What’s Cool and Unusual – 7th January 2009

i think i’ve been doing this list almost every week for a couple of years now.  let me know if you’re finding the information useful or if you think there are things i’m missing that should be included.  note that this list will not generally mention shows in regular pub/club spaces or things which are advertised in drum media etc.  the list costs me about 50 bucks a year to maintain at the moment (plus all the time i invest in putting it together each week) so if you’d like to help me out financially in some way then have a browse through my distro list and order a cd or two!  list here: http://www.tenzenmen.com/distro/TZM_distro.shtml.

a lot of the warehouse spaces have become unavailable due to pressure from police and councils but i’m sure new spaces will be become available over time.  looking forward to another great year in 2009!



January 3rd – 13th
Blank_Space Gallery
374 Crown St, Surry Hills

site has links to info on the films

Seen and Heard is a festival focused on the works in film by women in response to long-lasting prejudices against women in the film industry. While there are as many women studying film as there are men, women continually have been an underdog in cinema production.

In its first year, audiences are invited to bear witness to the extraordinary visions of Indigenous and white Australian filmmakers, exploring race relations in Australia, gender, sexuality and class politics, disability and ability.

The festival is a free, not-for-profit event and will feature afternoon teas and evening screenings throughout early January.


The Seen and Heard Festival features more than 25 titles with more films to be announced.

Wednesday 7/1/09
Rethinking Ability: films centered on “ability” and “disability” screening from 8pm featuring White Sound, the films of Jessica Tyrrell and Unlocked

Thursday 8/1/09
Scarlett Productions: Films Produced by Kath Shelper – featuring six shorts all directed by women, produced by Shelper, about and by Indigenous Australians

Friday 9/1/09
Grind Girls and Love Refugees – screening from 8pm

Saturday 10/1/09
Afternoon Tea: Call Me Mum – directed by Margot Nash; written by Kathleen Mary Fallon; produced by Michael McMahon – screening from 3pm
Evening Screening: Rethinking Ability: films centered on “ability” and “disability” screening from 8pm featuring White Sound, the films of Jessica Tyrrell and Unlock

Sunday 11/1/09
Afternoon Tea: The Films of Jennifer Cox from 3pm
Evening Screening: Call Me Mum – directed by Margot Nash; written by Kathleen Mary Fallon; produced by Michael McMahon – feature screening from 8pm

Monday 12/1/09
Women and Work – screening from 8pm

Tuesday 13/1/09
CLOSING NIGHT: Come Home – Bird, Dugong and Playground – screening from 8pm

Why a festival of work by women?
Commercial cinema has a long history of having been a male dominated industry. Films that have dominated the mainstream were action films with male leads (need we list James Bond, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon?), comedies with male leads, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Shaun of the Dead, dramas with male leads, such as L.A. Confidential, Saving Private Ryan and Fight Club, have also dominated the choices of the movie-going public, leaving women-directed films a lesser-known, close to extinct choice.

The modern film industry, however, is undergoing a dramatic change. Audiences now are more often making the choice to see arthouse films and independent cinema, such as Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Babel, and The Lives of Others, and the media attention given to these films continues to expand.

With this shift in the audience’s choice to see “decent” films, rather than films of somewhat thinner substance, there is no reason why women filmmakers should be ignored. In spite of the great depths filmmakers are currently exploring and audiences are embracing, there is a seemingly undying fear that women directors make films about women’s themes.

Just when audiences started to think that they were finally no longer being underestimated, women directors and cinematographers still go without widespread attention, and most importantly, work, because of the desire for capital “women’s themes” do not make money in the movie business.

The film industry shuts out both women filmmakers and audiences. Making just more than half the population, there are huge numbers of women who belong to at least one. The problem is not a lack of women who wish to work as filmmakers: the numbers of film school graduates are evenly male and female. Despite this, only 4% of directors are women.

In the history of the Academy Awards, only three women have been nominated for Best Director (none of them have won). Sofia Coppola was the last woman to be nominated, in 2003, for Lost in Translation. Prior to this, Jane Campion was nominated in 1993 for The Piano. The third, and the first woman ever to be nominated, was Lina Wertmuller in 1976 for her film Seven Beauties. There has never been an Academy Award nomination for a woman cinematographer.

The issue should not be the concern of filmmakers alone, audiences are also at the receiving end of the problem. To release films which feature “women’s themes” may be believed to shut male audiences out, with films heavily featuring men’s themes disguised as “people themes”.


fri 9

Serial Space
33 Wellington St, Chippendale

Ghost of 29 megacycles (Perth)


sun 11

Protest the Lennon Bros Circus (they use animals- primates, lions, etc. – http://www.animalcircuses.com/ for more info). 

Protest this Sunday 11th January at 9am in Gosford (on the NSW Central Coast).

Meet at 9am between the circus and the Central Coast Leagues Club, Dane Drive, Gosford Waterfront. We’ll begin protesting at 9.15am until about 11am (the show begins at 10.30am).

It’s a short walk from Gosford station…

(Or email jac at jacqueline@****.org.au and she can drive you there and back.)


sun 11

Bohemian Grove
L2/68 Sophia St, Surry Hills
$10 7pm


*The Ghost of 29 Megacycles* (WA) is a performance art collective performing loosely composed dronescape scores to visual film loops. After touring Australia in June 2008, The Ghost of 29 Megacycles returns to Sydney and Melbourne to play 3 special intimate shows.

*Morning Stalker* began in 2005 as a solo home-recording project for Morgan McKellar, focusing on semi-improvised ambient noise/drone using heavily effected guitar, keys, and vocals. Since then Morgan has recruited two fellow Underlapper members Marc Chomicki (drums) and Simon Oh (bass clarinet and keys) to fill out the sound, and well…make it more fun really.

Bohemian Grove performances are 6:30pm doors for a 7pm start each Sunday (unless otherwise advised). The cover is $10 /  donation. Please feel freeto invite your friends to come and/or join the mailing list, but we ask that nothing be posted on the web for the authorities to find (they are squares).
Support live music!


wed 14

la campana
53-55 liverpool st, sydney
$10 8pm

Eugene Chadbourne, SUZANNE GRAE & THE KATIES (MELB), Crab Smasher

DJ Smallcock will play other peoples music between sets

++  i’ll either be at these events or wishing i was there  ++

I received these email replies (amongst others) to this week’s list which reminded me exactly why I worked hard on preparing this list every week:

Hi Shaun!
I meant to email you this week, so funny you should mention this, I LOVE your email, granted i don’t get along to everything I’d like to, but I always find it so interesting and comforting to know Sydney has such an amazing, diverse alternative culture, and thankyou so much for keeping me in the know!

Hi Shaun,
I find the list very useful and have discovered lots of places and bands I would otherwise have never known about. Highlights so far have been Heehaw, Maxwell Stone, various performances at the experimental place in Chippendale and some fusion thing with two bass players at the Spanish place. I’d stopped going to see live music years ago but the list has brought it back for me. It’s music for the right reasons.

Hey Shaun!  I’ve never met you but I’m pretty sure I know who you are from a gig at the Pitz a few years ago when one of the bands pointed at someone called Shaun and said thanks for helping them out.

Anyway, in response to your question, yep, I most definitely find your weekly updates useful and attend events from it all the time!  I have no idea how I’d hear about gigs at Maggotville etc otherwise!  Most recently some friends and I went down to two of the Gallucci rehearsals at The Place to Be at the end of last year (2008).  Again something I wouldn’t have been able to do had it not been for you getting the word out!  I first saw those guys at the Minutemen doco thing at China Heights in 2005 but hadn’t seen them play since maybe 2007, so it was great to get your news and see them put on some great sets.  I spoke to Tim on both occasions, the upcoming shows with Joe Lally sound cool too.

So yes, thanks a lot for your efforts!  I’ve bought stuff off your list previously but its been a while so i’ll have a look now!


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