Interview With Writer/Director Jeff Nichols

Young American film director Jeff Nichols is barely out of school. He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking in 2001 and has written and directed six short films and a single feature film. But he carries an old head…

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La Vie en Rose

Review by © Jane Freebury There were lovers and husbands, triumphs and catastrophes, illnesses and addictions, and highs and lows enough in the life of singer Edith Piaf to fill several lives by the time the French chanteuse died at the age of 47 in…

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Interview With Actor Frankie J. Holden

Credits include Clubland and Return Home In a very engaging new Australian film due for release later this month, Frankie J. Holden plays a singer formerly married to an stand-up comedienne with two grown-up sons. The well-known award-winning English actress Brenda Blethyn plays his former…

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Romulus, My Father

Review by Jane Freebury I imagine that we all feel privileged when invited to share the intimate details of someone's childhood, and most especially when the story is difficult to tell. Raimond Gaita’s book on which this film is based bravely shared with the world…

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Noise

Review by Jane Freebury This new Australian film has moved the bar for the local policier several notches higher. Writer/director Matthew Saville is an exciting new feature filmmaker, and his script is one of the film’s strong points, rich with the colour of local idiom…

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Paris Je t’Aime

Review by Jane Freebury Although it sometimes overplays its hand, this is an ode to an iconic city which says most visitors find some romance at least. The French tourist bureau will be happy with this confection, though Paris hardly needs any help as Europe’s…

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As It Is In Heaven

Review by © Jane Freebury It’s hard not to think of the figure of Ingmar Bergman towering over Swedish cinema still, especially when you see a configuration of figures set in a stark, white landscape. Nor can I imagine a good Swedish movie without a…

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Razzle Dazzle

Review by Jane Freebury Catering to backstage mums with big aspirations would have to be one of the hardest jobs around, even worse than being a portaloo cleaner, but Mr Jonathon, is still a pretty decent guy. He’s courteous, earnest, utterly committed and I only…

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Pan’s Labyrinth

Review by Jane Freebury If the point of fairy tales is to frighten small children into doing as they’re told or the bogeyman will get them, then this richly embroidered fantasy from Spain turns the lesson on its head. As its MA rating suggests, it…

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Babel

Review by © Jane Freebury This international story takes place over a few days, linking locations deep in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, with the desert and towns around the US border with Mexico, and the cafes and bars where teenagers hang out in Tokyo.…

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Hunt Angels

Review by Jane Freebury It’s good to see Ben Mendelssohn return to the big screen in Hunt Angels as he’s mostly been in television since his last local film, Mullet in 2001. He looks relaxed in his 1930s suit, hat and haircut and his take…

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Suburban Mayhem

Review by Jane Freebury If you just closed your eyes and listened to the blonde in black bustier, nails like bloodied talons and killer stilettos, there’d be time you thought this young single mum, living at home with her dad, was a pillar of society…

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Little Miss Sunshine

Review by © Jane Freebury Dysfunctional families are a dime a dozen on screen nowadays. Then, just when you think the movies have milked all they can from the comedy and tragedy of families that don’t work, along comes Olive, a little miss muffet from…

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The Devil Wears Prada

Review by © Jane Freebury There are some delicious put-downs lines in this movie, but you have to listen closely to hear them. They’re mostly spoken sotto voce by Meryl Streep, where any lesser actor would shout to get the point across. Instead of having…

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Macbeth

Review by Jane Freebury The stories behind the infamous gangland murders in Melbourne are worth a movie or two in their own right and hardly need the overlay of Shakespearean tragedy to conjure up a welter of blood and guilty anguish. There’s been plenty of…

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Kenny

Review by Jane Freebury Shit happens. Kenny and his crew know all about that, because their jobs depend on it. Kenny (Shane Jacobson) half-heartedly tries to pass himself off as a plumber, but he’s only vaguely interested in what other people think, gives in to…

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Jindabyne

Review by Jane Freebury It would be interesting to see what director Ray Lawrence could do with a genre thriller, because he is a master of suspense. The prelude to murder on a quiet country road in the opening moments of Jindabyne spills over into…

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Interview With Writer/Director Deepa Mehta

Credits include Water; Earth; Fire; and Midnight's Children Over the phone her voice came across as authoritative, warm and good-humoured during our interview earlier this month. It was not hard to imagine her holding together a difficult shoot, just like the experience she had during…

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The Proposition

Review by Jane Freebury It’s said that one of the reasons Hollywood has snapped up Australian cinematographers to shoot movies like Dances with Wolves, Chicago and Cold Mountain, is because they bring a new perspective to quintessential American stories. This came to mind when I…

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