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Philippa Hawker

Philippa Hawker

Philippa Hawker is a film and arts writer. She is working on a book about Jean-Pierre Léaud.

'Napoleon: An unconvincing biopic from Ridley Scott' by Philippa Hawker

ABR Arts 24 November 2023
Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Bonaparte is petulant, over-confident. He likes to make animal noises and is often ill at ease. He is deeply infatuated with his wife. He can fall asleep at crucial moments. His ambitions are boundless, his limitations often comical. He’s very into cannons. He combines the extraordinary and the extremely ordinary in disconcerting ways. Scott and screenwriter David Scar ... (read more)

'Killers of the Flower Moon: Martin Scorsese's depiction of the Osage killings' by Philippa Hawker

ABR Arts 17 October 2023
Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon begins and ends with a ceremony, starting with a ritual of mourning and concluding with affirmation of community. In between, over the course of 206 minutes, it is a story of murder, manipulation, and survival, an engrossing, deliberate work that also has expansive, unexpected moments and disconcerting juxtapositions. It is packed with vivid cameos an ... (read more)

'A Haunting in Venice: Kenneth Branagh’s third Hercule Poirot film' by Philippa Hawker

ABR Arts 12 September 2023
In 1920, the figure of Hercule Poirot arrived, fully formed – from the top of his egg-shaped head to the tip of his toes – when Agatha Christie published her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. She introduced her detective in the words of an admiring narrator who was to function as a kind of Dr Watson to her Great Detective. Poirot, we are told ‘was an extraordinary looki ... (read more)

'Dalíland: Ben Kingsley as Salvador Dalí' by Philippa Hawker

ABR Arts 11 July 2023
In January 1957, Salvador Dalí appeared on American television in What’s My Line, a game show featuring a segment in which blindfolded panellists tried to work out the identity of a mystery guest by asking only yes-no questions. Dalí did not make it easy for the panel or the host: he answered ‘yes’ every time, not only to ‘Are you a performer?’ and ‘Would you be considered a leading ... (read more)

'One Fine Morning: Mia Hansen-Løve and the irony of things' by Philippa Hawker

ABR Arts 05 June 2023
In French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning (Un beau matin), books play a significant role: as physical objects, gifts, talismans, sources of connection, works in progress. Above all, books can represent a life. For Sandra (Léa Seydoux), the contents of her ailing father’s bookshelves express something about him that she values. She explains to her young daughter, Linn (Camille L ... (read more)

Philippa Hawker reviews 'The Murders at Hanging Rock' by Yvonne Rosseau

April 1981, no. 29 01 April 1981
Since its publication in 1967, Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock has exercised a peculiar fascination over Australian readers. Its tale of the unexplained and apparently inexplicable disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher from an expedition to the Rock is so well known that it scarcely needs further elaboration. Interest and sales were boosted by Peter Weir’s 1975 film. With its ... (read more)

Philippa Hawker reviews 'Wraith' by Lee Tulloch

July 1999, no. 212 01 July 1999
In the hierarchy of celebrity, there is one group of people constantly referred to with a casual, first-name intimacy. The ‘I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day’ brigade, the supermodels. Linda and Naomi, Christy and Kate. It’s not that we know anything about them as individuals, nor that they seem any more approachable than any other kind of late twentieth century celebrity. ... (read more)

Philippa Hawker reviews 'The Illustrated Family Doctor' by David Snell

November 1997, no. 196 01 November 1997
How do you define despair? You might choose to describe it as ‘a chemical imbalance of the brain, resulting in fragmented perceptions, often associated with grief and pessimism’. That is the definition Gary Kelp comes across in the course of his working day. It seems to fit. ‘I imagined a picture of myself to go with the text,’ he says, ‘sitting there at the bar, staring into my drink. ... (read more)

Philippa Hawker reviews 'The Horror Reader' edited by Ken Gelder

October 2000, no. 225 01 October 2000
Horror. It’s a word you are forced to utter emphatically, almost to expel. On the page, it seems to contain a form of typographical echo – it looks as if it is repeating itself. The term has tactile, physical associations; it once meant roughness or ruggedness, and it also describes a shuddering or a shivering movement. (There’s a wonderful word, horripilation, a synonym for the phenomenon a ... (read more)
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