Culture

Unfinished business. Image of Paul Kelly

Unfinished business

Culture / Music

Every Paul Kelly song so far, from worst to best

Venice International Film Festival 2021 highlights. Image of Laure Calamy as Julie in À plein temps (Full Time), directed by Eric Gravel

Venice International Film Festival 2021 highlights

Culture / Film

Films by Eric Gravel, Bogdan George Apetri and Gábor Fabricius are among the stand-outs in a program of unusual abundance

Living to regret: ‘Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life’. Detail of cover image from ‘Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life’, showing a woman’s head resting on a pillow

Living to regret: ‘Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life’

Culture / Books

With an exasperating but charming protagonist, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle’s episodic novella demonstrates faultless comic timing

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

Mellow drama: Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’

Culture / Music

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


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Unfinished business. Image of Paul Kelly

➊ Unfinished business

Every Paul Kelly song so far, from worst to best

Nowhere near Hollywood. Rachel Taylor at the premiere of Cedar Boys in Sydney, June, 2009
Desire’s conspiracies: ‘The Right to Sex’ . Image of Amia Srinivasan

➌ Desire’s conspiracies: ‘The Right to Sex’

Philosopher Amia Srinivasan’s essays consider incels, consent and sexual discrimination

Venice International Film Festival 2021 highlights. Image of Laure Calamy as Julie in À plein temps (Full Time), directed by Eric Gravel

➍ Venice International Film Festival 2021 highlights

Films by Eric Gravel, Bogdan George Apetri and Gábor Fabricius are among the stand-outs in a program of unusual abundance

Books


‘Beirut 2020’ by Charif Majdalani. Image of Charif Majdalani’s ‘Beirut 2020’

‘Beirut 2020’ by Charif Majdalani

The Lebanese writer’s elegiac journal captures the city’s devastating port explosion

The meanings of production: ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ . Detail from cover of Sally Rooney’s ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’

The meanings of production: ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’

Novelist Sally Rooney returns to the dystopia of contemporary life while reflecting on her own fame

Not a rehearsal: ‘Small Joys of Real Life’ . Cover image of ‘Small Joys of Real Life’

Not a rehearsal: ‘Small Joys of Real Life’

Allee Richards’ debut novel questions the line between authenticity and fakery in the life of a young woman

No success like failure: Brandon Jack’s memoir ‘28’. Cover image of Brandon Jack’s memoir ‘28’

No success like failure: Brandon Jack’s memoir ‘28’

The former Sydney Swans player restores a measure of dignity to defeat

Breathless spaces: ‘The House of Fragile Things’ . Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ‘Portrait of Irène Cahen d’Anvers’ (La petite Irène), 1880

Breathless spaces: ‘The House of Fragile Things’

James McAuley’s examination of four great art-collecting families and the French anti-Semitism that brought their downfall

Body and soul: ‘The Airways’. Cover image of The Airways

Body and soul: ‘The Airways’

Fusing elements of crime fiction and ghost stories, Jennifer Mills’ latest novel is an interrogation of gender, power and consent


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Music


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

Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers. Arlo Parks

Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers

Two young musicians spark the old double standard of judging female artists who demonstrate their pain

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


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Film


True to form: ‘No Sudden Move’ . Still from Steven Soderbergh’s ‘No Sudden Move’

True to form: ‘No Sudden Move’

Steven Soderbergh’s Detroit crime movie is another formal experiment with commercial trappings

No way in: St. Vincent’s meta-mockumentary ‘The Nowhere Inn’. Still from ‘The Nowhere Inn’ showing artist St

No way in: St. Vincent’s meta-mockumentary ‘The Nowhere Inn’

The notoriously guarded artist teams up with Carrie Brownstein for a musician-made documentary that is savvier than most

Amalia Ulman: self-made woman. Image of Amalia Ulman in ‘El Planeta’

Amalia Ulman: self-made woman

The Argentinian-born artist plays with personas in her debut feature film ‘El Planeta’

Forebodings and a funeral: ‘Shiva Baby’ . Image from ‘Shiva Baby’

Forebodings and a funeral: ‘Shiva Baby’

Emma Seligman’s funny but tense film is a triumph of writing and performance over spectacle

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two. Still from Titane © Carole Bethuel

Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: part two

Provocative Palme d’Or winner ‘Titane’ addresses sexuality, body-horror and gender construction

‘Black Widow’ and an endless future of adequate spectacle. Image showing Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow

‘Black Widow’ and an endless future of adequate spectacle

On Marvel, Disney and the dismal state of the modern blockbuster


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Television


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

Life in isolation: ‘Nine Days’ and ‘Bo Burnham: Inside’. Still from ‘Nine Days’

Life in isolation: ‘Nine Days’ and ‘Bo Burnham: Inside’

A comedian’s isolated self-examination is more profound than Edson Oda’s confused film about what makes a good life

High-impact exercise: ‘Physical’. Image of Rose Byrne as Sheila Rubin in Physical

High-impact exercise: ‘Physical’

Starring Rose Byrne as an uncompromising aerobics instructor, Annie Weisman’s unorthodox series leads June’s streaming highlights

The have and have-knots . Image of Hannah Ferrier on Below Deck: Mediterranean

The have and have-knots

On Bravo’s reality television hit ‘Below Deck’ filming in Australia

On loop: Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’. Image of Bo Burnham in Inside

On loop: Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’

The American comedian’s vulnerable and nuanced look at constant perception in the digital age


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Art


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

‘Richard Bell: You Can Go Now’. Image of Richard Bell’s ‘Embassy’, 2013

‘Richard Bell: You Can Go Now’

The MCA’s retrospective of the influential activist-artist provides a fluent deconstruction of white supremacy

Boston and Japan: ‘French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’. Image of Claude Monet, ‘Poppy field in a hollow near Giverny’, 1885

Boston and Japan: ‘French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’

What connects Boston’s peerless collections of French Impressionism and historic Japanese art and design?


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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


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

New 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


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