Awards Season, Reviews / 29.09.2020

For better or worse, Julie Taymor is a stage director willing to take tremendous risks that either pay off handsomely (her Tony Award-winning work on The Lion King) or fall flat on their face (the unmitigated nightmare that was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). With her background in spectacle-infused theatre, Taymor has a knack for crafting visuals that don't always translate to the screen in her divisive dalliances with filmmaking. Thankfully, Taymor only occasionally digs into her bag of stylistic tricks with her celebration of one of the most...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 27.09.2020

Earlier this year, we were given the rare treat of experiencing a moment in Broadway history in our living rooms with the Disney+ release of Lin Manuel Miranda's miraculous musical Hamilton. In many ways, Joe Mantello's The Boys in the Band seeks to offer something similar. While not a live stage recording of the Tony Award-winning 2018 Broadway revival of Mart Crowley's seminal 1968 play, Mantello reassembles the entire sublime ensemble cast of openly gay actors to reprise their stage roles and deliver this divisive work to a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 24.09.2020

Ever since 2003's Lost in Translation, many of us have been patiently waiting for writer/director Sofia Coppola and universal treasure Bill Murray to once again collaborate. Sure, we had the absurd festive delight that was their 2015 Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas, but the long wait for Coppola and Murray to join forces on a feature film project is finally at an end. As a filmmaker, Coppola sets the bar so high that something as light and casual as On the Rocks may prove somewhat of a...

Reviews / 22.09.2020

Not even a pandemic could stop this year's Queer Screen Film Fest, which has re-branded itself as an "online-plus" film festival to match the evolved film experience of 2020. Available on more screens than ever, the 8th Queer Screen Film Fest will be online and on-demand and can be accessed from anywhere in Australia. Featuring 29 Australian premieres, the full program comprises over 40 feature films, documentaries and shorts – 90 percent of which can be accessed by LGBTIQ+ communities and allies around the country for 11 days from...

Reviews / 20.09.2020

In 2019, Sam Mendes' war epic 1917 received lashings of well-deserved praise for the bold choice to stage the entire film as one seemingly continuous take. But Mendes utilised the classic "one-shot gimmick" by virtue of Lee Smith's flawless editing that ingeniously cloaked the moments in which the camera cut. This year, we're served a genuine one-shot wonder where everything we see is happening in real-time. No cuts. No clever edits. No retakes. Just one gut-wrenching unbroken story presented exactly as it occurs. A simple story told in a...

Reviews / 16.09.2020

When you think of female revenge cinema, several iconic performances instantly come to mind; Uma Thurman's blood-soaked rampage of vengeance in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Sissy Spacek's brutal slaughter of an entire high school of bullies in Carrie, Ellen Page as a teenage pedophile hunter in Hard Candy, and, of course, Noomi Rapace as the computer-hacker-turned-vigilante Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In Yuval Adler's conventional psychological thriller The Secrets We Keep, Rapace returns to a similar narrative centred on one woman's quest for...

Featured, Reviews / 15.09.2020

While your brain still recovers from the exhausting and unsolvable puzzle of Tenet, Netflix steps up to the plate to deliver a chaotic, complicated Southern Gothic horror noir with so many intertwining story threads, you might initially need a corkboard and some string to understand how it all weaves together. Thankfully, unlike Christopher Nolan's nonsensical failure, The Devil All the Time becomes clearer as it travels through a grim narrative dripping with blood and shrouded by a sense of unrelenting dread right from its opening scene. With a bleak...

Featured, Reviews / 13.09.2020

Look out, Margot Robbie. A fresh Australian female actor is making a serious play to be the latest it-girl stealing attention in Hollywood. And, for once, she's not a blonde. Nor is she white. Breaking all kinds of outdated perceptions of what constitutes the leading lady of a romantic comedy, The Broken Hearts Gallery announces the arrival of a new star in the form of the ridiculously talented Geraldine Viswanathan. While the film itself may feel conventional and plays to all the rom-com tropes we're familiar with, writer/director Natalie...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.09.2020

Where does one even begin when describing a new film from someone like writer/director Charlie Kaufman? With his penchant for pushing the boundaries of storytelling and a strikingly unique style that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, Kaufman is a divisive auteur whose screenplays consistently defy the logic and traditions of cinema. Opinions of his work are always sharply divided, and his latest offering is sure to see a similar reaction. Over a decade after his last live-action directorial effort, Kaufman returns with a film that's likely to...

Featured, Reviews / 06.09.2020

If you're still recovering from the terrible trio of Disney live-action remakes we were served in 2019, the idea of another cherished animated classic being lazily rehashed in 2020 is likely the last thing you're yearning for in the middle of a global pandemic. After the soulless shot-for-shot remakes The Lion King and Aladdin and the ambitious misfire that was Dumbo, something decently competent like Mulan ultimately looks like a masterpiece by fortunate virtue of comparison to a string of disappointments. After seeing its March big screen debut scuttled...