I have gone more towards South Korea this decade even though I don’t often get the opportunity to see movies from that country outside of film festivals or special screenings. There is a stated goal from South Korea’s government for them to make quality cinema and spread their culture overseas they want to win all the awards. This is not in any sort of order other than by year.
It only just came out but is pretty much ruling all at this point. If it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture Song Kang-Ho can run around with his underpants on his head and still get roles.
Still don’t know how they are going to follow this up? I would like to see a parallel story following the high school baseball team from the other carriage. You can watch the prequel Seoul Station but it is not really necessary (I saw it on a double bill with this movie.)
More of a disappointment they could not decide if this wants to be an action movie or a historical drama. Everything stops dead when it switches styles. By all accounts Kingdom is everything this movie is not.
OK, this a cheat since it is an Australian director in director but gets special mention due to the director not telling the people from Stop CSG Sydney that she was making a communist propaganda movie. Doubly so since her and the tour guide director criticized at the Q&A the director of the Red Chapel for deceiving their North Korean hosts.
Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)
If you are a fan of Donnie Yen and martial arts movies I would still recommend this movie, otherwise you might want to wait for “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” that looks a lot better (and it was). http://hkmovies.timchuma.com/returnofchenzhen.htm
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011)
While not essential viewing compared to some of Tsui Hark’s earlier work, it is still a lot better than the super serious historical Chinese epics or all the “Happy Birthday China” movies that seem to be coming out at the moment. http://hkmovies.timchuma.com/flyingswordsdragongate.htm
The Mermaid (2016)
Supposedly the biggest box office of the year in the world, why do I not care about any of the characters or story at all?
Bleeding Steel (2017)
Some of these actors should have just asked if they needed the money this much. I am ashamed to watch it.
L Storm (2018)
Not bad, just adequate, but movies have to do a lot more than just be OK these days. Louis Koo’s hair is indestructible as it even survives getting electrocuted and his suit is always immaculate. https://blog.timchuma.com/2018/08/l-storm-2018/
I did go to it for 11 years in a row until circumstances intervened and I could no longer make it (In 2017 I was not living in Melbourne and in 2018 I had just started a job a week before.) Not too sure about 2019 either as I am going over to the USA during October and will no doubt be broke on my return.
25th – 27th November 2005
Sarah Blasko, That 1 Guy, Sophie Koh, Dave Graney & Clare Moore, Mia Dyson, Tony Joe White, Tides of Welcome Choir
Blues Train – Shannon Bourne & Grant Cummerford / Dave Hogan’s Meltdown, Blackeyed Susans, The Hoodangers, Wagons, Clare Bowditch and the Feeding Set, Sally Ford & The Pachuco Playboys, The Saints, Melbourne Singers of Gospel, The Junes, Joe Dolce, Not Drowning Waving, Jeff Lang
24th – 26th November 2006
Dallas Frasca, Rebecca Barnard, Portentia, Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing, Unconscious Brothers, Anne McCue,
Chris Wilson, Yann Tiersen, Blaze, Jimi Hocking, Little Green Houses, Rose Bygrave, Charcoal Club, Royal Chord, Detonators, Shannon Bourne, Bay of Pigs, Don Walker, Barb Waters & Cyndi Boste, Collard Greens & Gravy, The Models, Neapolitan Croxton Showcase (Sarah Carroll, Dan Warner & Marcel Borrack), Betty Harris, Weddings Parties Anything, Ska Vendors, Sophie Brous Ensemble, Tides of Welcome Community Choir, Kerri Simpson, Andy Baylor, TnT, Suzannah Espie & The Last Word, The Exotics
23rd – 25th November 2007
Chris Wilson & Shane O’Mara, The Basics, AlMacandJack, Antagonize, Girl Vs Ghost, Lil’ Fi, Mia Dyson, Nick Charles, Gotye, Unconscious Brothers, Ross Hannaford, Sweethearts, The Junes, My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Rich Family Band, Lisa Miller, The Leisuremasters, The Rustys, Sambrose Automobile, The Periscopes, Sarah Carroll, Nigel Wearne, Laura Baxter, Sweet Dolores, Steve McEwen and the Yes Men, Sime Nugent, Hank’s Jalopy Demons, Paul Kelly, Bob Log III, Vardos, Mrs Wainright, Tides of Welcome Choir, Bless this House, Bec Willis, Dan Kelly, The Breadmakers
November 28th – 30th 2008
Harry Angus, Unconscious Brothers Spectacular with Rebecca Barnard, Josh Owen, Geoff Achison & Guy Pearce, Vulgargrad with Zulya, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sweet Dolores, The Wilson Pickers, Geoff Achison, Tides of Welcome Choir, Diamond Jim and the Tuff Tones, Fireside Bellows, Sarah Carroll and Andy Baylor, Kerri Simpson, ROOT!, Oh Laura, Tripod, Jeremy Jay, Kaya, Marshall and the Fro, The Bawdies, The Town Bikes, Elana Stone, The Bedroom Philosopher, Jackson Jackson
November 27th – 29th
Tinpan Orange, The Megahorns, Pigram Brothers, Gun Street Girls, Aluka, Alica Merrit, Steve Jones, Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, The Junes, Djan Djan, Mal Webb, Stephen McEwan & The Yes Men, The McClymonts, Dan Musil, Organ Boy, Black Market Rhythm Co., Even, Dan Sultan, Tides of Welcome, Grace Barbe, Bertie Blackman, Howl, Peter Combe, Tim Finn
November 26th – 28th
Frank Yamma, Katie Noonan & The Captains, Izzy, Mr Percival, Ashleigh Mannix, The Black Sorrows, Stephen McEwan, Chloe & Anika, Dave Steel & Tiffany Eckhardt, Beau (The Rustys) & Brittney McNeil, Catherine Sanzarro, Victoriana Gaye, Tides of Welcome Choir, Sweet Delores, Sweethearts, The Nymphs, Mary Gauthier, Kate Vigo & the Underground Orchestra, Ray Beadle Band, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Blue Shaddy, Gareth Liddiard, Dan Kelly’s Dream Band, The Mercurials, Catherine Britt, Sally Seltmann, The Rustys, The Meanies, Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing
November 25th – 27th 2011
Leah Flanagan, The Widowbirds, President Roots, Puta Madre Brothers, Pseudo Echo, The Herd, The Delta Riggs, Pete Denahy, The Sweethearts, Tides of Welcome choir with Dave Steel, Dead River Deeps, Wagons, The Cruel Sea, Brothers Grimm, Laine Lane, My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Woody Pitney, The Plains, BOOM! BAP! POW!, Kimbra, WHATEM 2 CD Launch with Sarah Carroll, Chris Wilson, Hausfrau, Sophia Katos, Lash78, Dadhouse, Frente, Gypsy & the Cat, Bondi Cigars
23rd – 25th November 2012
Loon Lake, The DC3, Tom Richardson Project, Howlin’ Steam Train, TZU, Baby Animals, Jackson Firebird, DJ Emma Peel, Kira Puru and the Bruise, Bee Gees Tribute Showcase, Cat Sanzaro, Izzy Losi, Lily & King, Sweethearts, The Tiny Giants, Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes, King Cannons, You Am I, Ruby Boots, Tides of Welcome Choir with Tiffany Eckhart, Dave Steel, Chris Wilson and Sarah Carroll, Jordie Lane, Butterfly Boucher, Pinky Beecroft & the White Russians
22rd – 24th November 2013
The Pigs, Russell Morris, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, Darren Percival, The Owls, The Tiny Giants, The Living End, The Brow Horn Orchestra, Tides of Welcome, Yirrmal and the Yonglu Boys, Hussy Hicks, Sweethearts, Ginger and Tonic, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Andrew Swift and the Rattlesnake Choir, Genevieve Chadwick, Spiderbait, Stompy and the Heat, The Ray Mann Three, Twin Beasts, Papa Pilko and the Bin Rats, Microwave Jenny, Jeff Lang, Dallas Frasca, Underground Lovers, The Basics, Mason Rack Band, King of the North
28th – 30th November 2014
Davidson Brothers, Sweethearts, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Little Stevies, Georgia Rodgers, Skunkhour, Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats, The Delta Riggs, Dan Sultan, Áine Tyrrell, Karl S Williams, Charles Jenkins, Marlon Williams, DD Dumbo, WILSN, Murdena, Dyson Stringer Cloher, Emma Swift, The Bombay Royale, Jazzy Jazzper and the DARE OHHS, Jesse Valach & Blues Mountain, Stella Angelico, Tijuana Cartel, The Imprints, Tides of Welcome, Aluka, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Waifs, Charm of Finches
27th – 29th November 2015
Tinpan Orange, Faux, Georgia Rodgers, Jack Filmore, Louis Baker, Harts, Morgan Bain, 19-Twenty, The Snowdroppers, The California Honeydrops, Sahara Beck, Bellarine VET Music (Righteous Desmond, Evony Dilema, Rachael Hart, Chitra Ridwan, Abby Grace & Erica Lyon, Mild Child), Sweethearts, Mustered Courage, Áine Tyrrell, Benny Walker, All Our Exes Live in Texas, The Tiny Giants, Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine, Tides of Welcome, Ainslie Wills
25th – 27th November 2016
with The Mojo Corner, Jordie Lane and the Sleepers, Liz Stringer, Chitra, Kylie Auldist, Bobby Alu and the Palms, Quarter Street, Alice Ivy, Bellarine VET Music (Hey Mammoth, Gypsy May (Liz Powell), Madeliene Cope & Zack Darkes, Erica Bjornenak, Jess Viola, Nina Denham), Sweethearts, Sarah Carroll and the Left Wing, JAWN, Leah Senior, Sweet Jean, Eilen Jewell, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Peter Garrett and the Alter Egos, Kira Puru, The Run, Geoff Achison & the Souldiggers with Chris Wilson, The Tiny Giants, Hollie Joyce, Tides of Welcome, Reuben Stone, Matt Anderson, Charm of Finches, Snuff Puppets, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
Director: Darlene Johnson
Starring: David Gulpilil, Tommy Lewis, Richard Birrinbirrin, Mary Dhapalany, Frances Djulibing, Jamie Gulpilil
An important ancestral stone gets thrown into a billabong leading to one of the local crocodiles being angered. This crocodile kills the daughter of the man who threw it. He offers to help, but the elders reject his offers and ask his brother (Gulpilil) to help even though he is away living with the white people and a famous actor.
The film is based on the dreaming of David Gulpilil’s mother. The director originally met the actor while working on Rabbit Proof fence and the story was originally meant to be about a troublesome crocodile and involve Steve Irwin, but David Gulpilil felt that story had already been made and he wanted to tell the story in his own words.
I enjoyed that there were spiritual and other worldly elements involved in this movie, but they were more touches to the film and helped emphasise when something had a special significance such as the fire trail left by the crocodile, the flaming billabong, the glowing stone and the crocodile attack in reverse.
The acting was also great in this even from the extras who are acting like you would expect them to act in such a situation. Having seen Dark Age before this movie, the dialog for this film is much better and not corny.
Director: Warwick Thornton
Starring: David Gulpilil, Sophie Lee, Aaron Pedersen
A yuppie (Sophie Lee) buys some Aboriginal art just as investment not caring about the story behind it. This comes back to bite her when she opens the cupboard the next day to find the painting of the fish is only bones having been eaten. The next day she finds her apartment messed up and the other artwork is actually a Mimi. In panic she rings her friend and asks if she knows a “real Aboriginal”. When the man arrives (Aaron Pedersen) the sight of the Mimi scares the shit out of him, but he agrees to help.
Ringing his grandad (David Gulpilil), he first has to put up with a torrent of abuse about pretending to be white but does agree to help if he gets a new fridge. Opening his new fridge he finds the foul-mouthed Mimi waiting for him. He throws it in a cave and walks away to it throwing rocks at him.
There is very little comedy based around Inigenous issues in Australia as it is a delicate subject as any non-indigenous person who would make a joke would be accused of being racist quite likely as they are not in the situation and do not understand the issues involved.
There is room for parody from people who do understand in both the art scene in that Indigenous art is seen as a set things and only certain things would sell and also people who buy the art without knowing the story behind the art and only seeing it as an “investment”.
The Rainbow Serpent (1975)
Based on the book by Dick Roughsey, David Gulpilil narrates the story of creation involving the Rainbow Serpent. While there is not really any animation in this film, the painted backdrops and sound effects do tell the story quite well.
I remember seeing this when I was younger but do not know if it is still available online. Schools used to have actual film reels these films were on.
Showing Melbourne to Maningrida (1973)
Director: David Gulpilil
David Gulpilil films his trip to Melbourne in 1973. Melbourne sure looked boring back then and very white. Lots more older buildings that have since been knocked down also.
There are segments of the film that are not in English but they are few enough that subtitles are not really needed.
I liked the part where David Gulpilil went to buy a suit since everyone in the city was wearing one and he looked like a cowboy. There was a part where he goes into a music store (Allans?) and tries out a guitar also.
This film was made when David Gulpilil was studying film at university.
An excellent time capsule of the era and it is good to see David Gulpilil looking relaxed and natural in a role. I still have to see Charlie’s Country and Another Country.
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Sam Berkley, Kimberley Crossman, Daniel Cresswell, Delaney Tabron
Metal head Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) is forced to move to a country town after his mother is hospitalised and immediately feels isolated due to living with his churchy uncle and aunty and his cousin who treats him shitty.
It’s not all bad, he does meet Giles (Daniel Cresswell) and Dion (Sam Berkley) and at the local metal record store he makes friends with Zakk (James Blake) and they become metal brothers and form a band named Deathgasm.
Brodie has his eye on Median (Kimberley Crossman) who turns out to be already going out with his cousin, causing him much grief as he is very possessive and can’t stand anyone even looking at her.
The story really gets going when Zakk asks Brodie to go to a supposedly abandoned house where a legendary death metal performer is hiding out with the pages of a black metal hymn, they escape but the people looking for the hymn are still looking for it.
Having gotten the pages and ignoring the fact that they are adorned with Latin and pictures of Satanic rituals they decide to try and play the hymn, only stopping when he gets a bad feeling about it.
Brodie manages to translate the Latin on the pages, but due to being beaten up by his cousin and having all his stuff trashed he decides to go through with playing the full song, which is when all hell breaks loose.
The director who attended the screening read out a review of his film from twitter saying that the film was nothing but teenagers wanking each other off. “Aww! That was going to be my next movie, duelling palms!”
From the Q&A the director had a background in visual effects but decided to go the practical route as it was more visceral and has more of a presence when there were actual things that were there.
This did lead to problems for things such as the blood pump they used had to be manually pressurised and it took 20 minutes each time. A lot of the shots are the only one they got as they did not have the time. The movie was shot over 20 days of 10 hour shoots.
It was funded with not very much money, only $200,000 NZ as part of a competition to make a horror film when he submitted five different ideas and this is the one that was accepted. He hoped that it would not be as it was going to be the hardest to shoot.
Kimberley Crossman paid her own way to fly to New Zealand to be part of the film, she is one of the more famous actors involved in the film.
There were some issues with the casting, a week before shooting there was a totally different cast. The director did not agree with having an actor play Zakk who was in his mid 30s and had receding hair however.
At the moment the director want to make a more serious horror film, but all the offers he has had are for another movie like Deathgasm. He does hope to make a sequel to the movie in the future with more of a budget and much more blood and gore.
Some of the gore came from a metal musician in New Zealand who wanted to have a gore fountain in his front yard, but could not get it to work. Also the collection of metal t-shirts worn in the film are from the same person.
The drawings in Brodie’s notebook were made by a production designer and they do still have the book around somewhere.
There are 30 songs on the soundtrack from metal bands in New Zealand, Australia and overseas. The director says it is the most he has heard in any movie of its type. There will be a double album release of all the songs later in the year. They selected the songs to use by what would fit the scene.
The film was inspired by 80s horror films such as Rock’n’Roll Nightmare, Bad Taste (the director first saw it when he was 9) and other kids vs baddies films such as Goonies and Monster Squad.
The lightning effects were produced by a Melbourne visual effects company and are a tribute to those used in older movies. Also I remember Highlander having a lot of them.
If you are a fan of horror movies and metal music I would recommend this movie or even if you just like funny movies I would recommend this movie. It is very gory in parts but there is a lot of humour to go along with it.
Being a first time script writer most of the jokes are what you would expect and it does feel like teenage boy wish fulfilment but that is part of its charm.
I did get to see the audience going out from the 808 documentary before and then all the metal heads coming in to watch this movie at the festival, there were very few people who watched both.
With horror undergoing a renaissance it is interesting to see what a new director does with the genre, especially one where their background is in music and that is what the style of the film is based around. A lot of the metal songs talk about epic battles, but it is mainly left to your imagination to picture what these would be like.
I would like to see what a band like Barbarion would make if they had an opportunity to make their own movie.
Director: Alex Dunn
Featuring: Damon Albarn, Afrika Bambaata, Phil Collins, Felix Da Housecat, Lady Tigra, Pharrel Williams, The Beastie Boys and many more
Having something of a passing interest in electronic music (I even went to a festival this year) and already knowing about samplers and other old school synthesisers I was interested in this documentary as it looked different.
As it turns out most of the documentary is taken up with people talking about the key albums that used the 808 and the impact it had on creating the rap and drum and bass scenes. Every rap song of not either has an 808 used on it or samples from one.
Even if you are not into some of the artists involved, they talk about working with the 808 and the creative process with such enthusiasm that you are carried along with it.
It is a sausage party in terms of musicians interviewed, but that seems to be the nature of the scene unfortunately.
Hearing from the original creator of the Roland 808 was also interesting as he said there is was a deliberate decision to use a faulty transistor in the machine to give its unique properties. Improvements in manufacturing meant they could no longer source the faulty transistors so there were only ever 12,000 units sold over the three years they were available. Supposedly in Japan they are more widely available, but their impact continues to this day.
I did like the interview with two of the members of the Beastie Boys being adorable old duffers trying to remember how the tape loop was recorded and breaking Snoop Dog’s brain in reminiscing about the 808. They also said the Suzuki Samurai should come with that drum machine installed.
I would recommend this documentary if you have an interest in the development of the rap genre or dance scenes or like hearing about the creative process of artists.
Director: Arch Nicholson
Starring: John Jarrat, Steve Harris, Nikki Coghill, Cathy Pope, Max Phipps, Burnham Burnham, David Gulpilil, Ray Meagher
There was a killer crocodile movie released a few years ago that was similar to this movie, but I have not seen it. This movie has a lot of fans in the cult genre and the print screened at the festival was Quentin Tarantino’s personal copy.
The storyline is not that much different to any other killer animal movie with an initial attack being played down until there is one in broad daylight and all hell breaks loose. It is pretty graphic in this case with a young child being eaten in broad daylight.
If anything the response from the authorities was muted in this movie. If it had happened today the current government would have done everything bar nuking the crocodile to get rid of it, but they only care how much money they can dig out of the ground.
This movie did screen as part of the David Gulpilil retrospective, but he does not get to do that much in it apart from get ignored by people and a couple of action scenes.
Burnham Burnham gets a lot of corny dialog to deliver but still manages to maintain his dignity. I liked him more in the Howling III where at least he gets to be funny and take the piss on the native spiritual thing “no way I’m just gunna die!”
Another thing to appreciate in this movie is that is a rare chance to see a rare non-Home and Away performance by Ray Meagher, ya flamin’ mongrel!
Yeah, yeah John Jarrat is in it too, but he is a bit of a dork in it. The crocodile it quite well realised and they wisely keep it off screen for most of the running time except at the end.
It does say the film was shot on location in Cairns and Alice Springs, but you can see at least one pick up shot with the word “MARL-“ as in Marlo clearly visible on a building.
While I wouldn’t rush out and see this movie, it is $5 on the Umbrella entertainment website so if you are already buying a bunch of movies it would be easy enough to pick up.
Director: Vera Chytilová
Starring: Jitka Cerhová, Ivana Karbanová, Marie Češková, Jiřina Myšková, Marcela Březinová, Julius Albert
I had been wanting to see this for ages but had been holding out until I could either see it on DVD or on the big screen. I am happy it turned out to be as good as I was expecting.
Two friends decide to be bad and live their lives as “parasites on society” by getting men to buy them dinner and then putting the men on the next train out of town. It happens over and over.
Between these scenes they go back to their apartment and do strangely artistic stuff like eating pictures of food, cutting the film with scissors so they end up in bits and setting small fires in the apartment to burn paper streamers.
The film is dedicated to people “whose main source of pain is the depiction of a messed up trifle” as it was banned for “depicting the wanton” on release due to the food fight scene.
It was interesting to see this with an audience but if anything the one I saw it with was a bit too accommodating, they laughed at every single scene.
I still enjoyed it though and was glad to have finally seen it. There is a Czech and Slovak film festival in my city that I may try to get along to in the future also.
A combination of several folk tales from Hungary where the Son of the White Mare of the title quests to find his brothers and do battle with the three dragons who were freed from the underworld when the doors were unlocked.
Although it is a fantasy story it is different to many of the traditional stories in that the character designs are unique. I have recommended this movie to other artistic people and tattoo artists to watch for inspiration as I had never seen anything like it.
The “dragons” are not what you would expect and they are called that in the subtitles, I suspect they are not really that at all. One is a giant three-headed stone statue with hanging balls, the other is a eight-headed tank and the final one is a 12 headed skyscraper complex.
The powers of the main character are legendary as are his brothers with them punching mountains to rubble and picking up an entire mountain and turning it on its side like it is nothing. I was a bit disturbed they never put it back though.
I did like the part where each of the three brothers got lowered down in the cauldron to the underworld and meeting each of the wives in the castles.
There is so much to look at in this movie it is hard to get bored and you could watch it over and over and find new things each time. I am not sure of the availability of this film on DVD. But it is on Youtube in bits if you are so inclined.
Director: Bob Rafelson
Starring: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, Victor Mature, Frank Zappa, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, plus many more
Hey, hey, we are The Monkees
You know we love to please
A manufactured image
With no philosophies.
There is not really a plot for this movie so it really defies a conventional review. As a cultural artefact it is an interesting example of what happens when someone tries to tap into a popular movement and fails.
Unfortunately for the Monkees it meant the end of them as a group due to problems with the production and the movie being rejected by their core audience and the older audience they were trying to attract. The film bombing so hard meant it was not seen that widely and cost the studio a lot of money.
There are quite a few examples of this sort of movie, even the Beatles had a go at one point. Some of the more obscure movies have only recently been released on the “manufacture on demand” catalogues from studios such as the Warner Archive.
The songs were really good in this and it was a pity the album that was released at the same time as the movie did not do too well either.
Even before I watched the movie people were telling me their favourite scenes, so it has a big impact on the people who get to see it.
While I don’t know if I like the same things other people like about it, I do like certain things and not others such as the execution of the Viet Cong prisoner being used as a punchline several times. It was obnoxious to even consider. It does feel like a lot of things were either included in the movie by someone deliberately trying to sabotage it or trying to see what they could get away with.
Some films to watch if you liked this movie (courtesy of the Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema Facebook group and my own research)
I Love You, Alice B. Tolkas
The Groove Tube
The Pink Angels
Everything You Know Is Wrong
Kentucky Fried Movie
Amazon Women on the Moon
The Holy Mountain
The Magic Christian