Everything You Might Have Missed At Sydney Film Festival 2017

A quick review roundup of movies to watch out for.

Sydney Film Festival

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The Sydney Film Festival is over for another year! If you live in Sydney, this is probably a bad thing — with more than 250 films on offer, it’s likely you missed out on a few you were excited to see. If you don’t live in Sydney, it’s probably a good thing — you don’t have to worry about your Sydney mates bragging on Facebook anymore.

Either way, it’s worth recapping some of the action. This year we had four Junkee writers on the ground to soak it all in: Tom Clift, Lauren Carroll Harris, Matilda Dixon-Smith and Matt Roden. Here’s a full list of what they had to saw, what they loved, and what they hated (click through for full reviews):

Whitney: Can I Be Me — reviewed by Lauren Caroll Harris

Whitney: Can I Be Me is in essence a pretty involving US cable TV doco… What lifts it from the usual half-hagiography/half-takedown, tell-all-doco-made-from-a-distance is its analysis of racism within the US music industry.”

Read the full review here.

That’s Not Me — reviewed by Matt Roden

“It’s a simple film about growing up and readjusting your goals, but it’s smart and doesn’t pander. It’s good to see an Aussie comedy that can laugh at, understand, and defend its place in the world.”

Read the full review here.

Okja — reviewed by Lauren Caroll Harris

Okja makes us think about why we value pretty flowers as part of the environment, but not animals; why we want to save trees from logging but are happy to continue unsustainable animal farming practices. Many will see this analysis as bonkers. But I feel this is a quite singular film with a super-perceptive critique of these mad times.”

Read the full review here.

The Little Hours — reviewed by Matt Roden

“One of the few crude medieval romps to realise there’s something funnier than a knight dropping the ‘f-bomb’: a nun saying ‘c*nt’.”

Read the full review here.

Spookers — reviewed by Tom Clift

“This New Zealand haunted house is so notoriously intense that the director almost turned the film down… Lucky for us, he got over his fears. Peel back the Halloween masks and wash away the fake blood, and the people behind Spookers could hardly be any sweeter.”

Read the full review here.

Una — reviewed by Matilda Dixon-Smith

“Despite the implied flash of a big-name cast, Una turns out to somewhat disappointing, suffering from that problem unique to stage-to-screen adaptations: an unjustified expansion of the tight onstage world, which renders the material weak and flabby.”

Read the full review here.

I Am Not Your Negro — reviewed by Lauren Caroll Harris

I Am Not Your Negro is not a matter of dry, academic history… This urgent, vital film is a gunshot communique, not just imagining but predicting justice.”

Read the full review here.

Happy End — reviewed by Matt Roden

happy end

“Frank nihilism is the bleak heart at the centre of this film, which might be all that needs to be said. It’s a film easy to intellectually appreciate, but hard to like.”

Read the full review here.

We Don’t Need A Map — reviewed by Tom Clift

“An entertaining gonzo-style doco about the history and meaning of the southern hemisphere’s most iconic constellation.”

Read the full review here.

Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time — reviewed by Tom Clift

“It’s impossible to sit through Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time without feeling an overwhelming sense of shame.”

Read the full review here.

Check back in on Junkee for longer reviews of The Beguiled and Ali’s Wedding. They’re both goodies.

Love film and TV? We’re holding our inaugural Video Junkee festival in July, a new annual event for lovers and creators of online video. Video Junkee is on July 28 & 29 at Carriageworks in Sydney, featuring keynotes, masterclasses, screenings, interviews and more. Tickets are on sale now