profile

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.”

film July 7, 2018

Gary Oldman on fame and his most famous roles

He trained for a career in British theatre, but Gary Oldman has since appeared in some of Hollywood’s top-grossing film franchises and played some of history’s most famous men. Here, the Oscar winner opens up about learning his craft and the value of insecurity. “It would be a sad day to really be able to sit there and watch yourself and go, ‘Wow, I’m fantastic in this.’ You should always be questioning and pushing yourself, and having doubt and insecurity is a good thing, but it can’t immobilise you.”

art June 30, 2018

Artist Yvette Coppersmith on the meaning of self-portraiture

Archibald Prize-winning artist Yvette Coppersmith’s principal subject is herself, in works created with little concession to how they might be perceived by others. “To make a work without an awareness of an audience is virtually impossible, even though I began doing portraits or drawings of faces to hang in my childhood room, and that’s probably what I still want to do. It’s a very private process. It’s really private, actually. It’s only the fact that you’re an artist and part of your role is to share your work.”

books June 23, 2018

‘From the Wreck’ author Jane Rawson

Combining a real-life shipwreck and an alien octopus doesn’t seem an obvious way to explore the impact of mankind on the environment, but, for author Jane Rawson, the message in From the Wreck couldn’t be more imperative. “We’re very keen to look elsewhere and say, ‘Oh, this is terrible in developing countries’ … We seem to be blissfully unaware that some of the worst deforestation in the world is happening in Australia … We have one of the worst extinction records in the world.”

music June 16, 2018

Dark Mofo guest artist Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson has been a creative pioneer for decades, working across genre, time and place. Now 71 and still prolific, she continues to push boundaries with virtual reality projects. “You, yourself, your body kind of disappears and you have this incredible freedom to fly and to observe things that you wouldn’t be able to do in your body. So it’s almost like you’re as free as your imagination and you become your own imagination. It’s very, very thrilling.”

art June 9, 2018

Patricia Piccinini’s changing nature

Artist Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures of hybrid and transgenic species evoke a future where the environment is dramatically changed by human intervention – whether for better or worse is in the eye of the beholder. “We don’t create for art’s sake, for beauty’s sake. We create to make the world ‘a better place’, but are we actually doing that?”

film June 2, 2018

Yolanda Ramke’s auteur layers

Screenwriter and actor Yolanda Ramke has now added directing to her list of achievements, turning her 2013 Tropfest zombie short Cargo into a feature-length film with the backing of Netflix, and bringing a distinctly Australian subtext to international viewers. “Ultimately, this is a story about parents and children, and about what we’ll do to protect and preserve those we love.”