December 2005 - January 2006

Arts & Letters

‘Vulture’; ‘Sunday Arts’; ‘The Movie Show’ on ABC-TV

By Kerryn Goldsworthy

Any poet could have told the ABC that with a name like Vulture its new arts program was bound to get negative feedback. A vulture is an ugly, disgusting creature whose presence lets you know your death is imminent.This may be why one blogger, having watched the first episode, said it made him lose the will to live. It’s all over for the year now, and it wasn’t that bad really. But Vulture did get eviscerated early on after attracting savage responses to its comedy sketches – the very thing that was supposed to make the show new and different. This left it with the panel-of-experts format, but expertise doesn’t necessarily translate into good screen presence, as anyone who’s seen the movie Broadcast News should know.

Good arts TV is more likely to feature artists producing art than talking heads discussing it, hence the inclusion on the ABC’s Sunday Arts of artists’ workshops and poets in residence. Even The Movie Show’s David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz are essentially performers, acting out the personae they have developed over the years and delivering set-pieces to camera. They break up the chat with clips and interviews, and they don’t talk at or over the top of each other to the apparent exclusion of the viewer.

Cover: December 2005 - January 2006

December 2005 - January 2006

From the front page

Image of Minister for Skills Michaelia Cash

Cash-strapped

The looming training overhaul will need to be watched closely

Cold was the ground: ‘Sorry for Your Trouble’

Richard Ford delivers an elegant collection of stories of timeworn men and women contemplating the end

Photograph of Malcolm Turnbull

Surrounded by pygmies: Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘A Bigger Picture’

The former PM’s memoir fails to reckon with his fatal belief that all Australians shared his vision

Child's illustration

The screens that ate school

What do we really know about the growing presence of Google, Apple, Microsoft and more in the education system?


In This Issue

Enough already!

Peter Jensen

Mr. Huge

Alan Woods and his amazing computer. A nags-to-riches-story
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz

Nellie Melba & Enrico Caruso

How many sleeps?

Nothing prepares a parent for the day their partner does a runner and takes the children

More in Arts & Letters

Photograph of Malcolm Turnbull

Surrounded by pygmies: Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘A Bigger Picture’

The former PM’s memoir fails to reckon with his fatal belief that all Australians shared his vision

Still from ‘The Assistant’

Her too: ‘The Assistant’

Melbourne-born, New York–based filmmaker Kitty Green’s powerfully underplayed portrait of Hollywood’s abusive culture

Photograph of Dua Lipa

Snap-back: Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’

The British singer’s serendipitous album delivers shining pop with a reigning attitude of fortitude

Still from ‘The Platform’

Consolations in isolation: ‘The Platform’ and ‘Free in Deed’

What is the future of cinema without cinemas?


More in Noted

Cover of ‘The Trials of Portnoy’

‘The Trials of Portnoy’ by Patrick Mullins

The finely detailed story of the legal fight in Australia against the censorship of Philip Roth’s ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’

Cover of ‘The End of October’

‘The End of October’ by Lawrence Wright

A ‘New Yorker’ journalist’s eerily prescient novel about public-health officials fighting a runaway pandemic

Cover of ‘Fathoms’

‘Fathoms: The World in the Whale’ by Rebecca Giggs

The Australian writer’s lyrical consideration of our relationship with whales is a new and ambitious kind of nature writing

Cover of ‘Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982’

‘Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982’ by Cho Nam-Joo (trans. Jamie Chang)

The coldly brilliant, bestselling South Korean novel describing the ambient harassment and discrimination experienced by women globally


Read on

Cold was the ground: ‘Sorry for Your Trouble’

Richard Ford delivers an elegant collection of stories of timeworn men and women contemplating the end

Image of Australians queuing at Centrelink in Brisbane.

Moral bankruptcy

Robodebt stemmed from the false ideological division between the deserving and undeserving poor, but the government still clings to moralistic language

Image of Gough Whitlam in October 1975

It’s about time

The High Court’s landmark ruling on the ‘Palace Papers’ is a win for Australian social democracy

Image of Robyn Davidson

Something mythic

For Robyn Davidson, her acclaimed memoir ‘Tracks’ was an act of freedom whose reception hemmed her in


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