Author Archives: cynephilia

About cynephilia

Lifetime student of and devourer of international Cinema. Artist, teacher, traveller - especially to my "other home", Java, Indonesia. Features writer for 14 years, for The Jakarta Post, national English language daily newspaper. I was born in New Zealand, but lived in Queensland, Australia since 1970. My profound link with Indonesia began in 1983, when visiting Bali (then an island of arts and of inspiration for an artist), and then again in 1994 when a visit to Yogyakarta, Java, began a process of that town and it's warm people becoming another home and extended family for me. Yogyakarta is the Artistic capital of Indonesia, and so it was the place for me. In 2000 I became a regular contributor about the arts for The Jakarta Post, and cinema, my lifetime passion, later began to become my focus for writing. The advent of The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, (APSA) in South East Queensland, launched in 2007 gave me opportunities to meet some the great film-makers of Asia, and see their amazing work. APSA is a kind of "Oscars" for the Asia-Pacific Region.

APSA/BAPFF fabulous films and film-makers of 2016 ‘THE DARK WIND’ directed by Hussein Hassan, (from Iraqi Kurdistan)

Photo caption shows: Hussein Hassan, director of “The Dark Wind” “The Dark Wind” by Hussein Hassan of Iraqi/Kurdistan UNESCO sponsored Cultural Diversity Award, at the Asia Pacific Screen Award is a special place in the list, because the heart and … Continue reading

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APSA/BAPFF Fabulous films and film-makers of 2016.

Caption for photo – This is Leena Yadev, director of “Parched”, the Opening Night film for the film festival. PARCHED directed by Leena Yadav (India) Nominated for Best Screenplay, “Parched” written by Leena Yadav, was the Opening Night film for … Continue reading

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APSA/BAPFF Fabulous Films and film-makers of 2016

Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival “THE STUDENT” (directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia) This film was nominated in APSA’S Best Feature Film category, and tells a cautionary tale for the whole world, not just the director’s … Continue reading

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Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 2016 The winners.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 24th November, 2016.  List of winners of the tenth Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Best Feature Film: “The Cold of Kalandar” from Turkey Best Youth Feature Film: “The World of Us” from Republic of South Korea Best Animated … Continue reading

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Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival – what is it and why should you pay attention? by Cynthia Webb, (Gold Coast, QLD, Australia)

Hello film-lovers! Do you live in South-East Queensland? Do you love cinema enough to pay attention to the fact that the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) is coming up next week? Everyone in Los Angeles knows when it’s time … Continue reading

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SNOW MONKEY (2015)

A Documentary film by George Gittoes, (Australia) 2.28mins Please go to my review, below the picture…….    Snow Monkey (2015) a documentary film, directed by George Gittoes I sat down this morning to have a look at the opening scenes of … Continue reading

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“Embrace of the Serpent” (Colombia, 2015) directed by Ciro Guerra

“EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT’ (Colombia) directed by Ciro Guerra (Best Foreign Language Film Nominee, 2016) “Embrace of the Serpent” is visually ravishing, in black and white, emotionally rewarding, and intellectually satisfying. I’ve been thinking, that if/when director, Terence Malick sees … Continue reading

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A COPY OF MY MIND (2015)D.Joko Anwar

A COPY OF MY MIND ( Indonesia, 2015) Joko Anwar’s Jakarta – a huge city where a large majority of the people struggle each day to make a living. They often work for tiny incomes, and they know the way … Continue reading

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“Phoenix” (Christian Petzold, 2014)

      PHOENIX (2014) directed by Christian Petzold (Germany) review by Cynthia Webb Do we ever really know or really see our partners in love and in life? Is the beloved seen in the clear light of reality, or … Continue reading

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“The Assassin”

(image courtesy of the Producers) The Assassin (Nie Yinniang) directed by HOU Hsiao-Hsien, Taiwan, 2015 Review by Cynthia Webb In the recent Brisbane Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the stand-out film for me was Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “The Assassin”, for which he won … Continue reading

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******************************************************* ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS and BRISBANE ASIA PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 19-29 November, 2015 History and Philosophy by Cynthia Webb It’s the second year that these two events have been teamed up and the idea is a good one because … Continue reading

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PARTISAN

“Partisan”, (Australia, 2015) directed by Ariel Kleiman. Review by Cynthia Webb Watching this film, there is no way to know that it is an Australian-made film. It stars a French superstar, Vincent Cassel, and a group of accented English speakers, … Continue reading

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“THE IDOL”

“The IDOL”(Ya Tayr el Tayer) directed by Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine, 2015) Review by Cynthia Webb The Opening Night film in the Brisbane Asia-Pacific Film Festival, screened last night, 19th November 2015. It was “The Idol”, directed by Hany Abu-Assad of … Continue reading

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“Far From The Madding Crowd” (2015) directed by Thomas Vinterberg

“Far From The Madding Crowd” (2015) directed by Thomas Vinterberg By Cynthia Webb “It’s difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language chiefly made by men to express theirs,” says Bathsheba Everdene – the heroine of Thomas … Continue reading

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U-Wei Bin Haji-Saari, film maker from Malaysia, and his film “Hanyut” (2013) By Cynthia Webb

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day for me, said U-Wei bin Haji Saari. When asked why, he answered “because I don’t like competing.” He referred to a day back near the endof 2013 during which the Jury of … Continue reading

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“The Mirror Never Lies” (“Laut Bercermin”) 2011, Indonesia.  Directed by Kamila Andini Review by Cynthia Webb  Photos courtesy of the film producers, Garin Nugroho, Nadine Chandrawinata, Pemda Kabupaten Wakatobi, World Wildlife Fund – Indonesia. I never tire of the breathtaking … Continue reading

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Kamila Andini and the Struggle for Indonesian Indie film-makers

Kamila Andini, emerging young film director, of Java, Indonesia, who had a lot of film festival success with her first feature film “The Mirror Never Lies”, back in 2012. Most of this interview took place before the film travelled the … Continue reading

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Philip Cheah – Promoting Asian Cinema

(Photo shows Philip Cheah in dark shirt on right, with Garin Nugroho of Indonesia – together in Brisbane, March 2015) Philip Cheah: Promoting Asian Cinema by Cynthia Webb, QLD, Australia “I didn’t talk much”, said Philip Cheah when asked about … Continue reading

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Biography of Indonesia according to Garin Nugroho by Cynthia Webb

The biography of Indonesia –according to Garin Nugroho Cynthia Webb, Brisbane, QLD, Australia When the Head of Griffith Film School, in Brisbane, Australia, was planning a week of Master-classes for his senior students, Garin Nugroho was the name suggested. Professor … Continue reading

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“Between Two Worlds”: David Lynch at GoMA, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Photo by Just Loomis, Los Angeles,2014 Between Two Worlds: David Lynch at GoMA, Brisbane Cynthia Webb, Brisbane, QLD, Australia Do you remember watching the twenty-nine episodes of “Twin Peaks” on TV, back in 1990-91? Do you remember the unsettling feeling, … Continue reading

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“Two Days, One Night” (“Deux Jours, Une Nuit”) directed by the Dardenne Bros. (Belgium)

 review written by Cynthia Webb The compassionate eyes of Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne see the real world of ordinary people with great clarity. They see humanity’s dignity and courage, but do not fail to notice streaks of selfishness, weakness, meanness. … Continue reading

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BIRDMAN (2014) directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

BIRDMAN (2014) directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Oh, the tragic emptiness of modern lives! Self obsessed, insecure, needy for attention, recognition. What has modern society become? It all seems so hollow, so meaningless. That’s the picture painted by Alejandro Gonzalez … Continue reading

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“Mr Turner” (2014) Directed by Mike Leigh, (UK)

“Mr Turner” (2014) – a richly rewarding biography of a great British painter Directed by Mike Leigh “Mr Turner” is a fascinating film which the director Mike Leigh dreamed of making for about fifteen years. We see the latter years … Continue reading

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“Beatriz’s War” (East Timor’s first feature film) 2014, 101 mins), directed by Bety Reis and Luigi Acquisto

It seems necessary to mention that the plot-line in the second half of the film “Beatriz’s War” is inspired by the 1982 French film, starring Gerard Depardieu and Nathalie Baye – “The Return of Martin Guerre”. Audiences watching who’ve seen … Continue reading

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“THEEB” written and directed by Naji Abu Nowar

“THEEB” (Wolf) directed and written by Naji Abu Nowar (Jordan, Qatar, UAE, UK) A Bedouin boy’s coming of age This first feature film by the director, tells the story of a young boy’s awakening to the dangers and treachery in … Continue reading

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Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, 2014

(PHOTO: The Nominees on stage at APSA 2013 Ceremony, City Hall, Brisbane. Photo by Cynthia Webb) The former Brisbane International Film Festival, has a new identity.  It’s been linked to the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), so that the two … Continue reading

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BRANDO – his legend will never die

Image: Marlon Brando, in “One Eyed Jacks”, directed by him in 1961. Marlon Brando – an extraordinary life Cynthia Webb, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia Some famous people become such legendary figures that we forget that they are only ordinary people, … Continue reading

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OPERA JAWA by Garin Nugroho (2006)

“OPERA JAWA” Garin Nugroho, the director of the feature film “Opera Jawa” says that for him it is “not only a film, but a library”, meaning that it is a valuable historical record of Javanese culture, both ancient and modern. … Continue reading

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Music and the Cinema – Marriage of the Century

Music and the Cinema, Marriage of the Century? Can you imagine “Star Wars” without John Williams’ rousing theme music? Can you imagine “Lawrence of Arabia” without the inspiring theme music by Maurice Jarre? Film soundtracks are incredibly eloquent, and can … Continue reading

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Douglas Kirkland: He photographed the stars

                 DOUGLAS KIRKLAND:  A LIFE IN PICTURES                                                   Cynthia Webb, Brisbane, QLD., Australia     Several years ago, I attended a discussion with Douglas Kirkland, at the Gallery of Modern Art, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where there was an … Continue reading

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