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Other Writing

Film Reviews

Polisse

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

It’s sheer coincidence that both this week’s films are by female directors with French connections who play a role in their respective features. The difference is that Polisse, by Maïwenn, has all the drama, the humour and the acting that one misses in Where Do We Go Now? While the latter has a story that […]

Film Reviews

Where Do We Go Now?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

“A pretty silly film,” said my spouse, as we left the theatre. This was a damning verdict, as Where Do We Go Now? is essentially a chick flick with political pretensions, designed to appeal to educated, middle class women of a small-l liberal persuasion. When the target audience declares the movie a failure this makes […]

Film Reviews

Elena

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Do the Russians make teenage slob films? I had this thought as I was watching Elena, the new production by Andrei Zvyagintsev, while reflecting on the preview I had attended the day before – That’s My Boy. It’s fairly obvious which movie will achieve the biggest box office, but it’s also a depressing thought. That’s […]

Film Reviews

A Royal Affair

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

There’s something well made in the state of Denmark. A Royal Affair is one of those films that never seems to lose its way, or take flight. Danish director, Nikolaj Arcel, has gone about his task with consummate professionalism, for which one might be thankful in light of the awful mess Sofia Coppola made of […]

Film Reviews

The Chef

Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

With a film about food and cookery, a director can hardly fail. Whatever the deficiences of the script, the acting or camerawork, the subject has such an intrinsic attraction an audience will keep watching just to see the next dish. Daniel Cohen’s The Chef is better than that – a slick French farce as predictable […]

Film Reviews

Prometheus

Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

No film this year has arrived with such high expectations as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the long-awaited prequel to Alien – a movie that spawned a franchise and a cult. I attended a preview at the iMax in Darling Harbour on a night when the wind and rain were causing mayhem all over Sydney. The place […]

Film Reviews

Frankenstein

Saturday, June 9th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Frankenstein is one of those rare stories that seems to grow more meaningful with every passing year. Written by the eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley, in 1816-17, it has the distinction of being both a literary classic and the ancestor of the two popular genres we know as horror and science fiction. It has always been recognised […]

Film Reviews

The Duel

Saturday, June 9th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Ivan Andreyevich Laevsky is a superfluous man (lyishniy chelovek) – one of a breed of indolent, selfish characters that haunt the pages of 19th century Russian novels. A minor civil servant by profession, Laevsky has run off to the Caucasus with Nadia, another man’s wife, where their illicit relationship can blossom in close proximity to […]

Film Reviews

Declaration of War

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Declaration of War may be the most peculiar, most polarising film of the year. A controversial choice for the opening night of the 2012 French Film Festival in Sydney, it divided the audience between those who felt touched and moved, and those who saw it as a monumental act of self-indulgence. As a general rule […]

Film Reviews

Get the Gringo

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

South of the border, down Mexico way. We’ve been here before, but never in the company of Mel Gibson, working to restore a reputation that has taken a dive in recent years. There have been slight problems with alcohol, domestic violence, and anti-Semitic pronouncements delivered to officers of the law. “Sick to his empty core […]