Author Archives

Review: Ablaze

The documentary “Ablaze” is a paean to Aboriginal rights activist William Onus, and a fascinating tour of suppressed Australian history. Filmmakers Tiriki Onus and Alec Morgan have created a gripping film exploring the life and times of William Onus, Tiriki’s grandfather. It’s something of a mysterious treasure trail. Tiriki discovers a suitcase in his mother’s […]

Firebird – A Military LGBTQI Love Story

Based on a true story, Firebird is a meticulously researched and produced film about two young men on a military base in Soviet-occupied Estonia in the late 1970s. Sergey (Tom Prior) is a private just weeks away from discharge; Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii) is an officer and pilot, newly assigned to the base. Their attraction is almost […]

‘Mother Mountain’ explores Indigenous mother-daughter relationships

Loosely weaving together strands of spiritually, Mother Mountain is a tapestry of mother-daughter relationships, often troubled and sometimes toxic. All under the formidable shadow of Gulaga, Mother Mountain. Deftly incorporating Judaism and Aboriginal beliefs, director Celina Stang’s semi-autobiographical film portrays Selene, mother of pre-teen Shani and little Marco, and husband Dean, as they settle into a […]

Abortion drama ‘The Happening’ is a deeply moving film

Set in post-World War Two France, The Happening tells the story of Anne, a promising student of literature who has no redress in her unwanted pregnancy. She tries a number of ways to end the pregnancy, leading to betrayal and humiliating episodes: the trusted doctor who prescribes shots that actually strengthen the foetus, the pal who […]

Maybe Someday, a melancholic non-binary road trip film

The quietly composed film Maybe Someday follows Jay, a photographer recently separated from her wife, on a journey away from her old life and towards a new and unmapped path in Los Angeles. On the way, she visits a high school friend, once (and perhaps still) a BFF, and a divorced mother Jess. In a sense, […]

It Snows In Benidorm is a joyful & chaotic ride

Not quite a thriller, not quite a comedy, It Snows In Benidorm echoes the predictable storyline of a Brit finding enlightenment through adventure abroad, but with a droll unfolding of events that makes it something altogether different. Peter Riordan (Timothy Spall) is a mid-level bank manager in Manchester who subsists on habit (one potato and one […]

Drive My Car

BY OLGA AZAR Deeply moving and immensely long, Drive My Car is a meditation on the hazards of connection, both outward and inward, and how compromises made between the two can create unexpected reflection. Negative, positive, and often explosively neutral in this subdued film. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and co-written (with Takamasa […]

‘Last Radio Call’ is a cliche ridden, unoriginal, low budget horror flick

If you want a thoughtful, original tour of horror movie cliches, Last Radio Call is not a good place to start. Low-budget independent horror movies have their place, but this one is such a mish-mash it’s hard to tell if the filmmakers wanted to make a good screamer or an average satire. So: A couple […]

Wonderdome Immerses Audiences In Film

Here is a new way to watch a movie: sitting on sustainable beanbags, looking up at a dome with immersive 360-degree views and sound of cinematic weirdness. This newish technology is an emerging one landing in Sydney, through ongoing collaborations from Byron Bay to Burning Man. At the launch party for Wonderdome at the Entertainment […]

Discover the history of Taronga Zoo in ‘How To Move A Zoo’

There is a little-known history about Sydney, when in 1916, the zoo at Moore Park was moved to Taronga. Animal by animal, strategy by strategy, they were transported through the streets of Sydney and across the harbour, decades before the construction of the Harbour Bridge. It was a pretty wild operation, and attracted an excited […]