A postcode apocalypse. That’s what befell the town of Empire, Nevada elevation 4000, population now zero.
The fall of Empire is what makes America grate for so many working class citizens, folk who have bought into the capitalist dream to find themselves into the market driven nightmare of recession.
Manufacturing fractured and fucked over, blue collar quickly goes into the red.
No house, no home, no roof, no bed.
Fern fell foul to the fall of Empire. It was a double blow. Her husband succumbed to cancer, so she lost both spouse and house when Empire lost employment opportunities.
She sank her meagre funds into a camper van and hit the road, eking out a subsistence existence, at times working for the world’s richest man packing boxes at Amazon.
Sad, sombre and sobering and yet hopeful and optimistic, NOMADLAND is a hybrid movie, a docu drama filtered through with virtual verbatim, a mixed cast of actors and lived experience nomads. It’s a thrilling fusion.
Frances McDormand, on track for her third Oscar, plays Fern and David Strathairn plays her potential romantic interest, but aside from these two famous players, NOMADLAND features naturalistic performances from a slew of fascinating characters.
The plight of the itinerant, they need to work, they want to work, they need to eat, they want a skerrick of self respect, the sense of pride that comes from work. It comes to coruscating focus in NOMADLAND.
Unfortunately, Corporate America is not a uniting state, these nomads, the forced footloose, form a commonwealth of cohorts, offering advice and succour. A great deal of these nomads are older, men and women who have suffered grief and loss of loved ones, and the grief and loss of permanent employment.
Written for the screen, directed and edited by Chloe Zhao, it’s easy to go mad for NOMADLAND
In difficult times, a predictable, corny, feel good middle-aged, middle to upper class romantic comedy may be a good antidote. Without any significant graphic sex or physical violence, THEN CAME YOU, with its travelogue style Scottish countryside scenery, promises a pleasant 98 minute sojourn.
American Annabelle Wilson is suddenly widowed after a 32-year marriage to her husband, Fred. They have lived in Nantucket, the entire time, running their hardware store and going to the movies every week.
On reading his will she discovers that upon his death he wishes to be cremated and have his ashes put in ‘a box of chocolates’ because Forrest Gump was his favourite movie. She determines that “I’ve got to make new memories, or the old ones will kill me. And I’m not ready to die yet.” She makes a list of their favourite 20 movies, sells their house and the hardware store, and leaves her life in Nantucket behind. She travels to Scotland first, in honour of ‘Braveheart’.Continue reading THEN CAME YOU : A CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC TALE : TEN DOUBLE PASSES→
It’s the 1980s and the world of professional surfing is a circus of fluorescent colours, peroxide hair and radical male egos. GIRLS CAN’T SURF follows the journey of a band of renegade surfers who took on the male-dominated professional surfing world to achieve equality and change the sport forever.
Featuring surfing greats Jodie Cooper, Frieda Zamba, Pauline Menczer, Lisa Andersen, Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha,Layne Beachley, Jolene Smith, Jorla Smith and more,
The film has been directed by multi award winning director Christopher Nelius.
GIRLS CAN’T SURF is a wild ride of clashing personalities, sexism, adventure and heartbreak, with each woman fighting against the odds to make their dreams of competing a reality.
GIRLS CAN’T SURF opens in cinemas on Thursday 11 March, 2021.
Madman Entertainment is offering readers 10 in season double passes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with GIRLS CAN’T SURF PROMOTION in the subject heading and your postal address in the body of your email. Winners will be advised by email.
Featured image : Australian surfer Pauline Menczer
AUSTRALIA Monday 1st March 2021 • 12:00 pm AEDT until 3:00 pm AEDT as screened on the FOXTEL ARENA channel
USA best movie films plus television shows, as seen during the 2020 year, were celebrated during Sunday’s 78th Golden Globe Awards.
NETFLIX had an amazing total of 42 nominations for its 2020 movie films and television shows, of course NBC’s 78th GOLDEN GLOBES could have been renamed as the NETFLIX AWARDS.
Chloe Zhao for NOMADLAND, is now the second woman (and the first woman of colour) winning the Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards. The first woman director to win, was Barbra Streisand who directed YENTL (1983). Historic night for women directors, with three women nominated for the the Golden Globe. Continue reading 78TH GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS : USA : SUNDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2021→
For a glorious respite from the challenges of our present reality, look no further than the Alliance Française French Film Festival, which will return from early March until mid-April for its luminous 32nd season.
Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, this joyous and evocative celebration of French culture will screen in splendour at Palace Cinemas across seven cities and two satellite locations. The strictest Covid protocols are adhered to in each state, including social distancing, sanitising and circulation of clean air, to ensure a safe cinema experience.
As a sign of a return to some sort of normalcy the Jewish International Film Festival opened at the Randwick Ritz which is owned by its Artistic Director Eddie Tamir. It is touted as the biggest Jewish movie festival internationally.
The festival runs for a month and this year’s lineup includes the Australian premieres of fifty films and three television series, split equally between Israeli and diaspora productions, with 19 countries represented on screen.
Dedicated to Terry Jones, BYE BYE MORONS has another tangible link – or is that a wink – to Monty Python by way of a cameo by Terry Gilliam as a critter killin’ gun salesman.
Admiration and inspiration notwithstanding, BYE BYE MORONS, written and directed by Albert Dupontel, is a crazy, absurd, screwball, cracker barrel comedy about a terminally ill hairdresser, a suicidal civil servant and a blind archivist who band together in a dying wish quest that’s quirky, kooky and altogether quackers.
Deliriously daffy, poignant to a P, and zany as polka dotted zebra, BYE BYE MORONS is Brazil bit by Bobbie and Clyde and probably makes the Cohen Brothers wish they’d conceived it.
Conception is at the core of BYE BYE MORONS, as fifteen year old Suze was forced to give up her baby for adoption. Now twenty-eight years later, the hair dresser has been diagnosed with a deadly cancer caused by chemicals used in her workplace. Her bucket list is succinct. To track her adopted son and see him at last before she shuffles of her mortal curl.
In farcical episodes that need to be seen to be believed, she collects a cohort of collaborators, a duo of damaged blokes who aid and abet her adventure, capering through her crusade trailing chaos, conflict and uproarious assembly.
Dupontel directed the gorgeous See You Up There a few years ago, and doesn’t disappoint with his audacious telling of this curious tale. He also stars as M. Cuchas, the put upon public servant passed over for promotion by duplicitous politicians and pursued by the police for a perceived murder attempt.
Virginie Efira plays the terminally ill Suze with an effervescence that belies her character’s diagnosis and shows the determination and pluck of a woman who refuses to be robbed of her last ditch at happiness.
Nicolas Marie is blatantly batty as the blind archivist with a justified phobia of the police.
Farcical and fulsome, BYE BYE MORONS is an hilarious highlight of this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival.
For bookings, venues and screening times check out
One of the great horrors of contemporary life is commercial aviation catastrophe, the gross loss of life when airliners plummet from the sky into the sea or into a mountain.
Investigators of such calamities have relied on the so called black box to try to discover what went wrong to down a plane – pilot error, mechanical or electrical failure, an act of terrorism.
Yann Gozlan’s terrific thriller BLACK BOX (Boite Noire) is about Matthieu, an acoustical engineer with acute hearing and intuitive acumen who believes there is more to the crash of an aircraft into the Alps en route from Dubai to Paris than first seems.
The film begins with a tracking shot from cockpit to tail cargo bay of the fuselage of a commercial jet liner. Sensational in its execution, it manages to plant clues and misdirection while building the suspense. It’s a crash waiting to happen but you don’t know how and when.
Afterwards, the air safety investigators assemble the wreckage and locate the black box. Nothing is clear cut. There are theories formed and thrown out. Then the lead investigator suddenly disappears and Matthieu is put in charge.
His dogged pursuit of the truth behind the disaster descends into the dark corners of corruption and cover up, where capitalism collides with the common good, and the very real dangers of the technology trap where control can be malevolently manoeuvred and fail its very usefulness.
Soaring suspense propelled by a palpable paranoia, BLACK BOX is a brilliant detective thriller that expertly shows that the threats that come with our techno age can be thwarted by positive use.
Pierre Niney is superb as the acoustic sleuth whose diligence to detail and duty to the dead puts him on perilous ground and pits him against friends and foes alike.
Not recommended for in flight entertainment, best to see the high flying tension of BLACK BOX at this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival.
For bookings, venues and screening times check out
ZAPPA, a film by Alex Winter of ‘Bill & Ted’ fame, is the First All-Access Documentary on the Life and Times of Frank Zappa, and obviously a must for Zappa fans but also for the general public as it is an eye-opener on creativity.
Winter was given access to Zappa’s vast vault, a treasure trove containing a plethora of paraphernalia that chronicles his life – tapes, manuscripts, scores – it seems everything was documented, nothing was thrown out. When it came to his creative output, Frank was a lord of the hoard.Continue reading ZAPPA : ICONOCLAST TO ICON→
Not so steady, but real and ready, snout cam is deployed to depict the doggedness of the treat seeking missiles, the olfactory fidos in THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS, Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw’s film of the foragers of forest delicacies in Piedmont, Italy.
Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, fossick for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle—which to date has resisted all of modern science’s efforts at cultivation. They’re guided by the noses of their feted and expertly trained dogs.Continue reading THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS : MORE THAN A TRIFLE→
MINARI takes its title from a herb found in Korea. It becomes a metaphor of transplantation, of pulling up roots and putting them down in new soil.
Lee Isaac Chung’s beautiful, lyrical film of the migrant experience focuses on a Korean family relocated to America, led by chicken sexers Mum and Dad. They’re making a good living in California but the father, Jacob, fervently wants to start his own farm in rural Arkansas.
The family’s children, a daughter, Anne, and younger son, David, suffering a delicate heart condition, are happy to go along with their father’s dream, but Mum, Monica, is not so sure.Continue reading MINARI : A UNQUALIFIED GEM→
I am a big fan of the legendary, romantic and mystic Irish singer Van Morrison. I remember a quote from one of his early songs in his trademark staccato language, ‘to love the love that loves to love’. It sounds ridiculous but when Van Morrison, with that great soulful voice sings it, it sounds like some mystical chant. The relevance of this will come later.
I am a big fan too of the work of New York writer John Patrick Shanley, lauded as ‘‘The Bard Of The Bronx’.
I know his work mostly as a playwright – works that include ‘Danny and The Deep Blue Sea’, ‘The Big Funk’, ‘The Dreamer Examines His Pillow’, and ‘Doubt : A Parable’.
Booze. Binge. Cultural cringe. Another Australian film? Not at all. ANOTHER ROUND is Danish, where getting into the piss is just as rife as in Oz.
ANOTHER ROUND starts with a schoolies scenario of drinking games – chugging till you chuck. What’s Danish for technicolor yawn? And why should students have all the fun?
At a 40th birthday part, a group of male teachers reflect on the theory purported by Finn Skårderud’s unconventional suggestion that when humans are born they have a blood alcohol level 0.05 per cent too low and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity.
Flickerfest had to overcome three obstacles in order to stage its 30th anniversary show.
Firstly, its traditional home, the Bondi Beach Pavilion, was unavailable due to extensive renovations which may well be incomplete for the 31rst anniversary show. Ever resourceful, Flickerfest brought in the famous Spiegeltent.
Secondly, the weather. Courtesy of La Ninia. It was a particularly wet January.
Thirdly, it needed to hold its screenings in a Covid 19 safe venue.
All these obstacles were overcome by the erection of a ‘’Fabulous Spiegeltent” between the Bondi and North Bondi Life Saving Clubs.
Long standing Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd was especially pleased as she announced that SBS on Demand would be screening the best 49 films over the past 30 years.
Furthermore Flickerfest will hit the road visiting 45 venues from Chinchilla to Kununurra
Flickerfest is unique in that it invites entries from all over the world and that selected films are entitled to be entered into the BAFTA and Academy Awards
Needless to say because of Covid 19 travel restrictions applicable to overseas and interstate winners, many of the awards had to be presented in absentia.
A Covid safe capacity crowd attended the awards presentation and enjoyed viewing a selection of five films which won in their respective categories.
The winners were…
Best International Short Film (Academy® Qualifying)
Prize: – DC-S1 RMKIT – S Series Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Kit
and S1R+24-105mm lens – RRP $6,899
Winner: The Flame
Director: Nick Waterman in collaboration with Dayannah Baker Barlow, Tyrese Fernando & Lance Whitton Jr. | Writer: Nick Waterman, Megan Washington, Dayannah Baker Barlow, Tyrese Fernando, Paul Spearim, Connie Taylor, Lance Whitton Jr. | Producer: Beyond Empathy
Spectrum Films Award
Best Direction in an Australian Short Film
Prize: 1 x post-production support valued at $5,000
Winner: This River
Director: Naomi Fryer
Yoram Gross Award
Best Australian Animation Short Film
Prize: $1,000 AUD
Director: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Dev Patel | Producer: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Dev Patel, John Collee | Writer: Jomon Tomas, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Dev Patel
John Barry Award
Best Cinematography in an Australian Short Film
Prize: Tripod valued at over $1000 AUD
Cinematographer: Kieran Fowler
Best Editing in an Australian Short Film
Prize: 2-year subscription Avid Media Composer software valued at over $1,300 AUD
Winner: This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us
Editor: D.C. Fairhurst
Best Original Music in an Australian Short Film
Prize: 1-year subscription of Avid Pro Tools Ultimate software, plus 1-year subscription of Avid Sibelius software valued at over $1,200 AUD
Winner: The End, The Beginning
Composer: Jorde Heys
Rebel8 Award for Outstanding Emerging Female Director
In honour of Samantha Rebillet
Prize: $1000 AUD
Winner: Alisha Hnatjuk (Jean)
Special Mention: Rebel8 Award for Outstanding Emerging Female Director
In honor of Samantha Rebillet
Senie Priti (Alba)
SAE Creative Media Institute FlickerUp Award
Best High School Short Film
Prize: $500 AUD
Winner: Round To It
Director/Producer: Grace Mincherton | Producer: Steve McLeod
Special Mention: Material Girl
Director/Writer/Producer: Lillian Dight
Yoram Gross FlickerUp Award
Best High School Animated Short Film
Prize: $250 AUD
Winner: Mind Of My Own
Director/Writer/Producer: Natalie Leroy
Avid FlickerUp Award
Best Editing in a High School Short Film
Prize: 2-year subscription Avid Media Composer software valued at over $1,300 AUD
Risk, reward, riches. That’s the three Rs of writer director Sean Durkin’s THE NEST, an above average stock take on avarice.
Charm and bullshit and a bushel of talent has got Rory O’Hara out of his council flat flat-lining childhood in London across the pond to a New York life and lifestyle with two kids and a wife.
By most standards, he has done well for himself, but his aspirations far exceed his accomplishments. Not content with his position at work he sees an opportunity in Thatcher’s England and uproots his family to return to the place of his birth.Continue reading THE NEST : JUDE LAW’S EDIFICE COMPLEX→
‘Earwig and The Witch’ marks Studio Ghibli’s first new theatrical feature since 2014’s ‘When Marnie Was There’, as well as the studio’s first entirely 3DCG animated feature.
Directed by Goro Miyazaki, ‘Earwig and The Witch’ is based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, who also wrote the source material for ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’.
The narrative of ‘Earwig and The Witch’ is straightforward enough: Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple adopts her, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch and a volatile warlock.Continue reading EARWIG AND THE WITCH : CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IN ANIMATION?→
This1987 American crime comedy film was directed by Joel Cohen, produced by Ethan Cohen and written by both brothers.
‘Raising Arizona’ stars Nicholas Cage as H.I. ‘Hi’ McDunnough, an ex convict and Holly Hunter as Edwina ‘Ed’ McDunnough, a former crime officer and Hi’s wife. Other members of the cast include Trey Wilson,William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, Sam McMurray and Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb.
Randwick Ritz is offering 3 double passes to the screening of ‘Raising Arizona’ on Friday 12th February, 2021 at 7pm. Email the Editor on email@example.com with RAISING ARIZONA PROMOTION in the subject line and your postal address in the body of your email.
STUDIOCANAL will be releasing the Australian romantic comedy ‘Long Story Short’ starring Rafe Spall and Zahra Newman on February 11 just in time for Valentines Day
Serial procrastinator Teddy (RAFE SPALL) thinks he has all the time in the world, but after an odd encounter with a stranger (NONI HAZLEHURST), he wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover that he’s jumped forward a year in his life to his first anniversary. His wife Leanne (ZAHRA NEWMAN) is now heavily pregnant, with a full year of marriage behind them that he doesn’t remember living.
Trapped in a cycle of time jumps, transported another year ahead every few minutes, Teddy is faced with a race against time as his life crumbles around him. With the help of his best friend Sam (RONNY CHIENG), Teddy tries to piece together where it all went wrong and, as his life flashes before his eyes, Teddy must learn how to live life in the precious moment to win back the woman he loves, even if it’s just for a second.
For a chance to attend an exclusive advance screening on Monday, 8 February – Event Cinemas George Street at 6.30pm, email the Editor on firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Long Story Short’ Promotion in the subject heading and your postal address in the body of your email.
Food porn mixed with travel porn, the recipe that kept Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan on their series of Trips, is the flour, eggs and water that binds THE FOOD CLUB, a Danish pastry made of soft corn.
It’s Christmas time in Denmark, and three old friends, women of a certain age, are celebrating it quite differently.
Marie is putting on the big, traditional meal for her husband, grown children and their children. Berling has her daughter and grandchild over but the idea of a grubby clinging kid soiling her beautiful dress, carefully applied makeup and pristine home is anathema to her. And Vanja is still mourning her departed husband and doting on her dog.Continue reading THE FOOD CLUB : A CHARMING LATE IN LIFE ROMANTIC COMEDY→
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