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Tag: Music

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 […]

Film Reviews

Death of a Ladies Man

Friday, May 21st, 2021 Film Reviews,

It’s fair to say that Canadian director, Matt Bissonnette, is a Leonard Cohen fan. His debut feature in 2002 was called Looking for Leonard, and now comes Death of a Ladies Man, inspired by Cohen’s album of 1977. I’m not quite sure how an album, or the title of an album, gets transformed into a […]

Film Reviews

Crock of Gold

Saturday, December 19th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Shane MacGowan is a textbook case of someone who should be dead but somehow keeps rolling. In MacGowan’s case “rolling” is the right word because years of dedicated self-destruction have wrecked his sense of balance, confining him to a wheelchair. Now 62-years-old the former lead singer for the Pogues sits with his head tilted at […]

Film Reviews

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Friday, December 4th, 2020 Film Reviews,

It’s hard to grasp how famous the Bee Gees really were. They remain the third most successful band of all time after the Beatles and the Supremes. In the late 1970s there were weeks when they had four or five hits in the charts simultaneously. Their soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever was number one album […]

Film Reviews

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Friday, November 20th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In the liner notes to his 2018 album, American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on the title. “Is this meant ironically? It is a joke? Do I mean this seriously? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?” These questions, which echo the lists of questions in wellknown songs such […]

Film Reviews

I Am Woman

Friday, September 4th, 2020 Film Reviews,

There should be a warning issued with this bio-pic of singer, Helen Reddy: after the film you’ll be humming I Am Woman for the next week or so. This might sound harmless enough, but in the wrong context it could raise uncomfortable questions about masculine identity. Reddy’s unofficial anthem for the women’s movement is easily […]

Film Reviews

Echo in the Canyon

Friday, August 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

It may seem a big call to suggest that one day historians will mention Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s alongside Vienna fin-de-siècle, and the Paris of the 1930s, but Graham Nash has no doubts. It’s even more startling to bracket Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys with Mozart, but Tom Petty manages this feat […]

Film Reviews

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Thursday, July 4th, 2019 Film Reviews,

One night at Sydney University we all turned up to see Mental As Anything. The support band was a lesser-known outfit named INXS. At this point the script should read: “…but that support band would blow the Mentals away and go on to international superstardom. It was all down to their electrifying lead singer, Michael […]

Film Reviews

Rocketman

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Dexter Fletcher may well be the new Ken Russell. In Bohemian Rhapsody, and now in Rocketman, he reveals a taste for overheated theatricality that hasn’t been seen since Russell turned Franz Liszt into a teen idol. The difference is that this much-anticipated bio pic of Elton John never departs too far from formula, no matter […]