Ellipsis – Standout movie at the Melbourne Film Festival

Last Sunday I went to see Ellipsis (2017) at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). It is an experimental film with two central characters. It is a story about escaping the daily grind and living in the moment.

Ellipsis is Australian actor David Wenham’s first time directing and what a way to start! It’s a film that you can tell is made by an actor. I think after all, that they make pretty amazing directors, just look at Clint Eastwood & Robert Redford. The characters in the story are the main part, it’s just a story about people and how one night can change how you view the world.

David Wenham also introduced the film and answered questions about it after also. He said that the night has always fascinated him as things happen at night, that can’t in the day. You can speak to people that you wouldn’t usually approach, have new experiences that you wouldn’t through the day and make friendships, even if just for the night.

It’s not a film with a love story, yet it does have one. It’s just not your traditional love story. It’s a story about friendship with someone you know you’ll never see again. It’s also a love letter to Sydney and for putting your phone away. There’s a whole world out there if you just stop to experience it.

David Wenham doesn’t hammer his point home, he leaves it up to the audience to interpret the film how they wish. There’s a lot of different ways to interpret this film and a lot of messages to take out of it. Not bad for a film that was shot in 10 days.

It’s a beautiful film and honestly the best film I’ve seen all year. I hope it gets the distribution and the acclaim that it deserves.

Can’t wait to see what David Wenham does next.

From Los Angeles with Love

I can’t even deal with how amazing La La Land (2016) is. It makes me want to yell from a rooftop how much I love movies. I watched it for about the third or fourth time this weekend. And I think it keeps getting better each time I watch it.

The nay-sayers to La La Land don’t know what they are talking about. It’s a film about films, made by film lovers for film buffs. Does a film get any better than this? I don’t think so. And here’s why.

The tribute it pays to the movies of the past. It’s a homage to the stars that were and the movies that they live on in. For example, showing Griffith Observatory in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and then re-creating the same shot 60+ years later. The whole film is a love letter to Hollywood, not the Hollywood of today, but of the Golden Era. They just don’t make movies like these anymore, except of course in La La Land.

The music. The score, the jazz music featured plus the concept of “ saving jazz”. I didn’t know much about jazz before. The only real experience I’ve had with jazz is going to Preservation Hall in New Orleans for authentic jazz, no microphone, no amps and also no mobile phones. Gimmicks have no place in ‘real jazz’ and we learn that as Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) does.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both fantastic and even better when paired together. Which brings me to my favourite part of the film and what I think is the best ending to a film, in the history of film. Big call, but I’m happy to make it.

The final montage is perfect. There’s just not another word for it. It is understated whilst being elaborate. It is affectionate, whilst being heart-breaking. It is unexpected but believable.

This isn’t a story of boy meets girl and then happily ever after. Whilst it is a love story, it is a story about two people chasing their dreams. It is about meeting someone who has an impact on your life & shapes who you become, but then their part in your story is done.

The story & ending of La La Land is a film I think will never be forgotten. This is a modern-day classic whose story has just begun.