Comic book columnist for literary site Bookslut.
My comicbookslut column has reviews, interviews, and more every month.
Bookslut appears the first Monday of every month.
TRIPLE J MAGAZINE
Film reviews, interviews, and features every month.
More on triple j magazine over here.
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Pop-culture critic for The Australian Ballet’s Behind Ballet blog.
Pieces include: stage magic and special effects in the 1870 premiere of Coppélia; a response to the death of Merce Cunningham; and why Jim Henson, Madonna, and Richard Branson are the hypothetical heirs of ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev.
Something longer? “The Many Dreams of Swan Lake” traces the transformations of the ballet throughout popular culture for The Australian Ballet and Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake:
Classic vampires, political machinations and talking unicorns have all arisen from artists calling on Swan Lake to invoke particular moods, themes or traditions in ways that Tchaikovsky could never have dreamed.
‘GOOD TASTE IS THE ENEMY OF ART’: AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILIPPE MORA
Cult filmmaking and cultural cringe in Metro Magazine #161, 2009.
French-born Philippe Mora spent his childhood in Australia before moving to London as a young man to pursue his painting, make historical documentaries, and eventually create the ‘Bretchian musical’ Trouble in Molopolis (1969). When Mora left London bohemia and returned to Australia, however, he proceeded to direct three cult films featured in Mark Hartley’s recent Not Quite Hollywood documentary. Mad Dog Morgan (1976) is a hallucinatory bushranger tragedy starring a scene-stealing Dennis Hopper; The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) is a satirical musical about an alcoholic superhero, pre-dating Peter Berg’s Hancock (2008) by over 25 years; and Howling III: The Marsupials (1987) takes an existing horror franchise and subverts it into something uniquely Australian.
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MIDNIGHT AT MIFF?
The 57th Melbourne International Film Festival 2008 report in Senses of Cinema.
For the past few years, whispers have circulated of the Melbourne International Film Festival’s (MIFF) intention to cull its juggernaut-sized cinema choices down to something a little more curated, a little more manageable. 2008’s festival was certainly not that year. As overwhelming as ever, the steamroller of screenings over 17 days ensured that two different patrons may well attend completely different festivals. Just as it’s impossible to see everything, it’s impossible to discuss everything seen.
Allow me to focus, then, on some of the strange and exciting shifts which made this year’s program unique, and that potentially mark it as a moment of transition for the festival. MIFF 2008 has a newfound interest in the visceral over the intellectual; in looking back towards the past as much as the future; in the sometimes awkward mix of art and cult cinema; and proof that, as Richard Moore said when announcing the line-up, “commercial is not a dirty word”.
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Two years(ish) of weekly short film reviews for Melbourne’s ThreeThousand online.
MATT FRACTION INTERVIEW
An interview with the writer of Image Comics’ Casanova from the sadly-defunct Atomic Threat webzine, 2006.
“When one’s book features a three-headed robot monk with the brain of a bubblegum sexbot as the hallmark of your supporting cast, one runs the risk of being, shall we say, dismissed as a serious work…”
TWIN PEAKS: “NO, IT CAN WAIT TIL MORNING…”
Surrealism, Soap Opera, and Mystery in Twin Peaks from Lounge Critic: the Couch Theorist’s Companion, 2004.
Take the opening of second season as Exhibit A. After a series of sublime soap opera cliffhangers (Cooper is shot! Leo too! Nadine attempts suicide! And the mill burns down! Et cetera) the show’s rabid audience had waited week after week for its dramatic return – to be greeted with a full eight minutes of Cooper lying injured while the world’s oldest room service man and the Giant stand above him in turn. Was this the arthouse and TV-unfriendly Lynch returning, refusing to offer us conventional narrative and easy closure? Or just that Lynch was never that interested in Laura’s murder? In fact, he admitted he hadn’t wanted to reveal the murderer’s identity at all…
Or check out the Lounge Critic book for the full version, intercut with whip-smart discussion of David Lynch’s brand of televisual surrealism by Saige Walton.