Review: Acute Misfortune

Artist Adam Cullen (Daniel Henshall) says early in “Acute Misfortune” (2020) that he paints because it’s the only job in the world where “your employer wants you to die.” In other words, his work will increase in value upon his death which he takes as justification for his blatant desire for it to happen. The film documents what transpires when a young reporter attempts to put down in words the life of this anguished, talented Australian version of Jackson Pollack in all his rebellious, self -destructive fury. It is not an easy watch but the riveting performances of the two leads make it an emotional roller coaster of a biography that risks making its subject unlikable, even if he is inspiring. Continue reading Review: Acute Misfortune

First Look: Song Without A Name

The 30th October will see the release of Melina León’s unique, stunning and truly moving debut feature film, “Song Without a Name”. Based on a true story, “Song Without a Name”, was nominated for the prestigious Golden Camera at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Hauntingly beautiful, the film has been shot in stark black and white, and features a powerful performance from newcomer Pamela Mendoza, who is a young mother whose baby is stolen. The film also features a stellar performance by Tommy Párraga, who plays a journalist hitting endless Kafkaesque dead ends, as he burrows into the corruption and strife of a country in turmoil. Continue reading First Look: Song Without A Name

Fantasia Festival Review: “Wildland” (Kød & blod)

In her feature film debut, “Wildland”, Jeannette Nordahl takes audiences on a haunting rollercoaster. Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) moves in with her aunt, Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen) after her mother (and Bodil’s sister) dies in a car accident. At first, Ida is delicately embraced by Bodil and her three sons. But as the film progresses, Ida learns that the club Bodil runs and owns is not what sustains the family. Rather, Bodil and her sons, Jonas (Joachim Fjelstrup), David (Elliott Crosset Hove), and Mads (Besir Zeciri) are loan shark debt collectors. As the matriarch, Bodil forces her sons to be the muscles of the family crime operation. As a new member of the family, Ida starts to join in on the business, but learns that the high stakes also come with real consequences. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: “Wildland” (Kød & blod)

Fantasia Festival Review: Cosmic Candy

You may be forgiven if your first impression of Rinio Dragasaki’s directorial debut, “Cosmic Candy” (2019) looks like a Day-glo fairy tale adventure or a surrealistic drug trip. But the film itself does not veer into whimsicality as much as you think; as it is at heart a comedy/drama about holding onto emotional baggage and learning to let go of said baggage. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Cosmic Candy

Review: “The Rental”

Dave Franco’s directorial debut “The Rental” revolves around a simple set-up. Two couples, Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie) and Mina (Sheila Vand) and Josh (Jeremy Allen White), have the idea to rent a beautiful Oceanside rental house where they can do some hiking, relax some, and enjoy each others company, well sort of. Continue reading Review: “The Rental”

Review: “Yes God Yes”

“Yes, God, Yes” is Karen Maine’s semi-autobiographical debut feature film, Maine is best known for being the co-writer of “Obvious Child”. She certainly likes to tackle taboo subject matters and blend them within the comedy genre. In “Yes, God, Yes” Maine explores the story of Sixteen-year-old Alice (Natalia Dyer) who is a devout Catholic. But when an AOL chat turns racy, she discovers masturbation and becomes guilt-ridden. Seeking redemption, she attends a mysterious religious retreat to try and suppress her urges, easier said than done. Things become heated when she meets the very cute Chris (Wolfgang Novogratz) who starts flirting with her. Over the course of four days all kinds of hijacks arise, which sees Alice discovering new secrets that she must fight to keep. Continue reading Review: “Yes God Yes”

Exclusive Interview with Eliza Schroeder, Director of Love Sarah

“Love Sarah” is the debut feature film from director Eliza Schroeder. The film is a sweet little comedy/drama about three women who are brought together by the loss of their mother/daughter and best friend, Sarah. Together they decide to open a baery to honour Sarah’s memory. Editor Bianca Garner caught up with Eliza to discuss the film in further detail, how the strong women in Eliza’s own ife inspired the three main characters and which Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet film inspired her the most. Please find the interview below! Continue reading Exclusive Interview with Eliza Schroeder, Director of Love Sarah

Review: Lucky Grandma

With a fun sense of wit that stems from a strong leading performance from Tsai Chin, writer/director Sasie Sealy crafts a great feature debut with a healthy mix of dark comedy and crime drama.

The film follows Grandma Wong (Chin), a mean-spirited, chain-smoking Chinese grandmother who lives within New York City’s Chinatown. After a meeting with a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho) who tells Wong that she has good fortune coming her way, she travels to the casino to bet the last amount of money her husband has left her after he passed. While things go well at first as Wong starts to rack up a fortune, she eventually loses it all on a bad bet. Feeling rotten about losing it all, Wong’s luck quickly turns around when a bag full of money lands in her lap. However, this money has a lot of baggage that goes with it that lands Wong in the middle of a gang war that could put her and her family in danger. Continue reading Review: Lucky Grandma