Michael Shmith reviews 'The Day the Music Died: A life lived behind the lens' by Tony Garnett

Michael Shmith

Tony Garnett, one of the most respected figures in British television drama, is also one of its most reclusive. Most people these days have almost certainly never heard of him, or, if they have, probably think he is a distant relation of Alf Garnett, of Till Death Us Do Part fame.

Even though the cantankerous Alf was a fictional character (played by ... More

Sarah McDonald reviews 'Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History' by Paul A. Schroeder Rodríguez

Sarah McDonald

Latin America – the term – is an invention of a would-be emperor of Mexico, French in origin, trying in vain to strengthen the imperial project through a link to a Latinate origin, including and privileging the language and culture of the romance languages and excluding the Anglophone in the quest for colonial pre-eminence. However, long before the empire of Nap ... More

Dion Kagan reviews 'Transgressions in Anglo-American Cinema: Gender, sex and the deviant body' edited by Joel Gwynne

Dion Kagan

As long as there have been moving images, people have fretted about cinema’s special dexterity at breaching sexual and social norms. We now have sophisticated tools to help us ...


Philippa Hawker reviews 'Movie Journal: The rise of new American cinema 1959–1971' by Jonas Mekas

Philippa Hawker

'Do you really want me to fall that low, to become a film critic, one of those people who write reviews?' asks Jonas Mekas, responding with typical brio to complaints ...


Andrew Nette reviews 'Scorsese' (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)

Andrew Nette

Scorsese, currently showing at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, is not exactly the exhibition that is advertised, and that is a very good thing. Martin Scorsese's career has stretched over half a century and involves nearly sixty films. Yet anyone who has seen advance press and publicity for Scorsese could be forgiven for th ... More

Jake Wilson reviews 'Dancing to His Song: The singular cinema of Rolf de Heer' by Jane Freebury

Jake Wilson

More has been written about Rolf de Heer than about most Australian film directors of his generation, but Jane Freebury's Dancing to His Song contains ...


Dion Kagan reviews 'Gay Directors, Gay Films? Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters' by Emanuel Levy

Dion Kagan

Emanuel Levy has had a prestigious career as a senior critic at Variety, professor of film and sociology, and jury member at fifty-four international film festivals. His exhaustive account of the careers of five gay male auteurs is peppered with quotes from his own interviews with them. This awfully titled book may frustrate some readers, including Levy's p ... More

Marguerite and Florence Foster Jenkins

Ian Dickson

As with London buses, one waits for ages for a film based on the life of that vocal phenomenon Florence Foster Jenkins (1868–1944), and then two arrive simultaneously. Add to the mix Maggie Smith's Miss Shepherd in The Lady in the Van and it seems to be open season on eccentri ... More

Brian McFarlane reviews 'Mad Dog Morgan' by Jake Wilson

Brian McFarlane

The evocative Prologue to this book has a poetic precision that bodes well for its treatment of this too-long neglected film, and what follows more than answers such expectations.

Jake Wilson's analysis (resuscitation might be a better word) of the 1976 Australian bushranging adventure, More

Jake Wilson reviews 'Directory of World Cinema, Volume 19' edited by Ben Goldsmith, Mark David Ryan, and Geoff Lealand

Jake Wilson

Careful readers will soon notice something puzzling about this book, an attractive large-format paperback with frequent colour illustrations. Staring accusingly from the cover is the young indigenous actor Rowan McNamara, one of the stars of Warwick Thornton's 2009 love story Samson & Delilah. The image seems aptly chosen: Thornton's film is an acknowle ... More

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