Those of us vintage enough to remember Max Headroom and early MTV will feel pangs of nostalgia watching this 1980s ad for Time Out London. We’re not sure what’s going on – other than: robots – but it’s the sort of early computer animation that made Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’ clip seem really hi-tech at the time.
Filmed in locations around Melbourne, Warren & Hal is what you could call a micro sitcom. Based around perpetually struggling marketing company Wham, each episode plays out at breakneck speed – as the titular duo attempt to secure just one client.
The show is written by Jason Marion and Nick Maxwell, who also play the leading duo Warren and Hal; brothers struggling with technology while managing to insult every potential client along the way. The real-life Cairnes siblings have previously worked as writers, directors and producers of Australian feature films, including horror/comedy sleeper hit 100 Bloody Acres (starring Angus Sampson) and short film Celestial Avenue. Now they’ve used that morbid sense of humour to inject cringe-inducing accuracy in their portrayal of Australian corporate culture. It stars comedians Nick Maxwell and Jason Marion.
You won’t see many proud Melbourne landmarks in the show’s narrow scope but the charm of Warren and Hal’s fictional haunt, Chao’s – a lethargic bar to which they promise to bring all their clients once they get some – feels more depressingly authentic than any cutaways to Flinders Street Station ever could.… Read more
Have you ever wondered what Australian culture looks like through the eyes of someone completely unfamiliar with the way of life down under? You’d probably skirt away from the stereotypes that we’ve all endured in grimy backpacker bars around the world; of throwing a shrimp on the barbie, Foster’s lager and the ever-present threat of drop bears. Maybe you’d want to look at our culture for its contemporary notions of multiculturalism, our ability to laugh at ourselves and of the mesh of ideas and identities that makes defining Australia in absolutes an impossible task.
Well, new web series How To Talk Australians promises to undo all the hard work of you recreational foreign diplomats out there in the best possible way. The 8-part series presents Australia through the lens of educational videos in an Indian call centre training college, the Delhi School of Linguistics. If the premise sounds familiar, you might be thinking of short lived series Outsourced which ran for one season in 2010 before its exploration of American culture through the eyes of Indian workers was panned for its reliance on caricatures and obvious observations of cultural divides. How To Talk Australians looks to step the absurdity up a level or two from there with call centre trainees cracking tinnies, piling barbecues with meat and flipping steaks with boomerangs.… Read more
If tragedy and comedy are the masks of comedy, then we should all be hiding our faces today.
One of the great names of drama, Robin Williams, has died and the immensity of the tragedy we feel is only a reflection of the greatness of the comedy he gave us.
For a man with 103 acting credits to still be best known as himself says everything: Williams’ best role, best performance was as Robin Williams. His next thousand were the merciless, hysterical impressions he could wedge into any scenario to make us laugh.
Here are 15 other great performances, in films that he made great. Plan your weekend marathon now, and don’t stop with these. Watch Toys, watch RV, watch License to Wed – no matter the film, no matter if we have screamed for years that it was a stinker, watch and appreciate the genius and life of Robin Williams.… Read more
Back in the old days bands made videos as a way of selling their music, but US popsters OK Go are probably the premier exponents of the opposite approach where making records is just an excuse to make weird short films.
You know them because they’re the band that did that song that had them doing that dance on treadmills (‘Here it Goes Again’), making a huge Rube Goldberg machine (‘This Too Shall Pass’), stop motioning all over the place (‘End Love’) and choreographing dogs (‘White Knuckles’).
This time around they have ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’, a song that answers the question “so, do you reckon that OK Go enjoy the work of New Order, with particular reference to their song ‘Temptation’?” with a resounding-if-difficult-to-litigate yes.
It’s a nice enough song – but dear god, what a video. It’s a celebration of visual tricks and forced perspective that will make you go back multiple times to work out how the hell they did certain bits.… Read more