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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Cosi

We went last night to the opening of Cosi, which was a great affair, as you would expect. Cosi is the story of a young graduate sent to direct a play with a group of patients at a mental asylum. Funny enough as a situation comedy, but Louis Nowra has deftly wound broad humour around a story about the importance of love over politics.
In this production, the comedy outshines the potentially didactic moralising, just as it should, and as a result, the moral stands on its merits, couched in comfortably broad Australian humour.

Bringing classics to the stage is what Canberra Rep does best, and when you stage something that is as well-known as an enjoyable play as Louis Nowra’s Cosi, you get to pick from the best actors Canberra has to offer. That’s what happened here, and it’s one of the main reasons this show is so enjoyable. This is a spectacular cast, and every nuance of Nowra’s characters is instinctively brought to life. They enjoy the show even more than the audience, I’m sure; and even with a few members of the cast needing to work hard to stifle a laugh now and then, they never missed a beat. Who can blame them? After working so hard to deliver the comedy of Nowra’s lines, to finally have an audience roar into laughter is a rewarding experience.

Canberra Rep’s Cosi is simply one of the best nights out you’ll find.
 
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Posted by on Friday, 21 November 2008 in Canberra Repertory Society, Canberra Theatre, Theatre

 

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American Teen

Winning a place on the guest list to American Teenwas not a high priority for me. When I heard the title, I thought it must be a teen movie, and when I read that it was a documentary, I was even less interested. I could not have been more wrong.

This was the first time I’ve watched a documentary in a cinema, and it was well worth a Monday night. The stories of these five adolescents from Warsaw, Indiana were absolutely compelling, and wonderfully hilarious, as the raucous laughter from a near-empty cinema attested. Nanette Burstein has edited their experiences in their final year of high school with a deft hand, developing a rich, interwoven story well worth telling.
Watching these young Americans over-experience every emotion imaginable was fascinating not only because of the universal comedy of youth, but also because it reminds you just how good our education system is. Which is quite an accomplishment when your audience is a cynical old ex-teacher like myself.
American Teen is not ground-breaking or unique, but it is one of those rare pieces of film-making that exemplifies the best of the art form: simple storytelling, with characters that are easy to relate to, an awesome soundtrack, and an image of ourselves. Well worth a Monday night. Or even a Friday. Go see it.
 
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Posted by on Monday, 17 November 2008 in American Film, Film

 

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