Tag Archives: documentary

FILM REVIEW: Graceful Girls

Graceful Girls (Olivia Peniston-Bird, 2015)

Anyone who has ever participated in dance should appreciate Olivia Peniston Bird’s debut feature Graceful Girls. On the contrary, if exaggerated smiles, sequins, and kids slathered in make-up is your idea of hell, you’d best look elsewhere for your cinema fix. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Graceful Girls


FILM REVIEW: The Wolfpack

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle, 2015)

One of the hottest tickets at the Melbourne International Film Festival, The Wolfpack has been accompanied by oodles of buzz – “mesmerising”, “has to be seen to believed”, “a bombshell documentary” are just some of the critic quotes included in the trailer. A terrifying concept, a beguiling trailer, OH MY GOD SIGN ME UP RIGHT NOW. And yet, while it was an interesting film, it didn’t quite pack the punch I was hoping for.
Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Wolfpack

FILM REVIEW: How to Dance in Ohio

How to Dance in Ohio (Alexandra Shiva, 2015)

The too-cool-for-schoolers can relax; this isn’t a Glee spin-off. It barely even features any dancing. Alexandra Shiva has dealt previously with the arts in her 2006 documentary, Stagedoor, which detailed the experiences of teenagers at theatre camp. In How to Dance in Ohio, she documents preparations for a social dance, organised for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: How to Dance in Ohio


Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)

If you want a feel-good movie, then this ain’t it. But for an insight into a brilliant artist who battled addiction, bulimia, and the perils of fame, documentaries don’t get much better than Asif Kapadia’s Amy. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Amy

FILM REVIEW: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Alex Gibney, 2015)

If you thought Scientology was screwed up before seeing this documentary, then be prepared to be dumbfounded by the sheer level of crazy WTFness that will leave you laughing with incredulity one minute, and shaking your head in horror the next. Scientology was created as a “religion” (I use the term loosely) by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, who characterised it as a religion so as to avoid paying tax. Hubbard is presented here as a lunatic who beat his wife, kidnapped his child, and created one of the most ridiculous belief systems known to man. After his death in 1986, David Miscavige, a bonafide psychopath, became the head of the organisation – sorry, I mean “church” – and runs it to this day. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

FILM REVIEW: Finding Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof & Charlie Siskel, 2013)
clairestbearestreviews_filmreview_findingvivianmaier_kidWho knew Mary Poppins was a street photographer? Though she wasn’t quite as magical, Vivian Maier, like Poppins, was a nanny with a special gift. Snapping shots on her box camera wherever she went, she amassed a collection of over 100,000 photos which she kept in storage, some not even developed until they were found after her death by collector, John Maloof. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Finding Vivian Maier

FILM REVIEW: The Case Against 8

The Case Against 8 (Ben Cotner, Rob Reiner & Ryan White, 2014)
clairestbearestreviews_filmreview_thecaseagainst8_courthouseProposition 8 is a heinous constitutional amendment passed in 2008 that declared that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California”, which nullified all same-sex marriages that had previously occurred in the state. The Case Against 8 documents the battle of the good guys – the legal team that sought to overturn this shitty amendment.  Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Case Against 8