Macbeth (2015)

Watch Macbeth if you like your Shakespeare slick and relentlessly bleak. Michael Fassbender gives an awards-worthy clinic as the flawed, tortured king. But a word of warning: this story is not for everyone; and I recommend doing your homework. I’ve never studied ‘The Scottish Play’ and I found the language equal parts beautiful and frustrating…

BAPFF: The Postman’s White Nights (2014)

Andrei Konchalovksy’s The Postman’s White Nights consciously blurs the line between documentary and fiction, with an introductory title card noting that the characters are primarily played by residents of the rural community of Lake Kenozero. This presumably positions the film as commentary on contemporary Russia. It sort of is; the film’s strongest stretch is its…

Pan (2015)

I remember a time. A special time, when around every corner was another secret waiting to be discovered, another story to be told. It was a time that could never end. Of course it did end. We grew up. Reality intertwined our perception and the tales we’d created faded into insignificance. Pan asks us to…

Big Game (2014)

“You’re telling me we lost our president like we… lost a set of car keys. This is the most powerful nation in the history of the planet. This is America, and as Vice President of this great nation, I am commanding you to sort this shit out.” That quote gives you a good indication of…

The Face of an Angel (2014)

Michael Winterbottom’s fictionalised account of the Amanda Knox trial appears to present its mission statement early on, with Kate Beckinsale explaining, “You can’t tell the truth unless you make it a fiction.”  Unfortunately, The Face of an Angel – which turns out, in fact, to be a a fictional film about the making of a…

Office (2015)

Is it weird that cinema is almost entirely absent realistic presentations of office politics? Don’t expect Office, an office-drama-comedy-romance-musical from Hong Kong director Johnnie To to buck that trend. Realism is almost entirely avoided in this tale of ambition, set in the heady times of pre-GFC 2007 and staged on an abstract, artificial, gorgeous set…