FILM REVIEW: UNITY

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Unity is an ambitious documentary that asks a simple question: “Why can’t we all just get along?” The film is written and directed by Shaun Monson and is a kind of sequel to his pro-veganism documentary, Earthlings. In Unity the message is supposed to be promoting harmony, but it is a tad muddled at times.

The film has five chapters and the cast features no less than 100 different voices, including famous actors, writers, musicians, sports people and more. The Australian contingent sees Geoffrey Rush, Isabel Lucas, Missy Higgins, Rose Byrne and Joel Edgerton come together. Others include Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Dr. Dre, David Copperfield, Tony Hawk and Marion Cotillard. The story works on the premise that a chorus of voices is greater than the individual parts.

The message is anti-war and against racism, sexism and speciesism. It also highlights the contradiction between human evolution and our acceptance of tribes and the destruction of nature. There is some beautiful footage taken using HD aerial photography as well as video captured on smartphones, and just about everything in between.

There are also some sobering statistics about war, animal slaughter and environmental degradation shown alongside graphic and horrifying images of animal cruelty. A video of a cow that knows it is about to die is absolutely heart-wrenching. These darker scenes are particularly haunting when coupled with the atmospheric soundtrack by Yuko Sonoda.

The biggest tragedy in Unity is that the message is a stream-of-conscious one, confused by some tenuous links. It means some of the points and philosophy will be lost on the more cynical viewers. But at its best, Unity shows a sumptuous collage of humanity and offers some real food for thought for us all.

Originally published on 29 July 2015 at the following website: http://thebrag.com/arts/unity

Visit The Brag’s homepage at: http://thebrag.com/

ARTS/EXHIBITION REVIEW: GINGER MEGGS: AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE BOY @ MUSEUM OF SYDNEY (UNTIL NOVEMBER 8 2015)

Sunbeams Book Series 27: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1950. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8328.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 38 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Date 5/5/15 /  Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Sunbeams Book Series 27: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1950. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8328.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 38 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Date 5/5/15 / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Ginger Meggs has taken over the Museum of Sydney. Australia’s longest running comic about a jolly larrikin and red-haired boy with boundless enthusiasm continues to entertain us to this day. This temporary exhibition is lots of fun and something that the whole family can enjoy.

Meggs first appeared as Ginger Smith in 1921 in Sydney’s Sun newspaper. He was created by James “Jimmy” Bancks and eventually this character got his own cartoon where he had adventures with his girlfriend, Minnie Peters, romantic rival, Eddie Coogan, enemy, Tiger Kelly and more. This exhibition looks at how Bancks always had a fondness for drawing and how this little character has evolved and remained relevant after almost 100 years.

There are plenty of comics on display including 34 Ginger Meggs annuals and Sunbeam books as well as lots of “final artworks” for the strip. The comic was originally hand-drawn and transferred to bromide (a photograph) and sent to the newspaper printers with a colour guide. In the 1990s this process changed when the then animator of the strip – James Kemsley – adopted digital technology into the production process.

All five of Ginger Meggs’ “fathers” – i.e. the cartoonists drawing him – are acknowledged here from Bancks the creator to Rob Vivian who was uncredited for his work with Ginger. Lloyd Piper would draw the comic for ten years but it was James Kemsley who made significant improvements to it and saved the comic. Jason Chatfield was the youngest person to hold the post (at age 26) and he has brought Meggs into the 21st century (the character now has Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as a phone app).

The memorabilia on display includes postage stamps, a redheads matchbox, crockery, statues, chairs and dolls. There are two rare things in particular, including the unfinished final comic strip by Bancks himself and a letter from Patricia Bancks to Ron Vivian to express her gratitude at his work in taking on the role from her late husband. It is a real treasure-trove of stuff.

The individuals attending this exhibition are also treated to some rare videos including a road safety message from 1951 where Bancks and Ginger Meggs teach young children how to safely board a bus, cross the road and ride on the street. They can also hear the “Ginger Meggs” song by John Francis “Jack” O’Hagan who also wrote the tune, “Along The Road To Gundagai”. Parents and kids can also watch a video by Chatfield who explains how to draw Ginger Meggs from scratch and then they can have a go at it themselves as well as practicing colouring in their own comic strip.

The Ginger Meggs exhibition is a fun and informative look at a comic that has received a personal congratulations from a prime minister, been immortalised in artworks by Martin Sharp, had poet Mary Gilmore dedicate something especially to him and met Sir Donald Bradman. The lovely little red-haired larrikin holds a special place in the hearts of all Australians and this exhibition establishes why he is such a well-loved character. In all, this is an exuberant and spirited tribute to someone who’s nearly 100 years old but is really just a boy at heart.

Originally published on 27 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/ginger-meggs-australias-favourite-boy-museum-of-sydney-exhibition-open-until-8-november-2015

Visit The Au Review’s homepage at: http://www.theaureview.com

BOOK REVIEW: HONEY BROWN – SIX DEGREES

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Honey Brown is the critically-acclaimed author of a bunch of psychological crime novels. Her latest book, Six Degrees sees her leaving the crime investigations at the door because she is instead focusing on a psychology of a different kind. This collection of six interwoven short stories (where many of the characters are bound together by a tragic accident) is about desire, passion, temptation, romance and sex.

The stories include Threesome where a café owner and a famous chef break with their Valentine’s Day tradition of flowers and a marriage proposal to have a different sort of sexual experience. Two Women is about a bikini waitress who meets a lady at work that she loves while Older is about a young, outdoors-loving woman who finds passion with a man who is her senior. Younger is about a divorced mother hooking up with her young neighbour and Two Men sees two blokes leaving a writers group meeting to explore their sexuality together. First Time is the last story in the book and this sees two traumatised teenagers losing their virginity.

This book is a million times better than 50 Shades of Grey. The characters feel real and authentic for one. And Brown should be commended for creating such strong and independent female characters who have rather distinctive voices. The prose is very-well written here but it is also very racy and the descriptions of the sex can be very explicit at times. In all, this is one intelligent, smooth and sensual look at the joy of sex.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/six-degrees/9264351/

DVD REVIEW: THE BEST OF BENNY HILL

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The late Benny Hill was a top-notch, British comedian. The Best of Benny Hill is a short, feature-length film that combines sketches and musical numbers from his long-running comedy and variety TV series. The collection itself hasn’t been available on DVD until recently and it is a hit and miss set featuring some fine bits and others that are certainly not his greatest work.

This feature has a number of repetition themes. Hill – who took his name from the comedian, Jack Benny – enjoys slapping bald men on the head. There are also a lot of jokes involving sexual innuendo between dirty old men and pretty, scantily-clad women.

Hill is at his best when he leaves the fast-forwarded, silly chases and visual slapstick behind and instead focuses on his clever and funny sketches. The interview between a gushing television host and a pretentious, French film director is excellent as are the scenes where another director tries to help some confused actors with their dialogue.

The best sketch here is Tommy Tupper in Tupper Time. Here, mayhem ensues as Hill plays a talk show host named, Tommy Tupper who loses control of his show when he has to interview a monosyllabic, pipe-smoking actor, a drunk Broadway actress, an elderly man who dies and a football-playing vicar. The sketch featuring an exchange at the airport between a Chinese man and an Indian man seems stupid and racist. It proves that Hill is not a comedian for people who are easily offended or those who demand political correctness.

The visuals here are rather grainy and disappointing and look like a straight video to DVD transfer. The sound is a little better and this is particularly noticeable in Hill’s many stage numbers and when Boots Rudolph’s ‘Yakety Sax’ (or ‘Benny Hill’ theme) is played. The special features are very disappointing and are merely the original theatrical trailer and image gallery (it’s all stuff that could probably be found on Google).

The Best of Benny Hill is a mixture of slapstick, parody, innuendo and gross misunderstandings. There are jokes that are repetitive and the humour is light-hearted and bawdy. This film is an uneven one with no actual plot, instead threading together both long and short sketches that are taken straight from the TV show from the time. It’s a reasonable tribute to a man that has influenced lots of other comics but it is by no means a collection of his best material.

Originally published on 24 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/best-benny-hill-dvd-review/

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DVD REVIEW: ROSEWATER

ROSEWATER

Rosewater is an important story that should have been told. But the film itself sees the events presented in a positively dull way. The film marks the directorial debut of The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart who goes off on a tangent away from humour and wit and instead takes a serious hand to this dark drama. But ultimately, Stewart proves to be too close to the story to make it particularly engaging or interesting to watch.

In 2009 the Tehran-born and London-based journalist, Maziar Bahari (Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries)) was sent to Iran by Newsweek to cover the country’s elections. These were the ones that saw the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejadup up against the more liberal Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Bahari found himself talking to a lot of students that supported Mousavi and this latter group were shocked when the incumbent won so they started to riot and protest.

Bahari made the dangerous decision of capturing the riots that ensued in the streets and sending the footage to the BBC. He also participated in a spoof interview with Jason Jones of The Daily Show. It was these things that saw Bahari being captured and charged with espionage by the Revolutionary Guard. Bahari was blindfolded and held in solitary confinement for 118 days.

Rosewater focuses a lot of attention on the prison/interrogator side of the story and not to detract from the pain that Bahari endured but this is just not compelling to watch. The scenes are repetitive in showing a blindfolded Bahari and his interrogator who is dubbed Rosewater (Kim Bodnia) because of the cologne he wears. Bahari also fails to undergo much change and he doesn’t really have a dramatic arc but remains quite steadfast and strong throughout the ordeal as he imagines talking to his late father and sister who also had run-ins with the government. Instead, the ludicrousness of Bahari’s situation is highlighted (with the paranoid and ignorant guards declaring that the prisoner’s copy of The Sopranos as pornography).

Bahari does eventually sign a forced confession and he goes on Iranian television where he admits to being a spy (under duress). While Gael García Bernal is a charismatic actor both he and his co-star Kim Bodnia are non-Iranians and speak English throughout this film, which actually detracts from the proceedings. The supporting characters are also perfunctory and two-dimensional which is a shame.

The script also features some sarcastic responses and there are quips in the film which push things into the realm of a dark comedy. This detracts from the tense drama this story could and should have been. It’s also a shame that Bahari’s Stockholm syndrome is not explored in any depth, as this would have added extra layers of complexity to his character.

Rosewater is a film that should make you feel outraged and upset. Instead, it fails to cut through and make you feel any sort of real emotion. This dark and subtle tale is a serious and monotonous endurance test that promised to be intense and gripping but really failed to be anything extraordinary.

Originally published on 24 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/rosewater-dvd-review/

Impulse Gamer’s homepage at: http://www.impulsegamer.com/

LIVE REVIEW: JOHNNY MARR & FLYYING COLOURS @ ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY (20.07.2015)

Johnny Marr: 'We invented indie as we still know it.'

 

Should Johnny Marr be re-named ‘Johnny Young’? That was the question at Marr’s Enmore show in Sydney on Monday night. And it wasn’t because he resembled the former host of Young Talent Time but because the former Smiths guitarist oozed energy and charisma. This was definitely a case of a charming man looking half his age but playing with the virtuosity of a hardened axeman over double his age.

The support for the evening came courtesy of a young, local quartet known as Flyying Colours. The music was very layered and textual, like running your hands over some shag pile. At times this reminded people of Ride while at other moments they referenced sixties pop, garage music and Nirvana. “Bugs” – from their eponymous, debut EP – had a very dreamy quality and proved a pleasant ending to their short set.

But there could only be one man of the hour and his name was Messer Johnny Marr. The former guitarist of The Smiths who has also played with The Cribs and Modest Mouse but these days plays solo save for a tight backing band put on an excellent show. The inevitable comparisons between Marr and his former Smiths bandmate, Morrissey were unavoidable but Marr is so down-to-earth, friendly and sweet. He’s a true, English gentleman to Morrissey’s uptight, prima donna diva.

The show started with some crazy, computer game-like sounds that marked “Playland”, as the audience was launched “Again and Again” into Marr’s rock ‘n’roll fantasy camp. This was followed by an excellent cover of The Smiths’ “Panic” before the band started alternating between songs from Marr’s solo records, The Messenger and Playland. In “Easy Money”, Marr took a page out of Franz Ferdinand’s book by offering us some very danceable guitars that were also catchy. “New Town Velocity” seemed a curious choice given our close proximity to Newtown and was the antithesis of the former and was instead, a broody rock song.

During “The Headmaster Ritual” by The Smiths, the audience were enchanted by a heady mix of scatter-gun guitars and melodic guitar riffs. It was a very similar feeling that Marr also conjured up in “Generate! Generate” in all its wordsmith-like glory. “Bigmouth Strikes Again” was another favourite for the crowd, as was “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. But for this writer, it was Marr’s take on Electronic’s “Getting Away With It” that was sheer bliss. This self-described “Disco song from Manchester” was excellent and while Marr’s voice didn’t resemble his bandmate, Bernard Sumner’s, he definitely got into the spirit of it all.

Johnny Marr was the quintessential English gentleman at his Enmore show and his encore featured not one but two Smiths classics, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” and the remarkable “How Soon Is Now?”. Marr’s solo numbers are strong and they were performed well but there was no denying that the audience loved the slices of nostalgia that came from hearing The Smiths’ covers live. In all, this was an exceptional show from a good man and a wonderful guitarist. He promised he’d be back next year, but not before he had proven to be this charming man and artist.

Originally published on 23 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/reviews/sydney/johnny-marr-flyying-colours-enmore-theatre-sydney-20-07-15

Visit The Au Review’s homepage at: http://www.theaureview.com

FILM REVIEW: MR. HOLMES

mr. holmes

 

Have you ever stopped and considered what you would get when the world’s greatest detective lost his mind? The answer is Mr. Holmes, a character study about the clever sleuth who had the finest nose and mind for solving a mystery. It’s not a bad pretend biopic but it’s also a bit too dull to be considered a perfect one. 

The film is an adaption of the book, A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, where the author has re-imagined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character, Sherlock Holmes in his dotage. Director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) once again pairs up with Sir Ian McKellen (the two worked together on Gods & Monsters). In Mr. Holmes McKellen puts in an outstanding performance and carries this slow and plodding film.

Mr. Holmes sees three distinct plotlines covered. There is Holmes in 1947 living in his quaint house in the English countryside where he battles dementia by writing down people’s names on his sleeves. In his retirement, he tends to a hive of bees and forms an unlikely friendship with the son (promising newcomer, Milo Parker) of his housekeeper (Laura Linney). The retiree uses royal jelly and prickly ash to treat his ailments and the second plotline deals with Holmes’ trip to Hiroshima to procure these items.

The other aspect of the narrative sees Holmes contemplating his last mystery as he considers his partner, Dr. John Watson (Colin Starkey) to have taken liberties with the truth in his popular “Penny dreadfuls” about their work together. This case was one that saw a depressed young woman (Hattie Morahan) – who had lost multiple children – developing a strong relationship with a medium before her untimely end. The different aspects of the story are told through a series of muddled flashbacks and at times it is hard to tease out exactly what is the point of it all.

This film delivers the audience with yet another incarnation of Sherlock Homes, a character who has already been imagined for film and television many times (the most recent offerings seeing Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch as the mysterious investigator). This film differs though, because it shows the super-sleuth well and truly past his prime. It’s almost proof positive that Pete Townshend was right when he wrote the line, “I hope I die before I get old” because no one wants to see their favourite true detective fallen from his mantle and into the dark world of dementia, retirement and loneliness.

Mr. Holmes is a subdued and handsome film that boasts dialogue that is quite clever and witty. It’s a humane story about aging and death that is all rather quaint but it could do with a swift edit or two. It would also benefit from a warning that this is no traditional crime drama mystery or suspenseful whodunit but instead a detailed and whimsical character study about the savant detective. Sherlock Holmes is ultimately one interesting character but this slow and nuanced drama doesn’t do him any justice because it’s a good film but it could have been great.

Originally published on 23 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/mr-holmes-film-review/

Impulse Gamer’s homepage at: http://www.impulsegamer.com/

BOOK REVIEW: ILKA TAMPKE – SKIN

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Skin is an impressive debut novel by Ilka Tampke who is also a former winner of the Glenfern Fellowship. The story is a coming-of-age one that is set in Southwest Britain (now Somerset) during the Iron Age. It blends together historic fiction and fantasy elements as well as some lyrical prose, which makes it reminiscent at times of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant.

The novel has a strong lead character. She is a young woman named Ailia who was abandoned at birth. This means she has no “skin”. The latter is a medieval totem that allows a person to marry, participate in ceremonies and to learn.

Ailia has lived a good life. She was abandoned on the doorstep of the Tribequeen as a baby. But she was raised by the kindly cookmother who was in charge of the kitchen. This lady teaches Ailia about the world (the characters are what we know today as the druids) and ancient healing methods.

The novel does take a little while to get flowing and some readers may find it hard to reconcile the two different elements of history and fantasy. But for those people who are fans of this kind of genre, they will be pleasantly surprised by Tampke’s research and attention to detail.

The story ultimately shows how a pagan and pre-Christian tribe have important customs and rituals and how they deal with the imminent thread of the invading Romans. There is also a romantic triangle for people to enjoy. And this is the first book in a series which should prove to be quite popular.

Skin is an evocative read that has been deftly-crafted. It is a little slow and nuanced at first but it does improve and become a very promising debut from an exciting new voice in Australian fiction. This is ultimately one complex and detailed spiritual journey though the past.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/skin/9190146/

INTERVIEW: ANNA COSSU ABOUT GINGER MEGGS

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Meggs is quintessentially Australian. A loveable, red-haired larrikin and young boy who has a gang, loves playing cricket and gets up to all sorts of mischief. The comic strip is Australia’s longest-running and most popular one and has had a total of five different men drawing this young boy’s different hijinks and adventures.

The Museum of Sydney recently discovered an excellent collection of creator, Jimmy Bancks’ original comic strips. These form the basis of the upcoming exhibition, Ginger Meggs: Australia’s Favourite Boy along with other priceless pieces of treasure and memorabilia. The AU Review sat down with the Museum of Sydney’s curator, Anna Cossu to learn more about this affable lad with the flame-coloured hair who has played cricket with Sir Donald Bradman, been dubbed “Peter Pan” by an Australian Prime Minister and bore witness to a Royal Tour, no less.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? For example what is your role and how long have you been working in this capacity?

I am a Curator; a fantastic job where I have the privilege to look after three significant museums in the CBD: the Museum of Sydney and the historic buildings of Susannah Place Museum and Justice and Police Museum.

How did the Ginger Meggs exhibit come about?

The exhibition came about when a wonderful collection of Jimmy Bancks’s Ginger Meggs strips came to light. When I explored the history of Ginger Meggs I discovered that not only was he Australia’s longest running comic strip (94 years old this year) but that these strips are a wonderful insight into Australia’s popular culture.

The exhibit features original comic strips and can you tell us about some of the highlights from this exhibit?

One of the highlights will be a display of all thirty five of the Ginger Meggs Annuals. These inexpensive and popular comic books were published from 1924 to 1959 and reproduced the pick of the year’s comic strips. Visitors to the exhibition can also see Jimmy Bancks’s last Ginger Meggs strip. It is the comic strip Bancks was working on the night before he suffered a fatal heart attack; the strip’s last panels are unfinished. The exhibition also features original artwork from all of the artists who have drawn Ginger Meggs from 1921 to today and a fun collection of memorabilia from little handmade children’s chairs, to a delightful 1950s breakfast set, from 1930s promotional material to handmade dolls that won first prize at The Royal Easter Show in 1962.

Are there any special events or talks that will coincide with this exhibit? If so, can you tell us about these?

On the opening day I will be doing a tour of the exhibition for Sydney Living Museums members, so a great time to become a member and be part of this tour and enjoy the ongoing benefits of being a member and supporter of all of our museums.

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Sunbeams Book Series 22: More Adventures of Ginger Meggs. Cover, 1945. *** Local Caption *** Original file name: IMG_8297.TIF / Project code and ID: GIN ECL 33 / Lender: Barry Gomm / Photographer: Jamie North / Project use: Exhibition graphic and media pack.

Why do you think people should visit this exhibit?

The exhibition has been designed to offer something for all ages. People who grew up reading Ginger Meggs will enjoy rediscovering the trials and tribulations of the mischievous Ginger and his gang, and comic lovers of all ages will be thrilled to see and be inspired by original artwork and the historic film footage of Bancks drawing Ginger. Everybody can be a cartoonist and try drawing Ginger Meggs.

Ginger Meggs has gone through various incarnations over the years. Why do you think he holds such a special place in our hearts?

The characters, setting and storylines Bancks created in 1921 were instantly recognisable by Australian children (and adults) and each of the successive artists have continued to keep Ginger relevant and up-to-date. Ginger is also an ordinary kid, not a super boy with magical powers – he doesn’t always win, he has everyday adventures though he does end up in all manner of hilarious predicaments.

Can you tell us an interesting fact or two about Ginger Meggs that we may not be aware about?

In 1940s Australian Prime Minister John Curtin dubbed Ginger Meggs Australia’s Peter Pan and Australian poet Dame Mary Gilmore wrote a poem in honour of Ginger’s 21st birthday. All the artists who have drawn Ginger Meggs have included real people and events in their strips. In the 1930s Ginger meets his cricket hero Don Bradman, in 1950s Ginger and his gang are excited by the Royal Tour and in the 1980s Ginger meets the contemporary cricket hero Geoff Lawson.

Ginger Meggs has achieved some wonderful things from crossing the Harbour Bridge to playing cricket. What would you like to see him do next?

I would like to see Ginger celebrate his 100th birthday.

Are there any other exhibits at the Museum of Sydney you’d like to tell us about?

Until 9 August families can combine a visit to Ginger Meggs: Australia’s Favourite Boy with a visit to the Toys through Time exhibition also on at the Museum of Sydney. They can also pick up a Kid’s Trail that guides children through the key exhibits of the museum.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of The AU Review about the Ginger Meggs exhibit or Museum of Sydney?

The Museum of Sydney is a great place to discover the stories of Sydney and its people.

Originally published on 15 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/arts/interviews/curator-anna-cossu-tells-us-all-about-australias-favourite-son-ginger-meggs

Visit The Au Review’s homepage at: http://www.theaureview.com

BOOK REVIEW: SIMON JUDKINS & OTHERS – EMERGENCY: REAL STORIES FROM AUSTRALIA’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT DOCTORS

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How much does the average person know about an Emergency Department? Unless you’re a doctor or a nurse then chances are, not much. But the book, EMERGENCY: Real stories from Australia’s Emergency Department Doctors edited by Dr. Simon Judkins is poised to inform you.

Dr. Judkins has been an emergency physician for 15 years and a doctor for 20 years. In 2013 he was asked by the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) to write an essay about 24 hours in an Emergency Department. The read proved so interesting and informative that a whole book was commissioned in order to capture the varying experiences in Emergency. The fact is that no two experiences are the same and an ordinary day can be filled with the most extraordinary people, decisions and life-saving techniques.

This book examines the people behind the masks and details their individual perspectives, including their trials and tribulations and even some who were unlucky enough to get out alive. These detailed stories are honest and hold-no-bars accounts of people and humanity. There’s an amazing story about a man who got trapped in a rubbish compactor and then a more standard event like a teenage having an anaphylactic shock. There are the heart-breaking childhood drownings, the inspiring stories about heat attack victims who live to see another day, the sad stories about burns victims whose bodies are decimated by fire and smoke and the devastating account of a newlywed who died after a horrific accident.

The proceeds from this book will be donated to the ACEM who will put the money towards emergency medicine research and support as well as funding and supporting indigenous doctors and physicians in third world countries in the field of emergency medicine. Some of these stories are touched on here while others are simply taken from the chaos that is an Emergency Department. There are chapters that are joyous and funny, others that are sad and melancholy but there does seem to be one prevailing take home message and that is that we need to support the amazing work that these people do, as you will require their help one day.

EMERGENCY: Real stories from Australia’s Emergency Department Doctors is a powerful compilation that is informative in describing and recounting the intense, challenging and demanding work that takes place in an Emergency Department. The book does this with a great sense of humanity, compassion and heart. It’s a must read for anyone wanting to know more about public hospitals and public health and those wanting to hear the real, unfiltered stories from those people who have to make life and death situations while at the coal face. In short, it’s remarkable stuff.

Originally published on 14 July 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/arts/books/emergency-real-stories-from-australias-emergency-department-doctors

Visit The Au Review’s homepage at: http://www.theaureview.com

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