from the edi­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film - Tim Dou­glas

A lovely mo­ment tran­spired on Satur­day night at the fi­nal per­for­mance of Queens­land Bal­let’s Swan Lake in Bris­bane. As QB’s prin­ci­pal artist Yanela Pin­era, play­ing the lead roles of Odette/ Odile, took her cur­tain call, the spot­light veered off­stage and fell into the crowd. There, beam­ing back at the shocked Cuban dancer, were two fa­mil­iar fig­ures: her sis­ter and mother. It was the first time Pin­era’s mum Maria had left Ha­vana, let alone seen her star bal­le­rina daugh­ter per­form out­side their home coun­try. There were tears. Lots of them. QB had or­gan­ised pass­ports and flown Maria and Pin­era’s sis­ter, Ale­nay, half­way around the world to co­in­cide with Mother’s Day. Pin­era was be­side her­self with joy. As mum’s day gifts go, it cer­tainly puts a jar of bath salts in the shade.

There’s a car­toon In the pages of a re­cent edi­tion of The New Yorker de­pict­ing Amer­ica’s found­ing fa­thers pen­ning the US con­sti­tu­tion. One of the be­wigged gents turns to the oth­ers and ex­claims: “But what if a tyrant comes to power and no one’s able to stop him be­cause the whole thing’s kind of funny?” It’s a sober­ing take on the in­creas­ingly un­pre­dictable Don­ald Trump pres­i­dency. Many com­men­ta­tors have claimed The Don­ald’s bizarre rise to power rep­re­sents a death knell for com­edy — an­other car­toon shows a woman burst­ing into her hus­band’s stu­dio say­ing “Stop — that Trump car­toon you came up with this morn­ing just hap­pened” — but it’s not just satirists who have had to stay on their toes. Next week, the fifth se­ries of House of Cards pre­mieres on stream­ing ser­vice Net­flix. Star­ring Kevin Spacey as a ruth­less US pres­i­dent hell­bent on the fur­ther­ance of, well, him­self, one won­ders where the writ­ers might take the se­ries. In an ocean of ab­sur­dity, is there a shark left to jump?

Speak­ing of Net­flix, the US-based com­pany an­nounced this week it is cre­at­ing its first Aus­tralian TV drama — Tide­lands. The news came a day be­fore for­mer ABC TV chief Kim Dal­ton tore strips off Aunty for de­fund­ing lo­cal pro­gram­ming. Where does the broad­caster’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to lo­cal con­tent be­gin and end? Should over­seas firms fill the gap? In­ter­est­ing ques­tions, and ones go­ing nowhere in a hurry.

Keep up with The Week­end Aus­tralian Re­view at its so­cial media pages. Face­book: @the­week­endaus­tralian­re­view Twit­ter: @TimDou­glas_Aus In­sta­gram: @Re­view_Aus­tralian

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