BOOK REVIEW: ROBERT WHEELER- HEMINGWAY’S HAVANA

  The acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway has been the subject of many books. The famous writer has inspired so many words that the world probably doesn’t need anything more written about him. But Hemingway’s Havana takes a unique approach because photographs are used to evoke the legend’s spirit and time spent in Cuba. The result…

THEATRE REVIEW: WEST SIDE STORY HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR

  It was Wet Side Story at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour on Friday night. Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway classic was an emotionally-charged and important affair. It may have been over 60 years since this musical first premiered in the States, but its themes and feel remain as fresh and resonant as ever. This production is the first musical to…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE

  There are a lot of films about writers and their lives. Consider: Capote, Salinger, The Man Who Invented Christmas and more. An Angel At My Table fits into this tradition. It’s a biopic devoted to New Zealand’s most famous author, Janet Frame. This bio-pic is a very detailed and slow-burning account of her life. This…

FILM REVIEW: DESTROYER

  Cops are tops. But if you’re Erin Bell in Destroyer you’re less tops and more likely to be drinking hops. Nicole Kidman plays a bedraggled and unrecognisable detective in this noir. While there are some moments where it is thrilling, most of it is far too slow-burning and perfunctory to really cut through. This film isn’t a neat…

FILM REVIEW: SHOW ME THE PICTURE: THE STORY OF JIM MARSHALL

  Imagine the photo shoot for Bob Dylan’s Freewheelin’ or concerts like: Woodstock, Johnny Cash’s gigs at Folsom and San Quentin, and The Beatles’s last official show at Candlestick Park. Most of us would trade our left hands to have been there. But if you were Jim Marshall, you could boast that you went and shot it! The late…

FILM REVIEW: RAISE HELL

  The Titanic had the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Texas meanwhile, had the unstoppable Molly Ivins. This tall, flame-haired woman was an outspoken, political commentator with a razor-sharp wit. Raise Hell is a documentary that covers every inch of this larger-than-life character. This film is the first documentary to be made about this formidable subject. It’s hard to see why,…

FILM REVIEW: HUMAN NATURE

  At SXSW 2017, American biochemist, Jennifer Doudna was telling everybody about CRISPR. Allow me one last Human Nature reference… Doudna was telling the last ones to know about a new technology that has the potential to alter genes. Human Nature is a documentary that takes a deep dive into this fascinating scientific world, and chronicles both its incredible…

FILM REVIEW: SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER

  Sometimes Always Never proves its only words. This UK dramedy is about a father and son’s complex relationship. It has an English sensibility and a profound love for the Scrabble board game. The result is a quirky and whimsical character study that feels like it pans out in real-time. This film at first was a…

FILM REVIEW: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: FREAK & CHIC

  Models are cool people. Beautiful glamazons. You don’t think of them as freaks unless you’re Jean Paul Gaultier. The French designer dedicated an entire show to just this. Freak & Chic is a feature documentary that shows us this crazy world, as well as the hard work and creativity that went into shaping this wild party. Gautier is…

DVD REVIEW: HERE COME THE CO-EDS

  Abbott & Costello were an America comedy duo who asked us, “Who’s on first?” The sketch was a hilarious baseball routine that continues to endure and entertain. These comedians made lots of films and television shows throughout their career. Here Come the Co-eds was one of their mid-career turns made in 1945. Even though it’s…