24 May

Russell Brand announces Australian tour in October

Russell Brand joins Occupy Wall Street activists in New York City on 14 October 2014. Photograph: XP

“We’ve been told freedom is the freedom to fulfill our petty desires,” says British comedian, actor, author and political figure Russell Brand, in the announcement of his national tour. “but TREW freedom is freedom FROM our petty desires”.

Hitting our shores in October, Brand will come armed with biting political criticism and the dogged determination for truth that has earned him more than a million subscribers to his Youtube web series, The Trews.

Fans of Brand – who rose to fame as a stand-up comedian – can still expect his sharp observational humour and electric charisma. Whether he’ll pull out anything else in his attempt to give the power back to the people remains a mystery.

Asked by Time Out in a recent interview whether he’s concerned that fans of his comedy don’t like his political material (or his recent book, Revolution), he said that “I do have concerns, because I’m a comedian and I don’t want this to start being some dry, bureaucratic first pump – unless it’s an anal one.Read more

22 May

The Astor Theatre reveals new calendar ahead of June re-opening

Posted by in Movies, News

AstorCalendarJun2015OL

If you needed one final bit of proof that the Astor’s triumphant revival is going ahead, then behold: the famed Astor calendar is back.

Double features, marathons, 35 and 70mm screenings: it looks like the Astor’s new custodians (Palace Cinemas) will be worthy custodians of the St Kilda institution. Award-winning director Gillian Armstrong will premiere her new documentary Women He’s Undressed in a red carpet gala re-opening event on Thursday June 25. Films like Blade Runner, Taxi Driver and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas screen during the first month, in addition to Gone with the Wind, The Big Lebowski and a four-film Woody Allen marathon in later months.

Tickets are on sale now, so download the calendar on the Astor website and get planning. Blu-tack it on your bathroom wall, sticky-tape it to your face – we don’t care what you do with the thing –  just get back in that beautiful cinema in June.… Read more

18 May

ACMI announces huge, two-day Bowie symposium as part of the David Bowie Is exhibition

David Bowie Symposium

If you thought that the monumental David Bowie Is showcase– on loan to ACMI from London’s V&A Museum – could be contained to just the exhibition itself, then, like Major Tom, you’re just not grasping the gravity of this situation.

David Bowie Is opens on Thursday July 16. The next two days will see fans of the Thin White Duke unite for a Bowie bender, as the world’s top cultural commentators, academics and artists run panel discussions, presentations, performances and creative workshops. On the Friday night, kick on with your new Bowie buddies at the conference dinner at Bokchoy Tang in Fed Square.

Visit our symposium website for our program highlights, or check out our sneak peek photo gallery of some of the exhibition highlights.

Bowie Symposium: The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie Jul 17-18. Book through the ACMI website now.Read more

12 May

Anthony Albanese will be dropping beats at a DJ set next week

Anthony Albanese

Scrolling through the Facebook page of the Federal Member for Grayndler and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is a rather eye-raising experience. Among clips of the senior Labor politician discussing the budget and outlining his proposed changes to infrastructure spending, is an invitation to his DJ set at the Bella Union Bar next Monday.

That’s right: Albo will take to the decks to play his dope beats in a fundraising party for Andrew Giles, the Labor Member for Scullin. The invitation promises that he’ll be “dropping the beats and telling it like it is” – and judging from his ‘Albo’s Playlist’ on Spotify, you’ll be hearing hefty doses of Bruce Springsteen, The Smiths, The Clash and Midnight Oil. The dude was also a guest programmer on Rage – this is getting more legit by the second.

Labor nerds – don’t miss the chance to bid for a signed It’s Time poster at the event.… Read more

1 May

Flight Facilities to play live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the Melbourne Festival

Posted by in Music, News

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The first taste of the Melbourne Festival is so sweet that we’re counting down the days. Sydney indie-electronic duo Flight Facilities will play live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, re-shaping their five-year catalogue of singles and hits into soaring orchestral arrangements.

You’ll know them from tracks like ‘Foreign Language’, ‘With You’ and last year’s epic, seven-minute ‘Clair De Lune’, which points to Hugo Gruzman and James Lyell’s love of classical music. “We’re taking on the challenge of reinventing not only the way we approach our live show, but our original pieces of music, too,” they explain. “For us, the opportunity to have Melbourne Symphony Orchestra reinterpret the contemporary as classical, can only be described as ‘a dream come true’.”

The show promises to span five years of work, while including newly written orchestral parts and an immersive videoscape.

This project follows on from last year’s Melbourne Festival, which saw masterful producer Jeff Mills join the MSO to create an almost otherworldly fusion of electronic and classical music.… Read more