Tagged: Australian Cinema

Review – Top End Wedding (2019)

Director: Wayne Blair

Starring: Miranda Tapsell, Gwilym Lee, Kerry Fox, Huw Higginson, Shari Sebbens, Elaine Crombie, Dalara Williams, Ursula Yovich

Top End Wedding 1

After decades of being excluded or pushed to the periphery of Australian cinema, it is fair to say that in the last decade Indigenous filmmakers have been responsible for much of the most interesting Australian screen product. In addition to the emergence of a golden generation of indigenous filmmakers, an important element of this rise in prominence is what Therese Davis described as the conscious ‘mainstreaming’ of indigenous cinema. Over the last decade, Indigenous screen storytelling has moved away from hard-hitting social realism to embrace genre as a means of exploring Indigenous themes and narratives. We have seen successful musicals (The Sapphires and Bran Nue Dae), westerns (Sweet Country) and crime dramas (Mystery Road and Goldstone), but Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding might be the first indigenous romantic comedy. Continue reading

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Review – Sweet Country (2017)

Director: Warwick Thornton

Starring: Hamilton Morris, Bryan Brown, Natassia Gorey Furber, Sam Neill, Ewan Leslie, Tremayne Doolan, Trevon Doolan, Gibson John, Matt Day

Sweet Country 1

The western has long proven a source of fascination for Australian filmmakers. While seemingly the most American of genres, there are obvious elements of shared experience which attract Australian storytellers to the form. It is a genre of landscape, of wide open spaces, which Australia has in spades. It is also a genre of colonisation, of nation building at the expense of an existing indigenous population, a dark history that Australia and America share. Eight years after earning critical acclaim, and the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Camera d’Or, for his debut feature Samson & Delilah, Warwick Thornton has dipped his toe into the western with Sweet Country, bringing an indigenous perspective to the form. Continue reading

Doctor of Movies’ Top Ten of 2018

Review – Terror Nullius (2018)

Director: Soda_Jerk

Starring: Anyone and everyone from the history of Australian cinema and politics

Terror Nullius

In the 1920s, Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted a series of experiments in which the same image of a neutral male face was screened alongside different images. A bowl of soup. A child in a coffin. A reclining woman. In each instance the audience interpreted the neutral expression in a different way. The man was hungry. He was sad. He was lustful. From these experiments came one of the foundational principles of cinematic language: the meaning of shots was not static, but changed based on how those shots were arranged. This principle of meaning creation, and in particular recreation, through juxtaposition is used to startling effect in the explosive mashup piece Terror Nullius. Continue reading

Review – We Don’t Need a Map (2017)

Director: Warwick Thornton

Starring: Warwick Thornton

Print

In 2010, riding high on the success of his debut feature Samson & Delilah, Aboriginal filmmaker Warwick Thornton found himself in hot water when he suggested that the Southern Cross was fast becoming Australia’s equivalent to the swastika. His new documentary, We Don’t Need a Map, which opened this year’s Sydney Film Festival, is his effort to explain those remarks by delving into the historical meaning of the Southern Cross. We Don’t Need a Map is one of four films funded by NITV (National Indigenous Television) as part of the ‘Moment in History’ initiative to mark fifty years since the 1967 referendum which saw Aboriginal people officially recognised as part of Australia’s population. Continue reading