Sunday, April 10, 2016


Yesterday's breakfast involved a walk to Hardware Societe, a beautiful French café serving French-inspired food. It was probably intended to be the sort of place where the affluent local foodies would congregate for breakfast, and the fashionable Melbourne ladies meet for lunch. Instead, it seems, the majority of the clientele are status-obsessed Chinese tourists, who noisily slurp their gently sauteed spinach and stab at a croque madame in bewilderment. The cafe must be making money beyond the dreams of all avarice, but instead of an elegant salon it’s a loud, cramped, harried space surrounded by stony-faced crowds who are mainly there to tick it off their list and get on with their day.

It’s a shame, because my French toasted brioche with blueberries, frosted almonds and salted caramel was beautifully executed, and the coffee is easily the most exquisite I’ve had in Melbourne – quite an achievement in this coffee-savvy city.

In the evening I returned to the Centre for the Moving Image to see the 2014 Spanish film ‘Amor Eterna’, a deeply unsettling story of generational conflict, alienation, rebellion and, since this is a Spanish film, hot sex. I’m very glad I saw it. Not only was it a film exploring themes and a story that no English-language film would attempt, but it was beautifully shot with long, almost static but gently closing in shots of activities both frenetic (a couple having sex in a parked VW Polo) and mundane (a girl washing up in a stream). It also had an exquisite structure, which constantly gave indications that something creepy and horrible was going on in the background without revealing what it actually was until the final minutes.


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