Naked and spectacular

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The Departed [2006] by Martin Scorsese

I don't understand how there can be near-unanimous acclaim for this film. Is it because Martin Scorsese and his renowned cast can do no wrong? Who can question the work of three-time Academy Award winning actor and legend Jack Nicholson? He is one of the best actors of his generation and of course when his fellow actors were promoting the film they all spoken about how much of a privilege it was to work with him. Is it difficult to notice that he can't actually act anymore; that he merely caricatures himself? Maybe he destroyed himself with playing The Joker in Batman (1989) for which he was given a percentage of the profits and made about $60 million dollars for one of the worst performances from a great actor in the history of cinema. His performance in The Departed was barely more restrained than The Joker. His performance is like a cartoon and utterly unconvincing as a real human being, despite being surrounded by grounded, effective performances. This makes sense discovering that he was given free-reign on set to improvise and ham it up, his director trusting that he is still a great artist, or simply too afraid to question him. Despite Scorsese's definite competence, Nicholson is unrestrained and detrimental.


Medusa - theatre review

Circa Theatre, Wellington
21 September - 6 October 2018

How to commend an exciting and stimulating piece of theatre without giving away its secrets?  Yes, there are myriad secrets lurking in the room behind the curtain at the Circa Theatre on Wellington's waterfront.  A box of snakes will be opened in front of you and you will marvel at how realistic those snakes are and how much effort must have gone into making them.  You will see three women with their snakes out.  They will confront you, look at you, stare at you, present in their eyes, present in their flesh.

This is a surprising and delightful work of performance art /slash/ sonic expression /slash/ anti-theatre.  It is devised and performed by three artists with intelligence, integrity, humour, technology and genuine solid earth-flesh.  It is a fuck you to Freud, Joseph Campbell and persistent Greco-Roman patriarchal cultural forms.  It is a fuck yes to the audience and our diverse perspectives.  It is a feminine perspective, a decolonisation of structure and meaning.  It may not make sense, but it was certainly reverberating in my body as I wandered out into the night.

It was a privilege to be sitting in the centre of the front row at the preview performance, knowing that the opening night is already sold out.  I got it raw and real and right in front of me and I had the majestic monsters' eyes locked right into mine.  I felt locked into my seat, though we were twice invited to leave.

I encourage you to attend this show if you want to see some edgy, marginal, calmly shocking, smart and funny theatre-ish performance art that is full-power and exemplifies Women's Theatre Festival's acronym: WTF!

Created by Nisha Madhan, Julia Croft and Virginia Frankovich.