Death of a Ladies’ Man interview with Gabriel Byrne

  By © Jane Freebury The Irish actor of stage and screen, Gabriel Byrne, is loquacious and charming. And he is forthright, a man inclined to speak his mind. Ever since he first appeared in 1981 in Excalibur, John Boorman’s re-telling of the King Arthur and his knights of the round table, he has seen … Read more

POSTSCRIPT: Best films of 2020

By © Jane Freebury Funny how a pandemic makes us look at everything differently Instead of sitting in the dark watching a film with strangers, we are getting our movies wholesale. Tapping into the immense virtual supermarket of cinema and television on the streaming platforms is fun, hey, however tedious it can be sifting through … Read more

Caroline Vignal hiking in the Cevennes

French writer-director Caroline Vignal, herself a hiker, discusses her irresistible fish-out-of-water comedy, Antoinette dans les Cevennes By © Jane Freebury Comedy has hit refresh with a new fish-out-of-water comedy from France, Antoinette dans les Cevennes. That lovely expression, fish-out-of-water, is exactly the same in French. At least England and France agree on something. Antoinette dans … Read more

The future of Australian movies

Australian film, where to from here? Too much to lose if Australia’s film and television industries are allowed to slip into decline … again In this year of coronavirus, the Australian film and television industries are not in a good way. Exactly a century ago, despite a great start with the world’s first feature, local … Read more

Ben Mendelsohn, larrikin no more

By © Jane Freebury New work by actor Ben Mendelsohn can be easy to miss. Not often the lead, he can pop up in unexpected places, like Buckingham Palace where he was an elegant and diffident George VI opposite Gary Oldman’s Churchill in the Darkest Hour. In this role, as with most, he appears to … Read more

Revisit Catch-22 in 2020

By © Jane Freebury Odds are that someone somewhere has already come up with a phrase to nail the international health emergency that we are living through right now. A pernicious little virus has caught us in a trap with a catch-22 all its own. The film Catch-22, 50 years old this year, resonates with … Read more

Six Degrees of Separation, revisited

Streaming on Stan. By © Jane Freebury Six Degrees of Separation, a film from 1993, had a catchy idea and title to match that has had the distinction of becoming part of our lexicon. Other movies come to mind, like Groundhog Day and Bucket List, but there aren’t that many. A name for a list … Read more

Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly (Tony Richardson, 1970) Streaming on Stan. By © Jane Freebury Every now and then, our most popular folk hero is taken out of storage, dusted down and given new clothes. This year saw the release of Justin Kurzel’s The True History of the Kelly Gang, and it marks the 50th anniversary of Tony … Read more

Sampling movies on SBS OnDemand

By © Jane Freebury There is a trove of quality films to watch free-to-air on SBS OnDemand, 650 titles to revisit or catch up with. An astounding range of quality films that SBS has curated in a variety of ways for niche appeal. Feature docos, movies about feisty females, movies for gay audiences, cinema classics, … Read more

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2020

By © Jane Freebury During the Academy Awards this year, when a foreign language film from South Korea carried off the top awards, it seemed a watershed moment for Hollywood.  The time to invite the rest of the world to the red carpet had at last arrived. Let’s also remember that in 2011 Michael Hazanavicius’ … Read more

At home with The Truth: interview with director Hirokazu Kore-ada

By © Jane Freebury After winning the top prize at Cannes festival last year for his film, Shoplifters, the director Hirokazu Kore-ada went to work on a new project in France. He had something quite different up his sleeve. It was to be set in a grand old Parisian home with a leafy garden, the … Read more

Marty Scorsese among the Superheroes

The director’s director up against the comic book heroes By © Jane Freebury Every city has to have one. A film festival. Just about every region on earth hosts a film festival, including Oceania where there’s one for very short films in Vanuatu, and one for documentaries in French Polynesia. Antarctica has claimed one too, … Read more

Oyster premieres twice in one day

A version of this feature article was also published in print and online (6-7 October 2017) in The Canberra Times  By  © Jane Freebury The new Australian documentary Oyster has premiered twice this month, on different continents. It’s not so much a doubling-up as a happy coincidence, and a coup for the filmmakers. The first … Read more

Kim Beamish, filmmaker

By Jane Freebury The Circle’s winter conversations for 2017 wound up with another filmmaker in the guest chair. Kim Beamish, director and producer at Non’D’Script Films, now Canberra- based, who has received international recognition for his documentary work. His film, The Tentmakers of Cairo, was joint winner of the prestigious Margaret Mead award for documentary … Read more

ROMAN: 10 x Polanski

Published in print and online in the Canberra Times on 19 November 2016      Preview © Jane Freebury   What are we to make of Roman Polanski? The gifted auteur behind some of the great films of modern times like Knife in the Water, Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby. A man who has known tragedy … Read more

Canberra International Film Festival 2016

Canberra International Film Festival 2016, bound to be different © Jane Freebury Movie goers who hanker for films difficult to find anywhere else and for experiences they would not otherwise have, can look forward to Canberra’s flagship film festival’s 11-day program beginning at the end of October. From its current home at the National Film … Read more

Joe Cinque’s Consolation, film director interview

Published in the Canberra Times on 23 September 2016 Joe Cinque’s Consolation highlights ambiguities   © Jane Freebury It is now nearly two decades since a young civil engineer died in a flat in Canberra’s inner north after his live-in girlfriend injected him with heroin. The case has been dealt with in the courts but … Read more

Malcolm – ‘harmless, innocent, shy, gentle, a genius…and wanted’

  This articles was published in the Canberra Times on 16 September 2016. Remembering hit Aussie film Malcolm     © Jane Freebury A film about a shy, retiring type whose love of all things mechanical inadvertently draws him into holding up banks was one of the surprise hits of the 1980s.  Yes, Malcolm, who … Read more