Ghosts, Visions, Spectres – November 7, 2012
Not so used to doing gigs outside the confines of the various nests we create for ourselves, we weren’t quite sure how we’d fit in at the State Library. Then we found out the library had an in-house ghost, so we asked him for some help, and we came up with this:
First up we had Patrick Lenton with a rather horrifying vision of a few of Australia’s literary greats:
Then Marcus Whale spoke about trapping River Phoenix’s ghost between VCR tapes:
Clare Testoni read about her dad’s very own haunted house:
Jess Bellamy let us in on what it is to be a Yeatsian:
Adam Norris read a true* story about disappearing statues (*is this really true, Adam?)
And Kenzie Larsen read about Goosebumps, and a trip to Officeworks:
This is Not a Lecture @ MCA – September 7, 2012
This was our first gig in a lecture theatre, so we thought we’d curate stories that sat half way between lectures and tales. The pieces may not make much sense without the pictures, but you’ll get the gist of things:
First up, Gemma O’Brien told us about her obsession with type:
We can’t show you the clip she played in the talk, because some music company has blocked it on copyright grounds, but we can show you this one instead:
Mohammed Ahmad talked us through a few films that really get him fired up:
Vanessa Berry re-imagined the histories and purpose of a few landmarks around Sydney:
And here’s a link to the blog, where you can find more of Vanessa’s writing.
Sam Cooney bedazzled us with some failed videogame proposals:
I rabbited on about love and cephalopods and how thinking about cephalopods can stop you from falling apart:
And finally Scott Sandwich (rumour has it this is not his real name) told us about … wheat fields, sound, zippers… all of these things and more:
Off-shore – March 2, 2012
On Friday March 2, we had a special PPR in honour of Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad gracing Sydney with his presence. We’ve picked out 4 stories from the night for your aural delight:
First up, we have Shetland, a true story (some of which was made up), by performance-maker and Artistic Associate of the Tamarama Rock Surfers, Phil Spencer. I won’t give away too much, but I will say he does the accents and EVERYTHING:
Next, we have Decomposing Bodies, about the ways scientists have of finding out how long a person has been drowned, by Catalyst researcher Wendy Zukerman. It may involve pigs heads, and may also be evidence that science is far from being dry. (No pun intended.)
We also have our headliner reading an excerpt from his novel, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to you in All the Confusion, about a boy, drunk and in love, and dressed in an astronaut suit:
And finally we have a kind of piano ballad-short story hybrid, Listening to Heavy Rain in Bed, from one of the night’s wildcards, James Brown, which will possibly have you locking up your cats, so James won’t try to kick them:
Lost Highways – January 21, 2012
This month, we thought about recording the stories at the last minute. Or rather, Pip remembered two minutes before the show to record the stories, which was the same time she remembered she didn’t organise for anyone to man the sound desk, which was the same moment David Finnigan was standing in front of her, so it was also the minute before David found himself behind the sound desk, balancing the zoom recorder on his knee. (Thank you David.)
So, if you’re thinking that the recordings we’ve selected from the January PPR sound like they were recorded 10 meters away from the speaker, through a tuft of leg hair and the back of a couch, that is because they were. Well done to your magical ears for picking that up!
We didn’t want to let our (Pip’s) appalling organisational abilities get in the way of you hearing some of the highlights of the night, so here they are, salvaged from a soup of lo fi graininess by Adam Zwi, audio producer extraordinaire.
First up, we have a two-parter from Canberra’s beloved festival producer, poet, MC & etc, Hadley. Though it might be called St Valentine’s Day, do not be fooled into thinking you’re about to hear a Mills and Boon-grade, belly-warming romance. St Valentine’s Day is the kind of story that has to be told in an age when women are still told they can’t marry women – ie, a Thelma and Louise-slash cowgirl-slash-goat herding retaliation, full of gunfire and drunk goats and snogs in a cherry red Valiant:
Next up, we have a story from PPR favourite, Zoe Norton Lodge. Part Dr Seuss, part List of Regrettable Christmas Gifts, this is The Story of How Zoe Remembered the Beautiful Journey that is Christmas.
And finally, here is a story called Jobber about wrestling, told by PPR veteran Luke Carman. It’s pretty lo fi, but it’s worth it. He even slows down a smidge, so you can catch every word.
In April we became a little megalomaniacal and decided we weren’t just going to bring short stories to the 100 people that could squeeze into the living room at 475 King St, we were going to take our short stories to the WHOLE WORLD. And how? By using the wiley ways of the Internet. We loved what Take Away Shows and Shoot the Player were doing so much that we thought we’d rip off their style. So we decided to get some of our favourite writers to write short 500 word stories set in Sydney, throw them out into the location the story was set in, and get them to read it in front of a camera. The whole thing was going to be hooked up with FBi’s show All the Best, too, so that we could take the stories to the radio, as well as to the web. We were all revved up to do this and then…. We got evicted! Love lives imploded! People lost jobs! Others moved interstate! Basically, the universe kind of ripped itself open and swallowed all sense of time, stability, and possible-ways-to-get-things-off-the-ground, not to mention our film project.
Anyway, long story short, here we are, a long long way away from April and still, pretty much, in the same place we were then.
But we’re back on our metaphorical bikes now, and ready to give you a possibly-not-so-steady stream of short films.
Here are two.
A New Man, by Jason Childs, was the first film we made for the project. We spent all day filming, got harassed by transit officers, but over all had a pretty darned good time. SUPER MASSIVE THANKS go out to — TK Arnold – video artist and all round kind gentleman, Amelia Schmidt – writer, editor, website setter-upperer and all round plucky individual, Jason – writer, editor, thinker, CoD player, and all round good cooker of mushrooms, Lucy – film editor, tech person, organiser of EVERYTHING, and all round person of good visual taste and Marika – film maker, film editor, singer, and all round generous heart – who gave up their Sunday to shlepp around with a heavy chair and get told what to do.
The next film is completely different in style. This was taken on Lucy’s SLR camera at PPR #17 on August 16 at our new digs in St Peters. It’s Luke Carman reading at a hundred miles an hour. It sizzles.
We hope you like our wee films. If you have any hot tips for us, or really want to see your favourite writer reading out and about town, please do let us know.