Tag: biography

Film Reviews


Friday, June 24th, 2022 Film Reviews,

There’s no mystery about a film by Baz Luhrmann. We know it’s going to be big and brassy, fast-moving, wilfully superficial, and packed with over-the-top theatrics. As a result, I go along to each new Baz film with a sense of diminished expectations. For me, everything started to go wrong with Moulin Rouge! (2001), which […]

Film Reviews


Thursday, June 9th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare. But the past is just the same–and War’s a bloody game… Have you forgotten yet?… Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.                                 […]


Ken Whisson 1927 – 2022

Friday, May 6th, 2022 Blog,

Ken Whisson was one of the great originals of Australian art. Had he ever become a household name he would have felt something was wrong. Whisson had no desire to live or paint in a conventional way. Like Giacometti, even when he began to sell work for higher prices he continued to live like a […]

Film Reviews

King Richard

Friday, February 25th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Watching this bio pic about Richard Williams, who raised his daughters, Venus and Serena, to be tennis champions, I thought back to last year’s Netflix documentary on Naomi Osaka. That strange, vague, disconnected young woman might have benefited from a parent as dogged as Williams, although one suspects Venus and Serena succeeded almost as a […]

Film Reviews


Friday, February 18th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Among the great mysteries of contemporary cinema: how, in the space of one year, can a director make something as good as Belfast, and follow up with the ridiculous Death on the Nile? I don’t think one can lay the blame on an overbearing studio, or suggest that the best of Kenneth Branagh’s movies may […]


Jutta Feddersen 1931 – 2021

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 Blog,

Jutta Feddersen, who has died peacefully at the age of 90, belonged to a generation whose lives were permanently shaped and scarred by the Second World War. Born in 1931, in a German town called Briesen that is now part of Poland, Jutta Schley enjoyed an idyllic rural childhood. One of five children, she was […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“I am not a heroine,” Gabrielle Chanel told one of her biographers. “But I have chosen the person I wanted to be and am. Too bad if I am disliked and unpleasant.” Like most things this famous couturiere said, this statement requires unpacking. Madame Chanel could be extremely unpleasant, but also wildly generous. She was […]

Film Reviews


Friday, January 28th, 2022 Film Reviews,

When a movie begins with the words “based on a true story”, it’s usually a coded warning that what you are about to see is fantasy. The disclaimer bestows an appealing suggestion of reality while allowing the filmmakers to let their imaginations run wild. So when Pablo Larraín begins his bio-pic about Princess Diana with […]

Film Reviews

The House of Gucci

Friday, January 14th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Shakespeare allegedly set tragedies and comedies in Italy because the stereotype of the excitable Italian was engraven on the Elizabethan mind. One finds the same view at the end of the 18th century in the memoirs of playwright, Vittorio Alfieri, who, caught in an adulterous affair with an English woman, was astonished by the calm, […]

Film Reviews

The Beatles: Get Back

Friday, December 17th, 2021 Film Reviews,

After an hour of this lengthy three-part documentary about the Beatles, I was wondering if it was going to be nothing more than an extended jam session – gripping stuff for diehard fans, but a long haul for the rest of us. When Peter Jackson got his hands on this never-before-seen footage, he must have […]