Apr 062014

I’ve been a Scarlett Johansson fan since Lost in Translation and I’m excited by how prolific she has been in recent years. From superhero films, to sci-fi thrillers and now a sci-fi action, the lady does pick interesting and varied projects. In Lucy Scarlett appears to undergo an incredible transformation after a drug package bursts in her gut. The trailer makes it seem like a darker, more violent version of Limitless.

According to the film’s website, Lucy is “an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic”.

Writer-director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional) has brought us impressive female-led action in the past(such as La Femme Nikita), but I haven’t really liked many of his more recent films. I’ll be interested to see how this one pans out come August when it is set to be released.

Apr 042014

The full programme has been announced and tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Spanish Film Festival, to be held over 23 days, across six states and 11 Palace Cinema locations. This year (the festival’s 17th) will give Australian audiences the opportunity to see 30 of the very best and most recent Spanish and Spanish-speaking Latin America Films.

Opening this year’s festival is Living is Easy With Eyes Closed (Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados), winner of six 2014 Goya Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Original screenplay. Set in 1966 Spain, Antonio (Javier Cámara I’m So Excited, A Gun In Each Hand, Talk To Her), is a school teacher in the small Spanish town of Albacete, who uses Beatles lyrics to teach his students English. When Antonio learns that Lennon is visiting, he decides to undertake the journey to meet his hero.

Closing the festival is the wild and outrageously funny Witching and Bitching (Las brujas de Zugarramurdi), winner of 8 2014 Goya Awards including Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects. Wildly fleeing toward France through the impenetrable Basque forest after a jewel heist, a hapless band of robbers runs afoul of an evil coven of witches led by Marichu (the mighty Terele Pávez), her daughter Graciana (Carmen Maura, Volver), and granddaughter Eva (Carolina Bang).

Other highlights include The Golden Cage, Cannibal, To Fool a Thief and 7th Floor.

For a small taste of the festival, check out the trailer

For the full programme and information about tickets and special events, please visit the official festival website: http://www.spanishfilmfestival.com/


SYDNEY Tues 29 April – Sun 18 May, Palace Verona and Palace Norton Street
MELBOURNE Wed 30 April – Sun 18 May, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth & Kino Cinema
CANBERRA Thu 01 May – Wed 14 May, Palace Electric Cinema
BRISBANE Thu 01 May – Wed 14 May, Palace Centro and Palace Barracks
PERTH Tue 06 May – Wed 21 May, Cinema Paradiso
ADELAIDE Tue 06 May – Wed 21 May, Palace Nova Eastend Cinema
BYRON BAY Thu 08 May – Wed 14 May, Palace Byron Bay

Apr 022014

The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 of the more than 180 films to be featured in this year’s event in advance of the full program launch on Wednesday 7 May.

Most exciting for me is Xavier Dolan’s fourth feature film, Tom At The Farm. The film premiered at TIFF last year and I’ve been aching to see it ever since. In Tom At The Farm, A young man attends the funeral of his gay lover in rural Quebec, only to find himself trapped in a dangerous dance of lust and sadistic impulses with the deceased’s brother. Dolan won the Sydney Film Festival Prize in 2010 for his second feature film, Heartbeats.

Other titles I am excited about are features: Joe (David Gorden Green), Frank (Lenny Abrahamson), 2014 Golden Bear Winner Black Coal, Thin Ice (Yinan Diao), Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Michel Gondry) and The Unknown Known (Errol Morris).

For Robert Altman fans, now is the time to get excited. The 61st Sydney Film Festival will feature a special eight film retrospective, with the director’s film-making son Michael Altman attending the festival as a special guest. Michael will introduce several of his father’s films and participate in the extensive talks programme.

A list of the 32 films announced (including synopsis) is after the jump.

For more information about the festival, films and tickets, visit http://www.sff.org.au/

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Apr 022014

Captain America may have been engineered as the World’s greatest solider, but he’s also a man with scruples and morals, he fights for the greatest good. What will he do when all he fights for is called into question? My review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier after the jump.

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Mar 312014

March, you were a pretty average month overall and I’m not sad to see you pass. Bring on the “blockbuster season” and the film festivals which will soon follow. While I saw 10 films at the cinema, only a few were memorable. I didn’t see anything bad per say, there just wasn’t much to get excited about. March has been my most prolific film-watching month in 2014 thus far, with 33 films watched in total. I watched quite a few films at home over the month, including a couple of Agatha Christie film adaptations. I love reading her books and find the films rather cheesy and fun, but they don’t really hold  a candle to the books. My March 2014 round-up is after the jump.

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Mar 302014

Every so often, a new director comes along, takes a film genre mired in stagnant and uninspired repetition and completely revolutionises it. In the 1980’s, John Woo energised the action genre with his heroic bloodshed gunplay movies. In 2011, Gareth Evans did it with The Raid, an explosive martial arts film that made every Hollywood action movie look like a shoving match between two preschoolers. Now, Evans and his team have returned to once again show everyone how action should be filmed. And boy, does he deliver. My review of The Raid 2 after the jump.

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Mar 292014

So, it appears that this is my first Film Link Goodness of 2014. Errrr…sorry? I really thought I had done one of these already. I’ve read some great stuff around the web lately and felt that it was time to group some of it together to share with you all. Favourite directors, The Lego Movie, writing about film and more in my March 2014 Film Link Goodness after the jump.

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