April Nougher-Dayhew5 April 2018
At Eternity’s Gate is the latest film inspired by visionary post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. It is set in the turbulent last years of van Gogh’s life, as he grapples with mental illness, spirituality and an all-encompassing compulsion to paint the world as he sees it. Director Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) does his best to understand the man behind the icon; to strip away novelty and gaze at the star-crossed van Gogh operating on an alien frequency.
Contemporary classic Sweet Phoebe has been reimagined for Red Stitch Theatre under the direction of Mark Wilson, a quarter century after it premiered in Sydney starring a young Cate Blanchett. In this stark, intimate space, tightly wound couple Helen (Olivia Monticciolo) and Fraser (Marcus McKenzie) rove around their desperately upper-middle-class domain, eager to quash the insecurities plaguing them as they barrel towards mutually assured success.
Hollywood’s lolly pythons have squeezed the thrill from the fourth thriller in the Millennium series, the Girl in the Spiders Web. In-keeping with the tradition of ‘translating’ complex narratives into packet pancakes (sugar-coated, two-dimensional, easily franchised), the Girl in the Spider’s Web wastes a talented cast on tired tropes and a plot that ties itself in knots only to arrive at an obvious conclusion.
I am curled up in a ball like a frightened armadillo.
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