filmpop culture

Explore the World in Film

So you can’t travel, and social distancing means you can’t even go to the movies. There’s no need to worry. Explore the world in film from the comfort of your own couch. Here are three awesome and very entertaining movies, each with amazing stories and great rewatch value.

All reviewed films are available on Amazon. This site will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using the links provided. As this blog is a hobby any revenue will go towards the cost of hosting.

Show us your Michael Jackson dance moves: Boy

Boy 2010 directed by Taika Waititi – Aotearoa New Zealand

Set in Waihau Bay in rural New Zealand, the film follows the story of Alamain; a young boy  who lives with his grandmother, little brother and cousins. Alamain is so excited to reconnect with his father when he unexpectedly returns home. However, his father (played by director Taika Waititi) has more a selfish reason for returning.

Both Alamain and his little brother Rocky have wild imaginations. Rocky believes he has dangerous superpowers, and is a bit more suspicious of his father. Alamain, completely infatuated with his father has convinced himself of crazy heroic stories of his war hero father.

With a soundtrack of Maori pop, indie rock and reggae; this is a super fun movie that can’t stop references Michael Jackson dance moves. Boy is available at a very good price on Amazon.

Boy was set and filmed in regional New Zealand

Fight the Pig Demon: Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 2013 directed by Stephen Chow – China

In ancient China, villages are terrorised demons and conned by the demon hunters that protect them.  Tang Sanzang, an unshaven Taoist monk uses nursery rhymes to capture demons; much to the dismay of the villagers he rescues and his rival demon hunters.

Opening with an epic battle of a seaside village and man-eating demon Shā Wùjìng; the suspense, violence and humour to keep surprising your emotions. In all his battles, Tang Sanzang is upstaged by the kick-ass demon huntress, Duan.  The relationship between Duan and Tang is an unconventional love story with spells, trickery and the rejection of lesser love. To defeat the lustful and jealous pig demon, Zhu Bajie; Tang Sanzang travels to Five-Finger Mountain to team up with the mischievous Sun Wukong, a.k.a. the Monkey King; Teaming up the most infamous trickster in Chinese folklore doesn’t come without its challenges…

Based on the classic Chinese epic, Journey to the West, this film is a comical prequel to the main saga. Directed by Stephen Chow and starring Shu Qi as Duan, this adaptation is the highest grossing Chinese language film of all time. You can purchase Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons on Amazon.

The Journey To The West saga takes us through much of regional China

Introducing the Cummeragunja Song Birds: The Sapphires

The Sapphires 2012 directed by Wayne Blair – Australia

The Sapphires is the story of soul singing sisters from the tiny indigenous Yorta Yorta community; Cummeragunja. Losing a talent show because of their skin colour, the girls are discovered by former music director, Dave. He convinces the parents to let him take the band on tour to US military bases in the Vietnam.

The youngest sister and lead singer Julie is played by Australian Idol and Eurovision singer, Jessica Mauboy. The soundtrack features Mauboy covers of the worlds most beloved soul hits; ‘What a Man’, ‘Who’s Loving You’, and original song ‘Gotcha’. Featuring folk classics ‘Yellow Bird’, and the local Yorta Yorta song ‘Ngarra Burra Ferra’, this is one beautiful soundtrack.

Yorta Yorta culture and systemic racism shape the story. Starting in the pub, the girls face racism all the way to the Vietnam. Gail, the eldest sister’s arc focuses a lot on “blackness” and causes conflicts between her and her Irish band manager; and her cousin Kay, a victim of the ‘stolen generation’.

The film is based on the 2004 Tony Briggs stage musical. The musical is loosely based on a true story of a group of indigenous sisters who travelled to Vietnam to entertain the troops. Amazon has both the movie and soundtrack listed.

The Cummeragunja Song Birds left their home on the Murray to an active war-zone

2 thoughts on “Explore the World in Film

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.