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C I N E M A PAPERS • JUNE 1996

co te ts NUMBER

ÊSmàmgmÊmWÈÊK

FLOATING L IF E

Clara Law's New Home By

C h r is

B erry

C lara L aw , d irecto r o f th e a c cla im ed Autum n M o o n , n ow calls A ustralia h om e. F loatin g Life is a sem iau tob iog rap h ical ex a m in ation o f h o w a C hinese fa m ily ad ap ts to a n ew culture.

mtSm

10 LOVESERENADE

Listening to Barry By An drew

L.

U rban

T w o im p ression able girls in th e o n e-h orse tow n o f Sunray b eliev e th e n ew disc jo c k e y to b e a c o o l, so p h istica ted lo v e o b ject. * Shirley B arrett’s d ebu t fea tu re w on ders h o w sp ectacu larly w rong can o n e be?

B yK j DA V ID W I L L I A M S O N ’S

The Quiet Room

BRILLIANT LIES

Rolf de Heer is in Compétition at Cannes with his sixth feature, A n d r e w L. U r b a n talks to the writer-director about this “quiet film with a loud message”, a striking and powerful look at the world through the eyes of a 7-year-old girl. P A G E 6

The Quiet Room.

Inbits Preview #1

2 17

Richard Franklin decides to "Take 2". By S c o tt

M urray

H avin g sco red a critical success w ith his first ad a p ta tio n o f an A ustralian play, H o tel Sorren to d irecto r R ich ard F ran klin has this tim e ch o sen a p la y by D av id W illiam son. F ran klin argues cogen tly fo r w h at p lay s bring to film , a n d w hy h e p lan s to g o this rou te y et again.

18

Preview #2

36

Inreview

51

Festival

38

Insurance

62

F I L M S AT C A N N E S

A look at the Australian film s m ost likely to be flying the flag at Cannes in 1996.

N e w M edia

26

History

42

Technicalities

64

Inadaptation

30

Legal Ease

46

Inproduction

75

In retrospect

34

Preview #3

48

Nihil Obstat Nine

80

Chris Berry teaches in the Department of Cinema Studies at LaTrobe University; Dominic Case is a motion-picture technical consultant; Rolando Caputo teaches in the Department of Cinema Studies at LaTrobe University; John Conomos lectures at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW; Anna Dzenis is a tutor in Cinema Studies at LaTrobe University; Philip Dutchak is the editor and publisher of the monthly newsletter, Convergence (pdutchak@geko.com.au); Debi Enker is Editor of View, the television magazine in The Sunday Age, Jan Epstein is the film reviewer for The Melbournian;

23

John Hennings is Manager, Cinesure Underwriting Agencies; Tina Kaufman is a Sydney freelance writer on film; Michael Kitson is a freelance writer on film; Chris Long is a Melbourne film historian; Brian McFarlane is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Monash University; Peter Malone is director of the Catholic Film Office; Jim Schembri is a feature writer for The Age. a Footscray supporter and a passionate advocate for Almost an Angel. Nina Stevenson is a solicitor at Hart & Spira; Andrew L Urban is a filmmaker, novelist and gourmand; Raymond Younis is a lecturer at the University of Sydney.


inb its NE WS , V I E WS , AND MORE NE WS,

TRO PFEST1996 onathan Ogilvie, winner of the 1996 Tropfest with his short, This Film is a Dog, received a $5,000 investment from the New South Wales Film & Television Office to enable an upgrade to 35mm with Dolby sound. The five-minute film tells the story of Quinn Hubb, a dog who's going places. In this street-smart, short and bitter-sweet comedy of manners, the dog star goes to Cannes to make the deal of a lifetime. The short film was written, produced and directed by Ogilvie. The footage was shot at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, where an earlier short, Despondent Divorcee, screened in Competition.

J

CALL FOR ENTRIES he inaugural Open City Film Festi­ val will take place in Newcastle, NSW, during August-September 1996. The Festival's focus will be new filmmakers, and it aims at exposing new local and national talent, provid­ ing an "alternative cinema" venue for Australian product and developing film writing, production and market­ ing in the Newcastle/Hunter region. The Festival has called for entries in the categories Features (over 60 minutes), Documentary (any length), Shorts (under 15 minutes), NonFiction (under 30 minutes) and Fiction (under 50 minutes). For further information, contact Robert Alcock, telephone (049) 21 63 82 or fax (049) 21 69 44.

T

ETC,

AUSTRALIAN FILMS AT THE BOX-OFFICE 1995

CLARIFICATION RE LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPHES The following fax was received on 4 April 1996:

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and Kate (Angie Milliken). Nick Parsons’ Dead Heart.

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D ear S ir /M a d a m ,

j u n e 1996

Re: Listing of Love andOther Catstrophes [sic]

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| film with mco£tect1<ûi£ofmatton. 1n the evem That you are ThlïnTve req d estth atyo^ remove any reference to tHis film.

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hâve any queries please do

not hesitate to ustralian films earned 4 percent iC ^ jro ffic e ., , S J ($20 million) of the national Regards ffÉÉg!! box-office in 1995. This marks a r m ÈÊÉÊ. decrease of 6 percent on 1994's wË&iiacÊP bouyant 10 percent ($46 mil­ lion), reflecting the smaller number of features released E d i t o r r e p l ie s .theatrically in 1995 and mid­ dling performances of those I T C S , ’ ' * * “ Efthym,° " in pers°" that were. On both occasions he declined , 7 " C" S“re XCmcy of '«mg. The only film to gross more 2. Cmema taners had ° U‘ exPla™ o „ . 8 than $2 million at the local magazine would b i o Z T ^ ^ 0then™* , , oc open to criticism forignoring a film box-office in 1995 was Babe (Chris Noonan), which by W ^ n ! T SC” Carry ° n,-V the of film and a year's end had grossed $10.9 million locally. [Babe was dppphed by pnzzlm[he mformano" K « ™ lg and fully financed by Universal | (0 Yes, Cinema Papers was in er™ u Studios.) Second and third J was also known as True I OVP SU§sestinS tile Elm positions were held by I | r r e c te d with apology s i x ^ h ^ W3S Muriel's Wedding [P. J. j af er film’s editor m >P- <), Hogan, 1994) and The / request. nema Papers, at Efthymiou’s Adventures of Priscilla, Queen o f the Desert , - i m t s t t r t T 7 : < n 23> (Stephan Elliott, 1994) which added $1,696,341 and d Efthymiou co $1,601,393 to their 1994 the film, because that is precisely i f t f e ^ o u told grosses of $14,070,963 and rthymiou not only said “\V7 ,.,Assistant Editor. $14,845,895, respectively. I jf e a s lM “So, you like ‘ ° ' ^ m directed it >but Dad and Dave On Our

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Technical Editor: D ominic C ase Advertising: T e r r y H aebich Subscriptions & Office Assistance: M ina C arattoli Accounts: T ory T aouk Proofreading: A rthur Saltón Office Cat: O ddspot Legal Advisei

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Croeha C°" irectedti??”>replied^ Selection [George Wha­ earShot - § tune. ’ ley, 1995) held fourth '■‘•ven months u ii% t a n y comp] C° 'direCt° r information for position with a gross of or Croghan. P aint from either Efthymiou $1,219,247 against Hotel Sorrento's (Richard Franklin, 1995) $1,213,153. The AFI Awards seem to have CORRIGENDUM had little bearing on local box-office he true writer of the article on the Indian Film Festival in the previous performance in 1995. Angel Baby issue is John W. Hood (pictured below), not John H. Wood as incorrectly (Michael Rymer, 1995), despite its given. Cinema Papers apologizes to Hood and vows to gets his name right swag of seven Awards including Best when publishing his article on Bangladeshi cinema Film and Best Achievement in Direc­ in the next issue. tion, ended the year with a domestic Apologies also to New Media columnist Philip gross of $869,591. Babe was not Dutchak, who has gracefully tolerated an extra entered in last year's Awards, while I in his Christian name for far too of the remaining two top-fivers long. [M urieland Priscilla participated in The dyslexic gremlin responsi­ the 1994 Awards), Dad and Dave On ble for both the above also Our Selection won a single award for informs Cinema Papers that Original Music and Hotel Sorrento the director of The Wonderful won for Supporting Actor and Screen­ Horrible Life of Leni Riefenplay Adapted from Another Source. stahl is not Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, as claimed in the Eidetic THANKS Eight, but Ray Muller. inema Papers would like to thank The production designer Sue Murray, Director, Marketing, of Shine is Vicki Niehus, Australian Film Commission, for her not Sally Campbell. kind assistance on this issue.

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C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


At Frame, Set & Match, our new digital edit suite is up and running. The Edit Box is the very latest on-line from Quantel, the makers of Henry, Harry, Hal and the original Paintbox. Along with the Edit Box, we've installed the Collage Titling System. So now you can bring your graphics in on disk and store them, or load any Postscript or True Type font. With these latest additions, Frame, Set & Match is now a fully digital post production facility. In combination with our Ursa Gold Telecine, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very impressive and practical set of machinery. Now you can do a digital transfer on the Ursa Gold, then a digital finish on the Edit Box. For enquiries and bookings call: (02) 9954 0904, fax: (02) 9954 9017, email: fsm@mpx.com.au

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to s h o o t M r N ice Guy w ith d ir e c to r S a m o H u n g .

can only shoot in Central Park, but it's not big enough. In Melbourne, we can shoot all over town: city, Lygon Street, Southgate, every­ where.

L a s t y e a r, C h a n w a s in F ir jt S trike (fo rm e rly The

Are there more plans for Australia?

Action Man Chan H o n g K o n g s u p e rs ta r J a c k i e C h a n is in M e lb o u r n e

S tory o f C IA ), w h ic h w a s s h o t a t F a lls C r e e k a n d in B r is b a n e . M IC H A E L K l T S O N w e n t to th e M r N ice Guy p re s s c o n fe r e n c e to m e e t th e c h a r is m a tic a c tio n m an . Originally, your new film was set in New York, your character was a chef and we thought there'd be a lot of knife fights. What's the story now? How did you know that? Where did you get a script? Can I bor­ row it? I'd love to know what is going on! Even we don't know. Every morning I arrive on set, I can hear Edward [Tang, the writer] in his caravan giggling and writing the script for that day. The story is about a nice guy who gets betrayed by his best friend, who's a corrupt cop, and he must run away with three beautiful women, who all have their own agendas. I didn't want to be a police­ man again. I guess because my father is a chef, we thought a kitchen would be a really good place for stunts. We thought we'd do something different. Why Australia? Everybody is helpful. It's not like Hong Kong, where the government is always trying to stop us. We have to sneak around like thieves in the night. When we want to have an explosion in the Howlan flats in Hong Kong, it is very difficult. It's a very big explosion: the whole flats. We can't get per­ mits. So, we don't tell anyone. We set up really quietly. On the day, I'm saying, "You should have told them! They'll arrest me!" So, everybody is very [lowkey] and then we blow up the flats. It's all right, because they only arrest our producer. They keep him two days and then let him go. It's okay and we got the explosion. In the can. We want to have an explosion in Brisbane's Chinatown. It's all different. They say "Okay." The fire brigade comes, the police come, everybody comes. We [Jackie performs the explosion] and everybody goes, "Wow! Thank you very much. Wow." That's very important to me. I like to make the audience go "Wow". Why Melbourne?

4

New York is very, very cold this time of year. Also, we have to shoot a very long horse-and-carriage chase sequence. In New York, we

Yes. Later this year, we're planning my next movie, a Western. You know, set in a Western town. We'll shoot it in Australia. You've been hit by a helicopter, broken every bone in your body and almost died several times. Why do you do it?

says, "Different lens!" Everybody runs to do it, to make the movie. All concentrated. I like that moment.

I love making movies. Making movies is like my hobby. If making movies is your hobby, what's your proper job? [Laughs] I love to be on set, where there's one hundred people all there just for me. No, I'm joking. [He makes expansive hand move­ ments to parody ego.] No, really, it's like everybody is doing everything and then the direc­ tor calls for a shot. Everybody stops; all attention is focused and there is silence. Then the [camera operator]

Rumble in the Sronx(Stanley Tong, 1995) opened on 1,500 screens across the U.S. in February. It seems Jackie Chan has finally cracked it in the U.S. How does that feel? In one week they've bought all my big productions. It's like a dream. For 15 years. I've been trying to break into the American [market]. And, until last year, I feel like I have failed, but it all changed so suddenly and overnight. In one week, Columbia rings me, Twentieth Century rings me, Miramax rings me. They all want me. And, you know, it makes me very angry! All these people are going to kill me. For 15 years, I've been making a name for myself, always working for Golden Harvest. It makes me worry. Miramax buys Crime Story [Kirk Wong, 1993] , Drunken Master II [Liu Chia Liang and Jackie Chan, 1994] , Police Story [Jackie Chan, 1986] they buy First Strike [Stanley Tong, 1996] and Nice Guy they want "as soon as possible!" All in one year they're going to release these movies. It's my life's work all in one year. It's going to kill me, and it's all just quick money [to them]. It's., it's just.. I'm not so satisfied... The Asian market is very important to me ... more important than America. W hat does 1997 hold for you? Whatever government, it's the same. We work hard. China's open policy now means a good life in China. I think it's going to be all right. When we shoot in China, we are worried we would have to ride bicycles. But it's alright: they let us have cars. [Laughter] Australia has taken back my visa. They say, "Jackie you've got to stay in Australia for one year." "Oh no", I say, "one year is too long!" They say, "How about six months?" "Oh no", I say, "six months is too long!" So, I don't have my visa any more! But it's all right. The Ambassador rings me up and says, "Jackie, anytime you need a visa ... anytime... you just call me!" Jackie left the press conference to fly to Canberra to attend his mother's eightieth birthday at their family home.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1 9 9 6


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The QuMMgom is a quie I J I jp i

with a loud iBessage.

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Adpto have long tended to treat c h ild r e iL

as inferior thinking and

^ K e lin g beings, forgetting the complexity otjfcheir own emotions and thoughts #hen they were young. Writer-director Rolf de I leer hasn't forgotten and has made a statement about the rights - indeed, the sanctity - of children, an how adults must learn to"better treat and respond with them.

Room is an extreme domestic situation seen th ro u g & fe eyes of a seven-year-old (Chloe Ferguson). The Girl doesn't speak much through the film, as a protest against her parery^^feaking-up, but she reveals her thoughts in a striking voice-over nafeation which

"g^niixes childishness and emotional sophistication. w ould you describe the message the film? I ’ve nevegaejna1ty thought about its message. I’ll have to think about that one. Does the filj^ have personal relevance? , Relevance to mv life? W ell, I have children and, in that sen^,Y tdoes. But it is not my life. Jt is not a catharsis or something that happened to you? No-r/no, no. Rephrasing the question: Could you to describe the story as you first outlined it in your head? W hat I was interested in was a seven-year-old’s per• ception o f adulthood. As I had to give it some sort of structural format, it seemed to me that a marriage breakdown was the thing to do it through. There is a dynamic, there is conflict, there are all sorts of pos­ sib ilitie s. B ut w h ere I began w is w ith a seven-year-old’s 5perception of adulthood. W hy did you w ant to view adulthood through a child's eyes? I’ve been interested in kids and the way they think a since I was four. It has always seemed to me that adults tendito underestimate the way kids think. Kids will jumjEfeffom one way o f being to a n th e r as if it were ajglf-fulfilling prophecy. If you y j p l them to be thisjyay, they will be. They move eSpybetw eenheii^gjuite sophisticated and adult in the way theyjrijewtilffgs, and then quite childlike. I also like working with kids and this particular film, because o f the way it was done, in that there

was a window o f opportunity in which to make it, I needed som ething th at I co'dld w rite w ell but quickly, because I have kids o f myjqwn, I had read­ ily accessible to me a whole amount of information. How did you approach w ritin g fo r a seven-year-old? Did you listen to your ow n children? Yes. At one point v s ^ ^ ^ » a s w riting, it was the school holidays. I w ou kftalk to my kids, particu­ larly my seven-year-old.>f would have sessions with them, trying to explore?what they thought and how they felt, all the timet remembering how I used to think when I was a kid. Not only in is there a mix of sophistication and child­ likeness in The G irl, there is vulnerability and strength. Did th a t come naturally or was that some­ thing you consciously tried to get across? It came naturally. M ost kids haye an extraordinary gtstrength. You come across cases o f kids who don’t have the best time o f life, but who adapt so quickly and find their own protective mechanisms so well,“' on the whole. Sr You said there was a "w in d o w of opportunity" for you to do this film . Yes. It was a slightly cphiplex situation. I had finished

Epsilon and it had been bought by Miramax. Part of that contract waf% substantial sum o f money to do further work on the film if I so desired, and I did. However, the process between an initial sales con­ tra c t and the first release o f m oney is very time-consuming, particularlyl^hen you’re dealing with substantial American Companies. There kept

7


being delays in the money coming. W e had a crew standing by and time that could be well used. If we hadn’t done anything, it would have ended up being a wasted section of my life. So, we decided to make a film. Did you w rite it as you went? W e went into pre-production well before I had fin­ ished the script. I actually finished it about a week and a half before the shoot started. But I kept going and storyboarded the w hole thing. It was quite rigidly structured and organized. Completely opposite to E psilon... ■ H r a i n that sense. Epsilon was a very physically and othertfrisje.-r demanding project. Was The Quiet Room much easier? ' ?

Yes, m that it took a lot less time, and in that the „ conditions were much more conti oiled. It was a pro­ foundly different way of making a film than Epsilon. That was hard but rewarding. This was hard in a different way, but equally rewarding. The crucial role of the seven-year-old in The Quiet Room is played by Chloe Ferguson. Did you have her in mind when you were writing? I find that almost any kid can act. It never occurred to me that it would be a problem. I did know Chloe, but that was not an issue for me. Had she done any acting before? Almost none. How did you direct her: on camera and off, for the narration? The on-set stuff was a rapid learning curve as to how best to work with her. The two adult actors [Celine O ’Leary and Paul Blackwell] were profoundly influ­ ential. In casting, I had in mind that their job would be harder than normal, because it was as much to do with supporting a seven-year-old, who would be trying to do something that most seven-year-olds don’t normally get to do, as it was with doing their own roles. That worked pretty well.

Ferguson is required to do quite the opposite of what most child actors are asked to do: she is asked to not | g | $ LSo much of the film is minimalist observation of h in as we watch her face and she is narrating her thoughts. Is that even harder to do than action and dialogue? Actually, it was easier, once we understood how to work this stuff. I mean, a seven-year-old’s attention and energy spans aye necessarily less. We learnt quite The Girl and The Mother] (Celine O'Leary). The Quiet Room.

quickly that Chloe would tire after so much time. You either had to stop or you scheduled. If I’d not had a storyboard, the film would have not been as good as it is. W e could schedule shot for shot. If there was a scene where she is bright and joyful, we would always do that in the morning. If there was a scene where she is unhappy or tired, we always did that in the afternoon. Some scenes she would want to understand what was going on; other scenes didn’t particularly interest her, and it was just, “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” There was no one thing that any of us did to make it happen in that way. Each day was different and each day different things came to bear. T he two adult actors were just fantastic. If they weren’t doing shots themselves, they were helping keep her inter­ ested in life , n o t so m uch even the process of filmmaking. Was there a difference in the number of takes you had to do to get a shot? No. It was an extraordinarily low ratio, and by far the lowest I’ve ever done on any film. Was that because of Ferguson/oV because of the storyboarding? Because of the budget, the storyboarding and her, but initially the budget. But she;proved to be up to it. Ferguson cries very convincingly, which is something most child actors can't do. Did she in fact cry? Was she upset?

[Laughs.] O h, what ,do I want to sa\ in situations like this? It was a question of using what was happening, but being very careful about it. The ethics and the moral­ ity of all this stuff were absolutely .foremost in our minds - all of us on the crew andfthe other cast.

What happened in one particular scene is that knew she was meant to be upset, if not necessarily to cry. She got upset because she didn’t think she could get upset. I was then left with the question of “What do T do now?” She wanted very much to do it right, but I gave her the option of, “Okay, let’ stop and do something else. But the possibility is that we can go ahead and do it now because you upset. I know you’re not upset about what you meant to be upset about, but you’re upset aba fact that you can’t get upset. So, do you want it?” And it was “Y es.” Isn't this method acting?

[Laughs.] In a way it isAk-yes, m a way it is. The Quiet Room is a powerful reminder to adults ‘about how deeply they can affect children in a situation like a marriage break-up. Was thefejjfr A point w hen the emotional journey affected the cast and crew? I wás quité close to it, having just written the script /Ig and feeling fairly easy with it. It was an enjoyable ’J f H C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 19§f i


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purely ijjporional level, relating to each other, rather than,''“What did I have for breakfast this morning?” Tlh^Sfiginal colour was a bit “W hat did I have for breakfast this morning?” - ^ T h e film'is ahput very ordinary things that hapip ie i^ ip mattfl|l ^ p h blds all over the world. I had (0 b be very tay e^ p fo r it not to become what I W “k itcie h ^ sim d ^ n a ”. So, I had the wall - 1 always work with cards. It from som eon e hrLa*niagazine I’d read b ef started to write: “In tt o f e t e ek tragedies, no one jp ever knows what the gods'hadf^nbreakfast.” •I kept that card there when I w asw rifing, when I was storyboarding, and it was there when we were thinking about what colour to paint the n $ >m 1hat is why the colour is what it is. That quote also impacts in the way th a t you portray the parents. They are never seen doing anything particularly mundane or householdish. Their posi­ tioning is always «dramatic and confrontational, or appeasing and loving. Did you w rite it like that? Yes. If ever I was in doubt, I would look at that card and think, “Does this apply to that or doesn’t it?” | If it doesn’t, then fine; if it does, then get rid of it. D on’t ^ in k about the idea any further; don’t get I ta k en in that direction. It also impacts on the choice o f the room s you shoot in. You should avojd the kitchen, for examI pie, because the temp ta tio ft% iJIa l ways be to do B g g | e business that is mundane%

For me, it is just a question of the film and how it works in its own terms. O kayythis onrils in some ways personal. Sc it. But that is not a source I ask the question because you said concerns since you were four. Jf

I say fqtgr/^ecause that is the earliest tim e r e m ^ ^ ^ lth in k in g about things in a way that m o f f i ^ a just how ak id is seeh g^ eh avin g. The first-shot of the film is silent, w ith a little Child• W # lfe te going to move, and I remeriahej. sitting ish riddle coming out of the silence. Did th a t idlfei|§ |^ ja n a swing in the playground thinking about this occur chronologically w hen you were writing? ''T o jfl arid hard, and whM I lrieantf l undeSrood that It is always an evolution. Thave been collecting odd I may never see thesglqds again, the people that I rhymes ever since my kids started to use them ; I knew w ell. I thinking that I should I though|fhd^couId be useful and interesting. I don’t remembe^ l ^ ^ ^ ^ F r ii older -.like 10 years’ older . want to make films that don’t entertain people in - becausefa ^ ^ K S o n’t think children feel like that. and I felt that was an element I could introduce there which could be quite funny, process and dealt with philosophies I had been -ifikdon’t know whenfhe opening came to me in the thinking about for a very long time. w r it® : process, because I don’t write chronologiFor the two adult actors, however, it was quite ff jj| P stru c n ^ jie -y lio le thing, and then I virtually confronting. In the case of one of the leads, it pro­ y fete all over theqalace before I begin to chrono­ foundly affected the way life has been seen from logically work thrpugh it. Once T h ^ tu ie t Room wasfihished, did you go back that point. B u t,'I s a w l i ji f e day and I thought “That is it; to Epsilon? With the crew, there were times where they sud­ that’s w hatT ||gpSi!” And when we shot it, it was Yes. It was theIricki e ^ ^ processes how all this stuff denly understood things about themselves and about remarkably If^fithe way I wanted it. happened. T h e 'd a ^ ^ p t we finished shooting The others that they had n’t actually thought about Quiet koom ,The Mmmon money arrived. So, we put before. It was a small and very supporting crew, a When y o ttw y |^ w ritin g the script, was there things you w a n te d |o do to affect the audience? The Quiet RooM c f the shelf for a month. crew who thought a lot about what they did. . T he fa cttb a f^ K a d shot an entire other film in I gdO^any primary concern as a parent, and also as When you discussed the film w ith your DOP, Tony betweemgave’M e a perspective on Epsilon that I a p eillglf and maybe even as a filmmaker, is the way Clark, w hat term s did you use to describe the way cou 1 dn’f .qMejrwise have had. Epsilon was such a dif­ kid&iSfihireated. In a sense, Bad Boy Bubby is about you wanted it to look? chiMipod. It’s a comprehensively different film, but ficult and pé|spnally-demanding;film that to get that The most important issue of how to make the film sonpifof its concerns ai|j?the same. It has to do with perspéctíy|¡|pas just fantastic. J | look was the colour of the room. That took quite a lhe|ganctity o f chil|lhQpd. When I see a kid getting T h e ciÉi i g es in .it a r^ i i i l e than any o f us bit of doing. I think we repainted the room twice yanked along in tMriis|j>ermarket, and yelled at and expected;'#Jthough it isámÉdamentally the same because it wasn’t right. From there, we found every­ abused, I get reallynajaset. film, it plays quite differerill& l liked the original thing else. When dealing with children, one ought, more than version very much, but I like this one more because Was it always blue? at any other tim e.think about their perspective and it somehow a c h ie t e s .^ ^ K t sets out to do a little not one’s d BB gM rapix easy to think of one’s own No. I tend to let people get on with exploring their better. It is also e a sje rjjfr an audience to gofcwith, perspective ratJiefrh an theirs. As you said at the own areas. The art department and Tony took it although that remáiásijto be seen because we still beginning, “How much dp we affect kids?”, whether and looked at colours. But in the end, just before don’t have a print o f i l yet. it be through a marriage breakdown opnot. For me, shooting, I kept thinking, “No, it’s not right; it’s just Was this all d o rija fn |||||e d it suite, or did you shoot ■ n o t right.” So | said, “Look, paint it blue..xlTry this | ifj§ much more than that. The rparriage^breaMpwn more m aterial^ | ^ ■ '^ ^ a p n jed iin g .I decided to use as a mu.h misni. I he on e.’’ T h e y did,, w hich was a scary, radical thing film«Mnd^^ ^ m e about a marriage breakdown at ^•■tKhgxpntract w ithM iram ax was very generfffegjt • to do. B ut pretty'gu|iikiy,..we got used to it. all. It is how we affect <^& |3% ^lost parents know - gaye risThe capacity to go out and shoot more, which W hat was the origirialcololSrP % we did. T he resriof it was done mqthe editing room. it krone w ayW another b,utsometimes they don’t *> I-can’t even rem em ber... sort of whitey-foink, or yelBut, in á sense, the shooting ofm óre material andtake enough n otia o f it. low.yltwas a much more con v en tao^ | ^ § a P |l||^ the^idiÉrig wasn’t so much whspchanged it. It wásf ^ ^ O U have explained w hat the message is, after all! W haM hetests were showing w asthet e was insutmore a conceptual layer layesfd over the top. The ' ficient differentiation between the background and film is now told as a stop- ii^ h e future, 4 0 or 50 the main characters. It seemed adittlt offiftffy, To w hat extent does a.fitm in w hich you have these years hence, so is the past. It starts a HttMS>© strongly rooted in conventional suburfairly p e rsd n a i^i& h s discussed become a source of in the future and itta lk s ^ j^ g t what happened 40 b ; i i o m ake us th in k ab ou t our own lives in a s a t is f a c t io ip ^ ^ ^ B H p , I've sa id |t"? or 5 0 years ago.Tt^i¡tó||p is quite different, and different way. I want people to think about it on a for me it works quite wé|lf I like it a lot%© The personal a s p S t of it doesn’tCome into it at all. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

¡¡g

9


Director Clara Law

p

ents or their siblings or their friends in it. And d w what I want, so it’s not just about the ChineselC I

CLira Iuv\ plays along “It's always

.xs&sm.-

tarion. “They arc Yasujiro Ozu and

that they present a world whn.h is very, very compassionate." ||1 v.1 Compassion is the quality Law aims to bring to tlie fajnily at the centre of her newlyreompleted first

(1990), made in the Wake of the Tiananmen Square: Massacre and focusing on the tragic fate of a main-

AusCra'liajn':feataire}'i?/o^»^'Xi//e..The;^hani^ily is divided between Sydney, Hong Kong ind Ger­ many. Elder sister Y en (Annette Shun W ah) has; married i German arid moved there Second sister jins when she is joined by Murii (C ecilia I2i) and Pa Chan (Edwin Pang), together with younger brothers Chau (Toby Chan) and Yue (Toby Wong); Eldest brother Kar'Siirig^AhtliOny Wong) stays behind in Hong Kongi Each copes with the challenge.ot displace­ ment in different ways. -Mot all ard appealing, but Law b is «.tt out ro tnakt them all undeisrandable “This story is something that fabsoiutely^^tally' believe in”, she insists, seeing the film as the cul­ mination of a career-long fascination:

Law in the exploration of these themes, it also stakes a significant claim in Australian culture By w iv of comparispn, the TLS. has had writers hke-Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan and filmmakers like Christine. Choi aiid W ayn^W ang for many years: ButChinese-Austraiian culture has yet to find sim­ ilar wide acceptance. F loating L ife is the latest attempt to; make that breakthrough.: , •T . A

I have been exploring my heritage, and rootless­ ness as the modern human condition, since I went to England more than ten years ago to study and felt so alienated in a totally Western culture.

First, they seem to find out nese way and Chinese «. ulture. But next is the family thing. They can see rher^^w&ftiNiMMi^^ W

Indeed, Law’s first film, The Other H a lf and the Other H a lf (1988), is a comedy about Hong Kong Couples separated by migration. Other films have included the passionate drama, Farew ell, China

T iF loatin g T ife is a personal, breakthrough for

. N onetheless, l a w is co n fid en t the film w ill appeal to Australian- audiences. Her largely Aus­ tralian crew On F loa tin g L?/e has responded promisingly. L aw :x

are just a process. 1 In rhe past lew years, I have begun ro see tb am and is a matter of embracing both. I feel very at :* y N ot all the characters in Floating Life have arriv ‘ at the example: - V Bing tries to be totally-Western, but actually5s;fe i in’i be because slu isn’t Shi came on her own U> Australia, a very different environment from Hong . JCong. She is in the suburbs and hasTtq learn to with nature, which is something she has never,] learnt. She is afraid o f people; and she is sloWlyii building a W alj;arriuflajheris#llS^& W ^W E^^^ and her to tell imprisons her^M ^^ffi^KM y^lErii^tbg^^dri'ri^ . hold a grudge against Bing, and, when she finally As well as feel mg tharnugration and ^islocatton & a universal-modern cond ition, Law also re c p g i nizes that it is a particularly resonant part of Hong Kong identity. Indeed, the insecurity o f feeling that]; you are from somewhere else, and always in some-': one else s territory, has led her in other interviews^ to compare being Hong Kong Chinese with beingi Jewish. Law: _ :Pa and Mum Chan left China hoping that they| would return, but they never did. Birig and Y e n !


t .

Yen' (Annette Shun W ah|.

Hong Rong people let! that we rt m itlitr welcomed

Unlike Bing, Law herself is certainly not aff aid of the ■*wider world. As well as being a high point in her explo-

day, apdTht'-cÒ!smme^dfama'i:fe?«/ii«ft©» o f à M ò n b ■W hen .1 first started out,T had to establish myself. . In Hong Kong, you will be wiped out very quickly if - you don’t make a film that makes money. So, I set out hoping to do two things: to make films that I wanted to make, and to make films that can give

cinema to international cinema. her her greatest critical success so far. Autumn Moon was and has directed many films of his own: “The way they look at film dicre doesn't rtallv coincide with im view

•-.They .only:wanted a 60-m inute home video tor a serie#|||led money to - make ita longer 35mm feature. I wasn't interested in The result won her the Golden Leopard at Locarno reputation than she had | . When Law left Radio Television Hong Kong for . the series or the home video. 1 was interested in not surprisingly, Law has : that little bit of money. I proposed to make it into a of Autumn M oon further in ieam re,:soThey would get the home video but also the feature, which I would have thè right to take to : -five festivals. That was one óf the things that was very llt’s still very soulful andm^ditative, but it has a dif“But it became more and more formulaic, and less and hard with any Hong Kong films. No producer was warmer. .; interested in taking the film to any film festival, _ s; .t ^ust feel that I don’t warn to keep trying to walk the . - because they are only interested in the .local market, ' Autumn M oon connected especially well with A us­ v“^Une..Eyemwithout 1997_and all of that, I don’t think ; whereas I, was tliinki ng of, an/arthouse market and tralian audiences at the i 993 Sydney and Melbourne w lined to go th u route I hey jgreed to that So, I k r i just want to make films in Hong Kong. I have been film festivals, winning rave reviews froth critics aiid a. made buttimi Moon with no pressure except to mikt touched by film that is international, and I want to iht uric il rele ise I his is one of a combin ition of per ‘ . make films:that appeal .not just to the local audience.. s o n a Lan d ca eee r f act o r s' that has b rong-h t :La W to ■'Ybut to a wider audie nee. The result is a slow, dreamy, meditative piece about a The determination to realize this ambition explains the Japanese visitor to Hong Kong and Ills encounter with l lot il schoolgirl \k ith little plot or action, Autumn variety of stvles, genres and themes in her earlier films Moon is lbout is f ir from the commerci il Hong Kong In addition to the comedy, The O ther H a lf an d the ■j.haye smdied ip England and worked ill New.York, Other H a lf and the di ama, f an well ( Irina; there h is At that time, I was motivated by the fact that I had

slower pacing. Bing (Annie Yip).

rest, because I think7it is very open. It has a much younger spirit and it is mulri-cultiiral. O f course, there " are still a lot of flaws uid difficulties, hut at least thert directidr£-~~V?~ J?' rffil

Floating Life is Clara Law’s own attempt to contribute to that new Australian direction. ©


EN SHERRY (GEORGE SHEVTSOV) IS THE EX DRIVE-TIME KING OF BRISBA N E RADIO, TWICE DIVORCED AND DOWN ON HIS LUCK. HE IS NOW RUNNING A DECREPIT RADIO STATION IN THE TINY TOWN OF SUNRAY. EN HAS THE MISFORTUNE TO LIVE NEXT DOOR TO TWO S IS T E R S , DIMITY (MIRANDA OTTO) AND VICKY-ANN HURLEY (REBECCA FR ITH ). WHEN KEN STARTS HIS RAMBLING SOLILOQUIES ON RADIO ABOUT LOVE AND HIS LIFE, IN TER SPERSED WITH LOTS OF MOODY, SMOULDERING SONGS ABOUT LOVE AND ROMANCE, THE G IR LS IMMEDIATELY DEVELOP A HUGE CRUSH ON HIM, MAINLY OUT OF DESPERATION. A FTER ALL, THERE AREN’T MANY ELIGIBLE MEN LEFT IN SUNRAY.

S h i r l e y B a r r e t t directed the award -winning short, Cherith (1987), and has had a successful career in television, on series such as Heartbreak High, Police Rescue, Country Practice and Boys from the Bush. What came first: Barry White's song, "Love Serenade", which is featured in the film, or the story? Barry W hite definitely came first. I’m a big Barry White fan and “Love Serenade” was a major inspi­ ration for me. It is a wonderful song and, I think, Barry’s masterpiece. “Love Serenade” is a moody, sinister seduction song. It starts with “Take it off, baby, take it all off”. From there, it becomes increasingly ominous and bizarre, and goes for about 7-8 minutes, like most of Barry’s great numbers. I was so intrigued by the song I started to write a script about a sinister, unpleasant kind of love, a love that seemed romantic and beautiful on one level, but was actually something else underneath. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


IE WED BY ANDREW L. URBAN It evolved naturally. I didn’t set out to be outrageous or even to develop the twists that occur. The characters just came to life for me in that way. For example, I could never get Albert, the Chinese restaurateur, to shut up. He would keep rambling on and on [laughs], and I had to do some really serious editing on the page. Likewise, with Ken: I was really inspired by the ram bling m onologues in Barry White’s songs. They are very brooding and self-centred, which work brilliantly for Barry. Ken is a great imitator of Barry; he would love to be Barry [laughs]. The tw o sisters are very different in some ways, but are quite similar in the end. The younger one, literally out of naïveté, makes the first move, much against the older sister's desire. Why did it occur to you that way? A lot of the inspiration came from my own pathetic girlish diaries, written when I was in my late teens and early twenties [laughs], which were totally mis­ guided about any notion of romantic love. I suspect that many women, particularly young women, have a tendency to paint the most seedy and down-beat of liaisons in a very romantic light. I kind of enjoy that about being a girl [laughs], though I’m really terribly embarrassed when I read my own old diaries! The girls are so misguided about love that they think Ken is a wonderful lover and man, and very deep. They are convinced he is cool and sophisticated and smooth, but, of course, he is empty and shallow. This is a story of a 'M r Wrong'. Absolutely. Very early on, I had a few spectacularly-bad Mr Wrongs. Anyone like Ken? Yes, in fact, I stole one line off one of my early Mr Wrongs - not that I’ve had that many M r Wrongs; I don’t want to give the wrong impression here. But I always loved the line, “Don’t go getting too fond of

Is Ken's being a disc jockey connected to the Barry White songs? In part, yes. All the songs in L ov e S erenade are favourites of mine. I used to sit around listening to them a lot, and they helped me get in the right mood to write. One way of weaving them into the film was to give Ken the job of the lowly disc jockey at the radio sta­ tion in this one-horse town. What these songs have in common is that they cre­ ate an atmosphere of yearning and desire and longing. Ken’s play-list on Radio Sunray creates the soundtrack for the town, if you like. All the people, particularly the girls, are totally sucked in by it. They spend long, languorous days listening to this beautiful, sexy music [laughs], and it has a cumulative affect. In the film, there are elements which are constantly unpredictable. Is that something you set out to achieve? C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

me”, which was said to me when I was really young by an older man. Ken says that to Dimity, and she is really horrified, because, of course, it is too late. She is already totally smitten with him. Ken is a kind of composite of every wrong man who has ever come into my or my girlfriends’ lives. How long did the w riting take? I wrote over about three years, breaking every now and then to do some directing work on television. That was a really good way to work and gave me good breaks. I did two drafts of the script before [producer] Jan [Chapman] came on. Then we did one final draft, revising it a bit before we shot. The second draft was when the major twists came into it, out of despera­ tion more than anything. How would you describe making a first feature? Having had so much directing experience with tele­ vision, I wasn’t as daunted as I could have been. In

fact, it was more great excitement and gratitude in being allowed to have the freedom that I had. In tele­ vision, obviously, there are constraints as to whom you cast and how the final edit goes. The script is not even yours to start with. I was very excited to have a chance to direct my own script and that probably eroded any kind of nerves. Did you feel you've realized the script as it was written? Yes, though to some extent it changed. I read my early pre-production notes recently and felt a little wistful about some of the things which hadn’t quite tran­ spired. In some other ways, though, it is beyond what I hoped for. Of course, once you get the cast and the crew on set, it takes off and goes its own course. You are still guiding it, but it is never going to be exactly what you perceived it to be. Did you have your cast in mind when you wrote the script? Only George Shevtsov as Ken. He had been in my short, Cherith. He is a really unusual actor, with a lot of qualities you don’t often see. He is capable of sum­ moning a creepy, low-key malevolence in a reallywithdrawn manner, which I find intriguing. George also has a really great face and a beautiful voice, which is why I chose him. I knew that George could do all of Ken’s long monologues - not in a Barr)' White voice, but in is own great voice. It is very smooth. I didn’t have anyone in mind for Vicky-Ann and Dimity. I met a lot of people and, when I saw both Rebecca [Frith] and Miranda [Otto] for the first time, I felt very strongly that they were my girls [laughs]. They both had a really good understanding of the script; they both really relished what they could do with it. They added much more than I could ever have dreamed of. Rebecca gives Vicky-Ann a pathetic, struggling attempt at dignity, which I find really endearing. Miranda is particularly inventive and a very gifted comic actress. I’m very proud of all my cast. Is Sunray a place you know? It is a town called Robinvale, in north-west Victoria, where my husband grew up. I’ve spent a lot of time there in the past 14 years. Robinvale has a kind of bleakness about it. It defies you feeling any sentiment towards it [laughs]. There are no beautiful old buildings. It is not a charming pastoral ideal, but is flat and scrubby, with prickles everywhere. Early on, I found Robinvale quite hostile, because it wasn’t what a city girl imagines the country to be like, but after a while it really grew on me. We spent a lot

13


The film is called a "rom antic com edy", but how

of summers with nothing to do except climb the silos and look out over the landscape. I really w anted to w rite som ething that was set in a town like that, where the town’s atmosphere would have an affect on the girls. I wanted people to understand why the girls are so yearning for something else, where the town has such an oppressiveness about it.

w ould you describe it? It’s a subtle, dry, ironic kind of comedy, and also very affectionate. One of the really good qualities about Shirley’s humour is that she doesn’t laugh at her char­ acters. She sympathizes with their weaknesses and their difficult characteristics. Were there many difficult moments in putting the

This film was made w ith a lot of women in key roles. Was that a conscious decision?

project together?

N o, it just happened. Ja n was really keen for me to meet [DOP] Mandy Walker, whom she had worked with before. Mandy and I hit off and knew we wanted to work together. T h e n , many oth er key players - the costum e designer [Anna Borghesi], the editor [Denise Haratzis] and so forth - turned out to be women.

“ THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO

Is Love Serenade a "wom en's film "?

[Laughs.] I suspect it’s a women’s film. Women can really relate to that situation of willingly giving your­ self over to the mercy of someone like Ken [laughs]. I don’t know if men will see Ken the way women do. I suppose it is a girlish film, really. Do you believe Australian women filmmakers have a different language to male filmmakers? I don’t have a strong opinion about that. From my time in television, I suspect that women directors are given slightly softer scripts to direct. M en get the gung-ho action scripts, whereas the women get the ones involving children and domestic issues. It is a subtle form of role assignment. I’ve always found it quite difficult to get to try action stuff. I just don’t get the opportunity. At the same time, I am writing another really girlie film, so I haven’t actually sorted that out for myself!

'o you think it is going to stay that way? I’ll do everything I can to push for it staying that way. I hope it does, because it would be very hard without the FFC. W e have had considerable success now; a num­ ber of films have done very well financially. I hope that would make it look, from a financial pointof-view, like a workable industry which should be supported by government.

JAN CHAPMAN INTERVIEWED BY ANDREW L. URBAN Se r e n a d e

>0 people approach you often w ith projects?

Yes, they do. I must say it is very unlikely for an unsolicited script to be something that I end up doing. It tends to be the case that I either start a project myself with a writer or a writerd irecto r, or a w rite r-d ire cto r I know of approaches me and we start talking.

p ro ­ duced by Jan Chapman and is her first featu re since the acclaim ed The P iano (Jane Cam pion, 1 9 9 3 ). Chapman also recently produced Naked: Stories o f Men, a six-part series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ove

is

Which is w hat happened here?

How did you come across the Love Serenade script? Shirley [Barrett] brought it to me. However, I was already very interested in her work. Jane Campion had told me about Shirley’s short, Cherith, and said it was fantastic. I then saw it and was very impressed, like Jane, with Shirley’s sensibility. She is an idiosyn­ cratic writer-director with a very clear vision. There are not a lot of people who have the ability to come up with a story and then follow it through as a director; Shirley does. While Love Serenade w ould have appeal to many producers as a piece of cinema, did you ever consider it in terms of its commercial prospects? I have to say, Andrew, that I am not entirely like that. While I’m obviously not unaware of commercial real­ ities, the reason I take on a p ro ject is because it enraptures me. It takes hold of my being and I have to make it. W ith L ove Serenade , I did think I would not be unique in finding a story about female romanticism funny and interesting. The music, too, was an aspect

14

There are always difficult moments. This was diffi­ cult in the sense that there were no stars. I made it absolutely clear to people I presented it to that we were not interested in casting for names. It had to be cast for the truth of the characters, with people who may n ot be w ell-know n. A lso, o f cou rse, Shirley was a first-time feature director. Although there was a lot of respect around for the script, it isn’t easy com edy. It isn’t something everyone would immediately pick up on. So, I have a lot of respect for Beyond, and the Australian Film Finance Corporation [FFC], for taking it up as they did. The FFC is such a gift to us all. I don’t think we all know how lucky we are. Other coun­ tries know how lucky we are. It continually strikes me that we couldn’t make the kind of independent visions that we often do without the support of the FFC. It is why our industry is so strong. It means we 1 develop a cinema that is attractive to Europe as well as to America, but which is our own! Aus­ tralia is the only place in the world that can do that. So, I feel very fortunate to be working with the FFC.

I thought would appeal to people. It seemed to me the film could cross over from non-mainstream to mainstream, if we handled it carefully. I can’t do films unless I’m close to them emotion­ ally. Making films takes up your life for a couple of years, and sometimes for seven or eight years. If you don’t like the project, or the people, it is pure hell. I’m much more tentative than I used to be about the projects and people I became involved with. It takes me a while to feel sure that I’m going to have a good working relationship.

Love Serenade was something that I felt could be quite special and unique.

Yes. I don’t know what would have happened if I had received the script of Love Serenade out of the blue. I could see how Shirley could do it because I had seen her d irection of Cherith. It was possible to understand Love Serenade as a complete film. I get sent a lot of scripts and often I don’t have time to read them; the things I’m doing take up all my time. I feel sorry for people, :ause there might be many great scripts there. It just seems like there has to be more than that to attract one’s attention; maybe you need to meet the person and feel some sort of rapport. What is your next project? It’s Tim W inton’s book, The Riders. It is a fantastic contemporary story about a youngish man whose wife fails to turn up, and he goes on this journey through Europe with his daughter, looking for the woman he loves. It is contemporary in that it looks at the way a man feels. He is a good husband, a good father, but for some reason he is unable to understand why she has disappeared. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1 996


ew s

N

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Australian Film Commission il*

!

M e l b o u r n e

L o n d o n


L a w r e n c e

J o h n s t o n â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

L a w re n c e J o h n s to n 's d o c u m e n ta ry , Eternity, w a s a m a jo r critical success of

In th e film , th e re are v e ry stro n g , sensu al p o rtra its o f m e n 's faces an d bo d ies.

1995, an d Life is his m u c h -a w a ite d first fe a tu re . It fo cu ses on m e n d y in g o f

Jo h n sto n :

A ID S in a m a x im u m -s e c u rity p rison. It is b ased on th e p la y, Containment, b y J o h n B ru m p to n , w h o did th e screen a d a p ta tio n an d plays th e lead role of D es. J o h n s to n : I a lw a y s w a n te d to m a k e a film th a t w a s g e ttin g a w a y fro m th e rea list p rison g e n re , th a t w a s n 't in black an d w h ite , th a t w a s n 't a b o u t th e s y s te m o f th e p ris o n . It w a s a b o u t th e ch a ra c te rs , th e ir e m o tio n s and th e re la tio n s h ip s b e tw e e n th e m an d p e o p le o u ts id e o f th e prison. J o h n an d I re a lly w a n te d to ta k e situ a tio n s o f th e e n c lo s u re o f m e n , b u t w e n e v e r w a n te d to m a ke a m e s s a g e film . If a n y th in g , it is m o re

B e a u ty is so s u b je c tiv e , b ut to m e it can be fo u n d a n y w h e re , ev en fro m th e ro u g h e s t p e rs o n , m a le , w h a te v e r. I w a n te d to g iv e a ce rtain a m o u n t o f d ig n ity to th e m e n 's lives th ro u g h th e w a y th e y w e re p h o to g ra p h e d an d th e ir screen tim e . T h e film to m e is a b o u t m e n an d w o m e n , an d m e n an d m e n . It is n o t a h o m o s e x u a l film , ev en th o u g h th e re a re g a y c h arac ters in it. P ro d u c ed b y Elisa A rg e n z io , Life w a s s h o t by M a n d y W a lk e r (Return Home, Love Serenade) an d fin a n c e d b y th e A u s tra lia n Film C o m m is s io n . It stars B ru m p to n , D av id T re d d in n ic k , R o b e rt M o rg a n an d B elin d a M c L o ry .

a b o u t th e fru s tra tio n s o f h u m a n n a tu re in th a t e n v iro n m e n t a n d th e w a y th a t h u m a n n a tu re p rev ails.

C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;˘ J UNE 1996

[All quotes are extracted from a forthcoming Interview with Lawrence Johnston by filmmaker John Hughes.]

17


- ........................ W B t ß i r T s' .right , :i in court. Susie looks towardJHBRcuiilsie her sister, Katy (Zoe Caridesjl f$bhinTker,is Marion| (Catherine Wilkin). Richardfij David Williamson's Brilliants

WWWW

-, J A. ^ ~ V : W W W . . . ' _____ A .

After the success Qf Hotel Sorrento ( 1995),

which was adapted from Hannie Rayson’s hit play, writer-director Richard Franklin has again turned to

a play for his second Australian film since returning from Hollywood. This time it is David Williamson's

Brilliant Lies, a searing look at sexual harassment in the workplace, and how all those concerned play

with the truth for their own ends.

ranklin begins by describing w hat David Williamson's Brilliant Lies' is about. The story is of a woman, Susie [Gia Carides], who has been wrongfully dismissed after hav­ ing been sexually harassed by her boss. As we begin, she has gone to the Equal Opportu­ nity Commission, and she is contemplating an action against her boss. We discover very quickly that this is litigation with profit as the major m otive, which im m ediately makes us suspect her motives. She asks her sister, Katy [Zoe Carides], to cor­ roborate her story. Katy is reluctant to do so because she has seen no evidence of the distress which Susie says she has been through.

This opens up a second story, about the family. W ithout giving too much away, there is a big skele­ ton in the family closet which involves the father, Brian [Ray Barrett]. These two stories interface in that they, to some degree, motivate Susie in her actions. The father and the boss, Gary [Anthony LaPaglia], are kind of one and the same character. Like a lot of David’s titles, it does not occur in the play. But it was David’s copy line for the stage play: “In the ’90s, you have to be lucky, rich or tell bril­ liant lie s.” W e decided to incorporate it into the screenplay. It turns out that every character - with the exception of the woman from the Equal O pportunity Commission, Marion [Catherine Wilkin] - is lying at one level or another. But it is more than lying; it is the notion that we all construct the truth, if indeed truth exists. And when we get into some kind of col­ lision , we go back and rein vent w hat we think happened. W e start to polarize. This is particularly true of things like bust-ups in relationships. Each char­ acter convinces him- or herself that he or she is in the right. This seemed to me to be very cinematic. So, what I did was take one particular night in an office. Every­ thing that happens between Gary and Susie we see several times in several different ways, in a very dis­ located fashion. The audience is forced to put those things to g eth er and try to w ork out w hat really happened. I think it holds an audience, based on our pre­ views. I don’t know when I’ve seen an audience sit more still, and that includes all the thrillers I’ve made! In traditional films involving legal processes, there is usually an innocent or a minorly-flawed character for w hom one roots. David Williamson's Brilliant Lies is a much murkier w orld, w ith a less-defined sense of good and evil. How did you approach that, given traditional Hollywood notions of follow ing a sympathetic character on a journey? That was what everyone said to me ahead of time: “Neither Susie nor Gary is sympathetic.” But I took

the view that when you go to see a prize fight, you don’t have to like either character. You just have to establish, at a certain point, who might or might not be an underdog, and start to barrack for them. Or perhaps all you want is an outcome; you want one to best the other. Having said that, I am ignoring entirely the efforts that I went to to make Gary, the male, sympathetic, because in the original he isn’t. (I didn’t have to make Susie sympathetic, because in the original she is.) N ot that Gary is a clear-cut villain, because noth­ ing in David Williamson is clear-cut. “Murky” is a very good word. David is interested in the dark side of the human psyche, and that is not the traditional stuff of which ‘high art’ is made. I hate card board villains. I always try to find

Richard Franklin interviewed by Scott Murray 18

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


positive things about my villains in the same way that I look for flaws in my heroes. In this case, it took a lot of work because Anthony’s first instinct was to play Gary as a villain. He likes playing vil­ lains on film; he says they are very meaty. On stage, though, he likes to play more rounded characters. On the second day of shooting, in the conciliation room, I rang David Williamson early in the morn­ ing. I said I was really worried that Anthony was playing the character as a villain. He replied, “Well, we never achieved a sympathetic Gary on stage. My concern was that he not be so unsympathetic that you asked yourself why Susie ever got involved with him in the first place?” David then suggested something which was like manna from heaven for Anthony: the word “bewil­ dered”. I suggested to Anthony, “The code with which you are operating with women is probably the code that was taught to you by your mother, not by your father and not by men in locker rooms. Per­ haps you are ju st b ew ild e re d .” O nce A nthony

realized that his character felt he had done nothing wrong, except for the fact that his wife found out, he was able to play the part guiltlessly. That was a much more complex and interesting way to handle the character, though I guess it doesn’t ultimately make him sympathetic. From your screen-testing the film , have you sensed how audiences are reacting to this perspective? On this tricky subject, I refer you back to issue 95 of Cinema Papers [where Franklin writes trenchantly on the dangers of Hollywood-style screen-testing2]. From the limited testing of the type that I do, I have been astonished at the way audiences have been reacting. The sorts of comments I got back after­ wards were that it made you realize how dishonestly male-female relationships are handled in most con­ tem porary com m ercial film s, and especially by television. T o paraphrase David’s Em erald City , I guess they haven’t seen it fictionalized before. And I’ll even include Disclosure in this equation, and the M am et film, Oleana.


N ow , because they haven’t seen it fictionalized before, they hadn’t realized what a minefield it is that we are living in, especially in the workplace. I’m talking about what used to be called the “battle of the sexes”, w hich is now m ore like a “gender war”. I set out with no burning desire to make a state­ m ent about gender politics, which scares the hell out of me. But I thought if I could convey this fear, it might involve an audience, and it has amazed me how effective the original play was. W e have just added something to that. It has been an interesting,

good answer other than, “Well, you are going to be run over by a car in a minute, so just stand there.” Was it always your intention to film another play after Hotel Sorrento? Yes. Indeed, at the moment I think I’ll be filming a third play! I had seen Brilliant Lies when we were in the early stages of H otel Sorrento, and was particularly taken by the Ray Barrett character, Brian. That, in fact, led to Ray being cast as Wal in H otel

Sorrento.

p60

“I always try to find positive things about my villains in the same way that I look for flaws in my heroes.”

if difficult, journey. W hy difficult? Difficult because the issues are so fraught. I had to confront them every time I gave a direction to a male or a female, every time I made a creative deci­ sion in the cutting room and skewed the argument one way or another. In striking the balance, the relative talents and styles of the different actors are crucial. This is the basis of an ensemble piece. It is and that is what I love about doing theatre. I’ve always been a camera-oriented director, who either d elib erately or in ad v erten tly chose pieces like Roadgam es, where I would have a single actor, or like Link, where I’d have a single actor (female) I wasn’t going to say actress! - a camera, and a sit­ uation. It is so exciting working with an ensemble. I’ve either had an epiphany in terms of working with actors, or the material has done it for me. I never get questions about motivation any more. [Laughs.] I was always tearing my hair out trying to answer before, because often with melodrama there isn’t a

20

Gia Carides andRichardTranklin.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J U N E 1 996


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Floating Life C l a r a p A W if ''.!1 P roduction com pany: Hibiscus Films,

:

&

D istribution company.: FbotprinLRlnisir Developed with the assistance of Rim Victoria and the N ew South Wales Film & Television Office. Produced with the assistance of Australian Rim Finance Corporation Ltd, New South Wales Film & Television Office and SBS Independent. Gauge: 35mm.

Screen ratio: YA.35. Pm?//ar.* Bridget Ikin. Associate pro­

Dating the Enemy

Dead H eart

ducer Helen Lovelock. S criptw riters:

M egan S impson Huberman

Nick Parsons .

Eddie Ling-Ching Fong, Clara Law. D irector o f photographpQion Beebe.

P roduction com pany: Dating tÜ6

Enemy Pty Ltd. Australian distributor:

sP roduction com pany: Dead Heart Productions. D istribution company:

Total Film and TV. International distrib­

Roadshow. Developed with the

utor:Pandora Cinéma (International).

assistance of the New South Wales

Production Designer Chung Man Yee. Wardrobe supervisor. Cordula Albrecht. Editor: Suresh Ayyar. Composer Davood Tabrizi. Sound recordist. Mark Blackwell.

Developed with the assistance of

Film & Television Office. Produced

the Australian Film Commission and

with the assistance of Australian

New South Wales Film & Television

Film Finance Corporation Ltd.

C ash

Office. Produced with the assistance

Gauge: 35mm.

(Kar Ming). Annette Shun Wah (Yen),

of the Australian Film Commission

P ro d u cer: Bryan

and the New South Wales Film &

Helen Watts. S criptw riter: Nick

Toby Wong (YueJ. Toby Chan (Chau),

Television Office. Gauge: 35mm.

Screen ra tio :] :1.85.

Parsons. Based on his p|ay. Director o f photography: James

Pulvermacher (Michael), Claudette

P ro d u cer: Sue

Bartle. Production, designer

Chua (Mui Muí), Darren Yap (Lone)

Brian Edmonds. Costume designer Edie Kurzer. E ditor Henry Dangar.

[S e e a rticle , p . 1 0 .]

Milliken.&rect/f/Ve

producers: Phil GerlaCh, Heather ‘Ogilvie. S criptw riter: Megan Simpson Huberman. D irector o f photography: Steve Arnold. Production designer. Tim Ferried Costume designer: Terry Ryan. E ditor Marcus D'Arcy. " . Sound recordist: Leo Sullivan. C oot: Claudia

Karvan (Tash), Guy

Brown. Co-producer:

Annie Yip (Bing), Anthony Wong

Cecilia Li (Mum), Edwin Pang (Pa), Bruce.Poon (Cheong), Julian

Com poserSteven Rae. Sound recordist: Phil Tipene.

Lawrence J ohnson

Cast: Bryan Brown (Ray), Ernie Dingo

P roduction com pany: Rough

(David), Angie Milliken (Kate). Aaron

Trade Pictures. Budget $474,000. Gauge: Super 16¿

Pedersen (Tony), Gnamayarrahe W aitaire (Poppy), Lewis Fitz-Gerald

Pearce (Brett), Lisa Hensley (Laetitia),

(Les), Anne Tenney (Sarah), John

Matt Day (Rob), Pippa Grandison

Jarratt (Charlie), Lafe Charlton (Billy),

(Cojette), Christopher Morsley (Paul),

Stanley Djunawong (Tjulpu).

Heidi Lapaine (Christina), John

[S e e “P ictu re P review ?, p . 3 6 ]

Howard (Davis), Scott Lowe (Harrison). S y n o p sis: A

modem romantic comedy.

Megan Simpson Huberman's first feature was A/ex (non-theatrical, 1992), made under thé name Megan Simpson. This is her second.

David Williamson s Brilliant Lies R ichard F ranklin Production company: Bayside v Pictures. Australian distributor: Roadshow. International sales agent: Beyond Films. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission. Gauge:35mm.

Sçreenrâiio: 1:1 3)5! Producer^ Richard Franklin. Sue Farrelly. A ssistant producer. Kim McKillop. Scriptw riters: Peter Fitzpatrick, Richard Franklin.' ' Based on the play by David \ 1 Williamson. D irector o f photography: Geoff Burton. Production designer, i f Tracy Watt. Costume designer Roger Kirk. E ditor David Pulbrqok.

The following is a summary of the Australian films most likely to be flying the flag ; at Cannes in 1996, in either an official eventor in the Marché. 1 û C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUN E 1996, Ê

Composer. Nerida Tyson-Chew. | | | | J Sound recordist: Uoyd Carrick.* Cost: Gia C a r id ^ S u S ip p o i^ ^ ^ ^ Anthony LaPaglia (Gary Fitzgerald), Zoe Carides (Katy Connors), Ray 11P f ¿Barrett (Brian Connors)^C|menne Wilkin (Marion), Neil Mplville (Vince), Michael Veitch (Pabl C o n n o rë ).^ |r

[See in té iv U i^ y fp b :]^ b à ^ p 0 ri^ n tPaul CorC&iustand RevengeC


P ro d u cer: Elisa

Argenzio S criptw riter

successfully conducted a bizarre

John Brumpton. Based on the play.

. eight-day siege with his girlfriend,

Containment, by J o h 'n , B i ^ J | ^ ^ | | D irector o f photography M a n d f ^ ^ g Walker. Produclinn desiqnoi Sarah Stoiltrian Costume dcsignei Louise McCarthy Editor: Bjll-Mlirphy

Béryl, in a house in’a, sleepy,'semi-

C a.it: John Brumpton (Des),

rural area on the fringes of Sydney.

Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Buxa Bargeld.

Thfeis Nadia ¡lass's fourth Australian

Coot: Tcheky Karyo (Jack), Rachel

feature^ojlowing M alcolm (1986),

Griffiths (Kate).

Rikky and Pete (1988) and The Big Steal (1990).

Synopsis: The story of an expatriate

David Tiredinnfpk (Ral|h)c '

X o v e a n ii O tlie r C a ta stro p h e s \ “A llernzrtm rtitle : "Love Wise" (wOlk^\m )cBrridu ctkp company: Screwball Five Pty i^ tn te m a tio n £ l!0 ft& " j j agent Beyond Films Post-pro’duced with the financial assistance o f L the Australian Film Commission

Gauge: Super 16. Efthymiou.

Executive producer: Bruno Charlesworth. Co-executive producers: Freg Bergman, Frank Cox. Co-producers: Helen Bandis. Yael Bergman. Line producer: Anastasia Sideris. Scriptw riters: Yael Bergman,:

memories of his dead wife. When he takes her to his tropical dream home,

.V

P rod u ctio n com pany: Vertigo

she discovers he has a past - a past

Productions. Developed with the

that he can neither forgive nor forget.

assisjanceof the South Australian

This is John Hillcoat's second fea­

Film Corporation. Gauge: 35mm.

ture, following Ghosts .... o f the C ivil

Screen ratio: VA.8b.

D e a d U m ).

Producers: Rolf de Heer, Giuseppe Pedersoli. Co-producërs: Sharon Jackson, Rona Paterson. Executive producer: Domenico Procacci. S criptw riter Rolf de Heer. Director o f photogràphy:Tûny Clark. Production designer. Fiona Paterson. Costume designer Beverley Freeman. Editor: Tania Nehme. ComposerGraham Tardif. Sound recordist: Peter D. Smith.

[S e e interview w ith d irecto r Jo h n

Ferguson, Cel jne O'Leary,

Cinema

Papers,

[S e e a rticle, p . 6 .]

Tatoulis. Co-producer

Colin South. Associate producer: Peter Bain-Hogg. S criptw riter:

n o . 1 0 9 , p p . 6 -1 0 , 5 2 .]

Deborah Parsons. D irector o f

Turning April

a Total Films[-]Alliance Communica­

photography: Peter Zakharov. Camera operator. Harry Panagiotidis. Production designers: Phil Chambers, Stan Anton iades. Costume designer: Clare Griffin. Editor: Peter Burgess. Composer: Burkhard Dallwitz. Sound recordist: Jim Dunwoodie.

Geoffrey B ennett Alliance Communications presents with Australian Film'Finance Corpora­ tion!,] Telefilm Canada and The

C a st: Peter

Gauge: 35mm. 98 mins.

Megaw), Carolyn Bock (Anne/Novan

Gosia Dobrowolska, Chris Haywood,

S cott Hicks ;

P ro d u cers: Laell

Anne), Brad Byguar (Boas), Alex

Pamela Rabe, Victoria Eager.

P roduction com pany: Momentum

Ogilvie. Executive producers: Phil

Menglett (Tito), Jeff Kovski (Pagett).

S y n o p sis: An

Films. Australian distributor: Ronin,

Gerlach, Robert Lantos. Co-producer:

S y n o p sis: Zone

International distributor Pandora

John Winter. Scriptw riter: James W.

thriller. Lieutenant Megaw works for

Nichol. Director o fphotography: Steve

the Army (NTU) and is posted to the

Justin Brickie. Production designer: ' Lisa Collins. Wardrobe: Lisa Collins.

Cast: Frances O’Connor, M att

P ro d u cer: John

p p . 1 2 -1 5 ,1 7 ; a n d interview w ith a cto r .R a ch el G riffith s,

Victoria. Gauge: 35mm

tions production. Location: Sydney.

Qd.it: Nicholas Hope, Claudia Karvan,

;

Finance Corporation Limited and Film

Cinema Papers, n o :.1 0 6 ,

Shine

Efthymiou. D irector o f photography: .

Editor: Ken’ Sallows. Sound recordisbf

H illco a t in

Onatrio Film Development Corporation

Paul Blackwell, Phoebe Ferguson : Neil Angwih. Editor: John Scott.

Bandis, Based on a story by Stavros

*

T h e Q u i e t . R o o m ' jjj RO LFD EH EER

C a st:;Chloe

Nino Martinetti. Production designer:

Emrnd-Kate Croghan; with Helen

Martin Kerr.

living in Papua New Guinea who falls in love with a woman who rekindles

[S eek -P ictu re. P review ", p /lff.j|pll|® !

P ro d u cer: Stavros

p f p h o to g ra p h y/M ie w de Grobt. Productjorndesigner: Chris Kennedy. E ditor Stewart Young. Composers:

erotic satire of an

heiress who. after a failed marriage

McCall, Heather

Phelps (Lieutenant Leo

39 is a futuristic

f and a corrupt family environemnt,

Cinema. Produced with the financial

Dyktynski, M att Day, Radha Mitchell,

jecides to occupy her mind with

: assistance of Australian Rim Finance

Arnold. Production designer: Michael

stark, barren salt-mines of Zone 39.

Alice Garner, Kim Gyngeli, Susanna

artistic endeavours. She commissions

Philips. Costume designer: Clarrissa

There he discovers that large tracts,

Dowling.

her friend, an internationally-recog­

Corporation, Australian Film Commission, South Australian Film

Patterson. Editor: Susan Shigton.

of land have been mysteriously

[S e e “P ictu re P review ”, p . 4 8 .]

nized sculptress, to create a work in

Corporation and Film Victoria.

Composer: Lesley Barber. Sound

contaminated. A mystery unfolds

1 See "Clarifation on Love arid Other

the vein of Michaelangelo’s David.

Budget: $6 million. Gauge: 35mm.

recordist: Bronwyn Murphy.

as Megaw finds out what really

This is Paul Cox first feature since

P rod u cer: Jane

C o st: Tushka

happened to the Zone.

The Nun and the Bandit (non-theatrical, 1992) and Exile (non-theatrical, 1994).

JànSardi. Director o f photography:

Christopher Morsley (Chappie),

Geoffrey Simpson. Production designer:

Lucy HiH (Robm), Judi Farr (Mother),

Catastrophes" in "Inbits", p. 2.

Love Serenade S hirley B arrett

Scott. Scriptwriter: .

Bergen (April),

Sally Campbell. Costume designer:

Kenneth Welsh (Father).

M r Reliable

Sally Campbell. Editor: Pip Karmel.

[S e e review , p . 5 4 .]

Productions. D istribution company:

Nadia T ass

Musical director: David Hirschfelder.

P roduction co m p an y : Jan

Chapman

Beyond Films. Produced With the

A ltern a tiv e title : "My

assistance of Australian Film Finance

(working). Production company: Hayes

Corporation Limited, New South Wales Film & Television Office and Film Victoria. Gauge:3bmm.

Producer: ^

Chapman. S criptw riter:

Entire Life"

cm

Cool: Geoffrey Rush (David Helgott),

Zone 39

Noah Taylor (Younger David), John

J ohn T atoulis

McElroy-Specific Films. Australian

Gielgud (Parkes), Lynn Redgrave

P roduction com pany:

distributor: Polygram Filmed Intertainment. International distribu­ tors: Polygram Filmed Intertainment

(Gillian Helfgott), Armin Mueller-Stahl

Media World Features.

(David's Father).

Developed with the assistance of South

S y ito p jii: After

succumbing to the

Shirley Barrett. D irector o f photogna; phy: Martdy Walker. Production; : |

(UK, France, Spain, Benelux),

pressure of his father's obsessive love and the fierce competition1of the

Australian Film

Polygram Film International (rest of

cies/gnerStevenJones-Evans.

world). Produced with theifinancial assistance of Australian Film Finance

concert world as a child prodigy, David Helfgott makes a new begin­

Produced with the assistance of

“Corporation. Gauge: 35mm.

ning in London inspired by his passion

Australian Film

P ro d u cers: Jim

for music and the woman he loves, i

Costume.designer: Anh'a B ororeffilg Editor: Denise Haratzis, Sound

MciElroy, Michael

C d.it: Miranda Otto (Dimity Hurley), ’

Hamlyn, Terry Hayes. Line producer:

Already acclaimed at Sundance, i j

Rebecca Frith (Vicki-Ann Hurley),

Dennis^Kifly¿S criptw riters: Don

George Shetsov (Ken Sherry), John

Catchlove, Terry Hayes. Director o f

Shine is Scott Hicks' third feature, following Freedom (1982) and

photography: David Parker. Camera

Sebastian and the, Sparrow (1989).

| Alansu (Albert). [S e e a rticle, p . 1 2 ]

L u st and R ev en g e Paul C ox g < _____~

Corporation Limited and South rAustfalian Film Coipiation P roduceiv/Jan e

Ballantyne, Paul Cox.

Corporation.

Ptodjlctidp designer: Jon Dowdihg. Costume designerTess Schofield. Editor: Peter Carrogfls M usic supervi­ sor Chris Gough Sound recordist.

èfr

¡ft

Small Man ProdurtmQ|. At/sifa//ar? ,

^Jacqueline McKenzie (Beryl); Paul Sonkkila, Frank Gatlachef/Barry Otto

Film Finance Corporation Limited^

SynopM i; Based:oji the true story of '

Gauge 35mm

the experiences of Wally Mellish g |

P ro d u cer: Denise

and international notoriety as an

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he information technology and telecommunications (IT & T ) industries come n e w -o u t-o f-th e -b o x . IT & T is seen as exciting, complex, even friendly to the environment. It is dif­ ficult to find a dilapidated computer because, in the rush for the n ext best thing, people are buying machines (the jargon is hardware) rather than repairing an existing one. So, too, for new media and, in par­ ticular, multimedia. Compact Disks read-only memory (CD-ROM ) - come in shiny, sexy plastic covers. The Inter­ net and the worldwide web are both so pristine in their “virtuality” that offend­ ing odours, abrasive textures, even a sense of random-ness, have been elimi­ nated. But against such a backdrop, new media and, specific to this article, mul­ timedia have many other sides. To give it a dramatic twist, there is a good, a bad and an ugly aspect to multimedia. Per­ haps more important, there are many degrees between such value judgements. Here then are some of them.

The Informatics Handbook The Informatics H andbook: A Guide to Multimedia Communications and Broad­ casting has ju st been released in Australia. Written by well-known free­ lance writer and commentator Stewart Fist (The Australian, H ot Chips), the book is a dictionary that explains all those names, appellations, jargon and acronyms that are appearing as we go down the road to the information super­ highway. The scope of the book is impressive and, at this stage, is the only one avail­ able on the subject. Fist said that the origins for the book go back to when he was working in film. It was at this time he starting compiling a list or database for the terms and technical inform a­ tion he was regularly encountering. Years and a million words later (actually 1.4 million words later), Chapman & Hall have published The Inform atics

Handbook. One of my favourite entries is ‘aging’: In com m unications system s, some inform ation “ages” very rapidly (in microseconds). In the buffer of a com­ m unications device, a line of information which has been held up for any reason can quickly reach the point that it makes sense to throw it away rather than allow it to load down the system, and deliver it late. Two-thirds of the entries in this book aged between the time of the original entry and the final copy sent to the p rinter. Som e w ill have aged even more by the time you read the infor­ mation and a year or two from now, the aging o f this in form ation w ill

become obvious once again. T h a t’s why we need your help in updating these entries. If you have comments, criticisms, corrections, additions or just suggestions, please co n ta ct me at fist@ozemail.com.au. I have a comment: “Good one.”

The Australasian Interactive Multi­ media Industry Association (AIM IA) The Australasian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA) is the peak industry body for multimedia. Formed in 1992, it currently boasts more than

8 5 0 m em bers w ith its m em bership growing. Stephen Schwalger, executive officer for the AIMIA, said the organization was focused on a number of issues: The Association is to help and support multimedia developers. But, with the area in a state of constant evolution, that also includes people in film and television, hardware and software ven­ dors and book publishers. The Internet and the worldwide web, the on-line market, has become a very strong focus for the AIMIA. In collaboration with Telstra Multime­ dia, the AIMIA has set up its own web site. Located at http://www.aimia.com.au, the site has a fully-relational database (a database that searches for information based on key words) listing all of AIMIA


members’ products and services. The recent AFC publication, Australian Mul­ timedia Catalogue 1996, was based on initial data collection done in co-opera­ tion with AIMIA. The AIMLA wants to keep evolving its web presence into a “distributed network”. “But”, warned Schwalger, “the gloss is starting to wear off being on-line. So consideration must be given to how we [AIMIA] portray and market the net.” O ther initiatives fo r the AIM IA include: • Building Bridges Forums to be held in conjunction with the DIST later this year. The Forums will be nation­ wide and pertinent to each state (i.e., a forum on new media and tourism for Queensland or technology and mining for Western Australia); and

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

• helping promote and support Aus­ tralian multimedia products and services both domestically and over­ seas. Internationally, AIM IA has marketing programmes into Japan and Korea. It is looking to attend the IMA expo in New York later this year and, for the second year, lead a contingent of Australian companies to MILIA, the international multimedia conference and exhibition held in France. The change of federal government has the AIMIA, like most of the IT & T play­ ers, waiting for an indication of policy from Canberra. Schwalger said: I think any message from the govern­ ment as it relates to our members is, at the moment, mixed. Obviously, we want to be in a dialogue with Canberra over any number of matters and we

will be emphasizing to them that many of our members are small businesses. Multimedia is still a moving target as to issues such as distribution, censorship, and margins.

M IL IA '96 M arché International de l'Édition et des N oveaux Médias Held in Cannes, France, on 8-12 Feb­ ruary 1 9 9 6 , M ILIA is seen as predominantly a place to do distribution deals for multimedia product outside the U.S. This was the 3rd MILIA and opin­ ions canvassed by Cinema Papers were of the view that it had become one of the top multimedia events.

M arius Coom ans said M IL IA had "g ro w n up" and w as very s ig n ifican t as a "rig h ts trad in g show , especially fo r m a rk ets outside N o rth A m e ric a ".

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new media M acL en n an said his com pany was already working internationally so it was a good experience to see the work of multimedia companies in the European market.

Double Impact T h e case o f D ou ble Im p act is n o t a pretty story. The bare facts are that Dou­ ble Im pact M u ltim ed ia Pty Ltd appointed an administrator in February. And that the parent company, Double Impact Multimedia Inc in San Francisco, filed for chapter 11 in March. Interviewed by Cinema Papers, Chair­ man and CEO M ichael Gale said that Double Impact Multimedia Pty Ltd (the Australian company) had never been profitable, incurring loses of around $3 m illion, and th at the parent company, Double Impact Mul­ timedia Inc, had been forced to carry the Australian operations. Gale admitted that the acquisition in December 1994 of the Perth-based mul­ timedia company Interactive Logic,

Marius Coomans, managing director of the Firmware Group, which encom­ passes Firmware Design and Firmware Publishing, has attended every MILIA. Fie said that it had “grown-up” and was very significant as a “rights trading show, especially for markets outside N orth America”. Alfred Milgrom, head of Beam Soft­ ware, a first time attendee, also saw MILIA as a place for deals: “There were distribution deals done at MILIA and it provided a networking opportunity but there were very few Americans there.” Stew art M acL en n an , of G arner MacLennan Design, or GM D, said that, because of the work GM D was doing and where he saw the business going, he had come to MILIA for the first time: GMD has a significant investment in post-production and digital imaging equipment. W e are involved in Aus­ tralia on a CD project called Mission A ustralia and have done prototype interactive work for H arperC ollins Interactive in New York. So, it made sense for us to go to M ILIA to both show what we had done and find co­ developers to work with. Opinions varied on the actually multim edia on display by e xh ib ito rs. Coomans said, “It is always difficult to get past the hype about CD -Rom and the same applies with the Internet.” Milgrom said, W e’re more a games house and so the M ILIA focus on entertainment titles didn’t make it a core business event for us. But it was worthwhile and Beam will be back next year.

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with its accumulated debt, had been a mistake. The collapse o f the San Francisco operation could be attributed to two bad debts in Singapore and the U.S. And so ends the Double Impact story. But, in fact, it is just part of the story. Double Impact Multimedia Pty Ltd was seen in Australia as one of the larger multimedia firms. Its, at least, public statements up to December 1995 were always very positive announcements on the progress of the com pany. O n 23 December 1995, Gale issued a statement that “Sippi M acD onald V entures has today completed an equity placement in Double Impact Multimedia Inc”. Going back fu rth er, in D ecem ber 1 9 9 4 , a release from Double Impact Multimedia Pty Ltd stated that: D ou ble Im p act M u ltim e d ia is a multimedia publishing, distribution and professional services company. It was form ed in D ecem ber 1993 [...] and was p rovid ed w ith an in itia l investment of $1 m illion from D ou ­ b le Im p a c t C a p ita l [a u th o r’s em phasis]. T h e com pany has since grown significantly and has remained Australian owned, is profitable and debt free w ith considerable capital capacity [...] Current sales are in the order of $15 million annualised and growing strongly, of which approxi­ m ately 7 5 % is g en erated ou tsid e Australia. If the D ecem ber 1 9 9 4 and D ecem ber 1 995 statem ents were accurate, then something has gone seriously wrong at Double Impact Inc or Pty Ltd or Double Impact Capital. The result has been peo­ ple and businesses are owed m oney, salaries and investments. @ C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


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inadaptation

Verbal Concepts, Moving Images Brian McFarlane

continues his analysis of novels into film

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ifty years ago, British cin­ Oesdemona (Irene Jacob) ema was in the middle of Oliver Parker's Othello. its period of highest pres­ tige ever. The war, which saw some of the precepts of the documentary move­ ment infiltrate the fiction film, brought to it a new respect for realism, and, in 1 9 4 4 , Laurence O livier made Henry V as a boost to the national morale. A concern in British cinema for the social reality which gave rise to it was a new impulse and led to the production of such famous pieces as Carol Reed’s T he Way A head (1 9 4 4 ) and R o b ert H am er’s It A lw ays Rains on Sunday (1947). The other dominant strand, ush­ ered in by the success of Olivier’s bout with Shakespeare, was that of the liter­ ary adaptation, characterized by films which both honoured the texts from which they were derived and were films of high distinction. They included such titles as L ean ’s G reat E x p ectatio n s (1 9 4 6 ) and O liver Twist (1 9 4 8 ), and Olivier’s Hamlet. In the mid-1990s, one is struck by the way in which history seems to be repeat­ ing itself in the matter of the kinds of films being made in Britain, even if the circumstances of production and exhi­ bition have changed immensely. The gage of cultural heritage, legitimated by realist strain of filmmaking, which has theatrical production and academic pre­ always been a strength of British cinema, scription and exegeses, Shakespeare though successive decades have re ­ poses special problems to the adaptor. defined its param eters, is currently Above all, perhaps, is the seem ing sustained by such d irecto rs as Ken incompatibility of the stylization of the Loach, M ike Leigh and Antonia Bird. blank verse (the prose employed largely Suddenly, the literary influence, fitfully for low-life comedy has its own prob­ represented by the Ivory-Merchant team, if one thinks of their films as British, is lems) and the remorseless realism of the cin em a’s mise en scène. K enneth experiencing an extraordinary efflores­ Branagh’s reworking of Henry V (1989) cence. N ow , the rush is to film and Much Ado About Nothing (1993) Shakespeare and Jane Austen, a much went a long way towards rapprochement less obvious choice for filmmakers than between these two apparent contraries, Dickens. and we are now prom ised a spate of By “literary”, however, I mean more Shakespearian film s: O th e llo , with than merely a film derived from a novel Branagh and Laurence Fishburne, will or play, though the prevalence of that arrive first, with versions of H am let, phenom enon does suggest something R om eo and Ju liet, T w elfth Night and about national predilections: it points to Richard III to follow. What, by the way, a willingness to give a major function to has happened to Christine Edzard’s As the verbal (often a trap for British cin­ You Like Iti She showed with Little Dorem a); to a relian ce on the literary rit (1988) that, at one and the same time, concepts of character and plot as being she, like Lean fifty years ago, could do mutually-furthering elements in struc­ ju stice to a great novel and make a ture; to a wish to achieve cinematically rem arkable film. (The contrary is, of those effects relatin g to m ilieu and course, equally possible: to debase a atmosphere which are the product gen­ great novel and make a rotten film as erally of a novel’s discursive prose or of Roland Joffé’s recent vulgar, stupid The Shakespearian imagery. Scarlet Letter has shown.) T hou gh both Shakespeare and Ja n e Austen has been curiously Austen come to us laden with all the bag-

30

neglected by filmmakers. It is 56 years since Pride an d Prejudice (R o bert Z. Leonard, 1 9 4 0 ) was filmed in H olly­ w ood by M G M , from a screenplay co-authored by Aldous Huxley, a credit which ought to have meant more than it did. “I can still dream”, intones the lovelorn Jane (Maureen O ’Sullivan) to Elizabeth (Greer Garson) in a moment which, in its soppiness, owes nothing to Jane Austen and everything to M G M . This is a film of some felicities - there is skill in pruning of character and inci­ dent in the interests o f a tw o-hou r structure - but its strengths are those of M GM , rather than of wise, rational, pas­ sionate Jane Austen. It is a product of the urge to round everything off in plot term s so th at no wayward feeling escapes, of the high-gloss M G M house style, of a need not to alienate contem­ porary expectations in diction or dress (the w om en’s dresses are updated by thirty years). It is not ignoble, but it does not begin to be as rich and witty, or as rigorous, as its great precursor. In the intervening half-century, there have been television serials derived from

peculiar and ill-considered television film version of Northanger Abbey, recently re-shown on the ABC to cash in on the current Austen craze. In the main, the television serials have been content to gut the novels fo r w hat they see as romantic tales set in a picturesque past, not much con cern ed to engage with m oral issues or the tough-m ind ed themes of the originals. Unlike Dickens, who everyone will tell you is so “visual” (though n o t necessarily in ways amenable to filming), Jane Austen is the least so of great novelists. O nly Ivy Compton-Burnett is more austere about w hat people and places lo o k like. A usten’s in terest lies elsew here: the drama of the novels is essentially inte­ rior. It will end inevitably in marriage but en route to that end, which Austen sees as so potentially desirable, emotional

Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Mans­ field Park, Sense and Sensibility and at least two from Emma, along with a very C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996


and moral conflicts will be articulated through the minutiae of everyday inter­ course. The novels’ strengths are moral, formal and stylistic. In narrative terms, their concern is to make manners and social behaviour work as a correlative for the inner life. Now , this may not sound much like the stuff of the cinema, certainly not of a cinema dominated by violent physical action and special effects, but perhaps it is the sense of a m oral centre to the drama of social behaviour which makes so durable what might otherwise seem merely quaint. For whatever reason, in reaction pos­ sibly against the wearying violence of modern cinema, even in films as brilliant as Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1 9 9 2 ) and Pulp F iction (T aran tin o, 1994), we now have films adapted from Persuasion (Roger Mitchell) and Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee), a film version and a television series of Emma on the way, with Amy H eckerling’s Clueless having acted as a sort of curtain-raiser, and the serial version of Pride and Prej­ udice (Simon Langton) screening as I write. Incidentally, few local reviews drew attention at the time to the fact that Heckerling’s film is a sweet-tempered, if simple-minded, reworking of Emma. Set in LA, in a world of high-school dating and mobile phones, it is not slavish in its parallels to the Austen masterpiece, but it follow s its main lines of action in regard to the heroine’s passion for med­ dling in other people’s romantic lives (“Cher’s [Alicia Silverstone’s] main thrill in life is a makeover”), and her realiza­ tion that she loves the man who has been waiting patiently for her to grow up. It is sharp and witty (Cher is “hymenally challenged”, we are told) and affection­ ate, and will more than do until the real thing comes along shortly. On the basis of the two Austen-based films so far seen, it may well be that they are as much in reaction against the flac­ cid pictorialism of the Merchant-Ivory dealings with classic literature. Neither C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

of these two films is concerned with offering pretty scenes from the past; both are firmly constructed so as to offer narrative experiences comparable to but not relentlessly “faithful” to the origi­ nals. Unlike the television serial derived from Pride and Prejudice , which seems like the work of a painstaking bricklayer, the two films suggest that architects were at work. Pride and Prejudice suffers from that sort of shapelessness which is endemic in television serial versions of the clas­ sics. Despite its makers’ avowed intent to avoid this tradition, the end product belongs firmly there. It is not ignoble; it is just not exciting. W hereas the two films are shaped throughout by aware­ ness of their governing motifs, Pride and P reju dice seems to have been put

together on the principle of not leaving out anything in the book, and of simply, and conscientiously, visualizing one episode after another, without much concern for what it is all adding up to. However, at six hours (compared with the roughly two hours of the two films), Pride and Prejudice is much too long. It is padded with dances in which extras perform stately cotillions, with endless unrevealing reaction shots, with carriage rides through assorted scenery. It is guilty of a mindless pictorialism which doesn’t work to clarify the social situation (important to viewers 200 years later) or to intensify the drama. The lat­ ter is further undermined by a tiresome literalness which demands that, if a char­ acter talks or thinks of other times or places, we must be shown them. The

Rev. Collins (David Bamber) cannot speak of his patroness without an inset shot of his greeting her obsequiously at the church whose living she has bestowed on him. Not only is the series grossly padded out in these ways, it also seriously miscalculates some effects of character. Bamber makes of Collins a caricature at odds with the prevailing realism; Alison Steadman’s Mrs Bennet is too shrill to be funny; and Benjamin Whitrow’s M r Bennet has been encour­ aged to adopt a benign tolerance that sits ill with the contem ptible things he is called on to do and say. I am not talking about fidelity to Austen (though I easily might be), but about internal coherence. On the positive side, there is a superb central couple in Jennifer Ehle’s Eliza­ beth and Colin Firth’s Darcy, who bring verve and intelligence to the recurring themes of love, money and class. The sexual sparks struck early between them are wholly convincing, and provide the co n tex t for their picking their way through social and temperamental obsta­ cles as they move towards their final, mutual capitulation. Once they take over the narrative, from the time of Darcy’s arrogant first proposal, the series gains in intensity and purpose. Persuasion was in fact made for tele­ vision but has been screened in the cinema. It doesn’t betray its television ori­ gins except in a certain - and appropriate - sense of confinement in the filming. It is appropriate in relation to the confined life of Anne Elliot (Amanda Root): dis­ possessed and marginalized at home;

31


inadaptation cramped into corners to receive every­ one’s complaints when she goes to stay with her selfish, hypochondriac sister, Mary (Sophie Thom pson); even more cramped in lodgings at Lyme Regis; and out of place in the empty" elegance of the apartments taken in Bath by her absurdly vain father, Sir Walter (Corin Redgrave), and older sister, Elizabeth (Phoebe Nicholls). Acting suggestively against these rep­ resen tatio n s of co n stra in t are the opening and closing images of the sea. The sea is a crucial element in the pat­ tern of the novel. The film opens with shots of lapping waves intercut with those of turning carriage wheels, linking from the outset the two worlds of land and sea. In a small boat, at a distance from a naval engagement, someone who will prove to be Admiral C roft (John Woodvine) announces, “Gentlemen, the war is over ... W e’re going home.” Eight years earlier, Anne has allowed herself to be persuaded by a well-meaning older friend, Lady Russell (Susan Fleetwood),

after, has to learn to look and value again. Director Roger Mitchell and screen­ writer Nick Dear have kept this drama of thwarted and finally reacknowledged love at the centre of the film and made everything else subserve it. The film uses a stru cture based on parallelism s to further our understanding and valuing of Anne: there are two accidents - a minor one to her nephew, a serious one to Louisa Musgrove (Emma Roberts) which both reveal aspects of her strength and have implications for her relation­ ship with Wentworth; there are two sets of illness - Mary’s imagined complaints and the widowed Mrs Smith’s (Helen Schlesinger’s) real incapacitation in Bath - which draw on different qualities of tact and compassion in Anne; there are two m ajor visits, one to Lyme which ends in disaster and one, unwillingly made on Anne’s part, which leads to her final felicity". These parallelisms, drawn from the novel and cleverly remade for the film, reinforce our sense of the two

cupidity7. They have had one of those superlative casts of British actors who know absolutely what to do with dia­ logue which, with less assured talents,

Francois), remove to a shabby cottage, contrasting with the affluence they have left, and it falls to the “sensible” Elinor to practise the economies that wall enable

might seem too literary7. This is a film which doesn’t jar with one’s sense of a well-loved classic: it is also a film of distinction in its own right. Mitchell, South African, with a back­ ground of theatre, seems to have an intuitive grasp of film as a whole arte­ fact in the way that a novel is. Ang Lee, the Taiwanese director of Sense and. Sen­ sibility, and of The W edding Banquet (1 9 9 3 ) and Eat Drink Man W oman (1994) , seems a yet more exotic choice. However, there is plenty of precedent for a director from another culture seeing more freshly than the long-established (Fritz Lang in America, for instance). Cer­ tainly, he and screenwriter-star Emma Thompson have between them, and abet­ ted by such gifted collaborators as designer Luciana Arrighi and cameraman Michael Coulter, created one of the most intelligently vivacious entertainments of

them to make a home there. The essential drama of the film is not so much in the inevitable move towards matrimony as in the growth of mutual understanding between Elinor and M ar­ ianne. The wildly romantic M arianne, whose idea of passion is to run out into the rain and catch a nearly fatal fever when her lover proves false, must learn to value the steady affection of Elinor and to realize that Elinor’s sense does not preclude the possibility of profound emo­ tion. Elinor, the chief stay and support o f the household, will com e to value openness in a trulv-felt relationship. Just as Jane Austen’s cool rationalism sees “sense” as life’s best preservative from folly, so the film tends to privilege Eli­ nor’s feelings over Marianne’s excesses, but, again like Austen, it resists schema­ tism, and movingly suggests that the girls’ genuine feeling for each other over-

It may be argued that a burst of film versions of famous novels is to take an unadventurous approach to filmmaking. I think this is probably nonsense: what is true is that there are exciting and dull adaptations, which may or may not be true to the "spirit" of the original. not to marry7 Captain Wentworth (Ciarin Hinds), a young naval man without fortune. Now, the war over, he returns with the gloss of success on him and the film’s drama will move towards the final shot of him and Anne on the bridge of his own ship, at sea. Anne, who has been pushed into corners on land, is now joy­ ously in her element at sea. In fact, the images of the sea and the characters con­ nected to it, not only Wentworth but his brother-in-law and sister, Admiral and Elizabeth Croft, come to stand for an openness and generosity7 not commonly found elsewhere in Anne’s life. The repetition of the sea image at the end is a way of re-stating the story7- both Austen’s and the film’s - of the value of grasping the second chance. Persuasion is Jane Austen’s most mature love story: it is a very wise novel which knows that love doesn’t operate in cliches, that it can be strengthened by obstacles and adver­ sity and emerge more mature. Cinderella has been evoked by reviewers, but this underestimates Persuasion's strength as novel and film. Plain Anne (plainer, in fact, in the film than the novel suggests) almost imperceptibly blossoms, not into beauty but into radiant certainty as she acquires the confidence to cast off the effects of persuasion and make her own bid for happiness, while W entw orth, once penniless, now rich and sought

32

chances offered to Anne, the first of which she w7as young enough to be per­ suaded against; the second she joyfully em braces, secure in her own mature judgment. Rigorous, intelligent, heartfelt: these are some of the adjectives I would want to apply to M itchell’s film. Everything is made to mean: the odd rural shot sug­ gests the kind of peace Anne is leaving and why she might dislike the hard glit­ ter of B ath; the autumn woods near the beginning signify7her sense of missed opportunity7, patiently borne but missed. The economy of framing and shooting, resisting expansive exteriors for most of the time, works to focus on matters of character and relationship. It is, for example, not wasteful about the beau­ ties of Lym e, but con cen trates in tightlv-held close-ups on the accident and its effects on those present, espe­ cially on Anne and Wentworth. It uses the screen’s resources to suggest the inner life: the camera resting briefly in close-up on Anne’s hand, tensely grasp­ ing a chair-arm, tells us what we need to know about her feelings on first re-meeting Wentworth. Though it is a grave film, Persuasion is also, and often , very w itty, and M itch e ll and D ear have retained A u sten’s sly, stinging satire at the expense of selfishness, snobbery and

the year. It is, properly, a more joyous entertainment than Persuasion ; it is more lavishly cast, longer and aptly makes much more expansive use of carefully chosen settings. Thompson’s writing gives the narrative a feminist thrust: it’s not that she distorts Jane Austen, but that her screen­ play (and the film as a whole) provides a critical commentary on the antecedent text. This is surely one of the functions a screen adaptation of a novel, especially of well-known one, might fulfil. The film opens with a death and, like all the Austen novels, ends with m ar­ riage. W hen M r Dashwood (a cameo from Tom Wilkinson) dies, he tells his son, John (James Fleet), to look after his stepmother (Gemma Jones) and his step­ sisters, Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet). Inheritance is a common theme in the novels, unsur­ prisingly since m iddle-class young women, their usual protagonists, rely on it to give them independence. In its absence, marriage is their only other hope of security. Mrs Dashwood and her daughters must face the unpalatable truth that “Houses go from father to son, not from father to daughter. It is the rule.” This film, without shrillness but through its control of its mise-en-scene, registers the cruelty of this arrangement. T h e th ree w om en and the tom boy youngest sister, M a rg a ret (Em ilie

rides their temperamental differences. As in the case of Persuasion, the film’s settings are very intelligently used to fur­ ther its meanings. M arianne’s faithless lover, Willoughby (Greg Wise, shiftily handsome), is, of course, first seen posed byronically, a figure on horseback in sil­ houette on a hillside. Our last glimpse of him will again be on a hillside, this time observing the marriage party denied to him because he has needed to marry a fortune, whatever the other attractions of Marianne. She marries, perhaps more probably here than it has ever seemed in the novel, to the middle-aged, sombre and very rich Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman, very astutely cast against type to make this dull dog more interesting). The contrast with W illoughby is thus wordlessly made through the contrast in their visual presentations. M arianne, played with a vibrancy that is exact, m addening and to u ch in g by K ate Winslet, is beautifully counterpointed by Thompson’s composed, heartfelt Elinor. She is ch aracteristically fram ed by domestic interiors or in quiet country lanes with her shy lover, Edward (a role that uses Hugh Grant’s hesitant persona to slightly d iffe ren t e ffe ct fro m the usual); not for her to be posed against landscapes recalling the Roman- ^ ^ tic painting of the period. “Can everyone in England P ® ® C I N E M A P A P E R S • J U N E 1996


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33


in retro spect

The Dawn of Cinema Tina Kaufman he prevailing impression of films made in the first 2 0 years follow ing the invention of the camera and of projection equip­ ment is of prim itive filmmaking, of jerky, dark, disintegrating actuality footage of trains, of facto­ ries, of horse races, or of very early com ic turns, straight from the vaudeville stage. To challenge this perception of early cinema as a historical oddity, and present it instead as an era of vibrant, exciting film m aking, the M useum of Contem porary Art is presenting “The Dawn of Cinema 1 8 9 4 -1 9 1 5 ”, a season of early cinema from around the world, from Edison’s Kinetoscopes to the work of the Lum ière Frères in Paris, from pioneer filmmakers in England, Germany and Australia to the beginnings of Hollyw ood. Expanding from a tiny scrap of film, 20-seconds long, to Cecil B. D eM ille’s 80-minute Girl o f the Golden West (1915), the films in the season are treasures of early film m aking and promise the viewer much pleasure. They will also help establish this era as a challenging period of film history. The season is made up of 240 films, programmed into ten ses­ sions, running in Sydney every Tuesday until June 4. The season will also be seen in M elbourne through the M elbourne C iné­ mathèque, and in Canberra at the N ational Library T heatre. It is accompanied by a substantial cat­ alogue, with notes on all the films shown, and special-focus essays on early cinema and some of its most important practitioners, including the Lumière Frères, Edwin S. Porter and D. W. Griffith. Curator Dr Barrett Hodsdon and the MCA’s film officer David Watson have been working for nearly two years on the season. In part concerned by a lack of a serious effort in Australia to com­ memorate the Centenary of Cinema, Hodsdon raised the possibility of such a season to David Watson, who was suf­ ficiently committed to provide a small stipend to allow the project to be taken a stage further, and fleshed out enough to present a substantial proposal to the M useum o f C ontem porary Art for approval. Much work has already been done in other countries to establish an audience that takes early cinema seri­

34

examines a salute to early cinema

ously and recognizes its im portance. Programmes have been put together and shown through festivals and cinémath­ èques, and much recent scholarship has overturned the previously-held miscon­ ceptions of early cinema as primitive and limited. Australia, with its serious lack of an ongoing, contextualized screening pro­ gramme through a national cinémathèque where such programmes could be shown, is 15 to 20 years behind in its recognition of the importance and relevance of this early era, and the need to address this gap through the Centenary of Cinema cele­ brations sold the project to the MCA. Once the MCA had endorsed the season, and Watson had been able to pencil the dates into the MCA Calendar (the Amer­

available as a package. That would form the core of the season, a base from which Hodsdon could attach the larger pro­ gramme. Hodsdon: I always intended to use as much local material as possible, but it was never going to be enough. I knew that Bruce Hodsdon at the National Library had a good collection of early films, and we later discovered work at the National Film & Sound Archive that we could use, but, when we found out that this “Before Hollywood” programme was on offer, it was very exciting, as it could obviously form the linchpin for the whole season. It had been put together in 1988, but was resurrected and pro­ moted for the Centenary of Cinema, perfectly timed for our season. Another im portant confluence was that W atson had also been working with Peter Callas on “Phantasmagoria: Pre-Cinema to Virtuality”, an exhibition centring on French magician-turned-film­ maker Georges Méliés, looking at both Méliés himself and his work, and at the work of three promi­ nent video and computer artists whose contemporary work had been influenced by him. The pro­ posal was being developed concurrently, and both projects then began to come together at the same time. Hodsdon: It was a nice piece of synchro­ nization, especially as I found myself referencing Méliés much more than I’d originally intended to. By co-ordinating with the Méliés exhibition, we’re able to provide a much wider canvas on which to present early cinema.

ican Express Hall, where the screenings will take place, is incredibly popular for private hires, and earns the MCA a large slice of income; getting an uninterrupted 10-week run was very hard work), an 18month hunt was under way to locate films and support material, and put the programmes together. W ith resources tight and a definite date set, there was a need to find as much material as possible in Australia, or in already curated programmes in other arts or film institutions. An early b reak ­ through was the discovery of the “Before H ollyw ood” programme, a speciallycurated guide to early American cinema put together in 1988 by the American Federation of Arts, which was actually

The Méliés Exhibition includes a contem porary retrospective of Méliés’ films, curated by Jonathan Den­ nis and Paolo Cherchi Usai, from Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy, where much of the restoration and rethinking of early cinema has taken place over the past decade. A collection of photographs of Méliés’ workspace and workers will also be exhibited, together with 100 rare pro­ duction stills from his films. Méliés, who opened the world’s first theatrical cine­ mas on 4 April 1896, took to the new medium of film with great delight. One of the first and most creative filmmakers, he was also the first filmmaker to record his work through production stills. He also founded, in 1900, and was president of for 12 years, a filmmakers’ alliance

formed to defend French films against the piracy of American producers. Despite these finds, it was still diffi­ cult to put together the rest of the season. Hodsdon explains: There is quite a lot of early cinema material in the National Library, a lot more than people would expect; it’s just that no one’s really known how to use it before. I spent a long time research­ ing that thoroughly. Bruce [Hodsdon] had tried to draw attention to these acquisitions, and he’d written an article on Griffith’s Biograph films, for exam­ ple. There’s about 40 of the Biograph films in the Library, but those films have only been shown piecemeal; they really need to be constructed and contextual­ ized. I decided to focus on them, to focus on his Biograph period in the con­ text of early cinema. So, there was some interesting mate­ rial here, but it needed to be supported by a selective drawing of material from overseas. The Goethe Institute had a package of early German cinema from 1911 to 1914 on offer, and we’ve pro­ grammed that to come in at the end of the season. That’s actually been on offer for some years, but the material is so highly specialized that it really needed to be attached to a programme like this to give it some context. The first programme of the season should be particularly interesting. There are 30 films in the programme, and it’s a survey of the key areas of the pioneers: AmerC I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


ing. Many Pathé Frères films are tinted and coloured; Pathé had started with hand-colouring and then, in 1 9 0 6 , it developed a way to use stencils, and the colouring became more precise. “But it’s fascinating that in some of the earlier films, because they were handcoloured and not precise, you get an effect like a shimmer”, explains Hods­ don. When Pathé brought in the use of the stencil, colouring became more pro­ fessional, and a famous photograph exists showing all the women colouring films, one of the first examples of an assembly line, at the Pathé Studios in Paris. Early cinema was actually shown using much more hand colouring, tint­ ing and using colour with stencils than had been realized until very recently. Hodsdon: The Archive has been very supportive in other ways for the season. It has helped us copy a lot of material, and it has made frame blow-ups from some of the films for promotional purposes, which has been crucial. We also have a special selection of Australian films, as I was able to think about and draw from material in the Archive, to construct a programme which presents a fascinating range of early actuality cinema. ica, France, England and Germany. And some of that work comes from another important season that they were able to key into: the British Film Institu te’s “Early Pioneers”, two special compila­ tions of early English film m akers. Commented David Watson: And now we have, through a sponsor­ ship arrangement, a very good video projector, so that the small amount of m aterial that we have to show on videotape, altogether about five per­ cent of the programme and including work from the BFI’s “Early Pioneers”, can be shown in the best possible way. Searching for more material, Hodsdon found another source: I looked around and wondered whether the Archive had any material of this era, and it did - quite a lot of early overseas films as well as local material, but without any proper lists of contents. Luckily, Sally Jackson was actually working there at this time, trying to compile some sort of infor­ mation base. She gave me some help, and I found some films I could use. One is a 10-minute, The Invisible Men , made by Pathé Frères in France in 1908, in which the men turn into veg­ etables. It’s beautifully tinted, and was directed by Gaston V elle and Segundo de Chomon. Pathé Frères, which was the biggest film company in the world at that time, were also the most advanced in film colour­ C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

This programme includes two examples of the early actuality genre, the Phantom Ride, with the camera taking a ride on city public transport; all the density and vigour of everyday life in the city unfolds before the audience. These ride films were very popular in 1905-7, and the NFSA has preserved good examples which fea­ ture all the capital cities as well as other regional centres. The Sydney and Brisbane rides will be screened in the season. It was this pre-Hollywood period that saw filmmaking as a much more open, looser, freer occupation. It was only when filmmaking in the U.S. began to change to the Hollywood studio model that the structures became more formal­ ized; once that began, the changes happened very quickly. A filmmaker like

that’s still under-researched - that tran­ sition that took place from 1908 to 1914, that shift in relations and ways of working. T h a t’s where G riffith comes in - and we have a programme on Griffith. We have to get past that image of the man who contributed so much to the establishment of Holly­ wood, the myth of the great artist, and see much more of the complexities that actually occurred, the way other film­ makers were affected. There’s a comedy programme that was really only possible because of what I found in the Archive. W e’ve devoted one programme to early comedy and fantasy, and we’ve some early films of

Hodsdon:

"We also have a special selection of Australian films, as I was able to think about and draw from material in the Archive." Edwin S. Porter, who was enormously prolific in the early years, was made almost obsolete by this change in struc­ ture. Hodsdon: Some of these pioneers didn’t want to adjust to the change in these structures, didn’t want to adopt a more hierarchi­ cal way of working, and were left behind, forgotten, by the 1920s. It’s an important issue of the period, and one

M ax Linder, who made hundreds of films. The Pordenone Film Festival, which is devoted to silent cinema and has done some amazing curatorial and restoration work, has put together key retrospectives on early French and early Italian comedy, and the out­ put in those early years was just incredible. Other strands in the season include the

avant-garde reclamations of early cin­ ema, including some films by Hollis Frampton, the rise of the Western, and the transition to narrative and to featurelength films. M usic for many of the screenings will be provided by Sydney pianist Roger Frampton, while organist extraordinaire Ron West will come to Sydney from his silent movie cinema in Pomona for one programme. Three edu­ cational institutions have financially supported the programme, the Australian Film Television & Radio School, the Screen Studies Department at Macquarie University, and the Department of Fine Arts at Sydney University. David Watson is pleased about this, as it opens the way for further support and collaboration between the MCA and such institutions in the future, links which will be vitally important in the development of an audi­ ence for the future. The season is to culminate in a “Confer­ ence on Early Cinema”, to be held in August. It is likely that Tom Gunning, one of the leading specialists on early cinema, will be attending, and Ian Christie from the BFI has confirmed, as have William Routt, Ina Bertrand and Pat Laughren. A key screening for the conference will be Wim Wenders’ film on Germany’s own pioneers, the Skladanowsky Brothers, which will just be completed in time, and brought to Australia by the Goethe Institute. ©

35


N ic k

P a r s o n s â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Dead Heart A d e a th in th e c o m m u n ity , an d a d e fia n t, d o o m e d lo v e a ffa ire b e tw e e n a w h ite w o m a n a n d an A b o rig in e , b rin g trib a l la w an d A u s tra lia n la w into e x p lo s iv e co n flict. P ro d u c e d b y B ryan B ro w n , Dead Heart is th e firs t fe a tu re o f w rite r-d ire c to r-p la y w rig h t N ick P arsons: I w a s n o t m o tiv a te d b y an d e s ire to do s o m e th in g fo r A b o rig in a l p e o p le . T h e s to ry w a s s u g g e s te d to m e b y a real e v e n t th a t to o k pla ce in th e 1930s, a s to ry a b o u t an A b o rig in e w h o killed a n o th e r m a n fo r trib a l rea so n s . H e w a s g a o le d fo r 20 y e a rs , b u t b ro k e o u t a fte r six w e e k s an d w a s n e v e r ca u g h t. It's n o t so m u c h a s to ry o f black ve rsu s w h ite , b u t a s to ry a b o u t th e v e ry d iffe re n t co d es th a t o p e ra te in th e tw o w o rld s at th e s a m e tim e . D e p e n d in g on w h ic h side yo u a re o n , b o th a re rig h t. It's a s to ry w ith no real b a d d ie s . I w a n t ju s t to e x p lo re th e s e tw o m o ra l s y s te m s in co n flict.

Dead Heart stars B ryan B ro w n (as R ay), E rn ie D in g o (D a v id ), A n g ie M illik e n (K ate), G n a rn a y a rra h e W a ita ir e (P o p p y ), Lew is F itz -G e ra ld (Les), A n n e T e n n e y (S a ra h ) an d J o h n J a rra tt (C h a rlie ).

[Quote extracted from a forthcoming article by Andrew L. Urban.]


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37


festival

46 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, 1996 Jan Epstein he 12-day Berlin Interna­ tion al Film Festival is a winter festival. It competes with Cannes and Venice, not just for films and the A m erican presence, but w ith stargazing on the C roisette in bright sun­ shine in spring, and the sophisticated pleasure of eating ice-cream and pasta Doges’ Palace in autumn. Berlin had the Wall until recently, which, coupled with its Cold War spies, Nazi past and deca­ dent im age, gave the city a seedy glamour. But since reunification, Berlin has become a vast construction site. In the rush to become Europe's polit­ ical capital by the year 2 0 0 0 , the past is being obliterated with the building of glittering, glass-plated department stores and office blocks. The American Busi­ ness Centre is about to rise from a tangle o f cranes on the site of C h eck p o in t Charlie, and international capital is pour­ ing in to restore Friedrichstrasse (the hub of Berlin social life before it was cut in two by the Cold W ar) to its form er glory.

t

The effect of reunification and postWall reconstruction on the 46th Berlin International Film Festival was palpa­ ble. Carried forward on the wave of a partnership between cinema and inter­ national capitalism, the Berlinale (which includes the European Film Market) is now targeted by the U.S. m ajors

reports on the key films which may be reaching Australian arthouse cinemas soon

and independents as the first of three seasonal staging posts critical to the launching of American film ‘product’ into the European m arket: B erlin in February, Cannes in May, and Venice in August-September. Germany is now the world’s number one purchaser of American films, dis­ placing Japan. German filmgoers love cinema and take it seriously as both art outside the and entertainment. In commercial the­ atres in Germany, it is considered crass to leave the cinema before the final cred­ its have finished rolling. However, most foreign films are dubbed, denuding them of local flavour and flattening ambient sound. Despite 1995 being a bumper year fo r Germ an cinem a, with 2 0 hom e­ grown films attracting an audience of 100,000 viewers or more (three of them pulling in audiences of more than 1 mil­ lion), American blockbusters still account for more than 80% of the German box office, as they generally do elsewhere.

At the press conference in Berlin after the prem iere o f his new film , W ielki Tydzien (Holy Week), veteran director Andrzej W ajda was asked whether he was worried about the resurgence of antiSem itism in Poland, to w hich he answered that he was not as concerned about anti-Semitism in Poland as he was about American cultural imperialism. This sentiment was echoed, albeit more tactfully, by both Germ an d irecto r M ichael V erhoeven, whose M utters Courage, filmed in English and unsatis­ facto rily dubbed into G erm an, was screened out of Competition, and the Swiss-born Dani Levy, whose splashy and erotic Stille Nacht (Silent Night), largely filmed at Studio Babelsberg, was the Fes­ tival’s only German Competition entry. Three years ago, Deutsche Film AG (DEFA), the state-run East German stu­ dio w hich to ok co n tro l of the old Universum Film AG (UFA) studios in 1946, was privatized and renamed Stu­

decent Germ an projects with decent Germ an d irecto rs”), the B erlinale is growing in stature. Ironically, much of its increased standing stems from the importance placed upon the Festival by the Americans. There’s no show without Punch, and this year there was a record 12 American-backed films among the 29 film s in the o fficia l line-u p. These included Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee), D ea d M an W alking (Tim R o b b in s), Faithful (Paul M azurskyJ, G et Shorty (Barry Sonnenfeld), Mary Reilly (Stephen Frears), Richard III (Richard Loncraine), R estoration (M ichael H offm an) and Twelve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam) - all in C o m p etitio n - w ith N ixon (O liver Stone), From Dusk till Dawn (Robert R od rigu ez), H o m e fo r the H o lid a y s (Jodie Foster) and Toy Story (John Lasseter) being given their European débuts out of Competition. As a consequence of this huge line­ up (almost every major U.S. studio and several big independents were represented either in or out of Competition, or in other Festival ca teg o ries), the record 3 ,0 0 0 in tern atio n al press attend ing could have thought they were in Cannes (if it w eren ’t fo r the snow ), as Em m a T h o m p son , Jodie Foster, Oliver Stone, John Travolta, Bruce W illis, Julia R oberts, Sally Field and Claudia Cardinale, to name a few, flew into Berlin to have their pictures taken.

G erm any is now the w orld's num ber one purchaser o f A m erican film s, displacing Japan. Germ an film goers love cinem a and ta k e it seriously as both art and en tertain m en t. dio Babelsberg. This rather neglected site in suburban Potsdam has a colourful history. Established in 1915, the UFA studios produced such classics as Der

Kabinett des Dr Caligari (The Cab­ inet o f Dr Caligari, Robert W iene, 1919) Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926) and Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel, Josef von Sternberg, 1930), as well as lazi propaganda films under Goebbels. Babelsberg is now owned by a French company and managed by the German director Volker Schlondorff. Since 1992, som e D M 1 0 0 m illion have been pumped into Babelsberg in an attempt to make it the num ber one studio in Europe. Yet Babelsberg made a loss of DM8 million in 1995, although it boasts state-of-the-art technology, and none of the four films produced by the stu­ dio made it onto the screen. Despite this sense of crisis sur­ rounding th eir film industry (Schlondorff has been quoted as say­ ing, “It’s difficult these days to find

Disappointm ent was expressed by many at the decision of the Competition Jury to award the Golden Bear for Best Film to Ang L ee’s Sense and Sensibil­ ity, and n ot, fo r exam p le, the equally-well-received D ead Man W alk­ ing. In the light of Sense and Sensibility's Golden Globe successes and Oscar nom­ in atio n s, this was seen as a safe and unadventurous decision, maybe even a com prom ise decision, since violence which featured strongly in films this year was considered not to be to the liking of the Jury’s strong-willed Chairman, Russ­ ian director Nikita Mikhalkov. American films were conspicuous, too, in the cat­ egories the In te rn a tio n a l Forum o f Young Cinema (the Berlin equivalent to C an n es’ D irecto rs F o rtn ig h t), and Panorama. Yet, despite this invasion, the Berlinale kept its distinctive character.


2

The 1996 Berlinale was n otable for a lack o f avant garde or e x p e ri­ m ental film m aking, even in the side-bars (apart from the welcome oddity, Jan Jakub Kolski’s

Grajacy z Talerza (The Man Who Reads Music From Plates)). Berliners opt for con ten t above form in cinem a. They eschew flair for substance. German cul­ ture has been dealing with ‘serious issues’ since Martin Luther, but it is difficult not to link this with the abiding preoccu­ pations of Germans forced unavoidably to confront their recent past. Thus many of the most interesting films were those that explored political and moral issues. On the face of it, Germans seem to have little interest in the ludic in film. Ildiko Szabo’s Csajok (Bitches ) is an often uncomfortable look at the battle of the sexes in Hungary. Told uncon­ ventionally, with bold strokes, the story revolves around three women whose paths cross at the local baths. Their lives lurch from misfortune to catastrophe. The men in their lives are bastards, and they are bitches. This is married life after the Wall has fallen, and the illusion of certainty has been shattered, perhaps for­ ever. The satire is too heavy at times, but some scenes, notably a rape scene of frightening violence which dissolves to farce when the husband suddenly gets cramp, are uncompromising and real. It is mandatory for the Berlinale to inclu de film s about the H olocau st. Michael Verhoeven’s Mutters Courage , C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

a G erm anBritish-Austrian co­ production, is based on a story told by H ungarian theatre d irecto r G eorge Tabori, about how his mother (Pauline Collins) walked away from a transport carrying thousands of Jews to their death in Auschwitz, with the blessing of the Nazi officer-in-charge. Surprisingly, Ver­ hoeven’s too-reserved telling of this extraord in ary story lacks drama. Non-Jewish himself, Verhoeven’s overreverential approach to his subject makes the film ponderous, in stark contrast to the surreal anarchy which animated his The Nasty Girl (1992). His decision to screen the dubbed version of his film at Berlin didn’t help either, although it did serve to remind the Australians present just how lucky we are to have the tra­ dition of subtitling. Andrzej W a jd a ’s W ielki Tydzien (.Holy Week) was far less reverential, and much more successful. Set during the fall of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1 9 4 3 , in the

wecK preceumg nasier, the story uses the harbouring of a Jewish woman in an apartment house as a device for exploring the attitudes of Poles towards the Jews in their midst. Neither the portraits painted of the Poles, or the Jewish woman her­ self, are very flattering, but they are probably realistic. On the theme of tolerance, one of the Festival’s charmers was Férid Boughédir’s

Un Eté á La Goulette (One Summer in Goulette), a Tunisian-French film about three friends, a M uslim , a Jew and a Christian, who live happily in multicul­ tural La Goulette, a seaside resort on the Mediterranean, in the days before (and subsequently after) the Six Day W ar. Comprised mainly of amateurs playing themselves (nine of whom were present in Berlin, along with Claudia Cardinale, an expatriate of La Goulette who has a cameo role), the film was delightfully parochial and fresh. Contrary to expec-

Opposite page. A cavalcade of directors: 1. John Hughes (What I Have Written). 2. Arden Oplev (Portland). 3. Ildiko Szabo [Bitches). 4. Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk till Dawn). 5. Park Kwang-Su (A Single Spark!). 1. Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) and Dr Jekyll (John Malkovitch). Stephen Frears' Mary Reilly. 2. Pauline Collins and George Tabori. Michael Verhoeven's Mutters Courage. 3. Andrzej Wajda's Holy Week. 4. Dani Levy's Silent Night. 5. Yim Ho's The Sun Has Ears. 6. The Businessman (Ray Billing). Marcus Gale's Swerve. 7. George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk till Dawn. 8. Bo Widerberg's All Things Fair. 9. Arden Oplev's Portland. 10. Richard (lan McKellen), Lady Anne (Kristen Scott Thomas) and corpse. Richard Loncraine's Richard III. 11. Fend Boughedir's One Summer in Goulette.

39


festival tations, the film received no awards, but the good news is that it has been bought by the Australian distributors, Palace. The Berlinale has always showcased Asian films, and several well-made, inter­ esting films surfaced this year. Best was Yoichi Higashi’s Eno N akano Bokuno Mura (Village o f My D ream s), which evokes with masterly ease the poetry and magic of childhood in a small village in Japan in 1948 as experienced by twin brothers, both of them prank-loving and with a talent for painting. Central to H igashi’s ability to make the viewer observe the wonders and terrors of the natural world through the eyes of a child are the performances he has won from his two young actors, who seem not to be performing. Yim H o’s Tai Yang You Er (The Sun Has Ears), from the People’s Republic of China, is a costume drama set in an im poverished village in China in the early 1920s, which has contemporary resonances about the limits to which a wom an can be pushed. A little overindulgent in length and uniforms, it is the performances, particularly that of Zhang Yu as the woman shared by both her husband and warlord lover, which make the film memorable. Edward Yang’s Mahjiang (Mahjong) was eagerly awaited but proved to be disappointing. Defiantly quirky and ulti­ mately likeable, the convoluted plot (like a game of mahjong) had many pertinent and darkly funny things to say about life in m odern Taiw an (or perhaps any­ where). But one-third of the dialogue is in English, and it might have behoven Yang to pick better actors. Jeon Tae-II (A Single Spark), by South Korean director Park Kwang-Su, sets off at a pedestrian pace, but gathers dra­ matic momentum as the serious theme of his subject emerges - the sweat-shop working conditions that existed in the garment trade in Seoul under the dicta­ torship of President Park Chung-Hee in the 1970s. The film’s social earnestness should be seen in the context of current concerns about breaches of the law in other industries, and allegations against politicians of graft and corruption. On the home front, John Hughes did Australia proud with What I Have Writ­ ten, which was received with sustained applause when it premiered early in the Festival. The film might have been tai­ lor-made for European audiences. It is polish ed , m ature and in tellectu ally rew arding. Based on Jo h n A. S c o tt’s novel about sexual obsession, betrayal and the nexus between art, perception and reality, the film limns the dying days of a marriage and its aftermath with an erotic sensitivity which is enhanced and never distracted by Hughes’ novel sto­ rytellin g style - the in te rlo ck in g of beautifully-photographed still images with film. To boot, Angie Milliken as the

40

deceived wife is stunning. Chauvinism at film festivals, especially when one is overseas, is catching, but there was gen­ uine pleasure to be had in watching Marcus Gale’s short film, Swerve, which was also competing. A clever little ‘noirish’ suspenser with a sting in its tail, it would make the per­ fect curtain-raiser if only theatres would bring back the ‘double-bill’. It shared antipodean honours with New Zealan­ der Stew ard M a in ’s stylish and provocative short film, Twilight o f the Gods. (The Golden Berlin Bear for best short film was unaccountably awarded to a collage of archival footage about trains.) There was also major delight to be had in Panorama, where the fourth and maybe final episode of the saga of three young girls, which Gillian Armstrong has tracked over the years from the ages 14, 18, 2 6 and 34 years, unspooled to an appreciative audience. N ot Fourteen Again is a joy to watch. Unfettered and uncluttered by notions of political cor­ rectness, Kerry, Diana and Josie have made triumphs of their lives, and Arm­ strong is to be congratulated for her gentle but not so unobtrusive role in chronicling them doing so. The film is a joyous celebration of mateship, wom­ anhood, and the spirit and will to ensure that battlers win out. Further on national cinemas, Volker Schlondorff has admitted that Berlin can only hope to be number three in Europe after London and Paris. “American pro­ ducers will always prefer Pinewood and Elstree studios, n ot least because of working in English. Paris will be num­ ber two, simply because of its flair”, he said in a recent issue of International Community. And it’s hard to fault him. French flair was much in evidence in two French Competition films. Bertrand B lier’s Mon H om m e (My Man) caused shock waves to ripple for its raunchy espousal of the antediluvian notion that women love brutes. M ost likely is Blier’s intention that his film be seen as a Beauty and the Beast fantasy that simply can’t stand up to the harsh realities of these economically rational­ ist tim es. B lie r’s at tim es startling

eroticism had tongues clicking. An amalgam of Belle de Jou r (Luis Bunuel, 1 9 6 7 ) and the psychology underpinning La M aîtresse (B arbet Schroed er, 1 9 7 6 ), M on H om m e, like Trop Belle pour Toi (Too Beautiful For You, 1989), loses steam and fades towards the end, but top honours went to Anouk Grinberg for Best Actress. More captivating was Elie Chouraqui’s Les Menteurs (The Liars), starring the ubiquitous Jean-Hughes Anglade as a film director who suddenly disappears, only to reappear later as a changed man, des­ perate to have a new life - and make another film. In many ways (for the redoubtable Sami Frey, a soignée Lorraine Bracco, a cameo by Anouk Aimée, and the introduction of a new actress, Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi, to France’s galaxy of stars), this is French cinema at its best, parodying itself, and making cleverness and hard work seem effortless. The revival of British cinema, most obvious at Cannes last year, continues apace with Richard Loncraine’s Richard III. Those dedicated to the rehabilitation of the historical Richard III as a man, not a monster, will have their work cut out for them with this flamboyant interpre­ tation of Shakespeare’s play (based on Richard Eye’s stage adaptation), which casts Richard in the mould of Stalin and Hitler. Ian McKellen (who co-produced and co-wrote the script) plays Richard with comic gusto as a psychotic character unloved by his mother (Maggie Smith), who delights in doing evil. Updated to England in the 1930s, the widescreen is used to dazzling effect, both for sweeping spectacles (Edward IV’s ‘victory’ celebra­ tion, and an exquisitely designed ‘deco’ tea-party at the Royal Pavilion), and closeups which bring R ichard ’s screaming mouth, or a spider crawling across Lady

1. Gillian (Angie Milliken). John Hughes' W hat I Have Written. 2. Sami Frey and Lorraine Bracco. Elie Chouraqul's The Liars. 3. Bertrand Blier's M on Homme. 4. Higashi Yoichi's Village o f Dreams. 5. Hong Kyoung-ln. Park Kwang-Su's A Single Spark.

Anne’s forehead into daring proximity. McKellen’s megalomaniacal vitality spills over into a glorious soundtrack ä la The

Singing Detective. Apart from France and Britain, the Nordic countries were well represented with films from Iceland (Agnes (Egill Edvardsson), Cold Fever (Fridrik Thor Fridriksson)), and Denmark and Swe­ den. Neils Arden Oplev’s Portland, the story about a younger brother drawn into his older brother's life of drug deal­ ing and crim e in an industrial city in Denmark, is a rollercoaster ride of vio­ lence told in a highly idiosyncratic style w hich includes spectacular graphics (from the production house which made

The Kingdom). Amongst the best of the Festival’s films was Bo Widerberg’s semi-autobio­ graphical masterpiece, Lust och Fagring Stor (All Things Fair). W ritten, edited and directed by Widerberg, and starring his son, Jo h a n W id erb erg, as Stig, a schoolboy seduced by his teacher in M alm o in 1 9 4 3 , this film sees the Swedish director at the peak of his pow­ ers at the age of 66. This is no ordinary ‘coming of age’ tale. Widerberg’s eye for beauty, authenticity and compassion is undimmed, and his characterizations, as well as the acting, are marvellous. ® C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996


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history

Australian Cinema 1894 - 1904

In part 19 of this series, Chris Long chronicles the important events of Australia's first ten years of cinema

his chronology was origi­ nally intended as the closing instalment of this series on “Australia’s First Films”. We have advanced its publica­ tion to include in this issue, which is distributed widely at the 1 9 9 6 Cannes Film Festival. T h e chronology highlights Australia’s many pioneering contributions to world cin­ ema. Based on the original research presented earlier in this series by Clive Sowry, Pat Laughren, John Barnes, Bob Klepner and myself, it revises much of Australia’s existing cinema mythology. In its early adoption of motion pictures, in its vigorous pioneering production, particularly of documentary film, Aus­ tralia was incredibly active for a nation of less than four million inhabitants in 1901. 1 A u s tra lia n F ilm E x h ib itio n : 1894 to 1896 c. A ugust 1894 Theatrical entrepreneur

J. C. Williamson secures Australian exhibition rights to Edison’s 35mm film viewer, the kinetoscope.

16 S e p te m b e r 1895 Sound films first shown

in Australia. Three kinetophones are

Lumière Cinématographe: front view with lens board opened to show shutter. Courtesy of Mark Whitmore, Queensland Museum.

27 S e p te m b e r 1895 Kinetophones

introduce sound films to Mackay (Queensland) 27 S e p te m b e r 1895 Kinetoscopes

introduce movies to Rockhampton (Queensland) 4 O ctober 1895 Kinetophones introduce

Managed by the MacMahon brothers, the shopfront venue uses the same 35mm transparent movie films which remain the industrial standard today. 3 J a n u a ry 1895 25,000 patrons have vis­

5 O ctober 1894 Five Edison “kinetoscope”

viewers and 16 film subjects ex-New Jersey are trans-shipped at London for dispatch to Sydney per the steamship “Orizaba”. 17 N o ve m b e r 1894 S.S. “Orizaba” arrives

ited Sydney’s Pitt Street movie venue. 5 February 1895 The five kinetoscopes are

moved to Tasmania and shown at the Tasmanian International Exhibition Building, temporarily erected on the Hobart Domain.

in Sydney Harbour with kinetoscopes. 5 M a rc h 1895 12,000 people have paid

to see the Hobart film show. 16 M a rc h 1895 Kinetoscopes move to a

Melbourne venue in Bourke Street East, introducing motion pictures to Victoria.

sound films to Rockhampton. 13 A ugust 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

movies to Brisbane.

(unconfirmed report) begin at Mel­ bourne University, under the control of Engineering Demonstrator James Mann. 8 Ju n e 1895 First Melbourne movie

30 N o ve m b e r 1894 First Australian com­

mercial exhibition of motion picture film. Five kinetoscopes, each with a differ­ ent film subject, are exhibited to the public at an exclusively dedicated venue, 148 Pitt Street, Sydney.

42

season ends after 12 weeks and the paying attendance of 35,000 patrons. 11 J u n e 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

movies to Bendigo. 19 J u n e 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

8 N o ve m b e r 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

28 A ugust 1895 The London-based specu­

lator Launcelot Lee-Warner contracts with the kinetoscope’s exporters, Maguire and Baucus, for exclusive Australasian exhibition and sales rights covering the next seven years. LeeWarner agrees to immediately buy seven kinetophones for Australasian exhibition. These are kinetoscope movie viewers with cylinder phono­ graphs internally fitted, providing sound for the films.

movies to Charters Towers (Queens­ land).

movies to Geelong.

15 N o ve m b e r 1895 MacMahons announce

that they have a “library” of 40 films for their viewers. 29 N ovem ber 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

movies to New Zealand. A. H . Whitehouse, probably working under the Lee-Warner Australasian franchise, exhibits four kinetoscopes at Bartlett’s Studio in Queen Street, Auckland.

sound films to Auckland, exhibited by A. H. Whitehouse. 18 J a n u a ry 1896 Kinetophones introduce

sound films to Adelaide. THE MARVELLOUS I

N

E T

O P

H O N

E

will be exhibited TO-DAY (MONDAY), A T THE

KINETOSCOPE ROOMS, Next Alan B . Bright’s, Mosman-street. Th. KINETOPHONE eclipses the K IN E . TOSCOPE, and is now the Sensation of the World, The remarkable Machine reproduces SOUND Aim SPEECH, See it, and you wilbe astounded. Open from 11 a.m. till 10 pan ______________CHARLES MACMAHON. The Kinetophone whieh is a combination of the Kinetoscope and Phonograph will be shown next Alan B. Bright’s to-daj, Songs and dances are given true to life and excite general wonder.

movies to Ballarat. 28 J u n e 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

movies to Adelaide (South Australia)

8 J a n u a ry 1896 Kinetophones introduce 7 S ep tem b e r 1895 Kinetoscopes introduce

M a rc h 1895 Film projection experiments

Edison's kinetoscope, the machine which provided Australia's first commercial exhibitions of motion picture film from 30 November 1894.

exhibited at Charters Towers. One kinetophone, probably from this group, survives in Sydney. Abroad, these machines only provided musical accompaniment for the films, but Australian shows include soundtracks with full dialogue, the w orld's first "talkies". The MacMahon brothers continue to manage the Australian Exhibitions. Five kinetoscopes and three kinetophones (later four) are now on show in Australia.

First "talkies" shown in Australia - from The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Queensland), 16 September 1895.

22 February 1896 Kinetophones introduce

sound films to Broken Hill. 29 F ebruary 1896 Kinetoscopes

permanently displayed at W . J. N. Oldershaw’s Edison Electric Parlour, 162 Pitt Street, Sydney. These proba­ bly incorporate the MacMahons’ machines, a further five machines scheduled for delivery by February 1896 under the Lee-Warner contract, and “prize fight kinetoscopes” with extended film capacity. These can each reproduce a round of the CorbettCourtney and Leonard-Cushing boxing matches. They are probably imported from the Holland brothers, New C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996


Y o r k ’s earliest k in eto sco p e ex h ib ito rs,

7 A ugust 1896 C arl H ertz reaches H o b art

and th ey are advertised in Sydney as

fro m Sou th A frica, but show s no film s

“th e only place they can be seen

in T asm ania.

outside o f th e U nited Sta tes”.

17 A ugust 1896 Private preview of movie J u n e 1896 F o rm e r k in eto sco p e ex h ib ito r

leaves for Europe to purchase a movie projector.

Ja m es M a c M a h o n

film projection given at the M elb o u rn e O pera H ou se by Carl H ertz.

Melbourne's Princess Theatre: venue for the first exhibition of the 1896 Melbourne Cup coverage on 19 November 1896. Collection of the author. 16 S ep tem b e r 1896 L u m ière C in é­

26 O ctober 1896 G . N ey m ark ’s C in é­

m atograph e representative M ariu s

m atograph e P erfectio n n é opens in a

Sestier lands in Sydney after giving

sh o p fron t venue at 2 6 6 C ollins Street,

film p ro jectio n d em on stration s en

M elb o u rn e.

rou te from C o lo m b o aboard the S.S. “P olynésien ” .

27 O ctober 1896 Sydney’s Salon Lu m ière closes.

18 S ep tem b e r 1896 Lum ière C in é­ m atograph e privately show n by

First public film projection in Townsville by C arl H ertz.

Sestier at Sydney’s Lyceum .

28 O ctober 1896 First public film projection 19 S ep tem ber 1896 First commercial film

Marius Sestier, Australasian representative of Messrs. Lumière, who shot the first confirmable Australian film in Sydney on 25 October 1896.

Carl Hertz, the American conjurer and illusionist, who produced the first commercial exhibition of film projection to an Australian audience, 22 August 1896.

projection in Sydney - C arl H ertz at the T iv oli.

31 O ctober 1896 Lum ière C in ém atograph e 26 S ep tem ber 1896 A u stralia’s second

22 A ugust 1896 First theatrical film projec­

in Wellington, New Zealand - Jo se p h M c M a h o n ’s Ed ison V itascop e.

exh ib itio n begins at M e lb o u rn e ’s

R. W . Paul p ro jec to r show n by W .

Princess T h eatre.

tion to paying Australian audience given

B ax ter (probably the fou nd er o f L o n ­

by C arl H ertz w ith an R. W . Paul

d o n ’s B a x te r & W ray in 1 8 9 7 ) at the

First public film projection in Charters Towers (Q ueensland) by Carl H ertz.

in ten tion o f intro d u cing the Lum ière

“T h e a tro g ra p h ” p ro jecto r at the

M elb o u rn e O pera H ou se. T h e p ro je c ­

C in ém ato grap h e to A ustralia in

M elb o u rn e O p era H ouse.

tion ist is Stephen B on d , later a p ion eer

22 J u ly 1896 M ariu s Sestier indicates his

film m aker and p ro jecto r m anu factu rer.

Sydn ey’s D aily T elegraph.

27 A ugust 1896 Sydney's first private P erier, associated w ith Sydney’s Baker

given by Jo se p h M a c M a h o n w ith an

& R ou se L im ited , brin g the C in é­

Ed ison-A rm at “V itasco p e” p ro jecto r at

First Australian venue exclusively devoted to film projection is also the first public film projection demonstration in Brisbane - the M a c M a h o n b ro th e rs’

m atograp h e P erfectio n n é o f Pipon

the C riterio n T h eatre.

V itascop e show n at the R oyal A rcade

la te J u ly 1896 G . N ey m ark and A. J .

theatrical demonstration of film projection

to Sydney, b u t are delayed in giving exh ib itio ns.

5 S ep tem ber 1896 First (American) films

offered for sale in Australia. Sydney’s e a rly A ugust 1896 Jo se p h M a c M a h o n (o f the M a c M a h o n b ro th ers, fo rm er

Edison E lectric P arlour advertises “V itascop e film s” fo r sale.

k in eto sco p e exh ib ito rs) lands an Ed ison

Vitascope p ro je c to r in Sydney,

but is delayed in giving exh ib itio ns.

8 S ep tem b e r 1896 M ovies introd uced to Albury via kin eto scop es from Sydney’s Ed ison E lectric Parlour.

in Q u een Street.

28 S ep tem ber 1896 Second Australian

venue exclusively devoted to film projection, Sydney’s “Salon L u m ière” opens to the public under the m anagem ent o f W a lte r B arnett, C. B. W estm aco tt and M ariu s Sestier at 2 3 7 P itt Street.

13 O ctober 1896 First public film projection

in New Zealand - P rofessors H ausm ann and G o w w ith th eir “Ed ison K inem atograp h ” at the A uckland O p era H ouse.

19 O ctober 1896 First film projection in

Adelaide - M a c M a h o n b ro th e rs’ V itas­ cop e exh ib ited by th eir associates, St. H ill and M o o d ie , at T h e a tre R oyal.

R. W. Paul "Theatrograph" projector, 1896, with calico bag for "take up" of projected film, used in Australia by W. Baxter, Stephen Bond of the Newbury-Spada company, and Carl Hertz in the latter part of his Australasian tour. From John Barnes' collection, St Ives, UK. 2 N o vem b er 1896 A British p ro jecto r (probably an R. W . Paul or B irt A cres m achine) replaces the Lu m ière C in é­ m atographe at its form er Sydney venue,

20 O ctober 1896 J . M assey and M . W illis

but is w ithdraw n by m anagers G o o d ­

exh ib it “Living P ictu res” at N o rth

m an and W estm aco tt w ithin a w eek.

Sydney’s S ch o o l o f Arts.

23 O ctober 1896 First public film projection

7 N o ve m b e r 1896 First public film

projection in Christchurch, New Zealand

in Fiockhampton (Q u eensland) - Carl

- M a c M a h o n s’ V itascop e.

H ertz.

First broad-gauge film projector exhib­ ited in Australia - Ja m es M a c M a h o n ’s

24 O ctober 1896 Ja m es M a c M a h o n

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

M a c M a h o n s’ V itascop e p ro jecto r opens at M e lb o u rn e ’s A thenaeum .

6 0 m m D em en y p ro je c to r opens at

lands a 6 0 m m D em eny (F ren ch) film

Sydney’s Salon C in ém atograp h e

p ro jec to r in Sydney.

(the renam ed Salon L u m ière).

43


history

! i^ematòg^àphe

; ‘ ’A n d .L a n te rn - D is p la y .

‘ ADftgtÇBEARER- .

*

26 D e c e m b e r 1896 L u m ière C in é­ m ato grap h e (Sestier) opens at A d elaid e’s T h e a tre R oyal. C u nard fam ily en tertain ers adver­ tises its R . W . Paul “T h e a tro g ra p h ” in Sale (V icto ria) b u t no sh ow ev en tu ­ ates. T h e co m p any eventually presents the m ach in e at T ra ra lg o n (V ictoria) on 1 4 Ja n u a ry 1 8 9 7 .

28 D e c e m b e r 1896 Ellis and M a c k opens a sh o p fro n t film p ro jectio n venue at 4 2 0 G eo rg e S treet, Sydney.

Marius Sestier (camera) and Walter Barnett (director) shooting the 1896 Melbourne Cup, 3 November 1896, with a Lumière Cinématographe. From The Bulletin, 14 November 1896, p. 15.

29 D e c e m b e r 1896 U n kn ow n film p ro je c ­ to r exh ib ited at B e n d ig o ’s T em p eran ce H all.

31 D e c e m b e r 1896 First public film 20 N o v e m b e r 1896 Lu m ière C in ém ato g ra p h e’s M elb o u rn e season

First public film projection in Dunedin - M a c M a h o n s ’ V itasco p e.

ends.

21 N o ve m b e r 1896 First public film

projection in Perth - M a c M a h o n s’ V ita sco p e, ex h ib ited by th eir asso ci­ ates St. H ill and M o o d ie .

24 N o v e m b e r 1896 L u m ière C in é ­ m atograp h e re-o p en s at Sy d n ey’s C riterio n T h e a tre w ith an allA ustralian film program m e.

25 N o ve m b e r 1896 First public film

projection in Mackay (Q ueensland) by C arl H ertz. K in eto sco p e view er introduces m ovies to M aitlan d , N ew South W ales.

28 N o ve m b e r 1896 First public film

projection in Newcastle (N ew Sou th W ales) by J . R . Sm ythe using an un id entified “c in ém a to g ra p h ” .

1 D e c e m b e r 1896 First public film projec­

projection in Burnie (T asm ania) Step h en B o n d o f th e N ew bury-Spad a C om p an y w ith his R . W . Paul T h ea tro g ra p h .

dominance gave early Australian cinema a high moral and intellectual tone. The lack of local patent enforcers also gave A ustralian film m akers a freedom unknown in America. A preoccupation with feature narra­ tive cinem a has throw n excessive attention onto just one early Australian film , The Story o f the K elly G ang (1906). Dubious claims of it being “the w orld ’s first feature film ” (sic) have resulted in all of its predecessors being ignored. The chronology shows that this has distorted historical perspectives. Feature narrative film certainly domi­ nates m odern cinem a. H ow ever, Australian documentary and news pro­ duction still exceeds local feature output manyfold. The difference today is that non-fiction movies are often made on video and nearly always disseminated via television.

Long after 1 9 0 1 ’s fed eration o f six B ritish colon ies into an A ustralian nation, we were tied to Britain in trade, in culture and in cinema. Local audi­ ences followed a British and continental inclination towards non-fiction him. We were isolated from our European roots. The new medium brought world events to us. By contrast, American produc­ ers increasingly made fictio n al entertainment films for low-class urban venues. Australian audiences covered a wider social spectrum. We made greater strides in ethnographic film, feature actualities, propaganda film and news film. O f the seven feature-length Aus­ tralian films made before 1904, all but one were made by Melbourne’s Salva­ tion Army Limelight Department. Its

(2) Australian Production: 1896 to 1904 (Lyon) cable th eir Sydney representa­ tive, M ariu s Sestier, exp laining the

Ballarat - “P ro fesso r” Sm ythe

19 D e c e m b e r 1896 Sydney Post Office

from George Street and Employees Leaving NSW Government Printing Office sh ow n by Sestier and B a rn e tt w ith th e last o f th eir raw film stock.

F e b ru a ry -M a rc h 1897 F irst ind igen ous A u stralian film p ro d u ctio n s sh o t by

H arvie (p h otog rap h er) o f M elb o u rn e w ith gear o f th eir ow n co n stru ction .

17 M a rc h 1897 T h w aites and H a rv ie’s M e lb o u rn e film s ex h ib ited by

India: “Im possible obstruction. N eg a­ tive opened [by] custom s. Im prove p ackin g.”

25 S ep tem b e r 1896 M ariu s Sestier in Syd­ ney cables the Lu m ières: “ [...] Send tw enty sensitive film s. F irst m ail [...].” E ach film is a m inute long.

3 O ctober 1896 Sydn ey’s The Bulletin suggests the film ing o f the M elb o u rn e Cup race.

20 M a y 1897 Baker & Rouse (Sydney) shoot

three local films on cam eras fo rm erly used by Sestier.

22 J u n e 1897 First films of an Australian

provincial city (B allarat, V icto ria ),

Street Scene on Jubilee Day and Chinese Processor later show n by C o lo n el L u m are’s C om p an y (produ cers prob ab ly T h w aites and H arvie).

12 O ctober 1896 C arl H ertz an nou nces th at he w ill im p o rt a m ovie cam era to sh o o t the M elb o u rn e Cup fo r e x h ib i­

7 S ep tem b e r 1897 First Queensland

film shot by G . B oivin , Lunchtime

Traffic in Queen Street, Brisbane. b een located .

previously show n by N ey m ark and

begins for Mark Blow's "Polytechnic"

Paris “at C h ristm as” . N o evidence has

film venu e, th e first o f ab o u t 4 0 actu ­

b een fou nd to ind icate his success.

alities he m akes over th e n e x t year.

9 D e c e m b e r 1896 L u m ière C in é­ m atograp h e m oves to 4 7 0 G eo rg e

street scene film theatrically exhibited,

Arrival o f Ferry “Brighton ” at Manly on a Sunday Afternoon.

T h w aites and H arv ie’s

27 O ctober 1896 First Australian film

S treet, Sydney.

12 D e c e m b e r 1896 First public film projec­

tion in Tasmania. S tep h en B o n d o f the

c. 9 O ctober 1897 First Salvation Army

Limelight Department film , Melbourne

Sydney’s “Salon L u m ière”.

Street Scene.

sh o t at F lem in g to n ’s V R C D erb y

World's first ethnographic field expedition films were taken by A. C. Haddon's Torres Strait expedition on 5 and 6 September 1898. The expedition members are shown on that expedition above. Haddon is looking down at the Torres Strait Islander (at left); camera assistant Anthony Wilkin has pipe in his mouth on the right.

Traffic at the Comer o f Swanston and Bourke Streets.

exhibited by Sestier and B arn e tt at

31 O ctober 1896 First Melbourne films

N ew b u ry -Sp ad a co m p any exh ib its the

15 S e p te m b e r 1897 First Melbourne

tralian film is sh o t by Sestier and B a rn e tt fo r the Lu m ières,

P erier in M elb o u rn e.

13 S e p te m b e r 1897 Sydney production

Cup fo r exh ib itio n in L o n d o n and

25 O ctober 1896 First confirmable Aus­

w ith th e C in ém atograp h e P erfectio n n é

44

n ew item s NSW Horse Artillery at Drill and Near St. Mary’s in Sydney on a Sunday Afternoon.

“ C o lo n el L u m are’s” th eatrical

and raw film to sh o o t the M elb o u rn e

(c.f. N ew castle, 2 4 N o vem b er 1 8 9 6 )

Sy d n ey’s E d iso n E le ctric Parlour.

B a rn e tt at Sydney C riterio n , includ ing

an n ou n ces th at he has a 6 0 m m cam era

2 D e c e m b e r 1896 First public film projec­

24 D e c e m b e r 1896 V ita sco p e o n sh ow at

film programme sh ow n by Sestier and

com p an y to u rin g T asm an ia.

19 O ctober 1896 Ja m es M a c M a h o n

O p era H ou se.

Sy d n ey’s Ed ison E le ctric Parlour.

24 N o ve m b e r 1896 First All-Australian

N o ev iden ce o f its e x h ib itio n has

previously show n at M e lb o u rn e ’s

19 D e c e m b e r 1896 V ita sco p e lands at

Cup segments exhibited at M elb o u rn e’s P rincess T h e a tre by Sestier.

failure o f his earlier prod uction in

tion in England, but does n o t p roceed .

w ith its R . W . Paul “T h e a tro g ra p h ”

H o b a rt’s T h e a tre R oyal.

19 N o v e m b e r 1896 Two 1896 Melbourne

24 S ep tem b e r 1896 Lum ière brothers

N ew b u rv -Sp ad a th eatrical com p any

R . W . Paul “T h e a tro g ra p h ” at

shot o n ab o u t ten film s by Sestier and B a rn e tt fo r the Lu m ières.

E. J . T h w aites (engin eer) and R . W .

2 Australian Production Chronology: 1896 to 1904

tion in Bendigo - Step h en B o n d o f the

tion in

3 N o v e m b e r 1896 1896 Melbourne Cup

16 O cto b e r 1897 First Australian film

shot and shown the same day. C au lfield

race by Sestier and B a rn e tt fo r the

Cup race sh ow n o n th e n ig h t o f its

Lum ières.

ru nn in g by T h w aites and H arv ie

M a c M a h o n s’ V itasco p e open s at

(M e lb o u rn e).

M e lb o u rn e A then aeu m w ith A m erican film s and “fo u rteen replicas o f A us­

30 O cto b e r 1897 VRC Derby sh o t by

tralian scen es and p eo p le” , prob ab ly

T h w aites and H arv ie, and sh ow n

lan tern slides.

th e sam e n ight.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996


Melbourne's Salvation Army Limelight Department dominated the first decade of Australian production. These relics were found at the old Salvation Army Australasian headquarters, 69 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Courtesy of George Ellis, Salvation Army Archives, Melbourne.

2 N o v e m b e r 1897 Melbourne Cup race

shot by three film units: M e lb o u rn e ’s T h w a ite s, H arv ie & Su tcliffe;

13 S e p te m b e r 1898 Salvation Army film

of Pakenham Girls Home shown with (wax cylinder) soundtrack by Jo se p h

Sy d n ey ’s M a rk B lo w fo r his “P o ly tech ­

P erry at A lbury (N ew So u th W ales).

n ic ” ; and Sy d n ey’s A. J . P erier fo r

T h e L im eligh t D ep artm en t records

B a k er & R ou se.

m any w ax cylind ers fo r its film and slide show s at this tim e.

c. 16 D e c e m b e r 1897 Oldest surviving films

of cricket (E nglan d vs. N S W ) sh o t by

29 S e p te m b e r 1898 L ast o f 4 0 kn ow n

W a lte r B a rn e tt at Sydney C rick e t

Sydney actualities ex h ib ited by M a rk

G ro u n d . T h w a ites and H arvie sh o o t

B lo w at his “P o ly tech n ic” film venue.

film o f th e crick eters in M elb o u rn e sh ortly afterw ard s. In Sep tem b er

c. 2 D e c e m b e r 1898 First film made abroad

1 8 9 7 , G . A. Sm ith sh o o ts an earlier

by an Australian producer. T h e Salva­

film o f cric k e t in En glan d, b u t it is n o t

tio n A rm y’s Jo se p h Perry sh oots “ tw o

k n ow n to survive.

o r th ree M a o ri film s” w hile tou rin g N o w Z ealand .

J a n u a ry -F e b ru a ry 1898 First Australian

film studio, rear o f Salv ation Arm y A u stralasian H ea d q u a rters, B o u rk e

21 M a rc h 1899 W orld's first government-

financed films. Five Sydney test film s

Stree t, M e lb o u rn e b uilt by Jo se p h

rep o rted sh o t by Q u een sland gov ern ­

H . Perry.

m en t p h o to g rap h er Fred W ills, prior to his L u m ière C in ém ato g rap h e’s dispatch to Brisbane.

c. 28 A ugust 1899 Earliest confirmed W est

Australian films, P erry’s coverage o f c .1 1 M a y 1899 Earliest known South

Australian films, em b ark ation o f

Salvation A rm y C o m m an d an t B o o th ’s V isit to the site o f a b o y ’s h om e

Salvation A rm y fou n d er W illiam

n ear C ollie. An earlier film may-

B o o th fro m Largs Bay ab oard the

have been sh o t o f “G en eral W illiam

S.S. “A rcad ia”, sh o t by Jo se p h Perry.

B o o th in Q u a ra n tin e” at F rem an tle, c. 2 5 February7 1 8 9 9 , b u t the rep o rt m ay only relate to lantern slides.

Shooting the first Australian film approaching feature length, 1 January 1901. Salvation Army camera crew on the wooden camera platform at right, shooting The Inauguration o f the Australian Commonwealth at Centennial Park, Sydney. Collection of the author. 1-3 J a n u a ry 1901 First Australian film

approaching feature length, the Salva­ tio n A rm y L im eligh t D e p a rtm e n t’s

11 O ctober 1899 Boer W ar’s advent

First Australian fictional narrative film. May 1898: the Salvation Army Limelight Department's Prison Gate Brigade Welcoming Released Prisoner Courtesy of George Ellis, Salvation Army Archives, Melbourne.

stimulates filming of departing troops.

Inauguration o f the Australian Commonwealth, sh ot on com m ission

W ills and M ob sb y in B risbane sh oot

to th e N ew So u th W ales g ov ern m en t.

departure o f First Q u een sland C o n tin ­

Includ ing the signing o f F ed eratio n

gen t (2 8 -3 1 O c to b e r 1 8 9 9 ) ; Steph en

d ocu m ents and th e subse­

B o n d sh oots First V icto ria n C o n tin ­

q u en t B o e r W a r sold iers’

gent (O cto b e r-N o v em b er 1 8 9 9 );

review at C en ten n ial Park,

p61

B ak er & R ou se sh o o t First N S W C o n tin g en t (3 N o v em b er 1 8 9 9 ); Salvation A rm y Lim eligh t D ep artm en t

c. M a y 1898 First Australian narrative

sh oots Secon d V icto rian C o n tin g en t

fictional films, A Hungry Man Stealing

(1 3 Jan u ary 1 9 0 0 ) and B u sh m an ’s

Bread and Prison Gate Brigade Welcoming Released Prisoner, sh o t

C o n tin g en t (M ay 1 9 0 0 ). F o r the first

by Salv ation A rm y L im elig h t D e p a rt­ m en t, M elb o u rn e .

Departure of Second Victorian Contingent to the Boer War (seen here in Collins Street, Melbourne) was filmed by the Salvation Army Limelight Department on 13 January 1900. Collection of the author.

tim e since th e inv en tion o f m ovies, A ustralia is directly involved in a m ilitary cam paign.

30 O ctober 1899 2 5 on e-m in u te film s and

11 J u ly 1898 First feature-length

The Salvation Army’s Social Work in Australasia sh ow n at Sydney T o w n

slides illustrate Herbert Booth's lecture "Social Salvation" presen ted by the Sal­

2 7 5 slides n ow illu strate the Salvation Army social w ork lecture, "Social Salvation". T h e p resen tation , given

vation Arm y at P rah ran (M elb o u rn e).

at Ipsw ich by Perry and B o o th ,

H all w ith 2 0 0 slides and six o n e-

T h e film co n te n t o f th e social w ork

occu pies tw o -an d -a-h alf hours.

m inu te film s.

lectu re increases as Perry finds suitable

Australian screen entertainment with film segments. H e rb e rt B o o th ’s

19 J u n e 1899 15 one-minute films and 200

item s fo r the show .

Football, E ssen d o n vs. G eelo n g , sh o t

13 S ep tem b e r 1900 "Soldiers of the

Cross", a lecture on the early

30 J u ly 1898 First films of Australian Rules c. J u ly 1899 Films of Torres Strait and Cape

C h ristian M arty rs by Salvation Army-

eith er by T h w a ites and H arvie, o r by

York sh o t by Q u een sland gov ern m en t

C o m m an d an t H e rb e rt B o o th , is in i­

Step h en B o n d , and sh ow n this day.

p h o to g ra p h er H . W . M o b sb y on an

tially illu strated by 15 on e-m inu te

o fficia l cruise.

film s and 2 2 0 slides sh o t by Jo se p h

5 ,6 S e p te m b e r 1898 W orld's first

ethnographic field expedition films,

c. A u g u s t-S e p te m b e r 1899 W orld's first

p rod u ced by P ro fesso r A. C. H ad d o n

agricultural documentary films sh ot by

o f C am b rid g e U niversity on M u rra y

Q u een slan d A gricu lture D ep artm en t

Island in th e T o rre s Straits (Q u een s­

p h o to grap h ers F red W ills and H . W .

the earliest movies of Australian Aborigines and w h en

Wheat Harvesting on the Darling Downs (c. 5 m ins); Sugar Harvest at Nambour (c. 2 m ins).

land). T h e se includ e

sh ow n at C am b rid g e in late 1 9 0 5

the earliest Australian films presented with (wax cylinder) sound.

w ere

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

M o b sb y :

Australia's first films with more than one shot per reel.

T h e se are also

Perry. It is the second feature-length Australian screen presentation including film segments.

21 O ctober 1900 T h e Salvation A rm y’s first “ B io ram a C o m p an y ” o f m usi­ cians and p ro jectio n ists com m en ces its first to u r at C o la c, later sh ootin g local in terest actualities in m any o f th e localities visited.

Australian actor Carrie Moore (1882-1956), who appeared in the first Australian fictional story films featuring established stage stars, Clement Mason's Highlights o f the M usical Comedy "Florodora", March 1901. Collection of the author.

45


legal ease

The Production of an Official Go-production Film Nina Stevenson he prospect of producing a film as an official inter­ national co-production is rarely greeted with joy by a producer. It is usually seen as a necessary evil b rou gh t about by the financial im peratives of the picture. And although A u stralian governm ent support of co-productions is obviously intended to facilitate joint financing, it is also contemplated that co-production films offer non-financial on-screen pro­ d uction b en efits. F o r exam p le, the preamble to the Australian-Canadian treaty states that “the film industries o f the tw o co u n tries w ill b en efit from closer m utual co -o p e ra tio n in the p ro d u ctio n o f film s” . T o what extent this broad aim is being achieved under the film co -p ro d u ctio n p ro ­ gram m e is, o f cou rse, a subjective assessment outside the scope of this arti­ cle. But I do want to pursue a positive perspective to making a film as an offi­ cial co-production. The co-production treaties provide a mechanism which enables Australian and overseas producers to collaborate and pool creative resources, while at the same time retaining many of the bene­ fits available to a w holly local production. There are, of course, some horror stories and it is true that making a co-production can become very prob­ lematic if communication between the co-producers falters. It is also difficult to anticipate whether the relationship between the personnel from each coun­ try will be productive or unco-operative. In my experience, the best and the worst are possible with co-productions. Nevertheless, potential difficulties may be avoided: • By agreeing at the outset who is the “dominant” producer, both on dayto-day production matters and on creative decisions. Bite the bullet and be clear about these areas of deci­ sion-making. The concept of mutual agreement by the co-producers on all production matters is unrealistic. T h e co -p ro d u ctio n ag reem en t between the two production com ­ panies must adequately address the question: If there is a disagreement, who decides? • By ensuring communication between the co-prod u cers throu ghou t the

46

looks at the pros and cons country has signed a co-production treaty. For example, it is possible to have a co-production between Aus­ tralia, Canada and the Russian Federation because Canada has a co­ p ro d u ction treaty w ith Russia. Indeed, Canada has treaties with 43 cou n tries, including the Czech Republic, Chile, Brazil, Hong Kong, Spain, Rom ania, Israel, Japan and M orocco.

production, not merely during the financing stage. Lawyers cannot leg­ islate in the co-production contract that “the co-producers shall have reg­ ular meaningful com m unication”. This is up to the individuals and each prod u cer w ill have his/her own expectations as to the level of detail in information he/she wants from the co-producer and what he/she pro­ poses to provide to the co-producer, in excess of the “normal” reporting that each producer would expect (including progress rep orts, cost reports, etc.).

the Australian Film Commission (AFC) and an equivalent body in the co-pro­ duction country. Finally, a more stable framework was achieved through the signing of official co-production treaties between the governments of the respec­ tive cou ntries. A ustralia has signed treaties with the UK and Northern Ire­ land, Canada and Italy, and the AFC has standing arrangements (via MOUs) with France and New Zealand. The AFC has also indicated that it anticipates that treaties will be concluded between Aus­ tralia and Ireland , the R ep u blic of Germany, and France. Although discus­

History of the Co-productions Program me

sions between Japan and Australia have been underway for some years, there are still delays in concluding the text for a treaty. In addition to co-productions with partners from the preceding countries, there are two possible ways of in tro ­ ducing a third country’s involvement:

to be accorded the same benefits as an “Australian” film, notwithstanding the involvement of a foreign producer and other non-Australian elements (e.g., cast, locations, crew, etc.). Accordingly:

i) Under the Australian-UK Treaty, UK personnel (including cast and crew) include residents and nationals of any country that is a member of the EEC.

ii) The film is eligible for financial sup­ port from the Commercial Television Production Fund (TVPF).

The first official Australian co-productions were made in 1 9 8 6 : T he First Kangaroo (Frank Cvitanovich), a tele­ feature co-produced with the UK, and

T he N avigator: A M ed iev al Odyssey (Vincent Ward), a feature co-produced with New Zealand. Since then, a further 25 films have been made as official co­ productions with partners from the UK, Germ any, Canada, France and Italy. Originally, co-production films were made pursuant to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) entered into by

ii) It is also possible to include a third co-prod u cer from a country w ith which Australia or the co-producer

Status of an Official Co-production A film with official international co-pro­ duction status effectively enables the film

i) The film is eligible for investment funding from the A ustralian Film Finance Corporation (FFC).

iii) The film is eligible for production funding from the A ustralian Film Commission (AFC). In addition, if the Australian producer can satisfy C I N E M A P A P E R S • J U N E 1 996


the AFC that the proposed film will qualify as an official co-production, he/she is entitled to apply to the AFC for development investment for Aus­ tralian scriptw riter fees and other Australian development expenses. iv) The film is eligible for quota under

i) Additional costs to the production

day-to-d ay p ro d u ction o f the film ,

• That approximately 60% of the bud­

including producer fees, legal fees,

including all decisions which impact on

get is expended on A ustralian

accountancy costs, telephone and

the budget and the schedule. Finally, to state the obvious, a welldrafted co-production contract will not save a deteriorating co-producer rela­ tion sh ip . At best it may enable the production to continue notwithstand­ ing their poor relationship. Other points to be covered in the co­ p ro d u ction co n tra c t inclu d e: the ownership of copyright in the underly­ ing rights (script etc) and the film; the sharing of net profits; credits; manner o f contracting the finance; currency fluctuations; bank accounts; insurance requirements; manner of marketing the film (including a possible division of ter­ rito ries and m ark ets); term in atio n rig h ts; governing law ; and sp ecific clauses required pursuant to the applic­ able treaty. Obviously, the investors in the film (including the FFC) will also need to approve this contract.

elements. Moreover, the FFC stipu­

fax, airfares and accommodation. In some categories, the fees more than double. In addition, Australian actors contracted under the Feature Film

the Australian Broadcasting Author­

Award must be paid the highest load­

ity’s Australian C ontent Standard.

ing (Category D).

This new standard came into effect on 1 Janu ary 1 9 9 6 . The previous standard did not automatically accord full points to an official co-produc­ tion and, indeed, frequently the points were considerably reduced because of the creative participation of non-Australians. Note 1: Films funded under the TVPF are ineligible for quota under the ABA’s Australian Content Standard. N ote 2 : Throughout this article, I use the term “film” to include all forms of film and television drama and docu­

ii) Potential difficulties due to the need to share decision-making, both pro­ duction and creative. iii) M aintaining agreed balances (cre­ ative and financial) between the two cou ntries in accordance w ith the original application for co-produc­ tio n

status.

F u rth erm o re,

the

prod u cer m ust ensure th at FF C funds are only expended on “Aus­ tralian e lem en ts” . T his is an administrative burden which may also impact on creative areas.

mentary production. However, not all

iv) Additional time commitments by the

the co -p ro d u ctio n treaties cover all forms of television programmes, in addi­

producers, particularly additional

tion to feature films. M oreover, some television formats are outside the scope

v) A m ore com p licated co n tra ctin g process which can lead to delays to

of the definition of an “Australian film” as d efined in D ivision 10B A o f the In com e Tax Assessment Act (relevant

travel.

commencing pre-production. T h e C o -p ro d u c tio n C o n tra c t

to private investors seeking a tax deduc­ tio n and to the F F C ’s investm ent

Although the drafting of the co -p ro ­ d uction co n tra c t provides an

requirements).

opportunity to clarify the working rela­ tionship betw een the co-prod u cers,

S h o u ld th e F ilm be a C o -p ro d u c tio n ?

hop efu lly m ost o f the points to be addressed in the c o n tra ct w ill have

In some instances, where there are sev­

already been discussed by the individ­

eral “foreign” elements, the producer will have no choice but to use the co­

ual producers. At the outset, the parties do need to understand their own and

production model if he/she wishes to access FFC finance. The co-production model may also be used to take advan­

the co-p rod u cer’s expectations as to how the co-production will run, both on a day-to-day level and at the creative

tage of a particular funding scheme in

level. These issues should not be left

the foreign country in addition to being eligible for FFC funding. For example,

to be resolved by the lawyers at the con­ tracting and financing stage.

the Canadian funding agency Telefilm

The primary focus of the co-production contract will be to identify the rôles that each co-producer is to per­

Canada can invest in Canadian co-pro­ ductions. Similarly, British Screen will sometimes invest in UK co-productions. Moreover, UK broadcasters tend to pay higher licence fees for UK co-produc­ tion programmes when com pared to

form

and,

corresp o n d in g ly ,

the

responsibilities of the respective pro­ ducers. Equally important is the need to address the p ossibility o f disputes betw een the producers, particularly

“foreign” product. Perhaps a disappointment of the co­ production programme is the lack of

where decision-making is (intended) to

truly “organic” co-productions which

m ent betw een the producers cannot

have evolved from an existing relation­

be allowed to delay production - there is no time for the producers to go off to

ship between the producers and who

be by mutual agreem ent. A disagree­

set. More usually one producer develops

a mediation session! In the event of a deadlock, someone

the project to final draft and then goes

must have final say. Usually this will

in search of a partner to finance the

be the prod u cer who has raised the majority of the finance. But there can

jointly develop the project from the out­

picture. Against the advantages which flow from pooling two countries’ resources, both creative and financial, there are nevertheless disadvantages in producing a film as a co-production, including: C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

be no definite rules in this regard as the structure of each co-production varies. Sometimes one co-producer takes the primary rôle on creative issues while the other co-producer is responsible for the

R e q u ire m e n ts fo r a C o -p ro d u c tio n and A p p y in g fo r C o -p ro d u c tio n S ta tu s Aside from there being a producer from each of the co-production countries, there must be an overall balance between the Australian financial equity, the Australian creative components and the Australian expenditure. For exam­ ple, if the co-production was a majority Australian 60/40 co-production, this means: • T hat 6 0 % of the finance has been raised/contracted by the Australian producer (although it is not neces­ sarily all sourced from Australia). • That approximately 60% of the cre­ ative personnel (cast and crew) are Australian, calculated by two sepa­ rate tests: By a points system for six key pro­ duction personnel (writer, director, D O P, com poser, produ ction designer, editor) and the four lead roles. Points are allocated accord­ ing to the n ationality of the personnel taking these positions. Both the director and the writer are allocated 2 points and other key cast and crew are allocated one point each. Accordingly, 12 points are distributed. On the above example, 7 of the 12 points would need to be allocated to Australians. Note that there are 8 points allo­ cated for documentaries. By a percentage for down-the-line cast and crew. There is some flex­ ibility in this requirement, having regard to the script requirements for cast and the location require­ ments. Where no Australian actors are cast in any of the 4 lead roles, it is expected that down-the-line cast and crew will be increased.

lates that its investment can only be spent on Australian elem ents. Per diems and accommodation expenses paid to A ustralian crew w hile on location overseas count as Australian expenditure, as does a proportionate amount of the completion guarantee fee, insurance premiums and the con­ tingency. Som etim es, in order to assist in m eeting this expenditure requirement, post-production is car­ ried out in the non-location country. The budget needs to correctly iden­ tify all A ustralian and overseas expenditure (budgeted and actual). The minimum financial equity to be provided by a co -p ro d u cer is 3 0 % under the co-production treaties. No m inim um is sp ecified in the N ew Zealand M OU (although the minimum would probably also be in the vicinity o f 2 0 % to 3 0 % as agreed to by the AFC and N Z F C ), w hilst the French M O U provides that the financial con­ tribution by the Australian co-producer may vary from 4 0 % to 8 0 % and the contribution by the French co-producer may vary from 20% to 60% . The pro­ posed French treaty will amend this so that the minimum for Australia will also be 20% . The Australian producer must com­ plete the AFC’s “Application Form for O fficial International C o-Production S tatu s” and lodge it w ith the A FC , together with a copy of the script, bud­ get and co-production contract. The foreign co-producer makes a separate application to the equivalent foreign competent authority. Before the AFC makes any final deci­ sion, the proposed co-p rod u ctio n is referred to the Industry Advisory Panel (consisting of representatives from the AWG, MEAA, AS DA and SPAA). The AFC then consults with the overseas authority responsible tor administering the co-production programme. Once the project is approved as an official co­ production, the Australian producer completes a short-form application for a provisional 10BA certificate which is countersigned by the AFC. The FFC also has policy guidelines fo r co -p ro d u ctio n s inclu d ing some m inim um requ irem ents relatin g to key production personnel and cast. The FFC will generally expect either the writer or the director to be Australian and a m ajor rôle to be played by an A u stralian acto r. In ad d ition , the FFC expects a high level of m arket­ place attachment (pre-sale, distribution guarantee, print-and-advertising guar­ antee for theatrical release) for official co-productions. ©

47


.

I

) p ^ V '.e W

Matt Day and Alice Gamer.

Love and Other CataoLronhev L o v e a n d O t h e r C a t a s t r o p h e s is a ro m a n tic c o m e d y - a d a y in th e life o f fiv e uni s tu d e n ts - m a d e b y th e film m a k in g c o llec tive o f E m m a -K a te C ro g h a n , S ta v ro s E fth y m io u , Y a e l B e rg m a n , H ele n B andis an d D O P Ju stin B rickie. C ro g h a n d e scrib es th e film as b e in g in flu e n c e d by a passion fo r s c re w b a ll c o m e d y o f th e 1930s an d '40s: T h e film 's n o t so m u c h a b o u t u n iv e rs ity as a b o u t life ... and th e e n e rg y th a t co m e s o u t o f th e u n iv e rs ity e x p e rie n c e . Y o u go to th is place to le arn , b ut re a lly it's a b o u t g e ttin g th e social th in g h a p p e n in g , fin d in g y o u r place in th e w o rld . U n iv e rs ity 's a m u c h m o re se rio u s place n o w , b u t I k n o w a lot o f p e o p le 's e x p e rie n c e w a s th a t it w a s a tim e to h a ve parties. T h e in d e p e n d e n tly -fu n d e d film w a s sh o t fo r a lm o s t no m o n e y (th o u g h th e A u s tra lia n Film C o m m is s io n has s te p p e d in to p a y fo r th e p o s t-p ro d u c tio n ). C ro g h an : If y o u w a n t s o m e th in g , it w ill h a p p e n . T h a t's th e th in g a b o u t a film like this: it had an e n e rg y , th e sc rip t had an e n e rg y , an d it ju s t s n o w b a lle d fro m th e re . B an d is adds: W e m a y h a ve had b u d g e ta ry re s tra in ts , b u t on th e o th e r h a n d it a llo w e d us a d e g re e o f fre e d o m . T h e fiv e u n iv e rs ity s tu d e n ts a re p la y e d by Fran ces O 'C o n n o r, M a tt D yk tyn sk i, M a tt D ay, R ad h a M itc h e ll a n d A lic e G a rn e r.

[All quotes extracted from a forthcoming interview with Emma-Kate Croghan and Helen Bandis by Fincina Hopgood.l

48

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C a n n e d T h e a tre , N o t

D e c ip h e r in g a S to ry

J ohn C onomos is excited by the

casting o f Laurence Fishbume as Othello, and sees Oliver Parker’s film as a parable o f polycultural societies

51

U n fu lfille d A p r il ; I I

What happens when a modern Australian middle-class housewife does a Patty Hearst? Raymond Y ounis finds out

i

W h a t 's in a C o v e r?

1996 is shaping up as the year o f Australian films on the intellectually challenged.

D ebi E nker and Rolando Caputo find signs o f meaning in the covers o f recent books on Australian television and

Peter Malone

experiences Lilian’s Story

Martin Scorsese

58

54

B

o o k

R

e v ie w s

5 8

Film

KARVAN SHINES • DION BEEBE

OTHELLO

O

liver Parker’s début feature, a

naive, menacingly proud and eroti­

Desdemona has a secret passion for

filmic adaptation of Shake-

cally enmeshed in a highly-charged,

Cassio.

i speare’s Othello, has many positive

volatile relationship. Othello and

The substantial visual flashbacks, and camera addresses by lago and

Othello seethes with passion: its

Othello, also increase the film’s

dramatic, thematic and stylistic

Desdemona’s love for each other -

intricately-connected characters are

aspects. Thankfully, it goes against

which is poisoned by Kenneth

propelled by their intense emotions

(time and again) is the film’s capac­

the customary tradition of adapting

Branagh’s finely-calibrated monster,

and motivations - passions triggered

ity to excite the spectator’s senses.

lago - forms the dramaturgical back­

by lago.

Parker’s adaptation contains many

Shakepeare for the screen as a i mono-cultural “British” experience.

Directed by Oliver Parker. Producers: ' You know the moves by now: Luc Roeg, David Barron. Executive canned theatre as tediously-uninproducer: Jonathan Olsberg. spiring cinema, with plenty of Scriptwriter: Oliver Parker. Director of emphasis on uttering Shakespeare’s photography: David Johnson. 1 majestic words as an expression of Production designer: Tim Harvey. Editor: Tony Lawson. Composer: Charlie authority, class and privilege. Mole. Costumes: Caroline Harris. Cast: Parker’s decision to cast Laurence Fishbume (Othello), Irène Laurence Fishbume as the sexuallyJacob (Desdemona), Kenneth Branagh i tormented M oor, in love with Irène (lago), Nathaniel Parker (Cassio), | Jacob as the vibrant Desdemona, is Michael Maloney (Roderigo), Anna Patrick (Emilia). Australian distributor: \ one of the film’s more impressive attributes. Fishburne’s Othello casts Fox Columbia Tristar Films. UK. 1995. 35mm. 124 mins. a great presence in the film: he is

bone. Branagh’s superb performance

Parker’s success is partly attrib­

cinematic drive. W hat is foreground

cinematic and performative sur­ prises. The cool production design

never sags: we are, like Othello,

utable to his decision to give the

entranced by this insanely M achi­

work a definite poly-cultural look.

focuses on the intense emotional

avellian reptile of a human being.

The mix of different ethnic charac­

relationship between Othello and

ters lends O thello’s mise en scène a

Desdemona: this is not Shakespeare

Othello in order to maximize the

persuasive element; after all, Venice

as a historical pageant or tapestry,

profoundly tragic character of the

in the 16th century did have a

but a substantially well-crafted

play. The jealous lago succumbs to

cosmopolitan character. This aspect

thriller of the erotic and the darker

a diabolically-fiendish view of his

resonates of today’s multi-cultural

emotional colours of the human

former charge, Othello, because the

Britain, and it allows the filmmaker

psyche.

M oor selected the well-bred Cassio

to go beyond the traditional, and

(Nathaniel Parker) as his factotum,

tiresome, self-referential and

baroque, watery city, features in

lago systematically works on the

narcissistic tropes of adapting

the opening scenes of the film, but

excitable Othello by suggesting that

Shakespeare for the cinema.

its shadow colours O thello’s subse­

Parker elliptically structures

Venice, as the alluringly-

quent scenes. The all-consuming love between Othello and Desde­ mona is rendered by atmospheric superimpositions, fluid scenes of watery surfaces and depths (which greet the dead couple in the film’s concluding scenes), and the billow­ ing, diaphanous curtains in their bedroom where Othello smothers her. Another clever decision is the later shift in locale from the interna-

Jim Schembri Loves Redheads The big, brassy, stupid, funny joke at the centre of Redheads is its title. Sure, the hair on the heads of its tw o leads is red, but it's not nearly as red as the w hale­ sized herring that lies in the middle of the film 's narrative, flapping and jum ping about w aiting for you to identify it as som ething it's not. p 53

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

51


(1943) through to Susan Dermody’s

W orld W ar II, ignites unpredictably

Breathing Under Water (1991).

and irrationally. A young girl falls in

Vacant Possession is indeed a surre­

love with M itch (Graham M oore),

alist-inspired emotional dreamscape

an Aboriginal boy, and becomes

situated within a recognizably Aus­

pregnant to him. A mother tries

tralian intellectual environment and

unsuccessfully to force her daughter

political milieu.

Vacant Possession is told, with­ out presumption, from the point of view of Tessa (Pamela Rabe), a white woman and prodigal daughter

In these returning memories, Tessa consoles her younger self, embracing herself, understanding

after the death of her mother. The

and compassionate; watching and

house she grew up in - personified

realizing her own departure through

as Irene - is the material manifesta­

her m other’s eyes - seeing and being

tion of festering conflict between

as others have seen or been. The

her and her sister, Kate (Linden

empty house becomes the site of her

Wilkinson). They interpret their

“dreamtime”. And so the healing

respective inheritance in the

and reconciliation begins.

although both are seeking a cash

Films

A young girl flees.

returning to her childhood home

property profoundly differently,

review

to have an abortion. A father hyster­ ically shoots and wounds the boy.

M uch of this is told through astonishingly-resonant and poetic

by taking away. Empty the pond to

settlement from its sale. But when

imagery by cinematographer Dione

get the fish. ” - Margot Nash

Tessa returns looking for a missing

Beebe, already an AFI award

M

argot Nash has made major

will, the past returns with her and

recipient for his work on Eternity

contributions around the

begins to unravel rhe source of

(Lawrence Johnston, 1994). Just as

fringes of mainstream Australian

this conflict for us. A neglected,

the ripples in the mangrove swamp build upon one another, so the

(Steadicam and slow-motion) are

film production for many years. She

sun-bleached weatherboard with a

defined by its changing action plot

has worked as a cinematographer,

spartan, echo-filled interior, the

astutely-selected location of the

and mise en scène considerations.

editor and consultant on various

house yields up the dreams and

house adds to its meaning and the

When lago and Othello address us

independent documentaries, short

memories, its ghosts of the past,

ways in which it asks to be read.

in their camera monologues, we

dramas and experimental films.

fuelling the anxieties of the present.

tional trading zone of Venice, with

become part of their personal world

Her directorial efforts include the

continued

Without formal cinemato­

The setting is Kurnell on the edge of Botany Bay, a mythical site

its pronounced emphasis of a

of emotional conflict and tragic

widely-accoladed experimental film,

graphic markers such as dissolves

of mangrove swamps, sand dunes,

cultural and religious war between

passions. The monologues work

Shadow Panic (1990), a dramatized

or filtration, time-past and time-

wildlife, snakes, birds, fish and

the West and East, to the more

because they are seamlessly woven

documentary about young girls in

present become interchangeable,

dolphins, isolated weatherboard or

personal, claustrophobic environs

into the film’s narrative; they do not

care and at risk, Speaking Out

part of the same space, occupying

fibro cottages and panoramic views

of a garrison at Cyprus, where

jar in any self-conscious fashion

(1986), and a short documentary

the same body. Children play. A

of Sydney’s skyscrapers and indus­

Iago’s intense régime to destroy

apropos of Shakespearian drama.

about tenosynovitis, Teno. Other

mother sings. A rampaging father,

trial wastelands. Rocky headlands

key film credits include We Aim To

psychologically wounded from

frame the wider ocean and the

Othello takes place. It is in Cyprus

Performatively and stylistically,

where Iago’s clever understanding

this film is charged with a rich ellip­

Please (1976) and For Love Or

of Othello and Desdemona’s

tical approach to the problematics

Money (Megan McMurchy, Margot

passionate love for each other takes

of translating Shakespeare for the

Nash, Margot Oliver, Jeni Thorn-

full force. Iago’s evil nature has an

screen. Branagh, Fishburne and

ley, 1983). Vacant Possession, which

intoxicating quality as he becomes

Jacob work well together as the

Margot both wrote and directed,

seduced by his scheming against the

interlocked, conflicted leads in one

is her first feature. It is a most ambi­

gullible Othello.

of the most enduring plays we have

tious undertaking: an excavation

Othello does not emphasize in graphic details the nature of Iago’s motives; instead, it presents him as

about the tumultuous world of sex­

into the emotional psyche of a

ual jealousy, hate and resentment.

young woman and its links and

© J ohn Conomos

ground character who worshipped the brave warrior M oor for a decade, only to be hurt when Othello passes him for the more graceful and socially-connected Cassio. By the end, where Iago lies mortally wounded by the dying Othello (who takes his own life after he has discovered the wicked and tragic world of sexual jealousy that Iago catapulted him into), we do have an empathetic moment or two for Iago’s self-destructive

parallels to the structure, formation and denial of nationhood.

a solid, dependable, feet-on-the

VACANT POSSESSION Directed by Margot Nash. Producer: John Winter. Scriptwriter: Margot Nash. Director of photography: Dione Beebe. Editor: Veronika Jenet. Costume designer: Clarrissa Patterson. Production designer: Michael Philips. Composer: Alistair Jones. Cast: Pamela Rabe (Tessa), John Stanton (Frank), Toni Scanlon (Joyce), Linden Wilkinson (Kate), Rita Bruce (Aunty Beryl), Olivia Patten (Millie). Australian distributor: AFI Distribution. Australia. 1996.35mm. 95 mins.

Vacant Possession premiered at the 1995 Melbourne Film Festival and was described by film critic Adrian Martin as “certainly the best Australian film to have appeared so far this year”. Martin linked Nash’s story to the plot of another Aus­ tralian film, H otel Sorrento (Richard Franklin, 1995), which also con­ cerns a young woman’s return home, her disputes with her sister and attempted reconciliation with a psychotic father. Martin argues

I was trying to do a lot and I had to

though that Nash’s interest in the

cut a lot as a result, but how often

Aboriginal legacy of Australian his­

ups in a subdued natural light,

do you get to m ake a film ? You

tory gives her story a much broader

O thello’s powerful visual style is

monstrosity. Shot with many intense close-

might as well try and do a bit. My

social perspective. Martin also sited

also a metacommentary on how to

favourite quote, which we had up in

Nash’s film within a history of

make Shakespeare accessible to

the editing room and which I had

women’s cinema: from the surreal­

today’s film audience. The numer­

while writing is by [Robert] Bresson:

ist-inspired “dream film” of Maya

ous switched camera techniques

“One does not create by adding but

Deren’s Meshes o f the Afternoon

52

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J U N E 1996


Quigley, including a pretty comprehen­

Redheads D irec to r Danny Vendramini. Producer Richard Mason. Executive producer Danny Vendramini. Scrip tw riter Danny Vendramini. Inspired by the play, Say Thank You to the Lady, by Rosie S co tt Director of photography: Steven Mason. Production designer: Ross W allace. Costume designer: Ross W allace. Editor M arc Van Buuren. Com poser Felicity Foxx. Sound recordist M ax Bowring. C ast Claudia Karvan (Lucy), Catherine M cClem ents (Diana), Alexander Petersons (Simon), Sally McKenzie (W arden Zelda), Anthony Phelan (Inspector Quigley). Roxy Films. Video: 21st Century. Rating: M . 35mm. Australia. 1992.102 mins. Video release only.

he big, brassy, stupid, funny joke at the centre of Redheads is its title. Sure, the hair on the heads of its two leads is red, but it's not nearly as red as the whale-sized herring that lies in the middle of the film's narrative, flapping and jumping about waiting for you to identify it as something it's not Rarely has a film worked so hard, and wished such a playful, enjoyable sense of mischief, for the sake of a single punchline. The film's style has almost nothing to do with Hitchcock, but, if Alfred were alive to see it, he'd surely smile quietly to himself as he wondered where all this wonderful effort was leading. The strength of the film's style and its terrific actor direction serve to cre­ ate scents that might be on the track of a motorcycle-riding, dark-helmetwearing murderer, or maybe not It's a fun guessing game, whether or not you beat the film to its rather zany climax. Lucy (Claudia Karvan) is a young, extremely attractive, rough-talking girl who is in a bit of trouble because she smashed up the police car while in her underwear. The reason she smashed up the police car was because she wanted to get arrested. The reason

she was in her underwear was because she was just having sex with Brewster (Mark Hembrow), the bornagain head of the Justice Department The reason she wanted to get arrested was for safety, because Brewster had just been 12-gauged by a motorcycle­ riding, dark-helmet-wearing murderer. Lucy didn't see it happen, but a video camera they were playing with did. Lucy spends most of her time either committing petty crimes or serving time for them in the friendly atmosphere of a local minimumsecurity facility run by a whimpy guy with a goatee and a repressed, matriarchal warden called Zelda (Sally McKenzie). You don't hear much from Zelda throughout the film, but her comment early on to Diana (Catherine McClements), the nubile lawyer who has come to help Lucy, that she Zelda, that is - used to be pretty once herself, makes you suspect that old Zelda's got a pretty big chip on her shoulder. Lucy and Diana are both on the verge of life-altering character jour­ neys. Diana has just become a lawyer and is being warned in the friendliest possible way by her superior, Simon (Alexander Petersons), that her ideal­ ism will soon give way to the realities

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1 9 9 6

and practicalities of a life in law. Lucy is in fear of her life as a fellow inmate is killed by the motorcycle-riding, darkhelmet-wearing murderer because it thinks it's her. Luc/s instincts of selfpreservation, instilled by her crim dad, have to hit high gear, or else she'll end up dead, too. For this, she needs Diana's help, and so convinces her that someone is out to kill her, and that it may have something to do with the people she works with. Diana is a little sceptical at first, until the silhouette of the motorcycle-riding, dark-helmetwearing killer conveniently comes around to her place with a big gun. The film drips some of the cheesiest, hammiest, magnificently over-the-top performances by the film's resident sleazebags, namely Diana's boss Simon, and his police inspector mate, Quigley (Anthony Phe­ lan). Quigley is a big, beefy guy with a square head and snout for a nose that does everything but shoot fire and steam out each nostril when he talks. He's a straight-up-and-down kind of guy who thinks sex is overrated: "Rather work-out", he says. Simon provides a seasonal moral philosophy for Diana to struggle with, expressed in an arrogant, self-satisfied manner that is so confident it is almost attractive. "People are scum", he says to her with a dirty smile. "And, when you realize that simple fact, it makes you infinitely more powerful and removes all the moral garbage and guilt that stop you getting exactly what you w ant" He sounds like he's running for office. These supporting performances are not only enormous fun to watch, they are hugely important in propelling the narrative joy-ride of Redheads. Both men are crooked, using the system to get as many perks as they

can. Diana is rudely introduced to this unexpected aspect of her professional life when Simon reveals to her that their after-work drinking session is being paid for by an emergency fund. Later, when she needs to locate the videotape that captured the killer's image (which Lucy has hidden in a washing machine!), Diana approaches Simon in an act of mock-contrition, declaring that she is giving up her moral pretensions in exchange for the good life. Before she can enjoy any of it, though, she is given the once-over by

sive frisking and some hard words in her ear about not messing around with them, lest she end up the way Brew­ ster did. The neon-lit suggestion here is that the greasy pair killed Brewster because the sod found God and was going to spill the beans on their little game. Did they, though? The characters loom so large, and are drawn in so deep, they become prime suspects in the viewer's eye. Naturally, prime suspects in movies usually have a low conviction rate, but it is only when Zelda, the prison warden who used to be young and pretty, makes her showstopping, climactic appearance, wearing an old wedding dress she borrowed from Miss Havisham, that the criminal careers of Simon and Quigley are quickly put into very sharp perspective. While McClements does a passable job as the attractive, naïve, slightly-dopey lawyer, it is Karvan's performance as Lucy that stands out like a jewel. As the over-experienced juvenile delinquent, she is nervy, twitchy, full of tiny, telling mannerisms and quirks, such as the sheepish way she apologizes to Diana for yelling at her, or the way her voice suddenly jumps several octaves as she becomes scared. The portrayal is almost too good to be wasted in a film that is so proud of its ultimate lack of dramatic consequence. ® J

im

S chembri

53


review

Films

continued

\ incessant articulation and repetition, | and often to the detriment of its I overall vision and effectiveness. i i In the voice-over narration on

i \ her return home, Tessa begins,

flight-path of planes that are

| “Some dreams you remember as if

constantly landing and leaving the

' they were real, others are like frag-

nearby airport. It is also the site

i ments that float away, never to be

where Captain Cook first landed in

| held.” It is in the dream-like frag-

1770. Hence, the “apparently

] ments though - a hand in the water,

empty” house, which is actually so

! a gate being opened, dancing red

emotionally alive and full of

i shoes evoking a set of red dice, a

metaphor, is “terra nullius” - the

| necklace, the shadows across a bed-

vacant, uninhabited land Cook

] room - in its lightness of touch and

“discovered” and occupied so long

! delicate emotions, that the film is

ago - a land in fact already clearly

i finally most satisfying and affecting.

possessed.

1 It is in these lesser-stated and more

Against this historical grounding

| ambiguous poetic moments that the

the natural world acts like a house

i heart of the film is most successfully

of mirrors. M itch tells Tessa the

i revealed, committed and enduring.

© A nna Dzenis

slithering serpent she wants to flee is in fact his spirit. The remarkable

TURNING APRIL

dream image of the serpentwrapped upper body of an older Tessa is suggestive of the attachment this young man has had on her later life. The first meeting of daughter

i i i

!

and father after so many years takes place in what has been described by actor Joh n Stanton as a King Lear-like night where the wildest of

! | ] \

storms tears the roof from the house to reveal a mad father’s reconcilia­ tion with his apparently thankless daughter. For a feminist cinema which has historically been so pre­ occupied with mother and daughter

| \ \ |

relations, in this instance this (post­ colonial) dénouement is with the father. There were times, however,

1

when I felt that the film was exces­ sively didactic, wearing its heart too

i came into contact with a stove.

these, the scenes have a hectic and

(Christopher Morsley). He is an

| (The reasons are undisclosed, but

dramatic effect which heighten the

“Assistant Executive Assistant”,

\ the viewer infers a link between

sense of the character’s instability.

whose aim is to become an “Execu­

i April’s unpleasant earlier experience

tive Assistant”, in the Attorney

i and the cruelty to which Leif has

used very effectively for the transi­

General’s office. He has little time

1 been subjected). The two are drawn

tions between past and present, or

for April and is constantly working

\ together. Indeed, Leif is the first in

between states of being which are

on ways of gaining promotion. The

\ the film to offer to listen to April’s

characterized by peace and turmoil.

film does suggest that he is prepared

i story. Crucially, she does not or

Such a strategy is not new - it was

to be unscrupulous in order to get

1 cannot articulate her earlier experi-

used in quite breathtaking fashion

and maintain power. Much of his

| ence(s). And crucially, when she

by Tarkovsky, Resnais, Paradjanov

physical energy seems to be spent

i asks him much later in the film to

and Jancsó, and, less effectively, by

doing push-ups at the foot of the

i explain what had happened to him,

many others - but it creates a fluid

bed in which April lies alone.

1 he responds by lashing out at an

rhythm which is nicely contrasted in

j elderly man who happens to be

structural terms with the many signs

number of levels. Moreover, her

i nearby.

and strategies of rupture, trauma

relationship with the father figure is

i

and disorder.

April is clearly unfulfilled on a

i

In other scenes, slow zooms are

The film, in this respect, brings

Finally, close-ups are used quite

a deeply unsettling one. The film

1 together two figures who are deeply

works in terms of hints, implications

j scarred and who, in principle, might

effectively as book-ends, so to

and suggestions, but it seems that

\ offer one another a chance to heal,

speak: an extended close-up of

something quite disturbing (from

i It is thought-provoking to find that

April’s face while she is awake and

the point of view of the viewer and

i both react in similar ways in the

an extended close-up of her face

April) has taken place between the

' absence of articulation, help, under-

while she is (peacefully) asleep

ew Australian films have looked

man and the girl. Crucially, April is

\ standing and healing: April turns to

bear, in very vivid terms, the film’s

at the problem of abusive par-

either unwilling to articulate, or

i stealing, even though she can easily

thematic trajectory.

F

much on its sleeve - perhaps as a consequence of its own grand

j ents or adults and the consequences

incapable of articulating, the con­

i afford to buy the objects in ques-

But the film does not really

ambitions and dreams. Millie

\ of their acts on young men and

tent of this experience, a point

' tion; Leif is a burglar who drinks

manage to break away from many

(Olivia Patten), the grand-daughter

i women. This film attempts to exam-

which suggests that the experience is

j and smokes, it seems, constantly,

clichés. So, for example, Leif drinks

perhaps too traumatic to put into

\ and who remains pessimistic in

and steals; April is attracted to a wider, less-stable form of existence, at least for a while. Though the

of M itch’s mother - evoking the

i ine the issue in the light of criminal

child that Tessa lost - spends much

' behaviour or in terms of children

words or too painful to face. Of

! many ways about the fate of the

of the time wandering around

\ who themselves become parents,

course, when the man turns his

| gang.

i Certainly, the two characters who

attentions to April’s daughter, the

i emerge in the film as the leading

viewer and April assume the worst.

i relationship between these two fig-

1 figures - one is a thief, one is a

The scenario is clear: April’s rela­

i ures, does hold the viewer’s interest.

feels, on the level of the narrative,

he’s white?”, asks Tessa. “No,

\ mother - have at least one thing in

tionship with her husband does not

1 The director also adopts some

that he/she has seen and heard this

because he wasn’t invited, and he

i common: namely, a pact which is

give her opportunities to work

\ unconventional and quite imagina-

before. Also, there are scenes which

wouldn’t go away”, replies Millie.

i disturbed by dark, mostly unre-

through her anxieties and problems.

i tive stylistic devices, but these are

lack credibility: some of them seem

In another scene, Tessa cradles the

| vealed depths; a history which is full

i not always effective. Three exam-

to veer towards surrealism and

cat while watching the Aboriginal

| of gaps, one assumes, because of

1 pies should suffice. Pans are

absurdity (it is a pity since these

family playing cards together - its

returned. Then, during the stormy

1 some traumatic or abusive events i i which have become repressed, and i _ | which erupt fitfully into conscious-

tempestuous reconciliation, the cat

] ness in the form of sudden hours

searching for or holding a white tom cat called Captain Cook. “Why is he called Captain Cook? Because

burden and responsibility now

is killed by the collapsing house

54

Directed by Geoff Bennett. Producers: Laell McCall, Heather Ogilvie. Executive producers: Phil Gerlach, Robert Lantos. Co-producer: John Winter. Scriptwriter: James W. Nichol. Director of photography: Steve Arnold. Production designer: Michael Philips. Costume designer: Clarrissa Patterson. Editor: Susan Shipton. Composer: Lesley Barber. Sound recordist: Bronwyn Murphy. Supervising sound editor: Fred Brennan. Sound editor: Robin Leagh (ADR). Mixers: Don White, Scott Purdy, Scott Shepherd. Cast: Tushka Bergen (April), Christopher Morsley (Chappie), Dee Smart (Kyra), Aaron Blabey (Leif), Tayler Kane (Donny), Lucy Hill (Robin), Justine Clarke (Rose), Judi Farr (Mother), Kenneth Welsh (Father). Australian distributor: Total. Australia. 1996. 35mm. 98 mins.

an ambitious man, Chappie

!

of anxiety, depression, attitudes of

and Tessa buries “Captain Cook”

\ pessimism or of despair,

at the site of his arrival. This heavy-

j

handedness is curiously literal in its

\ April (Tushka Bergen) is married to

The story is an intriguing one.

j

April is kidnapped by gang members who are in the process of

\ robbing a bank. She is gaoled for a

i i short time and offered freedom. She i j refuses to leave. She meets and has an affaire with Leif (Aaron Blabey),

\ another damaged individual. He bears a scar on his cheek and has a j great deal of trouble speaking about | it and about his past, when his face

scenes are generally directed with

The film, while it deals with the

imagination and flair, the viewer

\ accelerated in moments of crisis or

scenes undermine the film’s other­

| high drama, perhaps to reinforce

wise naturalistic thrust and its

I the sense of confusion and breathi 1 lessness. The camera whirls around i \ the figures: for example, when April

sensitive concern with the nature

| is caught stealing a doll, which is

the film’s dénouement. O f course,

I itself a suggestive object, given her i 1 buried past. In moments such as

one cannot say much more here and

of such damaged lives). W hat is even more troubling is

now, since some readers will want

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1 996


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review

Films

continued

world, with her past and to survive.

beneath respectability, and to por­

The producers refer to the film

tray a son and brother who is nice

an outsider who puzzles over how

as a mosaic. Rather it is like being

in himself but has blocked out

characters survive (or don’t) in this

given the pieces of a mosaic and

everything unpleasant.

newer world. Their experience are

having to put them together without

Within Lilian’s story there are

he is an outsider. His film is that of

universal, so there is no difficulty

Grenville’s 1 9 8 4 novel. Since I have

the benefit of having any basic

many Lilian worlds and galleries of

in looking at torment, cruelty and

not read the novel, I will be writing

outline or design. The film is a

characters: moments of madness in

re-birth in a ‘European’ way.

on the film as film rather than as

challenge emotionally and psycho­

an institution, violence and kindness

adaptation for the screen.

logically, and is a confrontation

among the prostitutes of King’s

matographer is Slawomir Idziak,

Searching for a word to describe

When we realize that the cine­

about Australian family relation­

Cross, the poets and the brutes who

who has worked with Wajda,

to see the film. Suffice it to say that

the experience of watching Lilian’s

ships, especially those that appear

are taxi-drivers, the courts and pris­

Zannussi and, recently, with John

the dénouement is violent (and just

Story, I choose ‘fractured’. It relates

genteel yet are anything but.

ons, vagrants and the buses, the

Duigan on The Journey o f August

a little sudden in purely narrative

to the film’s structure: a sudden ini­

wharf shelters and the palatial man­

King, and that this is his first visit to

terms). Such an ending is dramatic

tial immersion in a story that needs

striking but, whether it be Cracknell’s

sion that was her home. Amongst

Australia, the collaboration of direc­

and quite cinematic, one must

plot and motive explanation, but

acting style or her interpretation of

the taxi-drivers, Lilian finds her old

tor and cinematographer have,

Ruth Cracknell’s performance is

admit, but it is a pity that a more

literally, coloured our view. With

constructive approach (to what is a

the further information that Idziak

heinous crime) could not be advo­

worked with Kieslowski, especially

cated. In this context, the vision that

on La Double Vie de Véronique [The

the film offers is less than optimistic,

Double Life o f Véronique), with its

less than hopeful, in a very crucial

symbolic use of light, glass, mirrors

sense.

and reflections, and Trois Couleurs:

Having said this, though, there

Bleu (Three Colours: Blue), with its

are many scenes which are directed

pervading filters and tones, one can

with sensitivity and imagination. If

make more sense of the effect that

the narrative does not cohere com­

Lilian’s Story has on its audience.

pletely, it nevertheless does offer

The Warsaw and Paris of Véronique,

a timely reminder of a problem

different but the same, are akin to

which continues to have devastating

Damaradzki’s and Idziak’s unex­

effects on individuals, both male

pected Sydney. (He has used a red

and female, as well as on groups; a

filter for the present and a yellow

problem which demands a construc­

filter for the past.) The musical

tive and sensitive response if the

score, ranging from spasmodic

terrible silences and traumas are to

chords to choral, is the work of M el­

be overcome.

bourne-based Cezary Skubiszewski.

©

Raymond Younis

Finally, Lilian’s Story and the

LILIAN'S STORY Directed by Jerzy Domaradzki. Producer: Marian Macgowan. Executive producers: David Court, Jeremy Bean. Co-producer: Mike Wilcox. Scriptwriter: Steve Wright Director of photography: Slawomir Idziak. Composer: Cezary Skubiszewski. Production designer: Roger Ford. Costume designer: Edie Kurzer. Cast: Ruth Cracknell (Lilian Singer), Barry Otto (John Singer/Father), Toni Collette (Young Lilian), John Flaus (Frank), Iris Shand (Aunt Kitty), Susie Lindeman (Jewel), Ann Louise Lambert (Mother). Australian distributor: Fox Columbia Tristar Films. Australia. 1996. 35mm. 102 mins.

A

ustralian audiences have had a

themes that Kate Grenville has (apparently) explored in her novel and offered to the filmmakers are important for the 1990s and the which makes its audience labour at

what Lilian must be like after such a

beau, now grown old and alcoholic

‘normal’ Australian’s need to be

understanding as it takes us into Lil­

troubled life (or both), it sometimes

(his acting ambitions come to noth­

aware of dysfunctional families,

ian’s memories, flashback glimpses

seems overly theatrical and contrived,

ing), in the form of John Flaus.

emotional violence and abuse, the

of painful recall. It relates to the

drawing attention to itself. This is

Flaus has developed the ability- to

destruction of self-esteem and the

quite different impact of the two

particularly the case with her Shake­

make contrived Ocker realism, in

consequent breakdowm in sanity.

actors who play Lilian, Lilian old

spearean recitations. (The film begins

appearance and in accent and into­

The film, in discreetly graphic

and Lilian young: Ruth Cracknell’s

with one of these - so we know

nation, seem perfectly natural. He

sequences, also brings to the surface

forceful dominance and Toni Col­

where we stand.) She uses a declama­

provokes a nice contrast with Ruth

the taboo of incest. The finale, with

lette’s fragility and vulnerability. It

tory style, full of bravado, which

Cracknell’s style.

also relates to the tantalizing device

does not help audiences relish the

of having Barry Otto play both the respected but brutal father and the emotionally-impaired son. This means that the audience

disturbing time recently asking

its (symbolic/realistic) outback vista,

But there is another significant

still remains an open-ended enigma.

quotations or appreciate fully their

factor that contributes to the ‘frac­

The discussions the film raises could

meaning for her life. They often

tured’ response to Lilian’s Story. It

be important.

remain simply as a device to show an

is its ‘European style’. We see that

Lilian’s Story could have the

odd lend of intellect and eccentricity'.

the setting is Sydney, but it is not

same effect on the average audience

what is normal as they watched

has to work quite hard, intellectually

always a Sydney we know. Our har­

as that captured in the Sydney bus

Angel Baby. They have had an

and emotionally, to appreciate

lette, after Muriel’s Wedding and

bour-city' movies (and tele-features

sequence when Lilian, without pay­

entertaining time asking what is

Lilian. Ruth Cracknell is such a

Cos/, continues to impress with her

and series) are full of light, full of

ing her fare, annoys most of the

normal as they watched Cosi. They

powerful, even tough, screen pres­

versatility. She offers us complete,

flair, full of action. Lilian’s Story is

passengers with her Shakespeare,

are in for a confronting mix of

ence that she does not elicit a strong

at times naked, vulnerability', a

not. The light looks different. The

w'ho find her ‘o ff or w'ho studiously

disturbing and entertaining as they

feeling response. Toni Collette does.

victim who might have lived a full,

cinematic portraits of the characters

ignore her. I hope not too many feel

are being asked to reflect again on

Maybe this is the core of Lilian’s

rich life if only she had not been

are more contemplative than we are

like another character who has a

trapped within her family.

used to. We follow the characters in

more vicious reaction to Lilian. In

an introspective mood which could

one of Ruth Cracknell’s more

what is normal.

story': a precocious but repressed

On the other hand, Toni Col­

young woman is brutalized, verbally,

By now we are familiar with

Lilian’s Story might be familiar from

physically, emotionally and sexually

Barry O tto’s ability' to portray larger

memories of Bea Miles, the vagrant

by her father; her emotionally-unsta-

than life eccentrics [Bliss, Cosi) and

eccentric who proclaimed Shake­

ble mother disappears; her younger

timid men who might have been

already shown us an Australian

side, grabs her by the ear (just like

speare in the streets and who was

brother is ineffectual. She disappears

stronger [Strictly Ballroom). He is

world that is allegedly not ‘normal’,

those old sadistic teachers used to)

forever getting into taxis (or, at

into an institution for 4 0 lost years

able to draw successfully on this

that of the Downs’ Syndrome adults

and drags her from his vehicle.

least, that was the mythology when

and emerges into the 1990s with

repertoire to portray a father who

in Struck by Lightning (1990). He

Lilian’s Story, hard work though

I was growing up), Steve W right’s

something like an ‘awakening’. She

sees himself a pillar of society' but

acknowledges that, as a Polish-trained

it may be, deserves more careful

screenplay is an adaptation of Kate

now learns how to deal with the

who reveals to us a depravity

filmmaker, as a teacher in Australia,

attention.

While the plot outline of

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996

make us uncomfortable. Director Jerzy Domaradzki has

poignant scenes, the taxi-driver she cannot pay goes to the passenger

© P

eter

M

alone

57


in review

Books

this light: a collage composed of

several shredded film stills (bathed in red) and cropped titles - a Scors­ ese mural in the making. The shredding, the fragmentation, the bathing in red, appropriately echo

THE SCORSESE CONNECTION Lesley Stern, BFI & Indiana University Press, London, 1995, 257pp., illus., rrp S39.90.

Stern's approach to the films. Rarely respecting the integral nature of nar­ rative art, Stern cuts into the films, tears at them, rips away pieces, secretes details, frames fragments: the closing moments from GoodFel-

close my eyes. Sometimes I have

dreadful pleasures; a cinema some­

“the aesthete” and “the realist”.

to leave the room. [p. 11]

times within, and sometimes only

Moreover, what may finally give

brushing up against, the “different

Scorsese his particularity as a film­

Or later: If cinema does not simply recon­ stitute a presence of bodies, but if it participates in a genesis of “the bodily”, then it can also dismem­ ber bodies, disperse bodily fragments like Acteaon, torn limb from limb by his hounds and scat­ tered in pieces through time and space. Moreover, the film itself can materialise as a body of sorts,

registers of the fantastic”. Scorsese

maker - what we could pompously

sits well in this blood-stained cin­

call “the grand Scorsesian dialectic”

ema, and Stern’s writing is very alive

- is not the different registers of

when she feels herself a blood­

styles per se, but the attempt at a

stained spectator, as if the direct

dialectical synthesis of what have

recipient of the screen’s splatterings

been considered in essence two anti­

like the besmirched ringside audi­

thetical traditions. W e can describe

ence attending Jake La M otta’s

these two traditions, or we can for

bouts in Raging Bull.

the sake of brevity give them repre­

But where is the Scorsese

sentative proper names: say, the

engaged with the “regimes of real-

cinema of Michael Powell or Vin­

in-”, the Scorsese of Street Scenes

cente Minnelli on the one hand, and

cally, but with sensible affects,

(1970), Italianamerican (1974),

the cinema of John Cassavetes on

producing, for instance, sensations

American Boy: A Profile O f Steven

the other. Speaking of New York,

of illness, fear, ecstasy, [p. 12]

Prince (1978), The Last Waltz

New York (1977), Scorsese perfectly

a body that bleeds - metaphori­

he book’s front-cover graphics

las (1990), rhe boxing gloves from

are rendered in red on white -

Raging Bull (1980), the prologue

This chapter is appropriately titled

(1978), for example? The book is

articulates this dialectic in his own

some black, but mainly red, a colour

scene to Alice Doesn 't Live Here

“A Meditation of Violence”; it may

fairly silent on this Scorsese, and

words:

of immeasurable esteem and reso­

Anymore (1974). She enacts a form

well have been the title of the book.

for good reason. Stern’s approach is

nance in the cultural mythology of

of textual violence as if, having been

film, at an instance evoking the cin­

violated as a spectator to this cin­

of this, but at the cost of a careful

ema of Michael Powell, Nicholas

ema (a perversely pleasurable

selection both from his filmography

Almost always they are very cine­

Hollywood musicals that I adored.

Ray, ’60s Godard, or Cyd Charisse’s

experience it would seem), she now

and the work of other filmmakers

matic endings - they remind us of

The real ending made complete

lips. It may well be the colour of

returns the favour in kind.

by which Stern frames his cinema.

other films, of other cinematic

the other side of the film - the

On the evidence of the films given

moments and gestures, and rhey

Cassavetes-like story about cre­

T

cinephilia. And it’s certainly Scors­

Either marked or ghosting in the

One can well see Scorsese in all

formalist, textual, attuned to the cin­

ematic signifier, to cinematic desire:

“Happy Endings” made one side of the film complete and whole the part connected to all the old

ese’s colour, even if he shares it with

background, this sense of the specta­

extended analysis, Stern seems to

remind us not just that we are

ative people in romantic

so many others.

relationships, [p. 7]

tor’s violation of vision and body is

favour, though not exclusively, the

watching a film, but that watching

Lesley Stern, author of The

ever present in the book. O f Stan

Scorsese of Taxi Driver (1975),

films is fraught with wonder and

Scorsese Connection , seems particu­

Brakhage’s The Act o f Seeing u/ith

Raging Bull, After Hours (1985),

peril, [p. 3]

larly attuned to this colour. She

O ne’s Own Eyes (1971) - apropos a

GoodFellas, Cape Fear (1991). That

writes at times as if she feels herself

chapter containing a dynamic com­

is, the Scorsese of expressionism,

to be a kind of repository of its

parative analysis of Powell and

baroqueness, excesses, violence.

secret force in cinema. For her, red

Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948)

These films are then most often read

is more than a colour, it’s a sensa­

and Raging Bull premised on the

via or around films like The Red

tion, an emotion, a metaphor -

power of totemic objects in films

Shoes , The Tales of H offman (Pow­

“Scorsese’s red-hot cinema” - per­

(the red shoes, the boxing gloves) -

ell and Pressburger, 1951), Peeping

haps the key leitmotif in a book

she writes:

Tom (Powell, 1960), The Tomb of

encrusted with metaphoric and associational thought. The artwork which graces the book’s cover is also of interest in

I try, every time, to watch. Part of me, indeed, is fascinated and attracted by these images, but they also repel. I have to look away,

Legeia (Roger Corman, 1965), The Night o f the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) and Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986). There is a thread here, tenuous as it may be, of the demonaic in film, a cinema of pained bodies and

Alain Masson, one of the most elo­ quent commentators on Scorsese’s

Within these terms this other Scors­

cinema, though putting it differ­

ese - documentarist, ethnographer,

ently, touches I think on the same

mannered realist, call him what you

issue, and interestingly notes this

will - is a somewhat more slippery

dialectic at play at the very level of

being. This other Scorsese severs the

the individual shot:

hegemony of filmic intertextuality The advantages of such formal

by introducing a more marked

organisation are evident: the seri­

social referent. It’s not a simple invocation of the real as a breaker in

ousness with which an aesthetic affirmation is displayed (the cam­

the circuit of cinephilic discourse, rather it's to recognize another abid­

era movement when .Alice sings) cannot become a perfunctory

ing tension of stylistic registers

exhibition of academic virtuosity,

within and across Scorsese’s films. Raymond Durgnat may have put

since it is bound to contrast effi­ ciently with the characters’

his finger on it when he referred to Scorsese as a Janus-faced filmmaker:

mishaps; on the other hand, the pathetic expression of the heroes never seems exaggerated, since it is going to be seen as an awkward and precious breach within a for­ mal constraint. That “precious breach” captures perfectly the conjoining line in Scorsese between the mixed tradi­ tions of a lush formalist mise en scène (Powell/Minnelli) and a rawer, performative-driven drama (Cassavetes). And yet to point to the omis­ sions in the œuvre is not an accusation of neglect on the book’s part. If anything, Stern is con­ sciously eschewing much standard commentaries on Scorsese in an attempt to renew him, to remake the way we understand and enjoy his work, and at the same time to open up her own “precious breach” in the discursive strategies of film studies generally. While never

58

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 996


engaged in a direct anti-auteurist

orientation. Stern, for example,

polemic, Stern’s writing evidences a

takes a step back from notions of

healthy disrespect for its principal

spectatorship and subjectivity as

tenets. Her approach unfixes the

hypothesized by what we can call -

classic notion of the oeuvre, making

for the sake of brevity - “theories of

of it a “connection”, a net by which

the gaze”. Putting into play the

the general migratory paths of many

other senses, Stern opts for the

films are caught.

process of “embodied knowledge”

For the reader, an inkling of this

our experiences at and with films.

chosen title, The Scorsese

There is much also of great value in

Connection. There are somewhat

the book about performance theory

short of 150 titles included in the

and acting. In one sense, then, Stern

book’s Index of Films Cited. This

has put Scorsese in the service of

pool of films is the “connection”,

film theory, with no guarantee from

that is if you take the titles not just

either party that the transaction will

or only as films per se, but also

hold. As in some of the best film

sometimes as pegs upon which

writing, Stern seems sensitive to the

memories hang, memories that need

possibility of a failed encounter

not originate with cinema (though

between film and interpretation,

for the author they often do) but

often coming at a given film from

will return via it:

varied, and often surprising, angles. On a related point, the reader

In the cinema it is not uncommon

ory. It can happen that we are suddenly and unexpectedly seized, in the midst of the most seemingly mundane film, by an overwhelm­ ing sensation of sensuous reminiscence, [p. 39]

cannot but wonder at the strategy of the abundant and recurring use of boxed quotations - quotes with frames around them, placed on pages as if like calling cards. Vastly eclectic, they are drawn from Godard, Maya Deren, Nietzsche, Rául Ruiz, Alexander Kluge, Freud,

And where there is memory, autobi­

Irigaray, Derrida, Marcel Proust,

ography is sure to follow. Some of

Heiner Müller, Michael Powell,

the book’s most-captivating writing

Robert Mitchum, amongst many.

happens when Stern senses and

It put me in mind of Walter Ben­

teases out those moments of over­

jamin’s beautiful and unrealized

lay, of bridging between personal

dream of “making” a book solely of

history and film history. Recollec­

quotations, a kind of Duschampian

tions of home movies, of first

ready-made, the hand of the

encountering a film like Around the

“author” present only in the selec­

World in 80 Days (Michael Ander­

tion and placement of the

son, 1956) or of nights at the

quotations. Speaking for himself,

drive-in, reflected through a discus­

Benjamin claims, “Quotations in my

sion of the concurrent changes in

works are like robbers by the road­

film technology and industry in the

side who make an armed attack and

1950s. Is Scorsese an abstraction in

relieve an idler of his convictions.”

all this? Does he disappear? Some­

I would not make that claim for

what, or rather, yes and no. Stern’s

Stern; in fact, they sometimes lead

account seems to hold Scorsese in a

to over-emphasis and contrivance.

double gaze: at one level, as a given

And one quote, at the least, is

filmmaker producing specific inten­

wrongly attributed to Godard’s

sities and experiences; at another,

Weekend (1967) whereas it comes

Scorsese’s cinema as general allegory

from Vent d ’est (Wind From The

of the cinema as desiring machine.

East, 1979), far more appropriate a

So many of Stern’s grander claims

film given that Stern at that point is

turn on this allegorical impulse to

discussing Westerns and patriarchal

draw from the Scorsese experience a

ideology. On the other hand, Stern

general theory of spectatorship and

does share Benjamin’s admirable

subjectivity in film.

predispostion for working with and

There is, one suspects, another

AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIASCAPES

as a means to more fully account for

is already there in the book’s well-

to experience involuntary mem­

are not uninteresting eyes. A shade of brown if I remember correctly. Though now, I suspect, they are red hot eyes. © R olando Caputo

through fragments, either building

Stuart Cunningham and Elizabeth Jacka, Cambridge University Press, 1996, 284pp., illus., index, rrp S29.95.

T

here are blurry, grainy, black

why Southern Star is a lean and

: gramming sources. It explores the

diversified production machine

; question of U.S. domination of the

divided into six operating units.

i television export market and docu-

This section also starts to examine

: ments trends in the television trade,

the local shows and formats that

i

export market: how Beyond Inter­ national, a world leader in the

Australia’s changing rôle as an

ming, made Beyond 2000 “one of

! tional co-productions. Here, as

the most successful Australian-based

! elsewhere through the book, issues

program concepts worldwide” by

and Canada, and East Asia. This section, which includes accounts

Cunningham, an associate profes­ sor of Media and Communications and Director of the Centre for Media Policy and Practice at the Queensland

ously written a history of ABC-TV drama, co-written three books on contemporary Australian cinema with Susan Dermody, and edited a collec­ tion on globalization and culture. They are no lightweights, and neither is their book. If you’re look­ ing to find, in ten pithy paragraphs, the reasons why Neighbours is so

main sections. The first, “Global

of film theory held to in recent

admirers and film scholars gener­

Mediascapes: Theory and Industry”,

decades has freed up the possibilities

ally. Stern’s prose is so forcefully

examines the changing “ecology” of

of both rethinking film theoretically

envisioned and embodied that I

the international media landscape at

and the modes of writing which

could not help but see Scorsese

could best accomplish that turn in

vividly through her eyes. And they

The book is divided into three

a time of rapid evolution, and par­ ticularly changes since the 1980s in

how an Australian accent nearlycost one hapless Kiwi contestant a car on Sale o f the Century). Here, you find out why the Brits go wild for Neighbours and H om e

& Away, how, why and where our wholesome and cosy soaps sell best;

The Grundy Organization, The

and why the U.S. is “the most lucra­

Village Roadshow Group and

tive but most resistant market in the

Crawfords. An additional section

world”. And how the now

on production companies features

Bermuda-based Grundy Organiza­

children’s television producers (the

tion, the home of “parochial

Australian Children’s Television

internationalism”, helped turn The

Foundation and smaller operations,

Restless Years into G oede Tijden,

like Barron Films and the Yoram

Slechte Tijden (“Good Times, Bad

Gross Film Studios) and more pro­

Times”) in The Netherlands and

files of programme producers: The

oversaw the creation of Shortland

Beyond International Group, South-

Street in New Zealand. The chapter

| these companies and corporations, : the book illustrates their differing

\ strategies and strengths. Crawfords, ; the once-famed Melbourne produc­ tion house, is seen struggling to

about the diverse East Asia markets includes a useful analysis of the ABC’s pioneering satellite opera­ tion, Australia Television (ATV). Cunningham and Jacka con­ clude that Australia is “a small but significant international trader of television programming”, whose

! carve out a viable niche in the

most sustained impact has occurred

i changing international marketplace

in Britain and whose greatest suc­

i (despite the wild success of The Fly-

cess is as an exporter of “volume

I

j ing Doctors in The Netherlands).

television”: serial and series dramas,

; Film Australia has reinvented itself

children’s programmes, nature

; from a wholly government-owned

documentary/natural history,

film production company into an

local and global media.

book, of equal interest to Scorsese

Zealand by Geoff Lealand (discover

In charting the developments of

and Jacka are nothing if not precise,

demise of the monolithic certainties

features a lively chapter on New

Creative Nation and the nature of

Seven Network.

place to discover the information,

out doubt a different and audacious

Pacific by Helen Wilson, and

fications of economic rationalism,

j ern Star, Film Australia and the

cracked it in Europe, this is the

enacting interpretation. The slow

regulations. It also takes in the rami­

company and organization profiles,

University of Technology1, has previ­

and topical information about the

New Guinea and the South-West

■ starting with the ABC and including

munication Studies at Sydney’s

book that is a mine of up-to-date

includes an examination of Papua

Corporation; the Australian Content

This is followed by a series of

Contemporary Australian Television

the rest of the work fall away.

Commission and the Film Finance

it means.

The Media In Australia (1993) and

ostensible subject. And it may be an

viewing preferences and priorities,

about “Australian-ness” and what

including Framing Culture (1992),

address to film scholarship and the

of various countries’ purchases,

creation of the Australian Film

j their rôle in the ongoing debate

cultural policy and global television,

theless, it produces a substantial

duction: the 10BA tax laws; the

international co-productions and

University of Technology, has written

immediately accessible read. Never­

partners, starting with the UK, the

tions in place since the 1970s that

mics with substantive histories of

sometimes get in the way of an

a breakdown of Australia’s trading

country’s complexion as a pro­

1 have contributed to trends in pro­

writing about media.

though their meticulousness does

and Australian Programs”, provides

Culture and Production”, reveals the

major trading partner, and taking in

might expect from a pair of acade­

and parameters before you get to

Domestic Optic: Australian Industry,

the Irish Republic, Europe, the U.S.

tralian Television and International

the meat and potatoes. Cunningham

The third section, “The Interna­ tional Optic: Television Ecologies

covers the measures and organiza­

Mediascapes is a book structured

sion of goals, context, definitions

Tonight” of “sci-tech” television.

gramme supplier and exporter. It

and thoroughly researched, Aus­

though there will be a lot of discus­

creating “the Entertainment

perspectives: financial, cultural,

The second section, “The

tional marketplace. Sharply focused

popular in the UK but has never

are examined from a range of

industrial, governmental.

industry and its place in the interna­

(1994). Jacka, a professor of Com­

production of “sci-tech” program­

j exporter and partner in interna-

guide to the Australian television

and edited earlier books on media,

have succeeded - or failed - in the

; Sydney as a media capital to

soft about the definition of this

and written with the rigour one

from the rise of the U.S. media

: conglomerates and the growth of

of Stuart Cunningham and Elizabeth

from the detail to the larger text or

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

! structures, style of service and pro-

Jacka’s book. But there is nothing

just retaining the detail and letting

The Scorsese Connection is with­

Village Roadshow is “unique” and

and blue images on the cover

agenda to this book aside from its

choices it allows for strategies of

j television industry ownership

j enterprise expected to generate ' two-thirds of its own funding, and successfully specializing in nature, ; environmental and science docu-

l i mentaries and children’s i ; programming. 1

This is where you find out why

magazine-styde science shows. Their book is a substantial, com­ prehensive account of Australia’s audiovisual assets, their nature and their place in the world. And it also explains why Neighbours will probably never play in Peoria.

© Debi Enker

59


Richard Franklin

A fter finishing Sorrento, I co n sid ere d sev eral oth er options. In fact, I am trying to put to geth er a package o f th eatrebased pieces, of w hich I will direct one and produce the others. I’ve dis­ cussed the idea with several Australian directors. It just seemed to me there was this sense about that our screenplays were a bit lacking, but our playwrights were the best in the world. So, I thought, “Why not film some plays!” So many great films were based on plays, but they d on’t do it in H ollyw ood any more. Believe it or not, they say they’re not “expensive enough”.

W hat did you learn from doing Hotel Sorrento about film ing another play? After H otel Sorrento , I thought it was pretty fool-proof. Everything I tried seemed to work, at least in my terms. I felt vindicated in my faith that, if you did it well, theatre would stand up verywell on screen. As it turned out, however, Hotel Sor­ rento was a very filmic piece in that it has a number of scenes that take place on piers and beaches. I didn’t have to really change any interior scenes to exteriors. You have not opened up B rilliant Lies, just a few shots of cars pulling up and so on. That wasn’t to me the way in which I opened up Brilliant Lies-, I did that via the flashbacks, by taking two time frames and inter-cutting. In the film , there is a strong sense of an unobtrusive camera observing the actors w ith almost awe. Yes. David Pulbrook, my editor, com­ plained that I hardly ever moved the camera. [Laughs.] I moved the cam era quite a bit in H otel Sorrento, but it depends on how you define “move”. There, I was mov­ ing with the characters, and they were constantly journeying, walking along a beach, going to England, to Australia, to New York. I like dollies well enough, but, every time you cut, you effectively move the camera. Brilliant Lies is largely about people sitting around tables talking, because it is all after the event. Even in the flashbacks, I took the view that I would rather move the camera with cutting. Indeed, David asked me why I hadn’t craned back from a close-up o f Anthony at the end of the cou rt­ room scene; it was the obvious thing to do. I actu ally rem em ber asking Geoff [Burton, DOP] at the time, given that we wouldn’t have a crane in a real courtroom, “How can we suggest that without actually doing it?” W ell, we did it with a cut. W e put the camera at

60

the start position of the crane and at the end position of the crane, and cut between the two. In cutting terms, and in staging terms, that is a “jump cut”, because it is straight down the line. But there is one dolly. I can’t claim the longest in screen time - that’s in Rope - but I’ll lay claim to the slow­ est one ever done. But it’s so subtle I don’t know that anyone will notice. It is G ia’s scene in the witness box, which is one continuous dolly s h o t... No, I’m sorry, it has two stops in it. It is so slow that, by the time we have intercut the flashback into it, you are not aware that the camera has moved. Yet look at the beginning of her dis­ closure, pardon the pun, and the end. It starts in a medium wide-shot and ends in a really tight close-up. The speech runs more than ten min­ utes, and, as I’m not aware of any way of getting 2,000-foot loads of film into a camera, we had to break it at a cer­ tain point. But technically it is a single shot done in two takes, and we inter­ cut the best of both. Gia gives an astonishing p e rfo r­ m ance. In fact, A nthony, who had finished, delayed his trip back to the States in order to be off-camera to help her. I think it was a big help and Gia is amazing. How did you choose your actors? Ray Barrett was probably the reason I wanted to make the film. I had such a good time with him on Sorrento, and we were all sorry that his character had to die half-way through! I wanted to do the other half and, since I had cast him as W al, because of his Brian on stage, I just felt that his Brian had to be captured for posterity. The next idea was to use the sisters Carides, because I had so liked them individually that I wondered what they would be like to g eth er. It was an absolute joy. They had such a good time working together, because Gia now lives in the States with Anthony, and it was like a family reunion, where they could be with one another every­ day. They were enjoying it so much it was hard not to enjoy it with them. Anthony came about because of Gia. I don’t think we would ever have got a script to him, but he reads everything that she does. So, I made an approach to Zoe, who talked to Gia, who talked to A nthony. Suddenly, I had this ensemble family cast. I won’t say it was easy to cast, but, when you are doing an ensemble, you have to look at the overall constantly. That was true of the three sisters in Sorrento-, you had to cast them not only to be individually good, but to be simpatico in the way sisters are. I think that is what attracted me to the idea of w orking w ith real sisters. T h ere is som ething genetic about the way in

which they would function on screen. They would turn in synch with one another. You could look at the film and think that has just been rehearsed and designed, but it would happen on Take 1. It was really eerie, really strange. You have used the composer from H otel Sorrento, Nerida Tyson-Chew. Yes. I worked agonizingly closely with her on the score, which goes back to the question of the fraught business of com m unication betw een the sexes. There were many females involved on the production, but she is probably the one I worked closest with. Trying to persuade Nerida to get the male perspective in the score, as well as the female perspective, led to an extraordinarily eclectic score which is a musical journey from Xavier Cougat to Jerry G oldsm ith, and even more astoundingly to an end-title song which we w rote for K ate C eb eran o. T he score journeys from the 1940s Xavier Cougat music, which underscores the cartoons from Esquire magazine, to the con tem p orary song done by Kate Ceberano at the end. The opening and end title are actu­ ally the same piece of music - melody and counter melody - and the whole score effectively derives from it, or vice versa. W e had been w orking on a musical together - about gender poli­ tics, actually - based on the same thematic material. So, the ostinato that begins the song is the same figure which starts the score, except the score begins in a m inor key. T hen these major and minor strains interweave, are varied, inverted, etc. The Cougat statement is, in one way, the male side of the score, and the Kate Ceberano version is, if you like, the female side. The lyric, however, has an ambiguity - and this is som ething I admire in Sondheim’s lyrics - relating to Susie’s position at die beginning, but equally to Gary’s at the end ... and also his wife’s. So, the score is pulling together two apparently-disparate, but actually verysim ilar, things. I like to think there really is a possibility of a ‘truce’, which is the final word in the play and the film. That is, while we seem to be com­ ing from very different places, we are two halves of the same in a way. © 1 Franklin: “T he title in Australia is David

W illiam son’s Brilliant Lies. Elsewhere, it

inadaptation <==r^.

act?”, T h o m p son ’s published diaries record director Ang Tee as asking after a session of inter­ viewing possible cast members. She goes on to say that she has said that “nothing m attered m ore than that every actor should be funny. Very witty cast.” 1 It must be said that, on the basis of this film (and, indeed, of Persuasion), that the answer to Ang Lee’s question seems to be “Yes”, and that Thompson’s criterion is fulfilled. Not only the starring quartet deserves naming, but so does virtually everyone else. Robert Hardy’s boister­ ous bonhom ie as M rs D ash w o od ’s cousin, Sir Robert Middleton, and Eliz­ abeth Spriggs as his cheerful, m atch­ making m other-in-law, M rs Jennings, are superbly funny and true to their milieu and their function in the plot (as well, incidentally, to Austen); Imogen Stubbs is a delectably sly Lucy Steele, determined to marry well and achieving her parvenu’s goal; and two small roles, M rs Je n n in g s ’ inane d aughter, M rs Palm er (Im elda Stau n to n ), and her morose husband (Hugh Laurie) - “So droll. He is always out of humour.” - are minor perfections. In fact, L au rie’s b rie f m om ent of solicitude for Elinor made me query my whole attitude to literary adaptations, which is that one may be grateful if a film m aker’s version of a well-loved novel tallies with one’s own, but that this is sec­ ondary to its integrity as a film. Laurie so startles with the exactness of his echo of Austen in his rendering of this tiny moment that I began to wonder about my priorities in the matter. At very least, it seems that with this kind of precision the transfer of a purely verbal concept to one embodied in audio-visual moving images may after all be one of the rich­ est pleasures of adaptation, however high-mindedly one clings to other theo­ ries. It may be argued that a burst of film versions of famous novels is to take an unadventurous approach to filmmaking. I think this is probably nonsense: what is true is that there are exciting and dull adaptations, which may or may not be true to the “spirit” of the original. One other thing is also certain and that is that there is apparently a hunger for such civ­ ilized entertainments, not just because they are derived from the classics but because they are examples of mature, resourceful cinema.

will really be at the discretion of the indi­ vidual distributors in each country, v-hich

Brian McFarlane’s book, Novel to Film:

is pretty much always the case with titles. B u t ce rta in ly w-e w ill be using D avid

An Introduction to the Theory of Adap­ tation, will be published in June 1996 by

W illiam son’s Brilliant Lies as often as we

Oxford University Press, Oxford.

can. It obviously makes a lot of sense to do th at.”

1 Jan e Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” - The

1 See Richard Franklin, “Pistols at Dawm: The

Screenplay an d D iaries o f E m m a T hom p-

‘Art’ of Film vs the ‘Science’ of Previewing”,

s o n , B lo o m s b u r y , L o n d o n , 1 9 9 5 , pp.

Cinema Papers, No. 95, pp. 12-20.

211 - 2 . C I N E M A P A P E R S • JUNE 1996


history -^1

it runs for more than 35 minutes, five times the length of any previous Australian film.

c. 10 March 1901 First Australian fictional narrative films featuring established stage stars. Clement Mason’s High­

lights o f the musical comedy “Florodora” shot in Melbourne with Carrie Moore, Hugh J. Ward, George Lauri and Grace Palotta - the original Australian cast. About seven segments are filmed, totalling about 15 minutes.

3 April-11 May 1901 First major coverage of Australian Aboriginal life shot by Baldwin Spencer and Frank Gillen at Charlotte Waters and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. About 45 minutes of film records Arrente tribal ceremonies and dances.

6-18 May 1901 Royal Visit to Victoria for the First Opening of Federal Parliament filmed by an unprecedented number of producers. About a half hour of coverage is filmed by the Salvation Army Limelight Department for the Victorian Government. A fur­ ther two hours is shot by Melbourne’s Stephen Bond, the same amount by Sydney’s Mark Blow, and 20 minutes of this and other Melbourne scenes are shot by the Warwick Trading Company’s British cameraman Joe Rosenthal.

27 May-6 June 1901 Visiting British cameraman Joe Rosenthal shoots about 25 minutes of coverage of the Royal Visit to Sydney, for international sale by the Warwick Trading Company.

11-27 June 1901 First major commission of an Australian film unit abroad.

56 minutes of coverage of the Royal Visit to New Zealand shot by the Salvation Army Limelight Department for the New Zealand Government.

4 July 1901 First Tasmanian footage shot. C. P. O. MacGregor of A. J. West and Company shot a Tasmanian wood-chopping competition as part of his complete film of the 1901 Royal Tour. It was probably the competition held on the Hobart Domain.

c. December 1901 A 90 minute film record of the 1901 Royal Tour is presented by A. J. West and Company at a Royal Command performance at Sandringham (England). Including many Australian sequences, it is titled The Historic

Cruise o f the “Ophir”. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1 996

7 July 1902 W orld's first major public

9 March 1904 Australia's first bushranging

screening of ethnographic film given at

film, Bushranging in North Queensland,

the Melbourne Town Hall, where

shot by Joseph Perry at Winton for the Salvation Army Limelight Department.

Spencer and Gillen present a half hour of their Central Australian Aboriginal coverage.

10 August 1902 Under Southern Skies,

13 June 1904 Narrative fictional film made by Salvation Army and exhibited on

Australia's most elaborate film

this date in Albury, New South Wales.

presentation of its time, with 200 slides

The Tragedy in the Bush and the Pursuit o f Blacks Responsible was

and 6,000 feet (100 minutes) of film, premieres at Prahran. In 150 mins, it traces the whole history of Australia from exploration to Federation, with illustrations produced throughout the Commonwealth by Joseph Perry and a script written by Salvation Army Australasian Secretary, William Peart.

August-November1902 The Salvation Army’s Joseph Perry produces about a dozen films during a tour of New Zealand.

probably shot at the Deebing Creek Aboriginal Station near Ipswich, and shows settler’s conflict with Aborigines.

given in London. The Melbourne Salvation Army Limelight Department chief, Joseph Perry, gives the show at the Clapton Congress Hall while visiting for the Army’s 1904 International Congress.

later associated with the Australian Animated Picture Syndicate, produces his earliest known Australian film,

Yachting Carnival on Sydney Harbour, with Capsize o f Yacht “Australian”.

11 April 1903 “Sydney Day By Day” (series), local news films, shown by Herbert Wyndham at Sydney’s Queen’s Hall, Pitt Street.

28 May 1903 Tasmanian film, Cataract Gorge in Flood (Launceston), shot by Adjutant Sidney Cook of the Salvation Army Limelight Department.

Walter Baldwin Spencer, who shot the first major

Sensational Rescue from Drowning at Queenscliff (Victoria), shown at

coverage of Australian Aboriginal life on 3 April to

Bendigo’s Salvation Army Barracks.

15 March 1901.

produced by Salvation Army, The

Adventures o f an Australian Stock Rider, shown at Creswick Town Hall, Victoria.

23 October 1903 Salvation Army Lime­ light Department shows several films of the Bendigo locality at the Royal Princess Theatre, Bendigo. The films had been shot by Adjutant Sidney Cook, who made a feature of his local “specials”.

11 May, 1901, From the South Australian Register,

24 June-8 July 1904 First Australian film crew to work in Britain. Joseph Perry and James Dutton of the Melbourne Salvation Army Limelight Department film London’s 1904 International Salvation Army Congress.

films made by Joseph Perry of the Salvation Army Limelight Department between July and December 1903.

February-April 1904 Extensive filming in Queensland by Salvation Army’s

and the first Cup to be shot since 1897.

22 December 1904 First attempt to launch a film promotion of Australian support. Cameraman Herbert

Wyndham and manager E. D. Tupper of Sydney’s Australian Animated Picture Syndicate (affiliated with London’s Charles Urban Trading Company) shot a series of scenic and industrial films from the end of 1903. They included Melbourne and Sydney scenes, buck-jumping at Muswellbrook, wood-chopping at Devonport (Tasmania), cattle at Ranger’s Valley, wool and stock breeding at Welling­ ton Vale and other views. Their first complete screening is at Sydney’s Royal Exchange Wool Exhibition on this date. They are given verbal support by Prime Ministers Deakin and Reid, and screen their product at the Hobart Premiers’ Conference on 17 February 1905, but no practical support is forthcoming. Nevertheless, their production of the “Animated Australia” series continues on a private basis until 1907.

bushranging drama shot. This sixminute film in ten “scenes” is in London’s Charles Urban Trading Company Catalogue, February 1905 (p. 219) as No. 1290, Robbery o f a Mail Convoy by Bandits. In its 1909 catalogue, the film is given the title, Robbery o f a Mail Coach by Bushrangers. If the film was shot in Australia, Herbert Wyndham is the likely camera operator. (This information courtesy of Clive Sowry.)

N e x t Issue

20 July 1904 Herbert Wyndham films a Hobart football match and exhibits it at the Temperance Hall the same evening.

July-August 1904 First Australian film crew to work in continental Europe.

late 1903 Long series of New Zealand

shoots the 1904 Melbourne Cup, his earliest confirmable Australian film,

late 1904 (Possibly) Australia's second

13 July 1903 Narrative fictional film

30 July 1903 Narrative fictional film

1 November 1904 Franklyn Barrett

immigration with Federal Government

18 June 1904 First all-Australian film show

31 January 1903 Herbert Wyndham,

produced by Salvation Army,

(10,000 feet), the production was wholly made by touring Australian cameramen Perry and Dutton during their visit to Europe for the Salvation Army’s 1904 International Congress.

Joseph Perry and James Dutton tour with Salvation Army Australasian Commissioner McKie to Holland, Germany, Italy and France, filming extensively.

10 October 1904 The Salvation Army

Joseph Perry, including coverage

International Congress "Cosmorama"

of the Mount Morgan gold mines

films premiere at the Melbourne Town

(25 February 1904).

Hall. Running two-and-a-half hours

H erbert Wyndham, Franklyn Barrett and Ernest Higgins were new names in Australian production during 1904-5. We conclude this series on “Australia’s First Films” with a discussion of their entry into production, also examining the unique character of Australian pro­ duction in its first decade. W hat made our cinema unique in the world? WTiat steps can we take to track down, pre­ serve and study the earliest Australian films? Financial support for this series has been provided by Pat Laughren (Grif­ fith U niversity), and the A ustralian Research Council.

61


insurance

Producer’s Gall Sheet John Hennings argues: “D o n t Insure Your P roduction F or A nything L ess T han A T otal L o ss!” he first thing to remember is that it is not your pro­ duction. In the majority of cases, your passion, pain, pleasure - and hopefully profit - belong to the 100 percent copyright owners of the film , and their equity must be protected. There are two sections of the Film Entertainm ent Insurance Package Policy under w hich a total loss, or abandonm ent, of your production can occur:

delay, or abandonment. The policy auto­ m atically provides cover for norm al abandonment and in order to be prop­ erly p ro tected , a produ cer must be Insured for the total costs incurred from the very first day that money is spent up to and including the last day of princi­ pal photography, less certain excludable items. A First Loss policy does not give adequate protection and neither the Aus­

abandonm ent risks are automatically covered by the policy, but in certain cases the financial backing for a partic­ ular film is contingent - for example, on it being directed by a specificallynamed director, or alternatively “star” a particular named artist - and, if these conditions are not fulfilled, some or all of the financial backing could be with­ drawn. The policy can be extended to cover costs which would not normally

tralian, American nor London Markets will knowingly insure on this basis. From experience, it appears that some pro­

be covered under the film producer’s indemnity policy in this connection. Another factor is that a completion

ducers are under the impression that

guarantor is unlikely to provide a guar­ antee unless a full value policy is in force. As an example, there was a case where

B) All R is k s N e g a tiv e / V id e o ta p e excluding Faulty Cam era, S to c k and P rocessing provides cover for physical loss or damage to the negative/videotape and here again a F irst Loss lim it is not adequate as the value at risk grows as each day’s takes are processed and stored in the vaults at the laboratory w ith a m inim um value at risk being reached im m ediately p rior to the making of a colour reversal in ternegativ e. T his sectio n of the policy basically covers storage and tran sit risks and a m ajor catastro p h e at the laboratory could lead to a substantial or total loss. A full value policy is essential. As far as Faulty Camera, Stock and Processing are concerned , however, it is not necessary for a policy to be in force for the total costs and a First Loss policy can be quite adequate as the size of any one loss is only the costs incurred for the negative which is being filmed or processed on any one day, and there is no accu ­ mulation. The First Loss limit still requires careful consideration as this is an aggregate limit which can easily be used up if there is a series of claims during the course of production from either faulty camera, faulty stock or faulty pro­ cessing. I consider it is vitally im por­ tant to ensure that the producer is correctly protected and knows the areas where he is exposed to substantial losses. Consequently, when calculating the Net Insur­ able Production Costs with an insurer, broker or agent to deter­ mine the sums insured for Negative Film/Videotape Risks and Film Producer’s Cast Insur­ ance, the producer should ensure that he is provided with a com ­ plete list of the uninsured items, ■which w ould be excluded from any claim payouts, and be satisfied that he has been provided with the insurance protection he needs; most importantly in respect of a total loss, or the aban­ donment of the production.

the producer had insured for a limit of $ 2 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 , but, when the completion

any problems of this nature now, and

A) F ilm P ro d u c e r's In d e m n ity (Cast) In su ra n c e B) N e g a tiv e F ilm /V id e o ta p e R isks In su ra n ce The main problem seems to be deciding on the co rrect sums insured. Hopefully, the following points can be used as a guideline. The producer ought to be pro­ tected for the total am ount of expenditure he would want to recover in the event of complete abandonment or cancellation of the production through an insured peril. If this fact is kept in mind, minor losses will almost automat­ ically be taken care of, unless there are any exceptional circumstances which need to be noted on a spe­ cific production. First of all, it is essential that we establish quite clearly that the Film Producer’s Indemnity and Negative/Videotape Risks Insur­ ance policies are independent of each other and cover entirely dif­ feren t perils. It should also be noted that under both policies the exposure to loss at inception is almost nil, and gradually increases to maximum levels just prior to term ination. Both policies are written on an indemnity basis and are intended to put the producer into the same position he would have been in if a loss event had not occurred, subject of course to the usual deductible or excess. Let us compare the perils insured: A) Film Producer's Indemnity provides cover for ad ditional expend iture incurred by the producer in com plet­ ing principal photography as a result of accident, sickness or death of any or all of the named insured persons; almost always the director as he has to be avail­ able virtually every day; and artists with heavy commitments in terms of filming days as any disability could cause serious

62

im ately $ 3 ,5 0 0 ,0 0 0 , othenv ise they would not accept a First Loss policy.

Frederick March and Florence Eldridge in An A ct o f Murder, 1948

they should ascertain their maximum potential loss and insure for this figure. This is a totally wrong point of view, and could certainly lead to producers’ sus­ taining substantial uninsured losses. T h ere is also some confusion concerning the question of abandon­ m ent. As previously stated, norm al

I also believe it is better to deal with

guarantor saw^ the policy in relation to the budget, he immediately advised the

not after a claim has occurred. ®

p ro d u ction com pany th at the sum

Jo h n H ennings is M anager, Cinesure Underwriting Agencies.

insured should be increased to approx

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996


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technicalities

Other People’s Pictures R ecen tly , a lm o s t ev ery film p o st-p ro d u c tio n h o u se in Sydn ey a n d M elb o u rn e h as h a d a m a jo r fea tu re fr o m K o rea o r C hin a. Dominic Case in vestigates hat is bringing overseas pro­ ducers here? What are they finding? And w hat are the Australian facilities discovering about their new clients? According to Roger Savage of Soundfirm, the current wave of Asian work began with sound post-production and m ix of Clara Law ’s T em ptation o f a M onk , shot in China by Australian DOP Andrew Lesnie {Babe). Since mid1994, Soundfirm has had an office in Hong Kong, where Gerodine Chan provides marketing and technical liai­ son with operations in M elbourne and Sydney. Other Hong Kong pro­ ductions to go through Soundfirm last year included Jackie Chan’s first stereo produ ction, R um ble in the Bronx, a popular hit in Asia. Cinevex’s Grant Millar points back to Chinese production Sun Valley as a major opening for Cinevex - a con­ tact made with the help of the Soundfirm connection. Millar reports that Cinevex provided full front-end lab services for Sun Valley - negative processing and work printing - as well as post-production to answer print and duplication. This complemented the sound post-production at Soundfirm. Some digital effects were also provided by Dfilm (see “Technicali­ ties” in Cinema Papers, No. 109). According to Millar, director Ho Ping spoke very highly of the work­ ing relationsh ip with A ustralian facilities. This was helped by the reception gained by Sun Valley in China, where the producer described it as having “the very best quality sound and image he has seen in 1 9 9 5 ”. Savage echoed that the Chinese film community was simply astonished at the technical results, and equally sur­ prised to find that such a relatively low-budget production had been able to afford off-shore services. Follow ing on from Sun Valley is a major feature production, The Em per­ o r ’s S hadow (the budget, reportedly U .S.$2 million, is said to be the largest ever for a Chinese production). This Ocean Film Company (Hong Kong) and Xian Film Studios (Beijing) co-produc­ tion, although shot and processed in China, has come to Melbourne for com­ plete post-production services, involving

Soundfirm, Cinevex and this time Com­ plete Post for digital effects. According to Roger Savage, Chinese produ ctions such as R aise the R ed Lantern and F arew ell my C oncubine have more often in the past used Japan­ ese fa cilities. It was being able to com plete all aspects of post-produ c­ tion together - and at the right price that brought Sun Valley and The Emper­ or’s Song to Australia. Chris Schwarze of Complete Post says that although Sun Valley had a few dig­ ital effects, The Emperor’s Shadow is the

orange moon glimmering through the smoke. In another classic application of digital technology, the Emperor’s army will be built up to thousands from just a few extras and a couple of wagons. Schwarze commented that all of the effects are to be “non-special effects. If the audience notices the effects then w e’ve failed”, he said. He added that shooting had been almost com pleted before Complete Post became involved, so there were some difficulties in finding exactly the right shots for compositing: for example, soldiers and wagons can be

What is bringing overseas producers here? What are they finding? And what are the Australian facilities discovering about their new clients?

64

first film out of China to use full com­ positing effects, w hich have been accomplished on their Flame system. Directed by Zhou Xiaowen and set in 2 2 1 BC, the film is about the rela­ tionship between Emperor Ying Zhen and his childhood friend, composer Gao Jianli. Some scenes include the ancient Qin palace, which still stands but is sur­ rounded by modern additions, which Complete Post Flame artists Peter Webb and M urray Curtis will replace with m ore appropriate features. In other scenes, the river is to flow with blood after a m assacre, and, when a city is burnt, Flame will be used to insert an

replicated and shrunk into the distance, but need to be shot at the right angle to fit with the background and with the closer elements of the scene. Cinevex’s Ian Anderson, who visited China for this production, explained that Chinese films tended to be budgeted in two stages: initial production planning was just for shooting and editing up to double-head stage. New finance was then sought to finish the film . T his means that funds are only committed once there is a film to show. The trend in technology, however, is to blur the distinction between produc­ tion and post, and this approach may not

provide the increasingly important links between cinematography and post-pro­ duction effects. A nderson rep orted th at B eijin g boasted a number of large film studios, impressive in size, but of very varied technical level. He saw some films being edited using only a pic-sync, and, while apparently few editors used flat-bed machines such as Steenbecks, some stu­ dios boasted digital non-linear systems. Traditional film opticals seemed rare: for example, titles were normally shot directly onto plain backgrounds, and so

the move towards digital opticals was a major step. Roger Savage explained that the Chinese government allows a quota o f ju st ten fo reign film s to be im ported each year, and this has resulted in a demand for well-made local films that will build up the local industry and succeed overseas as well. Hong Kong production companies work through the C hinese film studios in order to shoot in China. O f the 50 or so films to go through Beijing’s studios in a year, about ten would have enough budget to consider offshore post-pro­ duction. Savage added that making arrange­ ments for the crew (including producer, director, editor and sound editor) to come to M elbourne had been com pli­ cated, with both Australian and Chinese Governments requiring Soundfirm to issue specific invitations to their clients. He noted the econom y of their crew C I N E M A P A P E R S • J U N E 1 996


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technicalities

appointments, with the sound recordist staying on as sound editor and supervi­ sor during the post-production phase. According to Savage, there were sig­ nificant differences between mainland Chinese productions and Hong Kong films: Soundfirm’s last production for Hong Kong was still completing prin­ cipal photography in mid-January, but the sound mix had to be completed by the end of the month, and the trial print two days later. The film’s composer was in Los Angeles at the time, and Soundfirm used DolbyFax facilities to transmit music recordings across the Pacific by ISDN lines, to make the deadline. Neg­ ative matching was only completed in time, because negative takes were being assembled in sequence as the rough-cut progressed.

By contrast, he said, Chinese pro­ ductions take more time, and only plan for release when the film is ready. Grant Millar felt that post-produc­ tion times on The E m peror’s Shadow were still very tight, but observed another difference: Hong Kong pro­ ducers prefer a cheery, golden look to the colour grading, whereas mainland Chinese productions are lit with more contrast, and graded in harder, colder colours - perhaps reflecting the more serious nature of the films we are see­ ing from China. Everyone I spoke to agreed that deal­ ing w ith Asians presented some language difficulties: Schwarze recalled confusion over discussion of a “tripod” in a shot. It was some time before he realized they meant a cooking pot with three legs in front of the camera, rather than the more familiar film equipment. Millar explained that there had been just

R o g er S a v a g e :

" O u r use o f th e te c h n o lo g y m eans th a t w e 're g iv in g th e m a b e tte r p ro d u c t fo r th e b u d g e t th e y h a v e ." 66

one English speaker in the group, who obviously could not be everywhere at once, and so communication involved a lot of hand signals. Millar said that he quickly learnt that the word “no” was rarely taken to mean “n o”; rather it meant “let’s work out another way to do th is”, possibly a reflection of the “can do” approach to filmmaking that the Australian industry also has grown up with. This may be one clue to the obviously satisfactory relationships that the Australian facili­ ties are developing. A number of people also pointed to the depth of experience and range of technology that Australian facilities have to offer. Alan Robson of Atlab mentioned that every one of Atlab’s lab­ oratories - which include Atlab Sydney, Queensland and New Zealand, and Cinevex in M elbourne, as well as a part interest in Sydney’s D film - does a lot of overseas work. Local production, although healthy, was not growing, he said, and so there was a need to turn to overseas producers. Atlab in Sydney has done work for Taiwanese and Korean productions: in fact, Robson reported a steady stream of sound work for Taiwan as they currently have no Dolby sound facility. This leads to other services being used. New Zealand and Queens­

land laboratories both regularly process work for U.S. television and cable pro­ ducers, although p o st-p ro d u ction frequently went back to the U.S. Dfilm, after Sun Valley for China, was now w orking on effects for the Japanese feature, Acri, in co-operation with Dale Duguid. James Wyner of Dfilm pointed out that, as Acme, the company had about seven years’ experience with Asian work through its successful kine system, and suggested that as many as 80 per cent of cinema commercials in some coun­ tries were kine transfers from Acme or Dfilm. M ost work was for Singapore, Indonesia, M alaysia and The Philip­ pines, although there had been jobs for cou ntries ranging from Pakistan to South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1 996


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technicalities

In many of these countries, up to ten or fifteen commercials would be shown before a feature film. The rapid expan­ sion of multiplex cinemas, particularly in H ong K ong, was also providing increased demand for product. Wyner claimed that Australian prices were very competitive, and the quality of Dfilm kines had been compared with that of E Film in U.S., and with the Computer Film Company in Fondon. In a recent world-wide campaign, Dfilm had made negatives of the Saatchi (UK) British Air­ ways commercial for Australian release, while London’s Computer Film Com­ pany had been selected just for UK and European prints. Wyner found that many Asian pro­ ducers had to work to tighter budgets, and one d ifficult area was in sound­ tracks, where an acceptable result for television would show up with problems when the track was opened up to a full D olby stereo cinem a finish. Acme includes a fixed time for sound “fix ­ ups” as part of the standard kine service. M atching the Chinese flavour in Melbourne is a wave of Korean work in

68

Sydney. M ovielab’s Kelvin Crumplin has now made several visits to Seoul, and the lab cu rren tly has its third Korean feature in production. Accord­ ing to C rum p lin, it all started in m id-1995 when production company Cine 2 000 - previously Key Week - vis­ ited Sydney. They were impressed with the complete range of facilities available at the Film A ustralia site, including rooms available for editing as well as other post-production services. According to Crumplin, him self a cinematographer before entering the lab business, despite language barriers he fe lt good com m u n ication w ith the group’s director of photography M r Yu. “W e literally cou ld n ’t understand a word each other said, but we seemed to speak the same language”, he said. As a consequence, Movielab was cho­ sen to provide full lab services for the feature, Jeon Tae II. This started with rushes negative processing: batches of 2 0 ,0 0 0 ft o f exposed negative were flown to Sydney each week for process­ ing and work print, which was returned to Korea. Although picture editing was

carried out in Korea, the production returned to Australia after cutting was complete, with the editor then acting as post-production supervisor. Lab work included converting about h alf of the picture from its original colour to black and white, by duplicat­ ing on to pan fine-g rain stock. Soundfirm Sydney carried out sound post-production. After the answer print, M ovielab made 4 0 release prints apparently a typical release print order for a Korean feature. As is normal in Korea, because of budget constraints, all the prints were made directly from the original negative, although a safety interpositive had been made. Crumplin visited Seoul to attend the premiere of the film, which seems to have attracted the same sort of praise and interest that Sun Valley was soon to experience in China. As a result, production com pany Cincine brought its feature, Ginko Tree Bed, to Australia for post-production. Although photography (by DOP Park Hee-Ju) and processing had been com­ pleted overseas, the lab carried out grading work for the answer print, and, at Crumplin’s suggestion, both an interpos and a duplicate negative were supplied to Korea for release printing there (instead of using the spliced orig­ inal). Sound for this feature was also post-produced in Sydney, this time at Audio Loc, with mixing by Phil Judd. C u rren tly , C rum plin rep orts, Movielab is processing its third Korean feature, A Petal (Miracin Productions). This, the biggest feature out of Korea to date, is likely to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival. As with the Chinese productions,

Crumplin reported that post-produc­ tion budgets w ere tight, even by Australian standards (Grant Millar said that equivalent services here were up to ten times the prices in Asia). Travel and accommodation costs for the post-pro­ duction phase must be added to the film’s costs, putting even more pressure on both budget and schedules. The Korean wave shows remarkable similarities to the Chinese wave - and to productions from Taiwan and other countries. But, in view of the costs, what is it that has brought filmmakers from a number of quite different countries to Australia? Roger Savage summarizes: “Our use of the technology means that we’re giv­ ing them a better product for the budget they have.” Alan Robson feels that the common message from all countries is that facilities in Asia offer either tech­ nical or creative facilities, but rarely both in equal measure. In Australia, there is a quality of technical standards, of ser­ vice, and the human in terface, that presents an attractive combination to countries that may not find all these aspects elsewhere in Asia. Is it possible that Australia’s programme of multiculturalism has produced such universally-acceptable attitudes? Or is the truth more simple: that the technical product is as good as London or Hollywood, but, as a bonus, Australia is a bit closer, a bit cheaper, and a great place to visit. Note: The above isn’t intended to be a comprehensive survey, nor is it a com­ parison test. Time and space don’t allow me to cover every player in the market, but my selections are made simply to provide examples and are not intended to reflect any endorsement or favour. C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996


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technicalities

M o v in g P ic tu re s

T

he smallest object a fly can see at a distance of ten centimetres is another fly. It forms a visual patch just big enough to be detected by one of the fly’s hun­ dreds of eyelets. As it moves across the visual field, it disappears from one eye’s field of view and appears in another. The fly only detects the speed and direction of this object: no other details. Process­ ing of this data prom pts very fast corrections to the flight path to avoid col­ lisions. As a fly approaches a surface, its field of vision rapidly becomes saturated as the surface “explodes” into every eye­ let. The fly automatically steers towards the centre of this visual explosion, flips its legs towards the direction of most rapid change, and lands. It is unlikely that the fly “sees” the world in images, but in a form of data that allows it to fly effectively. Bees apparently have a different aim in life: as they hover in front of a flower, air currents may move bee or flower, causing the bee’s view to change. The slightest change results directly in adjust­ m ents to the wing m ovem ents, to restore the image. The bee’s position rel­ ative to the flower remains the same in even a heavy wind. Human vision is remarkably sensitive to motion. Staring straight ahead, you can see something moving “out of the corner of your eye”, but if it doesn’t move you won’t notice it unless it’s in front of you, and you can’t see much detail unless you look straight at it. So, we constantly move our eyes around to get the most impor­ tant bits into “centre fram e”, where colour and resolution work best. Try that with a camera, and every­ thing moves around on the screen until the audience gets seasick. It is remark­ able that, as we look with our eyes from one direction to another, the furniture and buildings that we can see d on’t appear to move. Why not? Apparently the brain knows what it’s doing with the muscles that move the eye and com ­ pensates by moving the perceived image in the opposite direction to any muscle m ovement. Close one eye, and push gently on the other eyelid with a finger, to move your eyeball. The image shifts. The brain can’t cope with an eye that moves without orders, and so fails to

72

compensate for the changing image. In the cinem a, w e’re sitting still, so we expect the scenery to do the same. Still, the brain does cope if you don’t play nasty tricks on it. W e can read a street sign as we walk, even recognize people as we jog past them. We can even cope with externally-induced move­ m ent, such as driving over a bumpy road: the fluid in the ear’s semicircular canals sloshes around and provides data for visual compensation. Seasickness, since we’ve already mentioned it, hap­ pens when the semicircular canals are sloshing around but the images in the eye aren’t following suit. Fixing your eyes on the (relatively) moving horizon is supposed to help, by reducing the con­ flict in sensory information. Persistence o f vision m inim izes flicker when we watch a film: an image flashed instantaneously on the retina of the eye is held by the brain until the next image is available to replace it, leading to an apparently continuouslychanging image so long as the images come fast enough. 50 per second is mar­ ginal, 60 (as in N TSC TV) is better. Curiously, brighter images persist for less time, and so appear to flicker more. In real life, persistence of vision has to do with how well we see moving objects. Because it takes the eye a while to refresh (effectively, we have quite a slow shutter speed), objects moving past the field of view finish up as a blur. For­ tunately, we can follow the object with our eyes, so that it is stationary in our field of view, and much easier to see, as long as we keep the object in the centre of the eye’s fovea or field of view, where the eye’s maximum resolution is avail­ able. The buildings in the background move in the field of view, and become blurred instead, but this isn’t obvious as it happens outside the foveal area where the eye’s resolution is poor. Film cam­ eras expose 24 frames per second, with the result that a moving object (or back­ ground) is shown as a succession of blurred images progressing across the screen. Cameras can be equipped with faster shutters, reducing the amount of blur. (Incidentally, so can CCD video cam­ eras, a technique sometimes used in sports coverage.) Unfortunately, this makes another problem worse. Projec­ tors show each frame twice - with 48 flashes per second on the screen. This distorts the time line: an image taken at a certain instant in time is projected at a corresponding instant, but then shown again 1/48th o f a second later, unchanged, when the ob ject should already have moved on. Effectively, this introduces a staggering effect to the movement, particularly noticeable in fast pans, if the eye attempts to follow the moving image. A certain amount of blur disguises the fact that the image

These effects are unfairly called “film judder”. Strictly, it isn’t the film that causes the judder, but the non-match­ ing standards conversion to a different

isn’t exactly where expected in each frame, whereas sharpening the picture emphasizes the problem. Animation systems, whether draw­ ings on cels, stop-m otion models, or simple computer-generated images, are created one frame at a time. Each image is stationary during exposure. Even in the m ost realistic m odel, m ovem ent looks “steppy” and unconvincing. Dig­ ital graphics systems have the ability to synthesize motion blur by comparing each fram e, pixel by pixel, with the next, and adding a bit to places where the tw o images d iffer. B lu rring the images this way actually enhances the simulation of smooth movement. PAL telecine transfers behave in a similar way to film projectors, with each frame scanned twice in the two inter­ laced fields of each frame. NTSC video has 60 fields per second, and, when film is tran sferred , alternate fram es are scanned twice and three times, giving a greatly-emphasized judder to moving images. Even in a PAL transfer at 24 fps, one frame in every 12 is scanned 3 times instead of twice, and this produces a noticeable hiccup every half second.

frame rate. NTSC video undergoes a number of conversions if it is copied to the PAL form at: the trickiest is the field rate, since one field in six must be discarded in order to drop 3 0 fram es down to 25 each second. Jerks and judders! If the N TSC video has come from film, with the 3/2 pull-down judder as well, the results can be disastrous. Digital tech­ niques can compensate for some of this: over each period of six N TSC frames, the position of each object in the frame is detected and tracked, and its theo­ retical p o sitio n in each o f five PAL fram es occu rrin g at in term ed iate instants is calculated and recorded. The results are generally satisfacto ry , although a few odd results can creep through. Flies appear to have no trouble land­ ing on a television screen regardless of the video standard: we have yet to learn whether bees can hover in front of a standards-converted video flower. ©

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A Guide Phil Noyce, M att Carroll, Eric Rohmer, Terry Jackman, John Huston, Luke's Kingdom, The Last Wave, Blue Fire Lady

Number I5 (January 1978)

Number I (January 1974)

Number 48 (Oct-Nov 1984) Ken Cameron, Michael Pattinson, Jan Sardi, Yoram Gross, Bodyline, The Slim Dusty Movie

Number 49 (December 1984)

Number 16 (Aprll-June 1978)

Alain Resnais, Brian McKenzie, Angela Punch McGregor, Ennio Morricone, Jane Campion, horror films, N iel Lynne

Gunnel Lindblom, John Duigan, Steven Spielberg, Tom Jeffrey, The A frica Project, Swedish cinema, Dawn!, Patrick

Number 50 (Feb-March 1985)

Number 17 (Aug-Sept 1978)

Number 2 (April 1974) Censorship, Frank Moorhouse, Nicolas Roeg, Sandy Harbutt, Film under Allende, Between the Wars, A lvin Purple

Stephen Wallace, Ian Pringle, W alerian Borowczyk, Peter Schreck, Bill Conti, Brian May, The Last Bastion, Bliss

Bill Bain, Isabelle Huppert, Brian May, Polish cinema, Newsfront, The N ight the Prowler

Number 18 (Oct-Nov 1978)

Number 51 (May 1985)

John Lamond, Sonia Borg, Alain Tanner, Indian cinema, Dimbooia, Cathy's Child

Lino Brocka, Harrison Ford, Noni Hazlehurst, Dusan Makavejev, Emoh Ruo, Winners, M orris West's The Naked Country, M ad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Robbery Under Arms

Number 19 (Jan-Feb 1979) Antony Ginnane, Stanley Hawes, Jeremy Thomas, Andrew Sarris, sponsored documentaries, Blue Fin

Number 52 (July 1985) John Schlesinger, Gillian Armstrong, Alan Parker, soap operas, TV news, film advertising, Don't Call Me Girlie, For Love Alone, Double Sculls

Number 20 (March-April 1979) Ken Cameron, Claude Lelouch, Jim Sharman, French film, M y B rilliant Career

Number 21 (May-June 1979)

Number 53 (September 1985)

Vietnam on Film, the Cantrills, French cinema, M ad Max, Snapshot, The Odd A ng ry Shot, Franklin on Hitchcock

Number 3 (July 1974)

Brian Brown, Nicolas Roeg, Vincent Ward, Hector Crawford, Emir Kusturlca, NZ film and TV, Return to Eden

Number 22 (July-Aug 1979)

Richard Brennan, John Papadopolous, W illis O'Brien, William Friedkin, The True Story of Eskimo Nell

Number 54 (November 1985)

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

Graeme Clifford, Bob Weis, John Boorman, Menahem Golan, rock videos, W ills and Burke, The Great Bookie Robbery, The Lancaster M ille r A ffair

Number 23 (Set-Oct 1979)

Number 4 (December 1974)

Tim Burstall, Australian women filmmakers, Japanese cinema, Crawfords, M y B rilliant Career, The Plumber

Bill Shepherd, Cliff Green, W erner Herzog, Between W ars, Petersen, A Salute to the Great M acArthy

Number 55 (January 1986) James Stewart, Debbie Byrne, Brian Thompson, Paul Verhoeven, Derek Meddings, tie-in marketing, The Right Hand Man, Birdsville

Number 24 (Dec-Jan 1980) Brian Trenchard-Smith, Ian Holmes, A rthur Hiller, Jerzy Toeplitz, Brazilian cinema, Harlequin

Number 56 (March 1986)

Number 25 (Feb-March 1980)

Fred Schepisi, Dennis O'Rourke, Brian Trenchard-Smith, John Hargreaves, Dead-end Drive-In, The M ore Things C h a n g e K a n g a ro o , Tracy

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

Number 26 (April-May 1980) Charles H. Joffe, Jerome Heilman, Malcolm Smith, Australian nationalism, Japanese cinema, Peter W eir, W ater Under the Bridge

Numbers 57 SOLD OUT Number 58 (July 1986) Woody Allen, Reinhard Hauff, Orson Welles, the Cinémathèque Française, The Fringe Dwellers, Great Expectations: The Untold Story, The Last Frontier

Number 27 (June-July 1980) Number 5 (March-April 1975) Alble Thoms on surf movies, Charles Chauvel filmography, Ross Wood, Byron Haskln, Brian Probyn, Inn o f the Damned

Number 6 (July-August 1975) Steve Spielberg, Glenda Jackson, Susan Sontag, Jack Thompson, Bruce Smeaton, The Removalist, Sunday Too Far A w ay

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

Number 59 (September 1986)

Number 28 (Aug-Sept 1980)

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

Bob Godfrey, Diane Kurys, Tim Burns, John O'Shea, Bruce Beresford, Bad Timing, Roadgames

Number 60 (November 1986) Australian television, Franco Zeffirelli, Nadia Tass, Bill Bennett, Dutch cinema, movies by microchip, Otello

Number 29 (Oct-Nov 1980) Bob Ellis, Uri Windt, Edward Woodward, Lino Brocka, Stephen Wallace, Philippine cinema, Cruising, The Last Outlaw

Number 61 (January 1987) Alex Cox, Roman Polanski, Philippe Mora, Martin Arminger, film in South Australia, Dogs in Space, Howling III

Number 30 (Dec 1980-Jan 1981) Sam Fuller, 'B rea ke r'M oran t rethought, Richard Lester, Canada supplement, The Chain Reaction, Blood Money

Number 62 (March 1987) Screen violence, David Lynch, Cary Grant, ASSA conference, production barometer, film finance, The Story o f the Kelly Gang

Number 31 (March-April 1981) Bryan Brown, looking in on Dressed to Kill, The Last Outlaw, Fatty Finn, Windows, lesbian as villain, the new generation

Number 63 (May 1987) Gillian Armstrong, Antony Ginnane, Chris Haywood, Elmore Leonard, Troy Kennedy Martin, The Sacrifice, Landslides, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Jilted

Number 32 (May-June 1981) Judy David, David Williamson, Richard Rush, Swinburne, Cuban cinema, Public Enemy Number One, The A lternative

Number 7 (Nov-Dec 1975) Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Winkler, Dusan Makavejev, Caddie, Picnic a t Hanging Rock

Number 64 (July 1987)

Number 33 (June-July 1976)

Number 8 (March-April 1976)

Nostalgia, Dennis Hopper, Mel Gibson, Vladim ir Osherov, Brian Trenchard Smith, chartbusters. Insatiable

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

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

Number 65 (September 1987)

Numbers 34 and 35 SOLD OUT

Angela Carter, Wim Wenders, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Derek Jarman, Gerald L'Ecuyer, Gustav Hasford, AFI Awards, Poor Man's Orange

Number 36 (February 1982) Kevin Dobson, Brian Kearney, Sonia Hofmann, Michael Rubbo, B lo w Out, 'Breaker' Morant, Body Heat, The Man from Snowy River

Number 66 (November 1987) Australian screenwriters, cinema and China, James Bond: part 1, James Clayden, Video, De Laurentiis, New W orld, The Navigator, Who's That Girl

Number 37 (April 1982) Stephen MacLean, Jacki Weaver, Carlos Saura, Peter Ustinov, women in drama. Monkey Grip

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 M y Voice Broke, Send A Gorilla

Number 38 (June 1982) Geoff Burrowes, George Miller, James Ivory, Phil Noyce, Joan Fontaine, Tony Williams, law and insurance, Far East

Number 9 (June-July 1976)

Number 10 (Sept-Oct 1976)

Number 69 (May 1988)

Number 40 (October 1982)

Sex, death and fam ily film s, Cannes '88, film composers, Vincent Ward, David Parker, Ian Bradley, Pleasure Domes

Henri Safran, Michael Ritchie, Pauline Kael, Wendy Hughes, Ray Barrett, M y Dinner with Andre, The Return o f Captain Invincible

Number 11 (January 1977) Emile De Antonio, Jill Robb, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Roman Polanski, Saul Bass, The Picture Show Man

Number 12 (April 1977) Ken Loach, Tom Haydon, Donald Sutherland, Bert Deling, Piero Tosi, John Dankworth, John Scot, Days o f Hope, The Getting o f Wisdom

Number 13 (July 1977)

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

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

Nagisa Oshlma, Philippe Mora, Krzysztof Zanussi, M arco Ferreri, M arco Bellocchio, gay cinema

Louis Malle, Paul Cox, John Power, Jeanine Seawell, Peter Sykes, Bernardo Bertolucci, In Search o f Anna

Number 68 (March 1988)

Number 39 (August 1982)

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

Number 70 (November 1988)

Number 41 (December 1982)

Film Australia, Gillian Armstrong, Fred Schepisi, W es Craven, John Waters, Al Clark, Shame screenplay part 1

Igor Auzins, Paul Schrader, Peter Tammer, Liliana Cavani, Colin Higgins, The Year o f Living Dangerously

Number 71 (January 1989)

Number 42 (March 1983)

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

Mel Gibson, John W aters, Ian Pringle, Agnes Varda, copyright. Strikebound, The Man from Snowy River

Number 72 (March 1989)

Number 43 (May-June 1983)

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

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

Number 73 (May 1989)

Number 44-45 (April 1984)

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

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

Number 74 (July 1989)

Number 46 (July 1984) Paul Cox, Russell Mulcahy, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irons, Eureka Stockade, Waterfront, The Boy In the Bush, A Woman Suffers, Street Hero

C IN E M A PAPERS

J UNE 1996

What's

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

Tom Cowan, Truffaut, John Faulkner, Stephen Wallace, the Taviani brothers, Sri Lankan film, The Chant o f Jim mie Blacksmith David W illiamson, Ray Harryhausen, Peter W eir, Antony Ginnane, Gillian Armstrong, Ken G. Hall, The Cars that Ate Paris

to

Number 47 (August 1984)

Number 14 (October 1977)

i

The Delinquents, Australians in Hollywood, Chinese cinema, Philippe Mora, Yuri Sokol, Twins, G hosts... o f the Civil Dead, Shame screenplay

in

Number 75 (September 1989) Sally Bongers, the teen movie, animated, Edens Lost, PetSematary, Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, Ed Pressman

Number 76 (November 1989) Simon W incer, Quigley Down Under, Kennedy Miller, Terry Hayes, Bangkok Hilton, John Duigan, Flirting, Romero, Dennis Hopper, Frank Howson, Ron Cobb

Number 77 (January 1990)

Stock Number 101 (October 1994) Priscilla, Queen o f the Desert, Victorian sup­ plement, P. J. Hogan and M uriel'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 Melt, AFC supplement, Spider & Rose, Australia's First Films: Part 10

John Farrow monograph, Blood Oath, Dennis W hitburn, Brian W illiams, Don McLennan, Breakaway, “Crocodile" Dundee overseas

Number 78 (March 1990) The Crossing, Ray Argali, Return Home, Peter Greenaway and The Cook..., M ichel Ciment, Bangkok Hilton, B arlow and Chambers

Numbers 79 SOLD OUT Number 80 (August 1990) Cannes report, Fred Schepisi career interview, Peter W eir and Greencard, Pauline Chan, Gus Van Sant and Drugstore Cowboy, German stories

Number 103 (March 1995) Little Women, Gillian Armstrong, Queensland supplement, Geoffrey Simpson, Heavenly Creatures, Eternity, Australia's First Films

o

Number 81 (December 1990) Ian Pringle Isabelle Eberhardt, Jane Campion, A n Angel A t M y Table, Martin Scorsese and Goodfellas, Presumed Innocent

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

Number 83 (May 1991) Australia at Cannes, Gillian Armstrong, The Last Days at Chez Nous, The Silence o f the Lambs, Flynn, Dead to the World, Anthony Hopkins, Spotswood

Number 84 (August 1991)

Number 104 (June 1995) Cannes Mania, Billy's Holiday, A ngel Baby, Epsilon, Vacant Possession, Richard Franklin, Australia's First Films: Part 12

James Cameron and Term inator2: Judgem ent Day, Dennis O'Rourke, Good Woman o f Bangkok, Susan Dermody, Breathing Under Water, Cannes report, FFC

Number 85 (November I99I) Jocelyn Moorhouse, Proof, Blake Edwards, Switch', Callie Khouri: Thelma & Louise; inde­ pendent exhibition and distribution, FFC part 2

Number 86 (January 1992) Romper Stamper, The Nostradamus Kid, Greenkeeping, Eightball, Kathryn Bigelow, HDTV and Super 16

Number 87 (March 1992) M ulti-cultural cinema, Steven Spielberg, Hook, George Negus and The Red Unknown, Richard Lowenstein, Say a Little Prayer, Jewish cinema

Number 105 (August 1995) M a rkJo ffe 's Cosi, Jacqueline McKenzie, Slawomlr Idziak, Cannes Review, Gaumont Retrospective, Marie Craven, Dad & Dave

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Number 88 (May-June 1992) S trictly Ballroom, Hammers Over the Anvil, Daydream Believer, Wim W ender's Until The End o f the World, Satyajit Ray

Number 89 (August 1992) Cannes '92, David Lynch, Vitali Kanievski, Gianni Amelio, Fortress, film -literature connections, teen movies debate

Number 90 (October 1992) The Last Days o f Chez Nous, Ridley Scott: 1492, Stephen Elliott: Frauds, Giorgio Mangiamele, Cultural Differences and Ethnicity in Australian Cinema, John Frankenheim er's Year o f the Gun

Number 106 (October 1995) Gerard Lee and John Maynard on A ll Men A re Liars, Sam Neil, The Small Man, Under the Gun, AFC low budget seminar

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

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Number 92 (April 1993) Reckless Kelly, George M iller and Lorenzo's Oil, Megan Simpson, Alex, The Lover, women in film and television, Australia's first film s: part 2

Number 93 (May I993) Jane Campion and The Piano, Laurie Mclnnes and Broken Highway, Tracey M offatt and Bedevil, Lightworks and Avid, Australia's first films: part 3

Number 107 (December 1995) George M iller and Chris Noonan talk about Babe, New trends in criticism, The rise of boutique cinema

Number 94 (August 1993) Cannes ’94, Steve Buscemi and Reservoir Dogs, Paul Cox, Michael Jenkins The Heartbreak Kid, 'Coming of Age’ films, Australia's first films: p a r ti

o CC/> CCO D o Ö “ CD

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: part 5

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 108 (February 1996) Conjuring John Hughes' W hat I Have Written, Cthulu, The Top 100 Australian Films, Nicole Kidman In To Die For

Number 97-8 (April I994)

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20th Anniversary double issue w ith New Zealand supplement, Simon W incer and Lightning Jack, Richard Franklin on leaving America, Australia's first films: part 7

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Number 99 (June 1994) Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ken G. Hall Tribute, cinematography supplement, Geoffrey Burton, Pauline Chan and Traps, Australia's first films: Part 8

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Number 100 (August 1994) Cannes '94, NSW supplement, Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddah, The Sum o f Us, Spider & Rose, film and the digital world, Australia's firs t films: part 9

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Number 109 (April 1996) Rachel Griffiths runs the gamut, Toni Collette and Cosi, Sundance Film Festival, Michael Tolkln, M orals and the Mutoscope

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Marigold Design Group is a fusion of designers, programmers and art directors working in multi-media, 3D presentations, film, television and print. By maintaining a fresh eye and professional approach, Marigold has accumulated a body of work of great variety, although projects have tended toward corporate identity, typography and information design for interactive multi-media, W3, film, television and exhibition graphics. IncorporatedInNSW.ACN060 416 882

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FCC Funding Decisions Features

Production Survey

I The Last of the Nomads

Doing Time for Patsy Cline

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Angkor

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Oscar and Lucinda

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Docum entaries The Battle for Byron

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Features Pre-production

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Television Production

Angkor

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Idiot Box

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G.P.

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Paradise Road

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The Phantom

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Kangaroo Palace

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j No More Needles ... Please i Outnumbered i Sexing the Label

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Thank God He Met Lizzie

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Red Herring

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Spellbinder II: The Land

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Mr Nice Guy

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True Love and Chaos

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Dreaming

Dead Letter

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Emily

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i Susie is a Fish j Win Some, Lose Some j

The Golden Sow

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Road to Nhill

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The Territorians

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A D E N AT THE HOTEL DE LOVE

FFC Funding Decisions Following a Board meeting on 17 February, the F F C has entered into contract negotiations with the producers of the following projects:

Wales to seek fame and fortune. Hitch­ hiking towards Sydney, Ralph Is picked up by the unscrupulous Boyd and his exotic girlfriend, Patsy. He becomes entangled in a crime that changes his destiny.

Featured

P ro Film s (N o 4) Pty Ltd

Official A ustralian-French co- production D: Carl S chultz Ps: J ock Blair, J ean Pierre Ramsay EP: Richard Becker Ws: Loupe Durand, David A mbrose, J ock Blair, Christine Miller, J ohn Howlett, T om Hegarty PC: J acques Perrin Dist: REP, RA Becker, F.l.T.

O ilrag P roductions

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funny, touching story of a 17-yearold country-and-western singer who leaves the outback of New South

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THE BATTLE FOR BYRON

AS Associate Producer

(55- minute A ccord documentary)

LP Line Producer

F rontline F ilms

'D Director

Ds: David Bradbury, Richard Mordaunt P: David Bradbury Ws: David Bradbury, Richard Mordaunt Pre-sale: ABC-TV

SW Scriptwriter C Cast PC Principal Cast

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NOTE: Production Survey formé now adhere to a revisedform at. Cinema Papers regreté it cannot accept information received in a differentform at. Cinema Papers does not accept redpondibility fo r the accuracy o f any information éupplied by production companUd. Thié id particularly the cade when information changed but the production company maked no attem pt to correct what had already been dupplicd.

DEAD LETTER (27- minute A ccord documentary)

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UNE 1996

Z oic Films

D: J uliet Darling P: J uliet Darling AP: J ane Campion W: J uliet Darling Pre-sale: ABC TV Developed with the assistance of: Australian Film Commission he documentary focuses on two women who have worked together in the Dead Letter Office for over ten years. In the white, windowless room, they open mail all day. Their job is to scan the letters in search for a return address. From this room overflowing with undeliverabie letters, a view of society is presented.

T

he remote Indonesian island of Nias has a heroic culture with dramatic architecture and ancient megaliths. For Ama Dolyn, a rising Niasan entrepreneur, western money is a vital lifeblood in a society whose most primal impluse is the pursuit of wealth and prestige. Though Ama Doiyn's eyes, this film will show the strange marriage of western capitalism and traditional culture at the 1996 Niasan Pro-Am Surfing Competition.

W IN SOME, LOSE SOME (55- minute A ccord documentary)

D: Rachel Perkins P: S usan MacKinnon W: Rachel Perkins Pre- sale: ABC TV « H m y dreaming pencil yam, I V I mountain devil lizard grass seed, puppy dog... green bean. That's what I painted; whole lot." Emily Kngwarreye is an Aboriginal cultural leader and leading contemporary artist, placing her as one of the highest paid women in Australia.

K itaron P roductions

D ecember F ilms

D: S teve Westh P: T ony Wright W: S teve W esth Pre- sale: ABC TV, BBC TV Dist: Beyond Distribution Developed with the assistance Film Victoria

THE GOLDEN SOW (52- minute A ccord documentary) O racle P ictures of:

D: J oel Peterson Ps: Robert Reynards, Victor Gentile

I n 1977, five white men led by an

Aboriginal Elder set out to locate two elderly members of the Manildjara tribe - the last to be living a namadic existence. With the worst drought in recorded history, it became a race against time to find these two people before they were consumed by the land they knew so well. In 1996, Dr Peasley will retrace the 1977 expedition accompanied by a relative of Mudjon, the Elder who shared the search with him nearly 20 years before. This documentary is based upon the book of the same name.

MARN GROOK - FOOTBALL DREAMING (45 min) CAAMA P roductions

of:

A

retired couple decide to leave the familiar "four walls" of their family home to travel around Australia in a caravan. This film will challenge a universally-feared and misunderstood time in everybody's life. It will show that the journey around Australia, like the journey into the Third Age of life, can be a journey of celebration and discovery.

D: S teve McGregor P: S hane Mulcahy EP: David J owsey Ws: S hane Mulcahy, Steve Mc Gregor Pre- sale: Network 7 Dist: J enny Cornish Media sing the vechicle of Australian Football League and the history of Aboriginal stars past and present to explore current race attitudes in Australia, this documentary examines the contributions Aboriginal players have made to Aussie Rules.

NO MORE NEEDLES....PLEASE (55- minute A ccord documentary)

THE LAST OF THE NOMADS (52- minute A ccord documentary) W

D: A leksi Vellis P: Tassos Ioannides W: David T iley Pre-sale: ABC-TV

of:

GREY NOMADS (55- minute A ccord documentary)

EMILY V ivid P ictures

Developed with the assistance S creen West

Developed with the assistance of: A ustralian Film Commission

(27- minute A ccord documentary)

“ his film documents the confrontation between old ways of 'developing' and working the land and those who have settled in the Byron region with a different vision for how communities can grow, keep jobs and yet still nurture the natural environment.

Developed with assistance Film Victoria

W: S uzanne Howard Pre- sale: SBS

Docunientarled

T

Documen tarled

E P Executive Producer

W D Writer-director

Following a Board meeting on 28 March, the F F C has entered into contract negotiations with the producers of the following projects:

A fter fleeing an unhappy marriage, Shelley Kincaird returns to Cambodia to find her brother who has been accused of deserting from the Army in Vietnam. At a time when the Khmer Rouge is coming to power, Shelley is plunged into a maelstrom of conflicting emotions and dangerous lies.

e y

S E Story Editor

hree migrant families came to Australia in the 1950s with nothing. Over the years, they became extremely prosperous building empires beyond their dreams, but in the financial turbulence of the 1980s they suffered desperate losses. They were humbled and humiliated. This is a story about justice, families and human resilience.

ANGKOR (97 mins )

DOING TIME FOR PATSY CLINE (105 mins ) D: Chris Kennedy Ps: Chris Kennedy, Patrick Fitzgerald W: Chris Kennedy Dist: S outhern Star Distribution, Dendy Films Developed with the assistance of: New S outh Wales & T elevision Office

T

ildfilm

M ask

A ustralia and P roductions

D: Mathew Kelley Ps : Peter Du Cane, S amantha Kelley, Garry Gower Ws: Mathew Kelley, Garry Gower Pre-sale: SBS

E liot J ar vis P roductions D: Mark Eliot Ps: Mark Eliot, Catherine J arvis Ws : Mark Eliot, Catherine J arvis Pre-sale: SBS Developed with the assistance of: Film Queensland

E leven-year-old James Jarvis lives with diabetes and has to inject

75


^production FFC Funding Decisions continued himself in the stomach twice a day to stay alive. This film takes James and his journalist mother, Catherine Jarvis, on a global journey to find out whether scientists are on the threshold of preventing and subsequently curing one of the most insidious, cripping and expensive diseases known to man - a disease which is increasing at a rate of 8% per annum.

OUTNUMBERED (54- minute A ccord documentary) P ericles P roductions

D: Richard Keddie P: Andrew Wiseman Ws: Andrew Wiseman, Richard Keddie Pre-sale: ABC TV Developed with the assistance of: Australian Film Commission

D: Anna Broinowski Ps: Anna Broinowski, Lisa Duff W: Anna Broinowski Pre-sale: SBS

T he sexual label - gay, lesbian, bi, straight - has become a political tool which can either empower or disposses its user. This film examines the complex tensions associated with these issues. It sets out to map the valid principles of empowerment underlying the use of sexual labels, both past and present, and charts the shifting relationship between the mainstream and non-straight communities. SUSIE IS A FISH (55 minute A ccord documentary) B ob P ictures

D: Carla Drago P: J udi McCrossin Co-P: J o-Anne McGowan W: Carla Drago Pre-sale: ABC TV

I n opposition, the Australian Labor

Party in Victoria is an embattled party. John Brumby, however, genuinely believed he could reverse its fortunes and, in a David and Goliath style mission, claw back a massive 18 seats to win the 1996 election. This film followed the state election and presents an opportunity to view at close quarters the key players in the campaign as they pursued the ultimate political prize.

SEXING THE LABEL (53- minute A ccord documentary) Froxoff Films

S

usie Maroney, a 21-year-old from Sydney, is the best marathon swimmer in the world. On 1 June 1996, Susie will undertake the greatest swimming challenge ever: a 200km swim across the edge of the Bermuda Triangle from Cuba to Florida. Many swimmers have attempted this crossing, but no one ever completed it. Susie Maroney is confident she will be the first. Susie is a Fish is the story of her obsession.

Production Survey

Featured Pre-production

Producers: Greg Coote, Sue Milliken Executive producers: Graham Burke, Andrew Yap Scriptwriter: Bruce Beresford Director of photography: Peter J ames Editor: Tim Wellburn Production designer:HERBERT Pinter Costume designer: Terry Ryan

ANGKOR

Unit production manager: Anne Bruning

Information is supplied as and adjudged as of 15 April 1996

P roduction Crew

P F

Production company: ro ilms Distribution company: REP Budget: $4.9 million Production:

On -S et Crew

1st assistant director: COLIN FLETCHER Make-up supervisor: Nikki Gooley

JUNE

M arketing

T

C S J P R R B LOUPE DURAND, David Ambrose, Christine Miller, J ohn Howlett, Tom Hegarty Director: arl chultz Producer: ean ierre amsay Executive producer: ichard ecker Scriptwriters:

Cast

J acques Perrin

CENTURY Fox , DDA

Distributor: wentieth Unit publicity: iona earson

P rincipal Credits

F

S

Cast

Glenn Close S

et in World W ar 2 Sumatra, European women imprisoned by the Japanese seek solace from the horror of their imprisonment by forming a vocal orchestra.

A

fter fleeing an unhappy marriage, Shelley Kincaird returns to Cambodia to find her brother who has been accused of deserting the army in Vietnam. At a time when the Khmer Rouge are coming to power, Shelley is plunged into a maelstrom of conflicting emotions and dangerous lies.

PARADISE ROAD Production Company:

Village Roadshow Pictures Production Office: SYDNEY Pre-production: 29/4/96-29/7/96 Locations: enang ort ouglas

P

,P

D

Principal Credits Director:

76

BRUCE BERESFORD

THANK GOD HE MET LIZZIE Distribution company: REP

Principal Credits

CHERIE NOWLAN JONATHAN SHTEINMAN ALEXANDRA Long

Director: Producer: Scriptwriter:

Government A gency I nvestment Production: AFC, NSWFTO

Featured in production MR NICE GUY

Production company: Golden Harvest (HK) Ltd

Production office: MELBOURNE P rincipal Credits

HUNGKAM P SAMMO K N C L T K S E

Director: o Co-producer: Tso in am Executive producer: hua am Scriptwiter: ang ing ang dward Director of photography:

Lam Fai Tai Raymond, Chan J ose Editor: Cheung YlU Chung M arketing

Distributor: Unit publicity:

Goldern Harvest FIONA SEARSON, DDA Cast

J ackie Chan

Lifeguard #2: PETER BOFINGER Safety diver #1: Lana Darby Safety diver #2: SEAN Rigby Caterers: FLEURY CATERING

YURIKO MAMESHIRO

Financial controller: Japanese production accountant:

Yumiko Miwa Australian production accountant: Payola P/L - Richard Coates Accounts assistant: Toni Pearson PaymasterDEBBiE Gilbert Insurer: HW WOODS (Aust) P/L

V isual Effects

Camera Crew

PHILIP CROSS ISAACS J W J F H K IAN FREEMAN P R D M G R S G P V A M FERGUS

Lighting cameraman: Underwater camera operator: Ross Focus puller: ohn areham Clapper-loader: eff leck Video split operator: eather yle Key grip: Grips: aul eddin Grip assistant: an axwell Gaffer: raham utherford Best boy: teve ordon 2nd Electrician: aul an rcken Gennie operator: att

TRUE LOVE AND CHAOS

W F N V F MILLION

Principal Credits

S

E A D STAVROS EFTHYMIOU A B , Stephen Sewell Director of photography: LaSZLO BARANYAI Production designer: STEPHEN JONES-EVANS Editor: Ken Sallows Director: tavros fthymiou Producer: nn arouzet Scriptwriter: Script editors: nnette lonski

Government A gency I nvestment Production: AFC, FFC, Film Victoria Cast

Hugo Weaving, Naveen Andrews, Noah Taylor

M

imi and Hanif begin a road trip from Melbourne to Perth, Mimi heading home to make peace with her mother, Hanif running from the consequences of his involvement in a drug theft masterminded by his friend, Dean.

Featured Podt-production ACRI

VRP Production Services P/L, Cappadocia Co. Ltd

Production company:

Pre-production: 20/11/95 - 29/1/96 Production: 29/1/96 - 16/3/96 Post-production: 18/3/96 -

Principal Credits

Ă&#x17D;ATSUYA ISHII SHINYA Kawai, JUN-ICHI SHINDO Australian line producer: Michael Lake Executive producer: Asao Okamoto Associate producer: Akemi Suyama Scriptwriter: Masumi Suetani Director: Producers:

Director of photography:

Genkichi Hasegawa Sound recordist: Andrew Ramage Editor: JOHN SCOTT Japanese production designer: Kyoko Heya Australian production designer:

Michael Ralph David Rowe

Costume designer:

Planning

and

Development

CORAL D OUYN F &A S F

Script adapted by: r Casting: aura ay ssociates Shooting schedule by: tuart reeman

M

Production Crew Japanese production manager:

Kazuo Nakamura E S S G T M K M TOMOO S

Production manager: lizabeth ymes Production co-ordinator: erena attuso Producer's assistant: ess adoocks Production secretary: erry ulgrew Director's secretary: uzuki Japanese production assistant:

Christopher Cannon Japanese interpreters: Rie Shiraishi, J ulie Hayes, Robin Taubenfeld, Harumi "Mimi" Wischman Location manager: J ames Legge Unit manager: Rick Kornaat Unit assistants: Brad Field, Paul Winter, J ohn Horrobin Production runner: Markus Hunter, Cas Pedersen Driver-runner: JUSTIN CARSON Assistant to Tanaka-san: JUNKO McMaster

3D Digitial A nimation U nit D igital A rtists

Digital artist: RUYUICHI SUNO, Syouko Kitamura, Tsutomu Nomoto, Diego Guerrero 2D D igital Compositing Paint A rtists

D igital U nit A dministration

Masaki Hamamoto

Australian 1st assistant director:

Stuart Freeman

U-ICHI Abe

Japanese 2nd assistant director: Australian 2nd assistant director:

Wade Savage

Australian 3rd assistant director:

Vera Biffone JACKIE SULLIVAN DEAN R C M C W T N W Sainsbury, Lesley Vanderwalt

Continuity: Boom operator: yan Make-up: hristine iller Hairdresser: heryl illiams Make-up-hair assistant: ess atoli Supervisors of special make-up fx: endy

Carla Vincenzino K R H W W ML CHRIS ANDERSON MlTCH D A H SCHEFFLER E F C MAURICE ALLEN

Make-up assistant: aren obotham Special fx supervisor: arry ard Special fx assistant: illiam c aggon Stunts co-ordinator: Stunts assistant co-ordinator: eans Safety supervisor: rthur oadley Unit nurse: Jo Catering: leets ilm atering Catering assistant:

A rt D epartment

H

Cast

Tadanobu Asano (Hisoka), Tatsuya Fuji (Sakota), Yosuke Eguchi (Haoka), Ron Graham (Norris), Miki Okijima (J essie), Tetsuo Yamashita (Keisuke), Kimika Yoshino (Acri), Tomoko Tanaka (Mermaid) Audubon (J ohn Benton), Linden Goh (Kai Genimei), Dr Klaus (Andrew McKaige) Japanese student, Hisoka, comes to Australia to find out about his lineage. A reporter, Haoka, follows him in search of mermaids. A marine biologist, Sakota, believes the secret of the missing link in human evolution lies in the ocean.

HOTEL DE LOVE

Production company: Village Roadshow Pictures Distribution Company: Roadshow Film Distributors Production: 5/2/96-19/3/96

Art director: dam ead Art department administrator:

P rincipal Credits

Malcom Ross Art department runner: Dominique O'Leary Art department assistants: Anne Flynn, Lucianna Biffone Set decorator: Priscilla Cameron Property master: Jo FAIRBURN Standby props: Bradley Campbell Assistant standby props:

Cameron Leigh-Cooper Boat Wrangler: Gary McNamara Boat Driver: LEIGH CARLSON Diving co-ordinator: PETER WEST Diver medic: Bob McCarron

C

R

Director: raig osenberg Producers: avid arker ichael ake Executive producer: Scriptwriter: raig osenberg Director of photography: teve indon Sound recordist: ary ilkins Editor: Production designer: imon obbin Costume designer: ruce

D

,M L PETER HELLER C R S W G W BILL MURPHY S D B FlNLAYSON

P lanning Casting:

P

and

Development

Maura Fay & Associates

Production Crew

W ardrobe

D D 'O A C K O'B J T

Wardrobe supervisor: awn ouglas d r Costume standby: manda raze Assistant costume standby: ylie rien Wardrobe assistant: acqueline revethan

Construction Department

R PATTISON D B , Robert Kolkka, Ed Mohun Michael Rout, David Franks Carpenter-joiner: David Holmquist-Pollack Scenic Artist: Alan J effrys Construction supervisor: ay Carpenters: anny urnett

Post- production

R HENNESSY S R J B N MC F L M B N N N KlNGSHOTT F G H. W A F F M W M Communication Travel Agent: Showtravel

Production manager: ay Production co-ordinator: andi evelins Production secretary: ana lair Location manager: eil c art Location assistant: ran ugt Unit manager: ichael atchelor Unit assistant: ino egri Production accountant: adeen Accounts assistant: rances radman Insurer: W. ood ustralia P/L Completion guarantor: ilm inance Motorolas: ax oodhouse ulticom

Camera Crew

Post-production supervisor:

Sylvia Walker-Wilson Assistant editor: Peter Skarratt Laboratory: Atlab CGI-2 nd U nit

Data co-ordinator: Rowena ZANDE Systems administrator: Neville Duguid Digital Archivist: SlMON Dye

A

Senior special make-up fx artist:

A

and

Flame/Flint chief artist: Peter Webb Flame/Flint artist: J ames Rogers Flint artist: RANDYVELLACOTT

On -S et Crew Japanese 1st assisant director:

Production company: estside ilms Distribution company: ew ision ilms Budget: S2.4 Production: 15/4/96-15/5/96

Japanese visual fx producer: SHUJI Asano Japanese visual fx supervisor: Takahiko Akiyama Associate visual fx supervisor: DALE DUGUID Japanese visual fx assistant supervisor: Kagari Yasuda

Director: Takahiko Akiyama Co-ordinator: GlNA BLACK Diver: David CORDELL Crew driver: Darryl Sheen Interpreter: CHRISTOPHER Cannon Unit manager: Cameron Wintour Unit/day security: Tim Stanley Australian 1st assistant director: Peter Nathan Japanese 1st assistant director: U-ICHI Abe Director of photography: Gene Moller Underwater camera operator: Ross ISAACS Focus puller: Aron Leong Clapper loader: Daniel Clark Edi assistant operator: J acinta Leong Grip: Cary Vignall Underwater Gaffer: Darryn Fox Best boy: Bob Watterson Assistant gaffer/grip: Warren Young Lifeguard #1: Andrew Hall

Camera operator: Mark Spicer Clapper-loader: Mark Toll 1st camera assistant: Frank Flick Key grip: Tony Hall Grip: Greg Tuohy Assistant grip: Paul Reinhardt Gaffer: Con MANCUSO Best boy: Brett Hull 3rd electrics: David Lovell Generator operator: Robert Fabris Camera equipment: Martin Cayzer On - set Crew

BRENDAN CAMPBELL D G A BERESFORD M W K V

1st assistant director: 2nd assistant director: amien rant Continuity: nny Boom operator: ark asiutak Make-up: irsten eysey Make-up & Wardrobe bus:

Starwagons Australia D V D S N GENERATION STUNTS S W A S R

Hairdresser: avid awser Assistant hairdresser: allas tephens Safety report: ew Still photography: kip atkins Unit publicist: nnette mith oadshow

C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;˘ J UNE 1996


Still photography: Emmanuelle Marshal Unit publicist: Karl MADDEROM Catering: J an Whitford A rt D eprtment

Prosperson: Reice Norton Props maker: Reice NORTON P ost- production

Laboratory: MOVIELAB Laboratory liaison: Karl MADDEROM Negative matching: Chris Rowell Screen Ratio: 3:1 Shooting stock: Kodak 7248/7293/50D M arketing

Publicity: Karl Madderom Cast

David Whitford (Nick), Ron Blanchard (Miles), Bartholomew Rose (The Doc­ tor), David O'Connor (Charley), Anthony Hawkins (Tom), Bruce Trickett (Ben), Cassandra Whitford (Sheryl), Kathryn Zealand (Angelique), J ane Mac (J ulia), Karl Madderom (Buyer). T

old as a flashback, Red Herring tells the story of Nick, an ageing, frustrated gangster. Sick of his opposition in the small drug trade, he manages to kill them before setting his four counterparts and two old business colleagues up against each other. However, when it seems all is going to plan, predicaments arise.

Film Distributors Food For Film Catering Christopher Davenport

Unit assistant: S im o n HOLMES Production assistants: S and r a SCIBERRAS, C lara V uletich Production runner: CLANCY MCDOWELL Production accountant: JOHN B r OUSEK Insurer: ROLLINS HUDIG H a ll Completion guarantor: F ilm F in a n c e s Legal services: M ic h ae l Fr an k el & Co

Catering: Runner:

A rt D epartment

Art department co-ordinator: ALLISON Pye Art department research: J ane Long Art department runner: Tao Weis Set dresser: COLIN ROBERTSON Draftspersons: J eff Thorp, Godric Cole Storyboard Artist: Connie WOOLSTRON Art department conceptualists: Claudia Rowe, Tony Bubenicek, Vanessa Cerne Buyer: Marita Mussett Standby props: Dean Sullivan

Camera Crew Focus puller: A d am HAMMOND Clapper-loader: J am es T odd Key grip: G reg T ouhy Assistant grip: I an Freeman Gaffer: D erek J ones Best boy: K en T albot

W ardobe Costume supervisor: Standby wardrobe:

Vicki Thompson Gabrielle Dunn

On - set Crew

Construction D epartment

H

B

Construction manager: ugh ateup Foreman-construction: BRENDAN MULLEN Lead scenic artist: JOHN HARATZIS Drivers: KERRY KERVIN ark aylor

&M

P ost- production

R

C

K

L

H F

AAV A

Cast

Aden Young (Rick Dunne), Saffron Burrows (Melissa Morrison), Simon Bossell (Stephen Dunne), Pippa Grandison (Alison Leigh), Ray Barrett (J ack Dunne), J ulia Blake (Edith Dunne).

G

R

W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: WENDY A sher Standby wardrobe: WENDY Coric

A nimals

Animal trainer: A ngela T owle P ost- production

Assistant editor: JEANINE CHIALVO Sound editor: LlAM EGAN Mixer: PHIL JUDD Laboratory: ATLAB Negative matching: Chris ROWELL Gauge: S uper 35mm Shooting stock: KODAK Government A gency I nvestment

Development: NSWFTO Production: FFC

Production: 30/10/95-15/12/95 Post-production: 16/12/95—May 1996

Cast

Principal Credits

and

D evelopment

P roduction Crew

Production manager: Sue Wild Production co-ordinator: VANESSA Brown Production secretary: JASON Bath Location manager: AUSSIE Ismail Unit manager: JAMES HOPWOOD

D

K Art department attachment: Rachel BESSER

IDIOT BOX Production company: Central Park Films Budget: $2.5 million

P lanning

B S ,N G

Art department runner: rock ykes Props buyers: ichie ehne icki ardiner Standby props: HARRY ZETTEL Armourer: en JONES

fraternal twins, both fall head over heels for the vivacious Melissa Morrison at a student party in Suburban Melbourne. Rick, born two minutes earlier and always two steps ahead, intercepts Melissa. But their romance is short lived.

Casting: Shauna Wolifson (Liz Mullinar)

K

A rt D epartment

I t's 1983. Rick and Stephen Dunne,

Director: DAVID CAESAR Producer: Glenys Rowe Associate producer: Nicki Roller Scriptwriter: David Caesar Director of photography: JOE PICKERING Sound recordist: LlAM EGAN Editor: Mark Perry Production designer: Kerith Holmes

L M T

R D E S M A C T F R MD R G

T

Assistant editor: obert all Editing rooms. ascade ilms Musical supervisor: CHRISTINE WOODRUFF Laboratory: ClNEVEX Film stock: odak AuSTAUA Video transfers by: ustralia

D K A

1st assistant director: avid ightfoot 2nd assistant director: aren ahood 3rd assistant director: ndrew aylor Continuity: inda ay Playback operator: ave ggins Boom operator: teve urphy Make-up: ngela onte Make-up assistant: roy ollington Stunts co-ordinator: ocky c onald Safety officer: ob reenough Still photography: PAUL BLACKMORE Catering: ypsy itchen

Ben Mendelsohn (Kev), J eremy Sims (Mick), Robyn Loau (Lani), Graeme Blundell (Eric), Deborah Kennedy (Leanne), Susie Porter (Betty), J ohn Polson (J onah), Andrew Gilbert (Greg), Stephen Rae (Colin), Susan Prior (Luce). he boys, Mick and Kev, are all revved up, with nowhere to go ... and unemployed. Who isn't? They are rebels without a cause, with testosterone to burn. They just don't want to be nothing, okay? They have an idea: an armed hold-up. The problem is they have no experience, no guns, no idea. The end will probably be bad. It depends on which way you look at it.

C I N E M A P A P E R S • J UN E 1996

THE PHANTOM VRP Production Services, Paramount Pictures

Production companies:

S50 MILLION 2/10/95-24/1/96

Budget: Production:

Principal Credits Director: SlMON WiNCER Producer: lan add nr obert vans Co-producer: effrey oam Executive producer: ichard ane Associate producer: BONNIE ABAUNZA Scriptwriter: JEFFREY BOAM

A

L J ,R E J B R V

Based on the comic strip, ThePhantom Created by Lee Falk Director of photography: David Burr Sound recordist: Ben Osmo Editor: Nicholas 0. Brown Production designer: PAUL PETERS Costume designer: MARLENE STEWART

P lanning

L

and development

R

-G C F &

Casting: ynne uthven old oast Casting consultants: aura aye

M

Associates

P roduction Crew Production manager: BRIAN BURGESS Production co-ordinator: hris aer Assistant production co-ordinator: K im S teblina Production secretary: Jo S una Production runner: SCOTT CRUSE Financial controller: ELTON M a c P her SON Production accountant: LYNNE PAETZ

C

B

Camera Crew

I D N W

Camera operator: L o u is rving Focus puller: olin eane Clapper-loader: ick att 2nd unit D.O.P: A CAMERA-PAUL TAYLOR, B Ca m e r a -B rian B reheny 2nd unit focus: A CAMERA-JOHN B reslin , B cam era -L eah A shenburst 2nd unit clapper: A CAMERA-REBECCA S teele , B cam era -B en J asner Key grip: L ester B ishop Gaffer: B rian B ansgrove

C

On - set Crew 1st assistant director: B ob D onaldson 2nd assistant director: S im o n W arnock 3rd assistant director: D ebbie A tkins Continuity: JUDY WHITEHEAD Boom operator: GERRY NUCIFORA Make-up: JUDY L ovell Hairdresser: ARTURO Rojas Special fx supervisor: A l L orimer Stunts co-ordinator: BILLY B urton Stunts assistant: D anny B a ld w in Still photography: A ndrew Couper Unit publicist: VlC H eutschy

Construction D epartment Construction supervisor: J ohn VlLLARlNO Scenic artist: Ray P edlar Construction manager: A ndrew Gardiner

P ost- production Assistant editor: BRYAN CARROLL Editing assistants: B rett Carroll , G ina Carroll , G eoff La m b Laboratory: ATLAB AUSTRALIA - GOLD COAST Laboratory liaison: G ary K eir

Cast B illy Z ane (T he P h a n to m ), K risty Sw an so n (D ia n a ), J ames Remar (Q uill ), T reat W illiam s (D rax ), Cather ­ ine Z eta J ones (S a l a ), D avid P roval (C harlie Z ephro ), Casey S iemaszko (M organ ), P atrick M cG oohan (P h an ­ t o m ' s Father ), Cary T a g a w a (K abai S engh ).

T

he Phantom mantle has been handed down from father to son ever since the founder of the line witnessed his father murdered by pirates 400 years ago. As the latest heir to this proud tradition. The Phantom (Billy Zane), is sworn to fight greed, corruption and cruelty. The film is based on The Phantom comic strip created by Lee Falk in 1936 and published in 500 newspapers worldwide by King Features Syndicate.

RED HERRING Production company: T ang ent Films

Principal Credits Director: KARL MADDEROM Producer: KARL MADDEROM Executive producer: K arl MADDEROM Scriptwriter: KARL MADDEROM Directors of photography: A drian T aylor , J ohn T attersal , Fred M adderom Sound recordists: T im M a rt in , P eter S heperd Editor: D a m ie n M assin g h am

P lanning

and

D evelopment

Casting: KARL M adderom Casting consultant: K arl M adderom Shooting schedule by: Karl M adderom Budgeted by: K arl M adderom

P roduction Crew

Production manager: Cassie Madderom Financial controller: Karl Madderom Camera Crew

W ardrobe

Camera operators: Mark Sayer, J ohn Tattersal Focus puller: TESSIE Cassar Clapper-loader: Danielle BOESENBERG Camera assistants: TESSIE CASSAR, Gavin MacGrath Camera type: Aaton 16mm Camera maintenance: Lemac Assistant grips: Cameron McDonald, Andrew Redford Gaffer: Reice Norton

Wardrobe supervisor: LlSA L ovaas Standby wardrobe: S ean C undlach Wardrobe assistant: C hristelle CORONES

Boom operator: ndrew edford Make-up: assie adderom

A rt D epartment Art director: L isette T homas Set dresser/Decorator: A my W ells , L esley C rawford Draftsperson: J acin ta L eong Armourer: A llan M owbray

On - set Crew

C

A

M

R

RIVER STREET Production company: H ouse & MOORHOUSE Distribution companies: Cl B y (I nternatio nal ), V illage Roadshow (A ustralasia ) Pre-production: uly Production: eptember Post-production: NOVEMBER

24 J 13 S 10

1995 ... 1995 ... 1995 ...

P rincipal Credits

T M L H

Director: ony ahood Producer: ynda ouse Associate producer: CATHERINE ishop Scriptwriter: hillip yall Based on an original story by: ony ahood Director of photography: artin c rath Sound recordist: loyd arrick Editor: DANY COOPER Production designer: addy eardon Costume designer: erri azzocco

B R T M M MG L C

P

P R K M

Planning

and

D evelopment

Prototype Casting (Melbourne), Alison Barrett (Sydney) Additional casting: Dina Mann Extras casting: Kate Finsterer Casting:

Extras casting assistant: VlCKl KROMER Storyboard artist: ROBERT STEPHENSON

Production Crew

C

Production manager: atherine Production co-ordinator:

Bishop

Fiona Schmidberger

Production secretary: EDWINA FOWLER Location manager: RUSSELL oyd Unit manager: ANDY apas Unit assistant: N INQ NEGRIN Production runner: KEVIN CAMPBELL Production accountant: MANDY CARTER Accounts assistant: STEPHEN TAYLOR Insurer: ROLLINS HUDIG HALL Completion guarantor: FILM FINANCES Legal services: oth arren

P

B

R W

Camera Crew Camera operator: MARTIN M c G rath Focus puller: La u r ie B a lm e r Camera assistant: T rish K e atin g 2nd camera operator: MURRAY W are Camera type: PANAFLEX G old Camera equipment: PANAVISION

Samuelson Film Services B MD J T D G R A H

Key grip: rett c owell Grip: ohn ate Gaffer: avid PARKINSON Best boy: reg awson 3rd electrics: dam unter 4th electrics: SCOTT COPELAND

On - set Crew

M P T G M A J ML D C C B A R C W P S J L Z E J M S S

1st assistant director: onica earce 2nd assistant director: ony ilbert 3rd assistant director: ichael gnew Continuity: oanna c ennan Video split attachment: amian hurch Boom operator: raig eggs Make-up: manda owbottom Hairdresser: heryl illiams Special effects: eter tubbs Special effects assistant: eff ittle Stunts co-ordinator: ev leftheriou Still photography: ennifer itchell Catering: weet eduction

77


^production Production Survey Rob Bailey

A rt D epartment

H

B

Art director: ugh ateup Assistant art co-ordinator:

Christina Norman Simon McCutcheon, Zlatko Kasumovic Props buyer: Marian Murray Standby props: Dean Sullivan Vehicle co-ordinator: JOHN ALLAN

Set dressers:

W ardrobe Standby:

Keryn Ribbands

Construction D epartment

S H O

Construction manager: yd artley Carpenter: an van lphen

J

Post- production

R

O F

Assistant editor: ochelle shlack Editing assistant: elinda ithie Sound editor: lenn ewnham Laboratory: Tape transfers: AAV Rushes theatre: emac heatre Sound transfers: ugene ilson Sound post-production: Music co-ordinator: hris ough Stock: odak

G

B

N ClNEVEX

L E

K

T W EUGENE WILSON C G

Government A gency I nvestment

Production: FFC, Film Victoria Cast

Aden Young (Ben), Bill Hunter (Vincent), Essie Davis (Wendy), Tammy Macintosh (Sharon), J oy Smithers (Marcia), Sullivan Stapleton (Chris), Lois Ramsey (Edna), Matthew D'Brass (Leon) n ambitious, unscrupulous young real-estate agent tricks his way into buying a valuable plot of land occupied by a community centre, but is redeemed into a gallant attempt to save it.

ROAD TO NHILL Production company: Gecko Films Distribution company: Ronin Films Budget: $1.85 Million Pre-production: 04/9/95-26/10/95 Production: 27/10/95-15/12/95 Post-production: 15/1/96-27/7/96

Principal Credits

SUE B S M ALISON TlLSON

Director: rooks Producer: ue aslin Scriptwriter: Director of photography:

Nicolette Freeman Sound recordist: Mark Tarpey Editor: TONY STEVENS Production designer: Georgina Campbell Costume designer: Louise McCarthy Composer: Elizabeth Drake P lanning Casting:

and

D evelopment

PROTOTYPE CASTING

P roduction Crew

E ARGENZIO S REVELINS A M CHARLOTTE SEYMOUR S T EMMA MORONEY G H R O

Production manager: lisa Production co-ordinator: andi Production secretary: nna olyneaux Location manager: Unit manager: ean ennant Production runner: Production accountant: ina allas Insurer: ichard liver Completion guarantor:

Motion Picture Guarantors Legal services: ROTH WARREN Camera Crew

Camera operator: Robin P lunkett Focus puller: WARRIK LAWRENCE Clapper-loader: ANDREWW Co m m is Key grip: IAN BENELLACK Assistant grip: T om JANNIKE Gaffer: Paul J ohnstone Best boy: G raham Cook Electrician: B rett COOPER Rushes runner: CHRISTOPHER DAVENPORT

On - set Crew

1st assistant director: Chris Lynch

78

A rt D epartment

Art director: ALLISON Pye Props buyer: Peter Foster Standby props: Angi VELICKOVIC Action vehicle co-ordinator: RALPH PRICE W ardrobe

Standby wardrobe: Amanda Sedawie Wardrobe assistant:JILL JOHANSON

UNDER THE LIGHTHOUSE DANCING THE ZONE

Shorts STALKER

DE PASQUALE PICTURES

Production Company: Pre-production: 26/2-7/3/96 Production: 8/3-9/3/96 Post-production: 11/3-1/4/96

T P TONY DE PASQUALE TONY DE PASQUALE D B B K L E MICHAEL B

Camera Crew

MG J Z A G LOCKE A F

Assistant editor: Ronnie Reinhardt Edge numberer: Film Sync - Oliver Streeton Sound transfers by: Eugene Wilson Sound Services Sound editor: A Room With A Vu - Craig Carter, Livia Ruzic Narrator: Phillip Adams Musical director: Elizabeth Drake Laboratory: Cinevex Laboratory liaison: an nderson Film gauge: mm mm blow up Shooting stock: odak

On -S et Crew

J ackie Manger Chris 'Gamon' Healy Melissa Collins Nathan Kime

Make-up: Still photography: Unit publicist: Catering:

P ost- production

16mm Kodak 7293 CuttingEdge

- )

Film gauge: Shooting stock: Video transfers by:

Government A gency I nvestment

Cast

Development:

Caroline Dunphy (Annie), Damien Garvey (Toby).

Australian Film Commission Production: Film Victoria, AFC Cast

Bill Hunter (Bob), Tony Barry (J im), Lynette Curran (Margot), Monica Maughan (Nell), Patricia Kennedy (J ean), Lois Ramsey (Carmel), Paul Chubb (Maurie), Alwyn Kurts (Jack), Matt Dyktynski (Bret), Bill Young (Brian), Terry Norris (Ted) his film is in the tradition of the Aussie yarn. It is a comedy about a fictitious small country town and the day a car accident happens which ends up involving the whole town. Bowling ladies, husbands and fire engines go in all directions. And everyone has a different version of events.

T

Awaiting Release See previous issues for details on the following: CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION DATING THE ENEMY DAVID WILLIAMSON'S BRILLIANT LIES DEAD HEART FIRST STRIKE (FORMERLY the story of c.i.a .) FLOATING LIFE LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPES LOVE SERENADE LUST AND REVENGE MR RELIABLE (formerly my entire life) THE QUIET ROOM

A

dark, noisy house involving earplugs and intruders is indeed a dangerous thing.

Planning

and

D evelopment

Production Crew Production manager: A nnette G over Production co-ordinator: K errie M ainw aring Production secretary: JENNY NlCOLSON Location manager: Suzi Parker Unit manager: DJURO BANDUR

(tele-feature)

A rt D epartment

Production company: R obert B runing P roductions Network presale: S even Production: 9/4/96-14/5/96

P rincipal Credits Director: M ichael O ffer Producer: ROBERT BRUNING Scriptwriter: T ed ROBERTS

Government A gency I nvestment Commercial Television Production Fund

he story of a young Aboriginal policeman and the city detective he is forced to work with while investigating a series of murders in the outback.

T

Angelo Karagedrgiou, Peter Ashman Prospersons: CLAUDE FORTUNATO, Tim W escott, Peter Fitzgerald Props buyer: Adrian Cannon

WHIPPING BOY (tele- feature) Production company: JNP Films Network: T en Production: 15/4/96-11/5/96

W ardrobe

ROSEMARY GRANT, Mary Christodoulou Standby wardrobe: Liz Gill

Wardrobe supervisors:

Principal Credits Director: Dl DREW Producer: Ray A lchin Executive producer: JAMES DAVERN Scriptwriter: PETER YELDHAM

P ost-P roduction

Mark Spessot JULIAN MORGAN, J ikou Sugano, J ohn Salter Musical director: Mario MlLLO Mixer: Noel CANTRILL, Oliver JUNKER Titles: Kim Hamilton Video gauge: SP BETACAM Editing assistant: Sound editor:

G overnment A gency I nvestment Commercial Television Production Fund

Cast R ebecca G ibney

A

M arketing

Publicity: Gretta Lee, Susie Cameron

ACADEMY

O n-going series about life in a suburban general practice. Cast

BEAST

Steve Bisley (Dr Henry King), Melissa J affer (Dr Maureen Riordan), Lenka Kripac (Vesna Kapek), Leah Vandenburg (Dr Yasmin Richards).

BEVERLEY HILLS FAMILY ROBINSON THE BITE BLINKY BILL'S EXTRAORDINARY EXCURSION

KANGAROO PALACE mins)

A S SEVEN

Production company: rtist ervices Network: Production: 29/4/96-26/7/96

BLUE HEELERS FIRE II

P rincipal Credits

R Marchand EWAN BURNETT Andrew Knight, Steve Vizard, Rebecca Gibney Scriptwriters: Andrew Knight, Deborah Cox Script editor: J ohn Alsop Director of photography: Kim Batterham Director: ob Producer: Executive producers:

FLIPPER HALIFAX F.P. HEARTBREAK HIGH HEAT HOME & AWAY

Government A gency I nvestment

HOUSE GANG

Commercial Television Production Fund

KLINE'S BOTTLE

Cast

Rebecca Gibney A

love story between four people and two countries S ee previous issues for deatils on :

Synopsis

(series 8)

Medical advisors: Carol Long , M ary T hompson Story editor: S helley B irse Casting: M aura Fay & A ssoc Extras casting: JENNY NlCOLSON Script editors: Louise C rane , Robyn S inclair , G rant M cA loon

THETERRITORIANS

Set dresser:

(mini-series; 2 x 92

Principal Credits

hildren's fantasy adventure series.

O n -S et Crew

G.P.

Directors: M arcus N orth , Karin K reicers , P eter A ndrikiois , T ony T ilse Producer: P eter A ndrikiois Co-producer: VILLAGE ROADSHOW P ictures TV /A B C Executive producers: M att Carroll , S ue S mith Scriptwriters: R obyn S inclair , P eter N eale , M ichael M iller , M ary M erris , Felicity Packard , G rant M cA loon Directors of photography: K en P ettigren , Paul T urner , G eoff M a n ia s , I an W arburton Sound recordists: PETER GRACE, G rant S hepherd Editors: NICOLE La MACCHIA, J acquie B etlem Production designer: L eigh T ierney Designers: R obyn W ill ia m s , K aren Land Composer: M ario MlLLO

C

1st assistant director: Russell WHITEOAK, Francesca Belli, J onathan Swain 2nd assistant director: ANDREWAnicic, Rachael Heath Continuity: LOUISE JOHNSON, FRANCOISE Fombertaux, Susan Kerrigan Boom operator: Bob WILLIAMS Make-up: Bozena Zurek, CHRISTINA Ehlert, Alan Mead, J uliet W oods Still photography: MELISSA LlNGARD Unit publicist: Gretta Lee, Susie Cameron Catering: J aws CATERING

Television Production

Production Company: ABC TV, V illage R oadshow P ictures TV

H eather M itchell

Murray Tonkin, Dave Maguire, Bronwyn Allomes Camera assistant: Andrew W0RSSAM Camera type: Sony Betacam SP 400 Key grip: ANGUS GOWAN Gaffer: J on Prentice Best boy: Ian Mackie Generator operator: J ohn Clarke

T

Focus puller: ony c rath Clapper-loader: uliet abik Camera type: rri 16 SR 2 Key grip: reg Gaffer: lex itzsimmons

P ost- production

I A 16 (35 K

Camera Crew

P rincipal Credits

Director: ony de asquale Producer: Scriptwriter: Director of photography: avid arker Sound recordist: asil rivoroutchko Production designer: aura lkington Composer: urke

G overnment A gency I nvestment Production: FFC, Film V ictoria Cast

Camera operator:

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (formerly the small man )

2nd assistant director: Paul Rogan 3rd assistant director: TONI RAYNES Continuity: CATE LAPHAM Boom operator: Malcolm Hughes Make-up: Peggy Carter Make-up assistant: JODI LOCKE Special fx: PETER STUBBS Stunts co-ordinator: CHRIS PETERS Stunts: Russell Allan Safety supervisor: PETER CuLPAN Unit nurse: Helen Cox Still photography: JENNIFER MITCHELL Unit publicist: Miranda Brown Catering: Helen Clarke - Red Star Cafe

Puller

Anne-marie Simon-Mayer

SHINE

continued Chaperone:

A

Production asssitant: dam Accounts assistant:

NEIGHBOURS

love story between four people and two countries.

MERCURY OCEAN GIRL 3

SPELLBINDER II: THE LAND OFTHE DRAGON LORD

PACIFIC DRIVE

(series)

PLACE OF THE DEAD

Production company: ilm ustralia Network presale: ine Production: 5/96-3/97

PLASMO

F A N

Principal Credits

POLICE RESCUE

N P NOEL PRICE R S ZoE W M S , J ohn Thomson Director of photography: DANNY BATTERHAM Production designer: Nicholas McCallum Costume designer: JULIE MIDDLETON Editor: PlPPA ANDERSON Director: oel rice Producer: Executive producer: on aunders Associate producer: ang Scriptwriters: ark hirrefs

THE SILVER BRUMBY SWEAT TABALUGA: THE LITTLE GREEN DRAGON US AND THEM WATER RATS WHITE LIES

C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;¢ J UN E 1996


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7 8 6 7 7 ___________ 1 NB: "Nihil obstat [Lat., 'nothingstands intheway'] Words appearingonthetitle page or elsewhere inthe preliminarypages [...] indicatingthat it has beenapprovedas free of doctrinal or moral error"

-

A panel o f nine film reviewer* ha* rated a delection o f the late*t release* on a *cale o f 0 to 10, the latter being the optimum rating (a da*h mean* not *een). The critic* are: B ill Collin* (F x on Foxtel); B arbara Creed (The Age); Sandra H a ll (The B ulletin); P au l H arri* ( “The Green Guide", The Age); Stan Jante* (The Adelaide Advertider); A drian M artin (The Age; “The Week in Film", Radio N ational); Tom R yan (The Sunday Age); D avid Stratton (Variety; SB S ); and Evan W illiam * (The Audtralian).


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Cinema Papers No.110 June 1996  

Cinema Papers No.110 June 1996  

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