Category Archives: Movie Reviews

The Russian Resurrection Film Festival – A Brief Overview

In my previous post, Beyond Hollywood -Tuning In To International Cinema, I referred to the contrast between the pacing of Hollywood-style movies (fast fast fast) and those of non-Anglo cultures (slow… s-l-o-w…… s–l–o–w………). As always in these sorts of comparison discussions, such observations are – at best – general. I think it is true, though, that only in non-Anglo cinema are filmmakers free to crawl along in first gear without changing up if they decide that is in their artistic interests. Which is when?

When the main game is not action, spectacle and entertaining the masses with a rattling narrative, but subtle exploration of character and/or culture – as was the case with most of the movies featured in the recent Russian Resurrection Film Festival.

I had the good fortune to win a Gold Pass from Cinema Paradiso, which granted my partner and I free entry to the entire festival. We determined to make the most of it, and saw 13 movies over 6 days. I’ve been to plenty of festival films over the years, but have never immersed myself like this. It was a unique experience, rewarding and illuminating. Continue reading The Russian Resurrection Film Festival – A Brief Overview

Beyond Hollywood…Tuning In To International Cinema

My Melbourne mate Matt has strong opinions. His hates are many, his loves few, and both are fierce and uncompromising. There is nothing much in between these extremes.

I’m quite similar, except there is plenty in between for me. Way too much. Mediocrity is the signature of this time. It gets me down and tones me down, and absorbs me into its amorphous enervating mass. I should fight harder. But I struggle for courage and am too easily seduced by comfort.

Matt reminds me of Gully Jimson, the anti-hero artist in Joyce Cary’s The Horse’s Mouth. Subversive by nature and stubbornly self-destructive, yet humorous in his angst. And highly principled. Always at war with “them” – the bastards who would neuter him if they could, who perpetuate a maddening status quo that is always, inevitably, a pinata for any artist worth their salt. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, elaboration is futile – you’ll never get it. Continue reading Beyond Hollywood…Tuning In To International Cinema

‘Newcastle’ – Breaking Through the Surf Movie Genre (Movie Review)

I scored a free ticket to a preview of the surf movie, Newcastle. If I hadn’t, I would have missed a terrific ride – it’s not the sort of movie I’d usually rush to.

Just shows that genre stereotyping – like all stereotyping – can be a folly. Although all the definitive elements of the surf movie are there in abundance in Newcastle – screenfuls of young suntanned flesh, nocturnal beach parties with the obligatory dope, drink, dudes and babes, and of course, sensational surfing montages set to a pumpin’ musical backdrop – there’s a lot more going on. Continue reading ‘Newcastle’ – Breaking Through the Surf Movie Genre (Movie Review)