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Jordan Prosser

Jordan Prosser

Jordan Prosser is a writer, filmmaker, and performer from Naarm/Melbourne, and a graduate of the VCA School of Film & Television. In 2022, he won the Peter Carey Short Story Award. His debut novel, Big Time, will be published in 2024.

‘Nine Perfect Strangers’: An exasperating, bloated game of Cluedo

ABR Arts 28 September 2021
Picture this: a taut, ninety-minute thriller featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest names, based on a bestseller from a literary big-hitter. A slow-burn mystery about a group of wealthy strangers, each with their own dark secrets and buried traumas, arriving at a boutique wellness spa for a ten-day retreat. Nicole Kidman starring as the enigmatic, ethereal Russian wellness guru Masha Dmitrichenko ... (read more)

‘Shiva Baby’ is a gruelling, hilarious exercise in anxiety

ABR Arts 02 August 2021
With their forced solemnity and rigid formality, religious ceremonies have long been ripe for comic subversion – see Four Weddings and a Funeral, Death at a Funeral (the original and the American remake), This Is Where I Leave You, Six Feet Under, et al. – but Shiva Baby, a new indie comedy from American writer–director débutante Emma Seligman, gives the sub-genre a refreshing Millennial up ... (read more)

Psych-ward drama Wakefield delivers on its many promises

ABR Arts 21 April 2021
Spoiler alert: at the end of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Randle Patrick McMurphy is lobotomised. It’s a tragic defeat for a counter-culture hero and a barbaric victory for the institution housing him. The psychiatric facility is depicted as a prison, its residents the doomed inmates, and its head nurse, the villainous Nurse Ratched, the warden. In that story, madness is anal ... (read more)

The meaningless navel-gazing of French Exit

ABR Arts 19 March 2021
‘My plan was to die before the money ran out,’ says Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer) when confronted with the fact that, after a lifetime of wealth and privilege, she is soon to become insolvent. This rationalisation on the part of our glamorous, widowed heroine tells us a lot about her, and a lot about the film French Exit: they are both unfailingly sardonic, somewhat ill ... (read more)

Mrs. America (Hulu/FX)

ABR Arts 22 June 2020
There’s a surprising moment in the 2018 documentary film Ask Dr. Ruth when Dr Ruth Westheimer rejects the idea of being labelled a feminist. Both her daughter and granddaughter are attempting to convince her that she well and truly fits the bill, but Dr Ruth – a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor, patron saint of sex therapists, noted LGBT+ ally, and lifelong advocate for women’s reproductiv ... (read more)

Mystery Road (BunyaProduction/ABC)

ABR Arts 01 June 2020
NOTE: This review contains spoilers for Mystery Road: Series 1. As a genre, the western springs from colonial tension: tension between the old ways and the new; between the native people and an invading population; between humans and the land itself; between lore and the law. There are no westerns set in Britain. And while the gunslinging adventures of cowboy frontiersmen may have receded into ... (read more)

Hearts and Bones (Madman Films)

ABR Arts 11 May 2020
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a slippery condition to pin down and portray. Cinema in general struggles to convey the depth and nuance of mental illness, especially when it stems from trauma. We’re often left with frenzied flashbacks, bombastic sound design, and overripe performances that skirt dangerously close to parody. A mental illness is like a haunting, which may be why genre cinema ... (read more)

A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

ABR Arts 29 January 2020
Terrence Malick’s mid-career output has been as divisive as his early films were revered. After The Tree of Life won the Palme d’Or in 2011, To the Wonder (2012), Knight of Cups (2015), and Song to Song (2017) arrived in uncharacteristically quick succession, testing audiences’ willingness to indulge Malick’s stubborn stylistic sensibilities. His knack for laying bare characters’ inner l ... (read more)

True History of the Kelly Gang (Stan)

ABR Arts 13 January 2020
‘I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.’ So opens Ned Kelly’s personal journal, addressed to his future daughter. The irony of this heartfelt promise, of course, is t ... (read more)
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