Visions of Utopia and Superposition of three types

Patrick Hartigan
Two exhibitions of utopian abstraction enable comparison of pure ideological approaches with something gentler. The latter is more satisfying.

Married at First Sight

Helen Razer
You may not learn anything from the lab-coated matchmaking experts of Married at First Sight, but the show captures the reality of today’s dating culture.

The Magnetic Fields’ ‘50 Song Memoir’

Dave Faulkner
Composing a song for every year of Stephin Merritt’s life has resulted in The Magnetic Fields’ eclectic five-album tour de force, 50 Song Memoir.

MTC’s ‘John’

Peter Craven
Sarah Goodes’ MTC production of John features two actors at the height of their powers, in a drama from the master playwright Annie Baker.

Richard Long, Vernon Ah Kee and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Patrick Hartigan
Amid a deluge of data, land and lore tell a compelling story of the actual over the virtual world.

The Book of Mormon

Peter Craven
The Book of Mormon, from the creators of South Park, is a blasphemous riot of bad taste, making it a musical not to be missed.

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’

Christos Tsiolkas
In his tale of Portuguese Jesuit priests travelling in Japan at a time when Christianity was outlawed, Martin Scorsese returns to the complexities of faith, and makes his best film in 20 years

Cherry Glazerr’s ‘Apocalipstick’

Dave Faulkner
With a sharp and unpredictable songwriter, LA’s new wave pop trio Cherry Glazerr are walking in the footsteps of Blondie.

Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’

Christos Tsiolkas
Whiplash director Damien Chazelle has sought to deliver a classic Hollywood musical, but La La Land fails to spark.

Opera Australia’s Ring cycle

Peter Craven
Neil Armfield’s stark but powerful Ring delivers Wagner’s masterpiece as a triumph of the Australian stage, as good as could be imagined anywhere.

A. B. Original’s ‘Reclaim Australia’

Dave Faulkner
Hip-hop duo A. B. Original have delivered an incendiary album describing the experiences of Aboriginal Australia, and it’s the most exciting local release of the year.

Red Stitch Theatre’s ‘Uncle Vanya’

Peter Craven
Nadia Tass’s production of Uncle Vanya for Red Stitch suffers from some pretensions, but a superb cast does the incomparable Chekhov justice.

MONA’s ‘On the Origin of Art’

Patrick Hartigan
MONA’s On the Origin of Art features curation by a cognitive scientist, a professor of literature, a psychologist and an evolutionary neurobiologist.

Syd Arthur’s ‘Apricity’

Dave Faulkner
The shifting time signatures of Syd Arthur’s latest psychedelic album, Apricity, testify to the tight musicianship and broad influences of this band of brothers from Canterbury.

Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’

Christos Tsiolkas
Isabelle Huppert’s masterful turn in Elle, Paul Verhoeven’s latest skewering of middle-class concerns, is let down by a psychosexual bent with no convincing basis.

ABC TV’s ‘Rosehaven’

Helen Razer
In Rosehaven, Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola have delivered a comedy comparable to Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, with the wit to reflect on life’s disappointments without eschewing laughs.

‘Switzerland’ at MTC

Peter Craven
Joanna Murray-Smith’s drama about thriller writer Patricia Highsmith’s dying days sequestered in Switzerland is brilliant, sinister entertainment in the Hitchcock mode.

D.D Dumbo’s ‘Utopia Defeated’

Dave Faulkner
Australian solo act D. D Dumbo’s debut album Utopia Defeated marries African desert blues and Captain Beefheart skronk to a darkly mysterious lyrical core.

Joe Cinque’s Consolation

Christos Tsiolkas
In examining Australian society via a heinous true crime, Joe Cinque’s Consolation forces us to look at ourselves.

Australia's best TV drama, ‘Offspring’

Helen Razer
At the pinnacle of Australian drama, Offspring presents likeable female leads who can be enjoyed free of moral qualification.

Big Scary’s ‘Animal’

Dave Faulkner
Melbourne’s Big Scary have delivered a cycle of dark and intimate songs with a looser, live feel that makes it a masterpiece.

MTC’s ‘Disgraced’

Peter Craven
The brilliance of the MTC’s latest production, Disgraced, completes a trifecta of fine Australian shows.

The Delta Riggs’ ‘Active Galactic’

Dave Faulkner
With flashes of The Strokes and a debt to The Rolling Stones, Active Galactic has The Delta Riggs delivering swaggering dance-floor rock’n’roll the way it’s meant to be.

Ben Wheatley’s ‘High Rise’

Christos Tsiolkas
Director Ben Wheatley is too faithful to J. G. Ballard’s simplistic prose in High-Rise, missing the opportunity to refine its class politics for the present day.

Glass Animals’ ‘How To Be a Human Being’

Dave Faulkner
The second album of twisty pop from Oxford’s Glass Animals invites deeper investigation of its themes.

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