Trouble Every Day

I’m currently writing a monograph on Trouble Every Day (2001), directed by Claire Denis, for Devil’s Advocates, a series dedicated to genre cinema.

Trouble Every Day is as beautiful as it is brutal, an exploration of violence, passion and desire. It is certainly a challenging film, but one that deserves to be reassessed, both for its thematic concerns as well as Denis’ visceral visual aesthetic (crafted with her frequent collaborator, cinematographer Agnès Godard).

This book considers how Trouble Every Day reflects the darkness of the world we live in, exploring desire, fantasy and autonomy in a compelling cinematic experience that beguiles and violates.

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Final Girls & Femme Fatales

This is a newsletter indulging my long-term fascination (ahem, obsession?) with women in horror. I consider the genre as a broad spectrum of films – if you think “horror” just means never-ending torture-porn franchises, let me convince you otherwise. I also don’t just focus on representations of women – one of my most popular posts was on how Australia is trying to kill you.

You can sign-up to have letters sent straight to your inbox, usually once a month.

I’ve had actual feedback from at least seven separate non-family members that the letters are great, and definitely worth the 3 or so minutes they take to read.

I love that I’ve converted people to the delights of Eurotrash, the entrancing Delphine Seyrig in Daughters of Darkness (1971) and the wonders buried in streaming sites, like Lisa and the Devil (1973) and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014).

The Man-Eater

My current project is “Man-Eater: Cannibal Women in Contemporary Visual Culture”, and explores the female cannibal in a range of media, including films, music videos, video games and comics. There are a lot more examples than you would think -there were three released close together in early 2017, which I wrote about for The Atlantic.

I’m interested in what the act of eating means, what it says about desire, appetite, and social expectations and stereotypes. Cannibalism points to the question: what is hunger? And, what does it mean to be human?

I’ve been researching and writing about representations of women for more than a decade, and there is something really interesting here.

Australian Artists Abroad, 1890-1914

9781501332845

My art history book Identity, Community and Australian artists, 1890-1914: Paris, London & Further Afield, a study of place, creativity and community, is available NOW with Bloomsbury Academic (also on Amazon)!

Australians have always travelled. The artists in this book were lured abroad by the promise of wondrous opportunities, but their Australian-ness was a constant – dressing up in a stockman costume at the Chelsea Arts Ball, mimicking the call of a kookaburra at a portrait session, burning gumleaves (a ritual not appreciated by other patrons when performed at a cafe.)

The gorgeous wrap around cover features George Lambert’s The Sonnet, which includes two of his artist friends – Thea Proctor and Arthur Streeton – and is a play on Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe as well as its predecessor, Titian’s Fête champêtre.

 

The blurb:

An irresistible siren-call lured Australian artists abroad between 1890 and 1914, a transitional period immediately pre- and post-federation. Travelling enabled an extension of artistic frontiers, and Paris – the centre of art – and London – the heart of the Empire – promised wondrous opportunities.

Expatriate artists formed communities based on their common bond to Australia, enacting their Australian-ness in private and public settings. Yet, they also interacted with the broader creative community, fashioning a network of social and professional relationships. They joined ateliers in Paris such as the Académie Julian, clubs like the Chelsea Arts Club in London and visited artist colonies including St Ives in England and Étaples in France.

Australian artists persistently sought a sense of belonging, negotiating their identity through activities such as plays, balls, tableaux, parties, parades, dressing-up and, of course, their art. While individual biographies are integral to this study, it is through exploring the connections between them that it offers new insights. Through utilising extensive archival material, much of which has limited or no publication history, this book fills a gap in existing scholarship. It offers a vital exploration re-consideration of the fluidity of identity, place and belonging in the lives and work of Australian artists in this juncture in British-Australian history.