There is something about nightclubs that appeals to filmmakers. The work of American directors like Martin Scorsese and James Gray is riddled with them. In 2017, the Cannes-storming AIDS activism drama BPM (Beats Per Minute) featured a group of friends who spent most nights in clubs; places where identities are subsumed in the dark but that are also communal, just like the movies. Now we have the ... (read more)
Harry Windsor is a critic for The Hollywood Reporter and the former editor of Inside Film Magazine. His work has been published in The Australian, The Age, Overland and The Monthly.
Sweet Country, the first conventional feature that Warwick Thornton has made since Samson and Delilah (2009), his début, puts the lie to its title. It opens with a shot of boiling tar and only gets angrier from there. The film was christened a western after its première at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, though it is set a decade after World War I, far removed from the ... (read more)
The Post opens with the sounds of whirring helicopter blades over a black screen, before dropping us into the middle of a jungle sortie, circa Vietnam 1966. Caught in the firefight is military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, played by Matthew Rhys. The vicious attack by unseen Viet Cong is staged by the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, with typical flair, a kind of guerrilla sequel to his Normandy la ... (read more)
Six films into his career as a director, George Clooney is still a little indistinct as a filmmaker, though there are certain subjects – television, politics, the intersection of the two – to which he returns. What’s indistinct is the voice. He has struggled through a tall-tale biopic (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2003), a screwball comedy (Leatherheads, 2008), and a war caper (The Monum ... (read more)
The new Blade Runner doesn’t surpass the original, contra some breathless early reviews, but what could? Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic is a remarkable feat of design, the perfect vehicle for a director who received his training at the Royal College of Art, and a streamlined thriller with existential heft. It features a haunting score from synthesizer maestro Vangelis and a transcendently odd and ... (read more)
Mother!, the new film from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, premièred a week ago at the Venice Film Festival. It was met with a smattering of boos, followed by mostly rapturous reviews. Aronofsky’s earlier films – Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Noah – were developed over years, he said, whereas the script for this one poured out of him in five days, fired by an overwhelming anger a ... (read more)
The career of Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona began with The Orphanage (2007), a gothic drama godfathered by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006) that shared his interest in the imaginative life of children, and in ghosts. In the 2012 survival pic The Impossible and his latest film, A Monster Calls, Bayona has shown himself to be a less florid stylist than his mentor, and The Orphanage’s s ... (read more)