Our film picks this week include everything from a profound retelling of the life of an ageing indigenous Australian to Cameron Diaz baring all in her first nude scene.
Richly controversial arthouse: Venus in Fur
Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric
Duration: 96 minutes
Stephen A Russell for the lowdownunder says: “Controversial auteur Roman Polanski once again delivers a richly realised musing on the integral relationship between sexuality and power in his latest masterpiece, Venus in Fur (La Vénus à la Fourrure). Adapted from the Broadway hit by playwright David Ives, the meta-textual piece draws on a bondage-ripe 1870 novella by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who lent his name to the sexual domination and submission practices now known as sado-masochism. To miss this invigoratingly experimental piece of filmic theatre would be a tragedy indeed.”
A new Australian classic: Charlie’s Country
Director: Rolf De Heer
Cast David Gulpilil, Peter Djigirr, Jennifer Daykamanu, Luke Ford
Duration: 107 minutes
Stephen A Russell for thelowdownunder says: “Charlie’s Country is an incredible achievement, in no way didactic, burning with an almost ferocious honesty, gazing unflinchingly at the consequences of the Northern Territory Intervention and the failure of assimilation. And it does so, refreshingly, while vilifying neither white man nor black fella. There are no easy answers here, and therein lies the tragedy of this measured and deeply thoughtful movie.”
Austere romantic comedy: Words and Pictures
Director: Fred Schepisi
Cast: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche
Duration: 120 minutes
Why you should watch it: Not your average rom-com. Words and pictures is driven by the strong performances Binoche and Owen of two quirky main characters who, almost involuntarily, find love in the unlikely setting of a prep school. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as an “Odd and thought-provoking” film.
A (family) comedy: Sex Tape
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast : Cameron Diaz And Jason Segel
Duration: 97 minutes
Why you should you watch it: Ask Kim Kardashian: Nothing good ever comes from making a sex tape. In an attempt to spice up their marriage Jay and Annie, Diaz and Segal, make a sex tape only to accidentally share it with their entire family and friends. Reviews have been hit and miss with most agreeing that the first half of this film is great … but it lacks stamina in the second half. (Phoebe Crockett)
French laughs that fall flat: The French Minister
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Raphaël Personnaz, Niels Arestrup
Duration: 113 minutes
Stephen A Russell says: “Imagine a Gallic version of Armando Iannucci’s razor sharp political satire The Thick Of It, except without the elemental force of nature that is Peter Capaldi’s outrageously vicious Malcolm Tucker, or the stellar cast of communications failures and faffing ministers in his mercurial way, or even a discernible sense of humour.”
Re-live all your favourites, take a peek into the Best Movies of the 70s by Jurgen Muller. Buy it here.
The 1970s : that magical era betwixt the swinging 60s and the decadent 80s, the epoch of leisure suits and Afros, the age of disco music and platform shoes. As war raged on in Vietnam and the cold war continued to escalate, Hollywood began to heat up, recovering from its commercial crisis with box-office successes such as Star Wars, Jaws, The Exorcist, and The Godfather. The A-Z film entries include: synopsis; film stills and production photos; cast/crew listings; box office figures; trivia; useful information on technical stuff; actor and director bios; and a complete Academy Awards list for the decade.