Greetings From Tim Buckley
Some of the hits from the recent Sydney Film Festival (three on this page alone) are starting to appear locally, and we recommended this little gem a few issues back. Don’t miss it this time… for everyone who ever bought CDs in the ‘90s surely owns a copy of Jeff Buckley’s Grace.But fewer know that Jeff’s dad Tim, who he never met, was also an agonisingly beautiful and talented singer-songwriter. He had a similar vocal range too, and also died tragically young (from heroin). Daniel Algrant’s drama switches between both men but mostly focuses on a 1991 tribute concert to Tim in Brooklyn. Where Jeff grapples with all that his wayward father (Ben Rosenfeld) left him – including that amazing talent. Jeff seems arrogant and aloof but eventually stuns the crowd. Penn Badgley does the honours (sings too), while Imogen Poots plays an invented gal pal. She’s gorgeous, who cares if she actually existed in Jeff’s brief life? The music (mostly Tim’s) is just sublime.
CTC at Dendy Newtown from Aug 1
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Behind the Candelabra
Stephen Soderbergh’s last big picture (the studios were nervous, it went to straight to HBO) is a glittering, dazzling, but curiously unmoving affair. Perhaps that’s because the people involved are such an unlovely, self-serving lot. Matt Damon plays a naive young man who lands a “job” as Liberace’s (Michael Douglas) live-in toy. It proves to be a tough gig – he leaves with a drug habit and surgically altered features. Rob Lowe plays a gleefully sleazy plastic surgeon, Dan Aykroyd is a creep. Warning: Multiple personality disorders, graphic plastic surgery, nudity, and a 60 year-old paunch (full frontal).
M15+ on now
The Bling Ring
So celebs like Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, and Lindsay Lohan leave their Hollywood mansions unlocked? Omigod shut-up so totally amazing! Ok, so whatev, but it is curious that the homes burgled (some repeatedly) by the affluent LA teens in Sofia Coppola’s lightly fictionalized take on actual 2009 crimes all seem to have plenty of CTV cameras, but no effective locks or alarms.Her film remains almost as distant from its subjects as the security footage that nabbed them, and that may be her point. Today’s young are the empty vessels of triumphant consumer capitalism, only the airhead played by Emma Watson seems to have any personality at all, and that’s mostly vacuous, self-obsessed and unpleasant. Brands, fame and Facebook status are all these not-too-bright high schoolers care about. We long for the spirited non-conformist young rebels of the past. “What are you rebelling against, Johnny?” Marlon Brando’s character was asked in The Wild One. “Whadda you got?” he snarls. This lot wouldn’t understand the question.
MA15+ from Aug 8
100 Bloody Acres
Reg and Lindsay Morgan (Damon Herriman and Angus Sampson) play rural hicks whose line of successful organic farm products contain a secret ingredient – one that requires a fresh supply of body parts. Enter three young travelers, frisky Sophie (Anna McGahan), her dim boyfriend (Oliver Ackland) and his irritating English mate (Jamie Kristian). They’re on their way to a music festival when their car conveniently breaks down on a lonely road. You know the rest… Clearly there’s a satiric intent here, directed squarely at city slickers gullible enough to buy anything labeled “organic.” It’s underplayed though – makers Colin and Cameron Cairnes deliver cringe-worthy scenes, comic gore and plenty of mayhem, but few surprises. Except an oral sex scene towards the end which is so disgusting you may wish you’d brought along a sick bag. Warning: Keep your (empty) popcorn bucket handy!
MA15+ at Chauvel Cinema from Aug 1