Monday, September 19, 2005

Royal Melbourne Show / Little Oberon / Various 

Royal Melbourne Show

I'm having this week off and today we went to the Melbourne Show. It felt overdue as I haven't been since H was a baby, and J and L had never been so it was all new to them.

Interestingly, not much had changed since I was a kid, which is comforting in a way, although the names of things are mostly different (ie: no more Hall of Manufacturers). We spent time looking at all the agricultural and craft pavilions, which are the heart of the Show, in addition to showbags, games and rides. We saw horses, cattle, poultry, pets of various sorts, even miniature ponies, alpacas, rabbits and donkeys, but no pigs this year... not one!

On the showbags, we'd done our homework in advance, looking at guides to decide which main showbags to purchase, and I'd set a budget (which we stuck to pretty much), though it is expensive. It was gratifying to see that the Total Girl showbag included the latest (September) issue, featuring my Rock 'N' Roll Fairies debut!

Little Oberon

I watched this Australian telemovie last night and thought it was very enjoyable, with a lot of content and style that's really needed in local TV at the moment - a courageous move, all in all. I watched it because it was filmed mostly in one of my favourite haunts, Marysville (while I could easily tell the difference between the Marysville and Macedon sequences, I don't think it was readily apparent).

This film had traces of The Shipping News in its sense of an isolated mysterious (and doomed) house as the main setting. There was also another, more contemporary, theme: the "who's my father?" of other recent productions (including the The Abba Musical :)). Actually, I liked the way this last question was answered: light-handedly, by incident and observation - the sign of a writer and director who trust their audience.

The mythological elements - incorporating Norman Lindsayesque Dionyssian frolickers and Pan himself, along with Wicca - did rather disregard any indigenous heritage and suffered a little from the usual discomfort these transplanted mythologies feel - but this didn't detract.

While this telemovie may be the pilot to a TV series, it was essentially complete in itself, and I almost hope it doesn't become a series, as that has the potential to diminish what was shown here. Most impressive of all was Brittany Byrnes, the haunted granddaughter central to the story.


Waiting in the mailbox when we got home today were my copy of Heather Dale's recent CD, The Road to Santiago, and Bobby .N's new 40 page comic, Withheld. I haven't had a chance to listen to the CD yet, but the comic is like a short graphic novel and everything I would expect from Bluetoaster - powerful and showing real mastery of the medium, but also disturbingly dark and grim.

It's nice to have a week away from work. While it's my one chance to take time off for a while, I've been called in for a job interview on Wednesday - just my luck :).

I don't know if I'll do a picture for Illustration Friday this week. "Escape" is a great theme, but I want for inspiration and am busy with the next Rock 'N' Roll Fairies and Moth & Tanuki episodes, along with a short piece for an anthro anthology.

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