REVIEWS


If there are more than 100 matches, only the first 100 are displayed here.

The Lady Macbeth of Northumberland

2 Comments
20 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Catherine arrives a new bride, with husband Alexander, to take up residence in his luxurious rural home. Quickly we get a sense of how little control she has over her destiny. Alexander demands she remain inside the house at all times; when one evening she wishes to go to bed early, her father-in-law orders her to remain awake for her husband. In the life of the household, she is merely an attractive object. Yet like her Shakespearean forebear, she is not averse to manipulation and violence in pursuit of her goals.


Who killed Whitney Houston?

1 Comment
13 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Running parallel to this is Houston's intimate, long-time friendship with Robyn Crawford. Broomfield stops short of characterising it as romantic; others do not, and space is given to rumination about the difficulties of being a black, gay woman. In any case, the friendship sparks tension with Brown, and disapproval from Cissy. Crawford's abrupt departure from the tour is another turning point. In Broomfield's thesis, Houston's drug habit is a reaction to these various threats to her authenticity.


Raising feminist men in 1970s America

06 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Abbie introduces Jamie to the paired liberating movements of punk rock and second-wave feminism. Both lead to illuminating experiences, from his first rock concert, use of alcohol, and kiss, to being beaten for casting aspersions on a peer's grasp of female sexual anatomy. His relationship with Julie on the other hand provides a difficult counterpoint. His peevish concern over her promiscuity is largely possessive; his theoretical understanding of women's agency falling down in the face of adolescent hormones.


Strong women heroes of grim abduction parables

1 Comment
23 May 2017 | Tim Kroenert

If two current Australian films are anything to go by, then one social issue weighing on local filmmakers in 2017 is the danger to women of emotionally and physically violent men. Neither film is a mere portrait of victimhood. The heroes of Cate Shortland's recent Berlin Syndrome and Ben Young's upcoming Hounds of Love - in the former, an Australian traveller in Europe, in the latter, a teenage school girl in suburban Perth - are ordinary women with both the will and capacity to fight back against their assailants.


Weighing evil in the wake of nuns' war terror

2 Comments
16 May 2017 | Tim Kroenert

'Faith is 24 hours of doubt and one minute of hope,' says one of the nuns at a 1945 Polish convent. Soon Red Cross doctor and avowed atheist Mathilde learns the details of the predicament: of the terror wrought at the convent by Russian soldiers at the end of the war. Over the coming weeks, she oversees the health of those who fell pregnant during the intrusion. Gradually she wins their trust and, in the process, has her mind opened to a brand of faith that, in such circumstances, can be anything but blind.


Ghosts of grief in modern, secular Paris

1 Comment
18 April 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Cynical about the prospect of any kind of afterlife, Maureen nonetheless spends time holed up in an old Parisian mansion, trying to commune with the spirit of her dead twin brother. She is employed by a difficult and demanding fashion model as a personal shopper; literally, she spends her paid working days buying clothes, shoes and jewellery for someone else. The juxtaposition of the pure materialistic focus of this work, and her doubt-riven incursions into the spiritual realm, is intriguing.


Life before suicide

1 Comment
29 March 2017 | Tim Kroenert

A film about a lonely widower who repeatedly attempts suicide seems like a grim proposition. Ove has suffered one too many blows in his life, the latest being the loss of his job. He finds himself at a loose end, if not purposeless. He is the self-appointed overseer of the gated community where he has lived for years, enforcing protocols of behaviour among his terrorised neighbours. Now he's had enough, and decides to join his beloved wife Sonja, in eternity. But dying doesn't come easily to Ove.


The time-traveller's strife

21 March 2017 | Tim Kroenert

All stories that deal with time travel will come up against paradoxes. Generally the success of the story will come down to how capably these paradoxes are dealt with, and how consistently with the story's internal logic. Otto Bloom turns on the concept of time as an extension of the physical dimensions. If time is as tangible as physical space, then all events in time are occurring simultaneously. That we perceive time as moving in a particular direction is a feature of our human consciousness.


Penetrating the cult of secrecy and abuse

1 Comment
14 March 2017 | Tim Kroenert

The power of Jones' film comes from bringing us the faces and voices of the victims in the present day; to hear in their words and see in their manner the ongoing trauma of those experiences. It is a timely and illuminating exploration of the impacts of child abuse, arriving during a period when many of our Australian institutions, religious and otherwise, have been facing the probing spotlight of a royal commission for behaviour that was at times equally as secretive, and traumatic.


Interracial romance's antidote to cultural appropriation

2 Comments
07 March 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Mildred would later say of Frank that 'he always took care of me'. Yet this telling of the story shows a more mutual exchange of strength and support than such a statement might imply. The Lovings' entanglement with the state of Virginia would ultimately lead to constitutional change in favour of interracial marriage, and Loving portrays Ruth as the main agent of the battle. At a time when cultural appropriation has become much talked about, this film by a white filmmaker shows a different way.


page:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20

1-10 out of 200 results.