Film & TV

First Impressions: Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is comforting in its canon familiarity

March 19, 2021

Right from the opening moments of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – an extended action sequence amid rock formations spearheaded by Anthony Mackie‘s Falcon – it’s evident that the intent of this show is to link it to the prototype of the Marvel canon we’ve come to expect.  After WandaVision took bold swings, this […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Swan Song is a reminder to the queer trailblazers of where they have been and how far the community has come

March 19, 2021

German character actor Udo Kier is so synonymous with villainy that his role in Swan Song appears all the more revelatory.  But given the actor’s own queer identification and penchant for theatrical performances, a character like his at the centre of Todd Stephens‘s gentle dramedy feels quite in tune with the actor’s aesthetic. Based on […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil amplifies her unique voice over the tragedies that have defined her existence

March 19, 2021

Not unlike the professional front Katy Perry put forward in her Part of Me documentary, where she grinned and performed for a mass crowd only moments after being informed that her marriage (at the time) was over, Demi Lovato similarly bravely faces her adoring fans night after night in the early seconds of Dancing with […]

Read More

SXSW Short Film Review: The Thing That Ate The Birds holds up a mirror to one’s own conscience in a more fantastical manner

March 18, 2021

Written and directed by Sophie Mair and Dan Gitsham, The Thing That Ate The Birds is an atmospheric short that teases a darker universe we can only hope could be expanded on. Abel (Eoin Slattery) and Grace (Rebecca Palmer) are on the verge of separation, but the tragic circumstances surrounding their farmland have pushed their […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: The Feast delights in both metaphorical and mythical terror

March 18, 2021

One of those films that has a log line that feels all too familiar, Lee Haven Jones‘s The Feast presents itself as a supernaturally inclined horror film on the surface, only to gradually morph into an allegory of sorts that runs deeper than the film’s initial mentality would have you believe. Set in a secluded, […]

Read More

Interview: French Exit actress Danielle Macdonald on the specificity of the script and witnessing masterclass acting with Michelle Pfeiffer

March 18, 2021

Australian actress Danielle Macdonald has wasted no time racking up an impressive resume in the near-decade she’s been working on screen.  Biding her time between acclaimed Australian dramas (I Am Woman) and Netflix successes (Dumplin’, Bird Box), the Sydney-born talent is furthering her mark in Azazel Jacobs’s surreal comedy French Exit (Read our review here). […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Introducing, Selma Blair highlights the actress’s wit and charm in the face of her battle with MS

March 18, 2021

As displayed by her effortless wit and charm in the opening seconds of Introducing, Selma Blair, the actress’ own self-awareness has been one of her pillars of strength as she battles multiple sclerosis (MS).  Always aware of her supporting actress stance in Hollywood – the star noting as such throughout – the Legally Blonde alum […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent

March 18, 2021

A film that’s as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent (at times), Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a quintessentially British black comedy that roots for the underdog, even when he perhaps doesn’t deserve it. The titular Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) is a bit of a pathetic character, but one who’s […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: The Fallout is an authentic snap-shot of a movie that runs high on emotion

March 18, 2021

A devastatingly topical drama surrounding a school shooting and the emotional and psychological damage such a tragedy can cause for its survivors, The Fallout takes a quieter, more intimate look at the unseen faces – those that aren’t framed in the media as “a survivor”, merely fellow students who are unsure how to navigate their […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Potato Dreams of America tells a bold story in an artificial manner

March 18, 2021

There’s that old chestnut saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and it would appear that no one knows this more than writer/director Wes Hurley.  An autobiographical tale of growing up queer in the USSR in the 1980’s, Potato Dreams of America is an often bizarre, occasionally sad, but completely unique feature that, however trite […]

Read More

Film Review: Crisis details a heavy story without succumbing to its own weight

March 18, 2021

A multi-faceted drama designed in a manner not unlike Steven Soderbergh’s acclaimed, layered Traffic, Crisis‘ own multiple-strand approach to storytelling is understandable, but also can’t help but highlight the fact that director Nicholas Jarecki‘s ambition outweighs his ability to smoothly execute. There’s much to be discussed here, with Jarecki commenting on the many facets of […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Here Before utilises its supernatural premise and twists it when we least expect

March 18, 2021

Creepy children are always good fodder for horror-leaning films, and Here Before, whilst more psychological thriller than all-out horror, is no exception with writer/director Stacey Gregg utilising the premise and twisting it just so. Andrea Riseborough leads the charge as Laura in this small, gradual thriller that focuses on young Megan, a seemingly friendly school […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the global pandemic

March 18, 2021

A comedy both made during and about the pandemic that has forever altered the landscape of the world, Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the most devastating of situations.  Written, directed and headlined by the relatable comedy duo of Mallory Everton and Whitney Call (Everton serving as director and co-writer, Call as […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film

March 17, 2021

Literally adopting the phrase “Go back to where you came from” and structuring a thriller-leaning narrative around it, Lazaro Ramos‘s Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film given the racial prejudice that has framed the last 12 months. Set in a near-dystopian future in Rio de Janeiro, the film starts on the […]

Read More

SXSW Short Film Review: The Nipple Whisperer maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament

March 17, 2021

Immediately telling from its title, Jan Van Dyck’s The Nipple Whisperer is a bizarre offering, but it’s one that maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament. If you weren’t already privy to the title you’d think Van Dyck’s film was taking on a much more serious subject, with the film’s titular character […]

Read More

Film Review: Unsound is a mostly winning affair that overcomes its narrative simplicities with a queer authenticity

March 16, 2021

A film that takes pride in its conversational awareness of both the LGBTIQA+ and deaf and/or hard of hearing communities, Unsound may not always hit the right notes but there’s plenty of charm in the melody along the way. Centred around deaf Sydney-sider Finn (Yiana Pandelis), a transgender man navigating the complexities of being trans […]

Read More

Latinx culture and community are celebrated in new In The Heights trailer

March 15, 2021

As 2021 slowly finds its footing in navigating the pandemic, there appears to be no better time than now for a celebration of unity.  Dropping a beautifully colourful trailer in the lead-up to its June release, In The Heights, from director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), promises an honouring of all Latinx culture in […]

Read More

Interview: Ruby Rose and Tom Hopper for SAS: Red Notice, the comforts of the action genre and their character’s morality

March 14, 2021

Arriving March 16th in the US on demand and digital, SAS: Red Notice (read our review here) is a slick actioner led by Australian actress Ruby Rose.  In the lead-up to the film’s debut, Peter Gray chatted with Rose and her co-star, Black Sails actor Tom Hopper, about the comforts of the action genre and […]

Read More

Film Review: SAS: Red Notice is a disposable but supremely entertaining actioner

March 14, 2021

Perhaps something of an unofficial audition for the next post on the 007 roster – or maybe that’s second audition, given he was a name suggested around the same time as Daniel Craig secured the role – Sam Heughan does his best secret agent impression in SAS: Red Notice, a disposable but supremely entertaining actioner […]

Read More

MQFF Film Review: Cicada tackles uncomfortable subjects in an organic, understated manner

March 13, 2021

Given how authentic this “based on real events” tale proves to be, it’s safe to assume that writer/director/actor Matthew Fifer is baring a healthy portion of his soul and experiences in Cicada.  Likely to ring true with queer audiences – especially gay men – the film tackles uncomfortable subjects and presents promiscuous sex in an […]

Read More

MQFF Film Review: My Fiona is an emotionally excruciating navigation of mourning and self-discovery

March 12, 2021

The framing of My Fiona‘s opening scene is laced with a certain tension that very much clues the audience in on the fact that the film’s protagonist, Jeanette Maus‘s Jane, is about to have her life horrifically shattered.  It’s an emotional, painful way for us to bond with a character, but it immediately establishes a […]

Read More

Film Review: Come True is ambiguous, menacing material undone by an unearned climax

March 12, 2021

The type of indie horror flick that has a lot of promising-enough elements for it to earn audience investment, Come True may ultimately culminate in disappointment – in fact, it’s downright frustrating – but an atmospheric dread and hauntingly effective score keep Anthony Scott Burns‘s intense feature on a more upward trajectory overall. At the […]

Read More

Los Angeles’ Academy Museum to launch pre-opening virtual program for a worldwide audience

March 11, 2021

Ever since The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was announced – a state of the art new complex in Los Angeles – cinephiles around the world have been anticipating what is set to be the most comprehensive and star-studded look at the history, and making of cinema. The Museum, which was set to open last […]

Read More

New Victorian initiative to finance the stories of under-represented screenwriters and filmmakers

March 10, 2021

Film Victoria, SBS and Arenamedia are teaming up to launch a new initiative that will support low-budget feature films by Victoria’s most creative and diverse filmmakers. Originate is a program designed to turn early draft scripts by diverse and underrepresented voices into production-ready screenplays. The program involves a three-part process delivered by internationally renowned UK-based […]

Read More

Film Review: Judas and the Black Messiah delivers with heart and valorous conviction

March 10, 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) […]

Read More

Australian director Shannon Murphy amongst BAFTA’s Best Director nominees for Babyteeth

March 10, 2021

Taking last year’s criticism on board for its predominant exclusion of people of colour and women in the majority of its categories, the British Academy of Film and  Television Arts (BAFTA) has overhauled its 2021 voting process with a far more inclusive mindset. Continuing to throw the eventual Oscar nominations into chaos, this year’s BAFTA […]

Read More

Film Review: French Exit is quirky, controlled chaos primarily designed as a showcase for the glorious Michelle Pfeiffer

March 10, 2021

Towards the beginning of French Exit, Azazel Jacobs‘s at once tragic and surreal comedy, Michelle Pfeiffer‘s initially icy New York socialite Frances Price seemingly mocks the romantic uncertainty of her adult son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges).  “Menstruating?”, she asks when he refuses to divulge any type of answer to his sullenness, confirming screenwriter Patrick deWitt‘s penchant […]

Read More

Film Review: Coming 2 America is a loving family reunion; warts and all

March 8, 2021

Set 30 years after the events of the original film, Coming 2 America sees Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his true love Lisa McDowell (a spirited Shari Headley) settled in the kingdom of Zamunda with their three daughters, living, as all fairy tale romances go, happily ever after. Prepped to take over the kingdom from […]

Read More

Blu-Ray Review: Possessor blends the psychological and visceral effects of proposed technological voyeurism

March 7, 2021

Opening with one of the most violently stunning set pieces witnessed in cinema in recent memory, Possessor suggests something of a techno-thriller is to follow in the 100-or-so minutes.  But, almost to be expected given it has the Cronenberg name attached to it, the rug is more than swept out from underneath us as the […]

Read More

Film Review: Nomadland is an emotionally-charged masterpiece

March 4, 2021

The opening of Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland opens with a sobering statistic.  In Nevada, a small town – Empire – has essentially become a ghost town due to the local Gypsum plant closing down amid the recession.  The Empire residents, most of whom lived in company-owned homes, had to vacate in masses, deactivating the town’s zip […]

Read More