All posts by Natalie Salvo

Film Review: I Feel Pretty (USA, 2018) proves that beauty is only skin deep

The average woman is said to criticise herself around eight times each day. It is in this headspace and society that a rom-com like I Feel Pretty exists. The film had the best of intentions and tries to tackle some complex topics like how hard we women can be on ourselves and the feelings of being racked by self-doubt and self-criticism. It does this in a light way but its plodding nature and problems with its execution often mean that the opposite point is made instead of the one that it was always trying to make.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung) (Switzerland, 2017) is a spirited ode to the Swiss suffrage movement

Suffragette was a film that covered the British women who protested in order to gain the right to vote. The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung) is a film that covers things from a Swiss perspective. Whereas the suffrage movement happened in the UK in the early 20th century, for Switzerland it was 1971 before the women’s right to vote was subject to a referendum and legalised. The Divine Order is a sweet, easy to watch and feel-good story about a fictional grassroots movement that achieved big things in a small provincial town.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: ¡Las Sandinistas! (USA/Nicaragua, 2018) restores some important women to Nicaragua’s history books

The original Sandinistas (AKA the Sandinista National Liberation Front) were a group with the odds stacked against them. By their own admission, they were a bunch of “Poorly armed kids.” But they successfully overthrew the Nicaraguan president in 1979. A large number of the Sandinistas were women. Society had expected these women would marry and tend to domestic duties and some received no education or schooling whatsoever, but these girls had other plans. This group achieved some remarkable things but for too long the contributions of the women involved have been erased from the history books and the focus has instead been on the contributions of a few key men. The documentary film, ¡Las Sandinistas! attempts to redress this wrong by focusing squarely on these fearless women and their fight from the front lines.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: The World Before Your Feet (USA, 2018) is like the greatest ever walk in the park

Ringo Starr told people to stop and smell the roses. Ferris Bueller also reminded us that life moves pretty fast and encouraged us to stop or we’d miss it. Matt Green is someone who is doing just that. This 37-year-old former engineer is walking every street in New York City’s five boroughs. It’s a journey of over 12,875 km and the documentary, The World Before Your Feet is an uplifting film that captures and celebrates part of this insanely beautiful journey.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Alt-Right: Age of Rage (USA, 2018) is a brutal documentary about a divided US

In Australia we had John Safran playing provocateur and spending time with white nationalists in his book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist. In the US, a SXSW documentary takes a similar approach with filmmaker, Adam Bhala Lough embedding himself with some representatives from political extremes in Alt Right: Art of Rage. The film ultimately looks at a modern-day oxymoron, a divided United States where the alt-right and left are clashing in one huge, cultural melting pot. The result is quite a visceral documentary that is bound to divide opinions.... Continue Reading

Transitions Film Festival Review: Big Dream (USA, 2014) is a call to arms for young women interested in STEM careers

Microsoft have asked us, “Where do you want to go today?” The answer can be found in their new slogan, “Empowering us all” and in the film, Big Dream, which they helped fund. This documentary draws together the stories of several inspiring young women who are challenging the male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industries with their ambitions, ideas and hard work. The result is an important film that should encourage a new generation of women to get involved in these areas.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Red Sparrow (USA, 2018) is a thriller that fails to find its wings

Jennifer Lawrence may look like a black swan in Red Sparrow but this bird fails to fly. Red Sparrow is a tense, spy thriller that is so dark and brutal at times that it isn’t for the faint-hearted. While the action is more slow-burning in nature compared to other espionage-type films, the scenes involving torture, rape, incest and graphic violence will be like a punch in the guts to some viewers, while others will be left dissatisfied and feeling like it never quite finds its wings.... Continue Reading