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The Big Short (out nationwide)

Festooned with sub-prime mortgages and credit-default swops, director Adam McKay’s take on the 2008 economic crash makes heroes of the outsiders who saw it coming, bet against the market and made a killing. At over 2 hours of tightly scripted didacticism it should be a feat of sheer will to sit through the arcane terminology that helped shield the financial wizards who hoodwinked the west. But McKay’s approach is ordered and direct with enough waspish humour to make a decent sized fist of it all. Some good bits of over-wrought acting from Christian Bale and Steve Carrell, with able support from Gosling and Pitt. As sure footed and able as can be, but hardly transparent, as modern terminology would put it. Using other people’s money to bet against the ‘safe as houses’ mortgage market, these greedy fellas helped bring the whole thing down even quicker and with more painfully than might otherwise have been the case. And back in 2016 all is bubbling away quite nicely again.

Bawa

Bawa Cafe is situated on 248 Burwood Rd in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn; and I noticed something rather familiar about its lush green interior. There’s a calming (Buddhist) simplicity in the design here that’s found in many buildings in Sri-Lanka. It transpires that the interior is inspired by work of Sri-Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa

My Country – Hermannsburg and beyond

This exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, consisting of four rooms of well-spaced works, explores the lasting legacy of painter Albert Namatjira (1902-1959). Namatjira was the first Indigenous Australian to receive commercial success in the mainstream art market, and recognition both at home and overseas. He established the Hermannsburg School of Watercolour Painting in Central Australia…

Film review: Bridge of Spies

Directed by Stephen Spielberg, Bridge of Spies is a gripping, well written and comfortingly old school Cold War spy drama based on real events, starring Tom Hanks as Insurance lawyer James Donovan and Mark Rylance is the Russian spy Rudolf Abel. The story sets off in the US with an exhilarating chase sequence when KGB agent Abel is intercepted by the CIA. Donovan uses his powers of persuasion…

Abraham Cruzvillegas: Empty Lot - Tate Modern Turbine Hall Exhibition 2015

How do you fill the massive expanse of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern? This year artist Abraham Cruzvillegas from Mexico has stepped up to the challenge with his large scale sculpture ‘Empty Lot': a display consisting of wooden planters (containers) filled with soil - identical in size (about that of a wheelbarrow bowl), and triangular in shape.

These planters are arranged across a huge…