Australia

Richard Lowenstein – He Died with a Felafel in His Hand [+Extras] (2001)

Over the past 25 years Australian cult director Richard Lowenstein has established himself as one of this country’s most dynamic independent filmmakers. With four feature films to his credit, Lowenstein has straddled both period and art-film genres to give cinematic expression to the stories of everyday Australians and in doing so has consistently captured the cultural zeitgeist on film… Read More »

Roger Spottiswoode – The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

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Like an eager frequent flyer, Western paternalism changes destinations but not its baggage. The Children of Huang Shi takes the good intentions and terrible methods of The Constant Gardener and Blood Diamond and takes them to China, where another traumatizing upheaval is whittled down to window-dressing for the personal romance and redemption of a couple of chalky-white stars. Business as usual for Roger Spottiswoode, who in the 1983 thriller Under Fire envisioned the Nicaraguan revolution as mere scrim on which a hotshot American reporter could get his shit together. The adventure-seeking outsider this time around is real-life British journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who arrives in late-1930s China as invading Japanese forces plow the land, slaughtering everyone in their way. Read More »

Peter Watkins – The Media Project (1991)

About:
THE MEDIA PROJECT is an exposé on media coverage of the first Gulf War, directed by Peter Watkins. The film raises debate on the global media coverage of the Gulf War by taking examples from the Australian media coverage of the event and having them discussed by a small group of people from different backgrounds who are having dinner together. Written by Peter Watkins in conjunction with the cast, many of whom are expressing their own feelings and concerns. Read More »

Bruce Beresford – ‘Breaker’ Morant [+Extras] (1980)

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When they speak of heroes – of villains – of men who look for action, who choose between honor and revenge – they tell the story of Breaker Morant

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During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom. Read More »

Richard Lowenstein – Dogs In Space (1987)

Description: Set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s late ‘70s punk rock scene, Dogs in Space chronicles life in a chaotic, squalid share-house. Hippies, addicts, students and radicals fill their days and nights with sex, drugs, parties and television. Writer/director Richard Lowenstein balances a series of chaotic vignettes with the central story of the romance between housemates Sam (Michael Hutchence), the lead singer of the band, Dogs in Space and his lover Anna (Saskia Post) as it spirals out of control. Hutchence is a brilliant symbol of reckless youth in this, his first dramatic screen role, giving Dogs in Space instant cult status upon its release. Read More »

Ken G. Hall – Thoroughbred (1936)

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Thoroughbred (1936)
Tommy Dawson (Frank Leighton), would-be horse trainer, buys an emaciated stallion called Stormalong on a trip to New Zealand. When it loses its first race, the insecure Tommy vows to sell it, but Tommy’s fiancé Joan (Helen Twelvetrees), a much better judge of horses, rescues Stormalong. With Tommy’s mother, Ma Dawson (Nellie Ferguson), Joan turns Stormalong into the greatest racehorse in Australia. As the Melbourne Cup approaches, an international crime syndicate decides to kill Stormalong. Tommy has to foil the plot on race day. Read More »

James Clayden – Hamlet X (2004)

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James Clayden, described by Adrian Martin at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival as ‘one of Australia’s best kept artistic secrets’, returns to MIFF following the screening of his highly acclaimed Ghost Paintings series in 2003. His latest audiovisual collage is a meditation in image and sound on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Employing a symphonic structure, this latest UFO (Unidentified Filmed Object) from Clayden is a haunting and atmospheric work. Read More »