Can you feel summer almost here? It's in the pungent jasmine lining the footpaths, in the smoky barbecues at your neighbour's house and in the non-imported grapes soon-to-hit fruit shops. It's time to crawl out of winter's Netflix-and-chill stranglehold. And sure, you could plant that veggie garden you promised yourself you'd grow (and now is the season, green thumbs), you could take up running in the park, or, you could just do one of the things in the list below - from jamming with a serve of food trucks to watching Johnny Depp in a rare, sans-cravat role. It's your call.
Dream team Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) hit the anxieties of youth, quarter-life crises and the ol' 'you never know your luck in the big city' bang on target in the hilariously free-feeling (and awesomely soundtracked) Mistress America (October 29).
Johnny Depp returns to pre-pirate form to play epic Boston badass Whitey Bulger alongside Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon Dakota Johnson and many more in the thrilling crime biopic Black Mass (October 8). Ain't it good to have Depp's menacing side back? You bet.
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Elegant, witty and so topically hot right now, The Martian (out now), sees Matt Damon get stuck on Mars and get his science on. Basically, the premise is kind of like Cast Away, but in space. Even though it feels like a giant PR campaign for NASA (and possibly is), The Martian hits all the science feels - and the visuals are incredible.
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Lose yourself in the provocative, sensual and psychologically twisted works of Australian surrealism at Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes (The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, October 9 - January 31) and soak up more than 230 works ranging from the legends like Max Dupain, James Cant, James Gleeson and Albert Tucker, through contemporary artists working in the dreamscape realm right now, from Pat Brassington all the way through to David Noonan and Zoë Croggon. The NGV has outdone itself in context, curation and concept, once again.
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Things will be getting a tad intimate over as the Art Gallery of Western Australia this month when Proximity (October 28 - November 8), a festival celebrating participatory performance art, moves into the gallery. Surrender to the artists, listen to the brightest doers in contemporary art talk shop or attend an intensive masterclass session by UK artist/curator/mentor as she inspires you to get weird. Don't miss: The opening, Party for One (October 31), happening in the gallery courtyard featuring performances, DJ sets, food by Toastface Grillah and cocktails by Volstead Union.
Celebrated essayist Sloane Crosley (of I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number?) drops her debut novel this month, to much delight. Based around Guy de Maupassant's heartwrenching story, The Necklace, this cool, wry and at times madcap story of adults just trying to keep it together comes off as hilarious and so drinkable, I'd be very surprised if this was not soon-to-be-optioned for a film. (October 6, through Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
Did you read Just Kids cover-to-cover with wide eyes and bursting heart? Same here. Well, Patti Smith drops her third memoir, M Train (October 6, through Bloomsbury) this month and it promises to be just as moving. In the novel, Smith takes us on a journey from deep contemplation at Greenwich Village café, to Mexico, Berlin and to moments that have made her, from her artistic practice to the loss of her husband. You'll want this by your bedside.
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Musician PJ Harvey also publishes her first poetry book, The Hollow of the Hand (out now) this month in collaboration with photographer Seamus Murphy - and it's not what you think it's going to be. Instead, it's way more involved. Over three years, the duo travelled to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington DC to take photos, collect words and try and capture the fascination, the smell, the depth to these destinations together. The result is beautiful.
Taking advantage of the warm Brisbane nights, the Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinema returns this weekend (October 2 - November 15, Southbank Parklands) to a huge hurrah. Featuring a massive range of films, cult and new, and a Sunday program featuring local bands, stuffing your face with ice-cream while spluttering along to along to Rocky Horror Picture Show or Grease sounds like a good time to me. Be warned: it will sell out.
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Attn: #buildingporn addicts. Sydney Architecture Festival is about to kick off, encouraging you to open your eyes around the city and well, look up. Head to the brand new Goods Line development in Ultimo (make sure to ruminate over the polarising new Frank Gehry-designed Dr Chau Chak Wing building at UTS), attend a talk by some of Australia's leading designers, take a voyeuristic look in to the private homes of four Sydney Architects and celebrate World Architecture Day with local pride at the Sydney Opera House (October 5).
Consider this your final warning to be inspired by the epic and stylistically magnificent David Bowie Is exhibition at ACMI, which is in it's final weeks. For the exhibition's swan song, the museum will be holding a series of parties, talks, film screenings (yes, including Labyrinth) and musical events, and will stay open late every Thursday and Friday.
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A major helping of foodie happenings is about to hit Sydney for Good Food Month (Melbourne, you're up in November), so start fasting. My picks: Dinner in the Distillery, an Archie Rose and Black Star Pastry collab of craft spirits and shared dishes (October 25); MoVida's Paco's Pintoxs, a chilled arvo of cocktails and all-you-can-eat delicious bite-sized fillers (October 11); Goro's Japanese Halloween Party (October 31), featuring karaoke, sake, arcade games and a Japanese-themed haunted house (I'll be the one dressed as Mothra).
On top of that, Craft Beer Week kicks off October 17 and the first weekend in the month sees a food truck jam take over the Entertainment Quarter (October 3-4).