Film

Desley Deacon reviews 'Double-Act' by Brian McFarlane

Desley Deacon
Thursday, 28 May 2015

Although many attempt it, writing the biography of an actor of a previous era is fraught. They consist mainly of lists of movies or plays long forgotten. The reception of their art is recorded by critics, once all-powerful, but now unknown. Their personal life and personality are hidden behind a screen of studio publicity. Writing the lives and careers of two stars ...

Mad Max: Fury Road ★★★

Kim Wilkins
Friday, 15 May 2015

In a hit-driven commercial climate, creating film franchises makes economic sense. Consumers who enjoyed the first The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are likely to purchase a ticket to the sequel. Those who have committed more than eleven hours’ viewing to the first six films in The Fast and the Furious series will probab ...

The World Film Location series aims to articulate the ways in which physical environments shape the ‘emotional spaces’ of characters in cinema. For the Sydney volume, editor Neil Mitchell has corralled a selection of writers to contribute short entries (with a few longer essays) on the city’s various appearances on film.

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Bette Davis once described Hollywood actors as American royalty, a cohort that answered the core human desire to look up to something. Those Hollywood actors who became stars (so named because of the stars in Paramount Pictures’ logo), thus served a purpose not only by acting, but also by representing societal and cultural ideals; not an easy demand, as such ideal ...

Jake Wilson reviews 'Last Words' by Jason Wood

Jake Wilson
Friday, 27 March 2015

‘Published interviews with filmmakers are increasingly becoming a thing of the past,’ writes Jason Wood in the introduction to Last Words. You could have fooled me. I suspect that Wood’s statement would come as a surprise to others as well, especially readers of the invaluable Keyframe Daily column on the Fandor website, a digest of international film n ...

Michael Morley reviews 'Naked Cinema' by Sally Potter

Michael Morley
Thursday, 26 March 2015

Whereas library shelves tend to sag beneath the weight of volumes penned by, and intended for, theatre actors and directors, the number of comparable handbooks, instruction manuals, and studies pitched at their cinematic colleagues is rather thinner on the ground. To be sure, there are crucial works by David Mamet, Patrick Tucker, and Janet Sonnenberg, along with bo ...

Philippa Hawker reviews 'John Wayne' by Scott Eyman

Philippa Hawker
Thursday, 26 March 2015

‘I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.’ In Scott Eyman’s biography John Wayne: The Life and Legend, these words, uttered by ‘Duke Morrison, aka John Wayne’, serve as an epigraph. They are a curious mixtur ...

Critics and professionals nominate their favourite drama series

Ian Collie et al.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
To complement James McNamara’s article we invited a number of cultural commentators and film and television professionals to nominate their favourite television drama series. ... (read more)

Max Sipowicz reviews 'Zombies' by Jennifer Rutherford

Max Sipowicz
Wednesday, 26 November 2014

In recent times the figure of the zombie has pervaded modern culture. Despite their origins as macabre creatures from Haitian myths, and then their modern cultural origins in B-grade horror films, zombies have established themselves as an important element of modern mythology. Jennifer Rutherford’s book aims to explore the reasons for our society’s obsession wit ...

Eloise Ross reviews 'The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan'

Eloise Ross
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

‘I get awful intense about these movies I do. I become, in fact, obsessed with them.’ So Elia Kazan (1909–2003) wrote to his daughter in 1957. A workaholic, Kazan was both extremely self-assured and plagued by self-doubt, terrified he would produce mediocrity. He rarely did. As a stage and screen director he achieved remarkable success. Kazan was an egotist, a ...