ABR Arts Television and Games

Mrs. America 

Jordan Prosser
Monday, 22 June 2020

There’s a surprising moment in the 2018 documentary film Ask Dr. Ruth when Dr Ruth Westheimer rejects the idea of being labelled a feminist. Both her daughter and granddaughter are attempting to convince her that she well and truly fits the bill, but Dr Ruth – a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor, patron saint of sex therapists, noted LGBT+ ally, and lifelong advocate for women’s reproductive rights – laughs it off, presumably because the word ‘feminism’ means something different to her than to the other generations of women in her family. It’s also a word that’s historically prone to being twisted bastardised and sensationalised by those against it, weaponised and aggrandised by those passionately for it.

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Mystery Road 

Jordan Prosser
Monday, 01 June 2020

As a genre, the western springs from colonial tension: tension between the old ways and the new; between the native people and an invading population; between humans and the land itself; between lore and the law. There are no westerns set in Britain. And while the gunslinging adventures of cowboy frontiersmen may have receded into the background of American culture, the genre remains ripe with critical and narrative potential for more freshly colonised countries like Australia.

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The Plot Against America 

Ben Brooker
Wednesday, 29 April 2020

With theatres, cinemas, and concert halls shuttered worldwide due to Covid-19, the so-called ‘golden age of television’ may have just entered its platinum phase. Television production, like everything else, has been forced into hibernation or hurried workarounds, but the plethora of content on the various streaming services grows apace.

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The rise in popularity of so-called ‘walking simulators’ in recent years propagated an existential crisis in the gaming world. In video games like Dear Esther (2012), Firewatch (2016), and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (2016), the absence of an overriding purpose troubled gamers used ...

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The worlds of literature and video games appear at first glance to be distinctly at odds. Book lovers may feel that playing video games is puerile, a waste of time that could be better spent improving oneself by reading. Some gamers regard books as old hat, a stuffy waste of time that ...

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The Crown (Netflix) ★★★★★

James McNamara
Monday, 12 December 2016

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 ...

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The Night Of (HBO) ★★★★★

James McNamara
Friday, 09 September 2016

Over the past fifteen years, television has steadily eclipsed film as the medium for prestige drama. US cable network HBO has been central to this, producing shows (The SopranosThe WireGame of Thrones) that, in visual sophistication and narrative scope, helped transform television into art ...

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The Kettering Incident (Foxtel Showcase) ★★★1/2

Jake Wilson
Monday, 05 September 2016

The citizens of Kettering, Tasmania might well feel ambivalent about Foxtel's new drama The Kettering Incident, budgeted at $14 million and shot on location. A small coastal town just south of Hobart, Kettering looks like an attractive spot for a weekend getaway, but the same cannot be said of ...

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Deadline Gallipoli

Angus Tonkin
Tuesday, 14 April 2015

If ever there were to be an exception to Winston Churchill’s military aphorism, ‘History is written by the victors’, the Anzac story would make a promising candidate. One doubts that those on the ground at Gallipoli would consider themselves victors. Yet here we are, one hundred years on, celebrating the Anzac tradition with mo ...

Redfern Now (ABC)

Rebecca Harkins-Cross
Sunday, 25 November 2012
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