Australian film


Paul Kelly: Stories of Me

November 3, 2012

Archie Roach reckons Paul Kelly is Australia’s “bard”. It’s what people used to say about Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson back in the days when poetry was a popular art. But for every man-in the-street who could recite parts of The Man from Snowy River in the 1890s, there must be thousands today who can … More

The Sapphires

August 11, 2012

It has been a long time since the Australian film industry has produced anything so uplifting, so irresistible, as The Sapphires. After an extended run of murder, mayhem, bad dialogue, and simple embarrassment, we have produced a feel-good film that actually makes one feel good – as opposed to feeling as if one is drowning … More

I Am Eleven, The Curse of the Gothic Symphony

July 21, 2012

Screening opportunities are limited for Australian filmmakers, let alone documentary makers who may only expect to recoup their costs through TV and DVD sales. Two new efforts, I Am Eleven and The Curse of the Gothic Symphony, are currently enjoying the novelty of limited releases in cinemas around Australia. I Am Eleven by rookie film-maker, … More


December 10, 2011

‘Decadence’ is the kind of topic favoured by high school debating societies. Is western civilisation making progress towards a golden future, or are we in irreversible decline? It’s an issue that neatly divides us into optimists and pessimists. Pria Viswalingam may have debated this topic himself when he was a pupil at Aldenham, a British public … More


December 3, 2011

For some unknown reason Australian cinema has become mired in crime, violence, sadism and horror. This can’t be explained by the popularity of TV series such as Underbelly or the success of an earlier movie such as Wolf Creek. All of a sudden, this sunny, complacent, economically-successful country has gone over to the dark side. … More

Peter Crayford

November 30, 2011

For 26 years Peter Crayford wrote the weekly film column for the Australian Financial Revew, an appointment he missed on only a handful of occasions. His consistency and the quality of his work become even more remarkable when one understands the circumstances of his life. When early on Sunday morning, Peter gave up his long, … More

The Eye of the Storm

September 17, 2011

There is a powerful nostalgia for the 1970s in Fred Schepisi’s film adaptation of The Eye of the Storm. The novel appeared in 1973, the same year that Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I read it when I was a teenager, but still remember the impressively awful Elizabeth Hunter – an … More

Sleeping Beauty

June 29, 2011

True to its title, Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale, as bleak and perverse as something by the Brothers Grimm – if you can imagine the Grimms writing about suburban Melbourne. Lucy (Emily Browning) is a university student studying mathematics. She supports herself with part-time jobs, as a waitress and a filing clerk. In the … More


June 25, 2011

Australian cinema has been in the doldrums for years, but with the recent success of Animal Kingdom, and two acclaimed features by new directors released within the past month, it seems we are experiencing a crime-led recovery. First there was Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown, and now Michael Henry’s Blame, which has already been screened in film … More


May 20, 2011

Snowtown would never be first choice for ‘a nice night’s entertainment’ – the humble goal of Barry Humphries’s character, Sandy Stone. Like Sandy and Dame Edna, the characters in Justin Kurzel’s debut feature are creatures of the Australian suburbs, but this is a very, very dark version of that working class idyll. This controversial film … More