Barnaby Smith

Us ★★★★

Barnaby Smith
Thursday, 28 March 2019

Popular culture is still resonating with the impact of Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out, one of the most extraordinary and confident directorial débuts of recent times. Get Out cut a swath through complacency and assumptions regarding race relations. The idea of wealthy, ageing white people transplanting their brains into the bodies of young black men to ...

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Green Book ★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 21 January 2019

To browse through an edition of The Negro Motorist Green Book in 2019 (as can be done through digital library archives) is a disquieting experience. These books, written by Victor Hugo Green in 1936 and published for thirty years, offered advice to African Americans travelling in the segregated American South ...

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Wildlife ★★★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 29 October 2018

Paul Dano, one of the most soulful and intense actors of his generation, has appeared in a number of films over the last decade in which rupture and dysfunction serve to undermine a family unit. In Little Miss Sunshine (2006) he famously played the voluntarily mute Dwayne, while the elegant and underrated For Ellen (2012) ...

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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot ★★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 01 October 2018

As a resident of Portland, Oregon in the 1980s and 1990s, director Gus Van Sant became used to the sight of the iconic and iconoclastic cartoonist John Callahan buzzing around the city in his wheelchair. ‘He was a visible person on the street,’ Van Sant said recently on Marc Maron’s podcast ...

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The Wife (Icon Film Distribution) ★★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 30 July 2018

Björn Runge’s The Wife features several claustrophobic and tense scenes that take place in the back of a limousine driving Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) and her novelist husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) through the snowy streets of Stockholm, where Joe is accepting the Nobel Prize in ...

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Mary Shelley ★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 02 July 2018

The two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) has given rise to a predictable slew of new reflections and reappraisals offering a twenty-first-century context to this seminal work. None was written with more erudition or acuity than ...

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The Western world was well into the swing of our proverbial digital age when Patrick White passed away at his home on Martin Road in Centennial Park at the age of seventy-eight in 1990. Yet, as Christos Tsiolkas suggests at the outset of this taut and lively meditation on Australia’s greatest novelist, Patrick White is often ...

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Gauguin: Voyage de Tahiti ★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 28 May 2018

Paul Gauguin’s storied journey to Tahiti represents one of the great exotic odysseys in modern art. In 1891, in a fit of frustration with the superficiality of the Parisian art world and a city that was ‘rotten, filthy and disgusting’, as Gauguin’s titular character puts it, Gauguin left his young family and journeyed to the proverbial ...

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Human Flow ★★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The unspeakably upsetting image of the three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach inspired a number of visual or artistic responses after it went disturbingly viral in 2015. Among the most high-profile, and certainly among the most provocative, was Ai Weiwei’s. The exiled Chinese artist ...

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Kate Tempest's début is the expansion of a story she threaded through her 2014 album of protest hip-hop, Everybody Down. In its transformation to novel form ...

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