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Tag: religion

Film Reviews

The Children Act

Thursday, December 6th, 2018 Film Reviews,

It’s a big year at the movies for Ian McEwan, a novelist who seems to enjoy pulling the carpet out from under his protagonists. In August we had On Chesil Beach, adapted by McEwan from his own novel of 2007. Now he has written a screenplay for The Children Act, published in 2014. McEwan is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Blake Prize 2018

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s been seven years since I last wrote about the Blake Prize, which seemed to have reached a point where it couldn’t get any worse. The good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse: it’s just as bad as it was seven years ago. When it was founded in 1951 the Blake Prize was intended […]

Film Reviews

The Other Side of Hope & Paul: Apostle of Christ

Friday, April 6th, 2018 Film Reviews,

In pre-Enlightenment days ‘history’ was a mass of tall stories, myths and rumours. Authors were happy to recount tales of miracles and supernatural events, readers were happy to believe them. In the mid-1800s it was still scandalous when writers such as David Strauss and Ernst Renan began to challenge the historical basis of the Bible, […]

Film Reviews

Mary Magdalene

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 Film Reviews,

Of all the figures in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene has been the most misunderstood. This is partly because early commentators found it hard to distinguish between Mary of Magdala, Mary of Bethany, and the ‘sinful’ woman in the Gospel of St. Luke, who anoints Jesus’s feet in Simon’s house and dries them with her […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Ritual Spirit

Friday, October 6th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Last week I was in China meeting artists from each end of the contemporary art spectrum. In Suzhou I saw a breathtaking show of brush-and-ink painting by Li Huayi (b.1948) an artist who has divided his life between China and San Francisco. In Shanghai I visited Xu Zhen (b.1977), one of the most successful artists […]

Film Reviews

The Innocents & Things to Come

Saturday, April 29th, 2017 Film Reviews,

There’s no category in contemporary cinema more demeaning than the ‘chick flick’. It suggests a sloppy romance of the Barbara Cartland variety, or a superficial, feel-good movie with a ‘girl power’ theme. Either way the term eliminates one half of the human race as a willing audience, and patronises the other. This week two very […]

Blog

Esteban Bedoya

Saturday, January 11th, 2014 Blog,

A couple of weeks ago I met the Paraguayan ambassador to Australia, Esteban Bedoya, after having read his short novel, The Apocalypse Acording to Benedict. It seems to be a minor Latin America tradition to have diplomats who are also writers. Octavio Paz was Mexican ambassador to India, while Pablo Neruda was Chile’s ambassador in […]

Film Reviews

Where Do We Go Now?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

“A pretty silly film,” said my spouse, as we left the theatre. This was a damning verdict, as Where Do We Go Now? is essentially a chick flick with political pretensions, designed to appeal to educated, middle class women of a small-l liberal persuasion. When the target audience declares the movie a failure this makes […]