Tag: Australian film

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2021

Friday, November 19th, 2021 Film Reviews,

It was a long intermission between June 2019 and this month, but the 68thSydney Film Festival finally made it to the cinemas – and came through with every sign of success. My own attendance was more sporadic than usual but the overall impression was bouyant. I’m not sure if this was because of the program, […]

Film Reviews


Friday, October 8th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Justin Kurzel may have a taste for dark, unhappy subjects, but he is a cut above most contemporary Australian directors. His first feature, Snowtown (2011), told the true story of serial killer, John Bunting, and those he drew into his orbit. It was a brutal but amazingly sophisticated debut. Ten years on, Kurzel and scriptwriter, […]


Acute misfortune (for the viewer)

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

When viewers of Acute Misfortune first catch sight of Daniel Henshall playing artist maudit, Adam Cullen, they may experience a flash of déjà vu. The quiet, menacing tones of John Bunting, mastermind of the Snowtown serial murders, are back on air. Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown (2011) is a movie I have no desire to watch again, […]

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

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

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

I Am Woman

Friday, September 4th, 2020 Film Reviews,

There should be a warning issued with this bio-pic of singer, Helen Reddy: after the film you’ll be humming I Am Woman for the next week or so. This might sound harmless enough, but in the wrong context it could raise uncomfortable questions about masculine identity. Reddy’s unofficial anthem for the women’s movement is easily […]

Film Reviews


Friday, July 24th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Last year I spent some time trawling back over the history of Australian cinema, a process with mixed outcomes. It was exhilarating to rediscover the way local movies have captured moments of national anxiety and brash self-confidence. On the other hand, the boldness of past efforts, particularly during the 1970s, casts a withering light on […]

Film Reviews

Australia Cinema: A Decade to Forget

Friday, January 24th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Opening night at last year’s Sydney Film Festival drew the usual crowd of special invitees – many of them unlikely to attend another session. The film chosen to launch the festival was Rachel Ward’s Palm Beach, which chronicles the mid-life crises of a group of old friends who have come together to celebrate the lead […]

Film Reviews

Judy and Punch & Suzi Q

Friday, November 29th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Not for the first time I’m left wondering how it is that Australian films have become so bleak and brutal. The latest example is Mirrah Foulkes’s debut feature, Judy and Punch, which has atttacted a lot of specious praise and been nominated for umpteen awards. The reasons, as far as I can tell, are as […]