Culture

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

NGV Triennial 2020

Culture / Art

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

Healing story. Bangarra’s Spirit

Healing story

Culture / Dance

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

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

Deep cuts: ‘Small Axe’

Culture / Television

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

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

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

Culture / Art

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


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The perfection of youth. Still from Call Me By Your Name

➊ The perfection of youth

Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a passionate, positive tale of first love

The gambler. David Walsh

➋ The gambler

At home with David Walsh

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

➌ NGV Triennial 2020

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

The future was foreclosed: Post-punk and Use No Hooks’ ‘The Job’. Image of Use No Hooks, circa 1979

➍ The future was foreclosed: Post-punk and Use No Hooks’ ‘The Job’

Energetic cross-genre experiments power a scant retrospective from members of Melbourne’s ‘little band’ scene

Books


Shirley Hazzard’s wider world. Image of Shirley Hazzard

Shirley Hazzard’s wider world

The celebrated Australian author’s ‘Collected Stories’ sets private desperation in the cosmopolitan Europe she revered

Dividing the Tasman: ‘Empire and the Making of Native Title’. Image of ‘Empire and the Making of Native Title’

Dividing the Tasman: ‘Empire and the Making of Native Title’

Historian Bain Attwood examines the different approaches to sovereignty in the New Zealand and Australian settlements

‘Jack’ by Marilynne Robinson. Image of ‘Jack’

‘Jack’ by Marilynne Robinson

History and suffering matter in the latest instalment of the American author’s Gilead novels

Cancel the woke: ‘Cynical Theories’. Image of cover of ‘Cynical Theories’ by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

Cancel the woke: ‘Cynical Theories’

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay attack ‘wokeism’ with a reductive account of its theoretical underpinnings

Towards redemption: Sofie Laguna’s ‘Infinite Splendours’. Image of Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna

Towards redemption: Sofie Laguna’s ‘Infinite Splendours’

The Miles Franklin–winning author’s latest novel is an invasive, challenging story of child abuse and its repercussions

Me versus we: ‘The Upswing’ . Image of American Boy Scouts, 1950

Me versus we: ‘The Upswing’

Rebuilding a more egalitarian, altruistic and communitarian society without sacrificing individual liberties


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Music


The glass curtain. Image of Gwyneth Jones in Tosca, 1982

The glass curtain

Classical music’s problem with women

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

Song sisters. Image of album artwork for Brazen Hussies soundtrack

Song sisters

The soundtrack to documentary ‘Brazen Hussies’ shows a breadth of feeling about women’s liberation in Australia

Family ties: ‘Crossover’ by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks. Image of album cover for ‘Crossover’ by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Family ties: ‘Crossover’ by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Straddling funk and soul, the singer/songwriter’s latest album has family and culture at its heart

The last days of disco: ‘Róisín Machine’

Róisín Murphy’s latest album is unusually mature pop driven by restlessness

Soul music: Kev Carmody. © Joseph Mayers

Soul music: Kev Carmody

The life of a great Australian songwriter


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Film


‘The Dry’ directed by Robert Connolly. Image from ‘The Dry’

‘The Dry’ directed by Robert Connolly

Eric Bana stars as a troubled investigator dragged back to his home town in a sombre Australian thriller

Intimacy on set. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Intimacy on set

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

Citizen plain: ‘Mank’. Image from ‘Mank’

Citizen plain: ‘Mank’

David Fincher’s biopic of Orson Welles’s collaborating writer favours technique over heart

Bookish intrigue: ‘The Mystery of Henri Pick’. Image of still from The Mystery of Henri Pick

Bookish intrigue: ‘The Mystery of Henri Pick’

French filmmaker Rémi Bezançon’s charming literary whodunnit is his best film to date

The long goodbye: ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’. Image from ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’

The long goodbye: ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’

Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson deals with her father’s decline into dementia by “killing” him through various means

‘Kajillionaire’ directed by Miranda July. Image from ‘Kajillionaire’

‘Kajillionaire’ directed by Miranda July

A family of con artists are the American writer-director’s latest offbeat protagonists in a surreal but heartfelt film


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Television


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

Chequered careers: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Good Lord Bird’. Image of Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit

Chequered careers: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Among October’s streaming highlights are stories of a teenage chess prodigy and a zealous abolitionist

Processing trauma: ‘I May Destroy You’. Image of Michaela Coel as Arabella in I May Destroy You

Processing trauma: ‘I May Destroy You’

Michaela Coel’s inventive series charting sexual assault and creativity is this month’s streaming standout

‘Cinematic’ television: ‘ZeroZeroZero’ . Image from ‘ZeroZeroZero’

‘Cinematic’ television: ‘ZeroZeroZero’

Forget comparisons to cinema, TV is developing its own compelling aesthetic

Look back in horror: ‘Lovecraft Country’. Image of Courtney B

Look back in horror: ‘Lovecraft Country’

The monsters are both supernatural and human in HBO’s recasting of the horror genre

Pole position. Still from P-Valley

Pole position

Eschewing clichés and reflecting inclusiveness on both sides of the camera, ‘P-Valley’ tops this month’s streaming highlights


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Art


‘Know My Name’ at the National Gallery of Australia. Image of Anne Ferran, Scenes on the Death of Nature I, 1986

‘Know My Name’ at the National Gallery of Australia

An exhilarating exhibition considers a persistent gender bias in the visual arts

And now for something completely indifferent. Image of Guy Sebastian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, June, 2020

And now for something completely indifferent

The Morrison government is yet to fully realise that sidelining the arts hurts the economy

Streeton’s shriek. Image of Arthur Streeton's Cremorne Pastoral, 1895

Streeton’s shriek

Alarming revelations about the great Australian painter

Blue is the colour. Image of Dhambit Munuŋgurr's Bees at Gäṉgän, 2019

Blue is the colour

The idiosyncratic work of Yolngu artist Dhambit Mununggurr

Lost for words

Bryan Dawe on life without John Clarke

The full postcolonial catastrophe: ‘Nirin’. Image of works in the Art Gallery of NSW

The full postcolonial catastrophe: ‘Nirin’

Intellectually ambitious, the Biennale of Sydney’s 2020 program is essential viewing


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Theatre


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

A dream within a dream: ‘Tao of Glass’. Image of Philip Glass and Phelim McDermott composing ‘Tao of Glass’

A dream within a dream: ‘Tao of Glass’

Theatremaker Phelim McDermott on his highly personal collaboration with Philip Glass

‘Hecate’: honouring two storytelling traditions. Image of actors rehearsing ‘Hecate’

‘Hecate’: honouring two storytelling traditions

Australia’s first major Shakespearean production in Noongar language will retell ‘Macbeth’ at Perth Festival

Joan Didion’s eerily contemporary ‘The White Album’. Image of ‘Joan Didion’s “The White Album”’

Joan Didion’s eerily contemporary ‘The White Album’

The seminal essay’s ongoing resonance is explored in this interactive production coming to Sydney Festival


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Dance


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

‘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)


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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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