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Cate Blanchett plays the voice of Valka in How to Train Your Dragon 2. DreamWorks

Celebrities are silencing career pros in animation voice-work

The release of DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 has once again brought into relief the fact that animated feature films now regularly attract a host of Hollywood stars and high-profile performers…
Vidal sprinkled an almost limitless supply of bon-mots across our recent history. Antidote Films

Lest we forget: Gore Vidal and the United States of Amnesia

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia – by the Australian film-maker Nicholas Wrathall – has been doing the rounds of festival circuits since its release last year, and is currently showing at special…
Death in Paradise has proven a rating’s hit for the ABC – why would that be? ABC

Australia’s screen industry workers should watch more TV

Television is a voracious medium – and yet I would argue many of those commissioning screen content in Australia have little appetite for experimentation. Australia’s digital free-to-air service, in metropolitan…
Norman McLaren working on Begone Dull Care, 1949. National Film Board of Canada

Norman McLaren: a late, great animator now drawing applause

Animation is all around us – from Pixar to manga to animated gifs. As with any creative field, it has its unsung heroes – the innovators who have shaped and defined the art form. So it was a great delight…
For Buffy fans, Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be the Slayer. Wikimedia Commons

Vampires beware: Buffy is the unslayable pop culture text

Give them enough blood and vampires keep on feeding – but give academics Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and the same phenomenon occurs. Much Ado About Whedon: The 6th Biennial Slayage Conference…
Director Richard Linklater goes for the complexity of lived time in Boyhood. Sydney Film Festival

Linklater puts the hood in Boyhood at the Sydney Film Festival

Boyhood is the front-runner in this year’s Sydney Film Festival Competition, to be decided on Sunday. In it, American writer and director Richard Linklater looks at a young boy’s life from the beginning…
Guy Pearce plays Eric, alongside Robert Pattinson as Reynolds, in Australian director David Michod’s second feature film The Rover. Sydney Film Festival

The Rover brings unremitting fury to the Sydney Film Festival

The Sydney Film Festival Offical Competition this year has featured a range of male (and a few female) protagonists who are either without domicile, or whose domicile is severely threatened. I have already…
Melodrama makes the universe morally legible. Sydney Film Festval

Does Locke have the drive to win the Sydney Film Festival?

The phone connection illuminates the dashboard screen. “Ivan Locke,” says the man behind the wheel. “Ivan. Where are you?” says a woman’s voice. “I’m in the car,” he replies. This direct way of answering…
We were promised hoverboards by 2015 – ain’t gonna happen. dangerismycat

We love reliving the 1980s, but only as farce

History is generally made of things that happen. This truth often prejudices us to ignore the importance of the things that don’t. In this spirit, I would like to bring attention to the significance of…
The show not only repeats the historical marginalisation of black people, but enacts their current marginalisation. FOXTEL

Why Mad Men’s treatment of black Americans is a problem

Matthew Weiner, the creator and “showrunner” of Mad Men, is famous for his pernickety attention to detail. The office furniture, clothing, and hairstyles of Mad Men must change, faithfully, with each year…
The reimagining of previous Prisoner characters brings depth and empathy to a world of female criminals. FOXTEL

Why Wentworth is raising the bar in Australian TV drama

There’s no escaping it. Wentworth, FremantleMedia’s reimagining of the Reg Grundy cult classic TV series Prisoner, is packing a punch far above its weight – and probably all industry expectations. A project…
There’s a case to make for public service broadcasters’ role as a preventative health initiative. Joe 13

Keep watch: your kids would be worse off without the ABC

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
The cinema industry needs to be more open to changing its distribution model. palomaleca

Only at the movies? Home truths about cinema ticket pricing

In the last fortnight, senior executives from cinema operators in Australia, including Village Roadshow and Palace Cinemas, have come out defending their decision to raise movie ticket prices. But do their…
Let’s pause to consider the rich mythology of this 75-year-old icon. James

Holy birthday, Batman! Sizing up the Caped Crusader at 75

This year the world’s most popular superhero, Batman, celebrates his 75th birthday. From inauspicious beginnings in a six-page comic to the transmedia anchor of one of the world’s largest media conglomerates…
Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Oscars. Paul Buck/EPA

The Academy Awards and racial diversity – what are the odds?

Oscars nominations and winners this year offered an unparalleled level of racial diversity. In the headline categories, Lupita Nyong’o won for Best Supporting Actress, Alfonso Cuarón was the first Mexican…

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