Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

Sydney Film Festival Review: You Have No Idea How Much I Love You (Poland, 2017) Gently Taps Into The Tragic

At first glance, I’m tempted to drum up some connection or parallel between You Have No Idea How Much I Love You and last year’s Europe, She Loves. Both are European documentaries that engross themselves utterly in their subjects and return with captivating insights into modern humanity. However, aside from the size of its ambitions, You Have No Idea How Much I Love You emerges as a very different film.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Winnie (South Africa, 2017) is a documentary that for better or worse celebrates the mother of a nation

When you consider the name Winnie Mandela do you think of the mother of a nation or a terrorist? The documentary, Winnie tends to sit in the former camp by telling this woman’s history and story from her own point-of-view. It’s fascinating to hear her out and this documentary is a long overdue one, but it is by no means perfect.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Dries (Belgium/Germany, 2016) celebrates a fashion designer that works to the beat of his own drum

In a world where fashion can be fickle and disposable a designer like Dries van Noten is a gem. The Belgian designer has spent over three decades in the business and remans fiercely independent when other fashion houses have allowed themselves to be bought out. He rallies against the notion of fast fashion and strives to be timeless and relevant. The documentary Dries captures all of this and more by being an intimate portrait of one notoriously private man.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Roller Dreams (USA/AUS 2017) tells the story of the roller skating dancers you’ve never heard of

It’s the late 1970’s Venice California is the birthplace of a new go-to trend, roller-dancing, and a group of young roller skaters, almost all exclusively African-American, are about to bring it to the people. Documentary film Roller Dreams takes a look at this iconic but short-lived group of skaters, the Venice scene in the 80’s and how it’s changed, as well as the impact of gentrification and an increasing police presence that has since gone on to impact the community and bring about a not so favourable change. ... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Ana, mon amour (Romania, 2017) is an unflinching if uneven take on love surviving mental health

In many ways, Cãlin Peter Netzer’s latest feature Ana, mon amour provides an elegantly poignant dissection of when solicitude collides with mental illness. It is unflinchingly explicit, raw in its psychoanalysis and mostly effectual to the ideals it is aiming to exude. Although, dissimilar to Netzer’s previous film, the Golden Bear winning Child’s Pose, the thematic heft of Ana, mon amour hinders due to patent unevenness. In essence, the film proves it’s own best friend and at times worst enemy, ironically like the couple in focus. The film enthrals within its state of realism and impressive performances. Yet, the audacious commitment to story structure tends to stagnate the sense of immersion. Ultimately crafting a film that is undeniably clever and worth seeing, yet, one that isn’t entirely tenable either.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Churchill (UK, 2017) is a bio-pic focused on a single chapter in WWII

Neil Finn may have said that history never repeats but former British PM and legendary statesman, Winston Churchill worried that the opposite would happen. During World War II he was concerned that the tragedy of Gallipoli would be repeated. The film Churchill is a dramatic bio-pic that examines this very issue in fine detail but it also feels tragically incomplete because it is only one chapter in the life story of a man who was once voted the greatest Briton of all time.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is a combination of salvation and suffering in its fifth season

In the second-to-last episode of season four, Orange is the New Black presented the death of one of the show’s main characters in a supremely upsetting, but flawlessly executed scene that referenced America’s senseless police brutality against African Americans.  It was in stark contrast to the previous season’s more uplifting closer where the inmates of female prison Litchfield bathed in the sunlight and fresh water of a nearby lake following a momentary escape.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead makes some bold moves as season three begins

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead struggled to make much of an impact during its six-episode first season and, though it gave us a strong finale, there were a few plodding narrative choices that felt like a waste of what was already a very limited stretch. One such misstep was the army quarantine and a sizable time leap, introducing us to the writers’ strange habit of popping in threats and squashing them out just as fast; as opposed to The Walking Dead‘s strong point of sticking with a conflict and milking all the nuance and tension out of it before giving us an action-packed explosion. ... Continue Reading

Film Review: John Wick: Chapter Two (USA, 2017) proves itself a very serviceable sequel

From comedic roles like his iconic slacker character, Ted “Theodore” Logan to the action heroes like Jack Traven from Speed and Neo from The Matrix films; dramatic roles like in River’s Edge and Hardball; and even villainous roles like in The Gift and Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves is far more versatile an actor than he’s often given credit for. You certainly can’t criticise the man for lack of trying.... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (USA, 2017) is riveting and oh-so-important

Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, and also a passion project for actress Rashida Jones, the 2015 documentary Hot Girls Wanted was a stark, confronting look at the exploitative and predatory nature of the adult film industry. In its follow up, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, the trio reunite for a six-part series that focuses on the advent of technology and how it has affected the way in which we view and consume sexual media.... Continue Reading