Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The State

For someone who attends the cinema as often as I do it must be a surprise to others that I have never attended the Sydney Film Festival. Until this year, that is.

I booked to see five films but dropped one because of weather and transport difficulties. I enjoyed the four films I did end up seeing and am inspired to attend again next year.

Three of the four screenings I did attend were at Sydney's magnificent State Theatre. I sneaked a few snaps whilst there none of which does full justice to the venue. The link above has some lovely and better images but here are a few of mine taken whilst waiting for sessions to commence.








Monday, 19 June 2017

Holy Air

Sydney Film Festival

Adam (Shady Srour) is a Christian Arab in Nazareth struggling financially and in search of a lucrative business opportunity. He hits on the notion of selling 'Holy Air' to religious pilgrims somewhat to the dismay of his local priest who has his own interests in obtaining financial benefit from the tourism. At the same time Adam is dealing with the prospects of first time fatherhood and an unhappy Muslim partner in their struggling financial business.

Promoted in the Festival program as a comedy this plot sounded funnier on paper than what came across on screen. Perhaps it is a cultural thing.

Interesting to a point but some of the message was lost to me.

✮✮1/2

Sunday, 18 June 2017

I Love You Now

Darlinghurst Theatre Company

'I Love You Now' is a two hander, single act, theatre piece. It was written by Jeanette Cronin, one of the performers who is partnered on stage by Paul Gleeson.

Between them, Cronin and Gleeson, play eight characters - I think. Gleeson plays twin brothers, a Priest and a gym instructor. Cronin plays the wives of both brothers, a therapist and another woman involved with one or other or both of the brothers - I think.

The play is about the infidelity of these individuals and how the various relationships change over time.

There are in fact two other performers, musicians, behind a glass wall whose music prefaces and illustrates changes in scenes. The acting is very good but the structure of the play is very complex and we three came away somewhat confused as to exactly what we had witnessed.

Perhaps some surtitles would unravel the complexity?

✮✮1/2

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Call Me By Your Name


(2017 Sydney Film Festival)

In 1983 in Northern Italy an American Research Fellow (Armie Hammer) joins an academic family for a six weeks summer placement. The family's seventeen years old son Elio (Timothy Chalamet) at first resents the scholar's behaviour then seeks his attention as he finds himself attracted to him.

'Call Me By Your Name' paints an unhurried picture of Italian summer leisure.

Chalamet presents a fascinating air of insouciance until his character is struck by the full weight of his infatuation with Hammer's character.

✮✮✮1/2


Friday, 16 June 2017

The Party


(2017 Sydney Film Festival)

A newly elected Minister (Kristin Scott Thomas) has planned a small party for friends to celebrate her election. 'The Party' goes hideously off the rails as unexpected home truths are revealed.

This short (71 minutes long) feature film is humorously bitchy as well concealed twists are revealed.

A memorable dark comedy.

✮✮✮✮

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Mummy



A sarcophagus discovered in Iraq contains the mummified body of an Egyptian Princess. Soldier of fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) seeks to capitalise on the finding only to be entangled in an ancient prophesy and imponderable terrors.

'The Mummy' passes through three phases. The first phase is pure adventure in the style of old Saturday afternoon at 'the flicks' serials. The second phase is an off the planet series of adventures. Finally the movie ends on a note of so many loose ends that sequels are clearly planned should box office returns justify.

Tedious.

✮✮1/2