Author: Joseph Doumit

AF Film Review: Four Days in France (France, 2016) is all in the name

March 4, 2018

Four Days in France really is about four days outside of Paris. Since Pierre (Pascal Cervo) has floored it out of the city into a freeway odyssey, with no change of clothes and no clear destination, he is relying on other gay men for somewhere to sleep and just pass the time. He finds young, […]

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Film Review: Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait (USA, 2017) is filled with effortless charm

October 3, 2017

We meet Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) in a state of supreme boredom – another day, another exhibition. With his hair sticking up, and a cigarette hanging eternally from his lips, he looks like a crumpled echidna whose snout is on fire, but who cares. It’s James Lord (Armie Hammer) who bothers to bring us this […]

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Film Review: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (USA, 2017) might have been saved by Donald Trump

August 8, 2017

Donald Trump could have saved An Inconvenient Sequel. If Al Gore is the John Wayne of climate activism, as directors Bonni Cohen and John Shenk would have you believe, then Trump is Lee Marvin (AKA Bad M.F). This time it’s personal, as they say. As it turns out, we get very little Truth To Power, […]

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Film Review: Don’t Tell (Australia, 2017) doesn’t serve its source material justice

May 16, 2017

May I set the scene? On a farm in Queensland, 22-year- old Lyndall (Sara West) is talking to lawyer Stephen Roche (Aden Young) about her willingness to face the might of the Anglican Church in court over the abuse she suffered in boarding school. She asks about Bob Myers (Jack Thompson), the barrister who would represent her […]

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Film Review: Personal Shopper (USA, 2016) falls flat with its supernatural elements

April 9, 2017

Poor Maureen (Kristen Stewart). Her boss, Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) is impossible, sending her all over Europe for clothes and shoes she is too rich and famous to buy for herself. On top of that, her twin brother died a few months ago, and he still hasn’t contacted her from the beyond, even though he […]

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Film Review: Author: The JT LeRoy Story (USA, 2016)

December 28, 2016

One lonely night in the mid-nineties, a struggling writer named Laura Albert telephones a psychologist, Dr Terrence Owens, pretending to be a younger man named Terminator. He has a lot to talk about; most notoriously his years as an underage truck-stop prostitute pimped out by his mother. Dr Owens thinks it would be healthy for […]

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Film Review: Snowden (USA, 2016) tries too hard to make Edward Snowden look like a hero

September 22, 2016

The new biopic Snowden – in cinemas today – is a film about one of the world’s most famous political dissidents, Edward Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), by a filmmaker (Oliver Stone) who is celebrated for his political dissidence. It should be a match made in cinematic heaven. So why isn’t it? The problems with […]

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Review: Fracture – Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney (Performances until August 12)

August 6, 2016

I find Mario Kart so ruthless and stressful that, emotionally, I can’t reach the end of Rainbow Road without shedding some real-life baggage. That’s the game Charlie (Brandon McClelland) is playing with flat-mates Clara (Contessa Treffone) and Tommy (Tel Benjamin), literally and metaphorically, in their rundown Perthian apartment. Whatever he’s trying to shed, they seem […]

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Theatre Review: A Man With Five Children, Eternity Playhouse, Sydney (performances until June 26)

June 14, 2016

Filmmaker Gerry (Jeremy Waters) wants your children. More specifically, he wants to document the lives of five seven-year-old Australians, filming them for one day each year until they are 21. They are Roger (Jemwel Danao), Jessie (Chenoa Deemal), Susannah (Charlotte Hazzard), Zoe (Jody Kennedy) and Cameron (Taylor Wiese). We watch this unfold across two acts, […]

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Film Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (NZ, 2016)

May 27, 2016

Have you seen that ad where the three kids sit in the car and talk about how their dads drive when they’re blazed? If so, you’ll probably recognise Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), though he’s done some growing. When he arrives at his latest foster home, deep in the New Zealand bushland, he steps out of […]

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Theatre Review: We Will Rock You, Sydney Lyric, Sydney (performances until June 26)

May 8, 2016

The Killer Queen (Casey Donovan) is, well, a Killer Queen – but she also likes Fat Bottomed Girls. Is one such girl, in fact. When she’s not indulging, she’s doing what she can to make sure that all the music on the iPlanet is Computer Recorded Autotune Pop (or CRAP). The last thing she wants […]

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Theatre Review: Belleville, Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney (performances until May 7)

May 5, 2016

Before any actor graces the stage, the apartment is full of stories. The cracks on the wall tell us it was built-to-last a long time ago. The beaded curtains in the doorway are permanently drawn to the side; while charming, they quickly became a nuisance. By the red corduroy couch, there’s a pair of boots […]

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Film Review: Florence Foster Jenkins (USA, 2016)

May 5, 2016

Florence Foster Jenkins opens with St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) in front of a red curtain, reciting a little Shakespeare. We soon find out he’s just waiting to introduce Florence (Meryl Streep) his wife and client, who is starring in a cabaret of her own design for the patrons of her music club. The truth […]

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Chantelle Jamieson talks about Belleville and the passion of acting on the stage

April 25, 2016

Amy Herzog’s Belleville had a critically acclaimed run Off-Broadway in 2013, and in Melbourne last year. Now, Mad March Hare have brought their production to the Old Fitz Theatre in Woolloomooloo, which runs until May 12. Actor Chantelle Jamieson talked to me about the vibrancy of director Claudia Barrie, solving problems and her love of the […]

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Our first impressions of Stan’s new drama The Girlfriend Experience

April 7, 2016

In case you were wondering, the sex really starts in the second episode. But if money is more your thing, you’ll be aroused in the first minute. Christine (Riley Keough) joins her friend Avery (Kate Lyn Sheil) in a hotel room where the oldest transaction has just taken place. The john has departed (in a […]

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DVD Review: Freeheld (USA, 2015)

April 2, 2016

If Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) was never diagnosed with terminal cancer, she may never have come out. With 20 years of service for the New Jersey State Police, being a woman was hard enough.  Now, she wants to make sure her pension goes to her spouse, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), so she can stay in […]

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Interview: Peter Sollett talks Freeheld , Vinyl and Steve Carrell

April 1, 2016

Peter Sollett is the acclaimed director of Raising Victor Vargas (2002) and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008). With the upcoming DVD release of his latest film, Freeheld (2015), he talked to the Iris’ Joseph Doumit about returning to romance, LGBT rights, and how the truth set him free. How did you get involved with […]

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DVD Review: Knight of Cups (USA, 2015)

March 23, 2016

Or, as I like to call it, Special-K. Terrence Malick and his editors have modeled their film on the time and space bending properties of a psychoactive trip. One second you’re in a swanky Los Angeles apartment, the next on the ruins of a burnt-down gas station.  Sometimes it’s Rick’s (Christian Bale) voice whispering contemplative […]

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Film Review: Son of Saul (USA, 2015)

February 24, 2016

Saul (Géza Röhrig) is a Sonderkommando: a prisoner of Auschwitz who assists in the extermination of his own race. That requires a great deal of work, which, apparently, is far too dirty for the hands of Nazi soldiers. Each day, he ushers the people in and cleans the remains of the showers with hopeless resignation. […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Fall Fell Fallen – Bay 17, Carriageworks (Performances to 24th January)

January 24, 2016

The Lonely Circus production of Fall Fell Fallen has a twist. It’s not the lone tightroper, and it’s not the experimental music accompaniment. It’s Acrobat Sébastien Le Guen falling. A lot. He doesn’t hurt himself or anything. It’s not exactly for the epic fail crowd, though it does disarm with the same gravitational force. Thankfully, […]

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Film Review: Kill Your Friends (UK, 2015)

November 27, 2015

Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult) is an A&R agent for a top record label. Those who live and breathe music would kill for that job. He lives and breathes cocaine. When one of his colleagues outperforms him, he copes by listing the different names for it – blow, bugar-sugar, lump etc – like counting to ten. […]

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The Latest Star Wars News – Episode VII: The Flock Awakens

October 26, 2015

Some time ago, in this particular galaxy, there were Star Wars films and no Twitter. So there was no way for cowards to express their disapproval of Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, or even Samuel L Jackson. Now, many are exercising this newfound power in the general direction of Force Awakens star, John Boyega, […]

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Film Review: Bridge of Spies (US, 2015)

October 20, 2015

Watching Bridge of Spies, I couldn’t help picturing Steven Spielberg hopefully pressing his tuxedo. Along with Lincoln (2012), it is set in shadowy rooms with windows of blinding white light, like a Polaroid of American democracy in the process of development. Again, the themes are highly relevant today, despite taking place at the height of […]

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Film Review: Sicario (USA, 2015)

September 30, 2015

Sicario resembles Donald Trump’s big problem with the Mexican border, and renders his wall solution useless. For her part, FBI agent Kate (Emily Blunt) is kicking down doors from minute one. Just as quickly, she realises that is not fixing anything. So when Matt (Josh Brolin in a Mark Zuckerberg outfit) offers her some real […]

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The latest Star Wars News – Episode VI: Family Matters

August 21, 2015

You would know by now that the D23 Expo is not a droid, but a spectacle for many things Disney. Marvel, Pixar, Touchstone etc. That also includes Star Wars, itself growing to be many more things. 

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Film Review: Trainwreck (USA, 2015)

August 12, 2015

Amy (Amy Schumer) is a writer for a men’s magazine, along with her friend Nikki (Vanessa Bayer). One morning, they sit in adjacent cubicles of their office bathroom, comparing Johnny Depp(s) from different films based on their fuckability. They aim for the funniest answers, such as: Edward Scissorhands (1990) because you’d always have a great […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: A Poem Is A Naked Person (USA, 1974)

August 6, 2015

A Poem is a Naked Person was completed back in 1974 and has only found wide release in this year. That has to do with legal issues, or creative differences, or some other things, all of which means little to you and what you intend to watch. Suffice it to say that you can very […]

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The Latest Star Wars News – Episode V: Han’s solo debut…

July 13, 2015

The response to Harrison Ford’s death defying Comic-Con appearance speaks to the popularity of his iconic character. Little surprise, then, that the Han Solo movie has been officially announced on Lawrence Kasdan (episodes V, VI and VII) and his son Jon Kasdan (Dawson’s Creek), have written the script about the formative years of everybody’s […]

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The Latest Star Wars News – Episode IV: Easy, breezy, beautiful merchandising

June 23, 2015

Stop what you’re doing, for here’s the first look at the official Episode VII (2015) toys. For any other movie that would mean a whole lot of nothing, but because this is Star Wars, the grand-daddy of toy collectibles among grown men, it matters a great deal. That’s why photos of little plastic Stormtroopers, six […]

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Where The Force Is Taking Us: *Beep Beep Boop Beep Beep Beep*

June 1, 2015

Last month’s Episode VII splash on Vanity Fair revealed a bunch of new Star Wars characters, including Adam Driver as a de-masked Kylo Renn. Now has an exclusive photo of Andy Serkis in his role as Supreme Leader Snoke. It’s been published as part of an interview with renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, who discusses […]

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