Big Day Out Lineup 2014

My thought process upon hearing the BDO lineup announcement: 1) Blur! Blur! Ever since their reunion in 2008, I’ve been desperately hoping for these guys to come to our shores. Their name alone has me buying a ticket. 2) The Herald Sun “leak” that wasn’t …actually was! Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam and Snoop Dogg/Lion all…

Double Feature - Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

Double Feature: Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004)

It’s astounding how effortless Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset feel. Each captures a miraculous authenticity that could be derailed by a moment of artifice: a clunky line of dialogue here, an unconvincing line-reading there, even a showy shot that draws attention to itself could scuttle the film’s immersive realism, the unbroken illusion that…

Extended Cut: Splendour in the Grass 2013

There’s a certain smell to Splendour in the Grass. There’s that earthy bush smell – part grass, part manure, a distant hint of the sea, the scent of fresh mud baking in the late afternoon sun. There’s that people smell – that warm sweat pong that’s so overwhelming it’s almost pleasant, the shared burden of…

This is the End (2013)

This is the End isn’t the greatest comedy I’ve ever seen. There are funnier comedies, smarter comedies, comedies that will reward rewatching – something this comedic take on the apocalypse is less likely to do, reliant as it is on surprises. But, dammit, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve walked out of a…

Jay Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail

It’s perhaps too easy to compare Magna Carta… Holy Grail to Yeezus. Beyond the two men being the pillars of modern hip-hop (and these records being their first solo work since Watch the Throne), Jay Z practically demands comparison when he describes himself as a god or mentions listening to “Strange Fruit” (prominently sampled on…

Extended Cut: The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring feels very old-fashioned. That’s not surprising, given the 1971 setting and accompanying huge sideburns, but (aside from some obvious J-horror influences) this is a film that could have been produced decades ago, with the personality and pacing of classic horror. Director James Wan has commendable patience, slowly developing an ominous atmosphere before breaking…