ABR Arts

If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★★

Patricia Maunder
Friday, 08 February 2019

There is an inordinate weight of expectation on Barry Jenkins’s third feature, If Beale Street Could Talk. His previous film, Moonlight, won three Oscars in 2017, including Best Picture (after La La Land’s mistaken-award chaos), and was nominated in five other categories. Furthermore, this is the first English-language film ...

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The Flying Dutchman (Melbourne Opera) ★★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
Monday, 04 February 2019

It is easy to overlook – this side of The Ring and Tristan und Isolde – quite how radical Wagner’s first distinctly Wagnerian opera, The Flying Dutchman, really was. Written in Paris, where grand opera was utterly dominant, the opera broke with the form, style, and subject matter of grand opera and introduced Wagner’s own concepts ...

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On the Basis of Sex ★★★

Patricia Maunder
Monday, 04 February 2019

Recent years have highlighted the politicisation of appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States, and how consequential these judgeships can be. Following the death in 2016 of arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, in his final months as US president, nominated moderate Merrick Garland ...

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Les Troyens (Opéra National de Paris) ★★★★

Christopher Menz
Monday, 04 February 2019

This year is huge for the Opéra National de Paris. It celebrates the 350th anniversary of the founding of Académie Royale de Musique in 1669, the thirtieth anniversary of the inauguration of the Opéra Bastille in 1989, and the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz. Les Troyens (The Trojans) opened the ...

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The Update - January 30, 2019

ABR Arts
Wednesday, 30 January 2019

In this fortnight's Update: ABR Arts paywall news; Melbourne Opera's The Flying Dutchman; The Highly Strung Players return to Perth; the Sydney Theatre Awards winners announced; March Dance festival hits Sydney; the Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships for 2019; and giveaways for Green Book and Merciless Gods ...

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Beware of Pity (Sydney Festival) ★★★★★

Jonathan Dunk
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Beware of Pity, the touring co-production of Complicité and Schaubühne, offers a dazzling vision of ethical crisis. Director Simon McBurney’s adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel (Ungeduld des Herzens) compellingly explores the social implications and consequences of individual sentiments without ... 

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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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