Berlin Syndrome (2017)

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A movie about a woman being victimised isn’t the kind I would normally go and see but Berlin Syndrome is directed by Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore) so I knew it was going to be interesting with the story of the woman at the heart. Clare (Teresa Palmer) is a naive Australian tourist newly arrived in Berlin. By chance she meets German school teacher Andi (Max Riemelt) and strikes up a hesitant friendship that leads to her staying the night at his isolated apartment in an otherwise empty former East Berlin apartment block. When she wakes in the morning with Andi gone to work, she finds the doors and windows locked and she can’t leave. Continue reading

Emo the Musical (2016)

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Harold and Maude meets High School Musical in this messy, funny, teen romp of a film by Australian Neil Triffett. Ethan (Benson Jack Anthony) is a misfit in his school. Identifying as an emo with black eyeliner and a melancholic preoccupation with death, he is expelled after trying unsuccessfully to hang himself from a tree in the schoolyard. As the new kid at scruffy Seymour High, he finds his tribe with wannabe emo band Worst Day Ever who are vying for a prize in a regional band competition. Trouble arises when Ethan falls for Trinity (Jordan Hare), singer in rival Christian band Hope. Continue reading

Personal Shopper (2016)

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Image via theopulence.co

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It’s hard to love a film that’s deliberately ambiguous but there is something about this odd, French, mixed-genre movie by Olivier Assayas that mesmerises. Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is in a kind of frantic and masochistic limbo in Paris. Her twin brother Lewis has died from a congenital heart condition they both share and she is waiting for him to show her a sign that the afterlife exists.  Continue reading

The Swell Season (2011)

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The delightful, tiny film Once thrust musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová into the spotlight when they won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2008 for Falling Slowly. The Swell Season is the name of the band they formed and toured around the world as well as this quiet and genuine B&W documentary that follows the ups and downs of their personal and professional relationship in the aftermath of their success. Continue reading

Paris 05.59: Théo and Hugo (2016)

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Image via MIFF

This Melbourne Queer Film Festival screening was my third attempt to see this film; booked at MIFF but sacrificed for tiredness, waiting for half an hour at Cinema Nova yesterday before it was cancelled due to a technical hitch and then rescheduled today. I’m glad I hung in there; it was a beautiful film that pulled me into a world both foreign and familiar.  Continue reading