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Arts Features

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 2:23pm

Following on from Arkane Studios’ surprising success with Dishonored, its sequel aims to push the boundaries even further, expanding on many of the mystical and supernatural elements that helped make the original game a hit.

 

But does any of it have some degree of scientific foundation? We spoke with...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:15pm

Poor George Lucas.

 

Though the US filmmaker is far from being a one-trick pony, his varied and wide-ranging contribution to the pop culture pantheon is often overlooked in favour of a series he started work on back in the ’70s – a cinematic legacy kicked off by a little film you might not have seen called Star Wars.

 

Indeed, little media attention is ever really...

Posted 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:27am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Two of Hollywood's pariahs return to the screen this week, in a genre-diverse lineup featuring excellent entries from China and Korea.

 

The drama is laid on thick this first week of November - I guess it's winter in America, so we have the luxury of stepping out into the sunlight...

Posted 28 Oct 2016 @ 1:20pm

Halloween is objectively the greatest holiday of them all. Fight me.

 

I mean, seriously, Halloween provides an opportunity to binge on horror movies, objectively the greatest art form of them all (fight me, again) and to gorge on lollies. What more could you possibly want out of a holiday? Christmas and yer birthday can get stuffed.

 

That said, every perfect...

Posted 28 Oct 2016 @ 12:00pm

A Flea In Her Ear is a rather vintage production.

 

Written back in 1907, it will hit the Sydney Theatre Company stage just shy of its centenary, which is a remarkable achievement in itself and says a lot about the staying power of Georges Feydeau’s world-renowned farce. Adding to the anticipation is the fact it has been updated by outgoing STC artistic director Andrew Upton and...

Posted 27 Oct 2016 @ 11:35am

“It’s the end of the world as we know it,” Michael Stipe once sang, “And I feel fine.”

 

A small, smug part of me has always appreciated that cavalier attitude towards the apocalypse – why shouldn’t you take a selfie as we ride this roller coaster into the fire? With the premiere of The Turquoise Elephant, it seems I’m not the only one. This viscous, delightfully dark comedy...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 3:20pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, everyone wisely backs off the major releases, because the alpha is in the house and hungry for box office dolla$.

 

That's right, folks: for those still not suffering from costumed-hero fatigue, Benadryl...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 3:13pm

The truth really is stranger than fiction. 

 

If it weren’t for the “based on a true story” tag slapped across Mel Gibson’s new film Hacksaw Ridge, it would be simply impossible to take the flick seriously. After all, the bravery of the lead character Desmond Doss defies belief, and the man’s decision to serve as a medic during World War Two while refusing to carry a rifle is so...

Posted 20 Oct 2016 @ 1:34pm

The hops are flowing this time of year, and Coogee Bay Hotel is celebrating in its glorious beer garden with a weekend-long festival of craft beer, cider, live music and food. The venue will host 20 stalls from Australia’s best brewers this Saturday and Sunday, and we picked five of our favourites to find out more.

 

1....

Posted 20 Oct 2016 @ 10:46am

Trying to pin down the Jackass boys for an interview spawns a wonderful mess of incoherence and entertainment.

 

Famed for their spontaneous on-screen antics, US larrikins Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuña and Dave England are in Australia for a series of live shows on their Filthy Seppo Tour, taking to the stage with comedy that’s bound to be full of copious...

Posted 18 Oct 2016 @ 2:57pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. There's some refreshingly original films here that feel like the delightful silver lining on a huge, puffy cloud of repetitive industry dross.

 

Honourable mention to NZ documentary Poi E, which didn't quite make the cut....

Posted 15 Oct 2016 @ 10:00am

After an exhausting stint of international touring, the Sticky Fingers lads have returned to Oz for the release of their new album Westway (The Glitter & The Slums), and to pull themselves back together before pissing off to the states.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, vocalist Paddy Cornwall is feeling cheeky and cheerful when talking to the BRAG, excited to discover that the...

Posted 11 Oct 2016 @ 2:57pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. One movie for every day of the week this time around - check out last week's write-up for the lowdown on Zero Days.

 

There's more Tom Hanks than you can poke a global conspiracy at this year, but there's...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 6:00pm

Everyone has that one work of art they encountered as a teenager that changed them forever.

 

For some, it’s the Star Wars films. For others, it’s Jeff Buckley’s Grace. But there aren’t many folks out there who can claim the work that permanently altered their adolescent worldview is a centuries-old Greek play.

 

Terry Karabelas is the exception to the rule, then....

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 5:52pm

Sydney’s cultural life sure does get trash talked a lot these days.

 

It seems like everywhere you turn there’s another blog or media outlet denouncing our artistic contribution as being almost nonexistent, and any trace of optimism is a hard find. But although it’s fair to say that the lockout laws have a lot to answer for, Sydney’s still got a great deal of kick left, and...

Posted 1 Oct 2016 @ 9:00am

It would seem almost perverse to talk about Peter Weiss’ The Persecution And Assassination Of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed By The Inmates Of The Asylum Of Charenton Under The Direction Of The Marquis de Sade (or simply Marat/Sade if you don’t feel like casually dropping that weighty title about the place) without the conversation taking a dark turn.

 

After all, the play is...

Posted 22 Sep 2016 @ 12:33pm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a curious reputation.

 

It’s part fantasy, part comedy, part drama, renowned for producing some rather questionable costuming over the ages. It’s also a tragic counterpart to the film Dead Poets Society, and in today’s age of incremental equality, has some rather dubious character motivations. Yet out of all the works in Shakespeare’s canon, it...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 3:54pm

Contemporary dance gets an odd rap these days. It’s not that those who practice the art form are necessarily demonised – it’s more that they’re not really understood.

 

Films like Step Up hold a disappointingly firm grip on modern cultural perceptions of the form, not to mention the stranglehold of rigid divides between so-called ‘high’ and ‘low' art. Indeed, for those who...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 2:13pm

For many animators, winning an Academy Award for your craft would be a career highlight.

 

But when Michael Dudok de Wit won his back in 2001, there’s no way he could have anticipated the phone call from Studio Ghibli asking him if he was interested in making a feature. The resulting collaboration led to the production of The Red Turtle, the first non-Japanese film Ghibli has...

Posted 20 Sep 2016 @ 4:26pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Animation leads the way, but there's also plenty of thrills, both documented and dramatised, to satisfy all you weirdos who prefer IRL life to drawings.

 

It's the kind of release week that caters to a broad range of audiences, composed of a broadly-appealing family funbag, a more...

Posted 15 Sep 2016 @ 9:30am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the release schedule is back to normal, but there's also the incredible Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) to contend with, so read up homies!

 

Back to your regularly scheduled giffage! Spring has sprung, bringing...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 3:40pm

Katherine Roberts is the senior curator for the Northern Beaches Council, and part of her colourful repertoire is overseeing the development of the 2016 Manly Arts Festival.

 

Now in its 23rd year, the festival...

Posted 10 Sep 2016 @ 11:00am

Is there anyone out there who enjoys their birthday? I mean, actually enjoys it?

 

For most of us, it’s just another day – a sad, morbid marker signifying nothing but our slow procession towards the absolute cessation of our being and the undoing of our bodies. Worst still, birthday parties suck. Just ask Saskia, the hero of Michael Booth’s new production Thirty-Three. For ole...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 2:00pm

“Truth is stranger than fiction... because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”

 

So said Mark Twain in his book Following The Equator: A Journey Around The World back in 1897, probably not expecting that his quote would still be timely and pertinent some 106 years after his death. The story behind Red Flag, the latest show by Australasian comedian and...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 1:49pm

Some 32 years ago, the teens of Springwood first fell prey to a shadow stalking through their dreams.

 

The bloodthirsty maniac with clawed hands hunted them through their nightmares, able at whim to transform into any one of their deepest fears. His name? Freddy Krueger.

 

Robert Englund, the man behind that famous burnt visage, has long since hung up the bladed...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 1:40pm

These days, opening a dialogue on technology is in itself an act of provocation.

 

At its best technology represents convenience, cooperation and content. But at its worst, it is capable of utterly dehumanising and alienating us, of unravelling the delicate emotional fibres that make up our relationships as human beings in the blink of an eye (or a Tweet).

 

Craig...

Posted 3 Sep 2016 @ 5:17pm

Today I saw Andrew Bolt at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. 

 

He said a lot of things that I found repulsive. He argued that formal events shouldn’t begin with an acknowledgement of country; that the science on climate change wasn’t settled; and that people shouldn’t be defamed for denying the Holocaust unless they could proved to be ‘wrong’....

Posted 1 Sep 2016 @ 2:03pm

To suggest that Jim Norton is a controversial comic might be an understatement.

 

The celebrated stand-up has even seen jail time thanks to his stunts, finding himself arrested as a result of a live broadcast entitled Teen Voyeur Bus. Not that Norton minds ruffling a few feathers: after all, for a comedian, almost any publicity is good publicity, and the provocateur is...

Posted 1 Sep 2016 @ 1:04pm

Andreea Kindryd is hands down the most interesting person I have ever interviewed.

 

Movie stars and celebrity crushes from my teen years past pale in comparison to Kindyrd and the warmth, honesty and frankness she exudes. I’m not joking: I genuinely wish that I could talk to her every day. 

 

Kindryd has also lived a fascinating life, one that would put most of us...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 5:09pm

The hottest tickets on the Fringe…

 

[COMEDY]

Jacques Barrett: Is Particularly Good At This

Where: Factory Theatre  When: ...

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