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Category Archives: Film


Nostalgia and today’s family-friendly films

Hollywood has always known the adults are watching alongside the kids, and that to push a film into record profits (as Lego looks set to do with a global box office of $428 million and counting), you need to appeal to ‘kids of all ages’. Read more »

Weirdos on screen: Noah and Nymphomaniac

There are some filmmakers you’ll follow into the dark, no matter how bad the buzz is about their latest work. For me, naughty boy Lars von Trier (The Idiots, Breaking the Waves, Dogville, Antichrist, Melancholia) and strange kid Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) are two filmmakers who can be loved or detested, but never ignored. Read more »

Notes from a plane

There’s an art to choosing the right film for every particular occasion, and as I nervously sit in a Qantas jet about to take off on a four-hour flight from Melbourne to Perth, the choice seems very important indeed. Read more »

Groundhog Day again for women in film

It pisses me off no end! I literally have refused to talk about it because I feel like, you don’t ask Peter Weir or Phillip Noyce about being a male director. But now it’s time to speak out again…because I can’t believe the numbers! Gillian Armstrong, in 2010, … Read more »

In praise of old folks on screen

    It seems like yesterday when we were bemoaning the fact that Hollywood didn’t make movies for grown-ups anymore. (Or maybe that was just me arguing back in 2012 that our cinemas were full of recycled superheroes and stupid action films aimed at teenaged boys.) Well, … Read more »

Reflections from the Australian red carpet

I’ve decided I need to go to Australia. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but every time they have an awards show I think, “It is my destiny to know who these people are.” (I mean, other than Cate. I am familiar with her … Read more »

No new thing under the sun: Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty introduces its protagonist, aging journalist Jep Gambardella, right in the thick of things. After an airy, operatic overture Sorrentino immerses the audience in a busy rooftop party in Rome. A four-to-the-floor beat takes over the soundtrack, setting the rhythm for a series … Read more »

Seeing less: greed, cinephilia and the fear of missing out

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires … Read more »

The slaughter to come: reading and watching The Counselor

Early in Cormac McCarthy’s screenplay The Counselor, a diamond dealer reflects on an issue that directly relates to Ridley Scott’s film version of the same screenplay. ‘The crown and the pavilion may be well cut each in itself and yet stand alien to one another,’ he says … Read more »

What are we watching here?: Pleasure and pain in Lovelace

Lovelace is about two alternative narratives of the same event: the production and aftermath of Deep Throat. Deep Throat is such a pop culture staple it needs little introduction. However, if you have been marooned on an island and would miss the joke if I described the … Read more »