Cupcakes (2013) Film Review

 

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Anat (Anat Waxman) runs a cupcake shop and every year, she and her close neighbours get together to watch the Universong Contest (think Eurovision. Cheesy and awesome). After they come together to write a song to cheer Anat up, they decide to enter and before they know it, they are the representatives for Israel. They soon learn that it is not just about singing the song; there is politics and money involved, and things become complicated.

Cupcakes is a really fun and delightful film. It made me smile a lot, with a lot of laughs and the occasional tear – a lovely balance that will appeal to a wide audience.

Cupcakes is playing at ACMI on Saturday, March 15 at 6:15pm and on Wednesday March 19 at 8:30pm. For tickets, visit MQFF.

Five Dances (2013) Film Review

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Chip is a young dancer who has moved to New York and is working with a small dance troupe toward a show. He seems quite lonely and this is compounded by regulars calls from his mother to demand he come home and give up his dream. He is also discovering an attraction to one of the male dancers, and this seems new to him.

I really enjoyed the slow pace of this film. Much time is spent rehearsing, and the scenes in between were slow and gentle. contemporary dance is a love of mine; a bit like some art, at times I cannot explain what it is that gets me. Five Dances is almost an excuse to film some beautiful dancing; the story is almost second. Almost. I felt that it ended too soon, and that another twenty minutes may have given it a  better chance to wrap up some subplots. It is a beautiful film.

Five Dances is play at ACMI on Friday March 21 at 6pm. For tickets, visit MQFF.

Noor (2012) Film Review

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Noor is a transgender man who is alienated from the Khusras community – that is the transgender community within Pakistan. He wants a simple life; as long as he can find a woman to love, he believes he will be happy. However, things are not so simple, and he finds himself travelling across the country searching for a mountain lake that will bring him his true love.

There is no doubt that this is an interesting film. Even just seeing life in Pakistan; both the glimpses of the Khusras community and Noor’s life in the yard catering to long distance truck drivers. The film feels real; there is a documentary style to the filming and presentation. However, it is a narrative based on real events, and I felt that it could have used some more refining to create a stronger product. The key thing that makes the film engaging and powerful is Noor himself and the struggles that he faces.

Noor is playing at Hoyts Melbourne Central on Friday, March 21 at 6pm. For tickets, visit MQFF.

Yoshiko and Yuriko (2011) Film Review

 

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Set in post-war Japan, this film tells the true story of a love between two women who lived and travelled together despite all cultural norms. Yoshiko was a respected translator of Russian texts into Japanese, and the film covers the time that she meets Yuriko and needs to deal with the social consequences of how this developing relationship will affect her marriage, her family and her career.

I would like to know more about this couple and the way they defied society for love; there really is nothing as good as a love story. This film, however, did not do the great love justice. There seemed to be little emotional connection between the two women apart from the words. I’m not sure if the direction was that the relationship was to be distant, but it took me away from the possibility that this was a great love. To me it felt underwritten, as though the entire thing was transcripts of the writing of the two women interspersed with twee generalisations about society.

Yoshiko and Yuricko is playing at ACMI on Saturday, March 22 at 8:15pm. For tickets, visit MQFF.