Sunday 23 August 2015

Savage in Limbo review

It's Monday night at an almost empty, seedy Bronx bar in the mid-80s and five 32 year olds are not quite sure where their lives are headed, or even what exactly it is they want. What they do know, is that they want change, excitement and passion, and they want it now. Savage in Limbo by acclaimed playwright John Patrick Shanley offers a comedic yet honest look at hope, dreams and missed opportunities.

Sarah Nicolazzo is the shining star of this production as Linda Rotunda, the local girl that all the men know. Her boyfriend has just announced to her he wants to see ugly girls and she is just a little distraught. Nicolazzo delivers a brilliant performance and the physicality and facial expressions she uses to portray Linda are highly natural. 

Sunday 16 August 2015

Top 10 Films at the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival

So two and a half weeks of craziness come to an end, and after getting to watch a mere 50 films, I now present you my Top 10 movies from the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival.

1. Mustang 

Admittedly, when I think of countries creating brilliant cinema, Turkey is not one of the first countries I think so, but this will change with Mustang. Similar to that of Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, five sisters are locked inside their house by their uncle and grandmother after they are seen rubbing their legs against boys' necks in the beach. The girls are subjected to virginity tests and systematically married off to local boys with devastating results. 
The five females are incredible in this, and worth noting this is the first time any of them have acted in a movie. Gunes Nezihe Sensoy, who plays the youngest sister Lale, in particular has such a strong screen presence, that it would be a shame if we never saw her on the big screen again.
The suspense builds up in this tragic but uplifting story about the suppression of female sexuality by the patriarchy and how in many cultures women are still being seen as just a mother or wife. 
The film also boasts a beautiful score by Warren Ellis.
The trailer is in Turkish still but I think you can see the brilliance of the film beyond the language.

Sunday 2 August 2015

The Long Red Road review

The Australian premiere of Brett C. Leonard’s The Long Red Road follows six individuals all facing their own demons and struggles. Set in the heart of America, the name of the play is a Native American term for the journey toward redemption and inner peace. In this instance, the focus rests on the relationship between brothers Bob and Sam, and the effects of a tragic accident.

The first act begins with numerous mini-scenes peering into the lives of the six characters, and as such, the story moves at an incredibly slow pace. The attempts to provide insight into the turmoil and anguish they are facing result in actually knowing very little about these people, so until the end of the first act, I cared very little about these people. To be perfectly honest, I could have done without this act altogether and would have preferred to get right into the heart of the story found in the second act.