Skip to main content
Tag

anthony lapaglia

Review: Argo, The Intouchables, Fresh Meat, It’s a Girl, Shadow Dancer and Mental

By Cinema and Reviews

Argo poster Near the end of 1979, the new hard­line rulers of Iran – incensed by the US government’s sup­port for the pre­vi­ous des­pot – stormed the embassy in Teheran and held the occu­pants host­age for over a year, long enough to wreck President Jimmy Carter’s attempt at re-election and to define American rela­tions with the Persian Gulf for anoth­er thirty years. That side of the story is rel­at­ively well-known. The secret story of the six embassy staff who escaped, hid in the Canadian ambassador’s house, and were then spir­ited out of the coun­try dis­guised as a Hollywood film crew? Not so much.

Thanks to the recent declas­si­fic­a­tion of the CIA and State Department files, the weird and won­der­ful story of Argo can be told, and – this being a Hollywood story about a Hollywood story – it gets a bit of a punch-up to make sure none of the enter­tain­ment poten­tial is wasted. So now, Argo is “inspired by a true story” rather than “based on a true story” and it is also the smartest and most enter­tain­ing Hollywood pic­ture for grown-ups this year.

Read More

2010 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

By Cinema

So, after trawl­ing through the many thou­sands of words writ­ten about cinema in these pages this year, I sup­pose you want me to come to some con­clu­sions? Do some “sum­ming up”? Help guide you through the great video store of life? Well, alright then. Here goes.

We don’t do Top Ten lists here at the Capital Times – they are reduct­ive, facile and, frankly, you have to leave too many titles out. I have taken to divid­ing my year’s view­ing up into cat­egor­ies: keep­ers are films I want to have in my home and watch whenev­er the mood takes me; renters are the films that I could hap­pily watch again; then there are the films that I enjoyed but am in no hurry to repeat, the films I might have mis­judged first time around, the films I can’t get out of my head (for bet­ter or worse), the films I am sup­posed to love but you know, meh, and most import­ant of all – the films you should avoid as if your very life depends upon it.

First, the keep­ers: a sur­prise for some will be Fantastic Mr. Fox which was released after my 2009 Year in Review was sub­mit­ted and the only film in the list that I already own. Animal Kingdom was the film I most recom­men­ded this year – a stun­ning, tense piece of work that gripped me totally.

Read More

Review: Balibo, From Paris with Love, Gone With the Woman and Silent Wedding

By Cinema and Reviews

Balibo posterIn October 1975, the obscure little Portuguese colony of East Timor was giv­en inde­pend­ence after 400 years of European rule. A mixed Melanesian/Polynesian pop­u­la­tion was sit­ting on rich min­er­al and fossil fuel poten­tial and sur­roun­ded on three sides by the region’s power­house, Indonesia (with Australia to the south). After only nine days of inde­pend­ence, Indonesia invaded in one of the most cyn­ic­al and bru­tal land grabs in mod­ern history.

The Indonesian armed forces, know­ing that an inva­sion was a gross breach of inter­na­tion­al law, wore plain clothes and did everything they could to extin­guish evid­ence and wit­nesses. The most cel­eb­rated vic­tims of the atro­city were the Balibo 5, young Australian tele­vi­sion journ­al­ists who were stran­ded in the bor­der town of Balibo as the inva­sion began. Without the bene­fit of modern-day com­mu­nic­a­tions, they simply dis­ap­peared and the Australian gov­ern­ment, who (along with the US) gave tacit approv­al to the entire hor­rible exercise.

Read More