Culture

Canon salute. Photograph of Harold Bloom

Canon salute

Culture / Books / Literary criticism

Remembering Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930 – October 14, 2019)

Clang, clang, clang: ‘Judy’. Image from ‘Judy’

Clang, clang, clang: ‘Judy’

Culture / Film

The Judy Garland biopic confuses humiliation for homage

Afterwards, nothing is the same: Shirley Hazzard

Culture / Books

On the splendour of the acclaimed author’s distinctly antipodean seeing

Remembrance of things past: ‘The Souvenir’. Image from ‘The Souvenir’

Remembrance of things past: ‘The Souvenir’

Culture / Film

Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale avoids easy answers


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A traditional landscape. Illustration

➊ A traditional landscape

The UAE hosts a rare public exhibition for the colossal native title painting ‘Ngurrara Canvas II’

The gambler. David Walsh

➋ The gambler

At home with David Walsh

The crankhandle of history. Image of Alice Springs

➌ The crankhandle of history

Thirty years on, what should we make of Bruce Chatwin’s song to the songlines?

The desertification of Australian culture. Illustration

➍ The desertification of Australian culture

How the diminishing government support for the arts is taking its toll

Books


‘The Weekend’ by Charlotte Wood. ‘The weekend’ cover

‘The Weekend’ by Charlotte Wood

The Stella Prize–winner returns with a stylish character study of women surprised by age

‘Act of Grace’ by Anna Krien. ‘Act og Grace’ cover

‘Act of Grace’ by Anna Krien

The journalist’s propulsive debut novel tackles the aftermath of the Iraq War

‘Penny Wong: Passion and Principle’. ‘Penny Wong: Passion and Principle’

‘Penny Wong: Passion and Principle’

Margaret Simons’ biography of one of the country’s most admired politicians

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’. Image of ‘Sex in the Brain’

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’

We know surprisingly little about how our brains orchestrate our sex lives

Mansuasion. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Mansuasion

Jane Austen as reviewed by men on Goodreads

‘Here Until August’ by Josephine Rowe. ‘Here Until August’

‘Here Until August’ by Josephine Rowe

The Australian author’s second short-story collection focuses on the precipice of change rather than its culmination


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Music


Losing yourself. Detail of Yanni Florence photograph

Losing yourself

How can we be transformed by music if online platforms mean we will always remain ourselves?

All Tomorrow’s Parties. Image of Earthcore, 2005

All Tomorrow’s Parties

The life and death of Spiro Boursinos, impresario of rave culture’s pioneering event Earthcore

Happy trails: Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ . Photo of Lil Nas X

Happy trails: Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’

The gay country-rapper exposes the complex play of identity, algorithms and capitalism

Dark Mofo 2019: Blixa Bargeld. Image of Blixa Bargeld at Dark Mofo

Dark Mofo 2019: Blixa Bargeld

The German musician presides over a suitably unpredictable evening

All veils and misty: Richard Lowenstein’s ‘Mystify: Michael Hutchence’. Image from 'Mystify: Michael Hutchence'

All veils and misty: Richard Lowenstein’s ‘Mystify: Michael Hutchence’

The insider documentary that wipes clear the myths obscuring the INXS singer

Dark Mofo 2019: The Dirty Three and Phurpa. Image of Phurpa at Dark Mofo

Dark Mofo 2019: The Dirty Three and Phurpa

Two bands conjure different degrees of devilishness on a Sunday in Hobart


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Film


No one’s laughing now: Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’. Still from Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’

No one’s laughing now: Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’

A gripping psychological study of psychosis offers a surprising change of pace in the superhero genre

Tartt break: ‘The Goldfinch’. Image from ‘The Goldfinch’

Tartt break: ‘The Goldfinch’

John Crowley plays a good hand poorly with this adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel

Interplanetary, mostly ordinary: James Gray’s ‘Ad Astra’. Image from ‘Ad Astra’

Interplanetary, mostly ordinary: James Gray’s ‘Ad Astra’

Brad Pitt’s interstellar family-therapy odyssey struggles with earthbound sentiment

Venice International Film Festival 2019. Image from ‘Blanco en Blanco’

Venice International Film Festival 2019

Théo Court’s masterful ‘Blanco en Blanco’ is a bright point in a largely lacklustre line-up

Girls, interrupted: Sophie Hyde’s ‘Animals’. Image from ‘Animals’

Girls, interrupted: Sophie Hyde’s ‘Animals’

This untamed depiction of female friendship moves beyond basic binaries of freedom and control

Requiem for a stream. Image from ‘Jawline’

Requiem for a stream

The promise and politics of livestreaming in ‘Present.Perfect.’ and ‘Jawline’


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Television


Fighting power: ‘Total Control’. Image from ‘Total Control’

Fighting power: ‘Total Control’

Deborah Mailman on her fearless role in the political drama that tackles racism and sexism head-on

‘Lambs of God’. Image from ‘Lambs of God’

‘Lambs of God’

Director Jeffrey Walker blends ripe melodrama and Gothic thriller in his TV series about three wayward nuns

Streaming highlights: August 2019. Image from ‘Mindhunter’

Streaming highlights: August 2019

Heroes and villains take many forms in ‘Mindhunter’, ‘The Boys’ and ‘Bosch’, and the Obamas make their Netflix debut with ‘American Factory’

‘The Loudest Voice’: a nightmarish portrait of a monster. Image from ‘The Loudest Voice'

‘The Loudest Voice’: a nightmarish portrait of a monster

The sheer scale of Roger Ailes’s wrongs defies the medium of television

Heirs unapparent: ‘Succession’. Image from ‘Succession’

Heirs unapparent: ‘Succession’

The HBO comedy-drama returns for another gleefully toxic season

Streaming highlights: July 2019. Image from ‘Derry Girls’

Streaming highlights: July 2019

Low-profile comedies ‘Flowers’, ‘Workin’ Moms’ and ‘Derry Girls’ beguile; ‘Veronica Mars’ revived; and Netflix and Marvel break up


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Art


‘Here We Are’ at the Art Gallery of NSW. Image of ‘Sachiko’ my Miwa Yanagi

‘Here We Are’ at the Art Gallery of NSW

An opportunity for rethinking the position of women in contemporary art

On the beaches. Illustration

On the beaches

Luke Cornish’s Border Force mural at Bondi Beach comes under attack

A meme is born: Real Australians Say Welcome. Image of Peter Drew bike stencil

A meme is born: Real Australians Say Welcome

How one artist’s posters about politics took on a life of their own – an extract

‘Monet: Impression Sunrise’ at the National Gallery of Australia. Impression, Sunrise (1872) by Claude Monet

‘Monet: Impression Sunrise’ at the National Gallery of Australia

Impressionism’s namesake painting is at the heart of a masterful collection from the Musée Marmottan Monet

‘Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow’ at the MCA. Image from ‘Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow’

‘Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow’ at the MCA

This survey presents the work of an idiosyncratic artist in its most brilliant light

Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘The Transient Landscape’ and the Terracotta Warriors at the National Gallery of Victoria. Detail of 'Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky: Two Eagles', by Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘The Transient Landscape’ and the Terracotta Warriors at the National Gallery of Victoria

The incendiary Chinese artist connects contemporary concerns with cultural history


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Theatre


Patricia Cornelius: No going gently. Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius: No going gently

‘Anthem’ marks the return of the Australian playwright’s working-class theatre

Much ado about Barry. Image of Dame Edna Everage

Much ado about Barry

On Humphries’s brand of confronting comedy and the renaming of the Barry Award

‘Manus’: troubling and obligatory viewing. Image from ‘Manus’

‘Manus’: troubling and obligatory viewing

An Iranian play brings stories of Australia’s offshore detention centres to the Adelaide Festival

Barrie Kosky’s reimagined ‘The Magic Flute’ heads for Australia. Image from ‘The Magic Flute’

Barrie Kosky’s reimagined ‘The Magic Flute’ heads for Australia

The director on why his film-inspired production almost didn’t happen

Ned Kelly as you’ve never seen him before. Image of Jacqui Stockdale’s ‘Historia’

Ned Kelly as you’ve never seen him before

Composer Luke Styles on his opera that casts the bushranger in a new light

Performing philosophy: ‘La Passion de Simone’ at the Sydney Festival. Image from ‘La Passion de Simone’

Performing philosophy: ‘La Passion de Simone’ at the Sydney Festival

The creatives behind this Sydney Chamber Opera production on the extreme empathy of Simone Weil


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Dance


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

‘Bennelong’ by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Beau Dean Riley Smith in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Bennelong

‘Bennelong’ by Bangarra Dance Theatre

Sydney Opera House (touring Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne)

Destiny’s children

Body Electric’s jazz ballet for adults


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Architecture


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

Murcutt’s mosque. Roof detail of the Australian Islamic Centre

Murcutt’s mosque

The Australian Islamic Centre is notable for what it isn’t as much as for what it is

Compressed contemporary

Durbach Block Jaggers is a practice in argument


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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


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
At the Table by the Window. Peter Steele

At the Table by the Window

Peter Steele (1939–2012)


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