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Category Archives: Reviews

‘Weather is never just weather’: Sophie Cunningham’s Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy

We’ve had national disasters in the forty years since Cyclone Tracy, but Tracy’s iconic status in the national consciousness endures. Read more »

May’s KYD First Book Club: Notes on Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil

When it was announced that Maxine Beneba Clarke was the winner of the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript at last year’s Emerging Writers’ Festival, jubilation hung in the air. Her face glowed with relief; public recognition had obviously been a long time coming for the Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Read more »

No new thing under the sun: Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty introduces its protagonist, aging journalist Jep Gambardella, right in the thick of things. After an airy, operatic overture Sorrentino immerses the audience in a busy rooftop party in Rome. A four-to-the-floor beat takes over the soundtrack, setting the rhythm for a series … Read more »

Of seadogs and fisherwomen: Sarah Drummond’s Salt Story

I have been fangirling at A WineDark Sea for a while now—it is, hands down, the best blog I have had the luck to read. Its author, Sarah Drummond, was a commercial fisherwoman when I first happened on it, and she blogged about the south-west of Western … Read more »

‘The concentrated stench of so much life’: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Best known for her highly lauded short story collections and novel The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri has again emerged with a skilful examination of the highly distinct religious, social and ideological differences between India and America in her latest work The Lowland. The Lowland begins in South Kolkata … Read more »

Putting on the Ritz: Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion at NGV

In the 1920s, the corseted curves of the Belle Époque silhouette gave way for a new image of femininity. The flapper girl, with her bobbed hair and boyish figure and shimmery, sequined dresses, became an icon of the Art Deco period. These girls were bold, daring and scintillating. … Read more »

The slaughter to come: reading and watching The Counselor

Early in Cormac McCarthy’s screenplay The Counselor, a diamond dealer reflects on an issue that directly relates to Ridley Scott’s film version of the same screenplay. ‘The crown and the pavilion may be well cut each in itself and yet stand alien to one another,’ he says … Read more »

What are we watching here?: Pleasure and pain in Lovelace

Lovelace is about two alternative narratives of the same event: the production and aftermath of Deep Throat. Deep Throat is such a pop culture staple it needs little introduction. However, if you have been marooned on an island and would miss the joke if I described the … Read more »

Eleven years later: Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

A friend and I used to joke that if we ever became famous writers, we’d make sure that our author photos were just like Donna Tartt’s: dramatic, dimly lit and slightly unsettling. Inside the back cover flap of my dog-eared, spine-trashed copy of Tartt’s cult classic debut … Read more »

Carry On Flying: Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited

  I’m So Excited is Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s twentieth feature film as writer and director, and in some ways represents a second creative childhood. The first was in the early 1980s when, following the death in 1975 of Francisco Franco and his Fascist censoring of all … Read more »