While her friends and family went to the Australian beaches, Kidman stayed indoors reading — and imaged herself as a character in the books. She says reading is what led her to acting. We talk with the Oscar-winning actor about ageism in Hollywood, singing in a cover band as a teenager, and playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos.
In the film Animal Kingdom, Australian actress Jacki Weaver plays the matriarch of a criminal family who has a twisted relationship with her sons. Weaver and Animal Kingdom's director David Michod discuss their unglamorous portrayal of a crime syndicate.
The Oscar-nominated 1979 film My Brilliant Career stars Judy Davis, as a young woman growing up in rural Australia at the end of the 19th century. Film critic John Powers gives Davis credit for creating the template for the Australian screen actress: bravery, incandescence, and occasional cussedness.
Singer-composer Nick Cave composed the soundtrack for last year's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; he also wrote the screenplay and the soundtrack for The Proposition. Now, Cave has released a new CD with his band the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
The award-winning Australian novelist Peter Carey is known for his manic comic energy. Reaching for comparisons, reviewers have likened him to James Joyce, Tom Wolfe and other writers obviously in love with words, words, words. Carey's latest novel, Theft: A Love Story, is sure to steal its readers' attention away from all other activities.
Film director Rob Sitch. He and his creative team at Working Dog, got their start in morning radio, then switched to TV. They made their first feature film The Castle in 1997. Their newest film The Dish is based on the true story of how three Australian scientists made possible the worldwide broadcast of Neil Armstrongs first steps on the moon. The film stars Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton ("Puddy" on Seinfeld).
Language Commentator Geoffrey Nunberg on how the word "French" has been associated with sexual activities and references... such as "French kiss", "pardon my French" and an 18th Century term for condoms: "French Letters.
Keneally is best known for his novel, Schindler's List which was put to film, by director Stephen Spielberg. His new novel, A River Town, is based on the story of his grandfather who left Ireland for Australia at the turn of the century. But in Australia he became the outsider. Keneally has written over 20 novels. He is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.
The Australian director made the new film based on the popular nineteenth century novel. In 1978, Armstrong's career took off with the critically acclaimed film "My Brilliant Career" -- the first in Australia directed by a woman. Armstrong has garnered many film awards since, including the Australian Film Institute Awards, U.S. National society of Film Critics Award, and a best film at the Festival International de Creteil, France.
Along with directors Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford, Schepisi he was considered one of the leaders of the "Australian New Wave." His film, "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith," was the first Australian film ever accepted in competition in the Cannes Film Festival, and his first film distributed in the U.S. He went on to direct "Plenty," "Roxanne," "A Cry in the Dark," "The Russia House," and "Six Degrees of Separation." His latest film "I.Q." stars Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau.
Fresh Air Producer Amy Salilt talks with Peter Garrett, lead singer of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil, a band known for its environmental and political activisim. They have a new album called Earth and Sun and Moon.
Lewis has made two quirky, hilarious documentaries about the problems between humans and animals. His first movie, "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History," chronicles the havoc that ensued after a species of toad was introduced into Australia. His new movie is called "The Wonderful World of Dogs."
Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant. His jabs at the high and mighty are seen in more than 500 newspapers and numerous collections. Oliphant's depictions of American politics have earned him the anger of presidents and a Pulitzer Prize. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has just opened an exhibit of 41 of Oliphant's cartoons, as well as his lesser-known sculpture, lithographs, and color work. The exhibit runs through November 25th, then tours nationally.
Conway grew up in Australia and was home-schooled until college. Her new memoir, The Road from Coorain, looks at how her academic pursuits eventually led her to become Smith College's first woman president.
The new film Cry in the Dark dramatizes the true story of Lindy Chamberlain, who was wrongfully convicted of infanticide while camping in Australia. Film critic Stephen Schiff says the movie proves Schepisi is a great director.