Documentary

Film Review: You Cannot Kill David Arquette is an alarmingly bleak and emotional documentary about a fascinatingly off-kilter actor

September 2, 2021

At one point in his career David Arquette was poised to be a potential acting force among the other stars of his generation.  He worked the indie cinema circuit, he was profiled alongside such talent as Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Matthew McConaughey, his work in the Scream films earned him box office clout, and […]

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Film Review: Summer of Soul is a musical and political celebration that speaks to cultural re-evaluation

September 2, 2021

Somehow, a festival situated in the heart of Harlem, one that featured such performers as Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, and Nina Simone, had been written out of the history books.  In 1969, a year on from the assassination of Martin Luther King, over six weekends in Mount Morris Park, overseen by the liberal New York […]

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Film Review: The Sparks Brothers is one of the greatest musical documentaries you’ll ever see

July 15, 2021

There’s often a sense of nostalgia, awe, love, respect and intrigue that goes into watching a music documentary.  It’s learning about an artist we idolise, how they affected us upon that first listen, and a further understanding of their music.  When it comes to The Sparks Brothers, those are indeed all sentiments adhered to, but, […]

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Interview: My Name Is Gulpilil director Molly Reynolds on having unfiltered access to David Gulpilil’s life

May 27, 2021

Director Molly Reynolds has long had a history with the subject of her latest film.  Her partner, trailblazing filmmaker Rolf de Heer, has directed David Gulpilil in such critically acclaimed efforts as The Tracker and Charlie’s Country, whilst she has documented these collaborations with the companion pieces Twelve Canoes and Another Country. Her closeness and […]

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Film Review: My Name Is Gulpilil is a strikingly emotional and bittersweet reflection of an Australian icon

May 26, 2021

Introducing My Name Is Gulpilil as “my story of my story”, subject David Gulpilil, along with director Molly Reynolds, is all too aware of the duality the film frames itself around – Gulpilil’s running life and that of his persona on-screen. As a performer, Gulpilil has that undeniable star quality, and this stunning film proudly […]

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Film Review: P!NK: All I Know So Far highlights the singer’s genuine spirit and talent

May 21, 2021

As much as Alecia Moore, best known professionally as P!nk, claims to be juggling the responsibilities of being a mother, a manager, and a performer with a worried anxiousness, this behind-the-scenes documentary has a certain self-promotional sheen about it that seems to prove the opposite. That’s not a criticism of the singer/songwriter’s struggles, or meant […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Transitions Film Festival Review: Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story is an inspiring look at an activist who walked to the beat of his own drum

February 23, 2021

Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story was my first introduction to the eccentric writer and eponymous artist. Baumer went viral in 2016 after he embarked on a barefoot walk across America. This documentary takes in various beats along his journey of over 100 days. It’s a portrait that is as rich and detailed as an oil […]

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Interview: Ahmet Zappa on new documentary Zappa and how it’s honouring the legacy of his father, Frank Zappa.

February 18, 2021

As Alex Winter’s acclaimed documentary Zappa arrives in cinemas (read our review here) to both introduce and re-establish Frank Zappa as one of the music industry’s late, great geniuses, the musician’s son – and Zappa producer – Ahmet Zappa is talking about the labour of love that is the film.  Peter Gray spoke with Ahmet […]

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Film Review: Zappa is a frank & creative look at Frank Zappa’s weirdly provocative genius

February 16, 2021

Zappa is a documentary that feels like one giant motherfucker of a film. At 129 minutes, director Alex Winter (the former lead actor of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) covers lots of ground about this enigmatic genius. They broke the mould when they made Frank Zappa. So, while the proceedings are detailed and capture his […]

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Aussie thriller The Drover’s Wife joins SXSW Film Festival as full lineup revealed

February 13, 2021

The 2021 SXSW Film Festival has revealed its full line up for its 28th edition for SXSW Online, running March 16th-20th, 2021.  The previously announced Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a hard-hitting documentary covering the personal and professional life of the pop star, including her fatal near-overdose, will serve as the festival’s opener, whilst […]

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Interview: Director Frank Marshall on the emotional journey of telling the story of The Bee Gees in How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

December 2, 2020

Frank Marshall is one of the film industry’s most prolific producers.  Having founded Amblin Entertainment in 1981 with Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, he has been at the forefront of blockbuster studio making for the past four decades; Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and The Bourne Identity just some of the franchises he’s contributed […]

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Film Review: The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart is an emotional tribute to one of the music industry’s most celebrated acts

December 1, 2020

The musician documentary is one that can easily be an exhausting experience.  Any form of relative success and cultural impact often results in a film being made about whichever artist, and the ones worthy of the subject’s talent are few and far between.  This is what makes The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a […]

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Terra Grimard releases enchanting documentary for her new LP The Water Album

October 29, 2020

It’s been seven years since her last album, but singer-songwriter Terra Grimard has returned with her third LP The Water Album, out now. The Canadian born, now Queensland-based, artist channels her love for the ocean into her latest release. Water serves as a symbol of fluidity on the album, which Grimard says was written during […]

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Jewish International Film Festival Review: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a flawed look at a bohemian love story

November 5, 2019

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a documentary about music’s biggest bohemian and his muse. Poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen and his lover, Marianne Ihlen had a rich and complex relationship, before they both passed away in 2016. This documentary is like a love letter to their passion; a flawed yet visceral look at […]

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Film Review: How to be Mark Ronson introduces us to the man behind the music

October 20, 2019

“Uptown Funk”, “Shallow”, “Valerie”, “Joanne,” “Late Night Feelings,” and the list goes on. Producer, songwriter, musician and singer, Mark Ronson has contributed to some of the biggest songs and records of modern times. In How to be Mark Ronson, fans are given a taste of the man behind the music and learn that this subject […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Waiting: The Van Duren Story (Australia, 2019) is a touching film about your new favourite artist

July 18, 2019

The name “Van Duren” may not mean much to most people. But to Greg Carey and Wade Jackson this Memphis musician is king. The pair went on a journey to discover more about this artist. The result, Waiting: The Van Duren Story is like Searching for Sugar Man, because it sees some fans searching for […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Woodstock At Fifty paints the famous concert with too broad a brush

July 9, 2019

Woodstock was one of the most important concerts in history. This year marks 50 years since those infamous three days of peace, love and music. The film, Woodstock at Fifty is a documentary that gives a rather backstage view to the show thanks to some interviews with various key players. While some parts of this […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: If You Don’t Know Me is a charmed look at the spirit, struggles & sex appeal of Teddy Pendergrass

July 9, 2019

If you don’t know artist, Teddy Pendergrass by now, you certainly will. In the documentary, If You Don’t Know Me we learn all about this R & B singer who was often referred to as “The Black Elvis.” This film is an illuminating look at the life and legacy of this legendary soul man. Pendergrass’ […]

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Melbourne International Documentary Film Festival Review: Boom! is a rocking trip along some sonic highways

June 22, 2019

Boom! A Film about the Sonics is a documentary that is cut from the same cloth as Searching for Sugar Man and Waiting: The Van Duren Story. You may not have heard about American group, The Sonics but chances are you’ve heard their influence through other people’s music. This film is an overwhelmingly positive one […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a love letter to a brave, post-punk poet

June 19, 2019

Martin Phillipps is a brave, post-punk poet. The leader of the New Zealand band, The Chills has had a long and varied career writing heavenly pop tunes that are filled with dark undercurrents. The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a revealing look at an eccentric protagonist in his own tragicomic story. […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: XY Chelsea is barely the first chapter in Manning’s story

June 17, 2019

You get the sense that the stage was set for a great documentary about Chelsea Manning. It was May 2017 when the former US army soldier and intelligence analyst had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama. She also granted a documentary film crew unfettered access to her life. And yet what follows is a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Amazing Grace makes you want to sing hallelujah with Aretha Franklin

June 10, 2019

There is no question that the late, great Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul. But what you may not know is that she was also an accomplished gospel singer; the daughter of a preacher who first developed her musical chops at church. Amazing Grace is a homage to Franklin’s past, a 1972 concert film […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: My Nudity Means Nothing bares all and nothing at all

June 8, 2019

It should come as no surprise that in My Nudity Means Nothing (Ma nudité ne sert à rien) the protagonist is naked. In this case, it is the French, Underground filmmaker, Marina de Van. She holes herself up in her flat and flitters between existential angst and some serious naval gazing. All this and absolutely […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is like a film directed by Puff the Magic Dragon

June 7, 2019

Most documentaries are good at providing observations about a subject. They are often unobtrusive and just like a fly-on-the-wall. But what do you do when you’ve chosen to chronicle an individual who is an illusionist and expert prankster by day? TV director, Ben Berman grapples with this as well as the notion of the truth […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: A Dog Called Money sees the worlds of music and video collide

June 5, 2019

Inspiration can strike at any time. But if you’re an artist like PJ Harvey you may choose to go in search of this illusiveness. A Dog Called Money is a music documentary that depicts the process that spawned the album, The Hope 6 Demolition Project. The result is a beautifully-shot film that can be uneven […]

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SXSW Film Review: Human Nature (USA, 2019) describes powerful science & possibilities from tomorrow

March 10, 2019

At SXSW 2017, American biochemist, Jennifer Doudna was telling everybody about CRISPR. Allow me one last Human Nature reference… Doudna was telling the last ones to know about a new technology that has the potential to alter genes. Human Nature is a documentary that takes a deep dive into this fascinating scientific world, and chronicles […]

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SXSW Film Review: Well Groomed (USA, 2019) is well intentioned, oddly emotionally investing, and full of heart

March 10, 2019

As new dog grooming business owner (and one of Well Groomed‘s fascinating human subjects) Nicole Beckman states during her introduction that competitive dog grooming was always something she thought as being “just silly” before entering the competitive stakes herself, her initial thoughts are likely to be mirrored by many unversed in the ways of competitive […]

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Film Review: Maria by Callas (France, 2017) is a rich documentary that overstays its curtain call

February 4, 2019

Maria Callas is a legendary opera singer whose life often resembled a Greek tragedy. The documentary, Maria by Callas, captures some of this sadness and heartbreak in its two-hour runtime. This film is a complex and detailed one about an infamous prima donna that should appeal to opera aficionados. This documentary is directed by Tom […]

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