Queensland Film Festival 2015 and Brisbane Film Culture

What is the purpose of an international film festival? This is a tricky question, with many answers. It’s a question I’m not particularly qualified to answer, either, but as I see it, the primary responsibility of a film festival is to provide an opportunity for cinephiles to see films that they otherwise might not –…

Selma (2014)

The Martin Luther King Jr biopic Selma is primarily composed of individuals undergoing impassioned debates. We watch King (David Oyelowo) and Lyndon B Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) verbally spar over voting rights; with segregation outlawed in 1960s America, African-Americans find their legal right to vote denied, and divided camps of activists argue about the best way…

12 Years a Slave - Chiwetel Ejiofor picking cotton

On Festivals

Today heralded the end of a great Australian festival that has lasted over two decades. I’m not referring to the Big Day Out, whose cultural capital was irrevocably eroded by the influx of teenage, Australian-flag-wearing bogans a decade ago and has limped its way to extinction ever since. No, I’m talking about the Brisbane International…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…

The Top 20 Films of 2013

My Top 20 films of the year are listed below. For most them, clicking on the title will take you to my review of the film from earlier in the year. One qualifier before I begin: this doesn’t neatly fit into a “films of 2013” from a cinematic release perspective; thanks to film festivals and…

Short Term 12 (2013)

Brisbane International Film Festival: Short Term 12 (2013)

I’ve never seriously contemplated walking out of a movie theatre; consequently I’ve sat through the entirety of some truly execrable films. Yet halfway through Short Term 12, I strongly considering getting up and leaving the cinema. Short Term 12 takes its name from the foster care facility that serves as its primary setting, and is…