Tuesday, July 31, 2012

AFTRS Event: What is a Film Critic?

I'm really excited to be taking part in this panel discussion tomorrow night at AFTRS. Film criticism has obviously changed significantly in our blogging era, so it will be fascinating to chat about the viability, the relevance and the future of film critics - gulp!
Join us for a discussion about the changing role of film criticism, how one becomes a film critic and its value as a job. Massive changes in media and communications means there are more channels of distribution for film commentary, discussion and writing than ever before, but is most of it criticism?

Options for encouraging quality film criticism will also be examined.

Aspiring critics are particularly welcome!

Panelists: Adrienne Mc Kibbins, Russell Edwards, Ed Gibbs, Giles Hardie,
Dee Jefferson, Alice Tynan, Karen Pearlman (moderator/head of screen studies at AFTRS)
A joint initiative of AFTRS and the Film Critics Circle


August 1, 6.20pm for a 6.30pm start
Theatre 1, AFTRS
Building 130, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Movie Club: The Dark Knight Rises

Last week over on The Movie Club, Giles, Jo and I had lots of fun discussing the final instalment in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. And yes, you guessed it, Giles does a Batman voice (spoiler!).

Now we didn't talk about the horrifying Aurora massacre, but I can recommend you read Stephen Metcalf's insightful piece on Slate, which he begins by discussing our own dark past in Port Arthur.

On the lighter side, I can also suggest downloading Francine Stock's wonderful interview with the great director over on BBC Radio 4's The Film Programme. I was intrigued to hear him make the case for IMAX over 3D.

Or you can simply catch up with The Movie Club - enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Movie Club: Hysteria

There are puns a plenty over on The Movie Club, as Giles Hardie, Matt Coyte and I attempt to review Hysteria (aka the vibrator movie).


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Showtime Cine Guide 4

Over on Showtime Cine Guide I talk this week's releases: of course it's all about The Dark Knight Rises, but don't forget the counter-programmed potential of Dame Helen Mirren in The Door!

Oh and if you haven't seen Tom Hardy in Bronson, check out my review here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Movie Club: Not Suitable for Children

What would you do if you only had a month left of fertility? And gentlemen, I’m talking to you this time! Because that’s the premise for the new Aussie comedy Not Suitable for Children, which turns the hourglass on the biological clock and hands the ticking time bomb to twenty-something larrikin Jonah (Ryan Kwanten). 
To celebrate the release of this wonderfully urban look at fertility, friendship, and - let’s just say it – testicles, fellow Movie Clubber Oscar Hillerstrom and I sat down with the film’s director, Peter Templeman. We chat to the Academy Award and BAFTA nominated filmmaker about how this quirky tale came to be his feature debut, and just what it takes to craft a comedy these days – especially one that chooses romance over the Hollywood’s penchant for all things ribald. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Movie Club: The Amazing Spider-Man

What better way to kick off your Friday the 13th than watching the latest Movie Club ep, wherein Giles Hardie, Matt Coyte and I make fools of ourselves giggling over The Amazing Spider-Man?!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Limelight Magazine: Not Suitable for Children

The ticking of a woman’s biological clock has made for much cinematic mirth, but what of a man’s? True Blood heartthrob Ryan Kwanten returns to Australia and proves himself man enough for the job in Peter Templeman's charming urban romantic comedy. 

The effortlessly likable Kwanten looks only marginally too old to play 20-something Jonah – a feckless orphan who joins forces with his flatmates (Ryan Corr and Sarah Snook) to make a buck throwing house parties in the old family home. But when a medical diagnosis sets a 30-day timer on Jonah’s fertility, the once laid-back lad finds himself motivated by a major case of cluckiness. 

Set amongst Sydney’s beautifully lensed Inner West, Not Suitable for Children is a heartily welcome sex comedy with a few sneaky surprises. One is Sarah Snook, who winds up running away with the film as Jonah’s flatmate-turned-pimp (of sorts). In fact Snook displays such an easy wit and charisma that she could well be hailed as an Aussie Emma Stone. Kwanten is understated by comparison, as is much of the humour, with screenwriter Michael Lucas (Offspring) opting for character-driven over broad or gross-out comedy. The results are amusing if not laugh-out-loud; a solid feature debut for Oscar-nominated Templeman. 

Published in the July 2012 issue of Limelight Magazine.
Australian release date: 12 July 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday on My Mind: Your Film Festival

Earlier in the year I had the great pleasure of hosting the premiere of The Voices Project, an exciting new writing and filmmaking endeavour from the Australian Theatre for Young People (atyp). There I was delighted to introduce the screenings of Boot and Bat Eyes and hold a Q&A with the inspiring creative team.

Fast forward a couple of months and this pair of short films are two of six Australian short films selected for the semi-finals YouTube's Your Film Festival. So this evening I'm thrilled to be chatting once again to the charming director Damien Power, as well as fellow semi-finalist Maziar Lahooti.

Both are AFTRS grads - how's that for a homecoming! I hope you'll come along, as well as VOTE for their wonderful films.
Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender and YouTube want to give short filmmakers a shot at the big time and 15,000 shorts have been whittled down to 50 semi-finalists, all vying to make the top 10 for a chance to screen their creations at the Venice Film Festival.

The grand prize is $500,000 for a new project to be produced by Ridley Scott and Michael Fassbender.
Joining us to talk about the creative ins and outs of short filmmaking and this extraordinary online opportunity are Damien Power and Maziar Lahooti who both have had projects  shortlisted -  Boot and Bat Eyes, and Good Pretender respectively.
**Update! We'll also be joined via Skype with another AFTRS grad and semi-finalist, Alex Murawski. You can watch (and vote!) for his short Kiss HERE

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Showtime Cine Guide 3

The school holidays are upon us, so it's time to pick up some popcorn and head to the cinema. This week I review The Amazing Spider-Man, Katy Perry: Part of Me, and Ted (though do NOT take the kids to this one!). Also mentioned is the Aussie doco I am Eleven.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 on the 4th

The Plot Thickens turns four today! How time has flown from that tentative first post til now. I can hardly believe it! 

If you'd found me typing away four years ago, there's no, NO way I would have guessed that I'd be talking film on the radio, hosting on TV - not to mention living the dream with Friday on My Mind at AFTRS. And don't even get me started about presenting at Closing Night of the Sydney Film Festival! 

In fact this blog is barely a blog anymore - I should probably revamp it into a proper portfolio (any suggestions?). Then again, it's kinda nice to look back at my humble blog beginnings...

Well, whatever the future holds, thank you all for going on this crazy virtual ride with me. Big love to Love You Big's Kate for encouraging me to start sharing my brand of cinephilia, and to all of you for your fun film comments along the way. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Movie Club: Polisse

Protecting the Innocent
Making a film about police officers in a Child Protection Unit was never going to be an easy feat. We’ve all seen the endless reruns of Law& Order: Special Victims Unit, but the searing drama Polisse is a far cry from that. Eschewing sensationalism in favour of a vérité-style, this gripping drama embeds you with the police unit – much like soldiers on the battlefield – and you witness the toll it takes to protect the innocent.
In this special edition of The Movie Club, ‘That Movie Guy’ Marc Fennell and I are joined by Polisse writer-director Maïwenn. Together we discuss just how she faced the terrible realities of a Paris Child Protection Unit, and how those truths became a galvanising force for everyone on set.  
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