Category Archives: Sydney Film Festival

Norwegian Wood (film)

It’s easy to have bad ideas. One such idea was “Let’s make Norwegian Wood into a movie!” Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami’s breakout novel, has in my uninformed opinion influenced Japanese cinema culture in the 24 years since it was first … Continue reading


Beginners is the sort of movie that I’m required by law to love, but I couldn’t. Emotional distance is a huge factor in too many contemprary movies: fundamentally broken characters who don’t care about fixing themselves, choosing instead to fixate … Continue reading

I Am Love

Melodrama: I had completely forgotten about it. Several years ago, Todd Haynes of I’m Not There fame wrote and directed Far From Heaven, a sumptuous visual feast starring Julianne Moore that very deliberately tasted of arsenic. It was a tribute … Continue reading

Yona Yona Penguin

What did Rintaro do to deserve this? I think that Yona Yona Penguin is a trick that the French played on the Japanese. “We’ve got an idea about a girl who dresses as a penguin, who gets taken to the … Continue reading

The Tree

You want a standard movie that features strong actors and performances, but never really goes anywhere or bothers to do anything with the flimsy scenario with which it has been entrusted? The Tree is your film.

Welcome to the Space Show

Welcome to the Space Show showed at the Sydney Film Festival before it saw its wide release in Japan. It is an impressive piece of science fiction work, albeit not the same film that I was expecting from the synopsis … Continue reading

Au Revoir, Taipei

At last, a truly light movie in the Sydney Film Festival! Au Revoir, Taipei is obvious and insubstantial fun that provides quite a few good laughs. Kai wants to go to visit his girlfriend in Paris, but he doesn’t have … Continue reading

The Illusionist

Beautiful but disaffecting is probably the best way to describe a film like The Illusionist. It is very pretty to look at and can be quite funny in places but it feels a bit hollow. The back story that I … Continue reading

I Killed My Mother

Xavier Dolan. 19 years old when he wrote and directed I Killed My Mother! Instiller of fear and jealousy into the hearts of men and women alike! Dolan is a boy of honesty, a boy of spite. A boy who … Continue reading

The Refuge

The Refuge gets the heavy stuff out of the way first: two drug addicts. One overdoses. The other one wakes up pregnant. No more drugs. Five minutes down, on with the movie! The Refuge is an imperfect wisp of a … Continue reading