Category Archives: filmmaking

Point of View

Film might never reach its potential if it is constrained by path-dependent notions. Perhaps certain notions and ideas are only accidental habits. Perhaps in the fullness of time, those ideas might constitute the evidence of an art form that was in its infancy. One such idea is that a film must side with one particular character, […]

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The Power of Music

Here is Harry Dean Stanton performing José López Alavéz’s song Cancion Mixteca. An instrumental version of the song, played by Ry Cooder, was used in Wim Wender’s ‘Paris, Texas‘ – to heartbreaking effect. Cinema can completely disarm an audience, leaving them defenceless against the full power of great music.

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The Responsibilities of Cinema

Within that aura which unites masterpieces and audience, the best sides of our souls are made known, and we long for them to be freed. In those moments we recognise and discover ourselves, the unfathomable depths of our own potential, and the furthest reaches of our emotions. Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time pp43 How can […]

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Violence

Dear Readers, There are moral repercussions to all acts of violence. Art that depicts realistic violence and deliberately omits the moral dimension of the act, is dehumanising and wrong. Two recent examples come to mind. The first is ‘Underbelly’ – a TV series based on real-life criminals who wrought violence and misery on the Australian East-coast. The […]

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Detail

I must re-emphasise, if just for my own benefit, that the films that I’ve been most impressed with and most engrossed in, pay attention to detail. ‘A Prophet’ is another great film that is rich in seemingly* authentic detail**. This creates the illusion that you are watching real events, real people, in a real world […]

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The Surface

There is a nice quote from Leonardo Da Vinci which goes something like this: “Think about the surface of the work. Above all think about the surface” — Bresson in ‘Excerpts from an Interview with Robert Bresson’ (James Blue, 1965)

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What makes a film ‘too bleak’?

One of the arguments recently levelled against Australian films is that they tend to be too bleak or too miserable (Last Ride, Beautiful Kate, Blessed, etc.). But many of the greatest films ever made are incredibly dark to the point you might label them ‘bleak’ or ‘miserable’. So what makes a film ‘too bleak’? I […]

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Scary Face

In the most terrifying moments in film, there is always a face The face of someone who shouldn’t be there. (Bob, at the end of the bed in ‘Twin Peaks’) The face of the dead. (The girl in the jar of formaldehyde in ‘The Kingdom’) The face of the old. (The old woman in the […]

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Incongruous Detail

Like the magician’s left hand… Three Colours Blue: A beach ball rolls out of the crashed car, across the road and onto a field. The Limits of Control: Two men carry a bathtub across the piazza. The Mirror: The encounter with the doctor; the fence breaking, the locked briefcase, the wind rustling through the bushes […]

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