Chevalier [SFF2016]

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Jun 162016


Athina Rachel Tshangari’s Chevalier is effectively a movie-length pissing contest, with a painfully accurate representation of the fragile egos of men. Six men on a fishing holiday aboard a luxurious yacht invent a game to pass the time. The game formalises what the men have been doing the entire trip, and likely their entire lives, which is competing with each other – seeking validation of their manhood.

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It’s Only The End of The World [SFF2016]

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Jun 152016


Xavier Dolan, the 27-year old French-Canadian filmmaker with prodigious talent and a handful of brilliant films under his belt (including the 2014 Jury Prize winner, Mommy), returned to Cannes this year with the understandably anticipated It’s Only the End of the World. Despite being met with boos and largely negative reviews, it was surprisingly awarded the prestigious Grand Prix prize. While it is a flawed film, it certainly doesn’t deserve that vitriolic reception. There is still a lot to like about this emotionally intense – and often excruciatingly shrill – but stylistically restrained family drama, adapted by Dolan from an eponymous play by Jean-Luc Lagarce.

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Finding Dory

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Jun 142016


Set 6 months after the events in 2003’s Finding Nemo, Finding Dory focuses on Dory’s quest to find her parents. For a very long time Dory had forgotten that she had lost her family, but now that she has remembered, she will stop at nothing to be reunited with them. Thankfully Dory has friends such as Nemo, Marlin, and Mr Ray to help her on the mission.

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SFF16 Review Diary: Days 1-3

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Jun 132016


Read beyond for my thought on films I have seen on Days 1-3 of this year’s Sydney Film Festival – Born to Be Blue, Being 17, Certain Women, Elvis & Nixon, Julieta, Tickled and The Lure. Let’s just say it has been a fantastic start.

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A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers [SFF2016]

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Jun 132016


Directed by Pakistani’s first, and now two-time, Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, also screening at SFF16) and Geeta Gandbhir, A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers is an absorbing and enlightening document of the experiences of a group of Bangladeshi policewomen who join a year-long UN peacekeeping mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While it serves as a challenge for these dedicated and strong-willed women, willing to leave behind their immediate families to honour other family members who had either died in the same line of work, or firmly believed in it, they do experience many psychologically affecting obstacles as they shatter commonly held Muslim traditions and gender stereotypes.

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Sonita [SFF2016]

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Jun 122016


When we join Afghani teenager Sonita Alizadeh, she has spent the last 10 years of her life as an undocumented refugee Iran. She’s working part-time at a Refugee Centre in Tehran, the same place where she receives her schooling. While she may find herself in a dire situation, economically, politically, and socially, she still has dreams – dreams of music and making it big.

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Elvis & Nixon [SFF2016]

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Jun 102016


In December 1970, Elvis Presley turned up unannounced at the Northwest gate to the White House with a letter he wanted delivered to the president. See, Elvis was mighty worried about youth drug culture and he wanted to personally offer his assistance to the president. The letter requested a meeting with Nixon, and Elvis wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass

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May 232016


Alice Through the Looking Glass picks up three years after the events in Alice in Wonderland. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has spent the last 3 years on the high seas, exploring the world in the same way her father did before her. She returns to London to find her mother in a financial bind, and her standing in society very much changed. Just when she is about to lose hope, she spots the blue butterfly Absolem (Alan Rickman) who leads her to a magical mirror back to Wonderland.
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