Prime Minister's Literary Awards
The 2015 PMLA shortlists have been a long time coming, as many authors, booksellers, and publishers will attest. How fitting – after the debacle of 2014 (with its absurdities and subsequent justifications) – that it will be Malcolm Turnbull and not Tony Abbott who will announce the winners of these six lucrative prizes – sometime in December, we understand. We can be confident that this prime minister is unlikely to overturn the decisions of the judges – a notorious feature of last year's PMLAs, when Tony Abbott elected to split the fiction prize, despite the judges' unequivocal recommendation. The shortlists are fascinating, especially fiction, poetry, and Australian history.
Todd Haynes adapts Patricia Highsmith
Fans of Patricia Highsmith – and Cate Blanchett – will be keen to see Todd Haynes's new film, Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt – about a young woman's infatuation with an older suburban housewife (Blanchett). A.O. Scott, reviewing it in the New York Times, found it 'gorgeous' and spoke of 'the Brancusi contours of Ms Blanchett's face'. In the US, Carol is rate R – 'Sex and cigarettes'. The horror! the horror! Carol will be released here on January 14, and novelist Andrea Goldsmith will review it for Arts Update.
Axing of Radio National's Media Report
How disappointing to read in the Weekly Beast that ABC radio's Media Report, hosted by one of Radio National's best broadcasters, Richard Aedy, has been axed. Let's hope this estimable show will be reinstated, as it was in 2011, two years after its first axing. We need more intelligent scrutiny of the media, not less – and fifteen minutes of television once a week (Media Watch) is not enough. Richard Aedy also loses his Sunday Profile program, but the Weekly Beast suggests that will be back with a new show, 'yet to be unveiled'.
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