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F&L News: Sydney Film Festival announces Gourmet Cinema program for 2015

Gourmet Cinema is back this year, spread across three days from 9th to 11th June, to once again deliver the perfect pairing of food and film to the Sydney Film Festival. The concept is quite simple really, you sit back with a group of fellow cinephiles to enjoy a fine foodie film and then, following the screening, enjoy a full dining experience at one of Sydney's top restaurants. Each restaurant has been tasked with creating a special menu for the night, based on the film preceding the dinner.

the AU interview at Sydney Film Festival: David Sim of The Human Scale (Copenhagen)

The Human Scale is a documentary which screened as part of this year’s Sydney Film Festival. It is directed by Andreas Dalsgaard and is about Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl and his extensive studies of human behaviour in cities across 40 years. He has documented the impact of urban changes on human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way which encompasses the ever-growing need for human connection. Thinkers, architects, and urban planners across the globe are featured throughout the documentary to challenge the way we think about modernity, and to put people into the forefront of our minds when planning changes in big cities.

the AU interview at Sydney Film Festival: Director and Producers of Big Name No Blanket (Australia, 2013)

Larry Heath talks to director Steven McGregor and co-producers Lisa Watts and Rachel Clements about their film documentary Big Name No Blanket, which premiered at the June 2013 Sydney Film Festival, which is where this interview was filmed. The film is about the charismatic and inspirational frontman of the Warumpi Band, the late George Rrurrambu Burarrawanga.

the AU interview: Jessica Douglas-Henry - Producer of "Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls" (Burma, 2013)

While in town for the Sydney Film Festival, Larry Heath sat down with the producer of the Australian documentary Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls, Jessica Douglas-Henry, to talk about the challenges of making a film in Burma, the political influences, Miss Nikki, her Tiger Girls and more...

the AU interview at Sydney Film Festival: Tom Berninger and producer Craig Charland of Mistaken For Strangers (USA, 2013)

Larry Heath talks to Director/Editor Tom Berninger and producer Craig Charland about their feature film Mistaken For Strangers, which saw Tom follow his brother Matt out on tour with his band The National. The film was one of the featured documentaries at this year's Sydney Film Festival, which is where this interview was filmed.

the AU interview at Sydney Film Festival: Cast and Crew of Nerve (Australia, 2013)

Larry Heath talks to Director and co-writers Sebastien Guy, Producer Neal Kingston and actors Christian Clark and Georgina Haig from the Australia film Nerve, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2013. We talk about the film and the anticipated screening... this interview was filmed a few hours before the premiere. The film also stars Gary Sweet.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Mood Indigo (France, 2013)

Michel Gondry has always been one of my favourite directors. His ability to take dreamlike concepts and turn them into something visually tangible has always been his strength, and a unifying quality between all his productions - be they feature length, short or music video format. Though perhaps we won't consider The Green Hornet in amongst this discussion.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Greetings From Tim Buckley (USA, 2012)

Jeff Buckley may have sung “So Real” on his ground-breaking, Grace album, but the bio-pic of his and his dad’s lives concentrates on their mystical qualities. Maybe it was their untimely deaths – Jeff by drowning in Memphis’ Wolf River at age 27 and Tim at age 28 from an accidental overdose – that turned them into alt-rock and folk legends. But Greetings From Tim Buckley showcases their considerable talents by focusing on the ethereal and whimsical qualities that peppered their short, entwined lives.

Sydney Film Festival Review: What Maisie Knew (USA, 2012)

What Maisie Knew could actually be called Matilda. The former is an adaptation of the Henry James novel but it also shares a lot in common with the latter, Roald Dahl book. There is the brilliant and mature-beyond-her-years little girl who has to take care of herself because her parents only do so when it’s convenient. Although both sets of parents are far too selfish and self-absorbed, both of these young darlings find the love and affection they should receive in people that aren’t their family.

Sydney Film Festival Review: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks (USA, 2013)

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks looks set to polarise audiences as much as the organisation’s founder, Julian Assange does. The documentary is the latest film from the Oscar-winning, Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Dark Side, Enron: the Smartest Guys In The Room). It attempts to paint a portrait of this organisation with snappy animation and a good musical soundtrack. But it has also made headlines as Wikileaks and Assange have criticised Gibney for omitting facts, misrepresenting others and employing selective editing. Gibney denies all this and says that Wikileaks have only viewed a transcript, not the complete film.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Only God Forgives (USA, 2013)

All it took was one movie (2011’s excellent Drive) for director Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling to be painted as a dream team. Collaborating again on Only God Forgives was reason enough for it to be hyped beyond belief, so perhaps we went in with our expectations a bit too high.

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Look Of Love (UK & USA, 2013)

The Look Of Love could and probably should scream “great film”. It pairs director, Michael Winterbottom with comedian, Steve Coogan (they are the men who worked on 24 Hour Party People and the TV show, The Trip). The story is about a legend. The name Paul Raymond may not mean much but he was England’s answer to Hugh Hefner and the script was written by Matt Greenhalgh (Control, Nowhere Boy). But for all of its pedigree and promise of glitz, glamour and tawdriness, this film is just a likeable-enough romp that is more lukewarm than hot stuff.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Oh Boy (Germany, 2012)

A day in the life of a slacker, twenty-something living in Berlin may not sound like everybody’s cup of tea. But this guy’s more concerned with coffee anyway. The actual day is a rather momentous one with a series of mishaps and unfortunate events, making this story seem a little different to the one originally described. In fact, Oh Boy could be a lot like your own life due to the absurdities that pepper it and the colourful characters that inhabit it.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Camille Claudel 1915 (France, 2013)

Poor Camille Claudel. The famous artist would create a lasting legacy of sculptures and drawings that are still important and relevant today. But she was also one tortured artist. Camille Claudel 1915 attempts to capture all of these emotions and feelings. It’s also a French biopic that is a claustrophobic chronicle of three days in her sad life.

Sydney Film Festival Review: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Russia & UK, 2013)

Peaches wrote and sang the song “Free Pussy Riot!” Madonna almost got into trouble for dedicating her performance in Moscow to the guerrilla-style-performing, feminist collective of political activists. Pussy Riot fuses riot grrl power with a raw and gritty performance art style. They first came to prominence in early 2012 when they were imprisoned after their fifth gig and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is a documentary that feels like a good telling of the first few chapters of this story.