Archive for the ‘Film Festivals’ Category

Hola Mexican Film Festival 2012

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

The Hola Mexican Film Festival is coming to Sydney this Thursday with lovable arthouse flick, Mariachi Gringo.

What: Hola Mexican Film Festival Opening Night
Where: Event Cinema – 505-525 George Street Sydney
When: Thursday the 25th of October at 7pm.
How Much: $40-49 available HERE.
Why: Includes a full mariarchi band, Sol BEER, tequila and authentic Mexican FOOD! Not to mention a screening on VMAX of Mariachi Gringo

Taste on Screen: Film and Food Festival

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Dendy Newtown is holding three special events to showcase Sydney’s rich cultural partnership with film and food.

These special Monday night screenings in October will involve a tasting session in the Dendy foyer from 6:30pm followed by one of the following films…

Monday the 15th of October at 6:30pm
Om Shanti Om w/ Indian delicacies by Delhi ‘o ‘ Delhi
Tickets: $25

Monday the 22nd of October at 6:30pm

The Recipe w/ Korean cuisine by Paju Korean BBQ
Tickets: $25

Monday the 29th of October at 6:30pm
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress w/ a unique tasting session by Oscillate Wildly
Tickets: $45


Tickets: $25 | Club Dendy $23

Oscilliate Wildly Screening: $45 | Club Dendy $42

The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since a comedy/horror film has pushed the right buttons for me. Films such as Gremlins, The Toxic Avenger, Shaun of the Dead, Creepshow, Fright Night, Beetlejuice and Zombieland are rare exceptions in a wasteland genre full of cheap vampire innuendo and slapstick zombie schlock cinema.

Perhaps it was the premise of the film that I found so exciting; A tale of friends banding together with nothing but comic books as their guide, to save the planet from invasion by magical sea creatures. To me it sounded like the perfect pairing of classic science fiction, with an equal measure of horror and comedy.

Going into the screening with quite a pessimistic attitude, I was quickly won over by the scripts sharp witticisms and refreshingly original content. Part of me had expected the usual portrayal of the stereotypical nerds, as seen in current television shows such as The Big Bang Theory and most high school films from the eighties and early nineties. However, the film refuses to adhere to this old Revenge of the Nerds style attitude, by quite obviously being written for nerds, by nerds. Sure one of the characters lives in his grandmothers basement, but the characters are relate-able somehow. Unlike the twitchy, socially awkward, over-done computer nerd stereotype that we have come to identify with in the comedy genre, I did not feel alienated from any of the characters in this film. The amount of Lovecraft references alone indicates that this film is more of a fun homage to a cult legend, rather than a satire of nerds versus sea creatures.

The film is rumoured to be released theatrically, however I suspect a straight to DVD release in Australia, which is a shame, because this film worked for me in the interactive cinema setting of A Night of Horror International Film Festival.

Directed by: Henry Saine
Written by: Devin McGinn
Starring: Kyle Davis, Devin McGinn, Matt Bauer, Honor Bliss and Gregg Lawrence.
Cinematography: Cameron Cannon
Country: United States
Language: English
Running Time: 78 minutes
Filmbiotic Diagnosis: 2.5/5

To Rome with Love

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Don’t miss the Italian Film Festival, starting tonight at @palacesydney with the Australian premiere of Welcome To The North @ItalianFF

Tickets are available from Palace Cinema.

My must-see films for the festival include the heartwarming ghost story, Magnifica Presenza (Magnificent Presence) and Woody Allen’s latest bumbling rom-com, To Rome with Love.

Magnificent Presence

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Showing this month at the Italian Film Festival, Sydney.

Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment


Drug addiction is one of the main themes of this documentary. After all, Patty Schemel’s career as a drummer and drug user began at the fragile early age of eleven, when she was given her first drum kit, closely followed by her first alcoholic drink at twelve. She speaks about her struggles with addiction so nonchalantly but there is always the tortured reminder that Patty almost did not survive and it is because of pure chance that she lives to tell her tale in this documentary.


This isn’t just a drug story, the film also shows us footage of the precious family moments of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and their daughter Frances Bean. It also traces the history of her band with Courtney Love, ‘Hole’ with exclusive behind the scenes footage, interviews and the devastating story of bassist, Kristen Pfaff”s tragic death. Patty’s mother also gives valuable insight and wisdom into Patty’s teen years as a young lesbian struggling to belong in a small town full of bigotry and prejudice.


See Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel at Sydney Underground Film Festival this weekend. Hurry, tickets are selling fast! You can buy them for $10-14…here.

Trivia: One of Patty’s first bands ‘Doll Squad’ played with Nirvana in Seattle where supposedly Patty Schemel was poached by Kurt Cobain to be in his band. That is until she became second choice on the discovery of Dave Grohl. Courtney Love then recruited Patty as drummer for her new band, to be called ‘Hole

Despite The Gods

September 3, 2012 Leave a comment

David Lynch is well known for making bizarre films with a surrealist, dreamlike and often nonlinear structure. Labelled by many as one of the most popular surrealists of all time, Lynch made one of my all time favourite films, Eraserhead and co-created the equally iconic television series Twin Peaks. So by coming into the world with a father of such calibre, it comes as no surprise that David’s daughter Jennifer would want to walk in his footsteps as a filmmaker.

Sydney, Jennifer and David Lynch

Jennifer Lynch’s first attempt at filmmaking with Boxing Helena was an epic flop at the boxoffice and with critics alike. Jennifer was accused by feminists of making a torture porn film and critics called into question her ability and integrity on the grounds of inexperience and nepotism. Jennifer discusses these claims in Despite The Gods as ridiculous, due to the fact that she was just a nineteen year old girl setting out to make a fantasy film.

Sherilyn Fenn and Julian Sands in Boxing Helena.

Years later, Jennifer went on to direct the award winning horror film, Surveillance. With a new found confidence in her ability as a filmmaker, it is strange her next logical step was to make Nagin, a film about a snake that turns into a woman who then turns back into a snake goddess creature. I can’t give too much of the source films plot away without spoilers, but you can get the idea of its ridiculous nature from Nagin’s alternative title of Hisss.

Despite the Gods was intended as a documentary on the technical process and cultural conflicts of making a Bollywood meets Hollywood co-production, but it stands alone as a valuable and brutally honest insight into the everyday life of a full time director and single mother. The film also provides us with a snapshot into the culture of modern day India, with particular emphasis on the themes of sexuality, poverty and class systems.

Jennifer Lynch and Mallika Sheraw on the set of Nagin (Hisss)

Despite The Gods is showing at Sydney Underground Film Festival this Saturday, the 8th of September at midday in The Factory Theatre. Tickets are $12-14 and you can buy them… here.

Trivia: Jennifer Lynch wrote ‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’, a spin-off novel of her father’s television series, ‘Twin Peaks’.