Five movies to catch at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival

31 May 2019
Our film expert shares his top picks
Time to break out the choc tops, the 66th annual Sydney Film Festival is here! We’ve asked Film Studies Lecturer Dr Bruce Isaacs, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, to break down the massive range films on offer this year with his top five picks.

Need a break from your studies? This year the Sydney Film Festival has you covered. Stretching from Wednesday 5 June through to Sunday 16 June, the festival spans 12 nights of inspiring premiers, events and expertise-laden talks. You’ll be treated to some of the best local and international works of cinema to be released, with 307 films to be screened from over 55 countries.

As the University of Sydney is a festival partner, our students will be treated to some exclusive deals. The Uni Pass gets you 6 tickets for $66, giving you the perfect chance to unwind during exams.

With a range of genres spanning from Sci-Fi to silent, it can be hard to choose what to see – so we’ve borrowed the expertise of resident film buff Dr Bruce Isaacs to give you his top five picks for the festival.

1. High Life

Directed by French director, Claire Denis, High Life is a sensual and shocking sci-fi thriller starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and André Benjamin (OutKast’s André 3000).

Bruce: “It's a major philosophical sci-fi film that reminded me of people like Kubrick and Tarkovsky.”

2. Amazing Grace

A previously unreleased film about the Queen of Soul, Amazing Grace is a documentary on Aretha Franklin's concert in 1972.

Bruce: “I started crying just watching the preview! I've heard great things about this film and I love concert documentaries.”

3. The Dead Don't Die

Starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny and directed by Jim Jarmusch, The Dead Don’t Die is about zombie-cops fighting the undead.

Bruce: “This looks like a wild zombie film, which in Jarmusch's hands will be something to see.”

4. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s film about Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder tour with new interviews and live concert footage.

Bruce: “I'm a sad Bob Dylan fan, and Scorsese has created something like a Dylan archive in so many of his works. So, from a personal point of view, this is perhaps my number 1 pick of the festival.”

5. The Golem: How He Came Into the World

A restored classic German Expressionist film with a new live score performed by Lucrecia Dalt and co-directed by Paul Wegener.

Bruce: “I love silent cinema over a live soundtrack, and this looks a great experiment. Really thrilled the festival are doing this.”

The University of Sydney is the official education partner of the 2019 Sydney Film Festival, which runs from 5 - 16 June throughout Sydney. Watch insights into some of this year’s film highlights from academics across the University here.


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