September, 2019

REVIEW: One life of vice

PITTED AGAINST: Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane in the zombie movie World War Z.MICHAEL Winterbottom’s study on pornography king Paul Raymond is a fast-paced drama that delves into the personal life of a powerful man with so many riches he could not see his own weaknesses.
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Based loosely on a biography, Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, by Paul Willetts, the movie is full of the business that made Raymond rich and famous: naked women, striptease joints, recreational drugs and the toys of nouveau wealth.

The Look of Love

Steve Coogan (pictured) looks extremely comfortable as Paul Raymond: confident and careless, with no remorse for his personal actions.

The movie tackles Raymond’s troubled love affairs, showing his lack of empathy or genuine love for his female partners.

His tragic relationship with his daughter, Debbie, played forcefully by starlet Imogen Poots, whom he loved dearly but hardly tried to provide with loving parental direction or advice, is the central tenet of the movie.

This movie, which opens the Sydney Travelling Film Festival program in Newcastle tonight, encapsulates the spirit of adventurous filmmaking. While the boob count is so high you stop counting, this movie is not about sex, it’s about the human condition, what drives a person, no matter the cost.

From gore to metaphor


Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Abigail Hargrove

Director: Marc Forster

Screening: general

Rating: ★★★


ZOMBIES may be mindless but they make great metaphors.

In 1968, when George Romero came up with Night of the Living Dead, the first in his cycle of zombie classics, he drew on Vietnam and the racism in America’s south to create a zombie menace that sprang from the evils within American society. His zombies were not The Other. They were Us.

And to ram the message right home, he made the mob hysteria, whipped up by some of the films’ more zealous zombie hunters, look just as ugly as the zombies themselves.

Romero’s were low-budget efforts but their special effects men delighted the fans by splashing on the blood and gore with a sure hand and an unflinching eye for detail.

World War Z, produced by its star, Brad Pitt, and directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), is definitely not low-budget.

This time round, the prevailing metaphor – predictably enough – stems from our fears of environmental catastrophe. These zombies are not risen from the dead. They have caught a virus that is likened to SARS and the influenza pandemic of the early 1900s. And they are compelled to pass it on. One bite and you know in 12 seconds if you, too, are about to become ‘‘zombified’’. The less-than-subtle inference to be drawn from this is that we are polluting the planet by over-population and it is retaliating in kind.

Prospects are bleak but we do have Brad. As Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator, he has spent a lot of time taking care of trouble in an assortment of the world’s top hotspots. Now he’s retired. But in the film’s opening scenes, the zombie hordes hit Philadelphia, where he has been living happily with his wife, Karin (Mireille Enos), and their young daughters. They escape only because his former boss has them whisked to safety by helicopter and set down on a US aircraft carrier in the Atlantic. Here, Karin and the girls can stay if Gerry will agree to head a mission aimed at tracking the virus to its cause. First stop is North Korea.

All the while, Forster wisely keeps the zombies in the middle distance, except for a climactic few moments with close-ups cut together so fast that you can’t see much.

The North Korean scenes, which take place at night in a rainstorm, are appropriately depressing. Then it’s on to Jerusalem for something genuinely weird. With an efficiency born of long years of practice, the Israelis have kept themselves safe by walling themselves off. What’s more, they have done wonders for the Arab-Israeli peace process by taking their Palestinian neighbours in with them. All is going well until the zombies – filmed in dazzling long shot – arrange themselves in a pyramid and begin swarming up the stonework.

Next to this, the denouement seems strangely restrained, set in a World Health Organisation laboratory deep in the British countryside. The script abandons large-scale action for some small-scale detective work followed by a series of stealthy manoeuvring through the laboratory’s corridors. In a blockbuster of such magnitude, it’s rare to go out with a sequence aimed at engaging you instead of blasting you out of your seat. And I found it refreshing. SMH

FISHING: Swansea Channel jumping

Browse Herald Fish File here
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PAUL Sheppard reports nice numbers of luderick lurking in Swansea Channel and throughout the lake this week, plus the odd surprise.

“I was out chasing off the point near Arcadia Vale – it beats mowing the grass,” Paul explained.

“We must have been 15 metres from shore, fishing into the bank, when I spotted five kingfish swimming by.

“They were all over 80 centimetres, all keepers, very exciting.

“I’ve also heard from a certain retired school teacher that there’s a few flathead about.”

Shane Munro hit the lake in his trusty tinnie on Tuesday and can confirm the flathead rumours.

“Me and my mate got 30 between us, all on lures in deeper water on the western side of the lake,” Shane said. He was not inclined to reveal exactly where on the western side.

“On the tide, just bang, one after the other,” he said.

“Then I headed into the shallows and picked up one about 80 centimetres. We only kept a feed and let the rest go.

“I also hear it’s been standing room only off the breakwall at Nelson Bay and in certain spots in Swansea Channel as guys go after luderick.

“They’re all spawning now so it’s red hot, although I’d prefer to eat flathead any day.”

Robert Mitchell got a nice bream kayak fishing with lures. Very tasty, by all accounts.

Secret to jew strikes

ANDREW Thompson, fresh from joining up with Redhead Fishing Club, reports there are good jew and snapper about in and off Newcastle.

“I’ve been going all right on the jew in Newcastle Harbour,” Thommo said.

“Two weeks ago I weighed a 15-kilogram mulloway, and last week I got another one the same size.

“The first one had a mullet in it, just freshly killed, looked like someone had scaled it.

“It’s amazing how they scale them with their gills.”

This led to an interesting discussion about jew fishing.

“A lot of guys will tell you that when they get a jew, typically it’ll run, then stop and give the fish a rattle before running again,” he said.

“When it stops, it’s actually scaling the fish with its gills before swallowing it.

“A lot of blokes will tell you this is the time to strike.”

But there is a risk, according to Thommo, because deciding to wait may well cost you the fish.

“I fish with a strike drag,” Thommo explained.

“It’s a dual hook set-up with one hook through the back of the fish, and one fish on a short leader that swings around the fish.

“When the fish hits the bait, it immediately hooks the fish – you usually get one hook in the corner of the mouth and the other right up under the jaw.

“It’s a high percentage hook-up and takes out that indecision of when to hook the fish.”

Low-pressure fishing

THOMMO reckons barometric plays a big role in whether or not jew will get on the chew.

“When it’s dropping, the pressure on the jew’s stomach decreases, it relaxes and it gets hungry,” he explained.

“I find the barometer is usually on the way down the day before a southerly hits, so I’ll try and go out then, at night.”

It depends on where he’s fishing, too.

“Three things come into it for me if I’m fishing a wreck, for instance,” Thommo explained.

“The pressure has to be dropping, I have to fish a north-west wind and it has to be on a low tide.

“High tides are good on reefs as the jew will come up.

“I like the low tide when it’s coming out of the river.”

Meanwhile, go to the Herald Fish File online at theherald上海夜生活 and check out the monster jew Whitebridge warrior John Finnie hooked recently while travelling around Australia.

Tuna and snapper tales

SOURCES within the Redhead Fishing Club (Thommo) report sightings of albacore off the shelf and high anticipation of yellowfin tuna not too far away.

Closer to shore, Thommo has been cleaning up on snapper.

“We were at Big Sandhill off Birubi last Sunday in about 25 metres and got 25 snapper, some up to three kilograms cleaned,” he said.

“Got them on baits but had more success with the bigger fish with soft plastics like Berkley gulps, particularly the four-inch minnows.”

Fighting emperors

GUYS in the know, particularly guys from Redhead Fishing Club, (again Thommo) are aware there’s spangled emperor working off the rocks up around Nelson Bay.

“They’re usually about when the water’s warmer,” Thommo said.

“But they’re there and they are a great fighting fish.

“The boys reckon a two-kilogram spangled emp goes harder than a drummer.

“There are plenty of tailor about.

“There’s been a few good ones in the lake, but outside they’re a bit smaller.

“We’ve even seen a few bar cod outside too, in reasonably shallow water for bar cod.”

It’s a full moon this weekend and the club is off in search of big trag and snapper up around Crowdy Head.

Caring for our fish

THE Department of Primary Industries is calling for people to join the Fishcare Volunteer Program.

Fishcare volunteers help promote responsible fishing practices in NSW at events such as fishing competitions, shows and field days, and the Get Hooked . . . It’s Fun to Fish schools program.

SNAP THAT: Peter McIntosh, from Maitland, wins the Jarvis Walker tackle box and Tsunami lure pack for this 75-centimetre, 7.5-kilogram snapper caught off Port Stephens.


Smith’s team ready to repay stable clients’ loyalty at HQ

Chew on this: Chewychop wins at Newcastle for Glyn Schofield, who sticks with the gelding in the fifth race at Randwick on Saturday. Photo: Brockwell PerksNewcastle trainer Darren Smith this week brings a trio of horses to Sydney that could go to the next level for deserving owners.
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The horses of long-time stable supporter Bruce Mackenzie would be well known to punters as they all carry Oakfield in their name, while the quirkily named Chewychop carries the memory of late Port Macquarie trainer Noel Hazlewood, as he is raced on by his son and daughter under the endorsement of their father, who said: “This is the one for us.”

The three-year-old posted a couple of wins to start his career before running third in the Scone Guineas and third at Rosehill last time. “I’m very happy with him,” Smith said. “This will be it [the last start] for him this time in.

“It would be good if he could go out a winner because, if we can, his rating would make it easier to get into better races next prep.”

The Oakfield horses have been the mainstay for Smith’s stable for more than a decade. The mostly home-breds have won more than 100 races in that time, but there hasn’t been a “really good one”.

Oakfield Commands and Oakfield Comet are in at Randwick, and the former is on track for a start in next month’s Ramornie Handicap at Grafton if he can win the Winter Dash on Saturday.

“This could be that horse, that goes to the next level,” Smith said. “Bruce has never had a black-type horse, and it would be great if we could get one. It is race by race with him at the moment but the Ramornie is there for him, should things go right on Saturday.”

Oakfield Commands has scored two dynamic wins over the Randwick 1200 metres this preparation. Should the five-year-old continue on a mission to Grafton, he will be attempting to put right a wrong in the Ramornie for owner and trainer.

“We took Oakfield Duke there about 10 years ago for it, and I thought he was a real good chance,” Smith said. “But the track was like concrete, and he blew out his legs. The Ramornie is one of races you just want to win because of its history. Everyone knows the race, and it is probably the best country sprint in the country and the hardest to win.”

Oakfield Comet, which races later in the afternoon, does not carry the high expectations of her stablemate and half-brother.

“She has just come back from a spell and is second-up,” Smith said. “She went OK first-up and will go better on Saturday.”

While it is a family affair among the Oakfield team, Chewychop carries memories with him every time he runs. The son of Bradbury’s Luck was a $14,000 buy at the Scone yearling sales but the driving force behind the bidding never saw the grey race.

“I was hesitant when the bidding kept getting higher but dad said, ‘Keep going, love, this is the one for us,'” co-owner Cheryl Oliver said before the gelding’s third at Scone.

”When we got the horse out of his box to inspect him before he went into the ring [at the sales] , dad [Noel Hazlewood] was that sick he had to sit down and just watch the youngster walk.

”He was impressed, and that is why we went for Chewychop. That was in May, and dad died in October that year. He never got to see his beloved horse race.

”He just knew the horse would be good, and Chewychop is living up to dad’s belief in him. It has been very emotional watching the horse race and win. I know dad was riding along with him.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Waller doubles up for final group 1 shot

Tracer bullet: Red Tracer (centre) beats Floria and Arctic Flight to the line in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm earlier this month. Photo: Tertius PickardIngham Racing linked with Chris Waller in 2008, before his stable became an irresistible force, but the famous cerise colours have not been worn to group 1 victory for the chosen horseman.
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“He is our only trainer for a reason,” Ingham Racing’s Debbie Kepitis said. “He just gets it right and won’t stop until he has got it right. That is why he is getting all the success.”

Waller’s roll towards a record for Sydney winners won’t stop on Saturday at Randwick, where he has 10 runners, but it is the Inghams’ She’s Clean and Red Tracer, owned by Geoff Grimish, which will draw the trainer to Eagle Farm as they try to add to his eight group 1 wins for the season in the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400 metres).

Red Tracer’s owner echoed the Ingham Racing view.

“Meticulous,” Grimish said of Waller. “Everything is planned and taken care of, he is so driven.”

Grimish, unlike Ingham Racing, spreads his horses around a few trainers, but admitted Waller was near the top of the list.

“You want to have your horses with the best and give them the best chance,” he said. “I have a Redoute’s Choice colt, which is a half-brother to Red Tracer, Shellscrape and Green Tracer, and it went to him.”

Red Tracer has given Grimish everything but a group 1, and last start overcame a wide draw to win the Dane Ripper Stakes under 59.5 kilograms a fortnight ago. She has drawn wide again (16) but, with rain forecast, Red Tracer could start favourite on Saturday.

“I’m just hoping I can have a beer with Chris after the race with the trophy,” Grimish said.

Meanwhile, Ingham Racing, which was established after selling its Woodlands Stud to Darley, is chasing its first group 1 since the sale. Kepitis’ father, Bob Ingham, had to choose a trainer for the new venture, and came up with Waller, who had impressed him on television. “Dad just wanted someone who was very professional, and Chris was the man,” Kepitis said.

Ingham Racing continues the family’s passion, and Waller is a key part of it. The venture, including Ingham’s children Lyn, Robbie, John and Kepitis, began at the 2008 sales. “Lloyd Williams helped us buy there,” Kepitis said. “We didn’t buy in 2009 really, and then in 2010 Chris and his team helped us buy [at the sales]. She’s Clean is one of those horses, so it would be good if she can win that group 1.”

While Red Tracer is a top-liner, She’s Clean is the mare on the rise. She has won a couple this preparation to earn her way to Brisbane, including the June Stakes at Randwick a fortnight ago.

Kepitis said it was always Waller’s plan to be at Eagle Farm.

“He said to me we might have a go at the group 1 with her,” she said. “I just said, ‘Go for it.’ He knows his horses so well, and won’t push unless he thinks they are up to it.

“She has drawn well [in four]. You never go into a group 1 confident but we are very hopeful.

“It is only thing Chris hasn’t achieved with us yet. He has trained more than 100 winners for Ingham Racing, and this is the final thing he needs to do.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Spoiler alert: top full-backs kicking on

Plenty say that centre half-forward is the toughest position to play. Forget that. Full-back is.
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It’s also the loneliest spot on the ground. You are totally exposed. One mistake and the immediate consequence can be a goal to the opposition. There’s nowhere to hide. After kicking a goal, the forward struts around high-fiving all within reach, and waits in keen anticipation for the next centre bounce. All his opponent can do is follow him about, head bowed, hoping there’s not going to be a fast centre break coming their way.

No one wants to play full-back. Even those who are good at it don’t enjoy it and crave to be played up field. In my playing days at Carlton and Fitzroy, I played with two of the very best, Geoff Southby and Harvey Merrigan. Both fancied themselves as forwards.

Thankfully, I only played a few games at full-back. It was late 1967 and I was 17, scared and skinny. Scared, because in successive weeks I faced Collingwood’s Peter McKenna at Victoria Park and Hawthorn’s Peter Hudson on the Glenferrie Oval glue pot. They each kicked four goals, which was less than their career averages (4.58 and 5.64, respectively). So it could have been a lot worse. Nevertheless it was a role I never wanted to experience again. From the start of each quarter you just wanted to hear the siren to end it, so that goals couldn’t be scored against you.

As a coach, the first player selected at match committee was the full-back. If you had a good one, it gave confidence and a solid base to the team. If you didn’t, the whole team looked fragile. I was fortunate. At Fitzroy, Laurie Serafini played with dash and authority, and a young Gary Pert quickly became an All-Australian full-back. At Carlton, Stephen Silvagni was to become “full-back of the century”, so say no more. In the early days at the Brisbane Bears, Mark Zanotti filled the role until he hurt his neck. He said it got cricked as he watched ball after ball sail over his head. Richard Champion then did the job for a decade, even though he would have much preferred to have been elsewhere.

Most of the full-backs who played in the ’90s are scarred by the experience. Week-in, week-out, they came up against the likes of Tony Lockett, Gary Ablett, Jason Dunstall, Tony Modra, Stephen Kernahan, Wayne Carey, Sav Rocca, Peter Sumich, Matthew Lloyd and Matthew Richardson.

There was no respite. It was a nightmare for the likes of Silvagni, Mick Martyn, Ben Graham, Ben Hart and Andrew Dunkley.

On Friday night, two of the best full-backs of the past decade will be at opposite ends of Etihad Stadium. Brian Lake will be playing just his seventh game for the Hawks, while Eagles skipper Darren Glass will run out for his club for the 253rd time.

It’s unusual for a 31-year-old to be chased by a top club, but the Hawks knew that after last year’s grand final loss, they had to add height and experience to the back line to help the undersized Josh Gibson and the young Ryan Schoenmakers. So Lake was lured from the Western Bulldogs after being in the kennel for 11 years.

Last week against Carlton Lake played his best game for his new club. He took the most contested marks for the match (five) and several times in a tight last quarter stood firm to mark and halt the Blues’ attack.

Leading the play, knowing the angles of where to run to intercept marks, having the confidence and courage to fly for and hold pack marks are the assets that have made Lake one of the best full-backs in the business. Being at a new and successful club will get the best out of the two-time All-Australian defender. In his 11 years at Whitten Oval, injuries and attitude made some think he too often switched to “cruise control”. Now the spotlight will be on him every week as he works to earn the respect of Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell and co. He looks fitter than in past seasons. Despite having missed five games, he is second in the league for intercept marks and his average of six spoils a game is a career high.

The highly-respected Glass is now into his 14th season at the highest level, and his sixth as captain. Four times an All-Australian, three times the club’s best-and-fairest winner, and a premiership medal in 2006 means that the 32-year-old has done it all.

His coach for most of his career, John Worsfold, knows the value of having a cool head on the last line of defence and that is where Glass is played. Rarely does he come up field and, with his speed and height, is able to play on opponents of all sizes.

Like Lake, he has the confidence to back himself in marking contests, has quick closing speed when he has to spoil an opponent on the lead and is a sure kick when a switch of play is on.

Because quality full-backs are hard to come by, their coaches do all they can to extend their careers. Because they play at the pointy end of the field, they do less running than others. That helps. Keeping the mind fresh for the pressures of match day means the best full-backs are not pushed too hard at training. They say Essendon’s Dustin Fletcher hasn’t raised a sweat at training in the past decade; at 38, he is still going. Glass is 32. Lake and Luke McPharlin are 31. Ted Richards and Ben Rutten are 30. Matthew Scarlett was 33 when he retired last year, Silvagni was 34. As the saying goes, when you are on a good thing, stick to it.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.