May in the Summer (2013)

The word ‘naturalistic’ has very particular connotations when used to describe cinema. Handheld camera, loose compositions, deliberately-muddled foley; that sort of thing. However May in the Summer’s naturalism bears none of these characteristics. When May (Cherien Dabas, writer and director besides) returns to her home country of Jordan shortly before her wedding, the conversations she…

BAPFF - Winter Sleep

Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival 2014

  The last time I wrote about the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, my attitude was one of scepticism. And, I’ll concede, a modicum of bitterness. You see, the birth of BAPFF meant the death of BIFF (the Brisbane International Film Festival), the latter cut down in its prime (at twenty-one years old!) to pave…

Rock the Casbah (2013)

Rock the Casbah (2013)

The funeral is a fertile ground for familial drama in the cinema. It’s easy to see why, what with the reunion of family members long separated by distance and/or estrangement born of malignant buried secrets unearthing those secrets in the heightened emotionality necessarily produced by grief and nostalgia. There are countless films in the ‘genre’…