drama

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The Old Man & the Gun

November 15, 2018

There was an old man with a gun Who spent his whole life on the run His favourite prank Was to hold up a bank He said it was his kind of fun If The Old Man & the Gun is the swansong of Robert Redford’s acting career he’s not going out with a bang … More


Suspiria

November 8, 2018

Most remakes leave one pondering the wisdom of Oscar Wilde’s line: “each man kills the thing he loves.” If a filmmaker feels so attached to a movie that he or she wants to make it again, surely that remake should be an insightful re-imagining of the original. I don’t need to stress how rarely this … More


Bohemian Rhapsody

November 2, 2018

When a film spends eight years in production, from first announcement to opening night, it doesn’t augur well, epecially if that same film changes directors when two-thirds complete. After such a painful birth perhaps we should be pleased Bohemian Rhapsody made it to the cinema at all. Dare we hope that it’s any good? Bryan … More


A Star is Born

October 20, 2018

One learns to mistrust the movie that is hyped to the skies – whether it be “critically acclaimed” or simply a “box office sensation”. The box office is the worst guide to quality because popular taste is fixated on superheroes, brain-dead action films, lame comedies and sentimental mush. As for the critics, they couldn’t stop … More


1%

October 12, 2018

On first impressions one wouldn’t imagine Matt Nable to be the literary type. Covered in tattoos, muscle-bound, mo-hawked, and prone to a bit of ultra-violence, Nable, who plays bikie leader, Knuck, in Stephen McCallum’s 1%, is also responsible for the screenplay. Although most of the dialogue is a stream of expletives, it’s more convincing than … More


The Seagull

October 4, 2018

Although Anton Chekhov’s plays were considered radically naturalistic when first performed, they feel like period pieces today. The saving grace is that the period to which they belong was one of the most fertile in world literature, with Chekhov’s brief span of 44 years intersecting with the lives of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Leskov and Bunin, … More


Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

September 27, 2018

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 … More


Ladies in Black

September 20, 2018

“Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!” lamented Shelley. He wasn’t referring to the Australian film industry but his words could hardly be more apposite. The number of local films I’ve watched in recent years that inspired even the faintest twinge of delight might be counted on the fingers of one hand. Finally, the drought … More


Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2018

September 14, 2018

In 2014 Paolo Sorrentino won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for The Great Beauty, a movie that updated Fellini’s La Dolce Vita for the age of Silvio Berlusconi. The headliner at this year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival is Sorrentino’s Loro, a bio pic of the former Italian Prime Minister, that paints a … More


You Were Never Really Here

September 7, 2018

Last time we saw Joaquin Phoenix he was playing Jesus Christ in Garth Davis’s lacklustre Mary Magdalene. In Woody Allen’s Irrational Man of 2015, he was a verbose professor of philosophy that Emma Stone found unaccountably attractive. Finally, Phoenix has been given his ideal role – as Joe, a hired killer, in Lynne Ramsay’s You … More


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