section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Punk's holy fools still putting it to Putin

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 11 April 2014

    Journalist Masha Gessen describes the members of Pussy Riot as 'Putin's ideal enemies'. In recent months, their nemesis has hosted the Olympics, taken control of Crimea and clamped down on media. For a group born out of 'the repressions of a corporate political system that directs its power against basic human rights', Pussy Riot still has much to roar about, even if its signature 'punk prayer' sounds more than ever like a plea.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nightmares and daydreams about women and power

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    Sex addicted woman Joe's story is marked by innumerable sexual encounters with random men. Often it is explicit, and thoroughly unpleasant. It culminates in a pointed statement about societal double standards regarding gender and sex. By contrast, Carol's story about trying to get ahead in a man's world is affirming and uplifting at every turn. Both stories are about women and power, but ultimately Carol's is the more empowering.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of an overeater

    • Isabella Fels
    • 09 April 2014
    9 Comments

    I am a wicked creature of the night. The more I munch in sinful silence the more I feel I am trespassing with the dead. Food did my head in even before I took tablets for my head. I turn into a beast with a huge midnight feast as I go wild with chocolate, cake and ice-cream. The pounds come on like thunder with all my eating blunders. I have come a long way from my bulimic teens, but I still am obsessed, and think I will always be.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love is not rocket science

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 08 April 2014
    3 Comments

    You're hopeless, emotionally. You're like a box jellyfish that floats into my world, and stings me with silence. It's only love, it's not rocket science. That's why girls cut their wrists, because they wear their hearts there.

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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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