CARMILLA – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Born in the pages of Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871 novella Carmilla, the iconic lesbian vampire that grants his tale its title has had a rich, complex and enduring life on screen that shows little sign of losing its appeal to both audiences and filmmakers. The most recent version is Emily Harris’, whose canny reimagining shifts many of the superfluous male characters in the original to the background.

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Sydney FF 2020: FORCE OF HABIT- Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Force of Habit is a cartography of sexual abuse and harassment that interweaves several scenarios — a schoolgirl harassed on public transport, an drunken office party, and a vicious, violent rape by a stranger, each helmed by a different female director — into collective whole that is an electrifying reminder that sexual abuse and harassment are everyday phenomena and until that stops being synonymous with “business as usual”, nothing will change.

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Sydney FF 2020: CHARTER – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Charter focuses on Alice, a woman in transition, who is bucking traditions and struggling to find her own place in the world. She’s on the losing side of a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband who is unrestrained in his determination to exclude her from their lives.

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Women Filmmakers @ Sydney Film Festival 2020 – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Sydney Film Festival has converted to a virtual edition for its 67th edition, running from June 10-21, boastinf a program of 33 films, 16 of which are world premieres. A highlight is the continuing collaboration with Europe! Voices of Women in Film, showcasing ten films with an emphasis not only on national context of the filmmakers, but the kinds of movies they make.

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RED SNOW – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

By reducing that almost-always privileged figure of the white man to a barely glimpsed footnote in the story centered on Gwichʼin and Afghan characters, Métis filmmaker Marie Clements’ Red Snow is a reminder that there are new, important ways to approach genres where we might assume we’ve seen it all before.

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THE PAINTED BIRD – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Painted Bird transmits the distinct and unrelentingly dangerous sense that something wisely restrained has emphatically been let off the chain. It’s a difficult film; upsetting, cruel, vicious and absolutely harrowing. But it is also probably a masterpiece, and a vital reminder of the fundamental dignities upon which the entire concept of human rights exists.

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MNEMORPHRENIA – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

For a low-budget debut feature, Mnemophrenia punches well above its weight; like some of the best genre films, manages to do hell of a lot with very little. There are clearly large philosophical questions under the microscope here about human evolution, empathy, technology and ethics, and it and prompts reflection about our relationship to visual culture and the moving image in particular.

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