How could one of the greatest pianists that Australia has ever produced die lonely, neglected, and impoverished in a dilapidated house in suburban Melbourne?
“The Eulogy,” a documentary written and directed by Janine Hosking examines the life, career, and tragic death of Australian concert pianist Geoffrey Tozer, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 54 from liver disease.
The film begins with former Australian prime minister Paul Keating reading the now-infamous eulogy he delivered at Tozer’s memorial a decade ago. The speech, which starts out as a celebration of the pianist’s life and achievements, culminates in an attack on Australia’s cultural establishment.
Keating speaks of the arts in Australia as riven with “bitchiness and preference” and “inverted snobbery.” He accuses the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras of treating Tozer with “indifference and contempt” and suggests the people “who had charge in the selection of artists during this period should hang their heads in shame.”
“The Eulogy” made its world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.
For viewers who know Afghanistan only through war scenes on TV or films about blue-veiled women in burkhas, the impressionistic documentary “Kabul, City in the Wind” will feel like a melancholy poem about a half-forgotten dream.
The resonant film captures the elusive feeling of the city better than others, through the interaction of real people and an unreal landscape that appears and disappears in the blowing dust.
“Kabul, City in the Wind” is a quiet film about ordinary life in a place where bombs, rockets, and hand grenades can suddenly end it.
Aboozar Amini’s feature-length debut won the Afghanistan-born, European-educated director the 2018 IDFA special jury award for First Appearance, ushering in a long festival career. It’s a natural continuation of his short films and student work like “Angelus Novus” and “Where is Kurdistan?” which centered on the Middle East.
“Kabul, City in the Wind” recently screened at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.
Thanks to the wider conversation about plastic waste, the beauty industry’s environmental impact has been called into question over the past few years. While excessive packaging is obvious to spot and tangibly changed, what about the ingredients hiding in the products in your bathroom?
Case in point: palm oil. In a new BBC Three documentary, “Unmasked: Makeup’s Big Secret,” that aired earlier this month, Emmy Burbidge, a makeup artist from southwest England, travels to Papua New Guinea to see the damage done by this ingredient.
While it’s widely documented that palm oil is terrible news for the planet, less known is that it’s used in a whopping 70% of cosmetic products, primarily as an emulsifier and surfactant.
The beauty industry therefore has a part to play in the deforestation caused by palm oil production that’s said to have destroyed 8% of the world’s forests between 1990 and 2008.
Watch “Unmasked: Makeup’s Big Secret” above and read the story at Refinery29.
On August 3, 1964, a month after “A Hard Day’s Night” helped the world fall even more in love with the Beatles, the BBC offered their rabid fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Fab Four’s film debut with “Follow the Beatles.”
The Robert Robinson-narrated documentary showed off even more of the Beatles’ charming and witty personalities, and revealed some interesting insights and perspectives on the making of the film classic.
“I have always felt that time passes more slowly in Chile,” says Patricio Guzmán early in “The Cordillera of Dreams” (La Cordillera de los Sueños), which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The latest film by the Chilean-born, Paris-based director is positioned as the final installment in a trilogy that also includes his late-career triumphs “Nostalgia for the Light” (Nostalgia de la Luz, 2010) and “The Pearl Button” (El Botón de Nácar, 2015).
Like them, “The Cordillera of Dreams” uses Chile’s natural beauty as a starting point for a reflection on the country’s past and present, including the scars of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship and its attendant murders, disappearances, and forced exiles.
Working with an essayist blend of original and archival footage, interviews, and voiceover, the film is explicitly concerned with the passage of time, and how such distance serves to both forestall justice for the crimes of the past and risk supporting their reemergence.
“The Cordillera of Dreams” is currently awaiting theatrical release. “Nostalgia for the Light” and “The Pearl Button” are available on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.
An alternative reading of French rock history is given in “Oh les filles” (“Haut les filles”), from French journalist-turned-director Francois Armanet, and as the title suggests, it tells the story from a female point-of-view.
The non-fiction feature posits that rock-and-roll history did not start with Elvis Presley in the early 1950s but with Edith Piaf’s heart-rending rendition of Hymne a l’Amour in late 1949, on the day her lover, middleweight boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash.
It’s an audacious alternative that launches this documentary portrait of ten female singers active from then until now, with names interviewed including chanteuse and style icon Francoise Hardy, avant-garde music icon Brigitte Fontaine, and actress-singers Charlotte Gainsbourg and Vanessa Paradis.
“Oh les filles” (“Haut les filles”) recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival.