female filmmaker

Film Review: How to Please a Woman aims for surprising realness over obvious raunch

May 19, 2022

Though its title may suggest it’s a comedy of somewhat raunchy proportions, Renée Webster‘s assured debut feature film How to Please a Woman is a far more accessible, rather delightful dramedy that furthers the female view in a male-dominated industry. Filmed in Western Australia (and looking particularly stunning in the process), Webster’s film centres around […]

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Interview: Director Renée Webster on How to Please a Woman and finding the comedy in truth and pain

May 10, 2022

Having played to sold out festival sessions across Australia, the female-focused dramedy How to Please a Woman is looking to continue its crowd-pleasing success when it opens nationally in Australian cinemas on May 19th. Ahead of its release, Peter Gray spoke with the film’s writer and director, Renée Webster, about its rapturous reception so far, […]

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Film Review: Leah Purcell’s commanding performance steadies the uneven tone of The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

May 5, 2022

Lending an air of femininity to the western genre – one so often entangled with a masculine temperament – without compromising its rooted personality, Leah Purcell‘s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is the cinematic incarnation of her penned 2016 stage play and 2019 novel, all inspired by Henry Lawson‘s short story, “The […]

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The Novice clears the finish line in its horrific look at personal achievement: Mardi Gras Film Festival Review

February 21, 2022

Though presented in the guise of a character drama, The Novice is very much a psychological thriller detailing the compulsive, obsessive need one can hone in their attempt to perfect their field of interest.  For the central figure in Lauren Hadaway‘s dark effort, Alex Dall (Isabelle Fuhrman, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to the role, both physically […]

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is an intelligent sex-positive comedy headlined by a career-best Emma Thompson: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 23, 2022

Whilst there’s no surprise revealed in the fact that Emma Thompson truly deserves to be considered one of the greatest living actresses working today, it’s always appreciated when a performance solidifies such a statement.  And in the deliriously charming and strikingly emotional Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, Thompson turns in career-best work that leans […]

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Film Review: The Novice is unrelenting in its depiction of striving for physical perfection

December 16, 2021

Though presented in the guise of a character drama, The Novice is very much a psychological thriller detailing the compulsive, obsessive need one can hone in their attempt to perfect their field of interest.  For the central figure in Lauren Hadaway‘s dark effort, Alex Dall (Isabelle Fuhrman, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to the role, both physically […]

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Pleasure is a cold, calculating film detailing the politics of the sex industry: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 4, 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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Titane is an auto-erotic body horror oddity focused on the specifics of sexual identity: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 4, 2021

Similar to how Jordan Peele, Robert Eggers, Jennifer Kent, and Ari Aster all secured their place in the annals of genre cinema with their debut offerings, Julia Docournau‘s bold cannibalistic horror effort Raw cemented the French filmmaker as a name to pay consistent attention to.  And just as those aforementioned auteurs all swung big with […]

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Film Review: Disappearance at Lake Elrod overcomes genre familiarity with an emotional edge

November 4, 2021

Though there’s perhaps a few too many “missing kid mystery” tropes adhered to in Disappearance at Lake Elrod – the grieving mother, the potentially corrupt police, the buried secrets coming to life – writer/director Lauren Fash injects enough character development and psychological complexity for it to get away with it. Centred around the disappearance of […]

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Two Tickets to Mars embraces the pessimism and metaphysical questions that come with facing the end of the world: Austin Film Festival short film review

October 26, 2021

In these pandemic-driven times, the idea of inhabiting another planet sounds more and more appealing.  And with space travel now becoming somewhat generally accessible – sure, you have to be filthy rich, but it’s still a step up from it being exclusive to astronauts only – it stands to reason that such a concept could […]

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The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is an ambitious yet shaky filmic adaptation: Brisbane International Film Festival Review

October 21, 2021

Lending an air of femininity to the western genre – one so often entangled with a masculine temperament – without compromising its rooted personality, Leah Purcell‘s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is the cinematic incarnation of her penned 2016 stage play and 2019 novel, all inspired by Henry Lawson‘s short story, “The […]

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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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German Film Festival Review: I’m Your Man provides comedy and contemplation in equal measure

May 26, 2021

Given both our fascination and reliance on the support of technology, it only makes sense that the relationship between man and machine is one oft explored throughout the annals of cinema.  From John Connor’s correlation with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator to Joaquin Phoenix’s obsession with Scarlett Johansson’s voiced AI in Her, so often are these links […]

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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 […]

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Interview: Kajillionaire writer/director Miranda July on creating such a distinctive film and how her cast imprinted on the material

October 22, 2020

As her critically acclaimed film Kajillionaire arrives in Australian theatres (read our review here), writer/director Miranda July spoke to our own Peter Gray about what drew her to create such a distinctive film, how star Evan Rachel Wood imprinted on the material, and the irony of releasing such a thematically anxious film in 2020. Kajillionaire […]

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Film Review: Kajillionaire is an emotional coming of age story masked underneath an exaggerated comedic premise

October 21, 2020

When you realise that ageing grifters Robert and Teresa Dyne (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger) named their daughter Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) after a lottery-winning homeless man, you immediately learn everything you need to know about the swindling couple.  They thought the name would secure them inheritance of some sort, but instead they live […]

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Film Review: Yes, God, Yes is a quieter, more relatable take on the classic teen sex comedy

July 28, 2020

The teen sex comedy isn’t a rarity within the studio system, but they are often quite outlandish enough that they never entirely ring true regarding the situations they’d like teenagers to relate to.  Weighing down the high concept mentality so often adopted by the genre, Yes, God, Yes is that rare beast that hopes to […]

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Film Review: 2019’s Black Christmas attempts to be more than just your straight-forward slasher

December 11, 2019

Released in 1974 and oft considered the original slasher film, Bob Clark’s Black Christmas has rightfully earned cult status over the years after initially being passed over for that other genre staple, John Carpenter’s Halloween. Clark’s film is a unique take on the stalk-and-kill mentality that the slasher subsect is known for given that it […]

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