The 62nd Sydney Film Festival opens tonight and it's going to be a sensational fortnight season of international cinema, to be sure!
I have around forty-five movies I want to see, but my reality is, I will only get to see around half on my list. Cue: deep sigh. Hopefully I will get to catch up with some of them a little further down the track, some, however, slip through the net and are lost in the movie mist for years. Tickets are booking fast so don't delay!
Here then are twelve movies playing at this year's SFF that I am particularly excited about (and hopefully get to see!)
BLACK SOULS (Tues 9 June, 6:30pm & Wed 10 June, 2pm - State Theatre)
A brooding, slow burn tale of organised crime from Italy that follows three brothers face with a feud and its deadly consequences.
TANGERINE (Fri 12 June, 6:30pm & Sat 13 June, 11:40am - State Theatre)
Two transgender sex workers in the City of Angels on Xmas Eve. Shot on an iPhone 5S (with custom anamorphic lens added) this is the utterly indie buddy flick of the year.
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF (Sat 6 Jun 2pm & Wed 10 June, 8:35pm - State Theatre & Event Cinema 4)
L. Ron Hubbard's bizarre "cult" is given the full exposure treatment by controversial and acclaimed documenteur Alex Gibney.
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (Fri 5 June, 8:45pm & Mon 8 Jun, 2:15pm - Event Cinema 9)
The short and curlies on America's original counter-culture magazine and its more mainstream, but still very funny, cinema excursions. Expect outrageous anecdotes and transgressive humour.
IVY (Thu 4 June, 6pm & Sun 7 June, 4:50pm - Event Cinema 8 & 9)
An atmospheric, psychological drama from Turkey and Germany that follows a bunch of disgruntled sailors and the darkness that permeates their vessel.
THE SMELL OF US (Thu 4 June, 7pm & Tue 9 June, 8:40pm - Dendy Newtown & Event Cinema 4)
Controversial US photographer Larry Clark returns to the adolescence-in-the-streets he first exposed in his blistering Kids, this time with a bunch of mischievous Parisian teens.
SUNRISE (Fri 5 June, 8:30pm, Sun 7 June, 8:30pm & Sat 13 June, 6:15pm - Event Cinema 4, Dendy Opera Quays 3 & Dendy Newtown)
A neo-noir from India? Yup. And it looks stunning. Saturated in rain, and shot in vivid colours, this is a surreal and gripping thriller about a cop searching for his kidnapped daughter.
BEING EVEL (Wed 3 June, 8:20pm & Mon 8 June, 6:45pm - Dendy Opera Quays 2 & Event Cinema 9)
The story of Evel Knievel's life and career. The legend on the bike, the man under the helmet. Not to be missed for extreme sports enthusiasts.
MR. DYNAMITE: THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN (Sun 7 June, 6pm & Thu 11 June, 8:30pm - Dendy Newtown & Event Cinema 4)
The Godfather of the brand new heavy heavy funk, soul brother #1, the teacher, the preacher, the man known as Mr. James Brown. Another superb doco from Alex Gibney.
DJANGO KILL ... IF YOU LIVE, SHOOT! (Sun 14 June, 7:45pm - Dendy Opera Quays 3)
Part of the "Destruction Cinema" restoration section, this surrealistic Western from Italy/Spain from 1968 follows a Mexican bandit and his troubles. Essential on the big screen.
GOODNIGHT MOMMY (Thu 4 June, 8:15pm & Sat 13 June, 9:20pm - Event Cinema 8)
Austrian domestic nightmare shot with elegance, infused with grindhouse aesthetics. I've been hanging for this one for quite some time.
SPRING (Wed 10 June, 7pm & Sat 13 June, 8:30pm - Dendy Newtown)
From the talented directors behind Resolution (one of my favourite movies of 2013), comes a European romance that descends into Lovecraftian dread and horror.
WE ARE STILL HERE (Wed 3 June, 7pm & Fri 12 June, 9pm - Dendy Newtown & Event Cinema 11)
Burnt Offerings meets Lucio Fulci weirdness, or something cool like that. Set in 1979 and with more atmosphere than you can shake a stick at.