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Fury Road revisits the originality of Australian New Wave film-making by representing absurd, new and null cultural signs. @Warner Bros

Stanza and deliver – the filmic poetry of Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road has generated heated coverage since its release last month. But focussing on the film's terse script may be missing the point: it should be read as a poem, and a provocative one at that.
Loggerhead turtle populations are facing a brighter future, but many other species are still in decline, while for others there are no data at all. AAP Image/Lauren Bath

We’ve only monitored a fraction of the Barrier Reef’s species

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some 1,600 species of bony fish, 130 sharks and rays, and turtles, mammals and more. Most have had no population monitoring, meaning we don't know how well they are faring.
George Brandis shocked the arts sector – and particularly the Australia Council – with his overhaul of the allocation of arts funding. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The arts minister has wrenched our culture away from the artists

The more the 2015 arts budget is examined the less sense it makes. The changes contribute little strategically or politically – they just make an entire sector nervous. And culturally, they will improve nothing.
One of the works on display at Earth and Sky:John Mawurndjul’s Mardayin ceremony 2000 (detail). Natural pigments on eucalyptus bark, 170 x 78 cm. Don Mitchell Bequest Fund 2000. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. © John Mawurndjul. Tarrawarra Museum of Art

Enthusiastic spirit: John Mawurndjul at Tarrawarra

Hetti Perkins has curated an exhibition of bark paintings by John Mawurndjul and Gulumbu Yunupingu that is currently on display at Tarrawarra Museum of Art. Who are these artists – and how have their lives shaped their artworks?
Duncan Graham’s 2010 play Cut does not reveal itself as a traditional play does – but it’s a powerful demonstration of the evolution of theatrical storytelling. Garry Cockburn

Playwriting doesn’t get better or worse – but it does evolve

Drama involves an altered representation of reality – and the way we understand both the representations and the reality evolve. Duncan Graham's recent play Cut shows how significantly those understandings change.
Cities are always much more complex than their popular perceptions. Daniel Lee

Perth could become a model for 21st-century urban planning

What is the future of Australia’s wealthiest state? The Conversation, in conjunction with Griffith REVIEW and Curtin University, is publishing a series of articles exploring the unique issues facing Western…
On the western edge of the continent there is a great deal to get the juices flowing. Carnie Lewis

Western Australian artists see things differently

What is the future of Australia’s wealthiest state? The Conversation, in conjunction with Griffith REVIEW and Curtin University, is publishing a series of articles exploring the unique issues facing Western…
Women – and little girls even more so – are desperate to see images and stories that don’t actively oppress them onscreen. Nadia Meli

The princess is not quite dead, but it’s time to let her go

Some time ago my then five-year-old goddaughter began insistently and, it must be said, somewhat repetitively humming a few bars that would quickly become one of the world’s most ubiquitous earworms. As…
Recent successes inspire hope the Kimberley (and places like it) will eventually be recognised for their deep intrinsic value. Leah Kennedy/Shutterstock

Carmen Lawrence: ‘Perhaps it’s not too late to recast ourselves as custodians of Western Australia’

What is the future of Australia’s wealthiest state? The Conversation, in conjunction with Griffith REVIEW and Curtin University, is publishing a series of articles exploring the unique issues facing Western…
Artist’s impression of New Horizons as it swings past the dwarf planet Pluto, in July 2015. NASA

Rise and shine! New Horizons awakes ahead of a date with Pluto

While the Mars Rovers and the Rosetta spacecraft will continue to make headlines in 2015, the stage is set for the solar system’s next great mission – the Pluto-bound New Horizons. Discovered in 1930…
Cinema has always been about spectacle – it’s not yet walking dead. AAP/Marcus Walters, Gerrit Fokkema

TV’s golden age has freed cinema to do what it does best

At the opening night of the Victorian College of the Arts graduate film screening season this month, keynote speaker Clayton Jacobson (writer/director of Kenny, 2006) mentioned to the audience his belief…
John Williams’ 1960 novel has been hailed as part of a pantheon of western masterpieces. Pam Morris

Long read: the ideology of nature in Butcher’s Crossing

Despite the huge and belated praise now surrounding John Williams’ novel Stoner (1965), much less attention has been cast to his earlier novel, Butcher’s Crossing (1960). Still, it’s been rightly hailed…
Australiana is back with a vengeance in popular culture. AAP Image/Angie Raphael

Pass the Iced VoVos: the resurrection of Australiana

There’s a trend you might have noticed emerging in an array of Australian popular cultural forms at the moment. It announces the return of locally-grown pride: albeit one taken through the route of irony…
The podcast Serial investigates the murder of 18-year-old American student Hae Min Lee 15 years ago. LukaTDB/Shutterstock

Serial: murder, mystery and the science of memory

Can you recall what you were doing last Wednesday between 2.15pm and 2.36pm? Where were you? What did you see? Who did you talk to? How well do you remember those 21 minutes? Now try to recall Wednesday…
A nation that understands tragedy is one that respects limits. José María Pérez Nuñez

Tragedy is dead in Australia, long live laughter and weather reports

Tragedy is a peculiar thing. More than a style, different from genre, it cuts across art forms to carve out its own non-Euclidean aesthetic space. In the 4th century BCE Aristotle, in his Poetics, famously…

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