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Brian Wilson’s music – the subject of Love & Mercy – is like a lesson we relearn each time we listen. Francois Duhamel/image.net

Love & Mercy: what Brian Wilson’s story tells us about genius and music

Much like the music of the man it's based on, Love & Mercy is beautiful, complex, somewhat melancholy, and thought-provoking. It also teaches us some things about creative genius, innovation, and art.
Where does ‘I’m old, not obsolete’ fit into the Arnold Schwarzenegger pantheon of well-delivered cheese? AAP Image/Yonhap News Agency

Why do fans love Schwarzenegger? His terrible one-liners, of course

While his bodybuilder's physique was important for embodying larger than life, "All-American" action heroes, what makes Schwarzenegger distinctive is his peculiar vocal performances in these roles.
Lee was one of the greatest character actors to have ever appeared on screen. AAP/Richard Goldschmidt

Goodbye Christopher Lee, the aristocrat of Satanic darkness

Christopher Lee, who died on June 7, was one of the greatest character actors to have ever appeared on screen, even after fleeing Castle Dracula for the hills of Hollywood.
The Lemmings cast. Left to right: Garry Goodrow, Peter Elbling, Chevy Chase, Chris Guest, John Belushi, Mary-Jennifer Mitchell, Alice Peyton. © National Lampoon

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon – review

Most of us are familiar with the National Lampoon films of the 70s and 80s. But this documentary offers insight into the magazine of the same name and the questionable dynamics of modern satire.
Critics have been preoccupied with the gender politics of Fury Road. Enter the Doof Warrior … © Warner Bros. Pictures and © Roadshow Films

The Doof Warrior rocks the gender divide in Mad Max: Fury Road

The Doof Warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road is a red-jumpsuited, masked guitarist, bungee-strapped to the front of the Doof Wagon, a massive, mobile speaker stack, replete with on-board drummers. What's not to love?
Should the offset for screen producers apply to all films made in Australia? Yes, even the ones that ruffle a few feathers. mark sebastian/Flickr

Australian film funding shouldn’t be a beauty contest – here’s why

The producers of a creationist doc took advantage of Screen Australia's tax offsets. Were they exploiting a loophole? Hardly – and there's good reason why producers of all films should enjoy such benefits.
Films such as Avatar idealise indigenous people as Noble Savages, enjoying simple and uncorrupted lifestyles until contact with colonisers. Nicole Hanusek

Anthropologists do well in movies, indigenous peoples not so much

In a recent study, of the 53 films watched that had at least one anthropologist as a character, just under half belonged to the horror genre. Why should that be the case? And how were indigenous peoples in those films portrayed?
How does Fury Road fit into the continuum of George Miller’s earlier films? © Warner Bros. Pictures and © Roadshow Films

Frenzy on Fury Road: Mad Max faces a post-digital apocalypse

There are metal spikes, sadistic implements of torture galore, massive machine guns mounted on the top of buggies, jeeps, motorcycles, and more leather than a Judas Priest concert. But does it work?
The Mad Max trilogy has had a tremendous influence on action cinema – and next week, the series resumes. © Warner Bros.

How Mad Max wrote the script for the action blockbuster

George Miller's Mad Max films have aged remarkably well – perhaps because they have had such a profound influence on the films that followed them.
A still from the film Los Hongos, by Oscar Ruiz Navia, 2014. Images courtesy of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.

Film festivals have impact, sure, but we need to measure that

Showing the "impact" of arts and cultural events is ever more important. But defining and measuring that impact requires long-term tracking and customised tools.
Black Widow, in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, released this week. Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015

Up, up and away? The future of the comic book movie

Avengers: Age of Ultron, released this week, is one of many superhero films destined for the multiplex in the coming months and years. What's behind this trend? And what kind of villain would be powerful enough to stop it in its tracks?
Director Greg McLean and John Jarratt on-set shooting Wolf Creek 2. AAP Image/Cameron Oliver

Making films is never easy but we can fix the local industry

We know the transformation of global media technologies pose particular challenges to local filmmakers – and that the rewards are still slim. But there are good reasons to be optimistic about the future of the industry.
‘It is difficult to convey the exhilaration that can be received from recognising elements of your own intimate life magnified on a cinema screen.’ Anatomy of a Love Seen screens at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. MQFF

Give us better lesbians, please, and screens to watch them on

The curators of queer film festivals undertake a challenging task, assembling as best as possible a cinematic selection that reflects what is a very diverse community. Too often, lesbians are left out.

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