ABR Arts

Australian Realness 

Sarah Walker
Friday, 23 August 2019

Australians love a bogan in pop culture. Kath & Kim broke ratings records; The Castle regularly tops lists of favourite local films. This sense of affection for the working class becomes more complex off-screen, when Aussie battlers become ‘cashed-up bogans’ and turn Queensland into a Liberal state; when they start threatening middle-class values ...

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Golden Shield 

Tim Byrne
Monday, 19 August 2019

The great Spanish novelist Javier Marías includes a scene in A Heart So White (1992) where a translator deliberately mistranslates a conversation between two characters who obviously stand in for Margaret Thatcher and Felipe González. He does this to send a coded message to the other translator in the room, his future wife ...

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Andrea Chénier 

Peter Rose
Monday, 19 August 2019

A few weeks after that memorable Peter Grimes from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney and Melbourne ...

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood 

Patrick Boyle
Thursday, 15 August 2019

Quentin Tarantino is one of the most innovative living auteurs in English-speaking cinema. The films that made him – Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, and Kill Bill: Volume. 1 and 2 – are triumphs of hyper-stylised violence. Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood, Tarantino’s ninth film, though, is an outlier ...

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Symphony orchestras around the world, presumably in order to mitigate financial pressures, have turned to Hollywood in the last few years, and Australia is hardly immune. At times it seems that one of our major orchestras is playing the score to another Harry Potter film every other week. There may have been an artistic case to make when ...

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Melburnians haven’t heard Nicole Car since 2014, when she was a luminous Tatiana in Kasper Holten’s production of Eugene Onegin. Much has happened to the Melbourne-born  lyric soprano since then, primarily in Sydney at first with several big Mozart and Verdi roles (Pamina, Fiordiligi, Violetta, Luisa Miller) ...

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In the beginning there is the sound of deep breathing and heartbeat. Woman, the electric Jennifer Vuletic, lies writhing on a rock, splayed as if for sacrifice. Is she in a state of anguish or ecstasy? My Dearworthy Darling ushers us into a space fraught with uncertainty, the kind where questions beget more questions ...

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Life of Galileo (Belvoir St Theatre) 

Ian Dickson
Friday, 09 August 2019

You plan to present a new radical production of Hamlet. But it’s a long play and you only have a small cast. It will need a fair bit of pruning and you’ll have to lose some characters or at least reduce their importance. You will leave in the soliloquies of course, but Rosencrantz and Guildenstern can go, as can the players ...

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Palm Beach 

Jake Wilson
Thursday, 08 August 2019

Curiously, there are now two feature films titled Palm Beach, both named for the same upmarket suburb in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The first, made in 1979 by the late avant-gardist Albie Thoms, is a ragged detective story improvised from an outline conceived by its ensemble cast. The new Palm Beachis a much more conventionally polished ...

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Late Night ★★★★

Richard Leathem
Monday, 05 August 2019

There’s an element of metafiction about Late Night that makes the main character, Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson), much more sympathetic than she ought to be. In an early scene, the successful late-night television chat show host states that she’s not part of the mainstream. She doesn’t watch superhero movies and she isn’t on Twitter or ...

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