Film

Philippa Hawker reviews 'Ripping Open the Set'

Philippa Hawker
19 January 2014

Ben McCann’s Ripping Open the Set begins with four epigraphs, observations of various kinds. They come from American figures – Frank Capra, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Nathanael West – and they express a range of notions, none of them particularly positive, about the place of design in cinema. McCann – senior lecturer in French at the ... More

Doug Wallen reviews 'Alfred Hitchcock's America'

Doug Wallen
19 January 2014

Although he used screenwriters, Alfred Hitchcock was a model auteur and engineeredhis films meticulously. ‘Casting and performance, mise-en-scène, lighting, camera angle, construction of setting, and music must all be woven into the director’s “action” as he makes a scene,’ remarks Murray Pomerance in his study of Hitchcock’s American ... More

Jake Wilson reviews 'Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows'

Jake Wilson
28 November 2013

As film critics go, Geoffrey O’Brien is a lover, not a fighter: unconcerned with starting quarrels or settling scores, he simply aims to share his pleasure in what he has seen. Perhaps his remarkably good temper stems from the fact that he is not a full-time critic, but an example of that nearly extinct species, the all-round man of letters. He is editor-in- ... More

Benjamin Millar reviews 'World Film Locations: Melbourne'

Benjamin Millar
28 November 2013

Reflections upon Melbourne’s reputation as a world cultural capital often sideline film-making, but the relationship is long and fruitful. The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), filmed on the former Charterisville Estate in Heidelberg, is history’s first feature film. The first Australian entry in this series of global guides highlights the centrality ... More

Hamish Ford reviews Alain Badiou's 'Cinema'

Hamish Ford
28 November 2013

In recent years, the work of French philosopher Alain Badiou has been discussed with increasing regularity as part of an academic dialogue between cinema studies and philosophy that is often called ‘film-philosophy’. His various writings on cinema were for a long time scattered among many different sources, the majority untranslated. With its original 2010 ... More

Fallout

Jake Wilson
31 October 2013

Nevil Shute’s apocalyptic 1957 novel On The Beach and Stanley Kramer’s 1959 movie adaptation hold a continued fascination, particularly for Melburnians – even if we have grown weary of the famous quip, attributed to Ava Gardner, about the city being the ideal place to film the end of the world. Largely setting aside such parochial concerns, Lawren ... More

Mr Pip

Brian McFarlane
31 October 2013

Film-wise, 2013 has been the year of adapting dangerously. Dangerously, that is, in the sense of daring to affront devoted readers of the original novels or plays, valuing enterprise over fidelity. Now, just after admirable versions of Much Ado about Nothing and What Maisie Knew have finished their runs, we have director–screenwriter Andrew Ada ... More

Jake Wilson on 'The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh'

Jake Wilson
27 September 2013

In many ways, Steven Soderbergh could be described as an exemplary postmodern film-maker: smart, prolific, and pragmatic, at ease with Hollywood blockbusters and low-budget experiments alike. He knows enough about the nuts and bolts of technique to serve as his own cinematographer, and enough about the science of deal-making to sustain a parallel career as a p ... More

What Maisie Knew

Brian McFarlane
27 September 2013

The last twelve months have seen some notable film reworkings of classic literary texts, with Anna Karenina set in a theatre, a black Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, and a gorgeous Much Ado About Nothing enacted in monochrome contemporary California. Now we have a compelling version of Henry James’s novel What Maisie Knew (1897), ... More

The Turning

Jake Wilson
27 August 2013

Anthology films are expected to be uneven; in a way, the unevenness is the point. With no less than eighteen directors on board, this adaptation of Tim Winton’s short story collection The Turning (2004) resembles an epic round of the surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, in which players separately draw parts of a human figure on a sheet of paper which is ... More

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