Author: Tim Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A broken woman hastily reassembled

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human stories from Tim Winton's Australia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 September 2013
    3 Comments

    A boy plays a treacherous prank on his brother while visiting the beach. A domestic violence victim finds comfort in a bizarre distortion of Christian faith. A man sees a news report and follows his memories back to the day of a childhood tragedy. A woman, grieving for a broken marriage, paws through her husband's box of memories. The filmmakers put their stamp on each story while paying due reverance to Winton's sublime prose.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Small stories of redemption in Laos

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 August 2013

    A psychologically scarred war veteran struts about dressed as James Brown. An annual 'rocket' festival sees men celebrate explosives, in a country riddled with unspent American bombs. And a ten-year-old boy, who is accused by his grandmother of being a bad luck charm, sets out to prove that he is not to blame for the tragedies his family has endured.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Smiling face of a quarter-life crisis

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 August 2013

    Frances and Sophie had been virtually co-dependent; a celibate lesbian couple, they'd joke. But with a new circle of friends and a new fiancé, Sophie is quickly outgrowing Frances, and this throws Frances into disarray. She approaches life with wide-eyed wonder, and tries to maintain the wonder no matter what life throws at her. But endless optimism can be wearying work.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blowing up the people smugglers

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 August 2013
    2 Comments

    As social commentary Elysium clearly has in mind any country that receives 'unwanted' arrivals of refugees. But it seems particularly timely in Australia, where the political response to asylum seekers who arrive by boat is simply to stop them. The response by the fictional bureaucrat Delacourt, to blow the smugglers' ships out of the air before they reach Elysium, certainly takes the 'stop the boats' mentality to its extreme.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Crime kids served celebrity gods

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'God didn't give me these talents and looks to just sit around being a model or being famous. I want to lead a huge charity organisation. I want to lead a country, for all I know.' In 2008–2009 a group of teenagers stole $3 million of jewellery and clothes from the homes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and other Hollywood stars. Coppola portrays this as an outcome of materialism centred on celebrity worship.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flawed humanity of a police shooting martyr

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 01 August 2013
    3 Comments

    On 1 January 2009, police in Oakland, California shot dead an unarmed African-American man, 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The event sparked riots, and renewed tensions around race and debates about police procedure. Underlying this politicised context is the story of a young father and former drug dealer who was trying, with mixed success, to turn his life around.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exploiting Van Nguyen

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 July 2013
    7 Comments

    Many Australians feel ownership of Nguyen's story, who was executed for drug trafficking in Singapore in 2005. Khoa Do more than most Australian filmmakers has the moral authority to tell that story without being accused of exploitation. Yet it is hard not to sympathise with the objections of Nguyen's family to Do's SBS new miniseries. Which mother would want public property made of her private grief?

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