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Film

Posted 15 Jun 2016 @ 10:32am

★★★

 

Pixar redefined animated filmmaking, and heavy is the crown it wears when diving into sequel territory. Finding Dory bears weighty expectations built on its wondrous predecessor, and though enjoyable, this new venture into the ocean reveals little we haven’t seen before.

 

Dory (Ellen Degeneres) suffers from short-term memory loss, as everyone around her is...

Posted 14 Jun 2016 @ 11:27am

★★☆

 

If it sells in one medium, it sells in another. That is the production mantra that has led us to the glut of thickheaded paint-by-numbers summer blockbusters through which we now wade. Fortunately, Blizzard’s inevitable Warcraft cash-in stands just above its peers, delivering on its title with satisfying brutality.

 

The kingdom of Azeroth stands on the brink...

Posted 11 Jun 2016 @ 11:00am

The 2014 film Boyhood took us through a young man’s life from the tender age of six to his first day at college.

 

Now that the 12-year project has concluded, writer/director Richard Linklater is telling the story of the next phase in life.

 

Adulthood? Not exactly. Everybody Wants Some!! (named after a song by Van Halen) follows Jake – a cipher for Linklater – as...

Posted 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:47pm

Submissions are now open to enter the Footprints Film Festival competition for best short films with an environmental or sustainability theme.

 

As part of...

Posted 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:41am

Most mainstream film festivals ignore horror cinema.

 

So do the majority of mainstream critics, in fact. They angrily decry horror’s ugly one per cent – the glossy, inane remakes of ‘80s splatter hits – while ignoring the extraordinary vision and inventiveness of the genre’s majority. Movies like The Babadook and It Follows get lumped into the same category as Platinum Dunes’...

Posted 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:56am

★★★★

 

Herbert West would sure be proud of Tyler MacIntyre, the young writer/director re-animating the gruesome legacy of Stuart Gordon’s cult hero.

 

As gut-bustingly funny as the sources from which it draws, MacIntyre’s retro throwback Patchwork benefits from an injection of originality that keeps it from being obsequious.

 

Jennifer (Tory Stolper),...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 4:00pm

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

 

That’s the question one can imagine Anthony Weiner was asking himself amid his 2011 scandal – one in which the then-member of the US House Of Representatives was caught out sending indecent selfies to a number of women. After all, when a man with the last name Weiner starts mailing out photos of his weiner, the headlines write...

Posted 8 Jun 2016 @ 9:49am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. It's every Sydney cinephile's favourite time of year - when the Vivid lights dim and the red carpets roll out for another massive Sydney Film Festival!

 

Naturally, being the square-eyed obsessive that I am, I've hunted down some...

Posted 6 Jun 2016 @ 7:59pm

 

The band of renegade magicians known as the Four Horsemen may have returned to the limelight, but their bag of magic tricks is far from full. 

 

Having gone into hiding at the end of the last film, they return for Now You See Me 2 with a new mission to oust yet another high-profile villain. Only they are foiled at their own game by another villain, who is...

Posted 2 Jun 2016 @ 10:21am

Hotel Coolgardie is to bogans what Jaws is to sharks.

 

The sometimes amusing, sometimes appalling documentary follows two young Finnish backpackers, Lina and Steph, as they weather a barrage of sexist and racist slurs while working for scraps in the eponymous Western Australian pub, colliding head on with the full force of ’Strayan philistinism in the process. 

 

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Posted 1 Jun 2016 @ 4:22pm

Homage is a hard thing to nail.

 

Take it too far and you’ll find yourself in dangerous rip-off territory. But fail to take it far enough and no-one will even realise you’re trying to tip your hat to your heroes. On that level alone, Tyler MacIntyre’s Patchwork, a gleefully gory riff on the Frankenstein myth, is an unmitigated triumph.

 

The film is jam-packed with...

Posted 31 May 2016 @ 2:15pm

Red Christmas, as the name suggests, is a Christmas horror film. How broad is the Christmas horror tradition in cinema?

 

One of the first ever ‘slashers’ was a Christmas horror: 1974’s Black Christmas. Since then Christmas horrors have been messing with childhood memories (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gremlins) and turning Santa Claus into a horrible villain (Silent Night,...

Posted 31 May 2016 @ 1:21pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. That's right, we're back! After May's trailer BONANZA, I'm reining this beast in to a sedate and reasonable pace at five films a week, as is tradition.

 

American summer releases are slowing down, and June's off...

Posted 31 May 2016 @ 12:42pm

Australia's only dedicated smartphone film festival, SmartFone Flick Fest (or SF3, as the cool kids call it) is back for 2016 - and entries are open now.

 

The high cost of production equipment that filmmakers usually have to contend with is no barrier to this festival, of course, and it offers talented unsung creatives the chance to have their films seen by not only a national...

Posted 29 May 2016 @ 9:00am

The bigger things in life – love, death, family, friendship, sex – are hard enough to fully grasp in one’s adult years.

 

Imagine, then, what happens when it all comes hurtling at you with full force before you’re even legally allowed to drink. This, on the surface, is what Teenage Kicks deals with. Craig Boreham’s new independent Australian film, shot in and around Sydney, takes...

Posted 28 May 2016 @ 8:00am

Based upon the life of the legendary jazz musician Chet Baker, Born To Be Blue is a semi-fictional account of his tempestuous 1960s battles with drugs and the law, and his eventual comeback.

 

Writer, director and producer Robert Budreau explains that this is a story of ‘what ifs’, but it’s ultimately all about the music. 

 

“I’ve long been a fan of jazz. The very...

Posted 27 May 2016 @ 4:00pm

“I[didn’t] know what horror was till I had twins,” laughs Sean Byrne.

 

The lauded director behind the Australian cult classic The Loved Ones and his newest The Devil’s Candy is talking to the BRAG in a rare moment of peace, having just managed to get his two three-year-olds out the door to childcare. “It’s like going to war,” he says, joking. Kind of.

 

But Byrne...

Posted 27 May 2016 @ 10:41am

Courses on offer:

 

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is Australia’s leading centre for education and training in the performing arts. For those wanting to start a career in the creative arts, we offer full-time accredited Bachelor courses in Acting, Costume, Design for Performance, Properties and Objects (props), Staging, and Technical Theatre and Stage Management;...

Posted 27 May 2016 @ 10:28am

Courses on offer:

 

Auditions are currently open for the Screenwise Showreel Course, a 12-month, part-time course that develops and refines screen acting skills required for a professional and competitive showreel.  

 

What makes us different:

Graduates from the Showreel Course not only develop a showreel that illustrates the breadth and depth of their acting...

Posted 27 May 2016 @ 10:00am

Necessity really is the mother of invention. Just spend any time talking to Australian playwright-turned-filmmaker Stephen Sewell and you’ll realise how much creativity can be born from restriction.

 

The lauded writer’s debut directorial feature, Embedded – a stripped-back erotic thriller screening as part of Sydney Film Festival – didn’t come into this world naturally. In fact...

Posted 26 May 2016 @ 12:43pm

The story of Afghani immigrant Sonita Alizadeh – rapper, activist and would-be child bride – is as compelling as they come.

 

Screening as part of Sydney Film Festival, Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami’s powerful documentary Sonita has collected prizes across the world, including the prestigious Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival. As well as...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 4:59pm

Three years ago, writer-director Ivan Sen stood in front of a sold-out crowd at Sydney’s State Theatre, where his latest movie, the outback noir Mystery Road, had been selected as Sydney Film Festival’s opening night film.

 

In just a few short weeks, he’ll return to the venue for the very same occasion – as will his Mystery Road protagonist, hard-edge indigenous detective Jay...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 4:48pm

My Sydney Film Festival with Festival Director Nashen Moodley

 

My fifth year as festival director is the festival’s 63rd, with a theme very close to my heart. Six simple words: change your view, change your world. They describe the remarkable way that changing your frame of reference can alter your entire reality. I believe films can do this more effectively than any other...

Posted 25 May 2016 @ 4:40pm

Sydney Film Festival is back for 2016 with nearly 250 films screening at venues around Sydney. Check out some of our tips for the hottest tickets at this year’s festival below, and see the full program at sff.org.au.

 

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Gimme Danger...

Posted 24 May 2016 @ 12:50pm

★★★☆

 

The 21st WOW Film Festival saw the premiere of GTFO, a documentary that, with skill, insight and courage, explores the murky world of gaming and the lives of the women who dare enter it. 

 

Everybody knows you can’t have a premiere without some light entertainment beforehand, and WOW included the screening of some short animations. The energy of the room was...

Posted 19 May 2016 @ 10:13am

Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and comedy trio The Lonely Island have teamed up to make a new mockumentary about a mononymous pop megastar named Conner.

 

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping was co-directed by Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, and stars their colleague Andy Samberg as a self-absorbed superstar who's surrounded by an entourage of hangers-on and...

Posted 12 May 2016 @ 12:05pm

Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now is the brand new indie film festival launching at Palace Cinemas this week.

 

With a program spanning 32 films, including 14 Australian premieres, the festival represents American achievement in filmmaking both past and present. There are five different...

Posted 11 May 2016 @ 11:00am

The full program for the 63rd Sydney Film Festival is here at last.

 

With more than 300 screenings of over 250 films from around the world, the 2016 Sydney Film Festival is set to be one of the biggest yet. Running across 12 days and nights at locations in the CBD, Inner West, northern Sydney and the city's west, the festival covers genres from feature films to documentary,...

Posted 9 May 2016 @ 6:15pm

★★★☆

 

Will kids like The Angry Birds Movie? It’s a cartoon that’s injected with toilet humour and slapstick comedy. Of course they will. But what about us adults?

 

 

Warning: this review is not (entirely) suitable for children.

 

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I had genuine concerns going into this thing. Video game movies are rarely any good outside the...

Posted 6 May 2016 @ 12:14pm

Who doesn't love a good music documentary?

 

There are few cinematic pleasures more acute than discovering the story behind cover art, or seeing legendary musicians stumble, ramble, educate and elucidate. Music documentaries feed our voyeurism - our desperate desire to know - but they can also be truly great art in their own right, depictions that become as powerful as the bands...

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