section: Arts And Culture

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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

    Unready for sudden fatherhood

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 01 April 2014
    5 Comments

    My father took a train to Melbourne, watched his Swans play, fell asleep on the homeward journey, missed Bungaree, and walked miles from Ballarat to his parents' farmlet in the heart of the spud country. I see him tramping an empty road, blackness mitigated by a wan winter's moon, hear the clash of leather boots on bitumen, the baying of disturbed farmyard dogs; him scarcely more than a big boy who played bush footy.

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Metaphysical selfie

    • Philip Salom
    • 25 March 2014
    1 Comment

    Post-God voices of you complained: there were so many of you there were none. And, pre-God, there was less than one of you. That's a hard call. That's a stern said. Back off in the beginning colloids of an all-or-nothing exploded you. How scary are you? The Dough-maker's hand was poised, unseen in the shadows. Then in tactile, alarmingly, quarkily, scrolling and shaping you. A life-hand a touch. Retreating into the dark.

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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

    Tony hates lefty shirkers

    • Colleen Keating, Sarah George and Barry Gittins
    • 18 March 2014
    6 Comments

    The PM's poker face flickers like a faulty switch, he comes across as dense or kitsch when he obfuscates and dickers ... Get your righteous on, dear Tony; and feed all the forsaken to your economic Kraken conjured by your faith a'phony, knowing that your right to rule is your equal right to maim, and the discourse runs the same: the worker is a tool.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homeless wonder on Victoria's plains

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 14 March 2014
    2 Comments

    Moira, her kids Zara and Rory, her partner Shane and his brother Midge are the kind of people you wouldn't think to look twice at. Living on welfare and on the constant lookout for abandoned houses to either live in or raid, they're known colloquially as 'trants' (short for itinerants). These otherwise overlooked and forgotten people might be parochial, but they're never parodied. They might be uneducated, but they have a voice.

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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

    When the black lady sang

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 12 March 2014
    4 Comments

    Soprano Deborah Cheetham was in her 30s when she was reunited with her birth mother. It was the beginning of her understanding of herself as a Yorta Yorta woman and member of the Stolen Generations. At the time she was in the throes of composing her opera, Pecan Summer, based on the 1939 protests by Aboriginals from the Cummeragunja Mission. She soon learned that the story was closer to her than she had realised.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Performance review

    • N. N. Trakakis
    • 11 March 2014
    2 Comments

    After being shown in by the girly secretary into his spacious office, you were invited to sit in a corner chair, from where you stared at his polished black shoes, and his new brown cardigan.

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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

    Luckier man's lessons in grace

    • Brian Doyle
    • 04 March 2014
    9 Comments

    So let us review: a man sent me a deft wedding gift even though I was the man who was marrying the girl his son had loved for years ... The dad was sad when the young couple broke up. But he was delighted that she was married to someone she loved, he told me years later, and of course he sent me a present, out of affection for her and respect for me ... So it was that yet again I learned about grace, and about being an actual man ...

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