The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

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(by James Hogg) The protagonist, Robert Wringhim, finds himself spiraling deeper into a vortex of evil. Luckily there’s a mysterious but nice young chap to ‘guide’ him on his way. A towering, fascinating ‘mystery’ novel, revealing how dangerous it is to mix Calvinism and Old Scratch.

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Primary

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(dir. D.A. Pennebaker) (1960) (Redux 2013) Very slight and grainy documentary by today’s standards. Clearly an outsider’s view, despite the intimacy of the footage. Hubert Humphrey was the only candidate heard discussing policy: hence you knew he was doomed.

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Power Without Glory

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(by Frank Hardy) Never mind that Hardy was an unreconstructed Commo; this is a great, great-big book, a scandalous roman-a-clef based on a Collingwood Mafioso, John Wren and his rise (and rise).  Blessed with no literary touches but a lot of narrative drive, the book has become, in its unpretentious way, a landmark of Australian literature.  Hardy had to overcome a myriad hurdles to get his work published and only then did his troubles really begin, in the form of various reprisals, including an almost ruinous trial for criminal libel.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock

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(dir. Peter Weir) (1975)         St. Valentine’s Day, 1900.  The young ladies of Appleyard College are treated to a picnic at Hanging Rock, a volcanic pile in the heart of the Victorian countryside, near Mount Macedon.  There is twittering around the teacups, too much cake and Australian sunshine, and whilst the party are having an al fresco siesta, people go missing.  But while the film has aspects of a whodunit or a thriller, it cannot be categorised because it simply transcends classification.  As F.R Leavis said of Wuthering Heights, you can call this a sport. Totally magical,…

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Picasso Exhibition

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(Sydney Art Gallery) I have to admit that the hanging I most appreciated said “EXIT” in illumined green and white… Wyndham Lewis had this to say of Picasso (1881-1973) in 1940: “Cézanne is the great influence: that, and the arts of primitive man…Picasso is parasitic…he is at the same time original.  His originality is of a technical order…And were Picasso a musician, he would be able to play a dozen instruments, and be as adept with a kettledrum as with a harp.  But he would not be a Bach or a Beethoven…He is such a great, luxuriant, voracious, plant: and he…

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