ABR Arts

Nijinsky (Australian Ballet) ★★★★★

Lee Christofis
Monday, 12 September 2016

No twentieth-century male ballet dancer has sparked as much adulation and scholarly investigation as Vaslav Nijinsky. Graduating from the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg at eighteen, this sexually ambiguous, rather remote man, became the darling of Russia's principal ballerinas ...

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The Night Of (HBO) ★★★★★

James McNamara
Friday, 09 September 2016

Over the past fifteen years, television has steadily eclipsed film as the medium for prestige drama. US cable network HBO has been central to this, producing shows (The SopranosThe WireGame of Thrones) that, in visual sophistication and narrative scope, helped transform television into art ...

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Sunset Song ★★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Monday, 05 September 2016

It is possible that the remainder of 2016 may produce a more memorable film than Sunset Song, but I doubt it. None so far has moved and enthralled me as Terence Davies' latest has. How I wish he didn't keep us waiting so long between films. It was the semi-autobiographical Distant Voices ...

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The Kettering Incident (Foxtel Showcase) ★★★1/2

Jake Wilson
Monday, 05 September 2016

The citizens of Kettering, Tasmania might well feel ambivalent about Foxtel's new drama The Kettering Incident, budgeted at $14 million and shot on location. A small coastal town just south of Hobart, Kettering looks like an attractive spot for a weekend getaway, but the same cannot be said of ...

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Missa Solemnis ★★★★★ (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

Morag Fraser
Wednesday, 31 August 2016


How fortunate was Rudolph Johann Joseph Rainer, Archduke of Austria. In his short life (he died at forty-three), he enjoyed the privileges of empire and the high positions that accrued to his noble state – including the ecclesiastical roles of cardinal and archbishop. Yet we would hardly remember ...

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The Update - August 23, 2016

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Monash's new performance art space, Eloquent singers galore, Australian World Orchestra turns five, Seraphim Trio plays Schubert, Tristan and Isolde in Tassie, 2010 and all that, and giveaways from Seraphim Trio and Universal Music ...

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David Brent: Life on the road ★★★

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 22 August 2016

The ending of the BBC 'mockumentary' sitcom, The Office (2001–03) was suitably cathartic. Its supporting protagonists, Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman) and Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis), walked off into the sunset hand in hand to Yazoo's synth love-ballad 'Only You', and its central character ...

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Iron in the Blood is jazz musician Jeremy Rose's ambitious and heartfelt tribute to Robert Hughes's The Fatal Shore (1986). Although some academic historians may demur, The Fatal Shore remains a crucial book for understanding the brutality of Australia's colonial origins ...

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High Rise ★★

Anwen Crawford
Tuesday, 16 August 2016

High-Rise has been a long time coming to the cinema screen. J.G. Ballard's novel of the same name has been slated for adaptation almost since it was published in 1975: director Nicolas Roeg (WalkaboutThe Man Who Fell to Earth) was provisionally attached to the project in the late 1970s ...

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Tannhäuser ★★★1/2 (Melbourne Opera)

Barney Zwartz
Monday, 15 August 2016

In 1852 Richard Wagner issued instructions to opera houses planning to stage Tannhäuser. It had closed after only four performances when it opened in Dresden in 1845 – conducted by the composer without most of the scenery, delayed in transport – but was now attracting wide attention. His essay ...

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