Cinema

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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.
Many Australian films have significant cultural capital that should also be considered when measuring their level of success. Shutterstock

Speaking with: David Tiley on funding Australian films

Speaking with: David Tiley on funding Australian films. CC BY-ND23.2 MB (download)
Vincent O’Donnell speaks with David Tiley, editor of ScreenHub magazine, about financing film production in Australia and looking beyond box office numbers to measure a film's success.
New technologies are allowing us to understand far more about what we see when we watch a screen. Arthur Cruz

Gogglebox and beyond: lifting the lid on eye tracking research

What are we really looking at when we watch a screen? There's more to it than Gogglebox. Advances in eye-tracking technology are transforming how we understand film and TV spectatorship.
Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman took home four awards, including Best Picture. Mike Blake/Reuters

Oscars 2015: expert reaction

Indies to the rescue, the quiet power of foreign language films, Gen-X's crowning moment. All – and more – are covered by our experts, who weigh in on this year's Oscars.
In American Sniper, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is the ‘sheepdog’ – someone who operates in a state of constant, anxious alertness against inevitable attack. Entertainment Weekly

At its core, American Sniper is about white fear

Many are decrying the film as merely conservative propaganda. But American Sniper – as with many of Eastwood's films – has a more nuanced approach that addresses modern anxieties.
Red Army tells the story of the Russian hockey dynasty of the 1980s and early 1990s, focusing on the story of defenseman Slava Fetisov (pictured top right). Variety

Red Army portrayal of Soviet hockey misses mark

Gabe Polsky’s documentary Red Army opens with the film’s main subject – former NHL and Soviet hockey great Viacheslav (Slava) Fetisov – giving the finger to Polsky while checking his phone. At the film’s…
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev and actors Vladimir Vdovichenkov and Elena Lyadova at the premier of the controversial film Leviathan. Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Russian film legislation is used to detract from more pressing issues

The Russian film world has been in some turmoil this week. First there was news that the government was to decree that films “defiling the national culture, posing a threat to national unity and undermining…

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