Monday, 30 November 2015

The Program

Director: Stephen Frears
Length: 103 mins

We've already seen the doco on sport's big liar Lance Armstrong, now here's the feature film. Ben Foster is compelling as the infamous seven-time Tour de France winner who swore over and over that he'd never been found taking performance-enhancing drugs. Also strong is Chris O'Dowd as the dogged journalist who doesn't believe a word of it, and uncovers Lance's fraudulent nature. The film has some terrific recreations of the actual race, set in the glorious French countryside. In the early sections the film feels at times a bit rushed and like it's telling the narrative by numbers - but as the tension ramps up to Armstrong's public disgrace, it becomes quite gripping, and ultimately does justice to a shocking story of a fallen sporting hero

Worth a look!

For my full review:

Indievillage Doco Film Festival

Indievillage is a short documentary film festival screening over three days at the Lido Hawthorn and the Cameo Belgrave from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th of December
It's great to get a chance to view docos that don't reach the mainstream, but are of high quality with strong subject matter. I've caught a couple of worthwhile offerings:

The Dark Side of the Chew: An unexpected look at the dark side of chewing gum, from health problems through to water pollution and the major ecological costs of clean ups! Informative and amusingly presented. 
The VisitThought-provoking look at the implications of what could happen if earth was visited by extra-terrestrials. Scientists and other commentators put themselves in the hypothetical position, and the whole thing ends up being quite an alarming indictment of the human race.
The Chimpanzee Complex: Despite having some shonky camera work and being at times repetitive, this is an intriguing look at a Dutch facility, where volunteers and medical specialists help to rehabilitate traumatised chimps. I really felt like I was in the cage with the creatures, and for any chimp aficionados, this doc should be compulsory viewing.

Decidedly worth a look!

For full details and session times:


  1. I loved the chimp's doco because, even though the actual filming quality was what we tend to expect, the insight into their problems and our own behavioural attitudes towards them was well worth the viewing!

  2. Frame By Frame, focusing on four photographers working in Afghanistan as it emerges from Taliban rule, under which photography was banned, is another film that was part of the festival. It is deeply moving and beautifully filmed, and one of my top films for the year. Films such as this one can change the world.