History of the World Part 1

Homophobia in the cinema of Mel Brooks

Now that comedy master Mel Brooks has turned 90, I think we should examine an element of his oeuvre that has, to a certain extent, been swept under the rug rather disgracefully while praise for his achievements has been lavished on him to no end. I’m talking about the homophobia evident in many of his…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Andrew Mercado Ozploitation

The Unknown Stuntman Talks Ozploitation

I’ve long been a fan of Australian exploitation or “ozploitation” cinema, so I’m always excited when this under-appreciated segment of Aussie film history gets a little recognition. The idea that new audiences might be exposed to our long history of low-budget horror classics, genre mash-ups, comedies, sex romps and so-bad-its-goodies gives me a vicarious thrill…

By James Curnow
You Better Take Cover

You Better Take Cover: Men at Work Down Under

There was once a time when many Australians believed that the 1981 song Down Under by Men at Work should be the national anthem. Come to think of it, they probably still do. Which is why I’m quite sure that You Better Take Cover, Harry Hayes’ new documentary account of the song’s history, is likely…

By James Curnow
Good Morning Vietnam

Powerful Put-Downs: 8 Downright Devilish Onscreen Insults

A well-written, expertly relayed verbal barb can be one of the most satisfying things to hear in a movie—especially when it’s proffered to a character who deserves it—and even the smallest throwaway line can be most effective when delivered at the right moment. I’ve heard a lot of celluloid jibes in my day, and I…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Hunt for the Wilde

Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople

What is it about the New Zealanders? There is a consistent effortlessness in the cinematic output of this small nation that I can’t help but admire. While Australian filmmakers often find themselves (either deliberately or unconsciously) producing works that strive for international acceptance, New Zealanders seem entirely indifferent to such things. And so it is…

By James Curnow
Spoke the movie em baker

Interview: Em Baker hits the road in ‘Spoke’

For most of us, travelling across the United States would likely involve a lot of flying, tour buses, and train travel. Not so for Em Baker, whose film Spoke will soon screen at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. Baker filmed herself and her companions as they rode 5600 kilometres from one side of the United…

By James Curnow
Todd Who? Todd Lundgren

Interviewing Gavin Bond: Todd Who? Todd Rundgren!

Ahead of the premiere screening of his new film, Todd Who?, at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, I sat down with filmmaker and film critic Gavin Bond to discuss two things. Firstly, I wanted to know what inspired his love of cinema. And secondly, I wanted to know more about how his life-long obsession with…

By James Curnow