French come back!
So many wonderful things got cancelled during the COVID-19 health crisis – and bit-by-bit things are starting to come back from the online world. The Alliance Française French Film Festival will be resuming its 31st season on Bastille Day; from 14 July to 4 August, at Palace Cinemas Byron Bay.
This beloved cultural event has confirmed a standout selection of 28 features from the original March line-up. Two outstanding films, which embody the spirit of optimism and reinvention, have been selected to bookend the July re-launch. For this incarnation of the Festival, first night audiences will be treated to the much fêted La Belle Époque, starring acting-great, Daniel Auteuil as Victor, a disillusioned man who is given the opportunity to recreate the great love-affair of his youth, in the hope that it can restore his future. The Bare Necessity (Perdrix), a whimsical tale of a family forced to re-evaluate their stagnant ways and finally live life to the fullest, will bid adieu to the 2020 season.
All films screening at The Palace Cinema in Byron will be in adherence with government social distancing protocols. To find out more about screenings go to palacecinemas.com.au/cinemas/palace-byron-bay.
The Caste Collection is a series of works that take aim at the vitriolic treatments of Aboriginal people of mixed heritage in an effort to diminish their persuasiveness in debate about racial issues in Australia. Each canvas is brutally divided into fractions, or portions of white(ness) and black(ness). 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8 and so on.
Kate Konstantine, the exhibiting artist says ‘This is my personal response, as an Aboriginal woman, a Koori, a proud Gadigal mother and advocate for constitutional change. It is meant to reflect the stupidity, bigotry and racism that tries to diminish Aboriginal culture in Australia by this notion of diluting the amount of black or ‘Blackness’ in we humans. The collection is hugely inspired by Andrew Bolt and his insatiable need to try and call out Bruce Pascoe (amongst many others), a widely successful black Australian of scholarly merit and award, as less than Aboriginal because of his “diluted” heritage. Unfortunately for Bolt, and people of his ilk, the attention brought about by the discussion only reinforces the resolve of those in question, and their Aboriginal brothers and sisters. No dilution of ‘Blackness’ is possible.’
There are fourteen works on show in this very important and timely exhibition. Ninbella Gallery in Bangalow, from Friday 26 June, and running until Thursday 23 July.
Current COVID-19 restrictions dictate that all patrons at venues must be seated – there is also no dancing. Can you believe it? No dancing! That’s probably the hardest blow. It means that if you are in a band, and people want to move their bodies to your music in public, they have to do it in a chair. With such restrictions and gigs coming back super slowly, it’s a tough time for musicians. The Beach Hotel are offering music seven nights a week – which gives punters and musicians a chance to get re-acquainted. Thursday sees the Kookabrothers play at 7pm, on Friday it’s Jock Barnes at 3pm, and Sally Sa at 8pm, and on Saturday, Greg Kew plays at 1pm, Gin Buggs at 4.30pm, and Swamp Cats Trio at 8pm. Sunday is a great day to soak up the vibe at the Beachie with Luke Yeaman at 1pm, Tuffy at 4.30pm and the James Dkhan Band at 8pm. Monday it’s Jesse Balfour at 7pm with Sam Buckingham taking the same time slot on Tuesday night.
Feel like getting in touch with that inner creative side of yours? Well the BSA have Winter Taster Sessions happening from 13–17 July. You can work with still life with Rene Bolten, or drawing with the fabulous Michelle Dawson. For those who love constructions made with scissors and glue, there is collage, with Helle Jorgensen. Michael Philp will talk about spirit and what it means to your art practice. Raimond de Weerdt teaches and shares the cyanotype process, so even if you have little or no photographic knowledge, you can still make beautiful images. Dale Rhodes will give you strong foundational skills in the use of paint and materials, and James Guppy will present acrylic painting and how to get the best out of that medium. Finally, Kat Shapiro Wood presents a pinch- and coil-build class to make small bowls, and shows some playful ways to translate them into sculptural objects. For information about these classes, go to byronschoolofart.com or call 0487 362 141.
Ballina Shire Council is pleased to be reopening many of its community spaces from Monday, following the easing of NSW State Government COVID-19 restrictions. The first venues to reopen, providing bookable spaces for local groups, will be Northlakes Community Centre, Alstonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre, Ballina Surf Club, and Ballina’s Richmond Room. The Ballina Indoor Sports Centre, and Kentwell Community Centre, will reopen from Wednesday 1 July 2020. The Lennox Cultural and Community Centre is undergoing major renovations and will reopen once those works are complete. For further information on venues, go to communityspaces.com.au or phone 6687 6291.