Emo the Musical (2016)

Standard

4.0_orange_sm

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)

Standard
Personal-Shopper-d-Olivier-Assayas

Image via theopulence.co

4.0_orange_sm

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)

Standard

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)

Standard
PARIS-0559-1

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

Cameraperson (2016)

Standard

Described as a memoir, this documentary is a montage of footage taken by documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson over the 25 years (so far) of her career. Presented without narration, we see a patchwork of clips that pull us from Bosnia and Afghanistan to Brooklyn and Guantanamo Bay. Johnson only appears on screen once, a highly personal and emotional moment toward the end, but her quiet presence is often felt. Continue reading

Jasper Jones (2017)

Standard

This is a warm and sensitive adaptation by director Rachel Perkins of Craig Silvey’s excellent Australian novel of the same name. The film aims squarely at a mainstream and younger audience than the book, pulling its punches to just touch on the themes of racism and abuse that are central to the story of Charlie Bucktin’s awakening from childhood innocence in the rural town of Corrigan in the 1960s. Continue reading

The Eagle Huntress (2016)

Standard

Talking about feminism, this is a lovely example of a story that centres around a girl making her own choices in a conservative, patriarchal culture. Aisholpan is 13 and lives with her parents and younger siblings nearly the Altai mountains in Mongolia. Her father comes from 12 generations of eagle hunters and Aisholpan has inherited his passion. Women don’t become eagle hunters though, they milk the livestock, cook food and, according to the menfolk, “argue over the gifts at a party.” Continue reading