2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Wadjda
Mar 172014

A 10 year-old girl living in Saudi Arabia abides by her strict culture yet never stops observing and questions the more unfair notions of a society that operate in the favour of men. All she wants however, is a bike, but she’s told that it’s not appropriate for a young girl’s virtue. She just wants to be an individual with the freedom to experience pure joy, much like any child does. Does it resonate? Do we come to care about a girl and her bike in the first place? My review of Wadjda after the jump.

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Before Midnight

 2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Before Midnight
Jul 152013

before midnight

We join Jesse and Céline in Greece, some nine years since we last saw them in Paris. What has happened since? Did they end up together, or did they go their separate ways?

Please consider everything after the jump a spoiler for this film. If you want to go into Before Midnight knowing nothing about why the pair are in Greece, then read no further. Please also note that the endings of both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset will also be discussed in this review. If you haven’t seen either of those films, please do not read ahead and watch them asap – you’ll be doing yourself a great service.

My review of Before Midnight is after the jump.

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Monsters University

 2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Monsters University
Jun 202013


Mike and Sulley, the two most lovable monsters from Monsters Inc once went to university and weren’t necessarily friends at first. So how did it all lead to their eventual friendship and place at Monsters Inc? It’s my review of Pixar’s Monsters University after the jump.

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Sydney Film Festival 2013 – Awards & Highlights

 2013, Festivals, News, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Sydney Film Festival 2013 – Awards & Highlights
Jun 202013

The Rocket Film

After 12 days of amazing films the 60th edition of the Sydney Film Festival closed on Sunday night with a screening of the uplifting and incredibly entertaining documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom (review to come). With close to 200 films screened over the 12 day period, it was an incredibly rich and varied festival.

The Sydney Film Festival Prize was awarded to Nicholas Winding-Refn’s Only God Forgives (review here), which despite receiving a decidedly mixed response from the audience, was praised by the jury (headed by Hugo Weaving) for it’s audacious and cutting-edge film- making. The Audience Award for Narrative Feature Film was won by Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket, with the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour the runner-up. The Audience Award for Documentary film was awarded to Australian documentary The Crossing, with Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell taking the runner-up spot.

For me personally, the highlight was the incredibly shocking and well-made documentary Dirty Wars (review here). My favourite feature film was Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo (the film that had the most walkouts). It was also a huge buzz to be in the same room as legendary Korean director Park Chan-wook; and to meet a director I think is at the start of an amazing career, Scottish film-maker Paul Wright.

Of course watching films with amazing people (not matter how bad the film), late night chats and awesome Film Clubs at the Festival Hub were also highlights. It’s the people that make the festival something truly special.

You can read all of our Sydney Film Festival reviews here – there will be more added over the coming week as we get some sleep!

We hope you enjoyed our coverage. It was a heck of a lot of fun.

After the jump I’ve posted a picture of my top 15 films from the festival.



By Sam McCosh

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SFF2013: The Way Way Back

 2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on SFF2013: The Way Way Back
Jun 182013


A teen coming of age story set in small town, beach side America, where a 14 year-old boy learns about love, life and that crazy notion of adults not having all the answers. Seen that film before? Would you want to see it again despite knowing the revelations the protagonist will probably have? What if Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Colette starred in it and the show was run by Jim Rash and Nat Faxton, who won an Oscar for The Descendants? Could they do anything different with the familiar formula? My review of The Way Way Back after the jump.

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SFF2013: Prince Avalanche

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Jun 152013

Prince Avalanche

It’s surprising who you can become friends with when you are forced to spend time with someone. Prince Avalanche explores the unlikely friendship that forms between two oddball men while they’re installing road markings in an isolated area. Review after the jump.

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SFF2013: Monsoon Shootout

 2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on SFF2013: Monsoon Shootout
Jun 152013


One moment involving chance, timing and violence. A series of alternate resolutions. Anything goes with cops, crooks and endless betrayal in Monsoon Shootout, the new multi-narrative crime epic from Mumbai. My review after the jump.

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SFF2013: The Bling Ring

 2013, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on SFF2013: The Bling Ring
Jun 142013

The Bling Ring

The internet is a goldmine and the Bling Ring mined it to achieve the lifestyle they so lusted over. Why imitate a celebrity when you can simply break into their homes and take what is theirs? Their lifestyle is now your lifestyle. Review of Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring after the jump.
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