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.

“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:  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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“Match Point” by Woody Allen – another visit to Woody’s 2005 drama,, prompted by “Blue Jasmine”.

If you want something to think about revisit  ‘MATCH POINT’ directed by Woody Allen                                                                 Cynthia Webb, Gold Coast, Australia   Woody Allen returned to his best form, with “Match point” (2005). I loved “Blue Jasmine” – especially the … Continue reading

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“PURE” directed by Lisa Langseth (“Till det som ar Vackert”)

“PURE”    (“Till det som ar Vackert”)   directed by Lisa Langseth (her debut film)  – released in Sweden, October  2010   On16 Feb. 2014 TV  SBS 2 (Australia) showed “PURE”, starring Alicia Vikander, as Katarina and Samuel Froler as Adam. The … Continue reading

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Christine Hakim – Follows the signposts on the road of life                                            The matter of “identity” has been on Christine Hakim’s mind for most of her life. In her most famous role as Tjoet Nja Dhien, she played a woman who … Continue reading

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Anthony Chen and the film that took over his life

When I interviewed Anthony Chen, (29 years old) from Singapore, he came across as a young man inspired, despite struggling with jetlag, induced by months of world-wide travel.Since his film “Ilo Ilo” had it’s premiere at Cannes and went on … Continue reading

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OMAR

OMAR (Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, 2013) Omar is a young Palestinian man.. who works as a baker, (played by Adam Bakrie – a brilliant performance). He and his two childhood friends, Tarek and Amjad, are involved in what the Israelis … Continue reading

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The Great Beauty (review by Cynthia Webb)

Paolo Sorrentino certainly understood that film-goers and writers and would link this film to “La Dolce Vita” (Fellini) and “La Notte” (Antonioni). There is also a touch of Visconti. He has given us the 21st Century version. We meet the … Continue reading

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The brilliance of Asghar Farhadi, (Iran)

On February 6th, Asghar Farhadi’s latest film, “The Past” will be screening in selected cinemas around Australia. It has taken a long time to reach our shores, but we must be thankful that it’s getting distribution at all, considering the … Continue reading

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“Mystery Road” directed by Ivan Sen

This excellent 2013 film was shown on ABC TV tonight (Australia wide), a perfect choice to commemorate Australia Day  (26th January) because it’s directed by Ivan Sen ( indigenous Australian) and stars Aaron Pedersen ( also an indigenous Australian).  Both … Continue reading

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Christine Hakim – heroine of Indonesia

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Lord David Puttnam

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Simon Yam and Cyn

It was my privilege to meet Simon Yam, a legendary actor of Hong Kong, and a very modest and nice person. Of his huge number of films – many were directed by Johnny To, to whom he credited a lot … Continue reading

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The first day of my cinema blog — commenced on Australia Day, 2014.

The story of a cinephile, named Cynthia Webb Add Media My addiction to Cinema began when my mother took me to see “Salome” starring Rita Hayworth.  She wanted to see it, so she just HAD to take me along – … Continue reading

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