FEATURE: 2010 Year in Review

Another year at the movies fades to black. In keeping with the critical tradition it’s time to roll credits and briefly recap some of 2010’s most memorable releases. Rather than attempt to rank the year’s Best films (arguably a futile and impossible task since I wasn’t able to see everything), I instead present to you […]

FEATURE: John Waters On Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

To say that director John Waters has a fondness for excess is perhaps to put things mildly. For the man William S. Burroughs once dubbed “the pope of trash”, Waters has carved out a reputation through his filmmaking for transgressing sexual norms and embracing social taboo. And while the early extremes of Multiple Maniacs (1970) […]

INTERVIEW: You’re Where?: Affleck talks ‘I’m Still Here’

Amidst the maelstrom of publicity and controversy surrounding the release of I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck’s documentary on the fall of Joaquin Phoenix, the director has faced repeated questions over the authenticity of the film. Last week in an interview with The New York Times, Affleck confessed that I’m Still There was all “performance”. But […]

FEATURE: An Evening with Joss Whedon

It’s hard not to feel for Joss Whedon. Dedicating all that time, love and energy into television productions that end up rode to ruin (Dollhouse), killed off long before their time (Firefly), or simply asked to ‘move on’ (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) must make life pretty hard. Then again, when your legions of fans […]

FEATURE: Tarantino Comes of Age

Sixteen years and five films after the release of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino is finally beginning to prove that as a filmmaker he’s no mere fly-by-night trend hopper or one-trick pop-culture pony. If anything, with the release of his latest film Death Proof, the man once credited with bringing hyper-violence back into Hollywood, has begun […]

FEATURE: The Perils of Pop Culture Politics

Hollywood cinema has long occupied a space along the fault lines of America’s political divide; producing films that occasionally challenge, but more commonly reinforce various dominant ideological beliefs. It is, after all, the town that practically invented the ‘happy ending’, an industry founded on an unwavering belief that no matter how bad things get, good […]

FEATURE: How Much Moore Is Too Much?

For some he’s a symbol of a renewed political activism, champion of the underdog, a working class emancipator, a baseball-capped David taking on the corporate and government Goliaths. For others, he’s a self-righteous egotist, an expedient manipulator of truths, a baseball-capped multi-millionaire more interested in his net worth than the causes he champions. Love him […]

FEATURE: MIFFing Out On Festival Fatigue

“19 Days Only”! That’s the slogan for this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. It’s a catchy little phrase, no doubt engineered by some marketing guru hoping to incite panic among cinephiles desperate to savour each and every last frame from the films on show. And yet now, with the program nearing its conclusion, I can’t […]

FEATURE: The Spectre of Violence

Violence in cinema has often provided a reliable wellspring for political controversy, religious condemnation, and served as an easy target for public outrage. While it may have passed under the radars of most politicians and moral guardians (at least for the moment ‘real’ violence seems a much more profitable cite for political gain), the release […]

FEATURE: Death of Cinema at Cannes

“The form of cinema as we know it and love it, it is a thing of the past.” – David Cronenberg Cinema is Dead. At least, that’s the opinion of some of the world’s most prominent directors speaking within a discussion group at the recent Cannes Film Festival. The directors had gathered as part of […]