10.4 C
Byron Shire
August 15, 2022

Cinema Review: Peterloo

Latest News

Mud benda rant

Regarding last week’s Splendour Festival and all the ‘haters’ out there. I took along a few seriously fun-deprived teenage...

Other News

Mud benda rant

Regarding last week’s Splendour Festival and all the ‘haters’ out there. I took along a few seriously fun-deprived teenage...

The CWA turns 100 – There will be scones!

Within 24 hours of its establishment on April 20, 1922, Country Women’s Association (CWA) members began lobbying relevant government ministers for better services for women and children, and that has been their mission ever since.  

Pedal power celebrated at Murwillumbah film night

Those with an interest in films and cycling will be in heaven this Thursday night (August 11) when the Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah hosts the Big Bike Film Night.

Council: Goonellabah park not available for pods

Tuesday’s debate in the Lismore Council chambers was mostly about the community’s need for open, green space for sport and recreation balanced against the need for places to live.

Recognising history

I arrived in Mullum from Sydney in 1976 – I loved the town and the people and felt like...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: For Sale: Moral compass

Some weeks it’s hard to navigate the big feelings I have around injustice; the kind of injustice that occurs every day, everywhere, underwritten by the privilege of some at the expense of the many. The shit stuff people get away with! The shit stuff no one notices. Shit stuff always happens to people who don’t have much to start with. I sometimes wonder how you can hear story after story and not realise the system is broken. Capitalism sucks. Let’s go break stuff – like, the dominant paradigm! We haven’t managed to subvert it – so can we smash it into tiny pieces? Please?

As a filmmaker with a pronounced social conscience, and as a native Mancunian, Mike Leigh will have approached the story of the Peterloo massacre with both a heavy heart and fire in his belly. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo (1815), a bugler returns home to Lancashire, shell-shocked and dazed. He finds that the ‘sceptred isle’ for which he fought is riven with inequality and that restlessness among the factory workers of the north is finding expression through orators and revolutionaries who are demanding representation in parliament. Fearing sedition, the establishment’s response would be to repeal ‘habeas corpus’ (thus enabling authorities to detain people without legal procedure). By 1819, key figures among those who have not benefited from industrialisation are organising a major demonstration in Manchester to promote their cause. Collaborating with Dick Pope, his regular cinematographer, Leigh has a great eye for period as well as a refined sense of a period’s atmospherics – see Topsy Turvy (1999) for the definitive take on Gilbert and Sullivan. In this he departs from the traditional model of individual protagonist and antagonist – unless those opposites can be seen as the shimmering ideal of democracy and the reactionary forces of the status quo. A terrible sense of foreboding grows as Leigh, who also wrote the screenplay, leaves you in no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, even to the point of indulging in caricature when depicting the odious judges, ministers of the crown, and landowners who represent the ancient regime. This is an intense movie, built with attention to detail and a love of humanity, and it’s not entirely shy of humour – when the ‘celebrity speaker’ pompously demands his repast, the wife of the house looks to her husband and asks “What’s that?” As is so often the case, a largely unknown cast make it easier to become engrossed, free as we are from star-gazing. The final crowd scene is overwhelming and Leigh’s nod to the fourth estate reminds us of a time when newspapers were more than just advertising outlets. Fantastic.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Autocracy or democracy for Byron Shire?

The New Yorker Magazine recently wrote a quote from Mr Rupert Murdoch ‘The truth is authoritarian governments do work!’ Hold that thought. It has been...

Criminalising protest

In another Sstate government descent into criminalising protest, to protect their own government’s sabotage of a liveable planet, last Thursday new laws were passed...

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter (27 July) was emotive overgeneralisations...

Flood residents get $650 from Lismore Council

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg today announced that 1,558 residents will receive a grant of $650 from the Lismore Flood Appeal.