ALIEN COVENANT

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Ridley Scott Stars: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup, Demian Bichir, Nathaniel Dean, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Carmen Ejogo, Guy Pearce, James Franco. With 2012’s Prometheus, director Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe that he created way back in 1979 with the claustrophobic and terrifying Alien. The concept has undergone a number of permutations with various sequels and different directors stamping their mark on the series over forty years. Prometheus was a prequel to Alien Continue reading

ESSENTIAL KUROSAWA – interview with James Hewison

by GREG KING Australian Centre For the Moving Image (ACMI), The Sydney Film Festival and the National Film and Sound Archive  present a special program of ten essential films by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. This retrospective consists of some of the finest films made by one of cinema’s great directors, Akira Kurosawa. A master of action, Kurosawa was influenced by directors like John Ford and in turn influenced a younger generation of filmmakers, like George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. The program has been curated by David Stratton. It screens at ACMI Continue reading

A DOG’S PURPOSE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Lasse Hallstrom Stars: Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad, Peggy Lipton, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz, Bryce Gheisar, K J Apa, Britt Robertson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Pooch Hall, Logan Miller.   What is a dog’s purpose? Is it to provide companionship, to help us overcome grief and loneliness, or is it to help us find fulfilment and purpose in our own lives? These questions will be answered in this heart-warming and slightly mawkish feel good family friendly film based on the 2010 bestseller by W Bruce Cameron, best known for his book 8 Continue reading

AMERICAN ESSENTIALS FILM FESTIVAL 2017 – interview with artistic director Richard Sowada

by GREG KING The American Essentials Film Festival 2017 screens at Palace Cinemas around Australia in May. This specially curated program features a range of the latest and most vibrant new independent films from America, with some filmmakers in the early stages of their careers. There is also a Masters and Masterpieces sidebar that features newly restored prints of some classics like The Graduate, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. All the new works are drawn fresh from some of the top international film festivals, like Venice, Sundance, Toronto and SXSW. Continue reading

A MAN CALLED OVE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Hannes Holm Stars: Rolf Lassgard, Bahar Pars, Tobias Almborg, Filip Berg, Ida Engvoll, Chatarina Larsson, Borje Lundberg, Klas Wiljergard. This Oscar-nominated Swedish comedy about a socially awkward grumpy old man rediscovering his humanity and the sense of community is essentially Gran Torino with subtitles. A Man Called Ove is a life affirming tale. At first I thought it was going to be a Scandinavian variation of the perennial Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life, but this is a more complex tale of hope, optimism and finding Continue reading