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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

As someone who had read the Hitchhikers books, seen the BBC TV series and listened to the BBC radio version, I went to see the new Hitchhikers film with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

Excitement at a chance to see/hear the wonderfully English humour of Douglas Adams - vaguely silly but funny in a way that makes you laugh out loud. Apprehension about the American influence on this film and their need to dumb things down for middle America.

Sadly I have to say I actually struggled to stay awake. Too many American accents, too many shortcuts, miscasting, etc.

I starting clock watching after an hour and couldn't wait to leave. My apprehension was justified.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Black Medea

MALTHOUSE THEATRE - season 2005: ""

Every now and then, and then just often enough, you see a play that justifies the money you spend on season subscriptions to theatre companies. Today was one of those occasions when I had the pleasure of watching the final in the Autumn season at the Malthouse Theatre. The play, Black Medea, is beautifully performed by a small cast of 4 Aboriginal actors - all of them except the boy - known nationally in Australia for the quality of their craft.

But in addition to the acting, the thing that I really appreciated was the fabulous lighting in an extraordinarily effective stage setting.

Well done to all.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Downfall

This week I went to see the movie "The Downfall" at the Nova in Carlton at 9.00 pm on Monday night.

Starring Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler in the final days of WWII in the German leaders bunker in central Berlin, this is a great movie about a truly awful event. While Ganz puts in a masterful performance, I was surprised that the film had so many sub plots. All of these stories were compelling in their helplessness, their honesty, their resignation. I can remember reading in the masterful book "Albert Speer - His Battle with Truth" by Gita Sereny that true evil was banal. While this movie was anything but banal, the thinking of Hitler, Josef Goebbels and his wife was so icy even as the world collapsed around them.

Not a movie that you leave whistling but truly worth the 156 minutes.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

ABC Podcasts

The trial by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in providing a great range of its non-music Radio National programs via podcast is just fantastic. The programs I love but often forgot or missed and didn't want to listen by streaming are now available anywhere anytime. Roll on the music programs when the record industry finally gets its act together.
The Emerging New Melbourne Cricket Ground

Last Saturday, wanting the see the AFL game between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood, I had my first opportunity to visit the "new" Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and sit in the new stands that have now almost encircled the Ground. We sat in the new Ponsford Stand at the western end of the Ground. Having sat in the old Ponsford, I feared that it would still seem a long way from the game when action was occurring at the other end of the ground.

The stands look great and create a wonderful bowl effect. When some 100,000 people are packed in, the atmosphere will be wonderful.

But I still prefer to watch footy at the Telstra Dome.

Outside the ground a real carbuncle is emerging in the form of the new pedestrian bridge from outside the ground to Birrarung Marr. And all for the Commonwealth Games!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Welcome to Sounds from the Indian Ocean

Finally I have created my blog called "Sounds from the Indian Ocean" in which I get to explore and share my passion with the music from the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. Podcast from SFTIO is coming.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Working Towards a Podcast

As a podcast listener for some 4 months, I had been thinking hard about my own podcast. In the end I have settled on a subject that probably guarantees the hardest possible path. I want to produce a weekly program of 35-40 minutes of music from ( or influenced by) countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.

So I registered a URL for Sounds from the Indian Ocean, bought appropriate gear and then began the path of licensing. The only podcast I know of that plays "licensed" music is Karin's Themed Songs from the Netherlands.

By way of email, Karin explained how she came by her license. So I approached the relevant license bodies her in Australia for both performance and (more importantly) reproduction rights.

I can get a performance license from APRA ( but reproduction licenses from PPCA ( or ARIA ( are simply not available unless I approach individual record companies.

Which is where I am now - unless there is suddenly an industry breakthrough.

An interestingly the Government has announced a review of licensing for reproduction in Australia.