The Week That Was
National Youth Week 2006.
By James WF Roberts
Hear I am, surrounded by Skateboarders, (Skegs) Hip Hop Artists, Death/Thrash Metal bands and Beep boxers, and I am loving it. So far this is the final event for me in this marathon week of activities for the Youth of Bendigo and it has been an eventful and very enjoyable.
The week long festivities began with the RAW ARTS Awards; which is specifically designed for young and emerging artists in Bendigo. It caters for three disciplines, Visual Art, Performance Art and Literature; however once again there was no representative from Bendigo’s quite large and talented Young Literary community.
I caught up with Krystal Gilmour, she achieved a highly commended in the Visual Art discipline, specializing in Photography. Her photograph ‘Untitled’ is a stark and confronting piece. “My work is on a scale property, it is significant human scale, a representative tool creating a world where everything is off kilter”.
“Krystal’s photograph is classed as a Type C photograph; it has very strong symbolic references to vulnerability, social pressure and breakdown, it is very thoughtful and extremely thought provoking, and it is very well resolved”. Said Julie Millowick, Senior Lecturer in Photography, and Lecturer in Charge of Photojournalism.
Karen Anett Thomas, (who successfully avoided in talking to me heehee); won with the work ‘A Day in February’; “Because of the way Karen has broken up the surface of the painting and the layering of the paint so although it appears rough, it is a very resolved piece of work and the surface has this wonderfully diverse texturing it is gritty and jagged and a look of clay about it this landscape is earthy and looks like earth, the inclusion of text has strong references to wider social implications”, Julie went on to say.
“The landscape has a strong Central Victorian feel to it. The harshness of the drought is particularly evident and the heat of a day in February is palpable”. `
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On the Thursday, there was a special fundraiser in aide of the Homeless Youth of Bendigo. A spokesperson from Saint Luke’s was in attendance. I do not feel it is appropriate to delve to much on to that issue as this article is quite big enough without layering on a contentious issue to thickly. Over 100,000 young people in Australia are homeless, that is roughly the population of Bendigo, and incidentally Bendigo makes up about 2% of that 100,000 people—that is alarmingly high. The fundraiser was held at the Star Cinema at the Eaglehawk town hall. The film shown was the relatively new film Casanova; a partially (very partially true, I think they got the names of the characters right) true story about lies told, virtue lost and love found.
If you approach this film looking for history or biography, you will be sadly disappointed. This film is a superbly written farce, but lacks insight into what drives the characters. True it is enacted by a very talented cast, but I felt Ledger was out of his depth in a period piece without Mel Gibson, over all the supporting cast showed their truly amazing abilities of comedic acting. The set up is engaging from the beginning, with false identities, scheming and Machiavelli manipulation of the local authorities and clergymen.
The film is saved however, I believe by the addition of two very underrated yet supremely talented scene—stealers, Oliver Platt and Jeremy Irons. One of the most entertaining scenes in the film is a comic bit involving Oliver Platt as he proudly displays his portrait. Oliver Platt is able to elicit a huge laugh without saying a word and using any broad gesture–just a kind of comic deflation. Platt is an old hand at comedy and he knows the rules of comedy; all great comedy has the hint of tragedy.
And Jeremy Irons as the grand Inquisitor was equally delightful, as he investigates heresy with the determination and insight of an Inspector Clouseau.
The action (and comedy) moves briskly, and appropriately for a farce, there is a come-from-nowhere ending that was as unbelievable as it was un-funny. But the ending does not disappoint if you believe what they have done to one of the most celebrated and also tragic ‘Romantic figures of all time’.
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On the Friday night at B-Central, there was it’s knock-out style games, break-dancing, yoga, sumo-wrestling and the best type of pizza in the world—free! From all reports everyone had a great time, no matter if they were aged from 5-50.
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It’s been a long hard day. I am sitting back with a coke in one hand a hamburger in the other; marvelling at all I have seen, those young kids were all amazing, their ollies, their jumps, them all flying thru the air, it was truly remarkable. The bands, the rappers, I would call them rappers, probably something new now; PTB, Liability of my own, Heaven’s Lost, Blank Expression, UUF and the Mic Addicts were brilliant. Not my kind of music I must say but what they did with their allotted time and audience participation was a true feather in the cap of Toxic Aroma.
Jo Mc Gann, from the Youth Development Office for the Bendigo City Council is here next to me, beaming with pride and enthusiasm.
“It’s been really successful. All the events were really well attended and the feed back so far from the young people has been really, really positive. It’s been publicized really well. And next year we can build on what we have done this year. The young people of Bendigo should be proud, they organize it all themselves, and we consolidate with them”.
So as I head home for a kip before my mate’s party, I start to think, where was this stuff when I was kid?