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Talk Hard – Hossein Amini, The Two Faces of January

Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini talks to Quickflix critic Simon Miraudo all about his directorial debut, The Two Faces of January, in cinemas June 19. A review follows!   Show Notes: Thanks for tuning in! Please tell your friends to subscribe to us on iTunes and feel free to leave a review. Or, follow our RSS feed. You can […]

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‘Two Days, One Night’ takes top prize at Sydney Film Festival

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night has taken the top prize at the Sydney Film Festival, trumping favourites such as Boyhood and Locke, as well as Australian features The Rover and Ruin. Marion Cotillard stars in the picture as a woman who has a weekend to convince her colleagues to turn down a bonus and save her from being made redundant. The […]

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No country for big feet – Willow Creek review

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 Notorious comic Bobcat Goldthwait, once the bane of any ear-haver’s existence, has been steadily building a solid career for himself as a director, but whodathunk a mostly terrifying mockumentary would wind up bettering his black comedies? His 2009 cult favourite World’s Greatest Dad boasted an incredible first act, only […]

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One shot – Fish and Cat review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 The first name that came to mind during Fish & Cat, a two-hour and fourteen-minute Iranian film shot in just a single take, was Samuel Beckett. The next was Shane Carruth. That was not a jump I was expecting to take. Promoted as a “slasher flick,” Fish & Cat […]

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Heartbreak kid – Mommy review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 Xavier Dolan‘s Mommy has one of the year’s best movie moments. Two even. Maybe three. Look… it’s all great. Those who’ve seen one of the sickeningly-talented 25-year-old filmmaker’s previous works could have predicted that. His camera moves so fluidly, as if in a dream, and here, contained within an […]

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Teenage dream – Palo Alto review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 12, 2014 Much wailing and gnashing of teeth awaits any film adaptation of a beloved novel, but what welcomes the cinematic retelling of a despised one? James Franco’s unintentionally-LOL-worthy collection of short stories, Palo Alto, has been condensed, refined, and infinitely bettered by writer-director Gia Coppola, who, as you can imagine […]

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Body movin’ – The Two Faces of January review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 12, 2014 The Two Faces of January, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel and set in 1962, comes from an era in which espionage thrillers needed only an enigmatic man in a linen suit to arouse suspicion. That might still be a recipe for dramatic tension in 2014. Just not this […]

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Persistence is futile – Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 11, 2014 David Zellner‘s Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a real find; a curio about a collector and obsessive made for collectors and obsessives. It begins with the camera trained on a scratchy VHS tape of Fargo, and the remainder of the movie lives up to the promise of it being […]

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The road worrier – The Rover review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 The Rover is a hugely stressful tone poem in which on-screen characters are constantly being shot and killed by off-screen characters. That precise trick made for a startling capper to David Michôd‘s breakout hit Animal Kingdom, and he trots it out again several times in his theatrical follow-up. It’s […]

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Talk Hard – John Michael McDonagh, Calvary

Fresh from the Sydney Film Festival, a chat with Calvary and The Guard director John Michael McDonagh. But first: how long has it been since your last confession?   Show Notes: Thanks for tuning in! Please tell your friends to subscribe to us on iTunes and feel free to leave a review. Or, follow our RSS feed. You […]

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Drag race – How to Train Your Dragon 2 review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 Dragons don’t kill people. Bad people with dragons kill people. So goes the lesson of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s only great movie. Kids can do with that metaphor what they will, except, hopefully, apply it to drugs or guns. Written and directed […]

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Compassion play – Two Days, One Night review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 Two Days, One Night is paced like a joke, but it plays like a prayer. Writer-directors the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, spend the movie repeating the setup over and over again. Marion Cotillard‘s Sandra, recovering from a nervous breakdown, has a single weekend to convince each of her […]

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Losing it at the movies – Life Itself review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 9, 2014 Roger Ebert, lover of women, alcohol, cinema, and life itself, is seen at the conclusion of Steve James‘ new documentary making peace with his impending death, calling it a satisfying conclusion to his narrative. He would have hated being robbed a “third act” through sudden death. That’s remarkable chutzpah […]

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You get what you give – Begin Again review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 9, 2014 It’s called Begin Again, but why, when once was probably enough? Keira Knightley stars as heartbroken English singer-songwriter Greta, still reeling from a break-up with a newly-minted rock star (Adam Levine) whose increasing douchebaggery can be measured by the growth of his beard and widening of his shirts’ v-necks. […]

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Gone in 85 minutes – Locke review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 8, 2014 Steven Knight‘s Locke makes us ride ‘shotgun’ with Tom Hardy for 85 minutes and doesn’t let us out until the final credits roll. There are worse people to be stuck in traffic with. Carrot Top. Piers Morgan. Literally any Jenner. The makers of 1996 flop Carpool tested the limits of […]

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Bless this mess – Love is Strange review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Love is Strange but the housing situation in New York is stranger. “Like something out of Kafka” is how Alfred Molina‘s character, George, describes it. Suddenly made homeless, music teacher George and his partner of 39 years, painter Ben (John Lithgow), have the unenviable task of begging their extended […]

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The young and the rest of us – Boyhood review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Richard Linklater spent 12 years making the bittersweet Boyhood, shooting it piecemeal with actors Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, as well as newcomers Ellar Coltrane and Linklater’s real-life daughter Lorelei. The elders play the divorced parents, and the youngers their children, lugged around Texas as their mother seeks new […]

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Sister Kristen – The Skeleton Twins review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Everyone’s doing it. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort have done it. Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are about to do it. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader have just finished it. Call it Hollywood’s hottest and grossest new fad: incesting. It’s that thing where actors play both siblings and lovers […]

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Twee at last – God Help the Girl review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 6, 2014 Finally, an answer to the question of what it would look like if a Belle & Sebastian album cover came to life, and under which reasonable circumstances a girl might bathe with a toy tiger, rest her head on a stack of books, or chill coquettishly on a Scottish […]

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Unknowing me, unknowing you – The Unknown Known review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 6, 2014 Not even Errol Morris‘ infamous Interrotron – a camera-rig that gazes right into the subject’s freaking soul – can pierce an unyielding Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known. Morris’ latest documentary isolates the former U.S. Secretary of Defence and sees him grilled on topics ranging from the World Trade […]

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Piety party – Calvary review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 5, 2014 Those devilish McDonagh boys, always zigging when you think they’ll zag. John Michael McDonagh - brother of Oscar-winning In Bruges director Martin - follows up his dirt-black buddy comedy The Guard with despairing anti-hymn Calvary. It plays out like a parable, or, maybe, some half-remembered joke, with Brendan Gleeson‘s generous Father James learning of a mysterious parishioner’s desire to murder him; […]

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Lose your head – Frank review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 5, 2014 Michael Fassbender covers up in Frank, though you could say that of any film he’s done in the years since Shame. The pants stay on, and now, a papier-mâché head has been added to the mix, obscuring the Irish actor’s handsome visage for the majority of the movie. Though […]

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A festivus for the rest of us: Sydney Film Festival 2014 begins!

The Sydney Film Festival is once again upon us, and 2014’s slate is as tantalising as any that has come before. This, of course, means our editorial team will be occupied skittering from darkened cinema to darkened cinema, up all night scribbling reviews, and frantically posting them each morning for the pleasure of those unable […]

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The top 10 films to catch at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival

By Simon Miraudo June 3, 2014 The Sydney Film Festival is upon us again, and you can trust us to cover all the hits, misses, and, well, whatever word we end up using to describe that single-shot Iranian slasher flick (more on that later). Scheduling and prioritising movies can be a stressful endeavour, so here […]

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Sydney Film Festival unveils its 2014 program

The Sydney Film Festival’s 2014 program has been loosed upon the world, boasting the Australian debut of David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom follow-up The Rover and Richard Linklater’s decade-spanning Boyhood, as well as hotly anticipated international titles such as Bong Joon-ho’s first English-language effort, Snowpiercer, and the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard. All four of those features will screen in SFF’s official competition, alongside 20,000 Days on […]

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‘God Help the Girl’, ‘Frank’ bound for 2014 Sydney Film Festival

The first batch of features bound for the 2014 Sydney Film Festival have been unveiled. Lenny Abrahamson’s music comedy Frank, starring Michael Fassbender in a giant papier mâché head, will make its Australian debut at the festival, as will Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch’s directorial debut, God Help the Girl. David Gordon Green and Nicolas Cage’s collaboration, Joe, […]

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Only God Forgives wins top prize at Sydney Film Festival

Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultraviolent collaboration with Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives, has taken the top prize at the 2013 Sydney Film Festival. Jury president Hugo Weaving announced the Official Competition winner on the closing night of the fest, declaring it “a visually mesmerizing and disturbing film which polarised our opinions.” Only God Forgives trumped 11 other movies for […]

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Sydney Film Festival – The Past review

By Simon Miraudo June 16, 2013 Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is taking his victory lap. He’s earned it. After winning the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar for the universally-adored crossover hit A Separation, he’s wisely replicated the formula for his follow-up, The Past. It similarly deals with a divorce, also amongst hugely reasonable parties. There […]

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Sydney Film Festival – Only God Forgives review

By Simon Miraudo June 16, 2013 If a boy’s best friend truly is his mother, this guy is seriously screwed. In Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn’s laboriously paced follow-up to Drive, Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a drug-dealer based in Bangkok, seemingly hiding out from his American tiger mother Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas). When his brother Billy is brutally murdered, Crystal comes […]

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Sydney Film Festival – Stories We Tell review

By Simon Miraudo June 16, 2013 Stories We Tell is just about the loveliest portrait of a family I’ve seen. A documentary similar in structure to Capturing the Friedmans – but ultimately more joyful and less concerned with harrowing tales of paedophilic clowns – it explores the family history of Canadian director Sarah Polley through […]

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