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Is it ever okay to depict the assassination of living person? KCNA/Reuters

The Interview, Hollywood and the politics of ridicule

Sony’s decision to cancel the Christmas Day release of its film The Interview is drawing harsh criticism from Hollywood’s elite. George Clooney is asking everyone to stand up against the cancellation…
That poster’s all you’re gonna get. Justin Lane/EPA

Sony must release The Interview

Is The Interview a good movie? We may never know. After the theft by North Korean hackers of vast quantities of confidential emails, pay information and unreleased film scripts, the drip-drip leaking of…
Time will tell. baboon

Can a six-second movie be considered art?

If 2013 was the year of the selfie, then 2014 is the year of the hyper-short film. Today, people don’t just watch films in cinemas or living rooms. Instead, the term “movies” takes on a new connotation…
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is released around the world this month. Never mind the top tens, this film will skew the box office stats for 2014 and 2015. Image: John Bell as Bain and Luke Evans as Bard. Photo: Mark Pokorny. Warner Bros

Bad Hobbits Die Hard: how to make a better Top 10 movie list

Tis the season to make Top 10 lists. Why? Because we are hurtling with unavoidable haste toward the end of another calendar year. It’s almost impossible to get through the day without some kind of Top…
The Guardians of the Galaxy – whose protagonists are a morally-gray motley crew – could be seen as a satire of the classic hero tradition. BagoGames/Flickr

Guardians of the Galaxy and the fall of the classic hero

A beautiful assassin. A superstrong thug. A star-lost child of the ‘80s. A sentient tree. A gun-toting raccoon. Meet the morally gray protagonists of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the film that raked…
The malevolent leader. Lionsgate

Why the message of the Hunger Games films is dangerous

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay – Part 1, is topping the international box office. Although it’s a Hollywood blockbuster aimed at young adults, it presents potentially quite subversive ideas of…
Critics write the obituaries for Australian films the weekend they’re released. Is there a better way to understand the industry? AAP Image/Cameron Oliver

Zombie metrics: why Australian cinema just won’t stay dead

By all reports the Australian cinema is dead. Left for dust by the noisy distractions of big budget movie franchises and the smaller diversions of teeny shiny devices. All you can see in any direction…
In 1984, British LGBT rights groups worked on behalf of striking miners. Flickr

Shared pride, then and now

The film Pride, which won the Queer Palm Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is based on the true story of what seems to be a rare occurrence in human history: two oppressed groups (in this case…
Timothy Spall plays the British painter Joseph Turner in Mike Leigh’s latest film, Mr Turner. Transmission Films

Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner is no oil painting

The work of art is that mysterious process that transforms pigment and canvas into an object of great beauty. Depicting that moment of creative inspiration has been a challenge for filmmakers since the…
A new America? Warner Bros. Pictures

Interstellar is a dangerous fantasy of US colonialism

Interstellar has been praised for its attempt to make the “hard science” of astrophysics both accessible and exciting to a popular audience. Through cutting-edge special effects, it takes audiences on…

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