Tag: Music

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Elvis at 21

Saturday, February 8th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In 1956 the United States had plenty to think about. World War II lingered in popular memory; the Cold War was in full swing; and in Montgomery Alabama, black citizens were boycotting the local buses in one of the first great campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. But the subject causing consternation in the mass […]

Film Reviews

Inside Llewyn Davis

Saturday, January 18th, 2014 Film Reviews,

In The Folk Song Army the satirist Tom Lehrer took aim at the folk revival that swept the United States in the early 1960s. “You have to admire people who sing these songs,” he said. “It takes a certain amount of courage to get up in a coffee-house or a college auditorium and come out […]

Film Reviews

Great Expectations & Performance

Saturday, March 16th, 2013 Film Reviews,

In making the umpteenth version of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, British director, Mike Newell, resisted doing something ‘bold and audacious’ just for the novelty value. So far, so good, because the greatest crimes against the classics are committed when directors allow the preoccupations of our own age to disfigure those stories that have become part […]

Film Reviews

Paul Kelly: Stories of Me

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 Film Reviews,

Archie Roach reckons Paul Kelly is Australia’s “bard”. It’s what people used to say about Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson back in the days when poetry was a popular art. But for every man-in the-street who could recite parts of The Man from Snowy River in the 1890s, there must be thousands today who can […]

Film Reviews

In Search of Haydn

Saturday, March 24th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

“Anybody can see just by looking at me that I’m a nice sort of fellow,” said Joseph Haydn. Indeed, one could tell simply from listening to the playful first bars of his Piano Sonata No. 56 in D major. Only a nice fellow could write that. The impression of niceness is reinforced by every talking […]