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Films, TV & Muziek
Metro

Metro

No. 205

Independent, outspoken and often polemical, Metro features writing by some of the region's foremost academics and critics, providing readers with comprehensive coverage of Australian, New Zealand, Asian, and Pacific screen industries. Combining a wide range of topics and disciplines, Metro offers a unique blend of in-depth scholarship and popular writing, perfectly capturing key trends and developments in screen culture.

Land:
Australia
Taal:
English
Uitgever:
Australian Teachers of Media Incorporated
Verschijningsfrequentie:
Quarterly
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4 Edities

in deze editie

14 min.
capricious childhood

Neatly balancing a candy-coloured aesthetic and quirky tone with themes of grief, depression and emotional neglect, John Sheedy’s comedy is an often unpredictable representation of the inner life of a girl on the brink of adolescence. Considering the film’s privileging of its young protagonist’s perspective, Susan Bye asks whether its magical elements and sunny denouement ultimately serve to reflect a positive or pessimistic portrayal of family. With its protagonist hovering between twelve and thirteen, H Is for Happiness (John Sheedy, 2019) is often described as a coming-of-age film, but is actually something quite other. Its narrative offers its optimistic heroine the chance to contemplate puberty and then choose to return to the childhood she missed as a result of a family tragedy and parental neglect. With its representation of adults as…

13 min.
australian mythology

Dramatising the 2015 victory of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, Rachel Griffiths’ debut feature emphasises its protagonist’s groundbreaking achievement while giving short shrift to the darker aspects of her story. Ultimately, contends Debbie Zhou, the film chooses to either downplay or outright ignore harmful aspects of the horseracing industry in order to protect its narrative’s feel-good feminist veneer. A trademark of Australian stories is the celebration of the underdog. In Ride Like a Girl (Rachel Griffiths, 2019), Michelle Payne (Teresa Palmer) crosses the finishing line at the Melbourne Cup, and there’s a moment of ecstatic reckoning: this is the first time a female jockey has ever won the race in its 155-year history. It’s a scene that instantly captures the film’s drawcard as an unconventional…

9 min.
familiar a track

In part a nostalgic homage to coming-of-age films of another era, Owen Trevor’s kinetic take on the sport of competitive go-kart racing is as technically assured as it is, at times, predictable. Yet, as Travis Johnson discovers, this family-friendly dramedy has more depth than its tried-and-true narrative formula might initially suggest. Film critic Simon Foster jokingly referred to this latest piece of youth-oriented Australian cinema as ‘The Kart-y Kid’,1 and, frankly, there is no more apt sobriquet close to hand. Go! (Owen Trevor, 2020), titled Go Karts prior to its theatrical release, is a punchy, amiable teen dramedy that draws so heavily on John G Avildsen’s 1984 crowd-pleaser The Karate Kid, for both narrative structure and emotional pathos, that original screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen is surely owed at the very least…

10 min.
seeing through the disguise

An adaptation of sorts of the classic HG Wells novel of the same name, this US–Australian–Canadian co-production uses its familiar premise to convey the horrors of domestic violence. Speaking to director Leigh Whannell, Elizabeth Flux finds that the film uses narrative ambiguity, transcendence of genre and a contemporary setting to thought-provoking effect. In 1897, HG Wells published The Invisible Man, a novel with a relatively simple premise: Griffin, a scientist, has found a way to make himself invisible – but unfortunately doesn’t know how to reverse the process. Stuck in this state, he rapidly discovers that he can act without consequence, and the book – flicking back and forth between the past and the present – tracks his descent into murder and madness. Since then, the novel has been adapted and reimagined…

10 min.
shoot first, ask questions later

Capturing the career of iconic graffiti photographer Martha Cooper, Selina Miles’ documentary is a testament to its subject’s passion, as well as the profound impact her work has had on the once-maligned street-art scene. In conversation with both the film’s director and its central figure, Stephen A Russell uncovers a filmmaking approach that mirrors Cooper’s own process: one that diligently bears testimony, and allows art to speak for itself. Brazilian soccer fans would rather not be reminded of the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final against Belgium. The European team broke hearts all over the football-mad South American nation, winning by the narrowest of margins, 2–1. It’s an upset that leaves Australian documentary filmmaker Selina Miles feeling a little bit guilty, she confides as we sit down together with renowned graffiti photojournalist Martha…

11 min.
unfinished business

Looking into the life and career of controversial cartoonist Michael Leunig, this documentary is, as its title suggests, an incomplete picture – one somewhat captive to the whims and selective participation of its enigmatic subject. In spite of these limitations, as Nadine Whitney finds, certain insights into the artist’s personality, and complicated relationship with publicity, shine through. You don’t understand a person in their lifetime; you understand them in their death. That, to me, is a more important thing – that you are forgiven and understood. —Michael Leunig, The Leunig Fragments When filmmaker Kasimir Burgess first approached cartoonist Michael Leunig to propose a film on his life made over the course of twelve months, little did he know that the process would extend to a commitment lasting more than five years – or…