REVIEW: 2015 RMIT Film Awards

Recently I served as a member of the judging panel for the 2015 RMIT Film Awards alongside Daniel Binns (RMIT), Kess Broekman-Dattner (Oh Yeah Wow) and Katrina Wilkinson (eOne). As a condition of my participation in the judging process I offered to produce reviews for the winning entries. Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s […]

REVIEW: Revenge: A Love Story

While revenge narratives are common within cinema, few films seek to explore the ideological complexities surrounding retributive violence. Typically, when vengeance is meted out on-screen, the actions are framed as either justifiable or necessary. Wong Ching Po’s Revenge: A Love Story has the pretense of a film that is attempting to engage the ethics of […]

REVIEW: Great Expectations

Crossed fates, class conflict, broken families, vengeance, death and unrequited love. One hundred and fifty years on from its initial publication Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations has lost little of its drama and none of its bleakness. Presented in three parts, the recent BBC production of this canonical text is a visually striking and suitably sombre […]

REVIEW: New York: A Documentary Film

It’s been called the city that never sleeps, the Metropolis of America, the Capital of the World or simply, the Big Apple. Whatever names it goes by though, few places on Earth have exerted such a profound influence upon the Western cultural and political imagination as New York City. Beneath the bright lights of its […]

REVIEW: Fire In Babylon

Between 1980 and 1995 the West Indies dominated test cricket like no other team in the history of the game. Their streak of 29 consecutive test series without defeat during that time stands as one of the most remarkable sporting achievements within any code. Yet as Steven Riley’s documentary explores, the driving force behind the […]

REVIEW: Here I Am

Like Brendan Fletcher’s Mad Bastards (2011), writer/director Beck Cole’s debut feature Here I Am centres on inter-generational conflict within an indigenous community. However, where Fletcher’s film explored issues of male displacement and violence in the outback, Cole’s narrative is located in a distinctly urban setting and focuses on the experience of female characters. Here I […]

REVIEW: The Magnificent Tati

Like the character of Monsieur Hulot for which he was renowned, the work of Jacques Tati is often seen as being somewhat out of place in the world. Despite the high esteem with which the French performer and director is now commonly held, Tati’s brief filmography testifies to his status as an artistic outsider. It’s […]

REVIEW: Tucker & Dale vs Evil

The figure of the Southerner/Hillbilly has a distinguished place within the genre of American horror cinema. Invariably depicted as inbred rapists (Deliverance), cannibals (Wrong Turn), serial killers (House of 1000 Corpses) or a combination of evils (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), it’s fair to say their reputation has, over the years, been suitably maligned. In that […]

REVIEW: His & Hers

Ken Wardrop’s debut feature documentary opens with an old Irish proverb: “A man loves his girlfriend the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest”. An exploration of family, relationships, age and gender, His & Hers might be seen as an attempt to address the question, what do women really think of the […]

REVIEW: Hamlet

Filmic productions of theatrical performances have an unfortunate tendency to be, as the Bard might put it, ‘a little more than kin, and less than kind’. Often shot with static or spatially distant cinematography, weakened by conflicting performance styles, or overly lengthy, the transition from stage to screen is not always harmonious. Gregory Doran’s adaptation […]