SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 - THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019)
The repeated use of the word “ghouls” spoken by Adam Driver is worth the price of admission alone in Jim Jarmusch’s delightfully bent tale of the zombie apocalypse. The Dead Don’t Die is a satire that intends to approach our impending doom with an air of disbelief; like the unimaginably strange coincidence that The Simpsons predicted the Trump Presidency.
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - NEVER LOOK AWAY (2018)
Never Look Away is a return to form for von Donnersmarck, a film that poses serious questions about human existence, morality and artistic expression. Don’t be turned off by its three hour length -it’s an incredible journey that spans a tragic truth of modern history and one that we should never look away from.
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Suburban Wildlife (2019)
Imogen McCluskey’s feature debut, Suburban Wildlife, is an enveloping account of millennial despondency. The moment that you realise you’re watching something with key generational insight is as Priscilla Doueihy’s Alice delivers a despondent thought about travelling the world to be enriched. Alice says, to paraphrase, how could I possibly go anywhere my parents haven’t been.
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Palm Beach (2019)
A group of old friends and former bandmates reunite to celebrate Frank’s (Bryan Brown) 60th Birthday, hosted gleefully by the warm Charlotte (Greta Scacchi as a cipher for Rachel Ward), in the visually stunning and isolated postcard town Palm Beach. There’s nothing quite like bringing the extended family together, plying them with booze and waiting for the fireworks.
The Old Man and the Gun (2018) Review
One luxuriates into the sensory experience of The Old Man and the Gun. From an all-star cast around Redford like Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Casey Affleck; to cinematographer Joe Anderson creating a vision for this throwback that would make cinematographer Gordon (The ‘Prince of Darkness’) Willis proud.
Free Solo (2018) Review
Free Solo creates two conflicting feelings that make for one hell of an unmissable movie; awe and terror. Free Solo should come with a rating reserved for the most frightening and disturbing films. It’s an unadulterated fly on the wall view of one of the most staggering and unbelievable feats of agility, focus and precision ever attempted.
"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.