the best of dance in one weekend of performances, competitions and dance workshops.

Professional and non professional’s dancers can get involved in classes including Hip Hop, Contemporary, Break Dancing, Jazz Funk, Broadway, Lyrical Jazz, Tap, Free-Style, Musical Theatre,Bollywood, Wacking/Voguing, Latin, Musical Theatre, Krumping and Acrobatic Dance the whole gamut of dance styles all under one roof!  This is an event unlike any other dance event in Australia and brings together best of the best dance teachers and choreographers this country has to offer.

Australian dancers are some of the most talented in the world if you don’t believe me check out this clip from last year’s event! We really can fly!

There will also be a Guinness Book of World Record attempt for The World’s Largest Remote Dance Class which involves a group of people coming together to perform a routine they have been taught ‘remotely’ (via the internet).   The song of choice this year will be Lady Gaga’s hit track ‘Born This Way’ in support of the Festival’s signature charity ‘The Butterfly Foundation’*.  All donations from the attempt will go to the charity. A community based charitable organisation that supports eating disorder sufferers and their careers.

You can jump online and join in on the attempt by learning this routine by Patron of the Festival Jason Coleman:

Electrolux Appetite for Excellence 2011 national winners announced

ikoniThe Electrolux Appetite for Excellence 2011 national winners were announced at an exclusive reception held at the Electrolux Showcase, Sydney, attended by Australia’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and food industry luminaries.

Perth born Shane Osborn, Australia’s first Michelin starred chef, officiated as guest of honour joining Luke Mangan (Awards co-founder, Glass, The Palace, Salt Tokyo) and Head of Electrolux Major Appliances Asia Pacific Gunilla Nordstrom to announce the winners.

The ‘who’s who’ of the culinary world came out to celebrate what is widely recognized as the most prestigious awards in the industry showcasing a hotbed of Australia’s junior talent.  Guests included:   Peter Gilmore (Quay), Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack, Christine Manfield (Universal), Philip Johnson (Ecco), food commentator Lyndey Milan.

The 2011 Electrolux Appetite for Excellence winners across three award categories are:

Electrolux Young Chef
Winner:     Richard Ousby, Quay
Runner Up: Victor Liong, Marque Restaurant

Electrolux Young Waiter
Winner:     James Sexton, Sepia Restaurant & Wine Bar
Runner Up: Anthony Moore, Bentley Restaurant & Bar
Judges Acknowledgement: Glenn Mill, Jacques Reymond

Electrolux Young Restaurateur
Winner:     Clint Hillery, Time to Vino, Sydney
Highly Commended:  Belinda Stapleton, Restaurant Botanica, Hunter Valley.

2011 AGDA Poster Annual | Closes August 12 – 2011

AGDA is celebrating The Poster and calling for submissions to the 2011 AGDA Poster Annual.

The selected finalist posters will be exhibited from October 20 at the Gaffa Gallery in Sydney. The AGDA Poster Annual Exhibition is intended to engage the general public and creative industries with the finest works of Australian graphic designers.

Celebrate the art of the poster and its power to motivate and inspire. Be “inspired by music” and create ideological posters as a response to your cultural outlook.

Head over to the Poster Annual section now for full details!

Topology: ‘Airwaves’ Album and Performances

Brisbane quintet Topology are proud to present their album “Airwaves”.  Created in collaboration with Melbourne based trio Loops,  the album pays homage to some of the most influential broadcast speeches of the first century in radio and sets them to music

To make the album the group collected over a hundred of the most iconic broadcast speeches of the last 100 years, and after meticulously determining each speaker’s distinctive musical qualities, emotional context, key etc. then set about composing and orchestrating music to accompany each.

Importantly, the speeches have not been altered in any way; they remain at the same pitch and timing as they were delivered. The end result is that “Airwaves” is all the more impressive, the music flowing with the original emotion and timing of the speech. For example Gough Whitlam speaks in B-flat major and in a waltz rhythm; Charles Kingsford-Smith on the other hand speaks in E major.

You can check out some of the speeches at the following links:

Bill Clinton – ‘I did not have sexual relations…’:
Gough Whitlam – ‘Well may we say’:
Martin Luther King – ‘I have a dream’:
Gandhi – ‘Spiritual message as music’:

You can also catch Topology perform the album in its entirety at two select shows: Saturday August 20 – Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank and Sunday 2 October – Brisbane Powerhouse.

Nonna Maria’s Place Restaurant – food review

Nestled away on Phillip Street in Parramatta is a homely and tasty Italian restaurant Nonna Maria’s Place. New owners took over a few months ago and have turned this restaurant into a must try!

If you’re looking for famous home-made family recipes deliciously prepared the traditional Italian way, then you will not be disappointed. The menu is simple and yet it offers something for everyone. Why not try the smooth Penne Napolitana, or if Spaghetti Bolognese is more your style then jump on board, you are guaranteed to lick your plate clean. If you feel like something more meaty, then the mouth watering Chicken Schnitzel served with fresh lemon may be the way to go or for a hearty meal. I recommend the scrumptious Osso Buco. The sides are enticing whether it’s the Minestrone Soup, Italian salad, or Garlic bread to accompany the meal.

The restaurant itself is warm and cosy. Dom, who isn’t short of a yarn, makes you feel welcome. The decor is authentic and reminds me of a little restaurant tucked away in the country side of north Italy. The prices are unbelievable, mains under $12.00. That’s right, no misprint here – not only is the food great, the environment friendly, but the prices are “cheaper than chips”. To top it off, each customer receives complimentary fresh bread and a jug of homemade lemonade, made the old fashion way!

So what are you waiting for? Whether you want to dine in or take away, you will not be disappointed when you try this food the way your Mum would make it!.. (if she was Italian)

What: Nonna Maria’s Place Restaurant
Where: 56 Phillip Street, Parramatta
Phone: 02 9689 1112
Mains: Under $12.00

50 Must Read Australian Novels (The Popular Vote)

On a whim John Purcell, The Booktopia Book Guru, asked the twittersphere and facebookland what they thought were the ‘must read’ Australian novels. In a matter of hours hundreds of titles were suggested. He then made a long list of these offerings and asked the world to vote for their favourites. A fellow on twitter suggested he allow one title per author, to ensure the list wasn’t swamped by Wintons, Careys, McCulloughs and Courtenays. The title which received the most votes would be that author’s single listing. Purcell thought this a good idea. (Tim Winton would have swallowed up the Top Ten otherwise. Good on ya, Timmo.)

So here it is, the Top 10. Let us know what you think? Do you agree or have we missed a great Australian novel? Click here for the full list.

1.Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
2. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4. Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
5. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
6. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
7. My Brother Jack – by George Johnston
8. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
9. The Harp in the South by Ruth Park
10. The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

Boy & Bear announce debut album – Moonfire

Boy & Bear has announced their highly anticipated debut album Moonfire will be released on Friday 5th August through Island Records Australia.

“We were in the tour bus last year and Jake (bassist) went into a chemist and bought a $2 DVD for the journey. It was called Moonfire. It was about these truckers taking on a Nazi in Mexico. Though I swear the Nazi never turned up in the film and to have a swastika on the DVD cover seems a little extreme for its un-related subplot, and by no means are we endorsing swastika’s or truckers fighting in Mexico or whaling. Oh yeah and so what was the point of that story???… Well we finally decided to name our debut album coming out this August Moonfire” said Boy & Bear via Facebook and Twitter this week.

Recorded in Nashville with producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Strokes, White Stripes, The Shins), Moonfire is an evolution from their acclaimed debut EP, With Emperor Antarctica.

First single ‘Feeding Line’ has already claimed the #1 most played position on triple j.  Filmed in the USA, the breathtaking new video takes a scenic journey from Nashville to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  Watch the video here

Boy & Bear have just hung up their worn boots after their sell-out autumn national tour which included three shows at Corner Hotel in Melbourne and two shows at Sydney’s Metro. Next stop, a return performance at this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival.

New single – FEEDING LINE – available digitally now.
Debut album – MOONFIRE – out Friday 5th August

The Refugee Art Project – Fear & Hope

The Refugee Art Project presents fear+hope, a group exhibition by asylum seekers who live within Australian detention centres. Our friends at Design Federation caught up with Safdar Ahmed & Anton Pulvirenti to ask them about this exhibition that kicks off at the Mori Gallery in Sydney on Monday, 20th June 2011. Here is a snippet of what they had to say!

How did the Refugee Art Project begin?

Safdar: Anton and I both come from a fine arts background. We met and became friends at art school, in the year after I had finished high school, and have always shared a passion for talking and thinking about art. Last year I was speaking to a friend (the co-founder of this project, Dr Omid Tofighian) about refugee issues and it then occurred to us that an art exhibition might be a great vehicle for understanding the position of refugees in Australia. We started to visit the Villawood detention centre for art classes shortly thereafter, and Anton soon joined us to assume a teaching role.

Anton: My involvement began with an invitation from Safdar to join the project. As a long time friend, he was well acquainted with my art practice. He was also aware of the thesis I am completing at The Sydney College of the Arts on my grandfather’s internment at Loveday camp during the Second World War in South Australia. He thought that going inside Villawood would help me shed light on my grandfather’s experience in Loveday of which little is known.

How did you meet artists inside the Villawood detention centre and who are they?

Anton: Safdar had already met some artists. I knew no-one on my first visit. I sat simply sat down, commenced a portrait, and soon made new friends! The artists are predominantly from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and Iraq. They have all escaped some form of religious or political persecution.

Read the rest of the interview here.

What: The Refugee Art Project – Fear & Hope
Where: The Mori Gallery
168 Day Street, Sydney (5 mins from Town Hall)
When: 22 June – 8 July 2011
Open Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Late night Wednesday, 11am  – 8pm
Cost: Free

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