Sunday, 19 June 2016

This week:
Backtrack; Miles Ahead; Downriver; The First Monday in May; HotDocs at Palace

A little late, but then again I have caught up big time over the weekend with some recently released films. 

Director: Michael Petroni
Length: 90 mins

© Madman - Adrien Brody is a haunted psychologist!
After reading some negative reviews I went with trepidation to this Aussie-made psychological thriller, with a few horror overtones. I was pleasantly surprised! Adrien Brody plays psychologist Peter Bower who gets visitations from strange patients. After making a connection between the spooky nature of these patients, his own daughter who was killed in a bike accident and a long-ago tragic train crash, Peter unearths some pretty disturbing stuff from his childhood. I thoroughly enjoyed Brody's performance, and as always it was great to see Sam Neill as Peter's old professor, Duncan. Cinematography was evocative and slick, making our local settings look impressive, and the plot had enough shocks, and realism, without going overboard, to reel me in.  

3 - Recommended!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Miles Ahead
Director:Don Cheadle
Length: 101 mins
Exclusive to Cinema Nova

Cheadle has written, directed and stars in this energetic movie about legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Although apparently some of the content is more fiction than fact, it captures the spirit of the man, using a narrative framework that toggles between Davis's past, and the present. Miles reflects upon his past fame and has regrets about ex-wife Frances, while contemplating a comeback after years of drug abuse. Aspiring journalist Dave (Ewan McGregor) wheedles his way into Davis's life and the pair go in pursuit of a stolen session tape. Cheadle is incredible in the role, and even learned trumpet to tackle a movie that is obviously a total labour of love.       

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Director: Grant Scicluna
Length: 99 mins
Exclusive to Cinema Nova

James is released on parole after serving time in a juvenile prison for supposedly murdering another kid when he was only 11. He returns to the scene of the crime, trying to piece together all the facts he cannot recall, and perhaps find the body that was never discovered. The people he meets from his past are none too savoury, but they may hold the key to the truth. This film looked really impressive, and the performances are uniformly strong. My problem was with the script which I unfortunately found a little confusing, with its time shifts and occasional obscurity as to what was actually going on.    

2.5 - Maybe!

For my full review:

The First Monday in May
Director:Andrew Rossi
Length: 90 mins

© Madman - Rhianna in a gown extraordinaire
This visually sumptuous doco follows the creation of the fashion exhibition "China: Through the Looking Glass", held at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Of course fashion luminary, Vogue editor and Museum board Member Anna Wintour is front and centre, but so are other legendary fashion designers, and museum curators, who work against the clock to get the Exhibition happening. The behind the scenes looks are always fascinating, and even for non-fashionista like myself, the costumes, all inspired in some way by China, are simply splendiferous. The entire argument of why haute couture should also be regarded as art is eloquently supported!         

3 - Recommended!

HotDocs at Palace  - continuing
Running until July 3

Yes, more HotDocs - a couple of rippers!!

Motorkite DreamingTwo amateur adventurers take to the skies to fly from Adelaide to the Kimberley in mighty flimsy microlights. They fly across five deserts and the lands of 20 different Indigenous groups, making incredible discoveries along the way, connecting with an ancient culture, and their own inner strengths. A refreshingly simple film, with complex messages, much humour, and extraordinary landscapes. 
Mr GagaIsraeli choreographer, Ohad Naharin, has changed the face of modern dance with his Batsheva Dance Company. This film, painting a portrait of Naharin's personal life and work, has more energy and innovative dance moves than I've possibly ever seen, is a feast for the senses, and is ABSOLUTELY UNMISSSABLE!  

HotDocs: 4.5 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

To view the full program go to:

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