Halloween II (1981)

I find horror sequels endlessly fascinating. Specifically, I find first sequels passed off to a new director fascinating (not that I don’t have a soft spot for sequels like Evil Dead II or Hostel 2 made by the original director, or the gems that pop up late in a franchise like Jason Lives: Friday the…

Unfriended (2015)

Most conventional horror films fall somewhere on the sadomasochistic continuum. They either allow the audience to assume the role of sadist, monitoring the physical and psychological torment of the film’s protagonists like Jigsaw peering through his surveillance cameras, or manoeuvre viewers into enduring the victims’ ordeals, much like a masochist cherishing their punishment. While I…

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away is not my favourite of Hayao Miyazaki’s films – that title goes to My Neighbour Totoro, now and forever – but it is perhaps his best. The story told here is deeply steeped in Japanese mythology yet imbued with resonant universality. As a child, who hasn’t fretted at being abandoned by their parents,…

Gallipoli (1981): Cheat Sheet

Today marks the centenary of ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and one of the most enduring pop culture representations of the Gallipoli battle that this day commemorates is Peter Weir’s 1981 film Gallipoli. I’ve been commissioned by SBSMovies to do a series of “cheat sheets” on films taught in secondary schools, unpacking their…

Giveaway: Win Double Passes to Unfriended [COMPLETED]

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia, ccpopculture has 5 double passes to give away to Unfriended, releasing in Australian cinemas Thursday April 30th. “Ushering in a new era of horror, Universal Pictures’ Unfriended unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming…

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron is, for better or worse, the culmination of Marvel Studios’ approach to commercial cinema. By this stage, their much-discussed directorial departures – Patty Jenkins from Thor: The Dark World, Edgar Wright from Ant-Man – and the homogeneity of their output make it clear that this is about as far from auteurist…

Queensland Film Festival Announced

The demise of the Brisbane International Film Festival left a vacuum in Brisbane’s cinematic culture. Thankfully, nature and cinephiles alike abhor vacuums, and events like GOMA’s Lynch exhibition, the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and, now, John Edmond and Huw Walmsley-Evans’ Queensland Film Festival have rushed to fill the void. As much as I enjoyed…