Disaster films are a staple of the film industry. Wikipedia lists hundreds of them, all nicely categorised into sub-headings such as monsters, aliens, volcanoes, earthquakes and much more. A cavalcade of death and destruction, and nearly each of them a tale of survival against the odds.
The Master set out to be the story of an intense relationship between a troubled returning naval soldier (Freddie Quill – Phoenix) and the leader of The Cause (Lancaster Dodd – Hoffman), a cult bearing a striking resemblance to Scientology in its early days. But instead of being a treatise on salvation, The Master proved to be an exercise in film making.
It wasn’t until walking out of the cinema after seeing Arbitrage that I realised I still had no idea what “arbitrage” was. The word is not used in the film. Was this a deliberate ploy to make me look it up and gain some glorious post-viewing insight into the film? Well, let me save you the trouble …
That Nick Cave is a genius and a legend of the Australian music scene is not in question. So talented is he that clearly he could have made a career just out of writing hard-edged, gritty, dusty and violent period pieces if he wanted to. Alas, he only has a short history as a writer of screenplays. Apart from Lawless his only other effort was 2005’s The Proposition (also directed by Australian John Hillcoat).
Joe Kazan (she’s a she), who wrote and stars in Ruby Sparks, has pulled off the incredible by turning a male fantasy into a date film. How else to describe a film with the basic premise of a writer afflicted with writer’s block (Dano) suddenly discovering that anything he writes about a girl he dreams about (Ruby Sparks – Kazan) comes true?
Up until watching On The Road I was sure that I had read Jack Kerouac’s ground-breaking novel about sex, drugs, booze, music and travel while doing likewise, backpacking in my 20s. Now I’m not so sure. On The Road may be a backpacker standard, but it either left no impression on me or I indulged too much to remember.
The argument goes that there are only five storylines and every film is a rehash of one of them. So it’s refreshing to see a film that is a genuinely different take on the age-old story of being different. Walking out of the State Theatre after a Sydney Film Festival screening, one cinemagoer was overheard ungrammatically calling it “the most unique film I’ve ever seen”.
If ever there was an appropriate film for readers of the South Sydney Herald then Not Suitable For Children is it. Filmed in and around Newtown, including right across the road from the Dendy where I saw the film, it’s an exercise in location spotting for anyone who’s ever shared a house in the suburb, attended a party there or just had a meal on King Street.
While Polisse is an intense and personal exploration of the lives of these detectives, the acting is, overall, excellent, and the scripting insightful, funny at times and intensely…
What made the original Alien great and ground-breaking is that it was a horror film set in space. Instead of ghosts and haunted houses there were aliens and…