TV and film

Theatre, movies and the photographer who loves them

There are times when it can be hard to squeeze into the schedule of Lisa Tomasetti (MDP ’12). When SAM contacted her, she was working on two television series in Sydney (she can’t disclose their titles) and preparing a series of eight large-scale images for the 2019 Head On Photo Festival, which displays photographic works in public spaces and galleries across the city. “My life is not normally this crazy,” she says. “But all these TV series and films suddenly just came up. Sometimes it’s really busy and sometimes it’s not. It’s a great problem to have.”

Xi Jinping Thought, beaming live tonight

American broadcaster Edward Murrow, lamenting the viewing habits of the population in the 1950s, paraphrased Karl Marx: “If television and radio are to be used to entertain all of the people all of the time, then we have come perilously close to discovering the real opiate of the people.” More than half a century later and a cultural world away, Xi Jinping would agree. He and the Chinese Communist Party are on a mission to reduce “toxic” entertainment in the lives of their people, and their wea

Meng Fei on his Sydney restaurant venture and new show Chinese Dating with the Parents

On a Wednesday morning in a shopping centre in Sydney’s Chinatown, as businesses on the lower levels are just opening for the day, a crowd is flooding into the third level. The occasion is the official launch of Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet, the Sydney outlet of the noodle shop chain started by Meng Fei, the host of the Chinese dating show If You Are the One, watched by 36 million Chinese at home, and an enthusiastic audience in Australia.

Meet Meng Fei, host of the world's biggest TV dating show

When Chinese television host Meng Fei arrived in Melbourne earlier this year to open his noodle shop, Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet, he found a long line of people waiting outside under slate grey autumn skies while inside, mobs clamoured for autographs and photos. Meng, who is just as genial off-screen as on, is the host of If You Are the One, a dating show watched by more than 30 million Chinese at home.

If You Are the One: Australians can now find love on China's biggest dating show

Fifty million Chinese can't be wrong. That was probably the thinking behind SBS 2 picking up If You Are the One, the dating show with 24 girls and one man looking for love and marriage, which boasts these audience figures in its homeland. It was the right decision: the potent blend of brutal honesty, quirky personalities, and pithy insight into the different social mores and customs of Chinese culture has seen it become something of a phenomenon in Australia in the two years it has been airing.

Shakespeare's in the house

After years of critical accolades, cult adoration and disagreements with television executives that ended in broken hearts and cancellation, Joss Whedon finally went mainstream and became the billion-dollar man. The budget for the writer-director's last feature film, Marvel's superhero love fest The Avengers, was $220 million. The resulting box-office takings - $1,511,757,910 - put Whedon on Hollywood's A-list. His newest venture is a little more modest: it's an adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing, shot in black and white, in his home, with a cast chosen from his friends and colleagues from his previous television shows, including Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly.

DVD review: Forever Marilyn

Many of these films – including the vastly entertaining musical romp Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (with Jane Russell) and the droll How to Marry a Millionaire (with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) – hark back to a time when two (or more) women could star in a film and it would be known as a comedy rather than a chick flick. Marilyn Monroe would soon be running her own production company - an unusual feat for a woman at that time - yet she plays the dumb blonde roles with intelligence and charm.

10 reasons to watch ... Justified

There's nothing else like it: It's a modern-day western whose hero, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), is a sexy, trigger-happy, cowboy-hat-wearing US marshal. But the series is full of equally enticing figures: Ava, the sassy girl who had a crush on him in high school who he meets again after she shoots her abusive husband; Raylan's father, a sporadically successful scammer; and the guys at the Lexington marshal's office who have a collective sense of humour drier than the Murray-Darling during El Nino.

Fantastic voyage: creating Game of Thrones

TAKE the intricate personal and political dramas of The Wire's mean streets and transplant them to a fictional mediaeval land and you have some idea of the breadth and scope of Game of Thrones, the latest lavish production from American cable TV channel HBO. The sprawling epic, based on George R.R. Martin's million-selling Song of Ice and Fire novels, took five years to reach the screen and provided myriad challenges for its writer-creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
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