reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
#16 is my favourite!
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Reblog or comment which one you like the most: #16, #17, or #18
© Jakob Dakota Sauer
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Short Fiction for an Absurd World
Author: Bronwyn Rodden
When reading a novel, whether it is a couple of hundred pages or more, you really enjoy certain aspects of the story. When it comes to a short story collection, you get thrown around like you are in a roller coaster ride - with the jagged sharp corners and unexpected experiences in each individual story. This is especially true in Bronwyn Rodden’s Short Fiction for an Absurd World’, which had me bumping from one story to the next.
I could go through each individual short story and pin point my favourite part, but I think your time would be better suited reading them and seeing for yourself. There are eleven stories each individually created with its own unique style.
Throughout the first story, ‘The Redemption of the Foliaceous Picture of Dorian Gray’, Rodden used a lot of distinctive metaphors, which helped set the scenes and types of characters. Anyone who has worked in an office environment would find Rodden’s characters in this story relatable and realistic.
Rodden used strong descriptive cues such as “his skin started to divide into columns of attendance records,” rather than title the character with a job position, which enriched her creative approach to storytelling. Rodden’s unique approach to using descriptions instead of job titles stood out because I had never come across it before and it allowed for me to make my own interpretation.
Throughout the collection Rodden referenced French poetry, which created a depth and intelligence to some of her short stories, but one in particular that really grabbed my attention, was ‘Rimbaud and Ward 15’.
Arthur Rimbaud (1891) was a French poet who strongly influenced modernism and symbolism. Rodden used a strong contrast between Rimbaud’s personal life and a mental health facility, in particular the Ward 15. ‘Rimbaud and Ward 15’ is a reflective first person narrative. Rimbaud was used as a symbol to enhance and give depth to the story as the narrator felt like they knew him:
“[Rimbaud] didn’t want evenness, plainness, put up or shut up, a do-what-you’re-told living. He wanted to scream out to the world that things should be better than they are, as people moved around him like domestic cattle, mooing when required, eating when the farmer gave them hay. He wanted to shatter the peace, uproot it, and tear it out so people would at last, for once, do something: live, care, breathe”.
The poet and the story idea tie in together with different eras and styles of writing, working cooperatively together like Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot.
‘So Long Chu Chu’ was quite funny with its touch of dark humour. Dogs are notorious for chasing postmen in movies and in real life. Howard was just on his normal route, posting his letters, always cautious of the houses with dogs until he comes to Chu Chu’s house. Little was he aware that Chu Chu was rabid and the gate was open. So, ironically Howard the postman died from a dog attack. I also enjoyed Rodden’s impression of heaven and of its angels; they were refreshingly new and not stereotypical of modern day angels.
‘The Ritornello Principle’s’ tempo and mood was set up early with strong descriptive words. This helped set the scene for the story which was resolved in a single room. The story is similar to the movie Groundhog Day (1993) because the main character is stuck listening to the same CD due to a “faulty” Hifi system. The ‘Ritornello principle’ is the name for a piece of music that is periodically played in orchestrated music, similar to a chorus. The principle itself is themed throughout the short story. The initial introduction to the story was also repeated to create the ending accrediting to Rodden’s personal style. In a way, the story was a well-formed orchestra that flowed through the imagination, rather than the ears.
The stories were not just basic beginning, middle and end fictions, but were full of twists and as the title suggest ‘absurdities’.
If you are after something that sits on the peculiar side of the imagination, then this is the book for you.
Available through Amazon.
(published link will be attached)
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Cakes, Bakes and Sweets Show
Cake Bake and Sweets Show tantalises
What does a pastry chef, a sweet tooth and an oven have in common? Cakes, Bakes and Sweets! October’s Cakes, Bakes and Sweets Show showcased talent of all sorts, both locally and internationally.
Usually when attending such an event, one would normally think it similar to going into a bakery or sweets shop, however in this case the tempting mix of aromas promised a whole lot more before I even stepped in the door! From competitions to workshops, cake decorating stalls and some of the most amazing cake displays, this was one event that had sweet temptations totally covered.
Eagerly cruising the stalls, I discovered “whoopee cushion” biscuits, Vanilla bean paste freshly harvested from New Zealand and a range of organic teas. However something that really caught my eye was a little stand set off to the side…Carolines Sugar Art Services. As I observed the crafting of little handmade moulds of angels and intricate roses, owner Lynne Gylys, shared her story.
“We make moulds that are “flexi-craft”, safe for food purposes, and are quite versatile for use even with clay. We started a family business selling cakes to wholesalers but then moved onto making craft moulds for the general public. They are quite easy to use for novices, children and older people”, Lynne said.
Leaving such sugary delights I continued to follow my nose, eyes wide with delight at the amount of organic produce now available. Now I’m not sure about you, but the idea of using food items that are have less chemicals really appeals to me, especially when it comes to baking.
I located further fancifully sweet things when chancing upon the Designer Candy’s stall. While normally candy is a basic design of a round shaped flavoured sugar ball, this confectionery was especially unique, designed with messages on the inside. Unsurprisingly, the ‘Just Married’ candy was the most popular!
“We have been approached by businesses such as Pandora, Louis Vuitton and McDonalds for our candy, as we have the best quality, and because of how complex our designs can be” said business operator Kate Dickinson.
While I munched down on some free Pandora candies, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of places that offer patisserie courses, such as William Angliss and Kangan TAFE, which is awesome if you aren’t too sure on where to start your baking career.
Dessert is always left until after dinner at my house, so I saved the sweetest treat until last! Imagine 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne, weighing in at 50 kgs, roughly 5 ft 4 and moulded out of 3 part cacao and 1 part corn syrup! That’s right, a full size jockey created out of a solid hunk of chocolate, carefully sculpted by Paul Joachim. He originally started out with cakes but decided to follow his taste buds and love of chocolate, creating significant Art pieces.
After walking around the Cake Bake and Sweets Show, my tastebuds tongue were fairly dancing a jig!
Next year’s to do list: Join a cake baking class.
Link to published article: http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/gourmet/issue/411/#52
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
As spring and summer fashion come shining onto catwalks, Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists exhibition explodes to life at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), opening from October 21 to February 26. The world premier exhibition show cases over 35 “ready to wear” and haute couture pieces including their collection of handmade replica dolls. Also on show is the stunning Princess wedding dress made for Princess Mabel van Orange – Nassau of the Netherlands.
The Dutch duo, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoere, met whilst studying and after completing their degree and having no job, decided to make the move Paris.
Viktor said they chose Paris because it’s symbolic of the dream of fashion. They entered a competition while in France and with no name for their winning designs and no intention to start their own label the judge introduced them as Viktor&Rolf, and so they kept it.
After 25 years of working together their iconic fashion blended with art makes a huge statement on and off the catwalk. With over 40 individually crafted pieces they make its mark in the contemporary fashion world as shown in the exhibition.
Their inspiration started by watching perfume advertisements as young children. Their own perfume collection Flowerbomb is also on exhibit, in their “never to be opened” bottles, but can be brought in the souvenir shop, among their children’s book and their fashion journals.
The collection holds fashionable art from their archive collections such as:  Flowerbomb, Russian Doll, Performance of sculptures, and their ready to wear high impact pieces, No (as pictured).
Viktor&Rolfs replica handmade dolls are dressed in scaled down sized clothing, of previous compilations. Showing extreme talent and craftsmanship, the dolls expand on their artistry and capture the very essence of Viktor&Rolf. As you stroll through the two rooms of the exhibition, a small room is off of a corridor with bench seats, for “media”, named Timepiece. The room is set up with a catwalk and every 15 minutes a doll will maneuver down wearing a tailleur from Vegabonds, the a la mode of their latest collection. What makes this piece even more interesting is that the material is recycled from seasons past taking their work to the next level, of what entangles art and fashion which is the reuse of the past to create a different prospect.
And who doesn’t love a selfie and custom making paper clothing? There is a free wearable art children’s work shop, Atelier where they can create paper collars and take a photo of them wearing it, in three photo booth rooms.
The exhibition is great to help expand your creative juices and remind you that it’s ok to step out and follow your own path.
Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists opens at NGV International, on St Kilda Rd, on October 21 and runs until February 26
Visit ngv.vic.gov.au
*sent to The Australia Times magazine
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
A little taste of pie
I started an internship with the Geelong Advertiser and every morning I was half an hour early. And every morning I would go to the Rustique cafe, sit in the same seat, with the same freshly made latte staring out the shop window with my free coffee biscuit.
During my placement, I had managed to rack up enough points on my Rustique cafe loyalty card for a free coffee; I got my free coffee and also pre-orderd my Pie tasting plate. There are four sample sized pies, just the size of a palm, three savoury and one dessert, $10 per person and your choice of drink, I chose another coffee.
The pie tasting plate varies weekly, but mine consisted of Pepper steak, Country vegetables, Chicken leek and thyme and an amazing mixed Berry dessert pie.
The handmade pastries were baked to be crisp and had a delicate crunch when I bit into it and nice little flakes that fell onto my plate.
I won’t go through ALL of the fillings, but I can assure you that the produce is fresh and every mouthful, had a perfect amount of filling and an even flavour, especially the Pepper steak pie with melting chunks of quality beef and little hints of pepper. My favourite though, was the mixed Berry dessert pie. Most berry pies have a lot of those annoying seeds that get caught in your teeth or are overly tart. Somehow there were minimal seeds but the flavour flowed over your taste buds, setting off the savoury, tart and sweet senses all at the same time. This made for a pleasant experience.
Don’t get me wrong, the service is great and is always with a smile, but the Berry dessert pie was just a couple of points higher and something definitely worth biting into.
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Joe Cinque’s Consolation
Rohypnol is usually used as a date rape drug in bars and clubs, but Anu Singh didn’t need to do that, she already had a boyfriend, what she wanted, was something just as hideous as a rape crime.
Based on the novel written by Helen Garner Joe Cinque’s consolation, directed by Sotiris Dounoukos, is a film based on a true story about drugs, relationships and murder.
Anu Singh (Maggie Naouri) is a law student engaged to her partner Joe Cinque (Jerome Meyer). As their relationship progresses Anu starts to develop wild ideas that her past use of a weight loss drug, administered by Joe, had messed with her body and that she was losing muscle mass. She eventually wanted to die, but felt that her boyfriend couldn’t live without her, so took his life into her own hands. With the help of her friends, Anu was able to organise two “Goodbye” partiess. With the first party failing, she organised a second. This time, she laced her fiancé’s coffee with Rohypnol and injected Heroine into his sedated body. She then spent over 20 hours watching Joe struggle.
Joe Cinque’s consolation finds solace in what had lead up to the events of his death but it scarcely covered Anu Singhs mental health that led to her crime. Her mental health was subtly pointed at throughout the film which didn’t give the film its full extent of its true story feeling. Despite this, the story line was smooth and allowed for a tremendous story of how relationships and drugs can alter the course of someone’s life.
submitted to: The Australia Times magazine
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Nick Caddaye’s Fabulist Forum
Produced by Julz Hay
When I thought of the Melbourne Fringe festival, I thought what is it? I know it is Artsy, but what makes is Artsy? Theater? Comedies? Music? Cabaret? And the answer was not easily summed up into one word. It is a mix of everything to do with Art, especially what is in a comedic performance. But then, I questioned, What makes a well addressed performance? The answer was clearly defined in Nick Caddaye’s Fabulist Forum which was executed at the Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne.
His performance alongside Rama Nicholas, Sarah Conzola and Jason Geary was completely out of the ordinary for a forum that any Fringest would expect. The audience swallowed up the opportunity to participate, as Nick Caddaye handed out small note pads and pens, show man style.
The audience, although small, played a vital part in this comedic arousal of the imaginative senses. With pens and paper in hand the audience would write what would be a resourceful guide on sex in a baron land. He wanted the audience to write four things, what is the starting line, what the hero does, an emotion and what is the ending. On stage, there was a multi-coloured wheel which was spun alongside the audience’s energetic chorus, “Wheel of Genre”. This settled the genre for the story based performance. Lingering in the background was a white board which was used to hold more ideas that were tweaked from the audience. Words were thrown around like balls at a children’s ball pit, such as BDSM, sand, deformities, barnyards and zombies. The crew was then to do ten minute intervals which were split into chapters, That which we are, wear’s a tight outfit, dread and Good grief; which were ideas taken from the audiences note pads. With these, Nick and the rest of the crew spent 10 individually improvised minutes, comprising a story based on “Post-apocalyptic erotica” which stimulated more than just the audience’s laughter.
Chapter 1: That which we are
Rama Nicholas
In a town named Mislyboon, Rama brings to life a heroine who, not only lives in a mad max themed land but also is a sexually efficacious deviant who dresses in leathered lingerie. The Heroine scrounges across the sand filled land of zombies who “are JUST slow zombies” to find sexually appeasing items. She uses her whit and endorses her pet hamster, Harold and his wheel, to generate electricity for her pleasure hungry soul. Rama’s performance used mini climaxes which were enough to whet the appetite and allowed us to begin our travel to the Quickie mart in Zigadoo for supplies.
“Harold, let’s go to the quickie mart.” 
Chapter 2: Wear’s a tight outfit
Nick Caddaye
Although he forgot his palm notes, Nick continued to spin his character into a seed Quickie mart owner, named “Humongous”. Continuously bellowing out “I am Humongous” his character manifested into something a whole lot deeper than a man developing sweat rashes from the chafing of sand and leather. Even though his character was sexually perverted, you got a sense of a highly insecure man who had a secret (erectile dysfunction) and compensated this with being excessively large in life and outlandish in his Quickie mart kingdom.
Chapter 3: Dread
Sarah Conzola
Stepping back into the main characters tight leathered bra and leather suspended underwear; Sarah increased the voltage and became a damsel in distress. Her character was tied up bondage style by Humongous and slowly set free by Harold who voluptuously gnawed at her ropes. As she moaned and groaned her way, slipping free of the ropes, the Moon man came, who was as “Beautiful as Matt Damon” and helped destroy Humongous who was really Lizard man. Sarah uses all of the stage space as she “cum beams to the moon”, reaching the stories peak climax. She really delved into what the heroine was capable of.
Chapter 4: It was grief, but good grief
Jason Geary
Using as many expressive words to bring to life a storm of Dildos landing on earth, Jason Geary really brought you into his scene as the main character back on earth. His new and improved heroine, with “mighty shoulder pads with hundreds of dicks and an eye-patch” and “bras with knives on them”, was appealingly original and charismatic. If you have an imagination, and love improvisation
Nick Caddaye’s Fabulist Forum was definitely something that enriched the inner child of an adult’s sexually perverted mind. All of this was done by using improved sounds from the performers and visually stimulating words and hand gestures. No wonder Harold was happy to work without pay. 
10:30 pm Tuesday 20th September 2016
Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club - The Ballroom
44 Errol St, North Melbourne
(also submitted to The Australin Times magazine, will provide link if published)
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Willem Richards in Polish Tennis Dad
As I walked into the dark room, at Tuxedo Cat La Trobe street Melbourne, I had to pull aside a red curtain. In the room it was dimly lit and kind of spooky but that all changed once Willem Richards greeted us with a plate of oranges and an extremely convincing Polish accent. I was convinced he was Polish from the start but that all changed. Everyone seated eating their quarter of an orange. With Willem being in character from the get go it set the scene for a performance that, although was giggle worthy, had a lesson to be learned: Follow your own dreams.
The stage was set up with a tennis net, racket, shopping trolley basket with balls, trophies and a clothes stand, for quick costume changes. Willem had set numerous characters up throughout the performance with help from the audience, including me. The performance was based around his relationship with his father who was stuck on his son becoming a professional tennis player. His son had other plans.
The first part of his child hood story, an audience member had to pretend to be Willem as a child, and Willem was his father who was easily recognizable in his red coaching jacket. They swapped roles which helped identify the struggle most of us have with having “intense parents”.
All Willem wanted to do, was find something that wasn’t tennis related. Most boys play with G.I Joes and Tonker trucks, Willem found joy with his sisters Barbie and Ken and Barbies folded Fun house. The Barbie and Ken (who he named Mickel) scenario allowed for Willem to bring to light his creative romanticist side. Spanish Mickel, played by Willem, tangoed down to the audience and plucked me out to dance our way back on stage. The stage light was extremely bright but that didn’t stop Mickel admitting his undying love for me as he also explored his love for a past woman, named Maria. I played myself and reassured him, as he broke down crying. This scenario opened up the idea that although toys can be gender related, they are appropriate in allowing a child to express themselves.
The use of sounds and music allowed for an easy transition over to the next representation of his childhood; making friends. I am sure we can all relate to having our first friend over from school and trying to impress them. This was comfortably established with Willem being embarrassed by playing Barbies with his sister and having his friend over. His friend turned his nose up at the idea, and Willem, eager to impress, also did too. This showed a clear counter attack to not wanting to impress his dad, but to impress his outer world.
Switching back to Willem’s dad, a child was chosen out of the audience and played a young preteen Willem. Willem swapped from both his dad, and his former self, offering the child advice “Tell him to piss off, say Piss off Dad”. So, as the child continued to hit the continually thrown tennis balls back to the audience and around stage, he eventually grew the courage and yelled out “Dad, piss off”. Willem kept referring to his father to being passionate but from an audience’s point of view I would say that his dad was more passionately intense. This can be seen through his dad’s pressure and obsession with Tennis. It was clear his dad was lacking something and trying to bestow it onto his son. Similar to those parents that we have seen that pushes their kids into stardom.
The performance was greatly transcendent at showing both sides of an intense relationship with a father and son. One memorable scene was when Willem’s father broke down and runs through the emotions men don’t usually share. It was introduced by Fleetwood Macs – Dreams, with a baby doll used for a baby Willem. The scene was emotionally touching as it dived into the father’s perspective of his own version of his relationship with his son.
Other scenes captivated Willem growing up, through self-discovery, as he sat in a chair with a wig and meditated about staples. His dad still tried to bond with Willem by buying his son a dodgy car, with a hidden agenda to make it a “father son project”.
The performance was a great family one, especially if you’re a parent, as you can relate to it through the trials and errors of parenting. It was also relate-able in that, we all were once children, and in one way or another parents wanted the best for us.
“You know why I pushed you so hard? Son, it’s because you can get out of any situation. So I wanted you to learn to focus.” – Willem’s Polish Dad.
Monday 26 September 2016
Tuxedo Cat – The Alley Cat
293 - 299 La Trobe Street
review written for The Australian Times
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reviews-of-allsorts · 8 years
Backseat Diamond
Picture this, walking down a dimly lit alley way in Melbourne’s inner city and fronted with a burlesque style sign “The Butterfly club”. Then walking under a bounty of twittering lights to where Backseat Diamond will be performed. The Mow-town Cabaret stars Megan Kozak (Mary, the slightly hilarious psychotic back-up singer), the secretly in love Security guard Chris (Chris Wilcox) and a quick witted pianist, Stephanie Lewendon-Lowe as Steph
Echoing up the first set of stairs was a mixture of mow-town and punk rock music leading you to the box office; after collecting your tickets you make your way up two more sets of stairs and down a hall way where an usher greats you and offers you a drink to take in. The usher was dressed prim and proper which set the mood for an amazing hour of mow town funk. Our first look into the story of a back-up singer, whose pitch range closed in on singers like Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, burst through the doors with “Ain’t no mountain high enough”, which there surely wasn’t with the amount of stairs to climb to get there.
On stage sat Steph at the piano and “Mary” was trying to convince the audience that the other back-up singers, and lead vocalist, must have food poisoning. Mary continues to pursue her dream of being in the spotlight, which she advises the audience to “Don’t dream it’s over because there’s no mountain high enough”. She wiggles through her favourite songs “My boyfriend’s back” (The Angels), “My guy” (Mary Wells) and “Son of a Preacher man” (Dusty Springfield) while her shrills weren’t brought to justice due to the room acoustics. None the less, it was difficult to not bop along to the songs and feel at home. Mary had said “I am too God damn white for soul” which she proved wrong as she belted out “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” (Aretha Franklin) with an audience member, demonstrating her powerful voice amplitude and why she should be in the spotlight. Enter Chris, the love struck Security guard and a fight breaks out as she denies locking the other singers in their room. As Chris lies knocked out on the floor, Mary starts to sing “I’ve never been to me” (Charlene) and Steph chimes in that she can’t sing this which then lead to a comedic battle of “Yes I can, and just play the music” and “No you can’t Mary”. Chris then wakes up and Mary is quick to distract him from calling the police by encouraging him to open up about his dreams of being a Rockstar. As Chris picks up the guitar, he mentions “Luckily, I always carry a pick in my pocket”. Lucky he was as he sung “What about me” (Moving pictures) because he was able to make the song move to his unique voice tones, and Mary’s back up singing brought the song to life. When both Mary and Chris performed together I am sure that the majority of the audience, including myself had goose bumps. As the performance progressed Mary’s voice relaxed more and the duo became entwined in songs “You’re the voice” (John Farnham) and “You’ve got nothing I want” (Cold Chisel), accompanied by Steph’s fluent piano playing the performance left you feeling like you’ve been to a music concert that played all of your favourite music.
Backseat Diamond has been performed over the last two years with inspiration drawn from both their favourite Mow town songs and the movie “20 feet from stardom”, and a little push from Meagan’s music teacher. The duo’s talent on stage is amazing and is definitely something you should “mowsy” on down to watch, especially for a great laugh and reminisce about the classics. 
The Butterfly Club, Melbourne
13 October 2016
(sent to The Australia Times magazine)
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