Adrian Martin’s Top 5 films of QFF2017

Adrian Martin's Top 5 films of QFF2017Adrian Martin

It’s becoming a tradition to have iconic Australian film critic and cinephile Adrian Martin kick off our Top 5 series to help you find your way to the best of the fest!

Martin is the former film critic for The Age, editor of journals Rouge, LOLA and Screening the Past, and is a contributor to publications including Cineaste, Sight and Sound, and Film Comment. His books include Phantasms (1994), The Mad Max Movies (2003), and Mise en Scene and Film Style (2014). With his partner Cristina Álvarez López he makes video essays exploring a wide range of film art. On Thursday 20 July his full archive of criticism and thinking goes live.


Kelly Reichardt’s steady, soulful exploration, across a suite of interconnected stories, of women’s frustrations, bonds, determinations and passions. All the small blockages and breakthroughs of daily life in modern USA.

It is the words of James Baldwin (1924-1987) – whether sourced from archival recordings, or read by Samuel L. Jackson – that pierce the viewer of this proud, lucid testament, a popular essay/collage film assembled by the gifted Raoul Peck.

In France, tragic real events trounced the surprise factor in Bertrand Bonello’s provocative, stylish portrait of young terrorists for whom Paris is a plaything to be ‘occupied’ and blown up. A political film made in the manner of an American B genre special of the 1970s.

What better setting for a 1980s musical than a shopping mall? Mixing diverse plots and performers, cinema and TV variety show, romantic comedy and social analysis, Jacques Demy and Ernst Lubtisch, Chantal Akerman’s long-nurtured project is among her most indelible and enjoyable films.

… And speaking of musicals, Australia has one of its few successful shots at the genre in Gillian Armstrong’s zany, MTV-era tale of a young generation high on dreams, but stuffed with problems. A cross-section of Australiana that stretches all the way from daggy suburbia to the Sydney Opera House.


© Adrian Martin, 29 June 2017, 7.30pm

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