Culture

New kid on the block: The Kid Laroi . Image of The Kid Laroi

New kid on the block: The Kid Laroi

Culture / Music

How Australia has overlooked its biggest global music star, an Indigenous hip-hop prodigy

The Bond market: ‘Dune’ and ‘No Time To Die’. Still from ‘No Time To Die’

The Bond market: ‘Dune’ and ‘No Time To Die’

Culture / Film

Blockbuster season begins with a middling 007 and a must-see sci-fi epic

‘Crossroads’ by Jonathan Franzen. Cover of ‘Crossroads’

‘Crossroads’ by Jonathan Franzen

Culture / Books

The acclaimed US author’s latest novel is a 1971 church drama modelled on ‘Middlemarch’

‘Yellowjackets’. Still from ‘Yellowjackets’

‘Yellowjackets’

Culture / Television

The US drama about teen plane-crash survivors is a heady mix of folk horror and high-school betrayal


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End of the road: The Anthony Bourdain documentary ‘Roadrunner’. Image of Anthony Bourdain in Roadrunner

➊ End of the road: The Anthony Bourdain documentary ‘Roadrunner’

Morgan Neville’s posthumous examination of the celebrity chef hews close to the familiar narrative

‘The Magician’ by Colm Tóibín. Cover of ‘The Magician’

➋ ‘The Magician’ by Colm Tóibín

The Irish novelist’s latest ponders creativity and the unacknowledged life of Thomas Mann

‘New Gold Mountain’. Still from ‘New Gold Mountain’

➌ ‘New Gold Mountain’

SBS’s Australian goldfields series looks beyond colonial orthodoxies to tell the neglected stories

Speaking in tongues: ‘The Books of Jacob’ . Image of Olga Tokarczuk

➍ Speaking in tongues: ‘The Books of Jacob’

Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s latest novel in translation turns on the nature of language itself

Books


A homemade algorithm chooses every book I read. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

A homemade algorithm chooses every book I read

How a monumental to-read list turned into a spreadsheet that randomly selects books

Final sentence: Gerald Murnane’s ‘Last Letter to a Reader’. Image of Gerald Murnane

Final sentence: Gerald Murnane’s ‘Last Letter to a Reader’

The essay anthology that will be the final book from one of Australia’s most idiosyncratic authors

A tightening knot: ‘On Freedom’. Image of police at The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, September 22, 2021

A tightening knot: ‘On Freedom’

Maggie Nelson’s essay collection argues against the false binary of freedom and obligation

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’. Cover image for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

The ‘My Struggle’ author’s first novel in 17 years considers the mundanity of everyday acts amid apocalyptic events

‘Bodies of Light’ by Jennifer Down. Cover image of ‘Bodies of Light’

‘Bodies of Light’ by Jennifer Down

The Australian author’s latest novel, dissecting trauma, fails to realise its epic ambitions

‘Scary Monsters’ by Michelle de Kretser. Image of ‘Scary Monsters’

‘Scary Monsters’ by Michelle de Kretser

Two satirical stories about fitting in, from the two-time Miles Franklin winner


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Music


Oh, carols!. Bing Crosby and David Bowie on Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, circa 1977

Oh, carols!

The music of Christmas, from the manger to the chimney

Unfinished business. Image of Paul Kelly

Unfinished business

Every Paul Kelly song so far, from worst to best

Mellow drama: Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’. Image of Lorde in the film clip for “Solar Power”

Mellow drama: Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’

The New Zealand pop star’s latest album is styled as self-aware but the result shows the trappings of self-indulgence

Tip of the pops: ‘This Is Pop’ and ‘Song Exploder’ . Image of Suzanne Ciani

Tip of the pops: ‘This Is Pop’ and ‘Song Exploder’

Two Netflix documentary series only manage to skim the surface of pop music history

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


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Film


Boogie fever: ‘Halloween Kills’. Still from ‘Halloween Kills’

Boogie fever: ‘Halloween Kills’

David Gordon Green’s second entry in the famous horror franchise reboot is as confused as its violence is senseless

Performance art: ‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’. Image of Fusako Urabe and Aoba Kawai in ‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’

Performance art: ‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest film, keenly observing human behaviour, considers the tension between the real and the affected

Practical magic: ‘Petite Maman’ and ‘Undine’. Image of Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz in Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma

Practical magic: ‘Petite Maman’ and ‘Undine’

The new films by Céline Sciamma and Christian Petzold share a dreamlike sensibility

Ranch dressing: ‘The Power of the Dog’ . Still from ‘The Power of the Dog’

Ranch dressing: ‘The Power of the Dog’

Jane Campion’s new film takes to a 1920s Montana ranch for its story of repressed sexuality

Imperfect cadence: ‘Annette’. Adam Driver stars in Annette

Imperfect cadence: ‘Annette’

The stupid and the sublime commune in Leos Carax’s woozy pop opera

An eye on the outlier: ‘Nitram’. Still from ‘Nitram’

An eye on the outlier: ‘Nitram’

Justin Kurzel’s biopic of the Port Arthur killer is a warning on suburban neglect and gun control


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Television


Power plays: ‘Total Control’ season two. Image of Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths in season two of Total Control (2021) © Blackfella Films

Power plays: ‘Total Control’ season two

Led by Deborah Mailman’s tour de force performance, the political drama’s second season homes in on truth-telling in the public sphere

The host with the most failings: ‘This Time with Alan Partridge’ season two. Image of Steve Coogan and Susannah Fielding starring in ‘This Time with Alan Partridge’

The host with the most failings: ‘This Time with Alan Partridge’ season two

Steve Coogan’s hapless TV host remains an absurdist joy, while Bilal Baig’s comedy series ‘Sort Of’ and Margaret Qualley’s performance in ‘Maid’ are among the latest streaming highlights

Ties that bind: ‘Succession’ season three . Image of Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in HBO’s Succession season 3

Ties that bind: ‘Succession’ season three

Jeremy Strong’s performance in the HBO drama’s third season is masterful

Murder they spoke: ‘Only Murders in the Building’. Still from ‘Only Murders in the Building’ showing Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez

Murder they spoke: ‘Only Murders in the Building’

A droll comic mystery about budding true crime podcasters leads September’s streaming highlights

Funny business: ‘Hacks’. Image showing Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder in ‘Hacks’

Funny business: ‘Hacks’

Tracking a growing friendship between two comics, bittersweet comedy series ‘Hacks’ leads August’s streaming highlights

Petty bourgeoisie: ‘The White Lotus’ . Still from The White Lotus

Petty bourgeoisie: ‘The White Lotus’

Mike White’s scathing takedown of privilege leads July’s streaming highlights


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Art


Artful lodgers: The Heide Museum of Modern Art. Photo: “Breakfast at Heide” (from left: Sidney Nolan, Max Harris, Sunday Reed and John Reed), circa 1945

Artful lodgers: The Heide Museum of Modern Art

The story of John and Sunday Reed’s influence on Sidney Nolan and other live-in protégés

A shock of renewal: ‘Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings’ . Detail from ‘Group IV, The Ten Largest, No

A shock of renewal: ‘Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings’

The transcendent works of the modernist who regarded herself not an artist but a medium

Bodies transformed: ‘A Biography of Daphne’ at ACCA. Photograph showing an installation view of Katie West’s Warna/Ground, Hold, and Keeping pieces (all 2018), at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2021

Bodies transformed: ‘A Biography of Daphne’ at ACCA

Centred on the myth of Daphne and Apollo, this group exhibition harnesses a vision of unchecked metamorphosis

European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image of Carlo Crivelli, ‘Madonna and Child’ (1480)

European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

QAGOMA’s exhibition goes beyond the usual blockbuster bling to favour lesser known works of the masters

Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum. Image of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, ‘A way of flying’ (c

Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum

Goya’s dark and difficult works exhibited at NGV remind us how little the world has moved on from past horrors

Simultaneous persuasions: ‘Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow’. Photo of installation view of the exhibition Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow at NGV International

Simultaneous persuasions: ‘Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow’

Radical difference and radical proximity are hallmarks of the French-born artist’s NGV exhibition


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Theatre


Drama in hell. Image of theatre stage with empty chairs

Drama in hell

The descent of creative arts at Australia’s universities

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


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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

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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