James White (2015)

Along with another one of last year’s directorial debuts – John Magary’s The Mend – Josh Mond’s James White signals a new direction for New York indie cinema. Inspired by the improvisational energy of early Cassavettes and Jarmusch’s calculated coolness, James White offers an unconventional coming-of-age narrative that incorporates tragedy without allowing it to sublimate…

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…

Run All Night (2015)

My expectations for Run All Night were probably set higher than your average punter. It’s not that I’m a big proponent of the ubiquitous Liam-Neeson-Is-An-Alcoholic-Who-Shoots-People pseudo-franchise of the last decade or so – I couldn’t bring myself to watch Taken 3 – but that I was simply excited to see another picture from director Jaume…

Frances Ha (2013)

Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha is a curious blend of universality and specificity. It tells the tale of young Frances Halliday (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring dancer, as she bounces from apartment to apartment in New York City. We follow her successes and her failures, and watch her orbit through and around various friendship groups, moving away…