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Review / ‘Unfriended’ (M) ** and a half

NELSON Greaves has concocted a screenplay for director Leo Gabriadze to deliver on a PC monitor.   A year ago Laura Barns, beleaguered by incessant abuse on social media, killed herself. Today, after watching the YouTube record of the suicide, Laura’s closest pal Blaire calls boyfriend Mitch on Skype to talk about Laura’s prognostication that […]

Review / ‘Boychoir’ (M) *** and a half

DIRECTOR Francois Girard’s films are mostly about his great passion – music. Not the jangly noise that so often assaults the ear claiming musical status simply because it’s made on musical instruments, but sounds that delight the senses and challenge the intellect with their emotional and artistic creativity and durability long after the creators of […]

Review / ‘Banksy Does New York’ (M) *** and half

THE cultural phenomenon known as Banksy never appears in either of the two documentaries made about him and his work. Chris Moukarbel’s documentary for Home Box Office uses mostly user-generated footage from the internet and TV to survey Banksy’s project involving inviting New Yorkers on every day of October, 2013, to find and observe the […]

Arts / Spanish in the reel world

FEELING Spanish comes easily to the Spanish Film Festival’s producer Genevieve Kelly. She’s an Aussie, but she has a Peruvian mum and a grandma who doesn’t speak English so, as she says: “Speaking Spanish is quite a natural thing”. That’s handy, because if there’s one thing Australia’s 18-year-old Spanish Film Festival treasures, it’s the Spanish […]

WWI film gets the nod in Goulburn

LAST YEAR we reported that Canberra’s Yowie Productions were set to release their short film “The White Feather” and now producer Marie Gheebrant-Anderson tells us, they’ve won first prize in the “Burn by Night” Film Festival at Goulburn. “The White Feather”, the winner by a large margin, is set in Bungendore, Sydney and Flanders and […]

Review / ‘The Gunman’ (MA) *** and a half

IN his short (1942-1995) life, critically-acclaimed French crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette wrote what would become 25 films or TV series. “The Gunman”, the first filmed after his death, probably owes as much to Pierre Morel’s direction of Don MacPherson’s adaptation as to Manchette’s original plot. In 2006, mercenary Jim (Sean Penn, one of the film’s […]

Review / ‘IT Follows’ (MA) *

SHORTLY after Easter I received an email touting the Australian release of “David Robert Mitchell’s independent horror feature ‘IT Follows’ ’’, asserting that “IT” had “stormed the US speciality box office over its opening weekend (March 13-15) recording the highest screen average of any film release in 2015 with $40,000. ($160,089 total gross off four […]

Review / ‘Dior and I’ (M) ***

BELGIAN Raf Simons, newly-appointed creative director at Paris fashion house Dior, doesn’t draw designs. He gives written briefs which atelier staff will convert into maquettes for expensive gowns. Other people’s docos about couturieres follow the designer from tabula rasa  through design drawings to cutting and machining fabrics to the obligatory closing shots of skinny young […]

Review / ‘A Little Chaos’ (M) ** and a half

EVERY journey has a first step. For Jeremy Brock and Alison Deegan, writing their debut screenplay for “A Little Chaos” took them straight into the directorial arms of Alan Rickman. Few actors do better sneer than Rickman. “A Little Chaos” is his second directorial effort (he brought Emma Thompson to Australia for “A Winter Journey” […]

Review / ‘Big Eyes’ (PG) ***

“O VILLAIN, villain, smiling, damned villain!… one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” There was a practical reason for studying “Hamlet” as the obligatory foray into Shakespeare for matriculation exams all those years ago. The quote neatly describes not the usurper who has just married his royal brother’s widow, Hamlet’s mum, but Walter […]

Review / ‘That Sugar Film’ (PG) *** and a half

TO assemble the data for this documentary examining the effect of sugar, more specifically, fructose, on human health, writer/director/principal player Damon Gameau offered himself as the guinea pig for trials partly monitored by qualified health professionals but mostly devised by Gameau himself. It’s a delightful film brimming with information, humour and visual delights. But it […]