The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - Stephen Romei DS SR DS

(M) This is a bril­liant, pro­found, at times mov­ing doc­u­men­tary that is a must-see for any­one in­ter­ested in how art can change peo­ple, coun­tries and even his­tory. If you have fol­lowed Strat­ton as a critic, you will learn a lot over an hour and 40 min­utes: about the movies and the man him­self. Would his for­mer tele­vi­sion co­host Mar­garet Pomer­anz agree? She pops up here, with charm. David Strat­ton: A Cin­e­matic Life is writ­ten and directed by Sally Aitken, a Kiwi who has made ac­claimed lo­cal TV se­ries such as The Great Aus­tralian Race Riot and Streets of Your Town.

Bit­ter Har­vest (M) Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Men­deluk of­fers a dis­ap­point­ingly trite re­minder of the ap­palling events of 1932-33 when, on the or­ders of Stalin, Soviet au­thor­i­ties were re­spon­si­ble for the de­lib­er­ate star­va­tion of be­tween seven and 10 mil­lion Ukraini­ans. De­spite lo­ca­tion film­ing in Ukraine, this English­language pro­duc­tion suf­fers from su­per­fi­cial script­ing.

T2 Trainspot­ting (R18+) It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to watch the 1996 heroin ad­dic­tion tour de force Trainspot­ting today and think about who the young actors have been on-screen since. Now they have re­united for di­rec­tor Danny Boyle and screen­writer John Hodge in the much-an­tic­i­pated se­quel, Trainspot­ting, and sadly it will not be re­mem­bered as the best work of any of them. New ma­te­rial, such as Mark and Si­mon hav­ing to sing in a pub they plan to rob, feels more like a skit than some­thing real. “You’re a tourist in your own youth,’’ Si­mon says to Mark at one point. Un­for­tu­nately that could stand for the film as a whole.

Si­lence (MA15+) Martin Scorsese’s cher­ished project is a faith­ful and vis­ually im­pres­sive adap­ta­tion of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel — pre­vi­ously filmed in 1971 by Masahiro Shin­oda — about Por­tuguese mis­sion­ar­ies who, in the 17th cen­tury, at­tempted to bring Chris­tian­ity to Ja­pan de­spite an of­fi­cial edict ban­ning the alien re­li­gion. The harsh op­po­si­tion these un­doubt­edly brave but ar­guably fool­hardy men faced is vividly de­picted, with fine per­for­mances.

The In­sid­ers ARIA award-win­ning singer Ber­tie Black­man (pic­tured) is fur­ther ce­ment­ing her name in the vis­ual arts scene with her first ex­hi­bi­tion in Syd­ney. The mu­si­cian is ex­hibit­ing her work in Syd­ney at the Har­vey Gallery in the city’s north. The In­sid­ers, which fea­tures more than 20 works on pa­per and can­vas — with ti­tles that in­clude Mak­ing Lad­ders to Dream and Two Heads are Bet­ter than One — is de­scribed by the gallery as en­cap­su­lat­ing “fan­ci­ful nar­ra­tives with a del­i­cate pre­ci­sion” and a vis­ual dream­scape. Har­vey Gallery, 515 Syd­ney Road, Seaforth. Ad­mis­sion is free. In­quiries: (02) 9907 0595 or on­line. Ends to­mor­row. A Fit Place for Women: NSW Par­lia­ment This ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores the his­tory of women in state pol­i­tics. A Fit Place for Women: NSW Par­lia­ment

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