The Power of the Dog

December 11, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Chaps and More Chaps, and a Little Anthrax on the Side How Jane Campion’s Dude Ranch Film Slides Away into the Montana Night By Janelle McCulloch “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion (2021) What can be said about The Power of the Dog? It’s a strange way to begin a film review of this Western drama, but I am well and truly mute. And much of this now-widely-talked-about film is, too. It’s a beautifully shot piece, low on dialogue but big on wide Montana skies (which are actually wide New Zealand skies), and there are some very…

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Chekhov Goes Feral at The Belvoir – The Cherry Orchard

June 23, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Reviewed by our learned NSW correspondent, Margo Jakobsen) The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, Belvoir Theatre, June 2021 – directed / adapted by Eamon Flack The burning question is about the adaptation of The Cherry Orchard. The Larrikin tradition was evoked. Examples: the Zumba style dance, the MC calling the partygoers a bunch of c..ts, the f…k you conga line. Missing the subtle humour of the original, the 2 ladies next to me left at interval. [I’d probably have joined them – Ed.] The audience, a full house, was split between those of penshionable age and secondary students. In their…

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Hamilton – The Musical

(Directed by Amy Campbell, Lyric Theatre, Sydney, 2021) (Reviewed by Margo Jakobsen) Masked-up and entering the Sydney Lyric Theatre in an orderly fashion, I was eager to see if the musical justified the buzz. Some already knew, a couple of fans wearing period costumes of their own. Others were clearly familiar with the moments. For example, a cry went up at the ‘immigrants get the job done’ line and Brent Hill’s crassly, juvenile King George, made a popular and delicious contrast with the rawest emotions of Chloe Zuel as Hamilton’s wife, Eliza. The play ended with her enigmatic gasp. Amazing…

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We Will Survive

February 24, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

(Why The Varnished Culture is leaving Facebook) Google has a link to a post on leaving Facebook, that suggests as reasons to leave, “its echo chamber effects, avoiding time wasting and procrastination, and the negative psychological effects of perpetual social comparison.” That is more a salutary warning to addicts rather than a shot at the product. From its o so humble beginnings, Facebook has become a monster, the Standard Oil of our age, a virtual monopoly allowing global networking of personal, commercial, and political content, along with news, a salad of actual old-time reportage and a trove of ‘fake news,’…

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2020: Like a Sad Film

December 31, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | FILM, LIFE |

The World of Film was visited by the Masque of the Black, rather than Red, Death, this year. No, not Plague, but Time. While you listen to some appropriate Funerary Music, here’s a selected roll-call of stars now under management of One Sole Agent: Wilford Brimley – the gruff and grizzled descendant of Walter Brennan appeared in key supporting roles in Brubaker, The China Syndrome, The Thing, Tender Mercies, The Natural and The Firm but for our money, he was at his best in a small key role in Absence of Malice (1981). Sean Connery Brian Dennehy – Brian was…

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