T O T O :: A R C H I V E S
The Adopted Son
Kyrgysztan/France, 1998, 81 mins
So many coming-of-age films lack subtlety, but this is a much gentler and beautiful example.
Japan, 1998, 118 mins
An uneasy mixture of inspiration and gimmick.
All About My Mother
A serious study of love, friendship, family, escape, regret, grief, and hope.
"An artier version of Prozac or day-time television" (Adam Rivett) or "Incredibly beautiful and superficially intelligent but lacking just that tailend of true moral philosophy. " (Huan-tzin Goh)
Another Day in Paradise (1)
USA 102 mins 1998
Larry Clark desensitises with more violence and drug use.
Another Day in Paradise (2)
USA 102 mins 1998
The film began and within minutes I was dreaming of a stealthy escape from the cinema.
Now you won't hear the word 'anus' in a Disney film.
One of the best political thrillers to tackle issues of Americana culture?
(two reviews available)
Playing with love and paint in the Italian Baroque Period.
The Astronaut's Wife
The highlight of the film was hearing Sid Vicious' rendition of 'My Way'...
Fishheads, Fishheads, roly-poly Fishheads!
Bajo California. El Limite del Tiempo
Mexico, 1998, 96 min., color, Spanish w/ English subtitles
Memories of Antonioni, Bunuel, Greenaway's A Walk Through H and a Glassian soundtrack...
Being John Malkovich
Rivett says: "Influenced by the video-clip ethic." Niemand says: "Packed with original ideas." (two reviews available)
The Big Hit
Is Hollywood's latest hit successfully stupid or a stupid success?
The Blair Witch Project
Adam Rivett wishes people would just see the film, and stop complaining that it's overhyped and "not the scariest ever made." Sebastian Niemand says the marketing is more innovative than the movie, and "it's not the scariest ever made." (two reviews available)
The Bone Collector
No need to take someone to clutch, nor an extra pair of duds for that matter.
It's a nice cake but Gallo wants to eat it too.
The Butcher Boy
Reens loves the piggykid, but still wants more.
Woody's new one has toto in Late Show mode, playing it by the numbers.
Russia, 1998, 85mins, Russian title: Blockpost
An unconventional portrayal of war as endless waiting - perhaps this is what Sam Fuller meant when he said cinema is like warfare. An antiwar statement that depicts the Chechnyan conflict with humour and humanity.
Children of Heaven
Iran, 1997, 88 min., color, Farsi w/ English subtitles
Innocence and simplicity makes this film a touching, moving experience.
Blunt Australian comedy about a disastrous family Christmas.
All the things that you thought had been passed over in this age of computer ingenuity are now back, and expressive of a masochistic cinematic intent. Yes folks, this film makes you suffer for your entertainment.
"Let down by the story component" (Sebastian Niemand) or "A basic bad b-movie" (Adam Rivett).
Exquisitely meaningless, formulaic spectacle.
Dance Me To My Song
Not quite the social realist film it should have been.
A surprisingly enjoyable rental viewing inspired this review.
Deep Blue Sea
Apparently this years big budget blockbuster.
Detroit Rock City
Satanic music, softcore porn, the seventies. Sound good?
Kevin Smith gives organised religion a comic-book makeover.
Drop Dead Gorgeous
All worship the ridiculous! Praise the ludicrous! Destroy the mundane.
Nowhere near as vile and nasty as the people Niemand sees on the street at night...
Romantic reinvention of Empire and Elizabethan England.
End of Days
Happiness... is a warm gun...
Insipidly romantic girly fluff.
All creation is now futile, all art self-reflexive. It's all fragmentary, it makes no sense, but Cronenberg has discipline and the film succeeds.
Eyes Wide Shut
Huan-tzin observes as Kubrick channel Hieronymus Bosch
Fast Cheap & Out of Control
The latest docudrama from notorious non- fiction filmmaker Errol Morris touches on some profound concepts
"Deranged and inspired satire" or "a flawed cover version of late-millennial terror" or "anarchy sponsored by Pepsi"? (three reviews available!)
Lucid long-take exposes the humour in sadism, and the sadism in cinema.
Singapore, 1998, 94 mins, English and Hokkien without English subtitles
Haiya, so shock, lah!
Sweden/Denmark, 1998, 89mins, English title: Show Me Love
A polished and very real high school flick about nothing. But for the protagonists and, thankfully, the audience it seems like everything. (alternative review available)
A caveat, a chortle, a cheer. Living cinema.
(two reviews available)
Boorman's filmography is a tribute to his love for fantasy and myth, and his latest film shares this sentimental attraction to the popular figure and the great yarn.
USA, 1999, 88 mins, English and Tuvan w/ English subtitles
A triumph of subject, and one reviewer's struggle to relate why it touched him so deeply.(alternative review available)
Life begins at 3am. Funny that, so does toto.
Gods and Monsters
We attended the Australian premiere to review the film and transcribe the Q&A session with the director, Bill Condon.
Good Will Hunting
And they call this independent cinema. Adam Rivett gets polemical.
Blah! says Rivett.
"Wake, butterfly - it's late, we've got miles to go together." In short, we loved it.
(two reviews available)
The Hanging Garden
Not worth hanging, says Rivett.
(two reviews available)
Happiness by eugene chew
An amoral film that is investigative not exploitative, a comedy not a tragedy, genius rather than gratuitous - a "please consider" moreso than a "oh what a feeling".
Happiness by adam rivett
Despite some very funny scenes, Happiness is a very bleak experience. With the most sensational and repellent of topics comes the bravery to try and understand.
Movies like this are just like dodgem cars...
Possibly the worst haunted house film ever made.
Hedonistic, hopeful, here. Adam puts his head down and comes up with a stream- of-consciousness. But is it the fountain of youth or the loss of innocence?
(alternative review available)
Hartley is here! Let the celebrations begin!
Help Wanted: Endless brochure of exotic scenes needs more balls in the narrative risk department. Give me a call Billy, because I can really help.
This is probably one in a handful of dramas to emerge in the 90s that quietly succeeds. At what? At cinema.
The Hi-Lo Country
Stupidly honest, stupidly nostalgic and stupidly big-hearted. It's old-school treatment, all sinew and gristle, bloody hooves; pretty dresses, buddy bottles and mexican girls who visit fortune-telling witches.
Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood
USA, 1998, Documentary Video, 84mins
An engaging tale about a great producer and the man who helped destroy him, Alfred Hitchcock.
Taiwan, 1998, 95mins, Mandarin with English subtitles, Chinese title: Dong
The latest film from Tsai Ming Liang, another of toto's patron saints.
Gesture, noodles, depression. Life doesn't get much smaller than this.
Clumsily constructed and unbelievable, with too many issues and character changes.
A tired movie involving North Californian marijuana growers, who are older, less beautiful and only marginally more interesting than thirty- something university students.
Shuddup dahling, go home and sleep, whatever.
A theoretical exercise, an attempt at film, a joke, a put-on, a torturous piece of crap, the only real film of honesty in a year of irony.
Japan 1998, 101 mins
Laconic direction, long shots and long pauses... in a shallow comedy.
In a Savage Land
Exceptionally daring in comparison to the safe narrative structures usually adopted by Australian directors. A filmmakers film.
USA 100 mins 1998
Neil Jordan's latest could have been so much more. It could have been somebody... It could have been a contender...
Crowe and Pacino nudge Mann towards a masterpiece.
I Stand Alone
France 1998 93 mins French with English subtitles
An arrogant filmmaker tossing moral biscuits at his audience as if we were Pavlov's dogs - grateful and salivating.
The world needs more high school based films and thank the gods that Hollywood can pump them out at a near obscene rate.
Joan of Arc: the Messenger
Toto's editors furiously debate the merits of Luc Besson's latest film.
Scorsese goes on holiday, takes some pretty pictures and the natives go 'Ahhh'.
Kurt and Courtney
You'll want to congratulate Courtney for surviving, and you will understand why Kurt didn't.
Last Days of Disco
Solipsism and sociability; love and hate for the urban sophisticate.
Life is Beautiful
A noble attempt to play Nazism in colour, La Vita e Bella is a flawed but fantastic film.
Like Two Crocodiles
Italian melodrama needs a little spicing up says Ursula Spice.
With little time to write reviews, we write letters instead.
A mindfuck of a movie, a mindfuck of a review.
Lovers of the Arctic Circle
Spanish director Julio Medem needs more folly in his madness and less method.
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