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culture November 17, 2018

Gillian Flynn’s dark inquiries

Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn developed a taste for the macabre at an early age, but she’s keen to dispel the myth that she is who she writes. She talks about her depictions of deeply disturbed and disturbing women and the release of her latest film project, Widows. “There’s a reason we’re fascinated with domestic-based murders. It allows us to talk about marriage and family and what goes on behind closed doors. It gives us a strange vocabulary and permission to talk about those things we wouldn’t otherwise.”

culture November 10, 2018

Hoda Afshar’s lens on Manus

Building on her earlier works essaying colonialism and her experience as an Iranian migrant to Australia, photographer Hoda Afshar turned to presenting the humanity of the men detained on Manus Island. “Photography has turned into this whole trend of empty landscapes – no sign of human presence whatsoever, just traces of human beings. Traces of a tyre on asphalt, rubbish, leftover food, signs that say there were people here, but no human presence. It shocks me. I think, yes, it’s important to acknowledge the history of photography, how image-making has abused and manipulated narratives. We have to acknowledge the relationship between image-making and power. But to dismantle it is not to completely avoid that dialogue.”

culture November 3, 2018

Nils Frahm’s melody makers

Nils Frahm brings a playfulness to his serious compositions for piano and electronics, which leaves audiences delighted as well as enraptured. He vividly remembers crying when listening to English jazz saxophonist John Surman’s 1987 album, Private City, which mixes synthesisers with improvised saxophone.“It’s overwhelmingly powerful, emotional music that made me feel things that I didn’t know were in me. And that’s a great discovery – when you realise that music is not just invoking emotions, but creating emotions.”

television October 27, 2018

‘Triple threat’ Maya Rudolph

Known for her masterful Saturday Night Live impersonations and starring role in the comedy hit film Bridesmaids, Maya Rudolph is now tackling the subject of married mundanity in the new series Forever. But while her own life is far from dull, her priorities for work and family remain very simple. “For me, when I became a mum, I changed, and my needs changed. I didn’t want to be away from my kids … If something I’m loathing is taking me away from my kids, then I shouldn’t be there.”

culture October 20, 2018

Caroline O’Connor’s high notes

She’s played everyone from Velma Kelly in Chicago to Judy Garland in The Boy from Oz, flawlessly channelling the great Piaf and Merman along the way. Now Caroline O’Connor takes the stage in her one-woman show, From Broadway with Love. For one night only, she’s looking forward to airing a repertoire of songs she knows as intimately as old friends. “I’m in love with this material; that’s why I’m doing it,” she says. “I’m just going to relax and enjoy the occasion.”

comedy 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.”

art 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.”

film August 11, 2018

Danny Glover on acting and activism

Actor Danny Glover is probably best known for his on-screen roles spanning nearly 40 years, but his appearance in Australia to address a trade union conference comes after a lifelong commitment to civil rights and labour activism. “I was invited here again, by First Nations people, 22 years ago. I went to visit men who were incarcerated and, like in my own country, they were disproportionately people of colour. Then I knew a little bit more about Australia.”

theatre August 4, 2018

Christie Whelan Browne’s theatrical life

Actress-singer Christie Whelan Browne catapulted to the attention of theatregoers at a young age, untrained but bursting with talent. Here, she talks about fate, timing and discovering a love of musical theatre. “I was the clown, I really made people laugh. Boys told me I was ugly … I used comedy to fit in.”

film July 28, 2018

Director Thomas M. Wright and ‘Acute Misfortune’

On the eve of the release of his directorial debut, Acute Misfortune, adapted from Erik Jensen’s book about artist Adam Cullen, Thomas M. Wright talks about how his reaction to Cullen turned from revulsion to deciding he was the perfect subject. “Adam seemed to stand for so many things that I just can’t. And I think, particularly, cloaking that behaviour and those attitudes behind a veil of art is just fucked.”

film July 21, 2018

Why Spike Lee’s laughing at the Ku Klux Klan

Spike Lee’s new film BlacKkKlansman tells a true story of an African–American policeman infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan. Its themes of blaxploitation, racism and oppression, says the filmmaker, perfectly reflect the political climate we live in now. “When Kevin [Willmott, the film’s co-writer] and I came on board, our No. 1 concern, as storytellers, was to connect this period piece to present day. We had to con-nect. So, we did our research.”