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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
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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