All posts by Mohini Herse

SXSW Film Review: California Dreams (USA, 2017) should be called “California Delusions”

With La La Land having recently dominated the Oscars, its story about 2 hopefuls trying to make it in Hollywood uncomfortably lingered in the back of my mind while watching California Dreams. Both La La Land and California Dreams share a similar premise of “dreams are built on sacrifice”, however the films attack their subject matter of struggling actors in entirely different ways. While La La Land shimmers with the temptation of nostalgia, love and the greediness of having your cake and eating it too, California Dreams explores sacrifice when you can’t even afford the ingredients to make that proverbial cake.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: San Andreas (USA, 2015)

San Andreas is a fault line that extends through a large majority of California and is overdue for a BIG earthquake. “It’s not a matter of if but when” is the premonition that Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) a professor of seismology gives his class at Caltech, and after years of research into the prediction of earthquakes, his results finally take a significant turn. But of course, like any good disaster film, he is too late.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Ricki and the Flash (USA, 2015)

Usually when imagining a career in rock n’ roll and a band called “Ricki And The Flash” you wouldn’t imagine it to involve a handful of old timers in a shabby Californian bar with a 60 something year old lead lady whose only ever record produced is stored in her ex-husband’s rubbermaid. And yet, this is the protagonist of Ricki And The Flash. Directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and written by Diablo Cody (Juno), three time Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep takes on the role of Ricki Rendazzo, a charismatic rocker chick with a trail blaze of ruin burning behind her. The trailblaze in this case takes the form of her ex-family who she left 20 odd years ago. Continue reading Film Review: Ricki and the Flash (USA, 2015)

Melbourne International Film Festival: Stories I Want To Tell You In Person (Australia, 2015)

Originally a play by the same name, Stories I Want To Tell You In Person was funded by the ABC to make a version for the screen. Intended to be a play about the GFC and commissioned by the Sydney Belvoir Theatre, playwright Lally Katz Stories I Want To Tell You In Person is the result of 2 years of procrastination and conversations with her subconscious regarding a curse that Katz holds, which is that she has put writing infront of love. Written and then acted by herself and featuring cameos from a gruff but understanding Apocalypse Bear and glimmers of Hope Dolphin, Katz takes you on a journey through her life as a writer and the complications that arise when one’s career is about telling stories. Continue reading Melbourne International Film Festival: Stories I Want To Tell You In Person (Australia, 2015)

Melbourne International Film Festival: Ernie Biscuit (Australia, 2015)

From the maker of Oscar Winning Harvie Krumpet (2003) and Mary and Max (2009), claymation pioneer Adam Elliot brings to screen his next installation of the little blobs of clay which he has so strongly attached himself and his career to. Running for 21mins Ernie Biscuit tells the tale of a how deaf Parisian Taxidermist, Ernée Bisquet finds love in the most unlikely of places. ... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival: Magic Magic (Chile/USA, 2013)

As part of their Retrospective program, MIFF has re released Chilean director Sebastian Silva’s 2013 psychological horror Magic Magic. The film has a classic horror premise: a group of young people road trip out to some far off island location with no reception and relatively detached from the world. Cue chaos. But even though this may seem like a familiar story I urge you to disregard the horror/ psychological thriller stamp that was used to market this film to hollywood and instead view it as a clever, claustrophobic and chilling drama. ... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival: Two Shots Fired (Argentina, 2014)

With apparently no story arc, protagonist or resolution, Two Shots Fired moves away from conventional story structure and becomes an observational film focusing on events and physical journeys and location, rather than a personal exposition. Directed by Martin Rejtman, this Argentinian film dwells on the mundane happenings of life with an array of commonplace events. This realignment of narrative storytelling offers an almost voyeuristic look into the “everyday” exposing silence and movement which unfurl in between. ... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: 808 (UK, 2015)

Alexander Dunn’s expositional documentary 808 takes its name from the Roland TR-808, one of the first programmable drum machines. Originally manufactured in early 1980 for studio musicians to record demos, the 808 was criticized for its unrealistic drum sound and was likened to the sound of marching ants. However, the snappy, tinny sound of the 808 found its home with emerging, innovative DJs and producers who would come to use, hack and transform the unique beat of the 808 and ultimately shape it into the sound of Hip Hop we know it today.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Daft Punk’s Electroma (France, 2006) – Special ACMI Screening

Daft Punk’s 2006 directorial debut Electroma is a step away from previous pop- film collaborations such as Discovery 2003 to a more surreal and conceptual journey. Running for 74 minutes without dialogue, Electroma follows the journey of a robot duo who try to achieve humanness. If there was any doubt that the robots desired to become human, well, they had a rather obvious car plate which read “human”, get the message now? These robots are undoubtedly supposed to represent the duo Daft punk themselves as they wear the silver and gold helmets so recognised with the duo and also don leather jackets studded with “Daft Punk”. And so, the film can sometimes appear to be overly didactic and for such a conceptual and experimental film it definitely does not hesitate to spoon feed audiences, which I found to be a bit counter intuitive. ... Continue Reading