A roundup of classic films and catalogue titles currently in the news.
In celebration of Baz Luhrmann’s birthday last month, pop culture site Wikia posted a pair of articles on the Luhrmannator. See Jamie Freedman’s take on Luhrmann’s directorial style and preoccupations, then read Drew Dietsch’s take on the director’s Red Curtain trilogy, aka Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge.
Drew McWeeny has long been one of my favourite online film writers. He’s recently launched a new podcast with Scott Weinberg called 80s All Over, which reviews every film released in American cinemas throughout the 1980s month by month. It’s a good listen, and the March 1980 episode touches on, among other releases, George Miller’s Mad Max. Take a listen.
In the lead-up to the NRL Grand Final, FilmInk posted a piece on six Australian films about Rugby League worth watching (with a seventh British classic thrown in for good measure). Read the list compiled by Erin Free and Anthony James over at FilmInk.
That’s not the only list compiled recently by the good folks at FilmInk. Inspired by the BBC’s list of the 100 best films of the 21st century, which featured only two Australian films (plus a third by an Australian director, Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James…), writers Erin Free, Dov Kornits and Travis Johnson took on the monumental task of ranking the 100 Best Australian Films of the New Millennium. It’s a fantastic list and shines a light on many good films still awaiting their proper due, many of which will hopefully be covered on Down Under Flix. Top spot went to Mad Max: Fury Road, which was also the highest ranking Australian film on the BBC’s list (at no. 19). Find out the remaining 99 films at FilmInk.
I’ll end with stories about two 2016 releases: not yet “old” titles, but films that have already had their theatrical runs locally. Firstly, at Texas-based genre film festival Fantastic Fest, Abe Forsythe’s Down Under scored awards for Best Picture and Best Director in the Comedy Features category. Down Under is a terrific film – I’d rate it second only to Ivan Sen’s Goldstone as the best local film of 2016 – so take these awards as further incentive to check it out on home and digital release. Read about the Fantastic Fest Awards here.
Finally, Gods of Egypt isn’t an Australian film per se, but was an Australia-based production from an Australian director. The film was maligned on release, currently rates low on such taste-gaugers as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and led director Alex Proyas to launch a tirade against critics. I caught the film earlier this year, and truth be told didn’t fall for it, but I like & want the best for Proyas, a talented craftsman who’s responsible for two films I do very much love (The Crow, Dark City). It looks like the first signs of a positive post-theatrical afterlife have emerged over at website Birth Movies Death, where critic Devin Faraci gives the film a glowing assessment. Read what may be the first step of Gods of Egypt‘s critical rehabilitation here.