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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Behind the Candelabra

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Elvis has Left the Building

My dog died. I haven’t been able to write about it until now. It was a month ago, and he was old, but it was still unexpected, and it leaves you feeling a bit raw.

Interview with Bob Vegas

The glorious Bob Downe is back with a brand new show: Viva Bob Vegas! at the Brunswick Picture House. He gave Seven the Downe low…

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Oceans 15 triumphant return

The Ocean Shores Aquatics team have returned home with some great results after a month-long stint at various State...

Michael Douglas took on an enormously tough assignment when accepting the part of Liberace. How do you portray a larger-than-life celebrity whose career was built on excess without giving the impression that you are acting over the top? He succeeds admirably, managing to be as camp as a row of tents without resorting at any point to a limp wrist. Matt Damon as Scott, his live-in lover of six years, brings to the character his usual woodchuck earnestness, but he too, miraculously boyish-looking in the early stages, is totally convincing, particularly when the men have their spats.

What is hardest to get your head around – remembering that it was as recent as 1987 that Liberace died from complications arising from the AIDS virus, but that society’s mores have moved on rapidly since the famous piano player was at his peak – is that any of his doting fans could for one minute have believed that Liberace was not gay. His manager worked tirelessly to convince people that he was merely an eccentric dresser who had not yet found the right woman. As elephants in the room go, it’s as strange as a shock-jock radio bully hiding his closet-dwelling homosexuality from his numbskull listeners. Whatever – this is an extremely easy movie to be drawn into, thanks entirely to the performances and lavish art direction, but it has a curious emptiness. Hardly anything happens.

Scott, a pretty face from Wisconsin, is introduced to Lee, Lee has him move into his Las Vegas palazzo and they share a relationship that is in the beginning passionate, then merely intimate and ultimately, as Scott falls into drug addiction, destructive.

Director Steven Soderbergh is sympathetic to both of his subjects without delving very deeply into what shaped their personalities. Liberace might as easily have been a baseballer for any emphasis that is placed on his music, but maybe he was really like that – just all bling. Rob Lowe’s reptilian plastic surgeon will make your blood run cold.

Splendidly trite.

John Campbell

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Power outage in Byron Shire

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Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

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