Culture

Falling for ‘Fleabag’. Image from ‘Fleabag’

Falling for ‘Fleabag’

Culture / Television

On the problematic hotness of Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest

Seoul trained: K-pop and Blackpink. Photo of Blackpink at Coachella

Seoul trained: K-pop and Blackpink

Culture / Music

Trying to find meaning in the carefully formulated culture of K-pop

Dark Mofo 2019: Costume. Image of Costume at Dark Mofo

Dark Mofo 2019: Costume

Culture / Music

The Tasmanian electro-orchestral pop artist makes a beguiling debut in Hobart

The chthonic realms explored in Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Underland’. Cover image of Underland by Robert Macfarlane

The chthonic realms explored in Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Underland’

Culture / Books

Cave systems, mines, urban sewers, mycelial networks, moulins and more


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The gambler. David Walsh

➊ The gambler

At home with David Walsh

Vanishing voices. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

➋ Vanishing voices

The cultural damage of homogenising language

Falling for ‘Fleabag’. Image from ‘Fleabag’

➌ Falling for ‘Fleabag’

On the problematic hotness of Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest

➍ Lost women found

The discovery of Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier and ‘Connie’ Converse

Books


‘Animalia’ by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo. Cover image of 'Animalia' by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

‘Animalia’ by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

The French author delivers a pastoral that turns on human cruelty

‘Room for a Stranger’ by Melanie Cheng

The medico-writer delivers a novel driven less by storyline than accumulated observation

The desperate, secretive drama: ‘Choice Words’ edited by Louise Swinn. Book cover of Choice Words

The desperate, secretive drama: ‘Choice Words’ edited by Louise Swinn

Personal stories consider questions of choice, legality and stigma surrounding abortion

David Malouf’s new worlds. Image of David Malouf

David Malouf’s new worlds

Consciousness is at the heart of the celebrated author’s body of work

‘Islands’ by Peggy Frew. Image of ‘Islands’ by Peggy Frew

‘Islands’ by Peggy Frew

The bestselling author delivers a nuanced examination of family tragedy

Missing witnesses: Valeria Luiselli’s ‘Lost Children Archive’. Image of Valeria Luiselli

Missing witnesses: Valeria Luiselli’s ‘Lost Children Archive’

The Mexican ‘documentary fiction’ writer delivers a polyphonic road trip


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Music


An obscure celebration of ‘Disintegration’. Image of The Cure at Sydney Opera House

An obscure celebration of ‘Disintegration’

The Cure at the Sydney Opera House, Vivid LIVE, May 27, 2019

Starstruck: Reckoning with Michael Jackson’s legacy. Image of Michael Jackson and James Safechuck

Starstruck: Reckoning with Michael Jackson’s legacy

What do we do with the music after ‘Leaving Neverland’?

A black woman in space: Solange’s ‘When I Get Home’. Image of Solange

A black woman in space: Solange’s ‘When I Get Home’

Songs distilled from the quiet expanses of high art and black culture

The Monthly music wrap: March 2019. Image of Koffee

The Monthly music wrap: March 2019

Koffee’s debut EP brings a jolt of youthful energy, and new releases from local projects with global sensibilities

Clicks, plinks, hoots and thuds: Matmos’s ‘Plastic Anniversary’. Image of Matmos

Clicks, plinks, hoots and thuds: Matmos’s ‘Plastic Anniversary’

The American experimental duo embrace the ‘sounds’ of a ubiquitous material

The Monthly music wrap: February 2019. Image from the Don’t Kill Live Music rally in Sydney

The Monthly music wrap: February 2019

On the precarious state of live music in NSW and the impact of proposed festival-licensing laws


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Film


A master’s misstep: Claire Denis’ ‘High Life’. Still image from 'High Life'

A master’s misstep: Claire Denis’ ‘High Life’

The French auteur chooses a sci-fi film to start over-explaining things

Killer instincts: The ‘John Wick’ franchise. Still image from John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Killer instincts: The ‘John Wick’ franchise

Keanu Reeves hones his stardom in the hyperreal violence of an assassin’s tale

A fugitive dream: Ben Hackworth’s ‘Celeste’. Image from ‘Celeste’

A fugitive dream: Ben Hackworth’s ‘Celeste’

On the future of the Australian art film and forgetting the past

Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’. Image from ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’

Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’

The contrary director’s 30-year quest comes to a suitably ludicrous end

Gabrielle Brady’s ‘The Island of Hungry Ghosts’. Image from ‘The Island of Hungry Ghosts’

Gabrielle Brady’s ‘The Island of Hungry Ghosts’

This new hybrid documentary casts Christmas Island in a hypnotically strange light

Doppelgangers duel in Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’. Image from ‘Us’

Doppelgangers duel in Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’

This new film is less about inequality than it is about horror’s subversive eye


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Television


Streaming highlights: May 2019. Image from ‘When They See Us’

Streaming highlights: May 2019

‘When They See Us’ and ‘Catch-22’ examine flawed institutions, ‘Dead to Me’ astutely studies the living, and ‘Fleabag’ makes a must-see return

The last laugh. Image from ‘Broad City’

The last laugh

On ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘Catastrophe’, ‘Broad City’, ‘You’re the Worst’, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and ‘Veep’

‘Veep’: No bad deed shall go punished. Image from ‘Veep’

‘Veep’: No bad deed shall go punished

The sharp comedy bows out as Trump takes politics beyond satire

Streaming highlights: April 2019. Image from ‘Special’

Streaming highlights: April 2019

‘Special’ and ‘Bonding’ look askance at sexual mores, ‘Killing Eve’ returns, and Beyoncé brings ‘Homecoming’ to Netflix

Streaming highlights: March 2019. Image from ‘The OA’

Streaming highlights: March 2019

‘The OA’ amplifies the intrigue, Gregg Araki’s streaming debut ‘Now Apocalypse’, and the wealth porn of ‘Billions’ returns

The hyperbole machine. Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

The hyperbole machine

Social media and streaming services are changing what and how we watch


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Art


‘The Essential Duchamp’ at the Art Gallery of NSW. George Karger, Duchamp descending a staircase (1946), gelatin silver print, 34

‘The Essential Duchamp’ at the Art Gallery of NSW

A comprehensive exhibition of the 20th century’s most influential artist

Leonard French’s Balzacian life. Photo of Leonard French underneath his stained glass ceiling at the National Gallery of Victoria

Leonard French’s Balzacian life

Reg MacDonald’s biography may return this Australian artist to the national imagination

Can ‘Eat the Problem’ solve the problem?. Image from ‘Eat the Problem’

Can ‘Eat the Problem’ solve the problem?

Mona’s new project explores our fraught ethics of consumption

‘Janet Laurence: After Nature’ at the MCA. Image from ‘Janet Laurence: After Nature’

‘Janet Laurence: After Nature’ at the MCA

This survey offers a root and branch study of the natural world’s fragility

Ben Quilty in bleeding colour. Illustration

Ben Quilty in bleeding colour

The Australian artist opens up on the eve of a retrospective exhibition

Ben Quilty: the art of unease. Image of artist Ben Quilty

Ben Quilty: the art of unease

Ahead of a major survey at the Art Gallery of SA, the artist talks about the anxiety that informs his work


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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

Eddie Perfect goes to Broadway. Image of Eddie Perfect

Eddie Perfect goes to Broadway

The Australian composer has two musicals – ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘King Kong’ – opening in New York


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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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