The Rider (2017)

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Rider

Image via miff.com.au

4.5_orange_sm

I tried to keep my expectations low for this quiet and cinematic meditation on masculinity and rodeo riders. I only booked it because of recommendations from fellow MIFF tweeters and it’s often a mistake to expect too much (First Reformed (2017) is a good example of this). It took a little while to settle into the pace and the slight awkwardness of non-professional actors but once I did, I was hopelessly lost in its beauty and pathos. Continue reading

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (2018)

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MATANGI-MAYA-M.I.A.-key

Image via miff.com.au

4.0_orange_sm

Pretty much all I knew about Matangi a.k.a. Maya Arulpragasm a.k.a. M.I.A. is the song Bad Girls. The anthem to girls doing whatever they want has a killer video clip of stunt drivers in the Middle East and M.I.A. resplendent in shades and gold chains. I now know there is so much more to her than this song and her Grammy and Oscar nominations. Continue reading

Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2017)

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Tigers-Are-Not-Afraid-key

Image via miff.com.au

3.5_orange_sm

Based on the real problem of children left vulnerable when their parents are captured or killed by Mexican drug cartels, Issa L√≥pez’s horror take is cast primarily with child actors who do a decent job of carrying the story. Integrating fable-like elements and some competent special effects, the result is engaging although somewhat marred by sentimentality. Continue reading

VR: Denoise (Short) (2017)

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Denoise-Landscape

2.5_orange_sm

An interesting journey through sites of industry – metal crushers, freight ships, oil wells – with people who work there speaking of their relationships with sound and silence. Marred by the noise coming from the venue foyer, it was nevertheless an interesting experience but not as visually pleasing as the above image.