If watching the Swans and Bulldogs doesn’t interest you, maybe a three-year-old chimp will. Narrated by Tim Allen, the Disney Nature film Chimpanzee follows the adorable Oscar and his family through the African rainforest. Nut-cracking, mimicking and piggyback rides have never been more entertaining. It’s a good one for the kids, too.
Italian Film Festival
Melbourne’s 2016 Lavazza Italian Film Festival (LIFF) is showing 30 films at Palace Cinemas across the city. Flicks have been divided into four categories: Featured Films (including special festival events); It’s Complicated (films about relationships); Donne Italiane (the best films by and starring Italy’s leading women); and Lights, Drama Action! (the best new crime dramas, comedies, biopics and other films). To make your selection easier, LIFF curator Zeccola Hill shares her eight top picks – and their caffeinated equivalents.
Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Kino Cinemas and Palace Westgarth are screening films this Saturday.
A three-and-a-half-hour Shakespearean play streamed live on the big screen – because some people will do anything to get out of watching the Grand Final. Making its live-screening debut from The Almeida Theater in London, this event will transport you to war-torn 15th-century England and into the political battle between King Edward and his brother, Richard, for the crown. It’s a new stage adaptation of the famous script, directed by Olivier-winning director Rupert Goold.
Swiss Army Man
Prefer your Daniel of the Radcliffe rather than the Hannebery variety? Swiss Army Man – more commonly known as “the Daniel Radcliffe-farting-corpse movie” – might be the one for you. The first feature by filmmaking duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert follows two men – one living, one dead. Hank (Paul Dano) has been stranded on an island for long enough to grow a shaggy, salt-encrusted beard and is about to end it all when a corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up in his small part of the world. In many ways the film is a commentary on itself – about testing waters and seeing if society is ready to accept the weird. And a movie in which two men navigate their way home by following the direction a corpse’s boner is pointing can’t help but be weird.
This Aussie film is part outback western, part dramatic thriller. Shot on location in the tiny dot in outback Queensland that is Middleton (population three), Goldstone packs in issues including human trafficking and prostitution; corporate greed and corruption; the stolen generations; and the urgent need to act in support of this country’s ancient Indigenous culture before it is lost forever.
From never-before-seen Beatles footage and spectacular views from space, to scuffles with Scientologists and the sinister world of competitive tickling, the truth is way more entertaining than fiction. All the docos (excepted Weiner) from our list of documentaries to see are screening across the city this Saturday.
ART & DESIGN
John Olsen: The You Beaut Country
This new major retrospective, which opened at NGV last week, celebrates one of Australia’s greatest living artists, John Olsen. More than 100 artworks, including paintings, ceramics, tapestry and illustrated books, survey his career from as early as 1952 when he was a student. The exhibition shows his 2005 Archibald–Prize-winning Self Portrait Janus Faced, and his more recent works, one of which was painted just weeks before the exhibition. Through abstract and energetic landscapes, Olsen captures an emptiness and beauty, especially in his art inspired by central Australia.
Making History: The Angry Penguins
The 1940s was a period of artistic and literary experimentation in Australia, and the Heide artist colony, and its owners, John and Sunday Reed, were right at the centre of it.
While this period is already a much-told story, Making History: The Angry Penguins exhibition expands on it. The exhibition will be shown in the building now known as Heide 1 and will display works from the Angry Penguins (what Heide’s tight-knit community of artist called themselves) collection. The work stands on its own, but the setting of the house brings it to life. Seeing some of the works – by greats such as Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker – in the very place they were devised and painted gives the show a depth of time.
Maticevski: Dark Wonderland
Hit the road to enter Toni Maticevski’s Dark Wonderland at Bendigo Art Gallery. The retrospective exhibition showcases the beauty and breadth of the fashion designer’s work over a 20-year career. There are 63 garments on display, including the gown worn by Princess Mary to the King of Denmark’s 80th birthday and the gold-lamé gown worn by Jessica Mauboy for Eurovision 2014. Jewellery, accessories and sketches also feature.
Fawlty Towers Live
Basil is back. Adapted from the iconic ’70s BBC TV series written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers Live is showing at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre as part of its world-premiere tour. John Cleese himself has written the adaptation and worked with Australian director Caroline J. Ranger to bring the British comedy to life. The Australian cast is led by Stephen Hall in the role of the snobbish and manic Basil Fawlty. Blazey Best performs as Sybil, Aimee Horne as Polly, and Syd Brisbane as Manuel.
Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016
Each year Melbourne Fringe Festival gives you a reason to step out of your cultural rut and see performances you wouldn’t anywhere else. In its final week there’s a trove of acts lined up for this Saturday. From our list of top picks try Ryan Good’s Cosmonaut, which wraps up 50-years’ worth of Cosmopolitan magazine’s worst sex tips, and Damian Cowell’s Get Yer Dag On, an ultra-loose satirical comedy disco. Bron Batten’s Onstage Dating; Kids vs Art; and Fringe Furniture 30: Redesign are also showing that day.
That VR Joint
If climbing chocolate mountains, severing zombie limbs and facing Warnie’s spin bowl is appealing to you, pay a visit to Smith Street’s new virtual reality bar, That VR Joint. Experience the world of each game from every direction. When you add the headphones, you completely lose touch with the outside world. A tip from our writer Emily Naismith: “The best way to kill a zombie is to slash its neck. Guns are fine, but a knife gets the job done efficiently. You just have to wait until they get really close and then do it. So close you can hear the zombies slobbering in your ear.” Happy hunting.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival
The 63rd Tulip Festival is underway at the Tesselaar Tulip Farm in Silvan. This year 800,000 tulips are in bloom – more than 120 different varieties. The festival is hosting an Irish-themed day this Saturday, so there’ll be Celtic bands, Irish-dancing performances and lots of Guinness to accompany your frolic through the flower fields.