The Childhood of a Leader [SFF2016]

 2016, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on The Childhood of a Leader [SFF2016]
Jun 162016


I present to you the biggest surprise of the Sydney Film Festival so far. This is an incredible film, and an understandable winner of Best Debut Feature and Best Director awards at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. As an actor, the 28-year-old Brady Corbet has displayed a taste for working with master filmmakers like Michael Haneke, Olivier Assayas and Lars Von Trier, appearing in films such as Mysterious Skin, Funny Games, Force Majeure, Clouds of Sils Maria and Melancholia. He has also written and edited several feature films, so after a decade of what seems to be grooming from some of the world’s élite directors he has been given the opportunity to produce and direct one to rival them. The result is an extraordinary debut achievement – a stylish, ambitious, and audacious period piece which feels like a lost great work from Louis Malle or Stanley Kubrick – which also offers mesmerising, precisely composed visuals and an assaulting orchestral score that immediately demolishes any expectations you may have for the film. Having seen thousands of films it is always exciting when one takes you aback, and offers such a whirlwind of intellectual and sensory impact.

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 Reviews  Comments Off on Life
Aug 242015


Life, a respectably modest and balanced dual biopic is based on the friendship between Time Magazine photographer Dennis Stock and 50’s Hollywood celebrity James Dean. Under the sure hand of the marvellous director Anton Corbijn (Control, The American, A Most Wanted Man), this is a touching snapshot of time, and remains a very focused study of the psyche of these two very different young men – a reluctant, but effortlessly charismatic star, and an ambitious but battling artist – who learn from one another and grow as a result of their unlikely friendship. Corbijn never goes out of his way to draw much attention to the big dramatic developments, or where each recognisable snap of Dean took place, he simply observes these men as they bond, tell stories and try to grow as both artists and men.

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Trailer: The Rover

 Trailers  Comments Off on Trailer: The Rover
May 192014

David Michôd’s The Rover premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, where it received mixed to positive reviews.

The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw (★★★)

The Rover is an undoubtedly atmospheric and brutal drama set in an apocalyptic future after a “collapse”: the endless bush has telegraph poles on which crucified bodies are displayed from some unspecified insurgency or crackdown and the economy now depends on US dollars. It has something of a surlier, meaner Mad Max, a flavour of Australian New Wave pictures like Wake in Fright, and even something of Spielberg’s Duel

Variety – Scott Foundas

Pearce is fiercely impressive here as a man who gave up on the human race even before the latest round of calamities, and if there are occasional glimpses of the kinder, gentler man he might once have been, we are more frequently privy to his savage survival instincts. But it’s Pattinson who turns out to be the film’s greatest surprise, sporting a convincing Southern accent and bringing an understated dignity to a role that might easily have been milked for cheap sentimental effects.

Michôd’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most critically acclaimed Australian films ever made, so to say that this film was highly anticipated by the film community in Australia would be an understatement. I love the idea of the outback as a setting for an apocalyptic film and the photography in the trailer hints at something special. I’m looking forward to seeing Pattinson in a more gritty role, and am encouraged by the positive reactions to his performance.

The Rover has its Australian Premiere on June 7th at the Sydney Film Festival, before being released nationally on June 12th.


 Reviews  Comments Off on Cosmopolis
Jan 042013


A man in a limo travels across town to get a haircuts whilst the world outside the limo is going crazy. What if I were to say the great performance of the man in the limo is played by Robert Pattinson. Yes, the former vampire/human disco ball from the Twilight series runs the show and is fantastic. If you’re doubtful of this being possible, let me prove that it is and read my review after the jump.

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Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

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Nov 182012


The end of the franchise that propelled two relative unknowns to fame and was the cause of much squealing the world over. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is critic-proof, and was always going to appease the die-hard Twihards. But does that mean it should get a pass for being poorly made rubbish? No, no it shouldn’t. Review after the jump.

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