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Tag: Music

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

Ticket to Paradise & Moonage Daydream

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 Film Reviews,

George Clooney and Julia Roberts have bought a ticket to Paradise, but which Paradise is that? They think they’re in Bali but someone has sold them a pup, because it’s actually Queensland – the Whitsundays to be precise. Their confusion is understandable because they seem to have landed in a colony of Balinese people, all […]

Film Reviews

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song

Saturday, July 16th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Hallelujah, the Hebrew word of praise for the Lord, is all over the Old Testament. How strange, but how very typical of our contemporary neediness and confusion, that Leonard Cohen’s song of that name should have become a secular pop anthem for our times. Daniel Geller and Dayna Golding’s innovative documentary, Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A […]

Film Reviews

Elvis

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

The Movies: A Boxing Day Round-Up

Saturday, December 25th, 2021 Film Reviews,

For those not turned feral by the Boxing Day sales, the day after Christmas is the traditional detox after all that festive activity. Yes, it’s supposed to be joyous, but it’s also stressful when one has to work harder at a holiday than at a regular job. Hence the popularity of the Boxing Day test […]

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 […]

Film Reviews

Last Night in Soho

Friday, November 26th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Every movie made by British director, Edgar Wright, feels like a classic hits compilation album. With pop songs of the 1960s and 70s being belted out at regular intervals it gives the impression the action has been tailored to match the soundtrack. Baby Driver (2017) took its title from a Simon and Garfunkel song, and […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Paintings and Music

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There’s only one way to begin a piece on paintings inspired by music – with a famous line by the Victorian aesthete, Walter Pater. In an essay of 1873, Pater wrote: “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” It’s an idea that took on added significance with the development of abstract painting, particularly […]

Film Reviews

Elvis Presley: The Searcher

Friday, July 2nd, 2021 Film Reviews,

There are many different Elvises, from the young hillbilly who set the music world alight with his very first recording to the bloated, drug-addled superstar, squeezed into a white jumpsuit with cape, playing to packed houses in Las Vegas casinos. In a week in which it’s impossible to get to the movies in many parts […]

Journals

Whiteley: the Opera

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

Ever since John Adams gave us Nixon in China in 1987, the possibilities for opera have been limitless. Unlike the Greek tragedians who were obliged to set every play in a mythical age of Gods and heroes, contemporary composers have drawn subjects from the news cycle, and from the tawdry lives of latter-day celebrities. Elena […]