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Stories from inside life's big top.

Posts from the “film” Category

Before Hollywood: Kriv Stenders

Posted on October 1, 2017

Watching Kriv Stenders’ film about The Go-Betweens made me homesick.   Hearing ‘Cattle and Cane’ killed me. It’d been a while. Only music can do that. Bang! That forlorn bass-line wrapped itself around my heart and squeezed out a river of tears. From the depths. From a lifetime ago.   Nostalgia had come calling. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of where you’re from, especially if you’ve given over swathes of your life to leaving it behind. I’ve come to know that a sense of ‘home’ is necessary. Especially when you’re living oceans apart.   Viewing the film in Berlin, Germany – my home for not much longer now – it also stirred a deep sense of yearning. For the lush tropics of northern…

Gang of Film Berlin

Posted on March 16, 2017

Ninety-nine films, four per day, one month on your butt and no end in sight…   Film festivals are fun. Invigorating. Inspiring. But it has to be said, they are also hazardous to your health – especially if you’re a film critic covering one of the biggest in the world.   Marathon swathes of time are spent away from sunlight. You spend so much time sitting in the dark you worry about turning into a vampire and getting deep vein thrombosis. Kind of insane when you think about it…   I was comprehensively reminded at the recent 2017 Berlinale, the above being the ‘statistical’ outcome from my own ’embedded’ experience there. I covered the festival for three Australian media outlets: ABC Local Radio (Overnights…

Top Ten Films From Berlinale: Megan Spencer

Posted on March 15, 2017

Megan Spencer, Guardian Australia, Radio National     1. Honeygiver Among The Dogs (Dechen Roder, BHUTAN)   Called the first ever “Buddhist film noir”, this is a breathtaking film set in the mountains of Bhutan. A policeman is sent to investigate the disappearance of a Buddhist nun, presumed murdered. Tailing the suspect – an impossibly beautiful woman deemed a “demon-ness” by the village bigots – the film becomes an ethereal treatise about the nature of reality – and  our relationship to what we ‘think’ we know. The natural and ‘sacred’ worlds crisscross at every opportunity. A profound, unpredictable, and thrilling cinematic achievement. (Panorama)   2. Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (Mathieu Denis Simon Lavoie, CANADA)   An uncompromising, confronting…

Top Ten Films From Berlinale: Teresa Vena

Posted on March 15, 2017

Guest Post: Teresa Vena,  Berliner Filmfestivals.     Honeygiver Among The Dogs by Dechen Roder This is the first film completely shot in Bhutan, with all actors native from Bhutan. Female director Dechen Roder is able to show an intriguing story in beautiful pictures, with perfect rhythm. The plot is very intelligent evoking a constant menacing atmosphere, suggesting a crime that finally never happened.   Centaur by Aktan Aryum Kubat The second film by this director from Kyrgyzstan tells in an authentic way about the loss of connection between ‘man’ and ‘nature’. The main character is played by the director himself; he has a great charisma.   Tiere (Animals) by Greg Zglinski An intriguing roller coaster ride around the topics love, trust and jealousy.…

Top Ten Films From Berlinale: Yun-hua Chen

Posted on March 15, 2017

Guest Post: Yun-hua Chen, Goethe Institute, Mosaic Space And Mosaic Auteurs.   Qiu / Inmates Audacious, sensitive, contemplative, non-judgmental, gentle and very humane, it has definitely brought new perspectives and thoughts which will stay with me for a very long time.   Small Talk The most brutally candid conversation with oneself and love letter to one’s mother that I have ever seen. I truly admire the filmmaker’s remarkable courage, tenderness and strength. Tissues needed!   Close-Knit It’s such a sweet and heart-warming film, and beautifully acted by the trio. Tissues needed – again!   Insyriated An incredibly powerful chamber piece that shows as much the outside world in turmoil as the internal state of the distressed family, stranded somewhere in Syria. It left me…

Top Ten Films From Berlinale: David Mouriquand

Posted on March 15, 2017

Guest Post: David Mouriquand, EXBERLINER, Before The Bombs Fall.   1) I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO   An unmissable offering in this year’s Panorama selection was Raoul Peck’s timely, Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro. The filmmaker takes the words of the late novelist and social critic James Baldwin, who wanted the lives of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and Medgar Evers “to bang up against each other”, and stylishly laces his prose with archival footage and modern clips. The result is a concise, articulate and non-hectoring chronicle of black activism during the civil rights movement, which contains eerily prophetic aspects, and comes to life through the director’s status as a cinephile. Peck uses a great number of film clips in order…