Eye in the Sky (2015)

Are you in the mood for cutting edge military surveillance, white-knuckle tension and political intrigue? Then welcome to the best war film since 2009’s Hurt Locker. The plot interconnects disparate players, including politicians, generals and drone pilots in a mission to eliminate a terrorist cell in Kenya.  With an insightful look into modern military tactics,…

The Grey and the Weight of Mortality

There was a heaviness in the air when I put on The Grey Blu-Ray. It was Monday night; not long after the news of Bowie’s death, not long after a friend’s father had passed away. The air was warped by the weight of the precariousness of life, particularly given my own circumstances; I was visiting my parents…

BAPFF Melodrama: Early Winter, The Daughter and Floating Clouds

I had a melodramatic couple of days at the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival. Starting with Michael Rowe’s Canadian/Australian drama Early Winter, through Simon Stone’s The Daughter and concluding with a retrospective screening of Mikio Naruse’s classic Floating Clouds, my weekend was dominated by the infidelities and dark secrets that define the much-maligned genre of…

The Weight of a Basketball: The Lobster and the Tyranny of Social Conformity

Successful speculative fiction is essentially sociology. It’s grounded not in the details of the alternate reality it concocts, but in investigating how societies and individuals would react to different structures and opportunities. The best speculative fiction isn’t inspired by spaceships or wizardry; rather, it’s impelled by an overriding interest in human nature – a considered,…

The Dressmaker (2015)

The Dressmaker follows Myrtle Dunnage (Kate Winslet), returning from Paris to the town she grew up in, where her mother “Mad Molly” (Judy Davis) has all but lost her memory. She has to face the realisation that she may have murdered a young boy as a child, and even though she does not recall the…

Dope (2015)

Dope begins with three dictionary definitions of the title, suiting the purposeful restlessness of a movie that’s neatly trisected into three distinct sections: each one assured, stylish and articulate. The first half is a teen film – all the colourful kineticism of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl except with, y’know, something to say…

Sydney Film Festival: Sherpa (2015)

On the 18th of April, 2014, an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest claimed sixteen lives; the worst accident in Everest history until the recent devastation of the Nepalese earthquake. The sixteen men that died were all Sherpas – underpaid Nepalese who risked and, ultimately, lost their lives on the treacherous Khumbu Icefall so…

It Follows (2014)

The main point of comparison for most people reviewing It Follows is Halloween. Undeniably, David Robert Mitchell’s debut feature, an insidious, diamond-sharp indie horror flick, draws heavily from John Carpenter’s classic. That’s apparent from its opening frame, an image of an American suburban street whose expansive front lawns carpeted by auburn autumn leaves could be…