British actress Lisa Kay headlines Justin McMillan's spooky story of trauma. Written by Marc Furmie and Eddie Baroo, and produced by Ashley McLeod, the film follows a mother returning to the scene of her young son's disappearance, opening up plenty of wounds of the local townfolk, played by the likes of Martin Sacks, Genevieve Lemon, Chris Haywood, Rob Carlton and Sam Parsonson.
Great to see Disney+ ramping up content that will be available on their platform. Even better seeing Jillian Bell finally getting a lead role in a mainstream film following her breakthrough in Brittany Runs a Marathon. Here she plays a clutzy godmother to Isla Fisher in this family comedy from Sharon Maguire, the director of Bridget Jones's Diary.
The Bondi Hipsters (created and played by Nick Boshier and Christiaan Van Vuuren) look like they're onto a good thing, bottling and selling Bondi rain water, but more significantly, with their Stan Original special.
Based on a play, which speculates on what may have happened one night in 1964 when Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) met in Miami, Regina King's feature directorial debut has attracted Oscar buzz, particularly for its performances.
Writer/Director Parish Malfitano, Producer/Actor Richard James Allen, Producer Martin Thorne, and Actor Emily David discuss the making of the psychological thriller Bloodshot Heart, making its world premiere at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival Couched Edition.
Making docos can be tough, and more often than not, they’re absolute labours of love, made by true believers with a passion for their subject that defies all obstacles. Underground Inc.: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Rock shapes up as exactly that, as director, writer, editor, producer and cinematographer, Shaun Katz (in his feature debut), crafts an insightful, insouciant, probing and wildly entertaining tale of artistic defiance and record company ruthlessness featuring a whole host of bands that most people probably haven’t heard of. That doesn’t mean that these bands aren’t great (hell, no!), but it certainly makes the doco a tougher sell, and an obviously deeply personal endeavour. Thankfully, we all get to enjoy it too.
Utilising gritty, punky, fanzine-style graphics; furious, from-the-crowd live footage; time-smeared vintage music clips; and wall-to-wall talking head interviews (in which just about everyone, honest to god, is an MVP…but special praise be to Fishbone’s Walter A. Kibby, Monster Magnet’s David Wyndorf and Dig’s Matt Tecu), Underground Inc.: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Rock tracks the ragged cohort of bands that formed in the late eighties as an antidote to the mainstream (“Prince, Janet Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna…you know, just pure shit,” sneers alt legend, Steve Albini), and then ended up getting signed to major labels in the nineties when “alternative” became a buzzword thanks to the breakthrough of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The fact that bands like Cop Shoot Cop, Sugartooth, Helmet, The Jesus Lizard and Corrosion Of Conformity were a little too left of field to ever make it in the same way as the aforementioned rock titans obviously eluded the major label record companies in their feverish desire to sign the next big thing. And then when the record-sales-by-the-truckload failed to materialise, the bands – despite their obvious artistic merit – were cruelly consigned to the scrapheap.
Though some of what transpires in Underground Inc.: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Rock is hardly new (bands torn apart by drugs and betrayal; the freakish ability of record companies to lie to their artists, and then brutally exploit them), it’s depicted in such a fresh, honest and gutsy way that it feels like you’re actually witnessing it for the first time. At times endearingly lo-fi (many artists are interviewed in what look like very, very shambolic places of residence, while Quicksand’s Walter Schreifels chats away in a sunny park, as a sunbather obliviously checks herself out in a mirror behind him in the distance), Underground Inc.: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Rock manages an amazing feat: it tells a story that you probably didn’t know that you needed to hear, but now that you’ve heard it, you’ll never forget it. This is a rock doco of the first, fiery, funny order. It also resurrects Scatterbrain’s classic “Don’t Call Me Dude”, and for that, we should all offer sincere and heartfelt thanks.
In the time loop classic Groundhog Day, Bill Murray must relive the same titular day over and over until he finally becomes the right man for Andie MacDowell. Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow, treads extremely similar ground to the aforementioned Harold Ramis feature, but initially without the need for all that pesky self-improvement malarkey.
Sarah (Cristin Milioti) is in Nevada for her sister’s wedding and has spent most the big day at the bottom of a big glass of red wine. During the reception, she meets Nyles (Andy Samberg), a boozy, Hawaiian shirt wearing slob who also happens to be a boyfriend to one of the bridesmaids. Whilst Sarah seems pent up about everything, Nyles has a lacklustre approach to life, including knowing, but not really caring that his girlfriend is cheating on him.
Unbeknownst to Sarah, Nyles has been living the same wedding day for years. So long in fact, he can’t really remember what he did for a living before he got caught in the time loop. Having done everything he can do, Nyles has resigned himself to a Leaving Las Vegas existence, except without the actual ability to drink himself to death. Even if he dies, he just wakes up to start the day all over again.
When Sarah falls into the same time loop as Nyles, the two begin to share a bond of never having to look back and never having to worry about the future. Well, they have to worry about a crossbow carrying psycho played with relish by JK Simmons, who is also experiencing a time loop and pops up occasionally, but you can’t have everything, eh?
Dubbed as a Lonely Island Classic in the opening production credits, many will go into this expecting a big Samberg vehicle in line with Never Stop Never Stopping. Whilst Samberg brings his effortless charms to the film, along with the best confused face in the business, this is a subtler performance from the actor. His gurning and jocular apathy is a mask which hides Nyles’ fear of the unknown. If you’re always living out the same day, you can learn to control it.
Palm Springs, in some ways, is a sequel to a film with Nyles having already been through his adventure and is now on hand to teach Sarah the ropes. This includes, in one of the film’s numerous darkly funny moments, learning the best way to die in a car crash. Of course, this is all a giant allegory for failing to live up to our responsibilities by avoiding them at all costs. And it’s none too subtle about how it goes about showing that, as some of the dialogue is a bit tinny to the ear. However, both Milloti and Samberg make a perfect couple whose wheels are continuously spinning in the dirt, and you’ll cheer for them even as they drunkenly steal a plane and fly it straight into the ground below.
Given the absolute omnishambles that has been 2020, there will be a lot of people who have felt like they’ve been living the same day over and over, fearing what’s coming over the horizon. This film is for you. It’s for the people who are just too afraid to take that tentative step into uncharted waters. To be blunt, it’s for anyone who has been looking for a big hearted affair that embraces all of life’s opportunities.
After accolades at Venice and Toronto, director Kornel Mundruczo's portrait of grief starring Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn (Oscar is looking at you), Molly Parker, Sarah Snook and Benny Safdie will release on Netflix in January.
Created by Perth-born Thomas Meadmore, the 4-part series explores the legacy of Eric Edgar Cooke, known as ‘The Night Caller,’ one of Australia’s deadliest serial killers, who terrorised a Perth community in the early '60s.