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Tag: politics

Film Reviews

Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali

Friday, September 17th, 2021 Film Reviews,

“Destiny can take your best friend as an instrument to cause you harm and your worst enemy to do you good,” says Muhammad Ali a few minutes into this absorbing Netflix documentary. He is referring to black activist, Malcolm X, who had fallen out with Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Flattery & Kitsch

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Only art and science can raise men to the level of gods,” wrote Ludwig van Beethoven, in a typically grand pronouncement. For music lovers of the late 19thcentury there was no greater Divinity than Beethoven himself. Wagner may have had a cult following, but Beethoven (1770-1827) was the centre of a full-blown religion. One true […]

Film Reviews

The Chair

Friday, September 10th, 2021 Film Reviews,

University life in America today is worthy of a stupendous black comedy series but The Chair ain’t it. To do justice to such a theme would require a writer as scabrous as Michel Houellebecq and a director as fearless – and surreal – as Luis Buñuel. Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman, the creators of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art and Sport

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

After the Tokyo Olympics the boredom of the lockdown is set to move onto a whole new plane. Even without spectators the Olympics has confirmed its status as the world’s supreme global spectacle, with the power to keep millions of people glued to the box day after day. What do we do now that it’s […]

Film Reviews

Naomi Osaka

Thursday, August 5th, 2021 Film Reviews,

We’re all familiar with newspaper stories about torn hamstrings, stress fractures, busted knees and shoulders. The Age can devote an entire page to a champion footballer’s groin strain. But until recently nobody ever mentioned an athlete’s mental health unless it was to lament some lapse in concentration at a vital stage. “A brain explosion!” is […]

Film Reviews

How to Become a Tyrant

Saturday, July 17th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Politics is a fascinating game, but hard to win. Under the yoke of a tyrant people clamour for democracy but after generations of democratic rule they hanker for a strongman to come and make all their decisions for them. As we watch the United States careening towards a complete crack-up, with millions of people obsessed […]

Journals

Powerhouse 2019 with postscript. (All down hill since then…)

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

Dear Michael Daley, As new leader of the Opposition in New South Wales you wasted no time in getting stuck into the Berejiklian government over its truly surreal proposal to knock down two sporting stadiums and rebuild them at a cost of roughly $2 billion to the tax-payer. It’s an excellent target, as neither the […]

Film Reviews

Martin Eden

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden is getting a limited release in Sydney and Melbourne but it deserves a much bigger audience. It’s a huge film – not in terms of running length, but in its themes, its characters and ambitions – the latest in an outstanding sequence of foreign-language titles that have overshadowed anything produced by […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tree of Life

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One could hardly imagine a more universal subject than the tree. It’s one of the first things children draw, as a familiar lollipop shape. It lies at the centre of almost every major cosmology, from Adam and Eve’s misadventures in the Garden of Eden to Yggdrasil, the tree at the centre of the old Norse […]

Film Reviews

De Gaulle

Friday, May 7th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Charles De Gaulle was an imposing figure, both physically and morally. Standing at 196 cms, he was a man almost everyone looked up to. As leader-in-exile of the French Resistance, the head of the provisional post-war government, and the nation’s dominant political figure of the 20th century, De Gaulle enjoyed an unshakable power and prestige. […]