Sydney Adventures – SUFF launch, ‘The Room’ screening and more vegie burgers

Cult movies are a big love of mine, especially those with audience participation. Almost everyone has had the ubiquitous Rocky Horror Show experience, complete with dressing up, singing the songs, and yelling at the screen.

Last night I was super excited to be attending the launch of the 2013 SUFF (Sydney Underground Film Festival) program, complete with FREE pizza, drink AND screening of The Room, which is turning 10 this year. For reasons unclear even to me, I am a huge fan of this film.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, this film is almost indescribable – overwrought, tragic melodrama is probably the best I can do. It must be seen to be believed. A film that cost $6 million to produce, but looks like it should have been made for $2.50. A lead man so repulsive the budget was probably blown on the lead actress’ (and I use the term ‘actress’ loosely) salary, to convince her to shoot the frequent, repulsive love scenes.  A ‘narrative’ which is so non sensical that audiences members are frequently heard to yell ‘Who the f*!k are you?’ to previously unseen characters. Set decorations which have led to audience members bringing their own plastic cutlery to screenings. Not to mention the game of football, whilst wearing tuxedos.

If these teasers haven’t tempted you to seek out the film, the audience participation might. Like The Rocky Horror Show, the films’ perceived deficiencies have led to ‘call and response’ amongst the audience, where, when a certain line or action occurs onscreen, the audience responds in kind. Thus the plastic cutlery.

As the audience consisted of supporters of SUFF and a number of repeat viewers, this was a particularly rambunctious, and thus, extremely enjoyable performance/screening. Prior to the screening, a preview of the 2013 SUFF program was shown, and there is a number of really great features that I look forward to seeing there – I’d encourage you to check it out! www.suff.com.au

 

The aftermath of 'The Room' screening

The aftermath of ‘The Room’ screening

All of the melodrama, yelling and laughter made myself and Mr A. hungry for a late dinner. We ended up at Grill’d World Square, which was one of the limited late night options on a school night.

Grill'd World Square - very keen on the industrial decor!

Grill’d World Square – very keen on the industrial decor!

But hey! This gave me the opportunity to indulge my on going obsession with vegie burgers. And I had quite a good one the ‘Garden Goodness’ burger, a mixed veg pattie on a really delicious, super fresh bun with some quality condiments, like a avocado/basil-y sauce, and crisp salad. Although on this occasion I think Mr A.’s choice was superior – the ‘Field of Dreams’ burger. It’s hard to go past a giant mushroom on a burger. I’d rate it a 7/10 (a bit expensive, and does not come with chips, they have to be bought separately). The chips were pretty awesome though, chunky with herb mix? Tick.

Grill'd Garden Goodness burger and chips = top late night eating

Grill’d Garden Goodness burger and chips = top late night eating – loved the red tin jug too!

All in all, a really enjoyable night out, especially for a Wednesday (school night!). Also appreciated the lights decorating the concrete courtyard at World Square on the walk to the station.

Blurry 'art-sy' pic of the lights at World Square

Blurry ‘art-sy’ pic of the lights at World Square

 

 

Current obsessions – vegie burgers

I might be a little late getting on the ‘food truck’ bandwagon, but now I am on nothing can stop me.

See, my current obsession is vegie burgers, and it all started after my pursuit of the Vegie Patch van. For the last few weeks it had been at Reverse Garbage on a Tuesday, and I had made plans to meet a friend there for a study break. So the plan was in place for a lovely, sunny winters day. All was going well until we rocked up at Reverse, and no van. But we were not to be deterred! After asking, we found out it was down at Sydney Uni, and so off we went…

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It was definitely worth the drive. I had the hot tip from a friend at Reverse that the zucchini burger was ‘mindblowing’. How can you go past that recommendation? Study makes the body crave carbs (so I believe 🙂 so I also ‘needed’ a serve of the sweet potato chips, and a homemade lemonade. Unfortunately most of the lemonade was lost to the slanting turf, but the small amount I tasted was great, with the classic tart flavour. And check this out for a burger:

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Just thinking about this is making my mouth water… along with memories of the basil-mayo sauce on the sweet potato chips *cue Homer Simpson drooling sound*

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Maybe a little expensive at nearly $20 all up, but as a treat this was totally worth it. The food, great company and inspiring, learned surroundings of Sydney Uni helped get more work done when I dragged myself home, so I definitely can’t complain! As soon as this rain clears, I plan to do it again 🙂

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Film Review – Behind the Candelabra

Given that winter appears to have set in on exactly Day 1 of winter, last night seemed like a perfect time to get started on one of the many films I have ready and waiting, starting with Behind the Candelabra.

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Behind the Candelabra is Steven Soderbergh’s a Liberace biopic, based on the book of the same name by his former live in lover Scott Thorson. I have been interested in seeing this film for quite some time, as there has been plenty of chatter about it on various entertainment programs, particularly as it stars Michael Douglas as Liberace, and Matt Damon as his lover Scott.

In the U.S. this film has already had its fair share of drama, as none of the main studios would put up funding for the film, labelling it ‘too gay’. Personally I think there is some sort of irony that a film about a man who was believed to be straight almost until his death is considered ‘too gay’ for major movie studios. Within the film itself there is a fabulous scene in which Douglas as Liberace advises a group of young entertainers to avoid getting caught up in politics and just entertain…a veiled political statement perhaps? The film does takes Liberace’s advise to ‘just entertain’, and after seeing it, I really don’t understand the reaction about being ‘too gay’ (whatever that is) – for a film about the relationship between these two men, the amount of sex scenes was fairly minimal, and certainly not in the least bit graphic, but hey, what do I know?

Anyway, thankfully HBO came to the rescue and the film (now a tele movie?) was screened in the U.S last week, to largely positive reviews. Apparently we in Australia will be lucky enough to gain a theatrical release, around July according to various websites.

I found this film really enjoyable for several reasons, not least of which the fact that it could have gone too over the top into the realm of camp (after all it wouldn’t be Liberace without capes and rhinestones galore) and made the storyline secondary. Instead, what really impresses are the nuanced performances of Douglas and Damon; at several points there was a real tenderness expressed which was unexpected.

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The support cast were also outstanding – a special word on the makeup effects, which made Damon and Rob Lowe almost unrecognisable by the end of the film, emphasising the ravages of drugs and ‘The California Diet’.

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Overall, this is definitely one I can recommend, and I look forward to seeing it on the big screen in Sydney.

Here are some links for further info:

http://www.examiner.com/article/soderbergh-s-liberace-biopic-too-gay-for-major-movie-studios-airing-on-hbo?cid=taboola_inbound

http://www.examiner.com/article/liberace-docudrama-movie-behind-the-candelabra-gets-rave-reviews-awards-talk

Guilty Pleasures – TV – Offspring

The return of cold weather does have one plus… and that is the return of ‘guilty pleasures’ on TV such as Offspring.

Part of me wants to dislike it – Channel 10 have gone berserk on promoting the hell out of this season, and lead character Nina can be shrill and annoying, and her current on/off boyfriend Patrick too brooding and mysterious. But, I find myself hooked on it, and thus ‘guilty pleasure’.

I’m pretty sure most people got hooked during Season 1’s will they/won’t they storyline with Dr Chris … and the romantic entanglements just got more complex from there, with the cast now bigger than Ben Hur. But for now, it seems to be working out.

What I dislike about the show is (for the moment, this season pending) outweighed by what I do like. This teaser promo about Nina’s impeding birth made me laugh out loud – any character who imagines giving birth to a troll doll (amongst other random items) is one that has won me over:

The supporting cast makes the show IMHO. Deborah Mailman is fantastic as always, and her pairing with Lachy Hulme is gold – frankly, I would like to see more of these two!  I’m also enjoying the addition of an awkward Gary Macdonald as Nina’s biological dad for the last season and a bit. And the casting of Kamahl in last night’s episode as someone other that Kamahl made a welcome change, although it looks like he won’t be a regular 😦

Happily, Offspring also gives plenty in the way of Melbourne food and real estate porn, being based around the inner suburbs. It makes me very happy to see some of my favourite cafes being the backdrop for the latest crises of the extended Proudman clan.

So, Offspring, for now, 2 thumbs up – my advice, keep the surprises coming, but don’t let the multitude of characters get out of control – this might make me unpopular but – maybe time for someone to get killed off? It certainly would add to the drama, which let’s face it, who doesn’t (secretly) love?

Offspring Cast