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Culture September 22, 2018

‘Dark Tourist’ documentary-maker David Farrier

Where once he was Tickled, New Zealand documentary-maker David Farrier has most recently devoted himself to visiting ghoulish sites of so-called ‘dark tourism’. Here, he talks about murky ethics, Kiwi sensibilities and the pressure to react the ‘right’ way. “There’s one point where I’ve got a gun to my head and I laugh, because I’m sort of nervous. “Some people will say to me that it was really inappropriate to laugh at that point … [But] that’s what happened. It’s uncomfortable laughter. We wanted to leave all that in.”

Culture September 15, 2018

Zoë Coombs Marr and her stand-in stand-up Dave

Comedian Zoë Coombs Marr created her male alter-ego Dave in order to critique the sexist culture of the stand-up scene, and it has taken years for her to feel ready to take the stage as herself again. “I never made Dave with the intention of being cruel or laughing at people, or going, ‘That guy sucks.’ ”

Culture September 1, 2018

Bangarra’s Stephen Page on the language of dance

Stephen Page has known acclaim and accolades as head of Bangarra Dance Theatre. Off stage he’s had more than his fair share of personal tragedy. Here, he talks to about family, his latest show, Dark Emu, and the power of language to change Australia. “Through this symbolism of visual art and story, under that came this kinship idea of connection to land, people and story. That’s why lore and customs exist.”

Culture August 25, 2018

The many sides of Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard burst onto the comedy scene in make-up and heels, later proving his chops as a dramatic actor. On the eve of the release of The Flip Side, set in South Australia, he talks about taking risks, being gender queer and his newest passion – running for British parliament. “I want people, moderate people like me, to get politicised, because it’s going to get rough and we’d better work out how we’re going to make it work. It’s up to us.”

Culture August 18, 2018

Artist Sun Xun on truth and meaning

The work of Chinese artist Sun Xun explores concepts of time and space, truth and lies – always searching for answers. As the first solo exhibition of his work in Australia opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, he talks about the role of the artist. “We live in a lie, in a big lie system. People should jump out from the lie circle and touch the world. It is the modern world’s problem. Where is the truth? I don’t know. In my art, I want to make people think: ‘Don’t believe our world – it is a big lie.’ I am trying to open the door for people.”

review

Culture September 22, 2018

MoMA at NGV

MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art provides an engaging and broad survey of how we have sought to understand the negotiation between technology, nature and our humanity.

Culture September 22, 2018

Liars, TWTWF

Liars’ new album of oblique rock, TWTWF, finds Angus Andrew lyrically exploring the departure of his long-time songwriting partner and sonically drawing on his natural surrounds.

Culture September 15, 2018

The Harp in the South

Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Ruth Park’s still-resonant The Harp in the South trilogy for the STC boasts perfect casting for its darkly comic tale of gentrification and community.

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 September 22, 2018

The Word

Kenric is an executive at The Firm, a Sydney advertising company. He has a knack for branding products and he “knows what draws consumers to words. He knows the magic of words … their hidden life”. Kenric feels out of place among …

Culture September 22, 2018

Wintering

Krissy Kneen’s novels have often centred on bodies, how they morph and constrict, how they can offer transcendence or be prisons for the soul, how they merge into other shapes, beyond desire, beyond gender, beyond human. In her latest, Wintering, …

Culture September 22, 2018

The Year of the Farmer

The Year of the Farmer begins with an ominous scene of dogs running at night with “blood on their minds” towards sheep trapped in their paddocks, “innocent to the coming game”. Dogs aren’t the only predators in this …