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New Films of 2012: The Sapphires

This year's best offer from down under is comedic and heart warming musical that delivers that feel good factor.

Wayne Blair directs a brilliant cast lead by Chris O'dowd as he effortlessly excels as a down and out Irish 'soul brother' who manages  a quartet made up of three aboriginal sister and their mixed race cousin as they entertain the American troops in Vietnam.

A film which took its inspiration from the remarkable true story of co-writer and author of the original stage-play Tony Briggs’ mother and three aunts.

 


 

Films of 2012: Fill the Void

A love story set in a Jewish community. Director-Screenwriter Rama Burshtein's debut film rivetingly brings us the choices and final outcome of an 18 year old girl Shira. She hopes to marry the boy she adores and set to marry, but unfortunately due to sudden unexpected circumstances ends up with the husband of her dead sister. Is she just doing the right thing for the love and respect for her mother as well as other seniors around her? Or has she actually truly fallen in love with him? Burshtein explores and presents how Jewish women from the seniors to the juniors relate to each other within this particular order. Heart warming.

Films of 2012: No

Director Pablo Larrian nostalgically projects a true story of an advertising executive appointed to lead the NO campaign against the former rule in Chile of military dictator Augusto Pinochet by filming it on U-matic video cameras to emulate the style of the times in which the mere micro-wave was a new phenomenon. This film that won Directors' Fortnight 2012 transports us back to the 80s zeitgeist as authentic archival footage and style in advertising was cunningly placed.

Films of 2012: The Comedian

Israel born Director-Screenwriter Tom Shkolnik presents his first feature film with utmost sincerity that makes him a new film maker to watch.

He presents a young character Ed who's 32 in the process of finding himself as he goes through trying to keep an unsatisfying daily job and as a struggling amateur comedian by night. The film takes us through the day and night journey of Ed's reality as he meets a boy he gets connected with but then again gets confused realising strong feelings for his flatmate- a girl who's in love with him. Confused and searching, what does the future hold for him?

The film presents a variety of views and angles from a variety of random characters on sexuality, race, relationships and life in general.

Real and subtly moving.

Films of 2012: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

A play within a play within a film. Veteran French Director Alain Resnais brings together a strong well known cast of French actors as well as a group of new faces to simultaneously in act 2 plays by Jean Anouilh. An experimental mix of melancholy, philosophy and intellect fused in two theatrical plays in a film which one can possibly either appreciate as a theatre enthusiast or dislike as a film enthusiast. Well excuse me for being the latter, I just had to walk out halfway towards the ending as i had to go to another screening of a more enticing feature film in world cinema. 

Films of 2012: It Was the Son

Perhaps one of the best Italian (French co-produced) film in World Cinema this year following the likes of last year's previous Italian feature "We Have a Pope". A satirical family drama set in a poor neighbourhood of Palermo. Director-Screenwriter Daniele Cipri comically tells a story of distress and upheaval in a family impoverished and finally in the long run saved from their struggles by government compensation as the family's innocent little girl was accidentally shot. The father as brilliantly characterised by veteran actor Toni Servillo with the approval of the rest of the family members decides to buy a Mercedes Benz, then the real tragic twist occurs as pragmatically spearheaded by the family granny. Black humour at its best, a blunt and crude reality in your face in how people can end up being to survive. Simply brilliant.

Films of 2012: Compliance
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US Director-Screenwriter Craig Zobel brings us his second feature film with a plot which may be intriguing for some and just annoying for others. How can Americans be so gullible to such phone hoaxes? Apparently as researched by Zobel, his film is based on true incidents that happened at least 70 times over a 10-year period across different parts of the USA in which a man simply calls a restaurant claiming to be a police officer and convince the fast food manager to aid in catching an employee who is accused to have stolen from a customer. The caller would lead the manager down a series of events where the usually targeted victim is a teenage girl -stripped search naked, spanked, and eventually assaulted sexually within the premises as directed by the caller. Frankly this for me was an outrage, I mean how stupid can people be to end up to such an extent from a mere phone call from nowhere with no ample proof of identity that the caller is indeed an officer of law with substantial evidence of the allegation! OK, you wound and got me all fumed up Mr. Zobel, well done. No wonder this film was most talked about in the Sundance Film Festival.

Films of 2012: Doomsday Book

Korean Directors-Screenwriters Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung finally comes up with the 3rd part of their anthology film revolving on the apocalyptic themes. As much as the ideas are quirky such as the existentialist Buddhist robot, the usual zombie out break and the meteor colliding with our planet... This long awaited production may objectively be more fitting for a TV Christmas especial, yet still amusing and more or less entertaining especially for the kids.

 

Films of 2012: Anti-Viral

Common celebrity obsession has reached ridiculous extremes by which big companies produce and sell illnesses of celebs by capturing the virus and through science and technology reproduce such viruses for fanatics to buy and experience as the closest thing that a commoner could feel, and embody the well being or persona of their idols. Due to war between 2 big monopolies in this new bizarre industry, where the black market and espionage arises, a young employee of one this big companies (Syd) ends up in a twisted situation.  Canadian Screenwriter-Director Brandon Cronenberg lives up to his father's legacy and style as he debut's in the same spirit with an inventive vision almost ready to take on David Cronenberg's place in this particular genre in cinema. 

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