Author: Natalie Salvo

My writing portfolio can be found at: https://nataliesalvo.wordpress.com/

Film Review: Downton Abbey is a touch of class

September 12, 2019

Downton Abbey was a television show filled with glamour, wealth and manners. For six seasons, viewers were treated to a bird’s eye view of the community connected to that famous British estate. While the film adaptation could have become just an extended episode of the series, this film instead manages to hold its own as […]

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Book Review: Albert Woodfox’s Solitary is a searing indictment on “justice”

August 31, 2019

Twenty-three hours a day. Forty-three years. Three men. A six-by-nine foot cell. These are the all important numbers that form the basis of Albert Woodfox‘s memoir Solitary, which covers one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in U.S. history. This story is one that will enrage you so much you’ll want to throw the book at those […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Waiting: The Van Duren Story (Australia, 2019) is a touching film about your new favourite artist

July 18, 2019

The name “Van Duren” may not mean much to most people. But to Greg Carey and Wade Jackson this Memphis musician is king. The pair went on a journey to discover more about this artist. The result, Waiting: The Van Duren Story is like Searching for Sugar Man, because it sees some fans searching for […]

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Film Review: Apollo 11 steps back in time with a journey to the moon

July 17, 2019

Apollo 11 is a documentary that takes you to the moon and back. Literally. This feature-length film comes hot on the tails of First Man and Hidden Figures. It proves that there is still plenty of mileage to be had from this extraordinary, historical feat. This is directed by Todd Douglas Miller who is used […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: If You Don’t Know Me is a charmed look at the spirit, struggles & sex appeal of Teddy Pendergrass

July 9, 2019

If you don’t know artist, Teddy Pendergrass by now, you certainly will. In the documentary, If You Don’t Know Me we learn all about this R & B singer who was often referred to as “The Black Elvis.” This film is an illuminating look at the life and legacy of this legendary soul man. Pendergrass’ […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Woodstock At Fifty paints the famous concert with too broad a brush

July 9, 2019

Woodstock was one of the most important concerts in history. This year marks 50 years since those infamous three days of peace, love and music. The film, Woodstock at Fifty is a documentary that gives a rather backstage view to the show thanks to some interviews with various key players. While some parts of this […]

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Film Review: An Unexpected Love is a thorough examination of that four-letter word

July 1, 2019

Darren Hanlon once sang that love is “Just a lazy generalisation that we use for one hundred different feelings and as many situations”. The film, An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) certainly examines one of these kinds of love. It’s that of a mature couple who have been married for 25 years. They grapple […]

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Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road is finger-picking good

June 29, 2019

He’s Australia’s very own finger-picking, boogie-woogie man. Tommy Emmanuel is a guitar icon and one of only a handful of people who can say they’re a certified guitar player. Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road is an entertaining look at many facets of this charismatic musician and artist. This film is written and directed by Jeremy […]

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Book Review: #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement is a strong anthology from a diverse choir of voices

June 25, 2019

In October 2017 when the hashtag #MeToo went viral, a lot of the popularity was chalked up to some rich, white celebrities speaking out. What these media reports failed to acknowledge however was that the movement’s true founder was Tarana Burke. This new anthology, #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement, is broadens #MeToo’s scope, whilst […]

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Book Review: Jocelyn Moorhouse’s memoir is proof that love is all you need

June 23, 2019

Jocelyn Moorhouse knows how to spin a great yarn. The Dressmaker director has had a rich career in film, and this forms part of her memoir, Unconditional Love. This book looks at her brilliant career, including her collaborations with filmmaker husband, PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding). But, Moorhouse’s most intriguing chapters are about her experiences with […]

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Melbourne International Documentary Film Festival Review: Boom! is a rocking trip along some sonic highways

June 22, 2019

Boom! A Film about the Sonics is a documentary that is cut from the same cloth as Searching for Sugar Man and Waiting: The Van Duren Story. You may not have heard about American group, The Sonics but chances are you’ve heard their influence through other people’s music. This film is an overwhelmingly positive one […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a love letter to a brave, post-punk poet

June 19, 2019

Martin Phillipps is a brave, post-punk poet. The leader of the New Zealand band, The Chills has had a long and varied career writing heavenly pop tunes that are filled with dark undercurrents. The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a revealing look at an eccentric protagonist in his own tragicomic story. […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: XY Chelsea is barely the first chapter in Manning’s story

June 17, 2019

You get the sense that the stage was set for a great documentary about Chelsea Manning. It was May 2017 when the former US army soldier and intelligence analyst had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama. She also granted a documentary film crew unfettered access to her life. And yet what follows is a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: David Crosby is an open book that teaches us children well in Remember My Name

June 16, 2019

David Crosby was a Byrd who became a “difficult cat”. In Remember My Name he is an old dog armed with a guitar in one hand and a spliff in the other. This musician and artist is very candid about his full and colourful life in this feature-length documentary. This film is ultimately an entertaining […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Leftover Women is an eye-opening look at love & marriage

June 13, 2019

Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But what do you do if you’re a single woman who is over a certain age living in China? The documentary, Leftover Women, is an illuminating look at three individuals who grapple with various stigmas and expectations, in a society where women are encouraged to […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Martha: A Picture Story is a sharp look at her many pictures of you

June 12, 2019

They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. American photographer, Martha Cooper fits this to a tee. She has had a long and storied career capturing some fine images of urban landscapes, and changing towns and communities. Martha: A Picture Story is like a love letter to […]

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Film Review: Tolkien is a pedestrian look at the famed writer from childhood to hobbit

June 12, 2019

There is no question that author, J.R.R Tolkien is worthy of a bio-pic. The writer is responsible for some of the most beloved fantasy epics including: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This bio-pic is a rather pedestrian telling of some of his life events and as such, is unworthy of such a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Amazing Grace makes you want to sing hallelujah with Aretha Franklin

June 10, 2019

There is no question that the late, great Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul. But what you may not know is that she was also an accomplished gospel singer; the daughter of a preacher who first developed her musical chops at church. Amazing Grace is a homage to Franklin’s past, a 1972 concert film […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: My Nudity Means Nothing bares all and nothing at all

June 8, 2019

It should come as no surprise that in My Nudity Means Nothing (Ma nudité ne sert à rien) the protagonist is naked. In this case, it is the French, Underground filmmaker, Marina de Van. She holes herself up in her flat and flitters between existential angst and some serious naval gazing. All this and absolutely […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is like a film directed by Puff the Magic Dragon

June 7, 2019

Most documentaries are good at providing observations about a subject. They are often unobtrusive and just like a fly-on-the-wall. But what do you do when you’ve chosen to chronicle an individual who is an illusionist and expert prankster by day? TV director, Ben Berman grapples with this as well as the notion of the truth […]

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