Opinion – Movie money an easy target but critics miss mark – Gary Maddox – SMH – 06.Apr.13

So why are taxpayers spending more than $20 million to get Walt Disney Studios to shoot a blockbuster movie in Australia? Isn’t this just throwing cash – not much more than a bribe – at a hugely profitable Hollywood studio?

Federal Labor backbencher Ed Husic is not alone in questioning why the government is handing so much money to attract 20,000 Leagues under the Sea – the latest movie based on Jules Verne’s novel about Captain Nemo’s adventures – instead of funding hospitals. (more…)

Haunted by Burma’s past, a new voice explores its struggle for reconciliation – SMH – 17 Aug.11 (John Buencamino in a play at the New Theatre)

AMID Burma’s monk-led Saffron Revolution in 2007, the country’s military rulers began offering prisoners their freedom.

It was not an attempt to pacify the regime’s critics, for release came at a price. The prisoners had to agree to shave their heads, dress in robes and spy on the real monks.

That was just one of the dirty tricks by which the military spread suspicion and reasserted its iron grip, says playwright Katie Pollock. (more…)