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Outrage Beyond (2012)

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My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Outrage Beyond, the great Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s follow-up to 2010’s yakuza film Outrage. Set in the same universe of gangsters in pinstripes, black sedans and sudden violence, it picks up the story some years after the events of the first film.… (read more)

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Ring: The Spiral (2000)

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Of all the sequels and remakes to the first Ring film, Ring: The Spiral is the most successfully different. Filmed and released at the same time as the first film, it presents a kind of counter-story to the one dominated by Sadako in the rest of the franchise. Which isn’t to say the unfortunate supernatural wretch doesn’t make an appearance via the VHS fantastic and cause relentless, impossible strife. It’s just that this is really a film about a man’s … (read more)

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Doing Time (2002)

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When we evoke the prison movie as a genre, most of us recall images of tough men, butch women and their helpless, puny victims in the washroom. Prisons are where social outcasts hatch remarkably intelligent and daring escapes and where frustrated wardens exemplify the injustices of power hierarchies. Prisons are low culture, high function institutions. In a prison, life is bleak.

Doing Time is a wonderfully gentle subversion of the despairing prison movie. How gentle? Replacing the starkness of the … (read more)

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