peteg's blog - noise

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Met up with Ben and Fritz at Gordons Bay for a snorkel at 9am. It was a bit rough so we relocated to Clovelly, which was also a bit rough. I caught a glimpse of a sizeable female groper and not much else. Afterwards was coffee at the Clovelly kiosk, and even later I had lunch with Ben in Coogee. A beaut day, not too hot, cloud increasing.

Batman

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Tim Burton's effort from 1989. It's not exactly a classic and not a misfire either. Michael Keaton certainly has his moments. Jack Nicholson enjoys himself. Kim Basinger must have been better elsewhere.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Had lunch down at Paris Seafood, a coffee at Little Bay, and walked the freshly rennovated track amongst the saltbush along Malabar Headland National Park (prompted by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald). Some of it is quite pretty. It's roughly 2.6km from south Maroubra to the northern headland of Long Bay, according to the signage at least. There is no shelter for much of it. There's a loop track around the other side of the rifle range, which I only discovered after walking back along the cliffs.

Around 6pm I headed to Gordons Bay for a soak off the beach. Quite pleasant. The sand has moved back up the beach, so at low tide the rocks in the shallows make it a little tricky to get in. Afterwards I ate my dinner on the Coogee headland in the dying light.

Norah Head.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

mrak and Ang are back in Australia for a bit, so I rode up to Norah Head to spend the afternoon with them (and their multitudinous friends). I took the Old Pacific Highway and stopped off at Pie in the Sky at Cowan for a pie and a sausage roll (both in bags, separate bags), and also a coffee (in a proper cup). It's a biker hangout for sure. Traffic was particularly horrible from Gordon to Hornsby, and then not too bad. A long ride in any case.

I met up with mrak at their cabin (and not the shack-enhanced caravan with the same number) at the Tourist Park and went for a swim with him at Soldiers Beach. The surf was reasonably powerful. After poking our heads into the "no wet clothes" establishment above the surf club we headed back to the Rockpool, which was far tamer. The cafe there was closed when we got there (circa 4pm). I was surprised that mrak got cold, given the Michigan winters he's been enduring.

I headed back to the city around 8pm. I grabbed some dinner at a Chinese in The Entrance, which was an entrancing old-school cinema (The Majestic) that I would have gone to if I had more time. Afterwards I headed along the southern edge of the lake to the F3; the traffic was placid and the wind not too strong. I got home around 10:30pm, in time to buy the necessaries for tomorrow's breakfast.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Figuring I wouldn't have time in the evening I snuck down to Coogee in the morning before work for a paddle in the flat surf. Not many people. Afterwards I found my favoured parking spot under the Cahill Expressway was packed for the first time ever. I managed to get away by 6pm and headed for another soak at Gordons Bay in the late evening. The swell was sizeable, with some significant waves at the beach, which was still not very clean. I grabbed some dinner at the Indian on Coogee Bay Road after. The village was chockers.

Lady Bird

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Met up with Dave for some Fat Fish in Annandale; he'd been up to Port Mac for some tango and revving up for yet another move. I was super spaced out and thought I'd parked out the back of the Hyatt when in fact I'd left the yet-nameless CB400 near Erskine St, in the massive double row of bikes somewhat close to Wynyard. That cost me 20 minutes but gained me some exercise.

Afterwards we headed to Palace Cinemas Norton St to see if Dave's magical $8 ticket card still worked, which it did. Cinema 3, four rows from the front. Saoirse Ronan was quite fun, and overall it's a better than the average coming-of-age flick. I wish I hadn't seen the short though as the funniest bits are in that. It somewhat aims for Todd Solondz territory but veers away from serious discomfort. The ending is about as aimless as it must be.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

A late afternoon snorkel off the scuba ramp at Gordons Bay. Three dogs on the ramp itself and loads of human traffic on a very busy super hot summery humid day. Visibility was not great. Some kids thought it a lark to chase the big blue groper in fairly shallow water. Just the one sizeable mottled stingray.

Inglourious Basterds

/noise/movies | Link

Third time around apparently, into the wee hours of Thursday morning after a trying Wednesday. Now #97 in the IMDB top-250. Tarantino tries hard to beat David Lynch at the filmclip thing by having Mélanie Laurent put on her makeup over David Bowie's Putting out fire with gasoline; yeah, we get it.

The Square

/noise/movies | Link

Nominated for a foreign movie Oscar; winner of the Palme d'Or, but what a turkey. The fine art market, even that of Stockholm, so often self-satirises that there is not even a limit to take it to. Swedish director Ruben Östlund tries to modernize or at least hybridize the Dogme tradition with extremely long scenes that too often don't work; the feeling is less the telling awkwardness of a von Trier, a Moodysson or Ricky Gervais and more just blankless. There is the very occasional burst of Swedish comedic timing, but it's all been done before, and it's hard to see what Elizabeth Moss is doing here. The cinematography is sometimes beautiful. The poster is a still from a genuinely uncomfortable scene.

A. O. Scott.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

A somewhat ill-advised mid-evening paddle at Gordons Bay after some thunderstorms late the previous evening. Quite a bit of detritus near the beach, clearer out in the middle of the bay; definitely a time to keep one's head out of the water. Beautiful day and evening. Read a bit more of my book on the Coogee headland, keeping an eye on a large front blowing through around 7pm. It did yield more storms well after dark.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

A mid-morning soak at Coogee beach with a very minor paddle. There weren't many people there on this beautiful day. The water was very clear, with some surf: roughly what I think of as average for this beach.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Busy in the evening so I headed down to the Clovelly carpark for a snorkel off the scuba ramp at Gordons Bay. Of course there was a lady at the end of it throwing a ball for her dog, who didn't seem that interested. I saw the big blue groper and a sizeable female or two, some very large wrasse and blackfish, and some garfish. Visibility was quite good away from the shoreline, and the water temperature is entirely comfortable now. Beautiful day, summery, with some beautiful clouds.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

As usual on a Monday, I work up super-early and decided to have a soak at Gordons Bay before heading to work in the mid morning. Very pleasant, the usual.

Look Back in Anger (1959)

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A Richard Burton segue from 1984, and sometimes just as relentless. There's the odd quite amusing line but Burton's overbearing boorishness and the dodgy sexual politics (middle class English ladies are just hanging for some rough stuff) rob this piece of much power. It has the raw restless energy of the 1960s and all the stymied self-destructive anger of 2016, with the result a similar unsatisfying mess. O'Brien is not so far from here. Also something of a dry run for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and an attempt to beat the Americans at their own beatish, rebellious game.

Molly's Game

/noise/movies | Link

I had hoped to go to one of the $5 sessions at the Palace Cinemas with Dave, but of course those sold out well in advance. Switching to Plan B, we had dinner at Allfine Chinese Cuisine House (35A Ross St in Forest Lodge) and headed over to their Norton St premises for the 9:10pm Cinema 2 session of Molly's Game. $8 each. Dave was on foot after his relocation to Ashfield. It was a day of occasionally mildly serious rain.

This is Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut, and of course he wrote the screenplay for this adaptation as well. Jessica Chastain more-or-less reprises the blank hard driven woman leading role we saw her do in Miss Sloane. Costner plays her father with a blander hardness, successfully but uncreatively. I enjoyed Idris Elba's performance the most. The story suffers from Sorkin's need to deify his leading lady: he needed to go deeper, to complexify her, to wind back the mansplaining. Things go along OK but the climax is a let down.

Manohla Dargis. This isn't very close to His Girl Friday.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Mid-evening soak at Gordons Bay. Saw a stingaree in about half a metre of water quite close to the shore; they cannot possibly be aggressive. A few dogs, some blokes throwing a football along the shoreline. Blue skies, quite warm around lunchtime but mild by the time I got in. Very sleepy. Ate my dinner on the Coogee headland after reading some more of my book.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

Mid-evening soak at Gordons Bay. Hardly anyone there. Just three dogs, one of which has become a regular. Flat, high tide, warm-ish, pleasant. Blue skies for a while. Read my book on the Coogee headland until the sun sunk past the buildings.

/noise/beach/2017-2018 | Link

A carbon copy of yesterday, but with far fewer people and only the one inflatable. Two dogs. I got to Gordons Bay around 5pm after attempting to walk along the Cooks River west of Tempe, and went for a snorkel off the beach. Flat, reasonable visiblity. Loads of stingarees, some in very shallow water, some almost entirely covered in sand. A couple of mid-sized gropers, and some small fry that I couldn't readily identify.

Happy Go Lucky

/noise/movies | Link

A Mike Leigh effort from 2008. For Sally Hawkins who is as motor mouthed as Thewlis was in Naked. Second time around it feels a bit out of time, what with the GFC and Brexit and all. Eddie Marsan works hard to break that shiny happy surface, and I guess those events sadly reflect the dominance of his worldview. The stakes never seem too high though, excepting Marsan's intemperance and a tramp who challenges Poppy's ability to empathise. Alexis Zegerman plays her confidante perfectly.

Jack Rabbit Theatre: Tonsils + Tweezers at the Kings Cross Theatre.

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A freebie from the company, 7:30pm. Second time around at the Kings Cross Theatre. Four players give us a story about bro-hood and being marginalized in high school. As it says on the tin. Notionally we're on a railroad to their ten year reunion. Macbeth is put to very amusing use, especially by alpha schoolboy, now Maccas location scout, James Sweeny. Megan Wilding is the solitary woman in this, and owns every chance she has; her physical comedy was ace. Travis Jeffrey is great as Tonsils, and Hoa Xuande has the most difficult role as the bloke who mostly gets acted upon. The first half was very energetic, but things flagged somewhat in the second. I left wishing Will O'Mahony had more to say, or at least something more pointed.

Jason Blake. Glen Falkenstein.