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Gurrumul documentary review: a breakthrough look at musician and his people

In a strictly biographical sense, the film omits a lot from the life of G G Yunupingu. Paul Williams..

In a strictly biographical sense, the film omits a lot from the life of G G Yunupingu. Paul Williams, the director, leaves many stories untold or half told, such as why the singer failed to turn up at Darwin airport on the day he was supposed to depart on his first American tour. Instead, he cuts to the initiation ceremony on Elcho Island of one of the singer's young relatives. Point taken. We don't hear anything about his controversial death, his liver and kidney disease, or the fact that he had Hepatitis B as a kid. Nor that he disliked dialysis treatments so much that he would sometimes hide, rather than go.

I'm guessing this oblique story-telling is an attempt to approximate the Yolgnu way of looking at the world. That's a risky approach for a white film-maker from Melbourne – but Paul Williams has paid his dues. He had spent five years making films in remote Aboriginal communities before starting on this film. He went north to work as clip-maker for SkinnyFish Music, a company set up by Mark Grose to record and promote Aboriginal music.

Grose had become Gurrumul's manager and minder after two decades working in remote communities. Michael Hohnen, a double bass player, became Gurrumul's closest musical collaborator as the singer went solo, after years in Yothu Yindi and the Saltwater Band. The film revolves around the relationship between Grose, Hohnen and Yunupingu – all three of whom are credited as co-producers. That effectively means they were also the gatekeepers, which might also explain some of the omissions.

In a wider sense, those don't really matter. Anyone who wants more facts can do their own reading. What the film does is take us into the other senses, particularly sight and sound. There are a number of blackouts where we are forced to imagine what blindness is like. Those sequences reinforce the need to listen hard, and at the level of sound, the film is beyond rich: not just hearing Gurrumul's voice in its full beauty, but in the score that accompanies the many sequences of singing and dancing on Elcho Island. Hohnen, Gurrumul and composer Errki Veltheim share the score credit.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu in the studio.

Photo: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT

Without quite saying it, the film makes us feel how strong that culture is on Elcho Island, and how difficult it was for Gurrumul to leave it. We meet his parents and relatives and get some idea of the closeness of bonds within his two different clans. Other films have tried to tell us about such things in Aboriginal culture. This one just tries to show it and that's a kind of breakthrough. I felt the film in my bones, more than my brain.

It's also rare that a film respects the music, as much as the story. The sequences of Gurrumul working in studio with Hohnen and Veltheim, basing songs on traditional themes and totems, are simply sublime. They make the singer's death at 46 seem that much more tragic. One cannot watch this film and not ask the question: what might he have accomplished with better access to health care?

The Gurrumul documentary is "beyond rich".

Photo: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

More from Phoebe Waller-bridge

She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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