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Culture November 16, 2019

Empires of the sons

Packer & Sons looks at the extremes of Australian masculinity through the lens of its two most successful media dynasties. “It would be impossible to stage Packer & Sons, a play about three generations of Packer power, without the Murdochs. The two competing families have brawled, collaborated and defined themselves against each other. The Murdochs are the Greeks to the Packers’ Roman gods.”

Culture November 9, 2019

An audience with Antonio Banderas

Drawing on his recent experience of a heart attack, as well as his decades-long friendship with director Pedro Almodóvar, Antonio Banderas has produced what may be his finest performance in Pain and Glory. “We hadn’t worked together in eight or nine years, but suddenly he calls me and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna send you something. You’re going to find a lot of references to people that you and I know.’ And I received Pain and Glory. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it because he was there, it was such an opportunity. So, I went to him as a soldier, as a very, very plain soldier, ready to listen. Really listen.”

Culture November 2, 2019

Rapper, poet and novelist Omar Musa

Through his one-man show Since Ali Died, Omar Musa has connected with audiences who have experienced ostracism. The rapper, novelist and poet speaks about the power of storytelling and the need for greater nuance in depictions of the Muslim community. “People come up to me after the show. Firstly, there are people really interested in having direct access to a young Muslim man growing up post-9/11. And then, secondly, there are those who relate to the outsider experience. I talk about a very specific intersection of race and religion – but try to make it relatable to all people who might feel a bit different.”

Culture October 26, 2019

Irish comedian and actor Dylan Moran

Almost two decades after the wild success of Black Books, Dylan Moran returns to Australia with a new stand-up show, Dr Cosmos. He talks about finding his place in the world and what a Charlie Chaplin film has to say about modern life. “What was extraordinary to me throughout Modern Times was how inclusive it was. Chaplin was laughing in the most general sense at the way we’re living, what we’re doing to ourselves, how we’re fucking up our priorities, you know? We need a film just like that about now. I think how we live is pretty screwy right now.”

Culture October 19, 2019

The cultural insights of Jia Tolentino

Jia Tolentino has been dubbed the ‘voice of a generation’, a blogger turned New Yorker writer whose journalistic musings traverse everything from vaping to religion. She talks about the art of literary exploration and her much-anticipated debut book, Trick Mirror. “One of the reasons I write so much is that I’m not so good at thinking about things as they’re happening. Unless I’m writing about something, it’s not often that I’m analytically clear about my own present reality. I tend to just wander through it and hope that I will make sense of it later.”

review

Culture November 16, 2019

The Crown

Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter shine in the third season of The Crown, which sees the royal family facing greater public criticism amid unrest in Britain.

Culture November 16, 2019

Japan supernatural

Japan supernatural, the new blockbuster exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, celebrates the transient nature of existence while challenging the unseen forces that shape our lives.

Culture November 9, 2019

FKA twigs’ Magdalene

Electronic musician FKA twigs is at the height of her powers on her new album, Magdalene, which combines formal ingenuity with visceral emotion.

portrait

Culture November 3, 2018

António Serzedelo, revolutionary

A visit to the Lisbon apartment of polymath activist António Serzedelo.

Culture October 13, 2018

Author Deb Kandelaars

The writer of Memoirs of a Suburban Girl on her long road out of a violent relationship. “There I am, right in the middle of my teenage years and suddenly in a serious relationship. A relationship that pushes away my other life. Being hit was beyond my world experience. I didn’t want it to happen again. I started treading a little bit more carefully, and that set up a power dynamic.”

Culture October 6, 2018

Theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord

A chat with theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord, side stage at a rehearsal for Twelfth Night.

books

Culture November 16, 2019

Damascus

To label Christos Tsiolkas’s sixth novel ambitious seems superfluous – ambition, after all, is part of his trademark style. From the burning, youthful rage of his debut, Loaded, to the barbecue conversation-stopper The Slap, …

Culture November 16, 2019

Coventry

Coventry, Rachel Cusk’s elegant but alienating collection of essays, is sketched into three sections. The first contains the heft of the intellectual work, belabouring a suite of social topics. The second is a kind of ekphrasis, responding …

Culture November 15, 2019

Field of Poppies

The fiction of Carmel Bird, like that of Angela Carter, is known for its intermingling of fairytale and historical realism. It is also, like the early work of Peter Carey, known for destabilising the patriotic fantasies and brutal realities of Australian …