film

film September 21, 2019

Sophie Hyde’s Animals

Despite some missed opportunities in its storytelling, Animals is sustained by riveting performances from its two leads, and by Sophie Hyde’s generosity as a director.

film September 7, 2019

Lulu Wang’s The Farewell

In her subtle, bittersweet second feature, The Farewell, director Lulu Wang reveals the complexities and contradictions of being a second-generation immigrant.

film August 24, 2019

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s childhood love of cinema again is at the fore in his nostalgic paean Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But when will the writer-director invest his talents in something fresh and challenging?

film August 24, 2019

Film director Jennifer Kent

Five years after her much-lauded The Babadook, director Jennifer Kent has returned with The Nightingale, which tackles Australia’s brutal colonial history. She reveals what drew her to tell this story – and what she thinks of audience reactions to the film’s violence. “The whole point of The Nightingale is what happens when that rage winds down. What are you left with? That to me is the most interesting part of the story: what lies underneath it is a broken heart.”

music August 17, 2019

Amazing Grace

After almost 50 years, major technical problems and multiple legal challenges, the film recording of Aretha Franklin’s legendary Amazing Grace performances has been released at last – and it’s worth the wait.

music April 6, 2019

Waiting: The Van Duren Story

A chance introduction to little-known ’70s Memphis power pop musician Van Duren on YouTube led two Australian fans on their own journey of filmmaking discovery.

film March 30, 2019

Destroyer

Despite a valiant performance from Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, Karyn Kusama’s feminist take on film noir ultimately shies away from true darkness.

film March 16, 2019

The high life of Claire Denis

While Claire Denis seeks to avoid metaphor in her films, the French director’s sci-fi prison drama High Life, starring Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson, can’t help but raise big questions about the universe, the nature of time and even the meaning of life. “Everything in screenwriting is painful and yet it’s great. It’s great because the pain is the price you have to pay to be allowed to dream things, to make them real.”

film March 9, 2019

Everybody Knows

After a shift in setting to Spain for Everybody Knows, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi squanders a brilliantly tense kidnapping drama in an attempt to provide social commentary.

theatre March 9, 2019

Ellen Burstyn variations

Ellen Burstyn, in Melbourne to star onstage in 33 Variations, has a film career spanning six decades and including such cinematic touchstones as The Exorcist and The Last Picture Show. She talks tabout Beethoven, spirituality and recruiting Scorsese to direct her in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. “I asked that he be the director. He had already made Mean Streets, but it hadn’t been released and he was deeply grateful that I wanted him. This doesn’t mean that I gave him his start. And there was no stopping him, anyway – he would have got there in any case. But, you know, there was never any sense with Marty of working with a monster, with a master in the nasty sense. He’s marvellous, he’s an original. He’s smart and fiery and rough and excitable and alive.”

film January 26, 2019

Roma

The unequal but loving relationships in Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s film set amid the political turmoil of 1970s Mexico, deliver some of the most powerful scenes in recent cinema.