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I, Tonya

February 2, 2018
Skating to oblivion, Margot Robbie in 'I,Tonya'

Tonya Harding, my star Well this world is a cold one But it takes one to know one And God only knows what you are Sufjan Stevens claims to have spent 25 years trying to write a song about Tonya Harding. In the ballad that finally appeared late last year he still can’t seem to … More

Goodbye Christopher Robin & The Teacher

November 24, 2017
Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh & Alan the poo

Two films released this week look at the damage that may be inflicted on children by parents and teacher. Goodbye Christopher Robin shows us how A.A.Milne virtually destroyed his son’s life by making him the hero of the best-selling Winnie the Pooh stories. The Teacher, set in Bratislawa in 1983, is a much darker affair, … More

Loving Vincent

November 2, 2017
Not quite Vincent...

Loving Vincent is one of those films that leans heavily on its novelty value. Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer was the first talkie; Alexander Sokurov’s The Russian Ark was the first feature to be shot in a single take; Thor:Ragnarok is the world’s first Kiwi superhero comedy; Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted … More

Battle of the Sexes

September 30, 2017
What we did in the 70s.. Billie Jean & Bobby

It’s strange to watch Battle of the Sexes from an Australian perspective, remembering how we barracked for Margaret Court in her rivalry with America’s Billie Jean King. Forty years on, Margaret Court looks like the most dreadful sourpuss – an outspoken homophobe, and allegedly an apologist for Apartheid. Billie Jean King has taken a very … More

A Quiet Passion

July 1, 2017
Emily Dickinson... how to have fun without leaving your room

How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one’s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog! For Emily Dickinson (1830-86) there was a distinction in being Nobody as opposed to Somebody. Now considered one of the greatest American poets, Dickinson spent almost her entire … More

Searching for Sugar Man

October 6, 2012
Screen shot 2012-11-24 at 3.23.11 PM

“Oh he was much bigger than the Rolling Stones,” says a South African record company executive. Bigger than Elvis, too. His debut album sold more than 500,000 copies while the republic was still grappling with Apartheid. It would be startling enough if we were talking about a white South African pop star, but the artist … More

My Week with Marilyn

February 25, 2012
Screen shot 2012-05-01 at 9.14.10 PM

Before watching My Week with Marilyn I wasn’t aware that Colin Clark, the 23-year-old film flunkey whose memoir provides the basis of the story, was the son of Sir Kenneth Clark. Not only was Sir Kenneth a renowned art historian and cultural bureaucrat, he was the man who gave us Civilisation (1969) – the orginal … More