section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ten films that will get you talking

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 December 2014
    8 Comments

    It's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Aussie diggers' pen as mighty as their sword

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 December 2014
    9 Comments

    A soldier's life is usually one of bursts of brief action followed by extended periods of drudgery and boredom, and never was this more true than during this dreadful war of attrition that dragged on apparently interminably between 1914 and 1918. A book titled Aussie was published in 1920 as a bound collection of AIF soldiers’ own paper of the battlefield, wholly written, illustrated and printed in the field. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wee Mary MacKillop minds the shop

    • Brian Doyle
    • 16 December 2014
    4 Comments

    I can tell you that Fitzroy always was and will be a wry wilderness; Every colour and ethnicity and language you can imagine lives there... And now I see wee quiet shy Mary MacKillop there, minding a shop. She is fourteen. Her people are Scottish. She will be legendary, later.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drug mule's poo strike stymies bad cops

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 December 2014

    During an end-of-season trip to Bangkok, impressionable country footy dork Ray is badgered by one of his teammates into turning drug mule. He is picked up in Melbourne, where a couple of nasty cops detain him under supervision for seven days, waiting for him to pass the heroin-filled balloons he ingested. Ray is beset on all sides by systemic corruption, which makes his refusal to poo — fuelled not by greed but by a kind of everyman nobility — seem truly heroic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fighter who found community on the streets

    • Steve Sinn
    • 10 December 2014
    26 Comments

    Sue will always be for me flesh and blood, her trust I will forever cherish. Hers was a wretched life from the beginning to the end. But for some reason I feel impelled to lift her name out of the anonymity narrative that includes the vast numbers of people who have gone before us. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God's little twinkler

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 09 December 2014

    —trembly bubble of life —raindrop clinging still to cold window glass —illuminated deity —stunning —hosanna on heat —heaven in a melt —earth on its knees beneath serious sun

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How Phillip Hughes' death moved the nation

    • Brian Matthews
    • 05 December 2014
    4 Comments

    Greg Chappell has already made the comparison with the response to Princess Diana's death, but it goes back further than that, to John Donne, for example, in 1624: 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main'. Death haunts the newspapers and the airwaves. Just? Not at all. Every now and then, we cower and weep before Death's undiscriminating might.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Films a blind man loves

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 December 2014
    1 Comment

    Try watching slasher parody Scream 4 with your eyes closed and see how much sense it makes. On the other hand, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Kevin Smith's Clerks, with stories driven by strong characters and dialogue, offer up cinematic pleasures even a blind person can appreciate. Welcome to the world of America's Blind Film Critic, Tommy Edison.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homage to the king of herbs

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 December 2014
    7 Comments

    In pride of place on this feast day, a modest silver cross lies in a glass case. The cross is surrounded by leaves of basil, the plant that was supposedly found growing on the True Cross when it was discovered by St Helen in 326. The word basil means king, the plant is considered the king of herbs, and bunches of it are always used in the sprinkling of holy water.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A broken life gathered in beauty

    • Bill Rush
    • 02 December 2014
    5 Comments

    I hope no-one asks me what the preacher said ... for I'm looking south, where David strikes his harp in a riot of glass and the hymns wash over.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shock of the new bourgeois reality

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 November 2014
    9 Comments

    The need for artists to exist inside an economy regulated by middle class tastes and preferences restricts the possibilities for their work. But when our present is rocked by the incredible injustices we are watching unravel in Ferguson, artists are called upon to drop their aspirations for class mobility that is tethered to the material, and instead draw light on the immaterial, Emerson's 'secret'. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dark descent to ethics-free journalism

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 November 2014

    The 'intervention dilemma' is a perennial consideration for journalists and those who pay them and ought to be dictated by robust personal and institutional ethics. Louis Bloom is an example of what happens when ethics are stripped away and replaced with the bottom line. He raises himself from petty thief to the rank of nightcrawler — a cameraman who specialises in shooting the aftermath of accidents and crimes, and selling the footage to news networks.

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