Author: Natalie Salvo

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Film Review: Downton Abbey is a touch of class

September 11, 2019

Downton Abbey was a television show filled with glamour, wealth and manners. For six seasons, viewers were treated to a bird’s eye view of the community connected to that famous British estate. While the film adaptation could have become just an extended episode of the series, this film instead manages to hold its own as […]

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Book Review: Albert Woodfox’s Solitary is a searing indictment on “justice”

August 31, 2019

Twenty-three hours a day. Forty-three years. Three men. A six-by-nine foot cell. These are the all important numbers that form the basis of Albert Woodfox‘s memoir Solitary, which covers one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in U.S. history. This story is one that will enrage you so much you’ll want to throw the book at those […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Waiting: The Van Duren Story (Australia, 2019) is a touching film about your new favourite artist

July 18, 2019

The name “Van Duren” may not mean much to most people. But to Greg Carey and Wade Jackson this Memphis musician is king. The pair went on a journey to discover more about this artist. The result, Waiting: The Van Duren Story is like Searching for Sugar Man, because it sees some fans searching for […]

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Film Review: Apollo 11 steps back in time with a journey to the moon

July 17, 2019

Apollo 11 is a documentary that takes you to the moon and back. Literally. This feature-length film comes hot on the tails of First Man and Hidden Figures. It proves that there is still plenty of mileage to be had from this extraordinary, historical feat. This is directed by Todd Douglas Miller who is used […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: If You Don’t Know Me is a charmed look at the spirit, struggles & sex appeal of Teddy Pendergrass

July 9, 2019

If you don’t know artist, Teddy Pendergrass by now, you certainly will. In the documentary, If You Don’t Know Me we learn all about this R & B singer who was often referred to as “The Black Elvis.” This film is an illuminating look at the life and legacy of this legendary soul man. Pendergrass’ […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Woodstock At Fifty paints the famous concert with too broad a brush

July 9, 2019

Woodstock was one of the most important concerts in history. This year marks 50 years since those infamous three days of peace, love and music. The film, Woodstock at Fifty is a documentary that gives a rather backstage view to the show thanks to some interviews with various key players. While some parts of this […]

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Film Review: An Unexpected Love is a thorough examination of that four-letter word

July 1, 2019

Darren Hanlon once sang that love is “Just a lazy generalisation that we use for one hundred different feelings and as many situations”. The film, An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) certainly examines one of these kinds of love. It’s that of a mature couple who have been married for 25 years. They grapple […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road is finger-picking good

June 29, 2019

He’s Australia’s very own finger-picking, boogie-woogie man. Tommy Emmanuel is a guitar icon and one of only a handful of people who can say they’re a certified guitar player. Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road is an entertaining look at many facets of this charismatic musician and artist. This film is written and directed by Jeremy […]

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Book Review: #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement is a strong anthology from a diverse choir of voices

June 25, 2019

In October 2017 when the hashtag #MeToo went viral, a lot of the popularity was chalked up to some rich, white celebrities speaking out. What these media reports failed to acknowledge however was that the movement’s true founder was Tarana Burke. This new anthology, #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement, is broadens #MeToo’s scope, whilst […]

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Book Review: Jocelyn Moorhouse’s memoir is proof that love is all you need

June 23, 2019

Jocelyn Moorhouse knows how to spin a great yarn. The Dressmaker director has had a rich career in film, and this forms part of her memoir, Unconditional Love. This book looks at her brilliant career, including her collaborations with filmmaker husband, PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding). But, Moorhouse’s most intriguing chapters are about her experiences with […]

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Melbourne International Documentary Film Festival Review: Boom! is a rocking trip along some sonic highways

June 22, 2019

Boom! A Film about the Sonics is a documentary that is cut from the same cloth as Searching for Sugar Man and Waiting: The Van Duren Story. You may not have heard about American group, The Sonics but chances are you’ve heard their influence through other people’s music. This film is an overwhelmingly positive one […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a love letter to a brave, post-punk poet

June 19, 2019

Martin Phillipps is a brave, post-punk poet. The leader of the New Zealand band, The Chills has had a long and varied career writing heavenly pop tunes that are filled with dark undercurrents. The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a revealing look at an eccentric protagonist in his own tragicomic story. […]

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