Author: Tim Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Former Xavier students' love transcends AIDS horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 August 2015
    25 Comments

    Timothy Conigrave's memoir Holding the Man is a classic of contemporary Australian queer literature. Originally published in 1995 a few months after Conigrave's death from AIDS, it is an account of his relationship with John Caleo, whom he met in 1976 when they were both students at the Melbourne Jesuit private boys school Xavier College. Conigrave and Caleo were together for 15 years until Caleo's death (also from AIDS) in 1992. This film adaptation of their story is nothing if not bold.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teen girls learn the language of love and violence

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 August 2015

    The characters, black and poor, inhabit a world where violence is as an expression both of material want and of dignity. One scene sees Marieme and the members of her all-girls soccer team walking home after dark. The girls are garrulous. But in the shadows of the flats, male voices utter vaguely threatening suggestive remarks. The chatter dissipates to silence as the group dwindles to individuals. It's a quietly harrowing picture of women's too-frequently justified fear of violence from men.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A euthanasia parable in the outback

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 August 2015
    3 Comments

    Dismayed by the prognosis that he has only three months to live, Broken Hill cabbie Rex abandons his work, home and mates and sets out for Darwin to seek the help of prominent euthanasia advocate Dr Nicole Farmer (a fictional Dr Philip Nitschke). The story is as much about the journey as the destination, although there are those who would argue that its pat 'choose life' message just feels too easy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Skank-shaming Amy Schumer

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 July 2015
    4 Comments

    It's not hard to see why Amy Schumer was offended. Last week, Melbourne KIIS FM breakfast co-host Matt Tilley earned the ire of the proudly feminist comedian by suggesting one of her characters is a 'skank'. The sleight comes not just from Tilley apparently missing the fact that the story is semi-autobiographical. It sits far too easily in a tradition of harmful double standards regarding male and female sexuality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Why Marvel was wrong to whitewash 'wifebeater' Ant-Man

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 July 2015
    1 Comment

    It is the most kid-orientated of the recent Marvel films — so maybe not the right forum for deconstructing the domestic violence sins of a key character's past. Still, considering the whole Black Widow/slut-shaming debacle that followed The Avengers: Age of Ultron (and that film's alleged gendered stereotyping of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow), it is not a good look to note that Marvel president Kevin Feige last year literally laughed off the prospect of spousal abuse being touched on in Ant-Man.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love and violence in Thomas Hardy’s England

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 July 2015
    4 Comments

    English literary journalist Lucasta Miller noted that Hardy's title, Far From the Madding Crowd, with 'madding' taken to mean 'frenzied', is an ironic nod to idyllic perceptions of rural life; Hardy 'disrupts the idyll'. At the heart of the story is Bathsheba, a proud and independent young shepherd who becomes the new proprietor of her late uncle's farm. Her story unfolds against stunning rural landscapes that provide a sublime stage for violence both physical and emotional.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Carefully burning Scientology

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 July 2015
    12 Comments

    If you're going to apply a blowtorch to an institution as wealthy and litigious as the Church of Scientology, you might best be advised to first apply a magnifying glass. Alex Gibney details the dark side of the movement: its dubious tax-exempt status; allegations of psychological and physical abuse of current members and harassment of former members. But he is equally interested in unpacking the nature of belief in Scientology: what draws people to it, and also what drives them away.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Who killed Amy Winehouse?

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 July 2015
    2 Comments

    There are early signs of the substance abuse that would later see her become a target of gleeful media scorn, and ultimately cause her death at the age of 27. But during one interview from the dawn of her career she reflects that if she was famous, she would go mad. She was painfully aware of the gap between the persona painted by a spiteful media and fickle public, and the preternaturally talented working-class girl from London who just wanted to sing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside the trauma of childhood change

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 June 2015

    Pete Docter was inspired to tell this story after observing changes in his preteen daughter's personality. His research included consultation with psychologists specialising in emotion, including University of California professor Dacher Keltner, whose insights included the role of sadness in strengthening relationships. The story is an exploration on the effects on children of loss and change, and the role of pain.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dubious revolutionary Russell Brand takes it to the banks

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Few would deny the comedian and self-styled revolutionary has fire in his belly. He wonders why, in the wake of recent financial crises, more bankers have not gone to prison. These are salient questions, and Brand doesn't baulk. But there is a touch of Bono about Brand: wealthy and egotistical, you have to wonder how much of his invective against 'the one per cent' is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Missing girls expose town's threadbare soul

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 June 2015

    World-weary detectives Juan and Pedro arrive in an agrarian township on Spain's Guadalquivir Marshes to investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters. But their investigation among the town's various innocents, eccentrics and reprobates uncovers a much larger, sinister burr within the very soul of the town. The smell of fascism lingers thickly in the air.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Child assassin's slow escape from cult corruption

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 June 2015

    The children, their mothers and overseer inhabit a world all their own, morally as well as geographically. They know little but the rustic textures of life inside the compound; where every Friday they paint their faces like jungle animals and sing karaoke as a reward for a good week's killing. Even during their bloody errands, the urban landscape evokes a Martian dereliction. Only Alexander has started to smell danger.

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