Month: March 2018

The Terminator & RoboCop – Film Review

Went to the Astor Theatre for a double shot of 80s action classics. I haven’t watched The Terminator in forever and I’ve never seen RoboCop, and it’s to the latter’s credit that it kept me awake and engaged well past my normal bedtime. Also, I got to pet the Astor’s resident cat, a big fluffy sweetie, so that’s a nice bonus.

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Collected Short Stories Volume 1 by W. Somerset Maugham – Book Review

I’ve read and loved a few Maugham novels without realising that he also excelled at short stories. This is the first one of a four volume collection, which I’ll no doubt complete one day as I love both short stories and Maugham’s brilliant writing. As in any collection, the quality varies somewhat, but most entries are great little gems of economical, elegant storytelling.

The thirty stories contained in the volume are grouped together by geography, as they move from the islands of the Pacific Ocean to England, France, Spain and back to Borneo. They vary wildly in length – some stories take up forty pages and others stop at four – and in tone, with some stories light-hearted and dryly comical, almost resembling a witty punchy epigram, while others are almost luridly tragic.

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Gogol Bordello @ 170 Russell

I first saw Gogol Bordello almost exactly eight years ago, and that was honestly one of the most fun and memorable gigs I’ve been to. So when this rowdy transcontinental gypsy-punk eight-piece collective showed up in Melbourne once again, I jumped at the chance to catch them in concert.

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Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

Another one for the book club. I’ve actually read this dystopian novel some years ago, but I was happy to revisit Atwood’s nightmarish yet highly imaginative envisioning of the future where messing with nature comes to a no good, very bad end for the human race.

This is not a spoiler, since the book opens in the post-apocalyptic future where the world’s population has been wiped out, and follows what could be the last human survivor who calls himself Snowman. The only other inhabitants are a mysterious new breed of humans called Children of Crake: physically flawless and beautiful, lacking sexual drive and violent impulses, unable to create art or technology, devoid of envy, anger and existential angst. Despite their reverence for Snowman, his chances of survival look pretty grim, with the dwindling supplies and no real weapon to protect himself against the genetically engineered animals now running amok (including some nasty mutant pigs you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark narrow alley).

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