Dion Kagan

2018 Australian Book Review Film Survey

25 May 2018

We invited some writers, film critics, and film professionals to nominate their favourite film – not The Greatest Film Ever Sold, but one that matters to them personally.


Dion Kagan reviews 'Desire: A memoir' by Jonathan Dollimore

Dion Kagan
01 March 2018

In one of my pedagogical fantasies, I design the curriculum for a course called ‘Modern Theories of Desire’. My students read Marx, Beauvoir, Foucault, and Butler. They study Hegel on More

Happy End (Transmission Films) ★★★★

Dion Kagan
06 February 2018

The opening sequence of Happy End, the latest film from French director and provocateur Michael Haneke, is a funny–shocking series of domestic events captured via a livestreamin More

Tom of Finland ★★★1/2

Dion Kagan
10 October 2017

Tom of Finland is a worthy enshrinement of the life of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920–91) into the cinematic pantheon of queer historical biographies. The World War II vet More

Dion Kagan reviews 'Transgressions in Anglo-American Cinema: Gender, sex and the deviant body' edited by Joel Gwynne

Dion Kagan
02 November 2016

As long as there have been moving images, people have fretted about cinema’s special dexterity at breaching sexual and social norms. We now have sophisticated tools to help us ...


Dion Kagan reviews 'What Belongs To You' by Garth Greenwell

Dion Kagan
23 May 2016

In the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, an expat American teacher goes down into the subterranean bathroom beneath the National Palace of Culture, a known beat. There he encounters ...


Dion Kagan reviews 'Gay Directors, Gay Films? Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters' by Emanuel Levy

Dion Kagan
27 April 2016

Emanuel Levy has had a prestigious career as a senior critic at Variety, professor of film and sociology, and jury member at fifty-four international film festivals. His exhaustive account of the careers of five gay male auteurs is peppered with quotes from his own interviews with them. This awfully titled book may frustrate some readers, including Levy's p ... More

Dion Kagan reviews 'The Sex Myth' by Rachel Hills

Dion Kagan
22 December 2015

The Sex Myth announces some lofty aspirations in its title, which invokes game-changing feminist interventions like Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique (1963) and Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth (1991). Saturated as we are now by sex talk of all kinds, it is hard to imagine a critique of sex/gender mores having anything like the same impact. Nonethe ... More

Gone Girl

Dion Kagan
09 October 2014

In David Fincher’s slick adaptation of Gone Girl, an attractive white woman, Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary and her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), quickly becomes the prime suspect.

Left behind at their Missouri McMansion are signs of a violent struggle – glass coffee ... More

Under the Skin

Dion Kagan
28 May 2014

U nder the Skin is adapted from Michael Faber’s eponymous speculative fiction novel (2000) in which an alien disguised as an attractive woman hunts hitchhikers in the Scottish highlands. Once she has determined that a man is appropriate prey, she drugs him and delivers him to a subterranean abattoir hidden beneath a farm where, in a disturbing allegorisatio ... More

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