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Tag: documentary

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2015

Saturday, June 13th, 2015 Film Reviews,

A first glance the program for the annual Sydney Film Festival is like dipping into a voluminous menu written in a foreign language. You know there are lots of good things in there but it’s not easy to identify them. Experience dictates that films which sound like non-events may turn out to be masterpieces, and […]

Blog

Alex Gibney Lunch

Saturday, June 13th, 2015 Blog,

Meeting Alex Gibney for High Tea is almost too civilised. This is the fearless documentary maker who gave us a devastating portrait of a rogue multinational – Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Since that ground-breaking film of 2005 Gibney has directed more than twenty feature-length documentaries and worked on many smaller projects. He […]

Film Reviews

The Salt of the Earth

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 Film Reviews,

When we’d finished watching The Salt of the Earth, my spouse said: “That film should be screened free of charge and everyone encouraged to see it.” This pretty much summed up my feelings as well, although I can’t imagine the Abbott government wanting everyone to view a film that speaks so poignantly about the poorest […]

Film Reviews

Dior and I

Saturday, April 4th, 2015 Film Reviews,

Fashion is usually considered a frivolous business, but at the top end it can get very dark indeed. Last year saw the release of two bio-pics of Yves Saint Laurent, in which the great designer’s mental and physical decay was charted in forensic detail. Closer to the present we have seen John Galliano go completely […]

Film Reviews

Citizenfour

Friday, February 20th, 2015 Film Reviews,

It’s a coincidence that a wayward comedy such as The Interview is sharing cinema bills with two other movies with strongly political themes: Laura Poitras’s documentary, Citizenfour, which gives us a close-up view of US whistleblower extraordinaire, Edward Snowden; and Rosewater, which tells the real-life story of Maziar Bahari, a journalist imprisoned by the Iranians […]

Film Reviews

Life Itself

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 Film Reviews,

Roger Ebert is the only film critic with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s curious to think that a critic can be a star, but Ebert (1942-2013) had a following that would make any actor proud. He became the unofficial dean of American movie reviewers by virtue of sheer hard work, and […]

Film Reviews

Keep On Keepin’ On

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 Film Reviews,

Palace has found the perfect companion for Life Itself, in Alan Hicks’s Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary about the great jazz trumpeter, Clark Terry. While Life Itself begins with Roger Ebert in his hospital bed, Keep On Keepin’ On introduces us to Terry on his 90th birthday. He may be old and sick with […]

Film Reviews

The Green Prince

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Nadav Schirman’s feature-length documentary, The Green Prince, has the makings of a great espionage thriller. It’s impossible not to think of those films made from John Le Carré’s novels, but in this instance it is reality that resembles fiction. For ten years Mossab Hassan Yousef was the prize recruit for the Israeli secret intelligence agency, […]

Film Reviews

Finding Vivian Maier

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Previously unknown until a few years ago, street photographer, Vivian Maier (1926-2009), is almost in danger of over-exposure. Having never exhibited a picture during her lifetime, over the past few years Maier has been the subject of non-stop shows in many parts of the world. Last month her work was shown for the first time […]

Film Reviews

In Search of Chopin

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 Film Reviews,

One wonders how Frédéric Chopin (1810-49) would have fared in terms of compartmentalisation if Phil Grabsky had been able to sit him down on the psychoanalyst’s couch. Born and raised a Pole, Chopin found his fame in Paris. He fell in love with Polish girls, but the great romance of his life came with the […]