The Women (2008)

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It’s possible that this is the worst film about women ever made by women. It’s also possible it is the most disappointing remake of all times. What an opportunity – to take the crackling wit of the 1939 George Cukor original and show what has changed for women in 70 years. Instead they give us a sexless Sex and the City, short on charm and long on white privilege.  Continue reading

The Bad Seed (1956)

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“What will you give me for a basket of kisses? A basket of kisses? Why I’ll give you a basket of hugs.” A discussion with two good friends lead to an afternoon where each brought along their favourite ‘bad movie’. Bad movies are the ones you love to watch, even though you know they fail to meet many standards of cinematic quality. I had never heard of the 1956 The Bad Seed; it is based on a successful Broadway play and from where Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds took its name. What a melodramatic gem it is; predating Hitchcock’s Psycho in its Freudian exploration of horror that comes from within a family. Continue reading

The Family

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Image via MIFF

I wasn’t expecting this documentary about the Melbourne suburban and Victorian rural sect The Family and leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne to pack such an emotional wallop. It begins as a blow-by-blow retelling of the investigation into the cult in the 80s and takes a while to build a coherent story but ends as a devastating insight into the repercussions for the children involved and the inability of investigators to breach the protective wall of privilege around the cult to obtain justice. Continue reading

Women Who Kill

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The closing night Melbourne Queer Film Festival film had me the moment I saw it starred Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night). It is writer, director and star, Ingrid Jungermann, though who steals the show. This is a comedy, albeit a dark one. Morgan (Jungermann) and Jean (Ann Carr) host a regular podcast called ‘Women Who Kill’ about female serial killers. They are exes who seem like an old married couple; they bicker and banter until Morgan meets the mysterious Simone (Vand) at the food co-op she volunteers for.  Continue reading