Category Archives: Festivals

OzAsia Film Review: Pop Aye (Singapore/Thailand, 2016) is an amiable, bittersweet and surprisingly surreal piece of work

Although I am a fan of all film genres, I have an affinity for the human-fantasy friendship trope. Whether it’s between a human and a horse (War Horse), a human and a robot (The Iron Giant), a human and a mutant super-pig (Okja) or a human and a Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro), a strong bond is a strong bond, no matter how bizarre the circumstances are.... Continue Reading

OzAsia Film Review: Villainess (South Korea, 2017) brings video game violence to the big screen

Villainess doesn’t waste any time, giving the audience exactly what they came for; a full on, bloody action movie. And boy does it deliver exactly what it promises. The whole premise – a story about an assassin out for revenge – comes with big expectations of huge action sequences and lots of knives, and with a 10 minute opening scene dedicated to our assassin, Sook-hee (played by Ok-bin Kim), violently cutting through a building full of men while she’s on a warpath to find the person she holds responsible for the death of her father, there isn’t any doubt Villainess plans to deliver on every bit of violence that earned it an R18+ rating.... Continue Reading

Film Review: I Am Not Your Negro (USA/France, 2016) is a powerful and evocative look at the Civil Rights Movement

America has long been a country divided, afflicted by the separation between white and black men and it still continues to this day. I Am Not Your Negro is a unique documentary that is an analysis of the civil rights movements of the 50’s and 60’s right through to the current Black Lives Matter movement. But also an insight into the very personal dealings of African American essayist, playwright and social critic James Baldwin with his friends and civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. ... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (USA/UK, 2017) is the product of skilful filmmaking

It’s not often that an art-house thriller comes together so perfectly to create an unsettling horror capable of antagonising your thoughts even after you’ve walked out the cinema doors. But that is exactly what The Killing of a Sacred Deer does, the fifth feature film of Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. As a darkly comic rendition of an ancient Greek tragedy, the myth of Iphigenia, Lanthimos creates this body of work with a sinister flair that explores the role of accountability and vengeance in our modern world.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Orlando (UK, 1992) is a meandering look at gender studies in history

Blur may have sung about “girls who are boys who like boys to be girls,” but it was writer, Virginia Woolf who got there first. Her short novel, Orlando is about a young, aristocratic man who wakes up one day and discovers he’s become a woman. It was a novel that was written by Woolf for her lover, Vita Sackville-West and later adapted into a 1992 film called Orlando. It sees Tilda Swinton playing the titular character in a fine, androgynous performance but that’s really all there is to it.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Namatjira Project (Australia, 2017) continues the story of Australia’s most prolific Aboriginal artist

Albert Namatjira remains one of Australia’s most revered artists. At the time of his death, his collection exceeded two thousand individual paintings, a perceptive catalogue of the landscapes that form the barren heart of Australia’s central regions. Yet his significance far extends his body of work. ... Continue Reading

Melbourne Film Festival Review: Ask the Sexpert (USA, 2017) is a surprisingly funny, frank & fascinating discussion about sex

You may not be familiar with the name, Dr. Mahinder Watsa but to many people he could be “Dr Love.” This nonagenarian is a former gynaecologist turned sexologist and author of a daily column in the Mumbai Mirror. Ask The Sexpert is an intimate portrait of this charming, progressive and wise old man who will leave people thinking of him as the “Good doctor.”... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Something Quite Peculiar (AUS/UK, 2017) is a rich and tantalising portrait about the one and only Steve Kilbey

You get the feeling that the story of The Church has enough in it to fill up several movies. But the documentary, Something Quite Peculiar doesn’t try to be a definitive guide to the band. Instead, it lays its focus squarely on front man, Steve Kilbey and adapts his 2014 memoir of the same name. The result is a fascinating look at one of Australia’s most prolific musicians and possibly our hardest working artist.... Continue Reading