Ruben Guthrie (2015)

The easiest barb to direct at Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie is that it’s another Aussie film about the problems of rich white blokes (see also: Little Death, The/Any Questions for Ben?). This isn’t technically incorrect; the titular protagonist is, indeed, a wealthy white dude (Patrick Brammall). But the screenplay’s real concerns aren’t so much the…

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…

The Infinite Man (2014)

Aussie time-travel rom com The Infinite Man sits somewhere the middle of the triangle formed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Primer and, uh, Triangle. That’s a promising combination, and given my fondness for time-travel films, I had high expectations. They were not met. The film’s main problem is a lack of emotional authenticity.…

Ryan Corr and Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner (2014)

The Queensland premiere of The Water Diviner was introduced not by director and star Russell Crowe – Brisbane is no Sydney, after all – but by Des Power, an Order of Australia member peripherally tied to proceedings via his role as creative director of the Gallipoli Chamber Orchestra. In sombre tones, he told the audience…

My Mistress (2014)

I have no personal experience of sadomasochism, but if its pop-culture depictions are anything to go by, the one constant – aside from whips, chains and leather – is stilted role-play. For example, My Mistress – the debut feature of Brisbane director Stephen Lance – has us observe dominatrix Maggie (Emmanuelle Béart) leading an unnamed…

Joel Edgerton in Felony (2013)

Felony (2013)

Australian cop flick Felony opens with a perfunctory action scene – the only scene in the film that fits that description. Detective Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton, star and screenwriter) gives chase to a crim fleeing the scene, and earns a deposit of lead in his bulletproof vest for his trouble. Struggling to his feet, he…

The Babadook (featured image)

The Babadook (2014)

It’s a rare film that can balance the supernatural and the psychotic. It requires walking the razor’s edge of taut surrealism without toppling into ridiculousness or incoherency. A few films have succeeded – Repulsion, The Innocents, The Shining, Eraserhead. And now, The Babadook. A feature length adaptation of Aussie director Jennifer Kent’s 2005 short Monster,…