WHAT IF IT WORKS? — Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Australian cinema has a curious relationship with romantic comedies. While international
hits like Strictly Ballroom (1992), Muriel's Wedding (1994), and Love and Other Catastrophes
(1996) found the subgenre hitting a commercial and critical sweet spot in the early-mid
1990s, it isn’t a national trend that has been repeated. Australian cinema has generally
since then leant towards darker or more serious subject matter. Filmmaker Romi Trower’s
What if It Works? may not have gained the same traction as its romcom predecessors, but
it’s certainly the little movie that could, winning awards for Best Australian Independent
Film at the 2017 Gold Coast Film Festival in Australia, Best Debut Feature Film at Canada’s
Female Eye Film Festival, and Cinequest’ New Visions Award in San Jose. Continue reading...

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Melbourne International Film Festival 2017′s PIONEERING WOMEN Program — Jennifer Merin reports

miff logo 1The success of Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014) focused international attention on Australian women filmmakers. Australia’s film feminism is being celebrated this year in special programming at the country’s two major film festivals — in the upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival’s (MIFF, August 3-30, 2017) focus on female-directed films from the 1980s and 90s, and with the just finishing Sydney Film Festival’s (June 7-18, 2017) roster of femme-helmed films from the 1960s and 70s. Continue reading

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THE FAMILY — Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

In Australia, the very words “The Family” still send tremors through those of a certain generation, associated as they are with two notorious scandals in two different states. In the first instance, it was the name given by the press to a group of pedophile killers in Adelaide who during the late 1970s and early 1980s in particular that linked a number of highly regarded professional men to a series of hideous crimes, including five murders. As of 2016, only one of the murders had been solved, and only one arrest had been made despite the speculated involvement of up to ten others. In Melbourne, however, “The Family” evokes different ghosts: a cult (headed by the beautiful, almost ethereal Anne Hamilton-Byrne), linked to a long list of alleged abuses against its members, including children. Read more>>

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