BOOK REVIEW: NEIL MCDONALD WITH PETER BRUNE – VALIANT FOR TRUTH – THE LIFE OF CHESTER WILMOT, WAR CORRESPONDENT

  Valiant for Truth is the first complete biography of Australian war correspondent, Reginald William Winchester (“Chester”) Wilmot. It’s a meticulously-researched and comprehensive look at Wilmot’s life. It covers his studies in Melbourne through to his passage into the world of journalism as well as the important stories he covered during the Second World War before his…

FILM REVIEW: LONG STRANGE TRIP

Long Strange Trip is a documentary about the Grateful Dead that feels just like being at one of the band’s concerts. It is a sprawling, swirling psychedelic affair that lives up to its name as it celebrates a band that has notched up over 50 years in the music business as the reigning kings of…

ARTS REVIEW: ADMAN: WARHOL BEFORE POP

  For most people the iconic artist, Andy Warhol is synonymous with the colourful pop art of Campbell’s soup cans, portraits of Marilyn Monroe and the record sleeves from The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones. What some people may not realise is that Andy Warhol was an accomplished commercial illustrator and draftsman who worked…

BOOK REVIEW: CAREK STELSON – SACHIKO – A NAGASAKI SURVIVOR’S STORY

  The story of Sachiko and other hibakusha are important, as they chronicle a fundamental part of history. This book also supports Yasui’s work as an activist for peace, as it is a cautionary tale about nuclear weaponry, but also one of hardship and human resilience. At 144 pages there were elements that could have…

DVD REVIEW: CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES

  Cancer is a cruel disease. It’s also a very common one. It’s estimated that one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with it. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a comprehensive and informative documentary series that offers us a history of cancer (including how researchers came to understand the…

DVD REVIEW: MAVIS!

  Mavis! is a little documentary about a big personality. It’s a film about legendary singer, Mavis Staples. This story is ultimately a celebratory one about her life and while it is warm and feels good, at times it seems like pure hagiography and a documentary that is far too short. The film is a…

DVD REVIEW: MATILDA & ME

  The documentary, Matilda & Me is more about the latter than the former. It’s a film that looks at Tim Minchin’s background and history, charting his rise from aspiring actor to successful comedian and renowned theatre composer. The movie is ultimately a fun and vibrant one about two great characters- the fictional, Roald Dahl creation,…

DVD REVIEW: DEEP WEB

  The documentary, Deep Web doesn’t have the right name. It really should be called “Silk Road” or “The Trial of Ross Ulbricht”. This tech documentary is a short, one-sided and interesting one that barely scratches the surface of digital privacy rights and the dark web as a whole. This film is narrated by Keanu Reeves…

DVD REVIEW: KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK

  You’d be forgiven for thinking that Kurt Cobain’s life has already been looked at from every possible angle. The late, Nirvana frontman and icon has been the subject of at least two feature films (Last Days and Kurt & Courtney) not to mention countless biographies and magazine articles. But Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is quite…

DVD REVIEW: BRILLIANT CREATURES

  Brilliant Creatures is a two-part television series that celebrates four iconic Australians. Feminist and libertarian,Germaine Greer;writer/broadcaster/memoirist and poet, Clive James; the late firebrand, art critic, Robert Hughes; and savage satirist Barry Humphries all share things in common. The most important thing is that they left Australian in the fifties and sixties in order to…