Film

Interview: Long Story Short actor/director Josh Lawson on the challenges of filmmaking and returning home to Australia

February 4, 2021

Academy Award nominated writer/actor/director Josh Lawson is back behind the camera to follow up his 2014 debut The Little Death with the time-warped romantic comedy Long Story Short. ¬†Ahead of the film’s local release (it’s set for Australian theatres on February 11th), Peter Gray caught up with the star to discuss the film’s origins, the […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Passing is a fantastic directorial debut from Rebecca Hall

February 3, 2021

Passing is the feature-length directorial debut from acclaimed actress Rebecca Hall. She is best known for her astounding performances in Vicky Christina Barcelona, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women and Christine; as well as her appearances in blockbusters like The Prestige and Iron Man 3. Her interest in adapting the source material of the same […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Judas and the Black Messiah is an impactful drama that’s all too aware of its topical relevance

February 2, 2021

After proving a formidable plot point in last year’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 – however secondary it may have been – the killing of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in 1969, at the age of only 21 years, is given the right, timely treatment in Shaka King‘s equally impactful (perhaps even more so) […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: The Blazing World is a tarnished world of immense beauty

February 2, 2021

The Blazing World is the type of film where the ideas of logic, plot or conventional storytelling need not apply; and that is absolutely fine with the story it is telling. Expanded from a short film of the same name, it is the feature-length directorial debut from established actress turned writer/director Carlson Young. The short […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Try Harder! is a delightful documentary about the high school experience and overcoming impossible expectations

February 2, 2021

Starting on a personal note, when I heard about the documentary Try Harder and its premise, I had traumatic flashbacks to my own time as a student. The relentless studying, the overbearing parenting, the exaggerated expectations, the regrettably embarrassing actions; it all came flooding back. That is when I knew that I had to watch […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Pleasure is a deliberately uncomfortable navigation of the boundaries of the sex industry

February 1, 2021

After introducing itself as a film that promises there’ll be no sugarcoating its subject matter – the first thing we hear are the audible moans and verbal berating from a pornographic film, and the first thing we see is the extremely graphic imagery of a young girl’s privates in the shower – Ninja Thyberg‘s confronting […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Robin Wright’s Land speaks to the love of the land and one’s own self

February 1, 2021

With Nomadland currently doing the rounds and collecting its share of awards in the lead-up to a presumed heft of Oscar nominations, a film like Land being release is curious timing. ¬†It’ll inevitably be compared to Chloe Zhao’s inward masterpiece and, in its own way, it’s something of a more digestible, audience friendly take on […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Together Together amusingly explores the notion of a man’s desire to listen to his biological clock

February 1, 2021

The notion of a biological clock and its exclusivity to women is a road travelled many a time over the course of cinematic history. ¬†Such an idea pertaining to men however is another story entirely, and one that has seldom been explored. ¬†Enter, Together Together. Written and directed by Nicole Beckwith (returning to Sundance 6 […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Mayday is a wonderfully unique, genre-shifting ode to female resilience

February 1, 2021

Do you know how it feels to describe a dream? A moment where you are not really sure what you just witnessed and yet you remember seeing certain things and oddly enough, you remember feeling everything about it? That is basically how it feels like watching Mayday, the feature-length directorial debut by writer/director Karen Cinorre. […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Don’t ignore the Knocking! Go see it for the thrills and Cecilia Milocco’s performance!

February 1, 2021

Knocking follows the story of Molly (Cecilia Milocco), a woman who is returning to the outside world after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital after she was admitted due to her involvement in a past traumatic event. She moves into an apartment complex and is starting to experience things that she has not come into […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark is a menacing feature that doesn’t take full advantage of its eerie potential

January 31, 2021

It doesn’t take much for director James Ashcroft to create the most horrific of situations from the simplest of ingredients laid bare in the early stages of the eerie Coming Home in the Dark. ¬†A loving family, an idyllic New Zealand locale, and a duo of passing strangers provide all that is needed for Ashcroft’s […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Mass is powerful, unflinching storytelling that demands to be seen

January 31, 2021

An agonising drama if ever there was one, Mass details the type of conversation that instantly makes you feel sickeningly uncomfortable. ¬†And then to watch it unfold in a suffocating location for 110 minutes is a test of endurance that audiences may be unprepared for. The tragedy at the centre of the conversation is one […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: How It Ends is a scrappy comedy that utilises its charm to overcome any shortcomings

January 31, 2021

In How It Ends, the joint-directorial effort from Daryl Wein (Lola Versus) and Zoe Lister-Jones (The Craft: Legacy), the question is proposed of what would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end?. ¬†It’s a question that has familiarity to it, but Wein and Lister-Jones have the smarts and wit to […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Censor is an enjoyably reverential and visually stimulating psychological horror experience

January 30, 2021

When a filmmaker decides to venture into the topic of filmmaking as a narrative, their efforts can be fascinating in terms of storytelling. When the horror film Censor had been announced as an entry for Midnight Madness at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, it was particularly intriguing for a few reasons. Firstly, the topic of […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: In the Same Breath is a sobering, harrowing account on the origins and cover-up of COVID-19

January 30, 2021

There really is no way for yours personally to say this in a pithy fashion so it is best to just say it straight. One of my most anticipated films this critic wanted to see was In the Same Breath by director Nanfu Wang, a talented documentary filmmaker whose work in indicting the government workings […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: John and the Hole is an ambiguous thriller that refuses to spoon-feed its audience

January 30, 2021

There’s a series of odd interludes dispersed throughout Pascual Sisto‘s unnerving thriller John and the Hole that suggest the story at hand has been passed down over time as something of a fable, one that impressionable young children may construe as a challenge on how they view their own relationship with their supposed elders. ¬†It’s […]

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Film Review: Malcolm & Marie succeeds entirely off the committed performances of John David Washington and Zendaya

January 28, 2021

Although Malcolm & Marie was one of the first films to be announced as a “made during COVID-19” production, it thankfully has nothing to do with the global catastrophe. ¬†Instead, writer/director Sam Levinson (creator of HBO’s Euphoria) has opted for an in-house tragedy revolving around the titular couple (John David Washington‘s Malcolm and Zendaya‘s Marie) […]

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Film Review: High Ground takes a deceptively simple story to heights of excellence

January 28, 2021

High Ground is the latest film from Stephen Maxwell Johnson, whom is best known for his 2001 acclaimed film Yolngu Boy; a powerful coming-of-age story about three Aboriginal men who strive to become great hunters as they deal with social, economic and especially filial factors in maturing from adolescence to adulthood. Since then, Johnson has […]

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Film Review: Brothers By Blood is an all-too ordinary mob story that seems unfortunately content with coaxing by on familiarity

January 24, 2021

Despite a talented cast that consists of such reliable names as Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Kinnaman, Ryan Phillippe, and Maika Monroe, Brothers By Blood (originally known as The Sounds of Philadelphia) is an all-too ordinary mob story that seems unfortunately content with coaxing by on familiarity. Masculinity, faith, loyalty, redemption, brotherhood, a criminal underworld…it’s stock standard […]

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Ever wanted to watch a movie from a hot spring? Now in Victoria, you can.

January 22, 2021

Watching a movie underneath the stars whilst being submerged in a hot spring pool? Where do I sign up? A movie experience like no other, this February the Peninsula Hot Springs in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula return to host a movie season like no other as every Friday night in February – plus a special Valentine’s […]

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Film Review: Dave Franco’s The Rental is a gradually unnerving thriller that speaks to his skills as a storyteller

January 20, 2021

It goes without saying that within the realms of the horror film, setting plays a large factor.¬† From the Bates Motel – and, by extension, THAT shower – in Psycho to the murderous New York dwelling of The Amityville Horror, places of habitation are often their own character if utilised precisely enough.¬† In The Rental, […]

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SXSW Film Festival 2021 announces opening night headliner and other premiere highlights

January 18, 2021

The SXSW Film Festival has announced its opening night headliner as the 28th annual event prepares to announce its complete film lineup on February 10th, 2021. Serving as the opening night headliner will be Michael D. Ratner‘s Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a powerful YouTube Originals documentary event that explores the aspects that led […]

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Interview: Actor Aldis Hodge on working with Regina King in One Night In Miami and the importance of the film’s release

January 14, 2021

Academy Award winning actress Regina King‘s feature film directorial debut, One Night In Miami, is arriving this week on Amazon Prime Video. ¬†An adaptation of Kemp Powers’ acclaimed stage play detailing a fictionalised meeting between ¬†Malcom X, Muhammed Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke in a Miami hotel room in 1964, the film has been […]

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Film Review: One Night in Miami is a thematically powerful and emotionally riveting chamber piece

January 13, 2021

In America 1964, the audience is introduced with its four main players. Renowned boxer Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) had just defeated Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world; Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) is still fighting for the cause for Black people; pop musician Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom […]

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Film Review: Shadow in the Cloud in an off-kilter, bi-polar horror film that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before

January 12, 2021

As evident in fellow AU critic Harris Dang’s TIFF review of Shadow in the Cloud, this film’s connection to disgraced screenwriter Max Landis is understandably a hot-button subject. ¬†Whilst I won’t go into the necessary detail, I’m certainly not making light of the allegations brought towards him, but given the fact that co-writer/director Roseanne Liang […]

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Film Review: Promising Young Woman is a delicious indulgence that will make your stomach churn

January 5, 2021

With an often bright, candy coated aesthetic that masks a darker, more poisonous taste inside, Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell‘s bold debut, is the type of delicious indulgence that will ultimately make your stomach churn. Headlined by a career-best Carey Mulligan (her performance sure to be a consistent contender come award season), Promising Young Woman […]

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Interview: The Dry actor Joe Klocek on playing a young Eric Bana and the collaborative mood on set

December 29, 2020

Joe Klocek may not be a household name yet, but after his starring role in The Dry it’s likely Australia’s latest star has been born. ¬†In the lead up to the film’s anticipated release, our own Peter Gray zoomed with the rising actor to discuss his comfortable casting process, the collaborative mood on set, and […]

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Interview: Robert Connolly, director of The Dry, on adapting the best-selling novel and his partnership with Eric Bana

December 28, 2020

As The Dry prepares for a new year’s release, our own Peter Gray was fortunate enough to chat with the film’s director, Robert Connolly. ¬†Excited to finally have his film seen across Australian cinemas, Connolly discussed if he felt any pressure in adapting such an acclaimed novel, how instrumental he was in casting, and what […]

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Film Review: The Dry is a tension-laced thriller that stays true to its source material

December 28, 2020

Suitably gripping from the opening images of the bloody aftermath of a supposed murder-suicide – made all the more unsettling to the sounds of an infant crying – Robert Connolly‘s The Dry, an adaption of Jane Harper’s best-selling novel, is a tension-laced thriller that stays true to its source material. The murder-suicide that initially garners […]

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Film Review: Let Me Take You Down proves that the public’s penchant for true crime has gone a step too far

December 27, 2020

Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney have often asked that we do not name John Lennon‚Äôs killer. They reasoned that we should not reward Mark David Chapman, nor grant him the fame and notoriety he sought from that heinous act. There have been many films and books about John Lennon‚Äôs murder over the years. The latest, […]

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