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Films In 1997

Victor and Betty - masterfully played by French screen mainstays Michel Serrault and Isabelle Huppert - are an odd couple peddling one of the oldest scams in the con artist's manual. Checking into luxury hotels, the alluring Betty cosies up to a wealthy looking mark, accompanies him to his room and ... Read more
Australian films have been a highlight of the Festival of late. What seems to fascinate us most is hearing our own stories. Melbourne film­makers Sue Brooks, Alison Tilson and Sue Maslin will have you in fits of laughter with this astutely observed first feature, Road to Nhill. This ... Read more
A riddle: A wolf, a sheep and a cabbage need to cross a river. How can you bring them across, one by one, without the sheep eating the cabbage or the wolf eating the sheep? ... Read more
Simon is secretly in love with Camille, but Camille has fallen for Marc. Marc is Simon's boss, and he's trying to sell an apartment to Odile, Camille's sister. Odile is determined to buy the apartment, despite silent disapproval from her husband, Claude. Claude looks unfavourably on Nicolas, who is ... Read more
Secret Defence is a powerful and original French crime thriller about a brother and sister caught up in layers of mystery which emerges from the supposedly accidental death of their father five years earlier. Soon after Paul decides to seek out his father's killer but ends up injured in hospital ... Read more
See the Sea, the most ambitious film in a recent trilogy of shorts and featurettes by prolific French director François Ozon, portrays the clash between the worlds of two women. Alone with her baby on the Ile d'Yeu, Sasha, a young British mother, agrees to let dour backpacker Tatiana pitch a ... Read more
A compendium of short animated gags that push the boundaries of good taste and humour from one of America's most controversial animators. Plympton shows us the trouble confused priorities can cause, as well as offering up a series of satirical vignettes which cover every thing from the southern ... Read more
Sick chronicles the life and art of poet and per­formance artist Bob Flanagan and his ongo­ing struggle against the scourge of Cystic Fibrosis. A gruelling and highly explicit film Sick is director Kirby Dick's wildly original and audacious third documentary. The filmmaker was exceptionally ... Read more
Slam is a powerful, sensitive portrait of Raymond Joshua a talented black poet from the Washington DC projects. When he is arrested on petty drug charges, Joshua is thrown into the black hole that is the DC county jail. There he meets the two people who can redirect his life: a prison gang leader ... Read more
A highly emotional, immensely enjoyable and affecling film, Smoke Signals was met with a rapturous response at the London and Sundance Film Festivals. Director Chris Eyre walked off with both the coveted Audience Award and Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance. ... Read more
Did Michelle really spend the night with Nick Cave, as she claims? There is indeed a hairy shape sleeping in her bed, but is it really him? It is early Sunday morning in a shared house in a Melbourne suburb. In a merry cham of events, the alleged presence of the rock-star transtorms four flatmates' ... Read more
A former dog juggling star of the music hall, made obsolete by the coming of cinema, has to face up to change, conquer his inner demons and move on. In his way stands Arnold Hew, the talentless and manipulative star of the silver screen who has stolen his act and destroyed his confidence. Another ... Read more
As a slow, relentless state of transformation persists across the screen, elements of the natural world are cut up and re-ordered. Based on a series of black and white collage photographs, Staggerings uses repetition and rhythm change and development as the subject at the heart of the piece. ... Read more
States of Control is a portrait of one woman's quest for emotional and spiritual authenticity. Lisa's novel has stalled; husband Abe is impo­tent; Manhattan bohemia is sterile and suffocat­ing. Lisa's struggles to strip away her inhibitions drive the film in strange and alarming directions ... Read more
Stolen Moments is perhaps the most significant and encompassing cinematic document of lesbian oppression and identity today. The film's relevance moves beyond the lesbian community to embrace broader questions affecting gays, transgender persons and all people affected by queer issues. ... Read more
Jonathan Nossiter's Sunday - part-psychological suspense, part-wry comedy - created a major stir when it scooped both the Grand Prize and Best Screenplay at last year's Sundance Film Festival. The story revolves around a homeless man, a beautiful woman, a case of mistaken identity and one steamy ... Read more
The relationship between a taxi driver and his soon-to-be-a-doctor son sours as the latter increasingly seeks independence from a father whose pride in his ungrateful child is slowly becoming envy. Kim Gyngell's performance as Eddie, the washed out cabbie, is remarkably touching performance. Sunday ... Read more
With a cinema verite style, Surviving Sabu cleverly weaves a story of generational conflict between a Muslim father and his gay son. We are also introduced to archival footage of the child star Sabu appearing in his Hollywood films which serves as a reference point for the troubled relationship ... Read more
Naomi Kawase's first feature film confirms the talent shown by her poignantly poetic prize-winning shorts. In a magnificent cedar-forested mountain setting, exquisitely filmed by veteran cameraman Masaki Tamura, Kawase has created an elegy for the decline of a remote village community and the ... Read more
A sumptuous animated murder mystery set in Europe in the 1920s. The narrative forms a loop running backwards through seven stories, before returning to the linking device: a trunk with stickers from the various ports of call. ... Read more
"I wanted to make a simple story, to show what is really important in an individual's life. I wanted to leave a memory: Ihe way in which people lived and loved on the eve of the Year 2000 in a small and remote village of Hungary. The themes in the film are eternal. At school I was struck by how the ... Read more
At 20 you think you're going to conquer the world in a (nano) second. You're somewhere else entirely. Kern Light's Tangerine Dream is a witty, but also poetic, exploration of this 20-something bravado which leads one to contemplate ending it all in a laundromat just to pass the time until the spin ... Read more
Tano da Morire is insane! It's hilarious, it's black and it's thoroughly lush. How else to describe a self-confessed 'Mafia Gangsta Rap Musical'? Somewhere between the satire of Mel Brooks, the realism of Fellini and the campness of Almodovar, Tano was born. Tano the musical that is, not the man ... Read more
A witty and erotic short film about two great British traditions: tea-drinking and masturbation. ... Read more
Thank God He Met Lizzie has a universal theme, yet is unlike any other Australian film. Guy is in his early thirties and looking for that elusive beast - the perfect life partner. The trouble is that he's trying too hard; popularity at parties doesn't translate into fun. So are Guy's ... Read more
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