drama

Locke

August 30, 2014
Tom Hardy in 'Locke' (2013)

If it were a musical composition, Locke might be described as a chamber piece. The action does not take place in a room, but in a car speeding down the expressway towards London in the middle of the night – with every impression being filtered through the character of the man behind the wheel, Ivan … More


20,000 Days on Earth

August 23, 2014
Nick Cave in '20,000 Days on Earth' (2014)

Perhaps the strangest fact one discovers about rock star, Nick Cave, in the documentary, 20,000 Days on Earth, is that he spends most of his time doing a good impersonation of a middle class accountant. It never seemed likely when I stood in the audience of those Birthday Party gigs in Sydney, where Cave would … More


Palo Alto

August 16, 2014
Palo Alto

There never seems to be a week in Sydney without some sort of film festival. Although the French brand reigns supreme in terms of size and popularity, there are many well-regarded smaller events. For instance, KOFFIA – the 5th annual Korean Film Festival In Australia, has just opened, and will run until 21 August, before … More


Reaching for the Moon

July 26, 2014
Miranda Otto in 'Reaching for the Moon' (2014)

“The art of losing isn’t hard to master;” wrote Elizabeth Bishop, in One Art, the poem that gets most traction in Bruno Barreto’s bio pic, Reaching for the Moon. “so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.” It’s an obvious choice for a feature poem, as … More


Beatriz’s War

July 19, 2014
Irim Tolentino as Beatriz in 'A Guerra da Beatriz' (2013)

Having finally managed to see Beatriz’s War, I almost wish I hadn’t. This first-ever feature from Timor-Leste is a rite of passage; a catharsis for the wrongs endured during the Indonesian occupation. One suspects it will be a long time before the East Timorese are producing comedies and musicals. There’s too much pain and trauma … More


Charlie’s Country

July 19, 2014
Charlie (David Gulpilil) in a scene from Rolf de Heer's 'Charlie's Country' (2014)

In the international arena Charlie’s Country is enjoying success as an arthouse movie, but no film could be more brutally realistic in its depiction of contemporary Aboriginal life. Perhaps any story without car chases and explosions is now automatically consigned to the realm of art, but it’s obvious that Charlie’s Country could never be mistaken … More


The Lunchbox

July 12, 2014
Irrfan Khan in 'The Lunchbox' (2013)

India is by far the world’s largest producer of feature films, but very few of them make their way into our cinemas. For westerners it seems surreal when a Bollywood drama suddenly erupts into an elaborate song and dance routine that would leave Busby Berkeley gasping. For Indian audiences the opposite applies. Without the songs … More


Calvary

July 5, 2014
Brendan Gleeson in 'Calvary' (2014)

Calvary arrives with a big rap, and a raging battle between fans and detractors. In England it has been hailed as possibly the greatest ever film from Ireland, but there are plenty of Irish cinema-goers angered by John Michael McDonagh’s savage parody of a broken, disfigured society. Either way, it’s compulsive viewing, thanks to a … More


Yves Saint Laurent

June 28, 2014
Pierre Niney in Yves Saint Laurent (2014)

Behind every great man, as we learn in Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent, there’s a great man. More than any designer of the 20th century, Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) revolutionised the world of fashion, but his genius for haute couture may never have been fully realised without the business acumen of Pierre Bergé. This conventional, … More


Frank

June 21, 2014
Michael Fassbender & Domhnall Gleeson in 'Frank' (2014)

Frank is a movie that makes a fiction out of a difficult truth. The model for the lead character, who spends almost the entire movie walking around with a large papier-maché head lodged on his shoulders, was Frank Sidebottom, the creation of Chris Sievey (1955-2010), a wannabee rock star who found that wearing a different … More


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