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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Una

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 Film Reviews,

Few subjects today inspire such blind outrage as child sexual abuse. It seems that all communities require one exemplary outlet for pent-up anger and hatred. Or is it a human need to feel morally superior to someone, anyone? Our liberal attitudes have ruled out the racial and sexual prejudices of our forebears, but one would […]

Film Reviews

My Cousin Rachel

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Daphne Du Maurier (1907-89) is one of those writers destined to be forever suspended between literature and pulp fiction. Her work has echoes of the great Victorian novelists but also a tinge of Gothic horror. She may not have beeen deep but she knew how to tell a fabulous, gloomy story. It’s the pulp aspect […]

Film Reviews

The Mummy & Wonder Woman

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Wonder Woman and The Mummy will almost certainly be the highest grossing films in Australia this winter, although I hope I’m wrong. Both are big-budget studio concoctions with everything we have come to expect from this kind of movie. The Mummy arrived with one of my pet hates – the red carpet preview. I don’t […]

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2017: A Preview

Thursday, June 1st, 2017 Film Reviews,

As the arrival of winter drives people indoors the organisers of the Sydney Film Festival will be hoping they seek out the warm embrace of the State Theatre or another venue, from the Dendy Newtown to the Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne. Is there any better way of spending a fortnight than sitting in a darkened […]

Film Reviews

Neruda

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Poetry has become a sadly rarefied activity. In the not-so-distant past many people could recite favourite poems at will. Figures such as Byron and Shelley were the pop stars of their age, and continued to exert an influence long after their deaths. In the late 19th century, when Tom Roberts or Charles Conder went out […]

Film Reviews

Alien Covenant

Friday, May 19th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Damien Hirst must feel pissed off that the release of Alien Covenant occurred after he’d already completed his massive Venice Biennale exhibition, Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable. Amid bronze and marble effigies of every conceivable mythological creature, every pop culture icon from Mickey Mouse to Yo-Landi of Die Antwoord, the only character missing […]

Film Reviews

Whiteley

Saturday, May 13th, 2017 Film Reviews,

It’s a happy fluke that the release of James Bogle’s documentary on Brett Whiteley coincides with an exhibition by Vincent Van Gogh at the National Gallery of Victoria. Of the many artists Whiteley idolised and copied, Van Gogh was his all-time favourite. They were on first-name terms, with Whiteley always referring to his hero as […]

Film Reviews

Rules Don't Apply

Friday, May 5th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Does anybody remember Howard Hughes? Rules Don’t Apply, Warren Beatty’s fictionalised portrait of the eccentric billionaire, was reputedly decades in gestation. In the meantime we’ve had The Aviator, Martin Scorsese’s bio pic of Hughes’s early life, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning five. Thirteen years […]

Film Reviews

The Innocents & Things to Come

Saturday, April 29th, 2017 Film Reviews,

There’s no category in contemporary cinema more demeaning than the ‘chick flick’. It suggests a sloppy romance of the Barbara Cartland variety, or a superficial, feel-good movie with a ‘girl power’ theme. Either way the term eliminates one half of the human race as a willing audience, and patronises the other. This week two very […]

Film Reviews

Berlin Syndrome

Friday, April 21st, 2017 Film Reviews,

Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome is a movie that vindicates the paranoid wisdom of one’s parents. “Don’t talk to strangers,” they tell us, conjuring up suspicions that the man at the bustop is probably an axe murderer. But if the humble suburbs are crawling with psychos the dangers of a foreign country are almost inconceivable. Better […]