• L–R: ‘The Crow’s Egg’, ‘Suk Suk’ and ‘Tangerine’. (SBS On Demand)Source: SBS On Demand
Life can be pretty hectic, and you don’t always have the bandwidth for a three-hour epic. That’s why we’ve pulled together this snappy little list of 90-minute or less films that will hit the spot.
By
Stephen A. Russell

20 Jun 2022 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2022 - 8:52 AM

Monsoon

This lilting romance from Cambodian filmmaker Hong Khaou follows a lonely heart in the form of Kit, a British-Vietnamese man, played by Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding. Ferrying his parents’ ashes back to Saigon, he feels alienated from the city his family fled when he was only six years old. Can he find solace in the arms of hunky American fashion designer Lewis (Parker Sawyers)? And can he mend the aching rift with the best friend he left behind (a sublime turn by David Tran)? You’ll lose yourself in the unspoken moments hanging in the air around these tentative relationships in this brief but memorable affair.

Monsoon is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

 

Bedevil

If you’re a horror lover after something spooky in a hurry, you can squeeze in this visually exhilarating triple bill of haunting shorts helmed by one of Australia’s most renowned artists and celebrated filmmakers, First Nations woman Tracey Moffat. The first sequence features the legendary Uncle Jack Charles as a man harking back to strange goings-on in a mangrove swamp when he was a kid. Moffat herself appears in the second, which involves a ghost train of sorts. The finale stars Debai Baira as a mother grieving her son and his lover, spirits set adrift in the warehouse where they died. You’ll never forget this transfixing triptych.

Bedevil is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Wolf and Sheep

There are also unearthly presences in this mesmerising Cannes award-winner from Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat. Blending an intimate, almost documentary-like insight into the lives of villagers clustered around a mountain far from the scars of war with a fairy tale sensibility, she folds in tales of a mythical wolf-like creature that sheds its fur to reveal a towering green woman. This beguiling form is in stark contrast with the cinéma verité stuff that casts actual folks from where Sadat grew up. Brilliantly blurring lines in a compact runtime, it’s magic.

Wolf and Sheep is now streaming at SBS On Demand. Be quick, this one leaves on 31 August at midnight.

 

Tangerine

You’d never guess this firecracker of a 90-minute microbudget movie was shot on an iPhone 5S, so astounding do the sunburnt shadows of Los Angeles look in this riotously dark comedy from writer/director Sean Baker. Set over the course of one hilariously calamitous Christmas Eve, it takes a warts and all look at the lives of two trans sex workers on a mission to get even with a bad boyfriend. Discovered in an LGBTQIA+ support centre, stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor make for an incendiary cinematic duo whose chaotic company you’ll want to fall right in with.

Tangerine is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

The Crow’s Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai)

If you want a short but engaging film that all the family can enjoy, buckle in for this Tamil language feature from Indian director M. Manikandan. It follows the misadventures of two plucky young lads (V. Ramesh and J Vignesh) living in the slums of Chennai. They have acquired the nicknames Little Crow’s Egg and Big Crow’s Egg because of their habit of stealing eggs from nests to slurp down the contents. When a shiny pizza shop opens nearby, selling the Italian fare at prices way beyond what they can earn by selling stolen coal snatched from the railway tracks, it sets them on a lyrical-spirited quest to earn enough to snap one up.

The Crow’s Egg is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Suk Suk

It’s all too rare that we get to see the first halting steps of a deep-felt fire play out on the big screen between two folks of an older generation. But that’s precisely what Hong Kong filmmaker and playwright Ray Yeung delivers with his slow-burn, short and heart-swollen film Suk Suk, which delicately explores a sexual awakening between two closeted men in their seventies. Taxi driver Pak (Tai-Bo) stumbles across divorcee Hoi (Ben Yuen) in what begins as a hook-up in a beat, then slowly but surely deepens as they consider a life lived outside the strict social norms that have defined them. A bit of a weepie.

Suk Suk is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Deerskin (Le Daim)

If you’re after something totally bonkers that only just stumbles over the hour mark, then French agent provocateur Quentin Dupieux has just the film for you. The Artist star Jean Dujardin plays a man who loves his natty fringed deerskin jacket way too much. So much so that he kowtows to the seemingly sentient garment’s desire to be the only coat in the world. He uses the false premise of shooting a film to encourage locals he finds in the mountainous resort where he’s shacked up to get shot of theirs. This intrigues a bar worker and would-be filmmaker played by Portrait of a Lady on Fire star Adèle Haenel, who spurs him (and the film) onto even weirder territory. Barmy fun.

Deerskin is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Postcards From London

There’s a touch of Derek Jarman’s erotic punk aesthetic and Neil Gaiman’s otherworldly alternate London about writer/director Steve McLean’s Harris Dickinson-led flight of fancy. Drawing on the visual style of his days shooting pop videos for Jimmy Sommerville, McLean dives headlong into the heady days of neon-lit Soho. Chisel-jawed Dickinson plays Jim, an arty teen who has headed to the big city to make his fortune. Falling in with a gang of louche male escorts who focus on older art lovers, Jim soon realises, as he becomes a muse for hire, that his passion for masterpieces has a habit of inducing narcolepsy. A surreal oddity with overtly theatrical staging, surrender to its kooky charms and lose yourself in a reverie.

Postcards From London is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

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