Author: Tim Kroenert

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Not-so-nice guys have sexist cake and eat it too

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 May 2016

    As is the time-honoured tradition of Hollywood PIs, Holland has long bound the wounds of some unresolved grief in alcohol and cynicism. Notwithstanding individual tastes that are by no means aligned with gender, this is the kind of movie that can tend to appeal to puerile male interests while diminishing respect for women. In this regard Shane Black, a mainstream filmmaker who is more self-aware than most, tries to have his cake and eat it too, by both drawing and subverting the objectifying male gaze.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside Nauru nightmare

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 May 2016
    4 Comments

    With PNG's Supreme Court finding last month that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was unconstitutional, the shamefulness of Australia's border protection policies was once again laid bare. Advocates will be familiar with the facts and arguments that Chasing Asylum articulates. What sets it apart is its wealth of hidden camera footage caught within the grim confines of the centre on Nauru, and Orner's conversations with detainees and social workers who bore witness to the dire daily reality there.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Neglecting and reconnecting with elderly parents

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 May 2016
    2 Comments

    The film explores the dynamic between men and their ageing parents, as Frank, trying to make up for neglecting his relationship with his own dead mother, clashes with Sarah's neglectful adult son. Essential to this sifting of family and belonging as central to the identity of suburban males, is a rumination on houses as homes versus property. As a real estate agent, Frank is repeatedly chastised by a young father who feels increasingly priced out of the market.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Changed by faith in a miraculous child

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 May 2016

    Despite its epic scope it is also deeply intimate and, dare I say, spiritual. Roy regards his son with a mixture of stern, protective love, and helpless wonder. They are joined in their quest by Roy's childhood friend Lucas, a state trooper converted to Alton's cause after literally seeing the light in his eyes. Also by Alton's mother, Sarah, who of all the cohort has the most direct experience of the 'sense of awe' that ultimately unfolds from the 'mystery' of Alton's story.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sad story of a tragic opera wannabe

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 April 2016
    3 Comments

    Socialite and amateur operatic soprano Marguerite cuts an intriguing and tragic figure, devoted to her craft but oblivious to her lack of talent. Yet the joy she gains from believing she is a great singer doesn't depend on the reality or otherwise of that belief. Is it right or wrong for those who care for her to allow her to continue in her delusion? The question echoes the concept of a life-lie, invoked by Henrik Ibsen to argue that human beings are sometimes better off living in at least partial ignorance of reality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Singing and subverting White American history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 April 2016
    1 Comment

    The show's implicit subversiveness runs deep. It is embodied in the fact that its cast consists of mostly Black and Latino performers portraying White characters, using a vernacular and musical styles popularly associated with these cultural groups. It thus stands as a riposte to the history of black/brownface and whitewashing in popular entertainment. Crucially, in a show about 'founding fathers', it is the story's women who not only provide its emotional core but are also the most fundamentally heroic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Icelandic farmers like rams to the slaughter

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 April 2016

    When a remote valley in the north of Iceland is struck by an outbreak of scrapie - a fatal, degenerative disease that affects sheep - Gummi, Kiddi and their farmer neighbours must face the prospect of conducting a mass slaughter. This is very much a communal crisis, and a consideration of the socioeconomic hardships of traditional Icelandic sheep farmers in modern times. But it's also a teasing-out on the personal level of Gummi and Kiddi's emotional and practical responses to this turn of events.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sherpa Spring challenges Western privilege on Everest

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 March 2016

    If Peedom was expecting to find signs of a growing sense of self-agency behind the docile facade of the legendary 'Smiling Sherpa', she couldn't have predicted a rawer or more tragic scenario against which it would play out. Predictably the turn of events does not sit will with the Western climbers and tour operators, who feel that the outlay of time and money, not to mention the 'bucket-list' imperative to conquer the peak, entitle them to proceed. Polite facades peel away to reveal ugly attitudes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Eye on the messy ethics of drone warfare

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 March 2016
    5 Comments

    With more than 30 dead in Brussels just a few short months after the horrors in Paris, the Western world again confronts an assailant in ISIS who deals in fear and bloodshed. In contemplating our responses to such attacks we recognise the historical and current geopolitical realities that have bred the ideologies that fuel them. This messiness is the stuff of a new British film that arrives in Australia this week, which explores the plight of those who might be 'collateral damage' in the hyper-technological 'war on terror'.

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  • MEDIA

    'Jilted' Brownless saga shows AFL sexism still runs deep

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 March 2016
    7 Comments

    It's time someone called out this whole Billy Brownless/Garry Lyon saga for what it is. These former AFL footballers and sports media colleagues have fallen out over the past few months, over a reported affair between Lyon and Brownless' ex-wife, Nicky. This is not merely a salacious non-story. It is the nadir of a grubby grain of sports journalism that serves as the mouthpiece for an industry that has a long way to go before it leaves accusations of racism, homophobia and misogyny in its wake.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Great white filmmakers can't dismiss diversity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 March 2016
    6 Comments

    When questioned about diversity in his films recently, Joel Coen replied: 'You don't sit down and say, "I'm going to write a story that involves four black people, three Jews, and a dog".' The answer is disingenuous at best. Filmmakers choose what stories to tell and how; with a few exceptions, the Coens tell stories about white men. Just as Quentin Tarantino ought to continue discussing the role violence and misogyny play in his films, the Coens should engage meaningfully with questions of diversity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Humanity found in ritual amid death camp horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 March 2016

    In the history of the Second World War and the deathly screed of the Final Solution, the Sonderkommando cuts a pitiable figure. These Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz and other death camps who were forced to perform the logistics surrounding mass murder - the carting and disposal of dead flesh - though patently victims, were viewed by some as collaborators. Son of Saul provides an immersive and impressionistic extrapolation of this ethical and actual horror.

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