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Byron Shire
March 21, 2023

Behind The Candelabra

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Lismore candidate Alex Rubin

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

Dr Leon Ankersmit looks at mining, and thermal waste incinerators in the Clarence

Dr Leon Ankersmit has stated that he supports the position of no mining in the Clarence catchment but has stopped short of signing the Clarence Catchment Alliance pledge to 'ban mining in the Clarence catchment.

Election 2023 – Tweed: Marc Selan

Marc Selan returned to Australia last year and is running in the seat of Tweed for the Legalise Cannabis Party as he is ‘shocked at how backward we are and is fired up about changing our laws’.

Child protection and DCJ workers ‘feeling abandoned’ in Lismore

The failure of the NSW government to support the most vulnerable people in Lismore and the Northern Rivers a year on from the devastating 2022 floods is being called out.

Labor’s Craig Elliot commits to SSF and keeping old Tweed Hospital site open

Talking state significant farmland (SSF) and the Tweed Hospitals Labor’s Craig Elliot has committed to preserving SSF, free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital (TVH) and keeping the old Tweed Hospital in public hands. 

It flooded the first storey in 2022 – so is a 60-lot development a good idea?

The Richmond Valley Council has been asked to approve a 60 Lot Residential Subdivision on Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater on a floodplain 70 metres from the Richmond River. According to locals, the area flooded extensively during the 2022 flood with many houses across the road from the site being flooded up to and including the first floor.


Michael Douglas took on an enormously tough assignment when accepting the part of Liberace in Behind The Candelabra. 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.

Behind-the-candelabraWhat 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.

matt-damon-michael-douglas-behind-the-candelabra-hboWhatever –  Behind The Candelabra 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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