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

Feb 042014

It’s our 2nd Birthday! It’s hard to believe that I’ve written about movies on this site for 2 years now and you all are still reading. Over the last year I’ve written some things I am really proud of. I think my coverage of the Sydney Film Festival was excellent; I loved immersing myself in the Sydney Underground Film Festival; and think some stand alone reviews such as The Wolf of Wall Street were fairly decent.

So far 2014 has been a quiet one on the site. It’s not that there hasn’t been good movies to write about, it’s more that I haven’t really felt like writing about them. I think all writers have slow patches, times when for whatever reason they’re just not as motivated. I’ve learnt over the last 2 years not to be so hard on myself in these times. Just ride it out, keep watching movies and the inspiration will return soon enough. An Online Universe will certainly be around to celebrate birthday number 3. This is the year I’m going to the Toronto International Film Festival after all!

A special thanks to Chris Elena, Johnson Hii, Luke Grima, Ben Buckingham, Kimberley Santos and everyone else who has contributed over the last year. I’m honoured that you are willing to let me share your thoughts on film.

Most important of all, thank you dear readers. Frequent readers, occasional readers, people who find the site for the first time – you’re what makes it all worth it.


By Sam McCosh

 Posted by at 07:50
Oct 162013


The Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) is back with a line-up of 51 Israeli and Jewish-themed features, documentaries and shorts from around the globe. The festival will run in Sydney 30 October – 17 November and in Melbourne 6 – 24 November. The Festival will explore the full spectrum of Jewish experience in all its rich complexity, via an incredible 50 Australian première screenings, spread, for the first time, across 12 diverse categories to assist patrons in navigating the eclectic slate of movies on offer.

The titles of these categories, which hint at the cinematic gems within, include All the World’s a Stage, Quality Schmaltz, Triumph of the Spirit, Coming of Age, Drama and Desire, Brilliant Minds, Haunted Histories, Power to the People, Reimagining Culture, Women on Film, Hamatzav (The Situation) and…Living Dead (yes, every Festival needs a good Zombie flick!)

Launching JIFF 2013 will be Fill the Void, the poignant story of an 18 year-old girl who finds herself torn between love and duty when pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Screening courtesy of Rialto Films, this fine drama, set amidst Tel Aviv’s ultra-Orthodox Hassidic enclave, has won a multitude of prestigious awards and was a resounding hit with both critics and audiences at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals.

Closing night will pay homage to a great Jewish tradition…humour, with the delicious documentary, When Comedy Went to School an affectionate look at an era when comic legends such as Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jerry Stiller, Jackie Mason, Larry King and others honed their patter at the famous Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Also features rare archival footage of comedians including Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Mel Brooks, Danny Kaye and a young Jerry Seinfeld who all ‘cut their teeth’ on one of the toughest circuits in showbiz.

Check out some festival highlights and location details after the jump.

Continue reading »

Sep 192013


From 24 October to 8 December, the Hola Mexico Film Festival will travel through Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth with 10 feature films, 6 documentaries and a series of special events marking the opening and closing nights in each city.

The 2013 festival will open with the already announced Nosotros Los Nobles (We are the Nobles), the surprise Mexican comedy blockbuster of the year and #1 box office hit in Mexico cinema’s history.

Other highlights include La Vida Breve Y Precoz De Sabina Rivas (The Precocious And Brief Life Of Sabina Rivas), which was nominated for 11 Ariel Awards – Mexico’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. After Lucia and Post Tenebrax Lux are also huge award winners, with After Lucia winning the Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2012 and Tenebrax’s Carlos Reygadas awarded Best Director at Cannes, also in 2012.

Festival Dates and Locations
Melbourne – 24 – 29 October – ACMI Cinemas
Perth – 14 – 21 November – Cinema Paradiso
Sydney – 27 November – 4 December – Chauvel Cinemas Paddington
Adelaide – 29 November to 8 December – Mercury Cinema


Tickets are on sale now from www.holamexicoff.com

Follow the fest on twitter: @holamexicoau

Sep 112013

The fourth annual Indie Gems Film Festival launches Thursday 12th September at the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta. The festival showcases both local and international independent cinema over three days, 12th to 14th September.

Opening night of the Festival will feature the powerful documentary Pharaoh vs the Egyptians, directed by well-known Australian comedian, Akmal Saleh. Egyptian-born, Akmal returns to Egypt to explore how the people risked
their lives in order to protest against decades of oppression and overthrow a dictator in rule for over 30 years.

Other highlights of the Festival program include the Cambodian short documentary by Academy Award winning
filmmaker Cynthia Wade, Born Sweet, and the multiple award-winning documentary I am Eleven by Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey who traveled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose an insightful and funny portrait of childhood.

Closing night of the Festival will feature Gossip Nation, the first Nollywood (Nigerian cinema) film produced in
Australia, which follows the conflicts and dramas of a community of African immigrants and refugees that have settled in Blacktown.

Rounding out the Festival’s program will be a number of networking events, Q&A sessions with directors, a student
film competition and a panel discussion on the future of the film industry.

WHEN: 12 – 14 September, 2013

WHERE: Riverside Theatre – Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta

TICKETS: Available online www.riversideparramatta.com.au or from the Box Office: 02 8839 3399

Sep 042013

The 17th Japanese Film Festival programme has been announced and for the first time in the festival’s history, the programme is a national one. 12 of the latest box office hits plus 5 classics will tour all 5 cities: Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

The festival will open with The Great Passagea celebration of a vision to create the best Japanese dictionary starring two of Japan’s leading actors, Ryuhei Matsuda and Aoi Miyazaki. Closing the festival is the warm-hearted drama Fruits of Faith, a film which perfectly captures the Japanese spirit of dedication in the quest for the perfect and near impossible organic apple crop. The film is based on a true story and bestselling novel.

Other highlights include:

*The live-action adaptation of Tatsunoko’s classic anime Gatchaman (also known as Battle of the Planets/G-Force)

*Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods, featuring the legendary voice of Masakazu Morita (Bleach, Tiger & Bunny, One Piece).

*The Complex – the first horror film in almost a decade from director Hideo Nakata (The Ring)

*Kiyoshi Kurosawa blurs the line between subconscious and reality in spine-chiller Real. The film is screening at both TIFF & NYFF

*The God of Ramen tells the story of charismatic noodle shop owner Kazuo Yamagishi. See why customer’s queued regularly for over two hours a day for a bowl of ramen.

A free abridged program traveling to regional cities Broome (17 – 18 September), Townsville (26 October), Hobart (13, 14 & 16 October), Cairns (3 November) and Darwin (TBC) include titles from the 2012 major city line-up including Arrietty, A Ghost of a Chance and A Boy & His Samurai.


Major city festival dates and locations
BRISBANE: 16 – 20 October Events Cinema Brisbane Myer Centre
PERTH: 23 – 27 October Hoyts Westfield Carousel & State Library Theatre
CANBERRA: 30 October – 3 November Capital Cinema Manuka
SYDNEY: 14 – 24 November Event Cinemas George Street
MELBOURNE: 28 November – 8 December Hoyts Melbourne Central & ACMI Cinemas, Australian
Centre for the Moving Image

For more information visit the festival website: http://www.japanesefilmfestival.net/ and follow the festival goodness on Twitter: @japanfilmfest / #jff17


Aug 242013


Hey All – We don’t usually do advertising on the site, but I wanted to let you know about a new website that I think is actually pretty fantastic.

movietimes.com.au is a new site which has information from around 120 cinemas and nearly 1000 screens across Australia including all the cinemas operated by Event Cinemas, Birch Carroll& Coyle, Greater Union, Hoyts Cinemas and Village Cinemas.  You can view movies and compare session times etc, all from MovieTimes website. As more cinemas are added, I’m sure the site will become even more useful.

The mobile site uses navigation to give you information about the cinemas nearest to you.

Stop by the site and check it out!

 Posted by at 13:32
Aug 202013


The 2nd Persian International Film Festival launches in Sydney on Thursday night (August 22nd) with a screening of Massoud Bakhshi’s A Respectable Family (یک خانواده محترم). The festival showcases films from Persian speaking communities of Iran and Afghanistan, and from the global Persian community across the globe to celebrate their similarities, diversities and complexities through film for both Persian and Australian audiences.

Highlights include: Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love (which I highly recommend); About Elly, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi (The Past, A Separation); and 1999’s Tehran: the 25th Hour (تهران، ساعت ۲۵), which revisits the joy experienced on the streets of Tehran after the Iranian soccer team qualified as the 32nd team in the 1998 Soccer World Cup.
For the full line-up, please visit the official festival website: http://persianfilmfestival.com/

Book your tickets via Dendy