Jalanan

BAPFF: Jalanan (2013)

The opening of Jalanan recalls The Act of Killing with titles displayed over Indonesian urban landscapes informing us that 7,000 of Jakarta’s 12 million inhabitants work as buskers. This documentary stoops under the poverty line to follow three such buskers over roughly a half-decade. Like The Act of Killing, it’s the work of a foreign…

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…

The Gatekeepers (2012)

The Gatekeepers (2012)

“In the war against terrorists, forget about morality.” The Act of Killing and The Gatekeepers have a lot in common. The Gatekeepers doesn’t have the surreal style of Oppenheimer’s film. Its presentation is traditional: talking heads, stock footage, computer animation. The titular “gatekeepers” are six ex-leaders of the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet; men who…

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…