||Issue No. 150||30 August 2002|
Shut It Down!
Interview: Australian Worker
Unions: Morning Ambush
Cole-Watch: Grumpy Old Men
International: Arrested (Sustainable) Development
History: Illegal Alien
Economics: The Trouble With PPPs
Poetry: Is This 'My Country'?
Review: Garage Days
The Locker Room
Week in Review
I'm going to be blunt for a moment. Despite the fact that Newtown's favourite sons 'The Whitlams' are named after one of the greatest PM's this country has ever known, I consider them pretentious, tragically hip and well... rather boring. They did however make a great point with the oh so subtly titled, but nonetheless entrancing, 'Blow Up The Pokies'.
Pokies are nothing less than a form of urban blight, false prophets to the lonely, the bored and the gullible. 'Make sure you gamble in moderation' indeed. As well as destroying countless lives of mainly working class people, pokies have also left a gaping hole in Sydney's live music scene. Garage Days, from acclaimed Director Alex Proyas (The Crow; Dark City) is a timely work set against the background this background of artistic decay and shattered dreams.
Freddy (Kick Gurry) is a young singer dreaming of rock n roll stardom. He has the voice, he has the look, and he even has a band, thing is he and his mates can't get a gig. Why? Well to quote Freddy 'pokies and pretty boy DJs'. But when he meets the slimy Shad Kern (Marton Csokas) , Australia's top rock manager, he sees an opportunity to hit the big time. Now all he needs to do is find the money for a demo to entice the master manager. But, and in rock n roll there is always a but, things aren't that simple.
Freddy has fallen in love with Kate (Maya Stange), who is Joe (Brett Stiller), the guitarist's girlfriend. Of course this doesn't sit well with his partner Tanya (Pia Miranda) who just happens to be the bassplayer for the outfit. Adding to Freddy's headaches is drummer Lucy (Chris Sadrinna) who spends most of his time searching for the ultimate chemical high, and Bruno (Russell Dykstra), a manager/roadie/con artist who makes causing trouble an art form. Damn, achieving fame is hard work!
Overall Garage Days is a great little Aussie comedy, and a film that in its own way provides a great insight into the social fabric of Sydney. One of its greatest strengths is an ability to laugh at the often-humourless local music scene. Occasionally it gets a little corny, the character of Shad Kern borders on unintentional parody, but then again if you were to morph the entire music industry into one person, the Kernster (sadly) may just appear.
So next time you're at the pub and you see a line of pokies, think of Garage Days, and raise your voice in favour of our local scene. Surely going deaf due to excessively loud pub music is infinitely preferable to suffering hearing loss due to the incessant chatter of those infernal machines?
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