Author: TIm Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exploitation in gay adoption story

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 17 April 2014
    5 Comments

    Closeted gay lawyer Paul operates under a well-founded fear that his sexuality will imperil his career. He and his partner, drag queen Rudy, find that their status as a gay couple is used against them as they fight to retain custody of Marco, an abandoned teen with Down syndrome. This is a story marked by grave injustice, though we are expected to accept on face value that Marco will be better off with Rudy and Paul than in foster care.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nightmares and daydreams about women and power

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    Sex addicted woman Joe's story is marked by innumerable sexual encounters with random men. Often it is explicit, and thoroughly unpleasant. It culminates in a pointed statement about societal double standards regarding gender and sex. By contrast, Carol's story about trying to get ahead in a man's world is affirming and uplifting at every turn. Both stories are about women and power, but ultimately Carol's is the more empowering.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    North Korean propaganda pans Australian miners' might

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 April 2014

    An intriguing insight into the North Korean film industry, whose strangely beautiful films have been used to obfuscate serious human rights abuses. Offbeat documentarian Broinowski acknowledges this fact too lightly, approaching her subjects simply as humans, who are part but by no means the sum of a much larger corrupt system. She learns the tricks of their trade, looking for clues about how she might shut down a gas mine to be built near her inner-Sydney home.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Quiet rage against Saudi sexist cycle

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 March 2014

    Wadjda is innately political. It is the first feature shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first to be made by a female Saudi director, and concerns itself with the pressures women experience in this rigidly patriarchal society. But it is primarily a film not about politics but about humanity. Its characters find self-empowerment and connection not in rabble-rousing but in small acts of rebellion against oppressive social norms.

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  • MEDIA

    Too soon for MH370 punchlines

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 March 2014
    5 Comments

    There is little doubt that it is too soon and the story too tragic to be the butt of jokes. But the fact that such responses exist speaks to the ways in which this story has permeated the public imagination in unhealthy ways. The engagement is frequently marked by genuine concern, but also contains a deeply voyeuristic fascination that is divorced from the humanity of these events. People love a mystery, and an unhappy ending even more.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex, lies and political theory

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 March 2014
    3 Comments

    A new film follows the experiences in 1961 of German-American Jew and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who coined the phrase 'the banality of evil' in relation to Nazi 'desk-murderer' Adolf Eichmann. The cerebral nature of Hannah Arendt provides a counterpoint to another current film about a strong, flawed woman: Gloria is remarkable for the way it unabashedly honours the emotional and sexual lives of its older characters.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dumb dealings in Nazi art war

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 March 2014
    1 Comment

    'If you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed,' implores art scholar Frank Stokes. He subsequently leads a team of academics and artisans into World War II Germany on a mission to rescue important works of art from the Nazis. Great art possesses the power to move and inspire, and to document and critique a culture. But is the deadly mission worth the risk to life?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Transcendent ordeal of an outback pilgrim

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 March 2014
    3 Comments

    Robyn Davidson's trek in 1978, 2700km overland from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only four camels and a dog for company, is the stuff of legend. Her physical ordeal takes her also to the jagged ends of her emotional and mental being, as she is pestered by tourists, for whom 'the camel lady' is already a living legend, and by paparazzi, who assail her at her most frayed. There is no missing the spiritual dimensions of her journey.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Senior citizen's road trip to dignity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 February 2014
    2 Comments

    Woody surely has dementia, which would explain his certainty that a sweepstakes flyer stating that he has won $1 million is authentic. While one son would prefer to put Woody in a home, the other, David, agrees to honour his wish to cross state lines to claim his fictitious winnings. Woody is aware of his own dwindling physical and mental agency, and understands that the small gifts of dignity afforded to him by David are not small at all.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    AIDS outlaw battles Big Pharma

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 February 2014
    3 Comments

    Homophobic Texan electrician Ron learns he has AIDS and may have only 30 days to live. Desperate for a cure, he heads to Mexico, where a disgraced doctor treats him with unapproved pharmaceutical drugs. Ron begins to smuggle the drugs into the US, to distribute to other AIDS sufferers, including Rayon, a trans woman who becomes Ron's friend, business partner, and ally against the Big Pharma interests that try to shut him down.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A distasteful slice of gender politics pie

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 February 2014
    1 Comment

    Adele is a single mother suffering the debilitating after-effects of past trauma. But her story offers no robust consideration of mental illness. In stark contrast to her male counterparts, Adele is merely pitiable and helpless, and lacks the agency to raise herself from despondency. Weakness is thus conflated with femaleness. Only the arrival of a strong, practical and violent man serves to raise her Adele from her stupor.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pilger's cheap shots won't ease Indigenous oppression

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 February 2014
    13 Comments

    Rabble-rousing Australian journalist John Pilger is prone to hyperbole. He refers to a 'concentration camp' located on Rottnest Island and proceeds to denounce the atrocities that occurred there. He conducts a vox pop amid flag-waving Australia Day revellers, goading them with questions about the white invasion with predictably cringe-worthy results. He may have good intentions, but he's not doing Aboriginal Australia any favours.

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