Author: TIm Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abused kids meet with Grace

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 December 2013

    Grace is both a character and a state of being. As the lead supervisor of a foster care facility, she oversees her charges with a combination of firmness and friendship. She strictly enforces rules and protocols while remaining unerringly empathetic, easily glimpsing the pain and trauma that lies just beneath the hostile or eccentric facade. But her power of empathy has its roots in past experience that threaten to smother her present.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition stirs the ghost of Jimmie Blacksmith

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 December 2013
    5 Comments

    More than a century after Federation, Australia has yet to resolve this tension between a romantic notion of what 'Australia' is, and the depravities that were undertaken to attain it. It may be couched in more polite terms, but it rears its head in ham-fisted and fundamentally disrespectful approaches to Indigenous policy, such as recent moves by the Coalition Government that threaten to undercut the spirit of Native Title legislation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Children of the revolution

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 December 2013

    As high school students they are too young to have begun the cultural revolution. But they try to fan its flames and bring its ideals to bear. Their idealism is at times tested against the cynicism or jaded moral certitude of older revolutionaries, one of whom chastises them for entertaining legitimate doubts about the means employed by Mao Zedong. There clearly is a gulf between healthy skepticism and wilful blindness.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Corrupt cop's crack at redemption

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 November 2013

    Police detective Bruce Robertson is corrupt, violent, misogynistic, and a depraved drug addict. But he is not entirely inhuman, and Filth spends much frenetic energy trying to map the ghastly inner wounds that bleed greenly into his outer corruption. But just how do you build sympathy for a character whose near-to-first on-screen act is to sexually assault the underaged girlfriend of a murder suspect?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sad life of a serial killer whale

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 November 2013
    1 Comment

    I was grateful that I had my back to my colleagues. My tears were occasionally due to sadness, but just as often they were a result of outrage. Blackfish finds much ground for moral outrage in its consideration of the suffering endured by trained orcas. It is an impassioned riposte to a commercial model in which death and suffering, human and cetacean alike, are merely the byproducts of profit.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Troubled Belfast's rickety punk prophet

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 November 2013

    In a city riven by violent hatred between Catholic and Protestant, non-religious and charismatic music lover Terri Hooley managed to stand outside and above the conflict. He became a kind of rickety prophet to Belfast's disaffected youth, as godfather of the city's burgeoning punk music scene. If any community had a reason to embrace the rage and unity of punk culture, it was Terri Hooley's Belfast.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Would-be nun's Holocaust history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 October 2013
    2 Comments

    On the eve of taking her vows as a nun, 18-year-old novice Ida learns that she is Jewish. This sets her on a journey of self-discovery as she seeks to, literally, uncover the bones of her past, which has its roots in the Holocaust. It is timely to reflect on these matters in the wake of last weekend's anti-semitic violence in Bondi. It is better to grasp the bones of truth than walk in pious ignorance past the mass graves of history.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Making a mess of civil rights history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 October 2013

    The idea of viewing the American civil rights movement through the eyes of an African-American butler, ensconced for decades at the White House in the service of eight different presidents, is tantalising. How disappointing then that The Butler is such a sloppy, soppy mess. And with all due respect to Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey is a big part of the problem.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Father Bob, dissident prophet

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 October 2013
    20 Comments

    Father Bob is cast in a similar mould to Peter Kennedy and Bill Morris, those other earthy Australian clerics who according to the popular narrative were suppressed by the hierarchy for flouting outdated practices. This is an appealing narrative for a secular public that has become disillusioned with institutional religion, especially due to the sexual abuse crisis and inequitable practices regarding marriage and the role of women within the hierarchy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The film about Indonesia that Tony Abbott must see

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 October 2013
    3 Comments

    In Australia the reality of ongoing Indigenous disadvantage is proof of the effect of past atrocities on the structure of ensuing society. Likewise, despite some democratic progress in recent times, Indonesia's unhealed past remains a source of serious human rights problems. The Act of Killing demonstrates a direct continuum between the evils of the past and the present political reality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mythologising family history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 September 2013

    Polley approaches the subject with great patience, like an anthropologist who has a deep love for those whom she is studying. In the beginning she instructs her interviewees simply to start from the start and tell it how it was. She no doubt hopes to find clues in the detail, but she also dignifies each participant by allowing them to have a voice. She is self-effacing, yet the questions she asks are bound up in her very existence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A broken woman hastily reassembled

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 September 2013
    2 Comments

    Jasmine is a tragic figure, and her fatal flaw is that she is entirely self-absorbed. But she is also a victim; the product of a society that expects women to conform to norms that disempower them. It was not her husband's downfall and the resultant material loss that caused her breakdown. It was the many years she spent in a marriage that was fundamentally abusive.

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