The Null Device

2007/5/18

Control, Anton Corbijn's biographical drama about Ian Curtis and Joy Division, has just premièred at Cannes, and received critical acclaim.

The film is shot in black and white, and has a characteristically 1980s Corbijn look; the production stills look promisingly stark. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of this one.

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If the RRR morning news is to be believed, the Australian citizenship examination will contain a question that reads something like:

Australian values are based on:
a) the Koran
b) Judaeo-Christianity
c) Catholicism
d) Secularism
The government's correct answer is, of course, b), and all others are wrong; get enough wrong and you are ineligible for citizenship.

Australia has been a secular culture; more so than, say, America; relatively few Australians attend churches, and religious dogma is more often mocked than revered. Religious debates of the sort seen elsewhere have little traction; Creationism isn't taken seriously, except perhaps in parts of Queensland, and attempts by rightwingers to make abortion an issue recently fell flat. But now, with the stroke of a pen, John Howard remakes Australia in his image, and secularism is now officially as un-Australian as Islamism.

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The Spill Label, Greg Wadley's indie label, spent much of the 1990s compiling tracks by Australian indie bands (that's real indie bands, ones without marketing budgets or commercial sponsorship) and releasing them on a set of cassette and CD compilations. They've now made these compilations available for download in MP3 format. This includes Spill 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Box compilation of bands covering TV theme songs (which has some quality material) and the Kraftworks compilation (no prizes for guessing what this is), and includes material by artists such as Clag, Clowns Smiling Backwards, Small World Experience, Minimum Chips, various projects involving the likes of Laura Macfarlane and Guy Blackman and, of course, New Waver.

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