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    • A Film Review When You Don't Have a New Film to Review: Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country

      In this Season of Calamity and Pestilence, you will be aware that cinemas have been closed for awhile. And I have heard your cries of disappointment and shrieks of longing from myself for the dearth of new cinema releases. In an attempt to keep your cinematic sensitivities engaged and in light of National Reconciliation Week, I am re-releasing my review of Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton's superb film, Sweet Country. As they say in food circles, here's one I prepared earlier. SBS will be screening Sweet Country on Thursday 28 May as part of Reconciliation Week. It is also available for viewing through SBS On Demand. Watch movie Sweet Country . Available on SBS On Demand until December 2020 (Sign in Account required--free account) Australian films on SBS On Demand for National Reconciliation Week Film Review By Stefan Kussy Sweet Country Westerns are quintessentially American. Australian director Warwick Thornton has taken the conventions of the Hollywood Western, overlaid them with an Australian veneer sourced from the Australian outback frontier of the late 1920s and created a film that is indelibly Australian. When Aboriginal farmhand Sam Kelly kills white settler Harry March, a hunt ensues that leads to Sam’s trial. The events that lead up to the shooting, Sam and his partner Lizzie’s escape to country and Sam’s trial before a judge in a small Northern Territory town are told simply yet contain complex notions and underpin stories about the land and the people who inhabit them, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The mood and pace of the film respects the sense of timelessness the police, trackers and the accused experience when they enter the natural landscape. The film slowly builds to events and conclusions that are not what they may appear to be. You must remember that this was a time when Aboriginal people were considered no more important than the animal stock on a farmer’s property. Harry March, in fact, asks Fred Smith where Smith got his “black stock”. Smith replies, “We’re all equals here”. Smith is an exception in his views. The clash and strain between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures is pinpointed in the story of an Aboriginal boy, Philomac, who strives to acquire the goods and trinkets possessed by the white settlers while being intertwined with the culture of traditional Aboriginal living. All the standard Western characters are present, from the Indigenous elders Archie and Sam, preacher Fred Smith, and settlers Harry March and Mick Kennedy, to the local constabulary Sergeant Fletcher and the saloon owner Nell. Characters are not simply cast as villains and heroes. Even the basest individuals exchange moments of mutual concern while acknowledging the hardships of the extreme conditions in which they live and survive. Thornton’s decision to use non-professional actors in his film enhances the experience. The notion of the American Wild West and its rule of law and frontier justice are complemented in Warwick Thornton’s film by Aboriginal lore. The term “sweet country” is both reflective of the connection that Sam and Archie have for their country and ironic in its statement that the land is being purloined by white settlers, who don’t have the same relationship with the land. Thornton’s cinematography and direction are superb. His framing of landscapes and characters is loaded with atmosphere and expressions that talk more loudly than words. You can smell the natural world and the human intruders. Hygiene clearly was not uppermost on their agenda. I would happily watch Sweet Country again and believe I would gain even more from a second immersion in the film. Sweet Country is fabulous storytelling and proficient filmmaking. Watch Official Trailer for Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country (Press > to play)

    • The Art of Pysanky

      Христос воскрес. To everyone celebrating Easter on 19 April 2020 (according to the Julian calendar). In Western Christianity, the date of Easter is based on the Gregorian calendar. The Eastern Christian tradition bases its calculations for Easter on the Julian calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar by 13 days. Accordingly, Easter is celebrated on two different dates. Easter on the Julian calendar now falls anywhere between April 4 and May 8 and the Gregorian Easter falls anywhere between March 22 and April 25. In rare instances, the dates align, and Easter is celebrated simultaneously. In 2020, Ukrainian Easter (Julian) is celebrated on Sunday 19 April. A pysanka (Ukrainian, plural: pysanky) is a Ukrainian Easter egg decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs. Pysanky are decorated according to the traditional method using beeswax and a drawing quill for wax to "write" the designs. The symbols have special meaning for Easter. The word "pysanka" comes from the verb "pysaty" (to write), as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. The colours that create the intricate designs are added sequentially using a colour additive process. The pysanky artist must understand how the colours will combine to create new colours and use beeswax to mask colours that should not change. It is a specialised skill developed over many years. Exquisite! Stunning! The traditional Ukrainian Easter Greeting is"Христос воскрес" | Christ Is Risen Pysanky are decorative rather than edible. Decorated eggs are crafted purely for display at Easter and not for eating as they are usually blown out and hollow. The egg yolk and white are either allowed to dry up over time or removed by blowing them out through a small hole in the egg. Krashanky, from krasyty, "to decorate", are boiled eggs dyed a single colour with vegetable dyes. They are blessed and eaten at Easter. Paska is a tall, cylindrical Easter bread with a rounded top that is decorated with Easter symbols. The symbolism of these ornaments is connected with spring themes: the awakening of nature, resurrection and rebirth. and birds, especially larks, that herald the arrival of spring. The pysanky and the designs on each pysanka featured in these photos were created and hand-crafted by Irena Schorsch using traditional tools and the beeswax method. Irena has received awards for her pysanky at The Canberra Show and demonstrated the design and colouring techniques to students at numerous schools. Her pysanky have been featured in a number of publications. Pysanky designs © Irena Schorsch 2020 | Photographs © Stefan Kussy 2020. Copyright protected images. Used with permission of copyright owners. Please respect the artist's intellectual property. Photographs and pysanky designs may not be reproduced, used, copied or distributed in any form, including, but not restricted to, electronic media and social media platforms, without the expressed written permission of the copyright owners. Thank you for respecting the artist's work.

    • What if…Easter in Oman & Jordan

      Last year at this time, while visiting Oman and Jordan, we went for breakfast on Easter Sunday morning in Muscat, Oman. Three quarters of Omanis adhere to the Ibadi sect of Islam, while the remaining 25% are either Sunni or Shia Muslims. There are small communities of 5% ethnically Indian Hindus and Christians that have been naturalized. We were staying at Shangri-La in Muscat. The chef’s had prepared a display of Easter inspired treats. It was their take on Western Easter traditions, although there were also baked goods similar to pastries and cakes prepared for Easter celebrated according to the Julian calendar. The chef's Easter breads, cakes and eggs were a lovely surprise, a considerate gesture...and deeeee-licious. When arriving in Jordan a week later, where all Jordanian Muslims are Sunni, which means “submission to God”, and the rest of Jordanians are Christian, we were greeted by a display in the hotel foyer and another display at a local restaurant with Jordan's version of Easter treats. Different beliefs; different cultures; different traditions. Yet, somehow, the barriers between them merged and disappeared. We shared and acknowledged our differing views and beliefs. The food was a symbolic gesture to express an unspoken display of mutual understanding, respect and tolerance. On this Easter Sunday, regardless of what we believe and how we acknowledge and celebrate Easter, let's all visualise and contemplate a place, let’s call it our world, where, like in James Hilton’s legendary, utopian Shangri-La in his book Lost Horizon, we can live in a world where peace, love, respect, tolerance and harmony are the Lingua Franca. What if… Whatever you believe or not; however you celebrate Easter or not; Stay Home and enjoy time together today with the ones who mean the most to you in your household or remotely in isolation if the ones for whom you care and love live away from you. And, yes, that will include a dark chocolate egg and a glass of Scion Winery's (Rutherglen) After Dark dessert wine--a perfect match.

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    • NEXT DOOR

      (pronounced mah-kee-ah-to), an Italian word meaning "stained", is an espresso stained or marked with a little milk. MACCHIATO COFFEE PHOTOS WHY do I take photos of coffee? ARE the cafes still open? VIEW Espresso Coffee Photos VIEW Long Black Coffee Photos View

    • Books | Eclectic Stefan

      BOOKS < Back to Publications SAVE MONEY Book Buying Tips Footsteps in the Sand i macchiato therefore i am espresso | doppio | double shot Mr. Natural | A Body of Work Film Speak You Can't Drive to Greece Turn Right at London Footsteps in the Sand Oman | Jordan A blogger's journal Share chasing dolphins, rockin' a wadi, Oman's Grand Canyon, sand dune bashing, Petra, floating in The Dead Sea, The Holy Land, and the pursuit of Hungry Bunny through photos and Eclectic Stefan's factual and, at times, idiosyncratic observations about Oman and Jordan. The next best thing to being there. Experience the adventures and see the wonders of wonderful Oman and amazing Jordan. Based on Eclectic Stefan's blog, Footsteps in the Sand. ​ Available as a hardcover book. 120 Full Colour Pages | Deluxe Photo Paper Large Square | 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm Limited Edition: Available on Request | Contact Eclectic Stefan Preview Sample Double Page Spreads (Web Quality PDF) i macchiato therefore i am a collection of macchiato coffee photographs Macchiato (pronounced mah-kee-ah-to), an Italian word meaning "stained", is an espresso stained with a little milk. ​ Stefan has discovered that a long macchiato can be an espresso, double shot, doppio, long, short, milky, layered, stained, frothy foam espresso coffee. He continues to drink and photograph long macchiatos in Australia and across the world to capture the variations of coffee called a long macchiato. ​ Available as a softcover book. 102 Full Colour Pages | Pro Line Uncoated Paper Small Square | 7 x 7 in | 18 x 18 cm Preview | Buy Now from Blurb Online Bookstore espresso. doppio. double shot a collection of espresso coffee photographs Espresso, an Italian word meaning "pressed coffee", is a strong coffee prepared by forcing live steam under pressure, or boiling water, through ground dark-roast coffee beans.​ By any other name, Stefan enjoys an espresso, doppio, double shot that is black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love. ​ Available as a softcover book. 92 Full Colour Pages | Pro Line Uncoated Paper Small Square | 7 x 7 in | 18 x 18 cm Preview | Buy Now from Blurb Online Bookstore Mr. Natural A Body of Work From his gluteus maximus and pectoralis major to his palmaris longus and vastus medialis, Harry Haureliuk was, literally, a body of work. Harry’s bodybuilding career is a story of success on the local, national and international levels over many decades. Harry not only trained and competed himself but mentored new bodybuilders of all ages and, in his role as a Physical Culture Consultant, inspired people to achieve the best they can, regardless of their health and fitness levels. Harry was a larger than life character with a wicked sense of humour. Mr. Natural: A Body of Work celebrates Harry’s career in bodybuilding. Stefan compiled this book to celebrate the vastness of Harry’s lifelong accomplishments as a bodybuilder. DELUXE EDITION Available as a hardcover book. Linen Cover | Dust Jacket | 52 Full Colour Pages Deluxe Photo Paper Portrait | 8 X 10 in | 21 x 26 cm Preview Deluxe Edition | Buy Now from Blurb Online Bookstore STANDARD EDITION Available as a soft cover publication (Magazine Style). Flexible high-gloss laminated soft cover | 52 Full Colour Pages Standard Photo Paper Portrait | 8 X 10 in | 21 x 26 cm Preview Standard Edition | Buy Now from Blurb Online Bookstore Film Speak A guide to terms used in fillums and pitchas Illustrated by Jo Dougal What does a gaffer do? What is the relationship between French bread and Gene Autry? Who was Hollis Wood? Where was Pee Wee Herman when he was caught giving an impression of a film buff? Film Speak takes a funny, irreverent and informative look at film gossip, film terminology, film making processes and personalities from Academy Awards to zoom lens. Out of Print You Can't Drive to Greece Athens | Crete | Kythera A blogger's journal Dogs behind the steering wheel of a car on Kythera, the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace in Athens, former leper colonies on Spinalonga, the magnificence of the Acropolis, making yamista at Arolithos, visiting Suda Bay War Cemetery, the aphrodisiac powers of dittany, 3000 year old olive trees at Gortyn, and a Smart car made of stainless steel in Syntagma Square that has a sign advising you to "Hand Wash Only and Do Not Iron" the car, shares an historical and, often, quirky, offbeat approach to the delights of ancient, modern and off-the-tourist track Greece. You Can't Drive to Greece And we haven't even mentioned the pristine, crystal-clear, warm waters of the beach at Elafonisos. ​ Limited Edition: Out of Print Out of Print? To quote Douglas Adams, DON'T PANIC! In addition to posts about Stefan's travel journeys to places and encounters with people featured in his , selected photos and accompanying text from , Stefan's journal about his Greek odyssey, will be added over time to eclectic Stefan's . Blog on this website You Can't Drive to Greece Blog ​ Can't wait? You want to read and see more? to request a blog post about any of the places and experiences mentioned above and many more featured in . Contact eclectic Stefan You Can't Drive to Greece ​ using the form at the bottom of this page to get notifications every time Stefan adds anything new and shiny to eclectic Stefan's website. Subscribe Now ​ Turn Right At London London | Old Europe | Croatia Photographs & Memories From the sprawling, stunning floral displays at the Chelsea Flower Show and the Physik Garden, eating trdlo in Prague, and the opulent St. Vitus Cathedral in Cesky Krumlov, to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Berlin, the stunning natural beauty of Plitvicka Jezera Lakes and the House of the Guardsman of the Cabbage in Salzburg, explores through Stefan's idiosyncratic lens and words the incredible diversity of sights and attractions, created by nature and humans from London and across Europe. Turn Right at London ​ Limited Edition: Out of Print Out of Print? To quote Douglas Adams, DON'T PANIC! In addition to posts about Stefan's travel journeys to places and encounters with people featured in his , selected photos and accompanying text from , Stefan's photographs and memories of London, Old Europe and Croatia, will be added over time to eclectic Stefan's . Blog on this website Turn Right At London Blog ​ Can't wait? You want to read and see more? to request a blog post about any of the places and experiences mentioned above and many more featured in Contact eclectic Stefan Turn Right At London. ​ using the form at the bottom of this page to get notifications every time Stefan adds anything new and shiny to eclectic Stefan's website. Subscribe Now

    • Coffee Photos | eclecticSTEFAN

      COFFEE PHOTOS ESPRESSO COFFEE PHOTOS View MACCHIATO COFFEE PHOTOS View LONG BLACK COFFEE PHOTOS View

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