Sydney Film Festival

The Power of the Dog marks a triumphant return to cinema for acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 12, 2021

“He’s just a man, Peter. Only another man.” – Rose (Kirsten Dunst) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons star as Phil and George Burbank; brothers who work as reputable cattle ranchers. George is a simple, upstanding and honest man while Phil is boastful, malevolent and manly. While Phil is happy with their routine of continuing the […]

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After Love rises above the sum of its parts to deliver an affecting drama: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“We all break the rules we set for ourselves in the end.” – Genvieve (played by Nathalie Richard) Joanna Scanlan stars as Mary, a widow who is undergoing a period of grief after the sudden death of her sea captain husband Ahmed (Nasser Memarzia). Going through his belongings to attain some sort of closure, she […]

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Memoria is one of 2021’s best films thanks to its undeniably immersive nature that is cinematic morphine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Anonymous According to writer/director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film Memoria, the answer to the question above is a resounding yes. The acclaimed filmmaker is best known for works including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His […]

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The Justice of Bunny King is a stellar directorial debut from Gaysorn Thavat; Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie shine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“You never even asked me if it was true!” – Tonyah (played by Thomasin McKenzie) Essie Davis stars as the titular role of Bunny King; a poverty-stricken mother of two who is struggling to fight the social system to get her kids back. During her battle, she crosses paths with her niece Tonyah, who is […]

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The Worst Person in the World is a compelling film that defies the tropes of the romantic comedy genre: Sydney Film Festival review

November 8, 2021

As much as The Worst Person in the World adheres to many of the standard ingredients of the “romantic comedy”, to refer to Joachim Trier‘s as one would be doing it a massive disservice. Detailed over 12 chapters (and both a prologue and epilogue), the film gives us a look into a certain period of […]

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Blue Bayou is a deliberately heartbreaking drama about the intricacies of immigration: Sydney Film Festival review

November 5, 2021

Immigration is a topic that’s quite intensely debated across the world, particularly in the United States.  And in Blue Bayou, a spotlight is shone on a specific group of immigrants, those that come to a country as infants with little to no recollection of their homeland and, quite often, had no other choice. Such is […]

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The Beta Test is a twisted, pitch black comedic thriller: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 4, 2021

On the surface you’d be forgiven for assuming The Beta Test is just another film industry picture, spending its minutes somehow justifying its existence as it hones in on the obnoxious and obnoxiously wealthy Hollywood players who wrongfully assume they’re untouchable in their town.  The film has that air about it, but this satirical-cum-unnerving thriller […]

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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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The Card Counter is a bleak and repetitive effort mildly saved by the presence of Oscar Isaac: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 3, 2021

Kenny Rogers so famously told us “You gotta know when to fold ’em”, and in The Card Counter writer/director Paul Schrader seems unsure as to which hand he wants to confidently play.  It’s not that this film is poorly made, nor is his commitment to the representation of desolation anything other than pure, but it’s […]

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Sydney Film Festival postponed until November 2021

August 3, 2021

In light of the Sydney lockdown extension announced by the NSW Government on 28 July, Sydney Film Festival will postpone the 68th edition of the Festival until 3rd-14th November, 2021. “Sydney Film Festival looks forward to returning to cinemas for a COVID-safe event in November, when we’ll come together to celebrate the films we love, […]

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Sydney Film Festival announces teaser art films for 2021

June 23, 2021

As the Sydney Film Festival prepares to return to theatres for its 2021 season, running from the 18th-29th August, it has teased a line-up of art titles ahead of its official program launch. Set to screen alongside such already announced titles as Mads Mikkelsen‘s crime comedy Riders of Justice and The Kids, a revisit with […]

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Sydney Film Festival moves to August for 2021 season only

February 18, 2021

After a successful Summer Season at the State Theatre and a sold-out Wong Kar Wai retrospective, Sydney Film Festival is excited to announce the 68th edition will take place 18-29 August 2021. The shift will allow the Festival to continue to include films from major international festivals (in addition to Australia’s best new feature films […]

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8 top films to watch for Sydney Film Festival’s Virtual Edition this week

June 16, 2020

You may be forgiven for not realising one of Sydney’s most beloved festivals is running right now. The 67th Sydney Film Festival has been condensed, tinkered with, and ported to the digital-only world to align with the ongoing global pandemic. And we’re in it’s second week right now, given the program of just 33 films […]

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Sydney Film Festival joins major film festivals across the world for We Are One: A Global Film Festival

April 28, 2020

Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube jointly announced today We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an unprecedented 10-day digital film festival exclusively on YouTube, bringing together an international community of storytellers to present festival programming for free to audiences around the world. Set to begin on May 29 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne, the festival will feature programming curated by […]

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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: Leftover Women is an eye-opening look at love & marriage

June 13, 2019

Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But what do you do if you’re a single woman who is over a certain age living in China? The documentary, Leftover Women, is an illuminating look at three individuals who grapple with various stigmas and expectations, in a society where women are encouraged to […]

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Photo Gallery: RJ Mitte walks red carpet at Standing Up For Sunny World Premiere (12.06.19)

June 12, 2019

RJ Mitte walks the red carpet at the world premiere of Standing Up For Sunny as part of the Sydney Film Festival alongside actress Philippa Northeast and Matthew Nable.

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Souvenir (UK, 2019) is one of the best films of 2019

June 11, 2019

Before I start off this review, it must be said that I have not seen any of the works by director Joanna Hogg. It wasn’t due to any prior indiscretions, rather my personal ignorance. But upon hearing the massive amounts of praise from festivals and critics all over the world for her latest film, The […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Third Wife (Vietnam, 2018) is an entrancing, haunting and sensual experience

June 10, 2019

It feels absolutely wonderful to see a Vietnamese film in this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Of course, there have been many Vietnamese film in film festivals before but, with a stronger focus on genre-centric cinema over the recent year, it feels invigorating for a Vietnamese critic such as myself. This year, we have Ash Mayfair‘s […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Her Smell is an exhausting endurance test, saved by Elisabeth Moss’ electric performance

June 10, 2019

Another day, another music biopic. Well, almost. Continuing the resurgence of cinematic fare concerned with the chaos that is the life of the musician, Her Smell takes inspiration from the 90s rock scene where female singers like Courtney Love, PJ Harvey, and Shirley Manson gave their male counterparts plenty of competition. With a bleached-blonde lead […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Blinded by the Light is a lively crowd-pleaser and a loving tribute to The Boss

June 9, 2019

Great Britain in the late 1980s. A country in the grip of economic chaos, racial tensions, and political unrest. And a time fashion clearly forgot. It’s a setting and era cinema has covered extensively over the years. With an inviting narrative and a soundtrack filled with 80s pop and rock wonders, Blinded by the Light […]

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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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13 Films You Must See at Sydney Film Festival 2019

May 27, 2019

It’s almost time for the annual Sydney Film Festival (5th – 16th June), stretching almost a fortnight across Sydney’s best cinemas – including the historic State Theatre – with a hugely diverse program of films from around the world. There’s almost too many gems to get through this year, so we’ve compiled a list of […]

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Five things to do in Sydney over the next few weeks: May & June 2019

May 23, 2019

You’d be mistaken if you thought Sydney was all about the summer months. As soon as winter hits, the city seems to spring to life with some of its greatest yearly events, as well as a whole host of other fun things to do. And the next few weeks will certainly showcase that, with the […]

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Interview: Hyun Lee on Asian Girls and the benefits of diversity in film funding

October 4, 2018

Earlier this year, we sat down with Hyun Lee, the director of a short film called Asian Girls which screened at SXSW in Austin, Texas and then at the Sydney Film Festival. We talked about the making of the film, working with Rainbow Chan, and the benefits and importance of diversity in film funding. It’s […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: BlacKKKlansman (USA, 2018) sees Spike Lee channel his frustration for one of his finest films to date

June 25, 2018

Spike Lee is quite clearly fired up as he scatters sharp, defiant dialogue all through BlacKKKlansman, his first feature film since 2015’s good-but-uneven Chi-Raq and without a doubt one of his best works to date. That is no overstatement either, with Lee directing a big middle finger to the racism both explicit and implicit, by […]

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Sydney Film Fest Review: The Rider (USA, 2018) is an absolute masterpiece from director Chloe Zhao

June 22, 2018

Expectations can be a very powerful thing, especially when they are low. When people are asked to survey a form of art with subject matter that doesn’t interest them, it’s very certain that they won’t like it. But there are those forms that exceed one’s expectations and manage to give a satisfying experience and what […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (USA, 2017) is like a long, detailed book

June 19, 2018

The New York Public Library is one large institution. So it should come as no surprise that the documentary about it is also quite big and sprawling in nature. Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is like reading hundreds of chapters from various books; you might learn something but that doesn’t change the fact […]

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