Movie Review – Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING)

TL;DR – A work of art for all to see.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


One of the issues living in Australia is that the likelihood of me being able to go to some of these big tent pole events across the world is quite low. However, in this age of digital connection that is not the problem that it used to be, as connections become stronger around the world. Today we take a look at a film that takes this to heart as it explores not only a concert and how it was made but also the philosophy that went that underpinned it all.

So to set the scene, last year at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or as it more commonly called Coachella, history was made. For the first time, the festival was being headlined by an African-American woman (and only the 3rd women in their history at that point) when Beyoncé stepped onto the stage to perform. These performances rocked the music world for their choreography, their musical strength, their surprise guests, and because they were full of power.

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Movie Review – Guava Island

TL;DR – A beautiful work on the power of music to shape the world     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Guava Island. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

There are a lot of things music can be, it can move you, it can move people, and it can move countries. There is the real power in music and throughout the years we have seen the power of music to shape the ideas and the structures that control people’s lives. With that in mind, today we take a look at something a little experimental, but also a little subversive, and also a little fun.

So to set the scene, we open with animation about the world we live in, Guava Island. The island was originally created by the gods to be a resting place for humans from the war that rages around. However, on the island, special blue silk was found and soon one man Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie) had taken it for himself and industrialised the whole island to produce the silk for export. However, all is not lost on Guava Island because one day a girl Kofi (Rihanna) looked out her window and saw a boy Deni (Donald Glover) playing his guitar and every night after that he played all night for her, always trying to get better.

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Movie Review – Gully Boy

TL;DR – A story about finding your voice through rap in the slums of Mumbai hits just about every beat perfectly.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a scene over the first part of the credits

Gully Boy. Image Credit: Excel Entertainment.

Review

It has been a while since I have watched a movie about becoming a music superstar that had any kind of weight and substance behind it. Usually, they are content just to ride on the fact that people know the music very well, and as long as you drop those classic songs every now and again people will lap it up. Today we get to look at a film that doesn’t just rest on its laurels and call it a day, it instead focuses deeply on what it is to come from nothing and try to make it in a very competitive world.  

So to set the scene, we open in Mumbai, India, specifically the Dharavi slums on the outskirts of the city, and we start immediately in a moment of tension when Aftab (Vijay Raaz) brings home a second younger wife, much to the annoyance of both Murad (Ranveer Singh) and his mother Razia (Amruta Subhash). Murad is working hard at school, working hard on keeping his relationship with Safeena (Alia Bhatt) on the quiet, but he has a real passion for rap. In his quiet time, he watches videos on YouTube and works on his own lyrics. However, he doesn’t have the confidence to take it to the next level, which is when MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) gives him the push he needs.

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Movie Review – Gurrumul

TL;DR – This might be one of the most important cultural touchstones of Australian cinema that I have ever seen, a beautifully honest look at the intersections that exist in Australia, and a powerful call to action.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – Watch all the credits

Warning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be advised that the following review contains depictions, images and voices of people who have died.
Gurrumul

Review

I truly did not know what to expect when I walked into the cinemas today. I had heard of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu but I honestly to my own shame while I had heard of some of his more famous songs, and the work he did in the opening song for Cleverman, it is clear that this has barely scratched the surface of his body of work. What I was not expecting was that I was about to have one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever experienced watching a work of cinema. I think I spent most of the film with tears rolling down my face. So today we will look at what I feel is one of the best cinematic touchstones to encapsulate Australia, its past, present, and future.

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Article – The Beauty of Ghibli

TL;DR – Art, Story and Music
Studio Ghibli

Article

So it has been an amazing few weeks here in the great Down Under as local cinemas have brought all of Studio Ghibli’s (株式会社スタジオジブリ) films back to the big screen. This has meant that for the first time I got to see some of my favourite films on the big screen and it has had me thinking, what is it about these films that has engendered so much love around the world? For many people in the world, Studio Ghibli films are their first introduction into the world of Japanese animation or anime, and what an introduction they are. After much thought as to why they work as well as they do, for me, I think it distils down to one factor, on the whole, Studio Ghibli films are full of beauty. So today we are going to look at the different factors that make that so, by taking a broad brush stroke across Studio Ghibli’s entire catalogue from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind¹ (風の谷のナウシカ) to today. To do this we are going to look at the stories, art, and music. Now while we will be talking about these components there may be some minor [SPOILERS] ahead for some of the films.

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