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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Once Upon a Time… in America

Friday, August 16th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Quentin Tarantino is the flawed genius of contemporary cinema. As a director he has such an assured touch that almost three hours of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood slip by in no time at all. The flaw lies in his love of extreme violence that leaves a nasty taste, no matter how much we […]

Film Reviews

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

Friday, August 9th, 2019 Film Reviews,

A film script is one area where the old adage about “too many cooks” almost always rings true. Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, has employed no fewer than five writers, but the dialogue and characterisation never seem to have gotten beyond a first draft. This would be fatal if the film set out […]

Film Reviews

Ophelia

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 Film Reviews,

“Young adult” is one of those phrases that hints at a broad range of cinematic sins, but there’s no reason why a movie ostensibly targeted at teenagers should be inferior in terms of plot or conception to films made for a general audience. Alas, the very thought of a demographic seems to clap creative handcuffs […]

Film Reviews

The White Crow

Friday, July 26th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Rudolf Nureyev (1938-93) was not only one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of all time, but an icon of popular culture in the 1960s. His defection at Paris’s Le Bourget airport in June, 1961, at the height of the Cold War, was a major embarrassment for Soviet authorities who had sent the Mariinsky Ballet […]

Film Reviews

Apollo 11

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Where were you when Neil Armstrong left that first, famous footprint on the Moon? It’s a question that need not concern a good number of readers as it’s been precisely 50 years since the lunar landing. I was around, but too young to appreciate the momentous nature of the event. My class was herded into […]

Film Reviews

The Third Wife

Thursday, July 11th, 2019 Film Reviews,

My first option this week was Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, which arrived with glowing plaudits as an American high-school comedy that was supposedly fresh, original and funny. That sounded about as likely as the platypus but it was something I needed to see with my own eyes. Alas, I must have gone to a different movie […]

Film Reviews

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Thursday, July 4th, 2019 Film Reviews,

One night at Sydney University we all turned up to see Mental As Anything. The support band was a lesser-known outfit named INXS. At this point the script should read: “…but that support band would blow the Mentals away and go on to international superstardom. It was all down to their electrifying lead singer, Michael […]

Film Reviews

Parasite

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Marcel Duchamp once told a friend he had made parasitism into a fine art. Had the enigmatic artist explained his methods, he might have said: “Never complain, never argue, and don’t get greedy.” The working class family in Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite could write their own textbook on the subject, although they’d recommend a more aggressive approach. […]

Film Reviews

Never Look Away

Thursday, June 20th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Gerhard Richter’s official biography, written by Dieter Elger, curator of the artist’s archive, is a very dull book. This is partly because Richter, a micromanager of his own career, is famously protective about the details of his life. In Never Look Away it is director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s achievement to have recognised a powerful set of […]

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2019 & Tolkien

Thursday, June 13th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Week two of the Sydney Film Festival rolls on but most of the interesting features are due to get local releases. As I’m reluctant to write too much about a movie that deserves a review in its own right, I’ll talk briefly about the festival, then segue to the new bio pic of J.R.R.Tolkien, which […]