Come for the latest Liane Moriarty adaptation starring Nicole Kidman, shot in Byron Bay and also starring Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Tiffany Boone, Regina Hall, Bobby Cannavale, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten and Samara Weaving, stay for Michael Shannon gyrating on a bed in boxer shorts.
Following a national cinema release earlier this year, Australian filmmaker Antaine Furlong’s debut feature, the sci-fi eco-thriller Rising Wolf – released locally as Ascendant – is set to expand its global audience thanks to a recent slate of streaming announcements from distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Sketch comedy has been a staple of Australian television for decades, from Comedy Company and Full Frontal to Skithouse and more recently, Black Comedy. TV sketch has launched the careers of some of Australia’s finest talent (Eric Bana, Jane Turner, Shaun Micallef) and the source of countless quotable characters over the years.
This month, Amazon Prime Video is bringing the next instalment of Aussie sketch comedy to our screens with The Moth Effect, a 6-part series filmed in Sydney. Series creators Nick Boshier (Beached Az, Soul Mates, Bondi Hipsters) and Jazz Twemlow (The Roast) bring together a cast of Australian and New Zealand talent including comedians and co-writers Mark Humphries, Nazeem Hussain, Dave Woodhead, and Sarah Bishop.
Poking fun at corporations, reality TV, and society as a whole, The Moth Effect revels in absurdity. Social and political issues are mocked with a cheeky blend of pop culture parodies and subversive satire, all with an impressive line-up of guest stars the likes of which is rarely seen in sketch TV outside of The Muppet Show. Names like Bryan Brown, Vincent D’Onofrio, David Wenham, Jack Thompson, Miranda Otto, Ben Lawson, Peter O’Brien, Kate Box, Zoe Terakes, Miranda Tapsell and Jake Ryan all show up to make fools of themselves.
There’s little narrative coherence here, each episode has a run time of about 17 minutes, so the jokes fly hard and fast, though not all of them stick the landing. The sketches intertwine, looping back on themselves for a second go, then suddenly give way for a fake commercial or mini music video.
The show lives up to its name, like a moth circling a flickering lightbulb, we’re constantly side-tracked by shiny things, giving us the feel of flicking between channels and circling back around again just in time to catch the punchline.
While the humour itself might be hit and miss, the rapid-fire pace means that even before you’ve had a chance to roll your eyes, we’re moving on to the next skit and suddenly there’s a Godzilla-sized David Attenborough or mother-loving time-traveller to distract you.
From an original story by Wan and his better half Ingrid Bisu (who also appears in the film), and starring Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle), this looks like a bit of a throwback to the kind of late 20th century horror that the filmmaker grew up on.
Price Waterhouse’s (PwC) annual report demonstrates that our appetite for content changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic, and the increased willingness to try new products and services spells positivity for some sectors and potential disaster for others.