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Film Reviews

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Consistency is not a word to be used too freely in relation to Gus Van Sant. Like Steven Soderbergh he has oscillated between arthouse and mainstream, so one never quite knows what’s coming next. For every bleak, existential drama such as Last Days (2005), there’s a heart-warmer like Good Will Hunting (1997). One of Van […]

Film Reviews

The Gospel According to André

Friday, July 13th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Those who watched The September Issue – the 2009 documentary that sparked a wave of fashion movies, will remember André Leon Talley as a larger-than-life presence in Vogue magazine’s inner circle. Loud, camp and flamboyant, Talley is the big black guy who seems to hang around the office doing nothing in particular. If Vogue’s uptight […]

Film Reviews

Mary Shelley

Thursday, July 5th, 2018 Film Reviews,

During her lifetime Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was considered a minor player in the colourful lives of the Romantic poets, but her literary legacy has overshadowed them all. For every contemporary reader who admires the poetry of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, or their friend, Lord Byron, there are millions who have thrilled to the story […]

Film Reviews

I, Tonya

Friday, February 2nd, 2018 Film Reviews,

Tonya Harding, my star Well this world is a cold one But it takes one to know one And God only knows what you are Sufjan Stevens claims to have spent 25 years trying to write a song about Tonya Harding. In the ballad that finally appeared late last year he still can’t seem to […]

Film Reviews

Goodbye Christopher Robin & The Teacher

Friday, November 24th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Two films released this week look at the damage that may be inflicted on children by parents and teacher. Goodbye Christopher Robin shows us how A.A.Milne virtually destroyed his son’s life by making him the hero of the best-selling Winnie the Pooh stories. The Teacher, set in Bratislawa in 1983, is a much darker affair, […]

Film Reviews

Loving Vincent

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 Film Reviews,

Loving Vincent is one of those films that leans heavily on its novelty value. Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer was the first talkie; Alexander Sokurov’s The Russian Ark was the first feature to be shot in a single take; Thor:Ragnarok is the world’s first Kiwi superhero comedy; Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted […]

Film Reviews

Battle of the Sexes

Saturday, September 30th, 2017 Film Reviews,

It’s strange to watch Battle of the Sexes from an Australian perspective, remembering how we barracked for Margaret Court in her rivalry with America’s Billie Jean King. Forty years on, Margaret Court looks like the most dreadful sourpuss – an outspoken homophobe, and allegedly an apologist for Apartheid. Billie Jean King has taken a very […]

Film Reviews

A Quiet Passion

Saturday, July 1st, 2017 Film Reviews,

How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one’s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog! For Emily Dickinson (1830-86) there was a distinction in being Nobody as opposed to Somebody. Now considered one of the greatest American poets, Dickinson spent almost her entire […]

Film Reviews

Searching for Sugar Man

Saturday, October 6th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

“Oh he was much bigger than the Rolling Stones,” says a South African record company executive. Bigger than Elvis, too. His debut album sold more than 500,000 copies while the republic was still grappling with Apartheid. It would be startling enough if we were talking about a white South African pop star, but the artist […]

Film Reviews

My Week with Marilyn

Saturday, February 25th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Before watching My Week with Marilyn I wasn’t aware that Colin Clark, the 23-year-old film flunkey whose memoir provides the basis of the story, was the son of Sir Kenneth Clark. Not only was Sir Kenneth a renowned art historian and cultural bureaucrat, he was the man who gave us Civilisation (1969) – the orginal […]