Red Harvest, Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars: Remaking the Remake The American Western was revitalised by an Italian director inspired by a Japanese filmmaker with a love of hardboiled fiction. This is the strange international pedigree of the ground-breaking A Fistful of Dollars. Sergio Leoni, a man who neither spoke English or who had visited   Read More …

I love this town. The frenetic pace, the unapologetic culture, the dynamism of Hanoi. This is a city always on the move; horizontal, with scooters swarming through teaming streets; vertical, as mammoth yellow cranes raise buildings up from craters into towering apartment complexes; and spanning the air, as new bridges are built across the Red   Read More …

My mind was not simply blown as I watched Mad Max: Fury Road. It was George Miller blown: multiple explosions, in an apocalyptic sandstorm, with lightning, then more explosions. To say Miller has made a hyperkinetic masterpiece is to understate the achievements of this film. It is not simply a gonzo revelation of the genre,   Read More …

Categories: Classic Articles, Reviews

It’s the perfect storm for the struggling writer: average author income is collapsing, social mobility is in decline across nearly all wealthy countries, and inequality is on the rise. These structural changes are leading to an inescapable reality: it is becoming harder and harder for poor, working class, and even the lower end of the   Read More …

Existentialist literature is the purest form of noir, but it isn’t the best. Noir film and novels, according to various definitions, usually involve a morally ambiguous main character, a seedy underworld, femme fatale, corrupt system, bleak ending, and lots of cigarette smoke. For neo-noir, add neon (that’s why they call it neo-noir, after all). The   Read More …

Categories: Classic Articles, Reviews

Snobs and Whingers first appeared in ABC’s The Drum in August 2011. It was in the top ten for most hits for any article published on The Drum that year. I think I was going through reverse culture shock when I wrote it, as I’d just returned to Australia after three years in Laos. It has also   Read More …

Categories: Classic Articles

Paul Verhoeven is one of the great misunderstood satirists of modern cinema. His work is often dismissed as mindless ultra-violence. Though most critics understand that Robocop and Total Recall were, at their core, satires of corporate culture and greed, he’s never really got his due. This is exemplified by the reaction to his unacknowledged masterpiece,   Read More …

It’s not true, of course. Authors such as Orwell, Ishiguro, and Camus were formative influences on me, as were many others. However – and as you can probably tell from this website – if I were allowed to choose only one movie as the inspiration for my writing, I would pick Blade Runner. It is   Read More …

I wrote ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ in 2012 in response to the comments of some moron of the day. There are so many on the issue of homosexuality it’s hard to keep up sometimes. This past week has seen a couple of high-profile halfwits, so I felt it timely to drag this article out of   Read More …

Categories: Classic Articles, Sport

“There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal,   Read More …

Categories: Classic Articles, Poker

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