ABR Arts

Wozzeck (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

It is often observed that we live in an age of ‘directors’ opera’, where the name of the director precedes the name of the opera, never mind the composer. Yet there remain relatively few directors who have become indelibly associated with a particular visual style. South African William Kentridge is one ...

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Edward Burne-Jones: Pre-Raphaelite Visionary (Tate Britain)

Christopher Menz
Thursday, 24 January 2019

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Baronet, (1833–98) to give him his full entitlement, is an artist who polarises people. Some relish his otherworldly and imaginative narrative subjects, the rich and saturated palette, the sumptuous decorative surfaces. Others respond in the same way as one of the ‘vivid young moderns’ overheard by ...

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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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Loro ★★½

Anwen Crawford
Friday, 11 January 2019

Though it begins with an elaborate disclaimer regarding its status as a work of fiction, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (aka Them) is manifestly a portrait of Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, media tycoon, populist, authoritarian, and playboy. Befitting its subject, the film is showy and often crude ...

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Cold War ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War picked up a slew of prizes at the recent European Film Awards, and is already being talked about as a major contender for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a prize he won with his previous film, Ida (2015) ... ... (read more)

The Update - December 20, 2018

ABR Arts
Thursday, 20 December 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Paul Kildea's book on Chopin hits the big screen; the Sydney Theatre Awards nominations; China's Terracotta Army comes to Melbourne; Gerald Murnane wins $80,000 Prime Minister's Literary Award for fiction; the shortlist announced for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and some giveaways ...

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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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