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Culture November 25, 2017

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh

Well known for playing some of Shakespeare’s most flawed characters on stage and screen, Kenneth Branagh is now searching for the emotional truth behind a famous detective. Here, he talks about embodying and directing Poirot. “I was incredibly concentrated in both ways: as Poirot I was listening and looking for the lie, and as director, I was in a way, listening and looking for the lie. Both things operated at the same time.”

Culture November 18, 2017

Artist Del Kathryn Barton’s atheistic devotion

Motherhood saw artist Del Kathryn Barton wholeheartedly embrace colour, but her work’s mystical and frenetic style – on show in a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria – emerged from the troubled inner life of her own childhood. “It was a very rich part of managing my anxiety growing up, growing these deep internal creative places. It gave me a lot of fortitude.”

Culture November 11, 2017

Yorgos Lanthimos on the alienation of realism

Yorgos Lanthimos teams mundane musings and deadpan delivery to create humour and horror. The Greek filmmaker talks about what inspires his twisted metaphors, and who they are for. “We would never make a film to give a solution or preach something or teach something. It’s just human beings, you know, being in this world and trying to make sense of it and exploring various sides of it and going, ‘Huh, what do you think about that?’ ”

Culture November 4, 2017

Actor and director George Clooney

In Suburbicon, George Clooney’s latest turn behind the camera, the foibles of American society are again in the spotlight. Here, the actor–director talks about gun laws, the sanctity of the fourth estate and how failure breeds success. “No one wants to look at someone with a string of hits and a string of right decisions. You have to make bad decisions and … you have to make mistakes. You only learn from mistakes. You never learn from success.”

Culture October 28, 2017

Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth

As a pioneer of conceptual art, Joseph Kosuth’s reflections on the world’s great thinkers glow with deeper meaning. “It’s not about how, it’s about why,” he says. “So I think – not to be vainglorious about it – I instituted, for very selfish reasons, a view of art as something quite different from the inherited tradition.”

review

Culture November 24, 2017

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a dark parable about eye-for-an-eye justice. But at the heart of the film is the view that children are never innocent.

Culture November 17, 2017

Mavis Staples’ ‘If All I Was Was Black’

Teaming once more with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples has produced a powerful new album. But, says the veteran performer, her heart aches as she rails still against the racial division she’s been fighting for decades.

Culture November 11, 2017

ABC TV’s ‘Screen Time’

Where once the contrary but charming banter of David and Margaret was an authoritative guide to modern cinema, the ABC has replaced it with uninsightful postmodernism and lame jokes.

portrait

Culture July 29, 2017

Actor Steve Coogan

Unravelling Steve Coogan and The Trip to Spain.

Culture July 15, 2017

Author John Safran

Waiting for Peak Uncomfortable Gonzo with John Safran.

Culture June 24, 2017

Literary collective director Michael Mohammed Ahmad

A drive with founder of western Sydney literary collective Sweatshop, Michael Mohammed Ahmad.

books

Culture November 25, 2017

Border Districts

It begins, this mesmeric inward spiral of a book, with a digressive turn towards the past: Two months ago, when I first arrived in this township just short of the border, I resolved to guard my eyes, and I could not think of going on with this piece …

Culture November 25, 2017

Wednesdays with Bob

So much has been written about Bob Hawke – Labor’s longest-serving prime minister, women fawning in his presence, blokes awed by his sporting and drinking prowess – you might wonder what more there is to know about him. But just a …

Culture November 25, 2017

Domestic Interior

It is hard to read Fiona Wright’s new collection of poems, Domestic Interior, without her award-winning and much-publicised essay collection, Small Acts of Disappearance, in mind. That book dealt with Wright’s eating disorder …