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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Nine Perfect Strangers

Friday, August 27th, 2021 Film Reviews,

“Wellness” is one of humanity’s oldest pursuits but the word dates from only 1950, when an American doctor, Halbert Dunn, combined “wellbeing” and “fitness” to create a neologism that now denotes a billion dollar industry. In the eight-part Hulu series, Nine Perfect Strangers, we follow a disparate group of people who have booked themselves into […]

Film Reviews

Top Secret UFO Projects Declassified

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 Film Reviews,

On 6 April, 1966, a UFO appeared in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton South. The saucer-shaped craft caused a stir among students of Westall High School who watched it fly overhead then land behind a nearby clump of trees. Shortly afterwards it ascended again at high speed and disappeared. Channel Nine sent a team to […]

Film Reviews

Free Guy

Thursday, August 12th, 2021 Film Reviews,

If you’re not currently in lockdown there are a handful of new releases to be sampled at the cinema. This includes Disney’s latest attempt to barnstorm the box office: Free Guy. Not the worst movie you’ll see this year, it’s almost wilfully shallow. There’s no shortage of promising themes but the filmmakers seem determined to […]

Film Reviews

Naomi Osaka

Thursday, August 5th, 2021 Film Reviews,

We’re all familiar with newspaper stories about torn hamstrings, stress fractures, busted knees and shoulders. The Age can devote an entire page to a champion footballer’s groin strain. But until recently nobody ever mentioned an athlete’s mental health unless it was to lament some lapse in concentration at a vital stage. “A brain explosion!” is […]

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 […]