Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002): Cheat Sheet

As the second instalment in my series of “cheat sheets” on films taught in secondary schools for SBS Movies, I took a look at Rabbit-Proof Fence, a powerful film centring on the plight of Australia’s stolen generations. It’s also paired with a free stream of the feature film (for now, anyway) for Australian audiences, while…

Partisan (2015)

The community at the centre of Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan is introduced with rare restraint and precision. After a short prologue, we are deposited into a secluded society, buried within sheltering slabs of through which thin rays of sunlight shine. The society (described in most reviews as a ‘cult’, though I’d argue that’s an overly simplistic…

Gemma Bovery (2014)

I must confess I know essentially nothing about Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. What I do know is gleaned pretty much entirely from this film, in which elderly baker Martin (Fabrice Luchini) becomes convinced that his new neighbour, Gemma (Gemma Arterton), is reliving Madame Bovary’s tragic character arc (specifically: sleeping with some dudes and then committing…

Remembering Terry Pratchett

Two and a half months ago, Terry Pratchett passed away. I didn’t say, or write much about it at the time. It felt wrong to expound upon my feelings about the man. Despite the fact that he’s my favourite author. Despite the fact that my bookshelves are still laden with his books (and associated Discworld…

Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?

My earliest memories of Hot Chip are on the dancefloor. The place was Common People, circa mid-2000s. It was a scungy Brisbane nightclub for hipsters before that term had become the nebulous pejorative it is nowadays, the descendant of the Depot and the ancestor of a string of replacements (Gossip, Magazine, others). Common People only…

Spy (2015)

Why shouldn’t James Bond be played by Melissa McCarthy? Walking out of Spy, the latest film from Paul Feig – of Bridesmaids and The Heat – I couldn’t think of a convincing reason why not. The film is an uneven but enjoyable comedy. After a flabby opening act – weighed down both by an insistence…

The Salvation (2014)

The Salvation reminded me of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. Not, I should hasten to add, because it approaches the mastery of Leone’s films, but rather in the way a foreign filmmaker (director Kristian Levring is Danish) approaches an acutely American genre from a unique perspective. There are some Leone similarities in how Levring’s screenplay (co-written…