Oct 312014
 

Stop-Making-Sense

October has been quiet. Let’s chalk that up to a combination of recovering from TIFF, having the flu (it sucked) and the cinemas being a little quieter than usual. I only watched 17 films in October, but the quality was really high. Six of the films I watched this month made by ‘Best Films of 2014 (Australian Release Schedule)‘ list; and two films made me cry…My October monthly round-up is after the jump.

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 Posted by at 21:17
Oct 312014
 

interstellar

The latest film from Christopher Nolan (The Batman Trilogy, Inception) is sure to be, for many, the most anticipated film of the year. This is especially considering the marketing tease of epic intergalactic exploration, the fact that it is shot in a combination of anamorphic 35mm and IMAX 70mm (and will be projected in both formats), and brings in the man behind the McConaissance. This may be Nolan’s most ambitious film yet, as he attempts to balance an intimate existential story about the power of love and its ability to bind humans and families together across time and space, with credulous scientific hypothesizing about cosmic physics and a challenging mission to save the world. At the same time it is his most intellectually wobbly, narratively goofy and surprisingly forgettable.

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Oct 262014
 

violet

The Windows on Europe Film Festival, set to run in Sydney November 17-23 and Canberra November 24-30, has a diverse and exciting line-up of films this year. In addition to the films reviewed below and along with the winners at Cannes (White God), Berlin (Stations of the Cross) and SXSW (10,000 KM) other highlights include Cathedrals of Culture, Concrete Night, Fair Play and The Great Museum. The full line-up and ticketing can be found at the festival’s official website – http://www.eurofilmfest.com.au/

I have been lucky enough to catch a few of the films screening at this year’s festival, and I can highly recommend Violet and Northwest. Short reviews of both after the jump.

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Oct 222014
 

Fury

David Ayer’s (End of Watch) WWII-set tank epic is a hulking, mechanical beast of masculine adrenaline that rumbles along to Steven Price’s (Gravity) incredible operatic score. It does a lot of the heavy lifting in this rousing drama, that in bursts thematically resembles great war films like Platoon or Saving Private Ryan, only to fail on a few fronts – with its stock characters, romanticised machismo and somewhat extreme depictions. Still, the tanks have heft and character and Fury is an intense, grueling, visceral and claustrophobic representation of the sheer horrors of war – the incineration of life, the loss of innocence, the transformation of an ordinary human being into a monster– and the authentic mud-drenched combat sequences are very well done indeed.

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Oct 192014
 

ThisIsWhereILeaveYou

“You are all my children again and you are all grounded”, Hilary Altman (Jane Fonda) announces to her adult children who have gathered at the family home after the passing of their father. It was his dying wish that the family sit Shiva, a week-long mourning period, and Hilary will see to it that this wish will be granted. This Is Where I Leave You is reviewed after the jump.
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Oct 192014
 

zeromotivatio

Screening at the upcoming Jewish International Film Festival, Zero Motivation, the excellent début feature from Israeli writer/director Talya Lavie, won the top prize for narrative world cinema at the Tribeca Film Festival. A black comedy addressing the mundanity of Israeli Army base HR management and secretarial duties, it focuses on a unit of female conscripts who find their camaraderie tested by the base’s comings and goings, and are willing to do anything to make their service bearable – while keeping their sanity and dignity.

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