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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Inherent Vice

Latest News

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

Other News

Flood 2022

I congratulate Lismore’s Trinity College work experience student Bella Clay on her article (Echo, April 26), relating her family’s...

He’s off, has been for years! And what’s a conspiracy amongst friends?

After ten years in Mullum I’ve relocated to the middle of an extinct volcano in Murwillumbah.

National Volunteer Week honouring locals who give back

Tweed Shire Council will use National Volunteer Week to celebrate the significant contribution volunteers make across the Tweed, and to spotlight those who selflessly give back to the community.

Causes of death

There’s been a lot of talk about an epidemic of violence against women lately, including Dr Ray Moynihan’s article...

Bodies of man, child found in East Lismore home

A report will be prepared for the information of the NSW Coroner following the death of a man and a child in Lismore overnight.

We Like to Tiki: Caper festival closing party this Sunday

North Byron Hotel is the official watering hole of Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival 2024. To celebrate...

‘Doc’ Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is like a stoned, hippie version of Colombo – in fact, I’ve not seen so many joints smoked onscreen since Seth Rogen and his man-boy droogs were last in town.

It is Los Angeles, 1970. The spectre of Charles Manson still hovers over the weirded-out community, the coppers are bent and brutal and nobody really knows what is going on.

Beginning with The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon (and, more recently, LA Confidential), it has been a given that West Coast crime is a deep and dark sea in which nothing is discerned until you stumble blindly into it. And when a screenplay is based on a novel by the impenetrable Thomas Pynchon, you can be certain that, in keeping with tradition, it will be as clear as mud.

Doc’s ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston) turns up unexpectedly one night to tell him of the plan to kidnap a billionaire businessman.

Shasta herself goes missing soon after, and there is some sort of connection with a saxophonist who is believed to have been killed (Owen Wilson).

By the half-way point of this dawdling movie I did not have the faintest idea of what was going on. But still I watched, beguiled and intrigued by its indulgence, its messiness and, one suspects, its deliberate opaqueness.

Doc is a passive character, blundering from one incident to the next, piecing together the clues to a crime without ever having it clear in his head what that crime is.

To complicate matters even further, a whole string of incidental players appear and disappear, their relationship to Doc and to each other never anything more than vague. If it was writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s intention to baffle he succeeds brilliantly, but you have to ask ‘why?’

Ultimately, as Doc’s investigations are wound up, it’s hard to care one way or the other.

There are some funny bits, but not many, and I wasn’t even sure who the omniscient girly narrator was. Josh Brolin steals the show as Detective ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen.

~ John Campbell

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St Helena Tunnel, Ewingsdale – changed overnight traffic conditions 

Essential maintenance at the St Helena Tunnel will be carried out overnight on the Pacific Motorway at Ewingsdale from Monday, 27 May.

First Nations job seekers in Casino foot in the door to career

Trying to find something you might be interested in doing is always a challenge and local Casino barber Michael Day has come on board to help Aboriginal job seekers the chance to kick start a career in the hair and beauty industry.

Primary care nurses supported in community

Health services, particularly GP services, have been stretched over recent years and new funding to support nurses and build their capability as primary care...

Goonellabah Skate Park overhaul to start next week

New ‘skate elements’ to be introduced have reportedly been designed by skatepark specialists Trinity Skateparks, with input from ‘local enthusiasts’.