ABR Arts

On 'Black Panther'

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Marvel film Black Panther has currently earned more than US$1.3 billion dollars at the box office worldwide since its release on 13 February 2018, which places it high among the most financially successful films of all time. Such an achievement isn’t necessarily indicative of quality – the Fast and the Furious and Minions ...

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The Bookshop ★★1/2

Jake Wilson
Monday, 21 May 2018

Watching The Bookshop, adapted from the late Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1978 novel by the Catalan director Isabel Coixet, admirers of the English novelist have the chance to test their memories. Which parts of the dialogue and the third-person voice-over narration (delivered by Julie Christie), come directly from the book? ...

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Wild (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★1/2

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 14 May 2018

How curious that British playwright Mike Bartlett’s dark comedy inspired by American whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s escape to Russia after leaking thousands of top-secret NSA documents should open with a joke brazenly filched from The Importance of Being Earnest. The larceny, of course, is unconcealed; one assumes that Bartlett is just letting us know ...

BPM (Beats per Minute) ★★★★★

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 14 May 2018

BPM, or 120 battements par minute, to give its more expansive French title, is not the first film to be made about the charismatic activist group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, better known as ACT UP, but it is the most lyrical piece of cinema so far to have emerged from ACT UP’s history. ACT UP, founded in New York ...

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Black Swan State Theatre Company’s terrific new production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll joins other recent revivals such as those by Belvoir Street Theatre (2011) and State Theatre Company of South Australia (2015) in showing that Ray Lawler’s 1955 classic has lost none of its power to entertain and provoke ...

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Bliss (Malthouse Theatre) ★★★

Fiona Gruber
Friday, 11 May 2018

The opening of Peter Carey’s satirical novel Bliss, where the body of Harry Joy lies dead on the lawn while his spirit hovers above, is one of the most memorable in modern Australian literature. Harry’s laconic out-of-body narration hovers like a spare and airy jazz riff until a defibrillator jolts him back into the land of the ...

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The short-lived but bold experiment that has been the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s actors’ ensemble comes to an end with its fourth production, Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. More on the play later, but what of the experiment? Acting ensembles have a chequered history in ...

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The Update - May 8, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 08 May 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Greta Bradman and the MCO; NGV's Spring/Summer program; 'Bliss' at the Malthouse; ABIA Awards; Melbourne Prize for Literature; Next Wave Festival; Sydney Symphony Orchestra; film, music, and theatre giveaways; and more...

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These two significant exhibitions mark critical stages in the development of Australian art over the past fifty years. The Field Revisited is a painstaking reconstruction of the inaugural – and, at the time, ground-breaking and controversial – exhibition held in 1968 in the newly-opened Roy Grounds building: the National Gallery ...

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The Calling (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Monday, 07 May 2018

The Calling is the fourth in a series of five large-scale concerts, each featuring a different ensemble, being performed at fortyfivedownstairs by multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Simmons throughout 2017–18. The overarching title of the series, ‘The Usefulness of Art’, is inspired by a quote from sculptor Auguste Rodin ...

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