OK, so I admit to having come unfashionably — some of my colleagues may say unfathomably — late to Game of Thrones. As fans of the hit HBO series huddled around the water cooler in recent years to unpack the invariably bloody goings-on at Westeros and Essos, I blissfully ignored their predictions that winter might, as it were, be coming for me. Well, it came, and — unpredictably enough — so did my GoT addiction.
Today TV writer Justin Burke (pages 12-13) gives an intriguing sneak peak at the seventh and penultimate series, beginning on Monday, of the globally adored program based on George RR Martin’s novels. Australian fans will be waiting with bated breath to see just what role well-loved homegrown actor and playwright Brendan Cowell will have in the show. As usual, GoT creators are giving very little away, though Cowell is understood to have been cast in a major, and very dark (natch), role.
On the subject of thrones — albeit one soon to be abdicated — Steve Peters will judge his final Archibald Packing Room Prize on Thursday. In the Art Gallery of NSW chief packer’s 25-year tenure as packing room judge for Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize, his pick — worth a tidy $1500 — has never matched that of the Archibald judges who decide on the $100,000 winner. Will the curse be broken this year? Penny Durham sits down with the 60-year-old Peters today (pages 6-7) to talk about one of the more singular careers in the Australian arts industry.
I was born in a small town (yet I’ve never been much of a Springsteen fan) and have always believed in the value of arts programs in regional areas. Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley, evidently, is a man after my own heart: the SFF panel van is packing up and hitting the open road. The most notable festival pit stop is tiny Huskisson, on the NSW south coast, whose gorgeous rustic cinema — with resident piano in the corner — next month will host a selection from the internationally regarded film jamboree that wrapped up a fortnight ago. First travelling cab off the rank, though, is Wollongong. Between July 21 and 24 it will show eight films, including the Australian film Ali’s Wedding and Sami Blood from Sweden. Facebook: @theweekendaustralianreview Twitter: @TimDouglas_Aus Instagram: @Review_Australian