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Sydney Film Festival 2006 Preview

by Michael Collins

With the weather turning cold in Sydney what better way to escape the dreary conditions than to be in a cold and dreary cinema watching some of the best and latest offerings from the cinema world. EFilmCritic has already seen some of the best films on offer, so read on for eFilmCritic’s preview to the 2006 Sydney Film Festival.

For the first time, the SFF has done away with the subscription system. It was the expansion from the subscription system that saw the popularity of the festival soar. The alternative and more flexible ticket arrangements allowed far more people to attend screenings.

Well now the transfer is complete. The subscription service has gone. Instead you can purchase flexi-passes of 10, 20, or 30 films ranging from $135 to $310.

The flexi-passes do not include the opening or closing night films, Dendy Awards and other special events.

It’s a much better system, but I do wonder how all the old school subscribers feel about it. When the individual ticketing system was introduced, mention of it used to induce booing and hissing from the subscribers.

For the flexi-passes you still need to specify what films you want to see. You exchange a voucher for a ticket to a particular film. There’s bound to be a battle or two for that. It can be done at the venues or from Ticketmaster outlets. You should be doing that as soon as you can.

The flexibility is a good thing. Buy a flexi-pass of the size you would like. Get hold of tickets of the films you want to see, and keep a few passes to spare to see what pops up from friends recommendations and festival buzz.

So what to see?

Well that’s the million dollar question. So here’s a suggestion list for the respective 10, 20 and 30 passes.


1. Rats In The Ranks.

A revisit of Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson’s insightful film with Connolly and featured people from the film holding a talk after the film.

2. Once In A Lifetime

One of a trio of Soccer themed films. This one looks at the soccer in the US in the late 70s when there was a hint that soccer might takeover, if not the country, then at least New York. Wisely not on when the Socceroos play Japan.

3. Fearless

Jet Li stars in a wushu martial arts film. What else do you need to know?

4. The Descent

For all the blood and guts fans, The Descent looks the goods. More blood than a vampire’s convention and critics have been loving it.

5. United 93

Paul Greengrass, the director of Bloody Sunday, documents the events of 9/11 focusing on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

6. Brick

Sundance winner where modern LA high school meets hard boiled film noir murder mystery.

7. Hard Candy

Another buzz film from Sundance and SXSW looking at crime and punishment.

8. Favela Rising

A hit at Tribeca and one session is already sold out here at Sydney. An inspiring story of a former drug trafficker turned activist.

9. Edmond

Penned by David Mamet starring William H Macy. The director has a dodgy past, but this nevertheless looks the goods.

10. Little Miss Sunshine

Starring Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear this film has quite the mix of characters. Yeah, there’s a story, but I don’t think that’ll quite be the point.


11. Rampage

A follow up from Soundtrack to War, we follow Elliott Lovett who felt safer serving in Iraq than he does in his hometown of Miami.

12. Friends With Money

An American comedy of manners from the director who did Lovely and Amazing

13. Footy Chicks

Doco on female Australian football fans.

14. The Great Match

Looks at remote communities tying to get televisions – and the electricity to power them – to watch the world cup.

15. Perhaps Love.

Probably the best of the Hong Kong showcase of films. This multi-award winning musical looks like top shelf stuff. It all depends if the songs deliver.

16. Kidulthood

This will be a talking point of the festival. It’s a raw look at the violence and sexuality of kids in the UK. This one seems to be a little too close to the bone for some to take.

17. Ra Choi

An award winner for its script, Ra Choi is set in Cabramatta zeroing in on the zero value lives for four street kids.

18. The War Within

9/11 related story that looks at the protagonists planning to detonate a bomb at New York’s Grand Central Station.

19. River Queen

Very The Piano-esque look at Colonist vs Maoris story with the cast including the always great Temura Morrison who will be attending the festival.

20. The Myth

Stanley Tong and Jackie Chan team up once again for the first time in nine years. A special effects ladened martial arts bust out - Should be fun.


21. The Archive Project

Looks at filmmaking in Australia during the Cold War.

22. McDull, The Alumni

The third in the McDull series looking at every day life in Hong Kong in a humorous way.

23. Starfish Hotel

Twin Peaks and Donnie Darko go to Japan. That weird enough for you?

24. Funny Ha Ha

A film with a lot of good word that is slowly coming to the world’s attention. Directed by Andrew Bujalski, another of his films, Mutual Appreciation, is also screening at the festival.

25. Secuestro Express

Energetic crime film that is quite the chiller.

26. No. 2

An audience award winner at Sundance about a family gathering has been touted as a real charmer.

27. Friday or Another Day.

As the title suggests, a twist on the Robin Crusoe story when an actor is marooned on an uninhabited island.

28. 900 Neighbours.

Doco on the infamous Nothcott Estate in Sydney. It’s a place where residents are trying to change the perception surrounding this post WW2 social experiment.

29. Gravehopping

A Slovenian hero who likes to quote Chopper Read? You’ll have to watch this to find out why.

30. The Aura

Mesmerising existential thriller. Can you have a film that is existential and a thriller at the same time? See this to find out.

Eflimcritic will be covering the festival. Stay tuned for the great finds and the must sees.

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originally posted: 06/05/06 21:33:39
last updated: 06/30/06 14:56:06
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