DVD REVIEW: THE ROLLING STONES FROM THE VAULT – THE MARQUEE CLUB LIVE IN 1971

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The Rolling Stones’ The Marquee Club Live in 1971 is the latest addition to their From the Vault series. It’s a rare little gem showing the group’s unique blend of sloppy professionalism in an intimate setting. The major problem here is that the set is too short for a full feature-length release as it only clocks in at the 38 minute mark.

The story goes that in 1971 The Rolling Stones got together to perform in London for the first time in five years. They had become tax exiles, living in France and this meant they had to be out of England before the new tax year began, despite the impending release of their seminal Sticky Fingers record (an album that has been recently remastered and repackaged). The group managed to play a blistering show to an invited audience of 150 people at London’s Marquee Club where Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Andrew Loog Oldham were among the crowd.

Mick Jagger is resplendent here, wearing a colourful cap, sparkly bolero and satin pants. Even on a tiny stage he oozes rock star cool and there are some moments where he reveals the stadium frontman he would one day become. This period of the The Stones also sees Mick Taylor among their ranks. He brings a certain crunch to the blues that is so clearly loved by the inimitable Keith Richards, drummer Charlie Watts and former bass player, Bill Wyman.

The set begins with a very funky, “Live With Me”. The Let It Bleed song sees the group at their most soulful and this is no doubt helped by the group’s then new horn section, Bobby Keys and Jim Price on saxophone and horns, respectively, as well as Ian Stewart and Nicky Hopkins on piano and keyboards. ‘Dead Flowers’ sees the Jagger and Richards powerhouse trading abrasive vocals while ‘I Got The Blues’ (one that rarely got an airing live) really shows the influence of Otis Redding and other artists from Stax Records on the band.

The Stones drop some great rock ‘n’ roll in the Chuck Berry cover, ‘Let It Rock’ although the same cannot be said for their very own, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’. The latter is very muted and inconsistent with the speed traveling all over the place and the musicians being anything but tight. ‘Bitch’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ meanwhile, absolutely shine and are proof positive that these guys are worthy of being anointed the best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world.

The bonus features on the DVD are disappointing with two alternative takes of ‘I Got The Blues’ and ‘Bitch’ offered as well as a mimed version of ‘Brown Sugar’ from Top of the Pops. These fail to add much to the set. The Marquee Club show was originally recorded for television with Europe receiving a 52 minute cut while the British received a 28 minute cut. This DVD includes something in between these two versions but it also proves that some songs have been omitted, either deliberately or otherwise. As a standalone release the length of this is disappointing and it’s a shame that music has been left out, especially as the rest of the concert seems to have been included, warts and all and this adds to its charm and allure.

The Live in 1971 set is an interesting archive piece and a must-have for any self-respecting Stones fans who had to resort to bootleg versions over the years. This shows a band who excelled in the live environment (even more so in this private setting). It’s great and as a viewer, you can feel like you’re at the actual the club despite being in your own lounge room. In short, this is a great show from a bunch of guys who knew how to put on a fine, rock ‘n’ roll circus.

Originally published on 29 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/rolling-stones-vault-marquee-club-live-1971-dvd-review/

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY

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What We Did On Our Holiday will make you laugh and cry. It’s a pleasant, English comedy/drama with a big heart. This is ultimately a modest film that has no airs and graces about it and it feels very authentic and accurate in its depictions of a short family vacation.

The film is written and directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, who are the same team behind the television series, Outnumbered. In many ways the film is similar to the series because it shows a family with three children in what appears to be everyday life. Here, the little ones negotiate love, loss and traffic jams while the adults participate in family feuds, sibling rivalry and arguments with each other.

The film stars comedian, Billy Connolly as Gordie, an ailing, 75 year-old grandfather who is fighting terminal cancer. To mark his big birthday milestone his children and their families are making a special trip for a big party in Scotland. David Tennant stars as Gordie’s son, Doug and the father of the three children (played by Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull). Doug was married to Abi (Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) but the couple have separated and are trying to keep the news from Gordie (in his dying months) and their kids.

Doug and Abi aren’t the only adults hiding secrets from the others. Doug’s brother Gavin is trying to keep his bitter and tense rivalry with his sibling under wraps while his wife battles depression. Gordie meanwhile, has difficulties discussing his health issues. This all comes to a head eventually.

The film is filled with excellent performances all round. Connelly is perfect for the part as the cheeky and irreverent grandfather who offers up wise and insightful moments as well as being hilarious. It is rough, especially when you consider Connelly’s recent Parkinson’s diagnosis. The children are also fabulous, not least because their dialogue was improvised in part, but still remains quite clever and fun.

This film offers up some unexpected events and at one point goes off on a rather strange and dark tangent. But that said, it still remains quite a funny and sentimental piece overall. At the end of the day, this particular holiday is a quirky one that is sweet, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable.

Originally published on 29 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/holiday-blu-ray-review/

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DVD REVIEW: GRANTCHESTER SEASON 1

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Grantchester is a quintessentially English crime drama set in an idyllic, small town. You’d be forgiven for thinking that with a description like that it must have a lot in common with Broadchurch. But while the latter is a gripping, dramatic success, the former is a painfully slow period piece that covers too much ground without really digging deep into anything.

The series is based on some stories and books by James Runcie who modelled the lead character on his own father who served in the Second World War and who became the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s. The show stars James Norton as Sidney Chambers, an Anglican priest with a predilection for whiskey, jazz and women (and not necessarily in that particular order).

Chambers is troubled by his memories of the war and has post-traumatic stress disorder. He is also struggling with the reasons why he became a member of the clergy, not least because the woman he loves – Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie) – is a snob who is marrying a rich man for his money. Chambers does find his calling when he has a hunch about a parishioner who denied in suspicious circumstances, because he believed this was a murder (and not a suicide, as it originally appeared). So the priest teams up with the practical and no-nonsense, local detective, Geordie Keating (Robson Green).

The pair solve crimes because people feel like they can confide more in the charismatic and inquisitive clergyman than his partner. In actual fact, the priest uses these confessions and discussions to piece together clues and solve the mysteries. Grantchester’s biggest failing is that it is too superficial. Six crimes are solved across as many episodes meaning there isn’t an awful lot of time to dig beneath the surface. When this is combined with some broad stereotypes, paper-thin characterisation and contemporary-like subplots that feel tacked on, it can make for some strange and difficult viewing.

The special features on the DVD are rather average and include some deleted scenes and an additional video compiling the priest’s flashbacks to the war. There are also some character featurettes and a “Making of Grantchester”. The latter includes interviews predominantly with the actors as well as Runcie and screenwriter, Daisy Coulam.

Grantchester is a quaint, period drama that focuses too much time on human dysfunctions rather than the more exciting elements involved with solving a mystery. This drama is pleasing enough on the eyes but it often lacks substance and isn’t as entertaining as it could be. While Grantchester may have its moments and while it does have some similarities to another TV show called Father Brown, one thing’s for certain, it certainly isn’t a patch onBroadchurch.

 

Originally published on 23 June 2015 at the following website: http://iris.theaureview.com/2015/06/23/dvd-review-grantchester-the-complete-first-series-uk-2014/

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BOOK REVIEW: TRICIA STRINGER – HEART OF THE COUNTRY

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Heart Of The Country is a historical fiction novel that lives up to its name. The book is by Tricia Stringer who has lived in rural Australia for many years and really gets at the heart and core of this great, Southern land. This novel is the first in what should be an extremely enjoyable and promising trilogy and slice of Australiana.

The story is an epic one focusing on three white families as well as some indigenous Australians they befriend. The book begins when Thomas Baker, a naïve but hard-working free settler after he arrives in South Australia. His mother had passed away earlier and his father did not survive the long passage from England. Despite experiencing grief, Baker has a steely resolve and wants to make something of himself in this strange, foreign land.

Baker accepts a job as an overseer at a country property. To work there he needs to buy a horse and he meets a conniving and unscrupulous ex-convict named Seth Whitby (and sometimes Septimus Wiltshire) who swindles the trusting man out of his money. This is not the first time the pair will cross paths but things do improve for Baker once he settles at his new homestead and meets his spirited and single neighbour, Lizzie Smith, who he will eventually marry.

Heart Of The Country shares a few things in common with Kate Grenville’s The Secret River and some of the late Bryce Courtney’s works. Stringer’s writing is very vivid and engaging. She provides excellent descriptions of the barren landscapes while also offering some great characterisation. The characters are all very interesting and in most cases they are very relatable and endearing (with the exception of the rogue Whitby/Wiltshire).

Stringer’s book is a novel but the story feels very authentic and true. The reader gets a real sense of the troubles that the first convicts and settlers faced when they first arrived in Australia and the different relationships they shared with the indigenous people living here. The environment and landscape feel quite brutal and unforgiving and it is inspiring to read about people who were so fiercely determined, strong and resilient, meaning they got through the good times as well as the bad ones.

Heart Of The Country is an excellent fiction book about the community in Adelaide in the 19th century and the love, hate, greed and opportunism they were faced with. The book is beautifully written and very well put together, spanning over three generations of events. The moments of tense drama will hook you in while the vivid prose and descriptions will make you feel like you’re also in the passenger seat. In short, it’s one fine read.

Originally published on 22 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/arts/books/book-review-tricia-stringers-heart-of-the-country-2015

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: FOCUS

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Focus is a smoke and mirrors game. The film is all about misdirection and cons and it tries to pack a lot of twists and turns into the plot in order to keep the audience on their toes. This in itself would make an exciting film but here, the flimsy plot is over-stretched and the whole proceedings feel far too contrived to really win fans over.

Will Smith stars as Nicky Spurgeon, a third generation hustler and professional con-artist. One night he meets Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie (Neighbours, The Wolf of Wall Street) who does an excellent job with the limited material she has to work with). It seems that Barrett was actually trying to scam Spurgeon by taking him upstairs to her hotel room and have her “husband” storm in and demand cash.

Spurgeon is not easily fooled by this clumsy attempt at robbery. He exposes the fraud, leaving the naïve Barrett demanding to learn more about conning from the master. So Spurgeon takes her under his wing and the pair make a lot of money at a big football grand final with other people from Nicky’s crime syndicate. After netting in excess of a million dollars, Nicky disappears only to resurface years later when he’s trying to hoodwink F1 team owners (played by Rodrigo Santoro and Robert Taylor).

Will Smith is normally quite a charismatic and talented actor but in Focus he seems too flat and detached from the proceedings. The dialogue is not very slick or polished although the visuals at least seem to fit this mould. The story also lacks drama and tension so at the end of the day you are left with beautiful swindlers in a gorgeous environment but it’s all style and no substance.

The special features on the Blu-ray edition are rather average. There are two featurettes talking about Robbie and Smith’s roles as well as an alternate opening and some deleted scenes. It’s sad that the most interesting featurette about misdirection (the one about deception specialist and film consultant, Apollo Robbins) isn’t given more airtime. His explanations and the scenes showing us his teaching methods are nothing short of fascinating.

Focus is a romantic comedy and a crime caper that fails on both counts. The chemistry between Smith and Robbie is lacking and the crime romp seems so implausible that even a huge suspension of disbelief isn’t enough to get this one over the line. This film ultimately had a lot of promise and some good ingredients, but one can’t help but feel like there were a few things that have been left out of focus.

Originally published on 22 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/focus-blu-ray-review/

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LIVE REVIEW: TIM ROGERS & THE BAMBOOS @ THE METRO (19.06.2015)

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Collaborations aren’t supposed to work. They’re generally naff or cringe worthy otherwise you wouldn’t have people like Franz Ferdinand and Sparks going and singing about the fact.

When Tim Rogers and The Bamboos came together in 2012 and made ‘I Got Burned’ more than a few people would’ve dismissed this as a happy accident or fluke. But now they’ve gone and created an excellent live show and a vibrant album to match.

The show at the Metro was supported by singer-songwriter, Ainslie Wills. This songstress had a beguiling voice and her sound was a sweet pop/rock blend that soared.

There is nothing subtle about Tim Rogers and The Bamboos, but they blend so well. The You Am I frontman brought the cool, rock star swagger while the group brought a real visceral sense of soulfulness.

Kylie Auldist’s voice was a virtual powerhouse that upstaged Roger’s loose and crooning falsetto on more than one occasion. Frontman, Lance Ferguson was the glue holding the music together and Rogers was the biggest diva, looking dapper in a suit before changing into a gold lamé jacket mid-set.

The group’s rich funk and bombast could be heard in ‘S.U.C.C.E.S.S’. It was a storming, war cry and whirlwind of raw power. For ‘The Rules of Attraction’ things were paired back, allowing this one to be an enjoyable and soft pop song about L.O.V.E.

The artists encouraged a whole lot of grooving and shaking and this was most certainly the case in ‘Me & The Devil’. The song was already rocking the crowd with its twisty bass and a catchy melody that sounded like it could have been taken from the theme tune to a spy film. But then the guys went and segued off into Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ y’know just in case you didn’t get the memo about dancing.

The ghosts of James Brown and Michael Jackson would’ve smiled upon these Aussies when they played the soulful pop of ‘Handbreak’. ‘Better off Alone’ meanwhile, was a jubilant, break-up song that was a really fun surprise.

The musical coupling of Tim Rogers and The Bamboos was all about having a large musical party together. The artists enjoyed themselves at all times, like when they were trying to teach us that good things had never come simply in a track like ‘Easy’ or when they were covering and owning the You Am I hit ‘Heavy Heart’. The latter got the full band treatment and was a real highlight and lost none of the power and emotion of the original song, which is no mean feat.

The Bamboos and Tim Roger’s Sydney show was by no means a perfect one and there were a few minor lulls but overall, these artists did a fabulous job of making the audience feel really happy and giving them ample opportunities to shake their tail feathers. It basically meant that whoever said collaborations don’t work just hasn’t been part of the mirth, madness and merriment that is a show by Tim Rogers and The Bamboos.

Originally published on 22 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/451791/how-tim-rogers-the-bamboos-are-keeping-soul-alive.htm

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DVD REVIEW: WILD

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A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and so too does a journey of 1770 kilometres and one through a path of self-discovery. The latter is also known as Wild or a film that has been adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir from 2012. One things for certain, this journey is definitely worth the ride.

The film is adapted by Nick Hornby (About A Boy) and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, The Young Victoria) who does an excellent job of getting the best performances from his actors. Academy Award recipient, Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line) stars as Cheryl Strayed and entertains us with her most dramatic role to date. In Wild, her character is a woman who was on a downward spiral into self-destruction (think promiscuity, heroine abuse, lying and divorce) and she makes a rash decision to go hiking in order to find herself.

The hike was of the Pacific Crest Trail and the section that stretches from the United States border with Mexico to its other border with Canada. It’s a gruelling and punishing trek but it’s also one that appears to be very rewarding. In the film we see Strayed travelling through picturesque panoramas, sitting on top of mountain ledges, crossing streams and snow, experiencing the sweltering heat of the desert and negotiating through some arduous wilderness. Cinematographer, Yves Bélanger does a wonderful job here by leaving the surroundings in their raw, natural state with just the sunlight to illuminate things while handycams capture Witherspoon’s dirty, make-up-free face and monstrous pack.

The story of Wild does not just pass the different signposts of the trail. The audience also gets to learn about Strayed’s history and most importantly, her relationship with her mother (who is played by the gorgeous, Laura Dern). Strayed is grieving the loss of this great love and inspirational woman who succumbed to breast cancer at an early age. The memoires and flashbacks add additional weightiness to a film that was already quite poignant.

Wild is a poetic tour de force that is set in the great outdoors. This hiking tale is seamlessly woven with memories about love and childhood and it has the ability to transform and heal its viewers in a better way than Eat Pray Love did. This authentic and complicated reflection is sumptuous and visceral and will leave you feeling like you’ve walked with the characters every step of the way.

Originally published on 18 June 2015 at the following website: http://iris.theaureview.com/2015/06/18/dvd-review-wild-usa-2014/

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: BIG EYES

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Big Eyes tells the story of the most unbelievable fraud in art history. It’s also a sad and dark tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is directed by Tim Burton (who is a fan of the actual artist) and here he throws out his familiar clutches and styles to present a mature, rich and interesting biopic.

The fraudster in question was one Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). He was a quick-talking hustler and entrepreneur who created the idea of mass-produced art. He met his wife, Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) at an art fair when the latter was a kind of social pariah due to her being a divorced, single mother in the 1950s. Eventually the two married and they each pursued their art, with Margaret painting downhearted waifs with huge eyes while Walter produced boring, French landscapes. To say he lacked creativity was an understatement.

The pair originally displayed their work at the Hungry I Club where Walter acted as the salesman. But various circumstances arose which lead to Walter taking credit for creating the expressive, waif figures. It meant that he became an international, pop culture celebrity almost overnight. He would be credited with spawning an entire art movement and would be congratulated by the likes of Andy Warhol and Joan Crawford and all while Margaret quietly toiled away at her work in her isolated, home studio.

Margaret would eventually leave Walter in the seventies and she would also reveal that she was the true author of all of the paintings. But Walter retaliated by slapping her with a defamation suit. This biopic chronicles all of this while dealing with various themes including the true value of art, dysfunctional relationships and the subjugation of women. There are many threads to this film’s bow and it works on many different levels.

The plot to Big Eyes builds slowly but things come to a head during the dramatic and ridiculous trial. The film boasts an excellent performance by Amy Adams (who was rewarded with and deserved the Golden Globe for this role). The same cannot be said for Waltz’s acting because in the final scenes he is reduced to a slimy scoundrel and a villain that is so bizarre he is practically cartoonish.

Big Eyes is a beautifully-shot film. Despite the dark subject matter, the mood is frequently light and there are even some jokes in the script. There is one spectacular scene where Burton has Margaret walk through a supermarket where her artworks are being sold alongside Campbell’s soup tins (which resemble Andy Warhol’s work) and this is so inspired. Danny Elfman’s smoky, jazz soundtrack meanwhile, provides a perfect complement to the period and adds to the film’s occasionally haunting tone.

The special features on the Blu-ray edition are good. The audience can watch two different Q&A discussions. There’s one with Tim Burton and the film’s actors (Adams, Waltz, Jason Schwartzman and Krysten Ritter). The other features Margaret Keane, Adams and the film’s scriptwriters, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the latter pair were also the team behind Ed Wood. A short featurette is also included and this shines additional light on this visceral story and one that is stranger than fiction.

Big Eyes is a complex and thought-provoking film that differs from most of Burton’s other work. It succeeds at showcasing an art scandal and doing it with a real sense of respect and reverence to the subject matter. In the end the film does not critique Keane’s artworks (although the art world’s disdain for the pictures is hinted at more than once). Instead it celebrates the modest and supremely talented, Margaret Keane and sets to redress the wrongs that were dealt to her by her conniving husband. In short, ‘Big Eyes’ is as fascinating, heart-wrenching and emotive as one of Keane’s portraits. Sublime.

Originally published on 17 June 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/big-eyes-blu-ray-review/

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DVD REVIEW: KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that Kurt Cobain’s life has already been looked at from every possible angle. The late, Nirvana frontman and icon has been the subject of at least two feature films (Last Days and Kurt & Courtney) not to mention countless biographies and magazine articles. But Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is quite possibly the most thorough and definitive biography and documentary about the man and the legend.

For this film, Morgen was given unprecedented access to the Cobain archive including his prolific work in his journals plus artworks, tapes, photographs and home movies. The director was also given creative freedom from Cobain’s family (even though his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain serves as an executive producer here). Kurt Cobain was ultimately a complicated fellow and Montage of Heck attempts to show how complex and tortured this artist was by capturing his essence and devoting just as much time to his successes as his foibles.

The story is told virtually chronologically initially with Cobain’s parents, Don Cobain and Wendy O’Connor; his sister, Kim and his stepmother, Jenny Cobain. The former two were young when they had Kurt who at first was a happy and cherubic toddler who seemed so sweet, cute and innocent. Things changed when he grew up into a hyperactive child and his parents divorced. This meant he experienced lots of shame and embarrassment and was shuttled around from household to household and virtually rejected by his only family.

Morgan describes a lot of Cobain’s childhood and his teenage years through animations. Some of these are recreations of what it might have been like for Kurt while others see his own drawings brought to life. The title, Montage of Heck is taken from a mixtape that Kurt made in 1987 and this documentary is a sprawling, multimedia gem that sees Cobain’s words woven together with his art, writing, music and pictures as well as rare home movies and present day talking heads (but Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl is noticeably absent from these).

Other interviewees in this documentary include Nirvana bassist, Krist Novoselic; Cobain’s first girlfriend, Tracey Marander; and his wife and Hole frontwoman, Courtney Love. The latter is honest in her answers and candid as she reveals that Cobain aspired to earn a tonne of cash and spend his time doing drugs. Cobain’s deterioration into mental illness, addiction and troubles with the press are also chronicled here. This is particularly sad and will leave some viewers questioning what might have happened if he hadn’t committed suicide and got the help he needed. That said, the moments of him at home with Courtney and his daughter Frances are very tender and sweet indeed.

The special features on this DVD are a tad disappointing, especially when you consider how great the actual film is. A trailer is offered as well as extended interviews with Don Cobain and the director (the latter one was also played at the end of the film during its theatrical release). These extras don’t really do this creative and innovative feature justice, especially when you consider the truly inspired moments in this documentary (like the string and children’s choirs singing and transforming Nirvana songs).

Montage of Heck is a raw and intense film. It tries to get to the core of Cobain’s troubled, creative and dysfunctional existence and at times it does this too well, making you feel like you’ve intruded on a very private or intimate moment that wasn’t meant for your eyes. At the end of the day Cobain was a charismatic, smart and talented artist who was plagued by many different contradictions and demons. Montage of Heck is as much a celebration of the man as it is a heart-breaking look at his busy and complicated life.

Originally published on 15 June 2015 at the following website: http://heavymag.com.au/kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-dvd-review/

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FILM REVIEW: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD

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It is only in 1970s Canada where an over-abundance of hippies, draft-dodgers, Buddhists, vegans, nudists, musicians, writers and tree-huggers could meet and create an organisation like Greenpeace. The documentary, How To Change The World looks at the origins of this grassroots, activist movement and shows how it became the enduring institution it is today. The film is a fascinating and inspiring look at some idealistic, clever and eloquent people and their hope, successes and failings.

The film is directed by Jerry Rothwell who is no stranger to the documentary genre, having previously made Heavy Load and Donor Unknown. The story is mostly about the larger-than-life, Bob Hunter, a former columnist for the Vancouver Sun-turned-eco warrior. Hunter passed away in 2005 but left behind a treasure trove of excellent diaries which form the basis of this story (and are narrated by Barry Pepper). It chronicles how a modest man became the unlikely, inaugural president of Greenpeace.

The story goes that in 1971 a group of ragtag friends decided to go to Amchitka Island in Alaska to protest Richard Nixon’s nuclear bomb tests. The group’s efforts did not stop this from happening but they succeeded in creating global awareness for this issue and spawning the environmental movement. From here they would expose the inhumane whaling methods by the Soviets (they captured on film a whale being harpooned and dying) and the horrific clubbing of baby seals in Canada.

Hunter and his fellow Greenpeace officers understood the power of visual imagery with the leader even coining the term “Mind bomb” to represent an image that is picked up by the media and that goes “viral”, long before the internet even existed. This film uses excellent editing to cut between the graphic images the group captured back in the day as well as Hunter’s beautiful writing, other archive material and new interviews with those early Greenpeace members. The latter are an eclectic bunch that range from an old hippie who prefers to use the name Walrus (David Garrick) to Patrick Moore, a former environmental activist who is now a climate change denier. There is also Paul Watson, who was an angry man who left Greenpeace to form Sea Shepherd and who chose vastly different methods in his activism (which included ramming ships). The Sea Shepherd has now taken Hunter’s activist daughter, Emily under its wings.

How To Change The World is a vibrant film that marries up many different elements (including a fabulous soundtrack). The story holds nothing back and even goes into the power struggles and lawsuits that ensued when the organisation grew too big. This film makes for one exciting, cautionary tale that celebrates the motley crew of pioneers who helped create the green movement and who made a difference through some unlikely successes. Excellent.

Originally published on 15 June 2015 at the following website: http://iris.theaureview.com/2015/06/15/sydney-film-festival-review-how-to-change-the-world-canada-uk-2015/

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