fri 06/12/2019

Australia

The Nightingale review – revenge without redemption

Writer-director Jennifer Kent knows that Australia’s colonial past shouldn’t be beautified, and she drives that fact home in every gloom-drenched shot of The Nightingale (her second feature after The Babadook from 2014). This is an immensely...

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CD: U-Bahn - U-Bahn

Despite their name, U-Bahn are from Melbourne. Instead of looking to Germany for their musical inspiration, their minds are on a vintage band from Ohio. “Beta Boyz”, the first track on their eponymous debut album, reassembles the key elements of...

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Tim Minchin, Eventim Apollo review - fabulous triumph of rhyme and reason

Is there anything Tim Minchin cannot do? He sings his own songs, plays hot bar-room piano and tells jokes about the existence of God. He composes musicals, performs in Lloyd Webber and Stoppard, writes a multimillion-dollar Hollywood cartoon which...

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My Life is Murder, Alibi review - whimsical tales of detection from Down Under

Lucy Lawless achieved cult status in the Nineties fantasy classic Xena: Warrior Princess, and later became a regular in such disparate creations as Battlestar Galactica and Parks and Recreation. In My Life is Murder, she joins the ever-expanding...

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The Secret River, National Theatre review - turbulent tale of Australia's past

Neil Armfield’s resonant, turbulent production of Kate Grenville’s classic Australian novel The Secret River sing out from the stage of the Olivier like an epic, with its conflicts, culture clashes, and quest for new territories. But there are no...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Fred Schepisi’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) was the Australian New Wave film that most rigorously confronted the cataclysmic effect of British and Irish colonisation on the country’s Aboriginal people. It helped pave the way for such 21st...

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Blu-ray: My Brilliant Career

Revisiting Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career for the first time since I saw it in its year of release, 1979, is a mixed experience. I was close in age to its heroine and it was one of the first mainstream feature films I’d ever seen...

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Gravity & Other Myths: Backbone, Brighton Festival 2019 review - eyeboggling and very human circus show

Shows by Gravity & Other Myths fall into the realm of “contemporary circus”. It’s an off-putting moniker, bringing to mind a performance where there’s no clowning but quite possibly much “thought-provoking” interpretive dance. The decade-old...

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CD: Leo Sayer - Selfie

For Brits below a certain age Leo Sayer is the curly haired middle-aged chap who swearily walked out of the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2007 and disappeared. However, for those around in the 1970s his diminutive dancing form, ever-ready grin and...

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CD: Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs

Stella Donnelly does not suffer fools gladly. On her debut LP, she calls out all manner of bad behaviours, from crappy bosses to creepy guys, annoying family members to disappointing boyfriends. Donnelly’s very much a part of the new guard of...

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Safe Harbour, Series Finale, BBC Four review - too much message, not enough drama

Picture this. You’re sailing in the Timor Sea with family and friends on your luxurious yacht, hoiking the occasional plump fish out of the ocean to provide a ready meal washed down with Aussie plonk, when you suddenly chance across a decrepit,...

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Nolan: Australia's Maverick Artist, BBC Four review – a lust for life in all its aspects

Reckless, unstoppable, one step ahead of everyone else, a hell of a lot of fun, utterly charming, street smart – descriptions of the artist Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) poured out from colleagues, rivals, curators, art historians and dealers, not to...

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