They do make ’em like they used to

June 28, 2012

As the community of Bingara prepares for a weekend of nostalgia, it is fitting that The Roxy, presents The Artist, an utterly beguiling black-and-white celebration of early Hollywood.In keeping with the theme of the weekend’s festivities, The Artist will be screened on Sunday 1st July at 2:00pm and again on Wednesday 4th July at 10:30am.

A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, The Artist is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare. The Artist might just be moving pictures, but pictures are seldom as moving as this one.

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar in Hollywood in 1927.   Valentin is every inch the silent-movie icon:  his hair is slick, his eyebrows meticulous, his moustache a horizontal curly bracket, his jawline a perfect trapezium.  He can barely see his own image without a wink and a cheerio at himself and as we all know, pride comes before the fall.

The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion.  For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits.  The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. Valentin and Peppy make a stunning couple and it’s a pleasure just looking at them on the screen. 

And as if that isn’t enough, Valentin’s adorable Jack Russell terrier delights in every scene. (He is an award winner too, having won the Golden Collar award for the best performance by a dog in a film).

Exquisitely made with winning performances, The Artist reminds us of the effectiveness of story telling without words and the impact of music as a powerful emotional tool. It’s easy to be captivated by this unique, universal piece de joie that above all makes us care for its characters as we journey through a maze of emotions.

The Artist falls into the long tradition of movies about movies in the late twenties and early thirties Hollywood, during the rise of the talkies. Rather than being a celebration of colour and sound, it’s a eulogy for monochrome and silence; less a showcase of what film can do than a reminder of what it can be. An audience that is unfamiliar with the history of film will be just as bowled over by its beauty and wit as anyone else.

The film’s final sequence, which legitimately resolves all of the foregoing drama with a dance number, sums up in three minutes everything that cinema is capable of that no other art form can touch.

To kick off the festivities for the weekend, The Roxy is proud to present Matt Zarb live on stage on Friday 29th June at 8pm.  Joining him on stage will be special guest Benny Nelson from Warialda.   Benny’s lead role in “Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat” presented by the North West Theatre Company and the Bingara Central School at The Roxy in 2010 was nothing short of spectacular.  Indeed following this show-stopping performance, Benny went on to appear as a Featured Artist in the Schools Spectacular 2010 and 2011. 

Benny Nelson has been performing with singing and music since the age of nine.  He is a contemporary singer/songwriter currently in the Talent Development Project in Sydney and was one of ten chosen from the 50 featured students to perform a show at the NSW International Youth Fest 2012.

Benny won the Moree Superstar Academy of Country Music scholarship in 2011, and performed in “SHINE” in the Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, presented by Carter and Carter at the 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

Matt Zarb needs no introduction to Bingara. He is an innovative singer/songwriter with a swag of stories, songs and a guitar style unique to himself. His previous performances in Bingara have ensured that there is no doubting his extraordinary talent.

Matt’s unique style of guitar playing and songwriting has carried him to stages of all shapes and sizes all over the world and back.  His amazing craft has landed him on stages with everyone from Tommy Emmanuel to Willie Nelson and many more. 

With both Matt and Benny burning up the stage, this is one night you won’t want to miss at The Roxy.  Bookings through Bingara Tourist Information Centre tel:  (02) 6724 0066.