Search Results: Tim Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to trap a terrorist

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 July 2014
    2 Comments

    The German port city of Hamburg was the place where Mohammed Atta and his collaborators planned the September 11 attacks. A sense of hyper-vigilance stems from this fatal embarrassment and pervades the current events. Betrayal is weighed against betrayal, and ethics and morality are calculated using the sliding scale of a greater good that is dubbed, not without irony, as 'making the world a safer place'. But safer for whom?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Loner's gifts to the lonely dead

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Some years ago my then next-door neighbour attempted suicide. Had it not been for the fortuitous arrival of his teenage son, and the heroic actions of another neighbour, the incident would have had a tragic outcome. For an individual to die alone at home amid the crowd of suburbia is one of the sadder, and sadly common, scenarios of modern Western existence. Italian-born British filmmaker Pasolini explores this phenomenon in Still Life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Film compounds real life drugs tragedy

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 July 2014
    1 Comment

    Ben and Tas Pappas, from Melbourne’s working-class north, take the skating world by storm in the 1990s. This film doesn’t skimp on the drugs-and-sex-addled reality in which they found themselves, fuelled by massive sponsorship dollars and the anarchic skating culture. But this is not the film's greatest tragedy. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The devastated face of Aboriginal disempowerment

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 July 2014
    2 Comments

    Charlie is disempowered, but not powerless, not yet. He has quit smoking, and ritualistically burns cigarettes he bums from a younger man in the community. He'd prefer to hunt and forage rather than consume the 'whitefella junk' peddled at the local kiosk, though his emaciated body and persistent cough reveal that he has already suffered much from the 'poisons' introduced to Aboriginal culture since the arrival of Europeans.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Good priest walks the ruins of the sex abuse crisis

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 July 2014
    5 Comments

    Ensconced in the anonymity of the confessional, a man who suffered injustice at the hands of the Church informs the priest, Fr Lavelle, that he plans to kill him. The killer's reason for wanting to inflict violence is that he was, as a child, a victim of abuse that went unpunished. Lavelle is not respected by his parishioners, despite the centrality of the Church to their community. Amid the ruins left by the abuse crisis he carries little moral authority.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Youths burned by the flames of self interest

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 June 2014

    When it comes to symbols of destruction and renewal, few are more potent than bushfires. That is particularly true in the Australian context. Galore's poignant coming-of-age story unfolds in the weeks prior to the 2003 Canberra bushfires. It is, in part, a rumination on adolescent self-centredness: its inevitability and inadequacy as a shield protecting the vulnerable, budding self from the flames of experience.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside the head of a mentally ill genius

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 June 2014

    Mental illness is no laughing matter. Except when it is. Frank is a musical genius, who spends his life with his face concealed inside a comically oversized head. His bandmates are in awe of him, especially starry-eyed keyboard player Jon, who in his naivety envies Frank's illness and the strange creativity that it entails. Things turn ugly when one member of the ensemble commits suicide during the recording of the band's debut album.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cancer teens in love and death

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 June 2014
    1 Comment

    Augustus and Hazel meet in a support group for cancer sufferers. During the course of their ensuing romance they both prove to be pragmatic about their own mortality. They share frank discussions about God and the afterlife, and gain little comfort from them. It's an inherently sad story, but to parallel the individual horror of their cancer with the experiences of Anne Frank during the Holocaust is a step to far.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    White messiah rides Rwanda's cycle of hope

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 June 2014
    1 Comment

    In 2002 US Cycling Hall of Famer Jock Boyer was convicted of lewd behaviour with a minor and served time in prison. Today he is the coach of Team Rwanda, a team for Rwandan cyclists, associated with aid organisation Project Rwanda. In Rising From Ashes, the traumatic experiences of his team members, all of whom were living witnesses to the 1994 genocide and lost family members to it, are footnotes to Boyer's redemption story.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and alienation in Scotland

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 May 2014
    2 Comments

    The succubus of medieval legend is a female demonic being, sexual intercourse with whom can result in sickness or death. This resonates uneasily with the attitudes of contemporary 'men's rights' movements who view women as social and sexual aggressors. The greatest irony confronting the 'succubus' of Under the Skin is that the femaleness that she had wielded as a weapon proves also to be what marks her out as a victim.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Feelgood celebration of white male privilege

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 May 2014
    1 Comment

    Given last week's unequivocal iteration of the dire state of Australian politics, perhaps we've earned the right to a bit of escapism. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty proves adept at turning the warm-and-fuzzies up to 11. Still there's no escaping the sense that Walter's ability to jet around the world in order to find himself is implicitly an expression of affluent, white male privilege.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Seeing double in Hockey's dystopia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 14 May 2014
    2 Comments

    The Double proffers a nightmare vision in which the human spirit is no match for the corrupt and corrupting power of a society obsessed with productivity and material achievement. In a week where we have seen an Australian Budget that gives favour to economic rationalism and the wellbeing of the wealthy, over that of some of our society's most needy citizens, such cynicism resonates powerfully. That is a tragedy.

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