Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

The Last-Minute ND/NF 2010 Preview, Part 3: The Oath to Zanan-e badun-e mardan

March 24, 2010

Don’t cry no tears. All good things come to an end. So do our tardy previews. The New Directors/New Films festival lights up the spring season by bringing to New York the best debuts from festivals like Cannes and Sundance. In the final assortment, there’s a lauded love letter to cinema from Mia Hansen-Løve, the welcome return of Judy Berlin director Eric Mendelsohn and a notable French addition to the “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” genre.

Read the first part of our New Directors/New Films preview.
Read the second part of our New Directors/New Films preview.

The Oath

Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan are buddies who took very different routes through al-Qaeda’s militant network. Jandal now works with Yemeni youth to temper their fundamentalism. Hamdan sits in Guantanamo, notorious as Osama bin Laden’s onetime chauffeur. The latest film from My Country, My Country director Laura Poitras is another unique look at the Middle East.

Le Pere de Mes Enfants (The Father of My Children)

French film producer Humbert Balsan helped bring works by Bela Tarr and Claire Denis to the public. His life and death inspired this acclaimed new feature from Mia Hansen-Løve, partner of Olivier Assayas. It’s a fresh take on Day for Night, with an overworked producer (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) juggling family and the fact that there isn’t enough hours in the day to achieve cinematic greatness.


The Great SXSW 2010 Preview Dump: Midnighters

March 11, 2010

The needy, rancid, blackened heart of the SXSW beats its fearsome tattoo at midnight. That’s when the jowly denizens of the dark come out to play, eyes wide as they tap into their iphones strange messages like “Grobius’s Colon: best horror film since Maniac Cop. Need pancakes!” Will 2010 finally satisfy their baleful tweets for fresh cinematic hamburger? Among the wannabe cult objects are the usual suspects: deceptively ordinary hillbillies, goatmen, and the latest epileptic effort from mad ‘n’ bad Frenchman Gaspar Noé.

Read our SXSW Headliners preview.
Read the first part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read our SXSW Narrative Features Competition preview.
Read our SXSW Documentary Features Competition preview.
Read the first part our SXSW Emerging Visions preview.
Read the second part our SXSW Emerging Visions preview.
Read our SXSW Lone Star States preview.
Read our SXSW 24 Beats Per Second preview.
Read our SXSW SW Global preview.
Read the first part of our SXSW Festival Favorites preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Festival Favorites preview.
Read the third part of our SXSW Festival Favorites preview.


A young girl’s sexual awakening is related in three discrete episodes. Amer is seen as girl, teenager and woman, navigating an uncertain world of dark houses and mysterious strangers, before a final scene that will probably blow your mind. Directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s story of a woman’s sexual awakening takes its cues from the giallo filmmaking of Mario Bava and Dario Argento.

Soudain le vide (Enter the Void)

Few films can clear a room faster than Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible, which puts the “god, no” into “uncompromising.” After eight years of silence, his latest film promises a hallucinogenic look into a drug peddler’s last five minutes of life. Pitched somewhere between Roger Corman’s The Trip and Tony Conrad’s The Flicker, Noé may be taking drugs to make films to take drugs to—and we like it!


Berlin 2010 Preview: Generations, Part 1

February 10, 2010

Like the Jesuits, the Berlin Film Festival understands that you need to get ‘em while they’re young. To that end, the Generations sidebar features films about and aimed at youth. This year’s selection of 56 features and shorts looks at every aspect of growing up, from unappreciative single parents to freaky flights of fancy. In the first part of our preview, we start out on a Mexican fishing trip and end up running away with an Italian circus.


Three Mexican generations convene on the Chinchorro reef in Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s acclaimed “documentary fiction” of fathers and sons. Daniel Kasman wrote, “a sojourn of a film, getting the simplicity and details of a wonderful but limited experience down to their most honest, most untroubled, most tender, and often most beautiful essences.”

Bestevenner (Best Friends)

This Norwegian children’s film from director Christian Lo combines young friendship, the Christmas season and the threat of deportation. When their friend Naisha flees to Oslo, Julie and Mette pack up their knapsacks and give chase. Expect heartstrings to be hammered like Jerry Lee Lewis attacking a piano.


Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Main/Special, Part 3

February 6, 2010

Starting with a Sapphic rock ‘n’ roll band and ending with an elegy for the Bolivian aristocracy, the final part of our Panorama preview contains a broad range of viewpoints. Of note is an Aki Kaurismaki-endorsed story of incest, stories of seclusion from Russia and Israel, a no holds barred biopic about Ian Dury and a charming collection of South Korean actresses. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Read the first part of our Berlin Panorama preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Panorama preview.
Read the first part of our Berlin Competition preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Competition preview.

The Owls

An aging ex-members of a lesbian rock band get a kick up the behind by the appearance of a 20-year-old newcomer. Twisted passions lead to both rebirth and revenge. The ninth film from Liberian-born lesbian director Cheryl Dunye (My Baby’s Daddy) stars Guinevere Turner, best known for writing the screenplays to American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol.

Paha perhe (Bad Family)

Produced by Aki Kaurismaki, this deadpan comedy features an obsessive single dad (Ville Virtanen) who will do anything to keep his son from hooking up with the love of his life—who happens to be the boy’s sister. The icky topic is perfect fodder for that very special brand of Finnish humor. Directed by Aleksi Salmenperä (A Man’s Work).


Trailerama: Animal Kingdom

December 17, 2009

After his mother overdoses, teenager James Frecheville falls under the care of the extended criminal brood. Will he enter the family business? The trailer’s use of Air Supply suggests writer/director David Michod is taking an ironic look at the Melbourne underworld. Full marks for Guy Pearce’s ‘tache, too.

Trailerama: Bran Nue Dae

August 28, 2009

An aboriginal teen escapes an Outback Catholic school’s stifling atmosphere and tries to get back home to port Broome. What makes this stage adaptation less of a fret-fest than Rabbit-Proof Fence is a bunch of singing and dancing. The teaser for Rachel Perkins’s film certainly looks a lot livelier than Australia.

Trailerama: Samson and Delilah

May 3, 2009

After winning several awards for his short films, Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton has written, directed and photographed his feature debut. It’s a love on the run tale that takes place deep in aborigine territory. As the trailer indicates, dialogue takes second place to emotions writ large in the teenage manner. Screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.