Last week we filled you in on the first films we picked for the annual Sydney Film Festival – but that barely scratched the surface on the amazing catalogue of feature and short films that will grace the event. So here’s another six films we think you can’t afford to miss at the 2017 event…
Those Who Make Revolutions Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves
I’m always a fan of narrative/documentary hybrids and there’s definitely a active fascination around the idea of revolution and mass resistance to the state in the air at the moment. However, movements are always made up of individuals – and the struggle between the fallibility of individuals and their efforts to live up to their ideologies nevertheless is always an interesting one to watch. This film seems like no exception.
Game of Death
There’s nothing like a good bloody romp involving supernatural board games and serial killers. There’s always something a little formulaic and “video-gamey” about slasher movies, but a film that puts that aspect front-and-center seems destined to yield some unexpected and fun results.
Sydney Film Festival has a long history of presenting one of the best collections of new and old horror films around. Their Freak Me Out program is always a fun time, and it’s looking like Amat Escalante’s The Untamed may be the one to beat this year. If his 2013 crime drama Heli is anything to go by, The Untamed should be an immersive and atmospheric journey through the brooding backwoods of Mexico as a dysfunctional family sits at the center of something sinister and, orgasmic? The basic idea of The Untamed is that an otherworldly creature arrives and has the power to unleash people’s base sexual impulses, no doubt presenting a unique and meaty premise that could either be a fun, humourous horror flick or a deadly serious statement of Freud like proportions.
The House of Others
A penchant for the provocative has defined many an experience at Sydney Film Festival. It always seems to be the dramas that present with the most intriguing themes and visuals, and Gerogian director Rusudan Glurjidze’s debut House of Others looks to be no exception. Post-war fallouts always provide directors, especially foreign, with a lot of heady themes and emotion to navigate so being set after the Georgian Civil War of the early 1990s seems like a good start for the premise. A family on the “victorious” side of the war is allowed to settle in a “hastily abandoned house” amongst orchards and green hills, with the film apparently tracking their attempts to settle in despite leaving a weighty past behind. Being part autobiographical for the director should mean that we get plenty of expressive imagery here, a pocket in which SFF is always most comfortable.
Better Watch Out
Chris Peckover’s Better Watch Out could be good, it could even be great, or it could be average. Whatever the quality these kind of campy horror films – especially Christmas themed ones – are always a good time, seeing as you’re watching with a very engaged and very full cinema packed with jumpy horror fans.
Described with the phrases “white-knuckle suspense” and “pitch black humour”, this Australian/USA horror film about a babysitter and a child who somehow go from ordering pizza to fighting for their life (we’re making reasonable assumptions here) should go down a treat with the more playful SFF-goers.
Whitney: Can I Be Me?
With the untimely death of the Queen Of Pop in 2012 comes the all too real reminder that these titans of show business are not immune.
Growing up on a musical diet of late 80s and early 90s R&B and pop music, Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” album along with The Bodyguard soundtrack were on high rotation for me. And even though I’d always read about her tumultuous life in tabloids I don’t feel like I ever truly appreciated her talent. I’m hoping this documentary will help me see and hear more of Houston than just what I was exposed to as a child.
For session times and tickets to all these films and more, head to the official Sydney Film Festival Website. The festival runs at various venues throughout Sydney from the 7th to the 18th of June.
Article compiled by Chris Singh, Fergus Halliday and Carina Nilma