Sydney Film Festival: Nasty Baby (2015)

At first glance, Sebastián Silva’s Nasty Baby appears to slot neatly into the Noah Baumbach/Lena Dunham school of New York indie. You know the type. Loose, naturalistic dramas about trendy people in a trendy city, leavened with a hint of comedy before drifting towards Serious Issues that aren’t taken all that seriously. For most of…

Top Five (2014)

Hollywood has never really known what to do with Chris Rock. That’s been increasingly apparent over the last decade or so, with the so-called “the funniest man in America” finding work as either a cartoon zebra in the Madagascar series or as Adam Sandler’s Friend in The Longest Yard, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan…

Happy Christmas (2014)

Sydney Film Festival: Happy Christmas (2014)

Improvisational comedy is fast becoming the norm. Whether it’s This is the End, Bad Neighbours or Anchorman 2, the construction is the same: narrative skeleton to keep the audience interested interspersed with some carefully-honed gags and a lot of loose improvisation, edited into something tighter. I’m not complaining, mind; I love the shooting-shit-with-your-mates vibe of…

Girls Season 3 (Laird, Hannah, Caroline)

Season Pass: Girls Season 3

My fondness for episodic television reviews – both writing and reading them – has waned sharply over the last year or so. The appeal of this form of criticism is undeniable: liked an episode of television? Hated an episode of television? Jump online and read what <insert critic x> thinks of it! Share your thoughts…

Girls – “Together” (Season 2, Episode 10)

The outstanding season finale of Girls, “Together,” was filled with unrestrained, honest conversation, people cutting through bullshit to share their innermost thoughts, fears and hopes. Marnie’s ultimatum to Charlie could have been yet another disappointment for her, but her raw confession unearthed a heartfelt reciprocation from her ex-(now-current)-boyfriend. On paper, I don’t know that I…

Girls – “On All Fours” (Season 2, Episode 9)

Reflecting on the tonal shift that characterised “On All Fours,” Girls’ darkest episode yet, it occurred to me that the show has been a generally optimistic show. Its characters haven’t always shared that positive outlook, but the overall feeling has been hopeful, that these crazy kids will sort out their problems. That’s why the relentless…

Girls – “It’s Back” (Season 2, Episode 8)

I’m still not quite sure how to feel about “It’s Back,” an episode that’s equal parts messy and compelling. It reminded me of a later-era Sopranos episode, gently pushing against the boundaries of traditional television storytelling; feeling like no other show on television. It’s full of sharp writing: I loved how the show contrasted Shoshanna’s…