My latest contribution to The Australia Times is a discussion of the incredible In the Realm of the Senses (1976) by Nagisa Oshima. If you haven’t seen it then put it near the top of your list. In the article I question the film’s elusive meaning and praise it’s vivid and inescapable audacity. It is important to look to filmmakers like Oshima to see what cinematic courage really looks like. Check it out HERE.
Here’s the first of, what I hope to be, many contributions to The Australia Times on-line magazine. This first piece is an appreciation of Peeping Tom (1960). I recently revisited the film and was struck by how I had undervalued it in the past. I will fully admit to not having fully grasped the subtleties in the piece. It really is quite spectacular. Have a read.
Sororal is finally hitting the big screen on November 24th as part of Monsterfest 2013. This year’s festival features a slew of new and twisted horror efforts from around the globe along with an appearance from special guest Linda Blair! If you’re in Melbourne then we’d love to see you at this exclusive premiere of Australia’s first giallo thriller at the Cinema Nova in Carlton. Tickets can be bought HERE.
The poster art for Sororal is almost ready to be unleashed into the world. The poster is designed by the very talented Matt O’Neill the mastermind behind It’s only a t-shirt. Matt is a passionate horror fan and an emerging poster artist and illustrator and I am delighted to have him interpret Sororal in his trademark style. Our film is in fine company in Matt’s oeuvre as he has done official designs for Wolf Creek, Patrick, Turkey Shoot and even Maniac Cop! Illustrated posters are very special art form and can capture something intangible and exciting in a single image. I am a firm believer that the key artwork for a film should be a work of art not simply the ever popular ‘cascading heads’ nonsense that never seem to go out of fashion. A great illustrated poster can send the mind reeling into another world, it can inflame the senses and even delight the intellect. Matt’s design for Sororal does all of this and more and I can assure that it will be worth the wait. Watch this space for the finished piece.
We’re still putting the finishing touches on my latest feature thriller Sororal but here is a NEW teaser trailer that should wet your whistle. The teaser features our first glimpse of Cassie, the film’s tortured heroine. Getting close now…promise.
Lukas Moodysson‘s Fucking Amål is a shining light of the cinema. It is one hour and twenty five minutes of pure joy that I would easily place among Singin’ in the Rain, The Shop Around the Corner and Chungking Express for its ability to melt even the most hard bitten cynic’s dry-ice heart. The film possesses a magic that derives from its simplicity. The direct, honest and taut nature of both the style and the content accomplish something that many films strive for but few attain: purity. The tale is rendered with such purity of feeling that we are powerless to stop it running amok with our tender little hearts.
Moodysson makes this achievement seem so effortless that it would be easy to dismiss the film as slight. To exercise visual restraint and focus on an economy of style, incredible performances and the pursuit of truth (in the face of potentially controversial material) are the towering triumphs of Fucking Amal. The film has what an old creative writing tutor of mine would call “Small window. Big view”. This phrase has manifold meanings but in this case I would argue that Fucking Amål crafts a relatively small world so believable with characters so rich and fully realised that it spectacularly transcends its earthly shackles and becomes a film about love (with a capital L), friendship and courage. It begins as a seemingly light tale of unrequited puppy love captured with the requisite handheld style we cynically associate with European coming of age films and then goes about disarming us faster than Segal in Out for Justice. It becomes a film about huge concepts and grand ideas that grow like thick roots smashing through the small clay pot they were planted in.
Agnes and Elin are as real to me as Rick and Ilsa, Faye and Cop 663, Jack and Nancy, George and Mary and Seth and Veronica. As a viewer, I am completely involved in their story and I ache for them to be united. In my opinion they must take their rightful place in the upper pantheon of screen lovers. The truly great on screen pairings move us in such a way that we are almost organically linked their successes, failures, joys and sorrows. After all, that’s what this whole thing is about isn’t it?
Note – Avoid the American trailer of this film at all costs. It cheapens the material considerably, as does the confounding retitling of the film to Show Me Love in America. This purposefully inoffensive set of words refers to a jaunty, enjoyable and long forgotten track that appears in the film.