Wendy and Lucy (2008)

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A recent Kelly Reichardt retrospective gave me the chance to catch two of her earlier films – Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy. I really loved Certain Women at MIFF last year (I recommend you try and see it) and the same delicate, languid style can be seen in her two films from ten years ago. Wendy (Michelle Williams) is travelling across country with her dog Lucy in an old car, heading for Alaska. She has heard that work is easy to get there and she sleeps in her car and counts her pennies to make them last until she gets there. Continue reading

Old Joy (2006)

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In her films,  Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women, Meek’s Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy) immerses you in the life of a handful of people over a day or two. In Certain Women, it was four women in rural America, in Meek’s Cutoff it was settler women in the 1840s Oregon desert. In Old Joy we follow old friends Kurt (Will Oldham) and Mark (Daniel London) as they reunite for an overnight camping trip in search of some hot springs. Continue reading

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

Women Who Kill (2016)

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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