Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sunnyboy

Director: Kaye Harrison

A documentary movie about Jeremy Saxon Oxley, the charismatic lead singer of The Sunnyboys, an Australian pub band of the 80s. Oxley was a child prodigy and young surfing champion who wrote songs and mastered the guitar. He and his brother started a group which quickly rose in popularity during the Punk era. Initially they enjoyed immense success but Oxley was battling bipolar disease and drinking heavily. As a result sales floundered and the band broke up in 1984 and Oxley withdrew from the Australian music scene. Over the following decades the lead sing was able to repair his life and relationships and re-emerge valiantly with his old band to perform again in 2012.` Kaye Harrison explores the life and times of Jeremy Saxon Oxley. The Sunnyboy also features lots of music, archive photos and footage of the band from their musical heyday and beyond. A must see for all Sunnyboy fans and everyone interested in learning more about bipolar disease.

THE SUNNYBOY TRAILER from Kaye Harrison on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mystery Road

Director: Ivan Sen

Starring: Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jack Thompson, Tasma Walton, Tony Barry, Robert Mammone, Jack Charles, Damian Walshe-Howling, David Field, Bruce Spence, Daniel Roberts, Samara Weaving, Roy Billing, Zoe Carides, Tricia Whitton.

A smoldering psychological drama about an Aboriginal police officer, Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen), increasingly at odds with his department, family and his people. After the discovery of a local girl slain by the roadside Swan, recently returned from working in the city, begins to investigate but is soon hampered by his Sargeant (Tony Barry) and colleague, Johnno (Hugo Weaving), with whom he clashes. The more mystery Swan untangles the more he highlights the divide that exists between blacks and whites, young and old, rural values and big city smarts. This is a well crafted cinema noir with some great cameos from David Field, Jack Thompson, Damian Walshe-Howling, Roy Billing, Ryan Kwanten, Zoe Carides, Tasma Walton and Jack Charles. If you enjoyed Jedda, Red Hill and Dead Heart, then this is a must for you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sunshine on Leith

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Starring: George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Peter Mullan

Based on a stage play by Stephen Greenhor it features the songs of the Proclaimers. Two battle weary soldiers, Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie) are trying to rebuild their lives and loves back in their hometown of Leith after a tour of Afghanistan. Davy is suffering PTSD and has just met Yvonne (Antonia Thomas) and loner Ally is planning to marry Davy’s sister, Liz (Freya Mavor), but she wants to go to America. Davy’s father Rab (Peter Mullan) is hiding a secret from his wife, Jean (Jane Horrocks). Not exactly plain sailing, the drama is played out in the backdrop of the Capital of Scotland. The Proclaimers’ harmonies translate well into musical numbers, but the delivery varies between polished and somebody hollering in the shower. Not the best choreographed musical but what it lacks in subtleties and emotional wallop it certainly makes up in cheeriness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thanks For Sharing

Director: Stuart Blumberg

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Alecia Moore (Pink)

Set in New York this is comedy drama about six revering sex addicts. Likable, Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is celebrating five years of sexual sobriety and attends his 12-step meetings. His sponsor Mike (Tim Robbins), suggests he start dating again and he meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cancer survivor with her own personal issues. Meantime Adam’s son Danny (Patrick Fugit) has a drug problem which ‘causes his mother (Joely Richardson) much stress. Adam’s life becomes more complicated when he becomes a sponsor, to Neil (Josh Gad), an obnoxious, porn-addicted E.R. doctor who will lose his job because of his addiction. This is a well meant sporadically entertaining’ thirty something’s with addiction issues. ’ To its credit it does paint a sympathetic picture of addiction but in the name of light entertainment glosses over the uglier bits.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Gatekeepers

Director: Dror Mareh

A riveting and intimate documentary into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict told by six surviving former heads of Israel’s secret service agency, Shin Bet. After Israel’s crushing victory over its neighbours during the Six Day War in 1967 the country was left it in control of a vast, hostile population living under Occupation. Revealing confessions of torture and terrorism, arrests and assassinations are illustrated with archival footage and chilling animations. The Bus 300 executions, the monitoring of Jewish militants, the intelligence failures leading to the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin are all described leaving the viewer to work out is this the whole truth. However the extra ordinary documentary does off a window into the moral dilemmas faced by the government agency as events unfold. Amazing viewing.