NORPA’s fundraiser a smash hit

THE turn-out at the NORPA Popcorn screening of Beautiful Kate at the Star Court Theatre last Sunday night in Lismore beggars belief to think the Australian film industry is waning due to either lack of interest or a talent drought. In fact, the only dire outlooks were in the film itself – a tale of regret and redemption surrounding a rural family coming to terms with loss, ageing and growing pains. The screening raised funds for an upcoming scholarship for contemporary music students at Southern Cross University, in memory of the late Russell Dunlop, who engineered and mixed the soundtrack. As rare as the film itself, so too was its presentation, with soundtrack artists Tex Perkins, Murray Paterson and company warming up the crowd with excerpts from the film score. We knew we were getting the real Tex when the swarthy singer led the group into some gritty and rhythmic instrumentals. The hand-picked songs saw Tex collaborate with co-composer Paterson (guitars) and local musos Alison Bailey (cello, vocals), Michael Hunt (double bass) and Kristyna Higgins (electric guitar). The touching element of the performance was how the songs fed into and out from the charred landscapes and worn-down characters that pivot the movie’s appeal. Starring Bryan Brown, Ben Mendelsohn and Rachel Griffiths, Beautiful Kate is the directorial debut of Rachel Ward. Brown’s character is vitriolic and haggard – a father on death’s door – and he is the catalyst of a family reunion of sorts. The film’s tagline is ‘the past is always present’, and it’s in the movie that we can celebrate the accomplishment of artists from past and present, converging their talent into a bittersweet Australian narrative. – Joe Lewis


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P-plater fined $903, loses licence for speeding on highway

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