Culture

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

Bitter pill: ‘Collective’

Culture / Film

This staggering documentary exposes institutionalised corruption in Romanian hospitals

The lightness of unbearable being: ‘Double Blind’. Book cover detail

The lightness of unbearable being: ‘Double Blind’

Culture / Books

Edward St Aubyn tackles familiar themes – desire, drug use, psychoanalysis – via a fresh suite of characters

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

‘Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment’

Culture / Art

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

Amorality tale: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’. Image courtesy of Warner Bros

Amorality tale: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Culture / Film

Told from an unexpected perspective, Shaka King’s film is one of the best recent-historical dramas


Most Popular

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

➊ Bitter pill: ‘Collective’

This staggering documentary exposes institutionalised corruption in Romanian hospitals

Blind obsession. Still from Sherpa

➋ Blind obsession

The economics of Everest in Jennifer Peedom’s ‘Sherpa’

➌ Green house effect

Joost Bakker’s vision for sustainable housing is taking root

The lost art of listening. © iStock / yenwen

➍ The lost art of listening

Has classical music become irrelevant?

Books


‘On the Line’ by Joseph Ponthus. Book cover detail

‘On the Line’ by Joseph Ponthus

Poetry is found in the processing plants of Brittany

The death of Yokununna: ‘Return to Uluru’. Ted Strehlow and Charles Mountford, 1935

The death of Yokununna: ‘Return to Uluru’

Mark McKenna explores Australia’s history of violence, dispossession and deception through one tragic incident

The rest is commentary: ‘Suppose a Sentence’. Image of cover of Suppose a Sentence by Brian Dillon

The rest is commentary: ‘Suppose a Sentence’

Brian Dillon goes in pursuit of the pleasure of the sentence in his latest nonfiction book

‘The Committed’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen . Image of ‘The Committed’

‘The Committed’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The philosophical thriller sequel to ‘The Sympathizer’ sends its Vietnamese protagonists to the Paris underworld

A bite worse than her bark: Lauren Oyler’s ‘Fake Accounts’. Image of cover for Lauren Oyler’s ‘Fake Accounts’

A bite worse than her bark: Lauren Oyler’s ‘Fake Accounts’

The American critic’s debut novel captures the experience of living on and through the internet

‘Fragile Monsters’ by Catherine Menon. Image of ‘Fragile Monsters’

‘Fragile Monsters’ by Catherine Menon

Memories of the Malayan Emergency resurface when a mathematician returns to her home country, in the British author’s debut novel


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Music


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

Sikh and ye shall find. Image of The Incredible String Band, Royal Albert Hall, London, 1969

Sikh and ye shall find

The psychedelic origins of a popular yoga blessing

Stopped back in time: Kylie Minogue’s ‘Disco’ . Image of Kylie Minogue, 2019

Stopped back in time: Kylie Minogue’s ‘Disco’

The showbiz trouper delivers another album of spare, efficient pleasure

Ready steady gone. Image of Toots Hibbert, 1976

Ready steady gone

The passing of its figureheads underscores pop music’s waning influence on personal identity


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Film


Berlinale highlights: part two. Image of Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz in Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma

Berlinale highlights: part two

New films by Céline Sciamma, Dénes Nagy and Ryusuke Hamaguchi are stand-outs in an unusually robust program

Celebrities anonymous: ‘French Exit’. Image of Michelle Pfeiffer as Frances Price in French Exit

Celebrities anonymous: ‘French Exit’

Michelle Pfeiffer is flawless in this riches-to-rags satire based on Patrick deWitt’s novel

Berlinale highlights: part one. Image of Fabrizio Rongione, Juan Trench, and Stéphanie Cléau in Andreas Fontana’s Azor (2021)

Berlinale highlights: part one

This year’s Berlin Film Festival presented its strongest line-up in a decade

Holding true: ‘The Truth Has Changed’ . Image of Josh Fox in The Truth Has Changed

Holding true: ‘The Truth Has Changed’

The ‘Gasland’ creator’s latest documentary explores misinformation

Drawn to the drift: Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ . Still from ‘Nomadland’

Drawn to the drift: Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’

The award-winning film about America’s itinerants steers away from the darker stories of the working poor

Small glories: ‘Minari’. Still from Minari

Small glories: ‘Minari’

Childhood memories are suffused with an adult’s insight in Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical film


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Television


Voices carry: ‘Calls’

Among March’s streaming highlights is a sci-fi thriller making clever use of telephone and radio exchanges

Pride and prejudice: ‘It’s a Sin’. Still from ‘It's a Sin’

Pride and prejudice: ‘It’s a Sin’

‘Years and Years’ creator Russell T. Davies turns his attention to the despair, anger and protective humour of the gay community in HIV/AIDS-era Britain

Its own reward: ‘The Virtues’. Image of Stephen Graham as Joseph McCarthy in The Virtues

Its own reward: ‘The Virtues’

Topping February’s streaming highlights is a four-part series examining trauma and addiction, propelled by Stephen Graham’s affecting performance

Eye to eye in the wild: ‘Australia Remastered’. Still from ‘Australia Remastered’, courtesy ABC

Eye to eye in the wild: ‘Australia Remastered’

The continent’s natural wonders – some now gone forever – are celebrated in a series that uncovers footage from the ABC’s disbanded Natural History Unit

Deep cuts: ‘Small Axe’ . Image of movie still from Mangrove

Deep cuts: ‘Small Axe’

Black solidarity is a palpable force throughout Steve McQueen’s five-film anthology

Purple reign: ‘The Crown’. Image showing Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Diana Spencer in The Crown

Purple reign: ‘The Crown’

Among November’s streaming highlights, the fourth season of Netflix’s royal drama fails to excite


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Art


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

NGV Triennial 2020. Image showing installation view of Refik Anadol’s Quantum memories, 2020

NGV Triennial 2020

With a mix of eye-catching works, the second NGV Triennial blends the avant-garde with the populist

‘Unfinished Business: The art of Gordon Bennett’ at QAGOMA. Gordon Bennett, Possession Island 1991

‘Unfinished Business: The art of Gordon Bennett’ at QAGOMA

The artist’s explosive visual language is on show in an engrossing retrospective


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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


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

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


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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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