Australian bards making movies
Title: Paul Kelly: Stories of Me
Director: Ian Darling
The musician biopic is now an established film genre but it is rarely as well crafted as in Paul Kelly: Stories of Me. This doco by award- winning filmmaker Ian Darling premiered to considerable acclaim at the recent Melbourne International Film Festival.
Singer-songwriter Paul Kelly is an absolute icon of contemporary Australian music. Since his teenage band the Dots, through his years with the Coloured Girls and a maze of other musical collaborations, Kelly has composed over 350 songs in his 40-year career, and he is justly described as a 'modern day bard' and a 'narrator hovering above our landscape'.
The documentary is a fascinating study of the creative development of his songs, and it features some brilliant concert and band footage, with song lyrics often rolling across the screen.
There is an enthralling depth in the array of interviews engaging fellow musos, former band members, lovers, friends and his large extended family. And while the story documents Kelly's ambition, his relationships, his trials with heroin and his connection to Indigenous issues, it all revolves around his multitude of wonderful songs.
Paul Kelly: Stories of Me will be screened at Star Court Theatre, Lismore on Friday, October 26, at 7.30pm and Sunday, November 4, at 5.30pm.
Director: John Hillcoat
The cinematic mind of iconic Australian musician and writer Nick Cave appears to live in very violent times. His previous screenplay was for The Proposition (2005), a brutal story set in our colonial outlaw badlands.
In Lawless Cave has moved into the backwoods of Prohibition America in 1930, where the good-old-boys are brewing liquor for the big city crims. It certainly doesn't give any credence to the success of any war on drugs.
Lawless is directed by fellow Oz John Hillcoat (The Road, 2009) who also teamed with Cave for The Proposition. The story is based on the real life 'adventures' of the three Bondurant brothers, played by Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke and Shia LaBeouf.
With the backwoods hills dotted with moonshine fires, the brothers have an easygoing lifestyle and a ready market, until the arrival of vicious and corrupt dandy Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce). Thrown into the mix are Jessica Chastain as a sultry blow-in, Mia Wasikowska as a preacher's daughter and town gangster Gary Oldman.
The film features a fine ensemble of performances, though Chastain and Oldman don't have much to do. Hillcoat does a fine bloody job with this backwoods gangster epic, but Lawless lacks the character development and focus of The Proposition.
Lawless is screening at Birch, Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Lismore.