Films

The Australian war film Jirga is a lesson in Afghan forgiveness

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It is cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other side of the battlefield — the emotional impact on individuals. Ehsan Azari Stanizai The Conversation The Australian production Jirga mines the depth of the heartache and guilt experienced by an Australian ex-soldier whose conscience has caught up with his participation in a night raid on a… In doing so, it moves away from run-of-the-mill cinematic depictions of this war, ... Read More »

Fresh Thinking on Autism

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The documentary film “Deej” challenges us all to live inclusion. Deej, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary, offers fresh perspectives on autism, inclusion, disability, and neurological diversity. Jason Tougaw Psychology Today A collaboration between Director Rob Rooy and Writer/Producer David James Savarese, the film has aired on PBS and at festivals across the country, where it has garnered numerous awards. Savarese—also known as DJ or Deej—is the primary subject of the documentary. While the film is about his experience and education as the first non-… Fresh ... Read More »

Acute Misfortune first-look review – Adam Cullen biopic is an enthralling, complex triumph

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With a brilliant performance by Daniel Henshall, this hauntingly poetic film asks if we celebrate the wrong kind of people Luke Backmaster The Guardian Does Australia celebrate the wrong kind of people, and the wrong kind of art? This question bounced around my mind for days after watching Acute Misfortune – a beautifully made and intensely thoughtful portrait of the life of controversial Archibald-winning painter Adam Cullen, based on the journalist and Saturday Paper editor Erik Jensen’s wild and compelling ... Read More »

Jaimen Hudson: Wheelchair-bound filmmaker to dive with great whites in new film

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His spectacular videos showcasing the southern coastline of Western Australia and the wildlife that call it home have been devoured on social media. Daile Cross WAtoday Images of dolphins frolicking in pristine waves near Esperance and a stand up paddle boarder getting up close and personal with a majestic whale are among the most well known of the images captured by Jaimen Hudson.  Around 250 million views of his videos is an impressive tally. He uses drones to make his films, ... Read More »

Path of Blood: New documentary explores jihadi extremism, radicalisation and al-Qaeda’s target, Saudi Arabia

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Aimen Dean was just 19 when he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden – until the brutal reality of mass murder led him to be flipped by the Qataris, and return to Afghanistan as a spy for MI6 Stephen Applebaum Independent In the years following 9/11, documentaries such as Restrepo and Armadillo gave us intimate and unflinching accounts of the daily lives of troops fighting the war in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood now offers a similar kind of insider’s eye ... Read More »

[CENSORED] was meant to celebrate freedom. Instead it exposes something darker

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Sari Braithwaite watched all the scenes cut by Australian censors between 1958 and 1971. What she discovered was deeply disturbing Sari Braithwaite The Guardian n 1969 Australian government censors claimed a Swedish film playing at the Sydney film festival included an actual sex scene involving a heavily pregnant woman. The film could only play, they said, if the offending copulation were deleted. But the scene in question involved no sex whatsoever. The censors apparently couldn’t distinguish between an embrace and ... Read More »

A plea from Nauru: ‘No one can understand the conditions here’ – video

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Nauru A refugee held in offshore immigration detention speaks about her experiences on Christmas Island and Nauru that have left her ‘helpless and broken’. She pleads with the Australian public for more compassionate treatment instead of a ‘clenched fist’ The Guardian Video Read More »

Film Review: Together Apart (2018) by Maren Wickwire

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“Now the time has come to leave you” Ever since we have entered what might just be one of the final stages of globalization, with the rise of digitization, especially through social media and the omnipresence of online technology, people, companies, politicians and… Rouven Linnarz AMP Interconnectedness goes hand in hand with a new concept of work and of the worker as well, all of which boils down to the increasing importance of transnationalism, according to Management Practice Professor Lynda ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

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Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

Making drama out of the refugee crisis

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Films about Europe’s migrant crisis run the risk of being artful and exploitative. Now directors are seeking to redress the balance Charlie Phillips The Guardian The release in cinemas next month of young British film-maker Orban Wallace’s Another News Story provides an opportunity to reflect on how documentaries have covered the European migrant crisis since it came to widespread attention in 2015. Wallace’s brilliant film turns the camera on the news crews and film-makers who have spent the past three years waiting on harbours, cliffs ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei: Chinese dissident artist critiques Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ahead of Sydney Biennale

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He is one of the world’s most famous artists and China’s best known dissident, and 60-year-old Ai Weiwei has a message for Australia when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Philippa McDonald ABC “I struggle with Australia’s record towards refugees,” he said. “Australia is a nation of migrants and its culture accepts and tolerates difference. “But Australia’s refugee record is quite poor internationally. This is a very bad position for a state because people judge states on their ... Read More »

Friday essay: who was Mary Magdalene? Debunking the myth of the penitent prostitute

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Who was Mary Magdalene? What do we know about her? And how do we know it? Dorothy Ann Lee The Conversation These questions resurface with the release of a new movie, Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara in the titular role. The question of how we know about her is a relatively simple one. She appears in a number of early Christian texts associated with the ministry of Jesus. These texts comprise Gospels written in the first and second century of ... Read More »

How actresses who are just starting out get pressured into ‘creepy’ nude scenes

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Ciera Payton had just turned 18 when she was cast in a lead role opposite Steven Seagal in the 2007 film “Flight of Fury.” Jessica P. Ogilvie The Washington Post It was her first professional acting job, and filming would take place in Romania. But before sending her to set, neither the film’s producers nor her agent showed her the full script, Payton says. So it wasn’t until halfway through her flight that the sophomore at the University of North ... Read More »

Cinema and smart phones: the art of increasing audiences for opera, ballet and theatre

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Watching an opera, play or ballet has become an increasingly cinematic experience. “Livecasting” performances directly onto screens is now a major part of these kinds of production. Alan Williams The Conversation London’s Royal Opera House has an upcoming “Cinema Season” which includes live relays of Carmen and Swan Lake. In the US, the New York Metropolitan Opera House started livecasting in 2006, while the UK’s National Theatre Live began in 2009. The Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet joined ... Read More »

‘Black Panther’ Premiere Gloriously Celebrates African Royalty

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“The Black Panther premiere really put fashion shows to shame,” one fan said. Jenna Amatulli HuffPost The Hollywood premiere for the long-awaited “Black Panther″ movie had a dress code that told guests “royal attire requested” and, damn, they delivered. On Monday night, actors, actresses, and other attendees gathered to celebrate African culture and rock truly stunning outfits in every color of the rainbow. The Marvel film follows a black superhero, T’Challa, who faces danger when he returns home and becomes king of the ... Read More »

Dunkirk and Darkest Hour fuel Brexit fantasies – even if they weren’t meant to

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The glorious myths of Britain’s wartime role are gaining ground Ian Jack The Guardian Unfortunately for our understanding of Britain’s past and our estimate of its likely future, the Oscars have no category for the untrue: “for the movie”, as the host might put it as he or she fingers the envelope, “that most energetically disrespects the historical record”. If there were, two contenders high on this year’s fibbers’ list would be Dunkirk and Darkest Hour – films that between ... Read More »