Life cycle, for Bruce Dawe and Paul Kelly by Vin Maskell

KellyDawe


You could call it an illusion, a trick of the stage lighting. Or maybe it was just tiredness that created the moment.

Hamer Hall. October 2001. Paul Kelly is onstage. His grey hair, what little there seems to be of it, is close-cropped. His face appears gaunt, his eyes in shadow. He has looked like this for some years now but it is only at this moment, late in the concert, that for some reason, perhaps merely a blink of my eyes, I think the songwriter bears a passing resemblance to one of Australia’s most popular writers. Continue reading

My five “extra” songs of 2019 by Rick Kane

Since way back in 2004 a couple of good mates and me have had a Top 10 Songs of the Year night. Our friendships stretch back to the dawn of the 80s (and even earlier) and we know each other pretty, pretty, pretty well. Comfortable just hanging out, sharing laughs and curious to hear what songs have caught each other’s ear. For some reason our Top 10 is a Top 12. I can’t even remember why. We also include another five songs.

The five “extra” songs thingy is not meant to imply that they could not make the Top 12. We added this dimension to the night back in 2014. You see, Dylan had recently released The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete. So we decided we needed to hear each other’s five faves from that magnificent stew. Since then we have treated the five extras as a chance to play some songs that had a more personal connection or that might distract the flow of your Top 12. Or whatever.

So, without further ado, here’s my 2019 “extra” five… Continue reading

Blundering through the mud-encrusted trenches by Richard Jones

A look at 1917 (MA 15+)

1917Director Sam Mendes had a large movie portfolio behind him before his interest in World War 1 was sparked by an ageing family member.

Some years back his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, told him a tale about a young soldier instructed to cross enemy lines, alone, to alert a fellow-British outfit they were about to run into a carefully staged German trap. So Mendes took up the story although instead of a single soldier entrusted with the information he enlists two. Continue reading

Best movies for 2019 by Richard Jones

Favourite

We had a bit of a blank stretch through October and November but still managed close to our normal annual tally of 30 movies. And there were a few trips to mainstream cinemas during school holiday periods to keep the granddaughters entertained. Not surprisingly, those films such as Ralph Breaks The Internet, Dumbo and Secret Life Of Pets don’t make this Top Ten list. Continue reading

Best of 19’s crime by David Wish-Wilson

WArner19

This year has been a good one for crime reading, with some favourite new novels out by Adrian McKinty The Chain, Emma Viskic Darkness for Light, Dave Warner River of Salt, Garry Disher Peace and Jock Serong Preservation. For my Christmas reading, I’m looking forward to cracking into Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, edited by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre, following their earlier pulp collaboration – Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980. I’ve got a chapter in the new book, but I know I’m going to love the range, research and comment across the whole thing. Continue reading

Down the bunny’s hole with Hitler by Richard Jones

JOJOA look at Jojo Rabbit (M)

I’m not averse to an occasional humorous take on a serious historical event so I was looking forward to Taika Waititi’s spoof movie. He’s very busy with this production. He directed the film and played the role of Adolf Hitler who’s 10-year-old Jojo’s imaginary friend and adviser, occasionally a bit gruff with the little lad. And as well Waititi had written the script which won him the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at this month‘s Academy Awards. Continue reading