Luke Davies

Luke Davies is a novelist, screenplay writer and poet. He is the author of Candy, God of Speed, Totem (the winner of the Age Book of the Year in 2004) and Interferon Psalms (winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2012). 

Articles by this author

Still from Call Me By Your Name
Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a passionate, positive tale of first love
The perfection of youth
“Our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once,” says archaeologist and scholar Professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg), by way of fatherly advice, to his 17-year-old son Elio...
David Lowery’s ‘A Ghost Story’ successfully combines sorrow, absurdity and the supernatural
Under the covers
“Is there something there?” asks M (Rooney Mara), who is following her boyfriend, C (Casey Affleck), through their house after a sudden noise has woken them in the middle of the...
Still from Atlanta
There’s some bite to Donald Glover’s languid, lyrical comedy series ‘Atlanta’
The whole follow-your-dreams thing
“This milk any good?” asks Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), a stoner, sniffing from a carton at a refrigerator door. “What you using it for?” asks his stoned rapper friend Alfred “...
Still from The Salesman
The domestic disquiet of Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ gives way to suspense
Backstage drama
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is best known for A Separation (2011), a subtle film that was both beguiling and hypnotic, perhaps because of and not despite its measured pacing....
Still from Black Mirror
Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’ is ‘The Twilight Zone’ for our tech-obsessed times
Through the dark glass
In the opening moments of the first episode of the first season of Black Mirror, the British prime minister, Michael Callow (Rory Kinnear), is woken in the early hours, and the...
Still from American Honey
Andrea Arnold’s ‘American Honey’ is an exuberant, if meandering, trip
Powerless agents
“I think they want you,” says Star (Sasha Lane), a shy, raggedy teenager with dreadlocks, to Jake (Shia LaBeouf ), a weird guy who wears suspenders over old-man chinos and has a...
Image from The Get Down
Netflix’s hip-hop drama ‘The Get Down’ squanders its potential
Where did Baz Luhrmann go wrong?
First, there was Strictly Ballroom (1992). The tight, passionate dance drama burst onto the screen, introducing Sydney director Baz Luhrmann. Next came Romeo + Juliet (1996), a...
Still from Captain Fantastic
Matt Ross’ ‘Captain Fantastic’ is a portrait of a family in the wilderness
Off the grid
The opening moments of Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic (in national release 8 September) introduce us to the rugged, pine-forested world of an ideal – or idealised – family...
A still from Embrace of the Serpent
Ciro Guerra’s ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ brings together two Amazonian encounters
“You devote your life to plants?” an ancient shaman asks his young American visitor. “That’s the most reasonable thing I’ve ever heard a white say.” The shaman is Karamakate (...
Image of Aaron Pedersen and Alex Russell in Goldstone
Cultural conflicts in Ivan Sen’s ‘Goldstone’ and the ABC’s ‘Cleverman’
Mirrors to the landscape
In the famous crop-duster scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), Cary Grant’s hapless character Roger Thornhill runs for pitiful cover on an isolated stretch of...
Still from Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Kiwi charm of Taika Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’
Don’t lose that Ricky
In Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople (in national release) we open on a majestic aerial view of dense New Zealand forest. It could be the beginning of some ominously dark...
Anthony LaPaglia
Madman Films
‘A Month of Sundays’ directed by Matthew Saville
In his underrated film Noise (2007), Matthew Saville took a police procedural and largely jettisoned the usual form, opting instead for a nuanced character study of a bewildered,...
Still from Sherpa
The economics of Everest in Jennifer Peedom’s ‘Sherpa’
Blind obsession
“We need help here,” a panicked, crackly voice calls out on a two-way radio, over a black screen, in the opening moments of Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa (in national release...
Trumbo image
Doing the right thing in Jay Roach’s ‘Trumbo’ and László Nemes’ ‘Son of Saul’
Black lists
The television series Breaking Bad is held in high regard for many reasons. Over five seasons spread across six years, it attained the quality of a Greek tragedy. The writing...
Survival tactics in ‘The Revenant’ and ‘The Big Short’
We are all savages
“Is there even a movie here, or is the film just the by-product of a particularly masochistic film crew spending some time in the woods?” This question, posed by American film...
Still from The End of the Tour.
Five days with David Foster Wallace in ‘The End of the Tour’
Close encounter
Early in James Ponsoldt’s small but oddly luminous The End of the Tour (in limited release 3 December), writer David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) is hypothesising about his work...
Vanuatu’s Yakel people make their screen debut in Bentley Dean and Martin Butler’s ‘Tanna’
Married to the tribe
In 2013, fresh from finishing First Footprints, a documentary series about Australia’s Aboriginal history, Bentley Dean told co-director Martin Butler of his plan to live with his...
Corruption and collusion in Scott Cooper’s ‘Black Mass’
Don’t call me ‘Whitey’
James “Whitey” Bulger, the ruthless Boston crime boss who for more than 15 years was on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list before his 2011 arrest, has been portrayed in a number...