ABR Arts Film and Television


Tim Byrne

Unlike Martin Scorsese’s previous forays into the subject of spiritual faith, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Kundun (1997) – both of which used intense, almost delirious musical compositions to evoke a sense of religious fervour – his new film has no score at all. An adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel Silence, it o ... More

Jasper Jones

Andrew Nette

There is something deeply satisfying about watching a classic cinematic trope done well. The film version of Jasper Jones, the best-selling Australian novel of the same name by Cr More

Manchester By The Sea

Anwen Crawford

A man steers a fishing vessel through grey-blue seas off the coast of wintry Massachusetts, while another man chats with a young boy in a life jacket. The camera keeps its distance, the three figures aboard the boat framed by a wide horizon, but we soon perceive that the boy is son to the man at the boat’s helm, and nephew to the other man. ‘If you could take on ... More


Whitney Monaghan

There is a striking scene early on in Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight that sums up the whole film. It is dusk and the sun is about to set on a Miami Beach. A young African American boy and his mentor sit by the sea and watch the ebb and flow of the ocean in the dwindling light. Having just run away from home, the boy seems lost. The mentor consoles him with an ... More


Tim Byrne

For the first third of this film, you would be forgiven for thinking you were back under the influence of the Italian neorealists: largely non-professional actors in a realistic milieu; themes of poverty and deprivation; a child at the centre of the action. That it takes place in India only heightens the effect; it is difficult to conceive of a contemporary setting ... More

United Kingdom

Anwen Crawford

In London, 1947, a young white English woman named Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), of modest background, meets an ordinary-seeming young black man named Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) at a dance. They go on a few dates, swap jazz records, and then, in short order, the young man reveals to the young woman that he is an African king and proposes marriage to her. She acc ... More

The Crown (Netflix)

James McNamara

When a friend suggested over dinner that I watch Netflix’s The Crown, I responded with an earthier version of ‘Ten hours about an unelected monarch? Nope.’ It made sense, of course, for the US streaming giant to drop $100ish million on a television drama about Her Maj: Wolf Hall did well, Downton Abbey was finished, and America had j ... More

The Light Between Oceans

Brian McFarlane

If you’ve just read a novel prior to seeing the film derived from it, you tend to know what to expect in the way of major plot manoeuvres. Attention is then apt to focus on how the filmmaker has responded to the original, and the ‘what’ can then often be seriously challenged. As one who believes fidelity to be great for relationships, I favour playing around f ... More

La Belle et la Bête, The Triplets of Belleville, and David Bowie: Nothing has changed (Melbourne Festival)

Dilan Gunawardana

In the notes accompanying this year’s Melbourne Festival, artistic director Jonathan Holloway stated that his diverse program was designed to ‘puncture the creative borders between artforms’. The concept of artistic cross-fertilisation is hardly new, nor does it always result in something worth experiencing (think most comic book film adaptations), but three n ... More

Joe Cinque's Consolation

Jake Wilson

Early in Helen Garner’s Joe Cinque’s Consolation (2004) there is a striking description of Anu Singh, the Canberra law student arrested in 1997 for drugging her boyfriend Joe Cinque with a cocktail of heroin and Rohypnol. In court one morning, Singh uses the interval before the judge’s arrival to tie back her hair. Most observers would scarcely regist ... More

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