Films I loved in April 2016

1 May 2016
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Jaeden Lieberher as Alton and Michael Shannon as Roy in Midnight Special

At times while watching Midnight Special, the new film by Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter), I felt like it was custom-made for me. I adored the way its story of two men kidnapping a boy from a cult created tension and intrigue by withholding so much backstory and character information, especially in an era of filmmaking where often so much is over-explained or signposted sooner than necessary. It also helped that the film was heavily and overtly inspired by ’70s and ’80s science-fiction films such as Steven Spielberg‘s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of my all-time favourite films. While Midnight Special ultimately didn’t deliver the full payoff that I was anticipating, which was disappointing as the final reveal was so literal, I still loved its performances, mood and exploration of many of Nichols’s reoccurring themes concerning family, fatherhood, masculinity and how we perceive reality.

Captain America: Civil War

Chris Evans as Captain America in Captain America: Civil War

While I always more or less enjoy the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, I’ve never found any particularly memorable. Guardians of the Galaxy is the only one to ever appear in one of my monthly summaries, until now as I thought Captain America: Civil War was superb. Containing nearly every significant superhero character from the previous films and introducing new ones while further developing narrative threads from 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, this new film is impressive for just how well it manages so much story and character information. But its real triumph is the stunning action choreography and inventive fight scenes. Not since the first two X-Men films have I felt such exhilaration from the spectacle of seeing the inherent strangeness of all the various superpowers in play. Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo never allow the computer generated effects to overshadow the visual pleasures of the actors’ bodies in motion, and they are always aware of how to best capitalise on the space of the scenes where the action takes place, frequently tracking the action vertically rather than always staging scenes along the more conventional x-axis.

A  Month of Sundays

John Clarke as Phillip Lang and Anthony LaPaglia as Frank Mollard in A Month of Sundays

The Australian film A Month of Sundays, by writer/director Matthew Saville, reminded me of many independent American films from the 1990s, with its off-kilter nervous energy, understated humour and gently melancholic atmosphere.  Anthony LaPaglia, one of Australia’s consistently excellent actors, gives a sad and funny performance as a divorced middle-aged real estate agent whose life seems to have lost all meaning. The key to the film’s success is its winning droll humour, often courtesy of the always brilliant John Clarke in a supporting role, that takes the film into more serious and ultimately heartwarming  territory. A Month of Sundays is low key and anecdotally seems to have divided audiences, but if you can tap into its humour early on then the results are extremely rewarding.

National_Lampoon

National Lampoon: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

National Lampoon: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead is a terrific documentary that covers the founding for the American satirical magazine National Lampoon in 1960 that went on to become a multimedia operation that included comedy albums, radio serials, theatre shows and feature films such as Animal House and Vacation. The film adopts a similar visual style to the magazine’s art direction, which greatly assists in conveying the impact of the humour, which ranged from irreverent and absurd to extremely confronting and shocking. The interviews with many of the editorial staff and performers from over the years are fascinating and funny, and the film contains plenty of classic moments from the magazine, albums and live performances that still elicit big laughs. This film is enormously fun and demonstrates how rather than belittling the already powerless with lazy stereotypes, ‘offensive’ and dark humour can also be used to aggressively draw attention to social inequalities and hypocrisy.

Thomas Caldwell, 2016

Films I loved in March 2016

1 April 2016
Spear

Spear

Seeing the new Australian film Spear took me way outside my cinematic comfort zone and I couldn’t be more thrilled by how much that risk paid off. Spear originated as a 2000 dance theatre work by the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, whose Artistic Director Stephen Page is the film’s director and co-writer. By incorporating dance, some spoken word, and superb editing, music and cinematography, Spear conveys the experiences of a young Indigenous man exploring his cultural identity in modern Australia. I won’t pretend to understand the meaning of every single element of the film, but that didn’t matter as the non-narrative spectacle was completely absorbing. During the first ten minutes of the film I had already experienced more shivers down the spine than I hope to get from the entirety of most other films.

The Daughter_Andy Commis_3-22

Odessa Young as Hedvig in The Daughter

Another impressive Australian film that has been recently released is The Daughter, the feature film debut by theatre writer/director Simon Stone. Loosely based on Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, The Daughter is a ensemble drama set in a small rural community where the circumstances surrounding the wedding of the town’s wealthy business owner and patriarch brings old resentments and hidden secrets to the surface. It’s a finely acted and directed drama that demonstrates how those with power get what they want and it’s everybody else who suffers misery as a result, whether it be in a closed family unit or the broader community. Stone has maintained the spirit of Ibsen’s social critique and successfully channelled it into a powerful contemporary Australian drama.

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Sherpa

The third Australian film that commanded my attention is Sherpa, a documentary by filmmaker Jennifer Peedom. Initially a more observational film about the Sherpas who assist westerner to climb Mount Everest, it became a more immediate portrait of the worst tragedy in the history of Everest on 18 April 2014. The film examines the way the growing tourist industry on Everest has pushed so many of the Sherpa people into a position of economic dependance that results in them routinely risking their lives to assist with expeditions taking tourists up the mountain. The section covering the tragedy is powerful and heartbreaking, but it is not exploitative. The strongest parts of the film is what follows afterwards when as each day after the tragedy goes by, the discussion about whether or not to send the Sherpas back up to assist with the scheduled climbs gets further and further away from considering the morality of putting lives at risk for income.

THE WITCH

Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin in The Witch

I almost didn’t include The Witch here because despite admiring it when I saw it, it didn’t resonate with me as I expected it would. But since having seen it, I cannot get it out of my head and the more I talk to other people about it, the more I find myself falling under its spell. It’s a serious and sombre film set in New England in America in the 17th Century about a Puritan family encountering something sinister in the woods. Inspired by folk tales and accounts at the time of supposed incidents of witchcraft, The Witch brings to life not just the stories of witchcraft, but all the social anxieties behind such tales. Similar to The Babadook and It Follows, this is giving form to troubling attitudes towards sex and gender to promote introspection rather than provide a didactic sermon, and the results get way under your skin – in my case, several days later!

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Darwin (voiced by Philippe Katerine) and April (voiced by Marion Cotillard) in April and the Extraordinary World

It’s sometimes easy to forget that countries other than the USA and Japan make animated films because so few animations from the rest of the world get released locally, which is one reason it was such a joy seeing the French-language April and the Extraordinary World. Other reasons included the gorgeous 2D hand drawn animation, the Parisian steampunk 1941 setting (it’s set in an alternate version of history where science has come to a standstill but industrialisation has run rampant) and the heroes are scientists who defy the militaristic government by refusing to contribute to the war effort. It’s a film about the pursuit of knowledge in order to achieve progress and it’s a warning about how fascism manifests on a political and personal level. The action is fun and inventive, and the humour succeeds in drawing upon the absurdity of many of the situations without compromising the film’s internal logic. It also features a cat named Darwin who can talk and at one point describes himself as ‘kittenvincible’. Sold. 

10CL

John Goodman as Howard and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle in 10 Cloverfield Lane

I cannot help but feel cynical about the way 10 Cloverfield Lane began as a small self-contained genre film known as The Cellar before having a High Concept blockbuster concept grafted onto it along with the accompanying marketing campaign designed to provoke speculation about how, if at all, it is linked into the 2008 found-footage monster film Cloverfield. On it’s own 10 Cloverfield Lane would have still been an excellent thriller showcasing John Goodman at his ambiguous and creepy best as the conspiracy theorist who may or may not be on the level about the need to stay in an underground bunker due to some unknown apocalyptic tragedy on the surface. And while I realise that the film’s bombastic and left-field conclusion somewhat betrays a lot of what has come before it, it was part of what made me enjoy this film so much as it transformed from a tense character-based thriller into a wild roller-coaster ride.

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Mark Strong as Sebastian and Sacha Baron Cohen as Nobby in Grimsby

I was late to the party when it came to embracing Sacha Baron Cohen and I seem at odds with most others when it comes to how much I’ve enjoyed his recent scripted comedies: The Dictator and now Grimsby.The plot involving Cohen playing a caricature of a lower class English football fan who goes on the run with his long-lost brother, an elite MI6 assassin, results in some extraordinarily grotesque comedic sequences that are crass to the point of absurdity. And as much as some of the jokes are often cruel, crude, pointless and often not even always successful, there are enough moments of audacious hilarity that I cannot deny how much this film left me convulsing with laughter. In fact, a lot of the promotion for the film has involved showing footage of audiences laughing in shocked disbelief by what they are seeing on screen (and apparently they’ll feature any old idiot in the various promotional videos). While the level of social satire regarding attitudes towards the poor are not exactly fine-tuned, I do admire Cohen’s commitment to the bouffon style of comedy (as he discussed in a recent interview on the WTF with Marc Maron Podcast) of extreme and ruthless mockery designed to completely undermine and disrupt all social conventions.

Thomas Caldwell, 2016

An interview with actor Parker Posey

14 March 2016

Parker Posey

In the 1990s Time magazine called her the ‘Queen of the Indies’ and more recently The New Yorker named her ‘the greatest character actress of the last few decades’. Parker Posey’s diverse and varied acting career has spanned over two decades now, not only in independent cinema but also in Hollywood blockbusters and television. She has frequently worked with Hal Hartley and also with Christopher Guest in films such as Best In Show where she has had to improvise all her dialogue. She is the subject of a film program at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, which is screening a selection of the key films from her career including two of her most recent films: Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Hal Hartley’s Ned Rifle.

This interview was recorded on Sunday 13 March 2016 and then played on Plato’s Cave (Triple R, 3RRR 102.7FM) on Monday 14 March 2016.

Download link (running time = 21:48)

Thank you to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Triple R for arranging this interview. The ‘In Praise of Parker Posey’ program is screening at ACMI until 28 March 2016. Go to acmi.net.au/film for screening times.


An interview with Penelope Spheeris, the director of the Decline of Western Civilization films

7 March 2016

DOWCIII

Filmmaker Penelope Spheeris made the three films in the music documentary series The Decline of Western Civilization, which are currently screening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, after having recently been restored for their release on DVD and blu-ray by Spheeris and her daughter Anna Fox. Spherris has an eclectic filmmaking career having made independent documentaries and dramas, as well as studio family films and comedies, including the original Wayne’s World. The Decline of Western Civilization was shot in 1979 and released at the start of 1981 and was her feature film debut, with its raw and often confronting portrayal of the Los Angeles punk scene at the time.

This interview was recorded on Sunday 28 February 2016 and then played on Plato’s Cave (Triple R, 3RRR 102.7FM) on Monday 7 March 2016 as an hour long special that included music from all three films. You can listen back to that special via Triple R’s Radio On Demand service and here:

Alternatively, you can listen back to the podcast version of the show, which just contains the interview with Spheeris:

Download link

Thank you to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for arranging this interview. The Decline of Western Civilization films are screening at ACMI until 13 March 2016. Go to acmi.net.au/film for screening times.

Playlist

‘Nausea’
X

‘Manimal’
Germs

‘Depression’
Black Flag

‘Let’s Have a War’
Fear

‘Cradle to the Grave’
Motörhead

‘Under My Wheels’
Alice Cooper featuring Axl Rose, Slash & Izzy Stradlin from Guns N’ Roses

‘Smash the State’
Naked Aggression

‘Race To Eternity’
Final Conflict


Films I loved in February 2016

28 February 2016
9

Géza Röhrig as Saul Ausländer in Son of Saul

Son of Saul succeeds on every level. It’s an emotionally devastating drama, which sometimes plays out like a thriller, with a precise focus on one character in a Nazi concentration camp in order to convey the broader trauma and grief of the Holocaust. Its stylistic technique of predominantly filming this character in close-up so that the audience experiences the horrors of the camp through sound and his peripheral vision is confronting and effective. And by making the character one of the death-camp Sonderkommandos, who becomes fixated on a personal act of humanity, the film wrestles with questions of what it takes to survive, when does a noble act in extreme circumstances become reckless or selfish, and how do you measure life and morality when surrounded by death and evil. Son of Saul is a triumph and as the debut feature film by Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes, it heralds the arrival of a major new talent.

BROOKLYN

Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn

On the surface Brooklyn seems like a modest film about a young Irish woman who immigrates to New York, USA, in the 1950s to start a new life and ends up torn between two men. While the film very much works as romance film, it is also a stirring tale of personal and cultural identity. The excitement and liberation of new experiences, versus the familiarity and emotional bonds with home are both depicted as powerful motivating forces that are to be wrestled with before making major life decisions. As Eilis, the young woman torn between two countries, two sets of friends, and two potential lovers, Saoirse Ronan delivers a beautiful performance of somebody hungry to experience life with all its uncertainties and difficulties. The result is a gorgeous film about love, home and community.

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Tom Courtenay as Geoff Mercer and Charlotte Rampling as Kate Mercer in 45 Years

Brooklyn left me feeling hopeful about love and companionship with its romantic glow, but 45 Years took all of that away with its portrait of a woman starting to realise that her husband of 45 years has never been as emotionally invested in their marriage as she has. In his debut feature film Weekend writer/director Andrew Haigh proved himself to be a master at using subtle film style, especially camera position, to differentiate between the private and public dynamics of a relationship. In 45 Years Haigh again displays his ability of depicting private and public spaces, and a major incident in the film is framed around the circumstances in which somebody reveals their emotions and how that in turn affects the other person. It allows for a devastating final scene where the cut to the credits is so perfectly timed that all the restrained emotion of the film until that point finally bursts free.

ANOMALISA

David Thewlis (voice) as Michael Stone and Jennifer Jason Leigh (voice) as Lisa in Anomalisa

Continuing the theme of doomed relationships, Anomalisa goes one step further to present the world experienced by an unlikeable yet not completely unsympathetic man who has become incapable of forming any type of relationship with anybody at all. While the film’s darkly humorous existentialism is a trademark for writer/director Charlie Kaufman (who shares directorial duties with Duke Johnson) the use of stop-motion puppet animation is both unusual and weirdly inventive in its blandness. However, as the main concept of the film becomes clear so does the rationale for using the animated puppetry, making Anomalisa yet another singular vision by Kaufman that is bitterly funny, uncomfortable and melancholic.

Steve Jobs

Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak and Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Steve Jobs is that despite how overtly fictionalised it is, it still delivers a convincing and engaging version of ‘reality’. Structured like a three act play, with each act set right before Jobs is about to launch a major new product, the self contained backstage spaces become a microcosmos for the dramas in Jobs’s life to play out. Across the three different time periods he interacts with the same group of people, moving from being a ruthless, arrogant visionary with a messiah complex to a slightly less ruthless, arrogant visionary with a messiah complex. The combination of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy script, Danny Boyle’s flamboyant directorial style, the first rate ensemble cast and the setting, give this unconventional biopic the energy of a backstage musical.

Hail, Casar!

Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix in Hail, Caesar!

My favourite film by Joel and Ethan Coen is still their 1991 masterpiece Barton Fink, a Faustian story set in the classical Hollywood studio system where an aspiring young writer trades his integrity, soul and sanity for a shot at the big time. Hail, Caesar! is a sort-of companion piece by the Coens, although set a decade later in the 1950s and much lighter in tone. At the centre of a sprawling narrative that involves a group of Communist writers kidnapping the star of a new Biblical epic, is a fictionalised version of producer and studio ‘fixer’ Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin. With no shortage of deliberately overt symbolism and references, Mannix is a flawed Christ figure who spends the film taking the sins of the studio on his shoulders, while resisting the temptation of abandoning his flock at the factory of dreams. The Coens manage to have their cake and eat it to with their loving tributes to the films of the classical Hollywood era while also presenting a scathing critique of the studio system as encapsulating the worst aspects of capitalism.

Thomas Caldwell, 2016

Films I loved in January 2016

31 January 2016
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Jacob Tremblay as Jack Newsome and Brie Larson as Joy Newsome in Room

I’ve been a fan of Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson for a while, but with Room he has made his strongest film to-date. The events are mostly depicted from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy who has never known anything else other than the small room he is locked in with his mother who gave birth to him there. The information about the nature of their situation is carefully revealed so that the film never becomes too harrowing, while at the same time it is always clear what the stakes are. Similar to Abrahamson’s 2012 film What Richard Did, a major plot development halfway through the film results in a dramatic narrative shift, but the overall focus remains on what it is like for a child to experience the world after such a traumatic introduction to it. Parts of this film had me wound up extremely tight with its masterful command of tension while other parts were almost overwhelming with its emotional power.

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Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet and Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird in Carol

Todd Haynes’s ability to make films that challenge traditional film style and narrative structure is only matched by his ability to make films that are seemingly conventional on the surface, but just as provocative, bold and intriguing. Carol is one of his seemingly conventional films with its mannered story of an affair between two women – with significant class and age differences – in New York, USA, in the 1950s. Haynes used the themes and iconography of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas to great effect in his 2002 film Far from Heaven to explore social issues from the same period with a contemporary perspective. In Carol he overtly references David Lean’s 1945 drama Brief Encounter to tell a love story, which similarly plays out in key scenes through glances, gestures and other moments of unspoken communication. Considering the style, era it is set in and themes, Carol‘s supposed conventionality is what makes it so enjoyably unconventional.

CoS

Cemetery of Splendour

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s  Cemetery of Splendour is a suitably dreamlike film, set in and around a make-shift hospital that cares for soldiers who cannot awaken from their sleep. This strange and gentle film does have a narrative, but it’s secondary to the film’s visual and thematic exploration of contrasts such as nature and science, dreaming and being awake, the human world and the spirit world, tradition and modernity. There are moments of sly humour and mysterious intrigue, but suggesting it delivers typical cinematic pleasures would be misleading as the joy of this film is not obvious or easily explained. A sequence where the light slowly changes colour is one of the film’s highlights and no words can do justice to such a sensory moment. The first time I saw Cemetery of Splendour I was exhausted and continually drifted in and out of sleep while sitting in the cinema, which was just as enjoyable a way of watching the film as the second time when I was fully awake and alert!

SpotlightPic#11

Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian and Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes in Spotlight

Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight is a suburb ensemble drama about the team of investigative reporters from The Boston Globe who in 2001 uncovered the full scope of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston. The appalling nature of the abuse and coverup in other parts of America and the rest of the world, was explored in-depth in Alex Gibney’s 2012 documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, but Spotlight is more focused on the how the team of journalists were able to gain trust, uncover evidence and expose the crimes in a climate where their investigations were largely not welcomed. It is also a fascinating look at just how much technology, communication and journalism has changed in the fifteen years since the film was set. Most impressive is how Spotlight avoids being emotionally overwhelming, but allows characters to express feelings of anger, horror, betrayal and loss at key moments to remind us how high the stakes are.

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Christian Bale as Michael Burry in The Big Short

The energy and sense of controlled chaos that Adam McKay brings to the various  Will Ferrell comedies that he has previously directed can be felt in The Big Short, a comedic drama about the people who foresaw and then effectively bet on the financial crisis of 2007-2008. And yet as much as I have enjoyed many of McKay’s previous films, I did not imagine that he was capable of so skilfully presenting the dry and dull details of the financial market in a way that is this accessible, entertaining and alarming. The Big Short joins the ranks of the growing number of excellent narrative films and documentaries to have emerged over the past few years to draw attention to the blend of greed, predatory behaviour, stupidity and egomania that allowed the global financial crisis to not just happen, but to then let the perpetrators off the hook so they can do it again. We should all be very angry and McKay helps us to feel that.

Bone Tomahawk

Kurt Russell as Sheriff Franklin Hunt in Bone Tomahawk

The western genre is undergoing a curious revival in independent cinema and one of my favourites of the recent batch is Bone Tomahawk, which has been released directly onto home entertainment in Australia. It’s certainly my preferred current western that features Kurt Russell in a slow burn narrative that focuses on the dynamics between a group of characters before culminating in scenes of ultra-violence. Combining the traditional storyline from The Searchers, about the search for a kidnapped white woman, with the graphic horror, psychological anxiety and brutal post-colonial social critique of the cannibal film, Bone Tomahawk is a seamless fusion of genres that completely won me over.

Thomas Caldwell, 2016

Favourite Films of 2015

23 December 2015

These are the films that I felt were the most innovative, important and influential; taking into account my own personal response to each one including how likely I was to want to see them more than once. Previously I’ve only considered films with a full theatrical release, but changing distribution models mean I’ve also included films with limited seasons, VOD releases and released direct to home entertainment.

Favourite ten films released in Melbourne, Australia, in 2015

Birdman
1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro G Iñárritu, 2014)
Released January

 

Inside Out2. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
Released June

 

Inherent Vice
3. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
Released March

 

FRD-25474.TIF
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

Released May

 

The Salt of the Earth
5. The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, 2014)
Released April

 

The Lobster
6. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
Released October

 

2014_09_17HTM_0124_Tim Conigrave (Ryan Corr), John Caleo (Craig Stott) copy
7. Holding the Man (Neil Armfield, 2015)
Released August

 

Wild
8. Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2014)
Released January

 

Far from the Madding Crowd
9. Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Vinterberg, 2015)
Released June

 

ItFollows5LARGE
10. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Released April

 

Honourable mentions

Twenty more films I loved this year, listed alphabetically:

'71
‘71 (Yann Demange, 2014)
Released March

 

A Most Violent Year
A Most Violent Year (JC Chandor, 2014)
Released February

 

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on ExistenceA Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron, Roy Andersson, 2014)
Released October

 

Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
Released July

 

CloudsClouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Released May

 

EXM_D018_02784Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
Released May

 

LeviathanLeviathan (Leviafan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Released March

 

London RoadLondon Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)
Released September

 

Love & MercyLove & Mercy (Bill Pohlad, 2014)
Released June

 

MarshlandMarshland (La isla minima, Alberto Rodríguez, 2014)
Released June

 

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie, 2015)
Released July

 

still_252359Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Released December

 

The AssassinThe Assassin (Nie yin niang, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2015)
Released November

 

The Diary of a Teenage GirlThe Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller, 2015)
Released September

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBYThe Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (Ned Benson, 2013)
Released March

 

The DressmakerThe Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)
Released October

 

Jason Segel copy 2The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt, 2015)
Released December

 

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The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Released November

 

The MartianThe Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)
Released October

 

The Tribe by the Ukrainian writer-director Myroslav SlaboshpytskiyThe Tribe (Plemya, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2014)
Released May

Special mention

Most of the other notable films I saw this year will be released in Melbourne in 2016, so I’ll include them on next year’s list rather than here, but I do want to give a special mention to one glorious film, whose fate in Australia outside of the festival screenings it received throughout 2015 seems to remain unknown:

Song of the Sea
Song Of The Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014)

This list was compiled for the Senses of Cinema 2015 World Poll

 

Thank you for reading my monthly summaries throughout the year and thank you to those of you who listen to my various radio spots. I was sad to finish up on the Breakfasters on Triple R (3RRR 102.7FM) a few weeks ago, but I decided that after being their Thursday morning film critic for the past six years, it was time to move on. However, Plato’s Cave keeps going from strength to strength and will return in 2016, and hopefully there will be a few more things that fall into place too.

But for now, I will leave you with the poem I was inspired to write after seeing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation:

Cruise Control

Cruise Control (click to enlarge)

Thomas Caldwell 2015