Author Archive: robertwmonk

Sand

Sand with a texture like wine

Spills within the glass.

Never escaping the confines of

Pretty distracting boundaries.

Passing tides mark seasons;

Engagements, things to be done.

In the glass, in the glass,

Bearing coarse fruit and reminders

Old Father Time

“Old Father Time is what they called him. I know… well, ‘cos he was a watchmaker and a clock mechanic and had lived and worked in his repair shop for nigh on thirty years. And he definitely looked the part, silvery grey hair falling wild all over his head. Sometimes he’d cover them up with a wide-brimmed hat. A tidily drawn beard had been etched onto his face for as long as anyone could remember. The overall impression he gave off was one of quiet authority and patient calm. Underneath that peaceful exterior however, not all was so tranquil…”

Messages from a Different Dimension

Turmoil and disruption;

A failure to deliver and define

What some still want.

But what that ‘thing’ is

Remains obscured by spin and smoke.

Switching on the set,

Blurry words come fuzzing out

Declaring in oh-so serieux tones

A state of unquantifiable emergency,

And there’s a No-Way-Out fire in these here states, boyo!

For the love of the people,

For the love of the land,

What is this perverted newsflash?

12 hours ago it made no sense.

12 hours from now just as confused.

Creative updates…

…Hallo Hallo…

I realise I’ve left this blog somewhat lonely for a time. Anyway without further ado (is it ever with further ado? Perhaps there are times when a further ado is precisely what is required…) here is an update of my various activities.

I have been writing more over the last year or so. More poetry/lyrics/songs etc. Some of this output has found its way into the lyrics and vocal recordings as part of my work with the electronic collaborations Echo Rescue and Points of Convergence. More material to come from both projects, including video work as soon as I work out how to use my iPhone properly…

Apart from that I am writing short stories.

I have also been trying my hand at some extra (extra as in background extra for film and TV, not just additional) work. As a way to earn a little extra cash and explore parts of Sydney I wouldn’t normally visit, being part of a ‘background’ cast is good fun. I have done a few small/student works to try out a bit of actual acting as well, and hope to do some more.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Back to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starfish review

I really liked this movie. It’s a bit of an indie affair with some art-rock weird stuff on the soundtrack, plus a kind of tripped out 1990’s late night TV vibe about it. Really strong central performance from Virginia Gardner, too.

My review is over at Flickering Myth. Have a read, go seek it out.

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Shingle Bells

Well it’s definitely not Xmas…
But how about some Shingle Bells…
A reactivation of childhood illness,
A waking up of what used to be known.
How many other viruses lay dormant
Dutifully waiting for just the right time?
I like to think I think outside myself
But give the body an itch
And it’ll take a mile…
Shingle Bells, Batman Smells
Robin laid an egg
And when it hatches
The world will change
And become a different place
Repeat… forever and a bit.

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

My review of the Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir is over on Filmink now …

COMMUNIQUE-FAKIR-DHANUSH-AJA

 

Guidelines

Taking out the guide-lines and thinking for some time, I traced and tracked the elements that were clogging up the space. Always going up and down and round and inside-out; this devilry of notation was a job in itself. Here then, are the results of my endeavors:

1) Investigate – what is wrong?

2) Action – the lack of meaning?

3)Process – this is a fleeting thing.

4)Conclusion – it works better without guidelines.

 

 

 

Hail Satan? review

My review of this entertaining and enlightening documentary film Hail Satan? is over at Flickering Myth now.

I do hope it gets a decent international release for outside the US. Anyway, my review is also below…

Hail Satan poster

The division between church and state, and religion and politics, is seen by many as a key cornerstone in the foundation of democracy. When you have government policies and state decisions influenced by religious affiliations, there’s bound to be confusion and room for abuse of power. The need to keep the distinctions between the two concepts absolutely clear is at the heart of this entertaining and provocative documentary.

Focusing on the non-theistic religious and activist group The Satanic Temple (TST) as they strive towards a greater understanding of their work and promotion of advocacy for social justice and religious freedoms, Hail Satan? brings an energetic intelligence to questions of identity and society. Probing far deeper into America’s history of belief and religious freedoms than might have been expected, the film presents TST’s arguments as a pretty rational approach to take.

Central to TST’s modus operandi is the use of high-impact pranks to make a serious political point. Constructing a large scale statue of the deity Baphomet and placing it on the steps of an Oklahoma Government building just next to a Christian monument to the Ten Commandments is a stunt the film hinges on visually.

Hail Satan Bathomet

Pointing out the ridiculousness of a State building effectively promoting Christianity, the action creates real debate and a recognition of  religious freedoms. As the film documents, rather than sharing space with Baphomet, the state is forced to remove the Bible touting marker from the area.

In the production notes, director Penny Lane (Nuts!Our Nixon) admits that she came to the project supposing Satanists to being a bunch of devil-worshiping fanatics intent on doing evil. During the course of the film, she and the audience discover that the group have been successful mainly because they connect people to the source of community without undue fear of judgement.

The main guide through this amusingly chaotic tale of protest and activism is the group’s co-founder and spokesperson Lucien Greaves. Greaves comes across as someone fond of a dark joke, while also being completely sincere in the TST’s activities. He presents the fundamentals of what Satanism means to him with a discussion of the groups’s Seven Tenets; a thoroughly modern and socially conscious set of directives to consider.

A wickedly entertaining and memorable feature doc, Hail Satan? is a smart look at the nature of belief and how long held notions can be challenged and, as was the case with the filmmaker and probably many audiences, completely reversed.

Magnolia Pictures will release Hail Satan? in theaters on April 17th, 2019 (NY) and April 19th, 2019 (LA).

 

The Happy Prince – Oscar Wilde’s last days…

My review of The Happy Prince – a dramatisation of Oscar Wilde’s last few years from Rupert Everett is at Filmink and below. . .

Rupert Everett takes centre stage in a role he was born to play, in this lustrous dramatisation of the last days of Oscar Wilde. Everett scripted and stars in his directorial debut, and clearly has much invested in it. He’s certainly had preparation for the role, having played the poet and playwright in the 2012 British play, The Judas Kiss. Happily for him, and the audience, The Happy Prince doesn’t disappoint.

The film focuses on Wilde’s exiled life in France and Italy after serving a prison term for ‘gross indecency’; a charge brought about by the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde’s paramour Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas (Colin Morgan). Wilde never fully recovered from his time in prison, either physically or emotionally; his poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, written after his release, calls attention to the grim sights witnessed and heard of, while incarcerated.

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Capturing a dream-like state of memories and regrets, the film begins with the words of the titular Happy Prince, a fable Wilde wrote for children, and in Everett’s film displays the contradictions and unjustness of late 19th Century European life.

Wilde reads from the tale to his two young sons, later kept apart from him by estranged wife Constance (played with a sorrowful, almost ghostly, distance by Emily Watson), and we see a hazy and melancholy vision of London’s street life. The line, “there is no mystery so great as suffering”, serves as an introduction to both the film and the creator’s tormented state of mind.

Wilde, using the alias Sebastian Melmoth, taken from the lead character of Melmoth the Wanderer, a novel by his great-uncle Charles Maturin, wanders through a squalid hand-to-mouth, or drink and drugs to mouth, existence in Paris and Naples. Everett brilliantly displays the pain that Wilde suffered, with constantly animated features shifting from radiant smile to anguished grimace.

The pain is only added to by the mysteries of love. Still besotted with Bosie, despite his dependence on the father who betrayed him to the prehistoric laws of Victorian England, the two spend time together in Naples. It all ends abruptly when Bosie’s family, as well as Constance, who had been sending Wilde a little money, threaten to stop the allowance if the relationship continues.

At the crux of the film is the trio of Wilde, Bosie, and Robert Ross (Edwin Thomas), a friend and lover, and later the agent who cared for Wilde’s literary estate. The jealousies and rivalries between the dashing, vain and ultimately unforgiving Bosie and the loyal and kind Ross are dramatically brought out, particularly at a chaotic dinner drinks meeting between the three in France.

An imagining of Wilde’s dying dreams are the real point of reference at work; the film is literally an account of his last three years, so the events that are factually accurate are entwined with the personal moods and feelings that he may have thought of on his death bed in Paris. This darkly romantic vision is a world away from the entertaining storyteller of a thousand legends, but it is one that it is inextricably linked. Everett does justice to both man and story.