Mother load

Review by Garth Jones

Film | mother! | MA

This divisive new film from director Darren Aronofsky – who last graced our screens in 2014 with the reimagined biblical epic Noah – is a startling meditation on creation.

It is subjective as to whether Aronofsky intended the ‘c’ in ‘creation’ to be upper or ...

The big split

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World | Alec Ryrie and William Collins

With this year’s anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s famous nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door comes, unsurprisingly, focus on the movement he initiated.

It is a story that has been ...

Forever friends

Review by Penny Mulvey

Play | Di and Viv and Rose

“I wanted to write a play about friendship and I wondered if I could catch what it’s like to know and love people for a long time, in an hour-and-a-half.”

English actor and playwright, Amelia Bullmore, is talking about Di and ...

Keeping the faith

Review by Tim Lam

Book | Faith: Embracing Life in All Its Uncertainty | Tim Costello

As the former CEO of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello has witnessed poverty and injustice in some of the most conflict-prone nations in the world.

In his latest book, Faith: Embracing life in all its uncertainty, the renowned Baptist minister and ...

Cursory reading


Book | Mariner | Malcolm Guite

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the tale of a traveller and his epic journey, reckless acts, a descent into an earthly hell, rescue, a kind of baptism, the path home, the growth of wisdom and the desire to share ...

Workplace wisdom

Review by Tim Lam

Book | Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God | Kara Martin

The average Australian spends more than 40 hours a week at work. With our occupations consuming so much of our daily lives, it can be easy to relegate faith to a part-time activity. 

In Workship, author Kara ...

Gospel truth


Book | Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy | John Shelby Spong

In this typically lively and provocative book, John Selby (Jack) Spong has come out of writing retirement to consider the origins of biblical literalism and fundamentalism. Spong claims to have found the key that unlocks both the (non-literal) meaning of the New ...

Gorilla Warfare

Film | War for the Planet of the Apes | M

Review by Tim Lam

Perhaps a movie about talking apes is the last place audiences would expect to find Christian imagery. But War for the Planet of the Apes is not just one of the best films this year; it is also one of the most ...

Table talk

Review by Tom Allen

Book | Tales from the Table: Stories from the Indigenous Hospitality House | Various Authors

Hospitality is a rich word. It is a concept, it is a practice, it’s complex and simple, profound and mundane. Tales from the Table: Stories from the Indigenous Hospitality House makes this rich, big, slippery word come ...

Telling tale

Review by Garth Jones

TV | The Handmaid’s Tale

Marketing material for SBS On Demand’s The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a young, disfigured woman sheathed in a demure scarlet cloak, her bonnet evoking 17th century Puritanism.

Paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 7:4, the poster starkly declares “your body is no longer your own”.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 ...

Familiar stories

Review by Charles Gibson

Book | Known to Social Services | Freya Barrington

This novel by Freya Barrington is not, in fact, written by Freya Barrington.

Barrington is the pen name used by a senior child protection social worker in a local authority in England. And while it is a work of fiction, Barrington clearly draws ...

Radical conservation


Book | The World-Ending Fire |  Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is a novelist, poet and essayist, a self-described ‘crank’, a critic of technology and the idealism that comes with it, a Kentucky farmer who uses horses instead of a tractor, and a writer who uses a pencil rather than a computer.