film

film October 24, 2020

Rebecca

Ben Wheatley’s new adaptation of Rebecca opts for safe nostalgia over du Maurier’s conflicted subtext.

film September 19, 2020

The Translators

A cynical nod to Agatha Christie’s locked-room mysteries, Régis Roinsard’s The Translators fails to recognise the complexities and canniness of that storytelling tradition.

film September 12, 2020

Mulan

In the midst of political controversy, Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan emerges as a watered-down version of the original animation.

film August 15, 2020

First Cow

MIFF opening night film First Cow follows the austere and sophisticated path of director Kelly Reichardt’s previous works but is stymied by its small-screen showing and the underdeveloped ‘buddy’ relationship at its core.

film July 18, 2020

Essie Davis’s honour roles

Actress Essie Davis made her name inhabiting charismatic women, from detective Phryne Fisher to The Babadook’s Amelia Vanek. She speaks about being born to act, breaking her ribs on set and learning piano for her new film, Babyteeth. “I do love going to the cinema and having a really good cry. It can be a really profound experience to be that moved in the darkness … It’s very hard not to feel sentimental about every scene [in Babyteeth] because they’re quite moving.”

film July 11, 2020

A tribute to a great composer

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Ennio Morricone scored hundreds of films, writing music that worked in concert with the directors’ vision.

film June 27, 2020

Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven

In his latest film, It Must Be Heaven, Elia Suleiman continues to explore the absurdity and tragedy of being Palestinian, and weaves in a moving contemplation of the ageing body.

television June 13, 2020

Missing that big-screen feeling

While welcoming the Covid-19 lockdown as a chance to catch up on some TV and film viewing, this reviewer found himself craving, with a few notable exceptions, the romance of the cinematic experience.

television June 12, 2020

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Tony McNamara

Before becoming a playwright, screenwriter and showrunner, Tony McNamara was a stockbroker who had failed year 11 English. Now, after being nominated for an Oscar for The Favourite, he brings his acerbic dialogue and honest storytelling to his new TV series, The Great. “I saw a lot of Pinter, a lot of Mamet, Caryl Churchill … I was struck by how visceral it was, how you could get a rhythm going that really carries an audience along.”

film June 6, 2020

Alan Yang’s Tigertail

Drawing on director Alan Yang’s family story to depict a Taiwanese migrant in America, Tigertail is beautifully shot and acted, but the film doesn’t live up to its emotional potential.

music May 9, 2020

Beastie Boys Story

Forgoing depth and complexity for cheap nostalgia, Beastie Boys Story has little of the vitality that characterised the band’s music.