Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Disney's Renaissance era produced celebrated classics including Tarzan, The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. They revived traditional stories to fresh vigour. These works were revered by children and adults alike: the aesthetic beauty and agreeable colour, the comedic characters and the magic of a story well-told. This, as many of us know, was lost for most of the new decade. After the millenium, a good Disney film was hard-pressed to be found. Audiences were met with disappointment after disappointment including flops such as Treasure Planet and The Emperor's New Groove, with the delightful exceptions Up and Finding Nemo. In the past few years however, Disney animation has experienced something of a comeback with the release of Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and now Frozen. 

Based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Snow Queen, Frozen entails a rich journey fuelled by sisterly obligation and love as the princess Anna struggles to bring back her sister, the Queen of Arendelle, to save the Kingdom. The Queen Elsa, who possesses supernatural powers of a winter affinity, has unintentionally trapped her Kingdom in an eternal icy winter. Anna teams up with 3 unlikely companions: mountaineer Kristoff, his trusty reindeer Sven and the quirky joy that is Olaf the buck-toothed snow-man. Olaf is no doubt the most endearing sole supplier of comic relief since Up's Doug.   

Inside Llewyn Davis

My appreciation and respect for the diligent work of the Cohen brothers seems to be growing by the second. From the masterful True Grit to the cultural phenomenon Fargo and now to the subtle, urban epic Inside Llewyn Davis the brothers have shown nothing but consistency, precision and an eye for cinematic wonder. 
To be perfectly honest, I approached the film with rather prejudiced pretences regarding its content. I did have in mind its Oscar Best Picture snub and had expected it to be a rather dull and some form of pretentious cinematic secret that I just wouldn't understand. But I did understand it. In fact, I love it.  

Depicting not even a week in the life of a struggling musician Inside Llewyn Davis captures the '60s folk music scene in flawless fashion. It would be ill suffice to say that Llewyn "barely gets by". He has no place of his own, no winter coat or even a cat to call his own - but he has the highest opinion of his deprived talent, his instrument of choice and the couches of his many friends. And in the '60s what else does a struggling musician really need? 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

10th Post: Her

Her is poetic. It is aesthetic perfection. It is quiet beauty.

Director Spike Jonze's mesmeric portrayal of new love in a new world bring back memories of one emblematic and culturally significant film. The parallels that can be drawn between Her and Sofia Coppola's nostalgic and lonely Lost in Translation are many. In innovative and artistic fashion Spike Jonze has simply conveyed the traditional message of universal love in a higher and more unusual medium.

Set in the not-too-distant future, Jonze has carved out an unlikely romance between a lonesome letter writer, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), in the final stages of his divorce and an OS. The OS is an operating system  designed to suit the needs of every user that has revolutionised the way humans endeavour to love. Theodore becomes increasingly attached to his OS, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), so that progressively he comes to question his place, right and ability to love her.  

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Book Thief

The Book Thief was presented, via its extensive advertising campaign, to be a a piece of unusual and thought-provoking cinema. I mean a candid perspective of Nazi Germany conflict from that of a child's? It is no wonder the novel was met with such attention and quiet spectacle. However, director Brian Percival's independent vision has polarised critics - its innocent representation said to be trifling and insulting - thats is its simplicity almost satirically tragic. An abundance of snow and laughter and simple gestures of love, The Book Thief is never cold. It is at times heartbreaking in its beauty but its uneven quality compromises what could have been a truly great film. 

Narrated by "the Angel of Death", Liesel Meminger ( Sophie Nélisseis taken in by foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson). Surrounded by the propaganda of Hitler's movement, Leisel's foster family take to providing shelter and concealing a Jewish man, Max Vanderberg. Together, Leisel and Max indulge in the forbidden joy of books and literature.  

Friday, 10 January 2014


My favourite cinema in Melbourne is located on Collins St, tucked quietly away behind an open sunlit food court. The theatres are more private, clean and quite small - the smallest one having not four rows. The matinee showing of Philomena attracted a crew of about 20 elderly citizens. No doubt the appeal for that older demographic came from the title character Philomena. 
Naïve to the modern world and all its corruptions, Philomena is endearingly constructed and portrayed. She is the finest achievement in the film - Judi Dench's performance is pitch perfect, her portrayal of the central character is a true testament to her 55 years of experience in the industry. She is subtle and moving: as Philomena she is unwaveringly credible - from scenes of true heartbreak to the smallest joys. She is convincing in conversations, particularly with Steve Coogan's character (free lance journalist, Martin Sixsmith) which expose tiny corners at a time of her colourful character.  

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Attention for Actresses: The Overrated, Underrated and Deserved

Hollywood hype often blurs the distinction between an actress who is a true asset to cinema and those who simply get by on good looks. Here is my ode to the under-appreciated actresses of our time and my shaking fist to the duly overrated. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

YouTube: An Intimate Guide to Free Entertainment

In celebration of having reached my 500th pageview and the one month anniversary of starting Cinema 13 I thought I'd pay tribute to YouTube. Well no, that's not entirely true. 
YouTube is an incredible entertainment platform where we can watch music videos, vlogs, demonstrations and for people like me; trailers, promos, film clips and at times films themselves.   

This is "The Failure We Call Copyright"

An exposition of films and T.V series' found on YouTube

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Railway Man

As a young engineer captured by the Japanese in World War II, Eric Lomax (Jeremy Irvine) was forced to work on what is today known as the "Death Railway". Years later, an afflicted Lomax (Colin Firth) is given the opportunity for retribution when a fellow veteran, another POW, locates his tormentor (Hiroyuki Sanada). 

British-Australian film The Railway Man exceeded expectations in numerous ways.