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Cityscape News & Reviews
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If it’s one thing Brit filmmakers love (and do exceptionally well), it’s a genre-spanning, working-class, feel good underdog tale – see The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, Made in Dagenham, Kinky Boots and Brassed Off, among others. With Pride, director Matthew Warchus ups the ante with the unlikely, real-life, double-underdog alliance between gay activists and striking Welsh coal miners during the Thatcher-induced mid-80s miners’ strikes, and knocks it out of the park. Seeing parallels between the gay community and the disenfranchisement of the striking miners, London activist and lad about town Mark (Ben Schnetzer) forms Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. But, while the money starts rolling in, finding miners willing to take it from the pink-tinged contingent proves near impossible until a miscommunicated call to the tiny Welsh town of Onllwyn. Sure, the road to friendship gets off to a bumpy start and when the LGSM rolls flamboyantly into town, much to...
Cityscape News & Reviews
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Tick, tick, boom. From the forest cries that saturate the opening sequence, The Rocket catapults you smack-bang into the mountains of Northern Laos. And with equally brutal force, western ideas of ‘development’ quite literally threaten to drown out the ancient traditions of the hill tribes that are forcibly displaced by an Australian consortium building a colossal hydro-electric dam system.  Born into this world, with a curse on his head, is Ahlo. It’s a curse kept secret by his greatest champion – his beautiful and free-spirited mother – and his paternal grandmother, matriarch of the family, a less benevolent force who holds the secret like a hammer poised over the child’s head. Protecting the traditions of the tribe – and securing their future – are noble aspirations but it’s a role that requires balls (as the matriarch would – and does, quite frequently – say) and the willingness to remove the...
Cityscape News & Reviews
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There was a lot of pressure on Baz Luhrmann to recapture the lightning in a jar of earlier efforts Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet following the cinematic tranquiliser of 2008’s Australian tax payer-funded Australia. So it’s no pearl-clutcher to see the flamboyant director throwing everything into, and at the audience if you’re watching the 3D version, The Great Gatsby. With a commitment to excess akin to Donatella Versace’s love of a sunbed, Luhrmann has faithfully recreated the Art Deco-decadence of a roaring ‘20s writ large and brought screamingly into life in prohibition-era New York and Long Island. The sets are sensationally lavish, gilded and otherworldly diaphanous – make no mistake, this is quintessential Luhrmann territory and he’s got his game on. Visually Gatsby is achingly beautiful and the attention to detail staggering, no more so than during Jay Gatsby’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) legendary shindigs, an attempt to lure former love Daisy...