Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tragedy and Madness

Wednesday was Opening Night for The Dark Knight, much anticipated as the final finished Heath Ledger movie. I had organised tickets for a group of us, and we headed to Melbourne Central after work for the viewing.

Heath's death in January this year was much like hearing of Princess Diana's - I know exactly where I was, and was stunned! Received calls all day with people debriefing, and sharing the shock.

Admittedly, I would not have seen the newst Batman movie if it wasn't for Heath playing The Joker, and the rave reviews he was getting for his dark and disturbing portrayal. Melissa and I even viewed Batman Begins, the first of this series of Batman movies, last weekend, for research!

Mairead, Jo, Mary and I left the office, and met Melissa and Nicole at the crowded ticket area to find our allocated seats for the packed out viewing, loaded with popcorn and other treats.

We settled into our seats, through the previews, and were subjected to monitoring tours of staff in search of anyone recording the first day of screenings.

The movie was great, but Heath's performance as The Joker was chilling, witty and scarily on track as someone consumed with madness. I dare say there were many one liners about the madness that would have been hard for the Ledger family to view, given his passing. The second half of the movie was Heath's shining light, with many scenes with just him filling our screen, having us mesmorised.

Yesterday, I met Michelle for brunch and a long overdue catch up at Journal, before we walked across the Yarra to the Arts Centre. We had tickets to Hamlet, a Bell Shakespeare production, starring Brendan Cowell. Cowell, from Love My Way, and dating Rose Byrne, looked very much like Bernand Fanning to me in the production posters...and upon gracing the stage.

A strong and engaging presence on stage, Cowell was a tortured, grieving, and ranting Hamlet. The additional treat to our Shakespeare on a Saturday afternoon was that the score for this production was put together by Sarah Blasko, who was also one of The Players on stage, added to the play with her voice and distinct music arrangements throughout.

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