Author: Tim Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The dark side of a migrant's American Dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 March 2015

    Abel's life is pointedly contrasted with Peter's, a young truck driver who has been the victim of several violent assaults on the job. Peter idolises Abel, for whom the Dream has apparently come true — if Abel can make it, so too can Peter. The problem is that Abel's Dream stands on the backs of ordinary workers like Peter. Peter is a tragic antihero coming to learn that for many, the Dream will remain just that.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Edward Snowden's lessons for a secure Australia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 February 2015
    2 Comments

    Snowden is both passionate and highly articulate, wanting nothing less noble than to see the delineation between those with power and the people over whom they wield it redrawn. The real meat of the matter is not the revelations themselves, but how in their light governments and societies desiring security will move to decide just how much freedom they are willing to surrender in order to acquire it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Living and dying for Martin Luther King's dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 February 2015
    1 Comment

    The theme song from Selma references Rosa Parks and Ferguson in the same breath. Indeed this is a powerful period drama that resonates loudly in a modern age where the injustice against which Martin Luther King raged continues to haunt Black America. Oyelowo's King is charismatic and proud, but plagued by doubts and capable of great sadness when even one of his followers falls in the midst of the struggle.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar Romero's cinematic sainthood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 February 2015
    6 Comments

    The late Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who as of this month is one step closer to beatification, has long been regarded as one of modern history's great champions of the poor. In 1989 he was 'canonised' on celluloid. The production has not aged well but is elevated by the late Raul Julia, whose conflicted, heroic portrayal of Romero is surely as iconic as the man himself.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Linguist's life and language lost to Alzheimer's

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The brilliant linguistics professor Alice Howland and her biologist husband, John, sit down to break the news to their adult children: Alice has early-onset Alzheimers. At first Alice maintains a fragile, trembling stoicism. But when she tells them the disease may be passed on genetically, the façade slowly implodes. 'I'm sorry,' she weeps, horrified by the prospect of what she clearly sees as a betrayal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grieving pilgrim's wild days in the wilderness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 January 2015
    1 Comment

    Cheryl Strayed is haunted by her past — by her own sins, and by tragedies that have befallen her. As she walks, she hums, and the music she hears in her head leads her in and out of the past. Her solo 1600-plus km trek along America's Pacific Crest Trail is a metaphor for her life: each hardship she overcomes brings her a step closer to facing down the fierce regrets that gnash at her heels.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Doomed actor's devastating ego trip

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 January 2015

    Riggan's ego is immense. The action takes place backstage during the days leading up to the premier of his latest vanity project, and onstage during a series of previews. Riggan is out of his depth, prone to humiliating blunders, including one that results in a near-naked dash through the crowds of Times Square. But his resolve to affirm his greatness in the eyes of a media and public that has dismissed him is maniacal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ten films that will get you talking

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 December 2014
    8 Comments

    It's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drug mule's poo strike stymies bad cops

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 December 2014

    During an end-of-season trip to Bangkok, impressionable country footy dork Ray is badgered by one of his teammates into turning drug mule. He is picked up in Melbourne, where a couple of nasty cops detain him under supervision for seven days, waiting for him to pass the heroin-filled balloons he ingested. Ray is beset on all sides by systemic corruption, which makes his refusal to poo — fuelled not by greed but by a kind of everyman nobility — seem truly heroic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Films a blind man loves

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 December 2014
    1 Comment

    Try watching slasher parody Scream 4 with your eyes closed and see how much sense it makes. On the other hand, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Kevin Smith's Clerks, with stories driven by strong characters and dialogue, offer up cinematic pleasures even a blind person can appreciate. Welcome to the world of America's Blind Film Critic, Tommy Edison.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dark descent to ethics-free journalism

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 November 2014

    The 'intervention dilemma' is a perennial consideration for journalists and those who pay them and ought to be dictated by robust personal and institutional ethics. Louis Bloom is an example of what happens when ethics are stripped away and replaced with the bottom line. He raises himself from petty thief to the rank of nightcrawler — a cameraman who specialises in shooting the aftermath of accidents and crimes, and selling the footage to news networks.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grieving women rock immutable Islam

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 November 2014
    2 Comments

    The three recently reunited sisters are immersed in whispered conversation, during the second day of mourning at the house. In the next room, older men in ceremonial garb chant a mourning ritual. Suddenly, the sisters get the giggles, only to be angrily shushed by one of the men in the next room. But grief can't be stage managed, and it seems only natural that the process should be guided by normal human interaction.

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