Showing all posts tagged: Christos Tsiolkas

Little Tornadoes, screenplay co-written by Christos Tsiolkas

6 April 2022

Australian novelist Christos Tsiolkas, author of Seven and a Half, teamed up with Melbourne based filmmaker Aaron Wilson to write the screenplay for Little Tornadoes, trailer, which premiered at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival:

Introverted* Leo is a steelworker at his small town’s local plant. After his wife abandons him without explanation, leaving him to care for their two young children, he is bereft – barely able to cook a decent meal or keep the household running. So when a recently-arrived Italian colleague suggests that his sister, Maria, act as surrogate homemaker, Leo reluctantly accepts. But can one woman’s warm, nurturing presence fill the void left by another, and can Leo yield to the winds of change?

Little Tornadoes is set in 1971, and was filmed in Tocumwal, in New South Wales, where Wilson grew up. In a voiceover in the trailer, one of the characters utters the words “so long ago, it was a different country.” I’m not sure of the context of her words, but here the film somehow feels more like it was set in 1921 rather than 1971. Little Tornadoes arrives in Australian cinemas on Thursday 12 May 2022.

*Leo’s either an introvert, or he’s reserved. You cannot be introverted, just like you cannot be called blonded if you have blond hair, right? Pedantic I know…


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Seven and a Half, by Christos Tsiolkas

18 November 2021

Seven and a Half, Christos Tsiolkas, book cover

The premise of Seven and a Half (published by Allen & Unwin, November 2021) by Melbourne based Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, reminds me a little of the concept of the Metaverse. In short, an array of technologies, many that are currently still in some form of development, will allow us to live in one world while we inhabit another, or maybe even several, as the case may be.

You could be in Sydney, but sitting in on a meeting of colleagues in London, and feel like you were in the same room. Later you could be “present” at a concert in Los Angeles, again feeling as if you were really there. But back to Seven and a Half. An author has travelled to a small coastal Australian town. Free of the distractions of city life, he begins to write. His novel is about an author trying to write a novel. Here we have meta-fiction, rather than Metaverse though.

The protagonist of Tsiolkas’ “written-author” story is a retired porn star named Paul, who has been offered a chance to make a comeback. The “written-author” seeks to write sensual prose, drawing on the author’s present proximity to nature and the ocean, without becoming sordid. A challenge perhaps, as Paul becomes immersed in the dubious merits of the world he is returning to.


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State of the (Writing) Nation 2021

17 November 2021

Australian writer Alice Pung presented this year’s State of the (Writing) Nation oration, an initiative of Writers Victoria and the Wheeler Centre. Melbourne based writer Christos Tsiolkas, speaking before the oration, introduced Shu-Ling Chau, an emerging author also based in Melbourne. Pung’s address focussed on the production, promotion, and reception process of the writing process.

William Hazlitt wrote that ‘the smallest pain in our little finger causes us more concern than the destruction of our fellow human beings’. In her address, Pung will consider what kind of writing matters in the face of our small hurts and large griefs, and take an unflinching look at the excessive weight we place on literature to ameliorate our feelings. If you’re only half-grudgingly woke, is it better to just stay asleep? Pung will explore the pitfalls of this self-motivated obsession with using literature to educate, and examine whose expense it comes at.

Pung spoke about the experiences of disadvantaged writers in Australia, be they immigrants, refugees, disabled, indigenous, queer, or poor. This is essential listening for anyone with an interest in Australian literature.


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