Tag: history

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heavenly Beings

Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to immediately fly down to Hobart, look no further. Of all the shows I regret seeing late in the day, and all those that most urgently need to travel to other venues, Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Orthodox Christian World at David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New […]

Film Reviews

The Iron Claw & Priscilla

Friday, January 19th, 2024 Film Reviews,

If ever a film proves it’s possible to make a powerful story out of anything, it’s The Iron Claw. Those who spent their childhood watching World Championship Wrestling on TV may have distant memories of large, flabby men in tights roaring threats, jumping off turnbuckles, and thumping each other in a peculiarly unconvincing manner. The […]

Film Reviews

The Boys in the Boat & The Holdovers

Friday, January 12th, 2024 Film Reviews,

In those heady days when John Wayne was dispatching hostile injuns by the dozen, no-one could have envisaged Hollywood making clean-cut white Americans into the bad guys. It would have taken a clairvoyant to predict the tide of identity politics that has swept over the United States in recent times, engendering a new generation of […]

Film Reviews


Friday, February 10th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-98) was the original ‘people’s princess’. She hated the pomp and ceremony of the Habsburg Court and would absent herself from Vienna for months on end. She was known for her charitable works and her affection for the common people. A famous beauty, she kept her weight down to a terrifying […]

Film Reviews

Tár & Babylon

Friday, January 27th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Last week I thought Michelle Williams was unbeatable for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars, but after watching Tár, it’s hard to see Cate Blanchett coming second. Todd Field’s film about a musical genius who falls for the seductions of fame and power, is a classic Faustian tale. Blanchett’s Lydia Tár doesn’t exactly sell her […]

Film Reviews

Triangle of Sadness & The Lost King

Friday, December 23rd, 2022 Film Reviews,

There’s a kind of shameful pleasure in seeing one’s own prejudices played out on screen, and this is precisely what we get from the films of Ruben Östlund. The Swedish director has struck the right note at Cannes, where his two most recent features – The Square in 2017, and this year, Triangle of Sadness, […]

Film Reviews

The Woman King

Friday, November 4th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Viola Davis is known as a character actor who strives to bring psychological depth to the roles she plays. Who would have imagined that all Viola really wanted to do was get a cool aircut, dress up in battle gear, and go around waving a huge sword? This is pretty much what she does in […]

Film Reviews

Lost Illusions

Friday, July 1st, 2022 Film Reviews,

  Everything is taxed, everything is sold, everything is manufactured, even success.                                                                                                          […]

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

The Last Duel

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 Film Reviews,

Clang! Crunch! Swish! On leaving the cinema after seeing Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, the sounds of battle still ring in one’s mind. Over two-and-a-half hours Scott unleashes a series of ferocious battle scenes, and a final showdown between two armoured combatants that leaves nothing to the imagination. As we remember from features such as […]