ABR Arts

Some time ago I appeared on a morning radio program with a prominent guru of Australian culture who roundly declared that Andy Warhol was ‘a one trick pony’. Neither remonstration nor persuasion could help the guru out of his imperturbable complacency. He had summed up Warhol in a sentence – what more need be said?

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The National Gallery of Australia’s current Pre-Raphaelite survey exhibition, co-curated by Carol Jacobi from Tate and Lucina Ward from the NGA, feels like a family reunion. John Everett Millais’s Ophelia (1851–52) and John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott (1888) have made the long voyage from ...

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The Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher is one of the few twentieth-century artists who became almost universally known by the general public from the 1960s on. Constructed as visual paradoxes with impossible architectures, vaulting perspectives, and dramatic metamorphoses of form, his images startled ... ... (read more)

Bottomless (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★

Maxim Boon
Tuesday, 04 December 2018

Bottomless is an apt title for Dan Lee’s multifarious study of addiction, redemption, and the ever present schisms that echo from the past. Its sharply crafted and occasionally brilliant dialogue underscores a narrative grappling with cultural and emotional complexities of unplumbed depth ...

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The Update - December 4, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 04 December 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Giveaways to Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester, Through Love … and the Peninsula Summer Music Festival 2019; the $35,000 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize open for entry; Margaret Atwood writing sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale; Pussy Riot performing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival; and more ...

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Artaserse (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 30 November 2018

Géraud Corbiau’s rather schlocky biopic, Farinelli (1994) covers an important phase in the career of this most celebrated singer of the early eighteenth century. The establishment of the Opera of the Nobility in the 1730s, with Niccolò Porpora as the main composer, was a direct challenge to Handel’s ...

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Daniel Barenboim, then primarily a pianist, last visited Sydney in 1970. He and his wife, Jacqueline du Pré, performed the complete piano and cello sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven at the Sydney Town Hall. They also visited the site of the Sydney Opera house, which opened three years later ...

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Floating in the dawn skies above the Yarra Valley on November 22, Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale had her first outing in Victoria. It allowed early risers in the vicinity a brief glimpse of the gas-filled aerial sculpture, a work of art that is rarely seen and that, due to its pendulous appendages and $350,00 price-tag ...

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Lean on Pete ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 26 November 2018

Charley (Charlie Plummer), the vulnerable teenage protagonist of Lean On Pete, is always on the move. We first see him jogging at dawn, past suburban streets and out towards to the local racecourse. The morning light is benevolent; the camera keeps a smooth distance: all is promise and potential in Charley’s life, or should be...

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Peterloo ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What I’ve come to expect of a new Mike Leigh film is, above all, the unexpected. His first feature, Bleak Moments (1971), of which there were quite a few in that contemporary study of urban, lower-middle class life, made him a potent force in British film. Think of Naked (1993) and Secrets & Lies (1996) ...

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