FILM REVIEW: WOODSTOCK AT FIFTY

  Woodstock was one of the most important concerts in history. This year marks 50 years since those infamous three days of peace, love and music. The film, Woodstock at Fifty is a documentary that gives a rather backstage view to the show thanks to some interviews with various key players. While some parts of this work…

FILM REVIEW: LEFTOVER WOMEN

  Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But what do you do if you’re a single woman who is over a certain age living in China? The documentary, Leftover Women, is an illuminating look at three individuals who grapple with various stigmas and expectations, in a society where women are encouraged to marry…

THEATRE REVIEW: IN THE HEIGHTS

  They say you should write about what you know. You get the sense that Lin-Manuel Miranda did just that with In The Heights. This musical is the first one that the Hamilton creator ever wrote. It’s also a love letter to his loud and proud Puerto Rican heritage and the colourful people from his neighbourhood, Washington Heights. This borough in…

THEATRE REVIEW: THE CLIMBING TREE

  When you’re a teenager you often feel like the world is against you. You’re too mature to be a child but not yet independent enough to be an adult. This is often a period associated with angst and growing pains. The Climbing Tree examines these existential problems while framing them around a nation’s past and the…

BOOK REVIEW: SANDER L. GILMAN – STAND UP STRAIGHT! A HISTORY OF POSTURE

  Sander L. Gilman has become an authority on the human body. The professor has written and edited over 90 books, including ones that examined our attitudes towards obesity and cosmetic surgery. Stand Up Straight! A History of Posture does what it says on the tin and covers elements of anthropology, medicine, theology and culture. It is…

FILM REVIEW: ALT RIGHT: ART OF RAGE

  In Australia we had John Safran playing provocateur and spending time with white nationalists in his book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist. In the US, a SXSW documentary takes a similar approach with filmmaker, Adam Bhala Lough embedding himself with some representatives from political extremes in Alt Right: Art of Rage. The film ultimately looks at a modern-day oxymoron,…

BOOK REVIEW: ROSANNA LEY – THE LITTLE THEATRE BY THE SEA

  On paper, a book like The Little Theatre by the Sea has the ingredients for a fabulous, summer read. It has an interesting-enough premise, it’s set in a fine, exotic location and it’s by the best-selling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail. The end product, however, is like a pleasant but not particularly memorable holiday because you may…

BOOK REVIEW: JOHN SAFRAN – DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY EXTREMIST

  John Safran channelled the late Truman Capote for his true crime debut, Murder in Mississippi. For his follow-up, the TV documentarian and prankster takes a leaf from Louis Theroux by casually observing and telling the stories of some extraordinary individuals. In Safran’s case these people are extreme characters like evangelical Christians, anarchists, nationalists, Islamic converts and…

BOOK REVIEW: PETER POLITES – DOWN THE HUME

  When we think of an “Australian story” the ones that typically spring to mind are predominantly about the country, bush or the past. So what is a reader to do when they want something that reflects their own modern life in the Western suburbs of Sydney? Thankfully, Peter Polites has answered this in his…