ABR Arts Film

Pain and Glory 

Richard Leathem
Friday, 01 November 2019

Pedro Almodóvar has often infused his work with a certain amount of autofiction. In his début, Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980), the Spanish auteur presented us with the burgeoning La Movida Madrileña, the cultural explosion that emerged in Madrid following General Franco’s death in 1975. This was the world in which he lived, and by offering us a glimpse inside, he set the tone for his career. 

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Anne Frank: Parallel Stories 

Tali Lavi
Friday, 11 October 2019

Earlier this year, not being able to find my childhood copy of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl for my eldest daughter, I bought another one. It seemed bigger than I had remembered, but the cover had the same recognisable photo of the demurely smiling Anne gazing somewhere into the distance – a wisp of a girl with distinctive dark features that would have made it highly unlikely for her to ‘pass’ as anything other than Jewish. The book bore a label that seemed to be making a dubious claim: ‘The Definitive Edition’. Was it more definitive than the journal I had read when I was a similar age to the girl who wrote it, as my daughter is now?

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Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 01 October 2019

Since his creation in Batman #1 in 1940, there have been many attempts to flesh out the psychological make-up of the Joker, chief antagonist to the (arguably more) heroic Batman, in vario ...

The Dead Don't Die 

Aaron Nyerges
Monday, 23 September 2019

The Dead Don’t Die is – in a manner of thinking – Jim Jarmusch’s second zombie film. Technically, Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) is a vampire film, but its central character, the depressively immortal Adam (Tom Hiddleston), lords it over ‘the zombies’, his term for the human population, whose ignorance he resents and whose degradation of Earth he fears ...

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Felicity Chaplin
Monday, 16 September 2019

The fashion documentary is a subgenre of a larger wave of films about fashion that have proliferated in recent years, including biopics such as Coco Before Chanel (Anne Fontaine, 2009) and Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2014), documentaries such as Lagerfeld Confidential (Rodolphe Marconi, 2007) and ...

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Jack Callil
Monday, 26 August 2019

Matteo Garrone likes to peel back Italy’s skin to expose what writhes beneath. The director’s earlier breakout film Gomorrah (2008), an unforgettable sprawling epic, explores the Camorrah crime syndicate from its bottom-feeding wannabes to its corrupt political élite. Reality (2013), a satirical tale of a fishmonger going to desperate lengths to ...

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Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood 

Patrick Boyle
Thursday, 15 August 2019

Quentin Tarantino is one of the most innovative living auteurs in English-speaking cinema. The films that made him – Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, and Kill Bill: Volume. 1 and 2 – are triumphs of hyper-stylised violence. Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood, Tarantino’s ninth film, though, is an outlier ...

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Palm Beach 

Jake Wilson
Thursday, 08 August 2019

Curiously, there are now two feature films titled Palm Beach, both named for the same upmarket suburb in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The first, made in 1979 by the late avant-gardist Albie Thoms, is a ragged detective story improvised from an outline conceived by its ensemble cast. The new Palm Beachis a much more conventionally polished ...

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Late Night ★★★★

Richard Leathem
Monday, 05 August 2019

There’s an element of metafiction about Late Night that makes the main character, Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson), much more sympathetic than she ought to be. In an early scene, the successful late-night television chat show host states that she’s not part of the mainstream. She doesn’t watch superhero movies and she isn’t on Twitter or ...

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Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan ★★☆

Andrew Nette
Friday, 02 August 2019

Australia has not made many war films, let alone films about the conflict in Vietnam. Not counting The Sapphires (2012), the story of the all-female Aboriginal band of the same name, which includes the women touring Vietnam to entertain American troops, our cinematic output about this war is precisely two films ...

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