profile

Culture March 23, 2019

Indigenous activist Thomas Mayor’s clear statement

For months, Indigenous activist Thomas Mayor carried the Uluru Statement from the Heart around Australia, rolling out the canvas as he told its story. With Labor and mining companies now on board, the push continues for a First Nations voice. “We have bipartisanship on the influences of the Australian public, left, right or centre. That’s the mindset we’re transferring to – fighting for the referendum to win.”

Culture March 16, 2019

The high life of Claire Denis

While Claire Denis seeks to avoid metaphor in her films, the French director’s sci-fi prison drama High Life, starring Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson, can’t help but raise big questions about the universe, the nature of time and even the meaning of life. “Everything in screenwriting is painful and yet it’s great. It’s great because the pain is the price you have to pay to be allowed to dream things, to make them real.”

Culture March 9, 2019

Ellen Burstyn variations

Ellen Burstyn, in Melbourne to star onstage in 33 Variations, has a film career spanning six decades and including such cinematic touchstones as The Exorcist and The Last Picture Show. She talks tabout Beethoven, spirituality and recruiting Scorsese to direct her in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. “I asked that he be the director. He had already made Mean Streets, but it hadn’t been released and he was deeply grateful that I wanted him. This doesn’t mean that I gave him his start. And there was no stopping him, anyway – he would have got there in any case. But, you know, there was never any sense with Marty of working with a monster, with a master in the nasty sense. He’s marvellous, he’s an original. He’s smart and fiery and rough and excitable and alive.”

Culture March 2, 2019

Sohaila Abdulali on survival

In 2012, a prominently reported rape and murder of an Indian student revived interest in Sohaila Abdulali’s 33-year-old account of surviving her own attack. Since then the author has used her new platform to encourage unflinching debate about violence against women. “When I started writing this book, nobody was talking about rape. And even in that short time, people are now starting to want to speak about their experiences and understand them. That people want to understand and talk about it – makes me feel hopeful. There’s a lot in the world to feel hopeless about too, but there’s still hope.”

Culture February 23, 2019

Kristen Roupenian on short stories and viral success

Amid the spectacularly divisive response to Kristen Roupenian’s short story about a relationship gone wrong, the author’s conception of “Cat Person” as horror fiction was often overlooked. Here, she talks about reasserting her genre credentials with the release of her debut collection. “The temptation would be to turn the book into 11 stories about dating from the perspective of young women. So I was grateful that editors recognised it was a weird, dark collection of essentially horror stories. They let it be what it was.”

review

Culture March 23, 2019

Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art

While father and daughter Hans and Nora Heysen both became renowned Australian artists – he for bush landscapes, she for portraits and still lifes – their work had become, until recently, somewhat overlooked.

Culture March 23, 2019

Dean Lewis’s A Place We Knew

The appeal of Dean Lewis’s debut album, A Place We Knew, is that the earnest musings on broken relationships can be moulded to anyone’s story. But what his formulaic songwriting gains in popularity, it lacks in depth and insight.

Culture March 16, 2019

Karen O and Danger Mouse’s ‘Lux Prima’

Karen O and Danger Mouse’s collaboration has delivered in Lux Prima a brilliant album of dark pop, with a hint of Pink Floyd grandeur.

portrait

Culture March 2, 2019

Korean chef Peter Jo

Morning in the Shik restaurant kitchen with Peter Jo.

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.”

books

Culture March 23, 2019

Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story

It is the photographs scattered through the text of Kindred that grab our attention first. Two pairs of battered boots in close-up, hanging on a nail. A rudimentary bush campsite where a couple of thin ropes are tied between two trees and draped …

Culture March 23, 2019

Eight Lives

Ask a cancer researcher or oncologist about the most exciting developments in their field, and chances are they will mention immunotherapy. By modifying the body’s own immune system to treat disease, it gives doctors the ability to target specific …

Culture March 23, 2019

Exploded View

Road trips, as epitomised by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, can be a way to unfetter and unbind. Not in Carrie Tiffany’s Exploded View, though, where a car is described as little more than a “moving coffin”. In …