Showing all posts tagged: film

Before, Now & Then, by Kamila Andini, Sydney Film Prize contender

18 May 2022

Before, Now & Then, trailer, by Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andini, is one of twelve films in competition for the Sydney Film Prize, at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival:

Kamila Andini tells a very personal story set against the backdrop of tumultuous political times in Indonesia in this beguiling period drama. Nana (a luminous Happy Salma) loses her family, including her husband, in the war in West Java. Years later, now in the 1960s, we meet her again. Her poverty now a thing of the past, she has remarried a significantly older man, Mr Darga, who is wealthy and a philanderer. Though her life is comfortable, Nana’s dreams are still occupied by the past.

A chance discovery of a carelessly forgotten item of clothing leads Nana to discover that Darga is having an affair with an even younger local woman, Ino. What follows is unexpected. Rather than a confrontation, Nana and Ino become friends, and take comfort in each other, jointly imagining a path to freedom. Meanwhile, through talk in the town of secret communists, and on radio broadcasts, the political tensions that will alter the future of Indonesia are made clear.

Before, Now & Then, also known as Nana, is competing against eleven other films for the Sydney Film Prize, the winner of which will be announced on Sunday 19 June 2022.

It looks like a tight contest to me.

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Everything Went Fine, a film by François Ozon

16 May 2022

I don’t know what someone else would say, but if I had to describe the work of French filmmaker François Ozon in two words or less, I’d go for thought provoking. Look at Potiche, In the House, and The New Girlfriend, and tell me you disagree.

End of life plans, living wills, and euthanasia, are matters featuring prominently in Everything Went Fine (Tout s’est bien passé), trailer, the latest movie from Ozon:

When André, 85, has a stroke, Emmanuelle hurries to her father’s bedside. Sick and half-paralysed in his hospital bed, he asks Emmanuelle to help him end his life. But how can you honour such a request when it’s your own father?

Everything Went Fine opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 19 May 2022.

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No aliens: Carl Sagan’s big 2001: A Space Odyssey contribution

16 May 2022

Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, who co-wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey were at loggerheads for years as to how to portray the highly advanced aliens who created the mysterious black monolith seen throughout the film.

Kubrick had been considering depicting the extra-terrestrials as human-like, until American cosmologist and author Carl Sagan suggested not showing them at all. Best idea ever. The approach created so much more intrigue.

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Charli XCX: Alone Together, by Bradley Bell and Pablo Jones-Soler

13 May 2022

Charli XCX: Alone Together, trailer, a documentary by Los Angeles based director duo Bradley Bell and Pablo Jones-Soler, follows British singer and songwriter Charli XCX, as she goes about recording her fourth studio album How I’m Feeling Now, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s early 2020 and the world is thrust into lockdown, grinding everything to a halt – including pop superstar Charli XCX’s North American stadium tour. Stuck at home in LA and not working for the first time in her adult life, instead of bingeing both Netflix and junk food, Charli decides to push herself to her creative and physical limits by recording and releasing an entirely new record in just 40 days.

Armed with a producer sending her beats remotely, speedy Amazon deliveries of recording and filming equipment, a reluctant and utterly charming boyfriend and her legions of fans offering suggestions, video clips and adoration, Charli XCX embarks on both an introspective and deeply collaborative journey into the creation her widely celebrated album How I’m Feeling Now.

Charli XCX: Alone Together will screen in selected Australian cinemas, for a few days only, over the first weekend of June 2022.

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Asghar Farhadi wins Cannes Grand Prix award for A Hero

11 May 2022

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival for his latest feature A Hero. Farhadi is the master of suspenseful drama, and A Hero — which opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 9 June 2022 — is said to be his best work since A Separation in 2011. Check out the trailer.

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The Hill Where Lionesses Roar, a film by Luàna Bajrami

10 May 2022

Luàna Bajrami first came to my attention in her role as Sophie, in Céline Sciamma’s stellar 2019 film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, but the French-Kosovar actor is also a writer and director, and La Colline Où Rugissent Les Lionnes (The Hill Where Lionesses Roar), trailer, is her debut feature:

Best friends Jeta, Li and Qe live in a remote Kosovan village from which they see no way out. Bored and restless, the young women spend their days dreaming big but not living large – until, in a moment of aimless distraction, they rebrand themselves as a gang and fall into a life of crime. Exhilarated by the newfound sense of independence offered by their illegal pursuits, the trio soon discover that their ill-gotten gains come with some dangerous caveats.

The parallels between Bajrami’s film and Portrait of a Lady on Fire are intriguing, with — to be succinct — both stories featuring three women contravening social norms.

While The Hill Where Lionesses Roar screened at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, it didn’t appear to have a wider Australian theatrical release, so it looks like streaming may be the only option for seeing the film in this part of the world.

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Paul Kelly’s song How to Make Gravy to become a movie

9 May 2022

I don’t know how many songs end up being adapted to film, but Australian musician Paul Kelly’s 1996 composition How to Make Gravy, looks like it’ll join their ranks, after Australian film production company Speech & Drama Pictures acquired the song’s film rights.

Written from the perspective of a prisoner named Joe writing home to his brother Dan at Christmas time, the song has gathered momentum year on year as more people discover the plainspoken but emotionally profound work.

But will it be a case of the song is better than the movie? Let’s hope not…

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Mothering Sunday, a film by Eva Husson

4 May 2022

Mothering Sunday, trailer, by French film director Eva Husson, based on the 2016 novel of same name by English author Graham Swift, is a tale of secret love playing out on an unseasonably balmy March day, on an English country estate, in 1924.

The events of Graham Swift’s novel take place over the course of one day — the holiday Mothering Sunday. Maid Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) has the day off, as her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) are attending an event to celebrate the engagement of their neighbours’ son, Paul (Josh O’Connor). Jane is an orphan, so has no mother to spend the day with — but she does have Paul, with whom she’s been having a years-long secret affair. The story unfolds as they spend their final day together as lovers.

Mothering Sunday opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 2 June 2022.

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Martin Eden, a film by Pietro Marcello

3 May 2022

Martin Eden, portrayed by Italian actor Luca Marinelli in the 2019 film of the same name, trailer, directed by Pietro Marcello, is a barely literate sailor who decides he wants to become a writer.

Inspiration comes in the form of Elena Orsini (Jessica Cressy), the daughter of a well-off Neapolitan family, after a chance set of circumstances bring them together. Determined to become “worthy” of her hand in marriage, he devotes the next two years to self-education, while writing as much as he can.

But writing is not an occupation for the faint-hearted, and as the rejection letters pile up, he begins to wonder if he’s doing the right thing. But Martin Eden, loosely based on Jack London’s semiautobiographical 1909 novel, is perhaps a warning to be careful what you wish for.

You might attain what it is you aspire to, but at what cost? And might you lose sight of what it was you really wanted in the first place?

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Hello, Bookstore a documentary by A.b. Zax

30 April 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenging time for many people, particularly small businesses. Brick and mortar retailers, independent bookshops among them, struggled with lockdowns that kept customers away. Numerous operations were threatened with closure, and not all survived.

Hello, Bookstore, trailer, a documentary by American filmmaker A.b. Zax, looks at the impact of the pandemic on The Bookstore, in Lenox, a town in the American state of Massachusetts, which has been owned by Matthew Tannenbaum for over forty years.

In the shadow of the pandemic, a small town rallies to protect a beloved local bookstore in its hour of need. A landmark in Lenox, Massachusetts, The Bookstore is a magical, beatnik gem thanks to its owner, Matt Tannenbaum, whose passion for stories runs deep. Presiding at The Bookstore for over forty years, Matt is a true bard of the Berkshires and his shop is the kind of place to get lost in. This intimate portrait of The Bookstore and the family at its heart offers a journey through good times, hard times and the stories hidden on the shelves.

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A sequel for The Batman has been announced

28 April 2022

No surprises there, news of a follow up to The Batman. Robert Pattinson will reprise his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Matt Reeves will return to direct.

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We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, by Jane Schoenbrun

27 April 2022

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, trailer, by American filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun, promises to take viewers down a couple of bottomless rabbit-holes…

Late on a cold night somewhere in the U.S., teenage Casey sits alone in her attic bedroom, scrolling the internet under the glow-in-the-dark stars and black-light posters that blanket the ceiling. She has finally decided to take the World’s Fair Challenge, an online role-playing horror game, and embrace the uncertainty it promises. After the initiation, she documents the changes that may or may not be happening to her, adding her experiences to the shuffle of online clips available for the world to see. As she begins to lose herself between dream and reality, a mysterious figure reaches out, claiming to see something special in her uploads.

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Deutsche Bank Fellowship for First Nations Film Creatives

21 April 2022

Submissions for the 2022 Deutsche Bank Fellowship for First Nations Film Creatives are open until Friday 29 April 2022. The fellowship is open to Australian based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander film creatives in any discipline within the local film and television industry.

Now in its second year, the Deutsche Bank Fellowship is a grant for Australian First Nations film creatives launched by Sydney Film Festival and Deutsche Bank in 2021. The winning Fellow in 2022 will be awarded a $20,000 grant to further develop their skills through international placement or other professional development.

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Keep Stepping, a documentary by Luke Cornish

19 April 2022

Keep Stepping, trailer, by Sydney based documentary maker Luke Cornish, which has its world premiere at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival, explores the world of competitive street dancing in Australia.

On Sydney’s urban fringe, two young women battle for a better life in the underground world of competitive street dance. Patricia, Romanian-born and hanging out for a visa, is a breakdancer. Gabi, of Chilean-Samoan heritage, pops with power. Both dream of escaping the rough hand they’ve been dealt. Will a win at Australia’s biggest dance competition Destructive Steps – in which 60 contestants compete in the preliminary rounds – be their golden ticket? Or will the external pressures of financial hardship and volatile relationships stop them from even reaching the dancefloor?

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A trailer for Conversations with Friends TV series

14 April 2022

A trailer for Conversations with Friends, a television series produced by BBC Three and Hulu, based on the 2017 novel of the same name, by Irish author Sally Rooney.

Conversations with Friends follows Frances, a 21 year old college student, as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. Frances is observant, cerebral and sharp. Her ex-girlfriend, now best friend, Bobbi is self-assured, outspoken and compelling.

Though they broke up three years ago, Frances and Bobbi are virtually inseparable and perform spoken word poetry together in Dublin. It’s at one of their shows that they meet Melissa, an older writer, who is fascinated by the pair. Bobbi and Frances start to spend time with Melissa and her husband, Nick, a handsome but reserved actor.

While Melissa and Bobbi flirt with each other openly, Nick and Frances embark on an intense secret affair that is surprising to them both. Soon the affair begins to test the bond between Frances and Bobbi, forcing Frances to reconsider her sense of self, and the friendship she holds so dear.

It won’t be news to fans of Sally Rooney, but the series goes to air on Sunday 15 May 2022.

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Boiling Point, a film by Philip Barantini

11 April 2022

I once had a housemate who worked as a chef. When he wasn’t on the job — which didn’t seem to be often — he refused to cook. At all. A solitary jar of vegemite, and a loaf of bread, were the only foodstuffs to be found on his shelf in the pantry of the kitchen. Before moving in, another housemate warned me not to expect culinary feasts to be served.

Perhaps Boiling Point, trailer, the new drama feature from Britsh filmmaker Philip Barantini, goes someway to explaining my former housemate’s reluctance to go near a kitchen outside of working hours. Who’d want to be thinking about their pressure-cooker like workplace environment when they weren’t on duty?

On the busiest night of the year at one of the hottest restaurants in London, charismatic, commanding head chef Andy Jones balances along a knife’s edge as multiple personal and professional crises threaten to destroy everything he’s worked for. A surprise visit from a health and safety inspector sets the staff on edge as the overbooked hotspot begins to fill with guests. Jones alternately berates and cajoles his diverse staff, trying his best to diffuse tensions between management and his crew, while catering to the ridiculous demands of customers.

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Sydney Film Festival announces first 22 films for 2022

6 April 2022

The Sydney Film Festival has unveiled the first twenty-two movies that will be featured at this year’s event. Among their number is The Passengers of the Night (Les passagers de la nuit), directed by French filmmaker Mikhaël Hers, and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, as a woman trying to get her life back on track.

Election night, 1981. Socialist François Mitterrand has been declared president and there are hopeful celebrations across Paris. But it is not a happy night for Elisabeth (Gainsbourg, Antichrist), whose marriage has come to an unexpected end. She must find the means to support herself and two teenaged children. When she lucks upon a job on her favourite talkback radio show, she meets Talulah (Noée Abita, Slalom, SFF 2021), a charismatic young woman who is struggling, and invites her home. Free-spirit Talulah has a lasting impact, inspiring confidence in each of the family members.

I couldn’t find a trailer, but did locate a clip of this scene from the film.

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Little Tornadoes, screenplay co-written by Christos Tsiolkas

6 April 2022

Australian novelist Christos Tsiolkas, author of Seven and a Half, teamed up with Melbourne based filmmaker Aaron Wilson to write the screenplay for Little Tornadoes, trailer, which premiered at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival:

Introverted* Leo is a steelworker at his small town’s local plant. After his wife abandons him without explanation, leaving him to care for their two young children, he is bereft – barely able to cook a decent meal or keep the household running. So when a recently-arrived Italian colleague suggests that his sister, Maria, act as surrogate homemaker, Leo reluctantly accepts. But can one woman’s warm, nurturing presence fill the void left by another, and can Leo yield to the winds of change?

Little Tornadoes is set in 1971, and was filmed in Tocumwal, in New South Wales, where Wilson grew up. In a voiceover in the trailer, one of the characters utters the words “so long ago, it was a different country.” I’m not sure of the context of her words, but here the film somehow feels more like it was set in 1921 rather than 1971. Little Tornadoes arrives in Australian cinemas on Thursday 12 May 2022.

*Leo’s either an introvert, or he’s reserved. You cannot be introverted, just like you cannot be called blonded if you have blond hair, right? Pedantic I know…

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The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes

4 April 2022

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, trailer, directed by Emma Cooper for Netflix, explores the circumstances surrounding the 1962 death of American actor Marilyn Monroe.

[The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes] explores the mystery surrounding the death of movie icon Marilyn Monroe through previously unheard interviews with her inner circle.

While Monroe’s death was ruled suicide through a barbiturate overdose, some people believe Monroe was murdered, despite a police investigation finding no evidence of foul play.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes goes to air on Wednesday 27 April 2022.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo film adaptation

29 March 2022

On the subject of books being adapted to film, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Los Angeles based author Taylor Jenkins Reid, is set to be made into a movie, produced by Netflix.

The book, which has recently spent 54 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller Paperback list, four years after publishing, and has turned into a TikTok book phenomenon, follows reclusive Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo, who chooses an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, to tell her life story. Evelyn recounts her time in the Golden Age of Hollywood, her rise to fame, and her seven marriages — revealing stunning secrets and lies. But through it all one question remains: Why has she chosen Monique for her final confession?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is on my sprawling TBR list, here’s hoping I’m able to finish reading it before the film arrives.

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