(M) The Namatjira Project, directed by Sera Davies, is loosely centred on the development of the award-winning stage drama Namatjira, written and directed by Scott Rankin. Artist Albert Namatjira was the first indigenous person to be granted restricted Australian citizenship. The Namatjira family has not received royalties from his art since 1983, when publisher Legend Press was sold the copyright for $8500. The behind-the-scenes look at Namatjira is full of nerves, laughs and love.
Mother! (MA15+) Darren Aronofsky’s film is an amazingly uneven and increasingly hysterical horrormelodrama that is so over the top that even the central performance of Jennifer Lawrence can’t redeem it. Lawrence plays the title character, mother, while her husband (Javier Bardem) is simply Him. One day a stranger knocks on the door of their home. This man (Ed Harris) says he’s looking for somewhere to stay and Him invites him in, to mother’s dismay. Man is soon joined by woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), his wife, and their two sons. These unwanted guests just won’t go away, despite mother’s entreaties. This is a promising set-up, but as the film proceeds the premise becomes tiresome. By the end a potentially exciting premise has turned into an ugly, overwrought endurance test.
That’s Not Me (MA15+) That’s Not Me is directed by Melbourne filmmaker Gregory Erdstein and written by him and his wife Alice Foulcher, who plays the lead role as actress Polly. When Polly meets her agent it becomes clear why she’s not in Hollywood. She’s offered a role in a successful soap opera, which she rejects. It goes to her more savvy identical twin sister, Amy. Polly, meanwhile, sells tickets and choc-tops to customers at Melbourne’s Astor Theatre. Foulcher is wonderful as Polly, full of nervous conviction that her way is the right way. That’s Not Me is a clever, funny, perceptive movie that pokes its nose into the bizarre business of filmmaking, and the sometimes wacky world of sibling rivalry.
Megan Washington and the SSO Known for her quirky lyrics and catchy songs, musician and songwriter Megan Washington has created a unique identity for herself in the Australian music scene. She joins the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey, in a special performance of works from her forthcoming album and back catalogue. Who Dreamed It? Ensemble Offspring presents three world premiere compositions by international musicians Lisa Illean, Annie HuiHsin Hsieh and Anahita Abbasi. Australian soprano Jessica Aszodi (Sydney Chamber Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, San Diego and Chicago symphony orchestras) will feature in Unsuk Chin’s seven-part ensemble work Akrostichon-Wortspiel (AcrosticWordplay) and a new work by Jennifer Walshe. Taikoz 20: Land-Sea-Sky-Home Leading drum ensemble Taikoz celebrates 20 years of music making in the concert LandSea-Sky-Home. Taikoz will perform a wide range of music for taiko (traditional Japanese drums), percussion and voice, alongside shakuhachi master Riley Lee and saxophonist Sandy Evans. With beguiling choreography by tai chi master Chongwei Zhang. City Recital Hall, 2-12 Angel Place, Sydney. October 21, 7.30pm. Tickets: $40-$65. Bookings: (02) 8256 2222 or online. Duration: 110min, including 20min interval. My Leonard Cohen Stewart D’Arrietta and a sevenpiece band perform gutsy interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s best work. New life is breathed into songs including Suzanne, Tower of Song, Hallelujah and Bird on a Wire, with D’Arrietta delivering intimate insights into Cohen’s life and motivations through storytelling. Sydney Opera House, Playhouse, Bennelong Point. Tickets: $59$109. Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online. Until tomorrow. Duration: 105min. The Red Tree