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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

The Dry

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 Film Reviews,

As Australia Day looms so does another round of Australian movies. If you’re feeling patriotic you can now watch Glendyn Ivin’s Penguin Bloom, in which a disabled Naomi Watts finds new hope through a magpie. Coming soon is Stephen Johnson’s High Ground, an historical drama set in Arnhem Land, where Simon Baker treads a blood-stained […]

Film Reviews

Ammonite

Friday, January 15th, 2021 Film Reviews,

An ammonite is a mollusc with a distinctive spiral shell that flourished in the Devonian period, (400 million years ago) and died out at the end of the Cretaceous, (roughly 66 million BCE). In biological terms that was a pretty good run. Homo sapiens will be lucky to survive for even a fraction of this […]

Film Reviews

Wonder Woman 1984

Friday, January 8th, 2021 Film Reviews,

No movie in 2017 was more overrated than Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman. It was as if critics and fans were responding to the film they’d hoped to see, rather than whatever ended up on screen. The movie’s one saving grace was the luminous Gal Gadot as the embodiment of everyone’s fantasy Amazon. The inevitable sequel, […]

Film Reviews

The Movies in 2021: Where are We Going?

Friday, December 25th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Looking to see what the new year has in store I consulted the on-line oracles and began to feel I’d been far too negative about 2020. Was it really so bad watching streaming services and old movies at home? The cinema screen will always offer a superior experience to the set in the lounge (let […]

Film Reviews

2020: The Year in Film

Friday, December 25th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Until the coming of the pandemic the great tree of world cinema was flourishing, with fruit on every branch. It may not always have been high quality produce or in good taste, but it was plentiful. After a year of lockdowns in which theatres were closed for long periods and the Hollywood studios put almost […]

Film Reviews

Crock of Gold

Saturday, December 19th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Shane MacGowan is a textbook case of someone who should be dead but somehow keeps rolling. In MacGowan’s case “rolling” is the right word because years of dedicated self-destruction have wrecked his sense of balance, confining him to a wheelchair. Now 62-years-old the former lead singer for the Pogues sits with his head tilted at […]

Film Reviews

The Trouble with Being Born

Friday, December 11th, 2020 Film Reviews,

For a small, relatively low-key science fiction movie, The Trouble with Being Born by Austrian director Sandra Wollner has generated a lot of controversy. The feature was removed from the program of this year’s Melbourne Film Festival on the advice of two forensic psychologists who allegedly did not watch it in its entirety. There’s so much […]

Film Reviews

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Friday, December 4th, 2020 Film Reviews,

It’s hard to grasp how famous the Bee Gees really were. They remain the third most successful band of all time after the Beatles and the Supremes. In the late 1970s there were weeks when they had four or five hits in the charts simultaneously. Their soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever was number one album […]

Film Reviews

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

Friday, November 27th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Has any book ever had a better title than The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat? When Oliver Sacks’s collection of neurological case studies was published in 1985 it became a surprise bestseller and turned its author into a celebrity. It was a dramatic turnaround for a doctor whose literary ambitions had been […]

Film Reviews

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Friday, November 20th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In the liner notes to his 2018 album, American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on the title. “Is this meant ironically? It is a joke? Do I mean this seriously? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?” These questions, which echo the lists of questions in wellknown songs such […]