Movies – 279

2016 Spanish Film Festival

If you’re on a good thing, do it again! Last year the always wildly popular Spanish Film Festival opened with Spain’s biggest ever box office hit, A Spanish Affair, and quick as a flash, there’s a sequel. Spanish Affair 2 has the same madcap crew plus a bunch of their new Catalan friends, and it’s a typically high-spirited way to launch 2016’s program of 32 comedies, dramatic features, thrillers and docos from Spain and Latin America.

Here’s three no serious cinema-lovers should miss:
Eva Doesn’t Sleep, an Argentine film starring Gael Garcia Bernal that relates the incredible saga of Eva Peron’s body following her death;
• The moving Ma Ma, which stars Penélope Cruz giving another masterful performance;
• Best of all is the closing night sensation, Ciro Guerra’s award winning Embrace of the Serpent, a breathtaking odyssey through the Amazon.

At Palace Cinemas Apr 12 – May 1.

Full program:

Thanks to the Spanish Film Festival and Palace Cinemas, we have 10 double passes to give away to festival films. See our Giveaways page for details.


movies-daniel-guzmanFestival Guest: Daniel Guzmán at Norton Street

Charismatic Madrid-born actor/director Daniel Guzmán describes his debut feature Nothing In Return as autobiographical, and if that’s so, he sure had an eventful adolescence…

The drama, which stars Miguel Herrán, tells the story of a 16-year-old hothead whose life goes dramatically off the rails. It took him nine years to make – time well spent it seems as it won him Best New Director at the 2016 Goya Awards.

You can meet Daniel at the Festival opening at Palace Norton St on April 12, and at a special Q&A at Palace Verona on April 17.


movies-where-to-invadeWhere To Invade Next

Michael Moore’s last film, the sarcastically titled Capitalism: A Love Story was a passionate cry of rage at the banking system that gave us the GFC, all peppered with his acerbic dark wit.

He’s still mad as hell, still just as funny, but the old man has mellowed a bit (he’s supporting Clinton, not Sanders!). And Where To Invade Next is his friendliest and most generous-hearted film yet. And it isn’t about US’s aggressive foreign policy – actually Moore’s idea of “invasion” is as benign as pillaging other nation’s good ideas.

So it’s off to Italy where workers have more than the US’s two week annual holiday, France where school lunches aren’t tasteless lumps of beige lard, Norway where jails are more like comfy retreats and Portugal where druggies don’t get sniffed by dogs and locked up. And so on, in fact everywhere in Europe is so much cooler than his homeland – a belief that lots of Inner Westies share (They have light rail! They hate McDonalds! They ride bicycles!).

But surely we’ve got something he can steal? NSW’s new bicycle safety laws, maybe…?

CTC from April 7.

Thanks to Madman Entertianment we have 5 double passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.



There’s a telling scene glimpsed early on in Aussie Jennifer Peedom’s compelling doco about the ‘Everest Industry’. A tiny woman is struggling to pull one of those monster-sized packs full of creature comforts for trekkers – luxury items such as beer as often as not.

Porters like her will make multiple trips up and down the treacherous mountain for a single expedition. And for all the gushing from liberal-minded trekkers about “the beautiful Nepalese people” , there’s a clear set of expectations here: Westerners get to feel like Gods while being spoilt rotten.

While the crew were filming, an avalanche killed sixteen Nepalese workers. One Sherpa called Phurba Tashi, himself about to make his own record breaking 22nd ascent of Everest, became an unlikely leader and made a surprising and dramatic decision – none of them will go up the mountain.

So is he a labour hero? Or as one Western trekker says, “a terrorist.” The scenery is stunning, the ironies as sharp as the incredible peaks.

M from Mar 31.


movies-grandmaYoung At Heart Film Festival

There aren’t many good things about getting on in years (the $2.50 capped Gold Opal Card excepted), but cinemas do treat their over-60s patrons pretty well. And Palace have excelled themselves once again, not only with $6 festival tickets for Gold Club Card members, but with a generous and intelligent selection of films for this year’s Young At Heart Film Festival.

There’s nary a Marigold Hotel or a lady in a van in sight, but there is a fair smattering of previews of their yet to be released art-house gems (Mia Madre, A Month Of Sundays, The Man Who Knew Infinity). Plus some overlooked foreign and indie hits – France’s Louder Than Bombs and Japan’s Our Little Sister from multiple Cannes prize winner, Kore-eda Hirokazu). And an audience-fave from last year’s Sydney Film Festival – Grandma starring Lilly Tomlin as a foul-mouthed, stony broke lesbian poet. Doesn’t she live in Leichhardt?

At Palace Cinemas April 1 to April 7

Bookings and info

Reviews: Russell Edwards