Given that thirty-nine years have elapsed since the publication of Laura Mulvey’s ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, it’s disappointing to find her critique still relevant to any number of films being produced today. But what struck me on a recent re-reading of the piece was not the its application to film but rather to a whole new medium that’s opened up in the intervening decades: the internet.
Putting together this collection was time-consuming and difficult, but reading the submissions and working with the authors was the opposite of a burden. Selection was the burden. I narrowed it down to fifteen, then seven stand-outs. I did all the usual things: lying awake in the wee small hours, annoying my partner, comforting myself with clichés. You can’t please all of the people, et cetera. Then I got over myself long enough to choose four.
Robbie Coburn is a poet and critic. He was born in June 1994 in Melbourne and lives in the rural district of Woodstock, Victoria. His poetry and criticism have been published in various Australian journals, and he has published two chapbooks, Human Batteries (Picaro Press, 2012) and Before Bone and Viscera (Rochford Street Press, 2014) and a longer collection Rain Season (Picaro Press, 2013). His current projects include a novella and a new volume of poetry.
Earlier this month, Horace Engdahl spoke out against what he called the impoverishment of literature across the Western world through creative writing grants and programmes. Engdahl, one of a panel of judges for the Nobel Prize for Literature, suggests that, while vibrant work is emerging from Asia and Africa, the West’s literary work is corrupted by institutional financial support and an associated disconnection from reality.
Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) wakes up next to a man with a wedding band. Carefully prising herself from bed, and treading lightly so as not to wake him, she makes her way to the en suite bathroom. She is surprised when she sees a grown woman’s reflection in the mirror and a wedding band on her own finger. There are photographs of her and the man she shared a bed with, taped to the wall. Yellow Post-it notes tell her that his name is Ben (Colin Firth), and that he is her husband.