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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Emma

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 Film Reviews,

There are many ways of reading Jane Austen (1775-1817). She may be the author who inspired every Mills & Boon romance but she is also one of the writers who feature in F.R.Leavis’s ‘Great Tradition’ of English literature along with George Eliot, Henry James, Joseph Conrad and D.H.Lawrence. What distinguishes Austen from the churners of […]

Film Reviews

Birds of Prey

Thursday, February 13th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Margot Robbie is not short of admirers nowadays but her performance in Birds of Prey (and the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn), has to be seen to be believed. I usually feel my brain turning to jelly at the prospect of every new, big-budget superhero flick, but there’s something about this particular lump of […]

Film Reviews

A Hidden Life

Friday, February 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Terrence Malick is the only Hollywood director to have translated a book by German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. I haven’t checked, but I’m fairly confident that Cecil B. DeMille or Steven Spielberg never felt the urge to dabble in the impenetrable utterances of the sage of Freiburg. Before he began making movies Malick lectured in philosophy. […]

Film Reviews

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Friday, January 31st, 2020 Film Reviews,

 “What the hell was that!?” said a colleague when we left the cinematheque after viewing A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. As the usual routine is that we all shuffle out avoiding eye contact, jealously guarding our tiny insights, such an exclamation was – to say the least – unusual. I only wish I could […]

Film Reviews

Australia Cinema: A Decade to Forget

Friday, January 24th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Opening night at last year’s Sydney Film Festival drew the usual crowd of special invitees – many of them unlikely to attend another session. The film chosen to launch the festival was Rachel Ward’s Palm Beach, which chronicles the mid-life crises of a group of old friends who have come together to celebrate the lead […]

Film Reviews

Bombshell

Thursday, January 16th, 2020 Film Reviews,

 It’s commonly believed that hatred pays a higher “psychological dividend” than peace, love and understanding. This debatable insight, which assumes the bleakest view of human nature, seems to be borne out by the success of Fox News. The formula pioneered by Murdoch svengali, Roger Ailes, was to turn the news into an adversarial contest with […]

Film Reviews

Little Women

Friday, January 10th, 2020 Film Reviews,

One can groan about the debased state of Hollywood but despite the relentless assembly line of blockbusters there are always new productions that shore up one’s faith in the cinema. The big surprise is that some of these films are re-makes of beloved golden oldies. I say “some” because the 2012 remake of Paul Verhoeven’s […]

Film Reviews

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker & Cats

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In the last weeks of 2019 the big studios generously served up two Christmas turkeys. Judging by the reviews I wasn’t the only person yawning through Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or wondering how Tom Hooper’s weirdly sexualised Cats ever secured a G rating. Both films are self-conscious ‘blockbusters’ intended to appeal to a […]

Film Reviews

Jojo Rabbit

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 Film Reviews,

There’s something irresistible about a movie that flirts with a great taboo – a comedy about the Nazis. Mel Brooks did it with The Producers (1967), in which a Broadway show designed to offend and crash became a smash hit. Roberto Benigni made an attempt with Life is Beautiful (1997), although the humour was swallowed […]

Film Reviews

Machine

Thursday, December 12th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Artificial Intelligence will have a momentous influence on the future of humankind. It has the potential to transform every aspect of our lives – a power that brings with it a whole raft of moral dilemmas and crucial choices. At its most caricatural form no discussion of A.I. gets very far before someone mentions the […]