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co (tents


N U M B E R 104



Escaping the Cuckoo Nest

A Round-up

By A n d r e w L. U r b a n

The Australian film s m ost likely to be unspooling at Cannes this year.

In M ichael Rym er’s dram atic debut feature, Harry (John Lynch) and K ate (Jacqueline M cKenzie) fin d love an d flee from a m en tal institution. T heir private w orld clashes with those around them.

10 EPSILON Love and an Alien B y A n d r e w L. U r b a n

Audaciously using tim e-m otion photography to dram atic visual effect, R o lf de H eer crafts an unusual an d poignant story o f an alien w om an an d an Aussie m ale w ho m eet an d find love in the outback.

22 RICHARD FRANKLIN Hotel Sorrento By Scott M


An expatriate com es h om e to m ake a film ab o u t an ex p atriate’s com ing hom e. Fam ily, culture an d identity merge in F ran klin ’s striking film ic «****"' adaptation o f V jf H annie Ray so n ’s acclaim ed play.


14 VACANT P O S S E S S I O N Sacred Land and Haunted Houses B y C l a ir e C o r b e t t

Tessa (Pamela Rabe) is com ing h om e n ow that her m other has died. She returns to the em pty fam ily house, a house that, like the land, is alive, has a soul, is fu ll o f ghosts.

M ax C u l l e n


In b its


B illy \i H o lid ay


N e w M e d ia


T ech n icalities


H is to ry




In re v ie w


Legal Ease


In p ro d u c tio n


N ih il o b s ta t n ine


Dominic Case is a motion picture technical consultant; Mary Colbert is a Sydney scriptwriter and writer on film; Claire Corbett is a freelance writer on film; Ben Crawford is the Marketing and New Business Director of Gadfly Media; Philip Dutchak edits a newsletter on new technologies; John Hood has written books on the films of Mrinal Sen and Buddhadeb Dasgupta, and is completing a study of representations of women in Indian cinema;

New Voice, Second Chance Mary Colbert investigates B il l y ’ s H o l id a y , a fully-fledged musical from the producer of St r ic t l y B a l l r o o m , Tristram Miall Miall, writer Denis Whitburn and director Richard W herrett explain their passion for this story of a middle-aged man who inherits the golden voice of Billie Holiday.

STAGE 4 Fincina Hopgood is an Arts-Law student at Melbourne University and a former editor of OrmondPapers. Chris Long is d Melbourne film historian; Brian McFarlane is an Associate Professor in the English department at Mondsh University; Tom Spira is a principal in the law firm of Hart & Spira; Andrew L-Uiban is a filmmaker, novelist and Australian representative for Moving Pictures. Raymond Younis is a lecturer atthe University of Sydney.

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116 A r g y l e S t r e e t , F it z r o y , V ic t o r ia , A u str a lia 3 0 6 5 .

Plasto and Berry




Australian acting community. Unless the situation improves, a great number of our many talented and experienced performers w ill have no option but to look to alternative careers or move overseas. This is not just a problem for per­ formers but for the entertainment industry at large. A healthy Aus­ tralian film, television and theatre industry cannot survive unless it has access to a reasonably-sized pool of skilled and professional performers. An exodus of performers will also

Britton identifies four major reasons for the drop in incomes: First, the deregulation of the televi­ sion advertising industry in 1992 has been accompanied by a 30% con­ traction in the local industry. Major advertisers such as Coke, Pepsi and Colgate Palmolive are increasingly relying on imported commercials. Second, the amount spent by the commercial networks on Australian drama has dropped by close to 30% since 1992, and as a result actors' fees have been slashed. Many well known performers are now working in television for award rates. Third, the recession has meant that box-office takings in the theatre sector are down. Fourth, and im portantly, the absence of performers' copyright means that performers are missing out on income opportunities avail­ able to many of their creative colleagues. This situa­ tion will worsen in the age of the information superhighway.

n the December 1994 issue of Cinema Papers, Marcus Breen reviewed My Country(pp. 70-1), Bob Plasto and Ruth Berry's documentary about Aboriginal land rights and the issue of reconcilia­ tion. On publication, Plasto and Berry con­ tacted Cinema Papers to say they believed there to be significant "errors of fact" in the piece and that Breen "accused us of lowering our editorial standards for the sake of a co-production". This view stems from the closing paragraphs of the review, where Breen speculates over whether AUSTRALIAN w hat he regards as the FILM film's "simplistic version FINANCE of events" might be the result of the BBC's invest­ CORPORATION ment in the film. New members Plasto and Berry announced for believe Breen's 'specula­ industry panel tions' to be statements of irector Rolf de Heer fact, which are inappro­ and script editor Bar­ priate and incorrect, in bara Masel w ill join the that the documentary panel of film industry Breen viewed was made experts who w ill select exclusively for an Aus­ projects for the 1995 Film tralian audience. The Fund. They w ill replace version shown on the BBC Lynda House and Joce­ is markedly different in lyn Moorhouse, who have length and structure, and resigned because of pro­ has a different voice-over Aussies Win O scar duction commitments. and narrator. Beut Coutumej; L izzy G ardiner an d Tun C happel for The Film Fund panel Cinema Papers and The Adventures of Priscilla, Oueen of the Desert. also consists of producer Breen accept that the Tristram Miall and writer BBC's involvement had no Mac Gudgeon, as previ­ influence on the version ously announced. of My Countryunder review, and apol­ have implications for Australia's ogize to Plasto and Berry for any popularity as a base for international perceived slight on their professional­ film and television productions. AFI AND ABC ism and integrity. Britton argues that there is nothing new ANNOUNCE DEAL about low incomes for performers: he Australian Film Institute (AFI) Performer communities throughout ACTORS' INCOME Awards w ill be telecast by the the world are plagued by high levels CUT BY 44% ABC for the next three years, in a deal of unemployment and modest report released in March by the announced by AFI Chairman Bob Weis incomes. However, a drop of close Australia Council reveals that and ABC Chairman Professor Mark to 50% in income over five years is actors' incomes have dropped by 44% Armstrong. unknown. over the past five years. The mean More than 1400 members of the The report reveals that female actors annual income of actors is now industry attend the Awards, which are are especially hard-hit, earning just $11,500. scheduled this year for Friday 10 over half of that earned by their male Anne Britton, Joint Secretary of the November in the Melbourne Town Hall. colleagues. The report identified that





actors' union, Media Entertainment and Arts A lliance, says the results are alarming and point to a crisis in the

the mean income of a male performer is now $14,000 pa. compared to $8,300 for their female colleagues.

Professor Armstrong said: I'm delighted the ABC w ill be tele­ casting the Awards. The three-year


arrangement is a measure of the

l i i

strength of the ABC's commitment to Australian film and television.

Weis added: The stature of the Australian film i and television industry and the increasing international prestige it enjoys makes the screening of the Awards absolutely essential. The Awards presentation w ill showcase the best of Australian film and television of the year. It will be a great night of television for the viewing audience and a tremendous boost to the local industry. \ \

BRISBANE FESTIVAL FRINGE '95 ere comes Polydactyl - three nights of film and video as part of the third biennial Brisbane Festival Fringe 95, which runs from 12-28 May. This is a festival of innovative, experi­ mental and contemporary work, encompassing and converging music, art, performance, dance and, of course, film and video. Polydactyl w ill present a varied pro­ gramme of recent film and video which pushes the boundaries of conventional practice. The focus is on work which challenges current mainstream cine­ matic trends with regard to form, style, visual presentation, new technologies and content. Filmmakers w ill be involved to broaden the scope of the screenings, and encourage dialogue and discussion.


BRISBANE'S DENDY C IN EM A yn McCarthy and Graeme Tubbenhauer, co-owners of the Dendy exhibition-distribution chain, have expanded their operation in Brisbane. Brisbane's Dendy Cinema, formerly the Greater Union George Cinema, is situated in the Casion precinct of George Street and w ill feature seat­ ing capacity of over 500 seats in a twin arrangement. The cinema opened its first screen on 19 January with Once Were Warriors. The second screen was due for completion in April.


The fully-refurbished cinemas are designed by Melbourne-based architect Peter Mills and Associates, who also designed the Dendy Cinemas in Sydney and the Kino 3 Cinema in Melbourne. While the emphasis of the design is on modern comfort, every effort has been made to preserve and complement the existing classical elegance and charm of the 85-year-old site. McCarthy: It is very exciting to be moving into a larger venue, which will also bear the parent company's name. We are dedicated to creating a cinema

The second

The first

The Editor replies: Bruce Molloy claims Meadows’ article. K


‘two inaccuracies” have been made

.0Pr' ning " ,ght film ™

as Meadows

s e n t t ir f ^ after his article had been , fern. Unfortunately, the correction attired precisely one day too e for meins,on and was to have been mentioned In this Issue’s ...C As a member of tie Board of I™ * “ ™ International Mm F e s tiv a l I mns

gendum' Cinema P“Pers apologizes for this error, 2. As for the comments of “ad hoc” and “ “sinister”, Molloy makes n° ckar anempt ,o po,„t on, that a t, «marks by

with mo inaccuracies In ^ M Maroll lssue on the

Meadows, but of the afote-mentioned Dawson. How, may one ask ^ S B I these errors stem from 1994 issue H H article, -BIFF: tbe maBng o M g g g tt, t lhe openingfilm and Policy. T ie first error is the a ^ i g jg jg of t i e programme

Meadows’ article he c r im e d for betog rnaccnrar. w L n a ^

Meadows ^ ^ S° m“ " e 3 1 Meadows makes no attempt to record such opinions as fact.

The Hollywood Script Readers' Digest is an

anthology of screenplay synopses and television he ballroom theme continue a series proposals which is regularly distributed free Also, the correct name of the Brisbane Film Festival’s artistic of charge to hundreds of director is Anne Demy-Geroe. established television night of the Festival season. programming of the 1992 an and film production com­ " t h e second error is the Poo- and •sinlsmr-. panies, independent 1993 Festivals was somehow o[ g i group of three Puttnam, whose remark­ of the best in world productions producers, literary agents, major actors m m speah from personal i n « ^ „ V e c t o r Anne DemyOeroe able career includes a period judged by almost 200 youngsters and directors, and other entertainment , (the other two being Festiva Youngson) which in 1991 working inside Hollywood as from 7 nations; industry players in both Hollywood and the Chairman and Chief • the Francois Truffaut Memorial New York. Those looking for viable devised the estahhshed the and Executive Officer of Colum­ Award conferred on the most out­ television or theatrical film scripts or all three festivals. popular and art-house ’ or bia Pictures, w ill talk about standing figures from the world series ideas are now able to easily Austrahan and foreign alsolutely nothing "The role of the creative of cinema. assess that always large volume of European content a n d B ■ ® ustralian films and the proportions ad hoc about the emphasis o _ major Australian festivals. producer". The parallel section "Shadowline", available projects merely by reading one suspects When Puttnam returned which has for so many years played descriptions of them, none of which is Asian content of | 1 As far as the so-called sin * tive imagination and to Britain, he renewed his such a vital part at the Festival, has longer than 500 words. these result from a comhmation of o g | m m partnership with Warner now gained a measure of indepen­ Publisher Milford Stanhelm says: to attend the Festival on the pa D on article as source Bros, and has since made dence and w ill now largely become a Our purpose is to save busy execu­ " incidentally. M — of H B four feature films. Fie has festival in its own right, running from tives time and energy. Now, merely hazards of uncritical acceptance mdicates the also produced four films 30 November to 3 December in Giffoni, by spending a couple of hours with for television. and repeating in several Italian cities. a cup of coffee and a copy of the Bruce Molloy Puttnam is currently The co-ordinator is the Festival's Professor of Film and Media Digest it is possible to know what's Chair of Britain's Deputy A rtistic Director, Giuseppe out there and whom to contact. The Bond University National Film and Tele­ D'Antonio. Contact Giffoni Film Festi­ days of producers and agents hav­ vision School and is a Director val, Piazza Umberto I 84095 Giffoni ing to depend on chance or 'special of Australia's Village Roadshow Lim­ Valle Piana (SA) Italy. Tel: 089 868544. contacts' to get a look at currently denced by substantial screen credits. ited. He was appointed Chairman of Fax: 089 866111. available scripts and ideas are over. which w ill lead the way in quality They are industry trained; they have The British Council's Film, Television With the Hollywood Script Readers' programming with the best interna­ received awards. and Video Advisory Committee in 1993, Digest, everyone can simultaneously tional and Australian films available. The service is open (at no extra cost) SCRIPT READERS' and is a permanent member of the see everything. As well, copyrighted In addition, the two screens will give to all women who are financial mem­ DIGEST British Screen Advisory Council. publication of ideas w ill discourage us the versatility needed to host film bers of WIFT Queensland. For the firs t time, a publication has Channel 4 was established in 1982 plagiarism and the frivolous lawsuits festivals and events, and to screen As an added bonus, there is no cost and Michael Grade has been Chief devoted itself to showcasing outlines that too often clog our courts. features previously denied to Bris­ incurred by the employer for the use o f Executive since 1988. He is regarded as of available screenplays and television For more information call the Digest on bane audiences. the Job Referral Service. The process a sort of 'human version' of Channel 4. series concepts. (818) 848 6870 or fax (818) 842 3463. is as simple as a phone call to WIFT His keynote address w ill be "What's Queensland. Simply telephone the W O M E N IN FILM happening to public broadcasting?" WIFT Queensland office during busi­ AN D TELEVISION Grade is Chairman of Channel 4 ness hours on (07) 844 2043. (W IFT) International Limited and a non-execu­ tive director of The Open College PUTTNAM AND QUEENSLAND Limited and First Leisure pic and a in Monday 27 March, WIFT GRADE TO SPAA member of the British Screen A dvi­ 'Queensland launched its Job ir David Puttnam, "one of the sory Council. C over : Referral Service. motion picture industry's most Kris McQuade As a communications and support highly-regarded film m akers", and as Kate in GIFFONI network, WIFT is recognized Australia­ Michael Grade, the Chief Executive of Billy’s Holiday. he XXV edition of the Giffoni Film wide as being one of the largest film Channel 4 Television, UK, will address Festival, the "world's most com­ groups in the country, organizing work­ the 1995 SPAA Conference as keynote prehensive international review of the shops and training courses covering speakers. best in new, upcoming film releases for all aspects of production. The estab­ The tenth annual SPAA Conference the young", will take place from 29 July lishm ent of a Job Referral Service will be held in Melbourne, 8-10 Novem­ to 5 August. The programme w ill highlights the commitment WIFT ber 1995. Last year's conference include: Queensland has to the industry and to attracted more than 500 delegates from • special events in celebration of film and television production, distrib­ the members. 25 years of Festival activity; ution and broadcasting industries The Job Referral database consists • the Official Competition, with 14 around the world. of women w ith experience, as evi­

1992 Festival was Lethal Weapon B notes for the opening night, ca

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are som h’ a " ™ 8 " ‘mplying ^ ” d “s™ ” somehow contradictory. Dawson’s “suhster” refers to the 1992 Festival and ad hoc” to the 1993

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cin ^ tS r about

IH g ic a l second ch an ce.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995


m Tristram Miall, Producer After the success of M & A ’s first fea­ tu re, Strictly B a llro o m (Baz Luhrm ann, 1 9 9 2 ), doors opened wide for former documentary-film­ m aker-turned-producer Tristram M iall. “Ballroom had been a won­ derful, huge leap, but part of life is the desire to stretch yourself, to go one step further”, says Miall. W ith his next feature, Billy’s H oliday, Miall and co-producer-writer Denis Whitburn are grand jété ing into new territory - Australia’s first fullyfledged movie musical. Miall: W ith Ballroom, we were breaking every rule in the book: first-time director, first-time produc­ tion company, unknown leads, a subject that was considered rather naff, and a $3.5 million bud­ get at a time when conventional wisdom dictated below $2m or over $5m with Kylie Minogue in the starring role. It was wonderful for us to be vindicated, because we were the first film that had done really m ajor business for the Film Finance Corporation. The Ugly Duckling/Cinderella/David vs Goliath story also turned out to have a fairytale ending for the key cast and crew. “I think that’s what every­ body who comes to this industry hopes for in their heart of hearts”, says Miall. Apart from the tragic deaths of co-producer Ted Albert, and Pat Thomp­ son, for the others it opened doors wide to the world, catapulting Luhrmann and Paul Mercurio, especially, to international stardom. For the pro­ duction company, it reaped generous financial returns which have enabled Miall to go onto more ‘risky business’. “Scripts flooded through the door, but very, very few were any good”, he recalls. Then, through an unexpected source - completion guarantor Rob Fisher - Denis W hitburn’s script for Billy’s H oli­ day appeared, and Miall was hooked: It had a wonderful mix of reality and fantasy, with a very strong musical com ponent all the way through. When Ted Albert and I first set up M & A pro­ ductions, we always had the n otion that we wanted to do projects with a very strong musi­ cal element. A love of music was one of the first guiding principles. Around the world, the genre’s fallen out of favour; Hollywood’s ceased making musicals. That’s a pity, because when they work they are highly popular, with an evergreen quality to them. In Australia, there hasn’t been anything since G illian Armstrong’s Star Struck [1982], and that had a lesser musical component thanB///y s

Holiday. With music occupying 4 4 of the 90 minutes, Whit­ burn and Miall were breaking new ground. The script was accompanied by a rough track Whitburn (who wrote the lyrics for several songs) had put together with some musician friends (Doug Ashdowne, Jimmy Stewart, John Valance). Some had lead actor M ax Cullen’s voice on them and M iall was “blown away” . As the screenplay was w ritten as a vehicle for the actor, the clincher was that he had to have the voice to carry the movie:

If M ax wasn’t going to do the actual singing, there was no point in doing the film. W e accepted the theme - of second chances in life w ith a pred om inantly m iddle-aged cast didn’t have the obvious elements that appeal to the traditional cinema-going audiences of young people. But I believe that if the story really works, and all the production elements are there, then people will find it. Obviously, it’s harder, but it should still work. Besides, it’s a universal theme: there are plenty of 19-20 year-olds who somehow feel they haven’t had the break they would have liked, that life is somehow passing them by.

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Hollywood's ceased m aking m usicals. b % g|ise « e n they w o rk th ey m W are h ig h ly ^ popular, w ith] an rr quality td th e m . w ak.


In any case, Billy’s H oliday has a marketing trump card: the music. Logistically, the film is the largest musical exercise ever undertaken on film in Australia, with just over 10% of its $4 million budget allocated to music (the average is 1 to 3% ), the involvement of the country’s leading international jazz musician, James Morrison, who composed one of the songs and big-band dance number (“M r. Exhilaration”), and features throughout the film on most tracks, playing every instrument apart from drums and bass. The lively soundtrack has been produced and devised by musical director Peter Cobbin, the country’s top recording musical producer and five-time Australian Record Industry Awards nominee for his work with Morrison, Grace Knight, Vince Jones, Midnight Oil, Yothu Yindi and Margaret Urlich. W hen word leaked out about the scale of the musical, Miall and Whitburn were advised by indus­ try insiders that. C obbin was the only person in Australia who could marshal the logistics of a project this size. Three record companies expressed interest, but the producers opted to go with Roadshow Music, in conjunction with a Roadshow release. Miall: If you look at the album performers at the moment, most are soundtrack albums. The ones that have done phenom enal business are The Bodyguard, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Junior - precisely the sort of music that’s in Billy’s Holiday.

The costs alone of clearances for Gershwin music requ ired m ajor n e g o tiatio n s and the producers hadn’t counted on the am ount o f voice -training (from one of the top voice trainers, Bob Tasman Smith) required for M ax Cullen (Billy) to prepare him for his three different voices: rough trad jazz, Billie Holiday and the rich romantic crooning voice of the last section. There was also instrument training for B illy ’s band (R ichard R oxbu rgh on piano, Drew Forsythe on trumpet and Cullen on trombone);, with musical advisers required on set during the shoot to check on the fingering. Dylan Waters on drums was the only one who could actually play his instrument. The producers were faced with similar options as in Ballroom: to cast musicians and hope the direc­ tor could extract the acting performances out of them, or cast actors and give them voice/instrument train­ ing? The script was written as a vehicle for Cullen and, as w ith B a llro o m , they opted for the latter approach (where the exceptions were Paul Mercurio, Anthony Vargas and Tina Sparkle). On both features, M iall chose to w ork with theatre directors making their feature film debuts: It’s not an article of faith; it just happened that way. But I do think they have a reverence for the text, and a very strong discipline of analyzing it and working it through with actors. The structure of the piece is where you live or die, and getting it right is terribly important. T h at’s not to say you don’t work hard to bolster the visual side. W hereas Luhrm ann was a relative beginner, just out of the National School of Dramatic Art, for Bil­ ly’s H oliday the choice was Richard W herrett, one of Australia’s most-acclaimed theatre directors with a strong track-record across the board in a variety of productions, and outside commercial and critical suc­ cess in h ig h ly-acclaim ed m usicals such as (the re-staged) Jesus Christ Superstar. Miall: It certainly gives an indication that Richard’s pas­ sionate about the genre and understands it. And it was enormously helpful when I was talking to investors - FFC, Village Roadshow, Beyond Films and the N ew Sou th W ales Film &c T V O ffice [which had just been allowed to put in production funding] - to give them a certain comfort zone. Richard’s reputation also gave an authority and integrity to the cast, who were prepared to give m ore, to put them selves m ore at risk. The odd musical films were formative in his development and he remembers them affectionately. Yet, out of this tradition, he brings a passion for doing some­ thing contemporary. And while he has a healthy ego, he never lets it get in the way of what he’s try­ ing to achieve: he’s a great listener. With Wherrett came a team of his regular theatre colla b o ra to rs: p ro d u ctio n designer M ichael Scott-Mitchell on his first feature, veteran stage and film costume designer Terry Ryan {Muriel’s Wedding), and dancer-choreographer Kim Walker, who worked with W herrett on Superstar. Miall: On Billy’s H oliday, the choreography grew as the film progressed. It started with, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if people started bopping to the music and blew out into full dance numbers.’ Did the producers consider different crew choices in cinematography because of the musical genre? Miall: You start thinking that, but who in this country has

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

.............. l É H H â l




shot a musical or choreographed numbers? W e were working on a blank page. Steve Mason, DP on Ballroom, was unavailable [working in the U.S.], so we selected Roger Lanser, an Australian who had worked with Kenneth Branagh on some of his films [Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing]. M iall, with a strong track-record in documentaries, tele-features and mini-series, has risen through the ranks to become one of Australia’s most respected creative producers. W hat does he believe are his pri­ orities? My job is to create an environment within which everybody can contribute creatively, so everything can be taken on board and encouraged. You have to work with gut instinct. Principally, it comes down to selection, and to nurturing the script and key creative people. Its im portant to listen, so that you know if there’s some kernel of truth you’ve overlooked. But, at the end of the day, you’re left with that gut instinct. I t’s so hard making a film that if you’re not all pulling in the same direction, you have Buckley’s chance.

Denis Whitburn , Writer-producer It’s rare in Australia for a script to be star-w ritten, but B illy’s H oliday was conceived as a vehicle for actor M ax Cullen. Scriptwriter-co-producer Denis W hitburn (The L ast B astion, Bodysurfer, Blood Oath ) explains: Back in 1 9 8 0 , I wrote a play called The Siege o f F ran k S inatra, fo r w hich M a x retu rned from England to play the lead. When The Siege was on, we used to go out drink­ ing after the show and, every now and then in a bar somewhere at Darlinghurst at 2 a.m., M ax would start singing ‘Am I Blue?’ in his Billy H. voice, and stop the place dead. I realized then that he had a particular talent that could be developed into a dra­ matic form. Over the years, I tried different ideas but noth­ ing came o f them . It was very d ifferent from writing straight drama: in the tradition of clas­ sical musicals, the songs needed to drive the narrative. About two-and-a-half years ago, Whitburn was re-inspired: The penny dropped all of a sudden about how this story could be told. I wrote the script very quickly in three weeks and sent it to M ax, at the time shooting Spider & Rose [Bill Bennett, 1994]. The immediate reply was, ‘When do we start?’ Richard Wherrett had know Cullen for more than 20 years, but, when he cam e to the p ro je ct, he was stunned to discover Cullen’s hidden talent. During discussions, M iall played some tracks that W h it­ burn and Cullen had laid down to the astonished director. “All the time he’d known M ax and worked with him he had no idea M ax could sing!”, says Whit­ burn. The idea for the music came to Whitburn - out of the blue - from a com bination of factors. As a music and jazz buff, he was a fan of Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, and knew

C I N E M A P A P E R S « J U N E 1995



a number of musicians. The lyrics flowed naturally, and mates helped out with the music. Six songs were written into the screenplay and fully demo’ed. When he presented the rough track to Miall, he found an immediate ally with and affinity for the material. It also struck a chord with W h errett, who brought immense enthusiasm and support to the p roject. Whitburn: I was very conscious of juggling the elements of fantasy, reality, comedy and music into the rhythm of the screenplay. From the time Richard came on board, we did nine more drafts over a ten-month

It's in Australia fo r a f script t | be star-w ritten, but B illg s H o lid a y

was conceived as a vehicle fo rfic to r M a i Cullen.




period. W hat made it difficult was that there were no modern musicals to look at as rôle mod­ els. W e were relying on going back to M G M musicals of directors like Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, who set the form in the ’40s and ’50s. But their stuff was so good you’d be a mug if you didn’t learn the lessons. So, it became a group of middle-aged guys rang­ ing from late-forties to mid-fifties working on a film about second chances in life. W hitbu rn was provoked into w riting the screenplay as a reaction to Australian attitudes to ageism: Over the past few years, an attitude was devel­ oped out of politics and business that anybody over the age of forty is finished - and I’m pretty pissed off about it. Effectively, it’s created a soci­ ety that believes we have only 20 years to make a contribution: anyone under 20 has no con­ tribution to make and those over 4 0 are past it. As a result, a lot of people have given up on life, and what they are able to achieve. I wanted Billy, through a bit of magic, to turn the situa­ tion around. Real-life rôle models of successful elderly musi­ cians abound. Whitburn: Today with Tony B ennett at 69 getting two Grammy awards, Willy Nelson at 63 and Frank Sinatra drawing in the crowds, these guys show that age is irrelevant. But we live in a society which brainwashes and educates us to accept a philosophy that age is a huge obstacle. Look at the American film industry, where wonderful actresses like octogenarian Jessica Tandy can work until her death and Katharine Hepburn is still going strong in her nineties. The film has also provided an Australian rarity: challenging rôles for mature actresses, as with the two women in Billy’s life, girlfriend Kate (Kris McQuade) and ex-wife Louise (Tina Bursill), and with Geneviève Lemon playing the love interest of Billy’s friend, Sid (Drew Forsythe). Apart from Bil­ ly’s daughter, Casey (Rachel Coopes), it’s vintage material for a mature cast. Whitburn: I believe the real worth in our society is the fam­ ily structure. This really is about the break-up of a family and its re-form ation - not neces­ sarily in a nuclear group, but in the community sense.

Richard Wherrett, Director You enjoy the reputation as one of Australia's most-acclaimed theatre directors, with a healthy overseas profile, yet you come to film as a relative novice in this feature debut. Was film always on the agenda? Like most people my age, I was born and bred on movies. M y original m otivation fo r going into show business was to be an actor - in the movies. I’ve always loved film. I was tuned into movies watching Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland long before I was tuned into theatre, probably because there was­ n’t very much local theatre when I was growing


up. T he Ensemble in Sydney opened in 1 9 6 0 when I was 19, but I was watching movies from a much younger age. But since we didn’t then have a film industry, either, it seemed a remote career prospect. When I returned from a five-year stint in Eng­ land in 1 9 7 0 ,1 remember the thrill of seeing an Australian film called The Demonstrator [Warick Armstrong], set in Canberra. It was fairly unimpressive, but what excited me was seeing Australian locations and hearing the Australian vernacular. At the tim e, I was working at the Nimrod Theatre, where we were committed to doing much the same on stage. But it meant that my film ambitions were put on hold for another ten years. T h e real opportunity came when a special course was set up at the AFTRS in 1979 by Gil Brealey as a familiarization for theatre directors in film. About ten of us were part of that group - Rodney Fisher and G eorge W haley among them. As a result, I made two short films, and The Girl from M inaloo [55 mins] for ABC T V in 1980/81. My appointment to the Sydney Theatre Com­ pany for a long term, and then as director of the M elbourne Festival, made film completely out of the question. It didn’t become a possibility till I got back to Sydney last year. H appily, the inquiry from Tristram and Denis came at that time. W hat was the special appeal of this project? The musical had always been a favourite, what­ ever the medium. I liked that extreme point of escapist entertainment. I had done lots on stage:

Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Company. When the script came to me, I was taken with it. The opportunity of dealing with Australian characters within a musical was too good to miss. I liked the fact that it was contemporary, urban and rom antic, and was very impressed w ith the music on Denis’ demo tape. In a strange kind of way, I find the musical sequences easier to deal with than straightfor­ ward dialogue. With music driving the story, the freedom from the demands of naturalism means you don’t have to justify in naturalistic terms how you get from one shot to another. The fantasy elements were especially appeal­ ing. It is pretty heady stuff when Billy imagines himself as the whole complement of a 16-piece big band - each member in turn - in two-shots and four-shots. I immediately related to the screenplay, which sees a middle-aged man given a second chance at life and love. T h e am azing things we can sometimes discover about ourselves, if we just take time to look inside, struck an instant chord. W hat were you most apprehensive about in embarking on your first feature? T h e con ten t rem ains the same, it’s the form th a t’s different. I knew very little about the formal aspects of film: the technicalities. So, the most basic questions were, “W hat is going to be the shot?”, “How is it going to be covered?” and “W hat’s its duration?” The very notion of hav­ ing every frame in my head from start to finish was very daunting.


I don’t think the crew realized how little I knew. Because they’re so familiar with the medium, it’s easy to assume everyone else knows the jargon, though I was quite open about that. I did storyboard most of the film, which is par for the course, and especially necessary with a musi­ cal. Alm ost half o f the film is m usic; w e’re not talking about action with musical accompaniment, as with Priscilla1, but a musical genre where the music drives the film, where the conventions that are part of the genre apply. A lot of the shots were pre-ordained by the musi­ cal elem ents, as when Billy needs to be making

contact with his girlfriend, Kate [Kris McQuade], for 70 seconds during a song. That meant the shots had to be devised in synch accordingly, reversing the usual conventions. Even experi­ enced crew are used to holding shots as long as required, so for them , to o , it was a new ball game. Did timing play a significant role in this career move? It came to me at a time when I didn’t care any more how I’m judged or criticized. I’m 5 4 and I have a body o f w ork behind me. I care how I’m judged if it affects the P®®

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follow in Forman’s footsteps. Whereas Cuckoo’s Nest deals with a primary 1960s m otif about the individuars strug­ gle to survive in an institutional environment and the atrocious lengths to which institutions can go to protect the status quo - Angel Baby is something quite different, more romantic, as writer-director Michael Rymer is anxious to point out: This is a character-driven, intimate story about two people on the periphery of society, with little hope of getting normal love, companionship or family. Then they fall in love, and it gives them a reason to struggle and to go for more. The characters came to me first, and I found them appealing and intriguing. O nly at some later point did it occur to me that these two quirky characters might be described as mentally ill. They read signs in things, watch television game shows for messages from some other world ...

Jo h n Lynch (Cal, In the N am e o f the Father) and Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper, This W on t Hurt a Bit!, Traps ) star as Harry and Kate, and the supporting cast includes some of Australia’s most wellknown actors: Colin Friels, D eborra-Lee Furness, Robyn Nevin and David Argue. Harry and Kate meet at their day-care clinic and fall in love, and soon set up house together, engag­ ing each other in their living fantasies. Harry hears voices that torment him; Kate has a guardian angel


that sends her messages through Wheel o f Fortune, where she even finds the instruction to fall in love with Harry. Their bland environment contrasts with their fan­ tastic and vivid delusions, and things take a disturbing turn when Kate falls pregnant. They decide to have the baby without the protection of their medication - a grasp for some meaning and value in their disfig­ ured lives. In the process, their courage is stretched to the full. After spending four months attending an infor­ mal day-care centre for the mentally ill (a model for the early scenes), Rymer had a pretty good (and very compassionate) picture of their daily lives, which he describes as “atrocious”. He says the film, while accu­ rate, does not, can not, approximate the full extent of how awful are the lives of schizophrenics: It’s a cleaned-up version. W hat they have to go through is messy and ugly, and half the challenge tof making the film] is to make it watchable. But the script is not about crazy people. It’s about peo­ ple who have an illness. If I’d set out to make a film about schizophren­ ics, it would have been more about the symptoms than about the people. I hope audiences w ill com e ou t o f th e film w ith a changed attitu de to the persons they see talking to themselves in the street. Rymer has ambitions for this film; he wants to make audiences feel that something has happened to them: I want them to leave catharsized - em otionally charged and drained. I used to feel like that as a kid

when I went to the movies, but I haven’t felt like that very often since - except after Schindler’s List. Films are the air I breathe. I see every film I can; they’re my great passion. There are all sorts of filmmakers, and I’d like to make all sorts of films, from pure entertainment to something deeper. But I aspire to make films that touch people, and maybe even alter their lives however idealistic that may sound. The young, middle-class, Melbourne-born filmmaker studied at University of Southern C alifornia, and w on the W arn er C om m u nications Scholarship for Directing. But it was a two-year acting course in 1 9 8 6 that he feels was cru cial: “T h a t process taught me to write; you learn what drama is. I learnt more in those two years than in five years at film school.” W hile the hardest thing Rymer had to do was raise the money (at $3 .5 million, Angel Baby costs roughly the same to m ake as One F lew O ver the C u ckoo’s Nest did 20 years ago, at U .S.$3 million), he regards the important elements of filmmaking as writing and dealing with actors: “Neither are taught at film school.” The original script had been enthusiastically han­ dled by several producers when Rymer’s friend, young producer Jonathan Shteinman, took it to the more experienced Tim White (Malcolm, Spotswood, Celia, Death in Brunswick). W hite says: The script had been highly spoken of, and had great appeal for top actors. It connected with me because it had big emotion, an intensity I was drawn to. It’s C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

began, R ym er and M cK enzie flew to Lond on to screen test seven actors. Last on the list to be seen was a young actor just back from the Berlin Film Festival, where he had been promoting his latest film, In the N am e o f the Father: it was Jo h n Lynch. Ju st hours before Rymer and McKenzie were due to fly out, Lynch arrived at their hotel room for the screen test. He was perfect, every­ one later agreed. Although the support rôles are quite small, they were cast with nerve-racking care: Colin Friels plays the major support rôle as Harry’s brother, and he was needed for just 25 per cent of the shoot. Rymer’s strength is in his affinity with the actors, White believes, and the key to making a film with a first-time feature director is for the producer to relax enough to support him or her to enable them to realize their vision, in the face of natural contingencies like a modest budget and a com plex script in term s of locations. W e sur­ rounded M ich ael w ith an exp erien ced and committed crew. When asked if he was happy with this debut featurefilm experience, Rymer remarks: H ow could I not be happy. I was able to make my pet script in a fashion almost entirely uncom­ promised. But it was also extremely difficult. It gradually got tougher as the intensity of the mate­ rial caught up, built up on us all. It felt at times like we were making a tough documentary, sometimes reflected in people’s behaviour. Even the crew, whom I always imagined were detached, became very involved. And after the shoot, things didn’t get any easier in post-production: Post was harder than I imagined it would be; I expected it to be uneventful and it turned out pres­ sured. But then we’re trying for really complex sound and music elements.

contemporary, bold and aimed at young adult audienees - plus it has two great central characters. Shteinman and White persevered with the notion of Rymer directing his script, despite the usual problems of trying to finance a first-time director (and having to buy out the development costs of the previous producers). The script was lodged with the Film Fund, which is operated by the Australian Film Finance Corpo­ ration (FFC) and requires no pre-sales to trigger full funding. Both the FFC and the Australian Film Com­ mission were encouraging, says Shteinman: the latter even provided assistance for script editing by Louis Nowra (Cos/). For Rymer, the film is both enormous fun and a dream come true; as he said on location: “I have an amazing crew: state-of-the-art professionals: and we’re doing some amazing shots.” Director of photography Ellery Ryan (Death in Brunswick, Spotswood ) is using high-speed stock, and is happy to explore new ideas: W ith M ichael R ym er’s prom pting, w e’ve done ‘things’ - like using overt camera angles to com ­ ment on the action, a bit of hand-held and some over-cranking [slow motion]. Gradually, as the film moves from lighter to darker moods, the warm colours of the first half give way to the blues. When it came to casting, White and Shteinmen had both worked with McKenzie, and she seemed an obvious choice, Then it got arduous: they could not find anyone in Australia they felt fitted the singular character of Harry. With four weeks before shooting C I N E M A P A P E R S i JUNE .1995

Indeed, it took the best part of a year in post-produc­ tion, barely ready for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. One of the most time-consuming aspects was the music. John Clifford White had composed a score drawing on ancient Celtic and other ethnic motifs, contrasting with the film’s rather ‘clean’ look: the modern architectural approach through which Rymer and Ellery Ryan wanted to show the characters in a dislocated fashion; there is nothing ‘homey’ on the screen. Clifford W hite’s music is more or less intact, but Rymer was after one other, intangible and hard-todefine elem en t... and he was in Los Angeles in the final stages of his search at the time of publication in early April. Angel Baby is not a message movie: it has no moral point of view to sell. On the other hand, it treats mental illness realistically and responsibly, so it may ignite public debate on the issue of mental health - something generally ignored. But this is not its purpose: Rymer’s story is first and foremost an exploration of that singular human condition called love. N ot a very original subject for writers or filmmakers, admittedly, but one wor­ thy of eternal examination. Here, Rymer brings his writer’s microscope to the notion of love when the mind is ill, but human urges for companionship and affection are still very much there. It begins as a comedy and ends up a tragedy, per­ haps, but not without eliciting a surge of wonder at the sheer power of love: The tragic ending is something I tried to avoid, but the power of the characters tended to lead that way. It became an inevitable conclusion, but they do achieve their goal, so there is a sweet quality to it as well as a bitter one. @

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by Andrew L

W hat de H eer did not know that Sunday night was just how difficult a task he was setting himself; that he would spend 21 days over five separate trips to the Flinders Ranges for the extraordinary opening sequence alone, de Heer himself sitting for five soli­ tary days on top of a small mountain like a hermit. The thought did not occur to him either that the entire film would have to be post lip-synched, since the motors of the specially-prepared camera (and the owever, it is not the irony of its creation which is likely to be remembered, but the cinematically-novel way in which de H e er exp resses w h at he wants to say - ideas he could hardly define even to himself at one point. The seed was sown even earlier, though, while de H eer was in the pre-production stage of his muchacclaimed drama, Bad Boy Bubby. He had seen some footage shot by the Adelaide-based firm o f Digital Arts Film and Television, which specializes in motionc o n tro l p ro d u ctio n , m aking n a tu ra l-h isto ry documentaries (BBC, Discovery Channel are among their clients) and television commercials. De Heer: I saw som e tim e-lapse, m o tio n -co n tro l footage they’d shot of stars in the night sky. I did not under­ stand any of the technicalities involved, but I was awestruck. I’d never seen anything like it. It was profoundly moving in a way that’s hard to explain. It made me think of lots of things, including the nature of the universe, our place on earth, our place in the universe and a ... longing. A longing maybe for purity, simplicity, care, for a good part of the scheme of things, not a destructive one. These feelings are essentially at the heart of Epsilon , a love story between an outspoken, idealistic woman from another planet, who questions whether Earth is really the best of all possible worlds, and a rather ordi­ nary young Australian camping out in the bush on his own. De Heer: I went on with B ad Boy Bubby and this became a little experience I’d had. Some months later, I was working alone doing post-production [at Hendon Studios in Adelaide] one Sunday night, and was due to go and have din­ ner with Sharon [Jackson, production associate on B ad B oy Bubby]. I was thinking about what B ad Boy Bubby did and said and things in i t ... and the fact that it was probably the only film I’d ever make where I could say absolutely anything at all. I regret­ te d th a t I h ad n ’t said a lo t o f things th a t are important to me. But then I also realized that that was silly - it was not really possible. I started to drive to Sharon’s house, a ten-minute d rive, and ab o u t a k ilo m e tre dow n th e ro ad , BANG, I had it. I saw with complete clarity what I had to do. In the next ten minutes, I’d worked out the characters, and that their relationship to space and tim e was an interdepend dent necessity to how we were going to shoot it. I felt it should be low-budget so we could try things, rather than do things. . In th o se ten m inutes, de H eer knew th a t T h e W om an w ould come down out of the stars (she comes from Epsilon, but the planet is never discussed on screen), meet The M an, and travel the world, see­ ing humanity and its mistakes on its own planet with a clear, critical eye. It was also to be a love story. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

generator) were too noisy. He knew nothing yet of the 46-degree heat they would all have to endure as cable joints literally melted in the middle of Australia’s harsh outback, with his tiny crew o f six. H e never expected to lose weight from running out of food on location, with no one to cook. De H eer had no idea that the actor playing The M an would have to stretch one 60-second on-screen performance to 80 minutes in real time, for four cam­ era passes that varied from real time to time lapse. (Syd Brisbane froze on the spot when, at the end of this 80-m inute perform ance, the cam era operator yelled out, “Hair in the gate!” - the sort of joke that was guaranteed a reaction.) It was unthinkable that de H eer would get only two useable shots in a whole month of shooting, when lens-seating problems and bad weather interfered. As there was no way of getting rushes during a six-day period, so it was not until later they discovered that all the stars were out o f focus and the whole thing had to be done again. De Heer could not anticipate that they would fol­ low the Digital Arts team to New M exico, only to find that the very large array of telescopes were not aligned closely enough for a shot he had imagined and that Digital Arts was delayed somewhere across America, anyway. M ak in g th e b est o f a bad situ a tio n , de H eer agreed to meet the three-man Digital Arts crew in Las Vegas. He created a new scene set in a casino; he got a casino’s permission to shoot it; at the last minute, the permission was withdrawn; he created yet another new scene, set in the Nevada desert, with T he M an simply wanting to go to a casino ... Creating the scenes as they went was never the problem , though, fo r, w hile de H eer had a clear enough vision o f what he wanted to say, he knew it could not be scripted in advance in the conven­ tional way. For one thing, to keep costs to an absolute min­ imum, de Heer wanted to piggy-back on Digital Arts’ various shoots around Australia and the world. He would fit the story in with Digital Arts’ locations. By the end of the first month or so, this arrangement was proving impossible: Digital Arts simply had too much w ork com ing up, so de H eer to o k over the cin e­ matographer, Tony Clark, and one of Digital Arts’ three m o tio n -con trol rigs, attached to a M itchell M ark II cam era. (C la rk ’s p artn er, M ik e C arroll, carried on with Digital Arts’ schedule.) Now de Heer had the independent means by which to tell his story. Motion control is a highly-precise ca m era -m o v em en t system using ro b o tics, in w hich all the camera movements are controlled by computers and executed elec­ tronically. This enables the camera to replicate each move with scientific precision. In turn, this means that camera passes can be effected in both real time and time lapse, the la tter'b ein g faithfully rep li­ cated, even when the camera is shooting 3 0 seconds per frame. This technical facility, which has made Digital Arts a world leader in m otion-control work, led to

the realization that de H eer could make a profound cinematic statement that would be as visually dynamic as the intellectual content. The outline was written in sporadic, fate-created situations: with Bad Boy Bubby invited to the Venice Film Festival, de Heer arrived in Italy a week early, and was sent off to a small Sardinian villa owned by the film’s producer, Domenico Procacci, to rest before the Festival. W ith nothing much to do, de Heer began doodling an outline for a film which had not even a working title. Back in Rom e, de H eer had a few more days to fill, and he sat on the terrace o f Procacci’s office (to escape the chaos inside) and wrote the page-and-af half narrative that forms the opening sequence o f the film. Then, in all the hoopla Bad Boy Bubby had caused at the Festival, de H eer missed his flight to Sydney and could not get another seat for five days. Yet again, he filled in the time by working on the treatm ent, including a half day spent guesstimating a budget. The most critical moment, though, came when de Heer raised the question o f making the film with Procacci. The producer did not hesitate to offer to put up half the budget, as he had done with B ad Boy

Bubby. W hen de Heer finally returned to Sydney, he had a piece of paper confirming this, which he took to the F F C ; there he raised the oth er half. (L ater, these arrangements were altered slightly, as the South Aus­ tralian Film Corporation became a 10 per cent equity investor in return for use of post-production facili­ ties, the two major investors now share the remaining 9 0 per cent equally.) By O cto b er 1 9 9 3 , the p ro je ct was financially ready, and de H eer set about casting his two rôles: There had been a tiny part for an actor in B ad Boy Bubby , a driver who screams out at Bubby on the street. I met him again on the set o f The Battlers , and was surprised at how completely different he was. And what a very good actor he was. It was Syd B risb a n e, and I rang him one day and we had breakfast in town. He was going to travel around the country in his 4W D , which fitted in pretty well with my plans. For the rôle of The Woman, de Heer was looking for something he could not even define, someone who could have come from the stars. All he knew was he wanted a grass-roots, committed actress: Syd came up with three suggestions, one of whom was Ulli Birvé, a girl who had also had a tiny rôle in Bubby. ‘Why hadn’t I thought o f her?’, I asked m yself. She’s part o f the R ed Shed ensem ble, a prem ier theatre collective th at does very good w o rk . W h a t I d id n ’t know was th a t she and Syd had alread y w o rked to g e th e r a great deal and knew each oth er incredibly w ell. Syd had hidden this from me so as n o t to influence my decision. The shoot was difficult, but it would have been worse if they hadn’t known each other so well. W ith his actors and tiny crew in place, all de Heer needed by January 1994 was some money to start work, but delays to finalization of contracts frustrated him.



H eer


co m p le te ly

rewarded by what he has achieved, even though it is not exactly the sort o f film he set ou t to m ak e: “I t ’s shifted in style, and it’s a gentler, kin d er film than I e x p ected it to be. It was to have had its p o in ts more brutally put.” Despite the extent and length of the shoot, de Heer used only 7 0 ,000 feet of film, to end up with a shoot­ ing ratio of 8 :1 , far lower than the average, which ranges betw een 12 and 2 0 :1 . De Heer: That’s because when you do eighthour time-lapse shots, you don’t have time to do ten takes. M any o f the perform ance scenes were one take, or two or three. A lot of the shooting is very precise, from A to B; you don’t shoot coverage.

F in ally, the R om an d istrib u tion firm , In trafilm , provided some cash-flow so work could begin. Intrafilm, which had handled Bad Boy Bubby , had been a keen supporter of the project from the start. It is a small independent company, in which de Heer has absolute trust, and had worked closely with pro­ ducer Procacci. In the w eeks u n til m id -M ay w hen the sh o o t started, de Heer and his cast and crew talked about the meaning of life, love, death, the universe and domestic minutiae, building up a storehouse of ideas for the film. People came and went, joining in the conversations, dropping out, adding ideas. De Heer: It was a very important time, in fact. It allowed me to get to know Syd and Ulli even before I wrote the script. I could see their idiosyncrasies and use their strengths to help form the characters. In the stirring opening sequence, Graham T ard if’s musical score creates a mood of awe, expectation, emotion and contemplation, as the camera pans across a wild landscape; a myriad stars light up a mysteri­ ously-moving sky. A naked woman, transparent at first, lands feet first on a rock, gradually solidifying. One of Ulli Birve’s main concerns was how audi­ ences w ould react to a w om an so ou tsp oken, so opinionated. Birve: Because she has such strong ideas and such strong words, I was careful not to make her seem a bitch. B ut if the alien had b een a m ale c h a ra cter, o f course, he would have just seemed a patriarchal fig­ ure, telling the wom an w hat to do and what to think. She is very committed and very strong mentally. W hen she decides to have a relationship with The M an, she sets the rules: always say what you mean, always mean w hat you say. But, in the end, she doesn’t always say what she means. A critical m om ent in the film com es when the two characters discuss having a baby. For Birve, it was profoundly important that her character say no. The final decision about which way they would decide was made just moments before the scene was shot. Syd Brisbane says the issue was clear: Is there any point in bringing children into the world until we’ve secured the planet? T h at ques-



r is b a n e


Is there any point in bringing children into the world until] we've secured the planet? I...] What am I doing for the children of the world who are here? tion then makes you think: W hat am I doing for the children of the world who are here? It was a big decision for all of them. Says Birve: “It was so important to me to have a woman say ‘N o’ to having a child. W om en should be congratulated for making that decision.” For her character to be seen to be making that decision on the big screen, Birve feels, is a m ajor achievement for the film. Brisbane adds that issues like this in the film are tackled w ith humour and humanity. Birve says she learnt an enormous amount dur­ ing the ten-m onth shoot, and feels lucky to have worked with a supportive group of people. Above all, she is grateful to have been involved so deeply: It’s rare, I think, for a performer to have so much collaborative input on a film . But it was also at times extrem ely demanding. W e did all the grip work, too, lugging gear down to waterfalls in T as­ mania and such. It was a bit like Fitzcarraldo! But there was never any question o f not doing it. You wanted to do it and we all got along so well. Brisbane’s character, perhaps superficially a beerd rinking suburban ‘b lo k e ’ - he is a p ro fession al surveyor who likes to camp out under the stars - is more complex than he appears. He does think about things, even though he does not always show it. Bris­ bane: “She calls my character quaint and endearing.”

T h ere was one particularly-tricky sh o t, h ow ev er, th a t req u ired 17 takes. In it, The M an walks across the frame and the shot dissolves half­ way through. The effect is all done in the camera. O ne o th e r m a jo r asp ect o f m otion-control cam eraw ork is the alteration in the relationship of the actors to the cam­ era, as de Heer explains: Normally, the camera operator and the dolly grip react to the actors’ actions and movements. Here, we have to w ork out the tim ing o f the action s second by second, so we can programme the com ­ puter. The actors have to learn the precise points of their actions to within a quarter o f a second. They effectively become the camera operator and dolly grip; they’re responsible for keeping them ­ selves in frame. As de H eer found out, the m otion-control camera moves unlike any human camera operator. The movement has a sort of other-world, deliber­ ate feel. It feels completely different, with its eternal precision. W e used this to our advantage. Our grips never got tired; we can replicated each shot iden­ tically; and there was never an operator mistake. Only a dozen shots were operated manually, says de Heer, but focus pulling was kept manual for the sake of ease. It was quite usual to manage just one scene a day, and de Heer found it difficult to stick to conventional m odes o f rep orting to producers and financiers. Instead, he kept a diary, discussing the mood on set and what was done. The diary will read in part like a travelogue, with locations as varied as the Flinders Ranges (several times), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, outside Broome, The Pinnacles (250 km north of Perth), Pem­ berton (250 km south of Perth), Cradle M ountain, M t Barrow and Liffey Falls in Tasmania, M t Buffalo in Victoria, the salty Lake Gairdner in South Australia, and star shots at Innaminca, Queensland, and Ceduna, South Australia. Almost like an ironic pilgrimage, de Heer and his six to eight crew travelled to places where the absence o f humanity makes a statem ent about the extrem e nature of that absent humanity. As de H eer says: The Woman is outspoken, passionate ... so much so that The Man wants to terminate the relationship at one stage, saying she’s too extreme. But to her, he’s the extremist; human beings are the extremists. Every­ thing we do is extreme. Our lifestyles are extreme, and what we’ve done to this planet is extreme. ® C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 995

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orany Bay, the birthplace of white Australia; Botany Bay, strangely beautiful still, with its mangroves and wildlife and white sands surviving alongside the heavy industry and international airport; Botany Bay, which, for all its historic and symbolic sig­ nificance, is not a part of a Sydney seen before in contemporary Australian film. “I think one reason why no one’s filmed there”, says writer-director Margot Nash, “is because it’s on the flight path! The aeroplanes are a recurring image in the film, so it didn’t worry me. It worried the poor old sound recordist!” Lead actress Pamela Rabe remarks:

Vacant Possession is like a love letter to the land. It is a love letter that acknowledges the difficulty and ambivalence of the relationship between white


Australians and the land, and between indigenous people and colonizers. It also hints at a different connection that Aboriginal Australians have with the land, a bond not confined to the dream of owning a house. Tessa, who ran away as a teenager, is coming home now that her mother has died. She returns to the empty family house, a house that, like the land, is alive, has a soul, is full o f ghosts. T e s sa ’s sister wants to sell the house and feels she is entitled to the money, as Tessa has been away so long. As Tessa wan­ ders the house, sorting through her m o th e r’s belongings, looking for her mother’s will, we grad­ ually see why she ran away, what her connection is with the Aboriginal family living nearby, and why memories of her father and mother haunt her. Asked about the origins of Vacant Possession,

which has been fully funded by the Australian Film Commission, Margot Nash explains: I was always very interested in the notion of the house, in the image of it as a m etaphor or con­ tainer, in the notions of ‘house and home’, a place that would or would not protect children. I had done a documentary with teenage girls who were in care, and I’d come out of that thinking that questions about housing and a safe place were really critical. M ost of the family breakdowns had hap­ pened within very enclosed and unsafe spaces. Interwoven with the idea of the house as an unsafe space is the story of Tessa’s father (John Stanton), a man left damaged and grieving by his wartime expe­ riences. Nash: When we were making For Love or Money [a com­ pilation documentary about the history of women’s C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

work in Australia], we coined this phrase: ‘the amnesia of the ’50s’. Having grown up in a fam ily that had been affected by World War II, I was very interested in the effect upon the family of devastating war expe­ riences. I was interested in the repressed grief that I think a lot of our fathers had - I know my father definitely experienced it - and how that can cut a family into pieces. In this film, the father is a psychological casualty of WWII, but there is also the war between black and white in this country, which is still going on. W e have colonized this country; we’re living in a post-colonial society, try­ ing to understand what that means, and trying to find our place and our sense of belonging. That is, I think, something that a lot of white people in this country have enormous confusion about. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

For me, war is about land. Most wars are fought over land and property. That’s how it fitted into the central ideas of the film: land, property, own­ ership. It’s very easy to say, ‘These are the bad guys, these are the good guys’, but I think life is more complicated than that. Weaving these strands of the story together proved a long journey during the scripting process. Nash: I think there were seven official drafts in all. One of the first things I did was find an Abo­ riginal person to talk to about the story. I met Kathy Kum-Sing, w ho’d been working at StreetW ize Com ics. She was a storyteller. T h at became a friendship but also a working relationship that went all the way through the project. Kathy was some­ body w ho’d grown up around La Perouse and knew the community there.

J jjjl ■H



ne of the things that happened while writing this film was that I came to understand that, as a white person, I couldn’t tell

Aboriginal stories. T h at’s for i n a l people to do. Also, Kathy always said she thought Jg ' 1 that the strength of the script was that it was a white story. There was a critical time in the process when I had w ritten quite a few drafts and, in trying to be very politically correct, I was getting more and more into cliche-land. Ini­ tially, I had this terrible, rapacious capitalist who was dropping chemicals in the Bay. Well, that all went.



IS P ? o r i g

The turning point came when I decided to write the film completely from the white character’s point of view, so we would never be privy to any con­ versations the Aboriginal mob might have if Tessa was not there in the room. We wouldn’t have any privileged information. It also helped to clarify the structure of the film - that it was a single point-ofview film. I then moved the location of the film from La Perouse onto the other side of the Bay, and put it in a mythical place that was closer to where Cap­ tain Cook landed. W e actually shot the film in Kurnell. When I started researching there, the man­ grove swamps were so magical and mysterious and ancient that I wanted to incorporate them. Kathy Kum-Sing became the Aboriginal script con­ sultant. As there is an Aboriginal family as well as a white family in the film, Kum-Sing and Nash dis­ cussed what the Aboriginal characters may or may not say in certain situations. Nash: When we were casting, Kathy stayed involved and came to see various cuts of the film. There are things in the film that are to do with the land, to do with a more - how to say it? - spiritual rela­ tionship to the land. So, she wanted to keep an eye on those things. Another turning point in the scripting process came when Nash decided to allow more personal material into the story: I had wanted to tell a big, universal story, but the more I tried to do that by drawing on the original research, the further I got away from it. The script went ahead when I allowed myself to use some of my own personal material. I remember reading a poem after I’d finished the script where the writer said something like, W hen I tried to dance with the gods there was nothing/When I stayed with the cry of the child the gods were there.’ I think that summed it up for me.

Vacant Possession has a haunting quality, an atmos­ phere of mystery and possible threat. The house is moody, reflecting not only its own ghosts but, as Nash says, the reaction Europeans had to the Australian sun: “I think when white people first came to this country, when they built houses, they shut the light out. They were really overwhelmed by the Australian light and made very dark houses.” The mood of suspense is heightened as much as possible by the use of sound, though Nash is care­ ful to avoid the cliched use of music to build tension: I wanted suspense. I love thrillers. Also, psycho­ logically, I was looking at the soul that is in the land, the house, the grand m other’s ring - the soul that is in things, not just in people. I wanted the house to have a presence and for that to come not just from the design but from the soundtrack. I suppose one is interested in bringing beauty into the w orld, so I wanted to have some beauty in


the sound, but it also needed to be shocking, fright­ ening, to take you by surprise. O ne w ants to w ork against clich és. W h a t’s thrilling about making a feature film is the oppor­ tunity to create a big soundtrack, a rich and dense soundtrack. I love foley. I love those close-up body sounds picked out from the backgrounds. I worked with Audioloe - Tony Vaccher and John Dennison - who worked very hard at creating those layers of sound. The design and photography of Vacant Possession reflect the script’s concern with the land and the char­ acters’ relationships to it. Nash didn’t want harsh or artificial colour; the tones should come from the earth itself. Tessa, whose sexuality is expressed in elegant dresses and slips made of sensuous fabrics, at first stands out from her surroundings in brilliant deep reds. The dice she carries with her, the link with her high-rolling past as a professional gambler, are also ruby-red. As she stays in the house, confronting her past, coming to terms with herself, her family and her circumstances, her clothes become muted: washed sand and cinnamon colours that blend more with her environment. As the house is such an important character in the film, the search for the right one was crucial. Nash, producer John Winter and location manager Robin Clifton finally found owners who were pre­ pared to rent out a property and allow the roof to be blown away in the story which is the film’s climax. Production designer Michael Philips, an architect by training, describes the house as “reminiscent of a car­ cass, w ith the w eatherboard s looking like sun-bleached bones”. “We built the interior of the house in a studio in North Sydney,” says Nash, “so we had a lot of flex­ ibility. W e could move walls and move ceiling pieces and have a much more controlled environment. A lot of the film takes place inside.” Philips worked closely with D ion Beebe, the director of photography, on another very im por­ tant aspect of the film: the seamless integration of the film’s fantasy, memory and dream sequences. The dreamlike, film noir feel is enhanced by design and lighting that allows the eye to slide over the frames and be drawn occasionally to a patch of high colour or detail to establish time and place. Nash: I was interested in the transitions into those mem­ ories or imaginations or dreams. The dreams are more signposted as dreams, but the memories and the imaginations I wanted to be seamless. One just slipped into them the way one might just drop into a memory. I didn’t want to suddenly have differ­ ent art direction or fades or ripples or colours changing too much. W hat I was trying to do was much more organic. Interweaving these transitions from present to past, from dream to reality, at first seemed a great chal­ lenge to the film’s editor, Veronika Jenet, nominated in 1994 for an Academy Award for her work on The Piano. Jenet: I’ve never worked on a picture before where every­ thing was so interwoven. On the surface, you didn’t see it. But I’ve never seen those transitions done in any other film the way Margot’s approached it. I’m going to be really interested to see how the audi­ ence is going to deal with it. I think it’s clever and unique but not confusing. Nash nominates the casting process as one of her favourite aspects of directing: I found it really interesting because I’d written parts for women who were older [than usual]; the main character is in her late thirties or early forties, her sister a bit older. Then there is the mother, who

appears mainly as a woman in her forties. There is an Aboriginal woman in her sixties, two old bag ladies and a couple of teenagers. So, I wasn’t casting in the twenties, the beautiful young age group. I was casting older women and more mature actresses. There are very few parts for them , and I found it w onderful to m eet these women who were so intelligent and so good at what they did, and so thoughtful. That was the really interesting part: casting and screen-testing people, trying to find out how they fitted into the part, how they worked, and what they need in order to shine. I’ve been an actor; I know how vulnerable one feels when one’s a per­ former. As some of the cast did not have much experience, and as Nash herself wanted to brush up on working with actors, Nash applied for money from the W om­ en’s Program me of the AFC to hold an intensive actors’ workshop before pre-production began. Kathy Mueller ran the workshop, in which the actors had a chance to bond together and talk through the psy­ chological depths of the film and the relationships between the characters. Nash: I’ve learnt just how important the pre-production period is in communicating one’s ideas. It’s very hard when you’re spending a lot of money to muck around with process, because people want to know and they want to be directed. They also want their creative space. So, it’s all of those things that one juggles in trying to get one’s vision onto the screen. The first image in Vacant Possession, the golden dol­ phins in Botany Bay, was also the first scene shot in the film. The native creatures, so important in the script, seemed to follow the film crew. Nash: On our first day, we were shooting at the heads of Botany Bay, in a boat. We were doing part of the opening dream sequence. W e were out there at dawn and the safety boat rang up and asked, ‘Are you interested in the dolphins, because they’re heading straight for you?’ A school of bottle-nosed dolphins then came and played on both sides of the boats and swam with us in the golden morning light. W e filmed them, o f cou rse, and th ey ’re in the film . T h a t was a thrilling way to start the shoot. W e were on a terribly tight schedule because of the light. W e’d done our recce and we had ten min­ utes here and fifteen minutes there, and we just threw that away and filmed them. That meant we didn’t have the light for the following shots. But we had the dolphins, which are beautiful. While I’d written various bits of wildlife, I never would have written in dolphins. How would you get them out at Botany Bay at dawn? You write dol­ phins in a script and the art department has to go and get dolphins. You don’t do that on a low-budget film. So, what happened was really magical. Also, I had written a bird and a fish in the man­ groves and they were all scheduled to be filmed later in second unit. W e would have had to bring the fish and the bird in but, when we filmed in the mangroves later that day, we found fish and we found a bird. We stalked the bird for ages and there it is. Wildlife followed us wherever we went. Margot Nash sums up the process of making her first feature by saying: I was trying to do a lot and I had to cut a lot as a result, but how often do you get to make a film? You might as well try and do a bit. My favourite quote, which we had up in the editing room and which I .had while writing, is by [Robert] Bres­ son: ‘One does not create by adding but by taking away. Empty the pond to get the fish ...’ © C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had wanted to tell a big, univerdal Nash:

to do that try drawing n the original research, the fu rth er I g o t away rom it. The dcript went ahead when I allowed m yoelf to iu e dome c$Pj m y own material. â&#x20AC;?


t the time of going to press in March, the following Australian films were tho at the Marché. As some films may not in fact be completed in time, show re publishing deadline was before all producers had committed themselves to C

UNDER THE GUN Villarosa Pictures. Director: M atthew George. Produc­ ers: Paul Elliot Currie, Richard Norton. Co-producer: Tony Shepard. Executive producers: Fred Weintraub, Tom Kuhn. Associate producers: Miranda Bain, Tom Jenkins. Scriptwriter: M atthew George. DOP: Ian Jones. Sound recordist: Lloyd Carrick. Editor: Gary Woodyard. Production designer: Ralph Moser.

Cast: Richard Norton, Robert Bruce, Peter Lindsey, Nicky Buckley, Kathy Long, Peter Cunningham, Stan Longinidis, Jane Badler, Tino Cererano. Synopsis: A

nightclub owner attempts to unload his debt-ridden club on a night where everything that can go wrong does.

SEX IS A FOUR LETTER WORD Conventry Films. Director: Murray Fahey. Producer: Murray Fahey. Scriptwriter: Murray Fahey. .DOP: Peter Borosh. Sound recordist: David Glasser. Editor: Brian Kavanagh. Production designer: Sean Callinan. Costume designer: Sean Callinan. Composer: Frank Strangio. Finance: FFC, Icon Productions. Distributor: Roadshow.

A love columnist invites her friends to dinner to tell true love stories. A '90s drama about a group of friends coming to terms with their own feelings of love, lies and lust. Synopsis:

W riter-director Murray Fahey's previous feature was Get Away, Get Aw ay in 1992.

This is writer-director M atthew George's first feature. Cast: Joy Smithers (Sylvia), Rhett Walton (Morris), Mark Lee (John), Tessa Humphries (Tracy), Timothy Jones (Tom), Miranda Otto (Viv), Jonathon Sammy-lee (Dan).


BACK OF BEYOND Back of Beyond Films. Director: Michael Robertson. Pro­ ducer: John Sexton. Executive producers: Doug Yellin, Gary Hamilton. Scriptwriters: Paul Leadon, Rick J. Sawyer, Anne Brooksbank. DOP: Stephen Dobson. Sound recordist: Guntis Sics. Editor: Tim Wellburn. Production designer: Ross Major. Finance: FFC. Distributor: Beyond International. Cast: Paul Mercurio (Tom), Colin Friels (Connor), John Poison (Nick), Dee Smart (Charlie), Rebekah Elmaloglou (Susan), Bob Maza (Gilbert), Amy Miller-Porter (Rosie), Aaron Wilton (Ned), Terry Serio (Lucky), Glenda Linscott (Mary Margaret).


Synopsis: Outback Australia. An ancient land filled with infinite beauty and eternal mystery. The magical place where a young man's search for spiritual fulfilment becomes an emotional awakening of the heart and soul. It is a journey to back of beyond.


Michael Robertson's two previous features are The Best o f Friends (1982) and Going Sane (1987). He is a top commercials director. [ See article in Cinema Papers, No. 104, December 1994, pp. 12-8.]

Cast: Toni Pearen, David Price, John Jarratt, Jamie Petersen, Carmen Tanti.

Arenafilm. Director: Gerard Lee. Producer: John Maynard. Associate producer: Robert Connolly. Scriptwriter: Gerard Lee. DOP: Steve Arnold. Sound recordist: Greg Burgmann. Editor: Suresh Ayyar. Production designer: Murray Pope. Finance: FFC. Distributor: Pinnacle Pictures.

Mick, a 16-year-old country boy, cross dresses and joins an all-girl band in town for the local festival. He falls hopelessly in love with band member Angela, who is flirting with lesbianism. She's hot for Mick, not just because he's cute and talented but being a woman he's honest. Synopsis:

Writer-director Gerard Lee is a novelist, the co­ scriptwriter of Sweetie [Jane Campion, 1989), and the w riter and co-director of Passionless Moments: Recorded in Sydney Australia Sunday October 2nd (short, 1984). A ll Men are Liars is his first feature.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

se thought most likely to be at Cannes, either in an Official Selection or represented els may be screened instead. Information is necessarily incomplete given that the annes representation. Cinema Papers apologizes in advance for any omissions. MUSHROOMS


Rosen Harper Entertainment. Producer: Brian Rosen. Executive producer: Richard Harper. Director: Alan Madden. Scriptwriter: Alan Madden.

Infinity Pictures, South Australian Film Corp. Director: Aleksi Vellis. Producer: Terry Charatsis. Assoc, producer: Barbara Gibbs. Scriptwriter: Gerald Thompson. DOP: Geoff Hall. Sound recordist: Bronwyn Murphy. Editor: Tony Patterson. Art director: Ian Jobson. Costume designer: Beverley Freeman. Finance: AFC, SAFC.

Cast: Julia Blake, Lynette Curran, Simon Chilvers.

A romantic black comedy about Minnie and Flo, widows in their mid-1960s, who become embroiled in a macabre plot when a corpse and a cop both decide to take refuge in the disused pawn shop that is their resi­ dence.


VACANT POSSESSION Wintertime Films. Director: M argot Nash. Producer. John Winter. Scriptwriter: Margot Nash. DOP: Dion Beebe. Finance: AFC. Cast: Pamela Rabe, Linden Wilkinson.

When the past refuses to be buried it must be met in the present. Tessa had not gambled on that. Synopsis:


the Difference in 1986. Mushrooms is his

Astral Films. Director: Michael Rymer. Producers: Timothy White, Jonathan Shteinman. Scriptwriter: Michael Rymer. DOP: Ellery Ryan. Sound recordist: John Phillips. Editor: Dany Cooper. Production designer: Chris Kennedy. Costume designer: Kerri Mazzocco. Finance: FFC.

second feature.

Cast: John Lynch, Jacqueline McKenzie.

W riter-director Alan Madden made What's

[See article in this issue on pp. 18-21.]

Synopsis: A roller-coaster journey to the fringes of the human psyche. [See article in this issue on pp. 10-3.[

Cast: John Moore (Harry), Gordon Weetra (Harry, 8 years old), Aaron W ilton (Jim), Billy Trott (Jim in his twenties), Bobbi-Jean Henry (Jem), Francesca Cubillo-Alberts (Dulcie, 1965), Carole Frazer (Dulcie, 1978-80s), Bob Agius (Bert), Carrie M ellett (Anne), Ben Nelson (Johnny), Tony Briggs (Dan). Synopsis: Harry Dare is the coolest Aboriginal detective there ever was. The man spent years restoring his VW KOMBI only to have it stolen after its maiden voyage. Equipped with the detective kit bought by young son, Jim, father and son trek off to find the KOMBI. Their search leads them to a relationship they never had, and to unravelling the mystery of Harry's father's disappearance many years ago. A comedy about discovery.

EPSILON Epsilon, Fandango (Rome). Director: Rolf de Heer. Producers: Domenico Procacci, Rolf de Heer. Co-producer: Sean Cuddy, Digital Arts. Associate producer: Sharon Jackson. Scriptwriter: Rolf de Heer. DOP: Tony Clark. Sound designer: Peter D. Smith. Editor: Tania Nehme. Composer: Graham Tardif. Creative collaborator: Mike Carroll. Finance: FFC, SAFC. Cast: Ulli Birve (She), Syd Brisbane (The Man). Synopsis: An

intergalactic love story about a planet earth. [See article in this issue on pp. 14-6]

Aleksi Vellis previously made the low-bud­ get Nirvana Street M urder in 1991.





Production companies: Phillip Emanuel Prods, Hips Film & Video Prods. Director: Vincent Monton. Producer: Phillip Emanuel. Co-producer: John Hipwell. Executive producer: David Hannay. Scriptwriter: Vincent Monton. DOP: Louis Irving. Sound recordist: Phil Sterling. Editor: Ted Otton. Production designer: Neil Angwin. Costume designer: Aphrodite Kondos. Composer: Neil Sutherland.

Mezmo Pictures. Directors: Stephen Prodes, W ill Usic. Producers: John Swaffield, W ill Usic, Harriet Spalding. Scriptwriter: W ill Usic.

Phillip Emanuel Prods, Hips Film & Video Prods. Director: Peter Thompson. Producer: Phillip Emanuel. Co-producer: John Hipwell. Executive producer: David Hannay. Scriptwriter: Peter Thompson. DOP: Tim Smart. Sound recordist: Steven Best. Editor: Andrew Narozny. Production designer: Alex Zabotto-Bentley.

Anthony Buckley Productions. Director: George Whaley. Producers: Anthony Buckley, Bruce Davey. Co-producer: Carol Hughes. Executive producers: Jonathan Shteinman. Scriptwriter: George Whaley. Based on original novels by: Steele Rudd. DOP: Martin McGrath. Sound recordist: Lloyd Carrick. Editor: Wayne Le Clos. Pro­ duction designer: Herbert Pinter. Costume designer: Roger Kirk. Composer: Peter Best.

Cast: Marcus Graham (Grady/Chris), Nikki Coghill (Kate), Doug Bowles (O'Rourke), Stephen W hittaker (Kopinsky), John Arnold (Frank), Bruce Alexander (Detective Sergeant), George Vidalis (Keith), Andrew Curry (Jimmy), Jin Yi (Korean Diplomat), Roland Dantes (Large Asian Guy).

Cast: Claudia Black, Chrissie Youhanna, Aaron Jeffrey, Vic Rooney, Calvin de Gray, Joshua Rosenthal, Peter Carmody. Synopsis: A

comedy-thriller centred on a young girl who holds the key to the whereabouts of a missing research project as she journeys through a hostile and confusing environment questioning her beliefs and learning to trust and believe in herself. This is Stephen Prodes' first feature.

Synopsis: A romantic thriller following the journey of a fugitive in his quest to avenge his brother's murder. Vincent Monton is one of Australia's finest DOPs; he is also the director of tw o previ­ ous features: WindriderC\988) and Fatal Bond { m i ) .

Cast: Karoline Hohlweg (Vali Martin), Kristy Pappas (Jeni Livieratos), Amelia Wong (Lin Hutchinson), Jamie Brindley (Susan Carmody), Jack Thompson (Victor Martin), Christine Kaman (Maria Martin), Mary Sitarenos (Despina Livieratos), Robert Forza (Jannis Livieratos), Maurie Annese (Georgio Livieratos), Justin D'Orazio (Michael Livieratos). Synopsis: The

story of four contempo­ rary teenagers, three friends and one outsider, who enter a magazine photo competition. In consequence, one is propelled into an international model­ ling career. Peter Thompson is the film critic for the Sunday programme on the Nine Network. This is his first feature.

BILLY'S HOLIDAY Billy's Holiday. Director: Richard Wherrett. Producer: Tristram M iall. Co-producer: Denis Whitburn. Scriptwriter: Denis Whitburn. DOP: Roger Lanser. Sound recordist: Guntis Sics. Editor: Sue Blainey. Production designer: Michael ScottMitchell. Costume designer: Terry Ryan. Musical director: Peter Cobbin. Distributor: Roadshow. Finance: FFC, NSWFTO, AFC, Village Roadshow, Beyond International. Cast: Max Cullen, Kris McQuade, Tina Bursill, Drew Forsythe, Geneviève Lemon, Richard Roxburgh, Rachel Coopes.

Cast: Leo McKern (Dad), Joan Sutherland (Mother), Geoffrey Rush (Dave). Synopsis:

A rural comedy.

On Our Selection is the third film of this title to be made from the Steele Rudd stories, the others being made by Raymond Longford in 1919 and Ken G. Hall in 1932. Anthony Buckley is one of Australia's most respected and experienced producers; he is also a noted film historian.

In the eyes of Billy's teenage daughter, he is a loser. And his girl­ friend can't find the key to his heart. But when his pub jazz band takes off and Billy finds he has been magically blessed with the voice of his idol, the legendary Billie Holiday, life throws him some wild and wonderful curves. Fame, fortune - and Faust - turn Billy's world on its head until what emerges is the true romantic spirit of Billy Apples. Synopsis:

[See article in this issue on pp. 4-8.]


JUNE 1995


R ic h a r d F r a n k l in

interviewed by S cott M urray

Hannie Rayson’s popular and acclaimed play, H otel Sorrento , is partially the story of an expatriate Australian’s return home - in all the contrasting senses that “home” can evoke. Debating the very essence of Australian culture, and its transformation from generation to generation, H otel Sorrento’s adaptation to film needed a director minutely attuned to its myriad and contrary pulses. And it found it in Richard Franklin. lthough he hadn’t made an Aus­ tralian film in the fifteen years since R o a d g a m es , em bracing instead the joys and tribulations of A m erican genre film m aking, Franklin returned to live here with his family in 1985. From then on, he has commuted to his many assignments overseas - that is, until the Hollywood committees he has so evocatively written about1 became simply too much. Having decided to make a picture back in Aus­ tralia, Franklin worked for a year and a half with Everett DeRoche on a project called “Breakwater”, a sci-fi action adventure set around Half M oon Bay’s hulk of the “Cerberus”, which, says Franklin, “finally, I’m afraid, went the way of the ship - it sank”.


FRAN KLIN : W hen I discovered how difficult it was to put together a $15m picture in the inde­ pendent market, I went back to another idea I’d had in the States, which was to translate theatre to film. I felt film was becoming more about the small screen, or “home screen” as I prefer to call it, as multiplex screens were getting smaller and home television screens were getting bigger.


I had lost my passion for modern cinema, at least modern American commercial cinema. Perhaps it was just that I was getting older [laughs], but I did perceive a real downturn in the quality of issues being dealt with in mainstream commercial cinema. At the same time, when I went to New York and saw plays, I would think, “God, this is speaking to me, not to some imagined perception of what the youth market wants.” I say “imagined perception” because the maxim that the youth market was all im portant may have been true in the 1 9 5 0 s and ’60s when it was first posited, but the bulge in the population has now moved on and we are middleaged. H ollyw ood is still catering to the youth market! The burgeoning “art-house” market (though you don’t hear about it in Hollywood) reflects a niche out there which is I suspect much bigger than any­ one realizes. And Australian cinema has plugged into that niche very well. I proposed to Universal that we adapt Tom Stop­ pard’s The Real Thing, and it mrned out they had developed a script at considerable cost with Syd­ ney Pollack and Stoppard. But they had shelved it

because they couldn’t justify the advertising launch budget for making a picture that takes place in two rooms and a television studio. The absurdity of that struck me. They were complaining about escalat­ ing costs, yet here was Madison Ave calling the tune - the tail wagging the dog. I talked to my brother-in-law, Peter Fitzpatrick, who is the head of the drama school at M onash and has written a number of books on Australian drama. I asked which recent Australian plays would be adaptable in the way I was talking about, and he gave me H otel Sorrento. I didn’t have to read much further. Have you seen any of the recent Australian films adapted from plays, such as The Sum o f Us (Geoff Burton and Kevin Dowling, 1994) and Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992)? Geoff Burton showed me Sum o f Us while we were shooting H o tel Sorrento 2 and, while I like it, it did not really change my approach. And while I knew it had begun as a play, Strictly B allroom ’s theatrical origins are not apparent to me in the finished film.

“Most modern theatre is two-act in structure, yet film still struggles with an outmoded three-act model.” I suppose I related to the notion of an e xp atriate com ing hom e. But I also related to Sorrento. I’ d read a b o o k called M iss G ym khana, R. G. Menzies an d Me by Cathy Skelton, which is about growing up in Sorrento. I personally never got much further than the camp ground at Rosebud, but I did visit Sorrento from my early ch ild h o o d , and som ething ab ou t it ju st seem ed never to have changed. Cathy’s book took me back to that era, before the renaissance of the film industry. I later discovered Hannie’s play is actually dedicated to Cathy and her sister Susie. The irony is that the person The Sydney M orning Herald demanded leave Australia4, because of an interest in making mid-Pacific films, has come back and made a film which discusses and values cultural integrity. Yes, that’s an irony, isn’t it. I suppose I’ve moved philosophically, but so has the Australian film industry. Back then, I genuinely believed that for the Australian cinem a to w ork interna­ tionally we needed to get out there and cap tu re the w o rld ’s a tte n tio n . T h e ‘Breaker’ Morants did that, but so did films I read H otel Sorrento as if it was a movie. I was looking for a movie subject, and, not having seen it on-stage, I visualized it taking place in real set­ tings from the outset. Geoff Burton, in his interview on The Sum of Us3, argues the advantage of adapting plays is that they have already been worked through with audiences. And with actors. T h e way actors perform dialogue is d ifferent from the way it reads. For example, Brian Denehy rew rote his own dialogue, w hich was probably smart, on F/X2 [Franklin, 1 9 9 1 ]. W hile it didn’t

been performed in every Australian capital city and undoubtedly been modified from the early drafts. It worked. Hannie is a superb writer and this is probably the best dialogue I’ve ever had to direct. But to what extent the actors didn’t want to change it because it had been published, or because they knew other casts had made it work, I can’t say. But I had much less discussion about motivation and the like than on any other film.

like Patrick [Franklin, 1978]. I tried the Aussie idiom - at least ocker comedy - but had my fingers burned with The True Story

o f Eskim o N ell [Franklin, 1975]. So, I moved to a model that served me well for a while. I was never opposed to the “cultural exactitude” argument, but believed we should also be allowed to do “inter­ national” genre pictures. B u t my sense o f genre film m ak in g , at least as it once was, has been tempered. I thought it was valid for Fritz Lang, M ax Ophüls, René Clair and Alfred H itch cock to go to A m erica and practise

read so well to me, the minute he would start play­ ing it, it sounded fantastic.

It's hard to think of an Australian film of the past

A m erican g enre film m ak in g . B u t having seen America coming apart, I’m not sure that is so valid,

half-decade or so which is so issues-orientated

b ecau se th ese film s are n ow pu sh ing a set o f

In the case o f H otel Sorrento , we were working from two versions of the published play which had

as Hotel Sorrento. Is that one of the things that

cultural values w hich I have discovered are not working.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 995

appealed to you about the play?


adaptations they were planning. I asked them about House on the Strand, which is one of my favourite unfilmed books of hers. They responded very positively, so I offered to write an adaptation, with which I was very happy. It was more dif­ ficult adapting a novel in some ways because there is so much more material. With H otel Sorrento, Hannie made it clear she didn’t want to write the screen­ play. She was working on other things and I think had had bad experiences in the past. So, I figured the best way for me to learn the play was to do the adap­ tation myself with Peter, who’s not only a fine writer, but had taught the play at university. The new scenes in the film were pri­ m arily w ritten by P eter, but to my blueprint. :or example? One new scene is on the pier with Pippa [T ara M o rice ] and H ilary [C aro lin e G illm er] talking about the subm arine sandw ich shop at the aquarium . W e expanded Pippa’s character to say more about the U .S. q u estio n . I knew a lo t about the issue, but felt I might be a bit too close. Hannie also thought the play was too heavily w eighted to M eg and British culture. So, I talked to Peter at length ab ou t it, and he w ent o ff and wrote it. Pippa’s idiom throughout the piece, her turn of phrase, was something that I did. I adjusted her dialogue so that she was talk­ ing modern American. i w hat degree were you concerned out such tired old notions as 'opening' t the play?

i ne American approacn to cinema is seen not only in genre, but in scriptwriting and theories about structure. When you set about writing the script with Peter Fitzpatrick, to w hat degree did you adopt the American rules of adapting plays to film? I didn’t at all. Most modern theatre is two-act in structure, yet film still struggles with an outmoded three-act model. I was eager to get rid of that second act which always sags, and H otel Sorrento doesn’t have one. Peter and I wanted to stay close to the play, and therefore, in the case of the lunch, broke all the rules of cinema. They say you can’t do a dialogue scene over eight pages in length, yet on shows like Roseanne an entire act goes from commercial break to commercial break in one room, and it’s many more pages. Television has subtly changed our notions of what can be done, w ithout ever really defining itself. I don’t mean the tele-m ovie, which is just done in im itation of American formula cinema, with a few extra bumps for ad breaks. I mean things like soap opera, which has subtly pushed the enve­ lope without meaning to.


In Australia, though, there is far more talk today about mid-points, second-act sag and third-act reversals than ever before? Irony again: I was the one person who knew about that stuff from going to an American film school [USC] and now I don’t buy any of it. I believe the films that matter are the ones that break those rules - or don’t know them in the first place. Why did you choose to co-write the screenplay and how much have you written of your films before? I genuinely co-wrote Eskimo N ell, but, because it was such a debacle, I backed away from writing. I took a story credit on Roadgam es , because it was genuinely half my story. On Patrick, Everett had written a draft before we got together, btft the structure ended up being at least half mine.

[ don’t buy the opening-out argument and i’m borrow ing directly from H itchcock tere. Although he was dismissive of what le called “films of people talking”, on Rope [1948] and Dial M for Murder [1954], among oth­ ers, he said that very often theatre is strong because of its containment, and that you can damage it by opening it out. I’ve always been fond of “containment”, even in original screenplays. Patrick takes place in a hos­ pital room, Roadgames in a truck cabin and Psycho II [Franklin, 1983] in an old dark house. But Hotel Sorrento is actually full of “air”. In fact, the first thing I did when I finished reading it was drive down to Sorrento and sit on the end of the jetty. I read M arge’s opening speech and tried to see how it felt in that setting. And it felt great. Caroline Gillmer, who was in the play, said they had to work hard in a play to convince an audience that they were in a cemetery or on a beach or on the end of a jetty, whereas on film it is just fantas­

Everett and I worked very closely, as I did with Tom Holland3 in the States. W e would sit down together, pin up scenes on boards and talk about structure, back story and so on.

tic to be on th a t beach . A ubrey M e llo r , who

In the latter days of “Breakwater”, when I was starting to worry about eating, I was approached by Grundys about a series of Daphne Du Maurier

The film is extremely dense in its doublings. Meg

directed it on stage, told me he wished he could have done the cemetery scene in a cemetery. On stage, they did it on the jetty. says she "turned my back" on Hilary's husband, while Troy [Ben Thomas] feels he "turned my C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

back" on Wal [Ray Barrett]. This doubling is also there on a visual level, such as the opening pan of the hill and trees w ith no red roof, and later the painting w ith the roof. M ost of that is in the play. But visually I will take credit for it. I’m pleased you noticed the red roof. That pan up the trees was very deliberate. Hannie began writing the play while she was living in London, and I’ve persuaded her that the pier she was writing about is actually the Portsea pier, where there is a very prominent red roof. On the Sorrento jetty, you can see no such thing. Using this as a way to get into the issue of nos­ talgia and rem em b ran ce, false m em ory and constructing realities, I gave Dick [John Hargreaves] the extra line about there being no red roof there, or that you can’t see it above the trees. Then, as you pointed out, it is there in the painting. Marge [Joan Plowright] paints not the real Sorrento, but the mythic Sorrento - the Sorrento of the mind, in which the red roof is there. Being an expatriate who has returned home links you clearly with Meg, but the film seems to side w ith Dick? Umm ... I think that must have been your squint. Mid-way through the lunch, Jo h n said to me, “But this argument isn’t watertight.” I said, “If it were w atertight, we w ouldn’t have a scene, let alone a debate about what is Australian culture.” But the view that Australian culture has pro­ gressed in the past tw o decades, and that many accepted wisdoms formulated by disgruntled expatriates are no longer relevant, is valid, isn't it?

Well, if things have improved or changed, I suspect it’s been largely to do with our film industry - and our theatre. As fo r the “old cu ltu re”, I cou ld n’t help but feel that the Australia of my childhood, the Aus­ tralia that W al represents - W al being both my father and my grandfather - lies unmarked and unmourned because we had no film industry. I wanted to do my bit to chronicle that. Perhaps a film industry and a sense of national identity come together. When you get a film indus­ try, you are forced to ask, ‘W hat are we going to say?” I’ve been asked “Is it a period film or is it con­ temporary?”, and I answer, “Yes.” I wanted the film to be somehow timeless - like Sorrento. For me, it hasn’t changed, and I’d like it to stay that way. I think there is room for our backwaters as well as our Grand Prix tracks. There is no such house on the cliff, but there could be. While Sorrento hasn't changed much, are there many Wals still out there? I think he is a pretty rare animal nowadays. I don’t want to give the impression, however, that I think the old culture was wonderful. Women were treated abominably. It was a xenophobic, tun­ nel-visioned, racist culture - but it was a culture none the less. And it’s remarkably resilient. In spite of the American onslaught, I was heartened the other night in Sydney to hear a taxi driver refer to M cDonald’s as “M acka’s”. One of the main things I wanted to do was make a film which was unselfconsciously Australian, which puts me as much on M eg’s side as D ick’s, though they’re both self-conscious. I wanted to make something that audiences wouldn’t cringe at, which is directorially a matter of not being “apolo­ getic” in the way you shoot and stage it, the accents and so on. Does one need to leave Australia for a time to gain a fuller perspective? Well, you might not, but I did. There are so few of us and we don’t see ourselves that often on film and television. I agree with David Williamson when he says in Emerald City that a culture has to be fic­ tionalized before people can see it. The film has an unusual number of dialogue scenes filmed in motion, with characters moving forward. I could be very philosophical and point to one of the central metaphors of the play, which is the T. S. Eliot quote about how by journeying outwards we come back to the place we started, and find ourselves.6 If there was any attempt to open out the piece, it was a desire for things not to be too static. The play is about change; it is about people coming home; and, finally, the leaving of the house. We shot more Steadicam than I have ever done before, but that was probably to keep the things moving. Perhaps I intuitively sensed that if I was doing an inherently static piece of theatre then movement seemed appropriate. It was all about people moving, changing their positions, coming from places and going to others, and, as I say, clos­ ing up and selling the house. It’s a house of three generations, and they put up an auction board and moved away. I was nearly half way through shooting when I suddenly had a blinding flash and phoned Han-

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1 995

nie to say, “I finally understand the Eliot quote. That is where you started from, isn’t it?” And she said it was. Originally, I understand Hannie had thought about setting the play in the real Sorrento in Italy ... oops, the “old” Sorrento in Italy. I believe she actually wrote an act of that while living in Lon­ don. But she then decided it had to be set in the Australian Sorrento. That Eliot quote also motivates John Fowles' The Magus, as well as the film adaptation.7 Really? It’s in that? How interesting. I must say that quote first resonated to me in Joseph Campbell terms. George Miller had sent me a copy of Hero with a Thousand Faces ... Will he never stop?8

[Laughs] ... and I religiously - and that is the cor­ rect word - taped and watched those six hours of Campbell lectures.9 Finally, I started to get it, and C am pbell’s n otion about the outward and the inward journeys. Having done a bit of journeying myself, that notion fascinated me. The film appears to intentionally return the audi­ ence to the play in the last scene, by the way it is shot and staged. Yes. I progressively w anted to strip away the trappings of the quintessential beach house. It is not just Australian. Even the colour green and the slap of the flywire door is something that people respond to internationally - though I found that out afterwards. I wanted the film to feel like a Chekov play at the end. And, since we were on a [sound] stage, putting up some rolls of white paper and lighting them orange seemed to me to be something we could achieve simply. It is the sort of thing that is not a surprise at all on stage, when suddenly they can go to a gel on the light. Yet, that sort of thing is almost never done on film. One of the things that annoys me about cinema is that it has become so “real”. Its poetic potential, and its ability to move about instantaneously from one place to another, has been lost in the name of reality. I saw it as a m etaphoric sunset at the end. I wanted to go beyond seeing the real sun rising from the real sea at the beginning. The interesting thing is that everyone imagines, in M elbourne at least, the sun always sets out across the bay. Yet in real­ ity, because the Peninsula comes around so far, it actually rises at Sorrento and sets over the hill. W e inverted the geography of Sorrento. The pic­ ture begins and ends with a sunset, and I guess in one way that is a warning about our culture. When the three sisters walk to the window at the end, it recalls a similar shot and end sequence in Interiors [Woody Allen, 1978]. Is that intentional, especially given the film's discussion on foreign influences? It was probably an unconscious borrowing. Peter Fitzpatrick also mentioned that, and I will have to look at Interiors again. The shot of the three framed in the separate win­ dows only presented itself to me at the last minute, although I had got the designer to double-face that wall on the set. I had a sense I wanted to look in that window, but I didn’t know when. Per­ haps I thought I would do it prior to, or during, the lunch. p57


new media

The Filmmaker and Multimedia: narrative and interactivity The Australian Film Commission has $5.25 million to spend on multimedia over the next four years. Philip Dutchak asks: Will the money be well spent or should the government have left film to filmmakers and multimedia to multimedia developers?


he Australian Film Commis­ sion (AFC) staged its second “The Filmmaker and Multi­ media: narrative and

interactivity” conference in Melbourne on 9-11 March. If you attended the first AFC multimedia conference held in Sydney, in October 1 9 9 3 , you would have noticed that at this year’s event the AFC had purposely not invited computer hardware and software vendors to exhibit their products. The reason is that the AFC wanted the conference solely to focus on the aspects of multimedia content. Michael Hill, Project Co -ordinato r of Film Development at the AFC, put a humor­ ous twist on the AFC’s single-mindness by laying out to the close to 500 dele­ gates who attended the event his particular “conference rules”. Speaking on the first day, Hill ribbed the audi­ ence that anyone talking about “te ch n o lo g y ”, “Bill G ates” or the “information superhighway” would be thrown out and banned from further attendance.

H aving established the guidelines to much laughter from the audience (it was a rather fun event), the AFC held sessions on computer games writing, writing for interactivity, online interac­ tivity, meaning in the interface, indigenous media, and myth and inter­ activity, along with a series of presentations by some of the artists whose multimedia installations were on display. There was an ancillary multimedia workshop held the next day after the conference’s official ending. In setting the goals of the AFC meeting, Hill said, “It is to provide an opportunity for networking, to build up a common level of knowledge in this area [multimedia] and to inform the public.” Hill argued that, by drawing together multimedia developers with filmmakers, there was the possibility to improve multimedia content by adding the filmmakers’ skills of storytelling and emotional content to the new media a point, it seemed, Jonathon Delacour, a writer-producer from Firmware Pub­ lishing, was trying to make by showing a number of sex and murder scenes taken from recently-made films, but

presented to the audience by the aid of his laptop computer. This notion of multimedia and film­ makers working together was indirectly challenged by Paul Brown, editor of FineArt Forum at Griffith University: “I don’t think the film industry is the right industry to lead us into new media.” He added later that “the alternatives are the design schools or design p eople” , whom he charged had been marginal­ ized out of multimedia by the government’s “Creative Nation” state­ ment’s not giving them the credit they are due. Brown’s statements underline that in some circles it is perceived that the multimedia agenda is open for appro­ priation by the film industry, the IT industry, telecommunica­ tions carriers or creative types ... But this is getting a bit ahead of the arti­ cle’s narrative. C om m ercial highlights of the conferenee were

a preview of Beam Software’s interac­ tive video game, “The Dame was Loaded”. A Japanese company, Soft Edge Inc, exhibited its interactive C D - R O M game, “Cosmology of Kyoto: Tales of the Heian Millennium”. In com puter animation, Jon M c C o rm a c k ’s installation, “Turbu­ lence”, attracted popular attention. Jan Zwar, from New Media Enterprises at the ABC, told delegates that Auntie was “open to approaches from multimedia developers needing access to ABC

Beam Software's "The Dame was Loaded".

28 •‘• w V . v

archival material”. He offered that “the ABC could broker deals for multimedia developers and was looking to publish four to five CD-ROMS annually”. A question from the floor on how to bring together writers and the peo­ ple w ith the m oney to finance multimedia titles initially brought the response that there was “no such thing yet as a C D -R O M producer”. How­ ever, after a break, it was announced to delegates that the Australasian Inter­ activity M u ltim ed ia Industry A ssociation (AIMIA) were the right people to start talking with. In the swing of multimedia con ­ ceits, let’s “hyperlink” highlight words from the preceding paragraphs. “T h e Dam e was L oad ed ” w ill, according to its principal writer Mark M o rriso n , begin sh oo tin g in M e l­ bourne in M ay o f this year. Based unashamedly on the narrative style of Raymond Chandler, the detective story lends itself well to an interactive for­ mat - in this particular case, a murder mystery in computer-game format. The difference is that, instead of the whole thing being rendered as anim ation, Beam is going to use video and actors. Using the point and click of a computer mouse attached to your computer, the viewer (participant?) will have the abil­ ity to change the narrative and solve the murder.


As for interactivity writing, M orri­ son warns that, if you let a player loose with a chainsaw in the foyer, you have to think what will happen when the player decides to take that chainsaw into the library. There are rumours that the “Dame” is only the first of Beam’s interactive video games based on a tra­ ditional narrative which - 1 just have to say this phrase - work as “nonlinear narrative”. “Cosmology of Kyoto: Tales of the H eian M illen n iu m ” is a interactive computer game in C D -R O M form at with the goal of reaching “enlighten­ m ent” . No points so far. But Kyoto indirectly teaches the user the origins of a culture - Japanese - and combines Monty Python-type graphics with a fair dose of spirituality. In short, the mate­ rial is so novel that you forget that the storyline is based on point-and-clicking yourself to death to achieve the game’s goal. Its appeal is infectious. While the AFC says Kyoto’s inclusion was as a “historical interactive games case study” (stop laughing, this is seri­ ous), the b etter reason fo r its appearance at the AFC m ultim edia conference would appear to be Kyoto’s connection with the Melbourne New Media Network. It bills itself as a refer­ ral, e x h ib itio n , p ro m o tio n and consultancy in new media. “Turbulence” by Jo n McCormack

is a major work in computer-generated anim ation. M cC orm ack has had his w ork w idely exhibited - installed overseas. T h e o th er artists who had CD RO M installations on exhibition at the conference were: Jo h n C olette (“30 Words for the City”), Linda Dement (“ C y b e rfle s h G irlM o n s te r”), M ark Lycette (“autograph”) and Brad Miller (“A Digital Rhizone”). The AFC also released two com ­ m issioned research papers at the co n feren ce. “M ultim ed ia D evelop­ ments in Australia” is part of the AFC’s “Policy Series”. The study “provides a snapshot of the emerging infrastruc­ ture o f the in te ractiv e m ultim edia business in A u stralia” . T h e rep o rt makes the qualification that its multimedia “focus is on disc rath er than online or wireless technologies”. The other paper, in draft form only, was “Research into Current M arkets for Interactive Multimedia Publishing on C D -R O M ”. According to other material sup­ plied at the m eeting by the Film Commission, the AFC since 1991 has provided more than $1 million to new media p rojects. Under the initiative of the “Creative Nation” statement, the AFC is to receive $ 5 .2 5 m illion over four years for multimedia. The AFC plans to use these funds to provide C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

m m kw rn m sm m m

new media

m u lt ip le e n t r y w a y s , as o pp o se d to th e t r a c in g , w h ic h a lw a y s c o m e s b a c k " to th e s a m e ". The ¡map has to do w it h 'p e r fo r m a n c e , w h e r e a s th e t r a c in g a lw a y s in v o lv e s an a lle g e d "c o rn p e te n c e "

Clockwise from centre left:

■ Have we not, ■ how.e,yer^e.yerte<i5|| H a Im n p t e fa lt a1ism By);;) ^contrasting

Linda Dement's "CyberfleshGirlMonster"; Mark Lycette's "autograph"; Brad M iller's "A Digital Rhizone";

fesyjaaa M ,m"rf *"A

"Cosmology of Kyoto: Tales of the Heian Millennium"; "The Dame was Loaded".


W m & F &é

“seed” and “com pletion” money for multimedia developers, as well as pro­ vide production money for the creation of multimedia titles. W h a t it a ll m e a n s As a splash into multimedia, the AFC’s conference was not bad. Michael Hill claimed it was “the first event of its kind in the world” (having an almost singular focus on aspects of multime­ dia content). The guest speaker at the AFC event, U.S. interactive cinema pio­ neer Grahame Weinbren, agreed with Hill’s claim of an AFC first, but added “only just”. Weinbren flew out of Mel­ bourne b efo re the end o f the con ference to attend a sim ilar U.S. event on multimedia content. And the conference did start delivering when Weinbren argued that interactivity for him meant how people “accessed” his set film narratives, while other speak­ ers talked of participants being able to change the actual storyline. But the conference was a disap­ p o intm ent in term s of who d id n’t attend. With Brian Jones, former chair­ man of the government’s Broadband Services Expert Group and now head of the ABC, talking about the impera­ tive for content in multimedia, with the government’s “Creative Nation” state­ ment talking about the importance of multimedia and content, and with both C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Telecom and Optus publicly saying they want content for the new online and cable networks, where were the corporate players at the conference coming along to “look over the talent” - the creative people? By contrast, the first of the joint DIST and DOCA Multimedia Forums held in Sydney the previous Wednes­ day, and due to hit all A ustralian capital cities in the coming months, had been loaded with “the players”. I’m not trying to be hard here, but if the film industry wants to be in on new m edia, it is going to have to play “catch-up”. M ultim edia at the moment lives primarily in the fields of training and presentations. Talking at the Australian Online and OnDisk 95 conference last Febru ary, keynote speaker Dr Lee Olson, strategic consultant for IBM Multimedia from Atlanta, told dele­ gates that multimedia was the new way for education, in fighting illiteracy, for training and for the widespread d issem in ation of in fo rm atio n . A study conducted by IBM with students using multimedia versus traditional ed u cation al m ethods found that “ 85 percen t of those students using multimedia had better retention rates of the materials reviewed and took a third of the time of the other students to learn the m aterial” . O lson stated

that multimedia is closer to the way we intuitively learn through sound and images as opposed to the written word. The Australian film industry does have som ething to say and offer in multimedia. It also does have a play in multimedia training and education. The A ustralian Film T elev isio n & Radio School has recently announced its New Media Programme “to re-skill writers, directors and producers and assist them to apply new skills to inter­ activity multimedia”. Other educational organizations, both public and private, either have started, or are to start, rolling out m ultim edia and online training courses. There is the strength of filmmak­ ers to work in multimedia titles, either ondisk or online, and in interactive television, film and advertising. John C leese’s involvem ent in co rp o rate videos is an example of “talent” going into a new area and doing well. But when the film industry’s conference spends time, by necessity, to simply bring people up “to speed” on new media, rather than getting down to addressing specific details or emerging opportunities - doing the mighty deal - the gap between the potential of the film industry and its current new media product and services looks very, very large.



Frame Set And Match has just installed a new Aaton Keylink Timecode system. Which means you can now shoot sync sound without anybody having to synchronise any rushes. It’s all done in the transfer. In combination with our new Ursa Gold Telecine, it’s a very impressive and practical piece of machinery. Southern Star and the ABC certainly thought so, they’ve just given us all the post production business on their current co-production Blue Murder. Blue Murder Is being shot in SUPER 16 on the new Aaton XTR Production timecode cameras from Lemac. Our Ursa Gold also has a new Meta-Speed and Realtime Steadigate package. Which gives you rock steady images in a real time transfer. If you’d like a demonstration of any of this just call




Tony on (02) 954 0904. Aaton Timecode and Ursa Gold. It’s a perfect match.





( 0 2 ) 9 5 4 0 9 0 4. F A X : ( 0 2 ) 9 5 4 9 0 1 7.


The Digital Freight Train is coming. Dale Duguid examines why Australian filmmakers are trailing the world in terms o f digital visual effects and what it will take to catch up, while Dominic Case explores three-perf film, Flame, Avid and the Hewlett Packard Video Print Manager. eading this issue’s ity, being used as the centrepiece of post­ “Technicalities” is a production management. paper presented by Meanwhile, for those who still han­ D ale D uguid, of ker after tangible media, you can pick up Photon Stockm an and see 35mm film with a three-perf pull Digital, the interna­ down making a comeback, with nonlin­ tionally-accredited ear editing yet again being (possibly) the visual-effects design agent that will finally make this format and produ ction a viable one for cinema film production. com pany based at N ote: Working as a freelance tech­ Movieworld Studios on the Gold Coast. nical consultant, I frequently have a Duguid w orks in film and television direct involvem ent with some of the drama, television commercials and theme equipm ent or services m entioned in entertainment, including“Technicalities”. theme parks I make every effort to and CD-ROM games. maintain total editorial independence in Duguid is recognized as being one what I write or select for these columns, of the prime movers in the development and, if anything, probably favour any­ of the emerging visual-effects industry thing I am involved in less than other in Australia. His paper, “The Digital topics. Let me declare my current inter­ Freight Train”, was first presented at the ests, however, in those areas which are 1995 N ational Digital Art Awards in mentioned in this issue. I have a partMarch. While the means of visual-effects time consultancy with Animal Logic, the production is surging ahead, and Aus­ Sydney visual effects and software devel­ tralians are keeping up with applications opm ent house; I am A ustralian in television commercials, there tends to representative for Excalibur, the nega­ be little exploitation of the technology tive matching list management system; as a simple production tool for the cin­ and I am on the Board of Managers of ema. A u stralia’s successes are with SMPTE (Australia North), organizers of smaller-budget films, and with those that the forthcoming conference. rely on human story-telling rather than intergalactic epic. But that is no reason to ignore the visual-effects opportuni­ THE DIGITAL ties. The best effects are usually those FREIGHT TRAIN that aren’t noticed - those that don’t require the “willing suspension of dis­ by Dale Duguid b elie f” because they solve a film Film m aking and its subset of visualproduction problem rather than a real­ effects production is in the business, and ity problem. the science, of the art of creating and Duguid will be participating in a m anipulating images. M ost audience seminar on high-resolution digital effects experience with film and television is for film, to be held as part of the forth­ image-related, so ours is an important com ing SM P T E co n feren ce in Ju ly . industry and the subset of visual-effects Another seminar will concentrate on the practitioners is critical to this important gathering m om entum of change all industry. This subset is diversifying, across the film industry brought about along with everyone else into multime­ by nonlinear editing. For more infor­ dia applications (I think that means mation about the SM PTE conference C D -RO M at present) and other highand exh ib itio n , co n ta ct Belinda resolution theme entertainments. Loveridge of Professional Conference My sentiments are that the educa­ Management on (02) 976 3245. tors have failed the visual-effects Also in this issue: several new prod­ industry. In both the training of suffi­ ucts installed in Australian facilities. The cient numbers of digitally-skilled new common theme tends to be the contin­ graduates and the re-education and pro­ uing breakdown of boundaries between fession al developm ent o f existing what were previously well-identified and filmmakers, the educators have failed to separate areas of post-production. Thus acknowledge the arrival of the Digital we see Flame - the special-effects com­ Freight Train. I prefer the term “train” positing software - going into several to “superhighway” or “infobahn” for facilities as an online editing tool, while reasons that will become apparent later. Avid, hitherto an offline editor, now I should qualify my criticism of the available in high-resolution online qual­


C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

educators. There is a global shortage of d’artists and imaging softw are code authors. “D ’artist” is my abbreviated term for “digital artist”, with the empha­ sis being on the word “artist”. This country, for its size, has been disproportionately-endowed with digi­ tal software stars. Imaging softwares like Flame, Eddie and Cineon (three of the film industry’s eight biggies) were spawned here. In the absence, however, of industry interest and entrepreneurial support, Flame and Eddie are now over­ seas-ow ned products, and C ineon, developed with Australia’s taxpayers’ support, has recently had its develop­ ment team relocated from Melbourne to Rochester, New York, by its overseas ow ners, Kodak. Our local human resources dwindle as the brain drain draws them to where they are appreci­ ated and utilized by more digitallyorientated film cultures. “Why aren’t our filmmakers digi­ tally savvy? And what happens if they don’t re-educate?” The second answer is harsh as it is simple. It we don’t re-educate, our indus­ try will be laid waste and unrecognizable within two to five years. Ours isn’t an industry renowned for embracing tech­ nological change. It is said that all filmmakers want to be the second per­ son to have the latest technology. For example, I remember utilizing one of the first Apple M acs in the film industry three years after they had becom e a mainstream graphics tool in other pro­ fessions. In such an industry that copes poorly with change, the tax legislation

"It is said that all filmmakers want to be the second person to have the latest technology." hiccup called 10BA, which boosted then reduced tax incentives to film investors, caused the industry to reel for years after those goal posts were shifted. After those years in the wilderness, the industry is now climbing onto surer footing with the recent successes giving rise to the hope that a second renaissance is upon u s ... that there is light at the end of the tunnel and all is well. Unfortunately, the light we see is

the thunderous approach of the Digital Freight Train, and I will go on to explain that it has the potential to scatter us like skittles and make the 10BA confusion pale by comparison. So much for “And what happens if we don’t re-educate?” Let me provide my distillation as to “Why aren’t our filmmakers digitally savvy?” Well, things move quickly at the digital frontier. High-end PCs and super­ computers are a principal tool in visual effects. These experience a replacement product cycle every two-and-a-half to three years. (It’s rumoured that this is the time required for Japanese manu­ facturers to copy and usurp American technology, and so the timing of the product cycle is driven by the U.S.’s con­ stantly upping the ante.) N ew -product cycles result in an order-of-magnitude power increase for equivalent cost (this used to take six years only two decades ago, I recall). The capability-versus-cost graph spirals expo­ nentially upward. Cost of entry to the quantum level of pow er needed to manipulate film resolution images spi­ rals exponentially downwards. At the moment, the current product cycle per­ mits visual effects achieved digitally to com pete with trad itio n al analogue effects at only a slight cost penalty, but with the ultimate bias favouring digital because of its inherent forgiving nature and greater breadth of application. Ana­ logue still has the edge in crafting certain types of illusionary images. By “analogue”, I mean non-digital, traditional and usually optically-based solutions. The next digital hardware product cycle in two or so years will sound the death knell, forever, of most analogue visual-effects solutions. The Train will have arrived. George Lucas, famous filmmaker and owner of the Rolls Royce of visualeffects companies (Industrial Light & Magic), recently indicated that the aver­ age cost of each visual effect on Star Wars was U .S.$50,000, whereas the cur­ rent cost is $10,000, and in a few years’ time it will be $ 2 ,0 0 0 . By the way, I believe his maths are sound. If any­ body knows where we’re headed, it’s George. At $ 2 ,0 0 0 per e ffe ct, the very nature of conventional filmmaking will change. It is already changing - not here, but in H ollyw ood, where producers, directors, writers, technicians, actors and



effects technicians are all becoming dig­ itally savvy. Tragically, the sweeping aside of H ollyw ood ’s old analogue power base in Optical Visual Effects by the Digital Freight Train in late 1993 basically levelled the playing field for a short time. We were for the first time in 60 years in a position to keep pace with the digital prowess of Hollywood, but were unable to do so. We may soon pay the price. That ever-growing digitally-sawy army of Hollywood filmmakers will seize the mind-boggling array of oppor­ tunities afforded during the imminent product cycle and exploit the cost-sav­ ings, risk-elim in ation, genre and narrative-diversification possibilities, while those who missed the Train con­ sult the manuals and spend a decade playing catch-up. Hollywood had always used tech­ nology to provide spectacle and offset high labour costs in filmmaking. Our industry rides on the back of relativelylow labour costs and a proud tradition of cost-saving and production-valueescalating innovation. Wait for it: analogue innovation. Our range of production-genres have been capped by the absence of a signif­ icant opticals industry, so we have few illusion-makers who can down the old analogue tools and seize up the new dig­ ital equivalents. But even more fundamentally, our filmmakers have tended to realize their screenplays in very literal manner, with linear inter­ pretations to problem-solving rather than lateral solutions. For exam ple, if a hypothetical script read “and a thousand Romans advanced across the desert”, you could be sure that the Hollywood filmmakers of old would have used a thousand wardrobed and armed extras, whereas the Aussie version would have used veils of dust and low cam era angles to achieve a more humble, but nonetheless impressive, result with a couple of hun­ dred extras. That was our trademark. We were clever. We still are. But our analogue cleverness counts for nought when the New Hollywood uses but fifty extras and multiplies them into tens of thousands, and brings the vast desert onto the studio-lot. It’s Hollywood ver­ sus the others. Digital versus analogue. Change versus inertia. Diversity-growing-exponentially versus tried-and-true. Hollywood will rise from all the smug accusations of creative bankruptcy to win ... devastatingly. I t’s a bit like those Japanese bombers bearing down on Darwin or Pearl Harbour. A few people with keen eyesight saw them coming. The w it­ nesses even alerted the right people, but to no avail. The incomprehensible, it seems, is too often addressed by ignor­ ing it and hoping it will go away.


I attended last year’s annual con­ ference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia. My agenda was two-fold: to promote the existence of a visual-effects capability in Australia to a broad cross-section of Australian pro­ ducers; and to determine their collective knowledge of visual effects generally and the Digital Freight Train in partic­ ular. With only a couple of exceptions, none of them had seen the bombers fly overhead, and I came away knowing that few understood the implications had they bothered to look skyward in any case. Oh, educators! In a world where the digital arms race produces processing leaps by orders of magnitude every few years, the notion of educating for digital careers, then launching graduates into the fray, has passed. Constant professional development and post-graduate refurbishments are essential for tertiaryeducated specialists, and a national enlightenment programme required for management, technicians and entrepre­ neurs. W hilst I speak for the film industry, one would reason that it must have parallel scenarios in many other fields that are borne aloft by silicon. Surely, it is the rôle of educators to pre-empt such demand for new skills and the relentless need for re-skilling, and to service that pre-empted demand through their curricula, rather than react to it in retrospect. All aboard! That’s getting aboard for the brave new 21st Century. This Train moves too fast for reactionary educators. Only pro-active educators and institutions with the vision to pre-empt these events are relevant now. Only the pre-emptors are spending the taxpay­ ers’ money wisely. From this point

that there are presently moves afoot among the bureaucrats, educators and power-brokers of our film industry to aggregate [at the A FC ’s M ultim edia Conference; see pp. 28-31] with a mind to look skyward and, having looked, hopefully shout, “Bombers on the way!” Who knows what will happen after that. One can only remain optimistic. If we can board the Digital Freight Train, rather than be run over by it, there will be afforded cultural and artistic gain on a grand scale. The 10BA loopholes were the genesis for some finely-crafted Aus­ tralian film s, as well as a spate of sycophantic, unoriginal and unsuccess­ ful attem pts to ape the H ollyw ood model. The recent successes are attrib­ uted to a maturing local industry that speaks to its audiences in uniquely Aus­ tralian ways and often about uniquely Australian situations. Riding on the Freight Train has the promise of allowing us a profound and limitless diversification in genre, in nar­ rative form, and subject matter, since we will be no longer constrained by lin­ ear and literal interpretations of screenplays and scripts. It will allow us to tell stories about all places and all times in boundless ways. Surely being able to telegraph the Australian per­ spective of circumstances broader than just our contemporary Australian cir­ cumstances defines maturation of our film culture. This spreading of our wings is one alternative. Being shackled to a subsidized and introspective quest for our Aussie raison d’etre is the other. Our Train need not emulate Hollywood. It should leapfrog it to follow our own version. Final call for all passengers. It runs express and it’s leaving soon.

"[A] digital-hardware cycle has come and gone during the same time it takes to complete an Arts or Science degree." onwards, each hardware cycle and its associated quantum leap in processing economy will create profound changes in our interfacing with, and exploration of, both arts and sciences. When a dig­ ital-hardware cycle has come and gone during the same time it takes to com­ plete an Arts or Science degree, this implies that the education in digitallvdependent professions must be relentless ... for life. Required curricula must pre­ empt the needs and ramifications from what can only be a philosophical per­ spective, one which can extrapolate the exponential change propelled by the Freight Train, one which anticipates the ripping apart of our methodological fab­ rics and norms. It will only be nations endowed with brave and gutsy educa­ tors that will prevail and succeed. On a positive note, I must relay

Thank you for indulging me in my talk of trains and bombers. These are items that appeal to my young son, who may read this one day. Come to think of it, I found planes and trains pretty fascinating at his age, too. It’s com ­ forting to know that some things are less prone to change than others ... things like artistic endeavours which operate outside technology, but are disseminated and subsequently popularized by it. It follows that art and our culture, which embody our art, should not necessar­ ily be burdened by any techno arms race. But, unfortunately, I feel that we must board the Freight T rain with urgency and a set of expectations for doing so - not by the perverse need or will to have our art dominate elsewhere, but simply by the desire to ensure that our art is not swept aside and displaced

by more energetic and capable dissem­ inators. Why can’t you see the risks? And if you can, why aren’t you doing some­ thing about it? Tim e to re-ed ucate yourselves. Time to be digitally savvy. Where the educators have failed you, maybe it’s time to do it yourself.

THE THREE-PERFECT SOLUTION? by Dom inic Case Some ideas seem so elegant that it’s dif­ ficult to see why they aren’t accepted. Usually, though, there’s some minor flaw that prevents the idea being imple­ m ented effectively. Tim es change, though, and the idea usually com es around again. So it is with the three-perf pull­ down system for 35mm cameras. Look at a piece of 35mm negative. Although it may be covered with image, not all of the image is used. Normally, the sound­ track area is discarded (whether for a film or television finish), and to keep the image in the right aspect ratio, or screen shape, quite a lot is cropped off the top and bottom. For widescreen cin­ ema applications, less than two-thirds of the frame height finishes up on the cinema screen. As we move towards 16:9 television, the same will be true for television material originating on film. Several years ago, a SM PTE con­ ference in Sydney presented three alternative film formats: three perf, 30 frames per second, and Super-35. None of them revolutionized the film indus­ try, but they are all still around. And three perf may just have gained a new lease of life. A m erican television series are mostly shot on 35m m film. Lorim ar produces Matlock, among many others, using the th ree-p erf system. A Moviecam camera used on the last series is now in Australia, and cinematogra­ pher Les P arrott recently shot a Valvoline commercial using the system. The camera is modified in three ways: film transport is modified so that film advances three perfs instead of fou r; the gate mask is altered to be about three-quarters of its full height; and the ground glass view finder is replaced with new rulings. Film stock is identical to conventional 35 mm, except that a thousand feet load now runs for nearly fifteen minutes instead of eleven. W hat cameras are available for three-perf shooting? Les Parrott is using the Moviecam Super America II. John Bowring of Lemac reports that most cameras can be converted, but in every case it is a one- or two-day workshop operation. Currently, Lemac does not hold any 3 -perf heads in stock. How­ ever, talk of camera conversions brings C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;¢ J UNE 19'


"Three-perf has the potential to revitalize creative thinking in the camera department."

Full width line shows 1.85:1 open gate

For 1.85:1 projection, the four-perf frame wastes 43 per cent of the negative area (not counting the soundtrack). Shooting three-perf reduces the waste area to 24 per cent; using the full width of the negative reduces waste further to 12 per cent and actually gives a larger frame for less stock. another surprise. According to Bowring, the Aaton 35 is a very elegant camera marred by its noise level: quieter than some, but, at 28 or 29 db, not really a sound camera. However, the conversion to three-perf apparently reduces the noise level to 24db - quite reasonable for recording sync sound. Laboratory processes are just the same. But whereas a film work print would now require a modified flatbed editor to run it, telecine transfers are in a different situation. Frame Set and M atch has recently installed an Ursa G old, with extra features including the M etaspeed gate system , w hich, according to W arren Lynch, telecine grader, was designed to produce greater vertical image stability, and a very wide range of frame rates. Lynch claimed that the standard “Jump Free” system sup­ plied by Rank was not as steady, for digital com positing w ork, as the Metaspeed system. Designed by Video Post and T ran sfer in D allas, the Metaspeed was remarkably good and easy to use. But there was a surprise bonus. For the new film format, there is simply a software setting to adapt the telecine. Lynch: “W e went through a couple of menus, and there was an option saying ‘number of perfs per frame’. We set that to 3, and it worked.” T o transfer to conventional 4 :3 video, a slight zoom is applied, but, in comparison with the normal masking for 1.85:1, there is no difference. And once the image is on tape, it doesn’t m atter how many perfs were on the film. After editing, the Valvoline com­ m ercial was online com piled with tape-to-tape grading. As with so many other processes, it may be that nonlinear editing will be the key to the future for three-perf. Con­ ventional sprocket editing is no harder in three-perf, but all the equipment has to be changed over. W ork prints need


projector modifications before they can be screened - and then modifications to the flatbed editor, and further issues to do with sound sync. However, non­ linear editing - based on material transferred on telecine - is exactly the same regardless of the source of the image - until the edit is finished, that is. The next stage is to match back to the original negative. Conventional matchback programmes identify any given frame of film in terms of the nearest edge number (one per foot) and a frame offset. Three-perf systems change the relationship between frames and edge numbers, so that, instead of sixteen

optical printer. Les Parrott confirmed that a European lab - AB Film Teknik of Stockholm - had a Debrie printer that would do this conversion. Ail that was required was to supply a fully-graded interpos to the lab overseas. A typical feature production, shoot­ ing 100,000 feet of negative, could save $ 2 0 ,0 0 0 just on stock and processing costs. Regardless of what discount rate is offered on these items, the reduced footage always brings the cost down by 25 per cent. W hile the fo u r-p erf interdupe would allow conventional prints to be made very easily, Parrott feels that there is a good argument for introducing a three-perf projection standard. Smaller art-house exhibitors, he argues, should be able to convert projectors fairly inex­ pensively. John Bowring reports that a small m anufacturer in A m erica, Duosprocket, supplies a set of sprocket wheels with an inner three-perf element and a four-perf sleeve that fits over the outside, allowing a once-only conver­ sion to a dual-format projector. In this way, low-budget productions could take advantage of the camera negative stock saving, and also obtain a small number of release prints, in three-perf format, from the original negative. (These prints would also be cheaper, being twentyfive per cent shorter in footage than a four-perf equivalent, despite having the same running time.) Warming to the theme of cost sav­ ing, Parrott points out that camera stock saving is only part of the benefit to the

We went through a couple of menus, and there was an option saying 'number of perfs per frame'. We set that to 3, and it worked." frames per foot, there are now twentyone-and-a-third. Fortunately, Negative Cutting Sendees’ Marilyn Sommer, who operates her own Computamatch soft­ ware in Los Angeles as well as in Sydney, has her eye on the ball. She modified her software more than a year ago to support the Los Angeles opera­ tion (where three perf is more widespread), and so now is ready for users in Sydney. Martin Hoyle of Movielab, which processed the footage for Valvoline, said that there was a real opportunity now for three-perf systems to be worthwhile for film production. After negative match­ ing, an interpos could be made in the normal way, and a four-perf interdupe can be made from the interpos. At pre­ sent, there is no facility in Australia to do this, although Rick Springett (of SOS, now adjacent to Movielab) was looking into the modifications required on his

production budget. Increased running time per magazine would mean fewer reloads per day in production, saving shooting time, over a complete feature shoot, of up to half a day (assuming that at least some reloads are always needed when everyone else is ready to shoot!). He believes that th ree-p erf has the potential to revitalize creative thinking in the camera department: I’ve noticed that camera people tend to ask for m ore equipm ent on a 35m m shoot than they would for 16mm or for television. For example, most television work would be done with zoom lenses now - 16mm often the same - whereas most people still prefer to use prime lenses when it’s a 35m m shoot. But zooms are really excellent now; there’s no reason why they can’t be used on 35 mm. Threeperf could make 35m m look like a really serious budget alternative, and

force camera people to bring a bud­ get approach in their thinking by taking the 16mm approach, but still achieve 35 mm quality. Parrott also points out that the system puts a hard mask on the widescreen image. There is no image recorded out­ side the normal area, so there is no need to worry about “protecting” the top of frame when shooting for 1.85:1, in case of overscanning at telecine transfer. P arrott notes that when people view 3 -perf material critically, they are always surprised by the quality. Every­ one seems to be anticipating a lesser result. But he points out that the nega­ tive image is the same size as for conventional 35m m , and all th at is changed is the waste area of the film. M aybe the times are right - this time around - for three perf to flourish. Easy telecine transfer makes it an attrac­ tive format for television origination. For a film finish, non linear editing removes all the earlier problems associ­ ated with sprocket editing. But Jo hn Bow ring adds a note o f cau tion: “I wouldn’t advise anyone to embark on a three-perf shoot until they had a com­ plete chain of post-production fully worked out and available.” Sound advice for any o f the plethora of systems available today.

NEW PRODUCTS, NEW APPLICATIONS H ew lett Packard V ideo Print M anager The entire process of film or video pro­ duction is aimed at getting a script - and possibly a storyboard - off the printed page and on to the screen. Not a simple matter. Now there’s a machine to get it all back again - to convert a filmed sequence back to a storyboard on paper - all at the touch of a button, as they say. Seen at last year’s SMPTE show in Sydney, the Hewlett Packard Compo­ nent Video Print Manager has already found a wide range of applications. At Omnicon in Sydney, it has been used in conjunction with the new Ursa Gold telecine. The unit grabs frames from each scene, and prints out a page for archiving. The sheet is then given to the client for reference when viewing the material. Channel Seven (Sydney) has been using a V id jet Print M anager in the Graphics Production Suite for several m onths. The unit can put up to 60 thumbnail size images onto a page - a useful reference for archiving Still Store and Paintbox graphics. Qantas Airlines Video Production facility will use the unit for logging cam­ era tapes. The unit grabs the first frame of each scene, and then prints a sheet of images out, with each frame’s camera C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995


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tape timecode. The producer can then select the scene from the log sheet, and re-grab the frames to be actually used. These can then be printed out as a sto­ ryboard layout in the required sequence, with notes to assist in the editing ses­ sion. The engineering section of ABC T V use the Print M anager to grab images of satellite feeds. The system is controlled by a computer to gtab frames at specific time intervals to be printed out as a log for later checking of image integrity and satellite time usage. The unit takes a component video feed, and prints a variety of page layouts from one per page through to 60 images on an A4 sheet, on a standard parallel printer - typically a colou r ink jet printer such as the Hewlett Packard DJ1200C. For further information, call Alan Mcllwaine on (03) 5 5 8 -9 3 7 7 or Peter Adams on (02) 417-5166 at Quinto. Flames Spread Across Australia Following on the heels of Melbourne’s Complete Post (see Cinema Papers, No. 102), several other facilities have now acquired the Flame software and Onyx supercomputer package. Omnicon in Sydney, Double G Post Production in Perth, and Digital Post in Auckland have

each ordered a system, primarily for use in high-end television commercials. The Flame system is yet another example of barriers falling down, as what might once have been regarded as a production tool is now to be used increasingly as an online edit suite. Peter Davies, Managing Director of Omnicon Digital, said “This means we have a lot more choice as to what we can do in the future. A traditional edit suite is not appropriate for our needs: they’re a bit limited in their effects capabilities.” Similarly, Drew Gibson, of Double G in Perth, was looking for another dig­ ital editing suite, but decided to take the Onyx/Flame route: Digital switchers don’t really do much more than analogue switchers - only better. Flame and Onyx give you a whole lot of effects that you just can’t do in a real-time suite. Across the Tasman at Auckland’s Digi­ tal Post, operations director Garry Little followed the same thinking: We needed a second edit suite, as last year we were booked up choc-a-bloc. But we didn’t want a dedicated hard­ ware system. T hat’s a dead-end for us, because there’s no upgrade path for the machine. The Flam e and O nyx package also introduces lots of interesting new pos­

sibilities for Digital Post, such as editing in 5 2 5 -lin e form at. Furtherm ore, in contrast with dedicated hardware sys­ tems, the O nyx’s ability to run other software is seen as a major bonus. The rapid industry acceptance of Discreet Logic software running on the Silicon Graphics (SGI) Onyx platform has placed David E dgar’s com pany Future Reality as the major seller of SGI equipment in Australia. The company is just 18 months’ old. David Edgar said the rapid growth of Future Reality7con­ firm ed his b elief in the future of open-ended computer-based specialeffects systems. World-wide, the industry has seen a powerful new alliance formed with the merger of hardware manufacturer Sili­ con Graphics Inc with leading software vendors Alias Research and Wavefront. As a result of integration, the new orga­ nization will speed up development of FireWalker, a set of tools that will allow filmmakers and other entertainm ent authors to use the same digital source material in a number of related appli­ cations. Starting with the initial project such as a film, images and clips can be re-used in other interactive media such as CD-ROM , location-based entertain­ m ent, and interactive television programmes. For more information about Dis­ creet Logic or SGI products, contact David Edgar on (03) 876 5 5 9 9 or fax (03) 876 5598. Avid Goes Online But it's Still a Cinema Finish

Hew lett Packard Video Print Manager Picture log produced by Hewlett Packard "Vidjet" Video Print Manager


Starting out as a straightforward offline editing tool with the benefit of random access (arguably a better description of the process than “non­ lin ear”), Avid is being increasingly integrated into the complex world of electronic post-production. Melbourne’s Digiline Non-Linear Pty Ltd has produced what it claims to be the world’s first cinema commercial using Avid’s online system. The com­ mercial, for Melbourne’s 1995 World Police and Fire Games, was co-ord i­ nated through David Cam pbell Productions for agency Bond Miles and Coulter. It features working profes­ sionals who are morphed into athletes. “W hat made it all possible was image quality”, claims Chris Weir, Digiline’s managing director. “It was very exciting to see a television image ren­ dered so clearly on the big screen.” After shooting, telecine rushes were edited on an offline Avid 4 0 0 0 , and selected takes regraded on a Rank Ursa telecine. These takes were then recom­ piled on a broadcast standard Avid 8000 Media Composer. Selected scenes were exported and morphed using separate software, before being edited back into sequence, still at broadcast standard.

T h e finished com m ercial was then released on Betacam SP for television release, and via kine transfer onto film for the cinema release. Traditionally (are we ready yet to use that term for nonlinear editing?), Avid systems have been used offline for film editing, followed by a matchback to a cut negative. T he dow nside o f the whole process has been the reduced image resolution of the digitized com­ pressed image - which is why it has remained an offline system. Now the increased image standards used by the online version bring Avid output up to broad cast quality, allow ing digital effects to be edited back in, and short circuiting the offline online process one more small link in the chain that will allow the seamless integration of digital effects into a film finish. Already this is possible at broadcast quality, and before long the same service will be possible by the same providers, at fullyintercuttable film quality. Dominic Case

AS WELL... Cinestore Im ports K-3 Making quality movies is usually an expensive proposition. Often wouldbe filmmakers lose the urge after they read the rate card at the camera com­ pany. But thanks to Z enit, a camera company from Russia, and the Cinestore, a filmmakers’ bookshop, quality, reliable 16mm cameras are now avail­ able for less than the price of a VHS camcorder. The K raanogorak-3, or K-3 for short, is a professional 16mm motion picture camera that meets all world stan­ dards for excellen ce in design and optics. Besides offering a full range of features, the K-3 comes with a complete line of accessories, including pistol grip, diopters, filters and carrying case. There is also a single-frame release that makes it perfect for animators. Some of the features include a vari­ able speed spring-driven motor, allowing film speeds from 8fps to 48fps, a built-in light meter and a rotating-mirror reflex viewing system normally found only on much higher-priced cameras. Additional accessories such as video taps, crystal-speed motors and ARRI Cmounts are also available. Zenit also makes a range of lenses at very afford­ able prices. The K-3 was called “the best buy in film m aking to d ay” by A m erican C in em atog rap h er and com es w ith everything necessary to start filming immediately. The K-3 is available exclusively from the Cinestore. To order, call Brett Garten or Bill Eiseman on (02) 283 3 0 4 9 , or drop into the store at 37 Liverpool St Sydney for a demonstration. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995





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Australia’s first films: Foreign producers in Australia, 1901 In part 13 o f this series, Chris Long and Clive Sowry continue their examination o f the film bonanza that accompanied the Royal Visit in Australia's federation year. cialdom had been obstructive to his obtained under shell or sniper fire. Some Limited, the company marketing Edison urrent literatu re efforts.17 of his raw film was strewn across the films in Britain and its colonies. In June makes no m ention Greater support was forthcoming 1898, he reorganized the firm, naming veldt and destroyed by the Boer com ­ o f the first really when Rosenthal moved to Sydney late mander, De W e t10; and more footage it The Warwick Trading Company after lengthy Australian in M ay.18 Possibly assisted by the cam­ went to the bottom of the sea with sink­ London’s W arw ick Court, the street film s to achieve eraman J . G. A very19, he effectively ing of the “M exican” 11. Nevertheless, where its office was based.2 W ith the international distrib­ the W arw ick Trad ing Com pany’s became Sydney’s official Royal Visit cin­ anglicized name, Urban then gave the ution, w hich we ematographer. He persuaded the New worldwide distribution of his footage firm were improved examine in this article. They made local appeal by having gave him an international reputation as South W ales G overnm ent Printer to it produce British films. He also took in 1901, when the Royal Tour in con­ order the erection of camera platforms a superb com bat cameraman. Late in over the British nection with the first opening of our distribution of French specifically for his use.20 One was at the 1900, after the fall of the Boer Republics Lumière and Star (Méliès) films, and Federal Parliament became newsworthyDomain to record the Royal Couple’s to the British, he was posted to cover the marketed the output of the Brighton worldwide. Local and visiting foreign Sydney arrival on 27 May. Another was Boxer Rebellion in China, and to a sim­ (England) producers James Williamson film producers fully exploited the event. at Centennial Park to give an u n ob­ ilar uprising against the U.S. in The and G. A. Smith.3 Our last instalment examined the structed view of the D uke’s M ilitary Philippines.12 Then, working from a FarThrough Urban’s business acumen local producers’ 1901 Royal Tour cov­ Review on the following day. East British colonial base in Hong Kong, he became the first major British film erage. At least three British cameramen Rosenthal also obtained the support magnate, boosting The Warwick Trad­ he probably also shot film in Japan13 and also came out for the occasion. Their of the New South Wales Railway and In d ia 14, before setting his sights on films were distributed extensively by- ing Company to the forefront of the Tramway Commissioners, who allowed recording A ustralia’s Royal V isit in British and colonial film trade by 1900. London’s Warwick Trading Company him to shoot a continuous tracking view mid-1901. Its Australian agents, Baker & Rouse and by G. West and Sons of Southsea, of Sydney’s George Street from a tram Rosenthal arrived in Melbourne no near Portsmouth. Further coverage was Limited, ensured that Warwick had the later than 20 April 1 9 0 1 lj, and early in running between the Quay and the rail­ lion’s share of local film and equipment attempted here by the British Mutoscope way station without stopping.21 A similar May he shot a few films of the Royal and Biograph Company. These camera­ sales at that time.4 film was taken from a train running Visit there. Further good action films Like the Lumière Company in the men made the first Australian films shot “through the mountains” (probably the 1890s, Urban had a team of travelling were taken of the M elbourne Fire by foreigners since the Lumière Com­ Blue M ountains) before R osenthal Brigade (Eastern Hill), but overall the cam eram en touring the world and pany’s Marius Sestier departed in 1897. returned to Britain.22 returning their films to London. His pol­ M elbourne visit seems to have been The foreign producers’ Australian The pioneering New Zealand-based fairly unproductive. Our photographic icy favoured news and actuality film Royal Tou r coverage of 1 9 0 1 was exh ibito r and cam eram an W alter press called Rosenthal “the forem ost rather than fictional narrative, in line mostly sold in the customary short reels with the then British and European cin­ man of his time as a cinematographer”16, Franklyn Brown (1 8 7 3 -1 9 6 4 ), known ranging from 50 feet (50 seconds) to 325 but a Melbourne newspaper extract pub­ professionally as Franklyn B arrett, ematic tastes. feet (5 mins 25 secs) How ever, they often claimed in latter years to have were also available to order in assembled The Warwick Trading Company’s lished in W arw ick ’s August 1 9 0 1 catalogue suggested that the city’s offi­ shot Royal V isit coverage in associa­ principal travelling cameraman was the form , providing up to an hour of tion with Rosenthal.23 Rigorous chronologically-sequenced Royal Tour genial Jewish cockney Joseph examination of 1901 documents views. The showman had the option of Rosenthal (1864-1946)7 Origi­ has failed to locate any sequencing his print according to his nally a pharmaceutical chemist, supporting evidence fo r this taste and the load capacity of his pro­ he began shooting film for claim. jector. It was an intermediate stage in the Maguire and Baucus in 1896, Rosenthal’s Australian visit development of modern “feature film” travelling to Germany and Hol­ was brief, probably not exceed­ form - beyond the one-shot-per-reel land on its behalf by 1 8 9 8 .6 ing six weeks. By the end of convention of the 1890s, but with edit­ Back at W arw ick C ourt, the 19 0 1 , he was back on filming ing and sequencing still partly the films were processed by a young assignments in The Netherlands exhibitor’s prerogative. Australian fea­ Cecil H ep w o rth 7, who later and Denmark.24 His Australian ture film s evolved. They did not becam e a m ajor British film film s were processed and suddenly and spontaneously spring into producer. printed in L on d on 25, then existence with The Story o f the Kelly Rosenthal achieved celebrity offered for sale in W arw ick Gang. To illustrate this point, the Anglo- status with his coverage of the Trading Company catalogues A ustralian productions of 1 9 0 1 are Boer War. H e’d been twice to which described each item in individually examined below. South Africa before the war’s detail. outbreak in O ctob er 1 8 9 9 .8 W a rw ic k Trading C om pany Rosenthal wasn’t the first cam­ Jo e R osenthal in A ustralia: 1901 eraman to reach the battlefront, A ustralian but in terms of output he was The Warwick Trading Company had its F ilm o graph y probably the most prolific, espe­ origins in the work of Charles Urban "British Biograph” film, 70mm wide. This fragment, supplied by Bob T h e follow ing d escriptions cially in the N atal region. (1 8 6 7 -1 9 4 2 ), a kinetoscope parlour Klepner of Melbourne, shows the unusual sprocket configuration of this are condensed from entries in Betw een Janu ary and Ju ne manager from D e tro it.1 In 1 8 9 7 , he film. The only films produced in Australia on this gauge appear to have the Warwick Trading Company 1900, he cranked out about four moved to England to manage the Lon­ been coverage of the Duke of York's Melbourne arrival, 6 May 1901. hours of camera negative9, often Limited Catalogue Supplement don o ffice o f M aguire and Baucus



C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

No. 1, August 1901. Only Cat. 6230a is presently known to survive, in a pri­ vate collection. More will probably be identified from these descriptions, as the films were sold widely by W arw ick and are likely to survive, although they would have no identify­ ing titles. Cat. 6173a The Duke and Duchess

of York Passing "Menzies Hotel", Bourke Street, during their triumphal progress through Melbourne [6 May 1901] C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Royal Party in State Carriage with m ilitary escort. Crowds look on. Length: 300 feet (5 mins). Cat. 6189a The Governor General

(Lord Hopetoun) and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Staff going to open Parliament at Melbourne, May 9,1901 Troop of Australian Horse, fol­ lowed by outriders in fro n t of the G overnor-G eneral’s carriage. Then more cavalry, a carriage with the Duke’s staff, and finally the fourth carriage with

the Royal couple. Immense crowds line the decorated streets. Length: 150 feet (2 mins 30 secs). Cat. 6190a Parade of Trades and

Friendly Societies before the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, at Melbourne, May 11th 1901 Trade union banners, triumphal cars and friendly societies’ members marching in their thousands. Spectators line the streets. Probably shot in Spring Street. Length: 150 feet (2 mins 30 secs).

Cat. 6202a Arrival of Duke and Duchess

of Cornwall at Sydney, May 27th 1901 - Leaving the Domain and passing into College Street Australian Lancers lead the Royal Couple’s State Landau drawn by four horses ridden by postillions. Large body of mounted guards at rear. Taken from an elevated platform. Length: 150 feet (2 mins 30 secs). Cat. 6203a The Great Review of

Australian Field Forces before T.R.H. The Duke and Duchess of


Man rushes to ring fire station bell. Doors fly open. Hose cart, two steam­ ers and an American fire escape come out. Shot change to M elbou rne city street, with engines rushing to fire at full gallop. Canvas reservoir tank placed in street, filled from a street hydrant. Engines rush up, insert suction tubes and train their hoses on the burning build­ ing. Length: 150 feet (2 min 30 secs). Cat. 6233a The Melbourne Fire

Department at Work Continuation of previous film with fire engines working. Length: 5 0 feet (50 secs). Cat. 6243a A Russian Battleship in

Australian Waters Above: Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, aboard the "Ophir" en route to Australia w ith their Suite, April 1901. A photo taken by Chief Petty Officer McGregor on behalf of film ­ maker A. J. W est, later used in W est's Royal Command performance of his film . The Historic Cruise o f the "Ophir"( 1901). Collection: Chris Long.

Top right: Alfred J. W est (1858-1937) of the pho­ tographic firm of G. W est and Sons, founder of the "Our Navy" film entertainments which toured Australia, 1900-2. He was commissioned to produce the complete film record of the 1901 Royal Tour to Australasia, and sent out Chief Petty Officer McGregor of the "Ophir" to shoot the film . Based in Southsea near Portsmouth, he was a marine photographer as well as a cinematographer. Photo by courtesy of John Barnes, St. Ives, Cornwall.

Right: Alfred J. W est's "Our Navy" film entertain­ ments travelled Australia between 1900 and 1902. W est's shows were highly popular in Australia. This one is for a Hobart showing on 31 October 1901. Cour­ tesy of J. W . B. Murphy Theatre Collection, State Library of Tasmania, Tasmaniana Collection, Hobart.

Below right: Filming the Duke's Review in Centennial Park, Sydney, 28 May 1901. Two cine cameras (extreme right and left of picture, foreground) and one still camera are seen here film ing the Duke, right, on horseback in the busby. Joe Rosenthal, Chief Petty Officer McGregor and probably Mark Bow [see previous issue] covered this event. Rosenthal is probably standing beside the W arwick model "B" camera at left. Courtesy of Ken Berryman, NFSA, Melbourne office.

Below: Joseph Rosenthal, the W arwick Trading Company's star cameraman, was the first foreign cameraman to visit Australia since the departure of Marius Sestier in 1897. From ¡Cinematograph & Lantern Weekly.

York at Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia, 28 May 1901 Initial shot shows Duke and Duchess arriving with escort, and being welcomed by the Governor-General and VIPs. The Duke is then seen on horse­ back in a Guards’ Uniform (with busby), taking the salute. Contingents pass in review : N SW L ancers, A ustralian Horse, Australian Royal Artillery with guns and limbers, Australian Bluejack­ ets dragging heavy guns, and Scotch Volunteer Rifles. Length: 325 feet (5 mins 25 secs). Cat. 6204a The Duke and Duchess of

York, Lord Hopetoun and Staff driving to Government House from Centennial Park, 28 May 1901 Continuation of film 6203 a. Royal party farewelled, then stepping into car­ riages. E scort of Lancers tro t to the front, then the carriages leave slowly while the crowd waves hats and hand­ kerchiefs. Length: 90 feet (1 min 30 secs). Cat. 6227a The New South Wales

Lancers in Rear of The Duke of York's Procession at Sydney [probably 27 May 1901] A highly-decorated street, lined on both sides by crowds. A New South Wales Lancer Corps with pennants wav­

ing comes directly towards the camera. Length: 50 feet (50 secs). Cat. 6228a The Royal Guard of Honour

composed of the Royal Australian Artillery, bringing up the rear of the Duke of York's Procession [c. 27 May]. Regimental band heads infantry m arching four abreast. Red Cross Ambulance wagons at the end of the line. Length: 50 feet (50 secs). Cat. 6229a Panorama of the "Ophir"

before leaving Sydney Harbour, 6th June 1901 The Royal Yacht, the “Ophir”, at anchor just before her departure. Shores covered in bush at rear, while steam excursion boats circle around the liner. Length: 75 feet (1 min 15 secs). Cat. 6230a Panorama View of Sydney

Harbour, with Crowds watching departure of the "Ophir", 6th June 1901 Begins with cliffy, bush-covered shore of Sydney Harbour, with specta­ tors occupying every vantage point. Distant view of docks follows, then the “Ophir” seen ‘bows on’ slowly leaving her anchorage. Ironclads of the Aus­ tralian Squadron decked in flags also present, while the escort cruisers steam into position. Length: 100 feet (1 min 40 secs).

Cat. 6244a Panorama of the Russian

Battleship "Gronobia" [sic; "Gromoboi"], in Sydney Harbour The largest battleship then afloat passes the camera, “from the great guns in the barbette to the enormous Russ­ ian N aval Ensign trailin g from her stern”. Length: 100 feet (1 min 40 secs). Cat. 6245a Panorama of George Street,

Sydney, taken from the front of a Special Electric Tram Car [May-June 1901] T rackin g shot o f G eorge Street from the Quay to Central Railway Sta­ tion taken from an electric tram running specially, without a stop, showing dec­ orations and stands put up for the Royal Visit. Length: 150 feet (2 mins 30 secs). Cat. 6250b Panorama of Thursday

island, the Headquarters of the Pearl Fishing Industry [shooting date unknown] Note: This may not be shot by Joe Rosenthal, and the 75 foot length of this item concords exactly with the lengths shot by A. C. Haddon in Torres Strait. Panning shot of the jetty with the island beyond, with pearl luggers at anchor in the estuary. Length: 75 feet (1 min. 15 secs).

Cat. 6231a Good-bye Australia.

The "Ophir", with escort of Tugs, Pleasure Boats and Warships leaving Sydney Harbour, 6th June 1901 The “O phir” steaming out to sea pursued by numerous craft blow ing good-bye on their steam whistles. Escort cruisers follow. Length: 125 feet (2 min 5 secs). Cat. 6232a The Melbourne Fire

Department Answering a Call, and Engines at Work


T racking shot taken from a tug steaming past the “Gromoboi”, proba­ bly in Sydney Harbour. Length: 50 feet (50 secs).

The following item is listed in Blue Book o f “Warwick” and “Star” Selected Film Subjects fo r standard A m erican G auge A nim ated Picture A pparatus, April (?) 1902: Cat. 6679 Return of New South Wales

Lancers [from Boer War]; Passing Through Sydney M ay have been taken by a W ar­ w ick “strin g e r” after R o se n th a l’s Australian departure. Length: 75 feet (1 min 15 secs). C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995


The following item is listed in the Warwick Trading Company’s Film Blue Book Supplement No. 3, October 1902, Latest “WARWICK” and “STAR” film subjects: Cat. 6978 Sailing Scene at Foy

[sic; actually "Syd" or Sydney], Australia May not be a Joe Rosenthal film. Length: 75 feet (1 min 15 secs). (2) C.P.O M cG reg or's Royal Tour Films, 1901 In 1901, Alfred J. West (1858-1937)26, co-founder of G. West and Sons’ “Our Navy” film entertainm ents based at Southsea near Portsmouth, was com ­ missioned to produce a film of the Royal Tour to Australasia.27 Chief Petty Officer M cG regor (sometimes spelt MacGregor), a photographer attached to the torpedo depot H.M.S. “Vernon”, was instructed by A. J. W est in filmmaking and accom panied the Royal Yacht, the “Ophir”, on its tour.28 Very little is known of the content of McGregor’s film. It was exhibited by A. J. West in a Royal Command Per­ formance at Sandringham (England) a few days after the “Ophir” returned to Portsm outh in N ovem ber 1 9 0 1 .29 W est’s later film catalogues gave the production’s title as The Historic Cruise o f the “Ophir” (“series 2 8 ”). They also state that the Command Performance was given on the day that the Duke of Cornwall and York was made Prince of W ales, and that on the same day Edward VII celebrated his first anniver­ sary as King of England. As these two events did not coincide, at least one of those claims must be wrong. In his unpublished reminiscences, A. J. West recalls that the various films showed the recep­ tion given to the Royal Couple at different outposts of Empire - the ceremony of crossing the line - arriv­ ing in Australia - the Review of troops in Sydney - log-chopping competitions - Maori war dances in

Direct from the Polytechnic, London.

New Zealand - Arrival in British Columbia - a panorama from the train going through the Rockies Niagara falls. The films were inter­ spersed with lantern slides [...] After pictures of the arrival home at Portsmouth, the entertainment con­ cluded with a portrait of the King [...] the show had taken nearly an hour and a half.30


S3BBTC2a o sa ’d -

McGregor’s was the only complete film record taken of the 1901 Royal Tour, and it was shown by West’s operators for about ten years after its produc­ tio n .31 How ever, no record of its exhibition in Australia can be found, and the most likely place for its survival is Britain, possibly at the Naval Archives in Portsmouth.32 A. J. West was not related to the later Australian film magnate T. J. West, neither were their businesses connected in any way.33 (3) British Biography C om pany Coverage H. G. L. Wyld and C. H. Freedman toured Australasia as the sole local con­ cessionaires for the British Mutoscope and Biograph Company’s 70mm film projection equipment between 1 9 0 0 and 19 0 2 .34 W hen the L S t ” Royal visitors arrived in Mel- p55

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New films from India John Hood examines the best o f indigenous filmmaking at The 1995 Indianlnternational Film Festival he 26th International Film Festival of India, held in Bombay earlier this year, attracted over 3,000 official delegates, including 120 from foreign countries. More than 200 films from some 45 countries were screened, and these were presented in the usual sections of the Festival: Cinema of the World (which included Lee Tamahori’s Once 'Were Warriors, Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Paul Cox’s Exile and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours trilogy); a genuine variety of ret­ rospectives (Fellini, Elvis Presley) and a nostalgic screening of a number of impor­ tant Marathi films (of particular interest to the locals of Bombay); and the Indian Panorama, this year showing some 16 of the best films made in India during the past year. The Indian Panorama is for many the most important part of the Festival, offer­ ing the foreign cinema enthusiast, at least, a convenient package of the previous year’s best in India. As might be expected with the number of films, the package was somewhat uneven, with several of the movies being quite mediocre for this stan­ dard of festival, some very good and one quite outstanding. Much might have been expected of directors such as A. K. Bir, Ketan Mehta and Jabbar Patel, but their films were disappointing. Bir’s Aranyaka (A Trip into the Jun­ gle) offers a potentially-interesting story about a hunting party that goes horribly wrong, but the potential is aborted by painfully amateur acting and a script that offers nothing but a surface-scratching narrative (or rather a scheme of events). The characters are little more than card­ board cut-outs. The most interesting, Mrs Mitt)'-, is something of a borrowing from Miss Quested, but, unlike E. M. Forster’s character, she has no rational basis, and whatever we come to know of her nature emerges in a series of fits and jumps. Bir’s own camerawork is, however, quite cred­ itable, saving the film from total boredom by its visual interest. Sardar, by Ketan Mehta, focuses on the life of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, passed over in the quest to be India’s first prime minister, a popular, plain-speaking, tough freedom fighter and politician whose light was eclipsed by the flamboyant, aristo­ cratic Nehru, who was favoured by Gandhi. While not exactly following the model of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982), Sardar does bear some of its influ­


ence: historical look-alike actors, a feel­ ing for grandeur, and crowd scenes (although relatively few) choreographed on a vast scale. However, Mehta’s film has a much narrower canvas, concentrat­ ing on the last five years - indeed, virtually the last two - of Patel’s career. Moreover, it is decidedly political and suffers greatly from too much cerebral dialogue, a defect exacerbated by its running time of three hours. Sardar is a very well-made film, but with a limited appeal. Students of politi­ cal history might well find it quite riveting. Patel’s Mukta (A Liberated Woman) deals with the issue of caste prejudice in the director’s home state of Maharashtra, in the context of the return to India for tertiary studies of a girl who has been brought up in the U.S. She brings back to the land of her birth an egalitarian phi­ losophy, and, when she falls in love with an untouchable boy (a fellow student at the university), she causes severe ructions amongst her extended family. While the subject of social prejudice and injustice is relevant not only in India but throughout the world, the appeal of Patel’s film is minimized by its being crammed with dia-


[...] deals with the sudden appearance [...] of a young stranger known only as "the girl".

logue, largely polemical in substance, and being drawn out with repetition. It soon becomes heady and tiresome, despite the almost constantly fresh exuberance of Sonali Kulkarni’s performance as the lib­ erated young woman. Of considerably more interest are Meemanxa (The Verdict), by the young Assamese director, Sanjeev Hazorika; Tarpan (The Absolution), the first feature film of K. Bikram Singh, who has had a long career in film administration and production as well as in documentary filmmaking; and Wheel Chair, by the vet­ eran Bengali director, Tapan Sinha. The Verdict is a tightly-presented story of a rural woman, the widow of a murdered village schoolmaster, in her endeavour to obtain justice against a local landlord who has improperly proposi­ tioned her and brutally beaten her on her rejection of him. The film depicts clearly and simply her odyssey of torment and frustration as she persistently fights her way through the legal system’s web of inefficiency, corruption and prejudice; her struggle to find the money not only for her lawyer’s fees but also for the bribes needed to prompt the police and judi­ cial functionaries into action; and the tragedy of her having to compromise her­ self when a ‘well-wisher’, a knight in very rusty armour, pays her bail and demands his quid pro quo when her assailant brings against her a trumped-up counter-charge of arson. The Verdict is a most unpreten­ tious film, convincing in its portrayal of the vulnerability of women in a maledominated society. The Absolution is another film deal­ ing with caste prejudice. Bikram Singh’s

relative success with this film lies in his endeavour to avoid the well-trodden road - which Jabbar Patel unfortunately takes in The Liberated Woman - of dealing realistically with a perennially well-argued theme. The story is set in Rajasthan (and, hence, is beautifully colourful) and deals with the quest of a man and his wife to find a cure for their chronically sick little girl. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that her physical sickness is a metaphor for the social sickness of the village in which her parents, led by a visionary fakir, seek her cure. The film is structured around four stories, set in the vil­ lage’s memorable past and illustrating the human ugliness of caste as it reveals itself in such abuses as economic injustice, the sexual exploitation of women, and arbitrary murder. These vignettes find their unity in the metaphor of the sickness of the lit­ tle girl, and are given cohesion by several highly-stylized folkloric sequences which some, at least, might find exaggeratedly exotic and somewhat repetitious; more­ over, the quartet of stories makes its point well before its conclu­ 111 sion, and could with welcome effect be condensed. Nevertheless, an original approach to a wellworn theme and the endeavour to combine the social interest of the film with folk culture give it a depth that is lacking in many ‘social issues’ films, and a creative dimension that makes it cinematically sig­ nificant. Veteran Bengali director Tapan Sinha and actor Soumitra Chatterjee have combined well to make Wheel Chair, a credible and often moving story - based, we are told, on fact - about a dedicated, charismatic, wheel chair-bound neurol­ ogist, Dr Mitra. The narrative context is provided by a young woman leaving her office late at night after some overtime, and who is assailed by a group of louts apparently bent on rape. In her panic to escape, she trips and falls down the stairs and incurs the spinal injury that eventu­ ally brings her to Dr M itra’s clinic. Eventually, she is discharged from the hospital and marries the^physiotherapist who has treated her dunng her two years’ convalescence there^^pffis purely inci­ dental love story is overshadowed by






the interest in the struggle of Dr Mitra to make his clinic survive and the loving care and personal interest he takes in his patients. Wheel Chair is well-acted, care­ fully put together, and lacking - at least for the most part - in sentimentality. Of the five Malayalam films in the Panorama, three are especially notewor­ thy: Parinayam (The Bride) directed by Hariharan, Swaham (My Own) by Shaji N. Karun, and Sammohanam (.Enchant­ ment ) by C. P. Padmakumar, all set in their directors’ home state of Kerala and marked by the pervasive natural beauty of that region of south India. The Bride is set some time prior to Independence, when Kerala was still very largely pie-modern and presents the story of Unnimaya, forced at the age of 17 to become the fourth wife of a 65-yearold man, a union quite openly condoned by Keralan high-caste society in those days. The man dies even before the mar­ riage is consummated, after which C IN E J Ë » P A P E R S • JUNE 1 9 »

Unnimaya is seduced by an attractive young actor and becomes pregnant to him. As his theatrical career plummets as he takes to the bottle, Unnimaya is put through the torment of an inquisition into her offence of being a pregnant widow. Through intense harassment, physical torture and eventual excommu­ nication, Unnimaya maintains her self-possession and, as the film ends, rejects the belated apology and concilia­ tory offer of the father of her child. The film offers an incisive treatment of reli­ gious superstition, male bigotry, oppression of women, and the cruel injustices of a feudalistic society. Perhaps due to some radical cutting the film suf­ fers a little from some confusion of sequence: vyhen is a flashback actually a flashback? In introducing his film at its first screening, director Shaji Karun described ' My Own as a film about sadness. There is certainly no m elodrm &br anything

unusually tragic in the film; its narrative strength lies in the commonplace nature of its events. Central to the film is Ramayyar, who dies at the beginning but is remembered throughout. He was an epitome of love, decency and great moral strength, and with his death the goodness is seen to go out of the life of his family. The film offers frequent compar­ isons between the happiness of the past and the melancholy of the present, portraying the one in colour and the other in black and white. The black and white dominates, neutralizing the nat­ ural beauty of the setting and underlining the steady progres­ sion from the sadness of Ramayyar’s death, through gradual impoverishment and loss of home, to the tragic acci­ dent that takes Kannam, the only son of Ramayyar’s widow, Annapurna. The colour-black and white dichotomy is sim­ plistic, and the film’s lack of success at Cannes last year was probably due in no small part to its running time of 153 min­ utes. Even so, it is still a very moving and, for the most part, beautifully-made film. The best of the Malayalam films was Enchantment, C. P. Padmakumar’s second feature, set amongst the cane-fields and rice-terraces of the hills of northern Kerala. It deals with the sudden appearance in the vil­ lage, after the suicide there of her uncle, of a young stranger known only as “the girl”. She is attractive and ebullient, full of laughter and exuding simple joy. Her friendship with the boy, Ambu, who is characterized by similar unsophisticated happiness and a delightful naïveté, gives the film a deceptive atmosphere of joy­ ous well-being, even to the extent of allowing the viewer to ignore as not really important the gradual increase in ele­ ments of superstition, hostility and destruction, until the film’s horrible con­ clusion destroys the “enchantment”. The acting is uniformly excellent^ Radhakrishnan’s splendid camerawork makes the film a visual gem, and the director’s keen sense of narrative logic and cinematic perspective give his work a sure credibil­ ity and intense emotional power-.’ -

Another film from Kerala was T. V. Chandran’s Ponthan Mada, a film about an untouch­ able peasant by the same name. It is a bulky and somewhat con­ fused film, but contains some fine photography and some interesting insights into Keralan history and social customs. From Orissa came Biplab Ray Chaudhuri’s Aranya Rodana (A Cry in the 'Wilderness), about injustices suf­ fered by the tribal people of that state. It is well made, and offers a credible human interest story as well as providing a colourful look at regional tribal customs. Clearly, the outstanding film of the Panorama and one of the best of the Fes­ tival was Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s already widely-acclaimed film, Charachar (Shel­ ter o f the Wings). The winner of the Indian national award for the best film of 1994, it has been shown already at fif­ teen international festivals, including Berlin, Montréal, La Rochelle, London and Brisbane, and it won the Grand Prix at the recent international festival at Fukuoka in Japan. The film is about a man, Lakhinder, sadly dissatisfied with his hereditary profession as a bird-catcher and involved, just as sadly, in a marriage that is failing, some years after the death of his only son. As his wife becomes more and more alienated from him as a result of his failure to provide for her and her growing affection for another, the mem­ ory of his little boy becomes ever closer, bringing with it an intense fondness for the birds he catches and then, almost always, releases. As he becomes gradu­ ally estranged from domestic and social responsibility, he starts to become over­ whelmed by his dream of being like the birds. Through the breakdown of Lakhinder’s marriage and his increasing failure to make a living, Shelter o f the Wings fol­ lows the pursuit of that dream. The film proceeds at a very gentle pace, as its progress is in the evolving of emotion and dream rather than in the development of plot or character. Typical of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s later work is the minimal importance given to narrative, and in this film, too, the imagist style enhances the emotional evolution and helps unfold the dream. Soumendu Roy’s camerawork is exceptional, as is the director’s keen attention to framing and composition, and his obvious care for logic and balance of continuity. Shelter o f the Wings is cer­ tainly the best film to come out of India since Dasgupta’s previous film, Tahader Katha (Their Story), made in 1992. The International Film Festival of India may not be the biggest or the most prestigious film festival in the world, but it is particularly important in showing to the world the best films made by the seri­ ous artists of a country that is better known, regrettably, for the multitudinous trivia of its popular film industry. ©


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R ichard Franklin's H otel Sorrento Richarci L in k la te r's Before Sunrise y o u n is is seduced, by a cm kce meeting on a train between a yoJpg American man and a WrencirE women. Director Richard!Linklater is richly alflmive o f hisyfjbrebears in this tale ofm fateful encounter, remembered and recorded.

% jo m § £ ) N D

Hannie Rayson’s play was a major success and its filmic adaptation keenly-awaited, f i n c i n a h o p g o o d is dazzled by the results o f this poignant story of a homecoming and its consequences.


P atrice C hereau's La Reine M argot BRIAN McFARLANE,

so long regretting the paucity o f full-blooded period melodramas, finds in Patrice Chereau’s adaptation o f a classic Dumas novel the compulsive richness o f a great Victorian novel.

M a k in g Priscilla Producer Al Clark has written a behind-the-scenes tell-all o f the making o f Stephan Elliott’s camp classic. When Clark calls Elliott’s Frauds “the most confident first film I have seen” (poor Orson!), one knows this is a must-read penned by someone with bold opinions.





F ilm B ook

R eview s

R eview s

4 7

5 2


S ix Degrees o f Separation

sees Fred Schepisi at his finest



BEFORE SUNRISE Directed by Richard Linklater. Producer:

Six Degrees, a wildly-clever film , [is] perhaps too clever fo r easy popularity. John Guare has adapted his own play to the screen and the idea contained in the not im m ediately catchy title remains central: "Everyone on this planet is separated by only six other people", says one character, adding, "But you have to to make the

Anne W alker-M cB a y. Executive producer: John Sloss. Co-producers: Ellen W inn W endl, Gernot Schäffler, W olfgang Ramml. S criptw rite rs: Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan. D irector of photography: Lee Daniel. Editor: Sandra Adair. Production designer: Florian Reichmann. Sound: Thomas Szabolcs. Cast: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine), Tex Rubinowitz (Guys on Bridge); Erni M angold (Palm Reader). Australian distributor: FoxColumbia. 35mm. 101 mins. U.S. 1995.


he idea of a chance meeting on a train, a plane, a street or in a room which alters one’s perception of life, or the direction of one’s life, has attracted many

filmmakers from Bergman, Resnais, Ozu and Kurosawa to Tarkovsky, John Ford, Bresson and Kieslowski. Certainly, the notion of the fateful encounter which is remembered and recorded, even as it is heightened and intensified through the passage of time, has provided some of the richest films in recent memory, from Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, mon Amour (1959) and L’Année

Dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961) to Akira Kurosawa’s Dersu Uzala (1975), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Zerkalo (Mirror, 1974) and, most recent, Krzsyztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy. In such films, which are profoundly concerned with time, memory and the shaping force of the imagination as it attempts to grasp the transitory in the very process of flight, the past seems poignant and replete with value and meaning not so much because of the fleetingness of its elements, but because of the heightened or intensified quality which the process of recollection, reconstruction and reflection subsequently bring. Much of the poignancy, in other words, is due to the strong sense of C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995


in review Films continued retrospectiveness that pervades such films - the sense that something is being appreciated more fully and more meaningfully in its absence and as a consequence of an acute, even overwhelming, awareness of human transitoriness, temporality and loss. Before Sunrise is a film which explores such ideas. It is also a film by a literate filmmaker who is aware of and alludes to celebrated forebears. The storyline is quite simple. A young man, Jesse (Ethan Hawke), meets a young woman, Celine (Julie Delpy), on a train, though, interestingly, the film

suggests that the meeting is not altogether a matter of chance. They talk and become attracted to each other. Jesse is travelling to Vienna where he will board a flight which will take him back to the U.S.; Celine is travelling home to Paris. They talk until the train arrives at Vienna and, before parting, Jesse asks Celine to spend time with him in Vienna. (He has about 14 hours before flying out.) She agrees and both leave the train. The rest of the film records their walks through Vienna, their conversations on numerous topics including marriage and relationships, death, the past, wars, family, love and sex, poetry, feminism, philosophy and so on, and their encounters with a host of Viennese folk. (Indeed, there is not much that

they do not talk about.) In the process, they become very close. Of course, the moment of parting, which the film has always constructed as imminent and unavoidable, becomes very problematic for both. The film then explores not so much the lives of the two travellers but rather the idea of transitoriness and the ways in which people attribute value and meaning through memory, recollection and reflection in response to their consciousness of change and mutability. It is clear that both characters respond in fundamentally different ways: Celine sees herself as a strong, independent icon of “modern womanhood” who is torn by her conviction that loving another person and being loved in return are the most crucial things in a life; Jesse sees himself as a hardnosed, experienced young man who is street-wise and affirms a measure of cynicism about a

number of things that Celine holds dear. Yet each is attracted to the other and it is the attraction that overcomes the fundamental points of divergence between them; indeed, the film’s sense of an overarching unity that binds these characters is quite dominant notwithstanding the differences between them. Their time in Vienna is clearly meant

to convey to the viewer the sense of a distinctive and special relationship forming between the brash young American and the outspoken though more optimistic Frenchwoman. It is tempting to read the relationship between the two in symbolic as well as personal terms. For example, a number of stereotypes of “the American” and “the French” are raised in

Six Degrees of Separation Directed by Fred Schepisi. Producers: Fred Schepisi, Arnon M ilchan. Executive producer: Ric Kidney. S criptw rite r: John Guare. Based on the play by John Guare. D irecto r of photography: Ian Baker. Editor: Peter Honess. Production designer: Patrizia von Brandenstein. Costume designer: Judianna M akovsky. Composer: Je rry Goldsmith. Sound: Bill Daley. Cast: Stockard Channing (Ouisa Kittredge), W ill Smith (Paul), Donald Sutherland (Flan Kittredge), Ian M cK ellen (Geoffrey), M ary Beth Hurt (Kitty), Bruce Davidson (Larkin), Dr. Fine (Richard M asur), Trent C onway (A nthony M ichae l Hall). Australian distributor: Roadshow. 35mm. Panavision. 111 mins. 1993.


t is a truism that films ought to be concerned with images rather than words, but a film as good as Six Degrees o f Separation challenges the idea that a lot of talk is bad for a film or that it necessarily precludes the full play of the cinema's narrative panoply. Fred Schepisi's new film is a dazzling mix of incessant talk, intricate narrative procedures and cinematic fluency. It is, in fact, a series of conversation pieces, with changing audiences, the encounter of its opening sequence providing material for endless anecdotal chatter, enthralling to the increasing circle of listeners. Schepisi has directed films derived from plays before, notably Plenty (1985), from David Hare's allegory of postwar Britain's decline, and shown himself sensitive to the rigour of the original dramatic material while insistently


reshaping to the demands of the new medium. This is brilliantly achieved in Six Degrees, a wildly-clever film, perhaps too clever for easy popularity. John Guare has adapted his own play to the screen and the idea contained in the not immediately catchy title remains central: "Everyone on this planet is separated by only six other people", says one character, adding, "But you have to find the right six people to make the combination." As ideas go, it is clever rather than profound, but, by the standards of most movies, "clever" is not to be despised. As the film talks its way through a swirl of interlocking episodes, deftly switching locations, times and characters, the idea develops an emotional shading that is, by the end, unexpectedly affecting. A handsome, articulate young black man, bleeding from a wound

to the side, interrupts Ouisa and Flan Kittredge (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland) in their Fifth Avenue apartment where they are entertaining a South African gold magnate (Ian McKellen), whose financial backing they need to effect the sale of a Cézanne to Japanese investors. The young man, Paul (Will Smith), claims to be a friend of the Kittredges' children - and to be the son of Sidney Poitier. Next morning, after cooking the Kittredges and their guest a fabulous meal, Paul proves to be in bed with a male hustler, and the outraged Kittredges throw them out. They have forgotten how he fascinated them the night before, and now, having checked that their objets d 'a rt are all intact, he has become fodder for anecdote at the fashionable wedding they attend. They scarcely know the bridal couple from whom they distract attention by telling the story of the night before to an ever-increasing circle of auditors. The Kittredges have not been alone in having their lives invaded by the charismatic Paul, who, it is discovered, has tracked down his willing and gullible hosts through a

schoolfriend of the children of the Kittredges, of their best friends, Kitty and Larkin (Mary Beth Hurt and Bruce Davidson), and of a Jewish doctor, Fine (Richard Masur). The schoolfriend, Trent Conway (Anthony Michael Hall), sexually infatuated by Paul, has found him on the streets and put him through the Pygmalion course which has enabled Paul to present himself so plausibly. W hat emerges as the narrative tw ists and turns is a stripping away of layers of complacency and self-absorption, as the catalytic figure of Paul cuts a swathe through one group after another. Not that it is a honeddown morality play in which the catalyst has no function except to effect changes and/or selfexamination in those with whom he comes in contact. In fact, it is really only in Ouisa's case that such an outcome occurs. Paul himself may draw attention to the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in his society, but he remains an individual with an individual's needs. W hat happens to him in the end may be representative of an unconnecting, irresponsible

society that makes anecdote out of other people's experience; it is also humanly complex in a way that resists such reductiveness. In the chain connecting any six people, the links have proved dangerously fragile in Paul's case. Not many films conduct their narratives through so much talk as Six Degrees does, and it needs to be stressed that it is often w itty and always acutely-observed and -rendered talk. As well, not many films make such spatial and temporal demands on their audiences. W ith an impressive sense of narrative rhythm, Schepisi urges us on from apartment to wedding, from gallery to street, from Harvard to Central Park - and not in any simple linear way either to wherever the protagonist Paul is acting out his imposture or wherever others are talking about him. It is immensely filmic, for all the talk. The contrasts in mise-enscene, as, for example, the film cuts between the panelled luxury of the Kittredge apartment and the phone-booth on a squalid, rubbishstrewn street as Paul tries to make Ouisa believe he has really cared

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

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order to be questioned. And a number of the views held by each character on the nature of the other are raised only to be debunked predominantly through the employment of irony. The way in which the film raises such stereotypes only to undermine them is notable and laudable. Ultimately, it would seem that the filmmaker, Richard Linklater, is concerned with the affirmation of the possible compatibility of categories such as “American” and “French”. The ways in which these are constructed, especially by those who wish to privilege the perceived incompatibilities, are consistently rendered! problematic by the film’s structural, dramaturgical and thematic strategies. The film, as stated earlier, is richly allusive. The name Celine is a crucial one; it recalls one of Eric Rohmer’s finest films,

1974), in which a wung woman is taken by a magician to a strange house where ffie.

observers into participants. TbSfc debt to Rohmer in more general terms is considerable though there are differences, too. Rohmer’s “brilliant talkers” who seem to be unrestrained in their prolixity, the stress on idioms and individuality, the staunchly unspectacular use of the camera (at a time when others were making extraordinary demands on the cinematographer), and the celebration of love and lovers in terms which are consistently realist, yet have the resonance of a fable or a moral tale, are all characteristics which Linklater has clearly learned from. And, like Rohmer, he implicitly affirms a “classical optimism” with regard to relationships between man and women - even to those who have fundamental and perhaps

irleducible differences. T jp || namfFJJpSfe alsodfjids i i j p f f tl« this kind of reading armimp&zs the world cffS|he J§agp5an Weste|n, pard@mmmthe films of John Fq||ifnd Sam •Peckin^^mwhich are concerned wfli Wmmt. memory and the fleetingness of the frontier and its (anti-)heroes. Indeed, Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head o f Alfredo Garcia (1974) is amusingly invoked by a pair of Viennese actors who are performing a play about a cow that thinks it is a dog! Of course, there will be parallels drawn with other films such as Malle’s My Dinner with Andre (1981). The cross referentiality of the film is also reinforced by the fact that many of the settings in Vienna echo the settings of Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949). But this is a film about ghosts and haunted places not just in the sense of the celebrated forebears whose traces and signatures haunt the

be tided d in the subtle shiftpom com placency to responsible involvement\A/hichls registered-in k e / cljs.e-ups: There is a?risk of d id | M i s m i| the film's f i n a H m oments as she confronts yet another fashionable gathering w itfi;h e rite w lyrw o n sense of th e ,

Why, one wonders, is she n o ta || major film s ta r? |if Sutherland is comparably subtle-ip the little b its.o f Flan th a t he-'allows to be seen before shutting down in the face of an. -? .importantluncheon, and indeed th e«enti re c a s t (including=cameos-

unfolding drama intriguB^them and eventually turns them-fem

Céline et Julie Vont en Bateau {Celine and Julie go Boating, fo r hèraisn't just a contrast im fsh ttin j5 :4 L is that, of course, and inrthe soflqLtelling-realist detail beyondithe scope of the stage; ¿faut th é ls k lliillin the w ay Ouisa issfram ed w ith the expensive Ippadiousness of the apartment ^H ijlffP aial ¡suppressed by the bj| 0t (3 and*the‘{clutter around it. Schepjtjss brilliajk;editor, Petergi^ IHon’ess, achieyesjnifacles of * c u ttin g rin w r instancecthe Jm onta g e |t|f t h e , m e„aI préparation w hich:’establis!ies PsTurs.deftness, imenunciatingfthe shifts between. one:place and another, one tijn§ and Another The director of , phutmjr ipliy,dan Bakei (sponge tj me scolla fiórator of S'eÿegiWs-), w rites in Ircjht dje-beauty of New York, w hether in glidingjayjerhead S o t s of-the city b ynight orias dawn cornes:up over Central P ari« jffthe_ cold,blue gleam of its "downtown detritus»,gjpjmages jw h fe b ^ d J b e m s e Î^ inta jh e film 's meaning W e tk e v , images, though; are Iperhaps those o jjli " m i n i , fin es The entire cast performs likeral v ^ ^ M u l^ B t tu n e d ensemble, hut jJe Jn d isp u ta h l, cirt-at I p f i l l m l n c etfóm e’S. from S t ^ ^ S Charming. repeating lief slmfe role dfiO uisa Kitti edge. W h'ateverM e1 lla fp P jfa j n s f iM n ^ if f lild i a c y v w ' the three-dimensional performer, it •is sale to assume that it ( aniiot niatc h thert jjfie ra s.intinucy and in the case of Changing, it could he said that the-film s meaning can

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« e lf- a b s É s p tic » .

importance o fth e P e h'cp ujtjer with Paul: - Jfle did more for-?us in an hour •than our c-hildre||djd. Antilw e turn him into an anecdojte to jiin e put on? He ty a P d ^ p experience. How do we keep the exp e rie n ce ? ® Tpthe?embarrassment ofFlan, who ha's%ng( since given up/any creajiye aspjnations in favougof milking the lu lM iv e art,market, J n e sto ribs out of the influentiaflk ffincheon S kin g , "'Hiu. m uclim l* yoilr life efin you accountfor?*', • T fM walk« off into the street’alone, determined to treasure the' "experience1' The film is-spelliM its meanings out m jg fle xp licitly than it need's|nfbthe e W irim W ^ more ujtbejattha.n1e x is te d ,

C I N E M A P A P E R S B J UNE 1995

a s

scene, the frame and the i meditations on time and language but also in the sense of i finitude yield largely familiar how our perceptions of places j sentiments and thoughts. are transformed by the preisence Though they are poignant, they and absence of those who visit i are not in the main particularly them. i novel and, as a consequence, the A film like this can only | viewer’s interest diminishes. succeed if the characters, are Second, the use of the filmengaging and interesting enough i within-a-film strategy, for I to sustain the viewer’s attention. j example at the outset when Since much of the viewing is | Jesse speaks of making a film akin to eavesdropping, the | and towards the end where a characters’ conversation needs i telephone conversation is I to be consistently lively and i simulated, could have added insights need to be offered from | more to the film’s concern with time to time if the viewer is to | memory and processes of persist. The film does manage to i reconstruction. It is a pity that hold the viewer’s interest for | the filmmaker did not develop much of the time and the | this aspect further: the film performances are worthy | could have become a much enough. Many moments do i stronger meditation on the role-. seem to be spontaneous, though I1 of cinema as a form of there are two or three hiccups | reconstructive artifice which along the way. The characters | transforms even as it embodies are contrasted sufficiently and i and narrates through the linkage the lively debate which ensues is 1 of image, symbol and metaphor. welcome. Third, it might be argued The film is not so successful | that the film should have in three respects: first, the i finished earlier: that is, with the

by Kitty Carlisle H ap and Madhur Jaffrey at the lun'cheep); makes i l l film a feasJ?of s c ^ n 'ja c tm g . When so many films are dominated by special e ff|cts, this is by no means thdieveryday. 8 <tre.atjt once was. SixjD egrpes of.S eparation

may, well be'Schepisi's mostfa||domplished film. An Australian d ire cto r working in America, h e ^ fee hi eyes that sharp cultural s jjjip fic ity about aspects of Am eB.an life'that u sedjo ber' ‘ n ofed^bout European directors s d c h |p -W ild lr or Peter Yates'or John S;chlesinger at large in the t i l l ” Hegalsp makes the locally exact-sdffaces'resonate with 'intimation of w ider significance— and w ithout being solemn abojSt.it. © B rian M cFarlanf


Films continued shots of the places that the couple had visited, but which are now framed in their absence - a highly-effective strategy wherein the full weight of absence and the poignancy is felt quite acutely. Having said this though, the film’s theses are engaging: one might think of its Rohmerian affirmation of choices and of chosen relationships which transcend fundamental differences and points of divergence, or of its emphasis on the ways in which the fates of two people can be intertwined and appropriated as a source of hopefulness. The openness of the ending, in this context, is both apt and convincing. ® Raymond Younis

HOTEL SORRENTO Directed by Richard Franklin. Producer: Richard Franklin. C o-producer: Helen W atts. S criptw rite rs: Richard Franklin, Peter Fitzgerald. Based on the play by Hannie Rayson. D irecto r of photography: Geoff Burton. Editor: David Pulbrook. Production designer: Tracy W att. Costume designer: Lisa M eagher. Composer: Nerida Tyson-Chew. Sound re c o rd is t Uoyd Carrick. Cast: Caroline Gillm er (Hilary), Caroline Goodall (M eg), Tara M orice (Pippa), Joan Plow right (M arge), John H argreaves (Dick Bennett), Ray B arre tt (Wal), Ben Thom as (Troy), N icholas Bell (Edwin). A ustralian distributor: Roadshow. 35mm. 104 mins. Australia. 1994.


nsemble acting and insightful scriptwriting don’t get much better than this. Hannie Rayson’s successful play, Hotel Sorrento (which premiered at the Playbox’s Malthouse complex in 1990), has been transferred to the screen by Richard Franklin and consequently seems destined for even greater success as it reaches a wider (hopefully worldwide) audience. However, it should be noted that I have not been fortunate enough to see the play performed. I came to this film with no preconceptions — no, not even a glance at a media release! — other than the knowledge that Rayson’s play has been extremely popular and


has even been translated into French. Hence, the thoughts which follow are those of a viewer seeing the film (the story) for the first time, which is probably the category most audience members will fall into. The film opens with flickering images of family home movies, footage which chronicles the quintessential Sorrento summer from the 1950s through to the ’70s. The fact that these are actual home movies, drawn from various families named in the closing credits, foregrounds the contemporary realism which pervades the film: the forceful reality of family dynamics, the natural beauty' of a sleepy coastal town. Franklin’s Moynihan family and Sorrento are a far cry from P. J. Hogan’s Muriel Heslop and family at Porpoise Spit. As the camera glides along the foreshore, our point of focus is guided by the dulcet tones of Joan Plowright’s voice. Her character, Marge, is reading a passage from a novel called Melancholy, written by Meg Moynihan (Caroline Goodall), an expatriate who has lived in London for ten years. The novel’s setting is clearly based on Sorrento, as Marge is

convinced, despite the scepticism of her companion, Dick Bennett (John Hargreaves), a magazine editor. On one of the coastal headlands, overlooking the ocean, sits the Moynihan family home, a tired weatherboard with verandah, where Hilary (Caroline Gillmer) lives with her ageing father, Wal (Ray Barrett), and teenage son, Troy (Ben Thomas). Hil’s husband died when Troy was six, in circumstances veiled in family secrecy. Her mother, a hard worker who cared for three daughters and a difficult husband, also died tragically some years ago, but this too remains unspoken in the family. The bonds between these three generations are strong, but particularly between Hil and Troy, a mother and her only child. The interloper in this trio is Pippa (Tara Morice), Hil’s younger sister who has been living in New York and is somewhat caught up in the quasi-intellectual psycho-babble for which Americans are (in)famous. Both Hil and Pippa are trying to ignore the obvious autobiographical nature of Meg’s novel, which is shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the focus of publicity hype in London. Melancholy is particularly scathing in its depiction of Australian middleclass, masculinist culture, and suggests that the only way for a

woman to survive is by betraying her sisters. Throughout the film, Meg’s novel raises fundamental concerns about the nature of writing ‘fiction’ and writing as an expatriate, and questions about loyalty to one’s family and country. Marge and Dick manage to infiltrate the Moynihan family as new-found acquaintances. Her curiosity aroused by the novel, Marge is drawn instinctively to Hil, whose fictional characterization as ‘Helen’ touches a chord with her own distant, painful past. Dick, meanwhile, succumbs to his journalistic urge for snooping, when he hears of Meg’s return to Sorrento with her English husband, Edwin (Nicholas Bell), and her wish that this be kept from the press. However, rather than write ‘the big scoop’, Dick is more interested in engaging Meg on an intellectual level, challenging her narrow, nostalgia-driven view of Australia with a voice of maturity and reason. One respectful, the other critical, Marge and Dick are the catalysts for the dramatic dénouement between the sisters as secrets are finally spoken and the family suffers another tragic death. Curiously, it is the final scene in which the sisters confront each other that the film’s impeccable realism lapses, the front living room bathed in a burnt-orange glow, perhaps to suggest sunset, but more evocative of an apocalyptic moment (which, one could argue, it is). It feels eerie, unreal and consequently out of place with the tone of the film. Within twenty-four hours of seeing Franklin’s adaptation, I was once again witness to the Chekhovian intricacies of the Moynihan family, this time in the words of Rayson’s original work (the full play was published as the programme for the Playbox premiere). Rayson’s ear for dialogue and sense of dramatic pull are masterful and Franklin has accorded her script all due respect, with most scenes a word-for-word transposition from stage to screen. I recalled Rayson’s own astonishment, described in a speech she gave at a seminar on adapting literary works to film at last year’s Melbourne Writers’ Festival, when she saw ‘the dining room

scene’ — which brings the entire cast together at lunch — filmed with hardly a cut to the original script. This is one of the dramatic high-points of both the play and film; intended for the stage, rather than the pacey scene changes typical of conventional film, this scene runs close to ten minutes! Thus, a great deal of the film’s impact is due to the power of Rayson’s writing, on the small scale of one-liners to the grand picture of a damn good story which blends tragedy with comedy and social comment. However, this is exactly where credit must go to Franklin and his partner-in­ adaptation, Peter Fitzgerald. The adaptor’s rôle calls for great self-discipline and fine judgement in resisting the urge to alter, to tamper with someone else’s work you are now claiming for your own purpose. Instead, Franklin and Fitzgerald restrict themselves to placing the scenes in sequence, occasionally condensing two into one, and setting them around the very locations in Sorrento the play describes but cannot realize on stage. Franklin exploits one of the fundamental differences between stage and film — the camera — as a medium for controlling audience response. The camera provides Franklin with a means of intensifying emotions and exchanges, through close-ups of faces and significant objects, and creating an alternative frame of reference: although the film is grounded in realism, Franklin is not constrained by the earthbound camera, choosing on a couple of instances to shoot from above, looking down upon the characters, whether on the jetty or in the living room. With a canvas so deftly painted by Rayson and framed by Franklin, the cast forms the crucial third element in producing a work of cinematic art. Tara Morice showcases her chameleonic quality as the smart, sassy Pippa; Caroline Goodall deftly juggles the painful and sympathetic sides of the expatriate Meg, who is still as much a victim of family emotions as her two sisters; and Ray Barrett relishes the rôle of the ageing patriarchal philosopher: “If you’re a woman and you got any brains, you don’t work!” Nicholas Bell,

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

ever the English gentleman, is the perfect foil for Meg’s unrestrained ranting and raving. The rapport between Plowright and Hargreaves — as good friends with differing personal and political philosophies — is the product of two sensitive actors in full command of their craft. But the truly moving performances belong to Caroline Gillmer, as Hilary ‘the survivor’, and Ben Thomas as Troy. Her son is often the go-between for the three sisters, for Hilary and her father, even for Dick and Hil, and Thomas handles the rôle with mature understatement. Troy has always been there for his mum, until he suffers his own personal tragedy and she is there for him: “We’ve got a lot to feel sorry for — you and me. God knows. But I’m buggered if I’m gonna go under. And I’m not gonna let you either.” Gillmer is the one original cast member from the Playbox production; she actually played Meg. In her rôle as Hilary, Gillmer uses an economy of voice and facial expression to convey her character’s inner torment. This subtlety produces a stirring performance, made all the more powerful by her final, passionate outpourings with Troy, then with her sisters, as the film closes. With its wry examination of the Australian artist and the

hangovers of the cultural cringe, and its exploration of the dynamics between sisters, H otel Sorrento is primarily concerned with questions of place, within one’s country, one’s work, one’s family and one’s heart. Hopefully, the film will find a place in many hearts. It deserves to. © Fincina Hopgood

LA REINE MARGOT D irected by Patrice Chéreau. Producer: Claude Berri. Executive producer: Pierre Grunstein. Screenplay adaptation: D anièle Thom pson, Patrice Chéreau. Dialogue: Danièle Thom pson. Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas. D irecto r of photography: Philippe Rousselot. Editors: François Gédigier, Hélène Viard. Production designer: R ichard Peduzzi, O livier R ad ot Costume designer: M oi'dele Bickel. Composer: Goran Bregovic. Sound design: G uillaum e Sciam a, Dom inique Hennequin. C ast Isabelle Adjani (M argot), Daniel A uteu il (Henri of N avarre), Jean-H ughes Anglade (Charles IX), V ince nt Perez (La M ôle), Virna Lisi (Catherine of M èdici). A ustralian distributor: Ronin. 35mm. 162 mins. France. 1994.


he sumptuous historical melodrama is no longer a staple of filmmaking as it was in, say, the 1940s. The Merchant-Ivory pieces and the BBC literary serials are so burdened down with loving care over recreating bygone eras that human issues are sometimes dwarfed, and certainly the wild sweep of incident that was part and parcel of the earlier genre is

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 995

far too vulgar for such tasteful entertainments. Not so with Patrice Chéreau’s Cannes Festival winner, La Reine Margot} It is a long time since the screen was so filled with huge swirling crowds, raging passions, pure and impure, and such a range of violent incident. Chéreau and screenwriter Danièle Thompson have based their screenplay on a novel by Alexandre Dumas2 and the end result has something of the compulsive richness of the great Victorian novels, including their penchant for exploring the personal against the vast background of history. In this case, the historical setting is 1572, when France is torn apart by religious wars between the dominant Catholics and Huguenot Protestants, reaching an early climax in the massacre of St Bartholomew’s Day. The film is unflinching in its representations of the horror of this and other violent occasions: there is a monstrous realism about the impalings and throat-cuttings which makes one anxious about the players. This kind of physical action, through which the sectarian hostility is played out, is staged with an often breathtaking command of the resources of the screen. There are wild tracking shots through winding streets and birch forests (the latter during a hunt for wild boar), and the kind of brutal cutting which

juxtaposes a mass movement with a close-up of individual injury. Chéreau’s handling of massive crowd scenes is assured and varied to meet the demands of the occasion: a pitched battle between Catholics and Protestants, the tiered rows of witnesses to the wedding which opens the film, and the bawdy wassail that follows. Visually, the film often recalls the crowded canvases which Bosch imbued with such malign effect, offset by the sudden lovely shock of a Dutch landscape that invokes Vermeer. In the foreground of the film is the marriage of Margot (Isabelle Adjani), daughter of the Queen of France, Catherine de Mèdici (Virna Lisi), and the Huguenot, Henri (Daniel Auteuil), King of Navarre. This union, promoted by the unloved Italian exile, Catherine, to bring about accord between the warring religious factions, is sealed with violence even in the church, and continues as it begun. On the night of the wedding, Margot refuses to sleep with Henri, and wanders the streets in search of a lover, whom she finds in the handsome Protestant, La Mole (Vincent Perez). La Mòle is both pure at heart and a passionate lover, and the film makes the most of the latter element with some predictably steamy sex scenes.

However, without going into further detail about the ramifications of its plot, it is fair to say that Chereau maintains a serious narrative interest in the growing rapprochement between Henri and Margot, and in the growth of Margot’s sense of justice as a by-product of her passionate liaison with La Mole. There is a skilful balance between the historical and the personal, between the panoramic and the intimate, and interest in the corrupting potential of great power and the dangers of religious zealotry give the film enough intellectual bite to ensure that it is more than just a dazzling surface. The physical texture of wood and stone and brocaded cloth is not a mere carapace: there is as well the satisfaction of watching relationships develop and priorities change, and the sense of a society glutting itself on intrigue and destruction. In all, the enormous busy­ ness of its violent narrative, hurtling along to the accompaniment of Goran Bregovic’s sometimes overbearing score, it is the acting which firmly anchors one’s attention to both the personal and the religious/political matters. Isabelle Adjani’s passionate sensuality as Margot is complemented by both Daniel Auteuil’s equivocal Henri, part opportunist, part peasant clown, and Vincent Perez as the idealistic La Mole, whose life Margot saves and who comes to love her wildly. Considering that La Reine Margot lasts for two and threequarter hours, it is pretty compulsive viewing. It lingers too much over heaving bosoms and thighs, and it is often atrociously sub-titled (“What’s with him?”, “Is that what turns you on?”, talk of “screwing” and “knocking up”, along with “You know nothing of love” and other high-flown sentiments). But in its headlong rush of events, it sometimes surprises with a sense of the weariness of trying to adjust human need to the onslaught of history. © B rian M cFarlane 1 The film won the Prix du Jury in 1994 at Cannes. 2 La Reine

M argot ,

but for some

obscure reason re-titled M arguerite de Valois

in English editions.


in review B






KABOOM! EXPLOSIVE ANIM ATIO N FROM AMERICA AND JAPAN M useum of Contem porary Art, Sydney, 1995,159pp., pb, illustrated.


lthough the book Kaboom! Explosive Animation from America and Japan is clearly associated with the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art’s animation exhibition of the same name, it is not a catalogue of that show. Rather than explaining or documenting the exhibition, the Kaboom! book stands successfully on its own as an informative compilation of essays, animator profiles and interviews with figures from the animation industry. For instance, Mark Shilling’s “A look inside Doraemon’s pouch” is the most comprehensive introduction I have read to one of Asia’s most successful comic, animation and merchandise characters. Manabu Uasa delivers an interesting sketch of connections between the music, manga and anime scenes in the 1960s and early 1970s. And Rosemary Iwamura’s anecdotal piece on Japanese animation heroines contains some entertaining observations on the cult following enjoyed by animation characters in Japan, where they are frequently more loved and admired than flesh-and-blood movie and television stars. Iwamura also reports on the creative marketing of voice actors, who are frequently hired as much for their physical resemblance to the cartoon characters they “play” as for their vocal acting skills. Philip Brophy’s extended answer to the question “Why do Japanese cartoon characters have Western eyes?” strays into a diverting history of cuteness in dolls and art as well as cartoons. And, following in the footsteps of earlier work by Brophy, Daniel Sanjek contributes a historical argument for the importance of sound to the


Loony Tunes cartoons. A sixth essayist named Irving Gribbish makes a contribution to the image of cartoon aficionados as being irredeemably uncool when he advocates incorporating lines from cartoons in your conversation. The book’s animator profiles and interviews provide a basic introduction to a number of accomplished artists, and some insiders’ insights into the commercial animation industry in the U.S. and Japan. Animation historian John Beck and retailer Takashi Oshiguchi provide particularly pertinent industry overviews; Ralph Bakshi shares his hard luck stories and Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butthead, ponders his success. Whilst in many ways the Kaboom! book plugs the information gap left by the exhibition, which would have been greatly improved with the type of full programme of screenings that would be accommodated by the long-time promised MCA cinematheque. Yet the book also shares with the Kaboom! show a number of bizarre lacuna;. There is, for example, a dearth of criticism of the cartoons discussed, which on occasion brings the text to the edge of the mutualadmiration-society precipice in which so many creative scenes crash and burn. And why are there no profiles of Tax Avery, the genius behind such films as Red Hot Riding Hood, and Matt Groenig, creator of The Simpsons? Interestingly, the two weakest elements of the Kaboom! exhibition - the SEGA games and the licensed merchandise - do not even get a mention in the book. The console-game segment of the show was about as compelling as a suburban rumpus room, with half-a-dozen SEGA games to play, but none of them drawn from the dozens of games based on Japanese animation, available only in Japan. SEGA failed to make the most of a first-rate corporate marketing opportunity here, and, likewise,

the Kaboom! book fails to broach the issue of this interactive technology which allows consumers to animate the characters themselves. As for the licensed merchandise display, it comprised a lacklustre array of publications and consumer products in glass cases and plastic bubbles, some of them solemnly labelled as being from the private collections of the curator and his long-time colleagues. In an exhibition of more collectible items, one might suspect that the curator’s placing his own possessions on show would be a tactic to increase their resale value; but in this case, it seems symptomatic of the paucity of resources put into what could have been the highlight of the exhibition. In fact, merchandising deserves both an MCA show and a book of its own - maybe Kaboom! II - The Explosion o f Animation? © Ben Crawford

MAKING PRISCILLA Al Clark, Penguin Books, Australia, 1994,177pp., illus., pb, rrp $14.95


l Clark is the producer of The Adventures o f Priscilla, Queen o f the Desert (with Michael Hamlyn), so that makes

him close to the source when it comes to writing “the hilarious true story behind the hit movie”. Clark is not afraid of the hold statement: “Even in its still incomplete state, Frauds strikes me as the most confident first film I have seen”. While Frauds may lay claim to being one of the most underappreciated Australian films of recent memory, one has to ask: What about that other first film, Citizen Kane ? That is page seven, and Clark has only just begun to warm up. Soon he is in full­ swing: Roadshow’s Alan Finney is “the distribution counterpart of the fire-and brimstone preacher” (p. 136). Clark isn’t reluctant either to settle some old scores: The NSWFTO’s initial response [to the script o f Priscilla] is not as crucifying as one made by the Australian Film Commission when it was rejected by them after Cannes 1991 (citing stereotyped characters, political incorrectness and the view that Stephan’s short films were ‘deeply shallow’) [p. 19]. Yes, the AFC and NSWFTO got it wrong, and Clark won’t let us forget it: he even contrasts comments favourable by ICM against negative ones by the NSWFTO. (The film was ultimately “produced with the assistance and financial participation of New South Wales Film and Television Office”, as an end credit reads. The NSWFTO also holds joint copyright.) Clark has written this book in the glow of triumph and one would be churlish to want anything less spirited or firstperson in perspective. What also can’t be denied is that Clark is a natural writer, knows and loves movies (not that common amongst producers), and has helped make one of the finest Australian films of recent times. Stories like this need to be told,

and Clark is savvy enough to make sure it is spiced: Stephan has been unsettled by an incident following a party at which his glib, hyperactive frivolity has got the better o f him. Someone began to introduce him to an Australian film director he already knew well, and Stephan cut it short: ‘O f course I know him, ’ he snapped, 7 used to bonk his wife. ’ This fatally careless remark - its absence o f truth subordinated to its potential amusement value - has opened a Pandora’s box o f secrecy and suspicion, culminating in Stephan on his hands and knees the following morning on the Croisette begging forgiveness o f both director and wife. [p. 1 4 8 ] © S cott M urray

CINEM A IS 100 YEARS OLD Emmanuelle Toulet, Tham es & Hudson, London, 1995,175pp., illus., pb, rrp $ 19.95

O riginally written in French (Gallimard/Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1988) and only recently out in English, this tiny book, like a Fabergé snuff box, is a visual gem. Covering the very beginnings of cinema up to 1906 - it is a mix of historical information and quirky facts. The best aspect of this book, though, is the amazing illustrations, colour and black-and-white reproductions of early footage, paintings (animation), advertisements, photographs and diagrams. One just wishes the book was three times the size - and made an acknowledgment of the existence of filmmaking in Australia!

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

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Number 39 (August 1982)

Simon Wincer, Quigley Down Under, Kennedy Miller, Terry Hayes, Bangkok Hilton, John Duigan, Flirting, Romero, Dennis Hopper, Frank Howson, Ron Cobb

Helen Morse, Richard Mason, Anja Breien, David Millilkan, Derek Granger, Norwegian cinema, National Film Archive, We of the Never Never

Number 77 (January 1990) John Farrow monograph. Blood Oath, Dennis Whitburn, Brian Williams, Don McLennan, Breakaway, "Crocodile" Dundee overseas

Number 42 (March 1983)

David Puttnam, Janet Strickland, Everett de Roche, Peter Faiman, Chain Reaction, Stir

Mel Gibson, John Waters, Ian Pringle, Agnes Varda, copyright, Strikebound, The Man from Snowy River

Number 95 (October I993) Lynn-Marie Milburn's Memories & Dreams, Franklin on the science of previews. The Custodian, documentary supplement, Tom Zubricki, John Hughes, Australia's first films: part5

Number 96 (December 1993) Queensland issue: overview of film in Queensland, early Queensland cinema, Jason Donovan and Donald Crombie, Rough Diamonds, Australia's first films: part 6

Number 97-8 (April I994) 20th Anniversary double issue with New Zealand supplement, Simon Wincer and Lightning Jack, Richard Franklin on leaving America, Australia's first films: part 7

Number 99 (June 1994)

Robert Altman, Paul Cox, Lino Brocka, Agnes Varda, the AFI Awards, The Movers

The Crossing, Ray Argali, Return Home, Peter Greenaway and The Cook..., Michel Ciment, Bangkok Hilton, Barlow and Chambers

Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ken G, Hall Tribute, cinematography supplement, Geoffrey Burton, Pauline Chan and Traps, Australia's first films: Part 8

Number 60 (November 1986)

Numbers 79 SOLD OUT

Number 100 (August 1994)

Australian television. Franco Zeffirelli, Nadia Tass, Bill Bennett, Dutch cinema, movies by microchip, Otello

Number 80 (August 1990)

Number 78 (March 1990)

Cannes report, Fred Schepisi career interview, Peter Weir and Greencard, Pauline Chan, Gus Van Sant and Drugstore Cowboy, German stories

Number 81 (December 1990)

Number 25 (Feb-March 1980)

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

REm Australia, Gillian Armstrong, Fred Schepisi, Wes Craven, John Waters, Al Clark, Shame screenplay part 1

Cannes '89, Dead Calm, Franco Nero, Jane Campion, The Prisoner o f St Petersburg, Frank Pierson, Pay TV

IgorAuzins, Paul Schrader, Peter Tammer, Liliana Cavani, Colin Higgins, The Year of Living Dangerously

Randal Kleiser, Peter Yeldham, Donald Richie, obituary of Hitchcock, NZ film industry, Grendel Grendel Grendel

Number 70 (November 1988)

Number 91 (January 1993) Clint Eastwood and Unforgiven; Raul Ruiz, George Miller and Gross Misconduct, David Elfick's Love in Limbo, On the Beach, Australia's first films: part 1

Number 56 (March 1986)

Number 41 (December 1982)

Number 27 (June-July 1980)

Number 69 (May 1988) Sex, death and family films, Cannes '88, film composers, Vincent Ward, David Parker, Ian Bradley, Pleasure Domes

Number 90 (October 1992)

Numbers 34 and 35 SOLD OUT

Number 24 (Dec-Jan 1980)

Milos Forman, Max Lemon, Miklos Jancso, Luchino Visconti, Caddie, The Devil’s Playground

The Last Days of Chez Nous, Ridley Scott 1492, Stephen Elliott Frauds, Giorgio Mangiamele, Cultural Differences and Ethnicity in Australian Cinema, John Frankenheimer's Year o f the Gun

Martha Ansara, Channel 4, Soviet cinema: part 2, Jim McBride, Glamour, Ghosts Of The Civil Dead, Feathers, Ocean, Ocean

Little Dorrit, Australian sci-fi movies, 1988 mini-series, Aromarama, Celia, La dolce Vita, women and Westerns

Brian Trenchard-Smith, Ian Holmes, Arthur Hiller, Jerzy Toeplitz, Brazilian cinema. Harlequin

Number 9 {June-Juiy 1976)

Number 68 (March 1988)

John Duigan, the new tax concessions, Robert Altman, Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Edward Fox, Gallipoli, Roadgames

Tim Burstall, Australian women filmmakers, Japanese cinema, Crawfords, My Brilliant Career; The Plumber

Charles H. Joffe, Jerome Heilman, Malcolm Smith, Australian nationalism, Japanese cinema, Peter Weir, Water Under the Bridge

Cannes '92, David Lynch, Vitali Kanievski, Gianni Amelio, Fortress, film-literature connections, teen movies debate

Jane Campion and The Piano, Laurie Mclnnes and Broken Highway, Tracey Moffatt and Bedevil, Lightworks and Avid, Australia's first films: part 3

Henri Safran, Michael Ritchie, Pauline Kael, Wendy Hughes, Ray Barrett, My Dinner with Andre, The Return of Captain Invincible

Number 26 (April-May 1980)

Number 89 (August 1992)

Number 72 (March 1989)

Number 23 (Set-Oct 1979)

Pat Lovell, Richard Zanuck, Sydney Pollack, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Phillip Adams, Don McAlpine, Don's Party

Number 67 (January 1988) John Duigan, James Bond: part 2, George Miller, Jim Jarmusch, Soviet cinema, women in film, 70mm, filmmaking in Ghana, The Year My Voice Broke, Send A Gorilla

Number 55 (January 1986)

Bruce Petty, Luciana Arrighi, Albie Thoms, Stax, Alison's Birthday

Number 8 (March-April 1976)

Number 88 (May-June 1992)

James Stewart, Debbie Byrne, Brian Thompson, Paul Verhoeven, Derek Meddings, tie-in marketing, The Right Hand Man, Birdsville

Number 33 (June-July 1976)

Number 22 (July-Aug 1979)

Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Winkler, Dusan Makavejev, Caddie, Picnic at Hanging Rock

Strictly Ballroom, Hammers Over the Anvil, Daydream Believer, Wim Wender's Until The End o f the World, Satyajit Ray

Yahoo Serious, David Cronenberg, 1988 in retrospect, film sound. Last Temptation o f Christ, Philip Brophy

Number 59 (September 1986)

Number 7 (Nov-Dec 1975)

Australian screenwriters, cinema and China, James Bond: part 1, James Clayden, Video, De Laurentiis, New World, The Navigator, Who's That Girl

Graeme Clifford, Bob Weis, John Boorman, Menahem Golan, rock videos, Wills and Burke, The Great Bookie Robbery, The Lancaster Miller Affair

Number 40 (October 1982)

Steve Spielberg, Glenda Jackson, Susan Sontag, Jack Thompson, Bruce Smeaton, The Removalist Sunday Too Far Away

Number 66 (November 1987)

Multi-cultural cinema, Steven Spielberg, Hook, George Negus and The Red Unknown, Richard Lowenstein, Say a Little Prayer, Jewish cinema

Ian Pringle Isabelle Eberhardt, Jane Campion, An Angel A t My Table, Martin Scorsese and Goodfellas, Presumed Innocent

Number 82 (March 1991) The Godfather Part III, Barbet Schroeder, Reversal of Fortune, Black Robe, Raymond Hollis Longford, Backsliding

Cannes '94, NSW supplement, Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddah, The Sum of Us, Spider & Rose, film and the digital world, Australia's first films: part 9

Number 101 (October 1994) Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Victorian sup­ plement, P. J. Hogan and Muriel's Wedding, Ben Lewin and Lucky Break, Australia's first films: Part 9

Number 102 (December 1994) Once Were Warriors, films we love. Back of Beyond, Cecil Holmes, Lindsay Anderson, Body M elt AFC supplement, Spider & Rose, Australia's Rrst Rims: Part 10

Number 83 (May 1991)

Number 43 (May-June 1983)

Number 61 (January 1987)

Sydney Pollack, Denny Lawrence, Graeme Clifford, The Dismissal, Sumner Locke Elliott's Careful He Might Hear You

Alex Cox, Roman Polanski, Philippe Mora, Martin Arminger, film in South Australia, Dogs in Space, Howling III

Australia at Cannes, Gillian Armstrong, The Last Days at Chez Nous, The Silence of the Lambs, Flynn, Dead to the World, Anthony Hopkins, Spotswood

Number 44-45 (April 1984)

Number 62 (March 1987)

Number 84 (August 1991)

David Stevens, Simon Wincer, Susan Lambert, a personal history of Cinema Papers, Street Kids

Screen violence, David Lynch, Cary Grant, ASSA conference, production barometer, film finance, The Story o f the Kelly Gang

James Cameron and Terminator2: Judgement Day, Dennis O'Rourke, Good Woman of Bangkok, Susan Dermody, Breathing Under Water, Cannes report, FFC

Number 46 (July 1984)

Number 63 (May 1987)

Paul Cox, Russell Mulcahy, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irons, Eureka Stockade, Waterfront, The Boy in the Bush, A Woman Suffers, Street Hero

Gillian Armstrong, Antony Ginnane, Chris Haywood, Elmore Leonard, Troy Kennedy Martin, The Sacrifice, Landslides, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Jilted

Jocelyn Moorhouse, Proof, Blake Edwards, Switch; Callie Khouri: Thelma & Louise, inde­ pendent exhibition and distribution, FFC part 2

Number 47 (August 1984)

Number 64 (July 1987)

Number 86 (January 1992)

Richard Lowenstein, Wim Wenders, David Bradbury, Sophia Turkiewicz, Hugh Hudson, Robbery Under Arms

Nostalgia, Dennis Hopper, Mel Gibson, Vladimir Osherov, Brian Trenchard Smith, chartbusters, Insatiable

Romper Stomper, The Nostradamus Kid, Greenkeeping, Eightball, Kathryn Bigelow, HDTV and Super 16

Number 85 (November I99I)

Number 103 (March 1994) Little Women, Gillian Armstrong, Queensland supplement, Geoffrey Simpson, Heavenly Creatures, Eternity, Australia's Rrst Rims: Part 11


legal ease

“My script defamatory? Certainly n ot!... Is it?” Tom Spira examines what is defamatory in an Australian screenplay, and suggests a legal check more than a day before principal photography might be a good idea. efamation can be one o f the m ost ov er­ looked aspects of p ro d u ction . T here are two m ain p a t­ terns. T h e first is w here the scrip t is obviously defamatory and advice is sought from a very early stage. The second is where the question, “Could this be defamatory?” is asked very late (sometimes too late). D efam ation, if it is an issue in a script, usually gnaws at the back of the producer’s mind. He/she has so many other things to do that defamation is never at the top of the list. It is usu­ ally an issue which has a certain amount of fear and uncertainty surrounding it. Because it is unknown territory, pro­ ducers mostly hope that no one will notice, or that it’s probably not defam­ atory anyway. If the defamatory material is not obvious, then the producer is reliant to some extent on the w riter’s being aware of the potential for defamation. Writing, as a creative process, is evolu­ tionary in nature. Scripts often undergo many changes and characters som e­ times evolve from nowhere, making it hard fo r a w riter to know w hether there could be a potential risk. A few weeks ago, a script arrived at 4:30pm by urgent courier. It was urgent because principal photography was to start the next day, and the worry that had been gnawing at the back of the producer’s mind had turned to blind panic. T en m inutes into the story, I realized it was w ithout a doubt the most defamatory script I had ever read. A fter eleven years of reading them , that is quite an achievement. It made politicians’ slanging m atches in parliam ent sound like idle chatter at the local retirement-village bingo night. By 5.00p m , I was staring out the window wondering if there was any way the original story could survive the seemingly necessary changes to the script. For the next few hours, I went through the laborio u s task of distilling all the defamatory state­


ments, imputations and innuendo. After doing that, I concluded that the script was probably doomed! What happened? The shoot started the next day on schedule and only two words were changed. M ore on that later. The situation made me realize that some tim ely advice may help to alleviate filmmak­ ers’ fears regarding defamation in the future and make them aware of when advice may be needed. What does defamation really mean? It is very simply about the protection of a person’s reputation. The law aims to provide a means by which reputations can be protected. In an industry where credits are so important, that is not a difficult concept. T h ere are many ways in w hich defamation can arise. Some of the more obvious are: • Direct written statements (such as in a script); • Actors perform ing a role, facial expressions, voice intonations; and • The use of irony, caricature, ridicule, innuendo, parody and pictures. Recent defamation cases have involved such things as lobsters, nudity (with or w ithout genitals), allegations of promiscuity and criminality. In Ettinghausen v ACP Ltd (1991) Aust. Torts Reports 8 1 -1 2 5 , an article contained a black-and-white photograph of the plaintiff in the shower:

The plaintiff was facing the camera, the photograph was grainy in qual­ ity and the lighting appeared only to have come from behind. There was a shape between the plaintiff’s legs which was capable of being interpreted as his penis. The plaintiff sued successfully, alleging imputations that, among other things, he deliberately allowed the photograph to be published. In order for there to be a defama­ tion, the defamatory material must be published. Publication does not mean to the person defamed. O bviously, if M ich ael D ouglas writes to Kevin Costner and says he is an ill-tem pered asshole, that is not defamatory. If Douglas sends the letter to Spielberg, and Spielberg thinks less of Costner, then that is defamatory and a “cause of action1 at law exists”. So, publication does not have to be to the public at large. It can simply be a conversation between two people. Fortunately, in an industry which thrives on gossip, there are few defama­ tion actions betw een its m em bers. However, because publication can be on such a grand scale (millions of peo­ ple), the damages which can flow may be large, especially when you take into account all of the new technology and methods of disseminating material. One of the difficulties with scripts generally is that, if the words used are not clearly or blatantly defamatory,

then the normal ambiguity of words can make them in a certain co n tex t defamatory. Couple this with the sub­ jective interpretation of words, and the way in which a character can be por­ trayed , and you start to en ter a minefield without a map. To top that off, something may be instantly defam­ atory to some and not to others, such as Irish jokes. It then comes down to interpreta­ tio n : the test the cou rts use is the “natural and ordinary” meaning of the words as they would affect a member of the public of average intelligence. It begs the question: W hat is average intelligence? I find the m ost com m on plea by scriptwriters is “but it’s all tru e!” Unfortunately, there is a common mis­ conception that truth or justification is an absolute defence to a defam ation action. T h e d ifficu lties w ith tru th as a defence are that, between the different state jurisdictions in Australia, there are different statutory rules. For truth to be of assistance to a defendant, it really must relate to a substantial truth or a matter very commonly known - such as John Morris is the Managing Direc­ tor of the FFC - or it must relate to a matter of public interest, or a matter published under qualified privilege. The public policy behind the legis­ latio n is to provide som e form of freedom of expression. The material must serve some public benefit with no ulterior motive (such as profit or m alice). T h e English Appeal Court in Adam v Ward (1917) A.C. 309 at 3 3 4 set down the formula w hich is still used, nam ely th at the publication must be one: W here the person who makes the com m unication has an interest or a duty, legal, social or moral, to make it to the per­ son to whom it is made, and the person to whom it is so made has a corresponding interest or duty to receive it. Obviously not all matters of public in terest can be said to be in the public interest. This area, however, is under review by the various state and federal governments. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Unfortunately, in Australia at pre­ sent th ere is no d efen ce o f “ F air Comment”. However, recently, there have been am endm ents w hich have gone part of the way to establishing this as a defence. The new defence of “proper material for comment” may in the future com e to the aid o f film ­ m akers if they v entu re in to the minefield. How do critics manage to escape defamation proceedings? Their luck to some extent arises due to the decision in Lyon v Daily Telegraph (1943) K.B. 746 where it was held: In the case of criticism in matters of art, whether music, painting, liter­ ature, or drama, where the private character of a person criticised is not involved, the freer the criticism is, the b etter it w ill be for the ¿esthetic welfare of the public. Returning to the script in question, it contained a number of highly-defamatory depictions of characters, some of whom were identifiable people. Luck­ ily, the character m ost defamed was dead, and you cannot be held liable for defaming someone who is dead. There were two characters who, even though the m aterial relating to them was highly defamatory, after dis­ cussion were persuaded to consent to their depiction. Once their consent was obtained, they were asked to each sign a “deed of release”, which released the producers in relation to any and all claims against them for defamation, inva­ sion of privacy and right of publicity. Two other characters very simply needed a minor name change. In any event, they were compilations of a few real people and were n ot so clearly identifiable. W e decided to take the risk, realizing that it would be difficult for the people depicted to clearly iden­ tify themselves. This is an example of extreme luck in the circum stances. I subsequently becam e aware that one of the main characters who had died would not have under any circumstances given a release. The consequence of that would have been fatal to the script. The char­ acter was not replaceable and, if her part had been watered-down, it would have affected the entire script. It is difficult for producers to bal­ ance the need to tell the story as it is or as they may want to and to be cau­ tious in relation to defamation. Possibly the best advice that can be given is that the script be written as the writer sees it, and that it be reviewed before the start of pre-production, and most cer­ tainly n ot on the eve o f p rin cip al photography!1 1 “Cause of action” means the fact or facts which give a right to sue. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

bourne, Wyld and Freedman were exh ibitin g this gear at


M elbourne’s Athenaeum Hall. On 7 M ay 1 9 0 1 , they adver­ tized that they would show film s (presum ably 70m m film s made by themselves) of the arrival of the Royal couple in M elbourne.35 For some rea­ son, these films were only advertized once more, on the following day, and were then withdrawn from the p ro ­ gram m e. N o other 70m m film s are known to have been made in Australia. Their rapid disappearance from Wyld and Freedman’s programmes may indi­ cate that their prod u ction was not successful. Processing and printing on this cumbersome gauge presented prob­ lems in Australia, particularly if the films had to be exhibited the day after the shoot. N ote: The Biograph Company’s negatives, up to about 1902, were shot on the 70mm gauge to permit flip-cards for the “mutoscope” peepshow to be printed from them by co n tact. The mutoscope viewing device made its Aus­ tralian debut much later here than abroad - viz. Brisbane 10 O ctob er 190236; Sydney 12 December 19 023/. It would appear that they were introduced to Australia just after Wyld and Freed­ m an’s tour w ith the Biograph Company’s projection gear ceased. Film ography: British Biograph Royal V is it Films The films were shot at about 30 pictures per second on 70m m unsprocketed film , which was perforated as it ran through an electrically-driven camera.38 The huge 50mm by 70mm images ran right to the edges of the film, giving superb definition and high screen illu­ m in a tio n .39 These are the only Australian films known to have been shot on that gauge:

1 The Duke and Duchess Landing at St Kilda Pier 6 May 1901. Earliest known ref­ erence: The Age, M elbourne, 7 May 1901, p. 8.


The Royal Procession Passing Over Princes Bridge

and the fascinating correspondence sur­ rounding it survives to paint a vivid picture of Australia’s pioneering pro­ duction industry, The film’s surviving 15 minutes is the oldest New Zealand footage known to exist today. Read the story in our next issue. A c k n o w le d g e m e n ts Pat Laughren, Griffith University (Bris­ bane) and their Australian Research Council Grant provided the core finan­ cial support for this series. T h eir commitment to the importance of doc­ um enting A u stralia’s oldest films contrasts strongly with the lack of archival work in this area. Others directly assisting with this article were: M e lb o u rn e : N FSA M elbou rne Office - Ken Berryman, Helen Tully, Zsuzsi Szucs; Ross Cooper; La Trobe Library Newspaper Section; Bob Klepner. Sydney: Judy Adam son; Alan Davies, New South Wales State Library. Hobart: State Library of Tasmania - Tony Marshall. B ritain : Jo hn Barnes of St. Ives, Cornwall; Stephen Bottomore. As always, we extend thanks to our wives, Prue Long and Anne Sowry. D edicated to the memory of Rom a Long, who died 1 January 1995. 1 Rachel Low and Roger Manvell, The History o f British Film 1896-1906, George Allen and Unwin Limited, Lon­ don, 1948, pp. 25-7; also John Barnes, Filming the Boer War, Bishopsgate Press, London, 1992, p. 159. 2 John Barnes, Pioneers o f British Film, Bishopsgate Press, London, 1983, p. 145. 3 Low and Manvell, loc. cit. 4 The Australasian Photographic Review, 25 September 1900, p. 24; 22 May 1901, pp. 22-5. 5 Cecil M. Hepworth, Came The Dawn, Phoenix House, London, 1951, p. 39. 6 Stephen Bottomore, “The Most Glori­ ous Profession”, in Sight and Sound, Autumn 1983, p. 261. 7 Cecil M. Hepworth, loc. cit. 8 Stephen Bottomore, op. cit., p. 261. 9 Ibid, p. 262. 10 The Australasian Photographic Review,

6 May 1901. Earliest known ref­ erence: The Age, M elbourne, 7 May

22 June 1901, p. 9. 11 Stephen Bottomore, op. cit., p. 262.

1901, p. 8.

12 Ibid, p. 263. 13 Ibid. 14 Warwick Trading Company catalogue, undated (c. April 1901), p. 53. 15 Rosenthal’s membership card for The Reform Club of Melbourne, now held by the Cinémathèque Française, is dated 20 April 1901. Photostat supplied by Stephen Bottomore. 16 The Australasian Photographic Review,

N e x t In s ta lm e n t The New Zealand Royal Visit of June 1901 was the subject of the first major film made abroad by Australians. Run­ ning for 56 minutes, it was directed by Jo e Perry of M elbou rn e’s Salvation Army Limelight Department with his Australian personnel, cameras and pro­ cessing equipment. The New Zealand Government financed the commission,

22 June 1901, p. 7. 17 Warwick Trading Company Catalogue

Supplement No. 1, London, August 1901, p. 264. 18 Ibid. Dates given in catalogue. 19 Showman (London), 15 November 1901, p. 157. Courtesy of S. Bottomore. 20 Warwick Trading Company Catalogue Supplement No. 1, op. cit., pp. 273-4. 21 The Australasian Photographic Review, 22 Juned901, p. 9; 21 September 1901, p. 54. 22 NSW State Archives, ref. 1/164, Gov­ ernment Printing Office correspondence, copies of letters sent, book No. 25 Departmental, p. 232: Government Printer to NSW Agent General, London, 17 June 1901, re exhibiting Australian films in London. 23 The Theatre Magazine, Sydney, 1 Janu­ ary 1917, p. 13; Everyones, Sydney, 11 December 1929, p. 116; 14 December 1932, p. 27; The Showman, Sydney, Sep­ tember 1950, p. 15. Brown (aka Barrett) exhibited royal visit films in New Zealand, but no evidence exists of him shooting the films, which are all con­ firmable Salvation Army productions. 24 Rosenthal left Australia by 22 June 1901; refer The Australasian Photographic Review, 22 June 1901, p. 8. See also Stephen Bottomore, op. cit., p. 264. 25 Australian Photographic Journal, 24 June 1901, p. 122; The Australasian Photo­ graphic Review, 21 September 1901, p. 54. 26 John Barnes, Pioneers o f British Film, op. cit., p. 47. 27 Ibid, p. 45. In spite of Barnes’ statement that West travelled on the “Ophir”, the authors can find no evidence of this. The cameraman was McGregor (or MacGre­ gor). Refer: The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1901 p. 14; also, A. J. West, unpublished memoires (c. 1930), held by John Barnes, St. Ives, Cornwall, p. 68. 28 A. J. West, unpublished memoires, p. 68. 29 Ibid, pp. 68-75. 30 Ibid, p. 74. 31 Alfred West, Life in Our Army and Navy: An Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue, not dated (c. 1912). Copy held in Royal Colonial Institute, UK, ref: 8829 K34, p. 43: “The Historic Cruise of the ‘Ophir’”. 32 John Barnes, Pioneers o f British Film, op. cit., p. 51. 33 John Barnes, Filming the Boer War, op. cit., p. 103. 34 See Part 9 of this series, Cinema Papers, August 1994, p. 61. 35 The Age, Melbourne, 7 May 1901, p. 8. 36 The Courier, Brisbane, 8 October 1902, p. 2; 10 October 1902, p. 4; 11 October 1902, p. 6. 3/ The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Decem­ ber 1902, p. 2; 13 December 1902, p. 9. 38 Gordon Hendricks, The Beginnings o f the Biograph, author, New York, 1964, pp. 53-4. 39 Image dimensions taken from a short sec­ tion of Biograph film negative held by Bob Klepner, Melbourne. Three round holes are punched in the broad frame lines, between the images rather than beside them. ©


B illy ’s H oliday success of the work, but for ■^2^3 p8

my own personal purposes I don’t have a fear of failure. Perhaps five or 10 years ago I would have been disadvantaged by either fear or worry. But this came to me at a stage where I was beyond that, and enabled me to be perfectly open with the crew about what I did­ n’t understand. I’m as capable of blowing a project as anybody else. You don’t always get it right and to take on a movie as a novice was a very daunting task. I’m hugely appreciative of Denis and Tris­ tram for taking a punt with me. But I did have a team of actors with whom I had worked before, and my production team [designer Michael Scott-Mitchell and costume designer Terry Ryan] were terrifically helpful and understanding of my position. As w ell, my DP, R oger Lanser, had w orked with Branagh when he crossed over from theatre to film. W hat strengths as a theatre direc­ tor were you bringing to the project? There were two crucial parts of the business I felt confident about. I think that if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had the arrogance to take on directing a feature, when I knew so little about the rest of the process. One was dramaturgical; more sim­ ply, script editing. Effectively, I’ve been working as a script editor all my life, because there are very few plays where the script remains absolutely intact. Even Shakespearean classics such as H am let , a four-and-a- halfhou r-long play, is rarely uncut. Rom eo and Juliet's a mess and new Australian plays - 50% of my work go though a process of evolution up till opening night. I know that I’m not a writer myself, but I enjoy helping writers, and I believe I’m quite good at it. The other was my skill with actors. I’ve so often heard actors that I like and respect say they had a terrific time doing a movie, but the director was of little help to them and they were left on their own. M ost actors want help. They don’t want you to tell them what to do, and they won’t necessarily take any notice, but they want a sounding board. Because a lot of Australian directors have come from the technical side, they assume actors know it all; they think acting is some m ysterious alien process. It’s a skill, a technique, just like cam­ era operating. Because I had a sound knowledge of the pool of available acting tal­


ent, I had a pretty good idea of whom I wanted to cast, and we went after them. W hen we started the eightweek pre-production, the film was already cast, w hich is apparently pretty unusual. The actors have all said that work­ ing w ith you is incredibly liberating. Can you explain? I see d irecting of actors, to put it simply, as a process by which you remove the impediments and inhibi­ tions that prevent the actor focusing on his/her task - psychological, intel­ lectual, physiological barriers. In film, where you are trying to capture just one m om ent, it seems even more important than in theatre, because the camera brings actors much closer to audiences and, like a m icroscope, makes acting more transparent. In film, obstacles can break down the smallest unit of action. And the best acting is the most true, where there are defences or impediments it does­ n’t reach. Communication is terribly impor­ tant. So many directors give instructions like, “I want you to be more angry”, but I think it’s much more relevant to ask, “What are you d oing?” Pin them down to basic behaviour motivations. What did you see as the dramatic core of the film? I felt very strongly that the movie is about the need in all of us to find the true voice with which to speak to the world. It’s about a man who wakes up one day with the voice of Billie H oliday and utilizes this gift to become world famous and successful. The dramatic thrust of the story for me was that Billy has to find his way back - in the movie’s terms, singing with his own true rich voice. The hol­ iday that he goes on in the middle of the film, when he goes off the rails, is ego-tripping fantasy, and it takes Kate to bring him back on the rails. Essentially, it’s the journey of a man who re-discovers how his heart works, because the basic premise is that, after the break-up of his mar­ riage some years ago, he’s put his heart on hold. His creative talent’s been stunted, and he’s not effectively communicating with anyone or any­ thing. The dramatic climax comes when he faces his moment of truth, forced by 2,000 waiting people and his old band who have hijacked the concert, to sing in his right voice. Does this have a wider relevance? Its m etaphorical m eaning is, “T o thine own self be true”, and in a sense I like it all the more that it’s a middle-

aged man coming to this realization. I t ’s the advice Polonius gives to Lærtes, a young man, and commonly the kind of guidance young people need. The film shows that it doesn’t matter when you find a voice with which to speak; what is important is that you find it. You've said one of your fortes is script editing. Can you briefly describe how you worked with Denis Whitburn? I came in on draft three and found Denis remarkably open and flexible from the start. It’s very rare that I would attempt to write a line of dia­ logue; that’s not my talent. Much of the time I would keep pinning him down to what I thought the charac­ ter was doing or w anted, to his relationships with others. With film, so much can be taken in through visu­ als that I was trying to prune it down to its most economical essentials. W hat was your brief to your pro­ duction designer, Michael Scott-Mitchell? I wanted the visual journey to marry the hero’s journey. At the start, the look is very real: colourless, gritty, down-at-heel, cluttered, with heaps of excess baggage. I wanted the film to gradually strip away the clutter and, at the same time, take on more colour, until at the end we have pris­ tine clean lines, rich with colour arguably non-naturalistic and more in keeping with the musical genre. The fantasy sequences gave us fabu­ lous scope. The biggest challenge was to make that first 1 0 -1 5 m inutes, with its depressing realism, exciting for an audience. W e were dealing with a group of people who were losers. From then on, the movie starts to take off and, from the time he sings in The Voice, it escalates. We knew we would have no problem with audience attention then. The film has relatively juicy rôles for middle-aged women: the exwife and the girlfriend, Kate. Kris McQuade has said that she found her rôle quite difficult because it was so straight. That’s true: it’s always the flashy rôles that get the attention and the straight ones that are hardest to play. Kris plays Kate as an intelligent, realistic, hard-working woman who is a catalyst for B illy’s awakening. Louise [Tina Bursill] is the bitchy exwife. Immediately from her entrance in a red suit, she creates vibes. It can be easier to do that. Peter Cobbin, the musical director, has complimented you on the dra­

matic use of lyrics and your determination to use them thematically, regardless of financial obstacles in clearing the rights.2 How important are the lyrics to the dramatic core? T h e lyric that was cru cial as the underpinning of the film was “I Can’t G et Started”. The story isn’t actu­ ally about a man who ca n ’t get started, but rather one who has stalled in some way, which is why the film opens with a gridlock scene, with our hero’s best friend playing a tune on the trumpet. When we were threat­ ened with the loss of that song, it seemed that the structural and the­ matic thrust of the movie was going to collapse. Editing was another technical area that was new for you. How challenging was that? Interestingly, that was second nature. I think editing is much closer to directing for the stage: both work with focus. In theatre, we can’t con­ trol what the audience will look at, but, through the proscenium arch, lighting, design and acting, we try to direct the audience’s eye to detail. In film, a lot of those decisions are made in the editing room. How do you anticipate your first Cannes Film Festival? I can’t wait. I like a bit of glamour and a bit of partying. Clearly it’d be wonderful if the film is well received, but that’s in the lap of the gods now. In the meantime, I assure you I’ll revel in the madness and frenzy. It sounds like a wonderfully mad experience to be part of. N ow that you've finally made the move to movies, has it given you an appetite for more? Straight after Cannes, I ’ve been engaged to restage the existing Amer­ ican production of Beauty and The Beast. But I am co-writing a feature with a young, new writer: an adap­ tation of Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Sydney Gay M ardi Gras. George Miller [Mad Max ] suggested the idea when he saw my produ c­ tion in 1990 and, while I couldn’t see it at the time, I’ve come around to it now. Black Orpheus , [Orfeu Negro, M arcel Camus, 1 9 5 8 ] one o f my favourite films, used the Rio Carnival as the context for the Orpheus legend. I want to use Sydney’s Mardi Gras to make a contemporary MND. 1 The Adventures o f Priscilla, Queen o f the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994). 2 From an interview with Cobbin, con­ ducted by the author and to be published in a future issue of Cinema Papers. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Returning Home €=—^.

The flywire was particu-

surprised when they find out Pippa is

You had a change of editor

editing most of the stuff I had previ­

a femme fatale.

on Hotel Sorrento w ith David

ously cut in the script came out again.

Joan was very easy to direct, but I


In the case o f that scene on the

larly important to me - like a

suspect would be very d ifficult to

Since going to H ollyw ood, I ’ve

back beach, there were two things

scrim onstage. It actually

push in a direction she didn’t want to

w orked alm ost exclusively with

that the women discussed: one was

com es from T he S carlet E m press

go. [Laughs.] She knew exactly how

Andrew London. But, as it didn’t

[Josef von Sternberg, 193 4 ], where

she was going to do it from the minute she arrived.

men, and the other was babies. I cut the stuff about babies and that is what

Am erican editor on an Australian


focus is held on a veil instead of the face behind it. I wanted to suggest

seem reasonable to talk about an

is now in there. Caroline and Joan said, “No, no. You’re a man. You just

there is “profundity and passion” in

John Hargreaves, I suspect, could be tricky if you couldn’t answer his

something as mundane and Australian

questions. I mentioned I nearly got

David used to edit for me at Craw­ fords on H o m icid e, and I ’d done

as flywire.

into very deep water when he started

the odd thing with him since on com­

ting that flyw ire, it looked quite

querying D ick ’s arguments at the lunch. But it is this energy and unwill­

mercials. The last feature he’d edited was Ground Zero [Michael Pattinson

beautiful - “painterly” is probably the

ingness to take easy options which

ing with women, I think.

better word. What we were trying to

makes him wonderful. We don’t have many ocker intellectuals and John is

and Bruce Myles, 1987], for which he won the AFI award. He’s a superb editor, particularly of dialogue.

1 See Franklin’s “Pistols at Dawn: The

Once we had the golden light hit­

get was that sense that it’s all going back into the past, into the painting. The first shot you see of the three sisters together is of them on the jetty. They are in their own sepa­ rate zones and spatial planes. It links directly w ith that last shot at the window. Yes. I shot the jetty much earlier, but I had th at sense of their being together, yet separated. In the last scene, I walked the three of them to the door and it looked really good with them in silhouette against the sunset. But when I went around and looked at it from outside, it was terrific. I knew I wanted to get to the flywire somehow. Of the actors, only one, Caroline Gillmer, had been in the play? Yes. Caroline played M eg on stage, but Hilary in the film. I felt she would bring a warmth, a homeliness, to the house that I thought was essential. She needed to be a kind of a mother fig­ ure, and C aroline, with whom I ’d never worked but admired for a long time, seemed to me to possess that quality. I was also keen to have someone on set who could say to me, “No, no, this always got a great laugh; you’re missing i t ”, but that seldom hap­ pened. She ju st gave a fan tastic perform ance, and, if the piece has warmth, it comes from her in par­ ticular. She’s amazing on the back beach listenin g to M arg e ’s story. Then when she realizes Troy is dis­ turbed ... It’s such a great ensemble, I don’t know w here to start. C aroline Goodall is wonderful. I’d seen her in

Richard III and a few films. M eg’s motivation is to constantly seek atten­ tion and, when you think about it, it is just outrageous that she tells the truth to the boy. But that is what she has to do: she is the truth-teller and she does it at everyone’s expense. In

sort of the screen persona of [David] Williamson, by virtue of his involve­ m ent in D o n ’s Party and E m erald

City. The boy, Ben Thomas, is just such a talent. I auditioned a dozen 16- or 17-y ear-o ld s, including Tam blyn Lord, who played the part on stage, but who is now in his twenties. But Ben was the only boy who shed real tears when he did the scene. I told him, “It is not necessary that you cry. I didn’t cry at my own father’s funeral. I just want to believe that you are that up set”, and he said, “Okay.” The breakdow n scene was take one. I did it with two cameras, one following Caroline, and the other on him. I’m very proud of that scene. It is really the heart of the film Then there was Nick [Bell], who plays Edwin. One of the conditions of bringing Joan in was that we had to cast Edwin, the English charac­ ter, w ithin A ustralia. I was very fortu nate that N ick, who was in

Richard III with Caroline Goodall, has since immigrated. I think he did a lovely job. There is also the great Ray Barrett. Y es, of course. Ray I had seen on stage in Brilliant Lies, which is my next project. The way he played the father in that was so astonishing I thought of him immediately for Wal. W al is that archetypal old Aus­ tralian male who never tells anyone what he is doing, and just keeps head­ ing o ff to do L orna W a tso n ’s guttering. H e’ll never tell anyone, especially the w om en, what he feels or is thinking. H e’ll then slip silently away when the time comes, not quite the Scott-of-the-Antarctic male, who slips out of the tent, but a more likeable character, I think. W al is based on a real person, I ’m told. When Pippa stands on the chair,

a funny way, M eg probably moves

Barrett's rendering of Wal's "You

less than any other character, in spite

silly bugger, Pip" is gloriously resonant w ith sweetness and put down, and a million other nuances.

of her apparently being one of the wisest - this great Aussie novelist.

film, I asked David to cut it.

The lunch was his first cut. It took him m ore days to do than it had taken us to shoot. I normally figure it takes at least as long to cut something as it does to shoot it. I started to restructure it, but when we got half way through, I said, “Y ou r first instinct was the right one.” So, we just went back to his cut, and that is the way it is in the finished picture. Did you edit on film or do it nonlinear? We edited it on Lightworks and had no work print - not even the so-called “check print” the neg cutters like to have. I think it’s obscene with the new technology to waste that much money - and silver - on something that barely gets looked at. You didn't have Jerry Goldsmith score the music this tim e .10 N o, but I had one of his students, Nerida Tyson Chew, who is a real find. She came up to me after I gave a talk at the ASDA conference in Syd­ ney and said she’d gone to USC and studied with Jerry. I said, “So where is your tape”, and she pulled one out of her handbag. I listened to it and wanted her to do “Breakwater”. But when that didn’t happen, I asked her to do this, which was not at all like the stuff on her demo tape, but which I think she did wonderfully. W e’ll be hearing a lot more from her in future - indeed, we’re currently working on a film musical together. So, how did you feel being a male director on this film? I kept sort o f apologizing to the female members of the cast, but none of them seemed to mind. I can’t say I did anything to change the males. And in the case of the females, I stayed well back and they would tell me why they wanted to do this line of dialogue from the play as opposed to the one in the script. Had I shot the play exactly as writ­ ten, it would have run at least two-and-a-quarter hours, so I’d made quite a lot of cuts. But as we moved on through the shooting, the actors

Tara was terrific. I cast her against

Yes. She is trying so hard to be taken

turned up more and more with copies

the type she played in Strictly B all­ room , as I wanted the audience to be

seriously by him that she doesn’t have

of the play and we ended up shoot­ ing most of it. Then, of course, in the

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

a hope - none of them do.

don’t understand. We discuss babies at this point, not m en .” So I said, “Okay, whatever.” [Laughs.] So they did. I just tried to give them plenty of space, which is smart for a male deal­

‘Art’ of Film vs the ‘Science’ of Pre­ viewing” (Cinema Papers, No. 95, October 1993, pp. 12-20) and “Work­ ing in America” (Cinema Papers, No. 97-8, April 1994, pp. 24-6). 2 Burton was DOP on Hotel Sorrento. 3 “The Sum o f Us: Geoff Burton inter­ viewed by Leilani Hannah and Raffaele Caputo”, Cinema Papers, No. 100, August 1994, pp. 30-4, 82-3. 4 In 1980, The Sydney Morning Herald published a lead editorial attacking Richard Franklin for making what it considered mid-Pacific films, and demanding, in effect, he leave Australia for the U.S. It is the only known editor­ ial of a major newspaper since the local film renaissance to attack an Australian filmmaker for exercising his creative rights. It is, in this author’s opinion, one of the true low points in Australian jour­ nalism. 5 Scriptwriter on Psycho II (1983) and Cloak & Dagger (1983), and now a director. 6 From T. S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”: “We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.” 7 Nicholas Urfe comes out of the ocean after a swim, and finds a book lying on the sand. On the opened page is that quote. (John Fowles, The Magus, Jonathan Cape, 1966. p. 59; and The Magus: A Revised Version, Jonathan Cape, 1977, p. 69.) 8 Miller’s interest in Campbell’s work, and particularly the heroic journey as detailed by Campbell in Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Bollingen Series XVII, Pan­ theon Books, New York, 1949), has been a topic of discussion and inspiration between Miller and many a filmmaker, including this author. Miller has also extensively discussed Campbell in his Cinema Papers interview on Lorenzo’s Oil (No. 92, April 1993, pp. 4-13, 60, 62). 9 With Bill Moyers, The Power o f Myth. Also a same-titled book (Doubleday, New York, 1988). 10 Franklin has written in Cinema Papers (“Sondheim ...”, No. 96, December 1993, p. 56) that in his travels he has encountered only three true geniuses: Orson Welles, Stephen Sondheim and Jerry Goldsmith.



Production Survey Features Pre-production Lust and Revenge Race the Sun River Street Shine The Small Man

58 58 58 58 58

Features Production Lilian’s Story Tears of the Sun Turning April What I Have Written

59 59 59 59

Features Post-production All Men are Liars Angel Baby

59 59

Babe - the Brilliant Sheep Pig Billy’s Holiday Cosi Countdown Cthulhu Epsilon Girl On Our Selection Sex is a Four Letter Word Under the Gun

59 59 59 60 60 60 60 60 61 61

Documentaries Alice The Club Curtains to My Cabin Glued to the Telly The Good Looker Hell Bento

61 61 61 61 61 61

The India Connection Melt Pat & Eddie’s Greyhound Racing Day The Search for the Shell-Encrusted Toilet Seat

61 61 61


Television Pre-production 61 61 61 61 61 61 61 61

Blue Murder Cody 2 The Fatal Shore Fire 2 Gai-jin The Genie from Down Under The Last Bullet Ocean Girl 3

62 62 62

Television Production and Post-production


Shorts The Birds do a Magnificent Tune

Sun on the Stubble Violent Earth Wise Up 2

After the Beep Banjo Paterson’s the Man from Snowy River Beyond the Closet Blackwater Trail Blue Heelers Blue Murder Bordertown Correlli The Ferais Fiddler’s Green Full Frontal

62 62 62 62 62 62 62 62 63 63 63

G.P. Halifax f.p. Heartbreak High Home and Away Law of the Land Lizzie’s Library Mirror Mirror Mission Top Secret Two Naked Neighbours Sam the Tram The Silver Brumby Singapore Sling Soldier, Soldier Space Spellbinder Wildscreen Yackitry Yack

63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63

production ■

L I L I A N ' S S T O R Y S T A R T S • W H A T I H A V E W R I T T E N C O N T I N U E S • COS I W R A P S

F F C Funding Decisions Following the Board meeting on 28 February 1995, the FFC entered into contract negotiations with the producers of the following projects: Feature RIVER STREET (100 m in s ) H ouse & M oorhouse F ilm s P: Lynda H ouse D: T ony M ahood . SW : P hillip Ryall . n am bitious young real-estate agent m isses an im p ortan t land auction w he n his te m p e r lands him in trou ble. Sentenced to com m unity service, he is se nt to a drop-in centre terrorized by s tre e t kids. Here he is forced to take m easure of his courage


(52- m in and to make a choice betw een prope rty and people.


P Producer C o-p C o -P ro d u cer A S A ssociate Producer L P Line P rodu cer D D irecto r S W Scrip tw riter

co rru p t fa m ily environm ent, decides to occup y her mind w ith artistic endeavours. She com m issions her friend , an intern atio nally-reco gnize d sculptress, to create a w o rk in the vein of M ic h a e la n g e lo 's David.

Ps: M argie B ryant , Em m a Calver . D: M argie B ryant . S W s : M argie B ryant , Em m a Calver . C: S imone Y oung . m in s )

Excalibur N om in ees -O pen C hannel P roductions EPs: A lan Carter , J ack W hite . P: A lan Carter . he da y-to-day lives of ordinary A ustralia ns from an unusual and illum inating perspective - th e ir own. The approach involves handing the cam era over to the su bject and getting them to te ll th e ir story in th e ir own w ay. Based on the su cce ssful UK m odel, Video Diaries, w hich has been running fo r five years.



K ey

accord documentary )

S erendipity P roductions


(55- min

E P E x ecu tiv e P rodu cer


accord d o c u m e n t a r y )

D ecember F ilm s P: T ony W right . D: S teve T hom as . SW : Steve T hom as . do cum en tary about 15-year-olds grow ing up. It w ill fo llo w the adventures of an inne r-M e lb ourne ju n io r so cce r team , Clifton Hill United, over an entire season. The story takes one inside the lives of ad olesce nt kids w ho turn out each w e e k to struggle fo r th e ir sm all team , dream ing of heroism and fearin g failure.


docum entary profiling a young A ustralia n w om an co n d u cto r w ho, at the age of 33, has achieved extraordinary success in a com plex and m ale-dom inated art form . The docum entary w ill sta rt in Berlin, Sim one's cu rre n t home, in the bleak German w in te r, and take the vie w e r inside some of Europe and opera's m ost form idab le institu tions w ith Simone centre-stage.

he story of A u s tra lia 's m ost su cce ssful A bo riginal dance club th a t spanned the 1940s-1960s in Perth. It w as a tim e w hen governm ent policies of assim ilation w ere thre atening to divide A bo riginal com m unities. Often poor, and relying to ta lly on funding them selves, the Coolbaroo League and other groups like it sprang from the desire of com m unity elders to ensure a co ntin uance of unity and pride in A bo riginal identity.


S E S to ry E d ito r

N O T E : Production Survey fo rn u now adhere to a revised form at. C inem a Paper,! regret,! it cannot

Information is as supplied and adjudged as of 29/3/95.

Director of photography: NlNO M artinetti Production designer: N eil A n GWIN Editor: J ohn S cott

accept in form ation received in a d ifferen t fo rm at. C inem a P apers doe.) not accept respon sibility fo r the accuracy o f an y in form ation supplied by p roduction com panies. T h u is p a r­


tion changes bu t the production

Production company: I llumination Films Production: 8 M ay 1995 ...

com pany m akes no attem pt to

Principle Credits

correct w hat has alread y been

Director: Paul Cox Producers: J ane B allantyne , Paul Cox Executive producer: W illiam T. M arshall Scriptwriters: Paul Cox, J ohn Clarke

ticu larly the case when in form a­

supplied (a s with the incorrect Bern fir e en tries in the la st issu e)


Other Credits

Featured Pre-production

Production Crew

Principal Credits

J im B elushi, Halle B erry, Casey A ffleck, Eliza D ushku . he attractive ne w science te a c h e r at H aw aii's Kona High takes on a bunch of bored and disillusioned school kids and gives them the inspiration to design and build th e ir ow n solar car. W h a t begins as a Senior S cience pro je ct becom es an en try in the W orld S olar Car Challenge th a t takes them across the A ustralia n desert from D arw in to Adelaide.


Production manager: D avid Lightfoot Distribution guarantee: S eawell Films (F rance ), A d Film (A ustralasia ), Classic Films (B elgium ). Finance: FFC, SAFC. Gauge: 35 m m .

Cast N icholas H ope, Claudia Karvan , Gosia D obrowolska , Chris Haywood , Pamela Rabe , V ictoria Eager .


n erotic satire of an heiress w ho, a fte r a faile d m arriage and a

Completion guarantor: Film FINANCES Legal services: MARSHALLS & DENT Publicity: D ennis D avidson A ssociates

Government A gency I nvestment Production: FFC, SAFC, Film VICTORIA

Cast Geoffrey Rush (D a v id ), N oah T aylor (Y oung Da v id ), S ir J ohn G ielgud (P arkes ), Lynn R edgrave (G ill ia n ), A rmin M ueller-S tahl (D a v id ' s Father ).


fte r su ccu m b in g to the pressure of

his fa th e r's obsessive love and the fie rc e co m p etition of the c o n c e rt w o rld as a child prodigy, David H elfgott m akes a ne w beginning in London inspired by his passion fo r m usic and the w om an he loves.

THE SMALL MAN Production company: S m all M an P roductions Distributor: PALACE

RIVER STREET Production company: H ouse & M oorhouse Films Budget: S3.1 MILLION

Production: 15/5/95-14/7/95

Principal Credits

P rincipal Credits

Director: J ohn H illcoat Producer: DENISE PATIENCE Associate producer: R ichard H udson Scriptwriter: G ene CONKIE Production designer: C hris K ennedy Editor: Stewart YOUNG

Director: T ony M ahood Producer: Lynda H ouse Scriptwriter: P hillip Ryal Finance: FFC

Production Survey

W D W riter-d irecto r


Production manager: ELIZABETH SYMES Insurer: H. W . WOOD (AUSTRALIA)


P: P enny Robins . Co-Ps: Steve K innane , Lauren M arsh . D: Roger S choles. SW s: Steve K innane , Lauren M arsh .


Casting consultant: LlZ MULLINAR

Director: CHARLIE KANGANIS Producers: Richard H eus , B arry M orrow Executive producer: D avid N ichols Scriptwriter: BARRY MORROW DOP: David B urr Production designer: Owen Paterson Costume designer: M argot W ilson Editor: W endy Greene B ricmont

C C ast P C Principal C ast


Production company: Race the S un P roductions Production: 6 A pril 1995 ... ( for seven weeks )

m in s )

A n n a m a x M e d ia -S teve K in n a n e Lauren M arsh

Costume designer: Sally Campbell Musical director: D avid H irschfelder




Producer: J ane S cott Scriptwriter: J an SARDI DOP: Geoffrey SlMPSON Editor: PlP KARMEL Production designer: S ally Campbell

n am bitious young re al-e sta te agent m isses an im p ortan t land auction w he n his tem per lands him in trou ble. S entenced to com m unity service, he is sent to a drop-in centre terrorized by stre et kids. Here he is fo rce d to take m easure of his courage and to make a ch oice betw een prope rty and people.


Music: N ick Cave , M ick H arvey , B uxa B argeld

Other Credits Production manager: Yvonne Collins Art director: H ugh B ateup Finance: FFC Gauge: 35 m m

Cast K erry Fox .

SHINE Production company: M omentum Films Distribution companies: Pandora Cin e m a , Ronin Film s , BBC Entertainment Budget: $6 MILLION Production: 7 A pril 1995 ...

Principal Credits Director: SCOTT HlCKS


he story of an expatriate living in

Papua N e w Guinea, w h o fa lls in love w ith a w om an w ho rekindles

m em ories of his dead w ife . W hen he take s h e rto his tro p ic a l home, she discovers th a t he has a pa st - a past th a t he can n e ith e r fo rg iv e or forg et.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1995

Make-up: L esley V anderw alt Additional make-up: W endy S ainsbury Special fx make-up: N ick D orning Hairdresser: Pa u l W lliams Stunts co-ordinator: GRANT P age Safety officer: R obert S imper Still photography: T racey S chramm Unit publicist: T racey M air Catering: Can m er a COOKS

Featured Production LILIAN'S STORY Production company: C M L Films Pre-production: 23 /1 /9 5 -1 9 /3 /9 5 Production: 20 /3 /9 5 -1 4 /5 /9 5 Post-production: 15/5/95 ... P rincipal C redits

A rt D epartment

Director: J erzy D omaradzki Producer: M arian M cgowan Co-producer: M ike W ilcox Executive producers: David Court , J eremy B ean Scriptwriter: S teve WRIGHT Based on the novel by: Kate G renville DOP: S law om ir I dziak Sound recordist: B en O smo Editor: L ee S mith Production designer: Roger Ford

Art department co-ordinator: T racey M oxham Art department runner: M arco PlNESl Buyer-dressers: A licia W alsh , A ndrew S hort Standby props: Robert " M oxy" M oxham Armourer: K en J ones Vehicle wrangler: P aul A nderson


TEARS OF THE SUN Production companies: Robert Lawrence P rods , Fox Production: 20 February 1995 ...

Cast T ushka B ergen (A pril ), A aron B labey (L eif ), D ee S m art (K yra ), T ayler Kane (D onny ), J ustine Clarke (R ose ), B radley B yquar (C harlie ), Christopher M orsley (C happie ), K enneth W elsh (F ather ), J udi Farr (M other ).

P rincipal C redits Director: J ohn W oo Producer: R obert Lawrence Executive producer: S tratton L eopold Scriptwriters: J oel G ross , A lan M c Elroy, Chris G erolmo , Ronald B ass


he young w ife of an am bitious b u re a u c ra t, April is a c c id en ta lly

kidnapped by an in e p t s tre e t gang during a bungled robb ery. C onfinem en t turns to liberation as she com es to realize her young c ap tors o ffer her a firs t ta s te of personal fre ed o m and sexual a w a k en in g .

P rincipal Credits

P lanning and D evelopment Casting: Faith M artin & A ssociates Extras casting: K ristin W hitfield Storyboard artist: A nnie B eauchamp P roduction Crew Production manager: Cathy Flannery Production co-ordinator: J acquie Fine Location manager: R obyn B ersten Unit manager: Paul M alane Production assistant: S arah M ilsome Production runners: Claire D avid so n , A usland I s m ail Production accountant: Di B rown Completion guarantor: Film Finances Legal services: Lyndon S ayer - J ones

G overnment A gency I nvestment Development: AFC Production: AFC Marketing: 4AFC

P ost- production Post-production supervisor: G regor H utchinson 1st assistant editor: N oelleen WESTCOMBE 2nd assistant editor: CLEO M yles Laboratories: A tlab (S ydney ), T he Film H ouse (T oronto ) Shooting stock: K odak

WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN Production company: Early W orks Pre-production: 1 2 /1 2 /9 4 - 3 /2 /9 5 Production: 6 /2 /9 5 - 1 7 /3 /9 5 (M elbourne ); 3 0 /3 /9 5 - 1 0 /4 /9 5 (P a r is ) Post-production: 1 7 /4 /9 5 - 2 9 /9 /9 5 P rincipal Credits Director: J ohn H ughes Producer: PETER S ainsbury Based on the novel: W h a t I H ave W ritten Written by: JOHN A. SCOTT Scriptwriter: J ohn A. S cott DOP: D ion B eebe Sound recordist: L loyd Carrick Editor: U ri M izrahi Production designer: S arah S tollman Costume designer: K erri M azzocco Composer: Ross Edwards

Camera Crew Focus puller: Robert A gganis Clapper-loader: M ichelle C loete 2nd unit DOP: W olfgang K nochell 2nd unit focus: P eter T erakes Key grip: R obin M organ Assistant grip: Paul H am lyn Gaffer: Paul J ohnstone Best boy: GRAEME C ook 3rd electrics: MILES JONES O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: VlCKl SUGARS 2nd assistant director: A dam SPENCER 3rd assistant director: Kate T urner Continuity: S usan WlLEY Boom swinger: B ob W illiam s

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 995

P lanning and D evelopment Script editor: A nnette B lonski Casting: L iz M ullinar Casting C onsultants Casting consultant: Katherine D odd P roduction C rew Production manager: Yvonne C ollins Production co-ordinator: Jo Friesen Production secretary: Em m a J amvold Location manager: T im S cott Unit manager: Steve B rett Production runner: VICTOR Fukushim a Production accountant: B ernadette B reitkreuz Insurer: STEEVES LUMLEY Completion guarantor: First A ustralian Completion B ond Company Legal services: R oth W arren Camera C rew Focus puller: S ion M ichel Clapper-loader: A ndrew J erram Gaffer: Paul B ooth Best boy: S teve G ray

B A B E-TH E BRILLIANT SHEEP PIG Production company: K ennedy M iller Director: C hris N oonan [N o DETAILS SUPPLIED.]

G overnment A gency I nvestment Production: FFC Cast


T oni P earen , D avid P rice, J ohn J arratt , J a m ie P etersen , Carmen T a n t i .

Production company: B illy ' s H oliday Distribution Company: Roadshow P rincipal Credits

ick, a 16-y e ar-o ld country boy,


Director: R ichard W herrett Producer: T ristram M i all Co-producer: D enis W hitburn Scriptwriter: D enis W hitburn DOP:Roger Lanser Sound recordist: GUNTIS SlCS Editor: SUE B lainey Production designer: M ichael S cott- M itchell Costume designer: T erry Ryan Musical director: P eter Cobbin

cross dresses and joins an all-girl

band in to w n fo r th e local fes tiv a l. He falls hopelessly in love w ith band m e m b e r A n g e la , w h o is flirting w ith lesbianism . S he's hot fo r M ic k , not just be c au s e he's cute and ta le n te d but being a w o m a n he's honest.

P ost- production Assistant editor: R ochelle Oshlack Edge numberer: O liver Streeton Sound transfers: Eugene W ilson Laboratory: ClNEVEX Film gauge: S uper 16 Shooting stock: KODAK

C onstruction D epartment

celebration of being a live. B ased on a novel by K ate G renville.

Director: G eoff B ennett Producers: H eather O gilvie , Lael M cCall Co-producer: J ohn W inter Executive producers: P hil G erlach , R obert Lantos Scriptwriter: J am es W . N ichol DOP: Steve A rnold Sound recordist: B ronwyn M urphy Editor: S usan S hipton Production designer: M ichael P hilips Costume designer: Clarrissa Patterson

Standby wardrobe: KERRI MAZZOCCO

Scenic artist: M artin B ruveris Construction manager: B ob P aton Painter: A ndrew Robinson

of S ydney and rode tax is fo r th e price of a sonnet. Lilian's story is a

Production company: T urning A pril P roductions Distribution companies: T otal Film & T elevision , A lliance Production: 27 /2 /9 5 -7 /4 /9 5

W ardrobe

A n imals

le g e n d a ry e c c e n tric w h o re c ite d S h ak e s p ea re for a do llar on th e streets


Art director: Fiona G reville Set decorator: J ILL Eden Props buyer: B arry K ennedy Standby props: H ugh R ichards

Animal wrangler: J ulie LORRIMAR

he u n c o nventional life of a

Assistant editor: A nnie B reslin Gauge: 35 m m Length: 90 MINS

A rt D epartment

Costume supervisor: E mily S eresin Standby wardrobe: Gabrielle D unn Costume assistant: B ernadette M cCall

T oni Collette (L il ia n ); Ruth Cracknell ; B arry Otto (L il ia n ' s Father ); M organ S mallbone (F. J. Stroud ); S usie L inde m a n , J ohn Flaus , A nne L ouise Lam b e r t .

P ost- production

O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: Karan M onkhouse 2nd assistant director: K aren M ahood Continuity: JULIE FEDDERSEN Boom operator: Craig B eggs Make-up: A m a n d a Rowbottom Hairdresser: A m a n d a Rowbottom Safety officer: B rett A nderson Still photography: W a in Fimeri Catering: Food for Film

W ardrobe


Generator operator: G ene van D am

Cast A ngie M illiken (S orel A therton /G ill ia n ), M artin J acobs (C hristopher H oughton /A very ), J acek K oman ( J eremy Fliszar ), G illian J ones (C atherine /F rances B ourin ).

ANGEL BABY Production company: A stral Films Production: 2 1 /3 /9 4 ... P rincipal Credits Director: M ichael Rymer Producers: T imothy W hite , J onathan S hteiman Scriptwriter: M ichael Rymer DOP: Ellery Ryan Sound recordist: J ohn P hillips Editor: D any COOPER Production designer: Chris K ennedy Costume designer: K erri M azzocco P u n n in g and D evelopment Casting: T rish M cA skill , A lison B arrett Casting Additional casting: Greg A pps

iction and re a lity becom e


ind istinguishable as one person’s

s ea rc h for truth en c o u n ters another's realization of desire. B ased on John A. S cott's P rem ier's A w a rd -w in n in g novel of th e sam e nam e.

Featured Podt-production and Awaiting Releade ALL MEN ARE LIARS Production company: ARENAFILM Distribution company: P innacle P ictures P rincipal C redits Director: GERARD L ee Producer: J ohn M aynard Associate producer: Robert Connolly Scriptwriter: GERARD L ee DOP: Steve A rnold Sound recordist: G reg B urgmann Editor: S uresh A yyar Production designer: M urray P ope P roduction Crew Production manager: Elizabeth K night Production co-ordinator: A nnie M c Evoy Production accountant: Chris M cG uire Production assistant: STEPHANIE MEUNO PA to Gerard Lee: S ally P ower Camera C rew Focus puller: M ike K elly Clapper-loader: A nnabelle D enham Grip: G reg M olineaux Assistant grip: Dan H utton Gaffer: PAUL JOHNSTONE Best boy: S im on H iggins O n - set C rew 1st assistant director: Lynne - M aree D ansey 2nd assistant director: J ane Creswell 3rd assistant director: Gabrielle L iston Continuity: Karen M ansfield Make-up: L esley Rouvray 2nd make-up: A nna M c Ginley Hairdresser: L esley Rouvray SFX: B rian H olmes Stunt co-ordinator: P hil B rock

P roduction Crew Production manager: Yvonne Collins Production co-ordinator: Jo FRIESEN Producer's asst: J udith H ughes Director's attach: T a n ja G eorge Location manager: S teve BRETT Asst location manager: M elissa Rymer Unit manager: A ndy Pappas Unit asst: JOLYON (J oel) SlMPSON Production runner: Em m a J avold Insurer: T ony Leonard , S teeves Lumley Completion guarantor: A ntonia B arnard , Film Finances Camera Crew Camera operator: Robert M urray Focus puller: SlON MlCHEL Clapper-loader: A ndrew J erram Camera equipment: SAMUELSONS Key grip: B arry H ansen Gaffer: T ed N ordsvan Best boy: JOHN BRENNAN 3rd electric: GREG DE MARIGNY Generator operator: Greg DE MARIGNY O n - set Crew 1st asst director: Euan K eddie 2nd asst director: Robbie V isser 3rd asst director: D am ien Grant Make-up: K irsten V eysey Hairdresser: ZELJKA S tanin Make-up bus driver: J olyon (J oel) S impson Still photography: JENNIFER MITCHELL Unit publicist: Fiona S earson , D D A Catering: R ick H err, H arley to Rose A rt D epartment Art director: H ugh B ateup Art dept co-ordinator: S haron Y oung Art dept attachment: J oanna Park Set dresser: G len W . J ohnson Props buyer: M arita M ussett Standby props: D ean S ullivan W ardrobe Standby wardrobe: I sobel Carter Asst costume: M artine S im m o n ds P ost- production Sound design: Frank L ipsom Sound editor: Frank Lipsom Laboratory: ClNEVEX Lab liaison: I an A nderson

A rt D epartment Art director: T or Larsen Scenic artist: M att Connors Props buyer: Lea W orth Standby props: PRISCILLA CAMERON W ardrobe Wardrobe designer: W endy C huck Wardrobe assistant: Sasha D rake

Government A gency I nvestment Production: FFC Cast J ohn Lynch , J acqueline M c K enzie


ro lle r-c o a s te r jo u rn e y to the frin g es of th e hum an psyche.

Other C redits Production: Sally A yre-S mith Art director: M artin B rown Make-up: L eslie Rouvray Completion guarantor: FACB Finance: FFC, N S W Film & T V Office, A FC , V il u g e Roadshow , B eyond I ntl . International sales: B eyond I nternational Cast M ax Cullen , K ris M c Q uade , T ina B ur sill , D rew Forsythe, G enevieve Lem on , R ichard Roxburgh , Rachael Coopes . n the eyes of Billy's te e n a g e d aughter, he is a loser. A nd his girlfriend c a n 't find th e key to his heart. But w h en his pub jazz band ta k e s off and Billy finds he has been m ag ica lly blessed w ith th e voice of his idol, the le g e n d a ry Billie H oliday, life th ro w s him som e w ild and w o n d e rfu l curves. Fam e, fortune - and Faust - turn B illy’s w o rld on its head until w h a t em e rg e s is th e tru e rom antic s pirit of Billy A pples.


COSI Production company: S miley Films Distribution company: M iram ax Films Budget: S3.5 MILLION Pre-production: 1 2 /1 1 /9 4 - 1 9 /1 /9 5 Production: 2 0 / 1 / 9 5 - 1 0 /3 /9 5 Post-production: 1 1 /3 /9 5 - 1 /9 /9 5 P rincipal C redits Director: M ark J offe Producer: Richard B rennan Executive producers: P haedon V ass , H arvey W einstein , B ob W einstein Associate producer: Lyn Gailey Scriptwriter: Louis N owra Based on the play: Cosi DOP: Ellery Ryan Sound recordist: J ohn S chiefelbein Editor: N icholas B eauman Production designer: C hris K ennedy Costume designer: T ess S chofield P u n n in g and D evelopment Casting: A lison B arrett Casting Casting consultant: A lison B arrett Extras casting: Gabrielle H ealy P roduction Crew Production manager: Catherine B ishop Production co-ordinator: Em m a S chofield Production secretary: J ustine D endle Location manager: M aude H eath Unit manager: W il M ilne Unit assistants: KAREN HEDLEY, P aul N aylor Production runner: BELINDA YOUNG Production accountant: B elle Eder Accounts assistant: COLETTE W ard Insurer: S teeves Lumley Completion guarantor: Film FINANCES Legal services: HEIDIMAN & Co Camera C rew Camera operator: KlM BATTERHAM Focus puller: S ally Eccleston Clapper-loader: B ede Haines Camera attachment: J as m in e Carrucan Camera type: A R R I 535B Key grip: L ester B ishop Assistant grip: T erry Cook Gaffer: J ohn M orton Best boy: M athew H oile


production Production Survey

P u n n in g and D evelopment


Production manager: M ichelle Ryan Production coordinator: T racy Cook Producer's assistant: S haron T onge Production runner: T racy C ook Production accountant: M atthew H effernan

Storyboard artist: Estelle


O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: Euan K eddie 2nd assistant director: T ony G ilbert 3rd assistant director: Russell B oyd Continuity: Jo WEEKS Boom operator: Chris G oldsmith Make-up: N oriko W atanabe -N eill Make-up assistant: N oreen W ilkie Hairdresser: J an ZEIGENBEIN Special fx: Ray Fowler Stunts co-ordinator: Glenn B oswell Still photography: PHILLIP L e M eSURIEUR Unit publicists: M aria Farmer , T racey M air Catering: K olla GE Catering , K erry Fetzer A rt D epartment Art director: H ugh B ateup Art department co-ordinator: C hristina N orman Art department runner: J ohn A l u n Set dressers: M arita M ussett , V iv W ilson Draftsperson: TONY WILLIAMS Standby props: P eter Davies W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: HELEN DYKES Standby wardrobe: ISOBELL CARTER Wardrobe assistant: Cheyne P hillips A nimals Animal trainer: JOANNE KOSTIUK Animal assistant: T odd M ackay C onstruction D epartment Scenic artist: P eta B lack Construction foremen: ANDREW STAIG, P atrick Carr Carpenters: Gordon Finney , M artin J ones , M urray S im m ance Labourer: A ndrew B earman P ost- production Assistant editor: M artin C onnor Music-co-ordinator: C hristine W oodruff Laboratory: A t UB Lab liaison: Ian Russell, D enise W olfson Film gauge: 1:1.85 Shooting stock: K odak 5248, 5298 Video transfers: APOCALYPSE

P roduction Crew Production manager: A nastasia S ideris Production co-ordinator: M yrlene B arr Production secretary: GEORGIA MURRAY Location manager: S tuart B eatty Unit assistants: J ulie M urray , B rian O'G rady Production assistants: M artine S proule-C arroll, S imone W ade Production accountant: Eric Low Insurer: H. W . W ood (T ony G ib b s ) Completion guarantor: Film Finances Legal services: T ress C ox & M addox Camera Crew Focus puller: P eter W hite Clapper-loader: B runo D oring 2nd unit DOP: M urray W are Camera type: ARRI S T III S uper 16 Key grip: PETER KERSHAW Gaffer: P eter Ryan Best boy: Greg W ilson Electrician: A dam H unter O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: Ed S tevenson 2nd assistant director: BRAD RASELLI Continuity: JULIE FEDDERSEN Boom operator: Steven K ing Make-up: A m an d a Rowbottom Hairdresser: A m an d a Rowbottom Choreographer: Cassandra M iller Stunts co-ordinator: Z ev Eleftheriou Safety officer: W ally D alton Still photography: B rian M cK enzie Catering: Food for Film (K eith Fish ) Runners: MATTHEW ROOKE, M ichael Z akhem A rt D epartment Standby props: P hinn H epworth Armourer: JOHN Fox W ardrobe Standby wardrobe: Katie Graham P ost- production

Development: NSWFTO Cast

Laboratory: MOVIELAB Lab liaison: M artin H oyle

B en M endelsohn (L ew is ), B arry Otto (R oy), T oni Collette (J ulie ), J acki W eaver (C herry), Pa m e u Rabe (R uth ), Paul Chubb (H enry ), Colin Hay (Z ac ), David W enham (D oug ), B runo Lawrence (E rrol), A den Y oung (N ick ), Rachel Griffiths (L ucy), T ony Llewellyn - J ones (K irner ), K erry W alker (S andra ).

M arcus G raham (G rady/C hris ), N ikki Coghill (K ate ), D oug B owles (O'R ourke), S tephen W hittaker (K dpin sky ), J ohn A rnold (F rank ), B ruce A lexander (D etective S ergeant ), G eorge V idalis (K eith ), A ndrew Curry (J im m y ), J in Y i (K orean D iplom at ), Ro u n d Dantes (L arge A sian G uy).


patients in a th e ra p eu tic dram a course. His control is usurped by Roy, a m anic depressive w h o dem ands th a t they stage an opera by M o za rt, despite the fa c t th a t none of th e patients can act, sing or sp e ak Italian.

COUNTDOWN Production companies: Phillip Emanuel P rods, H ips Film & V ideo P rods Budget: $500,000 P rincipal Credits Director: V incent M onton Producer: PHILLIP EMANUEL Co-producer: J ohn H ipwell Executive producer: David H annay Scriptwriter: V incent M onton DOP: Louis I rving Sound recordist: P hil S terling



rom antic th rille r follow ing the jou rney of a fugitive in his quest to

avenge his brother's m urder.

CTHULHU Production company: Onara PRODUCTIONS Budget: $50,000 Pre-production: 1/94 - 1 / 9 5 Production: 1/95 - 2 /95 Post-production: 2 /95 - 5/95 P rincipal Credits Director: D a m ia n H effernan Producer: DAMIAN HEFFERNAN Line producer: M ichelle Ryan Executive producer: K evin D unn Associate producers: M ichelle Ryan J ames M epham Based on story titled: Call of Cthulhu Written by: H.P. Lovecraft Editor: Da m ia n H effernan Costume designer: NlC M asson

P rincipal Credits Director: P eter T hompson Producer: P hillip Emanuel Co-producer: J ohn H ipwell Executive producer: D avid H annay Scriptwriter: P eter T hompson DOP: T im S mart Sound recordist: S teven B est Editor: A ndrew N arozny Production designer: A lex Z ab otto-B entley

1st asst director: SHARON Ï0NGE Titles: Z ap P roductions Laboratory: VFL Film gauge: 16 MM Screen ratio: 1:1:85

Casting: Greg APPS Budgeted by: J ohn H ipwell

sm all to w n is terrorized by an unspeakable horror. T w o unlikely heroes m ust save the to w n and indeed the w orld from the th re a t of the Cthulhu cult. Battling a savage cult and an

EPSILON Production companies: Epsilon , Fandango (R ome ) Pre-production: J an - M ar 1994 Production: M ar 1994 ... Post-production:... M ar 1995

P lanning and D evelopment Casting: AUDINE LEITH P roduction Crew Production manager: S haron J ackson Unit manager: CHRISTOPHER Corin Production assistance: J acqui H arrison , Gail Fuller, Colleen K ennedy Completion guarantor: Film Finances Legal services: GlUUA BERNARDI Camera Crew Focus puller: H elen Carter Clapper-loader: H elen Carter Special fx photography: D igital A rts , T ony Clarke , M ike Carroll, S ean Caddy Aerial photography: S oftware DESIGN Motion control: J eremy W ebber Motion control electronics: PATRICK W alsh Camera type: D igital A rts M otion Control Motion control mechanic: PETER Laan Grip: Charlie K iroff Electrics: Charlie K iroff O n - set Crew Continuity: B everley Freeman Make-up: BEVERLEY Freeman Hairdresser: B everley Freeman Wardrobe: B everley Freeman Unit publicist: Fiona Paterson P ost- production Post-prod, supervisor : T a n ia N ehme Mixed at: H endon S tudio , SAFC Opticals: K evin W illiams Laboratory: DFL Lab liaison: Pam ela H am m ond Gauge: S uper 35 Screen ratio: 1:2.35 Shooting stock: K odak Video facilities: N etwork 8 Government A gency I nvestment Development: SAFC Production: FFC, SAFC M arketing Inti, sales agent: INTRAFILMS (R ome ) Cast U lli B irvé (S he),

P lanning and D evelopment Casting: SUSIE M aizels Casting consultants: M aizels and A ssociates Extras casting: P eta ElNBERG



Casting: Liz M ullinar Budgeted by: J ohn H ipwell P roduction C rew Production manager: A n astasia S ideris Production co-ordinator: B rad Raselli Production secretary: GEORGIA MURRAY Location manager: S tuart B eatty Production assistants: SIMONE JAMIESON, Daniela Carelli Production accountant: Eric Low Insurer: H. W . W ood (T ony G ib b s ) Completion guarantor: Film Finances Legal services: T ress Cox & M addox

P rincipal Credits Director: R olf de H eer Producers: DOMENICO PROCACCI Rolf de H eer Co-producer: S ean C uddy , D igital A rts Associate producer: S haron J ackson Scriptwriter: Rolf de H eer DOP: T ony C lark Sound designer: P eter D. S mith Editor: T an ia N ehme Composer: Graham T ardif Creative collaborator: M ike Carroll


P lanning and D evelopment


invisible c re atu re proves to be an adventure of terrifying proportion.

p la n e t earth .


Other Credits

P u n n in g and D evelopment

Government A gency I nvestment

ew is, a young university gra d u a te , a c c e p ts a job directing psychiatric


Editor: T ed Otton Production designer: N eil A ngwin Costume designer: A phrodite K ondos Composer: NEIL S uTHERUND

Director: G eorge W haley Producers: A nthony B uckley, i B ruce Davey Co-producer: CAROL HUGHES ; Executive producers: JONATHAN SHTEINMAN Scriptwriter: GEORGE WHALEY i Based on original novels by: STEELE R udd DOP: M artin M c Grath Sound recordist: L loyd Carrick Editor: W ayne Le C los \ Production designer: H erbert P inter Costume designer: Roger K irk i Composer: P eter B est i

Production companies: P hillip Em anuel P rods H ips Film & V ideo P rods Budget: $400,000

P roduction Crew

Electrician: Paul S ellGREN Assistant electrics: A u n Y ork

P rincipal Credits

S yd B risbane (T he M a n ). n in te rg a la c tic love story ab o u t a

i i

j 1 i

Camera Crew

Camera Crew


Focus puller: P eter W hite Clapper-loader: B runo D oring 2nd unit DOP: M urray W are Camera type: A R R I S T III S uper 16 Key grip: PETER KERSHAW Gaffer: P eter Ryan Best boy: Greg W ilson Electrician: A dam H unter


Camera operator: DAVID WILLIAMSON Focus puller: D am ien W yvill Clapper-loader: B ede H aines Key grip: B rett M c D owell Assistnat grip: J ohn T ate Gaffer: David Parkinson Best boy: G reg Rawson Electricians: D arryn Fox, A ndrew M oore


1st assistant director: M ichael M adig an 2nd assistant director: Lucy MACLAREN Continuity: JULIE Feddersen Boom operator: STEVEN KING Make-up: C hristine M iller Hairdresser: CHRISTINE MILLER Choreographer: CASSANDRA MILLER Safety officer: BRETT ANDERSON Still photography: B rian M cK enzie Catering: Food for Film (K eith Fish ) Runners: Dany Osta , M ichael Z akhem

O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: T oby P ease 2nd assistant director: Karan M onkhouse 3rd assistant director: L iam B ranagan 4th assistant director: K ate T urner Continuity: P am ela W illis Boom operator: CHRIS GOLDSMITH Make-up: N ikki G ooley, S herry H ubbard Make-up assistant: N oreen W ilkie Hairdresser: CHERYL WILLIAMS Choreographer: G reg Redford Safety officer: S pike Cherrie Unit nurse: JACQUIE RAMSAY Still photography: R obert M cFarlane Unit publicist: O ne Globe P romotional Catering: K erry Fetzer




A rt D epartment Art director: Gabrielle S tewart Assistant art director: Edward M anier


W ardrobe


Wardrobe supervisor: Cathy H erreen Wardrobe assistant: N ao m i Eller P ost- production Post-production supervisor: CHRIS W eir (D ig iu n e ) Laboratory: D igital Film Laboratories Lab liaison: PAMELA HAMMON Cast Karoline H ohlweg (V ali M art in ), K risty Pappas (J eni L ivieratos ), A melia W ong (L in H utchinson ), J am ie B rind ley (S usan Carmo dy ), J ack T hompson (V ictor M a r t in ), Christine Ka m a n (M aria M art in ), M ary S itarenos (D espina L ivieratos ), Robert Forza (J annis Livieratos ), M aurie A nnese (G eorgio L ivieratos ), J ustin D 'O razio (M ichael L ivieratos ).

A rt D epartment

Art director: N icholas B onham i Art department co-ordinator: Cathy Chapple i Art department runner: MARCO PlNESI i Props buyers-set dressers: K errie Long , A licia W alsh i Props maker: G illian Farrow Assistant props maker: M ark L ewis j Standby props: R obert M oxy M oxham Greensmen: M ichael W haley , N elson R eddell W ardrobe

' i i

; \ 1 i

\ ;

he story of four c o n tem p o ra ry


\ 'r

com petition. In c o n s eq u en c e , one is


ON OUR SELECTION Production company: A nthony B uckley P roductions Distribution company: R oadshow D istributors Pre-production: 1 9 /9 /94 ... Production: 3 1 /1 0/9 4... Post-production: 19 /1 2/9 4...

Wardrobe supervisor: K erry T hompson Standby wardrobe: J ulie B arton Wardrobe manufacture: H elen M ather , K ate Green A nimals Animal trainer: Evanne CHESSON Animal handler: Candy Raw so n -H arris Stable hands: M ark P rett, T in a H ennel , T racy B ell Construction D epartment

tee n a g e rs , th re e friends and one outsider, w h o e n ter a m agazine photo propelled into an international m odelling c a re e r.

Completion guarantor : Film Finances Legal services: Paula Paizes Travel co-ordinator: T raveltoo


On - set Crew


P roduction C rew Production manager: MAGGIE Lake Producer's assistant: Elaine M enzies Production secretary: P ru S mith Location manager: Robin C lifton Unit manager: S im on H aw kins Unit assistants: Paul N aylor , S hane N aylor , Les T aylor , G len J enkins Production runner: OWEN MAGUIRE Production accountant: J uanita P arker Accounts assistant: C leo M yers Insurer: Steeves L umley

Scenic artist: A lan Craft Construction manager: B ill H owe Leading hand: JON STILES k i Carpenters: B ruce Fletcher, M ark J ones , L indsay H edley, J a m ie H owe , W illiam Radburn , S teve R edden j Set finisher: Frank FALCONER Painter: Steve T roke t Signwriter: D ean L ewis \ P ost - production i


\ \

Assistant editor: T rish G raham Editing assistant: LlSA MORRIS Sound editors: Frank L ipson , P eter B urgess

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Foley: J ohn S impson

Sound tranfers: S oundage (G lebe )

Mixer: M artin O sw in

Sound editors: D ean Ga w e n , Rex W atts ,


Paul H untingford Mixed at: Film S oundtrack A ustralia \ Opticals: S .O .S . (R ick S pringette ) Titles: S ean Callinan Laboratory: M ovielab ( Lab liaison: M artin H oyle, Eugene Roche Neg matching: N .C .S . (A u stralia ) 1 I Grader: K evin C rumplin 1 i Gauge: 35 m m j


Mixed at: SOUNDFIRM Titles: Extro Laboratory: A tlab A ustralia Shooting stock: A gfa

G overnment A gency I nvestment Development: AFC

Production: FFC, I con P roductions Marketing International sales agent: M ajestic Films Cast


Screen ratio: 1:1.85 Shooting stock: K odak


L eo M cK ern (D a d ), J oan S utherland (M other ), G eoffrey Rush (D ave ).


M arketing International sales agnet:

rural com e d y based on th e S teele

W infalz I nternational

Rudd novels.

SEX IS A FOUR LETTER WORD Production company: C onventry Films Production company: W in Falz I nternational Budget: L ess than S1 million Pre-production: 2 9 /8 /9 4 -1 0 /9 /9 4 Production: 1 0 /9 /9 4 -4 /1 0 /9 4 Post-production: 7 /1 0 /9 4 -3 0 /4 /9 5

P rincipal Credits

Cast J oy S mithers (S ylvia ), Rhett W alton (M orris ), M ark L ee (J ohn ), T essa H umphries (T racy ), T imothy J ones (T o m ), M iranda Otto (V iv ), J onathon Sa m m y - lee (D a n ).


am ong th e m V ie tn am e se . In a cc o m panying Clifton Hill U nited through its w in te r cam p a ig n , w e m eet the a d o le s c e n t youngsters w h o dream of heroism but m ust often cope w ith failure.

CURTAINS FOR MY CABIN Production company: B uona N otte Film P roductions Director: MELISSA JUHANSON Producer: Cristina P ozzan Scriptwriter: M elissa J uhanson [I n post- production .]

love colum nist invites her friends to din ner to tell true love stories. A '90s dram a about a group of friends com ing to term s w ith th e ir ow n

UNDER THE GUN Production company: V illarosa P ictures P rincipal Credits Director: M atthew G eorge Producers: Paul Elliot Currie , R ichard N orton Co-producer: T ony S hepard Executive producers: Fred W eintraub , T om K uhn Associate producers: M iranda B a in , T om J enkins Scriptwriter: M atthew G eorge DOP: I an J ones Sound recordist: Lloyd Carrick Editor: Gary W oodyard Production designer: Ralph M oser

Production designer: S ean Callinan Costume designer: S ean Callinan Composer: Frank S trangio

P lanning and D evelopment Casting assistants: Rodd H ibbard ,

J enny H ope, A nne G reenwood Casting: D avid M a Cu b b in , D avid H anney , J ennifer Rowles Shooting schedule by: G eoff B arker Budgeted by: M urray Fahey P roduction Crew Production manager: Cathy Flannery Production co-ordinator: La iw a N g

Cast R ichard N orton , Robert B ruce, P eter L indsey , N icky B uckley, K athy L ong , P eter C u n n in g h a m , S tan Lo n g in idis , J ane B adler , T ino C ererano . nightclub o w n e r attem pts to unload his debt-rid d e n club on a night w h e re everything th a t can go


w rong does.

Camera operator: P eter B orosh Focus puller: G eoffrey: D owns Clapper-loader: P eter H olland Camera type: A aton Key grip: A dam G ood Assistant grip: CHRIS DAVIS Gaffer: Paul (S murf ) J ohnstone Best boy: G raeme (C ookie ) Cook

See previous issues for details on:

A rt D epartment Art department runner: L ucinda I pkendanz Set dresser: SUZANNE A cton Props buyer: SUZANNE ACTON Standby props: Chris (Z uluboy ) D arvall

W ardrobe Standby wardrobe: JULIE PEEL

P ost- production Post-production supervisor:

B rian Kavanagh Assistant editor: JAMES SDRINIS Editing assistant attachment: S ioux Currie

C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;¢ JUNE 1995

P rincipal Credits Director: CLAIRE JAGER Production: JOHN LEWIS Line producer: Fiona Eagger Scriptwriters: CLAIRE JAGER, M ichael J ager DOP: J aems G rant Sound recordist: JOCK H ealy Production designer: GEORGINA CAMPBELL Wardrobe: MARGOT M cCartney Editor: K en S allows Composer: PAUL G rabo W sky

PAT & EDDIE'S GREYHOUND RACING DAY Production company: D aniel S charf P roductions Director: B rian M c K enzie Producer: DANIEL SCHARF [ I n post - production .]


Documentaries ALICE Production company: M istpalm Directors: B ob P lasto , Ruth B erry [N o details supplied .]

THE CLUB Production company: D ecember Films Budget: $180,000 Pre-production: 27 M arch ... Production: 10 A pril ... Post-production: 11 SEPTEMBER ...


P rincipal Credits Director: STEVE THOMAS Producer: T ony W right Co-producer: Steve T homas Scriptwriter: STEVE THOMAS DOPs: Peter Z akharov , J enni M eaney Sound recordists: JOHN WILKINSON, P hilippe D ecrausez Editor: K en SALLOWS



O n - set C rew

Director: CHRIS WINDMILL Producer: SARAH JOHNSON [I n pre- production .]

2nd assistant director: Cameron S tewart Flairdresser-make-up: Laura M orris Still photography: S uzy WOODS Catering: A nita C oombes , C hery Kahler Runner: D avid V allence

Television Pre-production

A rt D epartment

G overnment A gency I nvestment Development: AFC Production: AFC Cast L everne M cD onnell (J oy H ester), K erry A rmstrong (S unday R eed), M itchell Faircloth (G ray S m it h ), Paul U pchurch (A lbert T ucker ).


d o c u m e n ta ry - m ix in g d ra m a

an d in te rv ie w s - a b o u t th e v ib r a n t y o u n g M e lb o u r n e a rtis t J o y H e s te r, w h o d ie d m o re th a n 30

y e a rs a g o .


13-year-o ld English blue-blood inherits an A us tra lia n genie called B ruce. H er w ish Is his com m and -

Camera C rew

P ost- production

( m i n i - s e r ie s )

Production company: NBC Based on: N ovel by J ames Clavell [T o be shot in Q ueensland .]



Camera operator: J aems G rant Focus pullers: P eter S tott , D avid L indsey Key grip: PETER KERSHAW Gaffer: J im H unt

Assistant editor: M aria K altenthaler Edge numberer: Oliver S treeton Sound transfers: Eugene W ilson Sound editor: C raig Carter Laboratory: ClNEVEX Lab liaison: L ouie K eramidas Screen ratio: 1:1.85 Shooting stock: K odak 7248


See previous issue for details on:


Wardrobe supervisor: M argot M c Cartney

FIRE 2 ( m i n i - s e r ie s ) Production company: Extra D im ensions in ASSOCIATION WITH LIBERTY FILMS Distribution company: B eyond D istribution P ty Ltd S equel to Fire [ see previous issue ],

Rhys M uldoon , A lexandra M il m a n , M ark M itchell, J ane M enalaus , M onica M aug han .


P roduction Crew

W ardrobe

Production company: VILLAGE ROADSHOW

Director: L eonie D ickenson Producer: A ngela B orrelli [ I n pre- production .]

Production manager: Fiona Eagger Production co-ordinator: M onica Z etlin Production accountant: T revor B lainey , M oneypenny S ervices Insurer: W illis C orron Richard Oliver (M andy Robertson ) Legal services: Roth W arren & M enzies Freight co-ordinator: JET AVIATION

Art director: G eorgina Campbell Propsperson: V anessa T homas

THE FATAL SHORE ( m i n i - s e r ie s )


P lanning and D evelopment


the rules to g e t justice.

Production company: ACTF Producers: PATRICIA EDGAR, PHIL JONES Directors: Esben S torm , J eremy Sw a n , others Scriptwriter: Esben STORM, Steven J. S pears , others DOPs: Graeme W ood, Craig B arden Production designer: P eta Lawson Editor: Ralph T hompson Length: 13 X 30 MINS Pre-sales: A B C , BBC Finance: FFC


Casting: D ina M a n n , P rototype Casting


O n - set Crew 1st assistant director: G eoff B arker 2nd assistant directors: J am ie P latt , J acqui Fine 3rd assistant director: S erena H unt Continuity: S tuart Ew ings Boom operators: NlCOLE Lazaroff , Cathy G ross Make-up: JENNIFER Eady Make-up assistants: D onna B erg am in , Roslyn Cam ug lia Hairdresser: J oe M aclean Assistant hairdresser: J ason K ing Water safety officers: Lyndal A tchinso n , G reg A tchinson Still photography: PETRI K urkaa Catering: Feral Food, JAWSMAN C ox, A nneka B aughan Runner: M arcus S antos

Production company: O mar K hayam Pre-production: 16/1/95-20/2/95 Production: 13/2/95-10/3/95 Post-production: 3 /4 /9 5 -A ugust 1995

about a S ydney "w ild cop" called Cody. Irre v e re n t, u n p red ic ta b le and unbending, Cody isn't afraid to b reak

MELT Production company: V ortex Films Director: Kyle N eaves Producer: R ichard S ow ada [ I n post- production .]


DOP: P eter B orosh Sound recordist: D avid Glasser Editor: B rian Kavanagh

Camera Crew

Production company: Colosimo Film s , for the N ational C entre for S outh A sian S tudies Director: Rosa COLOSIMO Producer: Rosa C olosimo Executive producer: M arika V icziany Scriptwriter: Rosa COLOSIMO [I n post- production .]

fee lin g s of love, lies and lust.

Director: M urray Fahey

W in Falz I nvestments Legal services: MARTIN COOPER & Co


GLUED TO THE TELLY Production company: V ixen Films Director: Jo Lane Producer: Stuart M enzies Scriptwriter: Cate Rayson [ I n post - production .]

fu rth e r series of th re e te le -fe a tu re s

Director: A ndrew S ully Producer: A n na B roinowski [I n post - production .]

M e lb o u rn e w h ic h has opened its doors to kids of all cultural backgrounds,


Producer: M urray Fahey Scriptwriter: M urray Fahey

Location manager: G lennen Fahey Unit manager: Glennen Fahey Production: Dannelle D enny Production accountant: A nne Fahey Insurer: ClNESURE Completion guarantor:


he Club fo llo w s th e adventures of a G reek ju n io r s o c c e r club In

BLUE MURDER ( m in i

sort of!

THE LAST BULLET (t e l e - f e a t u r e )

Production companies: T rans T okyo Entertainment , T w enty -F irst C ity I nc . P rincipal C redits Director: M ichael Pattinson Producers: T ricia W aites , Graeme I saac Executive producers: M ark B aron , K enji ISOMURA Scriptwriter: B rian T renchard -S mith Finance: FFC ( part ); N ine N etwork Cast J ason D onovan . n A u s tra lia n soldier is stran ded in th e jungle during the closing days of W o rld W a r II. S haring the sam e fate Is a J a p a n e s e soldier. S w o rn enem ies a t the start, th e men gradually com e to an a ccom m odation , and m utual


understanding and re s p e c t w in out over hatred.

s e r ie s )

Production company: S outhern S tar S ullivan P rods Director: MICHAEL JENKINS Producer: Rod A llen Executive producers: Errol S ullivan , P enny Chapman Scriptwriter: Ian David to ries of corruption in the N S W


police fo rc e in the 1980s reveal the c onnections b e tw e e n police and crim inal cultures.

CODY 2 ( m i n i - s e r ie s ) Production company: S outhern S tar X anadu Director: Ian B arry ( plus ONE OTHER TO BE ANNOUNCED). Producers: Sandra L evy, J ohn Edwards Executive producer: ERROL S ullivan Scriptwriters: Christopher Lee, P eter S chreck Cast Gary S weet , R obert M a m m o n e .

OCEAN GIRL 3 ( s e r ie s ) Production company: J onathan M . S hiff P roductions Distribution companies: B eyond D istributio n , T ele I m a g e s /IT I Budget: S7.8 MILLION Pre-production: 10/4/95-30/6/95 Production: 3 /7/95-2/2/96 Post-production: 3/7/96-28/7/96 P rincipal Credits Directors: MARK D eFriest , J udith J ohn -S tory Producer: J onathan M . S hiff Line producer: Ew a n BURNETT Executive producer: J onathan M . S hiff Scriptwriters: P eter H epworth ( eps 1, 2, 26), N eil Luxmore (3 ,1 2 ,2 3 ), M ichael J oshua (4 ,1 8), David P hillips (5, 6,13 ), J udy Colquhoun (7 ,8 ,1 5 ), A lison N iselle (9 ,1 7, 25), Carole W ilkinson (10), J enny S harp (11), L ois B ooton (14, 22), Graham Hartley (16, 24), M aureen M cCarthy (19), H elen M ac W hirter (20, 21).


production Production Survey

Television Production and Post-production

continued Director of photography: R on H agen Sound recordist: J ohn W ilkinson Editors: PHILIP WATTS, ANDREW SCOTT, Ray D aley Production designer: GEORGIE GREENHILL Costume designer: A lban Farrawell Composer: T he M usic D epartment (G arry M c D onald , Laurie Stone ) Planning and Development Story editor: PETER HEPWORTH Script co-ordinator: NAOMI POWELL Tutor: M aree G ray Tutor #2: CATHRYN WARREN Casting: P rotoype Casting Budgeted by: K ay B en M ' rad

eri and the children from the underwater city of Orca set out in search of an alien device capable, when assembled, of controlling the very movement of the oceans. But the dark forces of UBRI have also stumbled upon its existence and the race is on. At stake is the Earth's salvation or its destruction.


SUN ON THE STUBBLE (series) Production companies:

Whale wrangler: K arl J esienowski Whale robotics: ROBOTECHNOLOGY

(C hris C hitty ) Financial controller: K ay B en M ' rad Producton accountant: K ay B en M ' rad Accounts assistant: T im Renw ick Paymaster: K ay B en M ' rad Insurer: W illis C orron R ichard O liver

Focus puller (A): DANIEL J a n jic Focus puller (B): D avid E lmes Clapper-loader (A): M argie M cC lymont


Clapper-loader (B): K ylee B ayuss

J ohn W ood , G rant B owler , L isa M cC une , W illia m M c I nnes , J ulie N ihill , M artin S acks , D a m ia n W alshe -H ow ling , D ale S tephens .

Camera attachment: J ason B innie Gaffer: K en M offat Key grip: K urt O lsen Assistant grip: K en A nderson Electrics: Eric JOHNSTON,

Producer: GEOFF PORTMAN Executive producer: J ohn O 'G rady Scriptwriter: J ulie H arris

Camera equipment: S amuelson

BLUE MURDER (mini- series)

On- set Crew

Production companies: SOUTHERN S tar S ullivan , ABC TV Production: February -M ay 1995

D arrin B allangarry


1st assistant director: J a m ie L eslie

G enevieve L em on , G enevieve M ooy.

2nd assistant director: T odd Felman 3rd assistant director: Gareth Calverley

is a single white female who is J oangered with life, and who

struggles to make sense of the world around her.


Unit nurse: A nnie O 'H alloran Stills photographer: JASON B oland

Principal Credits


Publicity: Fiona S earson (D D A)

Director: ROBERT MARCHAND Producer: T erry J ennings Executive producers: R on S aunders , D agm ar U ngureit Scriptwriter: NOEL ROBINSON Based on the novel by: COLIN THIELE Production managerer: Cathy Flannery

J ohn Lucas , A ndrew C larke , Guy P earce .

Art director: M ark D awson

^ove and life in the High Country.

Set decorator: J an M ackay


Focus puller: Gary B ottomley 2nd underwater operator: Ross ISAACS

Director of photography: D ion W ilton Story editor: B rett H arston

Sound edit: A udio L oc S ound D esign

Script editor: B rett H arston Production manager: N ick V erne

Telecine: A pocalypse

Art Department

Pre-production: February - M arch 1995

Art director: A dele Flere Standby props: CHRIS J am es Standby props assistant: P eter Lyon

Production: A pril -M ay 1995

W ardrobe

Studio director: JOHN SMITH

Wardrobe supervisor: A lban Farrawell


Production: M ay - J une 1995

Principal Credits Series producer:

Ivo B urum

BORDERTOWN (series) Production company:

Length: 4 X 60 MINS Gauge: DIGITAL VIDEO

n anthology of contemporary gay drama from Australia's leading gay writers.


BLACKWATER TRAIL (tele- feature) Production company:

Rutherford Film H oldings Budget: $ 2.6 MILLION Production: 1 6 / 1 /9 5 - 1 8 /2 /9 5 Post-production: 2 0 /2 /9 5 ...

Principal Credits Director: I an B arry Producers: J ohn S exton , J ulie Forster Executive producers: A ndrew W arren , Chris B rown Scriptwriter: A ndrew RUSSELL DOP: J ohn Stokes Sound recordist: P aul 'S alty ' B rincat Editor: TlM WELLBURN Production designer: G eorgina G reenhill Costume designer: P hillip Eagles

1 /5 /9 5 -3 0 /6 /9 5

P rinciple Credits Directors: K en Cam ero n , Ian G ilmour Producer: STEVE K n apm an


Executive producer: P enny Ch apm an Associate producer:

L ouis I rving Scriptwriters: SUE SMITH, JOHN ALSOP Production designer: MARCUS N orth Editors: M ike H oney , C hris S puce

Laboratory: A tlab

Other Credits

Editing rooms: S pectrum

Production manager: L isa S cott Art director: COL RUDDER Finance: ABC Length: 10 X 50 MINS Gauge: 16 m m

Government Agency Investment



FFC, Film Q ueensland , P ortman P roductions



Huo W eaving , L ind a C ropper, P eta

J udd N elson (M att C urren ), D ee S m art (C athy ); M ark L ee (C hris ), P eter P helps (F r ank ), Row ena W allace (B eth ), Gabrielle Fitzpatrick (S an d r a ), D aniel Roberts (D avies ), B rett Climo (F ather M ichael ).

T oppano , R obert M a m m o n e , Cate B lanchett , J oe P etruzzi, C hristine T remm arco , M itchell B utel.

Matt Curren returns to the W riter small town in Queensland where he grew up for the funeral of his old school friend, police detective Andy Green. At the funeral, Matt encounters his childhood sweetheart, Cathy, now married. Cathy insists that her brother Andy did not commit suicide, but was murdered. Matt is drawn into a dangerous web of cover-up and corruption that leads him closer and closer to the truth about his love for Cathy and the death of his best friend.

P ost- production

Field director: M artin Green

P lanning and Development

Post-production supervisor: J ayne L uxton Assistant editors: PHILIP WATTS, A ndrew S cott , Ray D aley Mixed at: SOUNDFIRM Laboratory: ClNEVEX Printing stock: K odak

Executive producer: G raeme S ward DOPs: B utch S aw ko , M ike Patterson

Casting director: M aura Fay & A ssociates Extras casting: M aura Fay & A ssociates


Sound recordist: G reg WlGNELL

P roduction Crew

Production company: S outhern S tar Films

Editor: A llan Ryan

Production accountant: Eric S ankey

Production designer: P enny S outhgate

Accounts assistant: A nn M cFarlane Production co-ordinator:

Planning and Development

Government Agency Investment

Researcher: M elissa Fletcher

Development: F ilm Q ueensland ,

Production Crew

Film V ictoria

Production supervisor: JAQUI AXFORD Production manager: Ga il M eillon Producer's assistant: M adeline G ettson Production secretary: G eorgina D ridan

Production: FFC, F il m V ictoria ,

Film Q ueensland Marketing International distributor:

B eyond D istributio n , T ele I m ag es /IT I Cast M arzena G odecki (N eri), D avid H oflin (J ason B ates ), J effrey W alker (B rett B ates ), K erry A rmstrong (D ianne

ise Up 2 is a forum-based studio and location series where young people get an opportunity to have a say on issues that are of concern to them. Begins on air in early June 1995.

J ennifer Cornwell Production secretary: T ricia M c I nally Production runner: A ngella M c P herson Location manager: C hris Strewe Location attachment: G illian W ebb Unit manager: S tuart Lynch Unit assistant: M arc A shton Insurer: H. W . W ood A ustralia Completion guarantor: Film Finances Legal services: M allesons S tephen J aques Travel agents: SHOWGROUP Freight: S how Freight

Jo Rooney

Directors of photography: R ussell B aco n ,

Assistant editor: B in L i



Production: 9 /2 /9 5 -1 3 /5 /9 5 ;

Set construction: M ike A shton Set carpenter: C hris P itm an

Camera Crew

Production company: ABC TV

^ o p s and crims in the 1980s.

Art department runner: M ark E lder

Post- production


Gauge: 16 m m

Art Department

Standby wardrobe: H elen M ains

Production companies:


Length: 2 X 95 MINS

Props buyer: K ristin Reuter


et in New Caledonia, where the French settlers and indigenous Kanaks "work out their destiny" together, the story follows the Suttons, a pioneering Australian-lrish family, and the Kanaks, who are caught between the conflicting legacies of the South Sea Islands and French colonialism.

Editor: B ill Russo Finanace:

Catering: A nnie H arris

Standby props: D arryl P orter

he adventures of the 14-year-old son of a German wheat farmer, growing up in a small Australian farming community. Based on the novels by Colin Thiele.

1st assistant directors: JAMIES LESLIE, Ian K enny 2nd assistant director: Rachel Evans Script assistant: M arieke H ardy Continuity: P aul K iely , T ara Ferrier Playback operator: J ohn W ilkinson Make-up: M aggie K olev Hairdresser: M aggie K olev Assistant hairdresser: D oug G lanville Stunts: N ew GENERATION STUNTS (M itch D eans ) Neri double: ZELIE THOMPSON Safety officer: EDDY McSHORTALL Unit nurse: Ga il C ousland Still photography: S teve B rennan , B ill B achm an Unit publicist: A m a n d a T rotter

Production designer: MURRAY PlCKNETT

Vehicle co-ordinator: H aenry W ard

Principle Credits

On- set Crew

Scriptwriter: Ian D avid DOP: M artin M c G rath

Stunt co-ordinator: D anny B ald w in Special fx co-ordinator: S teve C ourtney

Producer: JOCK BLAIR Length: 20 X 1 HOUR

Gau m o n t , Crawfords Director: M ichael J enkins Producers: P hilippe VlGNES (G a u m o n t ), J ohn K earny (C rawfords ) Scriptwriter: G raeme Farmer Based on novel by: J acqueline S enes Funding: FFC

Associate producer: W ayne B arry

Prosthetics: P ro Fx Hairdresser: S ash Lamey

Director: B rett H arston Executive producer: B rett H arston

Gaffer: R ichard R ees- J ones Best boy: ANDREW MOORE Electrician: D arryn F ox

Producer: Rod A llan Executive producer: PENNY CHAPMAN

Make-up assistant: M aggie S ingh

Catering assistant: M artin H arvus



Continuity: K aren M ansfield Make-up: M argaret S tevenson

Production company: PRO F ilm s Directors: VARIOUS


Principal Credits

Boom operator: Craig W almsley

Wardrobe assistant: P enny IMeilson


yj^show about cops.


Production company: B eyond the C loset P roductions Production: February 1 9 9 5 ...

Completion guarantor: FACB Legal services: M ichael B rereton & Travel co-ordinator: T raveltoo Freight co-ordinator: Film lin k


Camera operator: H enry P ierce

Film A ustralia , ZDF (G erm any ) Distribution companies: Film A ustralia , ZDF (G erm any ) Production: A pril - J une 1995

Production manager: A m a n d a C rittenden Producer's assistant: T ricia M c I nally Location manager: K aren JONES Unit manager: B rendon B oyd Boat co-ordinator: K arl J esienowski

Camera Crew

Best boy: NlCK A dam

B ates ), A lex P inder (W inston S eth ), Lauren H ewett (M era ).

Production Crew

Production accountant: GlNA H allas 1st assistant directors: D avid C larke , S tephen H enley Length: 47 MINS PER WEEK Gauge: VIDEO

Vehicle hire: A ustralian R ent -A -C ar

P rincipal Credits Directors: Ric P ellizzeri, M ark P iper , Gary C onw ay , Richard S arell , B rendan M aher , Karl Steinberg Executive producer: Hal M c Elroy Supervising producer: J ohn HlGGlNSON Line producer: P eter A skew Other Credits Story editor: Caroline S tanton Script editors: M ichaeley O 'B rien ,

R ussell H aig Casting: Faith M artin & A ssociates Casting assistant: Elly B radbury Production manager: L inda K lejus Production co-ordinator: H elen B oicovitis

ordertown chronicles one year (1952) in the life of a migrant camp in Australia, where people strive to shake off the ghosts of the countries they have left behind.

CORRELLI ( series ) Production company:


Production: 2 7 /2 /9 5 -2 6 /5 /9 5

Principal Credits Directors: K ate W oods , T ony T ilse ,

A m a n d a S m it h , Robert K lenner , J ulian M cS w iney Producer: Ross M atthews Executive producer: S ue M asters Scriptwriters: K risten D unphy , C hris M cC ourt, P eter K inloch , M ichael M iller , D aniel K rige , Charlie S trachan DOPs: C live S ell, G raham B rumley Production designer: J ulie B elle Editors: C hris B ranagh , G ary W atso n , K en T yler Length: 1 X 90 MINS; 10 X 50 MINS Gauge: SP B etacam Cast D eborra -L ee Furness , H ugh J a c k m a n , N eil M elville , J ohn B rum pton , T om C o nsidine .

psychologist takes a job in A woman an all-male prison. From the outset, Correlli wants to change the system. However, most of the changes occur within herself. C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;˘ J UNE 1995

THE FERALS (2nd se rie s ) Production company: ABC C hildren ' s D epartment P r incipal Credits

Pre-sale: N etwork T en Length: 65 X 50 MINS Gauge: 16 m m

Length: 24 x 24 MINS Pre-sale: N etwork T en Finance: FFC

Pre-sale: N ine N etwork Finance: FFC, N S W F T O

Make-up: M iro slaw a W ojtczak Make-up assistant: L u d m ila Kraw czyk




J ohn W aters .

Art directors: A ngus T attle , J eremi B rodnicki

K im W ilson , S alvatore Coco, Ivar Ka n t s , S cott M ajo r , C orey Page , Em m a R oche

S hane B riant , Fred Parslow , Em m a Fowler , R ossi K otsis .

i 1 i i

Directors: Di D rew , D avid Evans Executive producer: C laire H enderson Series producer: W endy G ray Scriptwriters: P eter N eale , D avid Ev a n s , A ndrew K elly, Chris Roache , H ilary B ell, G rant Fraser , M oya S ayer J ones , R oss N obel Production designer: R obyn W illiam s Wardrobe: COLLEEN WOULFE Lighting: J eff B rown



| | i


p in -o ff serie s from The Heartbreak

Kid. [S e e previous issues for

! details.]



eye based in S in g a p o re , w h o unravels

v arious coun trie s , solves th e

a serie s of c as e s involving p o w e r,

problem of co m m u n icatio n b e tw e e n

politics, and th e A sian un d e rw o rld .


( s e r ia l )


se r ie s )

Production companies: R oadshow C oote & Carroll Directors: VARIOUS Executive producer: M att Carroll Length: 13 X 50 MINS

LIZZIE'S LIBRARY Production company: H enderson B o w m an P roductions Production:... J uly 1995

c au se s prob lem s fo r th e ir hum an neighb ours. A c h ild re n 's slapstick com e d y com bining live a ction and puppetry.


fea tu r e )

Production company: H ome B ox O ffice Budget: $8.4 MILLION

P rincipal Credits Producer: P hillip B o w m an Executive producers: P hillip B o w m a n , P eter J ackson Animation director: T im A dlide Scriptwriter: Kate HENDERSON DOP: B randon A pps Costumes: M in A dlide -S m it h , B abette G oncalves -D ’A lmeida Composers: C raig H anic ek , B rian W hite Character design: TlM A dlide Model construction: T im A dlide , T ony L eitch Assistant animator: J ustin W ylie Art: Liz N orman Gauge: SP B etacam Length: 26 X 5 MINS Pre-sale: ABC Distribution guarantor: B eyond Finance: A B C , AFC , FQ

Directors: K en O lin Producer: ANNE HOPKINS Executive producers: J eff H ayes , M arian Rees Line producer: Darryl S heen Scriptwriter: D ennis Lynton C lark Cast D on J ohnson , C raig S heffer, Gabrielle A n w ar , Rod S teiger .


G en e ra l D ouglas M a c A rth u r's o rd e r to

m o dernize th e arm y.


FULL FRONTAL ( se rie s )

G.P. (7 th SERIES) [S e e previous issues fo r details.]

HALIFAX F. P. Production company: S im pson L e M esurier Films Directors: VARIOUS Producer: R oger L e M esurier [S e e previous issues fo r details.]

he adv en tu res of Lizzie the Lib rarian, h e r tra ve llin g bookm obile

MIRROR MIRROR ( se r ie s ) Production companies: M illenium P ictures , T he G ibson G roup Production:16 J anuary 1995 Directors: J ohn B a n a s , S ophia T urkiewicz Producer: A ndrew B laxland Executive producer: PosiE G raeme -E vans Co-producer: Dave G ibson Length: 20 X 24 m ins Pre-sales: N etwork T en , TV N Z Finance: FFC, NZ ON A ir Cast P etra Yared , J effrey W alker , M ichala B a n a s , J udy M cintosh , D ave B ensley .


( s e r ie s )

w o 1 4-y e ar-o ld girls, living in d iffe re n t tim e zones, tra v e l to other

m irror.

Production company: GANNON TELEVISION Production: 16 /1 /95 -13 /4 /9 5 P rinciple C redits Directors: ANDREW PROWSE, Catherine M illar Producers: B en Ganno n Executive producer: MICHAEL JENKINS Line producer: STEPHEN JONES Scriptwriters: VARIOUS Director of photography: JOSEPH PICKERING Production designer: Ow en PATERSON Editors: R ichard H indley , B ill M urphy Music: T odd H unter Other Credits Story editors: CHRIS ROACHE, G raeme K oetsveldt Script editors: L isa H oppe , P hil M acaloon Art director: D ia n a Robertson

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

Post-production supervisor: M atthew T ucker Assistant editor: Sa m P etty Sound editor: L es FlDDESS


( s e r ia l )

Production companies: G rundy T elevision , N etwork T en Directors: VARIOUS Producer: P eter D odds [S e e previous issues fo r details.]


( p ilo t )

Production company: M icky D uck P roductions Director: PETER VlSKA Producer: P eter VlSKA [In post-p roduction.]

THE SILVER BRUMBY (a n im a t e d series ) Production company: M edia W orld Features P rincipal Credits Supervising director: J ohn T atoulis Animation directors: N eil Robinso n , M aggie G eddes Producers: C olin J. S outh , J ohn T atoulis Scriptwriters: J on S tephens , J udy M almgren Composer: T assos I onnides Other C redits Script editor: J ohn T atoulis Pre-sale: NETWORK T en , BBC Distribution guarantor: D aro Film D istribution Finance: FFC, Film V ictoria , AFC Length: 13 X 30 MINS V oices R ebecca G ibney , Charles T ing w ell , R hys M uldoon , M ichael Ca rm en , R ichard A spel, J ohn H igginson , J ohn Stan to n , D oug T remlett , M arg D ow ney .


he a d v en tu res of th e le g e n d a ry T h o w ra , the m a g n ific e n t silver

brum by and his youthful gang of High

( m in i - ser ies ) Production company: G rundy T elevision Production:... 5/4/95

Production company: B arron Entertainments

P rincipal Credits

P rincipal Credits

Director: HOWARD RUBIE Producer: STANLEY WALSH Executive producer: ROGER MlRAMS Line producer: EMMANUEL M atsos Scriptwriter: D avid P hillips Production designer: T ony Raes Editor: T ony K avanagh

Directors: J ohn La in g , G eoffrey N ottage Producer: Paul D. B arron Line producer: S andra A lexander Scriptwriter: K eith A berdein , D avid P hillips , P eter S chreck DOP: L ouis I rving Production designer: Larry Eastwood Editor: M arc V an B uuren Composer: MARIO MlLLO Art directors: Richard H obbs , M ichelle M c Gahey

Script editor: S erge Lazareff Art director: Laurie Faen Gauge: 16 m m

Production company: Palm B each P ictures Production: 6/2/95 - 10/3/95 P rincipal Credits


Director: K en H a n n a m Producers: A nnie T ricklebank , D avid Elfick Line producer: D usty SlMMONDS Scriptwriters: PETER BARWOOD, Robert S m it h , K eith T emple DOP: J eff M alouf Production designer: M ichael B ridges Editor: P aul B rown

H eather M itchell (A shka ), Z bych T rofimiuk (P a u l ), G osia M algorzata (R ia n a ), A ndrzej G rabarczyk (B ron ), S law a M ichalew ska (M a r a n ), Erlan

Other C redits Production manager: A nne B runing Art director: JENNY CARSELDINE Gauge: S uper 16 Pre-sale: N etwork S even Finance: C entral Films (UK)

be n e ath th e fa ç a d e of m aleness.

SINGAPORE SLING (3 tele - featu res )

Other C redits

M arketing Marketing consultant: L isa H albish Publicity: L esna T homas

p re s e n t m ale em otions w ith piercing honesty and u n c o v e r the passions

C ountry friends.


SOLDIER, SOLDIER ( se rie s )

re a lly fe e l ab o u t th e ir lives today. W ritte n by m en, the anthology aim s to

P rincipal credits

tim e zones through th e m agic of an old


ix tele visio n plays re v ea l w h a t men


N oni H azlehurst .

and th e to w n sfo lk of Long Flat.

Production companies: A rtsit S e r / ices , S even N etwork Directors: T ed Emery , K evin Carlin Producer: ANDREW K night Length: 22 X 50 MINS

Producer: J an Ch apm an Executive producer: Penny C hapm an Co-producer: H elen B owden Scriptwriters: T ony A yres , R oger M cD onald , N ick Enright , Ian D a v id , A ndrew B ovell, Paul B rown


he tru e sto ry of a group of c a re e r C avalry offic ers w h o , in 1935, defied

d estroy 500 horses in an e ffo rt to

P rinciple Credits

Other C redits

P rincipal Credits

( m in i - se rie s )

Production company: J an C h apm an P roductions Production: 3 /4 /9 5 -2 8 /7 /9 5

[S e e previous issues fo r details.]



P ost - production

S tam ford, a w o rld -w e a ry private

people and th e environm ent.

D avid C ollins , Em m a D e V ries , M al H eap , T erry Rya n , D anielle B aker , B rian Rooney , K ylie H ogart , M iguel A yesa . m o tley gang of fe ra l anim als

Assistant art director: Geoff H owe

hre e te le -fe a tu re s a b o u t John

e n tau ri, a 'c lu b ' of children from

Other C redits Script editor: A l W ebb Production manager: Eric W hite Assistant designer: K aren B arnes , C olin D ent Puppets: T in a W illiam s Technical producer: B arry Q uick Gauge: 1 -INCH VIDEO Length: 1 5 x 1 5 MINS


pisodes of th e hit B ritish television


p rog ram m e.

B uchan (J a l ), J ulia B iczysko (A rla ), St a n is l aw B rejdygant (S ummoner T oren ), Rafal Z w ierz (G ryvon ).


fa n ta s y serie s ab o u t a 1 5-y e ar-o ld boy w h o finds him self a c c id e n ta lly

m aro oned In a w o rld p a ra llel to his ow n.


( se rie s )

Production companies: A B C N atural H istory U nit Directors: VARIOUS Executive producer: DlONE GlLMOUR

SPACE (tele - fea tu re ) Production company: URP P roduction S ervices Production: 2 7 /2 /95 -12 /4 /9 5 P rinciple C redits Director: D avid N utter Producer: M ichael Lake Executive producers: J ames W ong , G len M organ Director of photography: D avid Eggby Production designer: B ernard H ides Length: 120 MINS Gauge: 35 m m y y s c ie n c e -f ic t io n a d v en tu re dram a.

SPELLBINDER ( series ) Production companies: Film A ustralia , P olish T elevision Production (Australia): 16 J anuary 1995 ...


p ilo t )

Production company: D eadly PRODUCTIONS Budget: $ 1 4 0 ,0 0 0 (ALL DEFERRED SUBJECT TO NETWORK sale ) P rincipal C redits Director: Chris A dshead Producers: S tig W emyss , M egan R ees Executive producer: CHRIS A dshead Scriptwriters: S tig W emyss , Ray M atsen , M egan R ees, Kate Langbrock P lanning and D evelopment Story consultant: Ray M atsen Casting consultant: CHAMELEON CASTING Shooting schedule by: C hris A dshead , R ichard M cG rath Budgeted by: Chris A dshead P roduction C rew Production manager: MEGAN REES

P rincipal C redits

Camera Crew

Director: N oel P rice Producer: N oel P rice Co-producer: P olish TELEVISION Executive producer: Ron S aunders Associate producer: D ennis K iely Scriptwriters: M ark S hirrefs , J ohn T homson DOP: M artin M c G rath Sound recordist: P aul W yhowski Editor: PlPPA ANDERSON Production designer: N ick M cCallum Costume designer: J ulie M iddleton

Camera operators: N oel PENN, D ick W illoughby Camera type: IKEGAMI, WITH PANASONIC M 2 D ockable R ecorder Key grip: B arry H anson Gaffer: T ed NORDSVAN Electrician: J ohn BRENNAN

P lanning and D evelopment Casting: Liz M ullinar

O n - set Crew 1st assistant directors: R ichard M cG rath Make-up: L iddy R eynolds Hairdresser: L iddy Reynolds Catering: D ot W emyss Runners: B radley H ulme

P roduction C rew

A rt D epartment

Production managers: G lenda Carpenter , J anusz B. Czech Production co-ordinator: J ulie S ims Unit manager: P aw el B arenski Assistant unit manager: JOANNA ZALEWSKA Production assistant: LOUISE M cCallum Production accountant: S andie M orris

Art director: N icole J ones Standby props: Gabrielle B ullard W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: LlDDY REYNOLDS Construction D epartment Scenic artist: Ray M atsen

Camera C rew

P ost - production

Focus puller: W itold N itkiew icz Clapper-loader: M ieczyslaw A nweiler Key grip: Eugeniusz K ow alew icz Gaffer: GRZEGORZ BlELER Best boy: D ariusz Law n iczak Electician: Paw el Chiczewski Assistant electrics: P iotr K ryska Generator operator: M ieczyslaw Rychta

Post-production supervisor: J ohn P oynton M ixer: JOHN ROWLAND Shooting stock: M 2 VIDEOTAPE

O n - set Crew 1st assistant directors: B ob D onaldson , C hris W ebb 2nd assistant director: Ew a A ndrzejew ska 3rd assistant director: A gata D omag ala Script assistant: WlESLAWA Goscik Continuity: N icola MOORS

Cast A bbe H olmes (S hirley Y akovich ), M yles C ollins (O wen P hatt ), Stig W emyss (K arl M arsh ), R ebecca M cCaulay (M elanie H art ), Grant P iro (A lex J olly ), S uzanne C h apm an (T racey ).


h a lf-h o u r w o rk p la c e situation com e d y s e t in th e h ig h-rise city

offic es of a v ery d iffe re n t 0055 te le p h o n e e n te rta in m e n t and inform ation business.


The little-heralded American Clerks charges horfee ahead 6f some French heavf-es (Le Colonel Chabqrt and La\Reine Margot).


Bandit Queen S h e k a r K apu r

Before the Rain M il c h o M a n c h e v sk y

Blue Sky T o n y R ic h a r d s o n

The Brady Bunch Movie A Bronx Tale R o b e r t D e N ir o

— Bullets Over Broadway W oody Allen

Clerks K e v in S m it h

Color of Night R ic h a r d R u sh



7 .8





























4 .5




6 .3















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B etty T homas

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Dumb and Dumber Peter Fa rrelly

Eternity L aw ren ce J o h n so n

Farinelli: 11 Castrato G e r a r d C o r b ia u

Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate) T o m a s G u t ie r r e z A l e a ,











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J u a n C a r l o s T a b io

Hotel Sorrento


R ic h a r d F r a n k l i n

John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness






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6 .8




7 .6


7 .8

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J o h n C arpenter

Legends of the Fall


E d w a r d Z w ic k

Little Women



G il l ia n A r m s t r o n g

Nobody’s Fool R obert B en to n

Only the Brave A n a K o k k in o s

Peeping Tom M ic h a e l P o w e l l

Pret-a-Porter R o b e r t A ltm an

La Reine Margot




V t . ;■'
















The Shawshank Redemption F rank D a ra bo n t

Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight



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P a t r ic e C h e r e a u

E r n e s t D ic k e r s o n



S ili

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A p a n el o f nine film review ers had rated a detection o f the latedt releaded on a ,icale o f 0 to 10, the la tter being the optim um ratin g (a dadh m eand n ot deen) . The criticd a re: B ill Collind (Daily Mirror, S y d n ey ); B a rb a ra C reed (The A g e ); S a n d ra H a ll (The Bulletin)/ S ta n Ja m ed (The Adelaide Advertiser) ; A d ria n M a rtin (The Age; “T he W eek in F ilm ”, R adio N a tio n a l); Scott M u rra y ; Tom R y a n (5 L 0 ; The Sunday A g e ); D avid Stra tton (Variety; S B S ); an d E v a n W illianid (The Australian).


C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1995

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Cinema Papers No.104 June 1995  

Cinema Papers No.104 June 1995  

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