THE BIFF IS BACK – BIFF 2019 PART I – ‘MIDNIGHT FAMILY’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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BIFF IS BACK! The Brisbane International Film Festival is back for another year and long term readers will recall my affection for it. I volunteered at BIFF in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In 2008 I was down to see over 20 movies and met my future wife on the steps of the Palace Cinema on James Street. We lost a BIFF for a while there but it returned in 2017 where I attended with Karen for the first time Opening Night. I was also on assignment with Scenestr magazine to review Australia Day and then last year I was on assignment for Scenestr on opening night.

This year I was wrapping up a work secondment writing for the Queensland College of Teachers so missed Opening Night and ended up sitting out the first few days of the festival.

 

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New Farm Cinemas foyer after seeing ‘Midnight Family’. Copyright Lloyd Marken.

 

Yet on Wednesday 09OCT2019 at New Farm Cinemas Karen and I attended a 6:15pm session of Midnight Family missing the first few minutes. All up, I have bought tickets to see five films at BIFF 2019 with three of them being docos. I can’t wait to see them all and share with you.

 

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Midnight Family was a great documentary about private ambulance crews in Mexico City. I was lucky enough to have my review published at Weekend Notes which continues on from my first reviews published with them last year being reviews for films I saw BIFF. You can read my review here https://www.weekendnotes.com/midnight-family-film-review-brisbane-international-film-festival-2019/

Weekend Notes are a growing online magazine with a wealth of contributors based out of several cities across the United Kingdom, Australia and New York. Articles are leisure related and can include a wide variety of subjects from rainforest hikes to cultural festivals, from what hot new play is on at your underground theatre to a ultra trendy eatery. Writers are paid for their work based partly on how many views their articles get so please feel free to stop by and show some love.

-Lloyd Marken

 

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I was lucky enough to be on assignment for Scenestr magazine to review the new film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark produced and co-written by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. We were over at Reading Cinemas in Newmarket which have a first rate large cinema.

 

 

 

I will admit horror films are not my forte but I think there are a few admirable qualities in this film even if it remains a little under served by its own ambitions. My review can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-review-20190926 and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO SCHOOL COMMUNITY NOMINEES FOR 2019 TEACHX AWARDS AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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The 2019 TEACHX Awards are to be held on the 23rd of October and will recognise some of the most outstanding teachers working in the profession across Queensland. The event is run by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) who have received over 200 nominations across six categories.

In the lead up to the event, the media arm of QCT is publishing pieces on all the nominees and I have been most fortunate to be placed on secondment in their area to write some of these, all up I wrote 115 pieces.

I have previously posted about the categories Outstanding Contribution to TeachingFor Innovation in Teaching and the category that received the most nominations – Excellence in Beginning to Teach.

The next category is Outstanding Contribution to School Community with 15 nominees of which I wrote about six.

They were Matthew Barber, Thomas McKenna, Tamika Megawatt, Kirsten Mullan, Mitchell Robertson and Joel Ward.

The event is a huge undertaking requiring a lot of work from a group of strong professionals. Like all things done by this team, it is done to recognise some of the great work that teachers are doing and to help elevate the profession. Being called upon to write full time, pieces that support these aims is a dream come true for me.

The people I’m working with are experienced, talented and extremely hard working and I’m doing my best to learn as much as possible from them. Case in point is the design work you see above which was done by one of my colleagues for the event.

Feel free to check them out and comment on what you liked. All 15 have made an extraordinary contribution to bettering the education of students.

-Lloyd Marken

SINCE ALI DIED REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The second week of September this year Karen and I were particularly lucky to be busy attending events for me to review. That Monday night we were in the Brisbane CBD at the Myer Centre for a preview screening of the hilarious Good Boys, Tuesday night we were at QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus to attend Truthmachine playing at the Theatre Republic as part of BrisFest 2019.

We closed out the week Thursday night back at the Theatre Republic to see Since Ali Died by Omar Musa. All of this was on assignment for the amazing Scenestr team. I’m in third year of working for them and I feel very blessed continuing to do this work while I’ve been busy on my secondment with the Queensland College of Teachers.

Also performing as part of the Brisbane Festival was Strut & Fret with their show Blanc de Blanc and comedian Sam Simmons who I was lucky to interview for Scenestr.

Since Ali Dead is for the most part a one-man show from rapper and spoken word poet Omar Musa, son of Malaysian immigrants who grew up in Queanbeyan. A brown Muslim boy who found something to be inspired by and comfortingly familiar in the proud iconic figure of sports and culture.

Afterwards there was a Q&A with Omar who talked about finding the right balance in his work between light and dark, friendly and provocative, funny and heartbreaking.

For me, he got it right and you can read more of my thoughts here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/since-ali-died-review-brisbane-festival-2019-20190913

Karen and I took in our surroundings afterwards at the Theatre Republic which had many different interesting displays which I enjoyed. I grabbed a toasted sandwich at the local bar they had set up and walked up the stairs into an eating area that sat on top of construction scaffolding while local musicians sang beautifully. I’m quite taken how simply spaces can be transformed and little moments can satisfy in big ways.

 

 

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

EXCELLENCE IN BEGINNING TO TEACH NOMINEES FOR 2019 TEACHX AWARDS AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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The 2019 TEACHX Awards are to be held on the 23rd of October and will recognise some of the most outstanding teachers working in the profession across Queensland. The event is run by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) who have received over 200 nominations across six categories.

In the lead up to the event, the media arm of QCT is publishing pieces on all the nominees and I have been most fortunate to be placed on secondment in their area to write some of these.

I have previously posted about the categories Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and For Innovation in Teaching. The next category Excellence in Beginning to Teach received the most nominees with 76 and I wrote pieces on 39 of them.

They are as follows: Ayden-Skye Au Quay, Taryn Allen, Gerard Atzeni, Angela Barkle, Mathew Barling, Victoria Barrett, Peita Bates, Morgan BerryAidan Bosworth, Dylan Bowyer, Nikki Boyd, Jamie Brown, Breye Buckland, Mackenzie Burn, Alana ButcherCaleb Chaves, Ashleigh Fuller, Angela Gibson, Mikayla Giuffrida, Kirra Gold, Carolina Gomez Isaza, Georgia Goodwin, Cherie Grace, Katherine HansonAngela Hendry, Stephanie Holmes, Ashleigh HopkinsDesiree HughesDean Jacobs, Brittany Sauta, Taylah Savins-Harrison, Nicole Schirripa, David Seymour, Susanne Sprungala, Lisa Stewart, Karen TaylorJami Thomas, Matthew Tobin and Jade Travis.

The event is a huge undertaking requiring a lot of planning and work from a talented team. Like all things done by this team, it is done to recognise some of the great work that teachers are doing and to help elevate the profession. Being called upon to write full time, pieces that support these aims is a dream come true for me.

The people I’m working with are experienced, talented and extremely hard working and I’m doing my best to learn as much as possible from them. Case in point is the design work you see above which was done by one of my colleagues for the event.

Feel free to check them out and comment on what you liked. All 76 have made an extraordinary contribution to bettering the education of students.

-Lloyd Marken

TRUTHMACHINE REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I returned to the Brisbane Festival in 2019 following the chance to attend and review Ode to Man in 2018. I was on assignment again for Scenestr magazine and found myself at the Theatre Republic at Kelvin Grove campus of the Queensland University of Technology. I’ve studied and worked at QUT over the years and always find myself a little happy to make the rare trip back.

Truthmachine itself has won awards and acclaim travelling throughout the country and I found lots of positive things to acknowledge in my review but I left a little disappointed. You can read my review here https://scenestr.com.au/arts/truthmachine-review-brisbane-festival-2019-20190911 and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

GOOD BOYS REVIEW AVAILABLE AT SCENESTR

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Part of the fun of being a freelance writer is you grab your opportunities where you can with some unexpected surprises. On assignment for Scenestr, I attended Good Boys which had good talent involved and some funny trailers but I was cautious.

Thankfully Good Boys, primarily the work of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, I really liked a lot. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/good-boys-review-20190910

 

I’m grateful for opportunities I continue to have with Scenestr and really enjoyed the night. We were back at a preview screening in the Myer Centre and this time along with a complimentary glass of wine being offered was a cordial drink in a party cup. Hot dogs wrapped in pastry were dispersed through the crowd too and at this early evening screenings some food before you go in is much appreciated.

Of more importance, the film is one of the best gross out comedies I’ve seen in the past decade and an instant classic. I will be interested to hear what you guys and gals think.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken