IN CINEMAS: The Turning

Still from The Turning

Hot on the heels of last week’s UK release of Julius Avery’s heist thriller Son of a Gun, comes another Western Australian tinged cinematic delight of a wholly different flavour. Produced by Robert Connolly and adapted from the best-selling short story collection by internationally renowned author Tim Winton, The Turning is a portmanteau film that subtly weaves a sparse narrative surrounding members of the Lang family, exploring the impact of the past and how futures are sometimes shaped in the smallest moments.


IN CINEMAS: Son of a Gun

Son of a Gun UK quad

Fresh from last year’s BFI London Film Festival (where it landed an unlikely nomination for Best Film), taut heist thriller Son of a Gun is the first feature from writer-director Julius Avery, whose short film Jerrycan won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008. Imports Ewan McGregor and Alicia Vikander star alongside up-and-comer Brenton Thwaites, who plays a young prisoner taken under the protective wing of McGregor’s criminal hard man – accruing a debt that must be repaid on the outside.


VOX POP: The Babadook

Production still from The Babadook (Source: Icon)

It may be a dying art these days, but anyone of a certain age will likely remember those advertorials where punters were asked what they thought of a film as they left a screening. Well, our semi-regular Vox Pop column is updating that notion for the 21st century by attempting to gauge the mood of the Twitterverse about Australian films in the UK, putting it somewhere between criticism by consensus and an opinionated free-for-all.

Jennifer Kent’s pop-up book scarefest The Babadook landed in British and Irish cinemas on Friday (in what constituted the widest release of an Australian film here for some time). The critics may have lauded it with four and five star reviews, and early indications suggest that it has had a strong opening weekend, but lets see what the punters thought.


IN CINEMAS: The Babadook

Still from The Babadook (SOURCE: Icon)

A little boy, a mysterious picture book, a strung-out mother still struggling to cope with the death of her husband six years earlier, and one very sinister monster, who may or may not be coming to kill them both.

“If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look – you can’t get rid of the Babadook!”


OUT NOW: The Last Impresario


It may not be a household name, but ‘Michael White’ appears on the credits of 200-odd theatre and film productions. A key cultural player in 1970s Britain, White’s midas hand touched everything from The Rocky Horror Show to Monty Python’s Holy Grail, and introduced ground-breaking figures such as Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch to UK audiences.


IN CINEMAS: Mystery Road

Production still from Mystery Road

To celebrate the UK cinema release of Ivan Sen’s potent, highly-charged slow-burn western Mystery Road, this review (of sorts) meanders in search of the film’s place within forty-odd years of through lines in the Australian film industry.



Still from Tracks (2013)

In what is looking increasingly like a bumper year for Australian cinema in British cinemas, ANZAC Day (April 25) sees the release of Tracks, the long-awaited adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s memoir which detailed a nine-month solo trek across the vast Australian outback from Alice Springs across the top of Western Australia to the Indian Ocean.


IN CINEMAS: The Rocket

Still from The Rocket

How, you may ask, could a film shot in south-east Asia, set entirely in Laos and featuring local actors in a local story told entirely in Lao, possibly be considered Australian? Welcome to the world of transnational cinema, my friend, where contemporary Australian filmmakers are increasingly looking to rest of the world not only as locations to send their Australian characters (Wish You Were Here, The Sapphires, Dead Europe), but also as discrete spaces that have a wealth of stories of their own to share (Lore, Ruin)


IN CINEMAS: Wake in Fright

Still from Wake in Fright

Ever since it’s recovery, restoration and Australian re-release a few years back, Wake in Fright (1971) – Ted Kotcheff’s unnervingly brutal picaresque of life in the Australian outback  – has done the rounds of London screening nights, played the odd festival, and even got a trio of excellent 35mm screenings earlier this year. But now, after reissues in Australia and North America – and over forty years after its original UK release as Outback in November 1971 – it is finally time for the film to return to British cinemas via a limited theatrical re-release, leading up to Eureka Entertainment’s deluxe Masters of Cinema dual-format treatment later in the month.