The Force (of Oz Comic Con) Awakens!

Batman. Comic books. Funko pop vinyls. John Barrowman. What do these four have in common? Only the greatest event of the year on Melbourne’s calendar, Oz Comic Con (June 11-12, 2016)!

 

For those who are unaware, Oz Comic Con is a weekend long extravaganza and cornucopia for all things wonderfully ‘geeky’.  The expo is the ultimate way to embrace and express your love (obsession) for various television shows, films, comics and all things associated with popular culture. The expo is populated with film icons and props (Jurassic Park vehicle, Lego sculptures) and is fantastic fun but beware, it is very dangerous for your wallet as your money soon disappears with all the wonderful things to purchase…

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A crucial part of the experience is seeing everyone’s fantastic cosplay (costume-play) outfits. It is the only place you will see the Joker, the Doctor, Harry Potter, Stormtroopers and Daenerys Targaryen in the same room together. If anyone went this year, you may have seen me proudly wearing my homemade Doctor Who inspired poodle skirt. While it is not compulsory to cosplay, everyone is welcomed to feel comfortable to wear whatever they like.

 

If you do cosplay be careful of your outfit as the expo is indoors and by the time it is midday, walking the floor is like being in a sardine can, but it’s worth it and a part of the experience.

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Besides it being nerd heaven, the highlight of Oz Comic Con is the exciting celebrity appearances, where you can meet them and pay to grab an autograph or a photo-op with the celebrity of your choice. You can also attend their free hour-long Q&A panels. This year Melbourne had awesome guest list, including Lucy Lawless (Xena Warrior Princess) and the one and only John Barrowman.

 

Barrowman is a Doctor Who and Torchwood favourite who portrayed the iconic and ground-breaking Captain Jack Harkness.

 

When he announced he was exclusively coming to Melbourne, I knew straight away that I just had to meet him and get a photograph or I would forever regret it! So although I enjoyed burning a hole in my pocket, I was anxiously anticipating the moment when I would meet him.

By Hayley Anderson 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me guarantee you, he did NOT disappoint. Just as I suspected, he is as amazing-perfect-hilarious-kind and awesome in real life as he is on screen. The personality and charisma he exudes on television is identical in real life. The best thing about him is that he loves his fans and respects that his character has influenced and changed so many lives. Although our encounter was probably a mere ten seconds (the queue for a photo-op with him was nearly out of the door), I will forever remember and treasure it for the rest of my life.  The photo is lovingly hung in my bedroom forevermore.

 

That’s the magic of Oz Comic Con, it’s like Disneyland, it’s the happiest place on Earth and is able to make even a fangirl’s dreams come true.

 

 

For next year’s Oz Comic Con news and updates, please visit:

http://www.ozcomiccon.com/2016/

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go. Loved by old Pokémon players and the general public alike. Kind of. Why kind of? Because the only real draw of the game is that it is Pokémon, and most people’s first exposure to the world of augmented reality. It is simple, and has a massive fan base. Everyone either plays it, or knows what it is. To not have Pokémon Go is to be missing out.

There are some positives to the game. It brings random people of the public together, let’s them walk around and see someone doing the same, giving them a chance to ask, “Pokémon?”, to which the reply is a nod and a resounding, “Pokémon.” It gets people on their feet, walking around the real world and exploring places they haven’t really checked out before. The game has shown millions of people a concept (augmented reality), that they had no clue was even possible.

Despite all this, Pokémon Go is barely a game. It is riddled with bugs and server issues, poor decision making from the creators Niantic, that restrict player feedback to essentially zero, and terrible communication from Niantic to their player base. The people that defend the problems are fanatics. But these negatives are another story.

The impact that the Pokémon Go app has had on student life is undoubtedly immense. With several Pokestops around campus, students now have an incentive to walk around and explore their university. With the couple gyms in the area, they can battle for supremacy, glaring at people from other courses, from other years at the university. In essence, La Trobe feels like a tighter knit community.

It has also weighed heavily on actual classes too. There are a few buildings around campus that have rooms within range of Pokestops. People that would previously be on Facebook in class now just attach a lure to those stops and sit around swiping their screens. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable, as the people focusing on Pokémon would likely not be paying attention anyway, and have to focus less on Pokémon than Facebook, however it is still a distraction that is incredibly easy to be swayed by.

Similar to how the app works in public, if you see someone playing it in class, a simple question of “what team are you in?” is a great conversation starter. Those that were previously alone can find friends even easier now, and it’s hard to call something that encourages social interaction and exercise a bad thing.

By James Wallace

 

Meg Takes Melbourne #04 – A city experience unlike any other.

I’ve walked down Bourke St Mall numerous times, become somewhat of an expert in using trams, eaten at a sushi restaurant in Swanston St and walked through the sand of St Kilda Beach. However, there was still one thing I needed to cross of my Melbourne Bucket List – attending the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at the Shrine of Remembrance.

It’s become a tradition for me to attend the Dawn Service back at home in Ballarat. Although it might have been a pain to get up so early in the morning, there’s no other feeling that comes close to seeing the sun rise as the bugle plays and ‘The Last Post’ rings out into the silence of crowd.

Getting to relive the Dawn Service at the most popular place in Victoria was an experience like any other and one I will never forget. From waking up at 3:30am to catch a train into Melbourne from La Trobe, there was already a quietness that surrounded everyone who was attending the service. Walking up to the Shrine from Flinders St Station had an aura about it I had never encountered in Melbourne. I had become so used to wrapping my head around the hustle and bustle that the silence and darkness of the city was an all-new and alien world.

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45,000 people, dead silent. There was a particular eeriness about it that I couldn’t even describe. There was a new side of Melbourne I saw, one that seemed to only appear at this very moment every year.

It made me realise that, we as a community of Australians, have the ability to come and stand together for at least once out of our busy lives to commemorate those who lost their lives in war. I know, you’ve been taught about this since school, but to really live it and experience the ability for people to come together is one of the most surreal experiences.

As the sun rose the city began to return to the Melbourne I had become familiar with. Tram bells ringing, car horns tooting and the chatter of people never seeming to fade away. People began to return to their lives, as did I. But I will never, ever forget the feeling of standing in a crowd of thousands in the middle of a city, not one uttering a word, and the most deafening sound surrounding me – silence.

(Now onto a lighter note, I finally get to reveal my no-makeup-still-half-asleep-from-catching-the train-at-4am face in the picture below. Points for spotting the Menzies College/La Trobe pride.)

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By Meg Kennedy

The Accidental Masterpiece

WARNING- If you are living a life blissfully unaware of the cult classic, The Room (2003) then you may not want to read on.

 

Take heed of this warning, folks- The Room is a game changer and may plague your thoughts for the rest of your life.

On the first Saturday of every month, Nova Cinema in Carlton holds a screening for The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s accidental masterpiece.

It is the cinematic experience of a lifetime, with a high level of audience participation- including throwing plastic spoons at the screen and chanting along to the unusually long pan of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The film has been drawing crowds to cinemas globally over the years on account of it’s incomprehensible plot, laughable filming techniques and lack of consistency.

It has gained so much recognition that Greg Sestero, one of the actors from the film, wrote a best selling book entitled The Distaster Artist about the making of The Room.

This book is set to be made into a film this year, with Hollywood names such as Seth Rogan and James Franco attached to the project.

The film was written, produced and directed by the mysterious and somewhat socially inept European, Tommy Wiseau, whose broken English comes through blatantly in the script. Wiseau also stars in the lead role as, Johnny.

Consequently, the central point of The Room’s genius stems from Wiseau. His enigmatic interpretation of the world combined with a complete lack of knowledge and experience in film making makes for a mystifying end result which continues to leave viewers in awe.

You know when you go to the bathroom during a movie and miss that one piece of vital information you needed to understand the story? This film constantly induces that feeling of confusion; bewilderment, even.

My catch phrase when showing The Room to friends for the first time has become, “Don’t try to understand it- you won’t. Just enjoy the ride.”

The film features countless plot points and story lines which are presented but never expanded upon as well as ‘throw away’ characters who are abruptly introduced but go on to be of no significance to the overarching plot.

Basically, the plot is centred around a love triangle between Johnny (Tommy Wiseau,) Lisa (Julliet Danielle) and Mark (Greg Sestero.) The majority of the film Is based within Johnny and Lisa’s apartment which is undoubtedly in San Francisco.

It is a convoluted storyline which boasts ridiculous inconsistencies. The film seems to simply be a collection of irrelevant, poorly filmed, poorly dubbed over scenes.

So why see it? Because it is simply too bad to miss.

The Room has become popularised by it’s poor quality and the reach of the 2003 film has been simply exponential. The fact that such a film exists is almost beyond comprehension and well worth the exploration.

I would give this screening at Nova Cinema my highest recommendation. See the website below for full details.

http://www.cinemanova.com.au/movies/4119.php

 

By Scarlett Maloney 

Home is where the heart is

I come from a moderately sized rural town called Mildura, and the more time I spend away from it, the more I appreciate the value of where I grew up.

I remember how every part of me was driven to leave, how every action and decision I made was with the goal of moving to Melbourne in mind.

But now, after being away for a year and a half and after some reflection, I’ve realised the great things about my home-town, roughly a six-hour drive away from the big smoke.

The weather

The weather in Mildura is in a whole other league. A better league. A league that has televised games. It is so beautiful pretty much all year-round.

With an average temperature of 31.4 degrees throughout the summer (dry heat thankfully, I’d probably cry if it were humid), and winter features clear blue skies and sun, it’s pretty safe to say that Mildura has some of the finest weather going around.

I always return to Melbourne with a bit of a sunburn, the sun is just that bit more in Mildura.

The people

Although the people of Mildura have a certain notoriety for gossip, they can often surprise you with their kind-heartedness and welcoming nature. When a member of the community is struggling, everyone will do their best to support and help them where possible. There have been a number of times where this has happened, with people opening their homes, their hearts and their wallets.

The growth

Each time I go home lately, there’s a new addition to the town. Mildura has had a surge in housing developments, seeing the town slowly grow, as well as two speciality coffee shops open up in the last two months, both of which have been extremely popular.

The family

The best part about going home is seeing my family.

Moving to Melbourne was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. Because of it, I’ve grown as a person, and experienced what life is like on my own, which has been a terrifying, beautiful and eye-opening experience.
3.2My safety net, the people who have always pushed me to be my best, are something that I appreciate more than ever. They’ve always wanted me to do my best, even if it meant me moving far away from them. They understand, and they support me. They love unconditionally, and moving away has given me an amazing appreciation for the lengths that they have gone to to ensure that I have the tools to be my best.

They taught me that no matter what, in experiencing the world and educating myself to do my very best, they will always be there for me.

Thank you for reading, and I hope that you can one day see your home town as incredibly as I do mine.

Remember, life is short. Do stuff that matters.

 

By Tyler Trevaskis 

200 Years Of Australian Fashion: A review

It’s timeless elegance meets classic chic and modern edge all under one stunning roof.

The 200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) perfectly executes the evolution of Australian fashion over a critical 200 year period, expressing specific times in cultural, social and even political history and an individuality that ultimately formed Australia’s fashion identity.

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Arranged as a walk through time, the gallery opens with modest beginnings of colonial Australia, showcasing original day, evening and maternity wear, alongside a basic yet beautiful cream wedding dress. The masterpiece of the collection – a high-neckline day dress featuring a spacious pattern of flowers and complete with frills of blue trim, is the collections earliest known garment, dating back to 1805 and manufactured locally in Geelong.

Mirroring today’s designs of sophistication, an original David Jones tailored coat pulled from the archives of 1838 proved that classic trends never cease. The tailored garment is an obvious template for the that of today, with trademark buttons, square shoulders and fitted symmetrical lines.

A two-century display of fashions finest designs would not be complete without an tribute to the original establishments of the Collins Street ‘Paris end’, where Melbourne’s high-fashion culture began. Traditional dressmakers and establishments, such as Le Louvre featured couture gowns and sweeping dresses of elegance. In addition, designers from Brisbane’s salons and Sydney’s influencers were displayed, such as Miss Scott’s coloured silk and cotton gown, adorned by pleats, frayed ruffles and sleeves made with handmade lace trim.

Stemming from the ever-changing influences of Australian culture, the on-display pages of Weigel’s Journal of Fashion and Collection(s) magazines project a new era in women’s fashion – embracing female sexuality. The 1950’s established Australia as a fashion competitor across the globe, sparking interest and appreciation. A bed of flowers introduces the revolutionary and daring mini dress, inspired by Jean Shrimpton’s crowd-stopping dress at Flemington Racecourse in 1965. The sequence of five mannequins features baby-doll frocks, jumpsuits, peter-pan collars and raised hemlines. Stand-out items included a evening frock, with stunning embroidery of small lilac flowers and falling mid-thigh, and a sweet, black, baby-doll dress featuring small cascading white buttons along the bust, and a white lace peter-pan collar and sleeve trims.

The flower-power movement introduced new levels of pattern, texture and individuality as shown by Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson’s aztec collaboration of deigns for their ‘frock salon’, Flamingo Park. Literally drawing on Australian ground-roots, Flamingo Park introduced local flora and fauna into patterns that celebrated Australia’s landscapes and trademarks. A Sydney Opera House inspired knit featured the roof peaks of the iconic building, with the words ‘BONDI’ and ‘KOALA’ spelt out on separate panels.

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And finally, there was a heartfelt ode to the designers of today – the modern fabric artists who expanded on 200 years of fashion in Australia and established a new reign on society with their  elegance and flare. Alannah Hill featured feminine beauty in shades of rich burgundy and body-hugging chic, while Carla Zampatti, Scanlan Theodore and Dion Lee were comprised of luxury and modern edge, leaving an open door for the coming 200 years of Australian fashion.

 

By Alanah Frost

Meg Takes Melbourne #02: Laughter is the best medicine. So are crappy clichés.

If there is anything that draws me to Melbourne the most, it’s the fact that we as a city have a set time every year to all come together for a few weeks and share a good laugh. That’s the epitome of a utopian city in my books.

On the 2nd of April I was able to finally take part in the laugh festival that is the Melbourne Comedy Festival. I’ve always been a huge fan of stand-up comedy and thanks to a kind floor mate, I was able to grab tickets to the hilarious Joel Creasey’s show The Crown Prince at Max Watt’s House of Music.

Though he might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to his comedy style, I personally consider Joel one of the best comedians for our generation. He knows exactly what’s up in the Millennial bracket and in my opinion, this is what makes him so hilarious.

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I love the greats of stand-up comedy, but we’ve been the butt of the joke for too long. We’re “the selfie generation”; the ones that get a medal just for participating, the ones that have grown up to be narcissistic and self-absorbed because of the evil entity that is the internet. This is all I hear about us in stand-up comedy and frankly, it’s getting boring. It’s refreshing to finally see a comedian who belongs to this generation and is able to retort back, and Joel does this in a way that makes you wish you were his best friend.

(By also commencing his show with “Boy, do we have so much gossip to get through tonight!”, as a future journalist I had never been more excited in my life. I’m now officially an insider.)

Being in the atmosphere of the Festival made me realise how important it is for Melbourne to have an outlet of humour every year – something that we can just sit back and enjoy.

Sometimes when I go into the city I feel as though I’m walking into a concrete jungle, as people in business clothes rush around to go to the places they need to be, surrounded by the greyness of the buildings around me. Melbourne can be so fast paced and serious it’s hard to keep up, so seeing a different side of the city in a relaxed, excited atmosphere made me realise that it’s okay to have a laugh every once in a while because we all deserve it.

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Just like the outside of the Melbourne Town Hall, it’s okay add a bit of colour in your life.

 

By Meg Kennedy

Red Cross Blood Donation

Needles. They’re just one of those things that make some people’s skin crawl. It’s simply a ‘no’ in their eyes. Most people associate needles with the pain of an injection. It’s something they would only commit to rarely, such as those times you would have injections in certain year levels back at school.

For some however, the thought of needles draws forth the warm memories of cookies, milk boxes, and lollipops. These are the people that have donated blood before, and most likely on La Trobe’s very own doorstep.

I could by giving the good old emotional tug. The “it saves lives!” But these reasons are fairly evident even to those who haven’t considered donating blood at all. So what then, are the selfish benefits of donating blood? Well for starters, it is essentially a “get out of anything free” card. When first giving blood, you are notified that it will potentially take a day or two for you to recover it all, and that you shouldn’t do anything too physical over the coming days. Now I’m not guaranteeing it will work when someone says “can you do the dishes”, but there is a definitive chance. People like to be nice to those who are donating blood.

Photo: Red Cross

I asked some other first years why they gave blood, and received some fairly stock standard answers. Callum Stagg had this to say,

“Well it feels pretty good to be helping out the community. There are people that need blood, and it is something simple I can do to help them. It doesn’t take long, and it can save someone’s life, and that’s pretty cool.”

Of course, these community aspects are an important reason to give blood, but another donor, Shannon Jayamaha gives a different hook.

“When I ask people if they want to come and donate with me and my friends, I usually push the free food as much as possible. You have to wait around for a while after you donate, just to make sure you’re okay, and during that time there is a bunch of free food. Muffins, chips and biscuits. They sure know how to treat the people donating, I can tell you that for sure.”

I myself have donated several times, the first time being when I was in year 11. It’s something that I highly recommend, especially if you go with one or two friends. Some people may fear needles, but when you’re volunteering yourself for such a great cause, in order to help someone with leukemia, or someone that has just been in a fatal accident, and potentially save a life, these reasons can make the doubt seem insignificant and can be something that can help drive you to overcome your fear.

For more information on how you can donate read more at http://www.donateblood.com.au/

 

By James Wallace

Meg Takes Melbourne #01: ‘Just a small town girl, living in a slightly intimidating, yet exciting world…’

The night before I moved onto campus at La Trobe was one of the most stressful nights of my life. I remember tossing and turning, trying so hard to get to sleep, the reality finally setting in, that my routine of living on a small farm out in the middle of nowhere was going to be turned on its head completely.

I had only been into the city a few times a year to attend the odd concert or shopping trip, but thinking that the marvellous Melbourne would be right on my back doorstep 24/7 was both extremely exhilarating and deathly terrifying at the same.

(I know what you’re thinking. “Meg, what are you talking about? La Trobe is barely in the city!” I understand your concern, but my country logic revolves around the fact that if there is a tram near, we’re in the city.)

My transition into university was not going to be just an academic one, but a life one. I was about to become a resident of Menzies College, one of the residential colleges at La Trobe. I was lucky enough to have friends from high school moving onto campus as well, but even that couldn’t stop me from having an internal meltdown.

Some thoughts that passed my mind include but are not limited to –

How will I actually look after myself entirely?

Will people like me?

Will I be known as that weird girl on the floor who brought all her favourite novels with her and gets judged the rest of the year?

Fast forward a month later, and I can finally that I’m becoming a Melbourne local. Although the PTV app is my bible and I still feel nauseous by the amount of cars that surround me every time cross the road to get to Kingsbury McDonalds (#unilyf), I’m slowly, but surely getting there.

Living on college has given me the chance to make so many memories, even this early into the year, and ease me into the metro life. I have made so many close friends, shared hilarious, amazing experiences that I may or may not remember, and overall I finally feel like I’m home again.

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One of the many reasons I chose La Trobe as my university was because it does really remind me home, even if it’s in the city. Not just because of the beautiful, natural surroundings I get to see every day on campus; but of the welcoming, friendly atmosphere that has made this transition so much easier.

A new favourite view of mine is the glimpse of the city in the distance from the tram stop out the front of La Trobe. Poking out behind the silhouette of gum trees is a dazzling spectacle in the night. I might guilty be romanticising this idea, but I really think that it sums up what I’m feeling right now – remnants of my home in the natural bushland remain, but there it is; coming out behind the trees, the looming lights of the city ready for me to experience a new chapter in my life, something that I absolutely cannot wait to share.

By Meg Kennedy