Four Stars

Book Review: Whitney Scharer explores a real life romance in The Age of Light

August 9, 2019

The year is 1926, and American model Lee Miller has arrived in Paris. Leaving behind a successful career at Vogue, she’s ready to take her place behind the camera, rather than in front of it. After convincing surrealist Man Ray to take her on as his assistant, she begins her education, but soon finds herself […]

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Book Review: Tony Birch’s The White Girl pushes beyond the limits of love in one family’s experience of the Protection Act

July 29, 2019

The town that makes up the main setting of Tony Birch’s new novel The White Girl is a fictional one, but it could have been anywhere in Australia. The novel tells the story of Odette Brown, an Indigenous woman who was raised on the mission in Deane separated from her family, and in particular her father. She lives on […]

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Book Review: Bindy Pritchard’s Fabulous Lives offers a series of rich vignettes from a motley crew of characters

July 22, 2019

A suburban family finds a prehistoric egg. A lonely woman aids a fallen angel. An American woman plots to take the Parisian honey industry by storm. These are just a few of the moments captured in Bindy Pritchard‘s stunning short story collection Fabulous Lives. Curious, yet always relatable, Pritchard’s vignettes are filled with the sort of […]

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Book Review: Inspector Gereon Rath returns in Volker Kutscher’s The Silent Death

July 8, 2019

The year is 1930. With talkies on the rise, the age of silent cinema is coming to a close, and it seems there’s someone on the Berlin streets who’s not quite ready to let it go. Cinema starlets are showing up dead at an alarming rate and, as if Inspector Gereon Rath doesn’t already have […]

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Book Review: #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement is a strong anthology from a diverse choir of voices

June 25, 2019

In October 2017 when the hashtag #MeToo went viral, a lot of the popularity was chalked up to some rich, white celebrities speaking out. What these media reports failed to acknowledge however was that the movement’s true founder was Tarana Burke. This new anthology, #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement, is broadens #MeToo’s scope, whilst […]

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Book Review: Amanda O’Callaghan’s This Taste for Silence marks the arrival of a quietly macabre talent

June 24, 2019

The body count is high in Amanda O’Callaghan’s debut short story collection, This Taste for Silence. From the very first story, death, murder and unexplained disappearances emerge as a dominant theme in this collection which has been described by Ryan O’Neill as ‘utterly haunting.’ Brisbane-based author O’Callaghan is an internationally acclaimed writer of short (and very […]

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Book Review: No stone has been left unturned in Elizabeth Kuiper’s Little Stones

June 12, 2019

Little Stones might be the debut novel from Australian writer Elizabeth Kuiper, but it won’t be her last. The novel, of which an early version was long listed for the Richell Prize, published in Award Winning Australian Writing and received the Express Media Prize for the best work of fiction, marks the arrival of a new voice in Australian writing. One […]

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Live Review: Rudimental + Sneaky Sound System – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (10.06.19)

June 12, 2019

UK outfit Rudimental closed out the rescheduled Australian leg of their massive “Toast To Our Differences” world tour in style at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena on Sunday night, helping to elevate their fantastic album Toast To Our Differences to even greater heights. Joining the band to bask in the musically driven madness of the Melbourne crowd, […]

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Film Review: Happy as Lazzaro (Italy, 2018) is magical realism par excellence

June 11, 2019

Over the recent years, it has come to my attention that some of the most problematic films that have attained a lot of critical derision have come from films that explore the trope of magical realism. Recent efforts such as Collateral Beauty, Life Itself and The Book of Henry have tried to be life-affirming by […]

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Live Review: Seth Sentry + Birdz + Odd Sox – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne (08.06.19)

June 11, 2019

If you had never been to a Seth Sentry show, you would probably be unprepared for the shenanigans, or at the very least you’d know his personality was inclined towards them through his music. Seth has been away from the touring circuit for awhile but, alongside the release of his recent single “Wrong One” seemingly […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Third Wife (Vietnam, 2018) is an entrancing, haunting and sensual experience

June 11, 2019

It feels absolutely wonderful to see a Vietnamese film in this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Of course, there have been many Vietnamese film in film festivals before but, with a stronger focus on genre-centric cinema over the recent year, it feels invigorating for a Vietnamese critic such as myself. This year, we have Ash Mayfair‘s […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is like a film directed by Puff the Magic Dragon

June 7, 2019

Most documentaries are good at providing observations about a subject. They are often unobtrusive and just like a fly-on-the-wall. But what do you do when you’ve chosen to chronicle an individual who is an illusionist and expert prankster by day? TV director, Ben Berman grapples with this as well as the notion of the truth […]

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Album Review: Emotions flow freely as Meg Mac gives us all a little bit of Hope

June 7, 2019

Hope can be a genuinely hard thing to find these days, but can often be found in the places we don’t think to look. Meg Mac’s new album offers us a quiet moment of hopeful reflection, and also brings with it a gentle reminder of her vocal and lyrical talent. Recently coming off the end of […]

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Album Review: Polish Club – Iguana (2019 LP)

June 7, 2019

Here’s a fun fact: despite the commonly held belief that they can do it whenever they please, Iguana’s can only change colour when placed under stress or basking in the sun. Now that I’ve dazzled you with my Year Seven standard understanding of the animal kingdom, you must know that just like Iguana’s, Polish Club […]

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Film Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters pays loving tribute to its forebears, with monster battles and throwbacks galore

June 3, 2019

It’s finally here! The Godzilla franchise continues with Godzilla: King of the Monsters! Previous director Gareth Edwards has been replaced by Michael Dougherty, best known for his horror efforts like the Halloween anthology film Trick ‘R Treat and the Christmas movie Krampus. With an all-star cast of acclaimed thespians, rising talents and franchise returnees and free reign […]

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Film Review: Rocketman blasts the Elton John musical biopic into the stratosphere

May 28, 2019

Only several months after cinema screens were graced with Bohemian Rhapsody and part of the journey of Queen’s meteoric rise to fame. We now have Rocketman, which examines another flamboyant and influential musician, Elton John, and unlike the former, this film decidedly takes a bit more of a leap both stylistically and also narratively. Because […]

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Album Review: Crooked Colours’ LP Langata bridges the magic of Vera with new flair

May 17, 2019

Since Crooked Colours‘ release of Vera back in 2017, the trio has become something of a ‘tour de force’ within Australia’s production scene. Vera, built around a profound introduction of their sound, was the perfect launching pad for the group; with outstanding singles such as “Come Back To You”, “Vera” and “I Hope You Get It” […]

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Film Review: Little Woods is a remarkably assured directorial debut from Nia DaCosta, with two great lead performances

May 13, 2019

When one brings up the word “survival” in cinematic terms, usually some would think adventure stories in foreign environments like tropical islands, forests or jungles. Others would think of contained thrillers, where stories would be set in one small setting like a hostage situation in a building ala Die Hard, Under Siege or Speed. But […]

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Album Review: Kim Churchill’s I Am (2019 EP) finds the brilliant balance between the warmth of summer and life

May 13, 2019

Even a week after the release of Kim Churchill’s new EP I Am, I still have positive, yet complicated, feelings about an EP that has provided me with a little solace in a life that has recently taken a turn for the busier. I’ve particularly enjoyed the juxtaposed nature of the collection, with its moments […]

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Album Review: Fire and Whistle Theory – Take Me Alive (2019 EP)

May 3, 2019

Three years since the release of their debut EP, Golden Guns in 2016, Brisbane blues rockers Fire and Whistle Theory, have released their sophomore EP Take Me Alive. Featuring a collection of tried and tested crowd favourites and new songs, the band took a live approach to the recording, hoping to capture a raw, genuine […]

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