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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021


Latest News

My dear friend, Philip Rubinstein 1934–2021

I first met Phil on a rain-soaked day outside my house in Brunswick Terrace, Mullum. It was an accidental encounter, but we soon got stuck into a conversation about the parlous state of Australian universities.

Other News

Interview with Claire Atkins from SHIT

I saw SHIT last year and I was blown away. Incredible script. Incredible acting.

Suffolk Park residents pressure councillors over pump track

Councillors, Michael Lyon and Jeanette Martin, met Suffolk Park residents on Saturday to hear concerns around the proposed pump bike track, which is slated for the Linda Vidler park.

Byron’s new road: the good and not so

After more than 30 years of talk, debate, disagreements, tears and political gridlock, Byron Bay has a new road to divert traffic from the CBD to the southern end of town.

Taxpayers paying through the nose for the destruction of Casino to Murwillumbah train line

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores  On 14 January, 2015 The Echo comment ‘Railroaded’ quoted Don Page’s (Nationals then MP for Ballina) 2004...

Lennox Rise development clears another hurdle

The massive new residential development planned west of Epiq in Lennox Head continued its progress towards becoming reality at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo...

The long wait for possibly the most previewed movie ever is at last over, and if Alejandro González Iñárritu’s masterpiece is sometimes weighed down by wordy gravitas, that should not in any way detract from its worth.

Riggan (Michael Keaton) is a legendary Hollywood actor, universally known as Birdman the super-hero. He has moved from LA to Broadway to direct and star in his own play about Raymond Carver, the introspective poet and short-story writer.

But can he adapt to the ‘real life’ of the stage after the fantasy of the screen?

Can he re-invent himself as an artist?

Can he make himself relevant in a culture mired in tweets and celebrity worship?

His estranged daughter Sam (Emma Stone), unable to buy the particular flowers that he has requested for his dressing room, messages ‘whatever you wanted they didn’t have’ – and it is the line that encapsulates Riggan’s very being (and ours?).

Riven by doubt and jealous of others’ success, Riggan is tormented by Birdman’s ghost and wont to occasionally exercise the supernatural powers that he possesses – this latter trait, though essential in creating Riggan’s personal mythology, seemed to me to be at odds with the nuts and bolts of the film’s humanism.

The somnambulant cinematography by Iñárritu’s fellow Mexican, Emmanuel Lubezki, contributes enormously to the complexity and connectedness of all that happens. Incredibly long, labyrinthine tracking shots – they’re like an M C Escher drawing – seamlessly follow the players as they move from one location to the next, and from day to night, while Antonio Sanchez’s agitated drum score constantly augers calamity.

Despite the dark humour and raw observation, moments of tender forgiveness arrive as Riggan and his cast are all shown to be victims of life’s great pretending.

It is not unusual for intellectual profundity to be accompanied by self congratulation and Iñárritu, after his mighty achievement of laying bare the modern psyche, shows that he is not above this by allowing his movie to imperceptibly slide into hubris with an ending that, quite frankly, I didn’t buy.

~ John Campbell


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Ben Hamilton riding for kids with cancer

Ballina man Ben Hamilton is riding his bike 500km to help young kids with cancer.

Brunswick Heads marina berths to increase

Questions remain unanswered around a press release from Nationals MLC Ben Franklin’s office regarding a $2.8 million upgrade to the Brunswick Heads boat harbour. According...

Helping Our Kids, help our kids

The Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge kicks off tonight in Lismore with the express aim of raising much-needed funds for the Our Kids charity.

Nimbin medicinal cannabis event, March 27

Two experienced medical cannabis doctors and a retired magistrate who is passionate about changing the drug driving rules will take part in the MEDICAN gathering in Nimbin.