CUT SNAKE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Tony Ayres Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Alex Russell, Jessica De Gouw, Kerry Walker, Robert Morgan, Paul Moder, Brett Swain. One of the few genres that Australian filmmakers tackle consistently well is the hard boiled crime noir. With Cut Snake Aussie director Tony Ayres (better known for his work on tv series The Slap, etc) attempts to make a smart Tarantinoesque noir like crime thriller, although the results are a little uneven. The film premiered at MIFF in 2014 and has taken over a year to reach local screens. Written by tv writer Continue reading

THE NIGHTINGALE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Philippe Muyl Stars: Li Baotian, Xin Yi Yang, Hao Qin. This French Chinese co-production is a beautiful and moving film, with a lot of heart and charm, and it has broad appeal. When her workaholic parents have to go on trips, young Ren Xing (Xin Yi Yang) is reluctantly left in the care of her estranged grandfather Zhu Zhigen (veteran Chinese actor Li Baotian , from Shanghai Triad, etc), a widower who lives in a small apartment in Beijing. Xing's father Chong (Hao Qin) is dubious of the arrangement, as his father temporarily lost Continue reading

KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: David Zellner Stars: Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Shirley Venard, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner, Brad Prather, Earl Milton, Yumiko Hioki, Ichi Kyokaku. This droll and offbeat fish out of water story is actually based on a 2001 urban legend about a Japanese woman who died while trying to find the money that Steve Buscemi's character buried in the snow in the Coen brothers' classic movie Fargo. That myth has provided the inspiration for this quirky drama from filmmaking siblings David and Nathan Zellner (Goliath, Frontier, etc), who Continue reading

IT FOLLOWS

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: David Robert Mitchell Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Daniel Zovatto. A brief sexual encounter between Jay (Maika Monroe, from The Guest, etc) and Hugh (Jake Weary) has terrifying consequences. An unwanted and malevolent presence begins following Jay everywhere and seems intent on killing her. The problem is that only she can see this mysterious and relentless boogeyman, and it can even change shape. Jay's sister Kelly (Lili Sepe) and her friends Paul (Keir Gilchrist) and the bookish Yara Continue reading

MOMMY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Xavier Dolan Stars: Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clement. At just 25, Xavier Dolan is a precocious talent, an auteur who has made a number of movies exploring troubled adolescents and dysfunctional relationships between mothers and sons (I Killed My Mother, Laurence Anyways, etc). His latest film, the award winning Mommy offers more of his abrasive characterisations and penetrating insights. This was one of two Dolan films which screened at MIFF in 2014, which shows his versatility and prodigious work rate. The film is Continue reading