Lady Macbeth Anything but a Dozy Period Drama

Lusty, dark, shocking, subversive: all words you will see used to describe the new film by director William Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth.  This gothic tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who  turns to sex, manipulation and  ultimately violence to escape from her confines, is also quiet, beautiful, thought provoking and intelligent.  For lovers of period drama expecting another Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice or even Jane Eyre, maybe this is not the film for you.  Even if you are unaware of the novel this film is based off, the Shakespearean reference to Lady Macbeth in the title will send warning bells, leading a tenseness to the beginning of the film which starts slowly and gently, but always hinting, whispering of the violence to come.

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Karel Zeman: Fantasy and Technology

I am not a huge fan of CGI.  I certainly has its place, but give me some puppets and a bit of whimsical animation and I’ll be over the moon.  Even when it looks outdated it still holds it’s own a lot better than outdated CGI.  And there is something beautiful about the work that goes into creating puppets animation and elaborate sets and costumes.  However, like the skills used to build the pyramids, some animation and special effects are now a mystery to us.  One such example is the magical combination of live action, animation and puppetry used by Czechoslovakian director Karel Zeman.  The secrets of his craft are so fascinating that they are now the focus of a documentary Film Adventurer Karel Zeman.  In this documentary film students attempt to remake three of the most famous of Zeman’s scenes.  Zeman’s fascination with Jules Verne highlights his own desire for adventure and exploration in the world of film making and special effects.  His choices of subject are brave and perfect for the experimentation of his field.  Never one to back down from a challenge, Zeman accepted a bet to create an animation using glass, resulting in the film Inspirace 1948.
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Life is a party and parties aren’t meant to last

For such a public figure, Prince lived a very private life.  And his death too has been private.  It was a shock to the world, and still the events leading to his death remain unannounced.  And yet with any great musician the mourning has been very public. Continue reading

All Dressed Up

Rosalie Ham was born in Jerilderie, NSW.  Haven’t heard of it? Me neither.  Yes, Rosalie Ham knows about small town Australian living, and it isn’t pretty.  Her novel The Dressmaker has been made into a film that has just been released in cinemas across Australia starring the insatiable force, Kate Winslet, the heart-throb Liam Hemsworth, the show-stealing Judy Davis and our beloved Hugo Weaving, reprising a variation of his fantastic role in Pricilla Queen of the Desert. Continue reading

Three Movies You Shouldn’t Watch with a Cold

Spring is finally arriving here in the Southern Hemisphere, and hopefully with it the end of flu season.  For those followers in the Northern Hemisphere I have some wize advice for you as you head into the cold dark depths of Winter, as learnt from my own experience.  Here I have compiled a list of three films that I watched while under the foggy influence of a particularly bad cold, and deeply regret.  Here are three films not to watch in the middle of Winter when you are unwell (but at any other time proceed with caution). Continue reading