Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks is finally – finally! – available on Australian DVD today, so it seems as good a time as any to look back on the classic high school sitcom (a label that sits a little funny nowadays, but we’ll get to that). It’s customary when looking back on a show this old (if…

Once My Mother (featured image)

Once My Mother (2014)

Once My Mother isn’t necessarily an exemplar of expert filmmaking. Chronicling the life of director Sophia Turkiewicz’s mother, Helen, who travelled the perilous journey from war-torn Poland through a Siberian gulag and Zimbabwean refugee camp before arriving in Australia, some formal failings are understandable: Turkiewicz filmed the bulk of the documentary with no funding, meaning…

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke’s recent release on Blu-Ray provided me an opportunity to truly appreciate the gorgeous animation of Miyazaki’s seventh feature-length film. My previous viewings of the film had been low-quality (pirated) versions – in fact, I can distinctly recall watching the film at a friend’s place on a burnt DVD when, halfway through, the disc…

Maniac (1980)

Maniac (1980)

A great “video nasty” breaches the boundaries of good taste, finding something uncomfortably real behind them. Many video nasties lose their impact over time as censorship slackens, but that’s not the case with Maniac. This is thanks to Joe Spinell’s sweaty anti-charisma as the titular maniac, Frank Zito, combined with Tom Savini’s legendary makeup work (he’s…

Charlie's Country

Charlie’s Country (2013)

Within Charlie’s (David Gulpilil’s) sorrowful gaze is an encapsulation of a people denied the land and culture that is theirs. The discourse around this denial and its ramifications is generally driven by white people under the assumption that Indigenous Australians are a problem to be solved. The draconian “intervention” is the largest example of this ideology…

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz in Sex Tape (2014)

Sex Tape (2014)

It’s pretty easy to disparage Sex Tape, the second film in a year to feature product placement from Apple and YouPorn (the first? Don Jon). Its entire premise – a married couple (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) find themselves frantically hunting down stray iPads after their sex tape is inadvertently shared with friends and family…