section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Titanic sets human tragedy apart from Hollywood gloss

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Legend has it that upon its original release, Titanic was listed as running for two hours and 74 minutes, to placate 'dumb' Americans averse to films over three hours. Titanic's strength is not its trite central 'lust story' but its accumulation of small human tragedies against the disaster of the ship's final hours.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Australia's mystic river

    • Poet
    • 03 April 2012
    3 Comments

    That river is almost embarrassed at the space it occupies — professionally shocked to be spotted despite the camouflage dust it wears. It scrawls on the grey-soil plains. This consecrated vellum is read by cockatoos.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Close-ish encounters with two queens

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 March 2012
    4 Comments

    I saw a gloved hand at the window and that was it. The experience turned out to be the one time when I saw the Queen 'in the flesh'. I had gone under duress, having even at that young age vestigial republican tendencies. A few weeks ago I went with more enthusiasm to see another Queen. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Geriatric sex and dignity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 March 2012
    4 Comments

    The characters' move to India is not merely about stepping outside of comfort zones, but also stepping beyond the familiar in order to examine life in, literally, a new light. Graham has unfinished business there that dates back to his youth. Ageing tomcat Norman simply wants to get laid.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greek peasant's faithful fatalism

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 March 2012
    7 Comments

    Maria was born into poverty and did not have much luck in escaping it. Yet she was an unchallenged believer, who would say regularly, Oti thelei o Theos: Whatever God wants. This, while I would huff and puff and mutter that God helps those who help themselves. But part of me envied Maria her certainties.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Man versus wind

    • Alistair Stewart
    • 27 March 2012
    4 Comments

    The day has no front teeth, it raves in the street, it is grey as a tap, a murky x-ray of a multiple trauma. The front door keeps whistling old songs about going away ... these hinges hate me, not one screw will stay put. They are moving out.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stynes a man of flesh and steel

    • Joe Caddy
    • 27 March 2012
    8 Comments

    Jim Stynes was such a determined character that he joined me in swimming the 1985 Pier to Pub at Lorne, even though he did not know how to swim — he completed the 1200m open water swim doing a kind of dog paddle. In 2001 I officiated at his wedding. Today I will officiate at his funeral.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Investment bankers and other monsters

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 March 2012
    1 Comment

    The action takes place in 2008 on the eve of the GFC, at an investment bank loosely modelled on Lehman Bros. The CEO is monstrous; a kind of sinewy bishop to capitalism, gaunt and vicious. Yet even the most principled characters are shown to compromise to varying degrees in the name of self-interest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stynes a living breach of the rules

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 March 2012
    11 Comments

    He was a notorious transgressor on the football field, and the last years of his life were a sustained transgression. Terminal sickness has its own code. It is normally handled and propitiated by silence. Jim Stynes seemed to do it a different way.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Prodigal son's shoeless stroll

    • Mark Austin
    • 20 March 2012
    2 Comments

    A drink from the sole is more refreshing than any bottled river. I felt the cushion of grass. It did not exclude, but wrapped its spines around me, tickled my dying ankles to rattle, greasing the bearings of my toes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Banning Dante's Divine Comedy is a human tragedy

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 March 2012
    17 Comments

    The 17th century Ottoman traveller Evliya Celebi's Book of Travels describes Christians as pigs for slaughter. Yet its beautifully imagined world is open to Christian readers who can forgive the comparison. In the same way Dante has much to offer beyond derogatory depictions of gays, Jews and Muslims.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Showing love to child offenders

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 March 2012
    3 Comments

    One of the boys had been charged with murder. The details of his alleged deed revealed a process of systematic humiliation and cruelty towards the victim. It was extremely difficult to reconcile this when looking into the face of a 14-year-old boy.

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