The Hateful Eight: A Gluttonous Appetite for Debauchery

Early in The Hateful Eight, John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) encounters Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), warning him to move slowly – “molasses-like” – while keeping his firearm fixed on the stranger. You could say that the film itself is comparably molasses-like; dense and dark in its substance while deliberately unhurried in its…

In defense of Hostel and Hostel: Part II

There’s an unrealistic expectation around film criticism that critics should approach every film from an objective perspective, regardless of its genre or subject matter. No doubt there are critics out there who love every kind of film equally, but most of us have some kind of bias. That’s only really a problem if reviewers are…

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

There’s a tendency for debut directors to treat their first films as a highlight reel, collecting every great shot they’ve ever imagined, referencing every great film and emphasising this is what I can do over this is what I have to say. Ana Lili Amirpour occasionally falls into this trap in A Girl Walks Home…

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Halfway into Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – battered and bloodied – ascends a fire escape, consumed by trepidation. We know this because he continues to grimly intone his fears on the narration track, and because there’s a woman waiting for him in the hotel room at the top of the…

2014 AICE Israeli Film Festival

The 2014 Israeli Film Festival kicks off tonight in Brisbane and Melbourne, with screenings in other Australian capitals to follow. With the Gaza situation plastered all over the news recently, it’s certainly a difficult time to promote a film festival celebrating the work from a country engaged in such devastating warfare (with questionable tactics, to…

Sydney Film Festival: Boyhood (2014)

When I was growing up, I used to imagine that I was the star in my own movie. That my adventures on the playground or walks home from school were shadowed by an unseen camera crew, recording my every experience for an enraptured audience. While the idea was ridiculous in its egotism – who would…