Canberra Confidential / Afternoon delights

THE National Film and Sound Archive is lifting its skirts and talking dirty  in June for a month of “Let’s Talk About Sex”, exploring sexuality and gender on the screen.

Sex symbol of “Number 96”, the sultry Abigail who played Bev Houghton.

Sex symbol of “Number 96”, the sultry Abigail who played Bev Houghton.

One of the highlights is an afternoon of saucy nostalgia, steamy conversation and a rare 35mm screening of the 1974 film “Number 96: The Movie” (R18+), from 4pm on Saturday, June 11.

The film was a spin off from the wildly successful television series that presented viewers with a level of titillation and taboo subjects that had never been seen on Australian television before. The screening of its first episode on March 13, 1972, came to be known as the night Australian television lost its virginity.  

The NFSA is bringing out “the ultimate ‘96’ experts” – TV guru Andrew Mercado, the show’s producer David Sale and Nigel Giles, author of the upcoming tribute book “Spirit of 96”.

Tickets are $25. The full “Let’s Talk About Sex” program is at

A sort point

IN an email to loyal guests from the necessarily toffee Hyatt Hotel, the personal assistant to the general manager wrote to inveigle bookings for its impending Veuve Clicquot Truffle Dinner. She describes it as “a sort after signature dining experience”. Which it sought of isn’t.

cops and cows_1Don’t give up the day

YOUR taxes at work – from the ACT police Facebook page, where they write: “We found this photo a little amoosing and thought we’d share… Our officers came across these three cows blocking the road and kindly asked them to mooooove to the udder side. They were thinking of trying to get past them, but the steaks were too high… and before you ask, no it wasn’t on Dairy Flat Road.”

THEN it gets worse. On the afternoon of  May 26 ACT Policing uploaded a YouTube video of its cheesy “recipe for a united community” with the bewildering message: “While you’re indulging in all the culinary delights this weekend at the National Multicultural Festival, don’t forget to visit us! We’ll even give you a recipe book and tea towel.” If the cops don’t know the NMF is in February, what hope have the rest of us got?

About the vernaculars…

ARTISANS Elliot Bastianon and Andrew Carvolth, a couple of very creative carpenters, are putting on “Material Objects”, a furniture exhibition at Nishi Gallery, New Acton, June 4-26.

“Bastianon’s work is a speculation of material possibilities that draws inspiration from folded structures,” inanely bubbles the opening-night invite.  

And if you’re feeling confident of understanding that, try this: “Carvolth’s work looks to create a contemporary Australian vernacular through a series of thoughtful objects that celebrates regional materials and processes.”

Notes from the dark side

THE ACT government’s kangaroo cull continues. Here’s a protester writing from Isaacs Ridge Reserve, where he/she says the contractor shooters were “driving the kangaroos down from the trees into the open grassland dangerously close to Mugga Lane, where they are easier to shoot”.

“We found an injured kanga on the road immediately below where they had been shooting. One leg was badly broken and there was blood coming out of his nose and mouth,” the protester writes.

“He wasn’t big, not fully mature, only about two, but it was all two of us could do to pick him up and move him into my car.

“Because of the ACT’s sick rules about rescuing and rehabilitating kangas, all we could do was cover him in a padded jacket and drive him to one of the NSW sanctuaries after ringing them at around midnight. An hour’s drive, very slow because of all the other kangas gathered on the roadsides.

“Now the police have threatened to arrest anyone found just sitting in a parked car on the opposite side of any road bordering a reserve.

“If sitting in a car on the roadside is hindering their bloodfest, it must be because they think they might accidentally shoot us, and what kind of admission is that with streams of through traffic passing between the shooters and the parked cars?”

Unforgettable beer

BeerTHE Battle of Passchendaele was one of the most horrendous campaigns of World War I, with the War Memorial estimating there were 38,000 Australian and 5300 NZ casualties.

“But who would have thought that the Belgian village near Ypres was also home to one of Belgium’s finest beers?” writes our imbibing arts snout after swanning around the embassy the other night.  

“That was the beverage chosen by the ambassador of Belgium, Jean-Luc Bodson, for the launch of ‘The Belgians Have Not Forgotten’, a travelling exhibition from the Memorial Museum of Passchendaele to tour rural Australia and NZ from the end of this year.”

And it wasn’t just beer – the ambassador had also commissioned a Tasmanian-Belgian confectioner to create chocolates filled with crushed Anzac cookies.

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