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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2019: A First Look

Friday, June 7th, 2019 Film Reviews,

It’s time scientists studied the link between major arts events in Sydney and rainfall. All it takes to break the drought is the opening of Sculpture by the Sea, or Vivid, or, last week, the Sydney Film Festival. Admittedly one only gets damp en route to the Film Festival, and can spend the rest of the […]

Film Reviews

Rocketman

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Dexter Fletcher may well be the new Ken Russell. In Bohemian Rhapsody, and now in Rocketman, he reveals a taste for overheated theatricality that hasn’t been seen since Russell turned Franz Liszt into a teen idol. The difference is that this much-anticipated bio pic of Elton John never departs too far from formula, no matter […]

Film Reviews

2040

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 Film Reviews,

On election night, that wily political tactician, Arthur Sinodinos was asked whether a re-elected Coalition would take steps to address climate change, after years of policy chaos. His reply was that climate change had become such a prominent issue that measures would be adopted as a natural result of increasing community pressure. This was an […]

Film Reviews

Little Woods

Friday, May 17th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Little Woods is a defiantly little movie – the story of two mismatched sisters in the backwoods of North Dakota, struggling with poverty and crime. In an age when films are valued in terms of big budgets, box office and celebrity power, Nia DaCosta’s directorial debut gives the impression that it was shot in a remote […]

Film Reviews

Peterloo

Friday, May 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Rise, like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth, like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – they are few! Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, thought by many to be the greatest political poem ever written, was inspired by one, singular event. In the […]

Film Reviews

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 Film Reviews,

Hollywood legend has it that Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) was the longest running – and most expensive – shoot in screen history. More than 400 days were spent on set, as costs (and Liz Taylor’s paypacket) continued to skyrocket. Yet if we measure the sheer amount time spent on any film, from first conception to […]

Film Reviews

1985

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 Film Reviews,

It’s become a reflex action nowadays to judge every film about America’s recent past as a comment on the present. Movies such as BlacKKKlansman or Vice make it easy to draw the connections. Others, such as 1985, by Malaysian-born director, Yen Tan, take a more oblique approach. Shot in melancholy black-and-white, the scenario is small and intimate, […]

Film Reviews

Burning

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 Film Reviews,

There are few genuine auteurs in today’s cinema but Korea’s Lee Chang-dong is one of them. It’s a word favoured by French new wave critics when referring to a director whose work has its own distinctive artistry. Only a true artist could have made films such as Secret Sunshine (2007) and Oasis (2002), filled with scenes that have […]

Film Reviews

The Aftermath

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

‘British reserve’ may be a cliché, but clichés have an alarming habit of reasserting themselves over and over. James Kent is an experienced director for British television whose 2014 debut feature Testament of Youth, was based on Vera Brittain’s famous memoir of World War One. That movie was a highly professional production but a lukewarm […]

Film Reviews

Galveston & Woman at War

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 Film Reviews,

We’re in the slow season for high-profile new releases but there are plenty of worthwhile films that never make it to the big cinema complexes. Two such movies are Galvestonand Woman at War, which I’ll review this week as a double feature. Galveston is directed by Mélanie Laurent, better known for her work in front of […]