Once My Mother (2014)

Once My Mother isn’t necessarily an exemplar of expert filmmaking. Chronicling the life of director Sophia Turkiewicz’s mother, Helen, who travelled the perilous journey from war-torn Poland through a Siberian gulag and Zimbabwean refugee camp before arriving in Australia, some formal failings are understandable: Turkiewicz filmed the bulk of the documentary with no funding, meaning…

Charlie's Country

Charlie’s Country (2013)

Within Charlie’s (David Gulpilil’s) sorrowful gaze is an encapsulation of a people denied the land and culture that is theirs. The discourse around this denial and its ramifications is generally driven by white people under the assumption that Indigenous Australians are a problem to be solved. The draconian “intervention” is the largest example of this ideology…

The Turning (2013)

Revisiting The Turning (2013)

I liked Tim Winton’s The Turning more than most critics. Looking back at my review now, I don’t think I succeeded in explaining why it appealed to me; it’s an assumption underlying my write-up, but I don’t think I made it clear. In part, it’s based in my fondness for Winton’s original anthology, which I’d…

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in Tracks (2013)

Tracks (2013)

In my interview with Tracks director John Curran, he emphasised the importance of the interior journey of Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), the young Australian girl who completed a solo trek across thousands of miles of Australian desert. That interior journey is a large part of what makes Tracks such an excellent film; the way Robyn…

John Jarratt in Wolf Creek 2

Review Roundup – Into the Outback

Two more pieces of writing on other websites to spruik: I found Wolf Creek 2 an interesting film; it’s marketed as a gritty horror film, a successor to its (quite brutal) predecessor, but there’s a lot of intelligence beneath its bloody surface, a satire of Australian xenophobia amongst other things. It’s also a pretty entertaining…

Aaron Pedersen in Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road does, as the title suggests, concern a mystery of sorts. An indigenous teenage girl is found murdered on the outskirts of an outback Aussie town, and Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen, fantastic) investigates. His inquiries turn over dusty rocks, disturbing the dark creatures from their hiding places. In spirit of noirs like Chinatown…

Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS

Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS (2014)

A mini-series/telemovie about INXS was probably never going to be great, but Never Tear Us Apart ends up being this awkward combination of astoundingly misjudged moments amongst surprising glimmers of goodness. Let’s talk the good stuff: the casting of the band was well done; Luke Arnold is too young and pretty for Michael Hutchence, but…

The Outlaw Michael Howe

The Outlaw Michael Howe (2013)

The Outlaw Michael Howe tells the story of its eponymous bushranger’s rebellion against the British empire in early nineteenth century Van Diemen’s Land (an embryonic title for Tasmania). Played by Damon Herriman (who you might recognise as a far less noble outlaw, Dewey Crowe, from Justified), Howe is defined by anger and sadness. His rebellion,…