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Aaron Nyerges

Aaron Nyerges

Aaron Nyerges is a lecturer in American Studies at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He is broadly interested in popular culture, with a research focus on literature, media, and maps. He is currently completing his first book, The Modernist Mapping of the United States: Literature, technology and territory, 1898–1945.

The Dissident: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in an age of digital surveillance

ABR Arts 22 April 2021
Watch out. Depending on the tone and context in which they’re said, these words combine to various effects. In the presence of a definite danger – a frisbee flung carelessly or a vehicle careening off course – they ring with a flinching impact. Muttered indistinctly and without danger, ‘watch out’ becomes the threat itself, from word of caution to verbal omen. Watch this. With the altera ... (read more)

Aaron Nyerges reviews 'Chasing the Light: How I fought my way into Hollywood: From the 1960s to Platoon' by Oliver Stone

October 2020, no. 425 24 September 2020
Reviewing Oliver Stone’s film Salvador for The New Yorker in 1986, Pauline Kael detected a ‘right-wing macho fantasy joined to a left-wing polemic’. That same compound, a politically unstable one, bubbles under the surface of Stone’s autobiography, Chasing the Light. Generally speaking, it is hard to separate judgement about an autobiography from that about its subject, since reading an au ... (read more)

Aaron Nyerges reviews 'Ben Hecht: Fighting words, moving pictures' by Adina Hoffman

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
In his long poem The Bridge (1930), Hart Crane balances the breadth of his epic vision against a compressive energy, a ballistic sort of expression: ‘So the 20th Century – so / whizzed the Limited – roared by and left.’ Since Crane worked in an American tradition of poet–prophets that includes Walt Whitman and the undersung H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), it is tempting to grant him that. The tw ... (read more)

The Irishman (Netflix)

ABR Arts 06 November 2019
Martin Scorsese, as the world well knows, makes movies about Italian restaurants. Sure, he makes bloody crime films, too, but at some level he seems to be asking: what’s the difference? In Goodfellas (1990), a man crashes into a pizzeria, one hand shot to pieces, bleeding all over the place. He’s kicked out, and the film cuts to a platter of deli meats surfing through a crowded eatery. The gam ... (read more)

The Dead Don't Die (Focus Features)

ABR Arts 23 September 2019
The Dead Don’t Die is – in a manner of thinking – Jim Jarmusch’s second zombie film. Technically, Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) is a vampire film, but its central character, the depressively immortal Adam (Tom Hiddleston), lords it over ‘the zombies’, his term for the human population, whose ignorance he resents and whose degradation of Earth he fears. Adam’s suicidal outlook is con ... (read more)