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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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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Jun 122013
 

The sole survivor of a fishing accident which took the life of five young men (including the survivor’s only brother) struggles to deal with both the grief and finality of death and the attitude of the village-folk who don’t understand why he walks among them, while others are dead. Review of Scottish director Paul Wright’s début feature film, For Those in Peril after the jump.
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May 262013
 

only-god-forgives-ryan-gosling

In the streets of Bangkok, an underworld exists which is a law into itself. If someone is killed, then there can be no peace until vengeance has been delivered. In this underworld there is one man who alone decides when the score has been squared. Cross him and you may find Only God Forgives. Review after the jump.

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