film

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.

film April 25, 2020

Hearts and Bones director Ben Lawrence

In Hearts and Bones, director Ben Lawrence explores masculinity and trauma through the story of a war photographer befriending a South Sudanese refugee. He speaks here about how his experience of parenthood has influenced his work, and the parallels between himself and his father, director Ray Lawrence. “Through the period of writing Hearts and Bones and being involved in Ghosthunter, the idea of being a father, what it means to raise a young boy in this era, all became fascinating to me.”

film April 18, 2020

Be Kind Rewind creator Isabel C

With her viral video essays, the somewhat elusive Isabel C delves into the intrigues, triumphs and upsets of the film industry. But her YouTube channel, Be Kind Rewind, also looks at Hollywood’s failings, and how it represents and treats women. “The Oscars have survived through several decades, so I knew they could be a good entry point for both exploring history and the industry’s power structure from a female perspective.”

film March 21, 2020

The Extraordinary

A favourite at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Extraordinary, starring Vincent Cassel, offers insight into the lives of autistic youths and their carers.

film March 7, 2020

Undertow

Miranda Nation’s directorial debut, Undertow, begins with power, promise and tension, but it ends up drowning in its own contradictory styles.