Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy

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Tastes range across all genres. Not a hater - but people who chat, text, eat loudly during a film push me very close.

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  • Stranded: The Saints and the Birth of Punk

    Stranded: The Saints and the Birth of Punk

    ★★★★★

    I need to declare up front that I find it impossible to maintain any kind of critical distance from this documentary, directed by Serge Ou (with a segment director credit for Andy Neil) for Wildbear Entertainment, the ABC and Film Queensland.  This is the footage and the soundtrack of my 20s and it was a joy to spend a little over an hour seeing dozens of people I knew well 40  to 50 years ago, bands that were part of…

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  • Pantasya

    Pantasya

    ★★★

    Brillante Mendoza is one of the Filipino directors who came to international attention at the turn of the century as the digital films they were able to shoot independently began screening at festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Locarno.  At one end of the spectrum were arthouse heavy hitters like Lav Diaz, one of my all time favourite directors. At the other, more popular, end were directors like Mendoza, Mel Chionglo and Lino Brocka who made grittier films about street…

  • Manhunter

    Manhunter

    ★★★★½

    Seeing Michael Mann’s first film, Thief (1981) followed by his third film, Manhunter, tonight has made me interested in rewatching his second film, The Keep (1983), a horror film that I (and many others) wrote off as a classic second-movie-stumble.  However, given the additional assurance that Mann exhibits with Manhunter, I am keen to revisit that view.

    For some reason, which may have to do with work-related overseas travel, I missed seeing Manhunter on its original release and, from a quick check of my…

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  • It Must Be Heaven

    It Must Be Heaven

    ★★★★½

    There was a point about a third of the way through writer/director Elia Suleiman's absurdist comedy that I realised that hidden just under the surface of the very funny screenplay was a diamond-hard political edge.

    Suleiman, playing himself, opens his film in Palestine then travels to Paris and New York trying to get producers to put up the money for his latest film. He runs into Western stereotypes of what a Palestinian is and what a Palestinian film must be.…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★½

    No, just no.

    I was going to leave my review of this mess of a movie there but my Twitter feed has been filling up with people gushing about the film and a quick check of the critic-aggregator sites shows I am an outlier here by a big margin. In fact, the last time I can remember people crying and proclaiming that their overwhelming emotional reaction to a film had “changed their lives” like this was Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me…