Documentary film maker Alex Gibney takes us through a shocking and scandalous journey through the Catholic Church and child sex molestation claims that have dogged the organisation over the last fifty years and how it was able to be hidden through Canon Law. Centering on the Lawrence Murphy case, which became the catalyst to opening up the atrocities contained within the church and how it is rife not only in America, but in Ireland and all the way up to the senior members of the Vatican and (now former) Pope Benedict XVI.
The Lawrence Murphy case was the case of Milwaukee priest Father Murphy who had abused deaf children in his care at a school for the deaf. In the documentary, Alex interviewed the students who brought the case to attention of the church and the media back in the 70s. The mean, through sign language, describe the methods of abuse and the horrors that still live with these poor men today. They detailed how many of his victims were chosen because the child’s parents couldn’t understand sign language so they had no one to tell their stories to and how he persuaded older boys of the school to follow in his footsteps and molest younger boys themselves. Their stories are quite confronting but nearly as bad, was the denial, justification and the churches response to sweep it under the carpet.
The church had set up special missionaries for priests who had “these urges towards children” to go and be rehabilitated through prayer and then released back into society where most would reoffend. There were claims of the church even having a budget for paying off compensation to victims. Many priests would claim that what they did was okay as they thought “God would feel it was okay”, “Little boys will heal”, “It was a rite of passage” and the church turned a blind eye to these matters. In a sidebar the film looks at a case in Ireland of Father Walsh in which the church knew of his abuse to children and even he admitted to the abuse, yet pleaded not guilty when charged.
During the papal reign of John Paul, Joseph Ratzinger (who would succeed John Paul as Pope Benedict) was in charge of investigating all matters of sexual abuse by the priesthood including claims against Cardinal Marcial Maciel, John Paul’s close confidant and yet Ratzinger never prosecuted the man or even begun serious investigations until after John Paul’s death. The systematic cover up of a lot of these abuse cases is the saddest aspect to this film and the church’s reluctance to admit to these atrocities but still never apologise to the victims and to the boys and girls, whose lives they had ruin.
The film is confronting. It’s difficult to watch in some parts. For me, the anger and resentment that lives inside the victims is what shines in this film. The footage of the victims confronting a old frail Father Murphy not long before his death and him telling the men to leave it alone it was in the past sums up the churches attitude to the issue in present day. I’ll admit I do not believe in God but it made me wonder, how these men who do, felt that what they had done, their actions, their crimes, would be seen as okay by The Lord.
Since Judy Garland first explored the land of Oz in 1939, there have been many sequels and various different interpretations of the original. Sometimes ranging from the straightforward (Return to Oz, it is very dark though) to the wacky (Zardoz, Tin Man, The Wiz, the list is endless). Most of these films and stage performances take place after the events of the original film, in which Dorothy or some other young girl is swept off to the land of Oz.
But Sam Raimi (of Spiderman and Evil Dead fame) has created a story which I have always wondered about. It is that of the titular wizard. Oscar Diggs (James Franco), or Oz, as is his stage name, is working for a traveling circus in Kansas with his assistant Frank (Zach Braff). One stormy afternoon after a show, Oz is confronted by the circus’ strongman and escapes via a hot air balloon. However, this balloon proceeds straight into a tornado that transports him to the land of Oz (like there’s any other way to get there).
Once there he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), a witch who lives in the Emerald City with her sister, Evanora (Rachel Weisz). They inform him of the prophecy laid down by the previous ruler, that a wizard would come to claim the throne and defeat the Wicked Witch. Evanora convinces Oz to go and defeat the Wicked Witch and also tells Theodora that Oz has left her for Glinda (Michelle Williams), who we find out is the Good Witch.
Once Oz discovers that Glinda is a good witch, whose father was murdered by Evanora, she convinces him to help defeat the real threat to the land. Meanwhile, Evanora has given Theodora an enchanted apple that will take away the pain of Oz leaving her. This also transforms her into the Wicked Witch of the West that we all know and love.
Oz must create an army that he will lead to the Emerald City. He does this with the help of his friends Finley (Zach Braff again), a not so scary flying monkey, and China Girl (Joey King), whose story arc is amazingly touching. He also has help from the people of Oz, namely farmers, tinkers and everyone’s favourite Munchkins (who are only permitted half a song). They all then march on the Emerald City for the final confrontation with the evil sisters.
It is worth mentioning that the first 15-20 minutes of the film is black and white and is not widescreen. This is a great callback to the original film and, like that one, once the land of Oz is reached, colour and widescreen are restored. There are a number of other references to the original film, such as a cowardly lion and many scarecrows. I was waiting for the trifecta of a Tin Man, but alas there was none.
Also, like in the original film, many of the character’s introduced to us in Oz have counterparts in Kansas. Finley is Oz’s assistant Frank and China Girl is a wheelchair bound girl who comes to watch Oz’s magic show.
One terrifying aspect of this film is the monkeys, as no trip to Oz is complete without them. If you were scared by the flying monkeys of the original, or even the nightmare inducing wheelers from Return to Oz (really horrifying stuff), there is no respite in this movie. Here, they are baboons with giant bat wings and are just plain terrifying.
Verdict: 4/5. A proper return to Oz, with all the elements of the original film (minus the singing).
It was no secret that everyone packing out the Manning Bar on Friday night was there to see Ball Park Music. In fact, this was the first University of Sydney end of O’week celebration, which had completely sold out – the bar was wall-to-wall, people.
The gig was being filmed and the crowd responded appropriately by, as one might put it, completely losing it. As soon as Ball Park Music started the first song, the crowd was singing along, but not just to some of the lyrics, to almost all of them.
In fact, this gig cemented in my mind just how far Ball Park Music have come over the past few years. I remember when I first saw them live at Townsville’s 2011 Full Noise Festival. The band were playing a fairly early spot, and only had a draggle of devoted fans come out to see them.
I could tell at the time, though, that they had the formula it took to be massive indie winners. They had a solid set list full of indie-pop songs that demand you to dance and sing-along, as well as great stage presence.
If you haven’t heard of Ball Park Music, now, then you should probably remove yourself from whatever rock you seem to live under that doesn’t pick up Triple J.
As they got into the gig, it soon became obvious that the majority of the audience were definitely devoted fans, as they knew the words to just about every song they played.
The band played stuff from both their last album Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs and their most recent album Museum, which they released last year. They also covered a Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons song ‘Oh What a Night,’ which proceeded to cause the audience to erupt in dance.
Without ever straying from their indie-pop style, they seem to just keep getting better. If you’re an indie-pop fan then you’d be crazy to miss one of these guy’s live shows.
Ball Park Music also had some killer support acts on the night, which received a lot of love from the crowd.
New Gods are a five-piece out of Melbourne. These guys are definitely the most pleasing of the support acts to an indie-pop lover’s ear and they have some definite winners in their set list.
New Gods have a somewhat basic, but thumping indie-pop rock sound propped up by great harmonies.
Lime Cordiale are another five-piece from Sydney. They have a 70’s beach-rock feel, with chilled out, but fun tunes. One of the things that sets these guys apart is their strategic use of trumpets on a lot of their tracks, which is particularly evident on the track ‘Pretty Girl.’
Some of their tracks collide a bit creating a wall of sound, but I dare anyone to not dance to them.
Professor are, yep, another five-piece with a slightly more heavy rock sound. Professor have a whimsical goth-rock feel and for some reason ‘pirate music’ comes to mind, due to their onstage presence and get up.
They have great energy, which they kicked off the show with and definitely had the audience going.
‘Broken City’ seized the audience into a world of politics, corruption, crime and suspense. With director Allen Hughes and writer Brian Tucker assembling a stunning cast of powerful figures; Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones in this thrilling political intrigue.
Throughout the beginning of the film there is an overarching notion of injustice that is overruling justice in the current law enforcement. Mayor Nick Hostetler (Crowe) represents a manipulative and malevolent character that acts in his own self-interest, determined to maintain control of the legal system by taking care of matters when “nobody gets justice”.
Whereas, Officer Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) performs his duties in the interest of loved ones and focuses on safeguarding New York City. Despite his flaw of not being able to see the best in people, Taggart is still fooled by distrust and misconception. When incriminating evidence appears for a prior case Taggart won, concerning the homicide of a teenage boy that was suspected of rape and murder, he is forced by the Mayor to quietly step down from his role as police officer.
The climax of the film comes to a turning point after seven years pass, where Hostetler is running against the new candidate Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper) for the re-election of Mayor. In an attempt to uphold his authority and manhood, Hostetler pays Taggart, now a private investigator, a total of $50,000 to uncover the identity of the man screwing around with his wife Cathleen (Zeta-Jones). Unable to refuse such an enticing amount, Taggart delves in deeper inside the chaos of a broken city, discovering more than he anticipated at a cost he cannot regain.
An interesting twist to the film was the juxtaposition between Taggart’s girlfriend Natalie Barrow (Natalie Martinez) sexual display with a co-star in her indie film and Hostetler’s wife secret meetings with Valliant’s campaign manager, Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler) caught on camera.
I found that the constant struggle between each of the characters effectively drove the plot and heightened the tension of suspense in the cinema, reinforcing the captivating performance of each of the cast members.
Towards the end of ‘Broken City’ we begin to understand in greater depth the trigger-effects of deceit between the protagonists and how powerful evidence can be in the determination of victory or catastrophe, in their fight for salvaging New York City and livelihood of its inhabitants.
The title places an alluring emphasis on the protagonist, stunningly performed by Nina Hoss. Barbara is introduced to the audience as a “sulky woman”, which is more than understandable considering the terms of her incarceration.
As punishment for applying for an exit visa, to leave East Germany and be with her lover Jörg (Mark Waschke), Barbara is sent from Berlin to work as a doctor in a small hospital out in the country.
With the help of her new boss Andre, poignantly acted by Ronald Zehrfeld, we begin to see changes in Barbara that reveal her modesty, willpower and compassion.
Andre makes an impressionable (and not so subtle) impact, tuning her piano and driving her home, which captivates Barbara’s curiosity in delaying her escape. I thought that the most eloquent scene was in the laboratory, where Andre admitted to Barbara that she should stay.
An important reoccurring aspect of the film is the theme of separation; with each character there lies an emptiness that distances their needs and wants because of certain expectations and regulations.
Jasna Fritzi Bauer stars as Stella, a young pregnant runaway desperate to escape from a grueling work camp whom becomes dependent on Barbara to ensure her safety.
Whereas Jannik Schümann, undertakes the role of Mario suffering severe memory loss after an attempted suicide. The patient empowers Andre to do everything he can to reconcile his own state of mind from a previous mistake earlier in his career.
It is through their interactions with their patients that Barbara and Andre express themselves more openly and learn to accept what they cannot change.
‘Barbara’ is a powerful film that portrays a story of self-sacrifice, despair and the importance of believing in our hearts that there exists a place to start anew.
A hot Wednesday night at the Enmore Theatre only got hotter once the night kicked off at 8pm. The Enmore was a choice venue for the event; its sloped floor perfect for a good view of the stage by all.
Sketch The Rhyme is an incredible invention for Aussie Hip-Hop.
The show kicked of with The Hi-Tops Brass Band, who gave off strong Aussie hip-hop vibes through their crisp, complex brass melodies. They really set the atmosphere for the whole show, hyping the crowd for themselves, and for the MCs and artists.
Ellesquire made a special appearance in their closing song, widening the grins in the front row of the crowded room. After a break, Sketch The Rhyme stepped into gear with P. Smurf, Ellesquire, Urthboy, Rapaport and Verbaliser (standing in for Tenth Dan).
After only having seen P.Smurf as part of Daily Meds at a show in Katoomba during 2012, it was awesome to see that Big Village is getting great Aussie Hip-hop out there, after he dropped the first track of his debut EP on the day of the show.
Sketch The Rhyme created a very in depth event with the MCs, we not only shared their laughs and emotions, but watched them as good friends literally, just doing what they love and having a sick time.
If you don’t know what Sketch The Rhyme involves you can check out their facebook page here, however, basically it’s a bunch of awesome freestyle games, with big names.
Games including Perfect Snatch, “Dead, Celebrity Heads” e.g Marilyn Monroe, a new game involving sketched bodies and rap battling (where Verbaliser battled P. Smurf, and Ellesquire Battled Rapaport), and ‘Last Mand Standing‘. The crowd loved this one which ended in a face off between P. Smurf and Ellesquire where the word was ‘Jungle’. P. Smurf took a nice win.
More The Messier was a crowd pleaser, and Guess The Next Topic closed the show with a bang. BIG ups to Big Village for setting this up.
The art was impressive on the night, the freestyle, sketching combo worked out perfectly at The Standard. Artists were Mie Nakazawa, Sam Clouston, Edgarr & Duckman, and Days One.
For more info on Big Village Records visit: http://www.facebook.com/bigvillage
As soon as Clubfeet took to the stage, the crowd were dancing and swaying rhythmically.
Clubfeet began to gain momentum as of last year after the release of their second album Heirs and Graces. The album has received positive attention from Triple J and music critics alike.
Clubfeet’s live set-list on the night was scattered with gold such as ‘Heartbreak,’ ‘Everything You Wanted,’ and ‘My Shadow’ off the back of the album.
Clubfeet put on a lively gig, but also one of the most relaxed gigs I have been to in a while. By that I mean that the smooth laid-back tunes seemed to keep the crowd in a trance of upbeat, and happy dancing – which, for live shows generally, is actually a rare achievement.
One of the best moments of the night, however, was when Chela joined the band on stage for the song ‘Heartbreak.’ Chela collaborated with the band for the studio version of ‘Heartbreak’ and they both worked just as well with each other in a live setting.
It’s genuinely quite hard to leave a Clubfeet gig without feeling upbeat. If synth-pop is your thing, then this band is definitely not one to miss.
Clubfeet’s indie-electro support act, Collarbones are an interesting duo. With their kooky style and moves, they put on a very entertaining live set.
Collarbones consist of a keyboardist and singer (Marcus White and Travis Cook). As a band, I believe they are thoroughly underrated.
They played tracks from their debut album ‘Die Young,’ which has received a lot of critical praise.
Their music puts me in mind of a cross between Bon Iver, during his earlier days, and The xx.
It is the sort of erratic-tech music that often times can go horribly wrong, but for some reason, Collarbones manage to make it work, really well.
Collarbones ended their gig on a high by playing a track and then proceeding to jump into the audience and dance with audience members. This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen this happen in a live show and was thrilled.
As a result, they had most people jumping around in delight.
Collarbones are definitely another one to watch out for on the touring circuit.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made way at their final sold out show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney last night. They didn’t expect this kind of success for their single ‘Same Love’ from album The Heist to reach number one spots in Australia. Originally their show was to be held at the renowned (and average-sized) Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. However it sold out instantly, so a second show was held which also sold out ‘in the blink of an eye’. An upsize of the venue was necessary, and the Metro Theatre seemed sufficient, however, due to the overwhelming response from fans, the show was taken to the Enmore Theatre in Sydney! The fans were spoilt with many treats last night.
By 8pm fans had already packed the venue front and back in time to see the aptly chosen support act for the night (and only support act) Melbourne based hip hop duo, Diafrix. Although it seems that much of commercial hip hop promotes promiscuity and homophobia, excessive use of drug and alcohol, crime, money, fame with a heavy use of derogative language (all as a norm of societies across the world), Diafrix seem to break the stereotypes and misconception with a positive approach.
Their album Pocket Full Of Dreams is what could be described as a genuine compilation of narratives from cultural and personal struggles and exchanging it for more positive outcomes and a change in common attitudes and thoughts. So I am all for positive hip hop, and it’s one thing to immerse oneself into their pre-recorded music, but witnessing a live delivery of their album took me on a whole other level. Diafrix spread good vibes throughout their set leaving all to look like perspiring sardines. The front row were pushed up against the media barricades – sweaty, thirsty, had full bladders, but weren’t prepared to give up their spot on the floor. Security yanked out a few overheated (and a little intoxicated) fans from the crowd. Diafrix definitely owned the stage. Aussies definitely need to check these guys out live if you haven’t already done so. Any one looking for a live hip hop act, these are the guys to hit up.
The 30-40 minute wait was well worth it for Macklemore fans, as he made way to the stage and crowds roared in reverence to see the man himself, Ryan Lewis and the band. Fans joined in singing familiar songs from his latest release The Heist. Each track received the “same love” as his hit singles ‘Thrift Shop’ and – ‘Same Love’. Through witnessing various hip hop gigs in town, the crowd was well behaved for such a large cohort. Brilliant production work by Ryan Lewis throughout the album and at the live show in Sydney.
Fluid rhymes by Macklemore and his fans to match especially throughout ‘Jimmy lovine’. We got treated to the soulful voice of Ray Dalton who also joined Macklemore on tour with ‘Can’t Hold Us’, which got the crowd clapping and singing along like a gospel choir. We can’t forget the awesome trumpet playing by Macklemore’s official trumpeteer Owuor Arunga. But it was not until the number one single ‘Thrift Shop’ began to play, that the audience screamed with excitement. Shortly after it eased in with the second number one hit single in Australia ‘Same Love’ (renowned song that supports same-sex marriage). At one time I was wondering who the chick was with the long blonde hair that entered the stage. Yup, it was Mr Macklemore himself. Never once did he fail to entertain and constantly delivered great music and remained animated.
It’s about time Australia got to see the men behind the Thrift Shop song Macklemore, Wanz and production work by Ryan Lewis. It goes to show that if one is an artist of some sort, keep making art. You never know how far you can go. Macklemore sure didn’t expect to top 2 singles in the last few months in Australia. Looking forward to seeing him flourish worldwide!
Check out the links below for more info:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has recently scored number one spots across music charts worldwide including Australia with their single ‘Same Love’ featuring Mary Lambert.
Tonight we get to celebrate with them on having over 100 million YouTube views as they will perform live in Sydney.
After an overwhelming fan demand, the Sydney show was relocated from the Oxford Art Factory and Metro Theatre to the larger venue, Enmore Theatre. Last night’s show in Melbourne also sold out.
Check out the video clip (below) and stay tuned for our music review of the show this weekend!
‘SAME LOVE’ – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert