Culture

Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantics’. Image from ‘Atlantics’

Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantics’

Culture / Film

The French-Senegalese director channels ancient fables and contemporary nightmares in this ghostly love story

‘I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry’. Image of Nasty Cherry

‘I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry’

Culture / Music

This Netflix series pays lip service to female empowerment in the music industry, but ultimately reinforces its limits

Streaming highlights: November 2019. Image from ‘The Crown’

Streaming highlights: November 2019

Culture / Television

‘The Crown’, ‘For All Mankind’ and ‘Dickinson’ offer new perspectives on history, and pragmatism meets pyramid schemes in ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’. Conversion on the way to Damascus by Caravaggio

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’

Culture / Books / Book reviews

The literary storyteller’s latest novel wrestles with the mythology of Christianity’s founder, Paul the Apostle


Most Popular

Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher. Photo of Liam Gallagher

➊ Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher

As interest in Oasis resurges, talking to the combative brothers recalls their glory years as ‘dirty chancers, stealing riffs instead of Ford Fiestas’

Diaries (2018–19). Illustration by Jeff Fisher

➋ Diaries (2018–19)

Collected thoughts on writers seeking permission to write, Eurydice Dixon, the Nobel for Murnane and dealing with errant chooks

The gambler. David Walsh

➌ The gambler

At home with David Walsh

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

➍ The perfection of youth

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

Books


‘The Topeka School’ by Ben Lerner. Cover of ‘The Topeka School’

‘The Topeka School’ by Ben Lerner

The American author’s latest novel canvasses the seething hate speech of the burgeoning alt-right and white-boy rap battles in the Midwest

‘How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy’. Image of ‘How To Do Nothing’

‘How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy’

Jenny Odell makes a convincing case for moving beyond the ruthless logic of use

A way home: Archie Roach. Image of Archie Roach

A way home: Archie Roach

The writer of ‘Took the Children Away’ delivers a memoir of his Stolen Generations childhood and an album of formative songs

Radical ambiguity: Jia Tolentino, Rachel Cusk and Leslie Jamison. Image of Jia Tolentino

Radical ambiguity: Jia Tolentino, Rachel Cusk and Leslie Jamison

The essay collections ‘Trick Mirror’, ‘Coventry’ and ‘Make It Scream, Make It Burn’ offer doubt and paradoxical thinking in the face of algorithmic perfectionism

‘The Man Who Saw Everything’ by Deborah Levy. Cover of ‘The Man Who Saw Everything’

‘The Man Who Saw Everything’ by Deborah Levy

The British author experiments with a narrative structure that collapses past and present

Canon salute. Photograph of Harold Bloom

Canon salute

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


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Music


The Church frontman Steve Kilbey. Image of Steve Kilbey

The Church frontman Steve Kilbey

The prolific singer-songwriter reflects on four decades and counting in 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


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Film


What ‘The Great Hack’ overlooks. Image from ‘The Great Hack’

What ‘The Great Hack’ overlooks

Cambridge Analytica is part of the system, not an aberration

Interrogating the interrogators: ‘The Report’. Image from ‘The Report’

Interrogating the interrogators: ‘The Report’

This tale of the investigation into CIA torture during the War on Terror places too much faith in government procedure

You could drive a person crazy: Noah Baumbach’s ‘Marriage Story’. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story

You could drive a person crazy: Noah Baumbach’s ‘Marriage Story’

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are at their career best in this bittersweet tale of divorce

Late style: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’. Image from ‘The Irishman’

Late style: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’

Reuniting with De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, the acclaimed director has delivered less of a Mob film than a morality play

David Michôd’s ‘The King’. Image from ‘The King’

David Michôd’s ‘The King’

The Australian director on his Timothée Chalamet–starring adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays

We don’t need another superhero. Image from ‘Avengers: Endgame’

We don’t need another superhero

Are superheroes the form of entertainment we deserve, but not the one we need right now?


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Television


War for attention. Composite image of ‘The Madalorian’ and ‘Morning Wars’

War for attention

The launch of Apple TV+ and Disney+ raises the stakes in the streaming wars

It’s complicated: ‘The Hunting’. Image from ‘The Hunting’

It’s complicated: ‘The Hunting’

This Australian series offers a sophisticated examination of teenage lives online

Streaming highlights: October 2019. Image from ‘Modern Love’

Streaming highlights: October 2019

The anthology makes a comeback with ‘Modern Love’ and ‘Criminal’; new ‘Harlots’; and ‘Living with Yourself’ delivers low-key high-tech farce

Streaming highlights: September 2019. Image from ‘Unbelievable’

Streaming highlights: September 2019

‘Unbelievable’ and ‘Murder in the Bayou’ expose cultures that devalue women; ‘Shrill’ warmly challenges prejudice; and ‘The Politician’ takes student politics to another level

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


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Art


‘Japan supernatural’. Utagawa Yoshimori, The Tongue-cut Sparrow [detail]

‘Japan supernatural’

The Art Gallery of NSW’s examination of Japan’s centuries-long artistic traditions depicting the spirit world and the macabre

Coming forth like the first light: Tarnanthi 2019. Installation view of Tarnanthi at the AGSA

Coming forth like the first light: Tarnanthi 2019

This South Australian festival celebrates the rich diversity of contemporary Indigenous art

‘Civilization: The Way We Live Now’ . Image of ‘Wild River, Florida’

‘Civilization: The Way We Live Now’

The beautiful photographs of often grim subjects in NGV Australia’s exhibition raise questions over the medium’s power to critique

A traditional landscape. Illustration

A traditional landscape

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

‘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


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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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