Australian & New Zealand Films

The Nightingale: Australia’s brutal colonial past exposed

By Jason Quill, 27 October 2020

Jennifer Kent’s film follows Irish convict Clare Carroll through the Tasmanian wilderness in 1825, as she seeks revenge for a terrible act of violence committed against her family.

“Cinema has the potential to make us richer in spirit”—filmmaker Paul Cox (1940–2016)

By Richard Phillips, 11 July 2016

Cox directed over 40 dramatic features and documentaries—the overwhelming majority on paper-thin budgets—during his more than forty-year career.

25 April: Animated documentary on New Zealand’s role in the Gallipoli invasion

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 25 June 2016

The film shows the horrors of war but fails to challenge the nationalist mythology surrounding the Anzacs.

Looking for Grace—a strangely cold story about a teenager leaving home

By John Harris, 9 May 2016

The movie centres on the efforts of a lower middle-class couple to find their runaway teenage daughter and only child.

Force of Destiny—a thoughtful film about surviving cancer

By Richard Phillips, 16 November 2015

Australian filmmaker Paul Cox’s first dramatic feature in seven years explores some of the complex emotional issues confronting those fighting cancer.

“Cinema must have a social conscience”

Veteran filmmaker Paul Cox discusses his latest feature

By Richard Phillips, 16 November 2015

Australian writer and director speaks about Force of Destiny, his artistic approach, concerns about militarism and the commercial pressures on filmmakers.

Four Australian movies: Van Diemen’s Land, Beautiful Kate, Last Ride and Lucky Country

By George Morley, 20 January 2010

With Australian Film Institute (AFI) annual award winners announced late last year month, critics and others have been offering their opinions as to the merits of the country’s movies.

Baz Luhrmann’s Australia: a superficial jumble

By Richard Phillips, 18 December 2008

Luhrmann’s $A190 million movie—the most expensive in Australian film history—is a syrupy and patronising mish-mash.

Racism and small-town bigotry

Australian Rules, directed by Paul Goldman

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2002

Australian Rules, directed by Paul Goldman and based on Phillip Gwynne’s semi-autobiographical novel Deadly, Unna? is a compassionate exposure of racism and small-town bigotry and its tragic consequences.

RadianceDirected by Rachel Perkins, screenplay by Louis Nowra

Unhelpful praise for an imperfect film

By Milan Zubic and Richard Phillips, 11 August 1998

Radiance, the first feature film by Aboriginal director Rachel Perkins is the story of three women who return home to a small town on the Queensland coast for their mother's funeral.

The Sound of One Hand Clappingwritten and directed by Richard FlanaganThe Boysdirected by Rowan Woods, screenplay by Stephen Sewell

Two Australian films

By Milan Zubic and Richard Phillips, 6 June 1998

Two recently released films, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and The Boys, are an important departure from the generally vacuous and tiresome movies produced in Australia over the last five years, such as Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.

The 48th Berlin International Film Festival

A number of valuable new works

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998

At first glance the Berlin International Film Festival presented a bewildering array of films from dozens of countries. A perusal of the reviews and documentation was necessary to determine which films appeared to go beyond mere Hollywood-type entertainment and offer fresh and challenging material.

Jane Campion's The Piano: A sensitive touch to a fairly selfish theme

By David Walsh, 17 January 1994

In Jane Campion's film The Piano, mute Scottish widow Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) and her child take themselves off to New Zealand in 1852 to start a new life.