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Cheap emotions (at the movies)

Cheap emotions (at the movies)

. On Colin Firth & Julianne Moore, Ken Branagh & Kurt Wallander, and the Hurt Locker Movies can make you cry, so can TV. Pop songs manage it frequently, classical occasionally. Books now and then, and theatre almost never. Art, once in a lifetime. Recall Noel Coward: “Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.” +++ . […]

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Inserting heart into the chill of a Venn diagram: mathematical, bureaucratic Venn becomes a Zen perception; lap dances slide into overlap chances; two bright notes coalesce into one dark tone. I heart this graphic. It’s by the designer Aaron Krauss from a little corner of his website. +++ Here is a musical co-relative, Everytime We […]

Gigantic baby and tiny dad (Ron Mueck)

Gigantic baby and tiny dad (Ron Mueck)

. A little day music; Australia’s favourites Did anyone else listen to ABC’s Classic FM over Easter? They ran a program called First Time Classics – listeners wrote in with their stories of the music that turned them on. Yesterday the weekend “extravaganza,” came to a climax, with hosts Christopher Lawrence, a Classic stalwart, and […]

The Australian Ugliness at 50, and a tale of two book covers

The Australian Ugliness at 50, and a tale of two book covers

Last night saw the launch of the 50th anniversary edition of The Australian Ugliness, a book by Australia’s seminal modern architect, Robin Boyd. Boyd’s brilliantly witty and pointed rant against middling apathy coined one of those sticky phrases which don’t wash off, like “the lucky country” – but unlike that, “Australian ugliness” is rather harder […]

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The Crikey culture blog

Brief lessons in history from the man in the wheelchair, Tony Judt

Brief lessons in history from the man in the wheelchair, Tony Judt

I have every intention of filling the vast empty spaces of my brain with useful stuff, like practical recipes and plant names. And pre-19th century music. And history. Esp history. But there is something about History as a subject that prompts the term ‘eye-glazing.’ Blame the teachers, of course. (As a writer remarked, she avoided […]

Earth hour dinner

Earth hour dinner

A most convivial dinner during Earth Hour. The hostess was keen for candles; beeswax from Germany. Choose flattering wick over electric. Imagine how much power we wouldn’t be expending if Sydney looked like this every night: Our hostess: The artist guest: The filmmaker guest: The indigenous festival director guest: +++ Food picture notes for commenter […]

Why the Archibald matters, and why it doesn’t. And why people like it.

Why the Archibald matters, and why it doesn’t. And why people like it.

. In short: Why the Archibald matters: It matters because the Archibald is about the oldest subject in the history of oil painting and the oldest theme in the history of art: the portrait and the figure. Why it doesn’t: The portrait does not figure very much in today’s “contemporary art practice.” It’s not cool […]

Your direct personal fate

Something for the last week of Lent: ___ ‘This world as you experience it is your direct personal fate.’ ___ The Dean’s December, Saul Bellow

Cigarette papers

Cigarette papers

“TankBooks are for people on the move, lovers of literature and connoisseurs of design. Try one and you’ll be hooked.” The TankBook list: Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness Ernest Hemingway: The Undefeated and The Snows of Kilimanjaro Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony Rudyard Kipling: The Man who would be King, The […]

Chatroulette and Ben Folds being brilliant, ditto Jon Stewart

Chatroulette and Ben Folds being brilliant, ditto Jon Stewart

I was going to write about Simon Schama’s Power of Art (Sundays, ABC2) but can’t resist putting up this wonderful distraction. Sorry, Simon-san. (Afternote, before: this was going to be such a simple post; but it was a shaggy dog in disguise. Grr!) At this point you should be playing the youtube which is what […]