"Burning" (2018) Review
Director Chang-dong Lee's “Burning”; a scintillating masterwork of class warfare, contemporary existential pressures and an agonising pursuit for truth in the haze of manipulated perception; contains a single staggering scene. It’s a scene that feels like it's been waiting for his entire creative life to emerge and one that continues to reverberate in my mind since that viewing several months ago.
"Pulse" (2017) Review
Pulse is an independent low-fi body swap, science fiction movie that sees disabled teen Oliver/Olly (Daniel Monks) with gender identity issues given an opportunity to have physical and gender rebirth. This stunningly photographed debut feature from cinematographer turned director Stevie Cruz-Martin and writer/star Monks’ pair real drama with a fantastical projection for this 'on-demand' age.
Graffiti Elsewhere: "Widows," "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald," and more
Each month, for those Graffiti readers unsure of where else they can find my reviews, I'll be collecting them into a single post. This is so that you can catch up without having to scroll through a series of #OneHeatMinute notifications and videos of me imploring you to RUN. #noexcuses
"The Girl in the Spider’s Web" (2018) Review
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” does for Lisbeth Salander what “Jason Bourne” did for the Bourne franchise; and that's not a compliment. This toothless, time-turner deviates drastically from the gut wrenching and disturbing investigative thrill ride of previous adaptations like David Fincher's 2011 adaptation or the Niels Arden Oplev’s 2009 Swedish original. What remains is a re-origin story with the purpose to expand the audience and to curb Salandar into a Scandi-Noir's female hacker super-heroine.
"The Merger" (2018) Review
It's too often that you hear about films that are before their time, or too late. Just as Australia's current coalition government nominated Scott Morrison as their poster-boy leader; a man who has a boat-shaped sculpture in his office that proclaims "I stopped these"; a movie embracing humanity and community like “The Merger” is right on time.
"Watch the Sunset" (2017) Review
"Watch the Sunset" is an anxiety-inducing single take film that uses its form to amplify the dramatic stakes. Making an independent film is already a somewhat mad exercise and yet co-directors Tristan Barr, and Michael Gosden double-down on madness by making a film that requires such pinpoint execution.
"BlackKKlansman" (2018) Review
Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman" is a satire of the ludicrously true to life tale of Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington), the rookie African-American cop that infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. As an early title in the film says: “This joint is based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit.”
Graffiti Elsewhere: "Wayne" and "Working Class Boy" Reviews
Each month, for those Graffiti readers unsure of where else they can find my reviews, I'll be collecting them into a single post. This is so that you can catch up without having to scroll through a series of #OneHeatMinute Live adverts and pics that only fans of the movie “Sneakers” care for.
"The Second" (2018) Review
“The Second," the first original Australian film for streaming service STAN, is a superior mystery thriller. Director Mairi Cameron creates an prestige aesthetic that affects a sense of haunting isolation, and writer Stephen Lance's script manipulates time and memory to weave a disturbing tale of creation. What secrets are entangled in this fiction?
“Ready Player One” (2018) Review
There’s a pop culture mash-up moment where “The Iron Giant” met “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” in RPO that made me howl with joy. RPO is a movie with a tsunami of these moments from about 40 years of film, T.V and gaming. If you're a collector, you may relish trying to catch them all.
"The Miseducation of Cameron Post" (2018) Review
There's a moment in the trailer of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" where Sandra Bullock's astronaut is cast off the space station and sent hurtling into the void. Tumbling, clutching vacant space; that lack of an anchor is the perfect metaphor for the director and co-writer Desiree Akhavan's "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" a disturbing vision of life behind the lines of gay conversion therapy.
"You Were Never Really Here" (2017) Review
Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay elevates the vigilante tropes of "You Were Never Really Here" into a sensory experience dripping with the haunting psychological cost of death. Dizzying pulsating soundscapes seamlessly edited around fleeting glimpses into disturbing events and a subversive vision of vengeance; Ramsay and star Joaquin Phoenix have delivered something that refuses to be forgotten.
Graffiti Elsewhere: "MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE - Fallout" & "Living Universe" Reviews
Each month, for those Graffiti readers unsure of where else they can find my reviews, I'll be collecting them into a single post. This is so that you can catch up without having to scroll through a series of #OneHeatMinute Live adverts and updates about my newborn son to find where else I've been published.
Sydney Film Festival 2018 Film Diary Part 1 - "The Blood of Wolves," "Holiday" and "West of Sunshine"
To give you a flavour of 2018 Sydney Film Festival, I'm going to be compiling 'capsule' sized reviews of every film that I caught. The only exceptions to this will be those films that have a guaranteed an Australian cinematic release, in which case you may see a capsule review that forms the bedrock for a more extensive analysis of the movie.
Graffiti Elsewhere: "Mystery Road: The Series" "Brother's Nest" and "1%" Reviews
Each month, for those Graffiti readers unsure of where else they can find my reviews, I'll be collecting them into a single post. This is so that you can catch up without having to scroll through a series of #OneHeatMinute Live adverts and making uncomfortable choices between great movies to find where else I've been published.