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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Fahrenheit 11/9

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Godwin’s Law states that the longer an on-line discussion continues the more likely it is that someone will mention Hitler. In Fahrenheit 11/9 it takes Michael Moore an hour-and-a-half to invoke Der Führer, but when he does there’s no holding back. We get newsreel footage of Hitler addressing a rally, but the voiceover comes from […]

Film Reviews

A Star is Born

Saturday, October 20th, 2018 Film Reviews,

One learns to mistrust the movie that is hyped to the skies – whether it be “critically acclaimed” or simply a “box office sensation”. The box office is the worst guide to quality because popular taste is fixated on superheroes, brain-dead action films, lame comedies and sentimental mush. As for the critics, they couldn’t stop […]

Film Reviews

1%

Friday, October 12th, 2018 Film Reviews,

On first impressions one wouldn’t imagine Matt Nable to be the literary type. Covered in tattoos, muscle-bound, mo-hawked, and prone to a bit of ultra-violence, Nable, who plays bikie leader, Knuck, in Stephen McCallum’s 1%, is also responsible for the screenplay. Although most of the dialogue is a stream of expletives, it’s more convincing than […]

Film Reviews

The Seagull

Thursday, October 4th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Although Anton Chekhov’s plays were considered radically naturalistic when first performed, they feel like period pieces today. The saving grace is that the period to which they belong was one of the most fertile in world literature, with Chekhov’s brief span of 44 years intersecting with the lives of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Leskov and Bunin, […]

Film Reviews

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Consistency is not a word to be used too freely in relation to Gus Van Sant. Like Steven Soderbergh he has oscillated between arthouse and mainstream, so one never quite knows what’s coming next. For every bleak, existential drama such as Last Days (2005), there’s a heart-warmer like Good Will Hunting (1997). One of Van […]

Film Reviews

Ladies in Black

Thursday, September 20th, 2018 Film Reviews,

“Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!” lamented Shelley. He wasn’t referring to the Australian film industry but his words could hardly be more apposite. The number of local films I’ve watched in recent years that inspired even the faintest twinge of delight might be counted on the fingers of one hand. Finally, the drought […]

Film Reviews

Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2018

Friday, September 14th, 2018 Film Reviews,

In 2014 Paolo Sorrentino won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for The Great Beauty, a movie that updated Fellini’s La Dolce Vita for the age of Silvio Berlusconi. The headliner at this year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival is Sorrentino’s Loro, a bio pic of the former Italian Prime Minister, that paints a […]

Film Reviews

You Were Never Really Here

Friday, September 7th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Last time we saw Joaquin Phoenix he was playing Jesus Christ in Garth Davis’s lacklustre Mary Magdalene. In Woody Allen’s Irrational Man of 2015, he was a verbose professor of philosophy that Emma Stone found unaccountably attractive. Finally, Phoenix has been given his ideal role – as Joe, a hired killer, in Lynne Ramsay’s You […]

Film Reviews

The Insult

Friday, August 31st, 2018 Film Reviews,

Mention the Middle East and most people think of the intractable conflict between the Israelis and their Arab neighbours, but the region is riddled with lingering enmities that never make international headlines. Beirut, once the most glamorous and cosmopolitan of cities, was the epicentre of a brutal civil war from 1975-1990 which began with battles […]

Film Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 Film Reviews,

Crazy Rich Asians arrives on a wave of hype that would put Hokusai to shame. We are told with great fanfare that it’s the first Hollywood film to feature an all-Asian cast since Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club (1993). It’s seen more broadly as an antidote to Hollywood’s phobia about using Asian actors, which […]