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y separately published work icon Australian Book Review periodical issue  
Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... no. 402 June-July 2018 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Welcome to ABR’s second film and television issue! Our first, in 2015, examined the brooding era of television drama. In our second we turn to film, celebrating the stellar movies of past decades with an exciting survey of readers, commentators, and industry professionals, while also looking at the immense changes in film today. In recent months, the #MeToo movement has deposed Hollywood moguls and sounded a powerful call for equality and the end of abuses in a male-dominated industry. Hollywood’s increasing and overdue recognition of filmmakers of colour, with awards glory and box office smashes, offers hope for a more inclusive film community. The medium is changing, as streaming blurs film with television and sparks new audiences and more diverse stories. At this pivotal moment in film history, ABR aims to start a spirited, timely conversation. From 1940s classics to today’s superhero movies, we discuss the silver screen’s achievements while examining its injustices and complexities. ABR plays a starring role in our cultural discourse. It is a privilege to guest edit the publication where I began my writing career and to reflect on film with colleagues in a great magazine of ideas. I hope the issue will inform, delight, and stimulate discussion but, most of all, share our enthusiasm for Australian and international film.' (James McNamara, editorial introduction)


* Contents derived from the 2018 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Wider Resonances : A Wide-Angled Approach To Australian Arts, Paul Giles , single work essay

'Love and Lament offers a bracingly revisionist and upbeat account of how the arts flourished across a broad cultural spectrum in Australia over the course of the twentieth century. Margaret Plant, an emeritus professor of the visual arts at Monash University, argues explicitly with the thesis propounded by Keith Hancock, Donald Horne, and others that Australian cultural taste was ‘conservative and backward’. In ranging widely across architecture, film, photography, music, dance, and popular culture, as well as literature and painting, she demonstrates convincingly that, as she puts it, there was ‘no dormant period’ in Australian cultural and artistic life during this time.'  (Introduction)

(p. 16-17)
Dream States and Scapes, Fiona Wright , single work essay

'Bohemia Beach is a highly anticipated novel – the first work by Justine Ettler in twenty years. In many ways, it is a continuation of her oeuvre: a fast-paced, almost madcap tale about a wildly careening woman and the violent men she is drawn to, with obsession and addiction driving much of the narrative and narration. The novel is set largely in the Czech Republic in 2002, when the country was on the cusp of change: still dealing with the legacy of communism, but also turning towards the European Union and the market forces and systems that it entails.' (Introduction)

(p. 20-21)
Collapse, Carol Middleton , single work essay

'‘Accidents happen.’ In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, one of two accidents that frame the narrative of The Bridge, these words are tossed up in the turbulent minds of a grieving relative. But accidents, unlike natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, droughts – don’t just happen. Whether it’s the collapse of the Westgate Bridge or a car crash, accidents are due to human error. Lives are cut short; others are damaged irrevocably. The survivors – family, friends, co-workers – struggle, sometimes for a lifetime, with the fallout: where to apportion blame, how to assuage the guilt, how to survive the trauma? These questions permeate The Bridge, consume the grieving characters, and undermine the whole community living in the shadow of the Westgate Bridge. The stuff of tragedy.' (Introduction)

(p. 24-25)
'The Drama of It : Television Comedy's New Aesthetic', James McNamara , single work essay

'Since I wrote about the golden age of television for ABR’s first film and television issue in 2015, the medium has evolved. Streaming has roared to prominence, with online services like Netflix disrupting television’s form and market as dramatically as cable did to broadcast television in the early 2000s. But where the stars of the cable era were dramas – great, brooding epics of American anti-heroes – the foul-mouthed stars of the streaming era are increasingly its comedies, which are delivering some of the most poignant stories on screen.'  (Introduction)

(p. 34-36)
Hidden History, Suzy Freeman-Greene , single work essay

'In 1971, Australian filmmaker Joan Long wrote the script for a film about gentrification in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. At a screening in London, it was introduced by director Peter Weir. When asked who the scriptwriter was, Weir replied that she was a housewife, according to a friend of Long’s. Around this time, director Gillian Armstrong applied for a job at the ABC, only to be told that they didn’t interview women for jobs in camera, sound, or editing; she was asked to send in details of her typing speed.'  (Introduction)

(p. 44)
Bouillabaisse, Varun Ghosh , single work review

'One of my favourite podcasts at the moment is called The Rewatchables. It deconstructs movies (mainly from the 1990s and 2000s) and offers an enjoyable mix of amusement, nostalgia, and insight. It also speaks to the desire, particularly strong in the internet age, to hear what other people think about content already enjoyed. Brian McFarlane’s Making a Meal of It: Writing about film offers a somewhat similar experience in written form. The book – divided into three parts that play on its prandial title – is a collection of previously published reviews and essays by one of Australia’s pre-eminent film writers.' (Introduction)

(p. 45)
Even It It's Late, Judith Bishop , single work review
— Review of Zanzibar Light Philip Mead , 2018 selected work poetry ;

'There is a shimmering, ludic intelligence to this collection of poems, Philip Mead’s first since 1984. The word ‘comeback’ is apt, with its grace note of gladness for renewed possibilities. Opening any new work, the anticipation is acute: will I be changed by reading this, and if so, how? What might I think, feel, or recognise that I have not before?' (Introduction)

(p. 56)
Voices, Dennis Haskell , single work review
— Review of Hard Horizons Geoff Page , 2016 single work poetry ; The Left Hand Mirror Ron Pretty , 2017 selected work poetry ;

'I have no idea if Pitt Street Poetry is located in Pitt Street, in the centre of Sydney’s CBD, but it has certainly made itself central to poetry publishing in Australia. Its list includes such fine poets as Eileen Chong, John Foulcher, Jean Kent, and Anthony Lawrence; that reputation will be added to by these books from Geoff Page and Ron Pretty, two stalwarts of poetic activity in this country.'  (Introduction)

(p. 57)
Poet of the Month with Philip Mead, single work interview (p. 58)
[Review Essay] Breath, Brian McFarlane , single work essay

'In Simon Baker’s film, there is a visually stunning moment – one among many – of a giant curving wave on the verge of breaking that recalls the Japanese artist Hokusai’s famous ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’. What these two images share is the sense of rapturous beauty that doesn’t underestimate the challenge it offers. It seems appropriate to start on this note as the cinematography (the work of Marden Dean and Rick Rifici) creates from the outset the centrality of the surf to the film, as indeed it is in Tim Winton’s 2008 novel.'  (Introduction)

(p. 60)
Still Point Turning : The Catherine McGregor Story (Sydney Theatre Company), Ian Dickson , single work essay

'In the introduction to her seminal memoir of life as a transgender person, Conundrum (1974), the author Jan Morris makes it clear that she is not concerned with merely narrating the facts of her condition. ‘What was important’ to relate ‘was the liberty of us all to live as we wished to live, to love however we wanted to love, and to know ourselves, however peculiar, disconcerting or unclassifiable, at one with the gods and angels.'' (Introduction)

(p. 63-64)
Bliss (Malthouse Theatre), Fiona Gruber , single work column

'The opening of Peter Carey’s satirical novel Bliss (1981), where the body of Harry Joy lies dead on the lawn while his spirit hovers above, is one of the most memorable in modern Australian literature. Harry’s laconic out-of-body narration hovers like a spare and airy jazz riff until a defibrillator jolts him back into the land of the living, and a newly recognised living hell. It’s not an easy scene to stage, and in Tom Wright’s adaptation at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, it’s been dismembered.'  (Introduction)

(p. 65)
Critic of the Month with Brenda Niall, single work interview (p. 66)

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Last amended 4 Jun 2018 11:59:42
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