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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Late Night with the Devil

Friday, April 19th, 2024 Film Reviews,

“Ladies and gentlemen please stay tuned for a live television first, as we attempt to commune with the Devil… But not before a word from our sponsors.” With these words I knew I’d discovered one of the rarer marsupials: a new Australian film with a sense of humour. It may be considered ironic that we’re […]

Film Reviews

The First Omen

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 Film Reviews,

When it appeared in 1976, Richard Donner’s The Omen was acclaimed as one of the all-time great horror films. It was an era of classic horror, led by The Exorcist (1973) and Carrie (1976), movies that still set people raving. Oh my God, these were the scariest things they’d ever seen! If these classics no […]

Film Reviews

Goodbye Julia

Sunday, April 7th, 2024 Film Reviews,

For a debut feature, Mahomed Kordofani’s Goodbye Julia is an astonishingly mature work. One of only a handful of movies to originate in Sudan, it’s an instant classic that sets a high bar for a future national cinema – when the civil war in Khartoum allows films to be made once again in that ravaged […]

Film Reviews

Perfect Days

Thursday, April 4th, 2024 Film Reviews,

If you thought Kenny (2006) would be the only film you’d ever see about a toilet cleaner, in Perfect Days Wim Wenders shows us there’s plenty of life in this universal subject. Like Shane Jacobson’s Aussie “waste management expert”, Hirayama, a middle-aged man with a neat moustache and salt-and-pepper hair, is completely satisfied with his […]

Film Reviews

Io Capitano

Friday, March 22nd, 2024 Film Reviews,

Matteo Garrone’s Io Capitano is the kind of film everyone should see before making hasty statements about borders and refugees. The film begins in Dakar, Senegal, following two teenage boys who set out for a new life in Europe. Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and his cousin, Moussa (Moustapha Fall), are not victims of war or natural […]

Film Reviews

American Fiction

Friday, March 15th, 2024 Film Reviews,

It’s difficult to satirise the United States today, as reality keeps going places fiction fears to tread. Wind back the clock ten years, and nobody could have predicted the proto-fascist excesses of the Trump era, in which every form of bigotry now seems to be a vote-winner. Hardly less alarming is the collapse of so-called […]

Film Reviews

Academy Awards 2024

Saturday, March 9th, 2024 Film Reviews,

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself wildly out of step when it comes to picking winners at the annual Academy Awards. Naturally I’m convinced it’s the world, not me, that keeps getting it wrong. My mistake has been to try and nominate the best film, when it would have been smarter to […]

Film Reviews

Subtraction

Friday, March 1st, 2024 Film Reviews,

When I have to choose between two new releases the crucial consideration is often which movie has the best chance of reaching a wide audience. I thought initially that Ethan Coen’s Drive Away Dolls would be a bigger crowd pleaser than Mani Haghighi’s Subtraction, but after watching both features, I’m not so sure. At their […]

Film Reviews

The Zone of Interest

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 Film Reviews,

There’s no end to gruelling films about the Holocaust, but there may be limits as to how many we can endure. One could argue that in a world in which so many idiots think it’s sexy to be a Nazi, there can’t be enough reminders of the horrors of the Third Reich, but those who […]

Film Reviews

Fallen Leaves

Friday, February 16th, 2024 Film Reviews,

You’ll have to wait until the credits roll to hear Fallen Leaves sung in Finnish, but like all Aki Kaurismäki films, there’s no shortage of music along the way. This bittersweet story about two ordinary people who find each other, in the most hesitant fashion, is one of Kaurismäki’s typical working-class fables. If you’re already […]