Zero Motivation (2014)

BAPFF: Zero Motivation (2014)

It seems like it’s nigh-impossible to talk about Israeli ‘workplace’ dramedy Zero Motivation without referencing Office Space. Give or take a Jarhead, though, I’d argue that Talya Lavie’s feature-length debut more closely resembles The Office (the UK version). Both The Office and Zero Motivation make paperwork integral to their story, for example; the former takes…

The Dead Lands

BAPFF: The Dead Lands (2014)

It’s safe to say that The Dead Lands’ sold-out sessions are an outlier at the sparsely-attended screenings that have so far defined Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival. Perhaps this lends some insight into the movie-going demographics of our city, where a Chekhovian Palme d’Or recipient is outshone by the Maori cultural heritage championed in New…

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait

BAPFF: Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014)

The word ‘necessary’ is perfect to describe Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait, a film that is as difficult to watch as it is important. As explained by its opening title card, the film is constructed out of 1,001 images/videos taken from 1,001 Syrians – these videos, regularly drawn from crude cameraphones and interrupted by the trill…

BAPFF: Ukraine is Not a Brothel (2013)

The story told by Kitty Green’s documentary Ukraine is Not a Brothel is a fascinating one. But the appeal of this film is not the mystery it unravels as it examines the inner workings of Ukrainian feminist movement FEMEN, but the thoughtful and thought-provoking perspective provided by its Australian director. This is a sterling example…

Red Amnesia (2014)

BAPFF: Red Amnesia (2014)

Red Amnesia is a hard film to pin down. Xiaoshuai Wang’s film begins surveying a rundown old house and the brooding young man within, before leaping away to Shanghai to observe Deng (Lü Zhong), a recently widowed woman. She’s being hassled by mysterious phone calls with a sinister undertone, but the police aren’t interested in…