Author: Natalie Salvo


Book Review: Jacqueline Kent’s Vida spotlights a determined woman’s campaigns for social justice

January 12, 2021

Vida Goldstein’s surname might have been used to denote a federal electorate, but she’s hardly a household name. This trailblazing woman was a steadfast women’s rights advocate who toiled away in Australia and abroad in the early 20th century. Jacqueline Kent‘s new biography chronicles this inspiring lady’s work in the social justice and political spheres. Kent […]

Read More
The Awful Truth

Book Review: Adrian Tame’s The Awful Truth celebrates journalism, larrikinism and fanaticism

December 31, 2020

Adrian Tame certainly understands the adage, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” The English-Australian journalist has notched up over five decades in the business working in Australia, the US and the UK. In his fourth book, The Awful Truth: My Adventures with Australia’s Most Notorious Tabloid he gives us […]

Read More

Film Review: Let Me Take You Down proves that the public’s penchant for true crime has gone a step too far

December 27, 2020

Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney have often asked that we do not name John Lennon’s killer. They reasoned that we should not reward Mark David Chapman, nor grant him the fame and notoriety he sought from that heinous act. There have been many films and books about John Lennon’s murder over the years. The latest, […]

Read More

Film Review: Crock of Gold celebrates storytelling & the craic

December 16, 2020

Shane MacGowan is an artist specialising in Irish cream and the craic. The Pogues’ former front man is a brilliant raconteur, even if his body now seems rather battle-hardened. This documentary film is a detailed mosaic and in-depth look at this punk poet’s hedonistic life and his remarkable career. Documentarian, Julien Temple (The Great Rock […]

Read More

Film Review: Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a rather ordinary doco about an extraordinary man

November 27, 2020

Oliver Sacks was an incredible man. The neurologist, writer and naturalist forced us all to rethink our understanding of the brain with his absorbing medical case studies and books. He showed a real empathy towards his patients at a time when the establishment were sceptical about such treatment. Now he is the focus of Oliver […]

Read More

Film Review: David Byrne’s American Utopia is an authentic bridge towards human connection

November 26, 2020

David Byrne is no stranger to starring in concert films. In 1983, as frontman of Talking Heads, he appeared in the acclaimed Stop Making Sense. Now he stars in his very own: American Utopia, courtesy of director Spike Lee. The result is something that is stripped back yet ultimately brimming with authenticity. For American Utopia, […]

Read More

Film Review: Justin Krook’s Machine gives us a taste of life with A.I.

November 4, 2020

It won’t happen overnight; but, it will happen. That’s certainly the message we should take away from the documentary, Machine. The film is a fascinating dive into the technological revolution that our world will experience, in time, as artificial intelligence (AI) augments all aspects of our lives. The film comes to us from the creators […]

Read More

Film Review: Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity sees two souls journeying far away from Kansas

October 22, 2020

Steve Ewert and Dick Russell certainly had good reason to say, “We’re not in Kansas anymore!” In 1971 the photographer and writer went on a gruelling 4300km hitchhiking trip through the Sahara Desert. The result was like On the Road meets Wild. The documentary, Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity looks back at the pair’s […]

Read More
Steve Wide

Book Reviews: Steve Wide’s Field Guides to Punk and Post-Punk & New Wave are short and sharp

September 28, 2020

Music fans will often find their favourite tracks are bigger than their genre. In fact, some music is so big it permeates into an entire subculture. Australian DJ, Steve Wide celebrates this with two sharp new books, A Field Guide to Punk and A Field Guide to Post-Punk and New Wave. Both of these are […]

Read More

Film Review: Echo in the Canyon fails to dig deep

August 20, 2020

There was something in the water in Laurel Canyon. This area in California is one that hosted many great musical acts, especially during the sixties and seventies. Echo in the Canyon is a documentary that examines this free-wheeling period but only scratches the surface of the time’s divine light. Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is a big […]

Read More
F*ck Happiness

Book Review: Ariel Gore’s latest offering F*ck Happiness makes us rethink happiness

July 30, 2020

There are some people who think happiness is as easy to achieve as typing out a smiley-faced emoji. Ariel Gore knows the reality is far more complex. Her latest book, F*ck Happiness: How the Science of Psychology Ignores Women is a deep and insightful look at the positive psychology movement and where it rests in […]

Read More
Older But Better

Book Review: Older But Better, But Older is a handsome, devilish book about growing up

June 2, 2020

There is no actual school of life. So what does one do if they want to learn to be an adult? Luckily, the fine ladies who wrote the  bestselling book, How to Be Parisian have you covered. They’ve put together a playful, new volume that is chock-full of observations and advice about growing up. It […]

Read More

Film Review: A Guide to Second Date Sex proves that dating can be a joke

February 10, 2020

Often when dating and relationships are portrayed on screen they appear to be so perfect. But we all know that the reality of modern romance is quite different. A Guide to Second Date Sex is refreshing because it showcases human foibles and offers a more realistic and funny view of dating. This dramedy will appeal […]

Read More

Sydney Festival Live Review: Poof! Secrets of a Magician proves James Galea is a card boasting humour that is far from sleight

January 23, 2020

Magic is so often about secrets, smoke and mirrors, but James Galea also adds a dash of silliness to the mix. The hip youngster projects a cool and calm exterior that is so charming. He also has an irreverent sense of humour; his tongue is placed firmly in cheek. In Poof! Secrets of a Magician […]

Read More

Sydney Festival Theatre Review: The White Album sees Joan Didion holding up a magnifying glass to 1960s America

January 10, 2020

The White Album may have been a seminal record by The Beatles but it’s also a book of essays by Joan Didion. Published in 1979, it is an evocative text where the author made some piercing observations about her world during the late sixties in America. Sydney Festival played host to a clever adaptation of […]

Read More

Sydney Festival Live Review: Regurgitator’s Pogogo show is as manic as their regular gigs, except they’re swapping swearing for sugary highs

January 10, 2020

If you’ve seen Regurgitator perform live you know that their shows are high energy ones. They’re also partial to a great costume and some interesting visuals. Their children’s show, Pogogo has all these same ingredients. The big change however, was that the content of the songs was less G-spot and more G-rated. The trio performed […]

Read More

Sydney Festival Theatre Review: Double Delicious’ is a heart-warming and fun look at heritage & storytelling told one dish at a time

January 9, 2020

Food, glorious food can mean so much. It is nourishing and keeps us alive. It’s something we share with loved ones. It can also be a window to certain cultures- you can be an active participant in a small and perhaps unknown community. This is the scene that Double Delicious operates in: it’s a heart-warming […]

Read More

Book Review: Amanda Niehaus’ The Breeding Season is an impressive debut about sex, death and darkness

January 3, 2020

It is not often that we see science threaded into popular fiction plots. Even less common is to have this domain accompanied with an exploration of art. But that’s what we find in Dr. Amanda Niehaus’ debut novel, The Breeding Season, and it’s like a breath of fresh air. Niehaus is a scientist by trade. She leans […]

Read More

Book Review: Gary Janetti’s Do You Mind If I Cancel? will make starry-eyed dreamers laugh like it’s 1989

January 1, 2020

The latest book from Gary Janetti, Do You Mind If I Cancel? might be a small one, but it contains some big laughs. This collection of essays recalls Janetti’s time as a twenty-something year old living in New York City. It is a book that will appeal to fans of David Sedaris and his colourful and […]

Read More

Book Review: Lynne Truss’ The Man That Got Away is a quirky comedy starring some bumbling Bobbies

December 29, 2019

Lynne Truss is an author with many feathers to her (detective’s) cap. She is the renowned grammarian who wrote Eats, Shoots & Leaves as well as a journalist by trade. Her latest release is The Man That Got Away, her second crime novel. It’s another offbeat book starring some bumbling Bobbies, Brighton Belles and British bandits. […]

Read More

Book Review: Christine Féret-Fleury’s The Girl Who Reads on the Metro fails to adequately celebrate the magical power of books

December 27, 2019

For a book that attempts to celebrate the magical power of the medium, The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is certainly underwhelming. Although written by a prolific French author, the results appear lost in translation. What could have been an exciting and energetic meditation on the restorative power of these delightful things, is instead, […]

Read More

Film Review: The Truth is a star-studded family drama and a battle of wits

December 26, 2019

There are many ways to tell a story. We all have varying perspectives and world views. The Truth (La vérité) is a film that explores this notion in a smart and philosophical way. The result is a slow and gentle look at some complex human emotions. This film is written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda […]

Read More

Book Review: Helen Garner’s Yellow Notebook is an exhilarating look inside the writer’s mind

December 23, 2019

Helen Garner is a Virginia Woolf fan. This is especially apparent in her latest release, Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume 1 1978-1987. Woolf once said, “Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions – trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with a sharpness of steel.” This quote amply […]

Read More

Film Review: Carl Laemmle is an insightful look at Universal Pictures’ founding father & visionary uncle

November 5, 2019

They called him “Uncle Carl”. For some of the employees at Universal Pictures that’s because he was their actual family member. But for many others, this diminutive entrepreneur was a well-respected man and a boss with a gigantic heart. This documentary is an illuminating guide to this gentle and helpful soul, and a testament to […]

Read More

Jewish International Film Festival Review: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a flawed look at a bohemian love story

November 5, 2019

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a documentary about music’s biggest bohemian and his muse. Poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen and his lover, Marianne Ihlen had a rich and complex relationship, before they both passed away in 2016. This documentary is like a love letter to their passion; a flawed yet visceral look at […]

Read More

Film Review: After the Wedding promises a tomorrow that never actually comes

October 26, 2019

Neil Finn may have sung about seven worlds colliding, but in After the Wedding it’s really only about two. A pair of women – one obscenely rich and the other a selfless worker at an orphanage – come together for a chance meeting due to money. The result is an overlong affair that fails to […]

Read More

Film Review: Promised is an unpolished dramedy that’s all about love

October 25, 2019

Australian cinema has already seen Ali and Muriel getting married (to other people) but Promised takes a different approach. This dramedy, set in the 1970’s, is a look at an arranged marriage, starring a pair of Italo-Australians. The results are an imperfect story that brims with real heart. It’s obvious that this independent film was […]

Read More

Film Review: How to be Mark Ronson introduces us to the man behind the music

October 20, 2019

“Uptown Funk”, “Shallow”, “Valerie”, “Joanne,” “Late Night Feelings,” and the list goes on. Producer, songwriter, musician and singer, Mark Ronson has contributed to some of the biggest songs and records of modern times. In How to be Mark Ronson, fans are given a taste of the man behind the music and learn that this subject […]

Read More

Book Review: Griffith Review 64: The New Distruptors is a sweeping look at new technology

October 16, 2019

The Griffith Review is known for its rich collections of thought-provoking writing and picture stories. The 64th edition, The New Disruptors is no exception. It is a deep dive into the world of technological change, from the recesses of the dark web through to those new opportunities for change. This instalment is edited by Ashley […]

Read More

Book Review: Andrew Stafford’s new memoir takes us back to rock ‘n’ roll high school

September 29, 2019

Long before The Ramones were co-opted for an ad, they were a punk band who appealed to suburbanite teens. Andrew Stafford was one such fan, which his memoir, Something to Believe In proves. Across the book’s pages he takes readers to rock ‘n’ roll high school, educating them on all matters of music and madness […]

Read More