“Random Acts of Flyness” Review: Terence Nance' inventive exploration of the modern black experience.

Terence Nance made one of the great films of the new century with “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty”. It’s depressing that his output is constrained by an industry that continually fails to reward filmmakers like him. “Random Acts of Flyness” continues in a similar mode. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Terence navigates the modern black experience, but expands upon his original cinematic work by inviting other writers and directors to create the work with him.

“Unforgiven” Review: Clint Eastwood attacks the violent heart of American mythology

A terribly sad repositioning of the American West mythology and a clear-headed meditation on the unspeakable violence, racist and misogynist culture that sat at the heart of the American frontier. Eastwood has become a politically polarizing figure and his films are co-opted or rejected through politically narrow readings. While playing hyper-masculine, hyper-violent characters, Eastwood has also chipped away—in front of the camera and behind—at the empty symbols and rhetoric those characters represent.

“Below Her Mouth” review: An authentic exploration of sex and vulnerability

Arriving at the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival following a run through the international film festival circuit, including TIFF, I was lucky enough to attend a screening of “Below Her Mouth” followed by a Q&A with director April Mullen. This was the second screening of the film during the festival, with both 800-seat sessions sold out weeks in advance. Leading up to the screening, I had been eager to see the film, as much had been made of Mullen’s representation of female sexuality in a sensual and truthful manner, which is rarely seen on the silver screen and if it is, usually distastefully presented.

“Lion” review: A banal retelling of an astonishing story

“Lion”, the feature debut by Australian filmmaker Garth Davis, is a missed opportunity as his limited cinematic vision fails to translate the extraordinary sequences and themes of the film’s story. It’s a film about randomness, insignificance and love without the visual imagination to convey any of these ideas on the screen. It is imbued with perfunctory information and little else. “Lion” tells the extraordinary story of Saroo Brierley (played by Sunny Pawar as a child and Dev Patel as an adult), who becomes lost in India, lives in the streets of Calcutta, is adopted by a Tasmanian couple and grows up in Australia before finding his hometown via Google Maps and returning as an adult.

“Joe Cinque’s Consolation” review: A lack of curiosity fails to inspire the mind or eye

Note—for the purpose of clarity, references to the real-life people will be with their last name, and references to the fictional characters will be their first name. A film dealing with the events leading up to Joe Cinque’s death should not be this shallow. In 1997, Anu Singh was charged and later convicted of the manslaughter of her then boyfriend, Joe Cinque. Singh laced Cinque’s coffee with rohypnol before injecting him with a fatal dose of heroin.

“Hacksaw Ridge” review: An unimaginative throwback that appeals to the worst instincts of worship and jingoism

“Hacksaw Ridge” arrives ten years after Mel Gibson’s previous directorial effort, the near-excellent “Apocalypto”, and follows an industry-imposed absence from filmmaking after repeated personal indiscretions. Gibson returned to the screen as an actor in 2010’s “Edge of Darkness”. Gibson’s difficulties in securing Hollywood financing may still be an ongoing issue, as he returns here with an Australian cast and production on a very American subject. This decision ultimately harms the impact of Gibson’s artistry as it fails to connect its characters to any artistic or cultural relevance.