Author: Jasper Hagan

Review: The Favourite

Misleading trailers for difficult to advertise films are as old as trailers. The Favourite is the latest film to have that problem. Going by the trailer, it’s a laugh a minute slapstick period film with a much better cast than you’d expect. However, it’s not that. It’s much more. If it’s a comedy, it’s a pitch black one. It’s not without amusing scenes, but they come in the middle of a very dark character study of a trio of very broken people. Queen Anne of England (Olivia Coleman), one of the many troubled monarchs in England’s history, is falling...

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Review: Aquaman

Aquaman, the latest entry in the troubled DC comics universe, knows exactly what it is. It’s an over the top fantasy and adventure film full of wild locations, big action set pieces and comic book silliness. It’s a little light on depth (I could make a joke about the ocean there, but I won’t) but moves so quickly that it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of spectacle, if it’s at least spectacular, and Aquaman is. Following on, sort of, from Justice League (you didn’t watch it, that’s fine) Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is avoiding his Atlantean heritage...

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Set to be an Instant Classic: Widows hits the Cinemas

It’s always great to see a director stretch their legs and try something new. It doesn’t always work, but it’s good to see someone move out of their comfort zone. It’s slightly galling, though, when they turn out to be, if anything, even better. Such is the case of Widows. Steve McQueen, who made his name with art installations and films that resembled art installations, like ‘Shame’ and the Oscar Winning ’12 Years a Slave’ turns his hand to the heist genre. He not only does it well but produces one of the best films of the genre, on...

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The NLA voyage of ‘Cook and the Pacific’

The trick to a good exhibition of art, history or indeed anything is not just in the choice of artefacts. There’s a real art to laying it out. It has to be done in a way that takes the visitor on a journey, that turns the collection into a story. While ‘Cook and the Pacific,’ currently on at the National Library of Australia, is expertly laid out, it manages to encapsulate a lot of what it does right in the entryway. You’re greeted by a selection of first nations representatives, greeting you in their native tongues, and shown a...

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Review: Beauty Rich and Rare

There’s a sharp divide between being a good historian and being able to communicate what you know to everyone, as any number of meticulously researched but utterly unreadable history books will tell you, if you can get through them. The National Library’s ‘Beauty Rich and Rare,’ a recent short film installation, condenses a complex story. It also gives a clear idea of its significance. It covers the work of Joseph Banks, a naturalist and botanist who accompanied James Cook (then a lieutenant) on his great journey around Brazil, New Zealand, Tahiti and eventually the Eastern coast of Australia. As...

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