toms The Art of Lynda StrongAn

The Art of Lynda Strong

An exhibition by Lynda Strong from Studio ARTES Northside, Sydney, will open at the Callan Park Gallery on Thursday 11 June, 6 to 8pm.

When asked why she paints, Lynda replied paint to give them away, I give them away, I love to give them away.”

For Lynda Strong sociality and art are intensely interrelated. Through p toms ainting she both expresses and creates her social world. As a woman who is deaf with Down syndrome art has become her key means of communication. She creates portraits of her central fri toms ends on canvas and watercolour paper; friend faces are also applied like graffiti on her clothing and scrawled on random scraps of paper. These images are then shown, given and at times even slipped into the bags of all those she meets. Strong firm line work, simplified and exaggerated fo toms ong> toms rms, in addition to her sensitive use of colour make it difficult for one not to be moved and intrigued by her portraits, especially when they depict oneself.

toms ‘The Bag Man’Somebody tell

‘The Bag Man’

Somebody tell John Cusack to stay out of motels and hotels. In 1408, he played a guy who checks into a haunted room, and all hell breaks loose.

In The Bag Man, it’s a fleabag motor inn with No. 13 on the door. You can tell it’s not exactly the Four Seasons by the on again/o toms ff again neon sign, and by the guy in the wheelchair behind th toms e office counter: It’s Crispin Glover, who can make “I need an imprint of your credit card” sound like a statement of utter madness.

Until the moment when Robert De Niro punches actress Celesta Hodge in the face, The Bag Man was looking mildly diverting a pastiche of Lynch and Tarantino, with a nod to Psycho and a lot of noir. Cusack has the title role, a cool killer hired by the sinister, silver haired De Niro character. It’s one of the latter actor’s hand me the paycheck jobs, requiring him to pummel blonds, soliloquize about trust, and say the words tropisms and stimuli. He is paying Cusack’s Jack to pick up a bag and hole up in this motel and whatever Jack does, do not look inside the bag.

Of course, there is a femme fatale first seen in streetwalker couture, accessorized with blue wig and red spiked heels. She is played by the very tall Rebecca Da Costa, who is from Brazil and was a model and delivers her lines in tall, Brazilian, model y ways.

A Russian dwarf, a pimp with an eyepatch, and a pair of local law enforcem toms ent o toms fficers show up not all at once, but all brandishing weapons and smelling of menace.

The Bag Man is a first feature by David Grovic, who directs and also cowrote the screenplay, which has a provenance that goes back to the actor James Russo and the Swiss Jungian psychologist Marie Louise von Franz. Von Franz’s connection may or may not explain why the movie references Hermann Hesse, or why De Niro says “tropisms.”

toms ‘The Bag Man’ isn’t a total dr

‘The Bag Man’ isn’t a total drag

“The Bag Man”, which exp toms ands into additional theaters on March 7, may not be a movie you’re familiar with, but the big name talent involved is extremely recognizable. John Cusack takes the lead as a career criminal named Jack who sent to retrieve a mystery bag, that he cannot look in under any circumstances, and then lay low at a sketchy motel while he waits for his employer, a mob type named Dragna to come and collect it. And just who did they tap to take on the role of cruel and violent Dragna, the king of mafia roles of course, Robert De Niro.

Related: toms Rebeeca Da Costa interview

Things go wrong for Jack almost from the word go. After getting shot trying to collect the bag he’s in no mood to suffer fools, but no sooner does he arrive at the indicated motel than he runs into complications with the nosey owner (played with a Southern twang by Crispin Glover), and not sooner does he settle himself in his room than he finds himself hiding a woman (Rebecca Da Costa), who with a blue wig and two less than gentlemanly dudes she wants to evade seems to be a down on her luck hooker, but who turns out to be much more than meets the eye.

John Cusack seems t toms o have a thing for making movies that take place in seedy middle of nowhere motels that are strewn with dark twists and violence, but hey, “Identity” worked well, and “The Bag Man” isn’t too shabby. toms The tension, both in the plot, and between Cusack and DeCosta keeps the film moving along and fascinating, but if it stumbles it is in trying too hard to be a suspenseful and twisty noirish thriller.

For her part, De Costa nails reinventing the idea of the femme fatale, Cusack is as effective as always and it need not be said that De Niro knows what he’s doing in this capacity, but the plot and the dialogue at times feel too slavish to the concept. It seems the filmmakers were determined to deliver enough surprises and gritty crime movie moments, but fell prey to the risk inherent in anything that is high style and high genre: Going over the line of genre tropes to the realm of cliche, and at turns it feels as if “The Bag Man” crosses that line.

By the time the big reveal roles around most viewers will find that their suspicions which have been kicking around for some while are proven correct, so the climax is less a surprise and more validation. Still those in the mood for suspense, crime, grit and some thrills could do much worse than “The Bag Man”.