sbs movies after nine
70TH SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL — State Theatre
🌟 OPENING NIGHT 🌟
I’d been waiting for Opening Night to happen since the first time SFF confirmed The New Boy as their opening night film. Maybe it’s the inner colonial mentality to blame here, but the pieta-like hero image still leaves me starstruck whenever I look at it.
I’m deeply enthralled by this film, having heard that The New Boy is Warwick Thornton’s most ambitious project to date. The film lives up…
A diamond in the rough of accented cinema. Those who have engaged with diasporic media will understand the struggle of finding quality works that elucidate third space experiences. Many films in recent years have fallen into deeply didactic modes of storytelling, oftentimes resorting to obvious statements about being a child of migrant parents or tokenistic portrayals of Asianness (think: tropes that are adjacent to the “ethnic lunch at white school” cliche in college essays). Such stories play as if…
A narratively concise piece of retelling. Any semblance of emotion is sublimated into sparse expressivity; there’s gravitas of texture in chains, pages, blankets. But even in imprisonment, there’s careful glimpses of the exalted figure — Joan of Arc, a figure who is halfway through Christ, yet remains illegitimate in her own Christianity.
It’s enlightening when parts of the trial feels like a Rilke poem, rewritten into conversation. There’s a brutality to Bresson’s Joan that can only be achieved through…
A piece of Soviet cinema that is insanely confident in crafting emotional excess — its opening moments are so saccharine, ripe with delight and romantic twee. Certain romantic narratives have a way of being emblematic of nationalisms and cultural milieus. Even without any understanding of Soviet history, the greenest of cinephiles will know this is an anti-war film — melodrama always manages to amass more credibility compared to more lyrical film writing/cinema works.
The strength is in the simplicity…
70TH SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL — Ritz Cinemas
I don’t enjoy criticising Asian diaspora stories, especially when they appeal to a mainstream audience and connect to lived Asian experiences, but I can’t help but feel let down by Past Lives. Rather than interrogating the displacement of Asian identities through romance, instead we’re given entry-level samples into such enquiries. Nothing about the film had anything substantial to say about the Korean experience, or even the Asian diasporic experience for that matter.…
(Long review, read with caution)
I’m uncomfortable. This film has two things that I take to heart: anti-capitalist “content” and Filipino representation. If you found yourself enjoying Dolly De Leon’s character, I especially need you to read this. It doesn’t matter if you’re Filipino or not. As a Filipino-Australian viewer, there is one thing that’s biting me ever since Filipinos have been raving all over De Leon’s character, and I think it’s about time that it needs to be…