Category: Romance

 

In Red Rover, coming to digital this May, after feeling he has nothing left to live for on earth, a lonely geologist tries to qualify for a one-way mission to Mars with the help of an offbeat musician who is just as lost as he is.

From director Shane Helcourt, and starring Kristian Bruun (Ready or Not), Cara Gee (The Expanse), Meghan Heffern (“Wynonna Earp”), and Anna Hopkins (“The Expanse”), Red Rover premieres On Demand May 12 from Indiecan Entertainment.

Damon (Kristian Bruun) spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe (Cara Gee) handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.

Summary: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th March 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, Canada

Director: Melina Matsoukas

Screenwriter: Lena Waithe

Cast: Flea (Mr Shepherd), Melina Halfkenny (Naomi), Daniel Kaluuya (Slim), Benito Martinez (Sheriff Edgar), Indya Moore (Goddess), Chloe Sevigny (Mrs. Shepherd), Sturgill Simpson (Police Officer Reed), Bryant Tardy (Chubby), Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen), Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Junior), Bokeem Woodbine (Uncle Earl)

Running Time: 132 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR QUEEN & SLIM REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Queen & Slim Review

There have been a number of films over the years that have dealt with the topic of white Police violence against black citizens. Films like Fruitville Station and The Hate U Give have shown a spotlight on the issue with some sheer cinematic brilliance. Now comes Queen & Slim a film that explores the topic while bordering on being a genre flick.

Directed by Melina Matsoukas (Insecure) Queen & Slim possibly depicts one of the worst Tinder dates of all time. Bored and frustrated are having one of her clients put to death lawyer Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith – Jett) responds to a Tinder request from the quiet and law-abiding Slim (Daniel Kaluuya – Black Panther). However, the date ends disastrously when on their way home they are pulled over by a white Police Officer. When he pulls his gun and shoots Queen Slim is forced to kill him in self defence.

Convinced that nobody will believe their story the pair begin a journey across America aided by Slim’s ex-military turned criminal Uncle Earl (Bokeem Woodbine – Spider-Man: Homecoming) as they try to evade the manhunt that is now coming their way. Meanwhile the rest of America takes sides – some say they should be brought in as criminals while others want to help them escape Police.

The first thing that I should say about Queen & Slim is that this is not a multiplex film. I’ve read comments that the film is over-long etc. That simply is not true, but as you view the film your realise that Matsoukas has shot this is a way that is reminiscent of the arthouse films that Larry Clarke made in his heyday – films like Bully and Kids that made a point and stuck with you long after the credits had rolled.

The style in which Matsoukas has shot this film is hard-hitting and gritty. She is a filmmaker who is obviously not afraid to take risks – how many other filmmakers these days would have the courage to have an entire scene shot from a camera mounted and locked off on a car. Her style also allows the audience to feel like they are part of the action which in turn makes you feel a lot closer to the two main characters – Queen and Slim. The result is an understanding and closeness to them that most other filmmakers could only dream about capturing.

Having said that though there are some weaknesses with the film. At times it feels like as a director Matsoukas has been let down by the screenplay she is working with. There are too many times during the film were events happen that should be treated as major events but are never fully explored. From a man who wants to talk to them but is hit by their car through to a teenager who idolises them despite his father’s beliefs, these events happen way too fast and the audience never really get to feel the full affect of the events that surround these characters.

The film is at its best though when it allows the audience to soak up the locations and the characters that the characters find themselves around as the film goes on. One of the best characters in the film is Queen’s Uncle Earl and because of the extended time you spend with him as character the impact of his involvement in the story weighs more heavily for the audience watching. Likewise when Slim takes Queen to a dingy blues bar – the suspense is through the roof as you are never really sure whether the couple are welcome there or whether someone will turn them in.

One of the highlights of the film though are the acting performances. If nothing else Queen & Slim has introduced the cinematic world to two future stars. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner Smith put in two stunning performances. No matter whether they are asked to deliver a deep and meaningful dramatic scene moved along only by dialogue or asked to perform graphic sex in the front seat of a car the two deliver in spades. As the film meanders along you get a strong feeling that these two actors are people we are going to be watching on the big screen for many years to come.

As a film Queen & Slim does have its flaws but it also has moments of true cinematic awe as well. Two brilliantly performed roles by the film’s stars makes up for the film’s errors while Bokeem Woodbine makes a welcome return in a truly memorable performance that only he could deliver. Likewise the film introduces us to a filmmaker that can only be described as a director that we all need to become aware of. Melina Matsoukas’ gritty style of filmmaking is a welcome relief in a cinematic world where it feels like every film needs to look ‘clean.’ Hard-hitting and at times experimental Queen & Slim is not a film that is easy to forget.

 

 

 

IMDB Rating: 
Queen & Slim (2019) on IMDb

Other Subculture Entertainment Queen & Slim Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

Poised to thrill audiences around the nation, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has today unveiled the full line-up for its eagerly anticipated 31st season at www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

Spreading its cinematic stardust across 8 cities and 4 satellite locations, the Festival, which is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas, will commence its national tour from 10 March until 19 April and is set to thrill audiences with a stupendous selection of 49 contemporary and classic French films, many enjoying their Australian premiere.

 We’re also delighted to announce that dynamic filmmaker, Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth, True History of the Kelly Gang), who has long taken inspiration from French cinema, will be the 2020 Festival Patron.

 Additionally, acclaimed director/actor, Zabou Breitman, whose lyrical, animated drama, The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul), has won plaudits from critics and audiences alike on the international film festival circuit, will be visiting Melbourne to introduce a screening of this, her latest feature, which she directed with Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. This special Festival event is slated for the evening of Tuesday 17 March at Palace Cinema Como, and will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A.

 On a more sombre note, this year has already experienced horrific bushfires ravaging our land and robbing so many of their lives and homes.  The Alliance Française, and venue partners thereby invite you to join us in helping those impacted by this tragedy by supporting special previews of How to Be a Good Wife and In the Name of the Land (both screening courtesy of Palace Films) to be held in all capital cities on 9th and 10th of March.  100% of tickets sales for these sessions will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health.

And in celebration of mankind’s great capacity for kindness and compassion – which often comes to the fore in times of crisis – the Festival will launch the 2020 season with The Extraordinary (Hors normes)one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, which will screen courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

 The latest feature from renowned filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (who delighted with The Intouchables and C’est la vie!), The Extraordinary is inspired by a true story and was honoured as the Closing Night Feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. For twenty years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organizations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.

 The result of two years’ immersion in the lives of the two associations, The Extraordinary is a crowd-pleasing charmer, which will have viewers experiencing a gamut of emotions as they fall in love with a host of extraordinary characters in exceptional circumstances.  It’s a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.

 And concluding the 2020 season, on a deliciously whimsical note, will be The Bare Necessity (Perdrix)the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, starring Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury.  Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, this sweetheart of a movie, which delighted hardened cynics when it premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2019, looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.

 With so many highlights bursting from this year’s programme, it’s impossible to list every film, but read on for some of the delights to be savoured:

 

A FRIENDLY TALE (Le Bonheur des uns)

Director:  Daniel Cohen                                                        

Cast:  François Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Bérénice Bejo

In this delicious tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.

 

AZNAVOUR BY CHARLES (Le regard de Charles)

A Film by Charles Aznavour, Directed by Marc di Domenico                                                                 

Narrator: Romain Duris

Crooner, Charles Aznavour, beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance.  But his life beyond music was even more extraordinary.  An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.

 

DEERSKIN (Le daim)

Director:  Quentin Dupieux                                                                 

Cast:  Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy

With his life in disarray, Georges might not be able to control his circumstances but he can control his wardrobe.  Believing that the deerskin jacket of his dreams is the answer to all of his problems, Georges’ delusions gradually increase each time he wears it, edging his obsession closer to a violent delirium.

 

EDMOND

Director: Alexis Michalik                   

Cast: Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon

Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success.  When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac.  Can he accomplish the impossible?

 

FAREWELL TO THE NIGHT (L’adieu à la nuit)

Director: André Téchiné                                                                            

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Kacey Mottet Klein

Muriel, a respected member of her idyllic local community, is horrified to discover that her visiting grandson, who claims to be heading to Canada for work, has in reality been radicalised by Islamist extremists.  His plans to fight for ISIS in Syria expose this ordinary woman to a moral dilemma of heart-breaking proportions.

 

HOUSE OF CARDIN

Directors: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes

Synonymous with glamour, refinement and sophistication, this documentary provides a rare glimpse into the world of a 20th century icon. Allowing unprecedented access to his personal archives, we follow Cardin from his birth in the Italian countryside circa 1922, to his move to France where he made his name in fashion.

 

HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La bonne épouse)

Director: Martin Provost                             

Cast: Juliette Binoche, Yolande Moreau, Noémie Lvovsky, Edouard Baer

In 1968 amidst the lush regions of Alsace, the head of a housekeeping school that transforms teenage girls into ideal housewives, has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin.

 

IN THE NAME OF THE LAND (Au nom de la terre)

Director:  Edouard Bergeon                                                     

Cast: Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon

Returning to France in the late 70s, Pierre marries his sweetheart and takes over his father’s farm.  But twenty years onwards, Pierre is exhausted.  With mounting debt, what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on his family who risk being torn apart by the property that binds them, in this powerful tale of resilience.

 

LA BELLE ÉPOQUE

Director: Nicolas Bedos                                                                    

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller

Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.

 

THE LOST PRINCE (Le prince oublié)

Director: Michel Hazanavicius                                                           

Cast: Omar Sy, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens

Djibi, a devoted single father, transforms into a heroic Prince in the nightly fairy-tales he tells his beloved 7 year-old daughter, Sofia. But as the years pass, Sofia is ready for her own stories with different heroes.  But is the Prince ready to become just a memory of his daughter’s childhood?

 

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT (Mon inconnue)

Director: Hugo Gélin                                                                         

Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe

After waking in a parallel universe, Raphaël finds his wife, Olivia, is nowhere to be seen and his professional achievements have vanished.  Without Olivia, his life is empty, but winning her back proves harder than he could have imagined – especially when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is!

 

MY DOG STUPID (Mon chien Stupide)

Director: Yvan Attal                                                                             

Cast: Yvan Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eric Ruf

Henri, a writer in the depths of a mid-life crisis who hasn’t released a successful book in 25 years, strikes-up an unconventional friendship with a stray, bad-mannered dog who inspires him and his dysfunctional family to re-examine their lives and attitudes towards each other.

 

THE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICK (Le mystère Henri Pick)

Director: Rémi Bezançon                                                                                 

Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz

The late Henry Pick, in life an unassuming Breton pizza marker, is celebrated as a brilliant author when a lost manuscript, attributed to him, becomes a literary success.  But one outspoken intellectual thinks the whole thing is a sham, and, after losing his wife, his job and his prominence due to his opinion, decides to uncover the truth.

 

ONLY THE ANIMALS (Seules les bêtes)

Director: Dominik Moll                                                             

Cast: Denis Ménochet, Laure Calamy, Damien Bonnard

Set in an isolated town in the lush, wintery mountains of southern France, the film opens with the departure of Evelyne, a local woman whose disappearance during a snowstorm soon reveals itself as murder. This act of violence gradually unveils the hidden agendas of several locals, setting the unexpected into motion.

 

PROXIMA

Director: Alice Winocour                                                              

Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant- Lemesle, Matt Dillon

As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she’s invited upon a year-long space mission – Proxima – forcing her to choose between her work and her child.

 

ROOM 212 (Chambre 212)

Director: Christophe Honoré                                           

Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste

After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a “magical night”, and it’s not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.

 

SIBYL

Director: Justine Triet                                                           

Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel

Dissatisfied with her life, Sibyl, a psychiatrist, decides to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.  Casting professional ethics aside, she secretly uses the private sessions of her actress patient, Margot, as inspiration for her novel, a decision that irreversibly impacts upon both their lives.

 

SPREAD YOUR WNGS (Donne-moi des ailes)

Director: Nicolas Vanier                                                          

Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez

Christian, a visionary scientist, studies wild birds. For his son, a teenager obsessed with video games, the idea of spending a vacation with his father in the middle of nature is a nightmare. However, father and son soon bond over a daring project to save an endangered species, which takes them on an incredible journey.

 

THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)

Directors: Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec                        

Voice: Simon Abkarian, Zita Hanrot, Swann Arlaud

Based on the cherished novel of the same name, this critically acclaimed, animated drama follows two couples living in the Afghan capital during the 90s and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat.

 

THE TRANSLATORS (Les traducteurs)

Director: Régis Roinsard                                                 

Cast: Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio

Nine language experts, hired to translate the final book of a bestselling trilogy, are in lockdown within a luxurious bunker. But when the top-secret manuscript’s first ten pages appear online, their dream job implodes.  The culprit has to amongst them and the publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask who it is.

 

TWO OF US (Deux)

Director: Filippo Meneghetti                                                    

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker

In this emotionally compelling tale, pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is tested when circumstances trigger a series of events, preventing them from moving freely between each other’s apartments.

 

VERNON SUBUTEX

Director: Cathy Verney                                

Cast: Romain Duris, Céline Sallette, Florence Thomassin, Julie Fournier

When Vernon Subutex, an unemployed former owner of a once legendary record shop, is evicted from his flat, he’s helped by old friend rock star Alex Bleach. But Bleach’s sudden death makes Vernon a deadly target when it’s discovered that he’s in possession of 3 mysterious videotapes owned by Bleach.

 

WE’LL END UP TOGETHER (Nous finirons ensemble)

Director: Guillaume Canet                         

 Cast: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte

About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house.  So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away. But this cannot be – something has to be done! The sequel to 2010’s star-studded comedy, LITTLE WHITE LIES.

 

ZOMBI CHILD

Director: Bertrand Bonello                            

Cast: Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David, Ninon François

Haiti, 1962…A man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. Modern-day Paris…Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’.  But the incendiary family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her heritage with shocking results.

 

National dates and venues for the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

     

SYDNEY:

 

10 March – 8 April

 

Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne      

MELBOURNE:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema             Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre

PERTH:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,

Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema

CANBERRA:

12 March – 8 April

Palace Electric Cinema

ADELAIDE:

17 March -14 April

Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinema

BRISBANE:

18 March -14 April

Palace Barracks & Palace James Street

HOBART:

19 – 28 March

State Cinema

AVOCA BEACH:

19 March – 1 April

Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

PARRAMATTA:

26 – 29 March

Riverside Theatres Parramatta

BYRON BAY:

31 March – 12 April

Palace Byron Bay

BENDIGO:

17 – 19 April

Star Cinema

BALLARAT:

17 -19 April

Regent Cinemas

 

Summary: The Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Germany, USA

Director: Terrence Malick

Screenwriter: Terrence Malick

Cast: Dimo Alexiev (Nikolai), Leo Baumgartner (Toni Strohhofer), Ulrich Brandhoff (Captain Jurgen), August Diehl (Franz Jagerstatter), Alexander Fehling (Lawyer Feldman), Johannes Gabl (Hessler), Bruno Ganz (Judge Lueban), Adolf Hitler (himself (archival footage)), Bernd Holscher (Judge Ranft), Moritz Katzmair (Martin), Waldemar Kobus (Warden Stein), Jonannes Krisch (Trakl – The Miller), Levan Khurtsia (Levan), Dieter Kosslick (Judge Musshoff), Aennie Lade (Loisi Jagerstatter), Katja Lechthaler (Frau Pate), Monika Lennartz (Frau Schuster), Johan Leyson (Ohlendorf – The Painter), Jasmine Barbara Mairhofer (Frau Pate), Max Malatesta (Max), Karl Marcovics (Mayor Kraus), Ulrich Matthes (Lorenz Schwaninger), Max Mauff (Sterz), Wolfgang Michael (Eckinger), Tobias Moretti (Fr. Furthauer), Thomas Mraz (Prosecuter Kleint), Ida Mutschlechner (Rosi Jagerstatter), Karin Neuhasuer (Rosalia Jagerstatter), Johannes Nussbaum (Josef), Michael Nyqvist (Bishop Fliesser), Valerie Pachner (Fani Jagerstatter), Oliver Pezzi (Fitz), Jurgen Prochnow (Major Schlegel), Nicholas Reinke (Father Moericke), Franz Rogowski (Waldland), Sophie Rois (Aunt Walburga), Andro Sarishvilli (Andro), Matthias Schoenaerts (Captain Herder), Christian Sengeweld (Fr. Kreutzberg), Amber Shave (Rosi Jagerstatter (young)), Ermin Sijamija (Ermin), Maria Simon (Resie Schwaninger), Maria Stadler (Maria), Barbara Stampfl (Maridi Jagerstatter (young)), Benno Steinegger (Corporal Grimm), Michael Steinocher (Officer Kersting), Mark Wasschke (Spitz, the blacksmith), Maria Weger (Maridl Jagerstatter), Martin Wuttke (Major Kiel)

Running Time: 174 mins

Classification: PG (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR A HIDDEN LIFE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Review

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  

 

Other Subculture Entertainment A Hidden Life Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Summary: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Greta Gerwig

Screenwriter: Greta Gerwig, Louisa May Alcott

Cast: Dash Barber (Fred Vaughn), Timothee Charlamet (Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence), Chris Cooper (Mr. Laurence), J.M. Davis (Susan Robbins), Laura Dern (Marmee March), Lilly Englert (Kate Vaughn), Sasha Frolova (Mrs. Hummel), Louie Garrel (Friedrich Bhaer), Jayne Houdeyshell (Hannah), Ana Kayne (Olivia), Tom Kemp (Asa Melvin), Charlotte Kinder (Viola), Adrianne Krstansky (Mrs. Dashwood), Tracy Letts (Mr. Dashwood), Bill Mootos (Mr. Davis), Jen Nikolaisen (Evelyn Meriweather), James Norton (John Brooke),  Bob Odenkirk (Father March), Maryanne Plunkett (Mrs. Kirke), Florence Pugh (Amy March), Abby Quinn (Annie Moffat), Jared Reinfeldt (Ned Moffat), Hadley Robinson (Sallie Gardiner Moffat), Saoirse Ronan (Jo March), Amber Leanne Rothberg (Young Meg), Eliza Scanlen (Beth March), Meryl Streep (Aunt March), Emma Watson (Meg March), Lewis D. Wheeler (Josiah Workman)

Running Time: 135 mins

Classification: G (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR LITTLE WOMEN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Timeless tales never die. That is the only defence you can really use against people who are convinced that the new adaption of Little Women should never have been made. Yes, there have been a number of cinematic versions of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale that have made it to the big screen over the years, but every adaption has its own tone and feel and that is what makes them unique. I can remember the same being said when Baz Luhrmann re-created Romeo + Juliet… and look how well that ended up turning out. Besides after the quirkiness of Ladybird how could anybody not be curious to see what Greta Gerwig was going to do with Alcott’s classic.

Gerwig does do little to change the basic storyline. The film is set in 1868 with Jo March (Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn), a budding young writer getting a story published by a local publisher. At the same time her work is heavily criticised by one of her co-workers and in a bid to escape how she feels about it she uses the fact that her sister, Beth (Eliza Scanlen – Sharp Objects) is sick to return home. As she spends time with her mother (Laura Dern – Wild) and her other two sisters, Meg (Emma Watson – Harry Potter & The Philospher’s Stone) and Amy (Florence Pugh – The Commuter) she reflects on their lives and the obstacles they have overcome.

A scathing critic would probably try to point out that Little Women’s main focus is on female empowerment but I would argue that Gerwig’s film goes even deeper than that. This is not simply a film about female empowerment this is the film that explores the notion of how a family pulls together to overcome some of the most turbulent and life-changing obstacles that anybody can face. From the harsh fights between Amy and Jo, through the four sisters having to face numerous struggles with their father is off at war this is more a film about family then it is anything else.

The power of this version of Little Women though is how much the film draws you into the character’s lives. At a quick glance the character of Jo could be considered cold-hearted especially towards the men in her life, including Laurie (Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy). But through the power of Gerwig’s writing and directing the audience gets to see what makes Jo this way and that is something that can’t be said for all versions of Little Women. Gerwig also allows the film to show the struggle of the artist as well – whether it be a writer, a painter or a teacher all find themselves tested during this time of war and this secondary element to the plot adds a powerful element to the film that continues to draw the audience in.

What also drives this film is a repeat of one of the strengths from Lady Bird. As a director it is obvious that Gerwig knows how to draw the best out of her cast. Here Saoirse Ronan is once again in award winning form and she is well supported by Emma Watson and Florence Pugh who both seem to have turned up their acting game several levels as well. In regards to Ronan though she is well directed by Gerwig with the scene of the final confrontation between herself and Laurie being an absolute highlight. The raw emotion that is generated from the screen during the scene is a rarity in modern day cinema and needs to be cherished.

A special mention must also be made to Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). While she has limited screen time she managed to steal every scene she was in with a truly powerful performance. Her scenes with both Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are some of the best examples of brilliant acting you will all year. There is a real power with those scenes and neither younger actress seems to be over-awed by the fact that they are sharing the scene with acting royalty.

Every adaption of Little Women has something that sets it apart from the others but few have the sheer emotion and power that we see here with Gerwig’s interpretation. Here Gerwig uncovers secret layers to the plot that lesser filmmakers would have not noticed while at the same time she directs one of the most talented younger casts that modern day cinema has ever seen assembled. If you leave in preconceived notions you have about Little Woman at the cinema door you will find yourself totally drawn into this worthy drama.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: Little Women (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment LittleWomen Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

teamed up with Defiant Screen Entertainment to give you a chance to win a copy of this must-see film on DVD. Directed by award-winning director Wim Wenders (The American Friend, Wings Of Desire) and starring James McAvoy (Split, Filth) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Tomb Raider) in their most powerful roles yet Submergance is one of the msot under-rated films of 2018.

The film is released on home entertainment through Defiant Screen Entertainment on November 21st but we are given five lucky people a chance to win the film on DVD by simply private messaging our  Facebook page and telling us which character James McAvoy portrays in the Marvel universe.

 

 

Following his Best Picture Academy Award® winner Moonlight, writer/director Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s acclaimed novel IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, a love story set in 1970s Harlem, New York. After her fiancé Fonny (Stephan James) is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, 19-year-old Tish (newcomer Kiki Layne) and her family struggle against a corrupt justice system in this powerful, brilliantly crafted drama.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK had its World Premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was Runner-Up for the People’s Choice Award.

FeatureLovestuck

Summary: Falling in love is easy, getting out of it is hard. Our hero, Josh finds himself ‘LoveStuck’ between his best friend, his ex-girlfriend and the new girl he is about to move in with. As a lowly clerk working with the public service in Canberra, Josh is used to procrastination, but his fear of con*ict and knack for stretching the truth gets him into trouble with the women that he loves.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th August 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Murray Fahey

Screenwriter: N/A

Cast: Rik Brown (Josh), Fenella Edwards (Horatio), Murray Fahey (Polonius), Cathy Hagarty (Cath), Malcolm Irvin (Rosencraztz), Ali Little (Barnardo), Jenny Lovell (Gertude), Heady Manders (Voltemand), Gabby Millgate (Bag Lady Ophelia), Glen Morrison (Laertes), Robert Morrison (Guilderstein), Rama Nicolas (Kate), Emma Reid (Hecuba), Patti Stiles (Trish), Geoff Wallace (Claudius)

Runtime: 73 mins

Classification: TBC

OUR LOVESTUCK REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

 

The Australian film industry has been throwing up some extremely experimental films over the past few years – from one-shot action films through to filmed theatre productions. Well now comes Lovestuck – a completely improvised film from director Murray Fahey (Cubbyhouse, Dags). Not only does the film toss up a story that keeps you guessing but also gives you a look behind the scenes of what goes into making an improvised film at the same time.

The film centres around Josh (Rik Brown Utopia, Dinner For Three) a man who is struggling with his feelings with three woman – his ex Kate (Rama Nicolas – Little Solider, The Mutant Way), his current girlfriend Cath (Cathy Hagarty – newcomer) and his best friend Trish (Patti Stiles Neighbours, Stingers). On one disastrous day he meets with Kate to hand back some of her things – which then sets him on a journey to find a pen that she once gave him – while meanwhile Cath and Tess meet for the first time. The result is him having to make a decision about the three woman if he has any chance of moving on at all.

The danger of doing an experimental film like Lovestuck is that sometimes the experiment itself can get in the way of the story or can distract the audience from getting immersed in the film. Strangely, given that the film also shows the audience what is happening behind the scenes at times, neither happens here. The actors at hand – especially Rik Brown – are so good at the improvisation that you forget that you are watching a film that never technically had a script. The scenes flow together well and while there are some scenes that perhaps didn’t need to be there, most of the scenes featuring the main four characters tie in together well and do raise the suspense of who Josh will chose at the end… something that director Murray Fahey let Rik Brown decide as part of the improvisation.

The improvisation of the film does allow for the tone of the film to switch at times which gives Lovestuck a really unique feel. From comedic moments when Josh runs into Cath outside a massage parlour and tries to explain that he didn’t get one of ‘those’ massages right through to more dramatic scenes like Cath and Trish meeting for the first time this is a film that at one moment feels like an episode of Seinfeld one moment and the latest romance drama the next. Even the Hamlet Hip-Hop scene which had the potential of feeling out of place in the film works well because as an audience member you find yourself sitting there thinking ‘do they have the pen or not?’

The key to this film working though was the cast and to Fahey and his casting assistant’s credit they get this 100% right. Rik Brown carries the film throughout and with the tone changes that is no easy feat. From moments of complete awkwardness right through to almost slapstick comedy he delivers each time while Nicolas, Hagarty and Stiles also amazing throughout the film. Not once does there seem to be a moment where they hesitate when they think of what to say next and to be able to deliver improv lines so naturally means they deserve high credit… it is no easy feat.

Lovestuck just shows what you can create when you get together a creative team of people. While an improvised movie sounds like it shouldn’t work this one does to the point where you really do care which decision Josh makes. Worth checking out if you like your cinema a little left of centre.
Stars(3)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  N/A

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Lovestuck Reviews: Nil

Trailer:

Red Dog; True Blue Poster

Summary: An iconic Australian story of family, friendship and adventure, between a young boy and a scrappy one-of-a-kind dog that would grow up to become an Australian legend.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Kriv Stenders

Screenwriter: Daniel Taplitz

Cast: Josie Alec (Abby), Caitlin Berestford-Ord (Catherine), Syd Brisbane (Big John), Bryan Brown (Grandpa), Kee Chan (Jimmy Umbrella), Justine Clarke (Diane Carter), Thomas Cocquerel (Stemple), Jon Doust (McLeod), Alla Hand (Gilliam Shaw), Jason Isaacs (Michael Carter), John Jarratt (Lang Hangcock), Hanna Mangan Laurence (Betty), Steve Le Marquand (Little John), Winta McGrath (Nicholas Carter), Zen McGrath (Theo Carter), Levi Miller (Mick), Kelton Pell (Durack), Igor Sas (Dr. Samuel), Calen Tassone (Taylor Pete)

Runtime: 88 mins

Classification: PG

OUR RED DOG: TRUE BLUE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Nobody ever expected the original Red Dog film to go onto the greatness that it did when it was released back in 2011. Somehow the little Aussie family film showed the world that the Australian film industry wasn’t dead. While the industry had seen many Aussie filmmakers try the comedy vein, it seems it was the family comedy vein that still had life in it. The film grossed over $21 million in Australia alone.

Of course, not surprisingly word of a Red Dog sequel started to seep through while the first film was still raking in money at the box office. The only man who didn’t seem interested in the concept was the director Kriv Stenders (Boxing Day) who was already busy on his next project – the cult film Kill Me Three Times starring Simon Pegg. Along the way, though something changed and now five years later we find ourselves sitting down to watch a prequel to the original – Red Dog: True Blue.

There is little wonder that Stenders was nervous about making another Red Dog film, a dud could tarnish the legacy that the first left behind. Luckily though Stenders once again teamed up with screenwriter Daniel Taplitz (Chaos Theory) and together the two men came up with a film that is different enough from the original film to give it its own identity, but not different enough to alienate fans of the first in the series.

This second film is told through the eyes of a Perth father Michael Carter (Jason IsaacsBlack Hawk Down) who after watching the original Red Dog movie in the cinema recounts the story of how he was actually the original owner of Red… or Blue as he was called back then. His story tells of his younger self (Levi MillerPan) being forced to leave home because of his mentally unstable mother and moving to outback Western Australia where he lived with his grandfather (Bryan BrownAustralia). On a cattle station.

The story sees Mick meet Blue and tells of the adventures that they had together including Mick falling in love for the first time, with his tutor the young and beautiful Betty (Hanna Mangan Laurence Acolytes).

Fans of the original film will see very early on that Stenders and Taplitz are onto a winning formula when they see the creative way that leads to Michael Carter telling his story. While it seems a little strange for the film to be referencing the first film so openly, but at that same time it so creative that you can’t help but applaud at the pure genius act that the two men have managed to deliver.

While Red Dog: True Blue is creative it does lack a little of the emotion that we felt from the first film. I’m man enough to admit that I teared up twice during Red Dog, but here Stenders and co takes the film in a completely different direction, this time the film is a pure coming of age story that sees a young boy take his dog with him on the start of life’s journey. While the film does also have a few moments that are likely to make you chuckle it doesn’t have anywhere near as many comedic moments as the first movie either.

Those that benefit from Stenders work here is the cast. Levi Miller is almost unrecognisable as the younger version of Mick and he settles into the period style of the film well. It is great to see Hanna Mangan Laurence back on the big screen and hopefully, we see her there again soon while as usual Bryan Brown leads the way with a mature performance as he leads the cast despite seemingly being in auto-pilot for most of the film. The big scene stealer here though is John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) who has a cameo as mining magnate Lang Hancock… and boy is it a cameo to remember.

Red Dog: True Blue is a smooth, enjoyable ride for the whole family. It might not reach the heights that the first film did but it is still a film that holds its own and reminds audiences just how fun it still can be to watch a coming-of-age story. The fact that it is being released on Boxing Day makes it the perfect family cinema outing this holiday season.

Stars(3)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  No rating available.

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Red Dog: True Blue Reviews: Dave Griffiths broadcast a Red Dog: True Blue on 2UE’s That’s Entertainment on the 8th December, 2016.

Trailer: