What I saw in December 2009

Photoblog recycle from Monthly Archives.

Christmas Day South Sydney Uniting Church

Posted on December 26, 2009 by Neil

Distinguished guests outside the church before the service.

The Dalai Lama is in town

Posted on December 2, 2009 by Neil

Which may explain this sighting in Belmore Park yesterday.

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See Dalai Lama Encouraged by Upcoming UN Climate Change Summit.

Eddy Avenue, Central Station

Posted on December 3, 2009 by Neil

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Not (I hope) a creepy stalker pic

Posted on December 5, 2009 by Neil

I avoid celebrity shots, but I found this one taken through my window the other day speaks volumes about the character of the famous Australian theatre director in the centre of the frame, so I though I’d share it.

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December theme: waiting – a four pic post

Posted on December 7, 2009 by Neil

I was caught in the act yesterday. (Thanks, James O’Brien. Love your Little Young Street shots.)

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Surry Hills Village shopping mall

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Cleveland Street bus stop

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Morning walker: Crown Street

Posted on December 17, 2009 by Neil

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Three more Wollongong Library videos

Having returned the three I wrote about yesterday, I now have a rather different selection. The first is a movie I had never heard of, though it was made as recently as 2014 and featured in Sundance 2014. Rotten Tomatoes gives a mixed verdict. I shall wait and see.

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The movie is Rudderless.

Billy Crudup plays Sam, a former high-profile advertising executive whose life is torn apart by the sudden death of his son. Living off the grid on a docked sailboat, he wastes away his days while drowning his pain in alcohol. When Sam discovers a box filled with his son’s demo tapes and lyrics, his own child’s musical talent is a revelation for him, a grieving father who felt he’d been absent from his son’s life. Communing with his deceased son’s dashed dreams, Sam learns each song and eventually musters the will to perform one at a local bar. When Quentin (Anton Yelchin), a young musician in the audience, is captivated by the song, the unlikely duo forms a rock band that becomes surprisingly popular and revitalizes both of their lives.

Fred Topel’s Sundance 2014 Review: Rudderless enthuses:

As director, William H. Macy must have learned from Paul Thomas Anderson because he creates dynamic scenes and camera moves, from the media swarm in the immediate aftermath of Josh’s death, to a montage of performances in which one fluid shot cuts into the next. Wow.

“Wow” is a what I was thinking throughout Rudderless. Wow that the screenplay by Macy, Jeff Robison and Casey Twenter dealt with tragedy in such a classy way, expanded on grief to make it constructive and balanced the fun and heart with sensitivity. Wow that a simple story about music and humanity looked so elegant. Wow that the songs made me happy even though I knew they came from a sad place. Wow that both the opening and closing night selections of Sundance were such powerful films. Just wow.

Next is Australian miniseries Waterfront (1984). Yes, Jack Thompson.

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Set in late 1920s Melbourne, WATERFRONT begins with the Waterside Workers’ Union refusing to abide by the award-conditions handed down with the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. The waterfronts of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne are effectively shut down. Nationalist Party Prime Minister, Stanley Bruce, authorizes legislation permitting the employment of non-union labour on the wharves and the shipping bosses respond by hiring newly arrived Italian immigrants desperate for work. These ‘scabs’ face expected bitter resentment by the Union as well as shameful and overt racial intimidation and abuse…

There is a Wollongong connection in that the screenplay is by Mac Gudgeon; see my June 2015 post The Secret River revisited.

The Secret River is already listed on the International Movie Database with a ranking of 8.9/10 so far.

Looking at the scriptwriters one finds a Wollongong connection. The writers are Kate Grenville herself, Jan Sardi, and Mac Gudgeon who was born in Wollongong. Indeed when I arrived to teach in 1970 Mac Gudgeon and his father were quite famous. Mac Gudgeon Senior celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014.

Finally, Redfern Now: Promise Me (2015).

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I have seen this before but look forward to seeing it again. See Redfern Now: Promise Me review – final, unsettling showing from a superb cast — 4/5 stars.

…True to the depth of the series, Promise Me is uninterested in simple notions of right or wrong, and sees injustices in human behaviour largely as a result of lack of perspective.

Redfern Now stands distinct from other productions in part because it focuses on Aboriginal stories in suburban rather than rural and remote locations, where they are traditionally represented in film and TV. But it is the film-makers’ ongoing ability to recalibrate dramatic conflict as a means of pursuing consequence rather than resolution that plays a larger part in what makes it one of the defining Australian dramas since the turn of the century…

Related: my post Redfern Now and my own nostalgia.

Slim Dusty, Duncan and WestConnex

WestConnex is a motorway scheme currently under construction in Sydney. It hasn’t been unopposed. See WestCONnex Action Group. In November 2014 an iconic St Peters pub was threatened by the project.

A St Peters pub immortalised in a song faces an uncertain future because of motorway plans that will remove homes.

Like to have a beer with Duncan? Perhaps don’t drink at the Town And Country.

The St Peters pub, immortalised in the Slim Dusty song Duncan, faces an uncertain future because of the government’s – and Roads Minister Duncan Gay’s – plan for the WestConnex motorway

St Peters residents gathered at the hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday after authorities door-knocked the neighbourhood to say about 80 homes around the pub would be acquired for widened roads, near where a six-lane motorway is planned to emerge in 2019.

Some were distraught on hearing their homes could be acquired. Others were incredulous as they tried to comprehend how congested local roads could accommodate traffic from a new motorway linking St Peters with Sydney’s south-west…

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The Town & Country pub in 2009: from the pub’s website

The famous Slim Dusty song came up in conversation yesterday. I vaguely remembered the WestConnex issue but only vaguely.

I love to have a beer with Duncan;
I love to have a beer with Dunc.
We drink in moderation,
And we never ever ever get rolling drunk.
We drink at the Town & Country
Where the atmosphere is great—
I love to have a beer with Duncan
Cos Duncan’s me mate.

There is a more recent story: Legal row leaves famous Town and Country pub with no beer – 2 October 2016.

Thirty-five years ago, the whole of Australia was singing along with Slim Dusty that they’d love to have a beer with Duncan at the Town and Country, because he’s a mate and the atmosphere of the pub is great. Sadly, no more.

The ambience of the legendary Sydney hotel immortalised in the hit song has now turned decidedly ugly, with the new owner suing the previous owner in the NSW Supreme Court in an altercation over the premises’ liquor licence.

And the Town and Country Hotel at St Peters, having fought off the threat from an extension to the WestConnex that once looked likely to give its last orders, has its doors closed once more while the court battle takes place, now becoming the embodiment of Slim Dusty’s other huge hit, Pub With No Beer.

‘‘That’s a real shame,’’ says Pat Alexander, the 77-year-old songwriter who penned the 1981 chart-topping Duncan that put country music icon Slim Dusty on TV’s Countdown for a solid five weeks and the Town and Country into the stuff of Australian legend…

What I saw in October 2009

Recycle from My Sydney Photoblog.

Devonshire Street Sunday – blue gumboots

Posted on October 5, 2009 by Neil

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Cyril’s in Hay Street

Posted on October 11, 2009 by Neil

A standout Middle European deli in the midst of the Chinatown area.

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Cyril passed away in 2015.

Walking the dog – Taylor Square 15 October 9.30 am

Posted on October 17, 2009 by Neil

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Spring in Haymarket: joy!

Posted on October 25, 2009 by Neil

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Aunty Beryl and the Yaama Dhiyaan Hospitality Training College Darlington

Posted on October 26, 2009 by Neil

“Aunty” is a term of respect for an Aboriginal elder. I interviewed Aunty Beryl last week for the South Sydney Herald. Hers is an inspiring story.

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Jacaranda at Central Station

Posted on October 30, 2009 by Neil

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What I saw in September 2009

Rebadging my “photoblog recycles”. These were originally on Neil’s Modest Photo Blog.

Go the Bunnies!

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Neil

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And they went well too until an incident at a Surry Hills pub rather spoiled things.

Sydney’s diversity

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Neil

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Entertainment – Circular Quay Sydney last night 1

Posted on September 9, 2009 by Neil

The sound of drumming attracted me as I walked towards the Opera House en route to Aida.

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It’s spring in Surry Hills again 1

Posted on September 8, 2009 by Neil

As you can see by people out and about in Devonshire Street on Sunday. Mind you, we had a record warm winter so who knows what summer will bring…

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East Redfern: M’s orchid 1

Posted on September 5, 2009 by Neil

On a balcony overlooking South Dowling Street.

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