Archive for the 'Film' Category

02
Apr
17

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone In Concert

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone In Concert

J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World & CineConcerts

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Saturday April 1 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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We’re at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre with a crowd that is not your ordinary theatre crowd, although perhaps it’s a new theatre-ish crowd, and we get some interesting looks ourselves, as if we’re the odd ones out. We’ve swept into the venue at the last second, having parked at QPAC because we always park at QPAC (it’s automatic now; the car can magically get itself there), which means that when the show is not there, a graceful-as-a-giraffe little run down Grey Street and across the road is required to get to the right box office. This mixed crowd, in the Convention Centre foyer, is not expecting an evening of live theatre.

They’re here for a movie concert, the first of a new genius series from CineConcerts, featuring your local symphony orchestra playing every note of a Harry Potter film shown on a 40-foot screen.

It may be a movie night but it’s an entirely theatrical event! The vibe is electric and a great number of hard-core fans are proudly wearing Gryffindor shirts, and ties and sweaters and robes. Everybody is so excited to be here.

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We take our seats moments before the house lights go down and when Conductor, QSO’s Sarah Hicks, appears, she is welcomed by appreciative applause. She smiles and asks if there’s anyone who’s never been to a live orchestral performance. Many hands go up, and she smiles encouragingly, inviting everyone to get involved. In true pantomime fashion, we should feel free to cheer for our hero and boo the villains. There’s no question about whether or not we’ve seen the film or read the book… No matter what our individual stories are, we’re in for a treat!

I wonder how the orchestra will precisely match the action, but only for half a second before Hicks raises her baton and the Warner Bros logo appears on screen as we hear the first sounds from the string section. A collective shiver runs through the Great Hall. It’s perfect. It’s actually intense. Every moment of the movie becomes sharper and more vital. The entire underscore, which we might forget is there sometimes, when we see the film at home or originally, in the surround sound cinema, comes alive. Every moment of discovery, joy, anticipation, trepidation, celebration and dread is able to be fully experienced, savoured.

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And unless we glance at the musicians on stage from time to time, or become mesmerised watching them at their craft, as I do while the harp plays to keep three-headed Fluffy asleep (it’s so beautiful, the sound of faerie slumber), or while the percussionists keep up with thousands of magical additions, intellectually, we almost take for granted that the music is live. But at the same time, soulfully, we’re experiencing something very special. Like a festival event, there’s a true communal feeling, a momentary connection with people we’ve never met, because we all just want Harry to defeat Voldemort! We know this is only the very beginning of an epic battle, which represents something for everyone. And it’s delightful to see this film again, so beautifully realised, and it’s so funny, I’d forgotten.

Poppy has been terrified for years by the more frightening moments in the film, and has never actually watched in its entirety, The Philosopher’s Stone or any of the subsequent films. I’d made this event a surprise so she couldn’t back out and offer her seat to someone else, and she was hesitant about it, telling me she might need to hide under my wrap when we know Voldemort is about to appear. Well, she did hide towards the end, but after settling into the first few magical bars of the music I saw a grin spread from ear to ear as Harry celebrated his 11th birthday and took off to Hogwarts with Hagrid. Guess what’s on in the background as I write this? Poppy has taken out the DVD box collection and put on The Philosopher’s Stone, and as we hear the familiar strains of John Williams’ evocative opening bars, she laments, “The music’s not as good!”

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Our Queensland Symphony Orchestra gives The Philosopher’s Stone a new, unique, incredibly magical quality, the full, rich sounds of the live music letting us dive in deeper, remember our original experience of the film and enjoy J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World all over again.

 

Don’t miss the next exciting event in the QSO / Cineconcert series on October 7 Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets 

 

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02
Mar
15

Noosa Long Weekend Festival 2015 Now On Sale!

 

Noosa Long Weekend Festival presents our most exciting program yet!

 

You know these events SELL OUT! In fact, many events have already sold well during the exclusive pre-sale for Friends & Patrons. Become a Friend or Patron this year so you don’t miss out again next year!

 

You won’t want to miss David Williamson’s DREAM HOME or CATHERINE ALCORN or ROB MILLS or DUSTY LIVE IN CONCERT or AN EVENING WITH THE QUEENSLAND BALLET or MELODY BECK & JOHANNA ALLEN or ROB MILLS or JULIAN GARGUILO or THE MAGIC FLUTE! GO ON. BOOK NOW.

 

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There are 3 easy ways for you to secure your festival event tickets:

1. Online

2. Telephone* (07) 5329 6560 – The J Theatre Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm.

* A transaction fee of $3.50 applies to all telephone ticket sales.

3. Counter sales The J Theatre Mon-Fri 9am 5pm.

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For the first time ever, Opera Australia will bring a fully staged production of its much loved Opera, The Magic Flute to the Sunshine Coast.

 

Direct from Melbourne, the professional cast and orchestra complete with an authentic Egyptian tomb set, lighting, costumes and wigs will perform one night only, on Tuesday July 14.

 

“It’s a magical way to kick off our 2015 festival” said an excited and proud Festival Director, Ian Mackellar. …“It couldn’t have happened without the wholehearted support of Opera Australia Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini AM and festival event sponsors, Settler’s Cove and Tourism Noosa.”

 

The logistics surrounding this ‘one performance only event’ equates to Noosa’s own G20 manoeuvres.

 

With no existing stage large enough, a 48 foot Semi will roll into town and transform the Noosa Leisure Centre into a major performance space capable of staging the full production of this Mozart masterpiece in front of 700 people.

 

The ability to pull off such an event, confirms the Noosa Long Weekend Festival as the major regional Arts Festival in the Country.

 

President Johanne Wright said “The collective vision of Opera Australia and our sponsors has enabled us to make this special performance accessible to as many people as possible and this will be reflected in the ticket price.”

 

Lyndon Terracini AM, Artistic Director of Opera Australia said “Opera Australia is thrilled to be bringing Mozart’s The Magic Flute to the Noosa Long Weekend Festival. I’m personally tremendously excited about this event and I know all the cast and of course the legendary director Michael Gow are just as excited as I am. It’s a wonderful production…”

 

10
Feb
15

Star Trek Live In Concert

 

Star Trek Live in Concert

Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Royal International Convention Centre

February 7 2015

 

Reviewed by Michelle Bull

 

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When I was little, we used to have an old wooden cabinet filled with VHS tapes (yes…VHS!) that I would meticulously arrange and rearrange on a weekly basis. This was partly because the cupboard had a rich wood polish smell that I weirdly loved and partly because I prided myself on my Anne of Green Gables and 1950’s musical collections. Sitting beside them, equally as impressive, were a collection of Star Wars and Star Trek videos that, thanks to my brother’s pre-teen ‘outer space phase’, were viewed in equal rotation on Friday and Saturday.

 

So it turned out that growing up amongst all this Sci-Fi I had unknowingly become more of a ‘Trekkie’ than I realised, which is why I jumped at the chance to see Star Trek Live in Concert a showing of the 2009 Science Fiction action film with Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack, performed live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

 

Upon entering the auditorium guided by a young Vulcan acting suspiciously like a Theatre Usher, an other-worldly blue light highlighted the faces of a room filled with the most eclectic crowd I’m sure QSO has seen to date.

 

An enormous screen was suspended behind the stage and as I surveyed the jam-packed audience I noticed a number of Vulcans and Star troopers filing into their seats. Feeling underdressed and resisting the temptation to giggle as the Star Trooper beside me gave a split fingered salute to a fellow officer, I realised this was serious business for some. I. Could. Not. Wait.
As the lights dimmed and a thunderous overture began my heart pounded as the musical and onscreen action began…at warp speed!

 

For those who have yet to experience a concert of this kind, the setup is that the film is shown on the large screen above the Orchestra as they perform the soundtrack, in perfect synchronisation to every moment in the film. That in itself wowed me, as every nuance seemed a perfect fit; my guess is Conductor Nicholas Buc has earned true Trekkie status with his intense study of the film by now!

 

This incredibly immersive experience is like no other as the score itself almost drags you from your seat and onto the Star Ship Enterprise. Filled with suspense and sudden changes of pace and dynamic, QSO handle the challenging score with an intense focus and sophistication. Emotional moments were made all the more tragic and it seems that as opposed to the score existing in the background to the drama it instead propelled the action onscreen and made it all the more powerful.

 

Although initially I gravitated to the more intimate moments, during which beautifully executed and haunting lines allowed the players to showcase their musical sensitivity, the rousing Overture (which drew spontaneous applause) was hard to deny as a standout moment. Especially when a young audience member ahead of me (who couldn’t have been more then 8yrs old), literally sat bouncing in his seat as he alternated between playing ‘air-trombone’ and conducting passionately as the Star Ships battled it out in explosions of light and fire!

 

Queensland Symphony Orchestra have clearly reached new audiences and excited their current patrons with Star Trek Live in Concert. I do hope the season returns to Brisbane as I am sure there are more Trekkies out there who are yet to experience the magic QSO bring to this cult classic.

Live Long and Prosper QSO!

 

01
Oct
14

Saying no and staying home is hard!

 

In lieu of attending Lavazza Italian Film Festival opening night tonight in Brisbane I made our favourite Italian dish at home and asked Poppy to put on Andrea Bocelli loud enough for the whole street to hear.

THIS IS WHY:

 

I love my little family.

 

I love cooking.

 

I love cooking Italian food.

 

I love eating Italian food.

 

There are times when I actually do enjoy cooking and eating at home.

 

I don’t see Sam very often at the moment, although I hear him every morning now from 5am – 9am on HOT91.1! That’s right! In case you missed it (serves you right for not following us on Twitter and Insta), Sam is the Sunshine Coast’s newest brekky radio show host! He joins the lovely and very funny Lynda Edmunds each morning. Together they are #samandedmoforbreakfast & #wakeuptosamandedmo & #thesoundofthecoast  (Sam is actually perfect in this role. He sounds as if it’s what he’s always done. I guess at every party, and in every upbeat moment, indeed he has done!). Luckily, the station has completely rebuilt itself and the music is now awesome too. I mean, it’s actually great! Every hour there is 80s gold! GOLD!

 

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I’m driving to Brisbane tomorrow night for shake & stir’s Wuthering Heights and on Friday night for Harvest Rain’s Spamalot. Chookas, all!

 

Driving to Brisbane gets expensive.

 

Driving to Brisbane gets frustrating.

 

Also, there is always good wine here.

 

I was looking forward to seeing a heap of the Italian films over the next couple of weeks and also, to meeting Nadir Caselli. Well, weren’t you? Isn’t she just gorgeous?! I think I’ve decided not to see anything at all, and to find all of the amazing films on offer this year, eventually, somewhere online.

 

 

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I managed to get out last night with my dear friend, Min (you know Min, of White House Celebrations), to catch an advanced screening of Gone Girl. Directed by David Fincher, with a screenplay by the author, Gillian Flynn, this is one of the best page to screen adaptations I’ve seen. I loved the book and the film stays true to its quirks, its characters, its pace and structure, and its disturbing brilliance. It could be argued that the film is in fact, a little more brilliant! I know. It’s a big call. Perhaps I’ll tell you more (but not too much more!) another time. I still have some theatre reviews to write (I always have theatre reviews to write), a stack of one-act plays to get through, and Term 4 planning to complete, and according to Poppy it’s not even nearly the end of school holidays. We have much more cooking, baking, swimming, playing, singing, dancing, shopping, running, reading, making, gardening and climbing to do!

 

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It’s no wonder that we are all so tired by the end of each day! A no-show-night means, officially, it’s an early night. I’m trying to establish a new routine actually, because being back at school is exhausting enough, and I’m trying to get up earlier to write. With Sam up and at ’em before four, I figure I can get up too, get dressed, light some candles, make some tea and work for two or three hours before Poppy stirs. If I’m feeling super motivated I’ll do some yoga again too.

 

We’ll see how long this lasts…

 

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30
Nov
13

Frankenstein – National Theatre Live at Noosa Arts Theatre

 

Frankenstein (2011)

National Theatre Live

Noosa Arts Theatre

17 – 18 November 2013

 

Reviewed by Josh Kirwan

 

What better way to start a week of work experience in the entertainment industry than to experience some of the world’s best entertainment? Josh was thrilled to have the opportunity on Monday morning to experience Danny Boyle’s magnificent production of Frankenstein, thanks to National Theatre Live, the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to broadcast to the world the best of British theatre.

 

And thanks to Noosa Arts Theatre and Fresh Air Entertainment, we’re able to enjoy the National Theatre Live screenings right at our doorstep! How lucky are we?! If you missed Frankenstein, be sure to book tickets for Hamlet and 50 Years On Stage NOW! And keep an eye out for catch-up/encore screenings in 2014 at Noosa Arts Theatre of Coriolanus, Macbeth and Othello.

 

 

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With the curtains partly drawn to frame the screen, Frankenstein graces the Noosa Arts Theatre with an outstanding “live” performance. For the first time ever, Noosa Arts plays host to Britain’s National Theatre’s live screenings, usually held at Noosa 5 Cinemas. An amazing performance by some of Britain’s leading talents, including Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC TV series Sherlock, and Jonny Lee Miller, star of the CBS series Elementary, perform in Nick Dear’s re-telling of Mary Shelley’s original groundbreaking novel with Danny Boyle sitting in the director’s chair.

 

Cumberbatch and Lee Miller

 

Boyle implemented in this production the unique idea of role reversal, with both Cumberbatch and Miller alternating the roles of Dr Victor Frankenstein and The Creature. In an interview he mentioned that he did this so that both actors would have an idea about what drives the other character. However the down side to this tactic is that I am insanely disappointed that I was unable to see the roles switched.

 

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After the screening (with Cumberbatch playing the creature), a gentleman who had seen the other version the night before, explained that The Creature played by Miller was a much harsher character. Respected critic, Michael Billington stated, “Miller’s strength, in contrast, lies in his menace. Stockier than Cumberbatch, his Creature makes you believe in the character’s Satanic impulse and in his capacity for murder”. The gentleman’s statement immediately gave Xanthe a preference towards Cumberbatch’s Creature because (and I whole heartedly agree with her) without the humanity Cumberbatch brings to the role you cannot feel the sympathy for him that makes him a “victim of humanity” throughout the performance.

 

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With Dear’s inspired re-write of the classic story and Boyle’s excellent, direction the performance was bound to be a success, however; the standout element for me was the amazing light display that sat floating above the stage. What had to be hundreds and hundreds of different shaped bulbs all suspended on different lengths of wire would pulse with the brightest light to imitate Frankenstein’s electrifying experiments, and then would sit with just enough illumination to be seen to represent a beautiful night sky. Bruno Poet, Lighting Designer for the production won the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for this work.

 

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Additionally, it is clear that the Set Designer, Mark Tildesley, was familiar with every nook and cranny of the performance space. He obviously knew every little trick that that theatre had up its sleeve and used all of them. The set incorporated a house rising up from out of centre stage, to a little cabin dropping out from the ceiling above, to a steam train rolling out on tracks to the front of the audience. Absolutely spectacular.

 

We are so very lucky to be able to see work of such calibre here on the Sunshine Coast.

 

With the nearest big name theatres being in Brisbane it means if we want to watch a high standard performance we usually make the hour-long drive to QPAC, The Powerhouse or La Boite, which not everyone can do. No offense to the community theatre on the Sunshine Coast, but unfortunately not everyone wants to put in the hard yards and produce high quality performances. Most people are just in it for the laughs and to have a good time, which is all well and good but it means that much of the coast isn’t producing top quality shows. This means that an opportunity to view such amazing work should be grabbed by anyone who is even remotely interested in some outstanding entertainment.

 

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Last weekend we saw the five-star Frankenstein performance. Tomorrow (Sunday December 1) at 6:30pm and Monday December 2 at 10:30am we have the opportunity to experience Hamlet starring Rory Kinnear and directed by Nicholas Hytner, I urge anyone and everyone to go and see it. Even if you have no interest in theatre, I guarantee that something on that stage will make you fall in love with the magic of the theatre. But if four hours of Hamlet doesn’t pique your interest, on Sunday December 8 at 6:30pm and Monday December 9 at 10:30am National Theatre’s 50 Years On Stage is screening.

 

This is a celebration of their last 50 years of performance and will feature famous actors such as Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more. Any other information you need can be found at the Noosa Arts website. The season continues in 2014 so we can catch up on productions missed, including Othello, Macbeth and Corialanus. If these performances are at all close to the calibre of Frankenstein then we are in for some top quality shows.

 

31
May
13

Noosa Long Weekend Festival 2013: the countdown begins!

The real countdown to the Noosa Long Weekend Festival began today, when I looked at the calendar and realised it’s June tomorrow! I know!

 

Because I’m completely insane overly ambitious and wanting to share the love, I’m going to be at a LOT of fantastic events during the festival. I know! Thanks to the hard-working, awe-inspiring festival team, and especially to Festival Director, Ian Mackellar, I’ll be able to tell you what’s happening when it’s happening. You’re most welcome.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and find us on Facebook to keep up with a whole heap of entertainment (and who we’re with, and what we’re wearing, eating and sipping) during the festival! I can’t wait to tell you more over the next week and a half. If you’ve attended, or if you’ve been involved in the past, you’ll know there is literally something for everyone at Noosa Long Weekend!

I always look forward to seeing David Williamson’s latest work – this year it’s Happiness – and I love the cabaret, and the sublime supper clubs. This year the cabaret line-up includes Meow Meow, Sheridan Harbridge, Tyran Parke, Naomi Price, Bradley McCaw, Amelia Ryan, Tom Sharah and David Pomeranz. And then of course there’s Bobby Fox, Bernadette Robinson, Michael Cormick and Rachael Beck!

If you can get to just one event I guess you’ll fight for Festival Highlights tickets, which is FOUR HOURS of amazing entertainment, food and vino, on the final day of the festival. Of course, once you’re there, you might as well stay for the Australian Cabaret Showcase the same night! And that’s how the festival experience goes – you go to one thing and you can’t leave without seeing another incredible artist…and another, and another. But be quick to book because many events have already sold out!

I only wish I could get to all of the literary, forum and foodie events as well! Where will we see YOU?

 

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More than 85 cultural events make up the Noosa Long Weekend Festival program. Now in its 12th year, the festival takes place over 10 days and nights from Friday June 14 to Sunday June 23 at various venues around Noosa.

 

Festival director Ian Mackellar said the multi-arts genre program, which includes music, cabaret, comedy clubs, dance, theatre, literature, forums, film, workshops, food events, supper clubs and free events, would tempt every cultural taste and cater to every budget.

 

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“The uniqueness of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival is the diversity of the program of world-class acts on offer, all set against the stunning backdrop of Noosa,” Mr Mackellar said.

 

“Whether you are a fan of classical music or kamikaze cabaret, literature or long lunches, cartoonists or tea cosies, drama or documentary films, or anything in between, the festival provides an opportunity to artistically indulge in a broad range of events.

 

“A new addition to our program is the Festival Comedy Club, which will take place over four nights. This should be a sell-out event, and we hope to include it in future festivals.

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“For those who wish to enjoy a variety of acts in the one event, the four-hour Festival Highlights Celebration Concert is a great show held on the last day of the festival, Sunday June 23.”

 

Special festival accommodation packages can be found on the website

 

Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

WIN accommodation and festival tickets here

 

16
May
13

The Dam(n) Project

The Dam(n) Project

 

Queensland Conservatorium Ian Hanger Recital Hall

Thursday 16th May 2013

Encounters: India 

 

ENCOUNTER (noun), a meeting, exchange, a brush or rendezvous, confrontation

 
For seven days in May 2013, from early morning until midnight, the South Bank precinct will be transformed into a bustling parade of contemporary India. At the Nepalese Pavilion, a lone sitar player greets the dawn; an Indian Bazaar evokes the colours and fragrances of a Delhi market on the Forecourt; throughout the parklands and streets, bursts of Bollywood recharge the mind’s battery; the Queensland Conservatorium’s many spaces echo to myriad musical styles from more than 50 concerts and masterclasses.

The Dam(n) Project

The DAM(N) Project is a large-scale interdisciplinary arts project that connects Australian and Indian communities around a common concern: water security. It presents the lives of remote communities in the Narmada Valley of North India, displaced by large-scale dam development securing hydropower for Indian cities. The construction of large dams on the River Narmada in India and its impact on millions of people living in the river valley has become one of the most important social issues in contemporary India.

 

The project was conceived by Jehan Kanga and developed in collaboration with Leah Barclay and Shakthi Sivanathan, all from Australia. Dancers Meghna Nambiar and Sylvester Mardi from Attakalari in India have joined this group.

 

 

Is this India’s greatest planned environmental disaster?

 

The controversy over large dams on the River Narmada has come to symbolise the struggle for a just and equitable society in India. The story is long and complicated and will take a long time to tell. In brief, the Government’s plan is to build 30 large, 135 medium and 3000 small dams to harness the waters of the Narmada and its tributaries. The proponents of the dam claim that this plan would provide large amounts of water and electricity, which are desperately required for the purposes of development.

 

The Dam(n) Project spans two continents and cultures to deliver a powerful message about the clash between a government and its people. Not all its people, just The Untouchables, the lowest of the low; the millions who live in the Narmada Valley region in North India. The Narmada River is India’s fifth largest (and largest west flowing) river, known as the “Life Line” of Madhya Pradesh.

 

On full development, the Narmada has a potential of irrigating over 6 million ha (15 million acres) of land along with a capacity to generate about 3,000 Mega Watt of hydroelectric power.

 

When I checked out the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) website, I tried to determine what they intend to do in order to achieve the following objectives, which are listed on their page:

 

  • to acquire and manage land in the Narmada Valley for the purpose of carrying out engineering works, to provide for human resettlements and the needs for irrigation, flood control and navigation;
  • to shoulder responsibility of human resettlement and rehabilitation in respect of projects in the Narmada Valley, to establish towns and villages and to take all necessary measures to ensure planned settlement and rehabilitation;
  • to advise for the proper conservation and development of forests, wildlife and fisheries in the Narmada Valley.

 

But with regard to Rehabilitation & Resettlement…

 

The page cannot be found 

 

The Dam(n) ProjectThe Dam(n) Project views a twenty-five year struggle through the eyes of outsiders, in loose doco style. We see the land, the immense body of water, and the faces of displaced people, and we gradually see the enormity of the problem. But everything is relative, isn’t it? There are more people who remain unaffected than there are those affected. Think of the Mary Valley, and so many other regions around the world. But people are becoming educated, aware of their rights, able to question the actions taken by those in power and willing to discuss possible solutions.

 

Depending on your perspective, for better or worse, this is progress; it’s an awakening and a growing awareness of human and democratic rights that have been denied an entire section of the population.

 

This year, it will be 25 years since the Narmada Bachao Andolan started questioning, organising and mobilising resistance against destruction of life and livelihood in the Narmada river valley.

 

Sam walked away angry. And I mean, ANGRY. He is usually angered by shows, or elements of shows, of questionable quality. This time, the one who doesn’t necessarily have the patience or the interest to sit in front of a foreign film, walked away from The Dam(n) Project without wanting to “walk away” at all! When I quizzed him on what he intended to DO about it, he wasn’t sure. SOMETHING. Okay. Are we going to India with these guys next time, to continue with a component of the project that will help the people fight their corrupt government and private corporations? MAYBE. Okaaay…

 

We actually might. But in the meantime, we will help to raise awareness, which I think is an undervalued part of the process of major change.

 

The Dam(n) Project

I wasn’t angry after seeing this film, but I was deeply moved. And glad that my daughter had also seen it. She thought a lot of it was “spooky” and “scary” sounding. (And when we talked with Poppy about it, of course she totally got why it sounded scary and why there were trees in the middle of the lake. She said she would be happy to go there to help but how? What would she need to do? Get her fairies to help her get the river flowing again? I told her I’m not sure that’s possible, even with the help of her fairies, but we will find out).

 

Leah’s original soundscape, created in collaboration with the children and adults of 20 displaced groups, is indeed “spooky” and “scary” sometimes, in turns jarring and dreamlike – there are entire sections of the film that are like stepping into somebody else’s dream and there are times when that dream borders on becoming a nightmare – the sounds of voices, of feet stepping across gravel, of water dripping, flowing, cascading… Leah stretches, distorts, layers and alters sound(s) so that quite often we’re immersed in another world entirely, and if the images were not so captivating, I could easily close my eyes and just listen…

 

The Dam(n) Project

But because we are visual beings, the images are a vital part of the experience. Footage of children singing, smiling and clapping together is slowed and blurred while their voices carry on at speed. Two figures – a male and a female, together and apart – dancing on a boat, on gravel, on the concrete wall of the dam, moving fluidly and presenting, in all its simplicity, the past, present and future of the place.  A female dancer breathing, turning, rising and exploring postures of the heart chakra and the sacred chakra, and the changed space around her, on the concrete surface above the dam. A landowner explaining the dilemma the dam has caused for generations of his family and neighbours. We watch him, animated and unrelenting, in triplicate across the screen, a projection screen set high, halved and shaped to look, appropriately, almost like a speech bubble. This little film has a lot to say.

 

These are real stories, rarely told, and it’s because of the passion, dedication, and creative drive of artists and humanitarians like Leah Barclay, Jehan Kanga and Shakthi Sivanathan that they reach us.

 

The next opportunity to get a glimpse of the latest stage of The Dam(n) Project – and you should – comes with the Balance-Unbalance International Conference and Floating Land at the end of the month.