Tag: sci-fi

Film Reviews

The Hunger Games: the Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 Film Reviews,

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since the last Hunger Games movie, the fourth part of a ‘Hollywood trilogy’. Those films drew on the star power of Jennifer Lawrence as heroine, Katniss Everdeen, but the actor’s light has dimmed in recent years, the low point being the dismal sex comedy, No Hard Feelings […]

Film Reviews


Friday, November 10th, 2023 Film Reviews,

For a director who cut his teeth making short, snappy TV commercials, Garth Davis’s features are remarkably ponderous. One wonders for how long he can subsist on the glamour of the six Academy Award nominations he received for Lion (2016). Despite the fanfare, I thought it was a very ordinary film and suspect a lot […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Liam Young: Planetary Redesign

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Climate anxiety is the neurosis of our age. According to a recent study, one in ten Americans report symptoms of anxiety because of global warming. For those between the ages of 16-25, the number jumps to an alarming fifty percent. In Australia, a survey of last year found that 38 percent of young people were […]

Film Reviews

The Creator

Friday, September 29th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Made for a mere US$80 million, The Creator is a cut-price Hollywood blockbuster. The usual bill for one of these extravaganzas is north of US$ 300 million, but British director, Gareth Edwards, has managed to eliminate the waste that causes those pesky budgets to blow out. In the process, he may have made himself the […]

Film Reviews

The Survival of Kindness

Thursday, May 4th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Plenty of people will tell you that Rolf de Heer’s The Survival of Kindness is a “weird” film. That’s probably an understatement considering that all the dialogue is muttered in an incomprehensible language – or set of languages, and that most of the characters walk around wearing large, clunky gasmasks. Nobody has a name, and […]

Film Reviews

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once & All Quiet on the Western Front

Friday, February 24th, 2023 Film Reviews,

With another Academy Awards looming, I’m taking the opportunity to look at the two remaining candidates for Best Picture. Both have form. The first, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, leads the pack in 2023 with 11 nominations. The second, All Quiet on the Western Front, has been nominated in nine categories, and won seven BAFTAs this week, […]

Film Reviews

Avatar: The Way of Water

Thursday, December 15th, 2022 Film Reviews,

We are told “the Way of Water has no beginning and no end,” which sounds like a perfect description of James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar sequel. Anyone who hasn’t seen the original Avatar of 2009, or like me, has forgotten most of it, will get the disconcerting feeling of having entered the film at the half-way […]

Film Reviews

Don’t Worry Darling

Friday, September 30th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Don’t worry darling, you can look it up when you get home. This is the best advice I can offer to those who walk out of Olivia Wilde’s much-discussed movie, wondering what on earth it was all about. No film this year has been more thoroughly picked over by the gossip columnists, following reports of […]

Film Reviews


Friday, August 12th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Jordan Peel has enjoyed a meteoric rise from the margins to the mainstream in the space of only three features. Peel’s debut effort, Get Out (2017), had all the hallmarks of a cult classic. An off-beat zombie movie with a political subtext, it gave a dark, satirical twist to those racial anxieties that have divided […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ultra Unreal

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Things have been quiet at the Museum of Contemporary Art this year, but Ultra Unreal aims at a reboot. It’s an exhibition that pushes beyond the contemporary, drawing us into virtual realms, both futuristic and animistic. These imaginary worlds have been created by new technology and populated with supernatural beings. It all sounds breathlessly exciting. […]