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

(PG) The com­pli­cated na­ture of fowls is the ground (and mind) scratch­ing theme of Chicken People, a de­light­ful Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary about people who breed and raise chick­ens and en­ter them in shows. The people, the self-de­scribed hatchoholics, are com­pli­cated too. They are warm, funny, plucky and at times crest­fallen. Di­rec­tor Ni­cole Lu­cas Haimes clev­erly frames the film over a year, start­ing with one bird show and end­ing with an­other, to draw out the sto­ries of the people and their fam­i­lies. The fo­cus is on three chicken people: young jazz singer Brian Caraker; en­gi­neer Brian Knox; and Shari McCul­lough, who lives with her se­cond hus­band, five chil­dren, five dogs, one cat, 40 rab­bits, one llama named Comet, some ducks, some goats and 200 chick­ens. As Al­fred Hitchcock un­der­stood, birds are from a dif­fer­ent planet. This doc­u­men­tary shows them in all their glory.

First Girl I Loved (M) First Girl I Loved cap­tures the awk­ward­ness and in­se­cu­rity that oc­curs when one of the lovers isn’t cer­tain that the ob­ject of their af­fec­tions feels the same way. Anne (Dy­lan Gelula) is a 17-year-old who at­tends a Los Angeles high school. While tak­ing pho­tos for the school year­book, she en­coun­ters Sasha (Bri­anna Hilde­brand). There’s an in­stant at­trac­tion, but how should Anne pro­ceed and how can she be cer­tain that Sasha feels the same way? Anne at­tempts to con­fide in her best friend, Clifton (Ma­teo Arias), who as­sumes Sasha is male. Anne and Sasha spend an evening at a club, where they kiss on the dance floor; and they wind up in Sasha’s bed. But Sasha has se­ri­ous se­cond thoughts the next day. The film’s main draw­back is its rather fussy struc­ture. Oth­er­wise it is a small film worth seek­ing out.

Proxy The no­tion that a por­trait purely de­picts a par­tic­u­lar sub­ject and their per­son­al­ity is turned on its head in the se­ries of works by artist Lori­belle Spirovski. The re­cur­ring sub­ject (Spirovski’s part­ner, ac­claimed con­cert pi­anist Si­mon Tedeschi) takes on dif­fer­ent guises, poses and ex­pres­sions so as to con­vey dif­fer­ent states, ideas and moods in the artist’s own life. Tedeschi is ef­fec­tively her proxy. Each por­trait is dif­fer­ent — some haunted and drawn, some ap­pro­pri­at­ing lit­er­ary char­ac­ters, some ab­stract — but they all pin­point stages of her artis­tic ca­reer and life. Pic­tured above is Solip­sist (2017). wealth of artis­tic his­tory — ances­tral tra­di­tions and links to the arts of In­dian and China with modern ties to Spain and Mex­ico. Pas­sion and Pro­ces­sion presents in­stal­la­tions, videos, sculp­tures and paint­ings re­veal­ing per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences of life and faith, and their pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion in pro­ces­sions. Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Syd­ney. Daily, 10am-5pm; Wed un­til 10pm. In­quiries: 1800 679 278 or on­line. Un­til Novem­ber 12. Mak­ing Mod­ernism Mod­ernist mas­ter­pieces of Mar­garet Pre­ston and Grace Coss­ing­ton Smith are fea­tured in this ex­hi­bi­tion. To ac­com­pany the Aus­tralian con­nec­tion, works by Amer­i­can painter Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe will be dis­played. United by their love of na­ture, O’Ke­effe, Pre­ston and Coss­ing­ton Smith de­vel­oped sub­jects from their sur­round­ings into dis­tinct in­ter­pre­ta­tions of place. Mak­ing Mod­ernism draws to­gether about 30 works by each artist. Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Syd­ney. Tick­ets: $8-$18. Daily, 10am-5pm; Wed un­til 10pm. In­quiries: (02) 9225 1700 or on­line. Un­til Oc­to­ber 2. Syd­ney Theatre Com­pany play Aus­tralian Graf­fiti. The pro­duc­tion in­ves­ti­gates the mi­grant ex­pe­ri­ence and shows a touch­ingly hu­mor­ous in­sight into iden­tity and be­long­ing. A Thai fam­ily is the only mi­grant fam­ily liv­ing in a small coun­try town where mys­te­ri­ous graf­fiti is start­ing to ap­pear close by. Should they move to Syd­ney? Per­haps far­ther west? Gabrielle Chan and Mon­ica Say­ers re­turn to STC as the pow­er­ful ma­tri­archs of the fam­ily, with Ken­neth Mo­raleda ( Talk) and Ma­son Phoumi­rath and Srisacd Sacd­praseuth com­plet­ing it. Syd­ney Theatre Com­pany, Wharf 2 Theatre, 4 Hick­son Road, Walsh Bay. Opens tonight, 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $32-$35. Book­ings: (02) 9250 1777. Un­til Au­gust 12. Rice aren’t the most con­ven­tional av­enue. She meets Clare, who is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a slew of bad luck. Clare thinks Sue may be a way out of it and they could help each other. She and Sue strike an un­ortho­dox bar­gain, but is Clare a god­send or a con artist? Kit Brook­man’s quirky play was the win­ner of the 2016 En­sem­ble Theatre New Writ­ing Com­mis­sion. En­sem­ble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Syd­ney. Opens tonight, 5pm and 8.15pm. Tick­ets: $34$67. Book­ings: (02) 9929 0644 or on­line. Un­til Au­gust 5. The Rover Natasha Stu­art will join the SSO on­stage. Syd­ney Opera House, Ben­ne­long Point. To­day, 2pm and 8pm. Tick­ets: $62-$129. Book­ings: (02) 9250 7777 or on­line. Train The multi-Grammy and Bill­board award-win­ning band Train comes to Syd­ney’s State Theatre as part of its na­tional Play That Song tour. The Amer­i­can roots-rock band has an im­pres­sive back cat­a­logue in­clud­ing the hit songs Drops of Jupiter, Meet Vir­ginia, Drive By and Hey Soul Sis­ter along­side its new­est sin­gle, Play That Song. State Theatre, 49 Mar­ket Street, Syd­ney. Au­gust 1, 8pm. Tick­ets: $100.90-$250.90. Book­ings: 13 61 00 or on­line.

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