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Byron Shire
May 18, 2022

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

Brilliant entertainment always in the Byron Shire

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All smiles at Ballina pre-poll

People were queued out the door at the pre-poll booth in Ballina Indoor Sports Centre yesterday, with brightly dressed volunteers and AEC officials offering assistance to voters.

Knitting Nannas say ‘Vote 1 our Planet!’

The Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed visited the Lismore pre-poll yesterday at Southern Cross University to spread a very important message.

Local rum

  Lord Byron Distillery is located right in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, making it super-easy to visit the...

About that insert last week…

Regarding the eight page pamphlet inserted into last week’s newspaper by advertiser Tom Barnett; it was not produced by The Echo.

‘Unprecedented’ but not unpredicted – we are now suffering from our failure to listen to scientists’ predictions of the impacts of climate change 30...

As Australians head into another election season just as many parts of the east coast are recovering from ‘unprecedented’ flooding since February, and the national psyche is still reeling from the trauma of the ‘unprecedented’ Black Summer bushfires before that, it is critical now more than ever to vote according to your environmental conscience and fear for the future.

Help Seabird Rescue help wildlife tomorrow night!

2022 marks thirty years since Lance Ferris established the charity Australian Seabird Rescue, rescuing pelicans in the Richmond River. Now it's time to celebrate and help ASR help local wildlife.


Virgil Oldman is a sort of Henry Higgins in the world of antiques auctions. Wealthy and snobbish, he wears gloves when dining alone in the most exclusive restaurants and, though having collected a gallery of priceless female portraiture, he has never bothered to acquaint himself with the charms of the fairer sex.

It is the perfect role for a big star with a penchant for staginess, and Geoffrey Rush fits the bill to a nicety. His silent partner in up-market shonkiness is Billy Whistler (Donald Sutherland), a failed artist with a leonine white mane who doesn’t do much other than secretly bid on behalf of Oldman when a rare and valuable work is presented.

The veneer of the great man’s prestige and practice is cracked when an agoraphobic young beauty offers her estate for sale. This is a baroque and crafty mystery, overwritten, to be sure, and a tad too fanciful for my liking, but inescapably engrossing at the same time.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore gave us the wonderful Cinema Paradiso (1988), but here he has been unable to engender any similar warmth. Cold precision, in cinematography and convoluted plotting, is partly responsible, but there is also the hindrance of some terribly clunky, declamatory dialogue – Tornatore is credited as writer, so we can only assume that his English was not quite up to the subtlety his story sought – while as Claire, the skinny-as-a-rake femme fatale, Sylvia Hoeks delivers a performance that lurches from the wooden to the overwrought.

You suspect that there is a devious scam about to be perpetrated, but it is hidden beneath layers of commonplace Euro metaphors – primarily surrounding the reconstruction of a nineteenth century automaton and the hardly new idea of woman as object.

The sharp hook that drags you back into the scenario just when you think that you’re being berated with strained sophistry is the lady dwarf, whose sense of eerie portent brings to mind Don’t Look Now (1973).

It’s cleverly done, but I didn’t care either way what happened.

~ John Campbell


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Sculpture distilled at Husk

The inaugural outdoor exhibition, Sculpture Distilled, opens this week at Husk Farm Distillery and promises the opportunity to get up close and personal with...

Local rum

  Lord Byron Distillery is located right in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, making it super-easy to visit the distillery if you’re in Byron....

New hinterland whiskey

Winding Road Distillery is based in Tintenbar, and early next week they are due to release their first single malt whiskey, initially to members...

‘Dining in the Dark’ at Forest, Byron

To celebrate the North Coast Festival of Flavour, Forest restaurant is turning off the lights so you can turn up your senses, and let...