South is Nothing (2013)

South is Nothing (2013)

Soderbergh’s recent interpretation of Raiders of the Lost Ark as a black-and-white silent film has critics pondering the essence of cinema: “moving images.” I was reminded of such power watching South is Nothing. Fabio Mollo’s feature-length debut focuses on a father (Vinicio Marchioni) and daughter Grazia (Miriam Karlkvist, playing a convincingly-boyish tomboy) coping with the…

The Mafia Only Kills in Summer

The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (2013)

Featuring in the Italian Film Festival program, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer is perfectly calibrated for a film festival audience, weaving a lightweight romantic comedy through a scaffolding of historical mafia murders in the Sicilian city of Palermo. The title is taken from an offhand comment made to young Arturo (played by Alex Bisconti…

Elijah Wood in Grand Piano (2013)

Grand Piano (2013)

There must be something about Grand films and ludicrous premises … not too long after watching The Grand Seduction I find myself immersed in a thriller where Elijah Wood is forced – by a sniper-rifle-toting John Cusack – to play piano or die. It’s more absurd than the low-key silliness of The Grand Seduction, so…

Baby Face (1933)

The opening film of GOMA’s Forbidden Hollywood program might as well have been Nietzschean Superwoman, following as it does the “adventures” of Lily (Barbara Stanwyck) as she sleeps her way up the big city corporate ladder, following the advice of her Nietzsche-obsessed cobbler (Alphonse Ethier). As you’d expect from a film over eight decades old,…

Sophie Henderson in Fantail (2013)

Fantail (2013)

New Zealand drama Fantail is quite similar to this year’s excellent British film The Selfish Giant. Both address the metaphorical prison constructed by modern-day poverty and each is a loose adaptation of an old story; the latter takes inspiration from Oscar Wilde’s short story, while Fantail is based on the Maori myth of the mischievous…

Forbidden Hollywood: The Wild Days of Pre-Code Cinema

While I may have just written an article criticising a certain Australian actor/director for his advocacy of cultural cringe, I must admit I’m susceptible to the same kind of cringe when talking about my city of residence: Brisbane. I’m pretty vocal about the perceived cultural black hole that is Queensland’s capital, a city that’s seemingly…

Josh Lawson in The Little Death (2014)

Discussing the (Little) Dearth of Quality Australian Film

Over at FilmInk, I took Josh Lawson’s comments regarding Australian film (and its pereceived lack of diversity/quality) while promoting his new comedy The Little Death as an opportunity to discuss our country’s persistent cultural cringe when it comes to cinema while highlighting some great Aussie films that don’t tend to attract the spotlight. Check out…