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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Valleyof 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.