Art Smitten: Reviews - 2017



Art Smitten is SYN's weekly guide to arts, culture and entertainment in Australia and around the world.With a focus on youth and emerging arts, we're here to showcase culture ahead of the curve. Contributors interview, review, and cover the very best of what the worlds most liveable city has to offer, all packaged in two hours to close off your weekend. Whether it's film, fashion, photography or Fauvism you're into, Art Smitten is the place.Art Smitten broadcasts on SYN Nation on Sundays 2-4pm. This playlist features all of Art Smitten's reviews from 2017.


  • Review: More Pudding Anyone? + Discussion: Sexism in Christmas movies

    16/12/2017 Duración: 08min

    Christian, Silvi, Hamish and Smithers discuss sexism in Christmas movies and review More Pudding Anyone?, the new Christmas comedy playing at 8.30pm at The Butterfly Club (5 Carson Pl, off Little Collins St) until Sunday December 17.

  • Review: The Man Who Invented Christmas

    12/12/2017 Duración: 03min

    Andrew reviews the new Charles Dickens biopic starring  Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce and Miriam Margoyles

  • Interview: Anna Jean

    08/12/2017 Duración: 09min

    Christian and Amorette chat to one of the members of the French band Juniore, coming to Australia in January to perform in next year’s So Frenchy So Chic festival.

  • Review: 2017 Archibald Prize

    08/12/2017 Duración: 05min

    Andrew reviews the 2017 Archibald Prize exhibition, showing at the Geelong Gallery until Sunday December 10.

  • Review: Lucky

    19/11/2017 Duración: 03min

    On September 17th, 2017, Harry Dean Stanton passed away at the age of 91 years old. He lived the life of an actor, but known more specifically as a character actor. Character actors are known as people who play bizarre, memorable characters in films, who usually appear as a side role. It’s no surprise then that Stanton was a favourite in David Lynch’s films, appearing countless times throughout his long line of surreal creations. Stanton has had few lead acting roles, including that of Repo Man, Paris, Texas and, as one of this final films, Lucky. Lucky is directed by John Carroll Lynch, who, similarly to Stanton, is widely known for his supporting roles in films as an actor, including Zodiac, The Founder, and American Horror Story. This is his first time stepping into the role as a director, and it goes without saying that he’s a natural at it, in his own way. Stanton is joined in the cast by Ron Livingston, famous for Office Space, and David Lynch, the man himself. As a side note, I find i

  • Review: Lay Down Sally

    23/10/2017 Duración: 02min

    Lay Down Sally is Australia’s answer to Book of Mormon. Laugh out loud, side splittingly, leave your face sore funny. Playing at Chapel off Chapel, the show opened last Tuesday Night to a sold out theatre. The audience and was not to be disappointed.  Written by Spencer Hadlow, Andrew White and Taylen Furness, The show starts directly after Sally Robbins (played by Nicola Guzzardi) 2004 Olympic lay down incident. It follows on to explore Sally’s determined comeback into Australia’s heart as she battles to win Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in cycling! With the help of Steven Bradbury and Nick Giannopolis the Australian trio sing their way into our hearts, if not to glory.  The musical opens on a mostly bare stage with the cast already positioned in Olympic stances. On the screen were quotes about the incident from Australian public figures. From there it was catchy musical hit after hit beginning with the namesake "Lay Down Sally".  The set remained basic with no scene chan

  • Review - Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

    02/10/2017 Duración: 03min

    Samara Barr reviews Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets, a co-production between Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre written by Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs that's playing until October 8.

  • Review: Hooting & Howling

    23/09/2017 Duración: 02min

    Everyone loves a good ghost story whether to try and debunk the paranormal, persuade a non-believer, or encourage discussion on the afterlife. For me ghost stories take me back to Cub Scout campfires and sleepovers with torches. Phil Spencer's Hooting and Howling captures this essence of story telling in a delightful and highly entertaining manner as he recounts his own experience of hunting down a ghost, complete with spooky torch light. Performing at The Butterfly Club on a bare stage, Phil conjures up an atmospheric world of senses through words alone, taking us to another time. The story is complemented by the enchanting Julia Johnson, whose soulful voice added an ethereal layer and depth to the performance. Her skill with the banjo enhances the humour and tone of the different plot points. Breaking up the story with song gives the audience time to absorb the content and consider their own opinions. Combining storytelling and stand up comedy conventions, Phil leads us on a journey to cockatoo island in Sy

  • Review: Shir Madness - Melbourne Jewish Music Festival

    22/09/2017 Duración: 05min

    Hamish drops by to tell Christina and Reem all about this year's Melbourne Jewish Music Festival, Shir Madness

  • Review: White Lies

    19/07/2017 Duración: 02min

    If you’re going to go to a magic show, you really need to let yourself try and enjoy it. It sounds weird, but if you’re skeptical and you go into a magic show, don’t expect much. Honestly you shouldn’t even really be there. So, going to a magic festival is definitely not something for the complete unbelievers. I took my partner along to this show, as I felt it would be an experience that needs to be shared. In the foyer, other magicians showed off their skills, but we were more enthralled by the friendly rabbits making their way through people's legs on the floor. Soon after we headed into a much smaller, more intimate room for the actual show we were there for, White Lies by Pierre Ulric. Ulric is a likeable, eccentric man with a well-trimmed beard and glint behind his eyes. The main basis behind the show is time, which I liked. Every time he finished with a segment he turned over an hourglass, the room would go dark, then light again, and he would address us as though we were in a di

  • Review: Baby Driver

    19/07/2017 Duración: 03min

    Do you like music? Do you like action? Do you like fast cars speeding around and crashing which isn’t Fast and the Furious? Well this is the film for you! Baby Driver is the new love child of Edgar Wright, known for his smash hit Cornetto Trilogy, including Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and the other one we don’t really talk about, World’s End. Baby Driver sheds Wright’s former acting duo, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, replacing them with rookie actor Ansel Elgort in the lead role of Baby, a getaway driver. Alongside Elgort is an all-star cast which beefs up an already tantalizing film, including Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal. Next to Elgort is also love interest Debora, played by Lily James. It might not seem like a big deal, but honestly one of my favourite things about this film is that the love story is actually good. It doesn’t feel forced, and is projected in a totally realistic and understandable way; if realistic is driving cars and robbing banks of cour

  • Review: Lady Macbeth

    19/07/2017 Duración: 01min

    Lady Macbeth is the debut film by William Oldroyd, written by Alice Birch and based on the novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. It's set in the mid-19th century, though it transposes the original narrative from Russia to the Northern English moors. The film stars Florence Pugh as Katherine, a young woman who enters into a loveless marriage with an older industrialist. He gives her no attention, and when he leaves for a business trip she looks to one of her husband's workers, Sebastian, played by Cosmo Jarvis, for the affection she so desperately needs. Soon after, however, things turn harsh and murderous, putting into motion events that earn Katherine the unspoken fitting nickname of Lady Macbeth. Shot by Melbourne cinematographer Ari Wegner, the camerawork, which alternates between still and handheld, has an effective but obvious role of mirroring characters' emotional states. The colour palette is also suitably cold except in the more tender moments between Katherine and Sebastian

  • Review: Melbourne Youth Orchestras - New Worlds

    19/07/2017 Duración: 05min

    Jack reviews the Melbourne Youth Orchestras' New Worlds concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday July 2, 2017.

  • NGV Friday Nights: Gareth Liddiard

    13/07/2017 Duración: 03min

    When Gareth Liddiard of the Drones took to the stage as the headline act of NGV’s Friday Night series, he took a moment to remind the audience of an unpopular Vincent Van Gogh fact. “He stinks” he said, with a wry grin. He was referring not to Van Gogh’s paintings, but to Vincent himself. Reminding everyone that one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and the star of the most successful NGV international exhibition to ever go on display, actually stank. “In fact if he walked in here now,” Liddiard continued, “You’d probably have him arrested.”  The mythology around Van Gogh is so pervasive now that it is difficult to imagine a time where he was not lauded as an artistic, if troubled, genius. Perhaps it is remembered, but in a self congratulatory way - “I would have known, I would have been different and seen him as the genius that he was.” And to this Liddiard calls bullshit. Liddiard is a loveable rogue who sings like someone havi

  • Review: Yada Yada Yada

    07/07/2017 Duración: 01min

    Playing on their egos of Fran and Yetta, Lauren Edwards and Jude Perl created a dynamic cabaret show that celebrated a decade of television history, the 90s. Yada Yada Yada took its name from the Seinfeld episode in which George gets suspicious of his new girlfriend’s use of the term. There are a few of these Easter eggs scattered throughout the show. The premise follows a knock off Fran and Yetta filming a 90s Television Special. The two performers did an array of sitcom medleys and original songs. Particular songs, like Cheers, made you join in with the two in wishing that we could live life in a 90s Sitcom. There was talk of favourite heart throbs, social roles of older women, the stereotype of Jewish grandmas and audience trivia. The show felt difficult to get into as the humour was very particular to the sitcom style. A laughing track was implemented and banter between the two was undeniable. However, songs such as "Roles for Older Women" provided that much needed commentary and flavour of the two

  • Review: (de)construct

    04/07/2017 Duración: 01min

    At La Mama Theatre in Carlton on Wednesday night I got to experience a moving and powerful physical theatre piece called (De)construct. Directed by Cera Maree Brown, (de)construct explores themes of identity, social anxiety, language, gender, sexuality and living from home. Based on recorded conversations between the performers, the honesty and depth to the opinions voiced struck a chord of familiarity in the audience as the different situations were played out. (de)construct begins with a movement piece, gradually building in intensity and speed before following in to a deep conversation as Jai Leeworthy, Lucy Pitt, Nabs Adnam, and Antonia Yip Side Pin recount their own experiences and tell their stories. This was accompanied with what they were saying displayed behind them, leading to the audience not knowing what was script and was was reality. The conversation was overplayed with movement which displayed the subtext of the words being said. Words saying they were doing well were contrasted with the actors

  • Review and interviews: Wallace & Gromit and Friends

    03/07/2017 Duración: 18min

    Wallace & Gromit and Friends and their talented creators have just arrived at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Aardman Animations. Running until October 29 this latest of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces is a virtually exhaustive exhibition of the company's entire body of work, including their next feature film, Early Man, coming out early next year. Visiting Aardman founders and co-curators, Peter Lord and David Sproxton, working very closely with ACMI head curator Fiona Trigg and the Art Ludique museum in Paris, have delivered a generous serving of early sketches, concept art, original models, plasticine sets and, of course, the plasticine characters themselves! I was fortunate enough to hear Peter and David's brilliant introduction to the exhibition and to chat to Fiona about what it was like to put it all together. All the favourites are there of course: there’s plenty to see of the famous bumbling inventor and his long-suffering dog, s

  • Review: Circus Oz - Model Citizen

    03/07/2017 Duración: 01min

    Smithers reviews the new circus show that runs from June 20-July 16 at the Big Top in Birrarung Marr (between Federation Square and Batman Avenue).

  • Review: My Fair Lady

    02/07/2017 Duración: 04min

    Andrew reviews Julie Andrews’ 60th Anniversary production of My Fair Lady, now playing at the Regent Theatre until July 29.

  • Review: Roulston & Young: Songs for Lovers (And Other Idiots)

    27/06/2017 Duración: 03min

    London Comedy Duo Roulston and Young come straight from the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to Melbourne’s Butterfly Club, to deliver an hour of upbeat laughs and jabs at relationships on a frosty Melbourne night. The first song lets you know what you’re in for, an upbeat formula with plenty of witty banter between hosts and invitations to the audience to join in the wink-winking and nudge-nudging. The audience that this reviewer was a part of were only too happy to oblige, a lively oneindeed. From there, Roulston and Young travel through lovers past and present, dancing between awkwardness and laughter, stopping for breath only to invite the audience to chat and join in on the stories. While interactive is probably the wrong word to exercise here, it certainly felt involved and it ushers everything in with a warm solidarity. Songs explored everything from one-night stands with people half their age, vegging out in front of Deal or No Deal re-runs with a box of tim-tams, and crowd favourite ‘Pleas

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