Ribspreader Written, directed and produced by Dick Dale Starring Tommy Darwin Adelaide Nova Cinemas Saturday, October 22, 2022
Would you go to see a slash 'n' splatter flick made in ‘Straya's Murder Capital of Adelaide with guest appearances by Chad Morgan, Chantal Contouri, Fred Negro, Spencer P. Jones, and Rat Scabies?
Do bears shit on the Pope?
Do excuse me, it's the morning after the night before and I'm mangling my metaphors. Anyway, last night I went to see one of the films at the Adelaide Film Festival. The world premiere of “Ribspreader”.
About a week-and-a-half prior, I'd tried booking online; after selecting two tickets, I was asked my email ... and then, nothing happened. Maybe it didn't work. I tried again, found that their system now had me down for four tickets, asked me for my email and again, nothing happened. No email. After the second day of no email from the AFF I figured, I'll have to use “other sources”.
Moonage Daydream (2022) Directed and produced by Brett Morgen
Moonage Daydream, Brett Morgen’s love letter to David Bowie, is complete sensory overload.
Sitting in a near empty cinema on a Sunday evening, I found myself both captivated and bored at the same time. The documentary, at about 135 minutes, was long and some of the footage was used multiple times which was distracting; it could have been edited tighter.
Morgen as director, producer and editor has put together an epic that does, in some way, portray Bowie’s legacy, doing it justice.
Visually, the film was stunning, featuring footage I’d never seen before… not that I’d consider myself a Bowie tragic, but all people of a certain age found their lives intertwined with Ziggy or The Thin White Duke to some extent. Rare live footage of The Spiders was plentiful, if mentions of the contribution of that band, and especially Mick Ronson, were not.
Morgen’s art direction was a clumsy allegory to the chaos and isolation Bowie seems to have fostered. As an insight into the man as an artist you came away with a sense of his disconnection and disordered and chaotic approach to his craft.
The archival footage both on and off stage was plentiful, and you genuinely got a feel for the extent of his many talents with Bowie’s painting and videography featured extensively. There are many montages that flash through gigs and offstage footage at a great pace that becomes exhausting.
Okay, I’ll be first to admit that the trailer looked like a cold turd in a lunch box. I did, however, persevere and found that I enjoyed this six-episode series enormously.
Not that everyone will. Fans of a perfectly delivered chronology are going to be nit picking every scene and episode like bickering zealots at a secular conflict. Anyone who watched the CBGB movie and complained about how such and such wasn’t in the audience the night so and so did this or that is going to be in for a particularly unpleasant viewing experience. You know who you are.
JOBRIATH A.D. (2002) Written, produced and directed by Kieran Turner
Weird times we live in, to paraphrase John Waters. We've gone from people rebelling against rules, to becoming fanatical lil' rule-mongers, themselves. That's some crazy shit, and you gotta wonder what's up with all that.
Probably the most moving film I've seen since "Beautiful Darling", the also poignant Candy Darling story, is "Jobriath A.D." You might know he was one of the first openly gay, glam, wouldbe seventies rock stars, who was first discovered whilst singing in the Broadway play, "Hair". In the hippie dippy era, he made a baroque pop album with a band called Pidgeon. He was drafted by the army, went AWOL, and did time in a military psychiatric facility. He came from a tragically broken family and his mom never fully accepted him, because of his sexual identity which caused him acute pain. He was a really sweet, upbeat, positive force as a young person, a painter/singer/composer/piano playing prodigy but the cruel music industry weasels around him kinda turned him more cynical and sad, almost overnight.
He was living in an unfurnished squat in L.A. as a male hustler when it seemed he was rescued by a huckster manager famous for nightclubs in NY named Jerry Brandt-Brandt overhyped Jobriath as the next Elvis, Beatles, and Bowie all rolled into one. He appeared on oversized billboards in Times Square, in splashy magazine advertisements and on the sides of buses in major cities. He had a cool live band actually, called the Creatures, with some kooky costumes by Stephen Sprouse.
Brisbane-based Aussie rockers Suburbia Suburbia are making a noise since the release of their song "10lb Hammer" through MGM Records in April. Here's a taste of their bogan rock. If you're lucky you can still pick up a copy of their "In The Fridge" album, reviewed here.