Hyde Park on Hudson & Silence in the House of God

March 30, 2013

Hard on the heels of Lincoln comes another movie about a great American President. But if Steven Spielberg seemed to be sending a message to Barack Obama about being steadfast and determined, it’s hard to know what Richard Michell is telling us about Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. Allowing for its Spielbergisms, … More

Lincoln & Elles

February 9, 2013

It’s impossible to watch Lincoln without thinking how little, and how much, American politics has changed since the days of the Civil War. The same ramshackle cast of opportunists, ideologues, yes men and non-entities sits in the House of Representatives, but nowadays the radical thrust comes from the right not the left. The radicals of … More

Zero Dark Thirty & The Impossible

February 2, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty arrives at our cinemas with a readymade controversy: “Should director, Kathryn Bigelow, and scriptwriter, Mark Boal, have included the scenes of the CIA torturing prisoners?” Although it was driven home by the scandal of Abu Ghraib, surely noobdy will be surprised to learn the Americans practised torture. Indeed, it would have been … More

Napoleon: Revolution to Empire

August 18, 2012

Napoleon: Revolution to Empire, the latest in the National Gallery of Victoria’s popular series, ‘Melbourne Winter Masterpieces’, presents an exceptionally positive view of a problematic figure. Visitors with no prior knowledge of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) might be forgiven for thinking that he and his first wife, Josephine, were two nouveau riche social climbers who went … More