Review: ‘Babyteeth,’ starring Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Eugene Gilfedde, Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn

June 19, 2020

by Carla Hay

Eliza Scanlen and Toby Wallace in “Babyteeth” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“Babyteeth” 

Directed by Shannon Murphy

Culture Representation: Taking place in Sydney, the drama “Babyteeth” has an almost all-white cast (with a few Asian characters) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: A teenage girl with a terminal illness falls in love with an older guy who’s a drug addict/drug dealer, and the relationship goes against her parents’ wishes.

Culture Audience: “Babyteeth” will appeal primarily to people who like intricate character studies that tackle difficult subjects through the perspective of one family.

Essie Davis, Toby Wallace, Eliza Scanlen and Ben Mendelsohn in “Babyteeth” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

How many times has this been done in a movie? A straight-laced teenage girl becomes rebellious by dating an older “bad boy” and clashes with her parents who don’t approve of the relationship. “Babyteeth,” which is set in Sydney, takes this well-worn concept and sneaks up on viewers by going down a path that most people won’t expect by the end of the film. It’s an impressive feature-film debut from director Shannon Murphy, who shows that she has a unique vision that is at times bold and experimental for the subject matter.

“Babyteeth” is also the first feature film written by Rita Kalnejais, who adapted the screenplay from her play of the same title. Each of the movie’s scenes is shown as a different title on the screen (something that most directors would never do), with descriptions such as “Anna and Henry’s Tuesday Appointment,” “Insomnia” and “Love.” And although youthful rebellion is a big part of the story, “Babyteeth” is also about how a child’s terminal illness can affect the marriage of the child’s parents.

The relationship that causes a lot of the chaos in the story is that of 15-year-old Milla Finlay and a 23-year-old small-time drug dealer/addict named Moses (played by Toby Wallace), who literally crashes into her when he runs on a train platform where Milla is waiting. By all outward appearances, Moses is a sketchy character: He’s unkempt, he’s got some tattoos his face and he has the look of someone who’s strung out on drugs.

Moses makes small talk with a stunned Milla, who looks every inch the sheltered schoolgirl that she is, with her neatly pressed school uniform and wide-eyed gaze. While Milla and Moses are talking, she gets a nosebleed. And then he takes his shirt off and cradles her while he uses the shirt to stop the nosebleed. Milla is immediately smitten, even though she eventually has to ask Moses to take his shirt off of her face because it smells so bad. (It’s an example of the film’s little touches of humor.)

It isn’t long before Moses tells Milla that he’s homeless, and he sheepishly asks her for money. She gives him $50, but she coyly tells him that since she gave him this money, he has do something for her in return. The next thing you know, Moses is giving Milla a choppy haircut at his mother’s house.

Moses’ single mother Polly (played by Georgina Symes) breeds and trains Bichon Frise dogs as her job. She lives with Moses’ pre-teen brother Isaac (played by Zack Grech), who gets along well with Moses, but their mother most certainly does not. Polly has so much animosity toward Moses that when she sees him with Milla in her house, she immediately calls the police to report a break-in.

Moses and Milla then run off, and Milla (who’s an only child) impulsively invites Moses over for dinner at her place. Milla’s surprised parents—psychiatrist Henry (played by Ben Mendelsohn) and homemaker Anna (played by Essie Davis)—try to be polite and accommodating, but they’re actually horrified that Milla has brought home an older guy who is an obvious bad influence on their daughter.

During dinner, Milla mentions that she still has her baby teeth, “which is an aberration for someone as old as me.” When Moses opens Milla’s mouth to look inside, this suggestive flirting becomes too much for Anna, who yells at Moses to stop. And there’s a reason why the movie is called “Babyteeth,” since the teeth are symbolic of Milla’s innocence, and this symbolism is made very clear in another scene later in the movie.

Although Anna and Henry both disapprove of Moses when they first meet him, Anna is more protective of Milla than Henry is. “What have you done to my daughter?” Anna asks Milla. “I killed her,” Milla replies. The next day, Milla tells Anna that she thought Anna was being rude to Moses. Anna responds, “He’s got problems!” Milla shouts back, “So do I!”

And those problems are health-related, because Milla has cancer. She was in remission, but the cancer has come back with a vengeance. Milla undergoes chemotherapy, and since she loses all of her hair, she wears various wigs throughout the movie. At first Milla is self-conscious about no longer having her real hair, but then she learns to embrace different wigs to express herself.

Meanwhile, Henry and Anna are having issues in their marriage. Henry has prescribed several medications for Anna, which cause her to have mood swings. Their sex life (shown in near the beginning of the film) happens in furtive moments, such as in Henry’s office, and has become pretty unfulfilling for both of them.

Therefore, it’s not a surprise when Henry takes notice of a pretty, slightly offbeat woman who lives in the neighborhood. Her name is Toby (played by Emily Barclay), and Henry first meets her while he’s walking in the neighborhood and she goes looking for her missing dog, which is also named Henry. Toby is in the advanced stages of pregnancy, but when Henry meets her for the first time, she’s smoking a cigarette.

Henry admonishes Toby for smoking. Toby isn’t the brightest bulb in the drawer. She tells Henry that smoking while pregnant is okay because she read it online somewhere. In spite of Toby’s intellectual shortcomings, it’s obvious that Henry is kind of attracted to her.

There’s also a subplot that doesn’t work too well in the film: Milla plays the violin as a hobby and is in a small music class with a pre-teen violin prodigy named Tin Wah (played by Edward Lau). Milla’s music instructor Gidon (played by Eugene Gilfedder) used to work with Anna (who plays the piano) when Gidon and Anna were touring as part of a classical music group several years ago. Gidon apparently was or is in love with Anna, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. Aside from Gidon noticing that Milla seems to be in love after she meets Moses, the Gidon character is fairly unnecessary to the story.

Anna still feels guilty over not being there for Milla much as she wanted to be when Milla was a baby, because of Anna’s work commitments at the time. It’s probably why Anna feels very overprotective of Milla and wants to have a close relationship with her daughter, who is pulling away emotionally from her parents and is caught up in the idea of getting Moses to be her boyfriend.

Even though Moses is sleazy, he’s still wary of getting involved with an underage girl. Meanwhile, Milla is already calling him her “boyfriend,” and she asks him to be her date to her 10th grade formal dance. Her giddy reaction when he says yes is an example of how much Milla is still a child.

Milla’s parents have every reason to be concerned about Moses, because shortly after Milla and Moses start dating each other, Moses breaks into the Finlay home to steal medication. Anna catches him in the act and Henry is ready to call the police, but Milla begs him not to do it.

Thus begins a pattern for most of the movie: Moses does something selfish and reckless, one of Milla’s parents (usually Anna) orders Moses to stay away from Milla, but then the parents let Moses back into their lives. The only logical explanation for this back-and-forth is that the parents are torn about what to do.

On the one hand, they know that Moses is too old to be dating their daughter and he isn’t a great guy. On the other hand, they know Milla might not live long and they want her to be as happy as possible. And that “nothing left to lose, live in the moment” mentality is why Milla fell so hard and fast for Moses.

There’s a particularly effective (and visually stunning) scene where Milla and Moses end up at a nightclub together. It’s a turning point in their relationship because it’s the first time that she’s taken into his world of nightlife partying. And it’s the first time that Moses shows jealousy when Milla gets attention from another guy.

Scanlen, Mendelsohn and Davis all give dynamic and believable performances as the dysfunctional Finlay family. Although all three of these characters make some cringeworthy choices in the film when it comes to their interactions with Moses, “Babyteeth” effectively shows that the trauma of cancer can cause people to do things that they might not normally do.

“Babyteeth” isn’t a typical angsty teen drama about a girl who’s dating someone her parents don’t really like. The last third of the movie takes a very dark turn that might be disturbing for some viewers. However, “Babyteeth” is an emotionally stirring character study of what people will do to cope with pain and mental anguish that they really don’t want to talk about having.

IFC Films released “Babyteeth” in select U.S. cinemas, digital and VOD on June 19, 2020.

Madame Tussauds in Orlando and Sydney debut ‘Justice League: A Call for Heroes’ attraction

April 12, 2018

(Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando)
(Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando)

Justice will be served this summer at Madame Tussauds Orlando. The world-famous attraction revealed plans to unite an all-star cast of DC Super Heroes in an epic new experience. For the first time ever, fans of DC’s Justice League will come face-to-face with their favorite heroes in an action-packed adventure unlike any other.

From fear comes courage! Guests will get a chance to star alongside Justice League‘s Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman, as they fight to save the world from Lex Luthor’s evil corporation, LexCorp.

Developed in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products on behalf of DC Entertainment, this first-of-its-kind attraction experience combines an all-star cast with blockbuster thrills, authentic replica props and costumes that bring each character to life like only Madame Tussauds can do.

“Fans have never come this close to the action,” said James Paulding, General Manager. “Madame Tussauds Orlando, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, have created a Justice League experience you have to see to believe – from the unbeatable roster of DC Super Heroes to the sensational, hi-tech experiences.”

Justice League: A Call for Heroes will also debut later this summer at Madame Tussauds Sydney, part of a greater transformation across Madame Tussauds attractions around the globe to deliver live fame experiences that make guests the star of their favorite stories.

(Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando)

Justice League: A Call for Heroes

HEROES UNITE! The battle begins when the Justice League lands at Madame Tussauds Orlando on May 25, 2018. Guests who answer the call will be transported to the streets of Gotham City and Metropolis, uniting with the Justice League Super Heroes in a series of thrilling missions to destroy LexCorp’s hold on the world.

Wonder Woman guests will help to destroy LexCorp’s formidable technology that has disabled the city. By harnessing their inner super power, guests will be able to emit a powerful blast from Wonder Woman’s gauntlets to weaken LexCorp’s control over the city.

Elsewhere in the city, Lex’s experiment wreaks havoc, sending a helicopter and its occupants hurtling toward the ground. Guests will have to summon all their strength and join Superman to help lift a REAL helicopter back into the sky as onlookers cheer from the streets below.

As the battle continues, one Super Hero will remain elusive. Guests must summon Batman with the Bat-Signal. Billowing smoke and wind reveal Batman as he’s called into battle on the rooftop, ready to save the world.

(Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando)

The Adventure Starts Now

Madame Tussauds Orlando is issuing a challenge to the bravest of Justice League fans – starting now! Mother Boxes, unique artifacts with immense powers, have surfaced in five cities across the globe. The Mother Boxes must be found and brought to Madame Tussauds Orlando in order to help destroy the energy-extracting forces that threaten Earth.

Brave challengers who find the Mother Boxes will be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience including a five-day, four-night trip for the winner and one guest to Orlando, plus two tickets to be among the first to help save the planet in Justice League: A Call for Heroes. Winners will also receive two tickets to MegaCon Orlando® and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. To find the Mother Boxes, follow @tussaudsorlando and #FindTheMotherBoxes on Instagram.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Each Participation Period begins with the first announcement in the corresponding Location and ends when the Mother Box is claimed or when Participation Period ends, whichever occurs first. Open only to legal U.S. residents residing in the 48 contiguous U.S./D.C., the UK, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 yrs. of age at the time of participation. See Terms & Conditions at https://bit.ly/2qaFq3Q for participation periods, locations, prize description/restrictions and complete details. Prize winners must be able to travel to Orlando, Florida on May 21-25, 2018.  Skill test required for residents of Canada. Void where prohibited. Sponsor:  Madame Tussauds Orlando, a division of Merlin Entertainments Group plc.

For tickets and more information, please visit www.madametussauds.com/orlando or follow @tussaudsorlando and #FindTheMotherBoxes on Instagram.

ABOUT JUSTICE LEAGUE
Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller star in the action adventure Justice League.

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League was directed by Zack Snyder from a screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, story by Terrio & Snyder. Based on characters from DC Entertainment; Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns produced the film, with Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck serving as executive producers.

ABOUT MADAME TUSSAUDS ORLANDO
Madame Tussauds Orlando is an interactive wax experience where guests are guided through immersive themed rooms where they can shake hands with the President, get on stage with pop princesses, or get up close and personal with a Hollywood heartthrob and take the ultimate selfie! For more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/orlando.

ABOUT WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world.  WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi (opening 2018). With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

ABOUT DC ENTERTAINMENT
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables, etc.) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.

JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s18)

2018 Vivid Sydney: celebrity lineup includes James Cameron, Ice Cube, Solange

March 19, 2018

Vivid Sydney at Luna Park
Vivid Sydney at Luna Park (Rendering courtesy of Destination NSW)

The following is a press release from Destination NSW:

The world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid Sydney returns in 2018 with a spectacular new precinct at Luna Park, the return of much-loved Customs House, and a fantastical blend of everyday objects and Australian-inspired motifs on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall said, “Vivid Sydney has delighted and inspired people from around Australia and the world. With the Festival now in its 10th year, visitors and locals alike can once again expect to be mesmerised by the Vivid Sydney program, with larger installations and a gripping Music and Ideas offering, so I encourage visitors to start planning their trip early to get the most out of this year’s exciting line-up.

“Over 23 nights from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, Vivid Sydney will paint the Harbour City in the colour and spectacle of Vivid Light, take over Sydney stages with Vivid Music’s electric performances and collaborations, and provide a global forum for thought-provoking debate and creative discussion at Vivid Ideas.”

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and in 2017, attracted a record-breaking 2.33 million attendees to Vivid Sydney, delivering an incredible $143 million of visitor expenditure into the NSW economy.

VIVID LIGHT

Virtual Vibration (Artist impression by Jonny Niesche and Spinifex Group)

For the first time, Vivid Sydney’s dazzling Light Walk extends to new precinct Luna Park Sydneywhere the iconic amusement park comes alive with large-scale projection on the facade of Coney Island. The show celebrates the history, magic, creativity, engineering, fantasy and imagination that have come together to create millions of memories on this unique and special site.This year also marks the first time Luna Park’s iconic Ferris Wheel will be lit for the festival following an LED refit, which has included a massive boost in the number of lights adorning the wheel.

Vivid Sydney’s bright lights will illuminate the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney again in 2018, where visitors will follow a pathway that weaves through an exciting nocturnal environment inspired by nature. Here, Parrot Party inspired by the New Zealand Kea Parrot and the Australian Rainbow Lorikeet, comes alive as people gather, breaking into song and radiating colourful light. Aqueous will dazzle with its interactive landscape of meandering pathways of light, which will flow and glow in full illuminated interactivity, engaging visitors in collaborative play. The Blooma giant electric, metallic flower with petals adorned with mirrors that refract and reflect light, puts you in the centre of the flower capturing the perfect photo moment, and He’e nalu gives the joyous sensation of surfing a wave.

In celebration of their 100 year anniversary, May Gibbs’ iconic and immortal characters, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their stalwart companions come to life on the façade of Customs House, as they journey through the Australian Bush and encounter the weird, the wonderful, and things quite unknown altogether. This whimsical piece will be narrated by renowned Australian film and television actress Noni Hazlehurst AM, Patron of the Australian Children’s Laureate, and beloved by Play School devotees far and wide.

All eyes turn to the World-Heritage listed Sydney Opera House at the centre of the Vivid Light Walk for Lighting of the Sails, created in 2018 by award-winning Australian artist Jonathan Zawada. Visitors will be captivated by Metamathemagical, a bold and dynamic display of morphing digital sculptures inspired by recognisable Australian motifs across science, nature and culture.

Sydney’s iconic buildings will once again be transformed, including the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) with Virtual Vibration, a highly-collaborative creative work produced in conjunction with MCA Collection artist Jonny Niesche and composer Mark Pritchard. Interactive lighting display Skylark will let visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, stretching from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the skyscrapers of Circular Quay to the reaches of Sydney Harbour.

Network Ten and MasterChef Australia will bring a magical experience to the facade of the ASN Co. Building in The Rocks, in celebration of both Masterchef and Vivid Sydney’s 10th Birthday with Mystery Gateau. Mini construction-worker chefs will guide you on a journey of fun and wonderment, with the famous MasterChef clock ticking down to the final extraordinary surprise.

Popular precincts Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Chatswood, Barangaroo and Kings Cross will return in 2018.

Festival favourites from last year are back along with a whole new mob of fierce, fantastic, quirky and endearing species for Taronga Zoo’s Lights for the Wild. Visitors will discover some new spectacular animal light sculptures, and learn how Taronga is working to help save 10 species from extinction over the next 10 years.

An art-meets-technology water fountain, light and laser experience takes Darling Harbour visitors into a dream-like dive under the ocean, while the iconic rooftop of the Australian National Maritime Museum will be projected with BBC Earth and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, exploring the fascinating world beneath the waves.

A pop-up market inspired by the colourful neighbourhood street markets of Brazil, built from scaffold and recycled materials and lit by lasers will transform the Chatswood CBD. The Concourse will take visitors on an immersive, deep dive into space featuring NASA’s amazing imagery and 360-degree projection.

Barangaroo glows under layers of light and sound that evoke the surrounding waterways, with the precinct coming to life through the magnificent art of puppetry with a breathtaking, giant luminescent creature venturing along the waterfront in a theatrical display of sound and light.

Precinct contributor Coca-Cola returns to light up the streets of Sydney’s iconic Kings Cross and to support another KX program in 2018. The colourful strip along Darlinghurst Road will be transformed with a spectacular display of light and life. The famous Coca-Cola sign comes alive again in 2018 with an array of flair and a creative colour show. Other Vivid KX transformations include the historic Victorian Terrace; World Bar, which will unfurl a multi-story house party, and the renowned Kings Cross Hotel, which will host cutting-edge artists curated by legendary party-crews.

VIVID MUSIC

Ice Cube (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures) 

Vivid Music ups the ante in 2018 with an electric line-up, from noise to jazz, sonic experimentation to soul. Highlights include a one-night-only performance by Grammy award-winning rock-goddess St. Vincent, and the return of Curve Ball headlined by Alison Wonderland — a large-scale live music and art event created by the team behind Field Day, Harbourlife and Listen Out — both at Carriageworks.

The City Recital Hall returns to the program, tracking the extraordinary rise in jazz with the Innovators In Jazz series featuring the undisputed king, triple Grammy award-winner saxophonist Branford Marsalis.The world’s finest jazz vocalists including Kurt Elling and chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux, will line up alongside Orange is the New Black star Lea Delaria in her musical comedy, jazz interpretation show.

Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House hosts a stellar line-up of Australian exclusives as part of Vivid Sydney, including several Opera House debuts. Highlights this year include American dream-pop icons Mazzy Star, the godfather of West Coast rap Ice Cube, acclaimed 90s indie rock singer/songwriter Cat Power, Grammy award-winning artist Solange, and the long-awaited collaboration between iconic Australian artists Daniel Johns and Luke Steele

Now in its 4th year as part of Vivid Sydney, Heaps Gay struts uptown to Sydney Town Hall for an unmissable experience, the inaugural Qween’s Ball. Other not-to-be missed events include Young Hearts Run Free and one of Australia’s most exciting breakthrough artists performing at the Enmore Theatre, Vera Blue.

Also returning to Vivid Music in 2018 is X|Celerate, a partnership between Vivid Sydney and the City of Sydney to enliven music venues across town. Showcasing grassroots and emerging local music talent, highlights will include Purple Sneakers 12th birthday at The Lansdowne, a fusion of food, wine and music at Cake Wines Cellar Door, and HAPPY and VISIONS at The Lady Hampshire.

VIVID IDEAS

James Cameron (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

As architects of the future, it’s time to join the masterminds and creative catalysts at Vivid Ideas for inspiration. Vivid Ideas provides a forum to workshop, collaborate and cultivate fresh thinking to drive the creative agenda across tech, design, entertainment and culture. Vivid Ideas returns in 2018 with some of the world’s greatest minds as we explore the future-shaping scenarios that will define our lives.

Vivid Ideas 2018 showcases those who are leading the way in technology, creativity and science. Game Changers and Creative Catalysts this year include film-maker, marine explorer and conservationist James Cameron. In a Vivid Sydney exclusive, James will explore his passion for science and technology, and how it has influenced his work as a film director and environmentalist. James will be joined in conversation by Adam Spencerwhile in Sydney to open the James Cameron – Challenging the Deep exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Australian global success story Dare Jennings — founder of Mambo Clothing, Phantom Records and Deus ex Machina — joins his good friend James Valentine to discuss creating cult brands that cut across age and lifestyles as well the joys of throwing out the rule book.

Futurist and game developer, Jane McGonigal can prove games have the power transform our real world lives. She and Artificial Intelligence expert Kriti Sharma join Vivid Ideas to explore the latest in AI, VR and gaming to ask what kind of society we can create with technology.

Visual strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-founder of the Museum of Awe, Dan Goods joins the Vivid Ideas Creative Catalysts line-up to explore how creativity and science interplay and why NASA has a virtual strategist.

The New Horizons series explores the mega-trends and micro-developments in technology and innovation, and shines a light on experts tackling the biggest issues with creativity in a bid to make our future brighter. Topics include Future Fashion, Algae is the New Black, Blockchain Decoded and Evolving Democracy.

Over three successive Wednesdays, Vivid Sydney will take over the Art Gallery of NSW to create an intimate portrait of our better selves. Our special guests dare to ask if we can improve dying, how we can find common ground when and where there’s conflict, and why we should nudge perceptions around female sexuality. These events will be accompanied by curated music from Goldheist, Air Land Sea and Haiku Hands.

The Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum of Contemporary Art returns, boasting a diverse line-up of talks presented by creative experts covering topics including the future of work, the ethics of humanising technology and how to become agents for change.

VIVID SPONSORS

Vivid Sydney thanks its sponsors for their support of Vivid Sydney 2018. Partners include American Express returning for a second year of partnership, and introducing new partner, Samsung. Supporters include City of Sydney, Oracle Liquid, Property NSW, Sydney Opera House, TAFE NSW, Technical Direction Company, Transgrid, Transport for NSW and 32 Hundred Lighting. For the second year, Vivid Sydney’s Access and Inclusion partner is Cushman and Wakefield, Coca-Cola returns as Kings Cross precinct contributor and the festival continues its sustainability partnership with the Banksia Foundation. Also new to Vivid Sydney are Vivid Collaborators, CSIRO, Gateway Sydney, Network 10, ATS Logistics, Kennards Hire and Red Balloon.

Charity Partners include Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Northcott.

2017 Vivid Sydney: Event Photos and Videos

The 2017 Vivid Sydney festival takes place from May 26 to June 17 at various locations in Sydney. Here are some photos and videos from the event:

 

2017 Vivid Sydney: expanded programming announced; Shepard Fairey, Air, Dianne Reeves among featured artists

March 13, 2017

Audio Creatures, Lighting the Sails artist impression by Ash Bolland, one of the installations at Vivid Sydney 2017

The annual art, light and music festival Vivid Sydney has announced big changes for its 2017 edition, including a new precinct at Barangaroo, an expanded light walk through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and imaginary creatures that will transform the Sails of the Sydney Opera House. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  This year’s festival will take place from May 26 to June 17.

The following is an excerpt from a Vivid Sydney press release:

Vivid Light

For the first time, Vivid Sydney’s vibrant kaleidoscope will stream into a new precinct at Barangaroo, with a trail of installations winding through intimate laneways, past waterfront vistas and into a foodie paradise. Visitors will be immersed in A Day in the Light, an outdoor theatre of light and sound that lets them become part of the artwork, and treated to optical illusions at Trapdoor, which tells the stories of Barangaroo’s past.

Birds of Lumos artist impression by Amigo and Amigo, one of the installations at Vivid Sydney 2017

The festival’s bright lights will return to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney with an expanded trail that will take visitors through the heart of the beautiful harbourside oasis. Here, Birds of Lumos, inspired by the rare Rowi species of the New Zealand kiwi, will come to life as they glow and pulse with color. The nostalgic Dipping Birds, giant 2.5 metre illuminated sculptures, will change color as they dip back and forth into a pond, and quirky installation “You lookin’ at me?will turn heads as big glaring eyes follow passers-by. A pop-up landmark celebrating our Harbour City, Sydneyland, will provide a beautiful and iconic photo backdrop for visitors and locals.

At the heart of the Vivid Sydney light walk, the Sails of the World-Heritage listed Sydney Opera House will be bought to life by a series of imaginary creatures curated and designed by acclaimed cinematographer, editor, and graphic designer Ash Bolland. Audio Creatures will show creatures interacting with the environment, morphing and moving between each other across the iconic Sails.

Organic Vibrations artist impression of the Museum of Contemporary Art by Julia Gorman and Danny Rose, one of the installations at Vivid Sydney 2017

The City’s icons will once again be transformed, including the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with Organic Vibrations, a collaboration between Australian artist Julia Gorman and the Paris-based creative and artistic collective, Danny Rose. Interactive lighting display Dreamscape will let visitors put their own colourful mark on the city’s skyline from Circular Quay along the Cahill Expressway to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Popular precincts Chatswood, Taronga Zoo, Martin Place and Darling Harbour will return in 2017. The buildings, shopping malls, streets and laneways of Chatswood CBD will be reinvented as a retro-futuristic smart city called Future City, Smart City with ingenious installations and light sculptures inspired by the ‘Steampunk’ design aesthetic of 19th century steam-powered machinery.

Lights for the Wild at Taronga Zoo, will return featuring giant animal light sculptures that wowed visitors when they made their debut last year. A few new characters and surprises will join the 2016 favorites, including a swarm of buzzing bees, and a giant interactive Port Jackson shark.

Urban Tree 2.0, artist impression by Ample Projects, one of the installations at Vivid Sydney 2017

Martin Place will be home to Sydney’s most popular food and beverage purveyors, alongside grand, interactive light installations. Highlights include a new version of the multi-award winning 3D mapped projection Urban Tree 2.0, and Deep Forest, an urban jungle for feasting featuring an open flame fire-pit with barbeque treats from Porteno and some of NSW’s best fire chefs.

Twenty-eight  tonnes of water will be thrown into the air every minute, whilst lasers, flame jets, music and fireworks combine in a celebration of the power of creativity and innovation at Darling Harbour. Magicians of the Mist water theatre will be a spectacular display of technology and art defining the digital era.

Vivid Music

The beat of the Vivid Music program is stronger than ever with over 250 events in this year’s line-up. Highlights include an Australian exclusive performance by electronic pop duo Goldfrapp and the return of Curve Ball —a large-scale live music and art event created by Fuzzy Music, both at Carriageworks.

Popular Vivid Music events return including Heaps Gay, Soul of Sydney, Purple Sneakers and The Argyle’s Tokyo Disco.

Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will deliver an eclectic suite of not-to-be-missed performances from influential American folk-rock band Fleet Foxes, French electronic superheroes AIR, British singer and songwriter Laura Marling, and producer and bonafide hit-maker, Australia’s Nick Murphy.

City Recital Hall breaks from its classical roots with an incredible program—Metamorphosis—serving up everything from jazz and dance anthems, to multisensory masterpieces. Sydney based indie rock band Dappled Cities will launch their new album “IIIII” (pronounced “five”), Grammy award-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves will take to the stage in a special one-off performance, and Paul Mac will host a Sound Bubble Sound Party.

Cake Wines Cellar Door (Photo courtesy of Vivid Sydney)

In a Vivid Music first, Vivid Sydney has partnered with the City of Sydney to deliver a program across a multitude of city venues. Showcasing grassroots and emerging local music talent, highlights will include a new rooftop festival from Cake Wines, Pie in the Sky, and a showcase of Women in Electronic Music at Oxford Art Factory.

Kings Cross returns with an exciting line-up of performance music, art, Avant Cabaret and cutting-edge, independent and immersive theatre with a bohemian flavor, part of the Vivid KX program.

Vivid Ideas

The Vivid Ideas program will continue to challenge and inspire with more than 200 events exploring the changing face of the creative industries. Iconic American artist Shepard Fairey, who blurs the boundaries of art and design, headlines the Vivid Ideas line-up. His body of work includes his Barack Obama HOPE campaign, the OBEY GIANT art project, and this year’s ubiquitous ‘We The People’ initiative.

In a Vivid Sydney exclusive, Fairey will share his do-it-yourself approach, career highlights and how he managed to turn his creativity into an authentic voice about street culture. He will also create a large scale public mural live on a wall in Sydney’s CBD, and some of his most famous works to date will be part of a pop-up exhibition at the Darling Quarter.

Shepard Fairey (Photo by Johnathan Furlong)

Throughout the city, a series of conferences will connect start-ups, emerging talent, practitioners and entrepreneurs with world-class creators and thought-leaders. Highlights include The Sunrise, which connects start-ups with successful founders; Semi Permanent, returning with a series of interactive, immersive experiences featuring leaders from Getty Images, NIKE, Google and more; and family-favorite, Robowars, where some of the country’s best engineers and robotic experts put their self-built robots to battle.

The Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum of Contemporary Art also boasts a diverse line-up of talks presented by Creative Practitioners covering topics from fashion to placemaking, storytelling, ageism, marketing pitching, health, innovation, big data and mixed reality.

Vivid Sydney Sponsors 

Vivid Sydney thanks its sponsors for their support of the festival in 2017 including Partners Huawei, Ford and American Express, and Supporters: Allianz, Canon, City of Sydney, NSW Department of Industry, Google, Oracle Liquid, Property NSW, Sensis, Sydney Airport, Sydney Opera House, TAFE NSW, Technical Direction Company and 32 Hundred Lighting. Vivid Sydney’s Access and Inclusion partner is Cushman and Wakefield and the festival continues its sustainability partnership with the Banksia Foundation.