Tuesday, 19 November 2013 14:42

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Tickets

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games, but must soon leave their family and close friends to embark on a ‘Victors’ Tour’ of the districts.

Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games – a competition that could change Panem forever.

Directed by Francis Lawrence, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ also stars Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

To win one of ten in-season double passes to ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’, which releases nationally on November 21 This competition has closed.
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1. Winners will be drawn at random at 4pm Friday 22nd November at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notfied]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:41

Lenny Kravitz

Mountain Man

Put yourself in Lenny Kravitz’s shoes. Comfy. Stylish. Expensive. That’s when he’s strutting the red carpets of Paris, New York or Miami. When he’s at his beachside digs in the Bahamas, he’s barefoot for months at a time.

“The contrasts that I live are very severe," he explains into a phone handed to him by an assistant in a hotel somewhere in America. "I'm either in the middle of all of this musician/ rockstar life or whatever. I don't wanna make it sound too clichéd, but that's the life that I live, and what it requires.

"When I'm not doing that, I'm living on a farm or on a beach and it's as low-key as it can be. That's just the way that I am. I don't do the middle very well. I do the extremes well. You either put me in a trailer on the beach or you put me in a palace.

“Nothing against the middle," he adds. "Just not my thing."

‘Black And White America’ is Kravitz's ninth album since ‘Let Love Rule’ funded his first palace in 1989. The title speaks to the life of extremes he was born into: his father a white Jewish TV producer, his mother a black actress; his childhood split between showbiz society and his grandmother's home in a racially volatile district of Brooklyn. "I was living between the quote-unquote ghetto and the very ritzy, swanky, upper east side of Manhattan. I think growing up that way as a child, I became very comfortable with contrasts," he says.

Not even slightly threatened? "Not when it was happening," he says. "I learned about it later as I grew up. My father would tell me stories. My parents would be walking down the street hand-in-hand and people would spit at their feet, as if to say 'This is disgusting'.

"One time, my father was taking my mother into a hotel and they said 'No prostitutes allowed in the hotel'. Things like that. This was in 1964 and 5. This was the reality. But I grew up not having any idea about anything negative, which was beautiful. I had no idea about racism or prejudice. I knew that I looked different, but so did a lot of people that came to our household.

"They were all different because my parents were basically hanging around artists: musicians, actors and so forth. It was a creative circle and therefore there were a lot of different people. I didn't know that was different until I went to school."
This colourful upbringing naturally played into his distinctive musical style, a crunchy mix of vintage funk, rock, pop and soul that had trouble finding favour in the delineated pop market of the 1980s.

Record execs, says Kravitz, "would hear the tape and say 'Wait a minute, we don't understand. It's not black enough.’ Or 'It's not white enough'. 'You're not fitting in our box so we don't really know what to do with you. If you change your music we'll be happy to give you a deal.' I passed up several record deals in my late teens because people wanted me to change and be something that I wasn't to fit in their box."

After five years working on his self-made debut, unfashionably constructed with magnetic tape and real instruments, years of rejection had sealed the Kravitz swagger. But his subsequent 35 million album sales, four Grammys and projects with Madonna, Mick Jagger, Kiss and Michael Jackson have finally begun to quell the darkness in his soul.

"[‘Black And White America’] is my first album that doesn't have one song that is rooted in any kind of sadness," he says. "Usually there is one song, something that goes there. But there's not one on this album. Which is actually quite beautiful."

The soul stirring title track is rose-tinted enough to imagine modern America as Martin Luther King's dream made real. Titles such as ‘Superlove’, ‘The Faith Of A Child’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Rock Star City Life’ deliver all the bliss they promise in star-shaped sunglasses.

In that sense, this is the opposite extreme to Kravitz's worrying headspace of just two albums ago. ‘Baptism’ pictured him clutching a white Flying-V electric guitar in a bathtub of blood. "After that I went to Brazil," he explains. "I went up to the mountains and I disappeared on a farm for six months and I almost didn't come back. I was in love with it and I was at peace, but I wasn't ready to hang it up, you know? Too young and not enough things done yet. So I brought myself out."

Apart from the rock world's narrowly averted loss, the colour schemes and fixtures of several high-end American penthouses would be much the poorer if Kravitz had made permanent accommodations with Brazilian mountain goats.
"I have my company, Kravitz Design. I'm doing a lot of interiors," he says. "In fact I have two big projects that I'm working on right now. One is a 50-story tower in Miami called Paramount Bay. I'm doing all of the interiors and some of the exteriors and the landscaping."

The other design project is the top-floor presidential suite of a new hotel. "It's something that I get great satisfaction from," he says. "I love design."

Between that and his film career... "And I do photography as well," he says. "I was out shooting all morning. I'm always sort of doing something creative."

It's a miracle he finds time for all that extreme beachcombing. But that's how Lenny Kravitz rolls. "I'm not trying to change the world," he says, "but music can change a person. And people can change other people and then people can change the world. I'm just saying what I have to say and hopefully people will get something from that which inspires them to do their thing.

"I write music for myself. I don't think about it any further than that, but when I go up the street and people say things about how the music affects them, how it made them change their point of view, it's all interesting to hear. It's a blessing to be able to enter other people's lives."

Lenny Kravitz plays the Brisbane Riverstage March 24. ‘Black And White America’  is out through Roadrunner.

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