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Entertainment

Arts

In Search of Chopin: Cinematic take on composer

Simon Weaving With his films on great composers a runaway success, Phil Grabsky turned his attention to Chopin.

Arts

M16 Artists' Exhibition: A collective snapshot

Frenetic physicality: Derek O'??Connor, 3 painted objects painted in-time. A, B, C, for Virginia Wolf, 2014.

Claire Capel-Stanley The annual exhibition captures a number of artists working in an array of media and styles.

Art and design

Ranamok Glass Prize 2014: End of an era

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SALLY PRYOR The competition's co-founders are bringing it to a close after 20 successful years.

Film festival

From surreal silliness to sobering

<i>Shadow in Baghdad</i> is a documentary about a missing father, a lost community and a journey to uncover the once thriving Iraqi Jewish community.

Cris Kennedy Always keen to broaden his cultural understanding, Panaroma's contributor examines this year's Israeli Film Festival.

Theatre

How will Hayes deliver 'a handbag'?

Importantly absurd: A scene from <i>The Importance of Being Earnest</i> with Nathan O’Keefe  and Nancye Hayes.

RON CERABONA Nancye Hayes reveals why she loves her role in The Importance of Being Earnest, which is coming to the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Books

Mansfield Park sequel revives Maria

Tropical setting: Barbados in the Caribbean is the scene for Roslyn Russell's debut novel.

Jennifer Kingma Historian Roslyn Russell's debut novel brings the character Maria Rushworth back to life in Barbados.

Exhibition

John Witzig's song of the sea is nostalgic trip

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SALLY PRYOR A new exhibition of surf photography is not about the sport so much as an era.

Music

How will His Bobness play in Canberra?

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CHRIS JOHNSON Lifelong fans say the answer to that question will always be blowin' in the wind. But they wouldn't have it any other way.

Arc Cinema: Sense of closure hard to accept

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Cris Kennedy Is it truly the last flight of the Arc Cinema? Panorama reviewer laments the wrong sort of celluloid cut.

Opera

ANU's digital L'Orfeo is light fantastic

Digital artwork for <i>L'Orfeo</i> by Andrew Quinn and Alessandro Chiodo.

Janet Wilson Stunning imagery combines with wonderful music for the School of Music's version of Monteverdi’s opera.

Art exhibition

Rhythm at Random9 reflects confidence

Random 9: <i>The Measured Flow</i>, by Dianne Libke.

Jennifer Kingma Panorama magazine talks with collective 'catalyst' Stephanie Parker about artists working and exhibiting with synergy.

Theatre

The Burning is rekindled

Jarrad West, left, as the bishop/witchfinder and Jack Parker as his unhappy son.

RON CERABONA Duncan Ley has refreshed his award-winning 2001 play, which is on at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.

Design

Aussie furniture design's first sitting

Dining style: This Grant Featherston, 
dining setting was exhibited in 1953 at the Hotel Federal exhibition.Featherston Archive, Melbourne.

Sasha Grishin Once beyond the purely utilitarian, and influenced by that great influx of international talent, Australia started to carve out its own furniture style – elements of which have endured.

Exhibition

Ron Radford's favourite Atua god

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Ron Radford Maee - a sculpture of a man balanced on all fours - is an arresting image that is not easily forgotten.

JW Power: Modernist rescued from obscurity

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SALLY PRYOR The prolific output of one of Australia's little-known artists is on display for all to see at the National Library.

Film festival

Stronger Than Fiction 2014: Moments of truth

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Cris Kennedy Documentaries take the limelight at the annual Stronger than Fiction Film Festival in Canberra.

Books

Clanchy reveals why he wrote Six

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Nigel Featherstone Writer John Clanchy dissects his writing, discusses his new short story collection Six and reflects on how literature is evolving.

Theatre

Bartleby still resonates in new production

Tension: Dene Kermond plays the young lawyer in Bartleby's workplace.

RON CERABONA An update to Melville’s Wall Street tale will strike a chord with modern audiences.

Books

Musa's Here Come The Dogs is trainspotted

Omar

Cris Kennedy The hip hop artist's debut novel is so hot even Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh endorses it.

Film

Charlie's Country arises from the shadowlands

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Jane Freebury Rolf de Heer's latest collaboration with David Gulpilil has been both a cathartic and critical success.

Dance theatre

Bangarra spotlights 'first contact'

Dramatic form: Jasmine Sheppard in Bangarra's Patyegarang.

Jennifer Kingma The dance company celebrates its 25 anniversary with Patyegarang.

Theatre

Improvention festival returns to Canberra

Life or death: The cast of Zombsical will plead for their lives in song.

RON CERABONA The kings and queens of unscripted comedy and drama are back for another year.

The Settlers sings praises of hydro scheme

The Settlers in 1981, Ulick O'Boyle second from left.

Matthew Higgins Forty years after its completion, the band's songs that chronicled the nation-changing project are recalled.

Music

White Album strikes chord with Tim Rogers

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CHRIS JOHNSON The White Album Concert is coming to Canberra, so Panorama examines one of the Fab Four's most contentious offerings.

Canberra: A capital of creative innovation

Negotiating hurdles: In his book, Peter Dawson explores the battle between pure science and the applied science in Canberra.

JOHN THISTLETON A new book aims to help Canberrans appreciate the city as a technology hub and centre of innovative business.

Penelope Boyd wins Cliftons Art Prize

A COUP FOR CANBERRA: Penelope Boyd, winner of the Cliftons Art Prize, with Cliftons general manager Richard Bourne.

RON CERABONA Penelope Boyd has won the 2014 Cliftons Art Prize for her painting The Wait.

Monty Python: the last reunion?

Circus madness: The surviving members of the Monty Python comedy team, from left, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese.

Michael Roddy The dead parrot routine, the Spanish Inquisition and the silly walk will all be performed on stage this week for what is likely to be the Monty Python comedy team's last reunion.

Legally Blonde - the Musical not to be missed

Dazzling: Legally Blonde - the Musical with Mikayla Williams (front, in pink) as Elle Wood in the lead role.

Peter Wilkins Following on from their huge success with The Phantom of the Opera, Free Rain Theatre Company has once again hit the jackpot with this year’s production of Legally Blonde – the Musical.

Film festival preview

Scandinavians offer cool line-up

Ice-cold rock: <i>Metalhead</i>(Iceland) -  The rugged beauty of Iceland sets the scene for this powerful family drama of loss and grief.

Cris Kennedy looks at the star attractions at Palace Electric and talks to special guest Finnish actress Laura Birn.

Art exhibition

The fisherman's god

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This carved figure has survived religion and reappropriation. Crispin Howarth talks about his favourite from Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia.

Opera

Erin Helyard brings broad range of skills

Erin Helyard

Janet Wilson One of the directors of the Pinchgut Opera brings a wealth of knowledge about early music to his new academic role.

Classical music review

Serious fairies in ACO's Sibelius symphony

Rebecca Chan and the ACO's 300-year-old Guarneri.

IAN WARDEN If there really are fairies in Jean Sibelius' 6th Symphony (as some musicologists and Sibelius enthusiasts think), they were very serious-minded wee folk in the symphony as played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Books

Biff Ward's untold stories

Author Biff Ward with her book In My Mother's Hands.

KAREN HARDY Author Biff Ward tells Karen Hardy shocking but true accounts of life in her mother's hands.

Enthusiasm, musicality and sequins succeed

Rich voices: The cast of Showtune combines to create a united sound. 
(Front, from left) Janelle McMenamin, Nathan Kellie, Liz de Totth;
(back, from left) Ben Hardy and Michael Moore.

Jennifer Gall Canberra Repertory Society presents Showtune, celebrating the words and music of Jerry Herman. Theatre 3, June 20-July 5.

Musical theatre

The Factory speaks volumes

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RON CERABONA A musical being staged at the Canberra Theatre reveals life in New Zealand was a far cry from life on a tiny Pacific island in the 1970s.

Exhibition

Feathered god tickles my fancy

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Kasi Albert NGA employee reveals his favourite piece in the Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia exhibition.

Arts review

Drawn to please

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SALLY PRYOR A collection of biographical files and works by children’s authors and illustrators reveal inspired creativity.

A concert full of firsts

Rebecca Chan with Joseph Guarneri violin.

Janet Wilson A new member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s distinguished family of historic instruments will make its debut at Llewellyn Hall.

Music review

Kismet: Queanbeyan does it well

A scene from Kismet.

Jennifer Gall What you see is excellent - and what you get is pretty good too, says Jennifer Gall.

Theatre review

Bell Shakespeare gives Henry V an exciting WW II backdrop

On stage: The cast in Henry V. The play is directed by Damien Ryan.

Reviewed by Alanna Maclean One of the bard's great plays has London during WW II as a backdrop.

Mitchell's brumbies reign supreme

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Matthew Higgins A look at the role of author Elyne Mitchell whose works helped build a high-country legend.

THEATRE

The Home Front engages with spontaneity

Home fires burning: Catherine Crowley, Ruth Pieloor and Lynn Peterson explore the lives of women in Australia during World War I.

RON CERABONA The Street Theatre’s latest production, about Australian women during World War I, is improvisation at its toughest, writes Ron Cerabona.

THEATRE

Bell Shakespeare's wartime twist on Henry V

Band of brothers: From left, Matthew Backer (Dauphin), Michael Sheasby  (Henry V)  and Damien Strouthos (Pistol).

RON CERABONA This production premieres in Canberra and has a new take on a much-loved play.

Film

Michod's dark serving of our dystopia

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Jake Coyle Australian director David Michod teams with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson for the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated debut Animal Kingdom.

The Beatles let it be in Australia: 1964

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Philip O'Brien For the youth of Australia, life would never be the same again. A personal recollection of the Fab Four's impact.

Atua exhibition turns heads at NGA

Man or woman: Ti’i figure from
Tahiti, carved in the 
18th or early 19th century.

Michael Gunn Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia is under way and Michael Gunn is entranced by a Tahitian beauty.

Azure Assurances: Poetry by Crystal Davis

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Jennifer Kingma The writer's new collection reflects on breakdown and gratitude.

Melinda Schneider in Canberra with Doris

Tribute: Melinda Schneider performs her tribute to Doris Day at the Canberra Theatre.

RON CERABONA Melinda Schneider's musical tribute shows there was more to Doris Day than her screen image suggested

Music review

The Heartstring Quartet shine at Teatro Vivaldi in Canberra

The Heartstring Quartet: From left, Chris Newman (guitar), Maire Ni Chathasaigh (harp), Nollaig Casey (fiddle) and Arty McGlynn (guitar)

Jennifer Gall This year Canberra audiences have been treated to a feast of the finest traditional Irish musicians.

Canberra Weekender

Your guide to what's going on around the capital this weekend.

Capital life

A comprehensive guide to arts exhibitions and events in and around Canberra.

My gardening bug

A balcony garden tempted this rookie gardener to dice with frostbite.

Swan song

It's important non-Labor voters as well as Labor ones read The Good Fight.

Film Reviews

Snowpiercer train ride hits the mark

Film review: It may seem outlandish, but if you go along for the ride you can have a good, if gory, time with Snowpiercer.

The Inbetweeners 2 lads still hopeless and hilarious

Film review: You don't need to have seen the earlier stuff to enjoy what I hope is the second of many more outings for this lot.

Freedom is noble, but with chained melodies

Film review: Kudos to Peter Cousens for telling a great story, but he has missed some sense of cinematic focus.

Begin Again hits right notes, again and again

Film review: Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo strive for authenticity in John Carney's musical tale.

Hundred-Foot Journey's flavour really hits you

Film review: Marguerite and Hassan create the conditions for cultural fusion and the food doesn't disappoint.

Expendables 3 one-liners blow the mood

Film review: This is OK if you're into testosterone-fuelled destruction, if not, the classics of this genre hit harder.

The Man from Coxs River worth the ride

Film review: Story of brumbies has old-fashioned appeal and deals with a near-forgotten slice of Australian life.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a real blast

Film review: Who would have thought the vast and empty universe could be this much fun?

And So It Goes, just as expected

Film review: Predictably neither Diane Keaton or Michael Douglas stray from what is expected of them.

Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man is fitting finale

Film review: This is a classy political thriller that is a great final curtain call for Philip Seymour Hoffman, writes Jane Freebury.

Lucy is a triumph for Johansson

Film review: Scarlett Johansson's nuanced performance tells the story of Lucy's growing psychological or physiological awareness.

Selfish Giant exudes mettle

Film review: Director Clio Barnard builds extraordinary performances out of her young, first-time actors.

The Keeper of Lost Causes meanders

Film review: It is the characterisations that really make this Scandinavian crime-thriller duller by the minute.

Once My Mother touches all the senses

Film review: Sophia Turkiewicz's directing of a brutal yet amazing story is a powerful piece of filmmaking, writes Cris Kennedy.

Still Life moves the soul

Film review: Contemplative and graceful, this is an important reminder of just how wonderfully diverse filmmaking can be, writes Simon Weaving.

Devil's Knot guilty of slippage

Film review: If you want to see an incendiary piece of filmmaking about loss and grief this isn't it, writes Cris Kennedy.

Hercules just doesn't rock

Film review: Cheap laughs in a shoddy script and badly lit scenes, all add up to a classic dud, writes Ron Cerabona.

Venus in Fur's agony and ecstacy

Film review: Entrapment of a very different kind is on show here, and both actors are wonderfully matched.

Reaching for the Moon lacks pulling power

Film review: Despite intelligent performances, Brazilian director Bruno Barreto doesn't quite nail this biopic.

Sex Tape is easy on the eye

Film review: Raunchy and disposable, Sex Tape has touches of The Hangover and is easy to watch.

The Lunchbox serves up the spice of life

Film review: This is a story of crossed wires and conversation that becomes a love affair.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes evolves spectacularly

Film review: Ape versus human is a powderkeg of a situation and inevitably, a fuse is lit.

Jersey Boys: Eastwood shoots the high notes

Film review: Clint Eastwood should have made the film more pacey, but gratefully songs were played out in full.

Rio 2's got colour, but story fades

Film review: As colourful and sweet as a tropical fruit salad but suffering from animation sequel syndrome.

Calvary: Revenge on the Fathers

Film review: This is pretty decent, crossing genres and playing with audience expectations.

Transformers: Age of brainless extinction

Film review: This outing is less confusing, and less awful than the third, which is damning by faint praise, writes CRIS KENNEDY.

Yves Saint Laurent portrayal is design over substance

Film review: Beautifully shot, it remains a surface affair and increasingly runs out of narrative puff, writes SIMON WEAVING.

The Last Impresario far more than a doco

Film review: Gracie Otto works magic with stills and film to put Michael White's story in the spotlight, writes CRIS KENNEDY.

Volcano's a slow burner that erupts in the tail

Film review: Eyjafjallajokull eruption provides the backdrop of this French comedy that lacks real spark, writes JANE FREEBURY.

Galore's burning desire

Film review: The intense, tunnel vision of adolescence are strengths in Rhys Graham's debut.

Reader reviews

Dragon 2's in full flight

Film review: There's scope for sequels, and if this film is anything to go by, then bring them on.

Frank's a head-spin

Film review This is clever, crisply made and full of wonderful characters.

Mortensen's new face

Film review: Mortensen and Isaac are each exceptional actors and it is a pleasure to watch them.

Gabrielle touches heart

Film review: Slowly but surely the performances by intellectually-impaired actors win you over.

Good Vibrations rocks

Film review: Hooley, dubbed the Godfather of Belfast Punk, is a thoroughly loveable rogue.

Blended the wrong way

Film review: This is competently shot and executed, something that should have been done to the filmmakers.

Rover lacks bite

Film review: The soundscape and cinematography are wonderful, but sadly the storyline is minimalist.

Face of Love is not so pretty

Film review: Annette Bening is incredible, but in parts one must endure some uncomfortable tedium.

Nicole Kidman shows grace amid soap saga

Film review: The star has an almost impossible job of playing a much-loved woman, but there are moments when she glows.

Cruise and Blunt on edge, again and again

Film review: Cruise is sharp, Blunt's gritty, in a Groundhog Day-style sci-fi that is a head-spinner, literally.

Love's eternal in The Fault in Our Stars

Film review: For a movie that is about impending death, this has a beautiful sense of life to it.

Jolie as Maleficent saves sleepy fairytale

Film review: A prosthetically enhanced Jolie dominates, saving a stuttering tale from a deep sleep.

Under the Skin is to dine for

Film review: Tastes of Soylent Green in which Scarlett Johansson is an alien harvesting men.

The Trip to Italy comes a cropper

Film review: This road trip is fast and free, but this time Coogan and Brydon don’t quite hit the mark.

Moms' Night Out is a giggle

Film review: Snippets of Hangover but with women, this is a comedy of errors with plenty of chuckle.

X-Men hit the spot again in Days of Future Past

Film review: Bryan Singer pulls off a funny, tight action film that doesn’t feel rushed or over-crowded.

Ida's a road to revelation

Film review: Pawel Pawlikowski’s entire film is told in exquisitely composed black-and-white images.

Sunshine on Leith clouded by predictability

Film review: A wee bit twee and syrupy, this jaunty Scottish musical works hard to take you from misery to happiness.

Son of God needs divine intervention

Film review: It's bizarre that a film presumably conceived as an act of devotion should feel so lacklustre and impersonal.

Child's Pose's poisonous love entralls

Film review: It is the beautifully sparse but emotionally loaded script that gives this real strength.

Broken circle of a bluegrass love affair

Film review: The story is reminiscent of Blue Valentine with its blue-collar romantic couple in freefall.

Belle tantalises

Film review: Delicate, intelligent and moving, this is a feast for the eyes and a nuanced slice of history, writes Jane Freebury.

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