Welcome to our 948th weekly edition; Thursday, May 7, 2015

Movie review:
SUNDAY
(NZ, Aust, 2014) Dir: Michelle Joy Lloyd. Stars Dustin Clare, Camille Keenan. "Beautiful imagery, a simple narrative and cohesive performances weave together to create a film filled with both sides of love's coin: happiness and disappointment. Camille Keenan and Dustin Clare, who also collaborated with Lloyd to write the screenplay, are the stars of this two hander, and provide the magic that glues everything together," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS:
Gossip-free zone
* Mad Max: Fury Road to roar through Sydney streets;
* Melb Int Film Fest announces 2015 Next Gen program;
* Oz filmmakers donate profits to beyondblue;
* Filmfest keeping festivals and audiences connected;
* Dungog seeks donations following storms;
* Astor Theatre re-opens with Gillian Armstrong's Women He's Undressed;
* 2015 Sydney Film Fest launches;

BOX OFFICE:
Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

COMPETITIONS
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
Win one 15 double inseason passes to Clouds of Sils Maria, directed by Olivier Assayas and starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart & Chloe Grace Moretz, courtesy Pinnacle Films. In cinemas May 7.

Movie reviews:
EX MACHINA
(US, 2015) Dir: Alex Garland. Stars Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac. "Although there's a fatal flaw that diminishes its overall satisfaction rating, Alex Garland (who penned 28 Days Later) has conceived a dazzling film filled with intrigue and an innate edginess that is elevated by three startlingly good performances," says Louise. "Borrowing body parts from the age old horror/sci-fi workbook, Alex Garland makes a female Frankenstein movie (sort of) and interrogates the pursuit of AI in the process. I won't reveal what he thinks is the answer or end result, but there are serious leaps of faith involved for the audience in the execution," says Andrew.

Movie review:
PITCH PERFECT 2
(US, 2015) Dir: Elizabeth Banks. Stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow. "It's the offbeat nature of the characters and their approach to the a cappella music they sing that gives this upbeat sequel edge. In musical terms, you might say it feels syncopated ... a spirited film that feels fresh, using humour and music to distinctly coat the narrative," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
(France, Switz, Germany, US, Belg, 2014) Dir: Olivier Assayas. Stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloe Grace Moretz. "Superlative performances are the reason to watch this engrossing, occasionally self-indulgent film that explores the female psyche and responses to age, self-image and changing times within the acting world," says Louise.

Movie review:
KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK
(US, 2014) Dir: Brett Morgen. Documentary. "This in-depth look into the twisted, tormented world of Kurt Cobain is like a stream of consciousness - a trip of a film that above all, captures the essence of the workings of the mind of the Nirvana singer and guitarist. Its brilliance is in its ability to portray a sense of being inside Cobain's head, his music and the demons that plagued him, although the film is too long and repetitive, making us feel desperate to escape and come up for air. Die-hard fans will lap it up," says Louise.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming later in May, Wild Tales, starring Dario Grandinetti, Maria Marull, Ricardo Darin. "Revenge is the common thread that links Damian Szifron's six fearlessly entertaining tales that range from uproariously funny to bleakly black," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in May

NEW TRAILERS
Man Up, stars Lake Bell, Simon Pegg;
Tomorrowland, stars George Clooney, Britt Robertson;
Partisan, stars Vincent Cassel, Florence Mezzara;
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher;
Spy, stars Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne;
Amy, doco about Amy Winehouse

At a glance:
TOP 20
Short and sweet (or not) opinions on the most popular current releases. An easy reference for choosing which movie to see tonight or tomorrow or right now! (Occasionally we also slip in a few of our favourites if they don’t make the top 20)

NEW DVDS:
THE IMITATION GAME
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong. "Having recently read several superb books about the British spying operations during World War II generally and about Alan Turing's unique contribution in particular, I am reasonably familiar with the subject matter, yet the film still manages to knock my socks off," says Andrew.

MR TURNER
Stars Timothy Spall. "Watching Mike Leigh's Mr Turner is a little like being immersed in a beautiful painting," says Louise.

Competition winners:
ST VINCENT DVD
To win 10 DVD copies of St Vincent, courtesy Roadshow Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends is misunderstood and why? Mark Franich (NSW): Our cat is often misunderstood. We feed her when she wants to go outside; we open the door when she wants a lap; we cringe when she brings us a gift of rat or bird.

AUSTRALIAN FILMS
Every Australian film we have ever reviewed (film / DVD / video release), or have reported from the set, or featured in any way, is listed here, going back to films made even before the launch of Urban Cinefile, such as The Piano, Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, Alkinos Tsilimidos' Blind Company, starring Colin Friels (pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 550 films.

Travelfile:
SCHARBEUTZ, BALTIC SEA, GERMANY
For northern Europeans, a seaside resort is appealing anytime from early Spring onwards, clouds notwithstanding, as Andrew L. Urban discovers on the Baltic Coast.

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