23 May

Ten minutes with Peter Dinklage


Having been chugging along on the ‘X-Men, X-Perience’ worldwide publicity train for days already, you’d think that Peter Dinklage would be at least slightly less forthcoming when I meet him at the Melbourne press junket.

Dinklage lesson one: never underestimate the man’s ability to turn on the charm. Flanked by clipboard-wielding staff and looming cameras, the actor smiles warmly at yet another batch of journalists filing into the bright hotel room. He greets us in an American accent that takes a moment to adjust to, if (like me), you’ve been following his precarious journey as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones with white-knuckled concern.

But we’re not here to discuss the Iron Throne, dragons and trials by combat. Today is all about X-Men: Days of Future Past, and our allotted slice of junket time is already ticking away.

Read the full interview with Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage

X-Men: Days of Future Past, released Thursday May 22.Read more

27 March

Heston Blumenthal coming to Crown

Heston Blumenthal coming to Crown

The rumours are true, folks. Or partly true, at least. For the past few months there have been whispers aplenty about Heston Blumenthal (the bespectacled UK chef of Fat Duck restaurant and science-meets-magic cookery fame) opening his first international restaurant in Melbourne. His PR crew dumped a metaphorical gallon of petrol onto the gossip fire yesterday, bidding media to rock up at Crown Casino next Monday for “an announcement”.

We don’t have the full details at this stage, but we have had it confirmed that there will be a restaurant, and that it will not be a far flung outpost of his three Michelin starred Bray restaurant. Blumenthal has something else up his sleeves, and considering those sleeves usually also contain some form of flamethrower or liquid nitrogen-powered device, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be something at least a little bit ridiculous.

Excited? You should be. Don’t know who the hell Blumenthal is?… Read more

24 December

The Melbourne Arts Walk

The Arts Centre Melbourne is calling its brand new Melbourne Arts Walk our version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The first of 19 metre-long plaques were unveiled this week (with the help of 19 Santas), embedded into the pavement around the Arts Centre buildings.

Each plaque bears a performer’s quotation relating to Melbourne and is made of bluestone, brass and granite.

Performers so far include Guy Pearce, Olivia Newton-John, Paul Kelly, Tina Arena, Silvie Paladino, Robert Lepage, Cliff Richard, Marina Prior, Reg Livermore and many more.

Pictured is David Helfgott, the concert pianist whose life inspired the Osar-winning movie Shine, in which he was depicted by Geoffrey Rush.

Photo: Jim Lee PhotoRead more

15 December

The filthiest lyrics on Beyoncé’s Beyoncé


We might not have loved her latest tour, but we’re generally big fans of Queen Bey around these parts and last week she confirmed her ahead-of-the-pop-pack-ness when she suddenly released her latest album, Beyoncé, pretty much out of nowhere on iTunes. Genius move. And the album is more than an album – it’s a collection of some 14 new songs, each with its own video… what’s being called a visual album. It’s certainly loaded with surprises: the videos for starters (including one for ‘No Angel’ that features footage shot at that Brunswick house), plus the method of delivery itself and the quality of the material (it’s kinda great). But the biggest surprise is how downright filthy Beyoncé  is: if the brief was ‘make Rihanna look like a promise-ring-wearing choir girl’, then this new ‘visual album’ is a rump-rumbling success. Here are our picks of Beyoncé‘s filthiest moments:

From ‘Drunk in Love’: mixed-metaphor debauchery

Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood
I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on that big body Benz
Serving all this, swerve, surfing all of this good good

From ‘Partitian’: awesome ’90s references AND swear-word bonus

Driver roll up the partition please
Driver roll up the partition please
I don’t need you seeing ‘yonce on her knees
Took 45 minutes to get all dressed up
We ain’t even gonna make it to this club
Now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged
Oh he so horny, yeah he want to fuck
He popped all my buttons, he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinsky all on my gown

From ‘Rocket’: the song that opens with ‘let me sit this ass on you’ also has all this

So rock right up to
The side of my mountain
Climb until you reach my peak babe, my peak, the peak
And reach right into the bottom of my fountain
I wanna play in your deep end, your deep end, the deep
Then dip me under where you can feel my river flowing flow
Hold me ’til I scream for air to breathe
Don’t wash me over until my well runs dry
Send all your sins all over me babe, over me

From ‘Blow’: “taste the rainbow”

Can you lick my skittles
That’s the sweetest in the middle
Pink that’s the flavor
Solve the riddle

I’mma lean back
Don’t worry its nothing major
Make sure you clean that
That’s the only way to get the

Also from ‘Blow’: OH MY G…

I can’t wait ’til I get home so you can turn that cherry out, turn that cherry out, turn that cherry out
I can’t wait ’til I get home so you can turn that cherry out, turn that cherry out, turn that cherry outRead more

26 November

Darryn Lyons is Mayor of Geelong

Darryn Lyons

If you thought Toronto had it rough with a crack-smoking mayor, Geelong is entering the race for most colourful character in charge.

Darryn Lyons, aka Mr Paparazzi, took to the throne on Monday, ditching his signature blue mohawk for a more demure white-blond do. After a 20-year foray into the world of celebrity photography in London establishing his company Big Pictures, Lyons has returned to his pimped out pad in his hometown of Geelong, where he owns local nightclubs Eureka and Home House.

Never far from controversy, newly engaged Lyons is already in strife on day two in office, with alleged links to dodgy strip club owners and bars, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the former Big Brother contestant, who’s far from shy when it comes to talking about his party boy past.

From covering the Bosnian War to chasing celebrities as a photographer, including snapping friend Princess Di, Lyons is no doubt at home on either side of the camera.… Read more

19 November

First look at Chopper the Musical

Time Out Melbourne

L-R: Warren Wills; Les Twentyman; Frank Howson

Casting is soon to commence for the forthcoming Chopper the Musical. Yesterday, songs were aired to the media at the Royal Melbourne Hotel, which (appropriately) conceals an 1850s bluestone cellblock within its walls. The corridor was stuffed with TV crews and lit up with blue stage lights. At the far end of the stretch of cells a stage was set up with a huddle of singers sharing mics.

For this preview’s purposes, comedian Simon Palomares was the face of Chopper, while Mick Pealing (former frontman of ’70s country-rock band Stars) took on the voice of Chopper Read, launching into a song with the refrain “Harden the fuck up, harden…”

The chorus of girls behind him adopted the unlovely timbres of barflies and loose-larynxed addicts. Then there followed a lament from Uncle Chop Chop’s long-suffering lover, again backed by the wailing, hardnosed harridans.… Read more

14 November

CHOPPER READ: A cultural hero?

Chopper ReadFollowing the death last month of Mark “Chopper” Read, everyone in Melbourne was apparently his best friend, closest confidant and/or came within a hair’s breadth of some sort of life-ending altercation with him. And at first glance it’s hard to see why a violent criminal with a history of mental health issues and a lack of ears would be a cultural hero.

After all, Australia, as you learned with the recent election result, is a conservative country that fears change, eschews unpredictability, works impossible hours for stagnant wages (in fact, works the longest hours in the western world), and is so terrified of outsiders that both the major political parties ran large public campaigns predicated on promising to keep foreigners out, despite the desperate need they were in. We like our boats repelled, not rocked.

However, that’s not that self-image we prefer to have. Australia likes to present itself as a self-sufficient nation of outlaws and larrikins, rattlin’ cages and breakin’ all the rules.… Read more

2 October

A major Simpsons character is about to die

The Simpsons

Not since Maude Flanders conferenced with St Peter at the Pearly Gates has bigger (and sadder) news hit Springfield: a major Simpsons character is about to kick the bucket. The news comes from Al Jean, executive producer, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. Who exactly will be dying, we’re not sure of yet. When exactly it will happen is another mystery: it could happen in season 25 or 26. Our money’s on Skinner. We don’t know why… just a feeling. Here’s Jean in the Reporter

“We are doing this story for the same reason we do all others — we think it has a good emotional through line,” Jean told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, keeping under wraps whether the character would be killed off or pass away. “The story will be produced this year though it may air in season 26.”

Who do you think will die?… Read more

30 September

First look at Ja’mie: Private School Girl

Kudos to the ABC for a brilliant bit of marketing today. After HBO dropped this tiny teaser with our first glimpse at the upcoming Ja’mie: Private School Girl, the ABC offered an exclusive clip to fans – with one caveat: fans had to tweet the hashtag #privateschoolgirl and only when enough fans had tweeted it would the clip be unlocked. Well, that point is now and here is the exclusive clip of the show which will premiere on ABC1 on Wednesday October 23.

Ja’mie: Private School Girl, airs Wednesday October 23 on ABC1Read more

22 August

Bet you haven’t seen this Michael Hutchence clip before

Posted by in Celebrities, Music


Back in 1982, Chisel’s Don Walker scored the soundtrack to an Aussie film, Freedom. The coming-of-age flick, set in Adelaide, details a young man’s desire to drive a Porsche Turbo, even if that means nicking one and pushing it off a cliff when the cops come in pursuit. (His love interest was Jad Capelja from Puberty Blues.) It was directed by Scott Hicks, who went on to have a smash with Shine.

Here’s a promotional clip for the soundtrack, featuring the song ‘Speed Kills’ with one Michael Hutchence sharing the vocals and posing fetchingly in car wrecks.

Tragically, the young star of Freedom, Jon Blake, died in a real-life wreck four years later, while filming The Light Horsemen.… Read more