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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Black Widow

Friday, July 30th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Over the years I’ve never found it a hardship to watch a movie that stars Scarlett Johansson, but with Black Widow any lingering spark of male fantasy went under the   steamroller. Every time I sit through one of these superhero flicks I find myself asking: “Is it me, or is it the rest of the […]

Film Reviews

How to Become a Tyrant

Saturday, July 17th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Politics is a fascinating game, but hard to win. Under the yoke of a tyrant people clamour for democracy but after generations of democratic rule they hanker for a strongman to come and make all their decisions for them. As we watch the United States careening towards a complete crack-up, with millions of people obsessed […]

Film Reviews

Charlie Chaplin: The Kid

Friday, July 9th, 2021 Film Reviews,

“A picture with a smile – and perhaps, a tear,” The Kid was the first full-length feature directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film’s centenary is being celebrated with a progressive Chaplin retrospective that will unfurl in Australian cinemas for the rest of this year and into 2022, continuing a pandemic-era trend of revisiting classic movies […]

Film Reviews

Elvis Presley: The Searcher

Friday, July 2nd, 2021 Film Reviews,

There are many different Elvises, from the young hillbilly who set the music world alight with his very first recording to the bloated, drug-addled superstar, squeezed into a white jumpsuit with cape, playing to packed houses in Las Vegas casinos. In a week in which it’s impossible to get to the movies in many parts […]

Film Reviews

The Mole Agent

Friday, June 25th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Novelists have always enjoyed passing off fantasy as if it were reality but documentary makers seem to take a special pleasure in making fact resemble fiction. There have been numerous examples in recent years of documentaries telling stories that seemed too bizarre to be true, framed with all the stock devices of a mystery or […]

Film Reviews

Martin Eden

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden is getting a limited release in Sydney and Melbourne but it deserves a much bigger audience. It’s a huge film – not in terms of running length, but in its themes, its characters and ambitions – the latest in an outstanding sequence of foreign-language titles that have overshadowed anything produced by […]

Film Reviews

My Name is Gulpilil

Friday, June 11th, 2021 Film Reviews,

It’s not widely appreciated what an electrifying effect Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971) had on the Australian film industry. To put it bluntly, at that time there was no Australian film industry, only occasional features made in Australia by overseas directors. Michael Powell left two notable contributions: They’re a Weird Mob (1966) and Age of Consent (1969), […]

Film Reviews

German Film Festival 2021

Saturday, June 5th, 2021 Film Reviews,

It’s been years since I watched a film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, or thought much about this most decadent, irreverent of filmmakers. At the 2021 German Film Festival, Oskar Roehler’s unorthodox bio pic, Enfant Terrible, brings Fassbinder roaring back, and it’s not a pretty sight. Fassbinder was only 37 years old when he died in […]

Film Reviews

King Otto

Thursday, May 27th, 2021 Film Reviews,

We live in a deeply divided world, but when was it any different? One of Europe’s most ingrained divisions has been between the so-called Teutonic spirit and the Mediterranean spirit. It was a contrast that exercised the mind and the pen of artist, Emil Nolde, who saw the Germans as the embodiment of all things […]

Film Reviews

Death of a Ladies Man

Friday, May 21st, 2021 Film Reviews,

It’s fair to say that Canadian director, Matt Bissonnette, is a Leonard Cohen fan. His debut feature in 2002 was called Looking for Leonard, and now comes Death of a Ladies Man, inspired by Cohen’s album of 1977. I’m not quite sure how an album, or the title of an album, gets transformed into a […]