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Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is the author of No Document (Giramondo, 2021), shortlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize, and Live Through This (Bloomsbury, 2015). Her work has appeared in publications including The Monthly, The New Yorker, The White Review and Sydney Review of Books, and in 2021 she won the Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism. She is a long-time zine maker and collaborative visual artist. She lives in Sydney.

'The Test, Season Three: The human comedy of Ashes cricket' by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 28 May 2024
The cricket-lover knows that a Test match – let alone a Test series – lasts long enough for the full sweep of human comedy to be on show. Ambition; petulance; perfection all too fleeting; horrible failure; hilarious pratfalls; selflessness and honour: it’s all in a day – or in five day’s play. Test cricket has so many inbuilt dramatic elements – a recurring cast of twenty-two character ... (read more)

'Housekeeping for Beginners: Goran Stolevski’s new film' by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 06 May 2024
Anyone who has lived in a sharehouse might recognise the hectic energy that defines Goran Stolevski’s third feature, Housekeeping for Beginners. Cinematographer Naum Doksevski’s handheld camera hovers so close to the actors that it seems almost to get beneath their skin; the film opens on a lounge room singalong, loud and unabashed, and barely lets up from there. This sharehouse is located in ... (read more)

Anwen Crawford reviews ‘The Pulling: Essays’ by Adele Dumont

April 2024, no. 463 25 March 2024
‘In the year of my birth, trichotillomania did not exist,’ writes Adele Dumont. Hair-pulling has been depicted in human culture for millennia: in Greek myth, in the Bible, in painting and sculpture, and, most commonly, in vernacular expression (‘I’m tearing my hair out’). But hair-pulling as a compulsive, recurring behaviour – trichotillomania – was only named in the Diagnostic and S ... (read more)

'Saint Omer: Women watching women' by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 16 May 2023
Women look at women in Saint Omer, and they look at each other looking. We look at them looking. In what is almost the opening scene of the film, a writer and academic named Rama (Kayije Kagame) lectures to a class of undergraduates, mostly young women. They are watching footage from the aftermath of World War II: women who slept with German soldiers are loaded onto carts, their heads shorn, and p ... (read more)

'Bones and All: Dead-end as visual metaphor' by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 22 November 2022
Timothée Chalamet, sharp of jaw and dark of eyebrow, found fame due to his starring role in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name (2017), a languorous evocation of semi-closeted first love set in the sun-drenched Italian countryside, with a tender and judicious screenplay by that veteran filmmaker of suppressed emotion, James Ivory, of Merchant Ivory. Being all of twenty when that film was sho ... (read more)

Anwen Crawford reviews 'Provocations: New and selected writings' by Jeff Sparrow

October 2022, no. 447 26 September 2022
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a number of cycling groups in Europe were founded on socialist principles. I had some notion, before reading Jeff Sparrow’s Provocations, of the link between cycling and that era’s feminist politics – the independent, bloomer-clad woman on her bicycle, which Sparrow also sketches – but not of Italy’s Ciclisti Rossi (Red Cyclists) or E ... (read more)

'A rubber cudgel of a word: The speciousness of resilience' by Anwen Crawford

August 2022, no. 445 29 July 2022
In his concession speech on election night, after a perfunctory Acknowledgment of Country and a fulsome acknowledgment of Australia’s defence personnel, past and present; after hymning our ‘functioning’ democracy with reference to Ukraine,  and intimating that without him we imperil ourselves; after mentioning the ‘great upheaval’ of recent years but failing to use the words pandemi ... (read more)

'Light Shining in Buckinghamshire: Paradise delayed' by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 20 April 2022
Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, first performed in 1976, is a dense and difficult play set during the English Civil War. The period may be distant in time but Churchill, working in a broadly Marxist tradition, sees it as an era when fundamental questions of governance were tested by a mass of ordinary people. From whom does the state derive authority, and is a person bound to ... (read more)

‘Memoria: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s eerie resonances’ by Anwen Crawford

ABR Arts 01 April 2022
In the middle of Bogotá’s Parque de la Independencia is a statue of Nicolaus Copernicus. Designed by the Polish sculptor Tadeusz Lodziana, it was gifted by the People’s Republic of Poland to the city of Bogotá in 1974, after the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which had been suspended from 1952 to 1964. This period overlapped with La Violencia in Colombia, a blo ... (read more)

Judy and Punch (Madman Films)

ABR Arts 18 November 2019
The fictional town of Seaside is ‘nowhere near the sea’, state the opening credits of Judy and Punch. Fine, but where or even when this film is set remains a puzzle throughout. The two titular characters, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman), speak with an Irish lilt. The rest of the townsfolk – who come bedecked in grimy pirate shirts and motley, corseted gowns – po ... (read more)
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