Film

Max Sipowicz reviews 'Zombies' by Jennifer Rutherford

Max Sipowicz

In recent times the figure of the zombie has pervaded modern culture. Despite their origins as macabre creatures from Haitian myths, and then their modern cultural origins in B-grade horror films, zombies have established themselves as an important element of modern mythology. Jennifer Rutherford’s book aims to explore the reasons for our society’s obsession wit ... More

Eloise Ross reviews 'The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan'

Eloise Ross

‘I get awful intense about these movies I do. I become, in fact, obsessed with them.’ So Elia Kazan (1909–2003) wrote to his daughter in 1957. A workaholic, Kazan was both extremely self-assured and plagued by self-doubt, terrified he would produce mediocrity. He rarely did. As a stage and screen director he achieved remarkable success. Kazan was an egotist, a ... More

Desley Deacon reviews the new biography of Shirley Temple

Desley Deacon

Lucky Shirley Temple! Film star biographies are usually made up of a chronology laced with doubtful studio publicity and salacious gossip. But The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression is written by a reigning scholar of American culture, John F. Kasson. A professor of History and American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kass ... More

Michael Morley reviews two books on Hitler’s impact on film and music

Michael Morley

For all their differences of subject matter and approach (not to mention style), both of these studies can be seen as belonging to the category of what might be termed archaeological history. That is, they are concerned with retrieving and bringing to the surface a gallery of characters and set of important stories and connections which have been either suppressed o ... More

Desley Deacon on the 'Life of Barbara Stanwyck'

Desley Deacon

How many words does it take to write a life (or actually half a life) of movie star Barbara Stanwyck? Admittedly, she had a long career – she started in a revue chorus in 1921 at the age of fourteen and played in her last episode of the television series The Colbys in 1987 at the age of eighty – but 1044 pages that take us only to 1940? As Liz Smith quipp ... More

Philippa Hawker reviews 'Ripping Open the Set'

Philippa Hawker

Ben McCann’s Ripping Open the Set begins with four epigraphs, observations of various kinds. They come from American figures – Frank Capra, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Nathanael West – and they express a range of notions, none of them particularly positive, about the place of design in cinema. McCann – senior lecturer in French at the ... More

Doug Wallen reviews 'Alfred Hitchcock's America'

Doug Wallen

Although he used screenwriters, Alfred Hitchcock was a model auteur and engineeredhis films meticulously. ‘Casting and performance, mise-en-scène, lighting, camera angle, construction of setting, and music must all be woven into the director’s “action” as he makes a scene,’ remarks Murray Pomerance in his study of Hitchcock’s American ... More

Jake Wilson reviews 'Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows'

Jake Wilson

As film critics go, Geoffrey O’Brien is a lover, not a fighter: unconcerned with starting quarrels or settling scores, he simply aims to share his pleasure in what he has seen. Perhaps his remarkably good temper stems from the fact that he is not a full-time critic, but an example of that nearly extinct species, the all-round man of letters. He is editor-in- ... More

Benjamin Millar reviews 'World Film Locations: Melbourne'

Benjamin Millar

Reflections upon Melbourne’s reputation as a world cultural capital often sideline film-making, but the relationship is long and fruitful. The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), filmed on the former Charterisville Estate in Heidelberg, is history’s first feature film. The first Australian entry in this series of global guides highlights the centrality ... More

Hamish Ford reviews Alain Badiou's 'Cinema'

Hamish Ford

In recent years, the work of French philosopher Alain Badiou has been discussed with increasing regularity as part of an academic dialogue between cinema studies and philosophy that is often called ‘film-philosophy’. His various writings on cinema were for a long time scattered among many different sources, the majority untranslated. With its original 2010 ... More

Page 1 of 4
Australian Book Review Logo

Studio 2
207-229 City Road
Southbank VIC 3006

Tel: (03) 9699 8822
Fax: (03) 9699 8803

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Close Panel

ABR Online Login