Tag: Hollywood

Film Reviews

Hail, Caesar!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 Film Reviews,

“Comedy deserves to be taken seriously,” wrote Aldous Huxley, in 1924, before going on to denounce those “lesser exponents” of the genre who specialise in “triviality, ugliness and vulgarity.” Three years later The Jazz Singer ushered in a new era of ‘talkies’ that would change the way Hollywood made comedies, as slapstick and sight gags […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Marilyn at MAMA

Friday, February 19th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Men grow cold as girls grow old, and we all lose our charms in the end…” sang Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Yet Marilyn would never lose her charms, cheating old age by dying at the age of 36, fixing her image forever as the glamorous blonde starlet we see in […]

Film Reviews


Thursday, February 18th, 2016 Film Reviews,

It doesn’t require a philosopher to point out discrepancies between the law and justice. This was born out last week – as Trumbo hit the cinemas – by the convulsions over the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. By all accounts this is a game-breaker in the bitter conflict between Left and Right […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hollywood Costume

Saturday, July 27th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a turning point arrives through a change of costume. James Stewart, playing the damaged cop, Scottie, sees a girl who closely resembles the dead woman who haunts his thoughts. That woman, Madeleine, is on Scottie’s conscience and in his heart. In Judy, a shop girl from Kansas, he recognises Madeleine’s double […]

Film Reviews

Total Recall

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Philip K. Dick’s brief science fiction story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1965) has travelled a long way since it was adapted for Paul Verhoeven’s film, Total Recall in 1990. In Dick’s original version, Doug Quail visits a business called Rekall that promises to provide its clients with a false memory superior to […]

Film Reviews

The Bourne Legacy

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

One wonders what a cultural theorist such as Slavoj Zizek would make of the Bourne films? Beyond the lashings of action, suspense and skullduggery they are textbook lessons in the repressive power of the state, guaranteed to appeal to conspiracy theorists of both left and right persuasions. The world in which Jason Bourne, and new […]

Film Reviews

Forever Marilyn

Saturday, August 4th, 2012 Film Reviews,

Exactly fifty years ago, on the night of 4 August 1962, Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbituates. The world’s greatest sex symbol, the most idolised actress of her age, was dead. Now 20th Century Fox has decided to commemorate this tragic event in the way they know best: by cashing in. Marilyn may […]

Film Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises

Saturday, July 28th, 2012 Film Reviews,

To say Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is “dark” is a dismal understatement. It is pitch-black, numinous. Christian Bale’s Batman appears to be permanently depressed, wracked with guilt and self-loathing. Gotham City, which he strives to rescue from one apocalypse after another, is so corrupt and ugly it is barely worth saving. With Heath Ledger’s death […]

Film Reviews


Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

No film this year has arrived with such high expectations as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the long-awaited prequel to Alien – a movie that spawned a franchise and a cult. I attended a preview at the iMax in Darling Harbour on a night when the wind and rain were causing mayhem all over Sydney. The place […]

Film Reviews

Get the Gringo

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

South of the border, down Mexico way. We’ve been here before, but never in the company of Mel Gibson, working to restore a reputation that has taken a dive in recent years. There have been slight problems with alcohol, domestic violence, and anti-Semitic pronouncements delivered to officers of the law. “Sick to his empty core […]