Category Archives: Festivals

Sydney Film Festival Review: BlacKKKlansman (USA, 2018) sees Spike Lee channel his frustration for one of his finest films to date

Spike Lee is quite clearly fired up as he scatters sharp, defiant dialogue all through BlacKKKlansman, his first feature film since 2015’s good-but-uneven Chi-Raq and without a doubt one of his best works to date. That is no overstatement either, with Lee directing a big middle finger to the racism both explicit and implicit, by care of lead John David Washington, who plays an African-American police officer conning his way into the inner-circle of the Colorado Springs chapter of the Klu Klux Klan. ... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Fest Review: The Rider (USA, 2018) is an absolute masterpiece from director Chloe Zhao

Expectations can be a very powerful thing, especially when they are low. When people are asked to survey a form of art with subject matter that doesn’t interest them, it’s very certain that they won’t like it. But there are those forms that exceed one’s expectations and manage to give a satisfying experience and what would pique that interest is word-of-mouth.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (USA, 2017) is like a long, detailed book

The New York Public Library is one large institution. So it should come as no surprise that the documentary about it is also quite big and sprawling in nature. Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is like reading hundreds of chapters from various books; you might learn something but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a tad long and incohesive.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Yellow Is Forbidden (China/NZ, 2017) is an intimate slice of fashion gold

Colours have different meanings. In Imperial China, yellow was reserved for the emperor. It was believed to be the centre of everything because it generated yin and yang. For fashion designer, Guo Pei it is a colour that has become a signature part of her colour palate. If you don’t believe us, you need look no further than Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala dress that broke the internet. Yellow Is Forbidden is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that goes behind the seams to examine this fascinating artist and fashion designer.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Colin Minihan overindulges in tension with What Keeps You Alive (Canada, 2018)

Not truly knowing your significant other post-marriage must be a terrifying thought, and it’s one that grounds Colin Minihan‘s What Keeps You Alive in a genuinely frightening premise. Lock that idea up and throw it into a cliche cabin-in-the-woods scenario and you have yourself a fun horror film that’s intriguing and entertaining, if not a bit drawn out and tedious.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: McQueen (UK, 2018) is a heart-breaking work of staggering genius

Fashion designer (Lee) Alexander McQueen was a true artist. He would say, “If you want to know me, look at my work.” The documentary, McQueen captures some of his enigma by looking behind-the-scenes at his extraordinary talent and story. While you get some sense of what this artistic genius was like you also get the feeling that some things will be unknowable.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Bad Reputation (USA, 2017) is one badass party with a rebellious Joan Jett

Joan Jett’s documentary, Bad Reputation had me from the moment she was told girls can’t play rock and roll music and she went ahead and did it anyway. The leather clad rocker has had a brilliant career, which this film celebrates. Bad Reputation is ultimately a fun and rollicking watch about a strong woman who is proud to be utterly true to herself.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Holiday (Denmark, 2018) is an shocking, brutal and unforgettable experience… if you can stomach it

Have you ever seen a film that was so unexpected in its brutality and its disturbing content that you found it unforgettable? Well, one such example screening as part of Sydney Film Festival is Isabella Eklof‘s Holiday. Judging from the poster, you would expect some sort of exploitative saga about a woman in trouble, but through Eklof’s eyes, it is nothing like that at all, and that is what makes it all the more haunting than one could ever imagine.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post (USA, 2018) is a sensitive, frank, funny and remarkably inclusive coming-of-age LGBTIQ film

For those who have read my glowing review of American Honey, I praised the main actress Sasha Lane for being a natural on-screen and a talent to look out for. Flash-forward to almost two years later, we have her on-screen again in the comedy-drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post and that had me excited. But fortunately, that’s not the only reason. The film is directed by Desiree Akhavan, who had directed the acclaimed romantic comedy Appropriate Behaviour, which dealt with its subject matters of gender roles and cultural perspectives very well. That point alone makes it highly appropriate that she is directing The Miseducation of Cameron Post.... Continue Reading