Page 1

Director: Bill Bennett DOP: Malcolm McCulloch

LOVE SERENADE Director: Shirley Barrett DOP: Mandy Walker



D ire c tX Steven Vidler DOP: Martin McGrath




rector: Chris Kennedy DOP: Andrew Lesnie

THE BENEFICIARY Director: Graeme Burfoot DOP: Danny Pope

Director: Clara Law DOP: Dion Beebe

Director: David Caesar DOP: Joseph Pickering




I N S I G H T S inbits



D E C E M B E R 19 9 7


F O C U S 2



Inside the Dem ocratic People's Republic of Korea. SOLRUN HOAAS



Aboriginal N ations' 10-Step Program m e. PAUL KALINA



45th Festival International de Cine, San Sebastian.

All in a day's wo r k


Leading Australian com posers Cezary Skubiszew ski and D avid Hirshfelder, and Frenchman Eric Serra, reveal the magic they bring to their favourite directors' work.

M andy W alker learned her craft the hard way: as a runner, clapper-loader and by lobbm g back the barbs of the male techos. On the eve of receiving an A FI nomination as D O P of The Well, she talked to M argaret Smith.



The Titanic's re-berth.



FILMS: Heaven o Burning,

U Turn, The End of Violence, Will It Snow For Chriotmao. BOOKS: Crime Seenee: Movie Pooter Art of the Film Noir; The Cinedie Period: 1911-1959, plus books received. SOUNDTRACK: Leo Parapluieo de Cherbourg



d irty dozen



The Ugly

M ichael Plelms talks to the m akers of a N ew Zealand creature-feature that has more in common with Neighbouro than meets the eye.

says Muchael Helms, of a N ew Zealand horror films that honours its pedigree.

The uglier the better,



d irect from the London, Locarno, Montreal, Auckland, Melbourne,


Aspen and Gijon


H arry Sinclair’s feature début, Topleoo Women Talk About Their Liveo, reveals the freshness and originality of Kiwi cinema. 62

Edinburgh, Wellington, Film Festivals

Isolation. Com e d y and F i l m m a k i n g in New Zealand



“The freshest, cheekiest and most engaging film from across the Tasman in years” • Paul Byrnes. Sydney Film Fest.



116 Argyle St, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia 3065 PO Box 2221, Fitzroy MDC, VIC 3065 Tel: (03) 9416 2644 Fax: (03) 9416 4088 email: cp@parkhouse.com.au

N E W S , V I E W S , A N D MO R E N E W S , ETC.


ust finished its touring season is the 1997 Festival of Jewish Cinema,

GONE ONE DAY, BACK THE NEXT t was widely reported in the press (and on the pages of this magazine) that several minutes of dialogue were excised from the Australian release print of Craig Lahiffs Heaven’s Burn­ ing. The decision to cut the film has


which featured Jewish films from all over the world. Highlights included Lucie Aubrac, from France’s Claude Berri; / Love Y o u ... Don’t Touch Me! by American Julie Davis; and French­ man Claude Lanzmann’s Un Vivant Qui Passe.

since been reversed, and the film will be released in Australia in the same version as elsewhere. According to the film’s writer, Louis Nowra, who con­ demned the cut, the decision was reversed after the wave of publicity (the story was front-page news of The Sydney Daily Telegraph) and in view of the success of the film at the Toronto Film Festival and sales to numerous overseas territories.


perating around the Newtown area of Sydney in November was their first film festival, LOCALEYES, films under the flight path. This com­ munity event was established to encourage local, low-budget talent. The festival was separated into four categories: Short-form Documentary, Silent Films with Live Scores, Hand­ made Animation, and an Open section. or the second year running, the Great Inflatable Film Festival is happening down at Wylie’s Ocean Baths, Coogee Beach, on 6 December. A screen will be set up at one end of the pool, with the audience in the pool itself, and short films, docos, news­ reels and surf films will make up the programme. A cinematic pool party on a grand scale.

FESTIVALS COMING OUT OF OUR EARS! he seventh annual Women on



Women (WOW) Film Festival is currently touring around Australia. Features screening include Thank God He Met Lizzie J u s t for the Ride, Tall Timbers and Road to Nhill. Short films and seminars will also make up the Festival.

m 3


Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio)

and Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet). James Cameron’s Titanic.


own Tasmania way during Janu­ ary 1998 is the Edge of the World Film Festival, running from 15 January to 1 February in Hobart. The Festival will include outdoor screen­ ings, the 1998 National Short Film and Video Competition, and a Super 8 competition. For more information, ring Brenton Venables or Graeme Wend-Walker: (61.3) 6223 4930 he Australian Effects and Anima­ tion Festival (AEAF) is calling for


entries for its 1998 awards. Categories include Commercials, Education and Training Films, Feature Films, Music Videos, Short Films, Simulation, Titles, Idents and Stings, and Student work. The Festival will run from 18-20 March. Entries close 23 January 1998 and forms are available from: Aus-

- v;.=.


Editor: Scott Murray Deputy Editor: Paul Kalina Editorial Assistance: Tim Hunter Advertising: Terry Haebich Subscriptions: Mina Carattoli Accounts: Lindsay Zamudio Proofreading: Arthur Salton Office Cat: Oddspot Legal: Dan Pearce (Holding Redlich) MTV Board of Directors: Ross Dimsey (Chairman), Natalie Miller, Matthew Learmonth, Penny Attiwili, Michael Dolphin Founding Publishers: Peter Beilby, Scott Murray, Philippe Mora Design & Production: Parkhouse Publishing Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9347 8882 Printing: Printgraphics Pty Ltd Film: Condor Group Distribution: Network Distribution © COPYRIGHT 1997 MTV PUBLISHING LIMITED Signed articles represent the views of the authors and not neces­ sarily those of the editor and publisher. While every care is taken with manuscripts and materials supplied to the magazine, neither the editor nor the publisher can accept liability for any loss or damage which may arise. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the copyright owners. Cinema Papers is published by MTV Publishing Limited, 116 Argyle St, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia 3065, and is indexed by FIAF.


contributors Lin d s a y A m o s

S yd n ey

is a

w r it e r and



hile we’re on a roll from last issue, here’s another ten casting disasters:

1. Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet in his self-directed 1997 version. Too old, too blond, too Ken!

2. William Hurt as Edward Fairfax Rochester in Jane Eyre (Franco Zeffirelli, 1996). Hurt is often miscast, but he certainly wasn’t made for this part. Bring back Orson. 3 . Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl in Batman and Robin Qoel Schumacher, 1997). Apart from the vicious rumours about her weight problem during the shoot of this film, she just doesn’t belong in motorcycle leathers, let alone the rubber suit. 4* Rachel Griffiths as Kate in To Have and To Hold Qohn Hillcoat, 1996). She’s a great actress, and she does well in this heavy-handed melodrama, but she’s far too streetwise to play the naive Fontaine-esque romance writer. 5 . Chris O’Donnell as Ernest Hemingway in Sir Richard Attenborough’s In Love and War (1997). Trying to believe that this laddish boy, as played by O’Donnell, will become one of the 20th centu­ ry’s greatest writers is one impossible task too many before breakfast. 6 . Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (George


Cukor, 1964). She’s gorgeous, of course, and the gowns she wears at Ascot and the ball make great use of that beauty, but we all know that Julie Andrews would have been much, much better.

7 . John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the film of the same name (Henry Levin, 1965). He really should have stuck to 10-gallon hats and leather vests, and not even bothered with Mongolian battle armour. 8 . Meg Ryan as Maggie in Addicted to Love (Griffin Dunne, 1997). Ryan is a good actress, and she’s proved she’s not just a wacky lovable chick, but she’s definitely not a grunge girl with attitude - she’s far too good. 9* Gabriel Byrne as the Mechanic in Smilla’s Sense o f Snow (Bille August, 1997). How does an actor like Byrne make brooding and enigmatic so boring? Another case of just not being right for this part. 1 0 . Meryl Streep as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from The Edge (Mike Nichols, 1990). Modelled on the life of actress Carrie Fishem’s relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Streep is supposed to be young enough to be the daughter of Shirley Maclaine’s character, Doris Mann, but we don’t buy that. Oh, I

and she can really sing country and western, too.

John Co n o m o s t ea c h es of Fine A r t s , S y d n e y . M ic h a el H elm s

ed its

C ollege

at the

Fa ta l Vis io n s .



Ch e r r y R ip e , A ya


P yo n g yan g D ia r ie s . M ic h a el K itso n WRITER ON FILM. B ruce M olloy and

is a

is a

T e lev isio n


Ba r r ie Pa t tiso n

M elbo u rn e

P r o fes so r



B ond U n iv e r s it y .

is a film d ir ec to r

and w r it er on f il m .

D in a R o ss

is a freela n ce jo u r n a list

AND BROADCASTER, AND REVIEWS THEATRE for Th e A g e . Ma r g a r e t S m it h

is a

S yd n ey

w r it er

AND DIRECTOR. C lare S t e w a r t

m an a ges the

M elbo u rn e C in ém a t h èq u e h o sts

an d co ­

Film B u f f ’s F o r e c a s t


R. J. T h o m p so n

lectu r es in the

D ep a r tm en t

C in em a S t u d ie s


3 RRR.


La T ro be U n iv e r s it y . A n d r ew L. U rban and

A ustra lian

is a w r it e r on film

c o r r e s p o n d e n t for

M o vin g P ic t u r e s . Kenneth Branagh as Himseif/Hamlet.

M o n ica Z etlin

is a p r o d u c e r ’ s



Dark city True love And

Babe II Xena


Heartbreak Tales O f T h e S outh Seas PARADISE Water Rats T h e e

t w in ter


OSCAR AND LUCINDA L ove S e r e n a d e

BABE Doing Time For Patsy Cline

BLACKROCK Fistful O f Flies

Id io t


Hoad To -Nilill T h a n k God H e M et L iz z ie

Roar THE RIPPER F am ily C rackers Dead Letter Office TheW^cll DGddHodft

Paw s The Island Of Dr. Moreau TWS

*£& FLOATING LIFE Good Guys B a d Guys

diana And Me Dating The Enemy Cameras and Lenses by A -f^ A N A V / S fD N


Samuelson Film Service (Australia) Ply Ltd

SYDNEY (0 2 )


1 8 4 4

• MELBOURNE (0 3 ) 9 6 4 6 3 0 4 4 • GOLD COAST (0 7 ) 5 5 8 8 6 5 4 3


S p o t fUe D iffe re n c e

tralian Effects and Animation Festival, PO Box 250, Bondi junction, NSW 2022 f you’re looking a little further afield, Movies on a Shoestring Inc. is calling for entries for the 40th Annual Rochester International Film Festival in the state of New York, USA. Any gauge of film or video format


(NTSC) is eligible, and the deadline is 16 February 1998. For entry forms, write to: Movies on a Shoestring, PO Box 17746, Rochester, New York 14617, USA n Melbourne, the 1998 Café Provin­ cial Comedy Film Festival, now in its 3rd year, is looking for entries, but only if they’re funny, 10 minutes or less and finished on 16mm. Cash prizes totalling $9,000, and a screening in front of a large outdoor audience on Sunday 5 April 1998 are up for grabs. Entries close 6 March 1998. Forms are available from: Café Provincial, 299 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Phone (61.3) 9417 2228 or fax (61.3) 9416 1460.


CINEMEDIA’S NEW ACCESS ictoria’s Cinemedia Access Collection has moved to the new address of 222 Park St South Mel­ bourne. Opened on 22 October by the state Minister for Multimedia, Alan Stockdale, it is the largest film and video collection in the country, and now includes the National Library’s Film and Video Lending Collection, which has been relocated from Canberra. The website is http://www.cineme-


dia.net GLOBE MANAGES STANMORE he Globe Group has recently taken up management of the Stanmore Cinema in Sydney. Owned by Greater Union but managed by a pri­ vate company for the past eight years, the Stanmore Cinema was launched as a Globe venue on 16 October.


PALACE IN THE WEST ce Cinemas Pty Ltd and Palace Enterprises Ltd have entered final negotiations in a joint venture partnership between the two compa­ nies at the Ace Subiaco Cinema complex in Perth. Operations management and administration responsibilities will be retained by


Ace, while Palace will handle program­ ming, marketing and promotions. MULTIMEDIA CENTRE OPENS IN MELBOURNE pen Channel’s new Multimedia Centre was opened in Novem-

O 4


On the second matter van Niekerk ra ise s-th e participation of Australian actors - their involvement in The Piano

hat constitutes an Australian film has long been a con­

tentious issue. Some consider Green Card (Peter Weir, 1990) Australian but throw their hands up in horror at those who declare Lorenzo’s Oil (George Miller, 1992) as such. Yet they are near identical cases: both were written and developed in Australia by Australians; both were directed in the

States by Australians, with significant Australian crew participation; and both were post-produced in Australia. Two more recent cases are The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993) and William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996). Now, while The Piano was allowed to win several AFI Awards as an Australian film, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has been adjudged by the AFI as a “ Foreign Film” (even though the film’s producers did not enterthe film in the AFI Awards). According to the AFI, Romeo & Juliet would have been ineligible under the AFI Awards Rules and Reg­ ulations as an Australian film. The relevant section of the Rules reads: To be eligible for an AFI Award a film or television production must have been produced, but not necessarily filmed, in Australia using significant levels of Australian participation in cast and key creative production roles, and/or Australian facilities. In addition, all official co-produc­ tions made under the Australian Film Commission’s guidelines are regarded as Australian films. To the question of why The Piano was eligible as an Australian film, but Romeo & Juliet considered “for­ eign”, the AFI’s Awards Manager, Lindsay van Niekerk, states that The Piano was eligible as a co-prol ductlon. She adds that Romeo & Juliet didn’t have any Australians in the cast and is not a co-production. On the first point, van Niekerk is wrong: The Piano was not an “official co-production” made under AFC guide­ lines, as the AFI’s own rules require.1

is restricted to that of Genevieve Lemon (Nessie) and Kerry Walker (Aunt Morag), neither of which can be considered as major roles. Is the AFI, therefore, suggesting that the decisions to classify one as Australian, but the other not, came down to the involvement of two sup­ porting actors? Should it not have been more relevant that Baz Luhrmann is Australian (unlike the New Zealandborn Campion) and that Romeo & Juliet employed an Australian DOP, Don McAlpine (unlike The Piano which used a New Zealand one, Stuart Dryburgh)? This is not to imply that The Piano should have been ineligible for the 1993 AFI Awards, but that, according to the AFI’s own rules, it was wrong to catego­ rize Romeo & Juliet as a “Foreign Film”. One would never wish to exclude co-productions from the AFI Awards (they are a reality of modern Australian filmmaking). Equally, one should not, as the AFI has, exclude Australian films made overseas outside co-production treaties which have a higher degree of Australian participation than official co-productions. But to stick to the controversy

C o ìr c i


Lead male(s)

Developed in








Kost-produced in







\ A M E R IC A N


Official co-production



Shot in

AFI Definition



; Lead remate




i-manced in



tditor Production designer



Producer(s) DOP

1 What’s more, at the time of the 1993 AFI Awards, the AFI went to consider­ able lengths to fend off criticism of the film’s inclusion by newspaper critics and industry commentators, pointing out that the heavy involvement of Aus­ tralian personnel, particularly in the area of post-production, qualified it as an Australian film. This is not what the AFI is saying today, or it would be dutybound to accept Romeo & Juliet as well.


| Director Writer(s)

of the moment: Which out of The Piano and Romeo & Juliet is the more Australian film? The following chart, where all key non-Australian elements are italicized, leaves little doubt.











ln A U S T R A L IA

S U I T E 4 239 P A C I F I C H W Y N O R T H S Y D N E Y N S W P H ( 6 1 2 ) 9955 7300 E M A IL

F A X ( 6 1 2 ) 9954 0175

fram ew ks@ ozem ail.com .au


mbits ber, thanks to some generous funding from the Victorian Government’s special Multimedia 21 Fund. The Centre features some sexy state-of-the-art stuff, such as an Access Studio, Digital Skills Site, 3D Animation suites and Non-linear Editing facilities. It’s the fourth multi­ media centre to open in Australia: Perth, Adelaide and Sydney already have multimedia centres, but appar­ ently Melbourne’s is the largest. ENTERPRISING AUNTY BC Enterprises has announced its first foray into theatrical film distribution with the Miramax/BBC


Rims production, Her Majesty Mrs Brown, directed by John Madden, and starring Judi Dench (that’s Dame to you) and Billy Connolly, it tells the story of Queen Victoria and her rela­ tionship with her Scottish servant, John Brown. The film will be released in early 1998, and ABC Enterprises says it will be the first theatrical release of many. ATOMIC WINNERS he 1997 ATOM Australian


B e s t V ir t u a l R e a l it y P r o d u c t

S p e c ia l A w a r d W in n e r

The Tower (RMIT)

High Art, North Richmond Community Health Centre

B e s t M u l t im e d ia G a m e

Ceremony o f Innocence, Real World Multimedia M o s t E n t e r t a in in g M u l t im e d ia

G o ld ATOM

Ceremony o f Innocence, Real World Multimedia

at the Montréal Film Festival earlier this year for her performance as Nikki in Kiss o r Kill. Another Kiss or Kill win at Montréal

P r o d u c t io n

Ceremony o f Innocence, Real World Multimedia B e s t T r a in in g M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

Key Competencies Professional Development, Department of Education & Children’s Services B e s t ‘O n -L in e ’ M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

The Lab-ABC Science Online, ABC Multimedia C r e a t iv e / I n n o v a t iv e M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

Ceremony o f Innocence, Real World Multimedia B e s t C o r p o r a t e M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

National Interactive, Anderson Consulting & National Bank Australia B e s t I n t e r f a c e D e s ig n

performance as Guy in Cherie Nowlan’s Thank God He Met Lizzie. This follows Lizzie co-star Frances O’Connor’s win

in a

M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

Embodiment, Che Tamahori

KODAK IN THE PICTURE he National Sound & Film Archive has named Kodak as an Honorary Member of the Archive Foundation. The foundation is dedi­ cated to the preservation of Australia’s film heritage. This follows the presen­ tation of the Ken G. Hall Award to Kodak for its Outstanding Contribution to Film Preservation in Australia during the Australian Movie Conven­ tion in Surfers Paradise. Previous recipients include Rupert Murdoch and Peter Weir.


MORE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS ichard Roxburgh is the latest ■ ^ T \u s tra lla n actor to win an award at an international film festival. Roxburgh recently won the Best Actor award at the 1997 Verona Film Festival: Schermi d’Amore for his

was sound designer Wayne Pashley, who won Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema for his soundtrack to the film. It was chosen for its highly-detailed and -complex track, and was regarded as the most outstanding aspect of all the films presented at the Festival. Very rarely does sound get a guernsey in such a broad category. APPOINTMENTS he Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has appointed Doris Petrevic as Revenues Manager, a newly-developed position. Petrevic comes from a film and television financial management background, specializing as a project and systems analyst. She has previ­ ously worked with Roadshow Film


Distributors in Melbourne, and with BBC Television in London.



International Multimedia Awards

Jumpcut...Markwmts._behf...becc.oL.tiveandle wé style

were announced recently, and the winners are: B e s t P r im a r y S c h o o l M u l t im e d ia Reso u rce

Fire Ed - Be Cool When It’s Hot, Metropolitan Rre Brigade B e s t S e c o n d a r y S c h o o l M u l t im e d ia Reso u rce

Fro n tier-S tories from White Australia’s Forgotten War, Dataworks Australia/ABC B e s t E d u c a t io n a l M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n

Ingenious, Radiant Productions B e s t M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n by a

P r im a r y S t u d e n t

Student Produced Multimedia - MLC, Methodist Ladies’ College B e s t M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n by a

S eco ndary S tudent

Resume, Simon Darwent, Eumemmerring Secondary College B e s t M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t io n by a

T e r t ia r y S t u d e n t

Embodiment, Che Tamahori B e s t Us e


A n im a t io n

in a

M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t

Bananas in Pyjamas - It’s Fun Time, Dataworks Australia/ABC B e s t Us e


G r a p h ic s

in a

M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t

Line o f Sight, Che Tamahori B e s t Us e




in a



atching Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson’s A Per­ sonal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies recently, I was struck by how very much we had in common, cinematically speaking. Like Scorsese, I was bowled over at a tender age by King Vidor’s DUEL IN THE SUN (1946). I’d seen many a Roy

Rogers cowboy film while at kinder­ garten (taken to the cinema almost daily by a bored grandmother), and I knew that in Westerns the good guys won. But not in this one. When nasty Gregory Peck gunned down stalwart Joseph Cotten my world was turned upside down. The lurid colours, the eroticism (which, of course, I didn’t in the least comprehend), the sonorous narration (by Orson Welles, as I later discovered), the Dimitri Tlomkin music -th is was the film that hooked me, at the age of 6V2. Other cinematic lightning bolts? Seeing, in 1956, in a sleazy fleapit in

M u l t im e d ia P r o d u c t

Birmingham, Charles Laughton’s shat­ tering THE NIGHTOFTHE HUNTER

Three Mile Creek, RMIT Animation and Interactive Media

(1955), and later discovering it was

banned in my new home, Australia. Did ever a film confound expectations like this one? A week later, at a much grander cinema in the same city, see­ ing John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS (1956), another unexpected film (wasn’t John Wayne supposed to be a hero?). Discovering MGM musicals at the Classic at Baker St a year later — about ten of them screened in as many days - and dashing out to buy 78s of the soundtracks from second­ hand bins in Charing Cross Road. Seeing my first Japanese film, SHICHININ NO SAMURAI (Seven

about an hour’s running time, played on the bottom half of a double bill in a provincial cinema; the top half of the bill, EYEWITNESS (Muriel Box, 1956), an innocuous British thriller, which featured Michael Craig and the No. 1 pin-up girl of my teenage years, Belinda Lee. Understandably, I made no sense of the Chauvel at the time (I was impatient to get to Belinda). Finally, I must add a word about the vast number of B movies to which I thrilled in my teens: Jack Arnold’s THE GLASS WEB (1953), murder in a TV station; Joseph H. Lewis’ A LAW­

Samurai, Akira Kurosawa, 1954), and my first Swedish film, SOMMARNAT-

LESS STREET (1955), hero Randolph Scott gunned down by bad guy

TENS LEENDE (Smiles o f a Summer

Michael Pate; Jacques Tourneur’s NIGHTFALL (1956), nasty goings on with a snow plough; Phil Karlson’s THE BROTHERS RICO (1957), noir at

Night, Ingmar Bergman, 1955), and being completely gobsmacked by A BOUT DE SOUFFLE (Breathless, JeanLuc Godard, 1959) - it was discovery that this film, and the Laughton, had been banned in Australia that helped make me an implacable of censorship of all kinds. The first Australian film I saw was JEDDA (Charles Chauvel, 1955), ignominiously cut down to

its most nightmarish; Don Siegel’s BABY FACE NELSON (1957), Mickey Rooney in full flight; Paul Wendkos’ THE BURGLAR (1956), Dan Duryea

betrayed by Jayne Mansfield. These are just a few of the movies I adore indiscriminately.


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inbits Film Queensland has also announced the retirement of Ross Dimsey as head of the organization. Dimsey has been with Film Queens­ land for three years, and is now returningto his career as a filmmaker.

Paul Chick, Frans Vandenberg, David Sheridan and Nora Gustos.

Hugh Short, Daniel Nettheim, Robert Connolly and Jonathan Green.


A BITE & A BOUQUET D e a r E d it o r ,

I’ve been catching up on my Cinema Papers reading. I must congratulate you on maintaining such a high stan­ dard in the magazine. Great job! For the record, regarding the arti­ cle by Ian Stocks on Newsfront (<Cinema Papers, no. 115, April 1997, pp. 20-5, 46, 47) and the subsequent letters (no. 117, June 1997, p. 9): David Stratton’s account in The Last Wave is accurate and Stocks has his facts right. Incidentally, Stocks never spoke to me about the article or interviewed me regarding any facts. When Newsfront was released I initiated legal action against David Elfick and his company to gain the credit that was within my rights. I engaged Ian Baillieu in Melbourne to represent me. The matter was settled when Elfick agreed to give me a “Con­ cept” credit in the credits of the film. The credit appeared in all interna­ tional versions of the film, but apparently never appeared in any Australian version of the film. All the best Philippe Mora D e a r E d it o r ,

M iro Bilbrough, Vincent Sheehan and Barbara Masel.

Linda Cropper, Brendan Show and Ann Tsoulis.



Sydney still prove to be the best place to be photographed while in the company of other film-type persons. This latest crop were spotted at September’s Industry Night at the Chauvel, where four short films, Rust Bucket (Robert Connolly), Titsiano Booberini (Robert Luketic), Look Into My Eyes (Harriet McKern) and Revi­ sionism (Rachel Landers) were screened. The filmmakers were also on hand to talk about their creations.

CORRIGENDUM eter Best was incorrectly listed


as Composer of Ana Kokkinos’ Head On in the Production Survey, Cinema Papers, #121, p. 58. Cinema Papers apologizes for this error, which was made in-house.


email: cp@parkhouse.com.au

It is a relief to know that Cinema Papers is one publication which allows a significant space for detailed and critical analysis of screen cultural issues. Regretfully, these spaces are becoming few and far between. I read Clare Stewart’s piece (Cin­ ema Papers, no. 121, November 1997, pp. 8-9,11) with much interest and am thankful for her analysis of the 1997 Melbourne International Film Festival. Her critical comments are noted and appreciated. However, there are some issues which I would like to clarify and respond to. The “wash-up” has been com­ pleted and I am pleased to say that the 1997 Festival was a considerable success. Audience numbers increased by 24 percent and ticket sales by 20 percent. The Festival consolidated itself as a major CBD-based arts event, increased its profile through extensive publicity and key media associations, and hosted nearly 40 local and international guests, includ­ ing Kevin Spacey, one of the most high-profiled guests the Festival has had the honour to host. The forums and discussions programme was expanded and masterclasses were held for the first time. The Festival introduced curators who provided specialist knowledge and succeeded

in contextualizing the programme. A pre-Festival celebration of short film

ers personally hand out single voting

was staged as part of the City Art & Soul programme in association with Melbourne Convention and Marketing

rather than providing forms on stands or making them available to only sub­

Bureau. On a financial level, the deficit has been reversed. Clare expressed concern over the number of films from local distributors. As a celebration of cinema, the Festival should reflect production in all its rich diversity. The criteria have not, and never have been, a festival of films which do not have a distributor. I make no apologies for the fact that the inter­ national selection includes films which are available for theatrical distribution from local distributors as they are a con­ siderable and vibrant part of our flourishing industry. However, the per­ centage in the Festival was not 50 percent as Clare claims but almost half that: 28 percent of feature films, slightly less than the percentage of those in the 1996 Festival. It is significant that these films were both well-attended and the most popular films in the Festival. This style of programming is the first step toward enticing new audiences to film culture, a thoroughly appropriate cul­ tural agenda. Reference is made to a number of titles from prominent directors which were absent from the programme. For the record, all of the films she men­ tions were in fact invited but regretfully not available. The reasons are stan­ dard and straightforward: involving the availability of scarce prints and the sta­ tus of international rights to these films. There may be months of delicate negotiations between producers and international sales agents before a film is available for international exhibition, as was the case with Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter. Also, a film’s inclusion in the Festival is not a com­ mercial transaction; consequently, we cannot secure films, such as Godard’s Forever Mozart, from agents who require screening fees, it is wrong to assume that every film is available to a Festival director. If only! I appreciate Clare’s supportive comments in relation to the retrospec­ tives in the programme, but I am perplexed by the reference to “ incom­ plete retrospectives” . Retrospectives are a perspective on history; they are not, nor intended to be, comprehen­ sive filmographies. The audience voting system this year was carefully conducted to avoid the possibility of punters voting more than once for each film by having ush-

forms randomly after each session,

scribers or buyers of the Festival programme. We believe that the stag­ gering 11,000 forms which were returned provided a substantial and accurate sampling. Regarding the short film competi­ tion: Cathy Johnstone, Short Film Co-ordinator, provided clear regula­ tions and instructions to selection and judging panelists at the first preview meeting, a fact that I have had con­ firmed by all of the panel conveners. The competitive parameters are in fact set by the international organization, FIAPF, and I am and have been in con­ stant correspondence with FIAPF. The regulations have not disappeared. Clare’s analysis of the regulations relating to the short film competition implies that numerous changes were introduced this year and that student films were ineligible. Although 1 think it is appropriate to regularly review the relevance and currency of regulations, I hasten to add that the items referred to have been in place for at least the past decade. However, in my opinion, it’s preferable that regulations involv­ ing creative evaluations provide latitude rather than be prescriptive and consequently exclusionary. Stu­ dent films were and are eligible. The assertion that panel members were discouraged “off the record” from choosing films with longer run­ ning times would be disturbing if it weren’t preposterous. Durations are a scheduling issue and should never be part of the selection criteria. Cathy Johnstone’s article in the programme guide refers to five short films, two of which did not receive awards. Her comments locate the films within current trends of filmmak­ ing; they were not qualitative statements but illustrative. In direct response to the wishes of Festival patrons, I fully intend to revisit the programming of short films in the Festival next year. I have always and will continue to make myself available to respond to any queries relating to the Festival’s direction and policy. Again, an analy­ sis of the Festival is welcome and indeed essential, but I am concerned that this is undertaken in an accurate and informed manner. Yours sincerely, Sandra Sdraulig Executive Director, MIFF


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A brush with the hammer and sickle by Solru n H o aas


n North Korea, the brush

stands firmly planted between the hammer and sickle, sym­ bolizing the value of artists and intellectuals to this communist society in reinforcing themes of unity, nationalism and self-sacrifice for the ‘Great Leader’.

Most of the visual arts in the Demo­ cratic People’s Republic of Korea excel in craftsmanship and design rather than originality. Pyongyang has one of the largest animation studios in Asia with more commissioned work than can be accommodated, including pro­ ductions for France, Italy and Japan. At the time of my visit last year, work was underway on a version of Scheherazade and another featurelength animated-version of a French fairytale. At the Pyongyang International Film Festival, I spoke to a French producer who has worked there off and on over the past eight years. Fie told me that, aside from some teething problems and the length of time it has taken to establish the relationship, he has found it very workable and is pleased with the technical quality of the work. The French designers and writers supply the concept, com­ plete with designs for the characters and storyboards, and the Koreans do the rest with occasional supervision from French production staff who regu

larly visit Pyongyang and in turn host its SEK (Scientific and Educational Film Studio of Korea) production partners in Paris. Amongst the homegrown animation films produced by SEK, the most popu­ lar internationally has been the Clever Raccoon Dog and other children’s animation films, some based on wellknown Korean fairytales such as The Swift Winged Horse. A noticeable theme running through many fairytales, opera, drama and film is the fight against an outside aggressor, whether inspired by the long colonization and sup­ pression by the Japanese, or other more recent historical events such as the Korean War, spawning images o f ‘imperialist aggressors’ in the popular imagina­ tion. They also serve to boost the need for unity under one leader and for a strong military as Kim Jong II consoli­ dates his power by relying on the support of new military leaders. The Story o f Mrs Pak is a wellknown example, which I saw in a modern opera ver­ sion performed by the National Opera at the Pyongyang Theatre, built in the 1950s reconstruction period and one of the oldest theatre buildings in the city. In it, the daughter of a general who dies defending his country is mar­

ried to the son of a friend and supporter of her father. When the groom discovers on their wedding night how ugly she is, he rejects her. To make a long story short, she goes bush and becomes a guerilla fighter, foiling a plot by the enemy aggressor to have one of her Ama­ zonian guards seduce and capture Mrs Pak’s foolish husband. Then, in a spectacular fight scene, she beats the female leader of the for­ eign plot, and saves her country, is transformed into a beauty and regains her husband’s love. In film, too, female gueril­ las or Taekwan-do experts play a strong role. Despite a considerable amount of film production and long tradition, few North Korean feature films ever reach the West, to some extent because of their offputting didacticism and melodramatic stories. They often end with a propa­ ganda statement, suggesting that the self-sacrifice of the hero or heroine was worth it because it was all for the sake of the ‘Great Leader’, Kim II Sung, or the ‘Dear Leader’, Kim Jong II. There are exceptions, however, such as the famous tear-jerker The Flower Girl (seen in Melbourne in the 1970s), which was based on an old

classic. Or, more recently, there is Hong It Dong, a reasonably well-made period story of a young son of a landlord and a concubine who is taught the secrets of Taekwando by his mother’s father, and in the end wins the upperclass girl he falls in love with, is reunited with his father and saves his country from ‘outside aggressors’. It has many of the famil­ iar plot twists and choreographed fighting scenes of Flong Kong movies, and two very appealing young actors in the lead roles. It is also blessedly free of any overtly-stated propaganda line and is quite enter­ taining. Interestingly, a new animation version of the same popular story has recently been produced in South Korea. Not surprisingly, the North Korean Hong II Dong has achieved some the­ atrical, television and video release overseas, among others in France and Finland, where the local distributor said it was very well-received. Japan, with its large expatriate Korean popu­ lation, many of them affiliated with DPRK, also provides a limited export market. The most popular films in the past few years on the home market have been some of the 37 feature-length parts of the series Nation and Destiny that deal with different stories from the country’s modern history. It




works on one level much like a longrunning serial or a string of linked mini-series of two to five featurelength episodes. Each block focuses on a particular character based on real-life individu­ als who played a part in recent DPRK history, mainly dur­ ing and after the Korean War. The heroes are people who have been on the side of the dictators, such as General Park Chung-hee in the South, but later seen the error of their ways and gone into exile overseas, eventually at some stage visiting or return­ ing to North Korea. Here, they are reunited with fam­ ily or former enemies, welcomed with open arms, and usually shown living in unrealistic luxury or prancing around on the foothills of Mt Paektu surrounded by happy dancing children who place flower garlands on their hair. Invariably the message is: no matter how far they travel or long they stay away, only here can they really feel at home. Then there are Korean War heroes such as Ri Jong Mo who served 34 years in prison in the Republic of Korea before he was freed. There is a series on a Japan­ ese woman naturalized in Korea; one on miners; another on a member of

Clever Raccoon Dog.

General Park’s security and intelli­ gence service; one on a former military commander for the ROK, Cha Hong Gi, who ends up disillusioned and emi­ grates to Canada, where he sets up the International Taekwan-do Federation; yet another is based on the life of a world-renowned composer, IsangYun, who was kidnapped from Berlin during the Park régime, brought back to Seoul and imprisoned for several years. Some of the films would be seen by a Western audience as appallingly melodramatic, both in writing and per­ formance (as would many South Korean films), but others offer flawed and complex characters on both sides of the barbed-wire that has divided the country for so many years. As might be expected, the heroes are portrayed as ultimately sympathetic to the North, and the ‘baddies’ are the dictators such as General Park, in a charminglyevil portrayal by one of the country’s better-known actors, who also plays a villain in Hong II Dong. Perhaps as a result of following Kim Jong ll’s advice to the actor, that in order to play the enemy you have to hate the enemy, all too often the villains are stereotyped and caricatured: in particular, the women, who are usually shown as single, frus­ trated degenerates, smoking or drunk; or the men, surrounded by dancing girls in tacky cabarets. Yet the series can provide a fasci­ nating insight into a North Korean perspective on the country’s history and its use of film to reinforce in people its version of history and sense of being besieged. Some episodes, however, succeed in creating quite compelling characters and intriguing relationships. One of these is Cha Hong Gi, whose artist wife has sympathies with the North, causing personal conflict. Another is the female intelligence agent who secretly loves the Taekwan-do expert she at first tries to destroy, then eventually sides with at great risk to herself when she is ordered by presi­ dent Chon Doo Hwan to assassinate him. One reason for the enormous appeal of the series to a North Korean audience would also be that, as in a long-running soap, the same familiar characters keep resurfacing from time

Some of the films would be seen by a Western audience as appallingly melodramatic, both in writing and performance (as would many South Korean films), but others offer flawed and complex characters on both sides of the barbed-wire that has divided the country for so many years. to time, as they often interlock in rela­ tionships with the leads of later episodes. It is also based on the song with the unfortunate translation, “ Best is My Country”, and is interwoven with poetry and a linking theme song, “ Flocks of Wild Geese Flying”. Lyrics such as -

The land that mothered my spirit and set it flying - that is my country. My country robbed and ravaged who does it belong to now? - have a strong emotional impact. None of the films I have seen so far take quite the same detached and crit­ ical look at the Korean War, as for instance did South Korean Park KwangSu in To the Starry Island (1994), which shows the devastating impact of war on innocent civilians unwittingly caught up in a conflict they wish no part of, and treated just as ruthlessly by both sides. Nor do they examine the impact of taking sides and the corrup­ tion on both sides, as in Im Kwon Taek’s Taebaek Mountains (1995). However, they are no more one-sided than some of the earlier war films I have seen that were made under the dictatorship in the South. What the Nation and Destiny series does show, however, is individuals caught between conflicting loyalties, through friends or family on the ‘wrong side’. What they lack as yet is a critical perspective on the North’s role in the war. It may seem naively-optimistic, perhaps, that a day will come when that is possible. With the brush planted firmly between the hammer and the sickle and Kim Jong II still, I am told, providing advice on the ideologi­ cal treatment in films before they are released, it may be a long way off. ®



Aboriginal Nations' 10-Step Programme by P aul K alin a ncluded in the programme of the recent Brisbane Inter­ national Film Festival was a forum on timely issues of copyright and indigenous filmmaking. Introduced by Alex Daw, Manager of the Queensland office of the Australian Film Television & Radio School, the first session was chaired by ‘Uncle’ Bob Anderson, elder of Moreton Island upon whose soil the foreboding State Library of Queensland stands. Speak­ ers included Aboriginal Nation’s Adrian Tucker and Keith Salvat, and Sharon Connolly, in her then role of Acting Chief Executive of Film Australia. Later sessions focused on the con­ servation and preservation of

Aboriginal Nations takes no editor­ ial control in the animations. The basic rule is that the company owns the ani­ mation; the community retains the copyright to the story. Before embarking on the project, Aboriginal Nations instigated a set of protocols, a kind o f ‘best industry practice’ manual, that would help guide both the filmmakers and the communities with which they would be working.

8. That the story provided by the community is not rewritten or changed unless approved and endorsed by the community; 9. That the community be paid industry standard rates and receives royalties from revenue and; 10. That indigenous people design and participate in the creation of the animation at all stages of production. Had such protocols been followed,

explained Adrian Tucker, Aboriginal Nations’ Domestic and International Marketing Manager, Disney’s Poca­ hontas (Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, 1995) may have reflected the true tragedy of the enslaved, mixed-blood child, royalties would have been The protocols are: 1. That the stories are recognized asreturned to the rightful owners of the intellectual copyright, and, certainly, a body of knowledge that is many the title “ Pocahontas” would never thousands of years old;

subject to traditional law, transgres­ sions of which can be met with paybacks and other retributions. The Chief Executive of Film Aus­ tralia, Sharon Connolly, spoke too of the urgency of protocols at this partic­ ular period of time. Film Australia faces the prospect of privatization, and its Archive, with its extensive holdings of important, sensitive indigenous mater­ ial could be sold off to private interests. Whilst under Film Australia’s wing, the Archive respects certain pro­ tocols which would not necessarily be adhered to by another owner. Documentary-makers are the largest users of the Film Australia Archive; however, some footage housed there can never be used. Use of some footage requires consultation with communities, whilst significant material

indigenous images. Here, the focus was on indigenous stories and film­ making. For more than two hours, in an atmosphere that was as engaged as it was relaxed - despite the lengthy commentaries of an audience-partici­ pant, a well-known identity and heckler judging from the groans his contributions caused other audience members - the forum considered a host of wide-ranging issues: the ‘own­ ership’ of stories and other creative properties sourced from indigenous persons and their communities; the images used to tell them; the partici­ pation of indigenous persons in the filmmaking process; the dispersion of royalties; the trusteeship of newsreel and other archive material. Spearheading much of the discus­ sion was the presentation by Sydney-based production company Aboriginal Nations. Formed in 1992, the company’s core activity is the production of an animation series, Australian Dreaming Stories. The com­ pany presently employs 21 indigenous Australian animators. The company has a clear training role; according to Producer and Managing Director Keith Salvat, there were no indigenous ani­ mators in Australia prior to the


2. That the stories are sourced from the communities who own them; 3. That the communities make their own decision on what stories they want to have animated; 4. That the communities approve the story for animation;

company’s establishment. The animations combine traditional and computer-assisted animation techniques, and each is based on a Dreaming story as told by a particular community. As Salvat pointed out, the diversity of Dreaming stories is such

6. Ownership and copyright of the story is always held by the nominated community council; 7. That the content of the animation

that several clans within communities have different versions of the Seven

including artists’ style be approved by the community at all key production

Sisters story.


5. That the story represents the community and clan and is specifically placed geographically;

have become a trademark of the Dis­ ney corporation. Even for one concerned at the potential for these protocols to impose a form of censorship over what gets made, in what form and by whom, their importance came into critical

shot by the renowned Ian Dunlop carry stipulations about how it can (and can­ not) be used. Echoing the last of Aboriginal Nation’s protocols which seeks to increase the participation of Australian indigenous animators, Connolly made a passionate plea for adequate funding

relief with this and other testimonies. One came from an audience member just after Eddie Mabo jr spoke of his family’s close collaboration with Trevor Graham in the making of Mabo:

so that public-sector broadcasters, the ABC in particular, can fulfil their training rôles. She railed against the current cli­ mate in which a lack of resources stifled

Life Of An Island Man (1997). She pointed out the difference between, on

people from taking risks, prevented new talent from entering the ranks and

the one hand, a story of Eddie Mabo’s life (which is in the public domain) and traditional indigenous stories that are

held back the greater participation of indigenous persons in the film and tele­ vision production industries. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

n o m in e e s a t th is y e a r s A H A w a r Quantel would like to congratulate all the nominees at this year's AFI Awards and applaud the Australian Film Institute for its strong and.continued support of the film industry.


Quantel Pty Ltd, 8/81 Frenchs Forest Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Tel: +61 (0) 2 9452 4111 Fax: +61 (0) 2 9452 5711 http://w w w .quantel.com •


• - —— ~ +

45th Festival International de Cine. San Sebastian b y B ru ce M olloy he 45th Festival Inter­ national de Cine in San Sebastian, or Donastia as it is called by the local Basque people, got underway with a total of 187 films shown over 10 days: 19 in the Official Selection competing for the award of the Silver Shell; 46 in the Zabaltegi or Open section; 34 classic or rarely-seen films in the group designated “After a Long Absence” ; 37 films made between 1933 and 1957 in a retrospec­ tive tribute to the largely-forgotten Hollywood director Mitchell Leisen; 14 in a tribute to American director Peter Bogdanovich; 14 in a section entitled “ Made in Spain” ; 7 in a critics’ season; and 11 in a section devoted to the rela­ tionship between music and image. The Mitchell Leisen season included George Burns and Gracie Allen in The Big Broadcast o f 1937 (1936), Charles Boyer and Olivia de Havilland in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), Ray Milland and Marlene

director Michael Douglas. The Festival poster was outstanding, its razor-andeye image based on the celebrated experimental film of 1929, Un Chien andalou (Luis Buñuel). The face in the poster is, however, that of contempo­ rary actor Angela Molina. Thankfully, at least some of the films in the Festi­ val had as much impact on the eyes as did the poster.

had strong Australian links, with Rus­ sell Crowe and Guy Pearce sharing top billing.

In a special Festival event, Perdita Durango had its world premiere. Direc­ tor Alex de la Inglesia and producer Andres Vicente Gomez have strong local affiliations, so the screening occasioned wild popular excitement. Anyone who has seen the director’s previous The Day o f the Beast will not be surprised to hear that the film is around two hours of ultra-violence, interlaced with voodoo and santeria, the weird mix of Christianity, voodoo and African religions practised around the Caribbean. De la Inglesia has also studied Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn (1995), and demonstrates that anything Rodriguez can do, he can do better - or at least more graphically and gruesomely. Not for the squeamish or the conservative, Perdita Durango follows the adven­ tures of Perdita (Rosie Perez) and her lover Qavier Bardem) as they endeavourto smuggle a semi­ trailer loaded with refrigerated fcetuses across the border from Mexico to the USA. Enough said? Talent and technique are abundantly obvious in this film, both in cast and producers, but it seems destined, deservedly, for censorship problems and restriction to a cult following. In the competition, there was a groundswell of support for Afterglow, directed by Alan Rudolph and starring Nick Nolte, Julie Christie and Laura Flynn Boyle. Afterglow is a study of relationships involving two married couples whose lives become inextrica­ bly linked. It was offered to a major studio, Rudolph stated at the press conference, “ but they rejected it, say­ ing it was just about people. I took this as a compliment.” Nick Nolte shows again why he is one of the finest Amer­ ican actors, while Julie Christie turns in what may well be an award-winning performance as an ageing, former B-

Three special awards were made at the Festival; actors Jeanne Moreau and

wrestling with the demons of her past.

Dietrich in Golden Earrings (1947), and Glenn Ford and Ruth Roman in Young Man with Ideas (1952). Reappearing after a long absence were Frank Sinatra in Step Lively (Tim Whelan, 1944), Peter Lorre in Mad Love (Karl Fruend, 1935) and Louis Malle’s Calcutta (1969). As well, there was a special season of films in the local Velodrome, converted to an enor­ mous theatre with a screen 15 metres wide and a capacity of thousands, for the duration of the Festival, and three films to close the Festival. As in Venice1, Australian representa­ tion was limited. The opening night film was My Best Friend’s Wedding (P. J. Hogan). The closing night film, Curtis Hanson’s LA Confidential, also


Jeremy Irons, and actor, producer and

American director John Saytes’

“This movie is an exercise for the

Hombres Armados (Men with Guns) is a serious examination of the problems

mind, and the mind has more imagina­ tion and can be more frightening than

of indigenous people in an unspecified South American Spanish-speaking

anything real.” The Game co-stars Sean Penn and Canadian-born, NIDA-

country as they face repression and dispossession from their traditional

graduate Deborah Kara Unger, as well as Armin Mueller-Stahl.

croplands by companies supported by the army. It shows the journey of a retired professor of medicine who attempts to contact the students who

indicated just what an eclectic selec­ tion is available in San Sebastian:

are his “ legacy” , a special group who were to fight disease in the impover­ ished up-country villages. He becomes increasingly dismayed as he finds they have “disappeared”. This is a very timely film and not without relevance to Australian society, but it could be about 20 minutes shorter than its pre­ sent 128 minutes. Michael Douglas arrived to receive his Golden Shell award and to appear at the closing night screening of The Game (David Fincher). Douglas described the film as a rollercoaster ride for the 21st century, stating that:

The closing films of the Festival

commercially-oriented, Hollywood blockbusters as well as the smallerbudget productions of national cinemas more traditionally regarded as festival fare. Not unexpectedly, Adrian Lyne’s Lolita attracted a packed press screen­ ing. Jeremy Irons plays Humbert Humbert, Melanie Griffith the mother, and newcomer Dominique Swain the precocious daughter. While opinion among critics was sharply divided, the film comes very close to being very good, missing because it is too long and because the tone is inconsistent, vacillating between black comedy and

grade movie star married to Nolte and



realism with occasional excursions into the surreal. The performances by Irons, Swain and Griffith are strong, while the production design and cine­ matography are outstanding; Irons successfully catches Humbert’s tormerit, evoking compassion for him while not diminishing his crime. The issues implicit in the subject matter are complex and disturbing, but one rôle of art, in film as well as literature, is to explore complex moral issues. The problem for the film, of course, is partly one of timing. In the three years it took to make the film, dramatic revelations have occurred about the horrors of paedophilia on at least three continents. The film was expensive, the budget reportedly exceeding US$50 million, and has been awaiting distribution for some 12 months while studios and dis­ tributors try to figure out the potential profit and loss if it is banned or given an R rating after an expensive promo­ tional campaign. No one wishes to be seen as condoning any form of sexual abuse of teenagers, so the filmmakers are extremely con­ cerned about the moral backlash already reaching hysterical propor­ tions in the UK press. At the press conference following the film, Irons and Lyne were quizzed on the moral issues. Irons defended himself on the ground that the novel is a “masterpiece of story­ telling” and the part of Humbert, a character completely outside his experience, a professional challenge to create and an opportunity to explore the extremes of human behaviour. Lyne stated that the novel is essentially a love story and that Americans are troubled by their grudging affection for the essen­ tially tragic figure of Humbert. The moral issues in the film, Lyne con­ tinued, are in shades of grey as in life itself, but the studios and their corporate backers like things to be black and white. Other films in the competitive section of the Festival also encoun­ tered release problems. Mark Peploe’s stylish production of the Joseph Conrad novel Victory has reportedly been significantly revised, as Peploe explained in the press conference. Willem Dafoe and Irène Jacob are the lovers whose island paradise is threatened by the arrival of the suitably slimy and threatening Mr Jones, played by Sam Neill. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

Australian-born, Irish actor Stephen Dillane is saturninely handsome oppo­ site French beauty Sophie Marceau in the period romance Firelight. Dillane is soon to be seen as the lead in the Australian mini-series Kings in Grass Castles. The best films in the Festival have both been Spanish. These are Martin 0Haiche), the story of an estranged father and son whose differences impact upon the father’s mistress and his best friend, played by Argentinian actor Juan Diego Botto in a standout performance that had him in con­ tention for an award; and El Color de las Nubas, translated as “the colour of the clouds” , about a young boy who feels rejected by both sides of his bro­ ken family. He becomes involved with another young boy, a Bosnian war orphan who is adopted by a widow attempting to forestall eviction, and with an old fisherman attemptingto help the widow through his discovery of a drug cache. What happens in this story is moving and inspiring, and makes one wonder how Victory and Lolita made it into the same competi­ tion. One hopes they get an Australian release, either in the arthouse circuit or on SBS/World Movies. The latest Zhang Yimou offering, Keep Cool, is a contemporary romantic comedy and is not in competition hav­ ing been shown in Venice. It marks a change of pace both generically and stylistically from his previous period pieces like Raise the Red Lantern (1991). This film, which the Chinese government stopped from screening in Cannes, was well received by audi­ ences here but may well disappoint his admirers.

Jean-Pierre Garcia of the Amiens Festi­ val and Sheila Whitaker, until this year director of the London Film Festival. The creative side of film was repre­ sented by producer Nic Powell, and film directors Janos Szasz of Hungary and Daniel Calparoso of Spain. The topics were wide-ranging, and the debate potentially volatile, particularly

had been savaged in Venice by Bignardi’s review. Some of the conclusions of the seminar were that the job of the critic was becoming increasingly difficult as editors (and presumably readers) often preferred gossip and stories about personalities to serious analy­ ses of films. This situation, according to Malcolm, has been most extreme in the UK. It is particularly difficult for reviewers in daily newspapers, so that most serious film analysis now occurs in specialist academic publications or trade journals, like Variety and Screen International. Calporoso thought that critics should confine themselves to analysis and not see their rôles as pronouncing on quality or discovery of outstanding new talent; he identified the problem as one of avoiding purely subjective opinion. Ciment refuted this view, cit­ ing the correlation between critics’ verdicts and the actual films receiving awards at Venice and Cannes. Sheila Whitaker stated that the

as Calparoso’s latest film, A degas,

problems facing festivals like London

Don’t Shoot the Critic On a more literary note, the European Film Academy sponsored a lengthy seminar, “ Don’t Shoot the Critic”, with some of Europe’s most notable opinion leaders on film as keynote speakers. These included: film critics Derek Malcolm of The Guardian, Irene Bignardi of La Repubblica, Michel Ciment of Positif; film festival directors Simon Fields of the Rotterdam Festival,

were the twin pressures of selecting from too many films and at the same time maintaining audience numbers. Festivals needed to show Hollywood blockbusters to ensure newspaper coverage, but small independent films need festivals to compensate for lack of a promotional machine. At the same time, festival directors have an obliga­ tion to include segments that do not receive mainstream exhibition, such as short and experimental films. Most critics agreed that the hot­ house atmosphere of festivals, with their schedules and other pressures, made reviewing difficult and the possi­ bility of a potentially aberrant but destructive review, as happened to the Australian film Bad Boy Bubby (Rolf de Heer, 1994) in France, very real. In this context, the Festival poster takes on yet another meaning. The fare at San Sebastian is certainly at the cutting edge, but the cutting remark requires careful consideration. © 1 See Cinema Papers, No.121, November 1997, p. 8


James Cameron’s keenly-anticipated, much-delayed action spectacle, Titanic, has finally surfaced, so to speak. Director, writer and co-producer Cameron ingeniously gets around the problem of telling an audience a story they already know by inventing a new one. He doesn’t re-write history; he embellishes it with a narrative that suits the proportions of this epic, tragic tale. In the early hours of 15 April 1912, more than 1,500 people drowned in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, when the RMS Titanic sank during its maiden voyage. In the present-day, a salvage team discovers a painting of a young woman wearing a lavish diamond necklace. The now-elderly woman wants the jewels recovered from the wreck before fortune hunters get to it. And so commences the recollections of how 17-year-old Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet), an upper-class woman aboard the ship, fell for a free-spirited passenger, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), despite being promised-in-marriage to the dull businessman, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). The ambitious production was filmed on the coast of Baja, Mexico, and on the open sea near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its release has been postponed several times already due to delays in pro­ duction and post-production. The wait will soon be over, and the mystery will be revealed. Not that of RMS Titanic, but that of the jewels and the forbidden, tempestuous love between our ill-fated heroes.



C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;¢ DECEMBER 1997


Y o u m a y n o t recognizel D a v i d H irsh! Cezary’s Story From jingles to the score of Lilian’s Story (Jerzy Domaradzki, 1995) and The Sound of One Hand Clapping. Cezary Skubiszewski's career is on an upward spiral. He talked to Dina Ross.

The Sound of One Hand Clapping will be the first feature under the banner of Steven Vizard’s Artist Ser­ vices production company. Rolf de Heer produces, Richard Flanagan directs. The musical score has been written; stark and resonant, it adds a touch of colour to the bittersweet tale of European migrants settling in Tasmania in the 1950s. Cezary Skubiszewski identifies with many aspects of their story. Although

their names, but you know their tunes. Cezary Skubiszewski, felder and Eric Serra on composing for the screen. 20 years in Australia having made Melbourne his home, he was born in Warsaw. He, too, has known the dif­ ficulties of assimilation and integration, the problems of search­ ing for work and the cultural shock of recognizing that Australia is a very different society to that of Eastern Europe. A full-time composer since 1980 (he originally trained as a vet until his wife convinced him to turn to music full-time), these conflicts of form and identity, arising from a search for spirit of place, find them­ selves being explored repeatedly in his music. His scores are vast expanses of complexity, with lyrical passages of poetic intensity that brush up against the dissonant. Skubiszewski doesn’t always make for easy listening. He demands atten­ tion. His film music is not of the ‘wallpaper’ variety. It may well blend in with the action, but the listener sits up and takes notice. He was nominated for the ARIA, AFI and APRA Awards last year for the score of Lilian’s Story, which also won First Prize for Best Film Music in the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1996. It was his first score for the big screen. Skubiszewski, whose bread and butter comes from penning the music to television commercials and documentaries (a hip violin solo is now gracing the title music to the C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

ABC arts programme, Express), recalls his surprise at being asked to submit ideas for the music: Everyone had been talking about Lil­ ian’s Story. We knew the part of the idiosyncratic heroine would be played by Ruth Cracknell. I also knew Kate Grenville’s dark, lonely novel. What struck me was the Polish component to the film. Not only was the director the renowned Jerzy Domaradzki, but the director of photography was Slawomir Idziak. When I read the script, I was struck by the tragic qualities of the heroine, but also believed that these elements of grief and loss would be best expressed in music with a strong Euro­ pean feel. I knew I was not the only composer who had been approached. Later, I heard that Domaradzki had deliberately stepped outside the judg­ ing panel. He did not want to be viewed as partisan, because he was Polish!

Skubiszewski talks of the “frenetic pace” at which he worked to finish the film. For Lilian’s Story, he began work in the post-production period, completing the writing and recording in just seven weeks: This short time frame is unusual. I came to the film when the stars and crew were gone. This is the time when the film begins to take shape through the medium of sound. I was inspired by the director, producers and editors

who squeezed every ounce of emotion out of me. Yet, though the score is highly-charged emotionally, it is also very sparse. I kept on trying to pare the musical colours down, to create another dimension to Lilian’s spiritual odyssey.

Despite warm reviews for the music, the success of Lilian’s Story in Australia has been muted, with Skubiszewski expressing a view that “perhaps it was too European in flavour. Funnily enough, the film has been very well received overseas, especially in Poland.” Writing the score for The Sound of One Hand Clapping is proving a very different experience. Here, Skubiszewski was invited into the creative process from the outset. For a composer, whose life is at best soli­ tary, the involvement with a creative team has proved exhilarating: But also very stressful. I even have a small part in the movie, and I now real­ ize what an intricate process filmmaking is. Every minute element has to harmonize, to dovetail. It is highly complex, immensely creative and also addictive. Collaboration with the director, and deep analysis of the script, is the first step to creating the score. As you write this [article], I am finaliz­ ing the shape of the work. Will it be successful? You know, for a score to be truly memorable, the film also has to

be of the highest standard. I am very confident, but we wait and see.

He may love composing for the big screen, but if Skubiszewski has a regret, it is that there are just so many scores to go round. We produce a finite number of movies here, therefore a finite number of scores. Also, many successful films [The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding] have used hits of the ’60s and ’70s, so there is often little demand for original music. There is nothing wrong in this, but the pie shrinks.

What about remuneration? He shrugs. He is usually paid project by project. And though the musicians’ union in the USA is clamouring for a share of the profits of film distribu­ tion and sales, he feels it will be a long time before an equivalent claim will be made here. Ultimately, most composers will continue to be jack-of-all-sounds in order to survive and Skubiszewski cites his own case, where he has writ­ ten jingles for clients as diverse as Two Dogs, Kodak, and Formula One Racing, as well as feature music for Neighbours. Versatility means being in work and, so far, work is plentiful. He has no axes to grind. He is not particu­ larly concerned about musicians’ complaints that recording facilities in Australia are woefully inadequate.


SCORE He welcomes the establishment of Fox Studios in Sydney, but feels that “shopping around” for facilities probably increases the variety and quality of the end product. Skubiszewski also believes that there is increasing pressure on Aus­ tralian composers from overseas markets, to conform to the American view of what Australians should be like. You know, to write Crocodile Dundee-type themes, or twee parochial tunes, whereas the most imaginative music jumps out of these stereotypes, breaks new ground.

analysis with a trust in what he calls “the efficacy of the gut-reaction” : Each film score comes from a diverse vantage point. At the moment, I’m working on the theme for the film Eliza­ beth I, directed by Shekar Kapur and starring Geoffrey Rush. In my head, I suddenly heard the voices of three boy-sopranos - the purity, the inno­

gled with the singing of these boys and music which, though contemporary, blends in with the time. My second movie is the score of a thriller, Sliding Doors, which will be directed by Sydney Pollack. I’m finding this a real challenge! The approach to this score is very different, less emo­

cence of the sound. That flash came to me as I was talking to Kapur over a cup of coffee in London and discussing the

tional, perhaps more cerebral. What I’m trying to do here is create a series of musical red herrings, leading people down blind alleys, manipulating the

script. I actually hummed the theme to him then and there. Now I have refined the concept. Authentic music of the period - Byrd, Dowland - will be min­

action, just like the script does. There will be dark moments, but also moments of playfulness and sheer ter­ ror. I’m very excited about the music.

Since Shine, Hirschfelder’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. He has had to turn work down, “which is an extraordinary situation for a com­ poser to be in” . He is one of the few composers in this country who can live comfortably by making music ^ alone, and long before Shine his diary was full. What is the reason for the Hirschfeider phenomenon? He laughs disarmingly, shrugs, reels off a few attributes such as “flexibility, versatil­ ity”, and then stops. “N o”, he says firmly, “it’s my jazz background.” Hirschfeider trained as a classical

There is a lot of talent in Australian film music, but I think we are still find­ ing our feet. We need to explore the need to be serious, and not be afraid of being intellectual. This is maybe one of the biggest differences between Aus­ tralia and Europe, it is the Australian way to portray problems by laughing at them, if you look at films such as The Castle, the societal dysfunction is high, yet at the same time redeemed by com­ edy. Music accompanying such films need not be light-hearted, of course, but there is obviously a need to create continuity.

And the future? There is music for another film, “but I don’t want to talk about it yet” . After the premiere of Lilian’s Story, Fred Schepisi came up to him and congratulated him. Has that resulted in any contracts? “No, but I’m always hopeful”, he laughs.

The M usic Shin es Through David Hirschfeider talks to Dina Ross.

Walking into David Hirschfelder’s studio in Fitzroy is like entering a technological jungle. There is a formi­ dable battery of computers, dubbing and mixing desks, loud-speakers and keyboards. Spread over two floors and sparsely furnished, the workshop hums with activity. Hirschfeider and two assistants are playing, notating, experimenting. Somewhere, in a backroom, cappuccinos are brewing. But no one stops for a break. Prising Hirschfeider away from his piano is a difficult task. The composer of the scores for Shine (Scott Hicks, 1996) and Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992) has several projects on the go: three films and an album of contemporary music. But if you interrupt his music-making, his sec­ ond passion is certainly talking about it. He’s eloquent, erudite and com­ bines an almost scientific process of



pianist and began a degree in music at Melbourne University. But he left to begin playing modern jazz profes­ sionally with a group called Pyramid in 1980. “Jazz teaches you instant composition” , says Hirschfelder. It’s music on the edge, it’s like deliver­ ing an impromptu speech. You have a marvellous illusion of everything being free expression and yet everything you do is based within a firm structure, jazz is the best teacher of composition there is.

Hirschfelder soon expanded into film and television work, with a Pen­ guin Award in 1987 for the score of Suzy’s Story. At the same time, he worked as John Farnham’s musical director on several tours. He also contributed to Farnham’s best-selling albums, “Whispering Jack”, “Age of Reason”, “ Chain Reaction” and “Full House” , as a musical arranger and keyboardist. Working with Farnham taught him some very important skills. “As a breed, I think composers tend to be arrogant”, smiles Hirschfelder. We know so much about music intel­ lectually, theoretically. As a student, I used to think Mozart was boring, The Beatles predictable. I didn’t recognize then the importance of reaching out and touching an audience, speaking to them heart to heart, soul to soul. How deceptively simple great music is. I learned all about this from John. He taught me to write music to communi­ cate, not simply to impress.

And then came Strictly Ballroom, which won Hirschfelder a BAFTA Award for Best Original Score in 1993. The process was an immensely enjoyable experience. The fact that the film was a light­ hearted comedy, and that everyone got along so well, I think you can hear It In the music. It’s a happy score. I like to put jokes Into my music whenever I can and Strictly Ballroom is simply rid­ dled with musical parodies of Prokofiev when the ‘heavies’ come In and Spanish music and 19th century melodrama. I had great fun.

It’s all a question of “tuning into the psyche of the film” . Hirschfelder doesn’t mind whether he is called in before or after filming is completed, “each process has its pros and cons”, but he insists on immersing himself in the script and following the direc­ tor’s vision. It’s a team thing. Sometimes - only sometimes - 1can write a piece of music and a director will say, “You have given me an idea. I need to re-shoot that.” But usually I’m an Interpreter, a reflector.

In the case of Shine, Hirschfelder spent a lot of time with David Helf­ gott, getting to know his personality and idiosyncracies. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

On one occasion, we asked David to play a few bars of Rachmaninov and Liszt and he wouldn’t do it. He kept on muttering to himself, “Tragic fragments, tragic fragments” . I realized this music was bringing back bad memories for him and I said, “No, David, these are not tragic frag­ ments, but magic fragments.” His eyes lit up, he laughed and said, “That’s right, that’s right. Accentuate the posi­ tive, accentuate the positive. Magic fragments: that’s good, that’s good”, and he played the pieces straight away. The idea of “tragic fragments” stuck In my head though, and, when I was writing the score, here and there up popped these jarring, tangled, tragic chords, which I feel reflect David’s state of mind.

“DH”s have figured prominently in Hirschfelder’s life. They are not simply the initials of his and David Helfgott’s names, but those of his friend and contemporary, tenor David Hobson. The two have been friends since school, and have recently collaborated on an album of songs composed by both musicians. “You can hear all sorts of influences - African, Amer-indian, French impressionist - it’s a highly eclectic combination”, says Hirschfelder. With a diary booked several years ahead, David Hirschfelder is clearly optimistic about the future of the Australian film industry and its music. “We get better scripts here”, he admits. The only problem is the lack of resources. It is almost impossible for me to hire an 8o-plece orchestra for recording purposes In this country. First, where would you get the musi­ cians and, second, there are so few places where you could actually record. In Los Angeles, you can do so at the drop of a hat. I think that facilities such as the new Fox studios In Sydney will ease this burden considerably. I suppose I want the best of both worlds, dividing my time between LA and Australia. This is a fantastic country in which to live. Who needs the stress of moving out?

be, and still is, director Luc Besson, and that film was Subway (1984). Since then, they have collaborated on all of Besson’s films: Le Grand Bleu (1988), Nikita (1990), Atlantis (1991), Léon (The Professional, 1994) and, most recent, The Fifth Element (1997). His work has put Serra into the record books, with the soundtrack album of Le Grand Bleu selling more than 2 million copies worldwide, and the CD-soundtrack of The Fifth Element is expected to go the same way. The delightful Serra, who was recently in Taiwan hyping the release of his first solo album, was more than happy to talk about his association with Luc Besson, his approach to music in films and where his music comes from.

Eric Serra talks to Deborah Niski.

Eric Serra is a man passionate about his music, his success and the films he scores. Serra began his profes­ sional musical career at the age of fifteen as a rock and jazz-rock gui­ tarist. After playing on around 30 albums and composing songs for local French artists, he embarked on composing the soundtrack for his best friend’s first feature. Serra’s best friend happened to


it a v e r y d if f e r e n t e x p e r ie n c e

TO WORK WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO w e r e n ’ t a s c lo s e to yo u a s

Besso n ?

It’s different because with Luc It’s now almost twenty years that we have been working together. We know each other very well and I know precisely what he wants to feel. And he gives such an Important place to the music. He says usually that the music is one of the main characters in the movie. With the James Bond [movie], for example, they didn’t really know what they wanted, so it was a completely different experience. A re

yo u in s p ir e d by t h e s c r ip t ?




w h a t s t a g e of a f il m ’ s p r o d u c t io n


Always Surprising

for the last James Bond [Goldeneye] they called me when the movie was finished.


This depends on the movie. Usually, with Luc Besson I am involved at the very beginning of the process, before he even writes the script. As soon as

I start to think about it when Luc tells me the story. I start to imagine, I get prepared to play this Invisible charac­ ter, like an actor would prepare to play

he has the idea for a new movie, 1am usually the first person he tells the story to, because we are also very

a special role without learning his dia­ logue, just to feel like this character he has to play.

good friends. He Is my best friend and I am his best friend. Also, because he gives a very Important place to the music In his movies, he wants me to think about the movie all the time while he prepares and shoots It. But this is only with hlm. I didn’t do a

Usually, that’s what I do. To compose the actual score I wait for the movie to be finished. But it means I’ve had all

lot of work for others, but, for example,

special movie.

this preparation before. When the movie Is finished, I just have to watch It and to compose what I feel. It works because I have been prepared for this 70


Since she was about 14 years-old, Mandy Walker knew that she wanted to be a POP. Walker grew up in the "middle-class, north-eastern Melbourne suburb of Bundoora". She had always been interested in still photography and the movies. Photography at high school and work experience at a television station confirmed her ambition to work in the feature film industry. Walker has travelled great distances since. Her two most recent films as POP were screened at Cannes Love Serenade, which won the 1996 Camera d'Or, and The Well, a Compétition entry in 1997 - and she has been nominated for Best Cinematography at the 1997 AFI Awards. Walker spoke to Margaret Smith.

H 22


I left school just after HSC and did a film criticism course through the CAE with [actor] John Flaus. I spoke to him about whether he knew anybody who was working in the industry in Melbourne. He gave me about three or four names, and I persistently rang them up until somebody gave me a job. I think it only took a couple of months before I was a runner on a feature called Dusty [John Richardson, 1983]. I worked as a runner for a couple of years, then I told people I wanted to be in the camera department. I did a few free jobs, student films and documen­ taries, and became a clapper-loader for three years, then a camera assistant, then a camera operator and then

started shooting. I sort of worked my way up. AFTRS students do a cinematography course and go straight into shooting, but most other people come up the ranks. W hat

do yo u now lo o k fo r in a s s is ­



For people who are similar to me [laughs], I can pretty much tell straight away whether people are enthusiastic enough, because it is a really hard job and you have to be pretty dedicated. I look for people who are quiet and work hard and are interested in photogra­ phy, the same as I was.

I really like operating, but I realized on The Well that not operating meant I could focus more on the lighting. Oper­ ating and lighting is like doing two jobs. I was used to that and I really do like operating, because I like being totally in control of the frame when I’m sitting on the camera. I suppose it is just a matter of finding someone you can trust, who has similar sort of aesthetics to you [laughs] and is as good as an operator as I am [laughs]. I am then able to relax and just concen­ trate on the lighting. So, more and more, I’ll be using operators.

sense. With Love Serenade [Shirley Bar­ rett, 1996] and with The Well, I wanted the landscape to help tell the story and emotionally create that kind of a mood that we were trying to portray. My main influences for the shooting were European cinematographers. They always look at the landscape in a different way than Australians do. A nd A m e r ic a n s ?

And Americans, that is true. I don’t think I’ve ever shot the landscape the same in a film. I just look at it differ­ ently every time. W h at

w a s t h e f ir s t s h o r t f il m th a t








I did a film called God’s Girls, with [pro­ ducer] Glenys Rowe and [director] . Cherie Nowlan. After that, I did a docu­ mentary called As The Mirror Burns [1991], for which I was nominated for

On The Well [Samantha Lang, 1997], I used an operator, Brad Shields. That was the first time I’d had an operator on drama, though I have used opera­ tors on commercials.

W here

do yo u t h in k t h a t / e s t h e t ic


I always try and photograph the film so that it complements the script in some


ent to working with men. It is some­ thing to do with the generosity of experience, which Lawrence Johnston has as well. W hen

yo u f ir s t w e n t o u t an d had to


an AFI award. I suppose it wasn’t dra­ mas [that made an impact], it was documentaries, really. In between those two, I shot Return Home [Ray Argali, 1990], so I really went straight from doing music videos and some student films to doing those documentaries and Return Home. Did S h ir l e y Ba r r e t t

f in d yo u fro m

Retu rn Ho m e ?

It was actually Jan Chapman who intro­ duced me to Shirley. I had shot a tele-feature for her called Fallen Woman, which was part of the Naked [Stones about Men] series. Geoffrey Wright directed that and it was the first time I had worked with Jan. When we finished, Jan introduced me to Shirley, because I think she thought we would be like-minded and get on quite well. I really loved the [Love Sere­ nade]| script. I met Shirley a couple of C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

times and we decided - or she decided [laughs] - to get me to shoot her film. D id

yo u go o u t in to t h a t c o u n t r y on


o b v io u s l y had a s t r o n g

great film, too. It is a great script. Hopefully, my photography adds to the story and to the telling of the story, rather than taking over. I sort of hope so [laughs].





I first went with Shirley about three months before we shot. Then she, myself, the first AD, and the production designer, Stephen Jones Evans, went there about two or three times. We just drove around and took still pho­ tographs and became familiar with the landscape. We would take a viewfinder and look at a shot and just chat about it. That is why we decided to shoot widescreen. IF ANYTHING, IT IS THE LOOK OF THAT FILM, EVEN MORE THAN THE STORY OR THE CONTENT, THAT MAKES ITS MARK.

Do you think so? I actually think it is a

When I first started in the industry, there was hardly a women in the cam­ era department. Sometimes I had a bit of a hard time because some of the guys didn’t think that the girls could crack it [laughs], but I just persevered. I’ve never really taken being a woman in the film industry as a prob­ lem. I only think about it when people mention it to me. I just always just thought, “I know how to do my job and I think I’m going to be good at my job. People are going to judge me on that rather than whether I’m a man or a woman.” I never had any problem with carrying stuff or being an assistant. I did have a few problems with some grips and gaffers early on when I was assistant, but now I don’t at all. I don’t work with people who are going to judge me on whether I’m female.

They were fantastic. The three of them, Miranda [Otto], Rebecca [Frith] and George [Svetsov], were just amazing to work with and they were very good to me. I just had a great time on that film




D id

h a v in g a fem a le d ir e c t o r an d

pro d ucer

[Jan C h a p m a n ]

h elp yo u at


I don’t really think it really had any­ thing to do with their being female. I didn’t really look at it like that. I’ve been working with women lately, but I don’t see it as being much differ­

n ext f il m ,

Lif e [La w r e n c e

Jo h n s t o n , 1996 ],

w a s a r ea l ly t o u g h


I actually did a lot of research with Lawrence. Even though it was a tough idea - the subject was men in jail and being subject to HIV- and not a positive film, I suppose, Lawrence still wanted it to look very beautiful. Life is about the relationship between the men, and about friend­ ship and caring, and about people


wanted it to look quite crisp and clean,

and Anton Corbjin, who is European.

and the softness of the pictures was all

We also looked at a lot o f’70s Euro­ pean films, like Polanski and Buhuel, because we thought they took a similar

done in the lighting. O ne

of the m o st p o w er fu l m o m en ts


attitude to the way they have shot their films.

That was Lawrence’s idea. We actually looked at a lot of references from other films and paintings, and he wanted to


be very close to the men. Those shots of the men on the pillow

T he

are quite beautiful, aren’t they? I can’t remember how I lit them [laughs]. Then ,

o f c o u r s e , w it h

Th e We l l , yo u


The Well is completely different to any of the other films that I’ve shot out in the country. It is more of a psychologi­ cal thriller. You are meant to feel a bit uncomfortable about these women’s situation. We wanted to create another world, so first I said to Sam when I read the script that I saw it as being black and white. She said that she kind of agreed, but she also wanted to be quite specific about some colours. So, we went with a monotonal blue cast, which meant that certain colours that we chose, like yellow and red, would show up out of that. When we went out into the exteriors, the blue stripped out a lot of the warmer colours, which made it quite a cold environment. We had these stormy skies for a lot of the time, which I think added to the kind of gloominess of the text.

B ill H en so n


Po l a n s k i,

of c o u r s e ,


That is true, yes. There is a similarity. c l a u s t r o p h o b ia o f t h e h o u s e is


Actually, the rooms weren’t that small and the cottage that we shot in was a set, so all the walls moved around. The way the film progresses is that it becomes more of a psychological thriller. As the women’s relationship deteriorates, we wanted to recede all the homeliness and familiarity of the cottage. The film slowly gets darker and darker, and the light becomes focused on the characters and not on the environment. It is about the conflict between the two women at that stage. T he


A u s t r a l ia n

l ig h t h a s n ’ t


I wish I could, but nine times out often we are shooting in the middle of the day and in summer. I’ve just managed, most of the time, to work around it and shoot in a certain direction at a certain time. But I have to tell you that, if it is sched­ uled for that day, you do it on that day.

"I have been very lucky in a sense that I have been offered great scripts and all the films I have done I've been really happy with. Tve always really believed in them and I've never shot a script that I didn't love." being in an awful situation but the spirit of life that survives. In a way, its focus is very theatrical. He wanted to take it away from reality and not look like a hard concrete prison film. So we shot it, including the art direction, in a very theatrical manner, to separate it from reality a little bit. W ho

c a m e u p w it h t h e id e a of th e


That was Lawrence’s idea. He had seen it in the theatre piece and he wanted to use it in the film. It took a long time to figure out what to use, though, because with the screens used on stage you can see the actual netting through the camera. We had to find something that was fine enough to


look like it could be solid, or when

Th e W ell

there was light on the front of it, but be able to see through when there was light behind it.


W h at

f il m s t o c k d id yo u u se fo r t h a t


We shot it on 16mm to be blown up to 35mm, and I didn’t want it to look grainy or gritty. I wanted to get the best-looking pictures that I could for that, so we used a really low-ASA fine­ grain 100ASA Kodak stock. I didn’t mix different stocks at all. W hat

a b o u t f il t e r s , b e c a u s e t h e


Most of the colour was done with the lights rather than filters on the camera. I actually don’t think I had any filtration on the camera. It was quite clean. We

r e m in d s s o m e p e o p l e of

Bro nte

f il m s .


t h a t an


I n Th e W e ll

an d

Lo v e S e r e n a d e ,



No. Most of our influences were from


still photography. We actually only moved the camera on a dolly two or three times in the whole film. At other


A u s t r a l ia n


That is interesting. No, I tend to think that once I get a feeling for the way

times we were hand-held, but we tried to set up each frame so it was very par­ ticular in its composition and it was telling a story as one shot. We weren’t willy nilly about the way we framed things, not that the other

that the film is - the mood of the film and the way that the photography is meant to tell the story - it happens

directors I’ve worked with have been, but it was very specific in a sense that it was like still photography.

week or so. I don’t consciously think like that. It just happens if you are prepared.

A ny

p a r t ic u l a r s t il l p h o t o g r a p h e r ?

Our main influences were Bill Henson, who is an Australian photographer,

unconsciously. Once you are set on a style, the images come quite easily after you have been shooting for a


I have been very lucky in a

cs 7 0


n p i

Common Viewpoints

The AFl Awards

Sales Agents & Distributors

N ew SP A A President

A ndrew L. U rban

N ick H erd d iscu sses the im portant issues facing the production

The recently-altered voting procedu res o f the A F I A w ards are scrutinized by

in dustry with

Tim Hunter.

looks at D istribu tors and S ales Agents: who they are and w hat they do.

P age 30

Page 33

M on ica Zetlin. P age 26


Big S<reen, Big Pitture, Big Deal I M A X has arrived m A ustralia, and it’s too big to not take seri­ ously, argu es Barrie Pattison. P age 42

The Emperor's New Camera L in d say A m os checks up on cam era and lens developers as they p rep are for to take cinem a into the 21st century. Page 51


COIVUWNVIEWPOINTS The 12th Screen P roducers A ssociation o f A ustralia Conference. B y M o n ica Zetlin


his year’s annual Screen Producers Associa­ tion of Australia (SPAA) Conference takes place in Melbourne on 13-16 November. Advertising an “All Star Cast”, this year’s confer­ ence boasts international guests covering the spectrum of film and television production, distrib­ ution and exhibition. Among them will be Saul Zaentz (three-time Oscar winner, most recently for The English Patient); David Aukin, head of film at Channel 4; Bruce Davey, President of Icon Pro­ ductions; and Producer Debra Hill (The Fisher King). Local luminaries include Sandra Levy, pro­ ducer of The Well-, writer Craig Pearce (William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet)-, and producerdirector David Bradbury. It promises to be an exciting and informative Conference this year, with the added anticipation of official government response to the past year’s industry development. Senator Richard Alston will be speaking at a seminar in which it is anticipated he will outline government policy directly affecting the film and television industry, in particular the Gonski Report and the Mansfield Report. SPAA is the employer representative association for the audiovisual production industry. Its aim is to create the environment and conditions under which a vigorous independent production industry can thrive, and to provide an effective lobbying force in government decisions and industrial rela­


tions. Currently membership stands at approxi­ mately 300. Members come from across the board: feature film, television, documentary, tele­ vision commercials, and services and facilities. In September this year, Nick Herd replaced Michael Gordon-Smith as Executive Director of SPAA, at a time when the industry is facing an uncertain yet potentially exciting future. Herd took the position at SPAA after spending several years at the Australian Broadcasting Authority, where he was involved in the develop­ ment and implementation of broadcasting policy, in particular issues such as Australian content, chil­ dren’s television, audience research and industry codes of practice. Prior to that, Herd spent the early to mid-1980s working in the acquisition and scheduling of programmes for SBS Television. In the ’70s, he was involved in distribution and exhi­ bition of films, and was a member of the Sydney Filmmakers Co-op. SPAA has a vital role as a lobbying body on behalf of the industry on influencing government regulation. Herd admits that SPAA represents a membership base with different issues and many different viewpoints, within a diverse and competi­ tive industry: But there are common viewpoints in relation to what improves commercial certainty for producers; what improves the flow of funding and the share of returns

for producers; what increases the size of the industry and the share of production made by independent producers. The role of government is crucial to all of these questions and to the continuing health and success of the industry.

While many in the industry are reassured by the Howard Government’s undertaking to keep the current level of government subsidy intact, there is a sense of unease at how long the Government will continue its level of commitment, and how it seeks to encourage private investment. Herd recognizes the prime position SPAA is in to use its influence on putting a coherent argument for policy and funding that would position the industry for growth: The message to government is of the achievements of the industry, the opportunities and the threats that face it, and the potential for growth that can be underwritten by the right policy and funding settings. The industry has to put these arguments. It can’t be done by others, because only the industry is in the position to argue with the force and conviction of knowledge experience.

Those arguments proved persuasive to the govern­ ment and the reports and reviews commissioned in the last year, in particular the Gonski Review of Commonwealth Assistance to the Film Industry, and the Mansfield review. SPAA pushed for a greater level of ABC production to be out-sourced C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

to independent producers, and continues to negotiate with the ABC on the details of the com­ missioning process and contestability for potential projects. SPAA will also be arguing that the Com­ mercial Television Production Fund should continue, and has been satisfied that it has fulfilled the aims of increasing the amount of production by commercial networks over and above that required by Australian content regulations. The continued support of mainstays of government funding, the Australian Film Commission (AFC) and the Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC), are high on SPAA’s and Herd’s agenda: SPAA believes that there is a continuing need for gov­ ernment support from both these agencies and that the level of fundingto both is at a low mark compared to previous years. Both organizations are under con­ siderable pressure to meet the demands placed upon them by the industry for funding. This pressure will only increase if there is any winding back of other pro­ grammes. This needs to be seriously addressed by government so as to maintain an adequate level of production and project development.

SPAA and other industry groups have been involved in the High Court case which revolves

potential for direct producer and investor relation­ ships being developed; and greater opportunities for creative/commercial risk-taking. We have said that any replacement for the current tax concession arrangement for investment should maintain and enhance a diversity of investment sources; encourage and maintain a high level of Australian creative con­ trol over projects funded; be accessible to the broadest range of independent producers; address areas of market failure In existing tax concession and direct outlays programmes and be administratively simple and inexpensive as possible.

SPAA supports the tax-based FLICs as outlined in the Gonski Report, on the basis that the tax conces­ sion available be at least 120 percent. Herd adds: We believe that a tax concession limited to 100 percent will not attract a significant enough level of investment. While a concessional rate of 120 percent may not be as attractive to the Government, SPAA believes that the advantages of the tax based FLIC over current tax arrangements outweigh any concern that the Govern­ ment may have in relation to tax-based systems. In particular, the capped nature of the government com­ mitment and the licensing provisions provide a degree of certainty and transparency that allow for measurable

management and assessment of programme delivery in meeting the Government’s objectives.

SPAA also supports a direct outlays FLIC model, whereby the funding provided by the Government directly matches that provided by the private sector and allows the private investor to recoup first from revenue earned by the FLIC investment. Herd: SPAA believes that such a FLIC would attract a different class of investors from those attracted to a tax-based FLIC and also has the potential to underwrite growth in the industry.

This year’s SPAA Conference will address these funding and policy issues, along with more busi­ ness and creative-based issues. There will be forums discussing a wide-ranging spectrum, including innovation in television programming, financing and marketing low-budget features, overseas investment in Australian production, and concerns for animation producers. Herd sees the Conference, now in its 12th year, as being an opportunity not only to get a fresh per­ spective on all the issues facing the industry, but also as a chance to “provide all those who attend with the opportunity to come together to do business. This has become an essential part of its success.” ©

"SPAA believes that such a FLIC would attract a different class of investors from those attracted to a taxbased FLIC and also has the potential to underwrite growth in the industry." around the issue of whether New Zealand content can qualify as Australian - a case which has essentially hinged on the interpretation of the Broadcasting Services Act and the Trade in Services Protocol to the CER Treaty. Herd: However, leaving aside these legal arguments, we believe it to be fundamentally wrong for New Zealand producers to expect access to rules designed to pro­ mote and encourage the representation of Australian cultural identity on television. New Zealand culture is not Australian culture and it is silly to think that one can substitute for the other.

A key initiative of the Gonski Report was the sug­ gestion that to encourage diversity there was the need to maintain and expand a ‘many doors’ policy and private investment, primarily through Film Licensed Investment Company tax concession (FLICs) to replace 10BA and 10B. While Herd states that SPAA broadly supports this initiative, and is keen to see FLICs work as an effective addi­ tion to the range of support mechanisms currently available, nonetheless SPAA remains concerned that the advantages of the tax concessions currently available are retained: In particular, to note that current tax concessions provide an alternative to the exclusively market attachment nature of FFC investment; provide the C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997


DAVID HIRSCHFELDER Shine Strictly Ballroom the Interview. STEVE LAW (ABC Electronic Composer ot the Year) NICK GAVE / MICK HARVEY / BLIXA BARGELD:

To Have and to Hold . OLLIE OLSEN STEVE KILBEY ¡The Church,Blackrock . YURI WORONTSCHAK: Full Frontal etc .CAMERON ALLAN. ROGER WHITE : Bandit Queen. BARRINGTON PHELOUNG.DAVID CHESWORTH/D A v E G R A N E Y . T R I C K Y . P O W D E R R N G E R . T H E C R U E L S E A . T H E C A R D I G A N S . B E N L E E . D A V I D T H R U S S F I I . R E B E C C A S E M P I R E . N IC K C A V E A N D T H E B A D S E E D S . Y O U A M I . U 2 . B IL L L A S W E L L . E D K U E P P E R . P R I M U S . K I T A R O . C . A . A . M . A . B J O R K . E Q U A . K I S S . D I R T Y T H R E E . D . I . G . e t c

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THE AH AWARDS Flaw ed, but not forgotten. B y Tim Hunter.


997 has seen the introduction of a new selection system for the AFI Awards. They have dispensed with pre-selection for feature films (a system where panels of industry professionals watch all entered feature films, and come up with a list of nominations for each category), and now all AFI members get to vote for Best Film, and accredited members get to vote in their specialized categories, as long as they’ve seen all the entered films. Last year’s nominations were widely attacked as being unfair and unrepresentative, with many seri­ ous omissions, such as the broad snubbing Shirley Barrett’s Love Serenade received from the panels, the absence of Andrew de Groot and Mandy Walker from the Best Cinematography nominations, and the failure to nominate Bob Connolly and Robin Ander­ son’s Rats in the Ranks for Best Documentary. Richard Lowenstein was particularly vocal with an Open Letter to the AFI (Cinema Papers, no. 112, October 1996, p. 4) and a later response (no. 113, December 1996, p. 4). Calls for major restructuring were many and loud. It is interesting that the AFI should choose this year to revamp the process, given last year’s brouhaha. According to Ruth Jones, Chief Executive of the AFI, the pre-selection process is constantly re-appraised by the Awards Advisory Committee, and apparently this year’s changes were not a direct result of this. It would be surprising, however, if the Committee wasn’t influ­ enced, even a little, by last year’s noise. But we’re not here to rake over old ground. We have cause to celebrate this year because there is no pre­ selection. Or do we? What does this new voting system actually mean for the AFI Awards and the nominations? For starters, it means that all AFI members got to see all the films entered, and this year that numbered 1 4 - not all that different to the number of films that pre-selection panels have short-listed in previous years. Last year there was 15, the year before 13, and


1994 had 14. No need to worry, then, that there would be too many films for members to see. Back in the mid-1980s, when 10BA was pumping out 20-25 films a year, it was a problem; today, it’s not. It also means that the nominations, and ultimately the winners, reflect a more popular vote. This year’s nominations are, of course, the most popular four contenders in each category, and in some cases that has come up with some interesting results. Frances O’Connor receives not one but two nomi­ nations for Best Actress: one for Thank God He Met Lizzie (Cherie Nowlan) and another for Kiss or Kill (Bill Bennett). Would this have happened, regardless of how deserving she is for both nominations, in a pre-selection system? One would imagine not. In fact, it’s something of a first for lead acting nomina­ tions. The only precedent for such a situation was in 1 9 7 7 , when John Ewart received nominations for Best Supporting Actor in two films, The Picture Show Man (John Power) and Let the Balloon Go (Oliver Flowes). He won it for The Picture Show Man. The Castle (Rob Sitch), going by its box-office per­ formance and theatrical longevity, should have easily been nominated for Best Film, but it misses out to The Well (Samantha Lang), Kiss or Kill, Doing Time for Patsy Cline (Chris Kennedy) and Blackrock (Steve Vidler). It did receive nominations for Best Original Screenplay and three out of the four acting categories, but apparently being the most successful Australian film of the year doesn’t matter, perhaps because it’s a comedy. But then, Muriel’s Wedding (P. J. Hogan, 1994) and Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992) have received Best Film awards in years gone by, so maybe there is no answer to that. Maybe it depends on how the term Best Film is defined and interpreted. Similarly, Heaven’s Burning, Craig Lahiff’s rather startling take on the road movie, received no nomi­ nations at all from the members this year. Was its pastiche too obscure, or was it also regarded as less

deserving than more serious films? Would it have received any nominations within a pre-selection sys­ tem? It’s academic in the end; the judges’ decision is final. Regardless of the vagaries inherent in any form of nomination process, the AFI Awards have received criticism over other issues. Pre-selection still exists for the non-feature categories, and that has managed to provoke an outcry again this year. Filmmaker Bob Connolly has criticised the AFI for not nominating Michael Cordell’s footy film, Year o f the Dogs, for Best Documentary, in a case that echoes the exclusion of his film Rats in the Ranks from the same category. Another protest has been voiced by independent film­ maker Lee Rogers. His no-budget feature, Dust Off the Wings, was deemed ineligible for entry into the AFI Awards because, even though it was finished on 35mm film, it was originally shot on video. Further doubt surrounds the eligibility of William Shake­ speare’s Romeo & Juliet, regardless of whether it was entered or not. (See “ Inbits” this issue, p. 4.) Omissions are part and parcel of the whole busi­ ness of nominations and awards. Consider Love Serenade last year, or the absence of jack Thompson from 1994’s Best Actor nominations for his perfor­ mance in The Sum o f Us (Kevin Dowling and Geoff Burton). The ditching of pre-selection was perceived to be the answer to this, but now it seems that even the new system is betrayed by subjectivity-it’s just on a larger, and more ‘popular’, scale. But is ‘popular’ subjectivity more deserving or fair than selective subjectivity? Hey, we’re dealing with films here, something that elicits a whole range of subjective and not always rational responses. What solution can there be? Even the Academy Awards haven’t been able to solve that conundrum. Should our film industry even try? There is no right way or wrong way of awarding achievement in cinema; only different ways. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

Q P IX LTD Qpix is a new screen resource centre formed to provide a focal point for nurturing the development of Queensland screen industries. It will foster film, television, and multimedia activity, and develop alliances between stakeholders, providers and the constituent groups which form the membership basis of QPIX.The centre will run professional development and training programs, provide access to creative and technical infrastructure and support production ranging form innovative new media to low budget features. Q P IX seeks a suitably qualified person as its Director. Salary is $50,000 per annum plus superannuation. The position is offered on a three-year contract basis subject to satisfactory performance, reviews, the first of which will be at six months.The contract is renewable at the Board’s discretion, subject to satisfactory performance. The successful applicant will w ork with other stakeholders to develop the Queensland screen industry along key aspects of the value chain including professional development and training, creative and technical infrastructure development, and policy development. S/he will demonstrate the capacity to nurture screen production talent. Selection criteria and further applications are available on application. Applications close 28 November 1997. Please forward applications to: Professor Stuart Cunningham Chair, Q P IX d o School of Media and Journalism Queensland University ofTechnology G P O Box 2434 Brisbane Q L D 4001 Tel: (07) 3864 1191 Fax: (07) 3864 1031



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SA1£SAGENTS & DISTRIBUTORS W ithout sales com panies and distributors; our films w ould not get m ade; it s as simple as that. B u t how do they w ork, w hat is the difference between one and the other, and w hat im pact have the local players had on our industry? B y A ndrew L. U rban aul Cox, the Australian film­ maker whose films are adored by fans internationally yet hardly ever released in mainstream theatres, once told me that he doesn’t set out to make arthouse films: “ I want the biggest possible audience for my films.” In a nutshell, Cox voiced the ambitions of all filmmakers, from Char­ lie Chaplin to Oliver Stone, from Ken G. Hall to Gillian Armstrong. Arguments of merit aside, all forms of artistic expres­ sion exist for an audience: all films are made to be seen, after all, and the filmmaker- like the painter, writer, photographer, composer, etc. - is the creator of the work, not necessarily (or frequently) the distributor of it. The vital job of getting it seen - selling and distribution - belongs to the sales agent and the distributor. They are fundamentally different types of businesses, although you



might be forgiven for some confusion when looking up “ Distributors” in the 2997 Encore Directory, which lumps them all together in a section that runs to 15 pages (and includes film, televi­ sion and video distributors). It has no separate “Sales Agents” category, which is perhaps why some producers, according to a few distributors, have trouble differentiating between them. In very simple terms, a sales agent sells the rights to a distributor for showingthe film to the public. For example, in July this year, Beyond Films, a sales agent, sold the US distri­ bution rights to Craig Lahiffs Heaven’s Burning to Trimark Pictures, a growing independent distributor. This gives (well, not exactly gives) Trimark licence to distribute the film in America only; other sales were made in regard to the film to Columbia Tristar for a number of territories, ranging from Latin America

and Eastern Europe to Greece, Turkey and Israel. In France, the film is to be distributed by New Tone; in Germany by a company called ZDF. In Japan, the distribution company Amuse directly purchased Japanese rights before production. The sales company, in this case Beyond, had acquired from the pro­ ducers of the film the various other territory rights, which it then sold off. It acquired those rights with a distribu­ tion guarantee, an amount of money which the producers would receive irrespective of sales. Extra sales would bring extra revenue. That distribution guarantee, together with the acquisi­ tion by Amuse, plus a modest direct investment from the South Australian Film Corporation, in turn triggered the rest of the finance for the budget from the Australian Film Finance Corporation.

(Perhaps it is the term “distribution guarantee” that is confusing. It should by rights be called a “sales guaran­ tee” : if no distributor buys the rights, the film will not be distributed.) There are two major Australian the­ atrical film sales companies operating in Australia: Beyond and Southern Star Film Sales. They compete for the rights to sell Australian films around the world at markets such as the American Film Market (AFM), held in Los Angeles in February, at the Cannes Festival and Marché in May, and MIFED in Milan in October. Smaller markets exist along­ side festivals in Berlin, Montréal, San Sebastian and increasingly at Sundance in Salt Lake City, in January, a special showcase for largely but not exclusively American independent films. On the distribution side, there are several purely local (Australian and New Zealand) distributors, such as


Dendy, Globe, NewVision, Palace, REP, Roadshow, Sharmill and Total. In addition, there is PolyGram’s Aus­ tralian arm, which has worldwide divisions, and Hollywood “majors” like Fox, Columbia and UIP. To this list, we can add US mini-majors like New Line, and, of course, Miramax, now owned by Disney but still run in the spirit of the Weinstein brothers, with a watch­ ful eye on Australian projects in the form of Acquisitions Consultant Victo­ ria Treole. All these distributors acquire films from around the world (through various sales agents) as well as from Australian producers. The “majors” - not just here but in the U SA- are now active in seeking independent films to distribute, and they may acquire rights directly from producers or through a sales agent. To some filmmakers, sales agents and distributors represent the ‘ugly’ com­ mercial side of filmmaking. This is where they get their hands ‘dirty’ talk­ ing about box-office, market segments, film rental, sales commis­ sions, advertising campaigns and overages (the excess, if any, over the guaranteed amounts). There is sometimes mistrust and misunderstanding between producer and distributor, especially when it is on home turf, and the producer sees at first hand what the distributor is doing with the release of the film.


One distributor relates with a mix of anguish and exasperation how a certain filmmaker criticized the han­ dling of a release, saying, “ I could have killed him for it” , referring to the distributor. Ironically, that was in respect of a very successful film. “Without sales and distribution, the films don’t get made”, says Richard Sheffield in his characteristi­ cally frank way. Sheffield, now the head of PotyGram Filmed Entertain­ ment’s Australian arm, has many years experience in the industry, and believes that all sectors have to work together. (Sheffield was not the subject of the “killing” remark.)

It’s all about relationships. I’m aware of the suspicion that some

people have about us [in sales and distribution], about that feeling of ‘us and them’. But the reality is, if we go into a film, we’re in it together. Producers who accuse [distributors] of mishandling films tend to forget that we’re the ones to lose the most from our mistakes. Producer Tony Buckley says producers must trust sales companies;

The Australian sales companies are totally professional and care about the films, because they are homebased. Of course, there is always an argument over one aspect or another, but that's what they are there for. Interference is minimal, he says, citing his latest project (as co-producer), The Sugar Factory:

across the table and discuss what you’re doing and how. I’m happy with Beyond; they’re passionately concerned, but respect the produc­ er’s position and don’t try to drive the project. Miall and his partner, Robyn Kershaw, established a joint company with Beyond in September this year to develop new feature films. Beyond has also entered into a development deal with David Elfick’s Voyager Films to develop a larger slate of pictures, as well as tele-features, with Beyond’s financial assistance. More such formal marriages between the creative and the commerTristram Miall

There was no interference at all; they [Beyond Films] made observa­ tions at the director’s cut, which is why you show them that. And then they gave the thumbs up on the final cut. Producer Tristram Miall (Strictly Ball­ room, Children o f the Revolution) echoes Buckley’s views:

I’ve never had a problem [with sales companies interfering]. I’ve never dealt with an overseas sales company, and the proximity is sig­ nificant. You have to be able to sit C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997





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example, Angel Baby [Michael Rymer, 1995] was a very tough film, but executed extremely well. We spent a lot of money profiling it. Normally, on strict commercial terms, we wouldn’t have. But we go the extra mile to help ensure we do have an Australian film industry. We’re trying to make a contribution by putting in a big effort.

dal entities are likely. Says Beyond’s head of sales, Gary Hamilton,

We’re the voice of the market, and try as much as we can to represent what the market wants, both cre­ atively and commercially. And our choices are fairly eclectic; not just arthouse or just mainstream. We need at least eight or 10 films a year, so we do have to deal with some films outside Australia. I just don’t think there is really room for both us and Southern Star in this market. When there was a four or five month gap in early 1997 when the FFC ran out of money. We had a product shortage and that is a problem. All the same, Beyond has had two successful years in a row, with Love Serenade (Shirley Barrett) and Love and Other Catastrophes (Emma-Kate Croghan) in 1996, then Kiss or Kill (Bill Bennett) and Heaven’s Burning this year achieving significant international sales. Southern Star, which is being inun­ dated with some 400 scripts a year, nearly four times the volume sent to Beyond, is selecting on emotional cri­ teria. “The first thing is the script, and to be honest it has to somehow emo­ tionally engage me”, says Robyn Watts, Chief Executive of Southern Star Sales.

Then I look at the people involved, in particular the director and the producer, and then the size of the budget. For us it has to be small to medium. But we are very open on themes and subject matter, as long as other people respond to the script. We get other people to read it. I also try to imagine who the tar­ get audience is. It doesn’t worry me whether it’s arthouse or crossover, as long as I think it’ll work relative


to the investment we have to make. There’s nothing automatically excluded, but there are films that are done better in the USA with wellknown casts and bigger budgets. Bucking the trend that avoids genre films, Total’s Heather Ogilvie is work­ ing with writer-director Craig Lahiff on a sci-fi thriller.

But we’re concerned how to pack­ age it, aware of the first question anyone asks with a genre film: Who is the star? We’re a bit nervous about going back to a genre film. Even though Dating The Enemy [a romantic comedy] did well, the Americans had a block about it because it didn’t have, say, Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell.

without a real understanding of what the film was about. In the UK, they used what we developed, and it worked much better. While the sales companies focus on acquiring international rights, the dis­ tributors focus on picking up Australian films for local distribution. In that respect, they work in parallel, sometimes in tandem, with each other. But that doesn’t make the selection process easier. “ It’s the toughest

That, in a sense, defines one of the most significant benefits of having Australian companies selling and dis­ tributing Australian films. However, some productions benefit from the greater leverage and greater resources of international companies like Ciby, Miramax and the others. In other instances, ongoing relationships drive deals: Pandora in Paris and Intra Film in Rome have a history with Australian films. Yet, as the AFC’s Marketing Man­ ager, Sue Murray, points out, the strong representation from Australian sales agents with significant Australian catalogues generates interest in Aus­ tralian film. Beyond and Southern Star are recognized as Australian, and this gives buyers a focal point. There are other advantages, says Murray:

Filmmakers have the opportunity to work with the local sales companies on a daily basis; they work together to identify overseas markets. The two sales companies have also

This is an issue that is always a hur­ dle for non-US-made films: the buyers act like filters for their audi­ ences, filtering out whatever they believe the audience won’t accept. They are not always right: but they are the gatekeepers. Watts recognizes she has two tar­ get audiences to satisfy: the buyers, and the audiences.

You may make a film work for a buyer in a market environment by very strong marketing, by winning some awards, or the right vibe. So it may appeal to the buyer in some way, but it may not work at the box-office, or vice versa. But we try and include in our marketing the way buyers can reach the consumer audience as well. Producers, Tony Buckley among them, like to be involved in creating the mar­ keting strategies.

It’s important for the creative team - the writer, director, producer - to be involved. In the USA, they changed the campaign for Bliss [Ray Lawrence, 1985], for example,

question of all, trying to have an insight into audiences’ likes”, says Richard Becker, Managing Director of the Becker Group, whose distribution arm, REP, acquires films from overseas as well as locally.

It’s instinct, experience and the cre­ ative package. You certainly can’t have a good film with a bad script, so we look at storytelling first, then the other factors. We probably spend a disproportionate time on Australian films, and we have a greater creative and financial com­ mitment to Australian film. For

played an important role in profiling Australian actors internationally. The companies have made a solid financial investment in Australian film; they help identify young or emerging talent and establish a rela­ tionship with them [...] so it’s a whole heap of things. International sales companies, adds Murray, also offer good service, and, given the interest shown in Australian films, competition for good product is high. “ Look at how many people arrive before the SPAA conference to look at films in the pipeline”, says Buckley. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

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ongrafulates and is proud to represent internationally the following AFI nominated films


5 Nominations an d lo o k s f o r w a r d th e b e s t o f A

ing in t e r n a t io n a lly lia n ci lem a in 1 9 9 8

Cast: Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, Alana De Roma

CRACKERS Director: David Swann Cast: Warren Mitchell, Peter Rowsthorn, Susan Lyons

THE SUGAR FACTORY Director: Robert Carter Cast: Matt Day, Rhondda Findleton, John Waters

PASSION The story of acclaimed international composer, pianist and eccentric, Percy Grainer and his mother, Rose.

JAMES The comic story of a young football hero who leads a secret double life as a dancer.


Beyond Films

Southern Star Film Sales

Beyond Films is part of the publicly-listed Beyond International Group, which also makes and sells television programming. It has some 65 feature films in its catalogue, from Strictly Ballroom to A Little Bit o f Soul, the latest film from Peter Duncan, which it launched at MIFED in October.

Part of the Southern Star Group, Southern Star Film Sales also makes and sells television programming. It has a smaller catalogue than Beyond Films, but is actively seeking new projects. It had a modest 1997 with the Cannes Compétition

Managing Director: Mikael Borglund. Flead of Sales: Gary Hamilton, Marketing Manager: John Thornhill

Chief Executive: Robyn Watts. Head of Sales: Rhys Kelly. Corporate Affairs Manager: Lesna Thomas (not pictured).

entry, The Well, and has several new titles to launch in early 1998.


Dendy Films

Palace Entertainment

Roadshow Film Distributors

Total Film and Television

Now part of the Becker Group, Dendy Films retains autonomy in distribution decisions. It has been in the business for 12 years, with a small chain of art-house cinemas in central Sydney and Brisbane, and a partnership in Melbourne’s Kino.

With a growing exhibition division (close to 30 screens), Palace has foreign-lan­ guage and strong independent films, such as Sling Blade, Ulysses’ Gaze, The Truce - so far, no Australian titles. Contact: Antonio Zeccola (pictured),

Sydney-based, has arrangement with UIP for distribution and is occasionally picking up projects, such as Hurrah, currently in post-production.

Contact: Graeme Tubbenhauer, Lyn McCarthy

Benjamin Zeccola.

Sub-distributor for Warner Bros, and Disney. Active in both international and Australian films. Alan Finney exclusively works on the latter from script stage; for example, Amy, from Nadia Tass and David Parker, now in post-production.

Contact: Heather Ogilvie.

Contact: Alan Finney.

Carrington Road, Essential, Potential There are also a few very small distrib­ utors, like Carrington Road and Essential, which are now emerging, handling one or two films a year.

Globe Film Co NewVision Films

REP Distribution

Sharmill Films

One of the last distributors without exhibition outlets, though Managing Director, Frank Cox, is a partner in Mel­ bourne’s Kino Cinema. Active in foreign

Becker Group’s distribution arm, active in mainstream films that are

Operates a small exhibition chain in Melbourne (Longford, Nova) and Ade­

not held by the majors, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Brassed Off. Will continue to acquire mainstream films internationally while Dendy specializes.

laide and buys selected independent films at markets, for example, Pretty

and independent films, and Melbournebased. Distributed Kiss or Kill.

Contact: Frank Cox (pictured), John Cerrone.


Contact: Jane Alsobrook.

Village Pretty Flame. Has put a toe into local distribution waters with Family Crackers.

Contact: Natalie Miller.

Three years old but growing, with a strong relationship with Ciby for a flow of product, Globe moved into exhibi­ tion this year, with the Stanmore Cinema in Sydney under its manage­ ment. It distributed Love Serenade, and has acquired In The Winter Dark.

Contact: Richard Payten, Andrew Mackie, Peter Downer. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997



































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he large-film, large-screen processes are proliferating and have reached Australia. 3-D is in the pipeline. Sites are running and planned for Melbourne’s Museum of Vic­ toria, and Max Vision follows Katoomba with Brisbane’s Hamilton Quay. Mean­ while, the veteran Imax theatres and domes of the Gold Coast, Townsville and Perth roll on. Sydney’s Darling Harbour is edging towards becoming a movie theme park, dominated by the sign on Cinema Plus’ eye-shaped building proclaiming, “The Biggest Screen in the World”, with Sega World’s Iwerks TurboRide and the Showscan installations offering simulator rides and Lazervision showing on sprayed water in the evening.


Finally, it’s possible to assess the activity without having to leave the country - though it does look like we are going to miss out on a range of show­ pony processes, like Vitascope, Magic Carpet and Circlevision. Imax (for Maximum Image) likes to think of itself as Big Brother. Now re-financed as a half-billion dol­ lar company, it still dominates, pointing out that the total business of its competitors is roughly the equiv­ alent of Max Vision, one of its customer companies. It has 144 permanent theatres in 21 countries with another 40 in the planning stage and a library of more than 115 films. Since its 1994 opening, the Sony IMAX 3-D theatre in New York’s Lincoln Center has become one of the highest-grossing, single-movie screens in the USA. Omnimax, about which I have reservations, has

shrunk to 10 percent of the company’s installations and is now called Imax Dome, while the new, derived Max Vision system is expanding faster than its prototype. Behind them, an even greater investment lies in the worldwide network of theatre owners, and their association is seen by some as the real power in the industry. Tryingto simplify: all of the bewildering new range of names and processes use 70mm film, the largest motion-picture stock currently produced com­ mercially. Imax turns this on its side, using the width of the film as the height of the image and a 15-perfo­ ration (15/70) ‘rolling loop’ pull-though as the width of its three-by-four picture. Intriguingly, the shape of the silent image, Academy frame, television and computer screen, still persists. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

Max Vision cites advances in emulsion technology, and, rather than take these as a bonus, says that it is possible to get the results once associated with 15 perforation more economically. It restores the conven­ tional downwards pull to use the width of the film as the width of the image and eight perforations (8/70) as the height of the Imax-shaped image. Most eightperforation films are print-downs from Imax negatives, though production has been attempted with eightperforation negative. The examples on view suggest that, within screen-size limitations, there is as much variation between installations as between processes. Most other systems use the five-perforation (5 /7 0 ) pull-down to produce a 2:21 widescreen image. This has been the standard 70mm frame since the ’50s and Todd AO, whose cameras were modified for Douglas Trumbull’s first Showscan productions. This is an CI NEMA PAPERS • DECEMBER


image deeper than the four-perforation high frame of the 70mm presentations of the ’30s, Magnascope and the rest. The fact of using less stock is pro­ moted as a selling point. Iwerks (we thought Mickey Mouse’s creator, Ub Iwerks, had a made-up name like his contemporaries Parkyakarcus and Rip Van Ronkle, but he turned out to be authentic Scandina­ vian) offers a variety of these formats along with the possibility of a 360-degree video theatre. Sound is also a major factor. Magnetic, which we were once told would eliminate other track tech­ nologies, has all but been replaced by a proprietary Digital Player, complete with back-up discs provid­ ing the surround sound. Only Imax trailers now use separate magnetic film sound, and Showscan instal­ lations can’t play the mag sound productions from the Trumbull era here. State-of-the-art readers syn-








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chronize four- and six-track surround sound to the film by reading margin information on the print. The Imax productions run at 30 frames each sec­ ond with 3-D and other sophisticated applications using Imax HD 48 fps, as opposed to the 24 of con­ ventional theatrical showings. Showscan zips this up to 60 fps to achieve greater sharpness and flicker­ free sidewise movements. This meshes nicely on a frame-for-frame basis with the 60 frames of High Def­ inition Television whose laser discs are sometimes used in ride simulators. As well as the familiar theatre situations, the industry now embraces these Ride Simulations, in the manner of the pioneer “Star Tours” attraction at Dis­ neyland. Here, banks or platforms of seats tilt, sway and shunt in time with the on-screen image to give the illusion of movement. Their proprietors now proudly describe the “ Degree of Freedom” in terms of heave, surge, sway, pitch, yaw and roll. They can screw them up for a more ferocious experience for the daring. I wouldn’t recommend the more violent settings for the readily nauseous. It would be unwise to think of the simula­ tors as a sideline. Their small the­ atres do seven shows an hour and in Futuroscope, the European movie theme park, show a 110 percent on the gate fig­ ures against 60 percent for theatre attractions. In China, audiences queue for Shows­ can for four hours. Universal City’s “ Back to the Future” ride is said to have cost $100 million. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

As I suggested earlier, these take the movies back to their fairground, expo origins, and one of the sales pitches offers the simulators as the same experience with a fraction of the ground space “foot print” of the traditional rollercoaster. We are not all that far from the “ Phantom Rides” of the pre-World War I cinema where cameramen like Billy Blitzer mounted their gear on the front of loco­ motives. We can see that just as in 1906, with work like Hold Up o f the Rocky Mountain Express, narra­ tive creeps into the ride format. Showscan has Industrial Light and Magic and the Cannon Ball Run team creating six-minute storylines to justify bounc­ ing audiences about in front of simulated windshield views. See if you can spot the edits in the live-action Desert Duel. Iwerks specializes in rides spun off movies like Days o f Thunder (Tony Scott, 1990). The illusion ofthe movies re-tracing its evolution is occasionally startling. Not only is there sound on disc, we even had a Patents War with Imax get­ ting a violation settlement out of Showscan. Once again, prints are sold outright to exhibitors and this is becoming a major factor in costing attractions. An Imax 3-D production will run to $30,000 in copy costs alone. As the number of productions made each year increases to some 20, runs are becoming shorter to accommodate. The schedule and pressure is mounting to lease and circulate copies, just as happened in the days of the first film exchanges. The 70mm polyester film is extraordi­ narily durable. Breaks are almost unknown. The limit on print-life is colour fading (on the low-fade stock) which

becomes visible at about 1,000 runs. Pumping light through an image magnified to 30 metres by 40 is punishing. In Imax installations, water-cooling and air-filtering plant is as high-tech as the projectors, and extraordinary care is taken to maintain dust-free and temperature-controlled bio-box environments. Dirt on the lens, against which the rolling loop presses the film, stays put and remains noticeable through the screening. Even novelty of movement is again a selling point. Mario Andretti says Big Screen coverage looks faster than actual racing. “When you’re driving, you’re focusing forward, so it seems like things are coming at you a lot slower.” The Imax operators know that their new Ben Stassen Thrill Ride production will play better with audiences who have not grown used to Big Screen. They say that you can pick the North Americans in the audience at Katoomba by the fact that they will sit in the front rows, while people not familiar with Big Screen sit at the back. I find the special impact engulfing, the youare-there quality asserting itself at unexpected moments: the drive into Los Angeles in Special Effects-, Mick jagger rejecting a used styrofoam cup in At the Max and, of course, the audience jumping in their seats as the camera rushes down the test ramp into the net in The Dream Is Alive. Dream has now come near to being a Big Screen classic, having been seen by more than 40 million people and grossing over $USioo million. It’s one leg of a “Space Trilogy” , and has spawned a new batch of Big Screen space films. The James Niehouse-lvan Galin Mission to Mir screening here is an example, in that they couldn’t resist the temptation to cut from the murky, black-surrounded stock footage to the full Imax blast-off with its orange smoke filling the screen. The emphasis on presentation carries over into the conventional 35mm film-evening shows in a loca­ tion like Katoomba, where the operator serves a




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single-screen, rather than the standards-destroying array of a multiplex. It is seen as important that “ best conditions” be associated with the centre. The Big Screen industry may resemble the first years of cinema and it does have points of contact with the contemporary movie. The experience and sensibility of the ride-makers shows in scenes in mainstream films, like the car chase in The Rock (Michael Bay, 1996), the runaway trolley in Metro (Thomas Carter, 1997) and, particularly, the yellow cab chase in The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997), with digital imagery recalling simulator films like Ben Stassen’s Red Rock Run or Scott Squires’ Space Race. We even have a feature version of Mr Bean tampering with an on-screen Iwerks simulator. However, the Big Screen still stands apart from the contemporary movie scene. Movie reviewers here, as abroad, show little interest in the product once the buildings are up and running. (Maybe the Sydney Quay Cinémathèque lot are onto something promoting construction rather than programmes. Mind you, the manoeuvring into place of a one-piece screen the size of three tennis courts is a good story.) Censorship is not a problem with family-oriented productions. Africa: the Serengeti, The Edge and the rest are a long way from the world of naked starlets and smoke-filled press conferences. The special needs of Big Screen productions are still being established. Insiders say close-ups would be more likely to show skin imperfections than expres­ sion; lateral movements jar; rapid cutting disturbs; and the rest. Audience cutaways often used in desper­ ation by clip-makers become highlights in At the Max. There are surprising limitations. Fades, dissolves and more sophisticated

appears to be in impeccable sync after being checked by eye some 30 times by producer Peter Kimsey, even the vintage 35mm productions repro­ duced in Special Effects have shonky lip movements. M irtnes some noisy location sound under its music track. The problems of filming with something that has been compared to a Volkswagen with four peo­ ple hovering around it and sounds like a power-mower are still being assessed. George Casey, who is on the way to becoming a revered elder, having started when there was a 12theatre circuit, has seen his crew grow from one cameraman to a six-person team and comments: “Some of the things that Hollywood producers take for granted come about rather slowly in this format.” The Showscan promoters claim that their process, using modified conventional cameras, avoids these problems already. Their dramatic productions use Hollywood teams, like director Richard Fleischer and cameraman Jack Cardiff, though there are no plans to screen these here. Dean Semler has worked on an aviation ride film. The projectors can be adapted to standard 70mm and 35mm within a 90-minute

or cultural centre, and bankrolled by the institution itself. Revenue from any other showings is jam. Only two or three of the Imax films now made annually may expect to return a profit. This can create a tension in the work. There are stories in the Big Screen community of productions severely compromised by sponsor interference. Casey’s unit were more aware of their self-censor­ ship and found themselves divided on material, such as a comic animal montage. He suggests that the films themselves are only part of the process. Some of the most interesting material is only found in the accompanying literature: the harrowing account of the Thompson’s Gazelle taken by a lion as it tried to shelter under his four-wheel drive while they were bound by an undertaking not to aid or hinder the Serengeti food chain; or Al Gitoes free-diving, with­ out air, because bubbles, the way they herd krill, would spook the subjects in his Whales. Marketing to schools is a key element. Ride-style attractions, like Showscan’s Cosmic Pinball, are a world away from the museum films, but they also figure an educational angle with science

changeover period. Editing is now done on video. For The Edge, the crew didn’t even print suspect shots on 35mm, which had proved misleading on earlier productions, instead taking 15/70 Imax prints into the Gold Coast Theatre to establish their effectiveness under endresult conditions. Much of what is done are “ Destination Films”, productions designed to be run in one location as part of the attraction of a theme park, museum, Expo

opticals are only now appearing in the 15/70 productions and, while the Rolling Stones film C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997


foyer displays - Internet-monitored access aimed at young audiences. None of this would be worth our attention if the productions weren’t imposing. One indicator is that Big Screen movies have been up for the best documentary Oscar four times now. A decade back, when George Casey’s Mt St Helen’s Volcano was entered, the panel had to watch a 35mm print-down because there was no Imax theatre in LA. The panel considering this year’s Special Effects got the full-blast hi-tech presentation. The Rolling Stones at the Max, the coverage of the 1990 European tour, is the first Imax featurelength movie. It is running here with an interval half-way through. Jean-Jacques Arnaud’s 1995 3-D Ailes du Courage (Wings o f Courage) has proved more controversial. The first attempt at a serious fiction film in the process, it is a major Columbia production on the history of aviation with Val Kilmer, Elizabeth McGovern and Tom Hulce and, while gener­ ally considered an interesting item, it has not performed as hoped and industry insiders tend to accept that it was not the right vehicle to launch Big Screen features. The star turns remain the 40-plus-minute docu­ mentary attractions. Particularly admired is David Douglas’ 1993 Fires o f Kuwait, an account of the work extinguishing the blazing oil fields at the end of the Gulf War. It has yet to be shown here. This and The Living Sea from 1996 make up the Oscar roll. Made by IMAX stalwarts Magilivray and Freeman

with narration by Meryl Streep and music by Sting, The Living Sea is a representative example of the ambitions of the new productions, often now in the $5,000,000 budget range. It contains some imposing material: the red Coast Guard boat buffeted by 15foot waves as it retrieves a dummy for practice; scenes of feeding fish underwater and stop-motion by specialist Ron Fricke from Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1983), who has contributed a number of films to the library, including his Australian-made Sacred Site. George Casey films, like Darwin on the Galapagos and his volcano movie Ring o f Fire, we would like to investigate. His Africa: the Serengeti is on show, an imposing account of the now-imperilled annual game migrations of nearly 2,000,000 African hooved mam­ mals, at a time when officials are trying to make the Masai, who depend on this migration, abandon their


nomad life. James Earl Jones intoning “ Long before human memory, the mountains of the East emptied themselves into the sky”, over music re-treaded from The Power o f One (John G. Avildsen, 1992), is irre­ sistible. Well-promoted, the film plays in 100 Big Screen theatres worldwide, a possible record num­ ber of leases. Casey is at work on his new Alaska: Spirit o f the Wild. It is surprising to find an Australian unit at the heart of this operation. John Weiley’s association with Big Screen goes back to his Bicentennial Showscan film, Celebrating Us. He’s been on a steep learningcurve since that one. The films he has made with cameraman Tom Cowan and composer Nigel Westlake are among the most highly-regarded of the Big Screen productions, even with their comparatively-modest budgets. Weiley is not altogether happy with his status as a quiet achiever, pointing out that the $80,000,000 his Antarctica has earned should place it number five in the list of big-earning Australian movies from which it is inevitably excluded. Antarctica from 1989 is clearly a top-of-the-line Imax, from its striking opening shot with the camera circling dangerously-low over the prow of the advanc­ ing ice-breaker in blinding, crisp light, the narrator advising, “ It is summer. It is midnight.” There are the trademark time-lapse and curved horizon shots and historic footage backed with some of the Scott o f the Antarctic track. Flowever, the memory that people carry away from this one is the underwater and

under-ice material, obtained with extraordinary dis­ comfort in life-threatenning conditions as the operator took the Imax camera the size and weight of a refrigerator through holes drilled in the surface ice. “This is where Antarctica hides its colour, its complex­ ity.” The shots of penguins (“on land almost wholly ludicrous”) agilely diving and weaving turn round our idea of life-forms on the continent. More than 12 minutes for a suited cameraman in that water temperature meant light-headedness and death. There are stories of looking for the ice-hole with the oxygen gauge on zero. Flowever, Weiley likes to say that shooting in Antarctica was easier than filming in the Blue Moun­ tains’ gorges for his destination film, The Edge. There was no way to helicopter in gear, people and sup­ plies, all of which had to be carried or abseiled down the precipitous rock faces. The crew found them-

selves, one night, sleeping on a narrow shelf six inches away from a roaring torrent, rather than drag all the gear out and back again the next day. The Edge is Weiley’s major work to date. Fie leaves you in no doubt, from the opening panorama of the tree-filled gorges and Hugo Weaving’s narra­ tion, “When the Grand Canyon was a shallow creek these valleys looked much as they do today.” One imposing image follows another: time-lapse of mist boiling in the valleys; diving into caves where at least four people have lost their lives; dwarf pines world unique to the spray of five waterfalls in the area. One startling image shows a helicopter passing under the climber group clinging to the cliff. Weiley clearly sees himself, as do several of the Big Screen directors, as part of the next generation of filmmakers, moving beyond tourist promotions like Grand Canyon and Behold Hawaii. If they have rafted an Imax camera down the rapids, he has dropped his over a waterfall. The division goes further than this. His work is forefront eco-film, with a plea for the areas unmarked by human contact throughout history to remain unscathed. He sees the Blue Mountains as unique, having been protected from encroaching urban Sydney by its rugged terrain. Nowhere else on the planet are the contrasts so extreme. His work is not always well served by his zeal. In attacking the European colonials’ belief that “the wilderness was there to be tamed”, he shows the English garden made up entirely of imported plants. It is so attractive we can’t help but be impressed by

their skill and determination. To shield the location of the celebrated, newly-discovered, 60 million years old Wollemi Pines, the crew was choppered in, eyes covered - unsympathetic audiences giggle at the shot of them clutching their gear, blindfolded. To be able to discuss theatrical documentaries at this level is something rare, here and abroad. It is a measure of Weiley’s achievement and the achievement of the Big Screen industry. The rewards here are more obvious and accessi­ ble and I can’t help wondering why the balance of press coverage is so enthusiastically shifted to the CD-Rom end of the scale, too often presented as the progressive element. With one quarter of a century behind it and a boom in theatres and production, this is the growth area in a largely-stagnant world film industry. Its achievements are already substantial and the best seems yet to come. © C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

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THE EMPEROR'S NEWCAMERA L in d say A m os surveys the new, and old, in cam eras and lenses. t the heart of the motion-picture camera is an intermittent movement. For around 100 years, this mechanism has had the same purpose. Cameras designed for 35mm film pass the film through the gate at 24 frames per second, freezing the film during the moment of exposure (typically, i/6oth of a second), before the mechanism pulls down another four perforations (the equivalent of


one frame) while the shutter is closed. Of course, there are slight variations in these parameters: the exposure time may vary; the frame speed may vary from one frame in several minutes to hundreds of frames per second (fps); the pull-down may change: for 70mm film it’s five perforations, for 16mm it’s one, for laterally-transported Vistavision it’s eight and some cameras are designed to save film when using the widescreen format by operating with a 3-perf pulldown. But if our examination is lim­ ited to 35mm, there is an amazing (or perhaps not) similarity between early motion-picture cameras and contemporary ones. 35mm film running at 24 fps for sync sound shooting is still the closest the film C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

industry has to a universal, international standard. In the USA, the ubiquitous Mitchell camera was synonymous with feature-film production for close to 50 years. When the sound era began, the Mitchell manufacturers gradually refined their already famous product into the BNC (Blimped Noiseless Camera) which was still being used world-wide in the ’70s. French filmmakers like Truffaut and Godard (predictably) gave the Mitchell a screen credit long before this was a contractual requirement — and Truffaut’s La Nuit Américaine {Day for Night, 1973) includes a sequence which lovingly depicts the cam­ era mechanism in operation. You can see the same kind of celebratory shot in Wim Wenders’ documen­ tary on Nicholas Ray, Lightning Over Water (1980). The French had produced their own camera, the Debrie, which was used in many European countries - it features prominently in Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera (1929) - and later designed the dual gauge i6/35m m Eclair, subsequently used to shoot many of the French new wave films. In Germany, the Arriflex came into its own during

World War II as a newsreel camera and, again, the brilliant design (including reflex -through-the-lensviewing and electric motor) may have been improved over the years, but the basic mechanism and even the famous silhouette has proved remarkably durable. This brief historical overview should serve to put a current survey of cameras and lenses in context. Today, most feature films (in Australia and else­ where) are using camera equipment from four manufacturers: Panavision, Arriflex, Moviecam and Aaton. Panavision became widely-known in the late ’50s and ’60s as a lens manufacturer, especially of anamorphics. The early CinemaScope lenses (by Bausch & Lomb) left much to be desired. Panavision’s superior optics eventually led to its designing a camera system (with input from cinematographers like Richard Moore) which challenged Mitchell’s stranglehold. As part of the system, Panavision designed a dual range of anamorphic and spherical


lenses. The Platinum Panaflex (the current top-ofthe-range model) is claimed to be the quietest camera in the world. Rather than rely on an unwieldy blimp, the designers chose to develop a quieter mechanism, yet still incorporating dual registration (the pins located on either side of the aperture, which effectively lock the film in place while It is being exposed) and a sprocket assembly which allows silent film transport. The crystal-controlled camera runs from 4 to 36 fps forward and reverse in 1/10 frame Increments. Relevant data is Indicated on microcomputer-con­ trolled LCD panels, such as film footage (In feet or metres), camera speed, shutter angle, tlmecode data, behlnd-the-lens filter and camera malfunctions. The viewfinder can be switched between spherical and anamorphic formats, and has Academy and fullaperture capabilities, as well as two built-in contrast viewing filters. The vldeo-asslst system features a dedicated CCD camera with digital-image processing, and Includes a scene-memory mode which overlays a real-time picture over a stored picture, permitting precise scene set-up and blocking. Panavlsion’s fully-integrated tlmecode system is an adaptation of the proven Aaton system. The film data track information is burned onto the edge of the film: roll, take, scene, camera production date, and time. The top-of-the-range lenses are designated Primos: available In 12 focal lengths from 10mm to 150mm (all at T1.9), as well as zooms (range 17.5 75mm, at T2.4, 2 4 - 275mm at T2.8 and 135 - 420mm atT2.8). Anamorphic Primos are available In 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm (all at T2.0). The two Primo anamorphic zooms are 48 - 550mm, and 270 840mm (both T4.5). In addition, there are special purpose lenses such as those used for perspective correction or the Panavision-Frazier lenses1which come in 17mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 45mm and 50mm focal lengths. Due to the design of these lenses, the actual focal length ranges from 12mm to 35mm, all at T7 and currently only available in spherical format. This lens system has two unique characteristics: a depth of field from 1:1 magnification to Infinity, and a swivel tip which permits panning, tilting and dutch-head movements. Because the lens moves rather than the camera, It eliminates the physical problem of shoot­ ing from awkward angles and unusual perspectives. According to Martin Cayzer, Managing Director of Samuelson Film Service (Australia) Pty Ltd, Panavislon will shortly be unveiling Its latest camera, the first new model for about seven years, the Millenium. Intended as a studio camera, the Mille­ nium will be easily converted for Steadicam use, video finder or video-only applications. Among the many new features are: a crystal-controlled motor operating from 3-50 fps in 1/1000 frame increments; new movement materials and advanced coatings requiring less lubrication; internal-servo motor con­ trol electronics for focus, T-stop and zoom; internal motorized shutter, 11.2 to 180 degrees; RS232 com­ munications port for status updates, control via remote computer and future software upgrades and integral video-assist operating from clear screen rather than traditional ground glass. The Arriflex 535B camera is the latest model from the prestigious German manufacturer, a camera devel­ oped from the BL series which varied the design from the familiar tandem film magazine to the coaxial



V »

; j




' u


; ■ ri


type. The 535B has comprehensively updated the optical, mechanical and electronic components in the previous models and, like its competitors, features optimum silent operation and image steadiness with dual registration and pull-down claw. The camera operates at speeds from 3-60 fps to 3 decimal places. In addition, there are pre-programmed (sync sound) speeds of 24, 25, 30 and 29.97 fps2. The variable shutter is adjustable between 11 and 180 degrees, and the format is switchable between Academy and Super 35T The viewfinder is quickly adjustable for operation on either side of the camera and both video assist and timecode facilities are available. A large LCD display indicates all relevant information.

Russian-born cinematographer Yuri Sokol is a devotee (and owner). Sokol, who photographed many of Paul Cox’s films, claims it is a user-friendly camera that was obviously designed by a cinematog­ rapher, the German Fritz Bauer. Quickly adaptable to Super 35, without any realignment of the lens axis, the Moviecam indicates all formats in the viewfinder, while permitting dedicated apertures if required. The video assist is an integral part of the system and the camera utilizes the ArriPL lens mount. Currently, the Moviecam Compact system is being used in New Zealand on the USA television series, Xena, which is being shot in Super 35 format.

The companion model, the 435ES camera, has a shutter that can be automatically adjusted for correct exposure as the camera changes speed. The camera runs forward or reverse from one to 150 fps with the shutter continuously variable from 11.2 to 180 degrees. The Arriflex cameras accept the full range of Zeiss lenses from 12mm to 180mm, as well as special­ purpose lenses such as the 9.8mm Kinoptik, Cooke, Angenieux and Canon zooms plus anamorphics.

The 35mm Aaton camera has been developed from the very successful 16mm model which incorporated time-coding in the early ’70s. The camera operates at sync speeds of 24, 25, 30 and 29.97 fps while being continuously variable between 2-40 fps. The viewing system uses interchangeable screens for the four major formats. An interchangeable “hard front” permits the camera to accept ArriPL, Panavi­

The Moviecam system seems popular with European filmmakers, so it’s not surprising to find

footage, film-speed selection, battery voltage and full timecode readout. This is the equipment currently

sion or Nikon lenses. Video assist is available and the LCD display indicates camera speed, remaining

ri * • / > : ;



being used on the production of Babe in Metropolis in Sydney. So, why are there so many different manufacturers producing precision film equipment which does virtu­ ally the same thing? Often it comes down to personal preference. As Colin Lennon, Assistant Preparation Manager at Sammy’s, says, “ It’s a bit like choosing between a Ford or a Holden.” Lennon, with his ency­ clopaedic knowledge of all systems, and who provides liaison between Sammy’s and film personnel, should know. But perhaps it’s best to keep in mind that equipment, no matter how brilliantly designed, is still just a means to an end. The mechanics of filmmaking may have been refined since cinema’s Golden Age, but as the American writer and director Paul Schrader recently put it, “The older directors didn’t dream about camera movements; they dreamed about char­ acters, whom they followed with their cameras.” © 1 See Cinema Papers, no. 118, July 1997, pp. 34, 38. 2 29.97 fps is the precise frame rate necessary to shoot computer and video monitors to avoid the image­ rolling or strobing. 3 Super 35 format includes as part of the image area on the camera negative that part of the frame normally taken up by the soundtrack. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

5th International Documentary Conference Brisbane, Australia

20-23 November 1997

New Markets, New Broadcasting Landscapes, New Technologies, New Policy Territories these are the New Frontiers that confront our industry today. The 5th International Documentary Conference focuses on these threats and promises for documentary film makers and asks what happens when we cross the borders of geography, culture, technology, privacy, morality and reason. The multi-strand conference program includes screenings, panel discussions, forums, plenary sessions, craft and training sessions, trade exhibition displays and public screenings.

The Verite Tradition

Filmmaking gets mobile again with the latest digital technologies. The conference looks back to the future and rediscovers verite classics. In The Fram e

A mix of conference events including sessions on docu-drama, political, environmental, arts and Indigenous documentaries. Film M a k e r S c re e n in g s

M a rk e ts

The Documart “live” pitching sessions are back by popular demand with an impressive cast of national and international broadcasters present from the ABC, SBS, Channel Four (UK), Canal Plus (France) and Discovery (Europe), plus distributors and sales agents, eager to find Australian product to suit their programming needs. The D ig ita l Future

A central strand designed to showcase new products, new ways of working and new markets.

See the latest works from national and international filmmakers as well as retrospectives of Barbara Kopple. International Filmmakers include: Barbara Kopple, winner of two Academy Awards for Harlan County USA and American Dream Martin Freeth, Head of the BBC Multimedia Centre, show casing recent interactive CD-ROMS developed alongside major documentary series Molly Dineen, BAFTA award-winning director of Heart of the Angel, The Ark and In The Company of Men Duan Jinchuan, winner of the Prix du Cinema du Reel (Paris) Award for his documentary 16 Barkhor Street South

The largest gathering of Australia’s documentary filmmaking community is an event not to be missed by anyone working at the interface of documentary and new technology. R e g iste r Now!

Logo Design Station Identi Promotion

saw Grundy Films, the m ost-recently-activated tentacle of the international Grundy Organization, embark on the firs t in a proposed series of locally-made, low -budget movies. Grundy has not ventured onto the feature-film market since the 7 0 s but tim e may very w e ll have stood s till. Aberration, its initial outing, is a drive-in horror flick, starring kille r m utant reptiles! M ixing it up w ith the fanged creature creations is a tru ly international cast. Producer Chris Brown [Absolute Beginners has indeed scored w e ll for his “ Spam in a Cabin Flick” . Not only does Simon Bossell share the screen w ith Pamela Gidley [voted a “ Face of 96” by TV Guide readers, and seen in Cherry 2000 and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me'), Valery Nikolaev also gets to face the fangs. Nikolaev stepped off a five-m onth stin t on The Saint [Phillip Noyce, 1997] not long after the Oliver Stone flic k U-Turn and an episode of Thief Takers [as head of the Chechyian m afia]. Here he was in tow n to be lizard lunch, and he couldn’t believe it! Crea­ ture effects and design are being handled by a threesome out of Western Australia known collectively and naturally enough on Aberration as AB FX. Above Camperdown Studios, W ellington [where Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners was shot 12 months earlier], in an office decked out in Beach Party sequel posters, producer Chris Brown considered the road to Aberration.



¡pamela Gidley fond director Boxali:-«* Brown: I had made a cross-over horror

movie, The Company of Wolves[ 1984], Neil Jordan’s first major film. At this time, I was Managing Director of Palace Pictures in the UK. In fact, co­ owner Steve [Stephen] Woolley and I talked long and hard about setting up a horror label. As distributors, Palace Pictures brought Evil Dead and Basket Case2 into Britain. It led the way for the revival of the genre in the UK. Despite all that, nothing eventuated. C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

We always got sidetracked into things like Mona Lisa [Neil Jordan, 1986]. i came to Australia to work in film about six years ago and I’ve done a bunch of different films here [New Zealand] and in Australia. I’d always wanted to get back to horror and had been looking for scripts I particularly wanted to do in Australia. I thought it has such an incredibly weird landscape that it’s the ideal place to do a sci-fi-horrortype picture. And you could make it really cheaply. But after coming to Aus­ tralia I found that that kind of movie really doesn’t get made. Despite things like Mad Max, The Cars That Ate Paris and Stone3, those genres had gone off in different tangents. This, I guess, was largely due to the funding structure, where there was a cultural imperative. Effects-driven pic­ C I N E M A P A P E R S • DECEMBER 1997

tures really weren’t - aren’t - the Aus­ tralian thing, except where it related to big American pictures. Apart from Body Melt [Philip Brophy, 1994], which didn’t work and wasn’t allowed to, there hasn’t been a lot. One day, Scott Lew, a friend of mine from the States, said, “I’ve just received a spec script and I think you’re going to really like it. It’s a creature fea­ ture.” It was really good and great fun, too. It needed to go through a number of drafts but the basic concept was there. It had that good combination of Tremors^-Wke humour and was scary because the creatures were down low. The phobia was good: Something that’s eel-like; a lizard that combines snake and eel; something that can eas­ ily kill you; it can get into walls, it can be above you, it can run up your

trouser leg [much laughter]. The ulti­ mate fear. I was really taken with it. I started punting it around and got Victor Films from England involved. They’d done Death Machine and I loved it, so we started putting it together. I was with another company at the time when I moved across to Grundy half-way through the process. I thought that they would take one look at it and say, “You’re insane”, but they didn’t. They were terrific. Basically, Grundy makes product for a mass market, so the difference between Neighbours and killer lizards isn’t actually that far away. In a way, it couldn’t have gone to a better home. Here was a bunch of people interested in producing highly-commercial fare. Everyone read it and thought it terrific. W hy

s h o o t in

N ew Z ea l a n d ?

I went to the Camperdown Studio dur­ ing The Frighteners. The evidence of a hardcore horror culture was truly impressive. We got a fantastic crew, a lot of the people who’ve worked before with Peter Jackson. Wellington is great. We have the mid-west, which is what we wanted. It’s easier to get permis­ sions to shoot, and obviously it’s very reasonable as well. The other reason we came here rather than the States was that Grundy wanted to do something in its immedi­ ate area of influence. I did, too, having only just moved to Australia. Most of all, the story takes place in a cabin. It actually would’ve been insane to relo­ cate to America for this. W hat’s

the bu dg et?

$NZ 4 million. W h a t ’s

the sch ed u le?


Punishing [laughs]. It’s seven weeks, which is highly accelerated considering the number of creature shots. Before we even shot them, we did a deal for US release with Live Entertainment, which did The Arrival [David Twohy, 1996] with Charlie Sheen. IS THE US MARKET CALLING THE SHOTS HERE? It gives everyone a certain amount of security know­ ing you’ll get distribution in at least one major world territory. Is A b e r r a t io n r e g a r d e d a s a t e s t c a se by G r u n d y ? I wouldn’t say that, no [laughs]. But the formula in the way that we’ve put this together is quite a good yardstick. W h er e

exactly do the t it u l a r c r e a t u r e s co m e f r o m ?

We’ve deliberately left it vague. In the script there is one theory: the cane toad theory. It’s a combination of that and genetic engineering. Theoretically, a lizard is genetically engineered to get rid of pests. Because of the cold, they should have died off, but they sur­ vived and got into this cabin and are changing. They try to kill them before they change.

So, t h e y ’ re

not y o u r g a r d en v a r ie t y s k in k ?

No, these are the ones that run up your leg and tear your throat out [laughs]. Someone actually sent me an article from Minnesota, which is where the film’s set,

is the partnership of _ Susanne Morphett, David Riley and Daniel Perry, who all hail from Perth. Carving their own niche by plying their monster-mask wares at all sorts of agricultural shows around Australia, they also garner a modicum of television work. In an office that’s more house of charnel than the latest Hellraiser, they’re holed up amidst bizarre creations that’d make your average RSPCA worker weep. “Where’s the fax?” “Under the dead dog.” However, they needed no time to contemplate the offer to perform all creature fx on Aberration. The invitation from Chris Brown had stemmed from a recommendation of Richard Taylor (Brain Dead, The Frigbteners) and their great mask and model work. Of course, this band of total horror enthusiasts could hardly knock it back. The barely-minimal, six weeks of pre-pro­ duction allotted to design and build the creatures


about frogs that are aberrating. They think it’s some­ thing to do with the water. This huge survey was done because these kids went out for a class trip to study frogs and found that eleven out of the twenty-two frogs they’d collected were in some way deformed. Some didn’t have any back legs. Some had two back legs, joined together with one flipper. Some of them only had three legs. One had no eyes and another had an eye at the back of its throat. It’s only happening with a particular type of frog in Minnesota, but it is happening. Eighty percent of all frogs in the state are aberrations. A ny

s u r p r is e s ?

We’re supposed to be shooting in the middle of winter. It’s actually now the middle of summer. On location we’ve been putting down a most amazing amount of extraordinary material in this forest. We have this insu­ lation material that goes down on the roof of cabins to imitate snow. Then they blow an acre’s worth of foam across the place to be fallen snow. There’s two types of stuff we’ve been using for other kinds of snow. The first one is brilliant. It’s nappy-liners, a powder. When it’s mixed with water it turns into this kind of glutinous stuff that looks just like snow when you put it on the windscreen. t^ 7 1

from scratch was hardly an obstacle. Up to their elbows in fur and glue, they talked design. Riley: These creatures are really vicious. They like to make people into little lizard hotels [laughs]. It’s actually got homages to Alien and other stuff in it. We had creepy Geiger stuff in mind when we went into the creature design. It’s hard to do new stuff these days; it’s pretty much all been done. We want to take all this stuff and point it in a whole new direc­ tion. I’d really love to get into robotics. Perry: Whereas I’m really into make-up and prosthet­ ics. Together, we like to make the look of things which is where we merge. Riley: A lot of this stuff was done quite a few months

ago. We were going crazy sculpting raptors down in my garage in 40 degree heat; fibreglassing and mak­ ing this kind of mad stuff. A ny

fu n n y s t u f f ?

Riley: The deaths of several animal victims had

already been filmed in order to test the creatures’ look on film. In the process, we’d used a lot of offal.

We protected our superbly crafted models, a dog and a cat, by lining their interiors with plastic bags plastic bags we’d forgotten to remove. One day sev­ eral weeks later, we were called upon to do some

ie th e publicity for The Sydney Morning Herald who wanted some pictures. Remembering the animals, we hurriedly unpacked our models only to discover maggots, hundreds of the bastards.


New Zealander Scott Reynolds has single-handedly revived the maligned horror genre, writes Michael Helms. nce upon a time you could almost rely upon the modern horror film to be inhabited by filmmakers with visions and abilities far beyond those of your average director-for-hire. But franchise cinema and mainstream media have worked so hard at co-opting all the best bits of horror that it has led to the modern films being everywhere but nowhere. Check out Tales from the Cryptkeeper on early morning tele­ vision or perhaps hang around for a shock road safety ad if you require evidence. What sophisti­ cated adult television drama would be considered so without its own gore shot? And, for that matter, what major Hollywood release of just about any kind fails to include at least a few frames of gore (after all, special effects makers have to keep work­ ing even if their artistic directors don’t or can’t). It has got so bad that when something like Event Horizon (Paul Anderson) matches bankable stars with more than two scenes of slime, it causes some folk to suddenly cry, “This flick has gore in it. It must be a horror film.” One mainstream critic



even tried to cite Event Horizon (Paul Anderson, 1997) as some sort of renaissance horror film. But that’s not the way it is. We are talking film­ makers who use the strange, dark twilight world of the horror film to connect in all sorts of strange, dark ways with our often stranger and even darker collective subconscious. Filmmakers like George Romero, Dario Argento, David Lynch and David horror Cronenberg have all sprayed the cinematic canvas in ways that provoke deep primal connections with and through the collaboration of the sound and vision. Most of these filmmakers also continue to mess with the workings of horror, unfortunately to steadily diminishing effect. Of course, for every Cronenberg, there must be half a dozen of Joe D’A­ mata, but for so many years now there’s been no new Cronenberg, and even less to be shocked, star­ tled and amazed by. Thank God for Scott Reynolds and The Ugly, a horror film from New Zealand that its maker is proud to recognize as such, and a flick that takes what is now almost a banal subject - the serial killer - and represents it in a way that is indeed shocking, entertaining, captivating and vital.

The Ugly begins immediately with cred­ its. Then, from one end of a corridor, a hooded figure is awkwardly manhandled into the foreground by two thugs. An old woman sitting on a bench also spies the ungainly procession and steps out to intervene. “Fuck off”, she’s told by the more belligerent and dreadlocked escort. “ Fuck off yourself”, she mumbles before donning a pair of 3-D glasses. The vision then jumps into a tinted blue to a blurry brown with red tinges. Back to blue, the cen­ tral figure is promptly seated before a table in a room with steel walls stained with blood. Just as it looks like we’re going to get a peek beneath the hood, thug number one delivers a king-hit to the head that feels as bad as it looks. Suddenly, all the absurdities and craziness of this opening sequence are brought into hard, sharp relief with one well-placed punch to the head. The dialogue with the woman is pretty funny, but it is obvious, as the person in the hood is firmly chained and handcuffed to the chair, that he is in deep trouble. The corridor has fluoro lights where hand-rails might usually be, and the place we are in appears to be an institu­ tion of some sort, but the two guards are obviously more psychotic than trained psy­ chiatric nurses. There’s no time to get totally disorien­ tated, though, as everything seems at least vaguely familiar before we cut to the next sequence via a jackhammer selection of child­ ish drawings and scribblings finally landing on what appears to be a nurse’s station. It is the sound that makes the next connection. As the guard walks around, his keys begin to steadily rattle, sounding all the world like the opening ‘k-ching, k-ching’ beat from the awesome mid-’60s novelty pop smash, “They’re coming to take me away, ha-ha!” , by Napoleon XIV! Even if it’s not, this image is fit­ ting as the film creates a lot of tension by deftly treading the thin line that resides between laughter and fear, at the same time investigating the area between mental health and mental sickness. The is how The Ugly, bobbing and weaving, ducking and dodging, always travels forward on a trajectory that is inevitable yet welcome, manufac­ tured yet natural. “Is the main character sick?”, it constantly asks from every available perspective. Next, it introduces its main piece of narrative as we discover the figure beneath the mask is serial killer Simon Cartwright (Paolo Rotundo). He’s about to subject himself to a series of interviews with celebrity psychologist Karen Schumaker (Rebecca Hobbs), which provides the basis for most of the dynamics of The Ugly. It is through these interviews that the Simon Cartwright story is teased out, and it is by use of a number of exceedingly clever techniques that the film rockets towards its inevitable but nonetheless surprising conclusion. Under questioning from Schumaker, a pretty woman dressed in red like the walls, Cartwright takes a flashback to a bar scene before a murder. Schumaker also joins the scene in the first highly effective use of a technique Reynolds describes as “ Dreamweaving”, borrowed from 71


Mike (Shimpal Lelisi), Prue (Willa O'Neill), Ant (Ian Hughes), Liz (Danielle Cormack) and Neil (Joel Tobeck).

New Zealand filmmake took a great risk when he . First of all, it

was a comedy, and the New Zealand film industry doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a strong track record with comedies. Secondly, Sinclair shot it on weekends, with his friends and without a written script or budget, and it evolved out of a television series. By . C I N E M A P A P E R S â&#x20AC;˘ DECEMBER 1997



s e e m s to be a p e r c e iv e d

Talk About Their Lives

in t h e

Ne w Z ealan d

d evelo p?

W h at

I h a d trie d to w rite a

‘ boom ’

f il m in d u s t r y .

a r e y o u r t h o u g h t s on t h a t ?

Th ere

a l s o s e e m s to be an ‘ o t h e r ­

w o rldly’ f il m s .



it ’ s t h e l a n d s c a p e ,

I’ m lis te n in g o u t fo r a b o o m , a n d

m a y b e it ’ s t h a t is o l a t io n yo u w e r e

t h e r e ’ s o n ly a lo w m u rm u r. W e do m a ke


c o u p le o f film s c r ip t s b e fo re m a k in g

s o m e in t e re s tin g film s ; w e a ls o m a k e

m akes

New Z ealan d

f il m s u n iq u e ?

fo r

N ew

Ze a l a n d ’s

f il m


Topless Women, b u t I n e v e r re a lly

s o m e s tra n g e film s s o m e tim e s . I th in k

T h e t h in g th a t m a k e s N e w Z e a la n d

e n jo y e d w h a t I w ro te . I w a s try in g

is o la tio n h a s b e e n u s e fu l in te rm s o f

film s u n iq u e is th a t t h e y ’ re fro m N ew

is d e p e n d e n t on its h a v in g an id e n tity ,

e v e ry t h in g , a n d f in a lly I t h o u g h t , “ T h is

c re a tiv ity . W e ’ re m u d d lin g a lo n g at th e

Z e a la n d . P e o p le s a y to m e, “ G o s h , th is

a n d N e w Z e a la n d ’s c u lt u r a l t h in g s s e e m s to b e at th e v e r y b o tto m o f p e o ­

T h e p s y c h o lo g ic a l h e a lth o f a c o u n try

is re a lly n o t m u c h f u n .” S o I t h o u g h t I’ d

m o m e n t, m a k in g fo u r o r s o film s a y e a r,

film is so N ew Z e a la n d !” In A m e ric a ,

s ta rt m a k in g s o m e t h in g o n th e w e e k ­

a n d I d o n ’ t th in k it’ s r e a lly a b o o m .

w h e n p e o p le s e e H o lly w o o d film s , th e y

p le ’s p r io r it ie s in t e rm s o f w h a t s h o u ld

e n d s , ju s t s o I c o u ld b e w o r k in g w ith

S o rry ; I w is h it w e re . W e ju s t d o n ’t h a v e

d o n ’t s a y , “ T h a t’s so A m e ric a n !” No

g e t m o n e y . I fin d th a t o d d , b e c a u s e if

o th e r p e o p le , i g o t t o g e t h e r w ith s o m e

m u c h m o n e y to p la y w ith . T h e film

o n e e v e r s a y s th a t. W e ’ re so u n u s e d to

y o u d o n ’t te ll y o u r o w n s t o r ie s , y o u r

frie n d s w ith a v id e o c a m e ra a n d , w it h ­

in d u s t r y ’ s n ot a p rio rity w ith th e g o v ­

s e e in g N ew Z e a la n d on th e s c re e n

c u ltu re c e a s e s to fu n c tio n a ft e r a

g e ttin g th a t o n th e s c r e e n at tim e s .

e rn m e n t. It’ s h a rd to a rg u e fo r m o re

th a t p e o p le a re a s t o n is h e d b y it. B u t

w h ile , a n d y o u m ig h t a s w e ll b e A u s ­

G oodbye Pork Pie (G e o ff M u rp h y ,

m o n e y w h e n h o s p ita ls a re c lo s in g .

t h e r e ’ s a s t r a n g e n e s s a b o u t N ew

t ra lia n o r s o m e th in g . I t h in k w e s h o u ld

Z e a la n d m o v ie s th a t I lik e : ja n e C a m p i­

m a k e m o re film s , b u t th e fu tu re is n o t

o u t a n y b u d g e t o r a n y th in g , w e s ta rte d s h o o t in g . W e s h o t fiv e little th re e m in u te p ie c e s a n d a m a z in g ly , p e o p le lik e d th e m , a n d w e g o t f u n d in g to m a k e w h a t b e c a m e a t e le v is io n s e r ie s . W e w e re h a lfw a y t h r o u g h m a k in g t h is s e r ie s , a n d D a n ie lle C o rm a c k , th e m a in c h a r a c t e r, g o t p re g n a n t. S u d ­ d e n ly , I h a d th is id e a fo r a lo n g e r s to ry . W e a p p lie d to th e N e w Z e a la n d Film C o m m is s io n fo r m o n e y , b a s ic a lly to s w a p c a m e r a s . W e k e p t w o r k in g in th e s a m e w a y , s h o o t in g on w e e k e n d s fo r s ix m o n th s . B y th e tim e w e g o t to m a k e th e film , th e c h a r a c t e rs h ad b e e n w o rk s h o p p e d a n d s h a p e d , a n d e v e ry o n e k n e w w h o t h e y w e re , a n d t h e y w e re a ll s it tin g n ic e ly in m y h e a d . T h a t’ s h o w it c a m e a b o u t; s o rt o f a c c i­ d e n ta lly , re a lly . T h e n ic e th in g a b o u t it w a s I fe lt I h a d tric k e d m y s e lf in to m a k in g a fe a tu re film . I b y p a s s e d m y s e lf- c r itic a l fa c u lt ie s ; th e y h a d no tim e to ju m p in a n d te ll m e it w a s n ’t g o o d e n o u g h . I s u r p r is e d m y s e lf b y h a v in g a fe a tu re film b e fo re I s to p p e d to th in k .

New Z ealan d edy f il m s .

is n ’ t k n o w n for it s c o m ­

W hat

are yo ur tho u ghts

ON COMEDY AND YOUR INDUSTRY. N ew Z e a la n d e r s te n d to be q u ite re tic e n t, a n d t h e ir h u m o u r is m o re u n d e r s t a te d . W e ’v e h a d d iffic u lt y

1 9 8 1 ) is a fa m o u s N e w Z e a la n d c o m ­

S h o rt film s a re a n o t h e r s to ry . W h e n

e d y , b u t th a t w a s a w h ile a g o , a n d w e

I w a s 16, e v e ry o n e w a n te d to be in a

o n ’ s w o rk , fo r e x a m p le , is n o t r e a lly

lo o k in g th a t g re a t. W e ’ re m o v in g in to a

h a v e n ’t re a lly d o n e a lo t o f th e m . To be

ro c k -a n d -ro ll b a n d ; b u t n o w p e o p le at

c o n v e n t io n a l. I t h in k t h a t ’s r e a lly g o o d .

tim e w h e n t h e r e ’s le s s m o n e y a ro u n d ,

h o n e s t, th e m a in re a s o n w e ’v e n o t s u c ­

th a t a g e ju s t w a n t to m a k e s h o r t film s .

I lik e th e fa ct th a t y o u fe e l w e ’ re not

a n d th e h e a lth s y s te m s e e m s to be

c e e d e d v e r y w e ll is b e c a u s e t e le v is io n

It’ s in t e re s tin g h o w th e c u ltu re h a s

q u ite o n th e p la n e t, b e c a u s e I fe e l

f a llin g a p a rt. It’ s h a rd to a rg u e fo r

h e re is s o d ire th a t a n y b o d y w ith a n y

s w u n g . W e h a v e a g o o d s h o rt film

th e re a re p o s s ib ilit ie s fo r n e w id e a s .

m o re c o m e d ie s a g a in s t th a t k in d o f

in t e re s tin g id e a s is v e r y u n lik e ly to g e t

c u lt u r e h e re .

W h at

do yo u t h in k t h e f u t u r e h o ld s

b a c k g ro u n d . I t h in k th e a n s w e r ’ s ju s t to m a k e a lo t

a n y th in g o n to t e le v is io n . T h in g s a re c h a n g in g , b u t it ’ s b e e n a p ro b le m th a t

m o re film s . O b v io u s ly t h e y ’ re n o t a ll

th e re h a s n ’t b e e n m u c h g o o d t e le v i­

g o in g to be g re a t, b u t th e fa c t th a t

s io n c o m e d y , a n d no o n e ’ s b e e n a b le

p e o p le a r e n ’t g e ttin g m u c h c h a n c e to

to d e v e lo p th o s e s k ills .

p ra c t is e m a k e s it h a rd . O n th e o th e r h a n d , it’ s b e e n a g o o d p la c e fo r m e to w o rk , a n d I’v e h a d th e re m a rk a b le o p p o r tu n it y to m a k e a film , h a v e it fu n d e d , a n d n o t g iv e a n y o n e a s c rip t. M a y b e th a t c o u ld n ’ t h a p p e n a n y w h e re e ls e , i fe e l e n c o u r a g e d h e re to d o m y s tr a n g e little id e a s w it h o u t th a t e n o r ­ m o u s c o m m e rc ia l p r e s s u r e , s o I c a n ’t c o m p la in . I h o p e to m a k e a n o t h e r film , Shim p al Lelisi and^

lam elle Corma

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U What?

Secret Families

Natural Born Killers may have been a sufficient turn-off, but now Stone does a U Turn with more violence and a manic Sean Penn. Will Clare Stewart survive it?

The minutice of everyday life on a poor farm in the south of France is not the traditional stuff of Hollywood cinema, but it is the stuff of a simple and poignant film, Tim Hunter reports





been betrayed, she flees to the Paradise M otel. It is these wellexecuted tw ists that lead to the unexpected team ing of M idori with the under-achieving Colin. His pan el-b eating b u sin e ss

HEAVEN’S BURNING Directed by Craig Lahiff. Producers : A l Clark, Helen Leake. Executive producers : Craig Lahiff , Georgina Pope . Screenwriter : Louis Nowra. Director OF PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN BREHENY. Production designer : V icki Niehus . Costume designer : Annie Marshall. Editor : John Scott. Sound recordist : Toivo Lember . Composer : Carl Vine . Cast : Russell Crowe (Colin), Youki Kudoh (Midori), Ray Barrett (Cam), Kenji Isomura (Yukio ), Robert Mammone (Mahood), Anthony Phelan (B ishop ), Matthew Dyktynski (Moffat). Australian DISTRIBUTOR: REP. AUSTRALIA. 1997. 99 MINS.


bankrupt, Colin is p ersu ad ed to join in a bank robbery with his o ld -schoolfriend, M ahood (Robert M am m one). A first-generation A ustralian from an Afghani-M uslim background, M ahood roughly stra d d le s his father’s violent past and the relaxed w ays of his A ussie-

line production:

up bringing.

The security system slam s one balaclaved gang-m em ber against the ceiling and a security guard a cci­

raig L ahiff s Heaven’s Burning

dentally kills an innocent wom an.

stars R ussell Crowe and Youki

(Her car careers into a florist, where,

M idori, playing hostage to C ol­ in ’s robber, leads a se rie s of daring

cycle; M ahood and his violent father Boorjan, guided by the Inter­

Kudoh as star-crossed lovers,

ironically, a bridal-bouquet lands on

bank ro b b eries along the road.

net, follow in their im m aculate

thrown together on the beaten-track

the bonnet like a w reath.) The gang

They meet lovable o utb ack ch a ra c­

1960s black M ercedes.

and pursued by avenging angels.

wound a security guard, shoot their

ters, long-suffering barm aids,

own man in the back and take as

w eird os and d run ks, lost fathers

effacing A ussie anti-hero who has

hostage M idori, who is there ca sh ­

and pothead Kooris rehash in g

sho t in close to 50 locations across

been driven to a life of crim e; Youki

ing a cheque, having given up hope

C ru m b s’ Fabulous Furry Freak

A ustralia. The constant travel

Crowe Is Colin O’ Brien, a self-

- C

At the bank, the police open fire.

A frenetic road-m ovie-cum action-film , Heaven’s Burning w as

Where Danger Lives R. J. Thompson explores the eerie world of Crimes Scenes, a look at classic movie poster art from the great film noir era. A fetishistic delight


Kudoh is M idori, a ‘reluctant’ Japan­

of her lo ver’s arrival. Colin saves

B rothers in an A ussie ute. And we

n ece ssitate s a w hole se rie s of

ese-bride, believed-to-be kidnapped

M idori from her execution by

attend the tam est B achelor and

qu irky cam eos, b uddy roles and

during her honeym oon in Australia.

w ounding M ahood

S p in ste r ball I’ve ever seen.

sp e cia l guest a p pe ara n ce s. Am ong

Internet. M idori orders a ham ­

these are Men at W ork’s Colin Hay

burger, “ with hum b urg er on.it” .

Heaven’s Burning , L ah iffs fifth feature, and his first to be released theatrically in A ustralia1, opens with M idori pacing beneath hotel s e c u ­ rity cam eras in a extrem e state of alienation and insecurity. Shortly after, she is reported kidnapped. Two bum bling cops (Anthony Phe­

and killing his brother.

Colin and M idori, in love and on the road, are o b livio u s

poorly-subtitled film s and on the

as Jonah, a w heelch air-b o un d ,

Y u kio ’s pronunciation o f “ b e ach ”

a cco rd io n -p layin g w eirdo on the

su g g ests the wife he is pursuing,

road; Norm an Kaye as a sage ly

and, w hen M idori a nn o un ces

clairvoyant blindm an with a love

“ moon is go in g” , Colin gently s u g ­

Yukio (Kenji Isom ura),

for M arlene Dietrich tun e s; Ray

gests, “ the m oon is w a n in g ” .

has transform ed

Barrett as C olin’s dad, Cam; and

to the m ultiple angels-ofdeath p u rsu in g th e m : cuckolded h usband,

h im self into a kam ikaze -skin ­ head astride

lan and M atthew

a Trium ph

Dyktynski) reveal


Ian Turpie as a used car d e aler at M idnight M otors. In an o utb ack h aird resser,

Written to secure a Japanese pre-sale, Youki Kudoh’s role includes getting to beat a racist Anglo-truckie with a steel pole.

M idori learns the w ord s “ blo w -jo b ”

Some cute m arketing stuff abounds.

and “ sp u n k ” from Sharon (Susan

Yoram G ross’ Dot and the Kangaroo

that M idori has

Prior), a jun kie h aird re sse r. M idori

(1977) gives way to a new sflash on

faked her own kid ­

goes feral, cuts her h air short and

M idori’s kidnapping, while various

napping. But, in fact,

dyes it bottle-blonde. A lso a palm ­

A ustralian flora and fauna cam eo on

M idori w as a n xio u sly aw a it­

reader, Sharon w arn s M idori that

the sides of the road (a blue-tongue

ing the arrival o f her

she has a good h a n d ,“ except for

lizard) or in the soundtrack (kook­

Japanese bo ss, w ho is

one lin e” .

aburras and dingoes). On Cam’s

also her lover. His arrival is long overdue and, realizing she has


dori (Youki Kudoh) and Colin (Russell Crowe), iff's H eaven's Burning.

Louis Now ra’s scre en p lay has

farm, there is a cutesy, matte-shot

som e fun with the co n fu sio n s of

com bining the night farm house and

broken-English - the type found on

feeding w allabies.


review Films continued Nowra d o es su b v ert the cutestu ff for his A ustralian a ud ien ce.

father in Stephen Frears’ Sammy

and Rosie Get Laid (1987). Heaven’s Burning also has a llu ­ sio n s to high art. W agner and his

Tristan & Isolde perm eate it. T ris­ tan and Iso ld e ’s love triang le is m irrored by Yukio, Colin and

A kangaroo ro ad-hazard throw s

M idori. Cam plays the opera on his

Yukio from his bike, and Cam gives

farm prior to his death; Jonah plays

a speech ab out the kangaroo-as-

W a g n e r’s “ Ride of the V a lk y rie s”

pest that d rin ks the dam dry, eats

on his acco rd io n ; M idori and

all the gra ss and is re sp o n sib le for

Y u k io ’s hotel room is num ber 1813,

all his to p so il blow ing away.

the year of W ag n er’s birth; and the

Heaven’s Burning is not per­

film cu lm in ates in a tragic ca r­

fect. It rides rough sh o d over som e

ch ase, ove rsco re d by the them e of

plot h oles and in a ccu ra cie s. Before

Tristan and Isolde.

‘a ccid e n ta lly ’ sho otin g his partner,

The film m akers also ‘ b orrow ’

Yukio claim s su rp rise at how like a

from recent p o p u la r culture, paying

toy his h andgun is! If you have ever

hom age to G od a rd ’s A Bout de

handled a pistol, you w ill be s u r­

Souffle (Breathless, 1959) in Colin

prised at ju st how heavy, how

and M id o ri’s m otel love scene, and

icy-cold and just how unlike a toy it

King V id o r’s Duel in the Sun (1946)

is. Colin, w ho is w anted in co n n e c­

for Yukio and M id ori’s shoot-out.

tion with a v io le n t arm ed robbery, is still using his real nam e to book into m otels, and the B & S Ball

haunting slide-w ork for Paris, Texas

a p p e a rs to last for close to 48

(Wim W enders, 1984); its ‘o riginal­

hou rs, as a sun rises and se ts and

ity’ stem s from sp licing with

rise s on Yukio. For all the m ulti-cultural e le ­ m ents in Heaven’s Burning, it still d rives a long w ay on the sm ell of a cu ltural stereotype. A rabs are hot-

pointed, h ila rio u s P in teresque

fin -d e-siècle m e ta ph ysics, plus

m anner, is h ighlighted w hen the


num erou s ch ara cte rs w ho are m ore

film ’s pro tago nist, the su cc e s s fu l

like co n ven ien t stereo types than

H ollyw ood, vio len t-thriller-m o vie


Wim Wenders . Producers :

ON A STORY BY WENDERS AND KLEIN. DIRECTOR of photography :P ascal Rabaud . Production

designer : Patricia

No rris .

Editor : Peter Przygodda. Sound: Jim Stuebe . Cast : Bill Pullman (Mike Max), Andie MacDowell (Paige Stockard), Traci

over a violent heist that goes wrong is pure Quentin Tarantino. W hile the series of guns that ‘accidentally’ go

m ogul M ike M ax (Bill P ullm an), is a b ou t to be executed by two

com ings, W e n d e rs’ film m atters

low -life, s u rre a l h o o d lu m s w ho se

on seve ra l fronts in term s of the

gro te sq ue a b su rd ity is yet another layer of psych ic vio le n ce central to

Lind (Cat), Gabriel Byrne (Ray Bering), Rosalind Chao (Claire), Pruitt Taylor

e vidence of W e n d e rs’ critical co n ­

the co n tem po rary condition.

Vince (Frank Cray). Australian

cerns relating to the future of the

USA. 1997.122

m ins .

M ax’s rem ote-control lifestyle,

cinem a a p ro p o s of the new m edia

with its “ edge o fth e w o rld ” M alibu

im W e n d e rs’ nineteenth fea­

techn o lo gies and changing

d e ca d en ce of sw im m in g pools,

ture, The End of Violence, is

cu ltu ra l/vie w in g h abits, etc.

pink-patio o p ule n ce and his

a d ense, lyrical and m eandering

(som ething that is e m phasized ,

neglected w ife, Paige (Andie M ac­

acco un t of vio le n ce and the v io ­

time and again, in the film m aker’s

D ow ell), sm o u ld e rin g her life aw ay

lence of m ovies in our everyday

im portant collected e ssa y s) and in

behind w ide w in d o w s, sets the

lives. W e n d e rs’ film, d esp ite its

such film s as Chambre 666 (1982),

p rem ise for the densely-plotted film (scripted by televisio n w riter


“ (I’m) In with the In-crow d” played

D espite these glaring sh o rt­

d irecto r’s œ uvre: it is further

distributor : Globe.

Japanese flute. Roxy M u sic’s upbeat

fully-ro u nd ed dram atic figures.

blooded: Boorjan is introduced to

off (killing three characters) might

co n ceptual and dram atic lim its,

Tokyo-Ga (1985), Until The End of

Colin as he sla ug h ters a lamb in the

allude to Hamlet, the sub seq ue n t

with its e m p h a sis on the p a n o p ti­

the World (1991) and “Light” of

N icholas Klein in four w e e k s; it

backyard and is revealed to have

brainsplatter is more rem iniscent of

con ills of our su rveillan ce culture,

Berlin (1996, done with stu d en ts

sho w s) as a noirish m editation on

been a collaborator with the R u s­

Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994).

is a h aunting m editation of the

from the Fl. F. F. M unich).

the gra tu ito us o m n ip re se n ce of

sia n s in Afghanistan, w here he

Finally, Y ukio’s transform ation into

ca u se s and effects o fv io le n ce in

“ enjoyed torturing his own p e o p le ” .

a psychotic Japanese skinhead in

art and life. W e n d e rs’ return to the

dram atic story-line takes place in

Farm ers have a gripe against the

black leather ow es its origins to Tet-

Am erican la n d scap e d o es not s u c ­

the Latino section of Los A n g e le s’

M ax s u rv e y s his w orld of

Japs and A ussie -truckie s reckon

suo II: Bodyhammer.

ceed as it did before in his earlier,

San Fernando Valley, and e xp lo res

m oney, fam e and carto o n ish v io ­

M uch of The End of Violence’s

(m ovie) vio le n ce in o ur cu ltura l and p e rso n a l lives.

m ore-satisfying film s, Der Stand

som e o fth e d irecto r’s fam iliar

lence via la pto ps and m obile

Sure, these people are a ll out

tacula rly and exp lo sively, rising on

derDinge (The State of Things,

them es: the m edia colonization of

p h on e s. His glittering lifestyle

there, but p lease sh o w me a new

the stra in s of W agner, but its irony

1982) and Paris, Texas (1984), but

our lives, existe n tial alien ation , the

beco m es a so u rce of attraction and


may w ell be lost on a p o p u la r a u d i­

n eve rth ele ss The End of Violence,

d e ep -sea ted ironic interplay

re pulsio n for Paige and, w hen he is

Som etim es Nowra d o es this

ence w ho just w o n ’t ‘get it’. Irony in

with its reso n an t e vo catio ns of

betw een art and life, and the

kid n a p p ed , a one-tim e m edical stu ­

very su cce ssfu lly . V eiled in M uslim

p o p u la r culture often a p p e ars as a

Edward Flopper’s brooding, e n ig ­

ab su rd , fragm entary ch aracter of

dent-turned d etective, Doc Block

attire, B o orja n ’s w ives and d a u g h ­

decadence that the film m aker can

m atic paintings, fo cu se s on Los

m odern life. The latter them e, in a

(Loren Dean), e nte rs the ir “ rich and

ter are as silen t as the rug s and

ill afford, and is regarded more as a

A ngeles (W. FI. A u d e n ’s “ The great

sam ovar. It is a sh o ck w hen she

co vert-h yp o crisy concealed by sty l­

w rong p la ce ”) as one of the d o m i­

sp e a k s - and not only English but

ization. 1su sp e ct that both Lahiff

nant so u rce s of m edia vio le n ce for

English with an A ustralian accent!

and Nowra boasted they could play

This yo un g M uslim w om an then

the Tarantino better than the man

tracks Colin and M idori via the

him self. Heaven’s Burning does

Internet on her p e rso n a l laptop.

rise above the sum of its parts, but

“ inter-breeding leads to m o ng rels” .

For all its o rig in ality and m ulti­ ple tw ists, Heaven’s Burning is also a pa stiche of p o p u la r culture, albeit

Heaven’s Burning end s sp e c ­

our late tw entieth century. I ' 1 As a dram a that centres on I | see m in g ly-d isco n ne cte d ch aracters

not alw ays. I’ m sure the next one

! that are gra d ua lly revealed to be I j linked in a m b igu ou s and su rp risin g

w ill be, as they say, perfect!

| w ays, The End of Violence, with its


an e ntertain ing one. Boorjan, the

! plot device of fo cusin g on tracking I j cam era techn o lo gy re ve alin g crim e

1 The others - Coda (1987), Fever

| a la A n to n io n i’s Blowup (1966), suf-

C hristop he r W alken role in True

(1987), Strangers (1990) and

Romance (Tony Scott, 19 9 3); its

Ebbtide (1993) - all went straight

j fers from sw e e p in g epic them atic I ~ | a llu sio n s to corporate greed, class

o rigin ality stem s from its fusion

to video or television. See Australia


with Sam m y’s Pakistani torturer-

on the Small Screen: 1970-1995.

! iss u e s, inform ation overload, per-

sa d istic torturer, feels a lot like the


so n a l and a rtistic vio le n ce , and

Deepak Nayar, Wim Wenders , Nicholas Klein . S creenwriter : Nicholas Klein , based

The original soundtrack ‘ bor­ row s’ heavily from Ry Cooder’s


w arfare, anom ie, im m igration


fam o us” p apier-m ache w orld,

m aturgical valu e s, its creative ori­

w hich is often lam pooned by

gins in another as-yet-unrealized

B lock’s w ise-cra ckin g a s s o c i­

project (a costly science-fiction

ates. It is a w orld of

film, “The M illion Dollar Hotel” , in

see m in g ly-am b ig uo u s intrigue

collaboration with U2’s singer

and vio le n ce surveye d by the

Bono). N evertheless, the film ’s

ever-attentive, lonely, brilliant

m ajor them atic and v isu a l pre­

co m puter-prog ram m e designer,

o ccu p a tion s with the director’s

Ray Bering (G abriel Byrne), who

painterly style of pictorial co m p o si­

looks after his elderly father

tion and its sug g estive colours of



: Directed by Oliver Stone. Producers: Dan 1 Halsted , Clayton Townsend. Co-producer : 1 Richard Rutowski. Screenplay: John Ridley, based on his book, S tray Dogs. 1 Director of photography: Robert 1 Richardson. Production designer : Victor Kempster . Editors : Hank Corwin , Thomas 1 J. Nordberg . Music : Ennio Morricone. 1 Costumes : Beatrix Aruna Pasztor. Cast : S ean Penn (Bobby Cooper), Billy Bob 1 Thornton (Darrell), Jennifer Lopez (Grace McKenna), Powers Boothe (Sheriff Potter), Nick Nolte (Jake Mc Kenna), Claire Danes (Jenny). Australian distributor : Columbia Tristar . USA. 1997.


make contact. The relationship

(the first one being the choice to

betw een the two film s spaw n s this

turn around). The narrative depends

dilem m a: Is the num b anger gener­

on Bobby’s choices for its m om en­

ated by a film which constantly

tum (this choice causes an effect

a ssa u lts you more valua b le than

which in turn requires another

the num b anger generated by a

choice), and yet Bobby never

film w hich w ould like to constantly

appears as a character (who gives a

a ssa u lt you but keeps m issing?

shit who he is and what happens to

U Turn, like Natural Born Killers, is without intent. It does not seek to

him?), but as a constellation of char­ acters and perform ances that come

(Sam Fuller), and w ho se own

red, green, pink and brown (lensed

w ork is d a n g ero us and usefu l at

by Pascal R abaud) does capture

the sam e tim e. And it is linked

the m enacing violent concerns of

by such d ive rse characters as

Los A ngeles. It’s a w orld w here the

the M erced es-d rivin g hip-hop

w atcher (Bering) is h im self being

rap star Six (K. Todd Freem an),

w atched; a place of blurred m ass-

give him cause when there a in ’t

slashed m elodram as of Nicholas

(which, given the nature of Penn’s

w ho regards vio le n ce as style; a

m ediated im ages w hich are initially

any. Just blow it all up, baby.

Ray and Douglas Sirk. The first big

perform ance, w ould not be im possi­

revo lu tio nary poet, Kenya

difficult to read, only to d isco ver

(Nicole Parker); im m igrant M ex­

that one is the object of these

ican g ard en ers (who save and


transform or contribute to the evo lu­

before him and exist outside of this

tion o fthe cinema it affects: the

film. It does not seem , in other

Noirish thrillers of Robert Siodmak,

words, that he is capable of choice,

liver Stone w ants to fuck with

Edgar G. Ulmer and Joseph H. Lewis,

or o f ‘causin g’ the film. Bobby is an

classica l dram aturgy. Don’t

and the seething, Technicolor-

effect. Instead of relishing this

In his excellent article, “ Explod­ ; ing H ollyw ood” (Sight and Sound,

mistake, however (one that it does

ble), the film obstinately tries to

not share with Natural Born Killers),

anchor him, while he (Penn? Bobby?) goes off the rails.

im ages. It is an eerie, unsettling

Vol. 3 No. 5, March 1995, pp. 8-9),

is that it does not want to disavow

look after M ax as he recovers from

place w here the fa m ilia r-in c lu d in g

screenw riter Larry G ross expresses

com pletely the possibility of belong­

his kid napp in g o rd eal); a S a lv a d o ­

the iconic locales of Am erican cla s­

the am bivalence and uncertainty of

ing to the films it pastiches. The

rian maid (M arisol S anch ez); and a

sic cinem a, such as Bering’s secret

his response to Natural Born Killers

result is a nasty imitation of a nasty

reinforce each other, producing a

bold, know ing stunt w om an called

w ork-place hidden inside the Grif­

(1994): a film that is sim ultaneously

imitation (John Dahl’s Red Rock

disson an t ‘acting’ space rather

Cat (Traci Lind).

fith Park O bservatory that featured

‘ bad’ by all criteria used to m easure

West, 1993), an achievem ent which

than a coherent film ic w orld. Billy

in Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas

a contem porary w ork of art (visu­

hardly seem s necessary or timely.

Bob Thornton steps out of a Robert

Ray, 1955) - cannot be trusted.

ally and structurally ill-form ulated

Shot for ‘just’ US$20 million, in

Crum b strip; Jennifer Lopez gives a

The M ike M ax m ovie that Cat is attached to is aptly nam ed

Seeds of Violence and it d isp la y s

U Turn is b ursting with perfor­ m ances which negate rather than

W e n d e rs’ am bivalence to the

and exploitative), and ‘im portant’

‘only’ 42 days, this is Oliver Stone

half-arsed im itation of Jennifer

W en d ers’ ironic use of a m ovie-

city, with its m ulti-racial textures

and n ecessary in both its position

‘slum m ing’ it for a little post -Nixon

Jones in Duel in the Sun (King

w ithin-a-m ovie device in o rder to

and diverse breadth of locales,

within Hollywood and in the m an­

(1996) street-cred.

Vidor, 1946); Nick Nolte is Tom

furnish critical com m entary on

co lou rs the film in m any of its sty l­

ner in which it confounds the way

today’s hyperreal pyrotechnics of

ized a u d io -visu al facets.

movie vio len ce that vivid ly rem inds

The second big mistake is that it

W aites post a lifetime of drinking

W enders is exp loring a vital

one of A n to n io n i’s exploding,

them e that m erits our attention:

M iro-like fresco of the Am erican

he is not against m ovie violence

dream in Zabriskie Point (1970).

per se, but rather he arg ues for a

A ntonioni’s p rescien ce on this m at­

d ram a tic/sto rylin e justification

ter is one o fth e more visib le points

for it. Nor is W enders a “ life-

of connections betw een W e n d e rs’

dim m er” (M anning Clark) who is

film and the Italian d irecto r’s work.

against violence as an e xp ression

(This is particularly evident in the

of prescrip tive ideology (as are

tight of W e n d e rs’ directorial co lla b ­

our enlightened Coalition p oliti­

orative input to A n tonioni’s recent

cians in Canberra). Instead,

Beyond the Clouds, 1996.) Both

W enders is asking us to be se lf­

W enders and Klein w ere keen to do

critical of our unchecked propen­

a film that dealt with the sub ject of

sity to treat violence as a daily

violence but did not sp e cifically

consum er product.

The End of Violence is a

want to sho w v io len ce on the m ega-scale that ch aracterizes v io ­

n ece ssary (but flaw ed) film in the

lence as an e lephantine spectacle

director’s oeuvre that is propelled

in today’s Flollywood cinem a.

by a susta in e d , creative personal

Instead, they opted to show how

drive to question the centrality of

their increasingly-connected ch ar­

violence in our re stle ssly im age-

acters w ere im pacted upon by

saturated culture. It is also

we talk about film. Natural Born

pollutes its ‘cinem a of effects’ with

Chivas Regal in a four-dollar room;

violence. Indeed, one of W e n d e rs’

W enders com ing to a renew ed

Killers d o esn ’t ‘ play’ ; it discards

causality and a moral logic which

Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes

concerns is the p e rv a siv e n e ss of

sen se o fth e “ state of th in g s” con­

form and reduces both its world

render the nature of its style and

do a pubescent M ickey ’ n’ M allory;

Flollyw ood-nspired vio len ce, a

cerning his present attitudes to Los

and the characters who inhabit it to

delivery com pletely redundant (you

and Jon Voight o ccu pies U Turn’s

violence that is integral to the Ply­

A ngeles as a m ajor global matrix of

pure effect. It does not establish a

may, of course, wish to argue that

‘b lin d ’ centre (the sig h tle ss Indian

mouth “ New W orld” origins of the

m ass pop narratives and genres for

new order; it represents the d isinte ­

there lies the point). Sean Penn as

‘w ar vete ra n ’) w hich P e nn /B ob b y

Am erican psyche, and is sp read by

consum ing regional and national

gration and the e xcesses o fthe

Bobby Cooper, in a perform ance as

giddily returns to: “ W e’ re all eyes

the globalization of A m erican m ass

a ud ie n ce s across different sp ace s,

current order with a grandiose

overdeterm ined as W oody Harrel-

in the sam e head.” The schizoid

culture. As M artin A m is puts it,

institutions and cultures. W enders

indifference and an absence of

son ’s M ickey in Natural Bom Killers,

collision of perform ance style is not

“Am erican v io len ce ‘tra v e ls’ , it’s . said, and enthrals a u d ie n ce s all

1 has painted for us a w orld in m oral I flux: a d isturb in g view of the nar­ cotic m odernity of violence.

over the planet, but A m ericans have to live in A m erica, w here all the violence is .” 1 Arguably, The End of Violence illustrates, with its rushed dra-


! I

\ \

1 Martin Amis, “ Blown Away” , in Karl


French (ed), Screen Violence, 1996.


intent. Natural Born Killers is anti­

is the cipher through which all

limited to the field of acting alone:

cinem a. Oliver Stone is a-auteur.

action (and, therefore, plot) must

the skew ed cinem atography of

That Natural Born Killers b lu d ­ geons the view er e n d le ssly w ithout

pass. Stranded in sm all-town

Robert Richardson; the flashy edit­

Superior, Arizona, by virtue o fthe

ing of Hank Corwin and Thom as J.

intent is w hat m akes it interesting

ill-fated U-turn o fth e title, his situ a ­

Nordberg; and Victor Kem pster’ s

(w hether you like it or not). S ton e ’s

tion goes from bad to hopeless as a

overw rought kitsch Am ericana pro­

latest release, U Turn, just fails to

result of a series of wrong choices

duction design collectively sign al a



in review Films continued

film you go with certain e xp ecta ­ tions and a very sp ecific frame of mind.

Y’aura t’il de la Neige a Noel? (Will it Snow for Christmas?) is a

vapid surface of sm all-tow n in c e s­

film that needs that very specific

take them all away, into the city.

j the fam ily in the farm house. There

tu o u sn e ss and ra c ia l/se x u a l

fram e of m ind, b ecause it d o e sn ’t

The M other shares his bitterness,

! is no heating; they m ust use their

h ypocrisy. Denying Ennio Morri-

have m uch plot; there are no sp e c­

but is unw illing to act.

co n e’s excellent com position

tacula r sp e cia l effects or chase

(w hich is com pletely o verscored by

sce n e s, and there’s very little high

that The M other has had seven

fam ily’s spirit su rv iv e s as they rug

an in cessan t use of ch e esy pop ’n’

dram a or belly-laugh com edy. In

children by The Father, but she is

up, tell sto rie s and sin g together.

country tracks), the diegetic p re s­

fact, m ost of the u su a l elem ents

just his lover, and the children are,

ence it has in the w orks of Sergio

that m ake up contem porary cin ­

therefore, illegitim ate. They live in

ation, and it d isp la y s the dignity

Leone (w hile relying on the refer­

ema are m issing. W hat there is is

a drafty, dark farm house, in n ea r­

that The M other has m anaged to

ence) is this film ’s final, fatal crim e.

a gentle observed film about a fam ­

squa lid conditions and m ust w ork

instil into her children. W here they

U turn me off.



by : Sandrine

Veysset . Producer:

Humbert Balsan. Screenplay: Sandrine V eysset and Antoinette de Robien . Director of photography: Helene Louvart. Editor : Nelly Quettier . Sound operator: Didier Sain . Art director : Elie Poicard. Cast : Dominique Reymond (The Mother), Daniel Duval (The Father), Jessica Martinez (Jeanne), Alexandre Roger

electricity sparingly, and the televi­ s io n ’s broken down. Even so, the

Slow ly, it becom es apparent

It’s m aking the best of the situ ­

2CD, S ony SM2K 62678

I t is worth

noting here the extraor­

dinary release on CD of the

ily w orking on a veg etable farm in

on the farm to rem ain there. It

could have been asham ed or

“ version intégral” soundtrack of Les

the south of France. It starts in the

seem s that their presence is barely

e m b arrassed by their legacy, they

Parapluies de Cherbourg.

m iddle of sum m er, fin ishe s on

tolerated, just as they barely toler­

are instead pragm atic and proud.

C hristm as Eve, and not a lot

ate the ignom iny of being there,

W hen The Father takes two of the

m asterpiece m ay alread y have the

a p p e ars to happen in between.

and being badly treated as a cheap

younger children, Blandine (Flavie

excerpted so u n d tra ck on the cult

lab o ur force. The Father has his

Chim enes) and Paul (Jeremy Chaix),

Philips album , but this 2CD set has

a tribe of children playing am ongst

‘re al’ fam ily som e distance away,

with him to help pick ca b b ag es at

not only all the so u n d tra ck (the

som e hay-bales in and around the

w ho also tolerate the existence of

his hom e farm, they are found by a

w hole 88 m inutes 56 se co n d s) but

constant activity of the farm. There

this second fam ily, w hile having as

n eighbour eating grapes off The

six b o nus tracks as w ell.

are so many people com ing and

little contact with them as possible.

; Father’s vin e s. She d o e sn ’t believe

The film begins with scenes of

going, so many children, that it

It’s hardly an ideal w ay for ch il­

Those fans of Jacques Dem y’s

First up of the “ in éd its” is

they are his children, but they are

“ Watch What H appens” , an English version of the previously-unreleased

takes a w hile to sort out who is who

dren to grow up, but the film is

unrepentant w hen telling the ‘ re al’

and w here they all fit in. The Father

nevertheless about the joy and

fam ily of this encounter, even

“ Récit de C assard ” , sung here by

(Daniel Duval) owns the farm. He

innocence of childhood. It’s not a

when they are told to say they are

Tony Bennett, in his typically cool

appears to be the father of the ch il­

celebration - more of a resigned

co usins. Later, at school, Blandine

fashion. Then there are three tracks

dren, but he is not the husband of

acceptance of its un fairn ess - but it

defends her yo un ger brother, Paul,

not used in the film, “ Chez Duborg,

he French take their film s very

their mother (Dom inique Reym ond),

still sho w s that, am id everything,

because he is being called a b a s ­

le joaillier” , “ Chez Tante Elise” and

se rio u sly; they are artistic

and he does not stay for dinner, but

there’s an irre pre ssib le , carefree

tard, even though it w as probably

the “ Récit” , sung in demo version by

(Bruno), Xavier Colonna (Pierrot), Fanny Rochetin (Maria ), Flavie Chimenes (B landine), Jeremy Chaix (Paul), Guillaume Mathonne (R emi). Australian distributor : Palace Films . France. 1996. 35 mm . 90 mins .

. m eant in jest. There is a nobility to

com poser M ichel Legrand and his

e xp ressio n s, not, as Hollywood

goes off in a truck to som e place

spirit that is pecu liar only to ch ild ­

tends to regard them , com m ercial

else. After an altercation with The


products to be m arketed w ithin an

Father, Bruno (Alexandre Roger),

inch of their lives. That m uch is

the eldest boy, com plains bitterly to

place during the sum m er, but, as

very clear. So clear, in fact, that

his m other about their living and

autum n turns into w inter, a bleak

aspect of the film is the fact that

(Roland), hearing him do his own

w hen you head off to see a French

w orking conditions, and begs her to

and som bre mood takes control of

it’s so natural. The children espe-

songs is a revelation: his interpreta­

d a lly are so uninhibited in their

tion is far closer to jazz, and wittier.

all of the children, and The M other,

Perhaps the m ost rem arkable

tel (Guy) or Georges Blanès

Witty is, in fact, the first word that com es to mind with the 7

rem ind yo u rself that this is a 1 scripted film. It w as shot over six

minute 47 second jazz trio version

m onths and, naturally, the children

of “ I Will Wait for You” , recorded by

grew up, developed and changed

Legrand (piano), Marc M ichel Le

: in that time, and this is w hat gives the film its verity. They have a ! physical connection to the co untry­

Bevillon (bass) and André Ceccarelti (drum s) in 1991. Ranging through many jazz and popular m usic forms,

side, and cannot help but be

this may be the liveliest, most fun

changed by it, and by the sea so n s.

and exciting track to be released in

Even though not a great deal h a p ­

recent years. Anyone w ho loves the

pens in the ordinary, explicit

film will just have to get it (and lis­

cinem atic w ay, the changes and

ten to it after w atching Agnes

the d evelopm ents in the lives of

V arda’s Cléo de 5 à 7, in which

the children and The M other are

Legrand acts, plays and sings).

the subtle stuff of life; the things

Finally, Legrand does a big band

that are perhaps taken for granted,

version of the sam e song (at 9:12),

until they are looked at re tro sp ec­

which is, again, clever, witty and fun,

tively, and this is exactly w hat Will

but not as toe-tapping as the trio.

it Snow for Christmas? does. It’s a I

sister Christiane. While Legrand does not have the voice of José Bar­

that ca n ’t be repressed.

The m ajority of the film takes

perform ances that you have to

Whether for the original sound­

gentle film that is beguiling in its

track in all its subtly-shaded glories,

simplicity and poignancy, but upon

or the bonus tracks, this is unques­

j reflection is affecting and memo­ rable.




tionably the CD release of the past few years.



selection of v is u a l d eta ils for 1 e m p h a sis and the selection of |

sce n e s, actio n s, and ch ara cte rs to

I stand in for the entire film are I 1 instructive. 1 It goes on and on. The repro-

\ duction co lou rs are b rillian t and saturate d , although o c c a s io n a lly | the Gun Crazy one-sheet, p. 136 |

B a s s o ffs re prod u ctio n s are a tinge

1 d a rk er than the original. See this


| book. $ 3 9 .9 5 is pretty fair price for what you get.

Booko Received

Touch of Evil, illustrated with


po sters, lobby card s, p re ssb o o k s and related m aterial. B a sso ff is an o b se ssiv e collector, of co urse, and


is su b ject to fetishry: p. 78 features

Toby Miller , British Film Institute ,

a full-page reproduction o fth e


pp .,



w hich Double Indemnity lobby card sets w ere ship p e d .

Richard Schickel, A rrow Books, London,

B a ssoff is also very interested

Lawrence Bassoff, forward with Robert Wise , Lawrence Bassoff Collection,

1997, 558

pp .,


in the m arket for these p o sters.

pp ., illus ., ph ,


Each o fth e 36 entries fin ish e s with

RRP $39.95


London, 1997,192

plain bro w n-pap er envelo p e in


Beverly Hills , 1997,159


a recent auction price for that par­

rime Scenes is the size of a

Jeff Rovin , Based

ticu la r poster. This is preceded by a

lobby card ( n ” x 14”), h o rizo n ­

few p arag rap h s of stud io lore and

tal form at, and h as a g lossy, lurid

Bloomsbury Publishing , London, 1997, 217 pp ., $12.95

plot d escription flung out in very

red cover. On it, Robert M itchum and Faith D om ergue are tw isted up in each o th er’s arm s, o utlined in an electric erm ine aura. He is either

co lou rful and b re athless prose

Lee S e rve r’s Over My Dead Body:

! and m arket-canny im age creation,

w hich it w ould be unkind - and

The Sensational Age of the Ameri­

| each one a com plicated set of

u n n e c e s s a ry -t o quote from: you

can Paperback 1945-1955 (1994),

graph ics creating an identity for an

do not buy this book for the w riting

and Thom as L. Bonn’s Undercover:

or for the jud g em e n ts and insig hts,

An Illustrated History of American

her. Since it’s M itchum , it could

althoug h B a sso ff know s that the

M ass Market Paperbacks (1982),

ences of cinem atographic practice

w ell be both. Since the film is

key film noir figure is Robert

and G eoffrey O’ B rien ’s Hard-Boiled

on poster style; see, for exam ple,

Where Danger Lives, s h e ’s the one

M itchum .

America: The Lurid Years of Paper­

threaten in g her or about to kiss

with the .38 autom atic. If this is

You buy it for the poster rep ro ­

! unseen thing, the film. I

A m ong aspects of this are in flu­

| w ork on The Blue Dahlia, p. 94, or

d uctio ns, the dazzling, gaudy

the film noir po sters in B a s s o ffs

! the lighting effects m im icked in the

left hand, the one with the long red

co lou r totem s of this stead fastly

collection are d irectly related to the

nails, is form ed into a n asty-loo k­

black-and-w hite body of film s (the

front cover art of the paperback

ing claw ), then this is yo ur sort of

only co lou r FN covered is Leave Her

crim e novels o fth e sam e period.


to Heaven; B a sso ff ignores, am ong

B a ssoff d o es little with either this




supe rim p o sitio n of two faces in d if­

other p o ssib ilitie s, the Allan Dwan-

connection, or with the posters

ad ve rtisin g p o ste rs (B a sso ff him ­

John Alton collaboration on Slightly

the m se lve s; in a nostalgic way, just

\ Death, p. 118. The five im ages from

s e lf has put tog ether one devoted

Scarlet, 1956). A m ong the colour

sitting there on the page, they

! Lady in the Lake are each a differ-

to Errol Flynn film s), but this is the

re velatio ns on disp lay , heretofore

evoke a period and a type of film -

1 ent solution to the problem of

first one devoted strictly to A m eri­

hidden by b /w cinem atography, is

but they also constitute a rich vein

letting the vie w e r know that the

can film noir. Crime Scenes

p. 7 7 ’s: Fred M acM urray, Barbara

of im age, gesture, sym bol, graphic

j film ’s gim m ick is its (now fam ous)

in clu d es po ster m aterial from 105

Stanw yck and Edward G. R obinson

style, clipped, evocative w ordcraft

1 cam era-eye point-of-view . The

big and little noir co n ten d ers. It has

w ere all sh a rin g the sam e d ark red

other fea tu res as w ell: a b rie f inter­

lip stick in Double Indemnity.

vie w with Robert W ise, w hich gives

styles favoured by different s tu ­

d urin g the period; an e ssa y on film

d ios, from lavish to W arner B ro s.’

noir, w hich pro b ab ly w o n ’t do

low -budget duotone p ro ce ss, but

m uch harm or good; a pantheon of

you w o n ’t learn m uch about the

50 sta rs of the film noir, w hich

in d ivid u a l grap h ic artists who

sh o u ld start arg um en ts; and more

produced these w orks; ap p aren tly

d etailed and usefu l inform ation

no docum entation su rv iv es. M any

ab out poster, a d ve rtisin g , prom o­

o fth e p o ste rs are ph oto grap hs

tion and related term inolog y during

w hich have been, w ell, colorized,

the period. The rest of the hook is a

and they look like Ted T urn er’s

ch ron o lo gica l s e rie s of 2- to 6-page

L.A. c o n f id e n t ia l James Ellroy, A rrow Books, London, 1997, 480


Fugitive from a Chain Gang through

1 com panion to three e arlier stu d ie s:

Crime Scenes is an excellent



as a m ovie tie-in, 1997.

MEL THE INSIDE STORY Wensley Clarkson, Penguin Books , Melbourne, 1997, 360

pp .,


O riginally p u b lish ed in 1993, this revised edition in clu d es a chapter on the m aking of Braveheart.

SOAP OPERA TO SATELLITE DISHES Charlotte Brunsdon , Routledge, London & New York , 1997, 236

pp .,


THE SUNDAY TIMES 1000 M AKERS OF THE CINEMA Robin Morgan & George Perry , Thames & Hudson, London, 1997239 pp ., S35




colorized film s.

e ntrie s for 3 6 featured film s, I Am a

pp .,

First pu b lish ed in 1990; reprinted


You w ill be show n the different

som e insight into RKO’s approach

Jane Hamsher , Orion M edia, London, 1997, 248 pp „ $39.95

This Gun For Hire painting, p. 68, w hich also features an oneiric

I ferent attitudes and sca le s. I E xpressionism pow ers Kiss of

Other bo oks have collected film


I the v isu a l e ssa y on eyeline match-


backs (1981; new edition pending):

yo ur sort of im age (notice how her

on the screenplay by

John Brancato & Michael Ferris

Stefan Rudnicki, Based

I '

by Julian

on the screenplay

Mitchell, Orion Books, London, 1997, 215 pp ., $12.95



S c o re !

I am in s p ir e d re a lly b y th e m o v ie a n d I c o m p o s e w h a t I fe e l. U s u a lly I h a v e no in t e lle c t u a l c o n c e p t . I ju s t w rite in s t in c t iv e ly .


a lb u m y o u e x p r e s s y o u r o w n d re a m .


s e n s e th a t I h a v e b e e n o ffe re d g re a t

S o it is v e r y d iffe re n t.


s c r ip t s a n d a ll th e f ilm s I h a v e d o n e


I’v e b e e n re a lly h a p p y w ith . I’v e a lw a y s

T h is tim e I h a d no p ic t u r e s to in s p ir e m e, s o th e p ic t u re w a s in m y h e a d .

Y e s ! Y o u n o tic e d th a t, h u h ? For tw o

r e a lly b e lie v e d in th e m a n d I’v e n e v e r s h o t a s c r ip t th a t I d id n ’t lo v e .


A ls o , in te r m s o f m u s ic , I w a n te d it to

r e a s o n s : firs t, b e c a u s e I am n o t v e r y

B esso n

b e c o m p le t e ly d iffe re n t. In s te a d o f

e x c ite d b y u s in g th e s a m e th e m e w ith

I’v e b e e n o ffe re d o th e r f ilm s th a t I’v e

b e in g in m y s t u d io c o m p o s in g in fro n t

fifte e n d iffe re n t a rr a n g e m e n t s . I t h in k

s a id no to , so I s u p p o s e I’ m ju s t p a r t ic ­

on t h e p l a c e m e n t of m u s ic

WITHIN THE FILM? L u c k n o w s p r e c is e ly w h e r e he w a n t s

o f a s c r e e n w ith m y c o m p u te r, I w e n t

t h is is n o t th e e x c it e m e n t o f th e c o m ­

th e m u s ic ; he k n o w s e x a c t ly w h e r e he

to th e m o u n t a in s fo r th re e m o n th s w ith

p o s e r ; t h is is g o o d fo r a n a rr a n g e r . I


w a n t s th e m u s ic to s ta rt a n d w h e re he

m y g u it a r a n d ju s t p la y e d lik e fo lk

w o u ld n ’t be e x c ite d to d o t h is .


w a n t s it to s to p . I t e ll him if I h a v e a d if ­

s in g e r s d o !

S eco n d , b e ca u se w hen so m e o ne

fe re n t o p in io n , b u t m o st o f th e tim e he

W h at

k n o w s e x a c t ly w h a t he w a n t s ; he


is y o u r b a c k g r o u n d ?

D id

yo u

b u y s a s o u n d tr a c k - C D , he p a y s th e

u la r a b o u t w h a t I d o .


s a m e p ric e a s a n y a lb u m , s o he h a s th e

It d e p e n d s on y o u r r e la t io n s h ip w ith

rig h t to h a v e a re a l a lb u m a n d n o t ju s t

th e d ire c t o r. S o m e tim e s th e y w ill a s k

k n o w s w h a t e m o tio n th e m u s ic h a s to

N o, I n e v e r s t u d ie d a n y th in g , b u t I

b rin g . W e w o r k v e r y c lo s e ly .

s ta rte d w h e n I w a s b o rn . I s ta rte d p la y ­

o n e th e m e t u n e . S o , I am a lw a y s t ry in g

y o u w h a t y o u t h in k a b o u t c e rta in

in g g u it a r w h e n I w a s fiv e y e a r s o ld .

to d o a re a l a lb u m a t th e s a m e tim e ,

s c e n e s , o r a s k fo r y o u r in p u t, b u t 1

w ith 15 o r 2 0 d iffe re n t c u e s .

w o u ld n e v e r s u g g e s t t h in g s u n le s s I

F or e x a m p le , o n an a c tio n s c e n e he w o u ld t e ll m e to p la y th e a c tio n , o r to

M u s ic h a s a lw a y s b e e n m y p a s s io n . I

p la y th e o p p o s it e o f th e a c tio n , to p la y

le a rn e d b y m y s e lf. E v e ry tim e I w a n te d


re a lly b e lie v e d th a t it h a d s o m e t h in g

s o m e t h in g e m o t io n a l, a n d I d o w h a t I

to le a rn s o m e t h in g n e w I w o u ld b u y


to d o w ith m y jo b . I m ig h t s o m e t im e s

a lb u m s a n d lis te n a n d p la y .


s u g g e s t t h in g s to d ir e c t o r s th a t 1 g e t

w a n t in te rm s o f m u s ic . It m e a n s I ca n d o it w ith a s y m p h o n ic o r c h e s tr a , w ith

W h at

s y n t h e s iz e r s o r w h a te v e r . He d o e s n ’t


L e t’s s a y th a t first I try to d o th e s o u n d ­

c a re , a s lo n g a s I b rin g th e fe e lin g he

Fifth Elem en t ?

t ra c k a n d p la y th e ro le I h a v e to p la y

p a r t ic u l a r s t y l e o r o v e r a l l


on re a lly w e ll w ith , b u t I k in d a d o n ’ t t h in k it is a lw a y s m y p la c e [laughs].


l iv e in

M elbo u rn e

bu ty o u com e

w a n t s . In t e rm s o f e m o tio n , he k n o w s

T h e o n ly th in g I th o u g h t a b o u t w a s

a n d m a k e it a s g o o d a s p o s s ib le . A nd

up to

p r e c is e ly w h a t he w a n ts .

th a t I h ad to c o m p o s e m u s ic fo r th e

th e n I try to w o r k m o re to m a k e it a


re a l a lb u m a s w e ll.


Do e s

he t h en c r e a t e s e q u e n c e s in


2 3 r d c e n tu ry , w h ic h w a s n o t o b v io u s ,

Le Grand Bleu

o f co u rse .

N ot u s u a lly , e x c e p t, fo r e x a m p le , th e

S o , I d e c id e d to m ix a lo t o f s ty le s ,

s e l l in g

is o ne of th e h ig h e s t -


Syd n ey

to s h o o t f il m s .

Ha s

I’v e s h o t o v e r s e a s a s w e ll a n d I fin d th a t I h a v e to a d a p t to w h a t e v e r s it u a ­

c o n c e rt in The Fifth Element. T h is , o f

b e c a u s e I t h in k th a t th e n e x t e v o lu t io n

Ha v e

c o u r s e , w a s a c o n c e rt, a m a in c h a r a c ­

o f m u s ic w ill be in th is d ir e c t io n . I d o n ’ t


te r o f th e film . In Le Grand Bleu w e re

t h in k w e ca n im p ro v e a n y th in g , fo r

O f c o u r s e . Y o u ca n n e v e r e x p e c t th a t

M a y b e th e re is n o t s o m u c h d if fe r ­

s e q u e n c e s w h e re th e m u s ic w a s so

e x a m p le , in c la s s ic a l m u s ic o r in ro ck .

k in d o f s u c c e s s . I w a s v e r y h a p p y a n d

e n c e b e tw e e n M e lb o u r n e a n d S y d n e y ,

im p o rt a n t b e c a u s e it w a s u n d e r w a t e r

It h a s a lr e a d y b e e n e x p lo re d .

yo u been s u r p r is e d w it h th e

tio n th e re is. P r o b a b ly it is ju s t a m a tte r o f b e in g o p e n a n d fle x ib le .

v e ry s u r p r is e d . Y o u k n o w , w h e n I

b u t o n c e y o u m o v e u p in to th e N o rth ­

I t h in k th e n e x t e v o lu t io n o f m u s ic

s ta rte d p la y in g m u s ic . I w a s fiv e y e a r s

e rn H e m is p h e r e it is m u c h e a s ie r fo r

lo v e s m u s ic a n d h is c o n c e p t io n o f

ca n o n ly be by m ix in g a ll th is k in d o f

o ld , p la y in g g u it a r in m y b e d ro o m , a n d

c in e m a t o g r a p h e r s to w o rk . T h e lig h t

m o v ie s in c lu d e s a lo t o f m u s ic .

m u s ic , b y m ix in g a ll th e c u lt u r e s .

it h a s a lw a y s b e e n th e th in g th a t I lo v e

is a b it s o fte r.

T h a t ’ s w h a t I t h in k n o t o n ly fo r m u s ic ,

m o st o f e v e ry t h in g . S o I am a lw a y s s u r ­

b u t fo r e v e ry t h in g . I a lr e a d y s ta rte d to

p ris e d - e v e ry d a y .

a n d th e re w a s no s o u n d . I th in k Luc


Fr o m

t h e f il m s t h a t

I’ v e


W h e n I’ m d o in g p r e -p r o d u c t io n , I’ ll go to a lo c a t io n a n d lo o k at w h a t h a p ­

- Le Grand B leu , Leo n , The Fifth Ele ­

d o th is a fe w y e a r s a g o : e v e n in Léon


th e re w a s o r c h e s t r a m ix e d w ith p e r ­

C D s in th e s t o r e s o r I m e e t p e o p le w h o

w h a t I’ m g o in g to d o w ith th a t. I d o n ’ t


c u s s io n , w ith g u ita r.

te ll m e th a t th e y lo v e m y m u s ic . For m e

ju s t ta k e an e x p o s u r e a n d film w h a t ­

it is in c r e d ib le ; it ’s lik e a m ira c le . It is

e v e r is h a p p e n in g . I try a n d w o r k o u t h o w I’ m g o in g to m a n ip u la te it to m a k e


T h is tim e I c o u ld go fu r th e r b e c a u s e

For e x a m p le , n o w in T a iw a n , I s e e m y

p e n s w ith th e lig h t. T h e n I’ ll w o r k o u t

It is , b e c a u s e th e m o v ie s a re v e r y d if ­

th e m o v ie w a s th e 2 3 r d c e n tu ry . I

a m a z in g fo r m e to t h in k th a t th e s a m e

fe re n t a n d th e y d o n ’t in s p ir e th e s a m e

c o u ld u s e th is t e c h n iq u e m o re a n d th a t

little kid I w a s is s e llin g a lb u m s a ll

th in g in m e. I lis te n to a lo t o f d iffe re n t

w a s g re a t fo r m e b e c a u s e th a t is

a ro u n d th e w o rld . It’ s a m a z in g ; I c a n ’t

W hat

k in d s o f m u s ic a n d am in t e re s te d in a ll

e x a c t ly w h a t I lo v e to d o . B u t th a t w a s

b e lie v e it.

d o in g ?

k in d s o f m u s ic . T h a t is w h y I ca n

th e o n ly c o n c e p t I h a d , b e c a u s e a p a rt


fro m th a t I re a lly c o m p o s e w h a t I fe e l.


a c c e s s a ll d iffe re n t s t y le s a n d w h y


s o r t of f il m s do yo u d r e a m of

W hat

is y o u r w is h l is t ?

I r e a lly lik e w o r k in g in A u s t r a lia a n d I w a n t to k e e p w o r k in g h e re . I r e a lly lik e

O ften

s o m e t im e s fo r s y n t h e s iz e r o r fo r b a n d .

Le Grand Bleu , w o r k s

I u s e e v e r y t h in g I k n o w .


in t e re s t in g to m e ; it w o u ld be lik e


w a t c h in g m y s e lf in a m irro r. I lo v e th e

b e c a u s e I c o u ld d o m o re o f w h a t I


p r o c e s s to c re a te th e m u s ic a n d to

w a n t e d a n d n o t be re s t r ic te d b y tim e

I am p u tt in g t o g e t h e r m y o w n b a n d ,

y o u r m u s ic , p a r t ic u l a r l y in


it lo o k lik e h o w I w a n t.

s o m e t im e s I c o m p o s e fo r o r c h e s tr a o r

a n d r e le a s in g m y firs t s o lo a lb u m in a

a s p a r t of

N ot re a lly . I lo v e to c o m p o s e . I n e v e r lis te n to m y o w n m u s ic . It is n o t v e ry

th e w a y A u s t ra lia n film s a re m a d e . I s u p p o s e it w o u ld b e g re a t fo r m e to do a film w ith a b ig g e r b u d g e t,

fe w m o n th s . S o t h is tim e it is g o in g to

N o, n ot a t a ll. I u s e a lo t o f d iffe re n t

r e a liz e it a n d to m a k e it h a p p e n . W h e n

a n d m o n e y . A n d I’ d lik e to d o s o m e

be w h a t I r e a lly w a n t to d o . It in c lu d e s

s o u n d s , n o t o n ly m u s ic a l s o u n d s in m y

an a lb u m is f in is h e d , it is o v e r a n d in

f ilm s o v e r s e a s , n o t n e c e s s a r ily in H o l­

e v e r y t h in g , a c t u a lly - a ll th e k in d s o f

m u s ic . For e x a m p le , in The Fifth Ele­

th e p a s t. 1 d o n ’ t h a v e a fa v o u r it e o n e

ly w o o d b u t m a y b e in E u ro p e , a n d to

m u s ic I lo v e .

ment, in o n e c u e , I m ix e d s y m p h o n ic

b e c a u s e I d o n ’t lis te n to it. B u t w h a t I

w o r k w ith s o m e d ir e c t o r s w h o co m e

D id

o r c h e s tr a w ith A fric a n p e r c u s s io n s ,

c o u ld c o m p a re is e a c h g re a t a d v e n tu r e

fro m a n o t h e r c o u n t ry . I t h in k th a t

w ith a g u it a r, w ith b ir d s , w ith m y w a s h ­

th a t e a c h a lb u m h a s b e e n . A n d e a c h

w o u ld b e in t e re s tin g .

Y e s . It is v e r y d iffe re n t b e c a u s e n o w it

in g m a c h in e . I m ix e v e ry t h in g ! T h a t ’ s

a d v e n tu r e h a s b e e n g re a t s o I d o n ’t

N ex t

is m y o w n s to ry , m y o w n d re a m . W h e n

w h a t I fin d v e r y in t e re s tin g : to c re a te

h a v e a fa v o u r it e .

s t o n ’s

y o u c o m p o s e fo r a m o v ie , y o u h a v e to

m u s ic w ith a n y k in d o f s o u n d , b u t to

e n t e r s o m e o n e e ls e ’ s m o v ie , s o m e o n e

m a k e it r e a lly m u s ic a l a n d re a lly b e a u ­

te n c h ild r e n , y o u d o n ’ t p re fe r o n e o f

e ls e ’s d re a m . Y o u h a v e to a d a p t y o u r ­

t ifu l to lis te n to. T h a t is v e r y

th e m , I h o p e y o u lo v e th e m a ll. ©

s e lf a n d e x p r e s s s o m e t h in g in s id e th is

in t e re s tin g , I th in k .

yo u f in d t h a t e x p e r ie n c e v e r y



■ ^1 2 4 A ll in a d a y 's w o r k

d re a m . W h e n y o u c o m p o s e y o u r s o lo

It is lik e h a v in g c h ild r e n . If y o u h a v e




La w r e n c e J o h n ­


VERY DIFFERENT. W e ll, I a c t u a lly h a v e n ’t s e e n a s c r ip t ye t! It is a c o m e d y a n d v e ry d iffe re n t from a n y th in g th a t he h a s d o n e b e fo re . ©



^3 6 0 A b e r ra tio n

m u c h - it’ s q u it e e x t r a o r d in a r y . W h e r ­

h a v e a v e r y a d a p t a b le c r e a tu re th a t


e v e r I g o , I a lw a y s c h e c k o u t th e c o m ic

r e fu s e s to p la y b y th e r u le s . Y o u t h in k


b o o k s h o p s . N o w th e re a re q u it e a fe w

y o u k n o w w h a t it lo o k s lik e a n d w h a t it

I d o n ’ t t h in k I’ ll e v e r g e t to th e b o tto m

re a lly g o o d o n e s in S y d n e y . A ll th o s e

ca n do a n d th e n , w h e n y o u ’ re re a d y to

o f t h a t [laughs]. T h e b e s t o n e w a s

g a m e s s h o p s , e tc ., h a v e s p r u n g up

fig h t it, it d o e s n ’t re s p o n d to y o u r

f a llin g s n o w m a d e fro m d e h y d r a te d

ra th e r q u ic k ly . T h e r e ’ s a y o u n g g e n e r a ­

w e a p o n a n d it h a s a n o t h e r t ric k u p its

p o ta to f la k e s . T h e d o w n s id e w a s th a t,

tio n in to a ll o f th a t s tu ff. T h e fa c t th a t

s le e v e .

e v e n b e fo re y o u g o t to th e s e t, th e

P ro y a s is d o in g Dark City, t h e r e ’ s a

s m e ll w o u ld h it y o u . W e m u s t ’v e g o n e

g ro u n d s w e ll o f th a t m a te ria l in A u s ­

t h r o u g h a to n o f It. T h e g r e a t e s t th in g ,

t ra lia . T h e re is an o p p o r tu n it y th a t is n ’t

th is c a s e , it ’ s a h o u s e w h e re th e b a d

t h o u g h , is th a t it ’ s e n v ir o n m e n t a lly

b e in g d e v e lo p e d o r e x p lo it e d w ith in

w e a t h e r h a s t ra p p e d t h e s e p e o p le .

frie n d ly .

th e m o v ie in d u s t r y . T h e re h a s to be an

T h e y go o u t b u t h a v e to c o m e b a c k

W h e r e ’s

t h e a u d ie n c e fo r t h is f il m ?

Alien h a s b e e n d e s c r ib e d a s “ a h a u n te d h o u s e m o v in g in s p a c e ” . In

o u tle t e s t a b lis h e d w ith in A u s t r a lia fo r

b e c a u s e th e w e a t h e r is a n e n e m y ; th e

B a s ic a lly it ’s fo r t e e n s . It’ s a film to

th e s c r ip t w r it in g a n d t e c h n ic a l t a le n t

c r e a tu re s a re a n o t h e r e n e m y . W e h a v e

ta k e y o u r f rie n d s to a n d s c r e a m lik e

t h a t ’ s s it tin g th e re re a d y to go .

h e ll. It h a s lo ts o f s c r e a m s , q u it e a lot

A B FX, w ith D a v id a n d S u s a n a n d a ll

a c o u p le o f p e o p le : a g u y w h o is v e ry s m a rt b u t h a s n e v e r re a lly b e e n c h a l­

o f la u g h s . It h a s g u n - p la y a n d it h a s

th e b o y s d o w n s t a ir s : t h e r e ’ s a g re a t

le n g e d in to p u tt in g h is v a lu e s a n d life

h o rro r.

o p p o r t u n it y to h a r n e s s th a t, p a r t ic u ­

e x p e r ie n c e in to a n y k in d o f a c t io n ; a n d

la rly in p la c e s lik e Q u e e n s la n d w h e re

a w o m a n w h o ’ s r u n n in g b a c k to h e r

Ha v e

y o u a n y m o r e f il m s r e a d y to

SHOOT? W e h a v e t h is film t h a t ’ s lik e Trainspot­

ting [D a n n y B o y le , 1 9 9 6 ] m e e ts B a d

y o u h a v e p e o p le tra in e d up to th e le v e l

ro o ts to try to e s c a p e a life s ty le s h e ’s

r e q u ir e d .

fa lle n in to . It in v o lv e s a p e rs o n s h e

T h e t e c h n ic a l a b ility in A u s t ra lia is a s

D a y A t Black Ro ck [Jo h n S t u r g e s , 1 9 5 4 ].

g o o d a s a n y w h e re in A m e ric a . I k n o w

w a s in lo v e w ith a n d w h o a ls o h a p p e n s to b e a m o n s t e r o f h is o w n . W ith th e

It’ s a r e a lly d a r k film to be s h o t in a

a lr e a d y o f s e v e ra l o th e r p r o d u c e r s w h o

s u p p o r t o f o u r e v il c r e a t u r e s fro m th e

t r a ile r p a rk . W e a re a ls o lo o k in g at

a re s e r io u s ly lo o k in g at h o rro r stu ff.

s h o p , I t h in k it ’ s g o in g to p u t s o m e ­

a n o t h e r h o r r o r film .

T h e w o rld s e e s A u s t ra lia n s m a k in g

th in g on th e s c r e e n th a t w ill m a k e y o u

S in c e t h is , I’ v e h a d a lo t o f r e s p o n s e

q u ir k y c o m e d ie s , w r it e r - d ir e c t o r p ic ­

r e a lly fe e l fo r t h e s e p e o p le .

fro m A u s t r a lia n s w h o h a v e s e n t in C V s

t u re s a n d p e rio d d ra m a s . T h e r e ’ s

C o u ld

yo u s a y , t h e n , h o w y o u r t e l e ­

a n d le t te rs s a y in g w e ’v e b e e n d o in g

n o th in g w ro n g w ith th o s e s o r t s o f p ic ­

v is io n


p r o s t h e t ic w o r k o u t o f o u r g a r a g e s ,

t u re s , b u t t h e y ’ re n o t th e o n ly ty p e . To


e tc. A n d it ’ s s o n ic e th a t a ll t h e s e p e o ­

th in k th e y a re is s im p ly n a rro w -m in d e d .

I’v e d o n e lo ts fo r M TV , Saturday Night

p le a re m a k in g u s g u ilty fo r p r o d u c in g

A nd

in N e w Z e a la n d . W e ’v e r e c e iv e d s c r ip t s


On c o m m e r c ia ls , y o u c o u ld go in to an

a s w e ll. It a ro s e fro m p r e s s I d id in A u s ­


e d it in g s u it e a n d d o a ll th e s e in c r e d i­

y o u ’ re g o in g o u t o f y o u r w a y to

Live, b r o a d c a s t t e le v is io n a n d so fo rth .

t ra lia s a y in g h o w m u c h I’ d lik e to m a k e

I h o p e s o ; in fa ct, a n y o n e w h o h a s a

b le th in g s . If y o u w e re d o in g th e s a m e

a film th e re . It’ s b e e n g o o d b e c a u s e it

g e n re s c r ip t in n e e d o f p r o d u c tio n s e n d

e ffe c t fo r a fe a tu re , y o u ’ d h a v e a ll

h a s b e c o m e a fo c u s fo r A u s t r a lia n s

it to m e. I’ m a lw a y s o p e n to n e w ta le n t.

t h e s e t ra n s f e r s a n d h o rrific p r o c e d u r e s

w h o a re in to th is g e n re .

T h at

is g o o d , b u t a s a n o n ­

A u s t r a l ia n

w h e r e do yo u f it in ?

to go t h ro u g h . Y o u ’ d s e n d th e s h o t o u t

Tim Boxall

a n d it w o u ld co m e b a c k th e n e x t d a y .


Y o u ’ d c a ll fo r c o r r e c t io n s : “ Do th is ,

yo u a l w a y s w a n t e d , f ir s t , to

I’v e b e e n c o m in g to A u s t ra lia fo r the


re p o s itio n th a t, cu t th a t o u t, m a k e it

p a s t s ix y e a r s , a n d h a v e m a d e A u s t ra lia


t h a t .”

m y h o m e fo r th e p a s t tw o -a n d -a -h a lf

I’v e b e e n a im in g to d ire c t f e a t u r e s fo r a

y e a rs . I a lw a y s th o u g h t th a t in c o m in g

lo n g tim e , lik e e v e r y b o d y e ls e in th e

o n ly to be a b le to do on v id e o y o u ca n p re tty m u c h n o w d o on film . T h e g a p

B a s ic a lly , a ll th e t h in g s y o u u s e d

h e re it w o u ld be v e ry e a s y to g e t to

b u s in e s s . T h e re h a v e b e e n a g o o d h a lf ­

m a k e a lo t o f th e s e lo w -b u d g e t m o v ie s

d o z e n p r o je c ts th a t c o u ld h a v e

h a s c lo s e d up . I d ire c t e d a s e a s o n o f

- th is ju s t h a s n ’t b e e n th e c a s e . Cor-

h a p p e n e d a b o u t 10 y e a r s a g o , b u t

M o x y fo r T u rn e r B r o a d c a s t in g fo r its

m a n ’ s m y id o l a n d I’ d lo v e to e m u la te

t h in g s c o m e a n d go .

h im ; g e t first-tim e d ire c t o rs o n v e ry lo w b u d g e t s a n d p u m p it up .

c a rto o n n e tw o rk . M o x y is a m o tio n -

G e n re ? A b s o lu t e ly . T h e firs t s c r ip t I

c a p t u r e , 3 -D c o m p u te r c h a r a c t e r w ith

w ro te w a s a h o rro r p ie c e , a n e te rn a l

B o b G o ld t h w a it e ’s v o ic e . W h a t I

life t h in g . At v a r io u s tim e s I h ad C h ris

le a rn e d fro m d o in g th a t is in c r e d ib ly

h e re , A u s t ra lia a n d N ew Z e a la n d a re ju s t

W a la s ’ c o m p a n y d o e ffe c ts a n d I’ d

v a lu a b le in a ll th e fe a tu re film s t u ff

D o w n u n d e r; th e r e ’s no d is c e rn m e n t.

s t o r y -b o a r d e d p o r tio n s o f it. At d if fe r ­

th a t I w a n t to do n o w . S o , it’ s a ll

To m a n y US film m a k e rs w h o co m e

T h e r e ’s no d o u b t it ’s a v e r y d iffe re n t s e n s ib ilit y . W h e n I firs t c a m e to A u s ­ t ra lia , I t h o u g h t , “ O h w e ll, e v e r y o n e is

re la te d . T h e g a p h a s c lo s e d b e tw e e n

w a s t h is p a r t ic u la r a c to r, e tc.

w h a t y o u ca n d o on t e le v is io n a n d

The Ugly

w h a t y o u ca n d o in f e a tu r e s . ©

D ire cte d a n d w ritte n by S co tt R e y n o ld s.

I’v e b e e n p la y in g t h is p a r t ic u la r g a m e fo r a lo n g tim e . I h a v e a w r it in g a n d

m a k in g ].” T h e n I s u d d e n ly re a liz e d

d ir e c t in g d e a l at U n iv e rs a l, a n d I’ve

n o b o d y w a n t e d to. A s I s a id , it’ s s o m e ­

w ritte n a c o m e d y th a t, w h e n a ll th is is

th in g to d o w ith th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f

o v e r, I w ill d o a n o t h e r d ra ft o f a n d ,

film h e re a s w e ll a s th e c u lt u r e . In A u s ­

h o p e fu lly , g e t it in p ro d u c tio n at U n i­ v e r s a l, w ith R o n H o w a r d ’ s c o m p a n y .

life s ty le , w h e r e a s N e w Z e a la n d ’ s a

W h a t ’s

m u c h d a r k e r p la c e .

then ?

A u s t r a lia , f u n n ily e n o u g h , o v e r th e p a s t f o u r o r fiv e y e a r s h a s c h a n g e d so


T he U g ly

Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone (1983), but perfected here by Reynolds. The imperious figure of Dr Marlowe (Roy Ward), whose institute we’re often inside, is also introduced, and he pro­ vides a key to a further flashback. On the scene of Simon’s first mur­ der, Marlowe picks up an old school photo of Simon that suddenly comes to life but transports us back further. Other transition scenes are managed care of a camera flash from Se7en (David Fincher, 1995) or matching a character’s actions with a similar scene from a different time frame. The camera is often handheld and always moving, and the editing is often rapid utilizing stills, drawings and writings. Its borrowings and influences are sometimes overt, just as its subject material is well-trodden but there’s no doubt that no televi­ sion movie of the week will ever look like The Ugly. It doesn’t shy away from presenting its murders which all involve cutthroat razors and, perhaps to avoid censorial problems, a black-coloured blood. For all its grimness, The Ugly is not devoid of humour, although a certain darkness also shared by its highly underrated countrymate Jack be Nimble (Garth Maxwell, 1993; also produced by Jonathan Dowling) seems endemic to many films shot in New Zealand. The Ugly is presently without a distributor in Australia which is a ridiculous situation, for if there were ever a horror film that so readily pushed the boundaries on how such a film can communicate, this is it. Quite simply, The Ugly is one of the most clever and engaging films of any type to come down the pike in years. Reynolds, a former projectionist, has already finished shooting his second feature, Heaven, and is preparing a script called “ Heavy Metal Terminators” . He is definitely a major talent to watch, however and wherever you can. ©

e n t tim e s m o n e y w a s in p la c e if th e re

g o in g to w a n t to d o th is [g e n re film ­

tra lia , it’ s to d o w ith th e w e a th e r , th e

^ 3 61

y o u r t a k e on

A berratio n

T h is h a s th e s a m e s e t -u p a s Alien [R id ­ le y S c o tt, 1 9 7 9 ] , in th e s e n s e th a t y o u

P ro d u ce r: Jo n a th a n D o w lin g . D ire cto r o f 1 Cherry 2000 (S te ve de Jarn att, 1 9 8 8 );

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With M e (D avid Lynch, 199 2) 2 The Evil Dead (S a m R aim i, 1 9 8 3 ); B a s­

ket Case (F ra n k H e n e n lo tte r, 19 82 ) 3 M a d M ax (G e o rg e M ille r, 1 9 8 2 ); The

p h o to g ra p h y : S im o n R ab y . P ro d u ctio n d e s ig n e r: G ra n t M a jo r. E d ito r: W a yn e C o o k. S p e c ia l m a k e -u p e ffe c ts: R ich a rd T a y lo r a n d W e ta Fx Ltd. C a st: P ao lo R o tu n d o (S im o n C a rtw rig h t), R e b e c ca H o b b s (K are n S c h u m a k e r), Je n n ife r W ard -

Cars That Ate Paris (P e te r W e ir, 1 9 7 4 );

L e a la n d (E v e ly n ), R o y W a rd (D r M a rlo w e ),

Stone (S a n d y H a rb u tt, 1 9 7 4 )

P a u l G lo v e r (P h illip ), C h ris G ra n a r

4 Tremors (Ron U n d e rw o o d , 1 9 9 0 ).

(R o b e rt). N ew Z e a la n d . 199 6.


in 3D character animation, creating lifelike pi in lead characters and creatures (photoreal &


* *'%

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F u n d in g D ecisio n s Children's Television Ocean Girl Animation Series

P rodu ction S u rv ey 73

Features in Planning Brothers at War

73 73

Features in Pre-Production Caffeine Killer Jones

Documentaries Hipsi the Forest Gardener The Young Green Tree Bush Pilots & The Pearl Fishers


CTPF Decisions Never Tell me Never Our Century

73 73


Features In Production Babe in Metropolis Spank

73 73

73 75

Features in Post-Production Amy The Beggars’ Opera Cafe The Boys Dead Letter Office Family Crackers Head On Hurrah In The Winter Dark Liquid Bridge Reflections The Thin Red Line The Venus Factory

75 75 75 75 75 75 76

Documentaries Written in the Landscape


Short Films Self and Self Bed Telly-Vision


Television Tales of rhe South Seas



76 76 76 76 76

production '


F F C Funding Decisions Following a Board meeting held in October 1997, the F F C has entered into contract negotiations with the producers of the following projects:


B ecker G roup


P: B ill Leim bac h

D: B ridget G oodwin

EP: S tuart S cowcroft

P: B ridget G oodwin W: B ridget G oodwin

OCEAN GIRL ANIMATION SERIES (26 X 30 MINUTE children's animation series)

M edia W orld D: J ohn T atoulis

EP: J onathan S hiff Ps: J ohn T a to u lis , C olin S outh Ws: T om G a lb ra it h , J udy M alm g ren Presale: N etwork T en Distribution: B eyond D ist r ib u t io n , T ele Im a g e s , D aro


he late Professor Manning Clark was a vocal advocate of the need for Australia to be independent and a vital culture in its own right. He began w riting his volumes of The History of Australia during the Menzies years in Australian politics when it was unfashionable for Australians to appreciate or recognize anything as distinctly Australian. In later years he was a prom inent advocate for an Australian Republic. W hile Clark has been seen to be aligned to the left, this film w ill show that his intellectual roots were in fa ct conservative.


et on the m ythical w ater-covered planet of Oceana, Ocean Girl is the story of a w orld under siege. Neri, the ocean girl, embarks on a quest to unite the w arring clans of Oceana in order to repel the evil invaders from the nearby planet of Bandor. Good trium phs over evil In this Gothic adventure story.



C h a p m a n F ilms D: R uth B erry P: M ark C h a p m a n W: R uth B erry

Presale: ABC Distribution: SOUTHERN STAR


ntil now, much about the musky rat-kangaroo, the lone descendant of that ancient marsupial and the smallest and oldest surviving member of the kangaroo family, has been a mystery. In 1992, a young scientist who grew up near the only remaining ratkangaroo habitat in Australia decided to observe them in the w ild and after some years pieced together an amazing record of their life. The film takes us into the secret refuge of musky ratkangaroo Hipsi, the diminutive rainforest gardener.



E P Executive Producer P Producer Co-P Co-Producer A S Associate Producer L P Line Producer D Director SW Scriptwriter C Cast P C Principal Cast S E Story' Editor W D Writer-director D IS T Distributor N O T E : ProdLictlon Survey fo rm s now adhere to a revised form at.

W: M ichael M c G ennan Presale: C hannel T en Distribution: B ecker I nternational



he story of aviation in the top end of Australia, as told by one family who has lived through it all, the Slingsbys. The Slingsby family has been flying for tw o generations mustering crop-spraying, ferrying injured animals and people over vast distances. This is the story of courage and family, and one of great inspiration for all Australians.


ick Paspali and his extraordinary family empire grew from his discovery of a single pearl. Paspali Pearls now turns over $200 million per year in a smooth and profitable partnership w ith the Japanese, who began the Industry over a century ago. This film explores a major part of Australian history and the people who created It, contrasting the old w ith the ultra hl-tech of the new, and profiling an international co-operation that spans a century.

The Commercial Television Production Fund has announced funding of two new projects: NEVER TELL ME NEVER (tele-feature)

Cinema Papers does not accept

P alm B each P ictures & G olden S quare P ictures

o f a n y inform ation supplied by production com panies. T h is is

D: D avid E lfick P: D avid E lfick

pa rticu la rly the care when,

W: J ohn C undill

attem pt to correct what has already been supplied.



Production Survey

B ond



Casting: A nn ie M urtagh - M onks Extras casting: A nnie M urtagh - M onks J a c k so n , M ichael B ond

Production Crew Location manager: T im B urns Production accountant: S haron JACKSON Insurer: ACN PTY Ltd Completion guarantor: FACB, R ob Fisher Legal services: J ohn P icton -W arlow & A sso ciates

Features ui Planning

Travel co-ordinator: J ohn


ased on the bestselling autobiography, it follows the amazing story of Janine Shepherd, a champion athlete who is determined to rebuild her life after being critically injured in a cycling accident.

T ravel

Camera Crew

Production company: R ichard B radley

Camera operator: Laszlo B a ranyai Camera type: ARRI

Budget: $4.5 M Director: R ichard B radley Producer: R ichard B ren nan Executive producer: R ichard B radley Associate producers: H oward R u b ie , J im

On - set Crew 1st assistant director:

Jo O 'S h au n n essy Continuity: J an PlANTONl Make-up: L esley R ouveray Special fx make-up: Lesley R ouveray Hairdresser: L esley R ouveray Unit publicist: N atalie C am ero n

G eorge

Line producer: T errie VINCENT Scriptwriters: R ichard B radley , J eremy La r k in s , R ob W atson

Director of photography: ROGER LANSER Editor: N ick H olmes Distributor: U nited I ntern ation al P ic ­


B roker


Post- production


Film gauge: S uper 35 m m Screen ratio: CINEMASCOPE Shooting stock: Ea s t m a n C olour & B&W

Network presale: SEVEN

Government A gency I nvestment Production: S m ile P rodu ction s , T he S outh A u stralian Film C o rporation , S creen W est

Features in Pre -Production

CTPF Decisions

differentfo rm a t.

inform ation changes but the


P lanning

he series w ill showcase the Australian way of life over the last hundred years.

P roductions


accept inform ation received in a

production com pany m akes no

EPs: C hris O liver , P aul R udd P: W ill D avies


Associate producer: N icholas H ope Scriptwriter: M ichael B ond Director of photography: La SZLO B a ranyai Production designer: H erbert P inter Editor: A n d rew T h o m pso n Composer: J en A nderson Sound designer: J a m e s C urry Sound recordist: J a m e s C urry

Budgeted by: Ian S penceley , S haron

Cinema Papers regret) it cannot

respon sibility fo r the accuracy

Film A ustralia , Look T elevisio n , the N ational Film and S ound A rchive , the N ine N etwork & CTPF

D: B ill L eim bach

B ridie Films

Presale: ABC

Children’s Television

(2 x 4 8 MIN NON-ACCORD)


M arketing International sales agent: I n t rafilm , R ome



Production company: DowiE PRODUCTIONS Director: PAUL DOWIE Producer: P aul D owie

N icholas H ope (J onathon J o n es ), T ush ka B ergen (J e s s ic a )



itchell is tricked into acting as a security guard in a 24-hour supermarket. The trouble is he hasn't slept for three days.


ones, a w riter, is placed in a challenging exploration of the human predicam ent When a body is found, Jones, the killer, is driven mad by w hat he has done, and realizes his only w ay out of trouble is to get deeper into it.

KILLER JONES Pre-Production: A ugust 1997 Production: Late 1997 Production company: B ondfilm P ty Ltd Distribution company: T he G lobe F ilm C o Budget $2.2 MILLION

P rincipal Credits Director: M ichael B ond Producer: J an T yrell Co-producers: Ian S penceley , S haron J ackso n

Executive producers: Ian S penceley ,

Features in Production BABE IN METROPOLIS Production company: K ennedy M iller Distribution company: UNIVERSAL PICTURES Production: SEPTEMBER 1997 ...

Principal Credits Director: G eorge M iller Producers: G eorge M iller , D oug M

itchell ,

B ill M



production W ardrobe


Costume assistant: B ernice D evereaux Standby wardrobe: M andy SEDAWIE Costumier: A lison Fowler Assistant wardrobe: D enise P etrovic

continued Line producer: B arbara Gibbs Scriptwriters: George M iller, J udy M or­ ris ,

M ark Lamprell Director of photography: A ndrew Lesnie Production designer: Roger Ford Costume designer: N orma M oriceau Editors: J ay Friedkin , M argaret S ixel Composer: NlGEL WESTLAKE Pu n n in g and D evelopment Storyboard artist: PETER POUND P roduction crew Visual effects: T he N eal S canlan Studio A rt D epartment Art director: Colin Gibson A nimals Animal trainers: Karl Lewis M iller, Steve M artin Cast J ames Cromwell (Farmer Hoggett), M agda Szubanski (M rs FIoggett), M ickey Rooney


aving trium phed at the National Sheepdog Trial, Babe returns home a hero, but in his enthusiasm to be at the side of his beloved "boss", the little pig accidentally causes a mishap w hich leaves Farmer FIoggett in traction confined to bed. W ith the bank threatening foreclosure, Mrs Hoggett's only hope for saving the farm is to accept an offer for Babe to demonstrate his sheep-herding abilities at an overseas State Fair in exchange fo r a generous fee. Thus, Babe and Mrs Hoggett set off on a journey that takes them to a far away storybook metropolis, w here Babe encounters an incredible assortment of animal friends, experiences the joy and sorrow of life and learns how a kind and steady heart can mend a sorry w orld

SPANK Production company:

V ertigo Productions Distribution company: INTRAFILMS/PAUCE Budget: S1 .5m Pre-production: 13/10-16/11/97 Production: 17/11-28/12/97 Post-production: 29/12/97 Principal Credits Director: Ernie Cu r k Producer: David Lightfoot Co-producer: S cott M c D onald Executive producer: Rolf DE H eer Scriptwriters: David Lightfoot & David Farrelli Director of photography: Roger Dowling Production designer: A phrodite Kondus Editor, Edward M cQueen-M ason Pu n n in g and Development Script editor: DUNCAN THOMPSON Casting: A ngela H eesom Shooting schedule by: David Lightfoot Budgeted by: David LIGHTFOOT P roduction Crew Production manager:ScoTT M cD onald Production accountant: T rudy T albot Completion guarantor: FACB Legal services: Roth W arren, B ryce M enzies Government A gency I nvestment Development: SA Film Corporation Production: FFC AND SAFC M arketing International sales agent: Intra Film , Rome Cast Lucia M astrontone (T in a )


ick and Vinny are tw o losers whose only salvation is Vinny's girlfriend Tina, who bankrolls their plans to open a new cafe. The only remaining problem is how to get a prime location on A delaide's slinky cafe-society corridor. Enter Rocky


popular place in tow n. Even the policem an and the nosy next door neighbour become regulars. The money starts flow ing in, finally freeing them to follow their dreams. But when push comes to shove, w ill they keep sight of their original goals?

THE BOYS Production company: A renafilm Distribution company: Footprint Films ,

Globe Film Company

Construction D epartment

Pisoni, local big-noter w ho thinks that his self-styled mafia-type credentials w ill help the boys secure a sp o t Taking hard-up ex-monk Paulie along fo rth e ride, the little big man soon witnesses Rocky’s cheap pow er and driven violence, forcing the realization that they are in league w ith a low -rent satan.

Featuruej ui PodtProduction AMY Distribution company: B eyond Films Ltd ( international), V ilu g e Roadshow Ltd (A ustralia and N ew Z e a u n d ) Production: 24/3-24/5/97 P rincipal Credits Director: N adia T ass Producers: N adia T ass and David Parker Co-producer: Phil J ones Based on the original screenplay titled: A my By: David Parker Director of photography: David Parker Production designer: J on Dowding Costume Supervisor: CHRISTIANA PLITZEO Editor: B ill M urphy Composer: Phil J udd Sound designer: Dean Gawen Sound recordist: A ndrew Ramage

Production Crew Production manager: Lesley Parker Production co-ordinator: T rish Foreman Producers' assistant: J ane Hamilton Production secretary: COLETTE B irrell Location manager: N eil M cCart (S pider ) Unit manager: Leigh A mmitzboll Unit assistant: Peter B oekeman Production runner: JONATHON RlSHWORTH Production accountant: N adeen Kin GSHOTT Insurer: TONY LEONARD, AON Risk S ervices Completion guarantor: A drienne Read Legal services: B ryce M enzies, Roth W arren Camera Crew Camera operator: David W illiamson Focus puller: W arwick Field Clapper-loader: JuDE Lovatt Key grip: Richard A llardice Grip: Peter Stockley Assistant grip: M arin J ohnson Gaffer: Ian Dewhurst Best boy: Lex M artin 3rd electrics: M ichael H ughes 4th electrics: Chris D ewhurst On - set Crew 1st assistant director: B ob DONALDSON 2nd assistant director: CHRISTIAN ROBINSON 3rd assistant director: I ain Pirret Director's assistant: Clea Frost Continuity: Jo WEEKS Video split operator: Pip W incer Boom operator: T ony D ickinson Make-up: A manda Rowbottom Hairdresser: Z eljka Stanin Special fx supervisor: Peter Stubbs Stunts co-ordinator: Z ev Eletheriou Safety supervisor: T om Coltraine Unit nurse: T ed Green Still photography: SKIP WATKINS Unit publicist: Sarah Finney Caterer: J enny Stockley Caterer's assistant: T iffany M orris Tutor/chaperone: M aree Gray A rt D epartment Art director: Hugh B ateup Art department co-ordinator:

Christina N orman Set decorators: Lisa T hompson ,

N ic B runner Set dresser: DANIEL M app -M0R0NI Standby props: Harry Z ettel Art department assistant: J anie Parker Graphic artist: J ane M urphy Draftsperson: STEVEN WHITING

Scenic artist: J ohn Haratzis Construction manager: B rendan M ullen

Production: J uly 1997 ...

P ost- production Post-production supervisor: David B irrell Assistant editor: David B irrell Editing assistant: Rochelle Oshlack Sound editor: Paul H untingford Foley artist: Paul Huntingford Music supervisor: Chris Gough, M ana M usic Laboratory: ClNEVEX Laboratory liaison: Ian A nderson Cutting Rooms: NOISY PICTURES Telecine: Complete Post Government A gency I nvestment Production: AUSTRALIAN Film Commission : Commercial T elevision Production Fund M arketing

Director: Rowan W oods Producers: Robert Connolly,

International sales agent:

B eyond Films Limited Domestic distributor:

V illage Roadshow Limited Network Pre-sale: N ine N etwork Cast Rachel Griffiths (Tanya ), A lana D e Roma (A my ), B en M endelsohn (R obert), N ick B arker (W ill ), Kerry A rmstrong (Sarah ), J eremy T rigatti (Zac ), W illiam Zappa (B ill), S ullivan Stapleton (W ayne ), T orquil N eilson (L uke),M ary W ard (M rs M ullins ), S usie Porter (A nny )


m y is an eight-year-old girl who

can only hear music and com m unicates by singing.

THE BEGGARS' OPERA CAFE Budget: S45,000 Production: 8/9-11/10/97

Principal Credits Director: V icky Fisher Producers: V icky Fisher, H olly Fisher Scriptwriter: VlCKY FlSHER Director of photography: KATINA B owell Creative consultant: Ellery Ryan Production designer: KENT INKSTER Editor: Cindy Clarkson Sound recordist: N ed Dawson

P roduction Crew Production manager: A ngie B lack Production co-ordinators: Eleni A rbus &

D onna Cameron Production assistants: Reuben B rett, B rad

Levins Camera Crew Focus puller: Grant Sweetnam Clapper-loader: M artin S mith Grips: M att B ates & M att B lackwood Gaffer: Chris Loveday On - set Crew 1st assistant director: Caroline W aters 2nd assistant director: J osh A dam 2nd unit DOP: Darrell M artin Continuity: M erran Elliot Boom operator: Rob DAWSON Hair & make-up: Katherine Furness Catering: H eather' s Healthy M unchies & H ealth Food T hyme Runner: A lan JOHNSON A rt Department Art director: PAUL BEAGLEY Art department assistant: J odie M cN air Cast Holly Fisher (B ecky), Caitlin M cD ougall (L ouise), Rebecca M acaulay (J ustine ), Pip M ushin (T om ), T orquil N eilson (M arshall), Robert T aylor (S im o n ), Collette M ann (M ary), Red Symons (R ichard), J ohn Flaus (S tickman ), G eorge Kapiniaris (R estau­ rateur )


fter a 30th birthday party, Louise, Becky and Justine open an underground cafe in their backyard garage w hich becomes the most

Principal Credits

J ohn M aynard Scriptwriter: Stephen S ewell Based on the play titled: The B oys Written by: Gordon Graham

Government A gency I nvestment Development: AFC Production: SBS I ndependent, Premium M ovie Partnership M arketing International distributor: A xiom Films Cast David W enham , T oni Collette, Lynette Curran, J ohn Polson, J eanette Cronin , A nna Lise, A nthony Hayes


he B oystells the story of Brett

Sprague, a bad-seed brother who returns to his fam ily home after several years in gaol. Things have changed w hile B rett has been away: his brother, Glen, has moved out; youngest brother Stevie's pregnant girlfriend now lives w ith the family; and his mother, Sandra, has taken on a new lover. On his first day back, B rett sets about restoring his own fam ily order. In doing so, he reunites his brothers w ith horrific consequences.

DEAD LETTER OFFICE Production company: A rtist S ervices Film Productions Pty Ltd Production: A pril-J une 1997 P rincipal Credits Director: J ohn Ruane Producers: Denise Patience, D eborah Cox Executive producers: Steve V izard , A ndrew Knight Scriptwriter: DEBORAH Cox Director of photography: Ellery Ryan Production designer: CHRIS KENNEDY Costume designer: KERRIE MAZZ0CC0 Editor: D enise Haratzis Composer: ROGER M ason Sound recordist: Lloyd CARRICK Pu n n in g and Development Researchers/script consultants: M elissa M ohr, Richard Lowenstein , M ichael B rindley, J ohn Ruane Casting: Elly B radbury Latin extras casting: Kristina D iaz Production Crew Production manager: Ray H ennessy Production co-ordinator: Sandi REVELINS Production secretary: J ana B u ir Location manager: Stephen B rett Unit manager: M ichael B arnes Production accountant: MANDY CARTER Accounts assistant: Curtis Quelle Insurer: H. W . W ood A ustralia Pty Ltd Completion guarantor: FACB Camera Crew Camera operator: Rob M urray Focus puller: T rish K eating Clapper-loader: ANDREW J erram Gaffer: Rory TiMONEY Best boy: Chris S hanahan 3rd electrics: A dam K ercheval On - set Crew 1st assistant director: MONICA PEARCE 2nd assistant director: MlRIAM READY 3rd assistant director: LlSA FERRI Boom operator: M alcolm H ughes Continuity: A nny B eresford Make-up: Stephanie Larman Make-up assistant: Liz Harper Caterer: Sweet S eduction Still photography: Lisa T homasetti Unit publicist: Fran Lanigan

A rt D epartment Art director: A llison Pye Art department co-ordinator: Lucy S parke

Set decorator: Georgina Campbell Standby props: Dean S ullivan Dresser: T ao W eis Draftsperson: SUSAN ROGERS W ardrobe Costume supervisor: K eryn Ribbands Costume standby: K elly Foreman Construction D epartment Construction manager: B rendan M ullens Carpenters: S id Hartley, Chris T im m s , Craig J acks Labourer: P eter Staunch Set painters: B en Resch, ANDREW SCOTT Brushhand: Rohan SCOTT P ost- production Sound post-production: SOUNDFIRM Laboratory: ClNEVEX Telecine transfers: AAV A ustralia Safety Report: N ew Generation Stunts Government A gency I nvestment Development: Film V ictoria, FFC Cast M iranda Otto (A lice), George D elHoyo (F rank ), Georgina N aidu (M ary ), N icho us B ell (K evin ). Syd B risbane (P eter), J ane Hall (H eather), M ark W ilson (Youth), J illian O'D owd (L izzy), Guillermina U lloa (L ucia ), Franko M ilostnik (V incente), V anessa Steele (Carmen ).


he Dead Letter Office is a place of small mysteries, hidden in the bowels of the M etropolitan M ail Centre. The letters and parcels lining its w alls are w rongly addressed or m istakenly posted and most likely w ill never reach their destinations. This conglom eration of files and cupboards is also a sorting house for every kind of human fra ilty - letters of love lost, grief and longing - but this is the painful burden that Frank Lobez, o fficer-in ­ charge, refuses to take up. That is, until Alice W alsh comes into his life and embroils him in her own m isdirected quest for happiness.

FAMILY CRACKERS Distribution company: B eyond Films , Sharmill Films Production: APRIL 1997 ... Principal Credits Director: David Swann ProducerCHRis W arner Scriptwriter: David SWANN Government A gency I nvestment Production: A ustralian Film Financing Corporation, Film V ictoria Marketing: B eyond Films M arketing International sales agent: B eyond Films Cast W arren M itchell, Daniel Kellie, Peter Rawsthorn, Susan Lyons, M aggie King, T erry Gill, Valerie Bader, Chris Chapman


comedy w ith a heart about a chaotic fam ily Christmas th a t goes terribly wrong.

HEAD ON Production company:HEAD On Productions, Pty Ltd Production office: MELBOURNE Production: 20/8 - 10/10/97 Location: MELBOURNE P rincipal credits Director: A na KOKKINOS Producer: J ane S co n Scriptwriters: A ndrew B ovell, A na K okkinos, M ira Robertson Director of photography: J aems Grant Production designer: NlKKl Dl Falco Costume designer: A nna BORGHESI Editor: J ill B ilcock Composer: Peter B est Sound designer: L loyd Carrick P lanning and D evelopment Casting director: D ina M ann Extras casting: Cameron H arris P roduction crew Production manager: Catherine B ishop Production co-ordinator: K im T ravis Producer's assistant: Christina N orman Production secretary: J ana B lair Location managers: A listair Reilly, T im S cott Unit manager: A ndy Pappas

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^production Production Survey

Construction D epartment

continued Unit assistant: N ino N egrin Production runner: Kim Reed Production accountant: G ina Hallas Insurer: H.W. W ood Travel: T ravel Too

Camera crew Focus puller: Petter Stott Gaffer: J im H unt Best boy: Robbie H echenberger Electricians: David Lovell, Chris D ewhurst On - set crew 1st assistant director: Phil J ones 2nd assistant director: Christina Robinson 3rd assistant director: IAIN PlRRET Script supervisor: A nnie W ent Boom swinger: M al HUGHES Make-up/hair supervisor: CHRISTINE MILLER Choreographer: ZOIS TziTAS Greek music co-ordinator: I rine V ela Still photography: J ohn Sarvis Unit publicist: Fran Lanigan Catering: Eat Y our H eart Out Film

Catering Catering assistant: Rose B ygrave A rt Department Art director: Paul H eath Art department co-ordinator:

Colette B irrell Art department runner: A dam M cG oldrick Buyers/dressers: L isa T hompson ,

M urray K elly Standby props: S imon Carter W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: K eryn Ribbands Standby wardrobe: Kelly Foreman Wardrobe assistant: S hane Phillips Post-production 1st assistant editor: Rochelle Oshlack Dubbing editor: Craig Carter Sound editor: Room WITH A Vu,

Craig Carter M ixed at : S oundfirm Laboratory: ClNEVEX Camera equipment: Lemac Shooting stock: KODAK

Government A gency I nvestment Finance: Film Finance Corporation

(FFC), Film V ictoria Distribution: Palace (A ustralasia , S outhern Star Film Sales Cast A lex Dimitriades , Paul Capsis , W illiam Z appa , J ulian Garner, M aria M ercedes, Eugenia Fragos, A lex Papps


ineteen years old. When all Ari's energy and defiance, pain and joy is jammed into one high-velocity n ight of dancing, sex and drugs, he's running head on into his own kind of freedom.

HURRAH Production company:

Hurrah Productions Pty Ltd Production office: MELBOURNE Budget $3.6 m

W ardrobe Wardrobe buyer: CATHERINE H erneen Standby wardrobe: K aren Falting

Production: 23/8 - 3/10/97 Location: WENTWORTH, NSW

P rincipal

B olger . G ilbert H a n so n


Director: Frank S hields Producer: J ulie M arlow Co-producer: JOHN W0LSTENH0LME Executive producers: David Roe,

Les Lithgow Line producer: Daniel S charf Scriptwriter: JOHN W0LSTENH0LME Director of photography: N ino M artinetti,

ACS Production designer: Paul H olt Costume designer: A nna S enior Editor: B ill M urphy Composer: Peter B est Sound designer: David L ee


Scenic artist: C olin B urchall Construction manager. D ave Fran ks Key carpenter: M ick G olitschenko Carpenters: A nthony La m o n t , M athew

D evelopment Storyboard artist: Ralph M oser Production Crew Production manager: Elisa A rgenzio Production co-ordinator: A nna M olyneaux Production secretary: Eleanor P hilpotts Location manager: M al B rynin G Location assistant: Cath L ee Unit manager: Leigh A mmitzbol Unit assistant: Phillip T aylor Production accountant: T revor B lainey insurer: H olland I nsurance Completion guarantor: F.A.C.B. Legal services: Foster Hart Travel: Stage & S creen T ravel Camera Crew Focus puller: T rish K eating Clapper-loader: Tov B elling Camera equipment: Cameraquip Key grip: N oel M udie Grip: Oliver Petrovic Gaffer: Les Frazier Best boy: A dam K ercheval and

Lighting equipment: FRAZIER LIGHTING Generator operator: A ndrew J espen

On - set Crew 1st assistant director: B ob H oward 2nd assistant director: Steve Hardman Continuity: J ulie B ates-B rennan Boom operator: G erry N uci-F ora Make-up/hair design: A ndrea Cadzow Make-up/hair: JENNIFER LAMPHEE Special fx co-ordinator: P eter Stubbs Stunts co-ordinator: W ally Dalton Safety supervisor: Peter Culpan Safety report: P eter Culpan Security: T ed M urray Still photography: LlSA TOMASETTI Unit publicist: Fran Lanigan Catering: KEITH FlSH, Yvett SlNl Runners: JOCLYN McCAHON, M atthew

Saville, Sandi A ustin A rt D epartment Art director: Philip B oston Art department co-ordinator: M arian L ong Art department: Daniel Owen Art department assistant: Gerard K eily Set dressers: M arita M ussett, Colin Robertson Standby props: B en B auer Armourer: JOHN FOX

P ost- production Post-production manager: M al B ryning Assistant editor: B arry Lanfranch i Laboratory: ClNEVEX Shooting stock: KODAK Double head projector: T he JOINERY Length: 95MIN Gauge: 35 mm

Cast: M arton C so k a s (R aou l ), T ush ka B ergen (J u lia )


hrough the shimmering red-ochre distance, in the w hite-hot light of passion, tw o lovers create their own reality. H urrah, a mysterious, intense love story.

P lanning


D evelopment

Researchers: PHIL A v a lo n , B rian W illia m s Script editors: B rian W il l ia m s , P hil A valon Casting: M a u ra Fay & A sso c ia t es Casting consultant: A nn Fay Storyboard artist: KERRI AINSWORTH Shooting schedule by: D en is K iely Budgeted by: P hil A valon

Camera Crew Camera operator: M artin M c G rath

On - set Crew Make-up: H ilary P earce Still photography: WARWICK GlBSON Unit publicist: A nn ie W right Runner: TONY FIELDS

W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: J enny C a m pb el l

Post- production

T he G lobe F ilm C o. Production: 25 A ugust ...

Film gauge: 35 mm Government A gency I nvestment

P rincipal Credits

Development: Film Q ueen slan d

Director: JAMES BOGLE Producer: R o sem a r y B light Line producer: BRENDA P a m Scriptwriters: J a m e s B ogle,

M arketing

P eter R a s m u s s e n

Based on the novel titled: D a r k by


T im W



in t e r

Marketing consultant: J.M .A. International sales agent: B eyond F ilm s Publicity: A nn ie W right , J ohn T hornhill Poster designers: J ohn T hornhill , W arw ic k G ibso n


S ynopsis

Director of photography: M artin M c G rath

Production designer: N icholas M c C allum Costume designer: W endy C ork Editor: S uresh A yyar

P roduction


n epic tale of a young sportsman's troubled journey to the top.



Production company: COMBRIDGE

Production manager/co-ordinator:

In tern ation al

S a m T ho m pso n Location manager: M ichael D a v is

Production office: S ydney Production: SEPTEMBER 1997 Post-production: OCTOBER 1997

On - set crew Still photography: P hilip le M esurier Unit publicists: Gayle La k e , T racey M air

P rincipal


Government A gency I nvestment

Director: G eoffrey B rown Producers: G eoffrey B r o w n , C athy

Development: A u stralian F ilm F inance C o rpo ration , N ew S outh W ales F ilm and T elevision O ffice , P r em iu m M ovie P artn ership

Executive producer: G ordon B o bbin Director of photography:

B rown

G eoffrey B rown

M arketing

Scriptwriter: T erry O 'C onnor Editor: G eoffrey B rown Sound recordist: P eter M oreton

International sales agent: S outhern S tar


Cast B ren da B lethyn (I da S t u b b s ), R ay B arrett (M aurice S t u b b s ), R ichard R oxburgh ( M urray J a c o b ), M iran d a Otto (R o n n ie ).


n intense psychological drama, In th e W in te r D ark is set in a secluded country valley where M aurice Stubbs and his w ife Ida attempt to hold together a life-long but fragile relationship, w hile M urray Jacob and Ronnie struggle to find love. As the pain from an unresolved tragedy threatens to erupt from M aurice and Ida's past, Jacob and Ronnie are drawn into the older couple's desperate attempts to stop their lives unravelling.


P rincipal Credits Director: P hil A valon Producer: P hil A valon Line producer: D en is K iely

Based on a novel titled: T h e T h i n R e d L i n e By J ames J ones Director of photography: J ohn T oll Editors: B ill W eber, L eslie J ones Production designer: J ack Fisk Costume designer: M argot W ilson

Other Credits

Production company: R.B. F ilm s Distribution company:


Production company:

P hoenix P ictures-F ox 2000 Production: 23 J une -N ovember 1997, Port D ouglas, Queensland Distribution company: T wentieth Century Fox P rincipal credits Director: TERRENCE MALICK Producers: Grant H ill, Robert G eisler, J ohn Roberdeau Executive producer: G eorge Stevens J r. Line producer: G rant HILL Scriptwriter: T errence M alick

Production Crew Insurer: TONY GlBBS Completion guarantor: FACB Legal services: H art & S pira

Post-production supervisor: R ose D ority - S pectrum Music performed by: V a rio u s ar tist s Mixer: P hil H eywood Laboratory: MoviELAB

Production company. A valon F ilm s Pre-production: JULY 1997, FOR 7 WEEKS Production: SEPTEMBER 1997, FOR 7 WEEKS


L iquid B ridge By: B rian W ill ia m s an d P hil A valon Director of photography:MARTlN M c G rath Production designer: K erri A insw o rth Costume designer: J enny Ca m p b el l Editor: T ed Otton Composer: M aurice D 'A bruzo Sound designer: MAURICE D 'A bruzo Sound recordist: B ob C layton

Government A gency I nvestment Finance: F ilm Fin an ce C orporation (FFC) Distribution: T otal F ilm and T elev isio n , M ayfair E ntertain m en t


Associate producer: B rian W ill ia m s Scriptwriter: PlM H en drix Based on the story titled:


Director's assistant: K ate M c D onald



Cast S ean Penn , J ohn T ravolta, J im Caviezel, A drien B rody, Elias Koteas, N ick N olte, B en Chaplin , J en Cusack, W oody Harrelson, B ill Pulman , J ohn Savage, Gary Oldman , George Clooney, M iranda Otto


ased on Jones' sequel to From H e re to Eternity, the film depicts an episode of m ilitary history in 1942 when the first division of the US Marine Corps attacked the beaches of Guadalcanal, w here Japanese troops had dug in. The 'thin red line' represents the fine line between defeat and victory in the battle.

THE VENUS FACTORY Production company: T omahawk P ictures Budget: $850,000 Pre-production: 26/6-30/8/97 Production: 1/9-30/9 97 Post-production: 1/10-30/11/97

Principal Credits Director: Glenn Fraser Producers: JASON GOODEN,

J ulian Saggers Line producer: Leonard Coster Associate producer: Richard B rennan Scriptwriters: Glenn Fraser, Chris

W heeler, M artin Connor, Darryl M ason Director of photography: Rod TURNBULL Production designer: M ickey M cD onough Costume designer: A ngela Facchini Editor: M artin Connor Music director: P eter Lindsay Sound designer: J oe N arai Sound recordist: Gavin M arsh P lanning and D evelopment Script editor: Gerard M aguire Casting: Sally B ristoe, J oe W eatherstone P roduction Crew Production manager: SOPHIE RUGGLES Production co-ordinator: A ngela M aier Production assistants: M ichael A labanese ,

M egan M cA uliffe, T anya Phegan

Camera assistant: D a n iel S haw Grip. B rett Ca m pb el l Gaffer DAViD WOOD

On - set crew Continuity A lex T h o m as Boom operator: B ob S cott Wardrobe: D an iel O w en Make-up: PRISCILLA WATTON Assistant Make-up: J anet O 'R ourke & S a ra K ovacs Marketing/publicity: JEANETTE JOHNSON & G lenn C haplin

Cast K ym W ilson (B eth ), V a n e s s a D owning ( M rs O 'B r ien ), R oxane W ilson (H elen ), D an iel R igney (P eter ), T im E lston (M a r k )


Production manager: V icki P opplewell 1st assistant director: S kip COSPER Unit publicity: FIONA SEARSON, DDA

sophisticated psycho-thriller in the style of the master of the genre, Alfred Hitchcock. Three people seek shelter in a remote farmhouse, bringing w ith them dark secrets. But the farmhouse couple also have their own secrets.

Unit managers: Yvonne K ower, V erity

M athews Unit assistant M errilee P earce Production accountant: JASON GOODEN Insurer: H.W. WOOD - T ony GlBBS Legal services: Harper W atson -

Randall Harper, A drian Cornes Freight co-ordinator: M idnite Express

Camera Crew Camera operator: PETER B orosh Camera assistant/focus puller:

N ino T amburri Clapper-loader: Philipp V on Keisenberg Key grip: Dam ian Heckendorf Best boy grip: Luke CROSS Gaffer: D erek J ones Best boy electrics: Z ac M urphy 2nd assistant electrics: S hane A rmstrong On - set Crew 1st assistant director: B ill M arsden 2nd assistant directors: JODIE G ero, J oe W eatherstone 3rd assistant director: M elissa B arrett

C IN E M A PAPERS â&#x20AC;˘ D E CEMBER 1997

BACK SEE TEA R -O U T Number 1 (January 1974) David Williamson, Ray Harryhausen, Peter Weir, Antony Ginnane, Gillian Armstrong, Ken G. Hall, The C ars th a t A te P aris Number 2 (April 1974) Censorship, Frank Moorhouse, Nicolas Roeg, Sandy Harbutt, Film under Allende, Between the Wars, A lv in P urple Number 3 (July 1974) Richard Brennan, John Papadopolous, Willis O'Brien, William Friedkin, The True Story of Eskim o N e ll Number 4 (December 1974) Bill Shepherd, Cliff Green, Werner Herzog, Between Wars, Petersen, A Salute to the Great MacArthy Number 5 (March-April 1975) Albie Thoms on surf movies, Charles Chauvel film ogra­ phy, Ross Wood, Byron Haskin, Brian Probyn, Inn o f the D a m n e d Number 6 SOLD OUT Number 7 SOLD OUT Number 8 (March-April 1976) Pat Lovell, Richard Zanuck, Sydney Pollack, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Phillip Adams, Don McAlpine, D on's P arty Number 9 (June-July 1976) M ilos Forman, Max Lemon, M iklos Jancso, Luchino Visconti, Caddie, The D evil's P la y g ro u n d Number 10 (Sept-Oct 1976) Nagisa Oshima, Philippe Mora, Krzysztof Zanussi, Marco Ferreri, M arco Bellocchio, gay cinema Number 11 (January 1977) Emile De Antonio, Jill Robb, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Roman Polanski, Saul Bass, The P ic tu re S h o w M a n Number 12 (April 1977) Ken Loach, Tom Haydon, Donald Sutherland, Bert Deling, Piero Tosi, John Dankworth, John Scot, D ays o f H ope, The G etting o f W isdom Number 13 (July 1977) Louis Malle, Paul Cox, John Power, Jeanine Seawell, Peter Sykes, Bernardo Bertolucci, In S e a rc h o f A n n a Number 14 (October 1977) Phil Noyce, Matt Carroll, Eric Rohmer, Terry Jackman, John Huston, Luke's Kingdom , The Last W ave, B lue Fire Lad y Number 15 (January 1978) Tom Cowan, Truffaut, John Faulkner, Stephen Wallace, the Taviani brothers, Sri Lankan film, The C hant o f Jim m ie B lacks m ith Number 16 (April­ June 1978) Gunnel Lindblom, John Duigan, Steven Spielberg, Tom Jeffrey, The A fric a Project, Swedish cinema, D a w n !, P a tric k Number 17 (AugSept 1978) Bill Bain, Isabelle Huppert, Brian May, Polish cinema, N e w s fro n t, The N ig h t the P ro w le r Number 18 (Oct-Nov 1978) John Lamond, Sonia Borg, Alain Tanner, Indian cinema, Dim boola, Cathy's C hild Number 19 (Jan-Feb 1979) Antony Ginnane, Stanley Hawes, Jeremy Thomas, Andrew Sarris, sponsored documentaries, B lue Fin Number 20 (March-April 1979) Ken Cameron, Claude Lelouch, Jim Sharman, French film, M y B rilliant C a re e r Number 21 (May-June 1979) Vietnam on Film, the Cantrills, French cinema, M a d M ax, S napshot, The O dd A n g ry Shot, Franklin on Hitchcock Number 22 (July-Aug 1979) Bruce Petty, Luciana Arrighi, Albie Thoms, Stax, A lis o n 's B irthday Number 23 SOLD OUT Number 24 (DecJan 1980) Brian Trenchard-Sm ith, Ian Holmes, Arthur Hiller, Jerzy Toeplitz, Brazilian cinema, H arlequin Number 25 (Feb-March 1980) David Puttnam, Janet Strickland, Everett de Roche, Peter Faiman, C hain R ea ction, S tir Number 26 (AprilMay 1980) Charles H. Joffe, Jerome Heilman, Malcolm Smith, Australian nationalism, Japanese cinema, Peter Weir, W a te r Linder th e B ridge Number 27 (June-July 1980) Randal Kleiser, Peter Yeldham, Donald Richie, obituary of Hitchcock, NZ film industry, G re n d e l G re n d e l G re n d e l Number 28 (Aug-Sept 1980) Bob Godfrey, Diane Kurys, Tim Burns, John O'Shea, Bruce Beresford, B a d Timing, R oadgam es Number 29 (Oct-Nov 1980) Bob Ellis, Uri Windt, Edward W oodward, Lino Brocka, Stephen W allace, Philippine cinema, Cruising, The Last O u tla w Number 30 (Dec 1980-Jan 1981) Sam Fuller, 'B r e a k e r 'M o r a n t rethought, Richard Lester, Canada supplement, The Chain R ea ction, B lood M o n e y Number 31 (March-April 1981) Bryan Brown, looking in on D re s s e d to Kill, The Last Outlaw, F atty Finn, W ind ow s, lesbian as villain, the new generation Number 32 (May-June 1981) Judy David, David W illiamson, Richard Rush, Swinburne, Cuban cinema, P ublic E n e m y N u m b e r One, The A lternativ e Number 33 (June-July 1976) John Duigan, the new tax concessions, Robert Altman, Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Edward Fox, Gallipoli, Roadgam es Numbers 34 and 35 SOLD OUT Number 36 (February 1982) Kevin Dobson, Brian Kearney, Sonia Hofmann, M ichael Rubbo, B lo w Out, 'B re a k e r' M o ra n t, B o d y H ea t, The M a n from


S n o w y R iv e r Number 37 (April 1982) Stephen MacLean, Jacki Weaver, Carlos Saura, Peter Ustinov, women in drama, M o n k e y Grip Number 38 (June 1982) Geoff Burrowes, George Miller, James Ivory, Phil Noyce, Joan Fontaine, Tony Williams, law and insurance. F a r E a s t Number 39 (August 1982) Helen Morse, Richard Mason, Anja Breien, David Millilkan, Derek Granger, Norwegian cine­ ma, National Film Archive, W e o f th e N e v e r N e v e r Number 40 (October 1982) Henri Safran, M ichael Ritchie, Pauline Kael, W endy Hughes, Ray Barrett, M y Dinner w ith Andre, The Return o f Captain Invincible Number 41 (December 1982) Igor Auzins, Paul Schrader, Peter Tammer, Liliana Cavani, Colin Higgins, The Year o f Living Dangerously Number 42 (March 1983) Mel Gibson, John W aters, Ian Pringle, Agnes Varda, copyright, Strikebound, The M an from Snowy River Number 43 (May-June 1983) Sydney Pollack, Denny Lawrence, Graeme Clifford, The Dismissal, Sumner Locke Elliott's Careful He M ight Hear You Number 44-45 (April 1984) David Stevens, Simon W incer, Susan Lambert, a personal history of Cinema P ap ers , S tre e t Kids Number 46 (July 1984) Paul Cox, Russell Mulcahy, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irons, Eureka S tockade, W ate rfro n t, The B o y in the Bush, A W om an Suffers, S tre e t H e ro Number 47 (August 1984)

Richard Lowenstein, Wim Wenders, David Bradbury, Sophia Turkiewicz, Hugh Hudson, R o b b e ry Under Arms Number 48 (Oct-Nov 1984) Ken Cameron, M ichael Pattinson, Jan Sardi, Yoram Gross, Bodyline, The Slim Dusty Movie Number 49 (December 1984) Alain Resnais, Brian McKenzie, Angela Punch McGregor, Ennio Morricone, Jane Campion, horror films, N iel Lynne Number 50 (FebMarch 1985) Stephen W allace, Ian Pringle, W alerian Borowczyk, Peter Schreck, Bill Conti, Brian May, The Last Bastion, Bliss Number 51 (May 1985) Lino Brocka, Harrison Ford, Noni Hazlehurst, Dusan Makavejev, Emoh Ruo, Winners, M orris W est's The Naked Country, M ad M ax Beyond Thunderdome, Robbery Under Arms 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 53 (September 1985) Brian Brown, Nicolas Roeg, Vincent Ward, Hector Crawford, Emir Kusturica, NZ film and TV, Return to Eden Number 54 (November 1985) Graeme Clifford, Bob Weis, John Boorman, Menahem Golan, rock videos, W ills and Burke, The Great Bookie Robbery, The Lancaster M ille r A ffa ir Number 55 (January 1986) James Stewart, Debbie Byrne, Brian Thompson, Paul Verhoeven, Derek Meddings, tie-in marketing, The Right Hand Man, Birdsville Number 56 (March 1986) Fred Schepisi, Dennis O'Rourke, Brian Trenchard-Smith, John Hargreaves, D e a d -e n d Drive-in, The M ore Things C h a n g e ..., K angaroo, Tracy Number 57 SOLD OUT Number 58 (July 1986) W oody Allen, Reinhard Hauff, Orson Welles, the Cinémathèque Française, The Fringe D w e lle rs , G re a t Expectations: The U ntold Story, The L as t F ro n tier Number 59 (September 1986) Robert Altman, Paul Cox, Lino Brocka, Agnes Varda, the AFI Awards, The M overs Number 60 (November 1986) Australian television, Franco Zeffirelli, Nadia Tass, Bill Bennett, Dutch cinema, movies by microchip, Otello Number 61 (January 1987) Alex Cox, Roman Polanski, Philippe Mora, Martin Arminger, film in South Australia, Dogs in Space, Howling III Number 62 (March 1987) Screen violence, David Lynch, Cary Grant, ASSA conference, production barometer, film finance, The Story o f the Kelly Gang Number 63 (May 1987) Gillian Armstrong, Antony Ginnane, Chris Haywood, Elmore Leonard, Troy Kennedy M artin, The S a c rific e , Landslides, P e e W e e 's B ig A d ve n tu re , J ilte d Number 64 (July 1987) Nostalgia, Dennis Hopper, Mel Gibson, Vladimir Osherov, Brian Trenchard Smith, chartbusters. In satia b le Number 65 (September 1987) Angela Carter, Wim W enders, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Derek Jarman, Gerald L'Ecuyer, Gustav Hasford, AFI Awards, P o o r M a n 's Orange Number 66 (November 1987) Australian screenwriters, cinema and China, James Bond: part 1, James Clayden, Video, De Laurentiis, New World, The N a v ig a to r, W h o 's That

A Guide to What’s in Stock TO ORDER G irl Number 67 (January 1988) John Duigan, James Bond: part 2, George M iller, Jim Jarmusch, Soviet cinema, women in film, 70mm, filmmaking in Ghana, The Y ear M y Voice B roke, S e n d A G orilla Number 68 (March 1988) M artha Ansara, Channel 4, Soviet cinema: part 2, Jim M cBride, Glamour, Ghosts O f The Civil D ead, Feathers, O cean, O cean

Number 69 (May 1988) Sex, death and fam ily films, Cannes '88, film composers, Vincent W ard, David Parker, Ian Bradley, P le a s u re D om es Number 70 (November 1988) Film Australia, Gillian Armstrong, Fred Schepisi, Wes Craven, John W aters, Al Clark, Shame screenplay part 1 Number 71 (January 1989) Yahoo Serious, David Cronenberg, 1988 in retrospect, film sound, Last Temptation o f Christ, Philip Brophy Number 72 (M arch 1989) Little Dorrit, Australian sci-fi movies, 1988 mini-series, Aromarama, Celia, La dolce Vita, women and W esterns Number 73 (May 1989) Cannes '89, Dead Calm, Franco Nero, Jane Campion, The Prisoner of St. Petersburg, Frank Pierson, Pay TV Number 74 (July 1989) The Delinquents, Australians in Hollywood, Chinese cinema, Philippe Mora, Yuri Sokol, Twins, G hosts... o f the Civil Dead, Shame screenplay Number 75 (September 1989) Sally Bongers, the teen movie, animated, Edens Lost, P e t S em atary, M artin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, Ed Pressman Number 76 (November 1989) Simon W incer, Q uigley Down Under, Kennedy M iller, Terry Hayes, B angkok Hilton, John Duigan, Flirting, R om ero, Dennis Hopper, Frank Howson, Ron Cobb Number 77 (January 1990) John Farrow mono­ graph, B lood Oath, Dennis Whitburn, Brian W illiams, Don McLennan, B re a k a w a y , "C roco dile" D unde e overseas Number 78 (M arch 1990) The Crossing, Ray Argali, R eturn Hom e, Peter Greenaway and The C o o k..., M ichel Ciment, B angkok Hilton, B a rlo w a n d C ham bers Number 79 SOLD OUT Number 80 (August 1990) Cannes report, Fred Schepisi career interview, Peter W eir and G re enca rd, Pauline Chan, Gus Van Sant and D ru gsto re C ow boy, German stories Number 81 (December 1990) Ian Pringle Is a b e lle Eberhardt, Jane Campion, A n A n g e l A t M y Table, Martin Scorsese and G oodfellas, P re s u m e d In n o c e n t Number 82 (March 1991) The G o d fath er P a rt III, Barbet Schroeder, R e v e rs a l o f Fortune, B la c k Robe, Raymond Hollis Longford, B acksliding Number 83 (May 1991) Australia at Cannes, Gillian Armstrong, The L as t D ays a t C hez Nous, The S ile n ce o f the Lambs, Flynn, D e a d to the W orld,

Anthony Hopkins, S p o tsw o o d Number 84 (August 1991) James Cameron and T e rm in a to r2: Judgement Day, Dennis O'Rourke, Good Woman of Bangkok, Susan Dermody, Breathing Under Water, Cannes report, FFC Number 85 (November 1991) Jocelyn Moorhouse, Proof, Blake Edwards, S witch; Callie Khouri: Thelma & Louise; indepen­ dent exhibition and distribution, FFC part 2 Number 86 (January 1992) Romper Stomper, 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, S a y a Little Prayer, Jewish cinema Number 88 (May-June 1992) S trictly Ballroom, H a m m e rs O ve r th e A nvil, Daydream B eliever, Wim W ender's U ntil The End o f the W orld, 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 D ay s o f C hez N ous, Ridley Scott: 1492, Stephen E lliott Frauds, Giorgio Mangiamele, Cultural Differences and Ethnicity in Australian Cinema, John Frankenheimer's Year o f the Gun Number 91 (January 1993) Clint Eastwood and Unforgiven, Raul Ruiz, George M iller and Gross M isconduct, David Elfick's Love in Limbo, On the Beach, Australia's first films: part 1 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 films: part 2 Number 93 (M ay 1993) J ane Campion and The Piano, Laurie M clnnes and Broken Highway, Tracey M offatt and Bedevil, Lightworks and Avid, A ustralia's first films: part 3 Number 94 (August 1993) Cannes '94, Steve Buscemi and R eservoir

Dogs, Paul Cox, Michael Jenkins The H ea rtb rea k Kid, 'Coming of Age' films, Australia's first films: part

4 Number 95 (October I993) Lynn-Marie Milburn's M e m o rie s & D ream s, Franklin on the science of previews, The Custodian, documentary supple­ ment, 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, R ough D iam onds, Australia's first films: part 6 Number 97-8 (April 1994) 20th Anniversary double issue with New Zealand sup­ plement, Simon Wincer and Lightning Ja ck, Richard Franklin on leaving America, Australia's first films: part 7 Number 99 (June 1994) Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ken G. Hall Tribute, cinematography supplement, Geoffrey Burton, Pauline Chan and Traps, Australia's first films: Part 8 Number 100 (August 1994) Cannes '94, NSW supplement, Bernardo Bertolucci's Little B uddah, The Sum o f Us, Spider & Rose, film and the digital world, Australia's first films: part 9 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 o f Beyond, Cecil Holmes, Lindsay Anderson, Body Melt, AFC supple­ ment, Spider & Rose, Australia's First Films: Part 10 Number 103 (March 1995) Little Women, Gillian Armstrong, Queensland supplement, Geoffrey Simpson, Heavenly Creatures, Eternity, Australia's First Films Number 104 (June 1995) Cannes Mania, Billy's Holiday, Angel Baby, Epsilon, Vacant Possession, Richard Franklin, Australia's First Films: Part 12 Number 105 (August 1995) Mark Joffe's Cosi, Jacqueline McKenzie, Slawomir Idziak, Cannes Review, Gaumont Retrospective, Marie Craven, Dad & Dave Number 106 (October 1995) Gerard Lee and John Maynard on A ll Men Are Liars, Sam Neil, The Small Man, Under the Gun, AFC low budget seminar Number 107 (December 1995) George M iller and Chris Noonan talk about Babe, New trends in criticism , The rise of boutique cinema 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 109 (April 1996) Rachel Griffiths runs the gamut, Toni Collette and Cosi, Sundance Film Festival, M ichael Tolkin, Morals and the Mutoscope Number 110 (June 1996) Rolf de Heer travels to Cannes, Clara Law's new home, Shirley Barrett's Love Serenade, Richard Franklin Number 111 (August 1996) Scott Hicks and Shine, The Three Chinas, Trusting Christopher Doyle, Love and Other Catastrophes Number 112 (October 1996) Lawrence Johnston's Life, Return of the Mavericks, Queensland Supplement Part 1, Sighting the Unseen, Richard Lowenstein Number 113 (December 1996) Peter Jackson's The Frighteners, SPAA-AFI supplement, Lee Robinson, Sunday Too Far Away, Hotel de Love, Children o f the Revolution Number 114 (February 1997) Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Dean Cundey, SPAA: The Afterm ath, Idiot Box, Zone 39 Number 115 (April 1997) John Seale and The English Patient, Newsfront, The Castle, Ian Baker, Robert Krasker Number 116 (May 1997) Cannes '97 Preview, Samantha Lang's The Well, Kiss or Kill, Phillip Noyce and The Saint, Heaven's Burning. Number 117 (June 1997) Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz talk to James Sherlock, Monica Pellizzari, Aleka dosen't live here anymore, The M an from K an g a ro o Number 118 (July 1997) Terry Rawlings, Frans Vandenburg and Ken Sallows, Low-budget independent filmmaking, Stephen Amis' A liv e Tribe, SMPTE '97 Number 119 (August 1997) Ben Mendelsohn: Home Town Boy, Cannes 50th International du Film asks Is Cinema Dead?, Gregor Nicholas' B ro ken English Number 120 (October 1997) Miranda Otto, Frank Moorhouse, Two Studios and a World of Difference Inbetween, Hawks and Ford Retrospective Number 121 (November 1997) LA Confidential's Demon Dogs, Stephan Elliot at Cannes, Exile in Sarajevo, Japanese independent film


production Production Survey


continuée) Continuity: M ichelle BOUKHERIS Boom operator: Philip M yers Make-up: S haron Ohenoja Make-up assistants N atalie Lowe, Renée



Still photography: PETER ELLISTON Catering N olly' s Fabulous Food Runner: Pat M unro

Laboratory: MoviELAB Laboratory liaison: M artin H oyle Negative matching: Chris Rowell Grader: Kelvin Crumplin Film gauge S uper 16mm to 35 mm Screen ratio 1.1:85 Video transfers by: VlDEOLAB Post-production facilities: I sland Films Post-production sound: D igital Studio

Processing Cast T eo Gebert (D uncan "P eak" W iley), M elissa B ell (E mily ), T ony B onner (H am mo nd ), T erry S erio (A ngelo)


eing a male porn star may have its good points, but for Duncan "Peak" W iley it's not going to satisfy his Shakespearean aspirations. A surreal, comic tale of one rising star and his naked ambition.








Cast Urshula Yovich (D ella), T revor J amieson (A lvin )




n an isolated desert community, Della and Alvin are promised underthe traditional laws of marriage. Things don't turn out as smoothly as they might. They play musical beds as Alvin, paralysed w ith shyness, hides behind his guitar. M eanwhile Della searches for an easy way to kiejstart their sex life.


Documentary j WRITTEN IN THE LANDSCAPE Production company: WRITTEN in THE Land ­ scape P roductions P rincipal Credits Director: Phillip Harris Producer: Phillip Harris Executive producer: N eil M cLeod Scriptwriter: J im Howes Director of photography: Phillip Harris Editor: Phillip Harris Sound designer: Gareth V anderhope Sound recordist: ANDREW HOWES

Planning and D evelopment Researcher: N eil M cLeod Camera Crew 2nd unit DOP: Dennys I Lie Construction Department Driver: A avo T ava

( formerly angkor) see issue 112 110

Government A gency I nvestment Development: A ustralian Film Commis ­



SEE issue



Awaiting Release




P into , Sabina B egovic Hairdresser Lloyd Lomas

A rt D epartment Art directorSHARNi Dargan Set construction: M att W heeldon Head painter: B en A ttwell Post- production


se l f a n d se lf bed Production company: Chili Films Production: 27 October - 1 N ovember Principal Credits Director: Erica Glynn Producer: P enny M cD onald Director of photography: W arwick T horn­


ver the past few years of his life, Nawaguj Ngainmijra painted many of the stories of Western Arnhem Land, afraid they might die w ith him. This documentary traces the paintings and stories to their sources in both ceremony and landscape and shows their place in the traditional life of the region.

TELLY-VISION Production company: RHINOCEROS PICTURES Post-production: October 1997-F ebruary

1998 P rincipal Credits Director Liz Hughes Producers: A nthea H odge, Liz Hughes

Gaffer: Finnbar Collins Best boy: J ake Roberts

On - set Crew 1st assistant directors: B rigid Kitchin ,

V icki S ugars Continuity: Eve S pence Make-up: D eanna Cirino Hairdresser: D eanna Cirino Special fx: Dan Lloyd, Russell W ay Still photography J uli B alla ,

Stephen Grant Catering: JAN HODGE

A rt Department Art directors: A nny M okotow,

Russell W ay Assistant art directors Russell Lewis , Karen M urphy, Robyn B unting W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: A nny M okotow Construction D epartment Construction supervisor: Eric den Hartog Construction manager: M ark W atson Carpenters: M ark W atson , Emmanuel Clark. J ake Roberts P ost- production Edge numberer: Chris Rowell Sound editor: Craig Carter Titles: J anet M erewether Negative matching: Chris Rowell Screen ratio: 1:1.85 Shooting stock: VISION 200T Government A gency I nvestment Production: SBS INDEPENDENT Presale Cast J ayne Leslie (G irlfriend), Graeme Rhodes (B oyfriend), B asil Clarke (S ack M a n ), N adia Golsky (M other), Gosia D obrowolska (S traight W oman ), Z ia Ducker (B aby )


modern day nightmare! Television is the solution to everything.

Executive producer: i

Stephen Grant


Scriptwriter: Liz HUGHES Director of photography T oby Oliver Production designer: A nny MOKOTOW Costume designer: A nny M okotow Editor: Kathleen O'B rien Sound designer: Craig Carter

(2 2 x 6 0 m in ep is o d e s )

Production Crew Production manager: M aria Lacey Producers' assistant' M aria Lacey Unit manager: Renata Schuman Camera Crew Camera operator: T oby Oliver Focus pullers: Rupert Gibb , S ean M eehan, A nthea B oyle, J ustin Hammerschmidt , Rachel Fairfax

Production companies: VILLAGE ROADSHOW Pictures T elevision, Gaumont T elevi­ sion CLT (G ermany ) Production office: A irlie B each, Far N orth Queensland Budget S22 million Production: 16 JULY - 17 DECEMBER Principal Credits Directors: I an B arry, D on Crombie , Ian Gilmour & S cott Hartford-D avis ,


Ka r l Z wicky , B rendan M aher, Colin B udds Producer: Darryl S heen Line producer: Stuart W ood Executive producers: JEFF Hayes, M arla G insberg Director of photography: M ark W areham Production designer: Eugene I ntas Costume designer: A nna B aulch Editors: MICHAEL J. HAGAN, S uzanne Flannery Sound: Craig W almsley P lanning and D evelopment Casting: M aura Faye & A ssociates Casting consultant: Gaye Donnellan Casting assistant: V annessa Pace Production Crew Production manager: S haron MILLER Production co-ordinator: JENNIFER DES Champs Production secretary: DEANNE STRATFORD Locations: M ike M cLean Locations assistant: Roger K elly Unit manager: B rendon " M oose" B oyd Production asssitants: JUDY A llen, Lisa Churchouse Production runner: Rachel B a GLEY Production accountant:PAT PASSLOW Accounts assistant: T oni Pearson Payroll manager: RHONDA FORTESCUE Camera Crew Camera operator: T ony POLITIS Focus pullers: A ron Leong, Dan M axwell Clapper-loaders: Daniel Clark, Luke Geldard Key grip: Paul T hompson Assistant grip: Guy B owden Gaffer: M att S lattery Best boys: M ick O'B rien, B enn Hyde Electricians: Ken T albot , D ean B ryan On - set Crew 1st assistant directors: J amie Leslie, P eter Fitzgerald 2nd assistant director: Rob B rown 3rd assistant director: LlZ EDWARDS Continuity: J enny Hogan & Lou Grant Boom operator: B en W yatt Make-up supervisor S haron ROBBINS Make-up & hair: Katherin B irch, Rick Findlater Special fx supervisor BRiAN Holmes Special fx co-ordinator: A ngelo Sahin Stunts co-ordinator: D on V aughn Safety officer: JOE SCHWAIGER Assistant safety: S ean Rigby Unit nurse: J enny L'H uillier Marine co-ordinator: Gary M cN amara Still photography: S ean Barnes Catering: FlEURY'S CATERING Runner Gary B onner A rt D epartment Art director: B ill B ooth Art department co-ordinator: Katie N ott Art department runner: MlCK Harris Set dressers Prue Saunders , Lenny Holmdahl, Steve T aylor Standby props: Steve "R ats " M oran Assistant standby props: NICK Lee W ardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: Rita Crouch Wardrobe Dresser. M elissa W ilson Standby wardrobe:

Karen Fawlting , Sally Pritchard Construction Department Construction co-ordinator: J ohn O'B rien Scenic artist M ichael J ohnson Construction manager: JOHN Parker Construction foreman Dave W eston Set finisher M al J arvie Greensman D avid Gabey P ost- production Post-production Cutting Edge Post-production producer: Robert Florio Post-production co-ordinator Paul B ooth Assistant editors: B rad L indenmayer , Geoff Lamb Post-production assistant: J osie I ddles Film gauge: 16mm Television presale: N etwork T en Cast W illiam S now , Rene N aufahu , Rachel B lakely, Kimberly J oseph, Rowena K ing , M ark Lee, A drian W right, J ohn Freeman series set in 1910 that follows the escapades of a swashbuckling trader in the exotic Pacific.

A 78


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A panet of ten film reviewers has rated a selection of the latest releases on a scale of 0 to 10, the latter being the optimum rating (a dash means not seen).












6 .7











7 .3











5 .4










8 .2








R o b e r t Z e m e cld *

T H E DAYTRIPPERS G r e g M otto la

EVENT HORIZON Paul fin d er*o n

EXILE IN SARAJEVO T a it i r C a m b i * & R i m a S a h It 03

T H E GAME D a vid F in clter

HERCULES J o l t n Mh * U e r & B i l l C l e m e n t






5 .6




C u rii* H an *ou



P. J. H o g a n








7 .4


S id n ey L n m et


5 .2

Jan De B ont



V icto r Nunes




6 .7



6 .5

M iclta el C o r d e ll

f you’re going to see P. J. Hogan’s My Best Friend’s Wedding because of the trailer, don’t be disappointed if a couple of the promised gags are missing. At least two very funny scenes featured in the trailer are not on the


with “...you have hair that moves”. It was the highlight of the trailer, but is not in the finished film.

screen. This isn’t a rare or new phenomenon. Recently, the trailer for the dire High School High featured a scene where the same song, “Gangster’s Paradise”, is playing on every radio station, but in the film it’s a different song.

the trailer has been screening in Australian cinemas for months). Which is fair enough, but why do lines and

And the trailer for Beaches has a scene where Bette Midler is cataloguing Barbara Hershey’s qualities, ending


This discrepancy comes from the fact that the trailers are cut well before the final version of the film is decided on (to wit, Godzilla, to be released in July 1998, though

scenes that work so well in trailers not make it to the final cut? Or is that, indeed, the fine art of making a trailer work.


T r a c k s A u s t r a l i a S o u n d P r o d u c t i o n P t y Ltd

46 A l b a n y S t r e e t , C r o w s N e s t 2065 T e l : (0 2 ) 9906 2960 F a x : (0 2 ) 9906 4128

....WITH TWO NEW KODAK VISION FILMS'THAT CUT GRAIN LIKE NOTHING BEFORE. A daylight balanced, Kodak Vision 250D color negative film and Kodak Vision 200T color negative film balanced for tungsten light. Both are medium speed products with the grain and sharpness of much slower speed films. Colors reproduce accurately. Latitude is exceptional. And both films intercut beautifully with other members of the Kodak family. Explore your imagination and capture your vision, with the gold standard in motion picture color negative films. Kodak. Eastman, and Vision are trade marks.


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Cinema Papers No.122 December 1997  

Cinema Papers No.122 December 1997  

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