Documentary

Interview: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Zac Manuel on what truly surprised him when working on the Lil Nas X documentary, Long Live Montero

Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Carlos López Estrada and Academy Award nominated director and cinematographer Zac Manuel, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero follows the Grammy-winning and trailblazing, rapper, singer, songwriter, Lil Nas X, over 60 days as he embarks on his first ever tour across North America on his debut album tour Long Live…

Read More

Film Review: The Road to Patagonia twists and turns towards self-discovery

The Road to Patagonia opens with Matty Hannon – the director, cinematographer, and centre-man – telling how he’s headed to the top of Alaska, which if you know your American geography, is distinctly away from Patagonia, which encompasses the southern end of South America. But worry not, the title is not a metaphor nor figurative. …

Read More

Film Review: The Greatest Love Story Never Told is the most open and vulnerable aspect of Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me…Now experience

“What is this fucking girl’s problem?” As Jennifer Lopez states in the opening moments of The Greatest Love Story Never Told, she’s highly aware of what the media has pondered about the multitude of marriages (4, to be precise) she’s partaken in over the course of her resilient career. And it’s that self-awareness and hopeful…

Read More

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles is a heartwarming documentary about Australia’s unlikeliest icons: SXSW Sydney Screen Festival Review

From the humblest of beginnings, where Australia’s ABC network weren’t sure on investing in their talent, to multi-million selling music artists that sold out Madison Square Garden and can count the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, and Sarah Jessica Parker as fans, The Wiggles defied the expectations of many to form a global brand…

Read More

Milli Vanilli is a poignant and tragic cautionary tale about one of pop’s most infamous downfalls: SXSW Sydney Screen Festival Review

The act of (or is it the art of) lip-syncing is one that practically goes part and parcel within the realms of pop music.  Some artists do so because their studio vocals can’t possibly be emulated live.  Others rely on such due to demanding dance routines.  And then there are those that, well, can’t sing…

Read More

Freedom Is Beautiful speaks to the value in equality for all citizens living under the same rule: Sydney Film Festival Review

Originally conceived as a long short by director Angus McDonald, Freedom Is Beautiful is a timely documentary about the refugee experience in Australia, the cruciality of human rights, and the value in equality for all citizens living under the same rule. Shining a necessary light on the brutal processing regime that takes place on the…

Read More

Film Review: John Farnham: Finding the Voice is a warm reminder of one of Australia’s leading talents

Given how attached John Farnham is to the song “You’re The Voice”, it’s hard to believe that it almost didn’t make the cut for his 1986 signature record, “Whispering Jack”.  His 12th album at the time, “Whispering Jack” reignited Farnham’s solo career, and off the back of the aforementioned single, it drove itself to 25…

Read More

Interview: Filmmakers Rachael Antony and Laurence Billiet on their documentary The Giants; “We can go to the moon but we still don’t understand trees.”

Following on from 2020’s most watched documentary on Australian television – Freeman, about the life and career of Cathy Freeman – co-directors and life partners Laurence Billiet and Rachael Antony have collaborated for The Giants, a stunning film that celebrates the life of environmental folk hero and gay icon Bob Brown. As the film arrives in…

Read More

Satan Wants You is a chilling, disturbing insight into the “Satanic Panic” cult of the 1980’s: SXSW Film & TV Festival Review

Even though one of the experts interviewed in Satan Wants You expresses that the 1980’s phenomenon known as “Satanic Panic” is seen as something of a joke through the eyes of today, there’s nothing particularly funny about the accusations that were being thrown around at the time.  Perhaps it’s something of an absurdity when looking…

Read More

Film Review: The Other Fellow breaks the imagery of masculinity and misogyny associated with James Bond in a funny and poignant manner

Whilst the general consensus is that the James Bond franchise has its large share of devoted fans – all eagerly awaiting the resilient secret agent’s next global mission – there are those that take a differing view.  It’s not that they don’t like the films per se, it’s that each film release comes with the…

Read More

Interview: Delikado documentary filmmaker Karl Malakunus on battling climate change and defending the Philippines’ last ecological frontier

Director Karl Malakunus is a filmmaker and journalist who has been based in Asia, covering environmental issues, conflict, natural disasters and political upheavals, for two decades. Karl is the Asia-Pacific Deputy-Editor-In-Chief for Agence France-Presse based in Hong Kong.  He is a Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Fellow and a recipient of the SFFILM Vulcan Productions…

Read More

Film Review: Moonage Daydream is a headfirst dive into the unmatched, other-worldly psyche of the one and only, David Bowie

A feast for the eyes and the ears, Brett Morgen‘s Moonage Daydream is a headfirst dive into the unmatched, other-worldly psyche of the one and only, David Bowie.  In some aspects Morgen – who is no stranger to the musician-centred medium, having helmed the Nirvana doco Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck – has adopted an…

Read More

Interview: Director Brett Morgen on his David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream; “Chaos and fragmentation were his through line”

Moonage Daydream is not a documentary.  It is a genre-defying cinematic experience based on one of the most iconic and global rock stars of all time: David Bowie. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen, director of Cobain: Montage of Heck, and featuring never-before-seen concert footage, Moonage Daydream is an immersive cinematic experience; an audio-visual space…

Read More

Interview: Director Daniel Roher on controversial political documentary Navalny; “It’s really important that the world remembers that not all Russians are evil”

In August 2020, Alexei Navalny, the leader of the Russian opposition was poisoned with a lethal nerve agent in an assassination attempt.  In the months following, the shocking revelations about the attempt on his life came to light during his road to recovery, a process that was captured by award-winning director Daniel Roher in his…

Read More

Interview: Australian filmmaker Kriv Stenders on directing Lee Kernaghan’s concert film Boy From The Bush; “His story is still being told”

Part concert film and part road movie celebrating the life and music of multi-award winning and much loved Australian country music artist Lee Kernaghan, Boy From The Bush is a unique and personal insight into one of the country’s most celebrated artists. Ahead of the film’s local release, Peter Gray spoke with its director, Kriv…

Read More

Film Review: A Sexplanation is a frank, accessible and cheeky documentary that aims to better the view on sex education

As much as A Sexplanation is a documentary aimed at bettering the sexual education of (primarily) Americans, at its core is writer/director/star Alex Liu – the most charming of presences – and his own sexual shame. He’s an out gay man with both a supportive friend group and family (the latter of which appear quite…

Read More

Film Review: Charli XCX: Alone Together is a candid love letter from the popstar to her devoted fans

Whilst some of us attempted newfound interests or ambitious endeavours throughout the early stages of the pandemic – when going outside was thought as something of a novel luxury – British popstar Charli XCX one-upped us all, joining Bo Burnham (Inside) and the creators of Zoom-set slasher Host by utilsing her time and stored creativity…

Read More

Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi is a beautiful and heart-breaking journey into the historical relationship between America and Japan: SXSW Film Festival Review

Weaving together both historical and current events, how those events pertain to the savagery of racism over the years, and the juxtaposition of his own calming musicality, Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi is a stunning documentary about Kishi Bashi‘s own personal journey in exploring his past as he looks for inspiration for his…

Read More

I’m An Electric Lampshade is a docu-narrative that delightfully blurs the lines between what’s fact and what’s fiction: Los Angeles International Film Festival Review

Billed as a docu-narrative, indicating that both fact and fiction will be blended throughout, I’m An Electric Lampshade is a bizarre take on the age-old “It’s never too late to follow your dreams” tale, focusing on the unlikeliest of pop star wannabes. Doug McCorkle is the most basic of nondescript American men.  60-years-old, with the…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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,…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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

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

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More