ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT) (MIFF 2020) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

To call Australian filmmaker Monica Zanetti’s Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) a delight is an understatement. It’s a wholly charming if not at-first seemingly pedestrian coming-of-age queer love story between high school girls in Sydney, but when Ellie’s eponymous “dead aunt” Tara enters the picture, this seemingly light-hearted romantic romp finds its depths.

Read more

ANNE AT 13,0000 FT (MIFF 2020) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Anne at 13,000 Ft is about learning how to fly. Or at least, trying to learn how to fly. The film opens with its eponymous Anne – played in a career-making performance by Deragh Campbell – skydiving at her best friend Sarah’s bachelorette party.

Read more

LA LLORONA (MIFF 2020) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

La Llorona is less a typical horror film than it is a powerful political drama that employs horror codes, conventions and iconography – and a specific folkloric figure – to speak to a historical atrocity so great in scale as to almost be otherwise incomprehensible. In the right hands, horror can be turned into something with almost indescribably enormous ideological potency.

Read more

ROSE PLAYS JULIE (MIFF 2020) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Rose Plays Julie is not shy in its approach to the thematic intersection of power, gender difference and violence and how they feed into the lived experience of women in particular. But it approaches its subject matter with a sophisticated balance of sensitivity and frankness that make these themes both poignant and, at times, far from subtle.

Read more

JUST 6.5 (MIFF 2020)- Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Fast, smart and thrilling, Just 6.5 is a wild ride into the dark side of Iranian genre cinema. With a climax that demands we rethink the entire ethical construct of how the judicial system treats drug related offenses, Just 6.5 sees Saeed Roustayi excel with his sophomore feature.

Read more

In The Muck of It: The Films of Ann Turner — Profile by Alexandra Heller Nicholas

I’m sitting in a small private booth at the Australian Mediatheque at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image, waiting

Read more

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

The success of Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014) focused international attention on Australian women filmmakers. Australia’s film feminism is being

Read more