Culture

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two. Still from Titane © Carole Bethuel

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two

Culture / Film

Provocative Palme d’Or winner ‘Titane’ addresses sexuality, body-horror and gender construction

‘Black Widow’ and an endless future of adequate spectacle. Image showing Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow

‘Black Widow’ and an endless future of adequate spectacle

Culture / Film

On Marvel, Disney and the dismal state of the modern blockbuster

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part one. Scene from Hit the Road by Panah Panahi

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part one

Culture / Film

Films by Emmanuel Carrère, Panah Panahi and Joachim Trier are among the best from a festival changed by the pandemic

American gusto: James Ellroy’s ‘Widespread Panic’

Culture / Books

Pimps, peddlers and private eyes populate the latest novel by the ‘L.A. Confidential’ author


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Life in isolation: ‘Nine Days’ and ‘Bo Burnham: Inside’. Still from ‘Nine Days’

➊ Life in isolation: ‘Nine Days’ and ‘Bo Burnham: Inside’

A comedian’s isolated self-examination is more profound than Edson Oda’s confused film about what makes a good life

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two. Still from Titane © Carole Bethuel

➋ Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two

Provocative Palme d’Or winner ‘Titane’ addresses sexuality, body-horror and gender construction

Transforming the national imagination: The ‘Dark Emu’ debate. Image of fish traps, Darling River, NSW, 1938

➌ Transforming the national imagination: The ‘Dark Emu’ debate

Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe’s ‘Farmers or Hunter-gatherers?’ challenges ideas of progress championed by Bruce Pascoe

To be free. Image of Richard Flanagan

➍ To be free

The Booker Prize–winning author on the need to write against the dogmas of conformity

Books


‘The Five Wounds’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade. Cover of ‘The Five Wounds’

‘The Five Wounds’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade

A young down-and-out man in a New Mexico village seeks transcendence in a ceremonial role as Jesus, in this debut novel

Grand designs: ‘Real Estate’. Image of cover of ‘Real Estate’

Grand designs: ‘Real Estate’

Deborah Levy’s latest ‘living autobiography’ finds her travelling and contemplating home, family and art’s revolutionary potential

‘Secrets of Happiness’ by Joan Silber . Cover of ‘Secrets of Happiness’

‘Secrets of Happiness’ by Joan Silber

The American author’s Austenesque latest novel, a collage of short stories, traces the common pursuit of happiness through love and money

‘Building for Hope’ by Marwa al-Sabouni. Cover of ‘Building for Hope’

‘Building for Hope’ by Marwa al-Sabouni

The Syrian architect and writer makes a case for war being a consequence of modern architecture destroying the social fabric

Shifting ground

Indigenous writing in Australia is far from uniform, and is all the richer for it

Body language: ‘The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen’. Cover image of ‘The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen’

Body language: ‘The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen’

Echoing folktales and fables, Krissy Kneen’s memoir contemplates the body’s visceral knowledge of inherited trauma


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Music


More than a feeling: ‘New Long Leg’ . Image of Dry Cleaning

More than a feeling: ‘New Long Leg’

The deadpan spoken-word vocals of British post-punk band Dry Cleaning are the mesmeric expression of online consciousness

Always tomorrow: ‘Promises’. Image of Pharaoh Sanders and Sam Shepherd

Always tomorrow: ‘Promises’

Legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders joins electronic musician Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra for a compositionally minimalist album

Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers. Arlo Parks

Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers

Two young musicians spark the old double standard of judging female artists who demonstrate their pain

Genesis Owusu’s ‘Smiling With No Teeth’

The Ghanaian-Australian singer is a major new force in hip-hop

The composition of emotion: Rose Riebl . Image of Rose Riebl

The composition of emotion: Rose Riebl

The pianist and contemporary classical composer bringing a virtuosic touch to minimalism

‘For the first time’ by Black Country, New Road . Image of Black Country, New Road’s ‘For the first time’

‘For the first time’ by Black Country, New Road

The debut from the latest British Art School Band delivers perfect pop with arch lyrics that owe a debt to Jarvis Cocker


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Film


Like no actor ever: ‘My Name Is Gulpilil’ . Image from ‘My Name Is Gulpilil’

Like no actor ever: ‘My Name Is Gulpilil’

Molly Reynolds’s beautiful documentary is a fitting tribute to David Gulpilil, at the end of his singular life

Dance dance revolution: ‘Ema’. Still from Ema

Dance dance revolution: ‘Ema’

Pablo Larrain’s beguiling, difficult film seeks to understand an impenetrable anti-heroine for whom the city is a dancefloor

Lodestar: ‘Supernova’. Image from ‘Supernova’

Lodestar: ‘Supernova’

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth star in Harry Macqueen’s quiet elegy to a loving relationship in its twilight

Revival. Image of David Gulpilil, Jenny Agutter and Lucien John in Walkabout, 1971

Revival

Australian cinema’s New Wave turns 50

Untold stories in ‘Walkabout to Hollywood’. Image of David Gulpilil on the streets of LA

Untold stories in ‘Walkabout to Hollywood’

Following David Gulpilil as he visits LA, a re-mastered documentary has significant revelations about the great actor’s lost chance at making his directorial debut

Bitter pill: ‘Collective’. Image of Cătălin Tolontan in Collective

Bitter pill: ‘Collective’

This staggering documentary exposes institutionalised corruption in Romanian hospitals


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Television


High-impact exercise: ‘Physical’. Image of Rose Byrne as Sheila Rubin in Physical

High-impact exercise: ‘Physical’

Starring Rose Byrne as an uncompromising aerobics instructor, Annie Weisman’s unorthodox series leads June’s streaming highlights

The have and have-knots . Image of Hannah Ferrier on Below Deck: Mediterranean

The have and have-knots

On Bravo’s reality television hit ‘Below Deck’ filming in Australia

On loop: Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’. Image of Bo Burnham in Inside

On loop: Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’

The American comedian’s vulnerable and nuanced look at constant perception in the digital age

East of Western decline: ‘Mare of Easttown’. Image of Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan in Mare of Easttown

East of Western decline: ‘Mare of Easttown’

Kate Winslet stars in this devastating portrait of a decaying America

Souls train: ‘The Underground Railroad’. Still from ‘The Underground Railroad’

Souls train: ‘The Underground Railroad’

June’s streaming highlights are led by an epic drama transcending its historical source with magic-realism

Vice grip: ‘The Virtues’. Still from Shane Meadows’ ‘The Virtues’

Vice grip: ‘The Virtues’

Shane Meadows’ astonishing series stems from a late reckoning with his own childhood abuse


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Art


Boston and Japan: ‘French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’. Image of Claude Monet, ‘Poppy field in a hollow near Giverny’, 1885

Boston and Japan: ‘French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’

What connects Boston’s peerless collections of French Impressionism and historic Japanese art and design?

‘Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment’. Image of Clarice Beckett’s ‘Wet day, Brighton’, 1929

‘Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment’

This AGSA exhibition goes a long way to redress an Australian artist’s meagre reputation

Held in common: ‘The National’ at the MCA. Image of Antara by Betty Kuntiwa Pumani

Held in common: ‘The National’ at the MCA

Foregrounding women’s practice, this exhibition of contemporary Australian art proposes a poetics of inclusion

Listening to country: ‘Fractures & Frequencies’ and ‘Infractions’ . Image of ‘Untitled (Death Song)’, 2020

Listening to country: ‘Fractures & Frequencies’ and ‘Infractions’

Elegiac installations from Megan Cope and Rachel O’Reilly at UNSW Galleries call for an understanding of the land as a living entity under threat

The paintbrush is a weapon: Vincent Namatjira. Image of ‘Queen Elizabeth and Vincent (on country)’, 2018

The paintbrush is a weapon: Vincent Namatjira

The Archibald Prize winner’s politics are less straightforward than the art world might like to think

‘TIWI’ at the National Gallery of Victoria. ’Purrukuparli ngirramini’ © Harold Porkilari

‘TIWI’ at the National Gallery of Victoria

A must-see exhibition of Tiwi art from Bathurst and Melville islands, in which historical and contemporary media and imagery fuse


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Theatre


Ill met by moonlight. Image of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Adelaide Festival

Ill met by moonlight

Neil Armfield’s direction of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Adelaide Festival didn’t quite rise to the occasion

Made history: ‘A German Life’. Image of Robyn Nevin as Brunhilde Pomsel in ‘A German Life’

Made history: ‘A German Life’

Robyn Nevin’s performance as Goebbels’ secretary is mesmerising

Intimacy on set. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Intimacy on set

Productions now hire advisers to help performers navigate intimate and violent scenes

Reimagining ‘Breaking the Waves’. Image from ‘Breaking the Waves’

Reimagining ‘Breaking the Waves’

The creators of this opera on how it adds new depths and agency to von Trier’s 1996 film

The Doctor’s dilemma. Image from ‘The Doctor’

The Doctor’s dilemma

Director Robert Icke on rewriting the classic Austrian play to explore contemporary moral conundrums

Celebrating beauty’s passing: ‘Requiem’. Image from ‘Requiem’

Celebrating beauty’s passing: ‘Requiem’

Italian director Romeo Castellucci on his radical reimagining of Mozart’s classic


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Dance


Healing story. Bangarra’s Spirit

Healing story

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s ‘Spirit’ pays tribute to collaborators

A study in contrasts: ‘Trois Grandes Fugues’ and ‘Black Velvet’. Image of ‘Trois Grandes Fugues’ by Lyon Opera Ballet

A study in contrasts: ‘Trois Grandes Fugues’ and ‘Black Velvet’

These performances by the Lyon Opera Ballet and Shamel Pitts at the Adelaide Festival explore the body’s formidable potential

Form and content collide at Dance Massive . Nana Biluš Abaffy’s Post Reality Vision

Form and content collide at Dance Massive

Choreography meets politics at this contemporary dance festival

Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company is bringing light and shade to Australia. Image of Teatro alla Scala’s Frederic Olivieri, Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Adrijashenko

Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company is bringing light and shade to Australia

A conversation with members of the Italian company ahead of their tour to Brisbane

The mesmerising ‘Dark Emu’. Image from Bangarra Dance Theatre’s ‘Dark Emu’

The mesmerising ‘Dark Emu’

Bangarra’s latest production explores Aboriginal Australians’ sophisticated farming practices

Dance and the digital: An interview with Wayne McGregor. Tree of Codes

Dance and the digital: An interview with Wayne McGregor

The Sydney Festival-bound show’s choreographer loves mixing the body with technology


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Architecture


Green house effect

Joost Bakker’s vision for sustainable housing is taking root

Plans never imagined: Architect Timothy Hill. Image of Longhouse, Daylesford, Victoria

Plans never imagined: Architect Timothy Hill

The ‘Longhouse’ and the ‘Multihouse’ confirm the director of Partners Hill as the country’s most important and influential architect of the past 30 years

Two worlds at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. Image of Australian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Two worlds at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale

The consumption of space, land and habitat is Australia’s focus at the world’s pre-eminent architecture event

Walking the Wukalina Walk. Illustration

Walking the Wukalina Walk

A new four-day tour in Tasmania is owned and guided by Aboriginal people

This is not an opera house. Image of the Sydney Opera House

This is not an opera house

Beautiful on the outside … the tragedy of Bennelong Point

SOS. Illustration

SOS

Brutalist masterpiece or harbour eyesore? Sydney’s Sirius building faces an uncertain future


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Fashion


Straight outta Narrandera. Illustration

Straight outta Narrandera

Victoria Lee takes on the Victoria’s Secret runway

The artisan. Tanel Bedrossiantz, in a dress from the Jean Paul Gaultier Barbès collection, ready-to-wear, Autumn–Winter 1984–85

The artisan

‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier’ at the National Gallery of Victoria

‘Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA’ . Sarah Caplan’s World Trade Center dress

RM Williams and haute couture

The iconic Australian brand has a new co-owner

Fashion masterpiece

Romance was born - ‘The Oracle’, 2011

Jewel of Melbourne. Illustration by Jeff Fisher


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Fiction


Unfinished business: A short story

Can a young wartime couple pick up where they left off?

‘Clade’ by James Bradley

Hamish Hamilton; $32.99

Sinkers

The pencil and the damage done. Self-portrait with Easel and Mirror (1646), by Johannes Gumpp

The pencil and the damage done

The perverse attraction of autobiographical fiction

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘Boyhood Island’. Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘Boyhood Island’

The third volume of the epic autobiographical novel ‘My Struggle’


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Poetry


Melbourne I. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Melbourne I

New poetry

Barron Field and the myth of terra nullius. Detail of a painting of Barron Field

Barron Field and the myth of terra nullius

How a minor poet made a major historical error

Late styles

Clive James’ ‘Sentenced to Life’ and Les Murray’s ‘Waiting for the Past’

Majesty and burning. The young Dylan Thomas

Majesty and burning

A century of Dylan Thomas

Wild Pilgrim. Ko Un, with his books

Wild Pilgrim

Meeting Ko Un

'Radar' by Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow. 'Radar' by Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow, Walleah Press; $25


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