Routines (2020) – Routine

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Routines Info

Political Correctness is ruining comedy. That’s the phrase you will hear by a lot of comics who got really big in the 90s and haven’t changed their act at all in the 30 years since they started, expecting the same jokes that worked back then to get the same reaction now. You’ve undoubtedly noticed comics who get really upset that they can’t tell a joke that mocks a certain minority group but the truth is… well, maybe those comics just aren’t actually funny anymore and need to update their material. Routines feels like someone decided to take one of those comics and place him in a dramatic story of love and loss and it works – occasionally.

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Bad Girls (2021) – Talking About Bad Girls

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

The gloriously unsubtle is basically the bread and butter of the Sydney Underground Film Festival (which, by the time you read this, will possibly be finished for the year). Every time I’ve gone to see what they’re showing, most of their films are some level of bonkers, no ifs ands or buts. Well, it looks like someone’s stealing the show and decided to be the most bonkers thing around… ok second most bonkers, you can’t top Ninja Badass.

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Ninja Badass (2020) – This Is What Film Should Be!

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Ninja Badass Info

I swear on my life, the plot description I’m about to type is accurate. I did not make a single solitary word of this up, this is a 100% accurate description of the plot of the absolutely glorious Ninja Badass. If anything, I’m leaving stuff out because you wouldn’t believe it was part of the film.

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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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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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