Arts & Letters

Michael Haneke’s ‘Hidden’
By Owen Richardson
‘Commander in Chief’
By Kerryn Goldsworthy
Poor old President Mackenzie Allen just never seems to get a quiet moment to herself. If it’s not a tanker threatening to leak oil up and down the east coast of the United States, then it’s her whiny neo-con teenage daughter sneaking off with a...
By Justin Clemens
You could be pardoned for thinking late capitalism will never let its minions sleep. These days, Australian cities lurch from one high-profile event to the next, without respite. À la the US military’s famous psychological experiments with sleep...
By Celina Ribeiro
It’s a new world. Science has separated 33-year-old conjoined twins Blair and Bunny. Privatisation has plucked them from their institutional cocoon and dropped them in the middle of London. Violence has given young Ludmila the opportunity to escape...
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
‘Volte Face: Mike Parr Prints & Pre-Prints 1970–2005’
By Justin Clemens
Even before you enter the gallery, you hear Mike Parr breathing. His breath is neither relaxed nor comfortable; amplified beyond human means, you cannot mistake its sharp, strained quality. Its constant gulp and whistle will accompany you throughout...
MJ Hyland’s ‘Carry Me Down’
By Peter Craven
Maria Hyland came to prominence a couple of years ago with How the Light Gets In, the mesmerising story of a Bad Girl who is always proving herself more right than her betters. And if there’s any kind of Achilles heel in this bright and blistering...
By Dennis Altman
The program of almost any major opera company reveals a repertoire largely unchanged for over a century: there are more likely to be productions of works by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini than even such mid-twentieth-century works as The Rake’s Progress...
David Cronenberg’s ‘A History of Violence’
By Owen Richardson
A History of Violence: the phrase can be taken two ways, both as something a person – a criminal in the dock – might have, and as a description of the film itself (Violence: A History), a vision of how violence leads to violence and the depredations...
By Clare Barker
On 26 April, the eleventh Mercedes Australian Fashion Week will open in Sydney, complete with shiny new operators IMG Fashion – the slick outfit that runs the bigger, better New York equivalent and has Kate Moss on its books – and industry insiders...
By Cameron Woodhead
With The Resurrectionist, James Bradley enters the dark realm of Gothic fiction. Set in London in the 1820s, the novel concerns Gabriel, a young gentleman apprenticed to one of the city’s leading anatomists. Finding fresh corpses to dissect is a...
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Augie March’s ‘Moo, You Bloody Choir’
By Robert Forster
In the narrow confines of the Australian music scene, it’s edgy guitar pop and rock for the young, and country, blues and folk for the old. AC/DC is revered by all. It’s not hard to stand outside this world; the trick is to construct something...
Cat Power’s ‘The Greatest’ and Beth Orton’s ‘Comfort of Strangers’
By Robert Forster
To release an album in January or early February is, sometimes, to make a statement. There are two blocks of the year when most records come out: March to June, and September to November. July and August are European and American summer holidays, so...
Bennett Miller’s ‘Capote’
By Helen Garner
Carolyn Burke’s ‘Lee Miller’
By Drusilla Modjeska
Vogue model turned photographer, bobbed muse of Man Ray and ‘unofficial’ surrealist, Lee Miller makes a challenge to her biographer that is not dissimilar to the challenge she made to those who knew her. Who was this woman of “multiple lives” who...
By Simon Caterson
“It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Winston Churchill’s assessment of Russia in 1939 applies equally to the Albania of 1981. The Successor is a dispatch from the heart of a totalitarian regime that is in terminal decline, cut off...
By Justin Clemens
Coffee-table books about artists – especially when the artist is still alive – are an odd genre. Caught between biography and criticism, scholarship and accessibility, they too often try to resolve these tensions by recourse to adjective-laden...