Category: Artistic criticism

Film Review: Black Widow

It is a shame that the Black Widow film is unworthy of its heroine. The makers of the film, director Cate Shortland and writer Eric Pearson, seem determined to evade as many problems as possible when telling this story.  Why do Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson and her one-time sister Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh, fight when they meet for the … Read More Film Review: Black Widow

Review of Anna Karenina, the ballet

Anna Karenina is a ballet composed by Ilya Demutsky and choregraphed by Yuri Possokhov. The story is an adaption of the novel by Leo Tolstoy about Russian aristocrat Anna Karenina and her affair with cavalry officer Count Vronsky. The ballet is proof that you do not need words to tell a story on stage, even one that spans continents, years, minds and hearts. When … Read More Review of Anna Karenina, the ballet

Film Review: The Hitch-Hiker

Anyone who wants to write, or to see, a first-rate thriller should watch The Hitch-Hiker. The film was written and directed by Ida Lupino, and is in the public domain, so you may watch it for free on YouTube. I’ve embedded the video below for you to watch if you wish. Like any thriller, the film doesn’t dive all that deep into the heart of … Read More Film Review: The Hitch-Hiker

Theatre Review: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

(This is a review of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, as I saw it performed by the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild in their 2021 season). Set in Iraq in 2003 during the Iraq War, Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is a play with no heroes, only villains, and their victims.  The plot is divided between multiple characters: two U.S. soldiers, Kev … Read More Theatre Review: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Book Review: Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima

This story has no inciting incident and no climax, and the goals of its protagonist are lofty and often contradictory. It may, like J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, be accused of being a largely plotless tale of a neurotic individual. This may be true, but it does not make Yukio Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask a worthless story. Like Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, … Read More Book Review: Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima

Barbarians At the Gates

Until 2015, seven years after the release of Iron Man, the first film in Marvel’s new Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was never particularly interested in the new wave of superhero films. Despite never having taken the time to watch any, I largely dismissed them as just the latest re-hash of the same stories. It was not until one of my friends invited me to go … Read More Barbarians At the Gates

Avengers Endgame: A Saga Both Infinite and Eternal

“I used to have nothing. And then I got this. This job. This family. And I was better because of it. And even though they’re gone… I’m still trying to be better.” Scarlett Johansson, playing Black Widow, in Avengers Endgame, possibly the film’s most powerful line. (I know that it has been awhile since Avengers Endgame was released, but I am particularly proud of … Read More Avengers Endgame: A Saga Both Infinite and Eternal