Bone Cage (2021) – Beautiful and Heartbreaking

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Bone Cage Info

There’s been a recent trend online where people are posting pictures of notes at local restaurants or other businesses that say that they don’t have enough staff because a lot of their workers left during the pandemic. It’s been a long time coming for workers of all kinds to realise that they don’t need to be treated like dirt anymore and don’t need to take demeaning jobs that make their lives actively worse so it’s nice to see people standing up and basically forcing a lot of big companies to pay their workers a livable wage and treat them better… of course, there are still those who might be stuck in a job that they hate due to circumstances beyond their control, which is the central idea behind Bone Cage and god damn is it just an incredible film.

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Sweethurt (2020) – The 90s Are Back Baby!

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Sweethurt

Back in the late 90s, there was a huge boom for comedies about teenagers behaving badly while also being kind of charming. Films like She’s All That, American Pie… basically, everything that would eventually be parodied by Not Another Teen Movie. It was this huge thing and these films were massive, to the point where their parody literally gave us Captain America. Of course, it’s been so long since this kind of comedy was a big thing that it feels like no one does it anymore… so thank god for Sweethurt bringing back that classic feeling.

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Externo (2021) – The Medium Sized Short

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Externo

One of the more fun things that have been happening over the last several years is just watching slowly as more and more people develop an attitude that can best be described as “Hey, those people who collected Marie Antoinette’s head had the right idea, maybe it’s approaching time to do that again to a different bunch of rich assholes”. It seems like the majority of us have finally cottoned onto the idea that we’re not going to become independently wealthy and those who already have the money won’t be sharing any time soon. Pointing out the power and influence the wealthy hold is certainly a great idea for a film… Externo tries it, kinda succeeds, but also kinda bores.

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The World’s Best Film (2020) – The World’s Sweetest Documentary

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

There is really no pithy opening paragraph I can come up with to properly start this review of a film that, rather charmingly, calls itself “The World’s Best Film”. I tried, couldn’t think of anything… mostly cos I was just too damn charmed by the film to really bother with the normal format of these reviews.

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An Ideal Host (2020) – One Hell Of A Dinner Party

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

One of the genres that’s consistently hard to get just right is the Horror-Comedy. Sure some films do hit that mix right out of the park (Evil Dead 2, Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, etc) but for the most part they tend to either be more horror or more of a comedy and never quite hit that perfect balance. Today’s film, An Ideal Host, leans on the side of caution and splits the film into doing comedy at the start, horror at the end and it actually works out pretty well.

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Zero Fucks (2020) – Unsubtle As Hell

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Zero Fucks Info

It shouldn’t be a controversial statement to point out that Donald Trump is a giant raving douchebag with fascist tendencies, a boner for his daughter and a penchant for being extremely rapey while also giving zero fucks about the very concept of democracy… it shouldn’t be, but welcome to 2021 where everything is awful and we learned nothing from history because we let basically Hitler with a bad tan run wild with a government all of his own for 4 years and we’re currently living through something that can only be compared to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Things suck and they will continue to suck until the earth is finally done with our shit and kills us all… what I’m saying is that now is the perfect time for a film like Zero Fucks which is basically just 80 minutes of venting several years of built-up anger at the state of things.

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Origin of the Species (2020) – I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Origin Of The Species Info

Do you remember the Tay Twitter bot? For those who don’t remember, this was a Twitter bot that Microsoft designed in order to try and get an AI to learn how to have a normal human conversation… and because they put this on TWITTER, that bot went from sweet and charming to full-on Nazi in under 24 hours. It was a quick lesson in how quickly an AI can learn and how that learning can be used to create something terrifying… and the limits and uses of AI make for an interesting time in the Sydney Underground Film Festival entry Origin Of The Species.

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Shit & Champagne (2021) – Effervescant

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Shit & Champage Info

It’s been no secret on this blog that I’m a very big fan of drag queen films, having reviewed more than a few of them over the last few years. The drag queen film can be split up into two seperate but equally important groups, the first one being where it’s about drag queens and the film acknowledges that these are drag queens. Things like Cherry Pop, To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar or Death Drop Gorgeous (to name three films I reviewed and can therefore link to, thus improving SEO) would fit into this since all the characters involved are stated to be drag queens, even if they’re in drag the entire goddamn movie. The second kind of drag queen film casts drag queens in female roles and treats them as though they were just regular women, basically any role that Divine ever played is a role that’s meant to be a woman and they just happened to cast a Drag Queen. 

Today’s movie, Shit & Champagne, is a beautiful and glorious example of the second kind of drag movie.

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Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché (2021) – Obsessed with This

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

After the gut-punch of a documentary with Lydia Lunch, it feels right to wash it down with a documentary about another performer that broke boundaries in her own unique way. The idea of course was to try and watch something that was a little lighter and maybe a little easier to take on… stupid me forgetting that the Sydney Underground Film Festival thrives on really just fucking with the audience. So, time to talk about Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché.

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Fanny: The Right To Rock (2021) – Wonderful Feeling

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Fanny: The Right To Rock Info

The history of music is filled with some truly great female bands. The Go-Go’s, The Runaways and The Bangles just to name a few that hit big mainstream success. One band however is considered to be the first all-female rock band to be signed to a major label, a band that would influence all the others that followed, were championed by such icons as David Bowie and would open for bands like Slade and Jethro Tull… that band was named Fanny and they were at the forefront of women’s right to be rock stars (which is great because that gives their documentary a fantastic subtitle to put after the semicolon).

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