Anomalisa (rated MA15+)
Oh, Charlie Kaufman. What glory are his words. Writer of Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, the spirit of a Kaufman film lingers in the heart, stoking its fires. Anomalisa is his first animated film, and he co-directs with Duke Johnson. Voiced by David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan, a story about a man crippled by his life’s mundanity experiencing something out of the ordinary could not be in more capable hands.
Anomalisa is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
Tehran Taboo (rated MA15+)
Following the lives of four of Tehran’s inhabitants, the rotoscoping format of this film allows for depicting such taboo topics as sex in its various contexts. The protagonists – a single mother and prostitute, a musician and his lover who is in need of an operation to restore her virginity, and a pregnant wife eager to expand her world outside the home – each long to break free of the systematic restrictions on their lives. This is the first film from Iranian director Ali Soozandeh, who co-wrote the film with Grit Kienzlen.
Tehran Taboo is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
My Life as a Zucchini (rated )
A gorgeous French film from Claude Barras, My Life as a Zucchini was both nominated for and won a swag of Best Animated Feature Film awards internationally. Little Icare, who insists on being called Courgette, is sent to an orphanage after his mother dies. There, he meets Camille. Together they forge a strong and loving relationship, perhaps the first in their young lives. ‘Sometimes we cry when we’re happy.’ Indeed. From screenwriter Céline Schiamma.
My Life as a Zucchini is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
The Red Turtle (rated PG)
From Japan’s Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo), but with a Western influence from Dutch director and co-writer, Academy Award winner Michael Dudok De Wit, The Red Turtle tells the story of a castaway stranded on a deserted island. Every time he builds an escape raft, a red turtle destroys it. Winner of Un Certain Regard Special Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this is unusually a film without words. Nevertheless, it has plenty to say about life’s most precious elements. A treat of a film, lushly animated.
The Red Turtle is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
A Monster in Paris (rated G)
From French filmmaker Bibo Bergeron comes this family-friendly animation – this is the English dubbed version, so no subtitles – about a monster dwelling in the bottom of a garden, who’s accidentally unleashed onto the flood-affected streets of 1910 Paris. As it turns out, the monster is a gifted guitarist and singer, and is set to work as back-up singer for star songstress, Lucille (Vanessa Paradis) with whom he falls in love. With a couple of wisecracking co-stars and a monkey thrown in for good measure, it’s easy to get swept up in the quest to save the monster from the mayor who’s out to exploit him anyway that he can.
A Monster in Paris is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
The Illusionist (rated PG)
French director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) adapted this original screenplay by beloved director and actor, Jacques Tati. The old-fashioned conjuror sets off to try his luck in London, but ends up on a remote Scottish island where he meets young Alice. Believing the illusionist possesses magical powers, she follows him to the big city of Edinburgh where they set up house and make a meagre living together. This is not a romantic love story. Written in the fifties but never produced by Tati, it’s said to be a letter to his first daughter. The hand-drawn animation fits the time line of the film perfectly.
The Illusionist is streaming now at SBS On Demand:
Mary and Max (rated PG)
Animated feature film Mary and Max from writer/director/designer, Adam Elliot, is voiced by Academy Award winners Toni Collette as Mary and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Max. This achingly beautiful film tells the story of a pen-pal friendship that develops between 8-year-old Mary who lives in the suburbs of Melbourne and New Yorker Max, 44, who is obese and has Asperger’s syndrome. Spanning some two decades of their lives, and including gloriously drawn, memorable supporting characters, Mary and Max will warm your heart.
Mary and Max is streaming now at SBS On Demand: