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Bump and Grind. What’s with all the recent dancing movies? Entering Short Film Festivals. In The Realm of the Censors. Classifying pink bits SPAA 2000. Hilary Linstead: Producer. Kick Gurry. Rob Sitch. Madeleine Swain. Marieke Hardy. Adrian Martin. Dino Scatena. 9770311363019

The Bring It On Issue. October.November.00 $7.65incGsr NZ $8.00 inc GST

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Reviews 40.Film. Better Than Sex Russian Doll Shaft Walk the Talk Cherry Falls Million Dollar Hotel What Lies Beneath 46.Reading. Who Killed Hollywood...and Put the Tarnish on Tinseltown?

. . c o n t e n t s .


Dancing For Their Lives. Bootmen, Center Stage, Billy Elliot and Kick: Adrian Martin explores the red-hot rash of movies doing the bump and grind.


Digital Movie Emergence. With George Lucas leading the charge, the cinema industry is wondering who’s going to pay for the brave new world. Angus Fontaine reports.


Norman Lindsay’s Magic Pudding on The Big Screen. Animation director Robbert Smit details how the massive project came together.


Uncloaking Hilary Linstead. One of the film industry’s most enduring characters speaks to Michaela Boland.


In The Realm of the Censors. Des Clarke and Mark Spratt chat about classifying pink bits.


David Wenham profile. Michaela Boland discovers romantic comedies are a relatively new string to Diver Dan’s bow.

Action/Spectacle Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader Bonnie and Clyde Blonde A Novel The Virgin Suicides High Fidelity 48. Video. Essex Boys Molly Pups 49. DVD. Snow Falling on Cedars Jaws The Bone Collector

Regulars, 05. Welcome to Woop Woop. 06. Newsfront. Industry news 08. Fresh Air. Letters and your email reports. 09. Final cut. Rob Sitch on the Australian sun. 23. The Getting of Wisdom. Kick Gurry. 33. The Box. Lisa Dethridge on improving scripts. 35. To Market To Market. Joel Pearlman on marketing Looking forAlibrandi. 51. Supplement. SPAA 2000 and entering short film festivals. 54. InProduction. 58. The Sum of Us. Local reviewers rate releases.


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elbourne film studio 117 Rouse Street Port Melbourne 3207 Victoria Australia


Telephone.- 613 9646 4022 Facsimile: 613 9646 6336

























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Welcome to W ood W ood


Welcome to the Bring It On issue, which despite the identical


title, is not named in honour of the upcoming Roadshow release


(though some members of the Cinema Papers office are partial


to the occasional cheerleader). Rather, through October and


November we're saying 'bring it on- in celebration of so many


Australian films, and OS films featuring the work of Australians,

glenn.a0niche.com.au ROB DAVIES

slamming onto cinema screens.


-> It was difficult selecting a cover from eight strong films but


the very sexy Better Than Sex came out a winner. Low fuss and

T E L : [03) 9525 5566


cheeky, Jonathan Teplitzky's debut feature proves strong


direction, a focused script and a glimpse of David Wenham's bum


cheeks equals gold, gold, gold for Australia.



-> But readers will notice an omission from this issue's chock-a-


block review section (beginning p.40). Working Dog’s follow up to


The Castle, The Dish, is not reviewed, despite it releasing the


same week as publication of this issue. See Newsfront [p.6] for


an explanation and Final Cut [p.8] for director Rob Sitch’s take on shooting under the Australian sun.


Working Dog is not among the nominees for AFI awards who will be attending the film industry’s




biggest annual party at Sydney’s Fox Studios on November 18, allegedly because The Dish was not ready in time. -> The makers of Chopperwill definitely be in attendance, as will the team behind Looking for Alibrandi. Chopper lead Eric Bana has been a favourite for the Best Actor award since before the film was released but the question on everyone’s lips is 'will the real Chopper Read be invited to

T E L : 1800 806 160

email: subscriptions0niche.com.au

walk the red carpet after being snubbed at the film premieres’? If Read does get a bait (which is extremely unlikely) last year's post referendum brouhaha will look like a punch-up at a B&S.



N IC H E M E D IA PTY LTD A B N 13 066 613 529

-> If the AFI gave out marketing awards, and maybe its something they should consider, the team


behind Looking For Alibrandi would be deserving recipients. From the outside Alibrandi appeared to

A B N 53 006 031 161 LE VE L3, 165 FITZROY STREET, ST K ILD A , M E LB O U R N E , VIC 3182

be the slickest, most intelligent and well-funded campaign of the year. So we asked Roadshow

T E L : (03) 9525 5566, FAX: [03I 9525 5628

distributor Joel Pearlman if that was actually the case (p.35).

PO BOX 20 63 , ST KILD A , M E LB O U R N E , VIC 3182

-> In this issue we thought it was time to meet the new head of the censorship board, former


Melbourne Mayor Des Clark. Mark Spratt, the bloke who loves making headlines by challenging the


censorship board so he can distribute rude movies (Romance etc], also wanted to meet Mr Clark. CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER STEVEN M ETTER

smeUer@niche.com.au GROUP ART DIRECTOR G L E N N A M O FFATT

gmoffatt@niche.com.au FILM & PRINTING

Their (edited) conversation, spiced up by lots of suitable pictures, is on p.26. -> And Adrian Martin, bless his cotton socks, pirouetted with pleasure at our suggestion he write about the plethora of dancing movies being released at this time. Billy Elliot (UK), Center Stage (US), plus the homegrown features Bootmen and Kick, make for an extraordinary confluence of flounces,

SO U T H ER N CO LO UR . T E L : (031 9701 5566

minces and shimmys not seen since the era of greatness that delivered Flashdance, Footloose and

ISSN 0311-3639

time has come again to cut loose, footloose...


Michaela Boland






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access during filming and their photographs are likely to form an B lftÄ M S S Ä I




exhibition released with the film sometime during 2001. -> Maynard explained in the first week. of filming on location in Melbourne,


the crew had been bothered by a freelance photographer working with

■ H ttV IM H lH l

a national daily paper who had staked-


out the shoot all day before being

Local Pay TV Enjoys S o u th ern Exposure

'called o ff by the publication. Additionally, according to Maynard, a TV crew camped outside the set. È&


The Dish. -> In Adelaide’s South Australia

Which star was generating the a reliable source says most

Museum on August 17, the Discovery

LaPaglia the producer mused?

distributors were keen to pick it up but

Channel premiered the results of its

-> Presumably Wenham was the hot

Working Dog was confident The Dish

Southern Exposure First Time

property, but then again The Bank was

interest? David Wenham or Anthony

Venice Triu m p h


would make $20 million at the local

Filmmakers Initiative - a joint venture

shooting inside the Supreme Court.

box office and sought commensurate

with the South Australia Film

Perhaps the assembled media were

terms. [The Castle and recently The

Corporation, funding six local

not interested in the film at all but

Wog Boy earned just over half that

filmmakers to produce Australian

rather just doing their job as court

figure). Roadshow took up the

themed documentaries for $60,000.

reporters covering any number of


-> Six filmmakers were selected in

trials underway in the vicinity?

-> So there's a lot riding on The Dish,

February this year and the

We can all get a little ahead of

financially and egoistically, and

ourselves at times.

presumably a tightly controlled

documentaries were completed by August.

-> At the Venice Film Festival in

-> Though, if true, it wouldn't be the

release w ill give it the greatest chance

-> Megan Sloley reports there were

September, Cinema Papers' cover

first time Wenham has been pursued

for success. Or maybe possessing

two standout documentaries:

chick Rose Byrne won the best

by 'pap'. When making Better Than

your own weekly chat show is all the

Love.dot.com (Victoria Connors and

actress award for her red-haired role

Sex earlier this year an unauthorised

editorial one needs.

Mark Hanlin) and Utopia Revisited

in The Goddess of 1967. The Iranian

pic of Wenham getting out of bed was

-> At least one newspaper reviewer

(Cole Larsen and Robert Habel).

film Dayereh (The Circle] won the

published by a Sydney daily.

[that we know of) was asked to submit

Love.dot.com explored love and sex

his review of The Castle before an

via a fascinating deconstruction of an

Golden Lion Award for best film over 19 others. The US film Before Night

They Can Dish It Out

interview was granted for The Dish.

internet romance while Utopia Visited,

Cinema Papers is committed to

an unforgettable portrait of Aboriginal

celebrating Australian filmmakers and

artist Barbara Weir, was arguably the

received the best actor award for his

-> There is no review of The Dish in this issue because the film’s

film culture. Rigorous debate is

most potent work. It tapped into the

portrayal of dissident Cuban poet

production company, Working Dog,

integral to the health of any culture,

rich and quivering vein of stolen

Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls.

refused to screen it for magazine reviewers.

so it's disappointing to be shut out of freely analysing 2000's most

generation issues with respect and creative flair.

Goddess in April 2000. As far as

-> It was screened at Toronto where

anticipated local release. But if the 20

-> Ironically, the Discovery Channel

Cinema Papers can confirm the other

audience members voted it second

million dollar mark is not reached, the

titles do not have Australian

favourite. The Dish was screened in

launch occurred just days before a discussion paper highlighting the low


August at the exhibition and

filmmakers won't be able to blame the media this time.

-> In Goddess Byrne portrays a 17-

distribution convention in BrisVegas

Falls won the runner-up grand jury prize. Spanish actor Javier Bardem

-> Palace is releasing Clara Law's

level of new Australian content on

year-old blind girl who leads a

but reviewers were not invited.

Japanese bloke on an unusual journey

-> While The Dish is a better looking

through the outback in search of the

film than The Castle it doesn't have

seller of a 1967 Citroen.

the endearing caricatures and sharp

-> The Silver Lion for the best short

comedy of its forerunner. The story

With a record number of films (25) lining up for AFI award nomination,

film was awarded to A Telephone Call

and script are firmly middle of the

entries have closed for the AFI’s name-the-gong competition. Official

for Genevieve Snowwritten and

road, in terms of intended audience

entries needed to be sent to The Australian newspaper but AFI staffers

Oscar, Cesar, Madge

directed by Melbourne-based Peter

and effect achieved. The pace is a little

report at least 10 faxes were received by their office suggesting the gong

Long and produced by Beth Frey. It

slow but The Dish is definitely no

stars Beth Buchanan.

stinker. It should review rather nicely

should be called a ‘Chips’ after Chips Rafferty. No comment there - no comment here.

and play solidly to its intended

S afe As Banks -> The producers of The Bank did not

multiplex audience. No surprises, no outstanding performances, a few laughs - why not screen it for

permit media set visits during their

magazine reviewers?

recent shoot in Melbourne. Producer

Possibly because Working Dog

John Maynard explained a small

financed and produced The Dish

number of stills photographers were

independently of a distributor. Upon

given more or less unrestricted

completion it was hocked around and


visual effects editing compositing digital m atte painting

ambience entertainment 1 1 5 W illoughby rd crows nest, nsw, 2 0 6 5

N otable Q uote “All men! There should have been at least ©me woman up there. We’nemb ones who do the w a llin g up!” Distributor Natalie Miller querying why only male film d is trib u to r were invited on stage to smash plates to celebrate the opening o f the annual movie convention on the Gold Coast.


I email Dear Ms Boland, Just a quick note to say that, as an occasional purchaser of CP, I was pleased to see its jump in quality and approachability since you’ve arrived. Sometimes I used to read the damn thing and feel completely out of it, like I needed to go to Rusden to read it. It was interesting but dense with facts and seemed too ‘industry’ for the more casual reader - so congrats!! Troy Hunter, Melbourne. IVeVe decided to print just one of the many kind notes received over the last two months. While we appreciate the ongoing support and welcome the congratulations, we are also keen to receive mail taking up issues published in the magazine. - Ed.

■ email from Venice Peter Long, director of A Telephone Call for Genevieve Snow, which won the Silver Lion for best short film at Venice in September. Beth Frey the producer, my partner Kate Ellis and I are sitting in the audi­ torium watching the live TV broadcast of what is going on outside, celebrities we don’t know being interviewed by an obsequious reporter as they strut down the catwalk into the theatre. It’s all in Italian but it’s amazing how much you understand from the body language and the fact that you’ve seen this sort of thing before on TV and know pretty much what the questions and the answers are. Rod Steiger is talking half in English and half Italian about how if you want something done in Italy on Friday you tell them to do it on Tuesday. He seemed irritated at first at having to stop and talk, but now the reporter can’t shut him up. After we’ve seen these people on the screen, suddenly

local Pay TV documentary channels

between 6pm and 6am daily.

was released.

-> If the enforceable local expenditure

-> Prepared in response to a brief

requirement for pay TV doco channels

from Communications Minister Alston,

is introduced here, at least one

the paper examined the possibility of

channel director believes the quality of

introducing lower limits for the

programming may suffer. Discovery

amount of new Australian product

Networks' director Ann Love says,

screened on pay TV doco channels.

"having to spend a percentage of

Similar industry protectionism -

budget on new Australian made

pegged at 10 percent - currently

product w ill result in lots of smaller,

regulates pay TV drama channels.

low budget documentaries... which is

-> The compliance rate of the drama

not a good thing if you want to get

channels for the last financial year will

international producers involved on

be made public in early November but

higher budgets."

only two out of 17 channels complied

-> The ABA is due to report to Senator

in 98/99 when the requirement was

Alston's office by December 18, 2000.

voluntary. -> At the end of March there were 1.2

A G reat T im e To Shoot

million pay TV subscribers shared between Austar, Foxtel and Optus. Seven million Australian homes have

While everyone else was enjoying the Olympics, Becker Films


commenced production on the

-> Before 1997 The Discovery Channel

feature Subterano in the centre of

was the only documentary option for

Sydney. Starring Alex Dimitriades and

Australian subscribers but there are

Tasma Walton and helmed by Esben

now five doco channels: Discovery,

Storm, Subterano is about a virtual

National Geographic Channel,

holographic game in which a killer

Odyssey, Animal Planet and The

hunts his victims through a

History Channel (part of Fox Kids).

subterranean maze.

Combined, they broadcast over 30,000

-> Spokesperson Amanda Huddle

hours of documentary product each

explained because Subterano was a

year. Discovery and National

'high concept project' shot

Geographic are both part of global

underground, it would be relatively

networks; Animal Planet is owned

unaffected by the Olympic goings-on.

and operated by the Discovery

She added that while TV crews

network; Odyssey is fully Australian

were earning big Olympic bucks,

owned and operated and The History

feature film crews were not

Channel is part of Fox Kids, airing

necessarily as busy.


they’re walking down the aisles next to us and sitting in the next row - an unnerving conflation of television and reality. -> We have been told privately a few hours before that A Telephone Call for Genevieve Snow has won the silver lion for best short film. We had planned to have pre-ordeal drinks with some of the other short filmmakers in the bar at the Excelsior Hotel, but I cancel because I don’t feel like I can pretend to the others that I don’t know who’s going to win. It must be obvious to them though when we get into the theatre, because we have been seated on the aisle and the TV steadicam guys are practising finding their frame on us and pulling back. Not really even the pretence of secrecy. Annalisa from the festival kneels down next to me to tell me where I have to go when I hear my name. Being the short film award and therefore the least interesting I am first. I am surprised by how heavy the lion is. I manage to get through my thank-yous all right but then I am not prepared for the dozens of photographers yelling to me instructions about where to stand from the front rows on one side of the theatre. -> The rest of the ceremony goes by in a bit of a blur. Barbet Schroeder holds up his Golden Medal of the Italian Senate in its case for the photographers and it falls out. Rose Byrne wins best actress for The Goddess of 1967 but is not there to collect it. Milos Forman talks about fist fights in the jury room over which films will be awarded prizes. Rod Steiger awards the Marcello Mastroianni prize for emerging actor to Megan Burns, a 13-year-old English girl and gives her a congratulatory bear hug, almost lifting her off the ground. After the presentations there is a screening of the closing night film, Vengo directed by Tony Gatliff. I get whisked out of the cinema through the back entrance to the casino, through the kitchens and back corridors, feeling like I m in the big steadicam shot in Goodfellas, security guards wave us through, women I don’t know smile at me. Waiters with white gloves hand out glasses of champagne. In the press conference Javier Bardem (best actor] has his arm around the back of my chair so it looks like we’re best mates but in fact he is trying to hide the cigarette he has in his hand. Listening to a simultaneous translation of what is being said on headphones creates that strange feeling again of being a part of something but distanced from it at the same time. Someone from the press stands up and wants to make one of those long-wind­ ed intellectual comments disguised as a question but gets howled down by the other press. Julian Schnabel has obviously done this before, he handles ques­ tions really well and asks Jafar Panahi (the Iranian director who has won the golden lion for his film Dayereh) really good questions that no one in the press seems to have thought of. I hear later that director Tony Gatliff has been so incensed by the prizewinners, jury and press disappearing after the award ceremony, leaving the cine­ ma half empty for his screening that he refused to allow the gypsy musicians (whose trip to Venice he’d funded) play at the party.»

There’s no light like Australian light How The Dish became the biggest reflector board in cinematic history.

final cut.rob sitch I’m fascinated by Australian light.

felt to the eye. It reproduced what I

young cinematographer called Joanne Donahue. Her version of this nod,

love about our light without giving a

kinda weird but there’s definitely

often given from the other side of a

hint of the fight we have to have to

something about it. You know the

river valley, was two thumbs up and a

avoid squinting eyes. That combined

second you get off the plane you’re

big broad smile that raised lighting

with a second unit that seemed to live

back home. Well it’s either the light

conditions a half stop. We shot all over

in the first and last light of the day

or seeing airport workers in shorts.

the world and the conditions at every

gave us so much of what we wanted

-> We shot our most recent film

location managed to produce Joanne's

without having to extend the shoot. I’m

smack-bang in the middle of the

big smile and yet Australia was always

sure there’s a thousand ways to skin

winter solstice and I swear it still looks

different. Somehow the knobs here

this cat, so I guess, in the end, this

like it's high summer. I can’t get over

are turned to eleven.

was just one way that seemed to work.

that. It’s the lowest that the sun ever

-> That’s fine for programs that

There’s an interesting postscript to

drops and you’d swear it’s a day of

emphasise landscape but people don’t

this. We were always going to go back

total fire ban.

look great when they're bathed in the

-> I enjoy fishing shows, not

white light you see in near-death

When I say that, people look at me

surprisingly. One of the things you

experiences. We were originally going

notice about them is that the host's

to shoot The Dish in late summer. This

eyes are usually concealed behind

fact worried me. Our schedule meant

sunglasses-cum-radiation shields. If

that we’d have to shoot in the middle

you're shooting anywhere in Australia

of the day and in those conditions

that’s almost essential, especially if

people either look like they’ve had

you want your retinas to accompany

dermabrasion or they’re wearing that

We shot all over the world and the conditions at every location managed to produce Joanne’s big smile and yet Australia was always different. Somehow the knobs here are turned to eleven.

you into your 60s. Since the eyes are

mask from Scream. Not that there’s a

the window to the soul, we’d do our

shortage of solutions. At one point I

to avoid the worst of the day. Then he

to shoot an extra day. Wouldn't you

best to shoot with our sunglasses off.

was intending to put up a scrim over

smiled and said, “ It can be pretty

know it. It was the one day that we

We attempted this one day on a far

an area roughly the size of Taiwan.

brutal can’t it."

needed to set up some fill lights... and

north Queensland beach known

Unfortunately all these things take

-> In the end we were blessed by a

then the penny dropped. We were

throughout the world for the

time and there’s one undeniable fact

number of factors. Magnificent

filming in front of the largest radio

whiteness of its sand! Did I say that

about Australian filmmaking; we have

weather in the dead of winter is just

telescope in the Southern

Australian light is brutal! Eyes may

plenty of light, but very little time.

plain wonderful. You’d find us all

Hemisphere, it could be moved to

indeed be the window to the soul but

-> I asked John Seale about it one day.

warming our faces with the morning

point in any direction you wanted...

not when they look like they’ve been

I hadn't intended to but it was one of

sun. I guess that’s not a bad gauge; if

and it was painted white! I think it’s

sprayed with tear gas. -> Having said that, the shots were

those clear blue days in Sydney when

your instinct is to seek the sun rather

fair to say it became the largest

you need sunglasses made like a

than the shade, conditions are good.

reflector board in the history of

quite magnificent. Making A River

welding mask. He smiled, shook his

Also, we built a bunch of scale models


Somewhere was a good way to come

head and said, “ It is pretty brutal."

that had pointers to where the sun

-> At one stage the telescope rotated

at the problem. You can be nimble

He’d just got back from shooting in

would be coming from for all the

too far around and we got hit with the

with a tiny crew. Cinematographer and

Italy. Personally, I find the light there

outside locations. This simple sense of

full power of a 210 feet diameter white

filmmaker Terry Carlyon shot our first

lousy to the eye and magnificent to the

direction was something John Seale

reflector board on a bright sunny day.

episode. It was through his eyes that

camera. Someone described it as

suggested. That paid big dividends.

We had the look of Richard Dreyfuss

our obsession with Australian light

diaphanous. I’ll take them at their

The biggest factor was our

at the end of Close Encounters. I

began. He didn’t just shoot the light,

word. Australian light would be

cinematographer’s love of natural

couldn’t help smiling at Graeme Wood

he seemed to stalk it, always looking

described by a German word;

light. I can't remember Graeme Wood

with the comment, ’’It is pretty brutal

for an angle or a change that made

something like spritzenfricksmack.

pulling out a light during daylight hours.

isn’t it?" •

the composition special. Occasionally

-> Since Sam Neill was in our film, I

-> I’ve no doubt it requires a

he’d look up at the sun and then

thought I’d ask him what they do on

cinematographer at the top of their


around him and give a nod, as if to

the big sets. He felt that it was never

game but if it can be done, this is a


say. "It’s on, if you want to do anything,

quite the problem that it is in

wonderful way to shoot a scene. It

do it now." -> We shot the next 12 episodes with a

Australia. Apparently Fred Schepisi

gave a lovely natural look to the

programmed his shoot of Evil Angels

exterior shots and captured the way it



At every m om ent, film is close to dance. And not just in musicals, either. All it takes is a spark of rhythm in the image or on the soundtrack, coupled with the slightest trace of a stylised body movement. John (‘Stayin’ Alive’) Travolta turns his stride down a Brooklyn pavement into a dance at the start of Saturday Night Fever (1977). In David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), a besotted teen stumbles backwards through a schoolyard after his girlfriend has smiled at him - and, for a few magic moments, the sympathetic motion of all the other kids walking through the frame, plus the sudden, subtle, walking-bass beat in Angelo Badalamenti’s floating score, transform the action into a fragment of a Stanley Donen musical like The Pajama Game (1957) or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). -> In Leos Carax's Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood, 1986), the punk-acrobat Denis Lavant begins to limp down the street, accompanied by the sound of David •Bowie's "Modern Love" on a nearby radio - but then he w 'Iks, and then he runs, faster and faster, the ¡©¡ralera framing his entire body in an unbroken, shurtf inq rnovem e nh as the song detach es itsetf f f.om

- - - :v

hunrtbte 'reality' and fills the whole film. Even in the days of silent c in e m *:this feeling jof ever-potentiaP^^g dandeSexisted: Eric Rohmer (An Autumn Tale', 1999) has celebrated [the way in which German cinema's


old master, F. W. MurnaujNosferatu, 1922;),'could turn the slightest passage of a character through an architecturally Defined space - a vampire cruising

Our ^


‘awaSiSr H


v ie s a n c i ^

according to Adrian Martin


hat to Ginger Astaire.


under an archway, a man searching for his beloved

from the UK, Center Stage from America, talk of a

Minnelli's classic The Band Wagon (1953).

in high, wild, billowing reeds - into a lyrical and expressive ballet.

Dirty Dancing sequel. And two new Australian films,

-> Once the initial w ill to dance has been

Dein Perry's Bootmen and Lynda Heys' Kick.

acknowledged by the hero, other, larger obstacles

-> Cinema is always close to dance, but the

-> In Hollywood's studio era, stars like Fred Astaire

start to complicate the dream: class conflicts (the

historical relationship of the two has been, and

and Gene Kelly developed their dance craft in and

working class men in Bootmen and Billy Elliot

remains, sadly fractured. Every major form of dance

through film; their choreographic and directorial

regard dancing as a bourgeois affectation); changing

has found its own, discrete ghetto’ in film, robbing

ideas helped shape the musical genre itself, while

cultural styles (virtually all modern dance films

us of the pleasure of their unforeseen combinations.

the possibilities of the cinematic medium influenced

make the obligatory, respectful, awestruck nod to

Popular dance forms, from tap to the macarena, are

how they chose to dance. Nowadays, the situation is

Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat [1935], but

the province of the musical - which has long

very different. Dance needs to be imported into film

Sean in Bootmen realises the need to go beyond that

experimented with the integration of plot, characters

from outside - a popular fad, a prominent stage

model and be 'modern'); technological challenges

and spectacle. 'High art' dance forms such as ballet

career, or an already established troupe. In a

(Sean, like Gregory Hines in Nick Castle's wonderful

once formed the basis for concert films, and now

relatively small film industry like Australia’s, this

Tap [1989], makes his breakthrough by finding a way

hide out in slots on 'quality' television channels - too

kind of cultural importation of a neighbouring

to electronically amplify tap shoes); and that ever­

often shot in an unimaginative, 'proscenium arch',

medium and its personnel can be canny and

present split between the 'high' and Tow' arts of

documentary mode, as if Michael Powell’s sublime

revitalising. Such was the drive behind Strictly

dance, which few films manage to mend

The Red Shoes (1948), with its central ballet rated by

Ballroom (1992): the mingling of the suburban

satisfactorily, although most fitfully try.

one veteran critic as "the peak of cinema” , had never

ballroom dancing tradition with the rising star of

Then there are the problems of dance in relation to

existed. Finally, modern and avant garde dance

Paul Mercurio and the playful artifice which director

the building (or unbuilding) of the dancer's personal

forms, often partnered with the formal risks of

Baz Luhrmann had developed on stage. And

identity. “Why can't dancing be just fun?,” laments

experimental cinema (as in Raul Ruiz's dazzling

Bootmen is transparently an attempt to take the

Jody (Amanda Schull] in Center Stage - and her

Mammame, 1986), take refuge in specialist, 'fringe',

elements of Perry's successful Tap Dogs stage show

teacher affirms that it is, while gradually inculcating

artworld events like the local Reel Dance festival.

- with its the mostly male, very hetero, 'blue collar'

in her the way to balance spontaneity with hard

-> Yet dance is making a concerted comeback right

energy - and somehow coin a character-based

work, inspiration with discipline. The dance movie is

across the cinematic board at present. Lars von

narrative from it.

a close cousin to the sports movie - as cleverly

Trier's already much-debated Dancer in the Dark,

-> Musicals that not only feature dance but actively

avowed in the opening, slow motion shot of Kick,

starring Bjork, is a hybrid of European art film and

explore it as a subject (by centering on auditions,

where a balletically twisting hand against a clear sky

Hollywood musical. Claire Denis' Beau Travail, a hit

training, benefit concerts, comeback performances,

finally catches a football - because it involves a quite

on the Australian Film Festival circuit, ends with a

and the like) tend to select between a small number

similar set of issues: the generational clash of young

flamboyant dance sequence - again featuring the

of dramatic or comic premises. The stories are often

talent and mature coach; the testing of the human

amazing body of Lavant - and subtly infuses stylised,

about the discovery of the dancing vocation - the

body as 'instrument' and the ever-present threat of

choreographed group movement into seemingly

case for the young boy (played by Jamie Bell) in Billy

its physical injury; the limited time span in which the

'normal' scenes of daily life in the Foreign Legion. In

Elliot - or the refinding of that lost vocation, as much

dance or sports star can truly shine’ in their chosen

the commercial realm, there is a sudden crowd of

for Sean (Adam Garcia) in Bootmen and Matt

profession; and, most profoundly, finding a workable

movies about Tow' and 'high' dancing: Billy Elliot

(Russell Page) in Kick as for Astaire in Vincente

relation between those moments of fantastic

facing page: Billy Elliot, above: (left and right) Center Stage.

In a relatively small film industry like Australia’s, this kind of cultural importation of a neighbouring medium and its personnel can be canny and revitalising.


intensity in the spotlight (on the stage or the field)

the best intentions and citations, have lost the secret

and the entire remainder of one's lifetime.

of animating rhythm (for that, we need to open our

-> Dance thus becomes a dramatic crucible in which

eyes to the still flourishing traditions of Hindi and

the hero works through his or her flaws and

Egyptian musicals). Too often today, numbers simply

limitations. Where, for little Billy Elliot, dance is a

start and end, rather than building up and dying

way to release the inner fire of frustrated rage, to

away. Those movies that lead up to a big showbiz

literally smash through the walls of social

finale often seem suddenly scared of boring us, and

confinement, Aussie dancers tend to have a

so whisk the song and dance action away after a

somewhat more matter-of-fact, less romantic

cascade of edited 'highlights' - this happens in both

approach to personal overcoming. In Bootmen, the

Billy Elliot and Bootmen.

hero and his older, now crippled, mentor (played by

-> Most damaging of all is the adoption of a

William Zappa) argue mainly over whether or not a

widespread, MTV-derived editing and post-

dancer should ever 'improvise'. This is a homely,

production technique. No longer are the dancers'

scaled-down version of Strictly Ballroom's guiding

gestures allowed to work in a synchronous, dynamic,

theme, encapsulated in its repeated motto, "a life

unified way with the music, the moving camera and a

lived in fear is a life half lived". Dance in these

precise, pre-visualised sequence of edit points.

Australian movies is about individual courage, not

Rather, the dance is reduced to a random bunch of

social revolution - as it was, for instance, in the

pictorial flourishes or swirls (slowed down, sped up, shot from half a dozen angles and then frantically

floridly modernist and fiercely political dance

intercut], and the editing takes its cue from the

spectaculars from Latin America, China and

40s and 50s devised a fine art from the many ways

Hungary during the 60s and 70s.

and means of getting into and out of a song and

metronomic beat of the music - which, for all its

-> Above all, dance movies like to explore issues of

dance number. Walking leads to dancing which

technologised splendour, seems awfully removed

sexual identity, and the influence of family. Bootmen,

resolves itself ultimately in a graceful exit from the

from the real space in which the dancers move and

Kick and Billy Elliot all deal with the taint of gayness

scene by tramcar or skateboard; humble 'diegetic'

interact. Strictly Ballroom, Bootmen, Kick and Billy

that attaches itself to a man who chooses to dance

music (as played or heard within the plot itself] is

Elliot all fall prey to this terrible stylistic temptation;

for a living (Perry's film seems even uptight or

quickly taken over by an other-worldly, 'extra-

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly fun to hear rousing pop tracks like John-Paul Young's "Love is in the Air" (Strictly

defensive on this point). All these heroes struggle

diegetic' orchestra, and finally returned to the bare

with the problem of having an overly stern father and

bones of its original setting. However it happens, the

Ballroom} orT-Rex's "Ride a White Swan" [Billy

a deceased mother - although (as in Strictly

crucial thing is that we feel and experience the birth

Elliot} yoked to a story of dance - but where is that

Ballroom and Billy Elliot} grandmothers who still

of a rhythm, the swelling of a song and the explosion

truly exciting, intricate fusion of sound and image?

possess the soul of rhythm come in handy as

of a dance in synchrony as a primal, animating force:

-> Center Stage, set in a New York ballet school, is

nurturing, maternal figures and plot resolvers.

it includes everybody and everything, colour and

my favourite of the current dance films. Director

-> Perhaps even more important than the plot

camera movement as well as characters and plot,

Nicholas Hytner stages a splendid confusion of free

elements in such stories is the style in which they

and it remakes the whole world as it catches alight.

dance, rigorous training and everyday activities - in

are rendered. Hollywood's classic musicals of the

-> Many contemporary dance films, even those with

the busy plot line, and in the multi-planes of many

shots. Carol Heikkinen’s script absorbs elements of

more strongly - the ‘utopia’, the perfect world or

theatrical spectacles is often portrayed in grey

melodrama, 'backstage musical' and comedy of

heaven on earth embodied in singing and/or dancing

terms, as an utterly passive pastime. But viewing

manners, creating a smooth patchwork that is all

is merely fleeting, ephemeral, illusory, impossible.

and listening are never passive: the body is always

at once (and without too much camp) reminiscent

At its extreme, this thought gives rise to the Dennis

engaged by rhythms and energies, always caught up

of 42nd Street (1933), Fame (1980), A Chorus Line

Potter [Pennies From Heaven, 1981) lesson: the

in an infectious wave of transmitted or

(1985) and The Turning Point [ 1977).

musical ideal is just a dream, and a bad, foolish

communicated feeling. That’s what these riskier

-> Like The Red Shoes, Center Stage evokes the

dream at that.

films about the confusion of art and life are all

delightful imbrication of art and life (power

-> At the other extreme, there are radical musicals

about: grabbing that energy - which may simply

intrigues mirroring classic operatic situations,

in the Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,

manifest itself at first in a tapping of toes, the

lovers who move together both on and off stage),

1964) tradition, in which the singing and dancing leak

humming of a tune, the excited movement of eyes or

while also addressing the fateful problem of how to

out everywhere, permeating every word, decor,

the quickening of a heartbeat - and taking it along

ultimately untangle them. The film takes on two

gesture, every passage of a body through space:

with you to somewhere else, investing it in the

dominant dance styles - a strict form of classical

Chantal Akerman’s Golden Eighties (1986), set in a

actions and movements of daily life, and thereby

ballet, with its grand tradition, and a looser, free

shopping mall, or Jacques Rivette’s sublime Up

transforming them. Bootmen at least gives us one

version of it inspired by salsa dancers in nightclubs

Down Fragile (1995), whose complicated, Center

terrific set-piece on this theme: the dancers

- and maps this distinction onto two powerful and

Stage-like intrigue is set in motion by a team of

practising their moves and banging out their

treacherous teachers: Reeves (Peter Gallagher,

couriers zipping around a barren Paris-in-August on

rhythms on the industrial, factory machinery they

never better) and Cooper (the charismatic Ethan

mopeds... At least one Australian musical conjures

operate every day.

Stiefel). When it comes time for the final show, it’s

this sort of reverie: Gillian Armstrong's Starstruck

-> The philosopher Gilles Deleuze, on an especially

Cooper's wild and sexy soapie-in-dance that really

(1982), on the cusp of classic Hollywood and MTV

happy day, once proposed: "The cinema is always as

sparks Hytner’s cinematic imagination: like in a

modes, conjures for critic Stuart Cunningham an

perfect as it can be". He was almost right. There is

Busby Berkley number, the stage limits of time and

extended utopia where "life aspires to the condition

only one major problem with cinema as a social

space are magically dissolved and transcended.

of music" in everyday scenes which are "as

institution: audiences are not encouraged to dance

-> What is most wonderful about Center Stage is

exhilarating as any formal production number".

while they watch films. If they were, we would all

its ceaseless flow, its movement, its rhythm - its

-> The 'consumption' of music or movies or

understand movies much better. •

sense of all things as infused with dance (like the wonderful detail of a dancer butting out a cigarette with a classically arched foot). This is what I miss in our MTV-influenced era, when song’n'dance routines burst forth as isolated 'numbers’, rigorously separated as spectacle from the rest of a movie's world. In a way, this disconnection chimes in with one of the chief intuitions of film theory devoted to the musical genre: that the

Where, for little Billy Elliot, dance is a way to release the inner fire of frustrated rage, to literally smash through the walls of social confinement, Aussie dancers tend to have a somewhat more matter-of-fact, less romantic approach to personal overcoming.

intense, ecstatic, emotional release, and - even


In a cinema not so far away There’s a brave new world of digital broadcasting just * “ around the corner but Angus Fontaine reports as far as the cinema industry is concerned, everyone just wants to know who’s going to foot the bill. They say cinem a is up fo r grabs. But the fate of 21 st century filmmaking was probably decided a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It was June 1,1977 and George Lucas was sitting in a diner on Hollywood Boulevard morosely picking over a cooling burger and fries while over the road, at Mann’s Chinese Theatre, Star Wars was having its premiere. Having endured a mutinous shoot and harrowing edit, Lucas was dreading the reaction to the film he had taken to calling “a $10 million dollar trailer”. At best, he thought, Star Wars would gross “eight, maybe ten million”. But one thing, he thought, was for sure: mass humiliation was in the post and his reputation as a director in ruins. -> Five months and US$193.5 million later, Lucas

Hollywood's ongoing belief in the power of

2002 w ill form the insipidly twinkling showpiece for

technology over poetry.

the bold new era of digital projection.

-> Lucas's contemporaries were appalled. Robert

-> For many in the industry digital broadcasting is a

Altman called it "the death of film ” . Martin Scorsese

natural progression. In a world where the new Sony

railed against Lucas’ claim that Star Wars' success

Playstation 2 comes equipped with a phone line,

subsidised smaller filmmakers. "They're not

internet access, and a DVD video player with high

subsidising everything else," he said. "They're

resolution graphics, the imminent arrival into

smothering everything.”

cinemas of digital projectors controlled by a central

-> As William Friedkin [The French Connection} told

broadcaster shouldn't surprise anyone. It's a

journalist Peter Biskind in his book Easy Riders,

wonderful life but it's a wireless world.

had changed his tune. His vapid space opera - which

Raging Bulls, Lucas "swept all the chips off the

-> The advantages of digital are manifold. To a

as he initially put it, was “the story of Mace Windu, a

table. What happened with Star Wars was like when

director, one of the prime attractions is that it allows

revered Jedi-bendu of Opuchi who was related to

McDonalds got a foothold, the taste for good food

pronto playback (no more 'waiting for rushes'),

Usby C.J. Thape, padawaan learner of the famed

just disappeared," he raged. "Now we're in a period

thereby allowing filmmakers to view footage

Jedi" - had surpassed Steven Spielberg's Jaws to

of devolution. Everything has gone backward toward

immediately it is recorded and alleviating the need to

become the biggest money-maker of all time.

a big sucking hole."

-> Lucas quickly became arguably the most

-> Twenty-three years on, everything still sucks. But

recall crews to re-shoot the same scene weeks or months later at cost.

powerful man in Hollywood, capable of demanding -

nowadays there's a new pie in the sky. It's called

and getting - an unprecedented 77 percent of the

‘digital broadcasting'. This 'floater' looms larger

gross of all sequels, not to mention the

than Darth’s Death Star and once more it is piloted

and width of lense, critical stuff when you’re putting

merchandising and video rentals. Even when it was

by George Lucas, the man who once said that

a film together and which until now has been laboriously taken down by hand.

Digital cameras also have special built-in channels for recording data, such as focus position

re-released in 1997, the Star Wars trilogy grossed

“emotionally involving the audience is easy... get a

another US$250 million and today it is estimated to

little kitten and have some guy wring its neck."

have earned upwards of US$3 billion dollars, most of

-> The digital ship of industry was until recently

represents a further dilution of the filmmaker's art.

it syphoned into George's geek wonderland in the

hovering over Fox Studios Australia, where Lucas

Animated movies aside, the digital imagery we’ve

California foothills - a sprawling totem to New

was shooting Episode II - which when released in

seen so far has been criticised by many


However, for some directors the loss of celluloid

Still, it’s early days. And you’ve got to make Plan 9 From Outer Space before you can attempt 2001: A Space Odyssey.

cinematographers as being "too clean’ and ‘cold to

and pretty soon we’ll see a lot of merging between

some studios are progressing. Some are not.”

the point of sterile'. -> Lucas's use of digital imagery in Star Wars:

the two mediums."

-> Hoyts has begun investing heavily in studies into

-> While he admits digital images at this stage tend

different types of projectors, their longevity and

Episode I drew widespread criticism from not only

to look “too clean and crisp", Giles says that both

maintenance, says Johnson. "But taking into account

purists who saw their craft being eroded by

filmmakers and audiences will adjust. "You've got to

the number of screens around the world and the

machines but by audiences who craved the comfort

remember that this is first generation technology

that comes with watching a large man in a Wookie

and it w ill get better very fast. The resolution will

| number of exhibitors, particularly in the US, who are

suit rather than a clunky animation like Jar Jar Binks.

improve, the confusion over pixilation ratios and

| who's going to pay for it?"

-> Still, it's early days. And you've got to make Plan

aspect ratios of film w ill get ironed out and the skills

| -> At the moment it's a Mexican stand-off between

9 From Outer Space before you can attempt 2001: A

used on film cameras and digital cameras w ill cross

j the chicken and the egg. A digital projector is

Space Odyssey. -> "One of the main disadvantages at this stage is

over. People said that radio was going to die when

j expected to retail for upwards of $250,000 compared

television came in, too.”

| with a traditional projector which costs $30,000. The

that digital film doesn't have the resolution of

-> But as sure as good w ill triumph over evil in Star

35mm," says Peter Giles, Head of Digital Media at

Wars, digital cinema is coming - and fast. Disney

the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Studios have already committed to 100 percent

in financial trouble, the biggest question is still

price of the equipment won’t come down until the number of people buying them goes up. However, i after that initial expenditure, the projected savings in

"With such a low resolution and high rate of

digital content by the end of 2002 and all the major

compression, the high definition images on digital

Australian exhibitors are beavering away on re­

salivating into their popcorn.

are going to be inferior. And if you were shooting a

search estimating what it w ill cost to implement the

-> Studios w ill win in production costs and

very sophisticated FX sequence today you’d have no

digital systems while duelling with the studios and

development and a central broadcaster w ill negate

choice but to shoot on 65mm to achieve that look."

distributors as to who's going to cough up the cash.

the need to supply multiple prints to worldwide

-> Giles says the AFTRS w ill be conducting trials

-> "There is no question that the technology will

distributors. They, in turn, w ill win on freight costs.

later in the year where students shoot the same

come about," says Paul Johnson, managing director

The estimated savings involved in shipping six DVD

switching to digital are enough to have everyone

scenes using digital technology and traditional film

of Hoyts, "but there are so many factors that need

discs weighing 200g compared with six canisters of

and then matching them up. “A lot of people on the

to be considered. One is that all the studios have got

film weighing 30kg are clearly stupendous. And just

cinematography side w ill remain committed to film

to make a unified decision that they’re going to

as a medium but I think people w ill adjust and adapt

release their films in digital format. On that front

wait until they’re beamed in via optical fibre cables j or satellite. Then there’s the longevity of digital film CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [15]

■ -___ ...... _VÌ f f PGOXQS»C


iSttj€a.CA. GWRRI


“ It’s an expensive transition and while there are going to be huge reductions in transport and shipping, in the end it’s the pre­ sentation that matters. No one is going to go down the digital road until it’s watertight.”

Canada which was recently acquired by Electrohome. Qualcom, a satellite communications company at the cutting edge of inscription, compression, decompression and transfer via satellite, struck a deal late last year with Kodak, which after many years "in denial” has realised that change is imminent and so invested significant time and resources into the new hardware. -> Lucas’ approach to film-making fits nicely with the Canadian tech company Christie, which fell over itself to supply the director with a Roadster X4 digital projector for the shooting of Episode II. -> To Lucas, the Roadster X4 digital projector fit

Robert Slaviero, Managing Director, Twentieth Century Fox.

perfectly with his vision of the digital cinema of the future. For an obsessive post-production guru like Lucas, this is perfect. He can view dailies immediately and move on with minimal interaction with his actors or crew - the two components of filmmaking he is least comfortable with. -> Lucas may be a ’pioneer’ in the digital age but he remains an insular man who, it is easy to forget, has only directed four feature films in 30 years - TFIX 1138, American Graffiti, Star Wars and The Phantom Menace. -> Famous for his habit of plunking the camera down on sticks and shooting what goes on in front of it, Lucas’ kit-bag of moves for actors reputedly contains just two instructions: "OK, same thing, only better" and "Faster, more intense." And as a writer, Lucas falls somewhere between Barbara Cartland and The Jetsons. The "inexorable mumbo-jumbo" endured by the first ObiWan Kenobi, Alec Guiness, must surely

which allows longer runs in cinemas.

the introduction of films on

-> “We're watching the US very closely,” says Robert

DVD may open the floodgates to

Slaviero, MD of Twentieth Century Fox distributors,

mass piracy.

“and from what we’ve seen it looks like we’ve got

-> “ It’s a very serious concern," says

about two years to put the pieces in place. From our

Scott. "If I can send my Visa details

perspective, the timing has got to be right. It’s an

down the line to conduct an

expensive transition to make and while there are

ecommerce transaction and feel safe in

going to be huge reductions in transport and

doing so then there will be better minds

shipping, in the end it’s the presentation that

than mine capable of transporting movie

matters. And no one is going to go down the digital

content with a high level of security".

road until it’s watertight.”

-> Slaviero concurs. "With the amount of piracy

now be wearing thin with the second, Ewan McGregor. However, it was Harrison Ford who famously summed up Lucas’s idea of poetry in cinema: “George, you can type this shit, but you sure can’t say it.” -> Yet, it is the fact that Lucas is not a director’s director - like his generational nemeses Scorsese and Coppola - that the success of digital broadcasting rests on his shoulders. Ideas haven’t been currency in Hollywood since Brando was buff. And if you want

-> Central to the issue of digital broadcasting is

taking place in Asia at the moment, anything is going

to get the folks into the cinemas you’ve got to go big

achieving an equilibrium between studios,

to be an improvement. At the moment there are big

- big stars, big budgets, big explosions, big tits, big

distributors and exhibitors as to who subsidises who

leaps being taken in equipping digital discs with


and by how much.

different methods of inscripted coding that w ill go a

-> It’s like Lee Marvin said - money talks and

-> "It’s a matter of the wealth being distributed

long way to protecting a film ’s distribution."

bullshit walks. The general consensus is that within

correctly,” says Russell Scott, head of Entertainment

-> While Lucas has chosen us as his testing ground

the next 12 to 24 months we can expect digital

Technology Imaging Systems at Greater Union.

for digital filming, Australia is far from a pioneer in

projectors in cinemas for, at least, advertising and

-> "The biggest challenge to digital broadcasting is

this field. Most of the action is in the US, Europe and

corporate presentation purposes. Greater Union has already made the moves in this direction by

going to be getting the infrastructure right. There

Japan. In the past 12 months there has been a frenzy

are a lot of people in the cinema industry food chain

of dramatic acquisitions as big companies snap up

installing 4x3m screens in metropolitan railway

who have their own agendas but you’ll find the bottom

small-time manufacturers capable of delivering

stations in Sydney carrying advertising sent down the

line is most people are only going to be keen to

digital projectors for the boom they see as imminent.

line from a unit in Sydney’s west.

embrace technology if it’s going to save them money.

-> The biggest mover has been the Toronto-based

-> From there expect a t-commerce revolution.

-> "The studios and distributors w ill make big

firm IMAX, which, according to Forbes magazine,

Multi-screen sports events allowing you to flick to

savings initially and it w ill be the cinema owners

now owns the company that has the strongest

any player or zone on the field. Interactive lifestyle

incurring all the costs. Now, until they get the cost

relationship with Texas Instruments, maker of the

shows where Bert Newton tells you the only way to

structure right there w ill be a lot of cinema owners

chips that are becoming “the most accepted by

acquire that exquisite porcelain china dildo is to

reticent about adopting a new form of technology

Flollywood". Texas projection systems are currently

press a button on your remote and enter your credit

when it's ten times more expensive than the tech­

being trialled in 30 cinemas across the US.

card details. And cinemas worldwide premiering films that within 24 hours w ill be seen from Berlin to

nology they already have in place. So there has to be

-> Among the other companies planning to begin

a re-distribution of savings so it works for everyone.”

marketing production units before the end of 2000

Bermagui and West Hollywood to Wangaratta.

-> Also pertinent is security. Most industry insiders

are Barco of Belgium which has teamed with

-> But by then we’ll be ready for the comeback of

believe that with the black market for films thriving,

German firm Peniton, and Christie Systems of

Beta VCRs anyway. •


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EMuVi - Electronic Music Video Competition & FUSION - live perform anee+film Closing date Friday 2 February 2001 • Phone (03) 9209 6699 Fax (03) 9209 6634 St Kilda Film Festival • City of Port Phillip • Private Bag No 3 • PO St Kilda * VIC • 3182 • email: filmfest@portphillip.vic.gov.au • www.stkildafilmfest.com.au

Australian animation history will be made this Christmas with the release of Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding. Animation director Robbert Smit details how the much­ loved children’s book came to life in celluloid.

It w as no surprise Norman Lindsay’s much-coveted book The Magic Pudding was packed full of drama. An Australian classic with many layers of public acceptance and individual interpretations, it was a wild beast just waiting to be realised for the cinema. One October morning in 1997 the giant oak doors to the Sydney’s Mitchell Library were opened and the film’s key creatives and me were asked to be seated in a room reminiscent of another age. A pristine young librarian walked in carrying a book [18] CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000

that could have anchored the Titanic. Deliberately she placed it on the table before us and with white gloved hands she slowly started to turn the pages to hundreds of original Norman Lindsay drawings. From that moment we knew we had something big to consider and evaluate.

Zwicky, a working animation script and a new villain were developed. -> Unlike most animated scripts, this script was scrutinised by storyboard artists and animators who massaged and developed the characters before passing notes and scribbles back to the writers, who then re­ worked the written version. This was a time-consuming but essential part of the script pre-production process.

-> Popular children's author Morris Gleitzman’s

In addition, we animators compiled an animatic tape

script adaptation started the ball rolling. It was a

of the entire 82-minute film, a complete storyboard

masterful interpretation of character and dialogue,

edited to dialogue, and rough song sequences. It

modified to please a modern and discerning public.

was an invaluable tool to check story points, character

With the help of additional writers headed by Karl

development and dramatic content.

-> So many times I have seen adaptations of well-

character profiles became an essential part of the

by computer rather than the more traditional hand-

known public properties totally changed from their

painted style. Sceptical at first of this decision, I have

original intention. But why change something the

"model packâ&#x20AC;? . -> A rigorous schedule of more than 1200 complex

to admit my initial fears quickly disappeared when I

public knows and loves? We ensured the established

layouts had to be produced. A team of 12 people took

saw the results that were emerging. The paint

characters remained true to their origin, and any

six months to produce the layouts detailing camera

palettes and subtle light sources that were achieved

new characters were treated in a way that could

moves, directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notes and SFX instructions, in

in digital camera and paint box soon outshone the

plausibly come from a Norman Lindsay drawing. We

addition, the background stylisation and design work

more traditional ways in both quality and time.

used many of Lindsay's other works as inspiration to

commenced. Headed by the highly creative Kelly

-> We used Energee's E-Paint and the Toonz

finalise the exhaustive process of final character,

Wallwork and Helen Steele the team sought to

platforms for this production. Every drawing had to

prop and background design. A new character, the

capture accurately the light and subtleties of the

be scanned, painted and composited to 300 DPI

villainous Uncle Buncle went through many changes

Australian landscape. Beautiful backgrounds

resolution. Keep in mind that our images had to

emerged. -> It was decided that backgrounds should be created

withstand enlarging to a wide screen cinema format

and finally came into being using some of Lindsay's anti-establishment inspired characters. Well-defined

- ah, the unforgiving large screen. Each scene in one CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [19]

Smit’s team created a character for the film, Incle Buncle, which didn’t exist in Norman Lindsay’s book. above: Uncle Buncle started out as a human character, below: By March 99 Uncle Buncle had morphed into a giant, one-shoe-wearing dog-like beast.

Finally Uncle Buncle might consider pulling up his dacks.

With character’s voices and Chris Harriet’s music recorded, and all pre-production in place, the massive task of animation started. With all our available local talent already engaged elsewhere we had difficulty staffing this production.

way or another had special effect requirements -

techniques can be created but are time consuming

deadline requirements, something we did not want

The Magic Pudding's transitions, Uncle Buncle’s

and costly. A production of The Magic Pudding's size

to do. Fil-cartoon and Akom did most of this work,

underground light sources, rain and mist effects.

has no alternative but to consider all these digital

not an easy task with language and cultural

Many of these were developed by an in-house

requirements, as they have a big impact on budget

differences in interpreting Australian

special effects team. All 3D components were

and timing. At times there were more than 30 levels

characterisation and lip sync requirements. 1spent

created by Digital Pictures using their inferno

in a single scene to composite, unheard of or largely

many months overseas briefing animators. Line

facilities with an uncompromising and dedicated

impossible in more traditional methods.

tests were sent back and forth via the web and


-> With character's voices and Chris Harriet’s music

edited to dialogue for final adjustments and

-> Mostly 1love the new digital media although 1

recorded and all pre-production in place, the


sense a visual uniformity. Often line variations or

massive task of animation started. With all our

-> The pressures of producing more than 8000 feet

styles so easily achieved in traditional hand painted

available local talent already engaged elsewhere we

of animation were enormous and pushed a lot of us

methods now suffer from having to be computer-

had difficulty staffing this production. Overseas

to the limits. Kylie Andrews and Ed Trost carried

friendly. The broken line look or soft pencil

animation companies had to be employed to meet

most of the production brunt, daily monitoring and


Albert the magic pudding emerges...

The many faces of Possum, Wombat and the dreaded Uncle Buncle circa 98.

SET A SÆGLÊ tful or "^H


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BoNCLG uaotes AfV HAWD yJHtt TVVC GOMTiL?T AS AE. tAoWE t^STo SHOI *W T> ÔÎŒHO\-Sr / , Dial: BuWU-'t-C0£ou)L~ J l . „ J, « * r : J , l{ M ' E

A.oOftU-'l -

above: Jan 98 sketches

Very early character sketches.

M iO ttê d To C tc f f j m v k fé e s e r m S lra K Jé r à M r,

below: Feb 99 line drawing is approved.

M ain C h aracter


A f â t it t f r


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e » m rx r

In all his glory

below left and right: First the back drop then... featuring town mayor Dobson Dawkins, Bunyip, Sam Sawnoff and Bill Barnacle, this scene was left on the cutting room floor.

frustrated by the lack of funding and conservative film strategies (but that's another story). -> I even notice a large gap between the traditional animators (myself included] and the digital breed of scheduling were an essential part of keeping the

this production started to come together.

animators. It seems not much interaction has

production on course. Approved animated scenes

-> Credit goes to Energee Entertainment's Gerry

occurred. The Magic Pudding has opened some eyes

were then scanned and digital ink and paint

Travis for acquiring the rights to The Magic Pudding,

and a greater understanding and appreciation has


raising the capital and trusting the abilities of his

emerged. There are so many people I would like to

-> Excitement mounted as we saw our first coloured

selected team. Not many animated feature length

mention that have contributed to this massive

rushes with backgrounds intact. Compositors and

films are made in this country. Consequently

project. Steven Doric, Cindy Bower, Danny Fowley, Tim Pieman and Jo Boag, are among the people with

editors were now in full swing, screenings at Atlab,

production teams and personnel do not get the

film printing at Cinevex, track laying with

opportunity to get formulated with a cohesive and

exceptional skills and have made what we now see

Phil Sound and many other integral processes of

ongoing industry network. Cohesion is further

as The Magic Pudding. • CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [21]

How good are our digital to film transfers? The proof is in the pudding.

At AAV, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very proud to have completed the digital to film transfer for the new animation epic The Magic Pudding. It was a transfer that ensured that the beautifully detailed images that the animators saw on their monitors, were completely identical to what they saw on the big screen. But please donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take our word for it. Go catch The Magic Pudding and see the evidence for yourself.

AAV Australia

Money changes everything Even history

the getting of wisdom, kick gurry viewers were at the filmmaker’s mercy

renewed interest in the Holocaust and

our boys’ were mowed down? I know

Andrew Dominik’s Chopper raises a

and they worried about the "thought

made the world aware of Oskar

only what I’ve seen in Peter Weir’s

serious question to those of us in the

reshaping potential" of the film even

Schindler. But where should the line

film, so a great responsibility lies with

-> The popular release of director

film industry: is truth a critical part of

though Stone did not place a

be drawn? The film does not claim to

Weir to protect the truth of the story.

filmmaking? The film is great,

disclaimer on the film claiming that it

be a documentary, it is an

Or should I just be more discerning,

(Eric Bana you rock), but it is an

was a true story.

interpretation of a novel based on a

and see it as an interpretation? But

interpretation of a real man’s life and

-> JFK stimulated considerable

true story. The changes do not alter

doesn’t this lessen the impact of the

thus must be judged as more than a

discussion about the obligations of

the central premise of the film; the

story for me as a viewer?

filmmakers in recreating historically-

central story of this man’s fight against

->The Holocaust is a fascinating

the injustices taking place. Is it just the

example, because soon there w ill be

great film and brilliant propaganda...

premise of a true story that is

no living survivors. The memories w ill

all film artists create works with points

important, or is it the finer details?

be passed on to family descendants,

of view and should be judged as such,

-> Shine - pianist David Helfgott’s life

historians and artists to be kept alive.

fiction. I think it was Charlie Chaplin who once said, “there are more valid

I based works. Some argued it was a

facts and details in works of art than there are in history books". -> Many films claim - for different reasons perhaps - to represent the

j They argued that controlling a

truth, but when I looked closely at

filmmaker’s point of view is

some of my favourite films I learned

censorship, basically arguing that art

that maybe I need to be a little more

and journalism do not share the same

discerning when sitting in my favourite

obligations. But why not? This is where

red velvet seat.

the filmmaker’s dilemma lies. Most

-> World cinema today has split in two.

viewers without knowledge of the

There are many films, particularly in

subject matter are going to take on

the US studio system, which are purely

board the filmmaker's view. This, I

commercial ventures, only concerned

guess, is both a blessing and a curse

with box office. Then there are those

for filmmakers. Stone obviously

Also of importance is our own sorry history of a “stolen generation” of Aboriginal children. Either for legal or moral reasons the current ignorant and racist federal government won’t apologise, and continues to play down the issue.

films made by the people who consider

believes the US government killed

themselves artists and storytellers.

JFK. His role as a moviemaker gives

story, based on a book written by his

In this case, it is important to remain

Most films sit somewhere in the

him a powerful tool to promote his

wife, was deeply criticised by David’s

as close to the facts as possible, to


sister. She argues the film completely

ensure the reality of the Holocaust is

middle, maybe leaning to one side. However, the question remains: should

misrepresents their family, particularly

passed on truthfully.

film - it combines fact with fiction.

their father who the film, in part,

->Also of importance, is our own sorry

Steven Spielberg did this to great

blames for many of David’s problems.

history of a "stolen generation" of

Is David’s wife’s story truth enough to

Aboriginal children. Either for legal or

[ -> JFK is sometimes called a “faction"

a film compromise its original vision for commercial gain? -> The studios creating entertainment

i effect in Schindler's List. Based on a

for financial success are usually


true story by Australian writer,

base a "true story" on? I believe

moral reasons the current ignorant

dealing with subject matter not unlike

Thomas Keneally, who interviewed

essentially yes, it’s her story of what

and racist federal government won't

fairytales, usually putting an average

nearly 50 survivors of the Holocaust

happened, although does anyone doubt

apologise, and continues to play down the issue. We have a people here who

person into an extreme situation

| saved by Schindler, Spielberg’s film

that David, after shitting in the bath,

(.Armageddon, Con Air, Die Hard, Star

i did not stick directly to the book. The

was whipped with a wet towel by his

have been treated shamefully and

Wars, Lethal Weapon, MJ-2]. But it is

character of Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s

father? I don’t, and I base that entirely

white Australia hasn't formally

the other true storytelling genre that

Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley), is

on the film.

apologised or acknowledged it. This

presents the more important moral

actually a collection of real characters

-^Another interesting type of film is

must be done soon or we may lose the

challenge. Does a filmmaker have a

rolled into one, an invention of the

that which tells a fictional story yet is

truth of what really happened - in my

responsibility to stay true to the story

screenwriter, Steven Zaillian.

set against a real, historical backdrop.

view, a government policy of cultural

when recreating it for the screen? Or

Spielberg used this character as

Hugely successful in Australia,


is the story open to the filmmaker’s

Schindler's conscience; he used his

Gallipoli won nine AFI awards and is

->We must know the facts and we


directorial licence to make the story

now used in schools and universities

must stick closely to them, ensuring

-> One of the best examples is Oliver

more appealing to the viewer.

as a representation of the Gallipoli

all Australians know what really

Stone's JFK. Stone acknowledged he

Although only minimal, it is a distortion

landing. Did Australian soldiers have a


took dramatic licence with JFK. Due to

within a film dedicated to maintaining

stronger ’mateship’ with each other

the audience’s naivety about the facts

the memory of the Holocaust.

than the British and were the British

surrounding the case, critics argued

Through his film, Spielberg sparked

really sipping tea on another cove as



P h o to g ra p h y b y P h ilip Le M a s u rie r

■ Her name is synonymous with the Australian film industry. For more than 25 years she ran the representation and management agency Hilary Linstead and Associates. Having sold the company, re-named HLA, these days she works there as a consultant in a reduced capacity with a few key clients. One of those clients is Dein Perry, founder of the Tap Dogs dance troupe, creator of the stage show Steel City and co-creator of Tap Dogs and recently director of the feature film Bootmen, on which Linstead acted as producer. ■ Bootmen is not Linstead’s first producer’s credit on a feature film but it’s the credit she’d prefer everyone remembered. ■ In 1983 she number-crunched director Ned Lander’s children’s film Molly. Starring Claudia Karvan, Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald, Molly was about a singing dog. Before that there was Phillip Noyce’s Heatwave which was accepted into director’s week at the Cannes Film Festival. ■ Linstead says the early 80s was a very long time ago, “I didn’t know what I was doing in those days. With Heatwave all I did was package and cast it. I did raise the money but it was 10BA days when it wasn’t that hard. The kids’ film called Molly I had a soft spot for, but it didn’t really work.”

CP: So creative input is the key? HL: Absolutely, that's the only interesting part of it. Raising money’s not fun. CP: So how did you come to suggest Dein Perry make Bootmen? HL: I had a hunch he would be a filmmaker, that he would make a film film, that it wouldn't be talking heads. The fact that he’s a choreographer, movement and rhythm are essential to his work. I think it’s really important in films and I also know he sees pictures. CP: Who actually penned the script? HL: Dein, Steve Worland and I wrote the story and Steve wrote the screenplay. CP: How did that collaborative process work? HL: Dein was mostly away with Steet City for the first two years that we were working on the script, so it was difficult. I had to keep ringing him up in the States. It wasn't until the last six months that he actually became very active and he knew where we were at. CP: What was your input? HL: Just the story and editing. CP: Is Bootmen your first script? HL: With a story credit, yes. The thing is there were 12 people in front of the camera and behind the camera that had never done a film before. CP: Well, how did you, as the producer, get

Cinema Papers: So that was enough already?


$8 million dollars to put the project together?

Hilary Linstead: I thought (producing) was too hard

HL: You've got to make the script and the package

and I also thought it wasn't much fun. People want

attractive enough that investors think they have a

producers to be business people sitting there

shot at making a profit.

number crunching and I didn't want to do that. I'm perfectly prepared to do the job of raising the money

CP: What were the key elements to the Bootmen project?

because that's what you've got to do but I didn't

HL: The key element was unequivocally Dein’s

want to stop there. I wanted to be part of the

(reputation). It worked both for and against him. He

production in a real way with some reasonable

had a track record of success with Tap Dogs which

expectation of being a creative producer.

was one positive. However, the fact that he'd never

directed anything was an extremely big negative. So there was a lot of persuading required but I suppose I thought there've been other first time directors who’ve brought it off, why not him? And this is at least something where the territory was very familiar. I knew the dance would be spectacular, i had a hunch that he could do it and he really wanted to direct it and we had wonderful help in terms of the actors. I have been a casting director for a very long time so people tend to trust me about talent, so maybe that’s a help. CP: Your long history in the industry must have accounted for something.


HL: Maybe. I can’t tell you what hard work it is, it doesn’t matter you could just be a tired old number and be put out to grass. (A history] doesn’t

More than 22,000 capsule movie previews

necessarily work for you. -> You asked me how did I convince investors. Steve Mason who shot Strictly Ballroom seemed to be a likely person to shoot the dance. (Editor) Jane Moran I picked because she was a protégé of Jill Bilcock’s and had worked

Over 300 new entries

with her a great deal. So it’s the whole package with you as the conduit saying I'm convinced the sum of the parts - though it contains weaknesses, they’re balanced by strengths. For example, Kerry Walker, our drama coach,

Over 15,000 videocassette, 8,000 laserdisc and 2,000 DVD listings

who worked with the boys. When they said 'None of the boys are actors’. So you say 'Well, they’ve got to be excellent dancers, we w ill work with them and I think it w ill be fine’. Of course I was nervous but I thought 'nothing ventured, nothing gained’. You never get anywhere if you just do what people have done before. CP: After working together for many years you must have a very close relationship with Dein. HL: I wouldn’t have agreed to produce it if I hadn't. CP: How did you keep the other side of your business going when you were working on Bootmenl HL: I took a sabbatical. I don’t own the agency anymore and I haven’t for some years. (These days) I look after Wendy Harmer and I sort of take more




of a manager role with Dein now. As far as the film was concerned we talked


PEN G U IN A U STR A LIA w w w .penguin.com .au


The thing is there were 12 people in front of the camera and behind the camera that had never done a film before. Hilary Linstead te the co and post v H fe p i| i Leonard Maltin Promoti ox 2043 St Kilda West VIC 3182

about this a lot and we did it as a partnership; I couldn’t move without him and he couldn’t move without me. CP: How did you secure a partnership with Fox Searchlight? HL: I went to America and saw Lindsay Law (president, Fox Searchlight) and invited him to a Tap Dogs performance. (The show) was a huge success in Los Angeles so that was the first thing but then when I took the treatment to them

Q: How many new entries are in Leonard M altin’s 2001 Movie & Video Guide?

they didn’t like it, so that sent me into a decline. That’s what I always used to tell clients ‘don’t go to the studio, don’t go to anybody until you’re good and

A:__________________________________________________________________ __

ready because you only get one go.’. I knew I’d gone too prematurely. CP: So why did you go?


HL: Because I made a mistake. The show was on and I wanted to follow it up and so you make the mistake of going too soon. So then I went away and I didn’t go back for 18 months. I didn’t go near anybody until we worked and


worked and worked on the screenplay and (completed) many, many, many drafts and on and on and on trying to refine it down. Then you put it out there


and I did get good feedback from not just Fox, so we had a little flurry happening. The Film Finance Corporation came on at that stage with 50 percent of the money. • Michaela Boland POSTCODE



Bootmen is currently screening. See Michael Bodey’s review in Cinema Papers 134.

EMAIL Entries dose 5pm Wednesday December 7. The firs t 10 correct entries drawn w ill win a copy of Leonard M altin's 2001 Movie & Video Guide. W inners w ill be notified by m ail and announced in the Feb/March 2001 issue of Cinema Papers.

Mark Spratt, the director of independent distribution company, Potential Films, is awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the censorship board. With a decision due any


moment he is anxiously checking his watch and reaching for his mobile phone. ■ No stranger to controversy, Spratt made front page news in January with his attempts to release Catherine Breillat’s sexually explicit film Romance. Originally banned by the censors, Romance was given an R rating on appeal. ■ Spratt’s latest release The Color of Paradise, an Iranian film from the director of Children of Heaven, was classified M but Potential’s release strategy depends on a PG rating. This is the decision he is waiting for. ■ Spratt is attending the Krnnual Movie Convention for r distributors and exhibitor^on Queensland’s Gold C oa|t while the 1 censorship board deliberates in I Sydney^notherlconvention guest just happens to be the bbardji recentlfiippoint|d chairman Des Lciark. ■ Aiformer Mayo||of Melbourne and former Chair of the Melbourne Film Festival, Clark an<t Spratt have never met. ■ Cinema Papers thought it might be interesting to introduce them and Michaela Boland recorded the following exchange. -> Spratt: When you came to the job in April i remember reading an interview with you in The Sydney Morning Herald and it sounded to me like you wanted to stay out of the limelight. -> Des comments that he doesn't believe he should enter public debate about contentious censorship issues because, as a bureaucrat, his job is at board level where he casts the deciding vote. -> Spratt: That worries me a little bit and it was also worrying me at the time because there were so many new and inexperienced people on the board. There were a lot of people who really had no knowledge of the history of films, how films like that had been classified and how they'd fit in to the general scheme of things. I think following guidelines, as some of the classifiers obviously did with Romance, is just not an approach you can take. There’s got to be a broader understanding of the placement of the film within the film-going community. Certainly there's all sorts of church groups and people who write letters and so on with very strong agendas but they’re not necessarily filmgoers. {The board members) might think (these people) represent community standards which is not necessarily the case. Clark: Everyone has an opinion about censorship,., let me assure you, but (it's a debate) I'm not part of w because I’m the person applying the act. (My personal


I've been there and I've observed their level of experience but they're there because they represent the broad spectrum of the community, not the film industry. They come from every state and territory, they have a broad range of life experience and they are there because they’ve been appointed to do community service. -> Spratt: I think they always were like that but there was this feeling when the Howard government came

There are too many inexperienced people in your office trained to apply these increasingly prescriptive guidelines and I think they might forget the common sense approach of ‘Where does the film generally sit?’

Mark Spratt

in that the OFLC needed to (be) purged. Somebody said somewhere that we don’t need all these film experts on the classification board. What I’ve been worried about is that there’s this expectation that classification represent the community but it's coming from some community that I don’t know. It’s an idealised, very conservative community with a religious base. I think there’s an expectation from the government that they should be far more restrictive. -> Clark: That's not my experience of members of the

opinion is irrelevant). By law the application of

be getting longer all the time. There are too many

Board or of any experience of the office's relations

guidelines is what I’m required to do. As the

inexperienced people in your office trained to apply

with the government because we're an independent

guidelines change of course I'll vote differently. So you

these increasingly prescriptive guidelines and l think

society who have been charged with the job. The

can’t say, well, there’s a film buff community and the

they might forget the common sense approach of

members of the Board are certainly not political in any

other community' because that wouldn’t be right. At

‘Where does the film generally sit?’

way and they are from the community. They have a

the end of the day it’s our leaders who are going to

For example, a new action film comes along to UIP

range of ages; some of them are quite young in their

make the decision about that.

and there’s some level of violence they might think

20s and 30s. The majority are female and I think that

So that’s the tough part of it because in a sense you

(deserves) an MA. I don’t know why I’m arguing about

makes a bit of a difference in that they take quite a

don’t bring a personal position to the job, although

UIP. Whereas if they look back at other films that

strong view of (gender issues).

have been released in the last few years and people

-> Boland: So there is bias?

are quite happy with that kind of film as an M.

-> Clark: I don't think it's a bias. I would think their

prevail. This takes into consideration a film’s artistic

-> Clark: Well, on the issue of inexperience they're

attitudes are usual for women.

merit and the rights of adults to chose to see and

actually experienced now. -> Boland: How recently would that ‘inexperienced’

-> Spratt: So far in your experience you haven’t felt

tag have been justified? -> Clark: Up until three months ago. That’s only since

Senate to act in any particular way or take a

everyone has their own life experience and values. Spratt: But your classifiers can allow section 11 to

hear what they want. Clark: Well that’s what some of them w ill do. Spratt: There must be guidelines but they seem to

any pressure coming from the government or the particular stance? CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [2 7 ]

-> Clark: I consider it to be part of the professional development for the Board. We have regular standards discussions so if there’s an element in films or magazines then everybody decides where it’s going to fit. So everybody has a debate around common experience regardless of where they personally sit. Same with particular issues that come up. Some of the ethnic communities, particularly the Arabic Council, are concerned with stereotyping of Arabic people in movies, especially American movies. That’s a big issue for the community so we’ll have someone

The members of the board are certainly not political in any way and they are from the community. They have a range of ages; some of them are quite young in their 20s and 30s.

Des Clark


¡s the story of two marginalised French prostitutes (one of them has been raped), who go on a destructive tour of sex and violence. It breaks norms and shatters the complacency of polite cinema audiences. Known as a Thelma and Louise for the next generation, the title translates to 'Rape Me’. It stars Raffaela Anderson and Karen Lancaume.

from the Ethnic Communities Council come in and talk

banning it subsequently restricted their capacity to

about those stereotyping issues and how they fit in

sell it.

with the classification process. When (making] a decision you say which line in the guidelines applies

Spratt: No, it’s been sold to a lot of European territories. I haven’t got it yet but I am planning to

but yes, personal values can influence. The

re-release In the Realm of the Senses. I don’t know if

expectation (of board members) is that you remove

you’ve seen that.

your values and actually apply what is in the book.

-> Clark: I saw it in the 60s I think, or the 70s, but it

-> Boland: But Mark’s arguing for greater personal

was heavily cut apparently.


-> Spratt: I know the film quite well because I saw it

-> Clark: Obviously people have their life experience

overseas uncut and I've seen the Australian video

that they bring into bear with classification and it has

release that came out a few years later. There were

to be recognised as there but my task is to make them

three cuts made but there is still a lot of explicit sex

as objective as possible and I’m doing that through the

in it, more so than Romance. This got an R rating and

training process.

it’s still available. We’re going to look at it and make

-> Clark: The Senate Estimates is where the elected

-> Spratt: The other thing about the guidelines is

a decision, we could make the same cuts as were

members have an opportunity to scrutinise what you

community standards are a shifting sand and as

previously issued and just put the thing out without

do and what you’re doing; how you spend your money,

someone was saying the other night on network

any reference to the OFLC but probably we shouldn’t

what the proper democratic process is about. All

television now the movies are shown without the

do that. The film’s 25 years old with acknowledged

proper and healthy stuff but that's not pressuring us

fuck language and that cut out of them and it’s

artistic worth and so on, so it’s probably worth a

or making us be accountable.

caused very little stir. Likewise I think one of the

fight. Not just for the publicity campaign but just on

-> Spratt: (Tasmanian independent) Senator

reasons I went as far as I could with Romance. (It

the principal that it’s a very valid work.

Harridine does make very strong demands of officers

contravened the guidelines with the explicit sex and

-> Boland: In terms of a publicity campaign, you can’t

from the OFLC saying, ‘No, I do want this information.

all those kind of things) but I felt this film has

buy the kind of publicity you got free for Romance,

Why isn’t this happening. Can we expect more films

actually been accepted all over the world. This kind

especially if you’re a small distributor.

to be banned?’ He does ask these questions.

of standard in cinema has not so much reached that

-> Clark: I started getting letters of complaint about

-> Clark: Well, that’s his legitimate and proper right to

level it’s actually come back to that level where it

Chopper before it was released. ’How can you possibly

ask those questions and to make us as accountable

was some years ago. I thought this does seem to be

allow this film to be released?’

and open as we should be but that causes me no

accepted by communities and I don’t think Australia

-> Spratt: I certainly never thought the publicity for

problem because that’s why he’s there. He’s doing his

is different to any of these other communities all

Romance would be as big as it was. Certainly I

job and he happens to represent some particular

over the world and well, luckily we sort of achieved

wanted to make the announcement, I thought a few

points of view in the community but we continue to do

the result we wanted.

film critics would say they’d seen the film already

our job as we are compelled to do by the Act of

-> Boland: Des Clark was not part of the

and it should be shown but editorial writers picked

Parliament and from time to time the Senate might

Classification Board at the time of the Romance

up the whole issue.

make some suggestions but they're literally that. They

debate. Have you seen it?

-> Clark: They love it. It's everyone’s business.

have to go to the ministers and the Attorney General

-> Clark: No, I haven’t seen any of your movies (laughs).

-> Boland: How do you feel about everyone telling

to be applied in law but there aren't these informal

-> Spratt: I’d like to distribute (Coralie and Virginie

you how to do your job?

networks of people pushing the Office around at all -

Despentes’) Baise-moi. They're only showing it in

-> Clark: That’s all right that’s why 1like the job

it’s a very open process.

festivals at the moment. Myself and some other

because you've got to manage a whole community of

-> Spratt: The guidelines are open to personal

distributors have asked for tapes but they don’t want

expectations and cut a path through it and that’s

interpretations so in your role if you felt some Board

to send them because of two things: they’re scared of

occasionally complex and difficult.

members were taking an excessively strict view of

the thing being pirated and also that it might get

those guidelines over a period of time is there

seized by customs somewhere.

The Color of Paradise? Spratt heard later that

anything you would say?

-> Clark: But I thought the French government’s

afternoon the board had re-classified it G. •



Sex: The Annabel Chong Story

The Color of Paradise

C lient:â&#x20AC;&#x201D; T ie : Agency: Producer:

Rentio Largescreen M&C Saatchi Fiona McGregor

Director: Dogboy

Sunday night after Sunday night they sat

Two years after Diver Dan consumateci his never-ending courtship on SeaChange David Wenham returns to the big screen in Better Than Sex. Michaela Boland observes his latest character is getting it on before audience members have relaxed into their seats.


glued to their tellys in Balwyn, Lindfield, Scarborough and every suburb in-between. ABC viewers in their hundreds of thousands watching the drama of SeaChange unfold. David Wenham was the kinda goofy, detached Diver Dan and Series One focused on his relationship with neurotic judge, Laura. It took an entire season, and lashings of speculation in the women’s magazines, for them to become (te he) romantic. But let’s face it, Pearl Bay hasn’t showcased such electricity since. -> Jump cut to November 2000 when two feature films starring Wenham are theatrically released. The titillatingly titled Better Than Sex and director Stavros Kazantzdis' latest feature Russian Doll. In both of them Wenham's getting, well, quite a bit of action. -> More on Russian Doll later because it's in Better Than Sex that Diver Dan goes down in the first few minutes and more or less stays there, in various permutations, for the duration of the film. Starring opposite Australia’s favourite sex kitten,

Teplitzky. Taking on a role which required six significant sex scenes, very little interaction with other characters and which was staged more or less in a single room, meant both stars needed to be confident in the other's acting ability. Plus "it was a role where both of us had to expose ourselves, literally. So you have to work with somebody you felt comfortable with,” Wenham explains. -> Wenham says they stayed closely with the script, which Porter had helped workshop, and which director Teplitzky confides is based on his own courtship with his partner and mother of his children. -> Despite being personally attached to the story, Wenham says Teplitzky did not attempt to graft his own personality onto Wenham’s characterisation

In Better Than Sex Diver Dan goes down in the first few minutes and more or less stays there, in various permutations, for the duration of the film.

of Josh. -> Teplitzky describes the fast, four-week shoot on a minuscule budget (approx. $1 million) as "a masterclass in acting” and praises his lead actors' performances and good humour off camera. “ David's subtlety and nuance is in keeping with the

Susie Porter, Wenham delivers a funny, fresh and energetic performance and is obviously bouncing off

while Porter was still a uni student. Over a cab sav in St Kilda s Fitzroy street, after

camera. He understands what the camera does in close-up, the point (at which acting) stops being a

Porter's equally laudable characterisation. She's Cin

wrapping for the day on his latest movie (one of five

physical thing and becomes an emotional thing,"

(of course) and he’s Josh. -> He's in town for a few days, they meet and get it

h e ll shoot this year), Wenham explains he didn't see

Teplitzky explains.

on but when he tries to say goodbye he finds himself

period she attended NIDA.

-$■ The other romantic comedy releasing in

unable to leave her apartment (or her bed, bath tub

-> Then "I saw her graduation piece and it amazed

November featuring Wenham is the similarly low-

etc). The duo hold the tension.through the film's 90

me. She played a woman much older than she was

budget feature Russian Doll, co-starring Hugo Weaving and newcomer Natalia Novikova. Wenham’s

Porter for more than 10 years. During some of that

minutes in more or less one room.

at the time and she was astonishing. I thought you

-> Wenham and Porter, natural blood nuts who both

are a really bloody good actor."

character Ethan is a middle class, yamulka-wearing

‘blonded up' for their roles, first met years ago at the

-> Which was just as well because Porter was

father who is cheating on his wife. Ethan further

Hunter Valley Theatre Company, not long after

attached to Better Than Sex before Wenham was

threatens everyone's happiness by dragging his

Wenham had graduated from drama school and

approached by first time w riter/director Jonathan

single best friend into the mess by asking him to CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [3 1 ]

marry the mistress (visa-style) so she can stay in

Wenham also found himself in Cuba later that year,

as well (and) Rob w ill produce,” Wenham explains.


so he "sent Laura a postcard".

Yet, in The Bank Wenham is again a romantic lead,

Russian Doll is director Kazantzdis' (nee Andonis

Portraying Father Damien was closer to Wenham's

this time with a twist.

Efthymiou) second feature after his critically panned

usual roles than the romantic leads which have

While not committed to making any particular film

debut, True Love and Chaos, and though it makes for

garnered him the most attention in recent years.

yet, Wenham says he w ill not combine directing with

good viewing, Wenham doesn’t want to talk about it.

"I'm playing characters in a narrower range than I

a starring or feature role. He w ill not produce but he

" Russian Doll was just a little film that I agreed to

have done in the past, which is actually quite new to

might have a hand in developing the script.

appear in and I did,” says the actor of his third

me. I used to be far more of a character actor which,

And no, "it probably wouldn't be a romantic


strangely enough, is something I feel much more


“ It’s Hugo and Natalia's film. I pop up in it,” he

comfortable doing. But this stuff over the past

says and then describes his character as

couple of years, which people associate me more

"unlikeable” and possessing few redeeming

with, is the much sort of straighter stuff.”


The David Wenham Project is still some way off because after The Bank he leaves to join compatriot Cate Blanchett in New Zealand on Peter Jackson's top-secret Lord of The Rings trilogy.

-> Refusing to be drawn on how Russian Doll came

But who could forget his menacingly violent

Unlike the Star Wars shoot in Sydney recently,

together, Wenham says, “ it's just sometimes the

portrayal of Brett Sprague in the AFI-winning film

where cast members were denied full shooting

experience can affect your judgment, that's when

The Boys? A role he developed on stage in Sydney

scripts, Wenham has read The Rings script.

you go away..." he shakes his head and doesn't finish

before helping make it into a film.

Presumably secretive plot twists are not a factor of

the sentence.

Wenham co-produced The Boys and his recent

the shoot because, well, the books on which the

project in Melbourne, The Bank, comes from the

films are based have been available for a while now.

An experience he w ill discuss is anchoring Paul Cox's big budget Belgian-funded feature Molokai:

same creative group including producer John

-F Shooting over several years, Jackson is making

The Story of Father Damien, which, after a handful of

Maynard and director Robert Connolly.

the three films concurrently in a production of

successful festival screenings may achieve local distribution.

"This is Robert's film now and in a handful of years it w ill be my turn, I w ill direct for the company

massive proportions. “ I think it w ill be the biggest production I’ll ever be involved with. I don't think you

Making Molokai was a heart-breaking process for

can ever get a bigger budget

director Cox (see Cinema Papers 133, p.22) and an

than that," Wenham says.

experience Wenham found "challenging but

And by now he'd know.

eventually rewarding".

Along with everyone else he

Fresh from the SeaChange set he led a cast

worked long and hard on

including Derek Jacobi, Kris Kristofferson and Peter

Moulin Rouge, slated for a

O'Toole, as he portrayed Belgian national hero and

Christmas release that is

Catholic priest Father Damien. He didn't feel

looking increasingly unlikely.

nervous about leaving SeaChange because he had

He also spent the middle of the

already committed to Molokai and in fact, only heard

year working alongside Joseph

about the series' ratings coup much later, during

Fiennes on Dust.

filming in Hawaii.

Directed by Milcho

Wenham laughs recalling how Diver Dan left

Manchevski, Wenham is back

Pearl Bay ostensibly to work on an island off Cuba.

“Do you think they’ll release this film?” Wenham asks Peter O’Toole in Molokai.

in comfy territory with Dust.


Hands on. Wenham and Porter in Better Than Sex..

T play a pretty rough nasty cowboy, which was refreshing. It was good to get a bit more dirty," he explains. Dust is a kinda boysy film with clever elements

Wenham laughs recalling how Diver Dan left Pearl Bay ostensibly to work on an island off Cuba and Wenham also found himself in Cuba later that year so he “sent Laura a postcard” .

Wenham is hoping w ill come through. “ I call it an eastern western - or a Balkan western as opposed to a spaghetti western. It's a film I don't think has a parallel because it has two narratives in it. An historical narrative which I'm involved in, it's set in Macedonia a 100 years ago and a contemporary story that's set in New York and both of them intertwine throughout - they eventually Russian Doll.

meet up towards the end. "I know no film, the structure of, that's similar. It’ll be a hard one to pull off, I think, but if it achieves it, it w ill be interesting." If it's as interesting as Wenham's career, well, I guess we’ll just have to keep watching. •


The screenplay’s the thing

address this problem. Those who

-> The second important quality

on screen. Our actors, crews and

Australian films usually look great

whinge about stricter guidelines

control device in the Hollywood system

audience and the distributors. The

locations are all world class. So why

governing grants from the public purse

is the existence of conventions or rules

writer is less likely to wander off in a

which govern the script development

new direction that may depart from the

is our share of the local and international box-office dropping?

elsewhere. Until they've established a

process. For instance, there is a

initial concept. Everyone can then be

Locally produced films represented

serious track record, a writer in Los

vocabulary in place which relates to

sure they are making the same movie.

eight percent of home box office

j Angeles receives no such support, and

the structural elements of the

-> This all requires immense

receipts in 1996 but this figure

yet has a very different attitude to their

screenplay: the three acts, the turning

discipline on the part of the writer, who

dropped to three percent of receipts

role within the system.

points, the premise and protagonist.

must endure the sheer labour of

in 1999. Pundits within the industry

-> With their iron-clad work ethic,

These terms provide the basic

constant polishing and re-writing.

complain that the problem lies in the

American writers move quickly to

technical language of the industry and

However in my experience, the best

quality of our scripts. They complain

master the complex technical

ensure that writers and producers can

professionals understand clearly why

our screenplays often go into

requirements of screenwriting and

share ideas while referring to a

they must persevere and toe the line.

production without being fully

remain open to the kind of constructive

developed or polished. In short, our

critique applied by nit-picking studio

scripts are often 'half-baked' and no amount of stars, stunts or sexy camera work can save a half-baked script.

executives and producers. Why? j Because all players recognise their roles within an industrial model that's

The tough laws of Hollywood survival dictate that only the fittest writers survive.

-> I trained in Hollywood as a

been thriving since 1917.

development executive and 'script

-> Compared to our own, the Hollywood

common framework of industry

doctor for studios like Fox and

script selection and development

standards. Without this technical

Warner, as well as for 'boutique'

I process is extremely rigorous. Within

-> The recent joint report by the : Australian Film Commission and the

framework, the screenwriting process

Film Finance Corporation recognised

production houses like Working Title,

the Hollywood system, several

is reduced to an intuitive, playful mess;

Australia spends insufficient funds on

and institutions such as the American

procedures are in place to ensure the

the technical equivalent of finger-

script development. Recent initiatives

Film Institute. Within this system my

highest quality script-writing process.

painting. But what sells tickets is

; from the AFC and the South Australian

usually a finely-honed masterpiece.

; Film Corporation may help, directing

role was to select, edit and develop

| Firstly, the selection of screenplay

screenplays; to shepherd a writer

material is limited to work which has

-> A further quality-control

through anywhere between six, 15 and

been submitted to the producer by

mechanism is the close working tie

even 30 drafts.

I literary agents. These agents efficiently

money into script development and providing tougher selection guidelines i to sort the sheep from the goats.

between the writer and producer,

sort out the duds from the real thing,

which includes a step-by-step plan for

technical precision contributes to a

: identifying writers with a track-record,

the writing and re-writing process. The

much finer screenplay. In this country

j from eager wannabes who have not yet

writer may first offer a detailed

however, three drafts is often the

| ‘paid their dues.'

-> There is no doubt that this level of

upper limit. There is not the same degree of focus on the script as the


I might consider the situation

staying focused on the interests of the

-> The tough laws of Hollywood survival dictate that only the fittest

-> While hoping to score these hotly contested funds, Australian writers j may learn from their Hollywood

synopsis or outline of their story which the producer may approve. This

counterparts. We may need to I immerse ourselves in the study of

process is repeated at the completion

genre, of structure and of what it is

primary key to production excellence.

j writers survive. The writer will support

of a first draft at which point the

This is partly due to a lag in funding.

| him or herself with a day job and still

producer (often using the script

-> A survey of feature films backed by

I manage to boast several attainments,

executive as mediator) may offer notes

-> Global and local audiences are

the FFC over the last three years

j To 'get in touch' with their audience,

to guide the writer toward a certain

attracted to Australian films because

reveals Australian filmmakers are

I they educate themselves in genre,

direction or away from a problem area. j of their solid on-screen values. One

that draws people to the screen in the | first place.

currently operating without proper

structure and technique and are as

script-development support. An

adept at writing for film as they are for

on this outline which is re-submitted to

attention is to ensure that the

average of only 1A percent of the total

TV, for series, for sitcoms as well as

the producer who offers another set of

| glittering surface of our films is

budget of recent films was spent on script development. This compares

for features. Until the writer gets an | agent and their first jobs start to

The writer then produces a draft based S way to recapture their flagging

notes. And so the screenplay is honed

supported by screenplays that are

and crafted over many drafts.

equally polished.

materialise, most of this work is done

-> This lengthy development process

on development in the UK, five percent

at the writer's own expense (‘on spec').

allows production staff to keep tabs on

in Canada and 10 percent in the USA.

There is no series of government

the basic structure of the screenplay.

-> Government bodies like the AFC are

grants to pay the way for this creative

The w riter and producer can then

currently rearranging their budgets to


negotiate creative differences while

with an average of two percent spent








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Releasing Alibrandi

to market to market, joel pearlman When a film, regardless of its

holidays hit, allowing us to get the

origins, turns out to be a hit it’s

extra boost that this holiday period

tremendously satisfying for everyone

would provide. So the real work began

involved in bringing it to the market

- we started to develop ideas for the

place. In the case of Australian films,

key art (the image to be used on the

this satisfaction is amplified an extra

posters as well as the press ads and

notch for the marketing and sales

book cover for the Looking for

team and, of course, even more so for

Alibrandi re print) and decided on an

the local producers, investors, cast

innovative sell utilising Pia Miranda

and crew who are so eager for their

and Kick Gurry. We thought Matt

work to be seen and appreciated by

Newton would have been terrific too

an audience. Just as Looking for

but Kick's character had a rebellious

Alibrandi was an incredibly personal

edge which we wanted to tap into and

story from Melina Marchetta’s

we felt would provide a compelling

wonderful book, the film's campaign

look for the film. We could have gone

became a personal one for all those at

for the three of them but we wanted to

Roadshow as well as the exhibitors

steer away from looking like an

who became a key part of the film ’s

American teen comedy and we wanted

success - but more about that later.

to celebrate the Australianness of the

Looking for Alibrandi was a film

film and didn't want it to be derivative

Roadshow always believed in. A

in any way.

terrific script coupled with a fantastic

-> We wanted every image of the film

production team and cast. We knew

to strike a chord with the target

the movie had the potential to be a hit

audience and while the cast included

from the earliest rough-cut, not just

other terrific actors including Anthony

because we loved it but from the

LaPaglia and Greta Scacchi, we

earliest screenings it was connecting

wanted to focus on the younger

We knew that if we were able to build an audience from opening day we would still be on screens by the time the June school holidays hit, allowing us to get the extra boost that this holiday period would provide.

with audiences. We knew if we could

members of the cast with a clear,

our screening program involved

set to be a fantastic launching pad for

get the message out there effectively

clean and simple sell which would

exhibition as we wanted to ensure that

the theatrical careers of stars Pia

the film would become the best selling

make it clear to all those who saw it -

Looking for Alibrandi had an impact in

Miranda, Kick Gurry and Matthew

tool possible, as audiences related to

this was Josie’s story - it was about

cinemas. In February 2000, we

Newton as well as director Kate

the characters and story on a strong

her and it was for people who wanted

screened the film to exhibitors and

Woods. It also heralds producer Robyn

emotional level. The first thing to do

to find out more. Almost immediately

cinema managers to ensure it would

Kershaw’s first film and the success

was to set the release date. One thing

it created an impact, with our offices

become a core part of their marketing

of the release is due in no small part to her clear understanding of how to

we wanted to avoid was rushing the

receiving many requests for copies of

campaigns and to allow the cinemas

film out just to get it released. We

the poster. A big part of our job was to

to develop marketing programs which

make the film a hit and what it takes

wanted to take the time to get the

get the film seen by a large audience

would make them key participants in

to break out from the competition. If

campaign right and to figure out a

to build a strong core of word-of-

the campaign. Looking for Alibrandi

Looking for Alibrandi had released in

strategy that would have the best

mouth to complement our aggressive

opened very wide on 173 screens on

1999 it would have been the highest

chance of making an impact. We

advertising schedule. As such, we

May 4. In its opening weekend the film

grossing local film that year by a

decided upon May 4, 2000 - a date

developed a two-tiered program to

grossed $1,248,052 for a per screen

significant margin. So far this year it

which was outside of the school

bring the film to local communities.

average of $7214. Looking for

follows The Wog Boy in terms of box office gross - which just means that

holidays to avoid the traditional

Toward the end of 1999 we began to

Alibrandi didn’t open to number one -

confrontation with the large number of

screen the film for high school

that honour went to G/ad/aforwhich

Australian cinema is having a better

cast driven films that traditionally aim

teachers in each state and we

became the highest grossing film of

year all round than last year and local

for the same audience we were

developed an intricate study guide

the year. Alibrandi has now grossed

audiences ARE responding - which is

chasing for Alibrandi. We knew that if

which tied back to the Looking for

almost $8.3 million - a truly fantastic

the best news of all for the entire

we were able to build an audience

Alibrandi web site in order to assist

result that saw it spend nine weeks in

industry. •

from opening day we would still be on

teachers in developing programs for

the Top 10. We could not be more


screens by the time the June school

the classroom.The second stage of

proud of its success and the film looks



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What makes Aardman's animation so unique and appealing is their ability to treat the puppets as if they were actors. The humour is sophisticated and accessible to children as well as adults. The idiosyncrasies of each of



the hens is both charming and


original. One of the hens knits,


another is a crazed Scottish escape artist, another a boisterous jukebox




-> Gibson's character, Rocky, is a brash and arrogant American, while


all the hens are typically British. A


joke which w ill be lost on most



American audiences, is when one of


the hens suggests that perhaps


Rocky's American accent is a bit 'put


on'. What really engages the story for


adults are the references to other films and pop culture. Rocky does a -> Chicken Run is a fascinating and

dramatic jump over the chicken fence,

satisfying piece of plasticine cinema

Steve McQueen-style, except he is on

and a hand-crafted piece of artistry

a tricycle and not a motorbike.

that treads a fine line between

Another chicken is clearly modelled

fantasy and reality. While computer technology has revolutionised most

The characterisation of the chickens and their evil owners is superb

of the animation industry, the

on Scotty from Star Trek. -> It is not surprising that Chicken Run took over four years to make at a

painstaking techniques of stop-

as Saffron from Absolutely Fabulous.

motion or clay animation - though

Set in a chicken concentration camp

(bankrolled mostly by Mr Spielberg

refined over the years - have

Chicken Run is a fast-paced and

and co). Every single item in the film

rumoured cost of $50 million,

remained virtually unchanged since

clever comedic take on the classic The

had to be constructed in miniature,

the genre’s inception. In many ways

Great Escape. The chicken inmates

from the chicken's eyeballs to the

clay animation is closer to live action

are all egg layers for their evil

eerie English skies. Each chicken's

than to other forms of animation

masters, Mr and Mrs Tweedy. They

movements were made a tiny

because its characters and sets are

battle constantly to abscond from their

increment at a time, 24 movements to

all physical, not drawn or computer

barbed wire confines. The threat of

make a second, 1440 to create a

generated. It’s a sort of 'live action’ in

being turned into chicken pies if they

minute, 123,840 to complete the


don't keep up their egg count is

feature. Some days in the Aardman

-> Chicken Run is the first feature film

forever looming

studios 28 sets and teams of

from the Aardman Animation Studios,

-> The characterisation of the chickens

animators were in full operation

producers of the hugely popular

and their evil owners is superb,

simultaneously just to complete only

Wallace and Gromit (3x30min) trilogy.

supplied by voices including Miranda

10 seconds of completed film.

Entirely absorbing, the audience

Richardson [The Crying Game), Imelda

-> Although fashioned by a typical

spends 86 minutes with bug-eyed

Staunton, Benjamin Whitrow and Jane

Hollywood formula, the audience

talking chickens, (with lips and teeth).

Horrocks, [Bubble from Absolutely

should forgive the few predictable

The lead chicken's voice is provided by

Fabulous). In addition, Timothy Spall

moments and enjoy the clever and

a 'cocky' Mel Gibson, while the heroine

and Phil Daniels voice two profiteering

inventive scenarios and dilemmas the

of the film, a hen named Ginger is

rats whose scavenging skills prove

chickens face. The plot is full of every

voiced by Julia Sawalha, better known

invaluable to the chickens.

Hollywood cliché from love scenes to


climactic twists, yet they are not

their enchanting worlds are obviously


not real. The beauty of Chicken Run

Nick Park.

-> The clichés are deliberate and

(and of all stop motion animation], is

-> To me, Aardman’s true

totally entertaining. Even though you

that the characters are somewhat

masterpiece was The Wrong Trousers,

can tell there has been some

real; audiences enjoy the sense of

yet Chicken Run w ill thoroughly entertain most devoted plasticine

the Wallace and Gromit phenomena,

influence from an external

tactility and are reminded that as kids

scriptwriter Karey Kirkpatrick, the

how we all wanted our dolls or action

maniacs. The wait has been well

Aardman Studio's uniqueness is

figures to come alive. Chicken Run

worth it. Aardman has orchestrated a

clearly apparent. No other animation

captures the animators’ time-based

long-term agreement with

company could create such endearing

spontaneous performance somewhat

Dreamworks to produce several more

characters and absurdist plots.

lacking in computer animation, which

features. A full length, Wallace and

-> Part of the success and ultimate

is so often tweaked and fiddled till all

Gromit, is supposedly one of them.

charm of Chicken Run is that it has an

humanity and serendipity is sucked out.

Whatever’s next, it’s a shame we'll

edge over many other styles of feature

Financed mostly by Dreamworks

have to wait another four years for it

animation. Pixar’s Toy Story and A

Aardman has obviously been given

to be slowly put together.

Bug's Life, although hugely popular,

creative control on the project with a

lack that sense of tangibility. Everyone

co-direction by Aardman founder,


knows (like all Disney films], that

Peter Lord, and the three-time


although magical, the characters and

Academy Award winner and creator of


It is not surprising that Chicken Run took over four years to make at a rumoured cost of $50 million (bankrolled mostly by Mr Spielberg and co).

Better Than Sex

Russian Doll


































-> What is better that sex? A good

a wildlife photographer, lives in

direct to camera addresses. The

film perhaps? Think about it. From

London and is due to return in three

mockumentary-style address seems

pleasant opening for this year’s AFI

the moment the lights dim you can

days. Cin, a fashion designer, lives in

at first to detract from the main thrust

film industry screenings, Stavros

experience the range of corporeal

Sydney and inhabits an apartment with

of the narrative but soon results in a

Kazantzidis’ Russian Doll captures

emotions without having to remove a

a spatial configuration like the Tardis.

necessary space for the performers to

the light, upbeat magic of Love and Other Catastrophes and meets Green

A wonderful and surprisingly

single item of clothing. Further to

The audience is sanctioned to enter

stretch and play with their characters

this, your screen surrogate can be

the charged domain of Cin's inner city

and analyse their motivations.

Card somewhere along the way,

whoever you desire and you don’t

apartment and experience first hand

-> The chemistry between Wenham

peppered with the current fashion for

have to buy a single drink. Another

the escalating energy developing

and Porter is spectacular. Cultivated

comedy concerning Australia’s

crucial element is the exit factor, so if

between the fledgling lovers. Susie

and groomed by measured direction

immigrant populations as evidenced

for some reason you are not enjoying

Porter's Cin is at once brave and

from Teplitzky, they present

in The Wog Boy, Looking for Alibrandi

the experience you can leave through

beguiling, never once do we slip from

characters both vulnerable and

and the upcoming Beware of Greeks

illuminated exit sites with minimal

her grasp. Not unlike Sacha Horler’s

confident. A mix that produces the

Bearing Guns.

trauma either to yourself or the film.

character in Praise (coincidentally of

film's dramatic conflict. The arrival

-> Bubbling along at a peppy pace, the

Writer/director Jonathan Teplitzky’s

the same name], Porter imbues Cin

and exit of Cin's friend, Sam, played

film has trashy Russian mail-order

debut feature Better Than Sex is

with a sexual confidence and

with delicious predatory appeal by

bride Katia (Natalia Novikova) arrive in

among the list of more pleasurable

assertiveness rarely captured on

Catherine McClements is skilfully

Australia only to discover her intended

experiences at the cinema. Shall I say

Australian screen.

deployed by Teplitzky as the

has died, but she quickly bounces into

it performed. As a partner in the

-> Similarly, David Wenham illustrates

narrative's catalyst for action and

the arms of the married Ethan (David

audience/film encounter, Better Than

with each role he embodies the ability

eventual resolution.

Wenham). Captivated by her nubile

Sex was in every sense a good score:

to contribute to the visual vocabulary

-> Another interesting device is Kris

charms and desperate for her to stay

it was uncomplicated, attractive and

of the much-maligned Australian

McQuade’s meddling cabbie. While a

in Australia, Ethan convinces the

most importantly funny.

male. Cin and Josh's mutual desire for

humorous and cogent character, one's

chronically unlucky-in-love Harvey

-> Better Than Sex is essentially about

unfettered sex unwittingly leads our

ability to suspend disbelief is surely

(Hugo Weaving playing a private eye by

a one-night stand but contrary to what

romantic duo beyond their initial

tested, as the reality of meeting a

day and a frustrated w riter the rest of

the phrase might suggest, very little

expectations and comfort zones into

considerate, let alone understanding,

the time) to marry her once he’s

standing actually occurs. Josh (David

an emotional terrain that could prove

taxi driver in Sydney is hard to

gotten over the shock of Ethan’s

Wenham) and Cinthia (Susie Porter)

to be better than sex. And while the

imagine. All things considered, Better

betrayal of his charming, but pushy,

meet at a party, share a few drinks,

amorous protagonists are dancing

That Sex may not, in fact, be better

wife Miriam (Rebecca Frith), who, in

some common interests, a cab and

around one another with their peacock

than sex. However one could certainly

turn, insists on organising a huge

finally a bed. The climate for their

feathers fanning, the audience is

consider it 'foreplay'.


unencumbered liaison is perfect. Josh,

afforded the luxury of insight through


-> Like Strange Planet, which


Russian D oll fires on all cylinders to have the ensemble working well together with a punchy script to produce a light and enjoyable package.

Russian Doll (left to right): Natalia Novikova as mail-order bride Katia; Hugo Weaving; and the ubiquitous Sacha Horler hamming it up as Liza.

Better Than Sex. And film newcomer

Russian Doll's affectionate laughs at

Natalia Novikova, a Russian-born

the tribalism of Russian Jews living at

NIDA graduate who’s worked mainly

Sydney’s Bondi Beach complete with

in theatre until now, announces

their love of tacky music, bulky jewels,

Kazantzidis produced, and his first

herself as an important new talent

gauche clothing and plentiful food and

directing effort True Love and Chaos,

with a standout performance as Katia.

drink is one of its best assets. What

this film boasts a stellar ensemble

Rebecca Frith, a most talented

could so easily have been in bad taste

cast. Unlike those films, Russian Dolt

thespian who is too rarely seen on

somehow works delightfully.

fires on all cylinders to have the

Australian screens, gives her best

To be sure, the film ’s ending is a trifle

ensemble working well together with

performance since Love Serenade,

saccharine and w ill disappoint some,

a punchy script producing a light and

while the ubiquitous Sacha Horler

but it's all in good fun in a film that

enjoyable package. And like Love and

clearly relishes hamming it up as

won’t change your life any more than

Other Catastrophes, which Kazantzidis

Katia’s lusty friend Liza, whose

Love and Other Catastrophes did, but

also produced, it’s helped along by a

designs on Harvey force Katia to re­

delivers what it sets out to do.

great soundtrack.

evaluate her feelings for him. Indeed,

What Lies Beneath DIRECTOR









-> Indeed, Kazantzidis seems to work best under pressure because Russian Doll, like Love and Other

-> It’s impossible to say when the

Catastrophes, was made on a

first heart-clutching moment comes

shoestring budget and in a hurry in

in Robert Zemeckis’ What Lies

order to secure Weaving's services.

Beneath. It could be the opening

That was clearly worth the trouble as

credits (in accordance with the music,

the Film Finance Corp. and Beyond

I was hands-over-eyes pre-opening

Films later stepped in during filming

line). It could be when Michelle

with completion funds for what was

Pfeiffer first has a creepy vision’.

then a promising work in progress.

Or it could just be the entire film.

-> Weaving, who gets a co-producer

All things considered, this is one

credit for his efforts, gives a wonderful

scary movie.

performance and anchors the

-> Pfeiffer portrays Claire, the

sometimes screwball comedy’s

impossibly gorgeous and highly-

almost out-of-control antics, while

strung wife of university research

Wenham, whose well-known TV face

scientist Norman. Previously a concert

w ill doubtless help the film 's box

cellist, she has given up her playing

office chances, proves his talent for

after a serious automobile accident a

comedy here, as he does in the

year ago, and has just relinquished

equally enjoyable forthcoming film

her only daughter to college life. It's CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000 [4 1 ]

Walk The Talk DIRECTOR





time for husband and wife to spend



some serious Time Alone. Until 'the


voices' begin to manifest, and Claire


begins to have visions of dead women



underwater... somewhat hampering any ideas Norman may have of romance. -> Director Robert Zemeckis (Contact]

-> As Australians, we’re slightly

goes to town on the suspense factor

fascinated by Queenslanders. When

here - it seems like every five minutes

logic fails to explain Pauline Hanson,

the audience is waiting for the next:

Joh ‘n’ Flo and Warner Brothers

'OH GOD, IT'S BEHIND YOU!' moment.

Movieworld, how do we put our

deny any similarity between Walk the

Burgess and a brilliant Robert Coleby.

With a brilliant use of mirrors, he

northern brothers into some

Talk's Nikki Raye and singer Fairlie

A notable effort from relative

teases and taunts us. Only the

perspective? Life ‘up there’ really

Arrow, who staged her own

newcomer Bennett as Nikki Raye,

slightest amount of special effects are

may be bewdiful one day, perf-ick the

kidnapping hoping for a publicity coup,

whose CV reads as adequate

required; the magic is all in a fantastic

next - but meanwhile the rest of the

the story definitely gives a nod in her

character background - appearances

score by Alan Silvestri and the slow,

country’s writing the population off

direction. Focusing the attention on

on Star Search, Midday and Hey Hey included. Her sneering Gold Coast-

creeping camerawork.

either as gun-toting thicko hicks or

Salvatore Coco's character rather

-> Pfeiffer holds herself well in a part

Muriel-esque screeching

than Nikki Raye helps to distance us

babe is nicely underplayed and

which requires a great deal of gasping

hairdressers with frosted lipstick.

from what may otherwise have been a

possibly closer to the real Bennett

and terrified staring into space - her

-> It's interesting territory, and even

rather sad tale of a woman desperate

than one might think.

only downfall is a badly directed

more so when director Shirley Barrett

to become famous. Instead, the

-> DOP Mandy Walker has captured

moment where she appears to be

delves into it. Following up the

journey of our characters is more one

the Gold Coast perfectly - the soft

'possessed', and starts giggling

Camera D'Or-winning Love Serenade,

of self-fulfillment - even if their idea

greys, pinks and aquas of the streets

wickedly as though doing a bad Linda

Barrett has created Walk The Talk, a

of nirvana may be a little misled.

and bowling clubs bring to mind the

Blair impersonation. In her first

film bearing little resemblance to its

-> Coco, best known for his role as

cool crime backgrounds of Miami

feature release since The Thin Red


Con in the early days of Heartbreak

Vice... but instead of a strutting Don

Line, Miranda Otto has a small role as

-> WTWis the story of Joey Grasso, a

High, pulls off a suprisingly solid job

Johnson, we've got a sweating Grasso.

the wife of the lurking presence next

wide-eyed optimist fuelled entirely by

as the over-zealous Grasso. It's his

-> Walk the Talk isn’t a comedy -

door to Claire, small being the

self-help manuals and 'Follow Your

first lead role in a feature, and while it

Barrett has never been one for

operative word - Otto spends the

Dream'-type seminars. His life is

must be said his performance doesn't

overplaying gags. The gaudier

majority of her scenes partially hidden

turned around when he meets Nikki

roam too far from the beaten track -

characters are left to their own

behind a fence, a la the neighbour in

Raye, the has-been nightclub singer

Coco can see the finish line and works

devices and our leads move from one

Home Improvement.

who, in all truth, never-was. Struck by

doggedly towards it - there is no sign

morally bankrupt moment to the next,

-> While it's possible to say Zemeckis

a 'calling', Grasso decides to reinvent

of the goonish, smart-arsed Con,

redeeming themselves only through

tries to cover a little too many genres

himself as a talent manager and

suggesting this young actor may have

their naive world-view and determination to succeed. It's a slow,

in the time provided, he's still

catapult Nikki to stardom. He'll do

more to give.

managed to hold audience attention

whatever it takes to get her there...

-> Of course, his supporting cast are

dawdling film, just taking its time to

with a slow-burning, twisting story

whether it means exploiting his long-

exemplary. Sacha Horler is reliably

tell a very basic story in a clear and

that, when all is said and done, gives a

suffering paraplegic girlfriend Bonita -

excellent as the wheelchair-bound

pleasant fashion. Not at all unlike

thoroughly decent scare.

or even breaking the law.

Bonita, and there are some wonderful

Queensland itself.


-> While Barrett and co apparently

cameos from Jon English, 'Baby' John



Isaac Hayes’ original music has not been modified or updated and lives on here in full, glorious, twanging splendour. How can you resist?








Dangerous waters: remake territory. Especially when you head

(in an enjoyable extended cameo). -> His nephew, the Shaft of the title is

back to the 70s for your source

played by Samuel L Jackson with such

material. Things have altered a lot

gusto and unrestrained delight you

since then and unless you’re using

can't help but imagine back in 1971

those changes for some good old

the 23-year-old megastar-to-be sat in

post-modern chuckles at the

a darkened cinema writhing and

original’s expense, a la The Brady

grimacing while softly crooning to

Bunch movies, you can easily find

himself, "It should have been me..."

European thrillers of some twenty

yourself bogged down in a mess of

Now, as luck would have it Singleton

years earlier [The French Connection

economy - cops that go from Juicy

political, sexual and cultural no-nos.

has given him that chance and boy, he

say), Singleton takes the best bits of

Jonathans to very bad apples on the

And then, of course, there’s the

doesn't waste a moment of it. Jackson

the previous era and buffs them up a

toss of a coin and less than fully-

whole question of why you’re even

is so cool the frame nearly freezes

bit. Check those natty diagonal dagger

fleshed roles for the supporting

doing a remake in the first place.

over. His Shaft is still attired in the de

effect dissolves or the way we plunge

players. Which brings us to Toni

rig u e u rturtle neck, but Roundtree's

straight into the action with no

Collette - well the "with" credit at

has skated clean over most of the

wide-lapelled brown leather coat has

messing. Despite running out of steam

the head should alert you to the fact that she isn’t going to be around

Thankfully director John Singleton

-> OK, there are downsides to the

pitfalls and come up with a Shaft for

given way to Armani, a seriously sexy

in the latter stages Singleton's tight

2000 that is downright entertaining.

bald head and shades.

direction means it all rattles along

much. But as the witness with the

In fact - taking a deep breath - here

-> And “the ladies” ? Singleton smartly

really well and doesn't waste any time

power to send Wade down for the

comes the heresy: in many ways Shaft

gets all that over with in the opening

on peripherals.

murder of a young African American

2000 beats the (chequered] pants off

credits, where undulating expanses of

-> This is very economical story­

man, she makes the most of her

Shaft 1971 (directed by Gordon Parks],

flesh tell us all we need to know of

telling: sparse dialogue is

limited screen time to put the

First Singleton has wisely decided to

Shaft's appropriate surname, without

accompanied by plenty of car chases,

haunted fear from The Sixth Sense

go the sequel route rather than the

getting in the way of the rest of the

shoot-outs and some simply delicious

to very good use once again.

straightforward remake.

plot or disappearing into the murky

villain acting from Jeffrey Wright

-> Convinced yet? Well, here's the

-> In his film the original John Shaft is

depths of the very dodgy sexual

(as the neighbourhood dealer Peoples

clincher - Isaac Hayes' original

still doing his private investigator

politics of Shaft 1971.

Hernandez) and Christian Bale

music has not been modified or

schtick, still loving "the ladies" (to be

-> But style-wise the film is

(reprising his yuppie scum from

updated and lives on here in full, glorious, twanging splendour. How

pronounced in sonorous and

wonderfully old-fashioned; in much

American Psycho, but here giving

suggestive Barry White tones) and

the same way John Frankenheimer's

him a violently racist edge as Walter

can you resist?

still played by Richard Roundtree

Ronin (1998) felt like one of his

Wade Jr).



same name, it follows the path of a deranged psycho who kills virgins. Thankfully a large portion of the local high school - aptly named George Washington High School (that President had a penchant for cherries) - are ripe for the picking. Lead virgin Jody Marken is played by the fresh-faced Brittany Murphy (note this name - Murphy is a cult celebrity in the making). Jody is the daughter of town Sheriff Brent Marken, who Michael Biehn portrays as a very nervy, odd, beady-eyed man. -> As more virgins are savagely killed and an attempt is made on Jody, the plot unravels to reveal a buried town secret that comes - quite literally back to haunt the place. -> As predictable as this story sounds, Wright gives the genre a major twist: Cherry Falls is completely character driven. Where the lead teens in Scream ran around wearing Gucci, and those in / Know What You Did DIRECTOR

Last Summer professed that it was


"all about the hair", Cherry Falls is



laden with very real kids. Except most


are virgins.







ready to go along with the joke, revel in everyone else’s insanity, you’re

Cherry Falls

undertone here, it’s also very much

quickly slapped with glimpses of the dark side inherent in this state of being. This toying with clichés occurs on several levels. You've got Mel Gibson playing FBI special agent Skinner all deadpan. His character's got lots of quirks too. And they should all be




/T" Wim Wenders films are

the gags fall intentionally flat. After

occasionally powerful enough to

all, Skinner is as genuinely deranged

change the way people view their

and pathetic as the rest of them.

world. I can provide a couple of

This isn't to say The Million Dollar

the overtone. While the purest loins in town are out giving it up to save themselves from harm, the parents aren’t quite as open with their desires.


The sexual frustration is evident


between Jody's boyfriend Kenny



(Gabriel Mann) and her mother Marge


(Candy Clark); the Sheriff and his

funny - like the neck brace he wears throughout and the reason for it - but

-> Sexual tension is not only the




Deputy, Mina; school teacher Leonard Marliston (Jay Mohr) and Jody; Marge and Jody's friend, Sandy; and most disturbingly, Jody and her Sheriff father.

-> In the opening scene of Cherry

-> Thing is, none of the gazes,

friends’ mobile numbers if you won’t

Hotel isn’t a warm film. There are lots

Falls, there's a sustained shot of the

uncomfortable moments or harboured

take my word for it.

of salutes to the human spirit

first victim's car number plate. It

feelings go anywhere. Instead, they're framed in close-up moments that

-> But Wenders always makes his

throughout, just they're never followed

reads: Supa Nova.

audience work hard for its rewards.

through to a positive conclusion.

-> This is Australian director Geoffrey

resemble the icky, eerie

Who could ever forget his five-hour

In among all this, there's a murder

Wright's cheeky reference to what

cinematography of Twin Peaks.

director's cut of Until The End Of The

mystery to sort out, an art fraud to

should have been his American film

-> Left untouched, you imagine

World [ 1993)? For that matter, who

pull off. And there are other things to

debut. But Wright was sacked from

Wright's novel approach to the teen-

actually bothered seeing it?

contemplate too. Such as how does

the production of Supernova a week

slasher genre would have been

His art may often look all free-form

the lead character Tom Tom (the

before filming was due to begin,

completely compelling. But Hollywood

and cruisey, consciously breathtaking

aforementioned skateboarding

following disagreements with studio

pipped him at the post and Cherry

in its composition and flow, but

simpleton, energetically played by

executives over cast and script.

Falls copped more than a few

Wenders has his world on a tight

Jeremy Davies) manage to deliver the

-> So with that first US attempt

savage edits.

string, continually jerking it around,

film's narration in such a considered

forfeited, Cherry Falls might have

-> Most of the death scenes were left

very mindful about letting anyone ever

and educated tone?

represented a foreign director coming

on the cutting room floor. Reportedly,

land near a comfort zone.

The story behind The Million Dollar

to terms with the dollar-driven

at least five minutes was trimmed

Everything in The Million Dollar Hotel

Hotel was co-authored by Bono, and

Hollywood system. Wright even adopts

from just one death sequence. And

is set significantly off-kilter from the

his band's music is one of the stars of

a stock-standard formula to further

you can tell. Not only is the build-up

very start, and the whole thing bets

the film, alongside Milla Jovovich, who

suggest he's accepted this new work

big on quirk.

plays Eloise (the object of Tom Tom's

ethic. But then he goes on and

wasted but the edit points are jarringly obvious.

First, there’s the cast of characters: A

earthly desires).

mounts a rather subtle offensive

-> To Wright's credit, this super­

virtual send-up of the troupe from

You get the feeling that, in his head,

from inside this enemy line. And with

black comedy horror flick delves into

Once Flew Over A Cuckoo's Nest, right

Bono envisioned The Million Dollar

some success.

the human condition more than any

down to the extra-large American

Hotel much in the same mould as one

-> On the surface, Cherry Falls -

recent counterpart. But after losing

Indian. Several border on cliché

of those tragi-euphoric anthems that

Wright's first feature since the awful

control of the film during editing, it

(there’s a simpleton skateboarder,

have become U2's stock-in-trade. But

Metal Skin, and eight years on from

never quite manages to hit a

another bloke is convinced he was in

this is not a love song. It’s a full-

his brilliant Romper Stomper - is a

crescendo, so all that character

the Beatles and is still waiting for his

length American feature film, and not

straight-up teen-slasher flick. Set in a

development ultimately leads you

royalties, etc). But just when you get

a great one at that. •

small, quiet American town of the

nowhere. •


d in o s c a t e n a

rachel new m an

f u >j





EB jjr ? _

_ pps —


jpmtiL 5 1





D e c e m b e r 2000" S p e c ia l fe a tu re s




Cinema Papers goes into the end of 2000 and opens 2001 with the most extensive coverage of the new media juggernaut.


Issue 136, due out in December, surveys the developments to date in new media and identifies the key Australian and overseas players in research and development. Th^Jissues facing the film industry are canvassed, with I



* * 'J l

''. f




commentary on the impact of development on the broad spectrum for film


publicists and designers.


Australia’s Centenary of Federation will be commemorated in Victoria with a series of celebrations including the Federation Festival from 9to 27 May

2001. A short film

competition and showcase will be held as part of the Festival and entries are now invited from interested persons or teams. Submitted films must in some respect deal with indigenous-white rela­ tions in Australia. Entries should be submitted on PAL VHS and have a duration of ten minutes or less (except in unusual circumstances). Approximately ten films will be selected by an industry panel for a public screening in Melbourne during the Federation Festival. The winning person or team, to be announced following the screening, will receive professional development opportunities in the area of filmmaking or associated fields. Entries should be submitted by 31 March

2001. For further information and

application forms, contact Vallejo Gantner at the Melbourne Festival: Telephone ( 03)

9662 4242

Facsimile (03)

9663 4141

Email v.gantner@melbournefestival or visit our website at ww w.m elbournefestival.com .au

Centenary of Federation

A pplication s are invited fo r D igital Fast-Track, an exciting free nine day practical course fo r directors, w riters and producers to develop th eir skills in new interactive m edia at O P E N C hannel. Five participants w ill be selected to develop a one m inute piece each. This O P E N C hannel initiative w ill take place from D ecem ber 2 until D ecem ber 10. A pp lication s close on O cto b er 31. For fu rth er inform ation please co ntact C athy Jo hnstone at O P E N C hannel, em ail cathyj@ o pen ch ann el.o rg .au or phone 03 9419 5111 P ro d u c e d w ith th e a s s is ta n c e o f C in e m e d ia 's D igita l M ed ia F u n d




LONDE lit iL


\ JneJnuut m


. .. ' - A* • pt


columns from both magazines

superbly, Action/Spectacle Cinema,

theme park ride simulators.

irrelevant. When you’re the Editor in

chronicles today's Hollywood - its

A Sight and Sound Reader, edited by

-> As Douglas Trumbull notes,

Chief of the film trade bible, Variety,

studios, creators and celebrities. And

Jose Arroyo [bfi Publishing, $19.95]

sometimes action cinema "makes no

people have to read you. Fortunately,

Hollywood isn't

weakens your case. It makes no

sense, but it looks great." Same with

Bart has a clean, informative style -

always pretty.

bones about the attractions and

this book. Even when the writing's iffy,

and he thankfully abandons the

-> Bart does Hollywood over with just

different landscape of today’s cinema.

the concept is grand. And that is, after

arsenal of “Variety-speak” now

the right amount of reverence, history

-> Why else would the British Film

all, spectacle cinema. A top read.

slavishly aped by some of Australia’s

and knowledge of the town's inner

Institute's publishing arm bother with

Peter Bart’s writing style is

more unoriginal writers. His ideas

workings, leaving the reader thinking

such twaddle as a critique of the

-> As is Lester Friedman’s Bonnie

and knowledge have import and he

they're in on the secrets without

Schwarzenegger canon? Simply

and Clyde, (bfi Publishing, $19.95).

doesn’t need to jazz them up with

feeling they're reading a poseur.

because big budget cinema has

I don’t know whether the BFI Film

fashionable words.

-> He says celebrity ''is a business

reached a critical mass without there

Classics series is improving, or by

that I fail to find very interesting. It's

being a critical capacity for it.

reading more they’re better

Times journalist and studio executive

also one that already is seriously

-> Film analysis, dealing in motif,

contextualised, but the last few, Taxi

during the tempestuous 70s, Bart has

getting in the way of a process that I

montage and mise en scene, is really

Driver, Titanic and now this, have

been a wonderfully readable

respect - making good movies."

too serious to be able to assess

been wonderful. Friedman's analysis

columnist for Variety and GQ

-> By covering American cinema so

visceral, vacuous spectacle. How often

of the film that holds its own among

magazines for years. Yet somehow it

well, Bart w ill depress those with the

have you thought to yourself, if only

the seminal 70s American cinema (and

didn’t translate to his 1998 book, The

same view about making good

that critic would get their hand off it

made critic Pauline Kael) is a more

Gross, which lacked the clout of his

movies. Film purists must lament the

and get into it?

linear, factual analysis than others in

columns. The Gross was a cool

fact the best chroniclers of today's

-> So it's a real hoot, and pretty

the series. And this style works, giving

Following stints as a New York

concept, tracking the stories behind

Hollywood are either business-centric

subversive, reading academics poring

the film a contemporary and historical

the US blockbusters of 1998, but

(Bart) or archly cynical [Premiere's

over dross like TW/sferwith vigour.

context worthy of its subject while

became only an interesting forum

pseudonymous Libby Gelman-

And the writing is apt for the new,

simultaneously grounding Friedman's

looking for substance.

Waxler). But isn't this what movies

current cinema - funky and alive.


deserve these days?

Witness J. Jacob name-dropping

Who Killed Hollywood...and Put

electro band Orbital and Jean-Luc

the Tarnish on Tinseltown?

Blonde A Novel by Joyce Carol

(Renaissance Books, $54.80) is a far

-> If you don’t accept that Bart

Godard in an appreciation of

Oates (Fourth Estate $28) is not

better work. This collection of his

chronicles the new Hollywood

Arnie. There's even an analysis of

worthy of its classic subject, Marilyn


N ic k

H o rn b y H igo h F id e lityJ


Monroe. Admittedly, I was uppity

novel is just too implausible on so

about this concept even before

many levels. Sure, it's fiction but it

picking it up. Blonde is another

tries to create it's own alternative

one of those bogus biographies

reality. It didn’t work for me. God

that presume to tell more about

knows how it w ill work on screen.

its subject by creating fictions around it. A film version of the novel is currently in production in

Of course, there are novels worth adapting for the screen. Both The


Virgin Suicides (by Jeffrey Eugenides,

-> Not until ploughing through

Penguin, $19.95] and High Fidelity [by

Blonde though - and it helps to have

Nick Hornby, Indigo Paperbacks,

a sharp metal instrument to get

$18.50] deserved adaptation,

through its 600 plus pages - did a

although the former was a very

greater reality hit. There is now a

unlikely choice by Sofia Coppola.

whole generation of American

-> As both films were released, the

writers, from Norman Mailer to Philip

tie-in book for High Fidelity was re­

Roth and many in between, who have

published and a new jacket was

the cred and ego to produce towering

slapped on Eugenides' paperback.

works but no longer the goods. They

Only two things need to be said about

all, including Oates, need to procure

both. Firstly, both are snappy,

gutsy editors, self-censorship and

engrossing reads, with Eugenides

humility before they become

well in control of language and

essential again.

emotion, while Hornby is well in

In attempting to turn Blonde into some sort of mystery, Oates has

control of pop culture and readable reminisces. Secondly, Coppola and

fallen into the trap of trying to be

High Fidelity's Stephen Frears both

James Ellroy. Even her style can

did sterling jobs in bringing to screen

wander into Ellroy's pithy territory.

these two very different worlds but

Ultimately, this bloated, unlikely

very sim ilar novels. • MICHAEL BODEY


unce upon a i ime


ca 5 cA D uyS

r a u iiy




When we first see 13-year-old Stevie, he’s babbling into a video camera. In the next shot, we see there’s a noose round his neck. He doesn’t go through with it though - he's just bored, too smart for his own good, and a tiny bit hyper. When a kid like this finds a huge handgun in his mother’s closet* there’s bound to be trouble.


-> The hardest-working man in Hong

Director Terry Winsor's CV comprises a handful of TV productions, and Essex Boys is his cinematic debut. Ironically, but perhaps not surprisingly, it feels like a project better suited to the small screen. Still, having missed out on a theatrical release in Australia, the sm all screen is exactly where we’ll be seeing it.

Kong cinema, Tsui Hark, has produced

-> Billy (Charlie Creed-Miles), a mini­

-> Viewers may experience some déjàvu during the opening scenes of this film , in which neatly-coiffured advertising man Buck McKay (Aaron Eckhart) takes in his 28-year-old autistic sister Molly (Elisabeth Shue) and finds his cosy life turned insideout. The feeling of a Rain Man remake subsides, however, when Molly is taken into a radical treatment program and a new woman starts to emerge.

and sometimes directed five previous

cab driver on the mean streets of

->Molly contains potentially

hard-hitting commentary on the state

films in the Once Upon a Time in

Essex, starts doing 'special jobs’ for

fascinating subject matter, but it’s

of the nation. The bank siege that

China series, based on the true story

local hard man Jason Locke (Seann

also highly prone to being saccharined

ensues gives his characters plenty of

of Wong Fei-Hung, a 19th century folk

Bean), and quickly finds himself in a

to death, and that’s unfortunately what

time to spiel through his ideas on

Hero. In this sixth instalment, directed

nest of vipers. Slipping into a life Of

happens here. Instead of focusing on

guns, kids, violence arid the media.

by Sammo Hung (another industry

crime is too easy, but slipping out is a

Molly’s process of transformation, the

Maybe he felt this was the only way to

institution], Wong (Jet Li] and his

far trickier business. Essex Boys

film leaps abruptly from Before to

avoid the trap of just making another

entourage are placed amid the myriad

aspires to follow in the footsteps of

After, and this moment of unreality

violent movie, rather than making a

dangers of the Wild West, which in this

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,

really undermines everything that

statement about them. Despite a good

case have mostly to do with the

but doésn’t quite manage the same

follows. If I’d seen it in the cinema, I’d-

feel for incidental dialogue, especially

-> As one after another of Hong Kong's action-movie stars and directors take up new careers in Hollywood (with, so far, mixed success), this hybrid of classic American western and relentless kung-fu action flick is a curious example of what can happen when two well-defined genres are brought together.

-> Ash (he works under a single name) clearly intended Pups to be a

bigoted locals. Of course, where

level of merry mania. There 7s plenty

have thought the projectionist skipped

between the young leads, this

there's cowboys, there’s, usually

of double-crossing though, and the

a reel. The predictable and implausible

haranguing quality becomes slightly

Indians, and Wong also gets to live

elements of class conflict and sexual

screenplay makes it almost impossible

wearing. The most effective

among them for a while and wreak

infidelities tangled into the web add to

for Shue to fully realise her role, and

observations are made through action

havoc on their enemies.

the intrigue. Even between the

the supporting characters drifting

rather than words.

-> But let’s not forget what we’re

beatings, the acid-throwing and the gunfights, there’s quite a lot going on.

mysteriously in and out of the story

The film’s major assets are the two

don’t help much either.

young actors: Van Hoy overcomes the

about here - action. A conventional western spends considerable time building tensibn with long, leisurely

' -$• Sean Bean is an old hand at this sort of role, while Alex Kingston, as

The big mystery here is, what got John

limitations of the script-to present a

Duigan interested in such flawed

credible portrayal of youth gone

shots and pregnant pauses, but here

his wife, presents a very different face

material? As recently as 1997, in his

wrong, and Mischa Barton provides

everything seems compressed.

to her virtuous ER persona. Charlie

previous film Lawn Dogs, his

very capable backup as his girlfriend

Dialogue is always brisk, whether in

Creed-Miles seems a bit unsure just

sensitivity to the quirks of outsider

Rocky. They show up the old hands too

English or Cantonese (both are

how much of a tough he’s supposed to

personalities, and considered interplay

- while it seems that FBI man Dan

subtitled), rushing us from one

be. All in all, this is very watchable

•of çharactér and landscapè, were

Bender is supposed to be hard-bitten,

gravity-defying, bone-cracking


evident. In Molly, every interesting _

poor Burt Reynolds just looks bored.

sequence to the Jiext. To the

anglé is ground down, until there’s

unaccustomed, this can get a bit

nothing left but well-worn homilies.

exhausting, but it does make for strangely compelling entertainment. [481 CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000

Snow Falling on Cedars

their dreams in the days prior to bluescreen. There is also an extensive discussion with John Williams (the


musical conductor) who arguably


created the most memorable musical


accompaniment for film.


The Bone Collector



Snow Falling on Cedars is based on


David Guterson’s successful novel of


the same name. It is an unconventional


love story about an anglo-saxon


American, Ishmael Chambers (Ethan

With a fantastic cast led by Roy

Hawke) and a young Japanese

Scheider and surprisingly realistic


American, Hatsue (Youki Kudoh) set

looking special effects (given its age),

-> The Bone Collector is a murder

against the backdrop of World War II.

Jaws remains one of the great films of

mystery about a clever detective

-> The film is an amalgamation of

its genre.

(Denzel Washington) who becomes a

flashbacks but is set six years after

-> Jaws has an extensive DVD special

quadriplegic while investigating a

the war in a small fishing village in

features section including trivia games

case. Bedridden and without hope, he

which Hatsue's Japanese husband is

and screensavers: although

is asked to advise on a case and sees

the accused in a murder trial.

screensavers are only available for

potential in a young cop Amelia

Boasting beautiful cinematography

PCs. There is a fascinating

(Angelina Jolie), who plays a distinct

and strong direction from Scott Hicks

documentary featuring virtually

character from her off-the-wall parts

[Shine], Snow Falling on Cedars is

everyone involved in producing the

in Girl Interrupted and Gone in Sixty

ultimately a pedestrian courtroom

film. Using old footage, overlapped



with recent interviews, the

-> The Bone Collector is a step above

-> The DVD’s bonus matter includes

documentary serves as a retrospective

the usual murder mysteries, mainly

look at the making of Jaws and the

due to the performances and the

an essay-style explanation of the history of the incarceration of Japanese in the US, America's involvement in WWII and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour. -> The bonus section also includes a discussion of the book with author, and co-producer of the film, Guterson who goes into depth about the research conducted for the book




(which took 10 years to write). There is also an interesting discussion by

Released on DVD to mark its 25th

effects it has had on the director,

direction by Phillip Noyce.

actors and producers. Perhaps the

-> The bonus section features a

only thing scarier than the shark is

fascinating and informative discussion

Spielberg's 70s haircut.

with the knowledgeable Noyce who

-> The documentary details the knife-

discusses the importance of mentors

edge approach that the young

and how this relates to his own life

Spielberg took in order to shoot the

and career. He explains the continual

shark scenes entirely at sea. It also

theme of resurrection underlying his

highlights the risk he took in using an

films and tells intriguing tales of the

expensive, time-consuming

sources of his inspiration.

mechanical shark.

-> Noyce also discusses in detail how he shoots, casts and researches

Guterson, Hicks and screenwriter Ron

anniversary, Jaws still stands up as

-> The extra features section also

Bass of the transition from novel to

one of the all-time scary ‘monster’

contains original storyboards and

projects, and the use of camera in

film, highlighting the difference

films. For anyone living under a rock

discussions with Spielberg, Peter

capturing mood and emotion.

between the mediums.

for the past quarter of a century,

Benchley (screenwriter and writer of

The extra features included in the

Jaws is the story of an enormous

the original novel), and co­

DVD presentation w ill prove extremely

presentation promises much but

shark that terrorises a small coastal

screenwriter Carl Gottlieb about the

engaging for anybody remotely

delivers little.

town and its summer holiday-makers.

problems associated with realising

interested in film. •

Much like the film itself the DVD




Shane McKechnie

Specialist Courier & Freight Services to the Film & Television Industry •

L o c a l • In te r s ta te • In t e r n a t io n a l (A ir, R o a d , S e a , R a il) • T r u c k H ir e , C o n t a in e r H ir e • C u s t o m s C le a r a n c e • P a c k in g , C r a t in g & S to r a g e • C a r n e ts • O n S ite C o -o r d in a tio n & A f t e r H o u r s A s s is t a n c e


check out more than 400,000 items in the National Collection on-line

w w w . screensou na .qov. a u « /



acknowledges the glamour of feature film production, “ but the reality is most of Australia's export income comes from TV, by miles” . He says a strong film industry

New President for SPAA

requires a strong TV industry, but the reverse is not necessarily true. -> At SPAA 2000, in Sydney from Novem­ ber 16-18, an estimated 800 members of the screen industry w ill gather at the Hilton Hotel. -> Murray’s contribution to the confer­

Parallel importing, tax incentives for film investment, and intellectual property rights are the key issues facing local screen producers; that’s according to the incoming president of the Australian Screen Producers’ Association (SPAA), independent producer Nick Murray.

ence's agenda has been limited, because he was not officially appointed until last month but, as in 1999, he w ill chair some panel discussions. While a session has not been dedicated to the current parallel importation threat faced by the local film industry, Murray says the issue looms large for producers.

-> In September Murray took over from producer Tom Jeffrey, and he follows his

-> Addressing the issue of tax incentives, Murray says, “ it remains to be seen

former Artists Services boss, Steve Vizard, into the job of heading up SPAA, which

what the FLICs (Film Licence Investment Companies) are actually doing” . He

boasts between 250 and 300 members.

says the scheme has so far not been a success and now "the industry needs

-> Murray is managing director of Jigsaw productions. Established at the end of

some certainty as to what's going to happen” .

1998, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Jigsaw has produced two series of

-> Intellectual property rights were discussed at SPAA 1999 and w ill be on the

O'Loghlin on Saturday Night, a business education series for The Business Skills

agenda for 2000. Murray says that for producers the issue is two-sided: they need

Channel on cable TV, plus two Sydney Comedy Festival specials. The company is

to know their rights when dealing with the TV networks, plus their rights when

currently seeking capital for its first foray into feature film production.

negotiating with directors.

-> Murray started his career in network television, before joining Artists Services

-> Murray adds that the influx in recent years of offshore TVCs shooting in Aus­

as the business affairs manager. He later set up thecomedychannel, before

tralia must be nurtured, because the benefits flow through the entire industry.

resigning to launch Jigsaw in 1998.

SPAA’s members are vigorous competitors for television space and feature film

-> He has long been a critic of the Australian feature film culture, which he sees

funding. Murray says that as the competition increases, producers are less likely

as geared towards producing art films that "no-one wants to see” . He promises

to discuss issues, which in turn weakens the sector. "Part of what SPAA offers is

Jigsaw's first film w ill be commercially driven.

advocacy with the government and semi-government bodies (but) it's also worth

-> Though the majority of Murray's experience has been in the TV sector, he

bringing the industry together.” »

As the Australian film industry enters its second generation of filmmaking and television renaissance we are conscious of the need to look forward to future successes and assess new ways of doing business in the changing world economy. In keeping with this objective, and aimed at both the emerging and experienced producer, the chosen theme for this year’s SPAA 2000 conference is A New Way Forward. . ■ _ ' Crucial issues facing producers today will be canvassed in longer sessions involving greater delegate participation. These include: ■ broadening the funding base p building a business in the entertainment economy ■ the creative producer ■ new marketing - new media ■ uncovering the truth about domestic distribution ■ playing the casting game ■ maximising relationships and creating strategic partnerships

We are also pleased to announce that the last day of the conference (Saturday, 18 November) will coincide with the first day of the Australian Writers’ Guild Conference, an initiative aimed at strengthening the working relationship between writers and producers and, ultimately, improving the quality of the finished product. / The conference has moved to the Hilton Hotel in Pitt St, Sydney. As a conference venue with in-house accommodation, we are confident this will allow delegates to maximise opportunities to network, conduct business and socialise all under one roof. Almost 800 delegates attended last year’s conference, including film, television, documentary and television commercial producers, broadcasters^ post production experts, financiers, directors, writers, film lawyers, government organisations and local and international distribution and acquisition executives. As in previous years, over 60 percent were active in film, television or documentary and video production. SPAA is committed to providing a stimulating and productive industry conference that is a genuine forum for business and creativeexchange.



Desperately seeking an audience You’ve made the short film, now you need an audience. Em m a S lo le y has some advice for entering the short film festival realm. Short film festivals provide new and established filmmakers with a valuable forum for getting their product noticed but for first-time filmmakers especially, entering competitions can be a bewildering process. The number of festivals worldwide is growing and with each festival offering - or requiring - different things it can be difficult to know where to start. -> One of the most significant changes to short film festivals over the years has been the availability of

above: Director Michael Frank puts Sarah Berger through Purgatory. left: Catherine Tysoe lapsing time in Michael Frank’s Autist.

the internet. While prospective festival entrants once had to fax or phone around the world for information about festivals, a vast array of information is now available online, considerably reducing the expense

and can provide invaluable advice on what works


and time involved in researching and entering.

and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t.

With so many festivals around knowing which one is

short film industry is thriving, with new Australian


selected is difficult but again it comes down to

success stories popping up all the time. Success on

The wisdom on how to market short films varies but

research. Most festival web sites will state their entry

the circuit requires a high level of organisation, with

it's agreed filmmakers should have some kind of

criteria and conditions so finding the appropriate one

an emphasis on marketing and circulating the films

strategy in place. Budgeting is paramount and

requires reading all the fine print. Certainly genre is a

for optimum exposure. There can be many benefits

should take into account the cost of producing the

consideration and many festivals specialise in

to entering short films into festivals, not the least of

film plus the cost of entering festivals (which

particular genres or have sub categories.

which is the prospect of having your film seen by as

includes freight and administration).

large an audience as possible. The key is to form a

-> Australian filmmaker Michael Frank (whose

paramount, saying, "You've probably got about two

strategy and take advantage of the resources

shorts Purgatory, In Memory of Laura, and Auteur

years to exploit the film and it's not something you

available, both on the internet and through film

have been successful locally and abroad] says "I find

should rush into. It really is a matter of doing the hard

bodies such as the AFC.

many short filmmakers spend a fortune completing

work of finding the festivals that will lead to bigger

going to give your film the best chance of being

-> The general consensus seems to be that the

Richards sees choosing which festivals to target as

their projects but don’t bother to make the effort to

festivals". And if you do get selected he advises, "You


submit them to anything but the most obvious

should hype the hell out of it, to attract the people who

The internet is the most comprehensive resource

festivals. I'm the opposite - I make cheap films but

go to festivals” . Frank has a slightly different approach;

available for finding out about and entering short

put most of the money into submissions and

"I send them to everything. This usually takes a couple

film festivals. The Australian Film Commission's

marketing” .

of years and a lot of money but it's worth it.”

web site contains plenty of useful links to festivals

-> The AFC offers an excellent guide, Marketing

-> Richards adds “ (filmmakers) really need to go

and other film-related areas, while filmfests.com

Short Films Internationally, which advises films

beyond Australia to look at international festivals as a

provides a complete rundown of festivals both in

should be “ under 15 minutes in length, 35mm and

tool to get both local publicity and international

Australia and overseas. Also the AFC can assist in

distinguished by conceptual boldness and strength

exposure” . It is considered wise to enter both

accessing some of the several publications

of vision”. The Young Filmmakers fund Marketing

Australian and international festivals; although the

dedicated to festivals.

Guide, available from the NSW Film and Television

locals ones may be smaller and lower-profile, they

-> Tim Richards, the founder of filmfests.com, is

Office, also contains great advice on marketing and

also tend to be made up of Australian productions

understandably a big fan of the net for sourcing

selling short films.

therefore making the chances of being selected

festival info and he advises filmmakers to "sit down INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALS

with a coffee and trawl through it" to find the

...... ! ■

festivals that will most suit their needs. Richards’ site offers alphabetical listings of festivals with comprehensive information on each, as well as web site links (containing online entry forms). -> There are plenty of other online directories [see below], which present information in various ways; some list festivals in alphabetical order, some by country or region and others by searchable database. -> Richards believes "people are taking advantage of technology to get their films out there” , which in turn is making it easier and more accessible for filmmakers to get the information they need. “Another good option is to network with other filmmakers, find out what they’re doing," he says. In his experience, established filmmakers are more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge [52] CINEMA PAPERS.OCTOBER.NOVEMBER.2000

-> Bilbao International Festival

of Documentary & Short Films (Spain)

Deadline: September Screening: November www.fic-bilbao.com • -> British Short Film Festival (UK) Deadline: June Screening: September http://www.britishshortfilmfest.com -> Chilean International

Short Film Festival (Chile) Deadline: October Screening: February www.arcos.cl/festival -> Clermont-Ferraud Short Film

Festival (France).

Deadline: October c'Screening: February http://www.clermont-filmfest.com

-> Cork Film Festival (Ireland) Deadline: July Screening: October www.corkfilmfest.drg/ciff/ -> Sao Paulo International Short

Film Festival (Brazil)

Deadline: May Screening: August http://www.kinoforum.org/shorts

-> Tampere International Short Film Festival (Finland) Deadline: December Screening: March http://www.tampere.fi/festival/film

-> Uppsala Short Film Festival (Sweden) Deadline: July Screening: October www.shortfilmfestival.com

-> Oberhausen Short Film Festival (Germany) -> Hamburg Short Film Festival Deadline: January (Germany) Screening: May http://www.kurzfilmtage.de

-> Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (US) Deadline: June Screening: August http://www.psfilmfest.org

Deadline: March Screening: May http://www.shortfilm.com -> Aspen Shorts Fest (US) Deadline: Dec/Jan Screening: April http://www.aspenfilm.org



greater. There are plenty of quality Australian festivals and as evidenced by past Tropfest winners, the ensuing publicity can be extensive. While it's tempting to restrict your film to the high

festival, it’s common for other festivals to invite the

-> Filmfests http://www.filmfests.com

film to screen at th e irs free of charge.

-> 1World International Film Festivals

-> There are plenty of encouraging examples of local


profile international festivals like Cannes, Berlin and

-> Similarly, once a film has been selected by one

-> Filmscouts

filmmakers who have had well-received short films.

Sundance, anecdotal evidence suggests the chances


Adam Elliott, with his widely acclaimed (and

of being selected cold are pretty slim. Says Frank, "I

-> Film Dependent Festival Guide

awarded) animated shorts Uncle, Cousin and


focus mainly on Europe and Canada and usually

Inside film Online

Brother, producer Kath Shelper, who has produced

avoid the US festivals for about a year until the film


three AFC funded films; Gregory Godhard, whose

picks up a few screenings elsewhere. The Americans

-> Screen Network Australia

latest short Mind's Eye has screened at over 30


are only interested in films with hype and awards". -> As well as using the world wide web for research, exhibiting films. See the feature in Cinema Papers



your film on the web won't jeopardise your chances of entering your film elsewhere. (Many festivals, particularly American ones, have very strict

international festivals; and Rob Luketic, whose short

AFC http://www.afc.gov.au

it is also beginning to be a platform in itself for issue 134 and note it pays to check that launching

~— *

150 William St Woolloomooloo Nsw 2011 > Ph: 02 9321 6444 Email: marketingOafc.gey.au

Level 2,120 Clarendon St Southbank VIC 3006 Ph: 03 9279 3400 Email: infoOmelb.afc.gov.au

been screened, some require first screening rights).

^CUTTING COSTS/FUNDING There is not a great deal of funding available locally

-> Brisbane Level 15,111 George St QLD 4000 Ph: 0732244114 Email: ojohnstonOpftc.com.au

to assist filmmakers in entering festivals, although various grants can include a marketing component.

with Miramax (which has not yet borne fruit). -> Of course there are the bad luck cases as well, like the anecdote from a local email newsletter which described someone entering an Irish film festival, paying the entry fee and having the film rejected, only to realise that the festival was

Young Filmmakers

guidelines on when and where your film can have

Titsiana Booberini helped secure a three film deal

By Hugh-Short Available from the NSW Film and Television Office Level 7,157 Liverpool St. Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: 02 9264 6400 Web site: http://www.fto.nsw.gov.au

specifically for Irish filmmakers. -> Frank describes "flying to Melbourne on my last pennies to attend a hyped festival which was screening my last three films. Only about 15 people turned up, half of which were my guests". He then discovered that the shorts section wasn't competitive anyway. -> Still, the majority of stories convey a sense that the short film industry is at an exciting stage with

The AFC offers travel grants, generally worth $3000, for directors and producers whose work has been

-> "If I’m just making a little experimental film", he

festivals providing short filmmakers with the

selected in competition at key international festivals.

says, "I’d prefer to spend a couple of hundred bucks

opportunity to show their work, win awards and

Frank was a recipient of an AFC travel grant when

and do it myself rather than wrangle through red

possibly even launch a successful feature film

tape” . He also suggests a good sob story can be

career. And as Tim Richards says, the bottom line

swag of awards, but his requests for production

effective: "If you tell them you’re a poor, broke

tends not to be about the money at all: “ It’s a

funding have always been rejected.

filmmaker they’ll usually waive the fees anyway".

labour of love". •

Purgatory blitzed the international circuit and won a








For all film travel


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InProduction Feature Film s ■ In p re -p ro d u c tio n THE EDGE OF THE STREAM Principal Credits Director: Geoffrey Nottage Producer: David Rapsey Scriptwriter: Geoffrey Nottage Cast Charles Tingwell, Bill Kerr, Vincent Ball Synopsis A story of redemption between three 75 year old comrades who flew together in World War II. The men were survivors of a plane crash in which four out of the seven crew died. A film about how the past haunts the future and a salute good-bye to a generation. LANTANA Principal Credits Director: Ray Lawrence Producer: Jan Chapman Scriptwriter: Andrew Bovell Synopsis Crossing the genre boundaries of thriller, mystery and romantic drama, 'Lantana' centres on a number of characters at a crucial time in their lives. They are connected by a series of coincidences involving misperception, infidelity and false assumption. The search for meaning by Leon, the main character, drives the narrative and by learning about the pain of others he comes to accept his own. LETS GET SKASE Principal Credits Director: Matthew George Producers: John Tatoulis, Colin South Scriptwriters: Matthew George, Lachy Hulme Director of photography: Justin Brickie Production designer: Ralph Moser Composer: John Clifford White Cast Alex Dimitriades, Lachy Hulme Synopsis Anti-hero Peter Dellasandro and his posse of boys become men in the process of bringing Skase back from Majorca. The forces of good overcome all obstacles to triumph over the bad guys and a lot of laughs are had on the way. MR AVERAGE Global Television Principal Credits Director: Cameron Miller Executive producer: Russell Williams Producer: Cameron Miller Scriptwriters: Roger Dunn, Cameron Miller Production manager: Ron Buch Director of photography: Alex McPhee Editor: Andrew Scott Cast Chris Franklin, Gabriel Rossi, Dave Grant, Michael Bishop. Margie Bainbridge, Eric Mueck Synopsis Scott is a builder's labourer from Melbourne's working class suburbs and a bit of a larrikin. When he is 'discovered' and is a guest star on

a prime time television soap opera, his life is thrown into chaos as he becomes an overnight success and a national star. -> MY DRUG BUDDY

Principal Credits Director: Lester Francois Producers: Shirley Walter, Lester Francois Production manager: Emma Mulholland Scriptwriter: Lester Francois Director of photography: Martyn Taylor Editor: Alfred Wells Production designer: Kate Denny Synopsis A young co-dependent couple reach the cross roads of their relationship when they can't score and realise their lives are going nowhere. TEMPE TIP GIV Productions Distribution company: Becker Group Principal Credits Director: Michael Ralph Producer: David Rowe Line producer: David Lightfoot Executive producers: Richard Brezzo, Phil Davey, Johnathon Shteinman Scriptwriter: Michael Ralph Director of photography: David Foreman ACS Editor: Adrian McQueen-Mason Composer: Sean Timms Sound recordist: Toivo Lember Synopsis Everyone dreams of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But you don't expect to find it in Tempe. For Max Franklin the search started in a hole in the ground of his own backyard.

■ In p ro d u ctio n THE BANK Arenafilm Pty Ltd Principal Credits Director: Robert Connolly Producer: John Maynard Scriptwriter: Robert Connolly Director of Photography: Tristan Milam Editor: Nick Meyers Planning and development Casting: Mullinars Storyboard Artist: Tam Morris Onset Crew First Assistant Director: Phil Jones Production Manager: Elisa Argenzio Production Designer: Luigi Pittorino Sound Designer: Sam Petty Cast David Wenham, Sibylla Budd, Steve Rodgers, Mitchell Butel CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES Principal Credits Director: Simon Wincer Producers: Lance Hool, Paul Hogan Co-producer: Conrad Hool Scriptwriters: Paul Hogan, Matthew Berry, Eric Abrams Director of photography: David Burr Production Designer: Les Binns


Production Crew Unit Production Managers: Conrad Hool, Greg Ricketson Onset Crew 1st Assistant Director: Bob Donaldson Wardrobe Costume Designer: Marion Boyce Cast Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski Synopsis The story follows our hero Mick Dundee, who uproots himself from the rural Australian outback to accompany his partner, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), a journalist, to bustling, trendy Los Angeles. Sue has been assigned to run the LA bureau of her father's newspaper and investigate a major story. When Mick accidentally gets caught up in her investigation, the stage is set for an extended series of comic jibes that poke fun at the Southern Californian lifestyle form an outsider's point of view. DOWN AND OUT WITH THE DOLLS Principal Credits Director: Kurt Voss Producers: Matt Hill, Nanda Rao Executive producers.- Peter Hill, Stephen Hill Scriptwriter: Kurt Voss Director of Photography: Tony Croll Editor: Mick Erausquin Production Designer: Nalini Cheriel Post production Musical Director: Howard Paar Cast Storm, Kinnie Starr, Shauna Hall Synopsis 'Down and Out With The Dolls' is the raunchy, wry and in-your-face comedic tale of the fast rise and fall of a four-piece, all girl Portland rock and roll band, 'The Paper Dolls'. ENEMIES CLOSER G.O. Films Principal Credits Director: Steven Aldridge Producer: Linda Fraser Director of photography: Mark Bliss Post production Editor: David Allan Assistant editor: Tim Lingard Cast Kirsty Wright, Jason Crewes, Ryan Moloney, Eric Oldfield, Robbie McGregor, Damen Stephenson, Tom Mason Synopsis Moving in to your own place with three of your nest mates should be fun right? Not if you move in with a serial killer! Accusations fly and no one is quite sure who they can trust. Everyone must keep their wits about them and stay alive until the police reach the house. Know thy friends close but your enemies closer. -> EQUUS - THE STORY OF THE

HORSE Mullion Creek Productions/Beyond Entertainment Principal Credits Director: Michael Caulfield Producers: Liz Butler, Michael Caulfield Scriptwriter: Michael Caulfield Director of photography: Tom Cowan

Director of photography 2nd unit: Peter Coleman Composer: Roger Mason Production Crew Production accountant: John Russell Animals Animal trainer: Evonne Chesson Synopsis The large-format docu-drama follows the destinies of three young horses who are born on the same night. -> EYE OF THE STORM Principal Credits Director: Aaron Ware Producer: Helen O'Malley Executive producer: Aaron Ware Co-producers: Krystal Pace, Joanne Grioli Associate producer: James Morgan Based on the novel titled: Events from School Yard Scriptwriter: Aaron Ware Director of photography: Aaron Ware, James Morgan Production designers: Aaron Ware, Lauren Greive Sound recordist: James Morgan Wardrobe Costume designers: Krystal Pace, Joanna Grioli Post Production Editors: Aaron Ware, James Morgan Cast Ronald Grima, Stephanie Senior, John Grima, Joanne Grioli, Logan Fewster Synopsis EYE is a raw, off the school yard 'report' about three teenagers and the struggles they face at school and at home. Bullying is the main subject as it is based on what has been seen in the school yard. The story revolves around Daryn, who after many weeks has realised he is gay but can't face it. So he goes to his best friend Bree-anna for help. Little does he know that a 'bitch' from school, Rebecca, overhears this and tells everyone at the homophobic school. FIRST MEN Principal Credits Director: Rick Idak Producer: Rick Idak Scriptwriter: Rick Idak Wardrobe Costume designer: Kashia Bylock Onset Crew Stunts: Stunts Unlimited Cast Daniel Chante, Kiran Donaldson, Sashia De Silva, Marianthe Sitzoukis Synopsis Science fiction story about eight astronauts who have lived on an alien planet for 13 years struggling to survive. N IJIN K S K I

Illumination Films and MusicArtsDance films Distribution company: Sharmill Films and WTV (US) Budget: 1.2 million Principal Credits Director: Paul Cox Producers: Paul Cox, Aanya Whitehead Executive producers: Kevin Lucas, William Marshall Scriptwriter: Paul Cox

Based on the diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky Composer: Paul Grabowsky Planning and Development Researchers: Leonie Verhoeven, Margot Wiburd Dance Consultant: Alida Chase Shooting schedule by: Aanya Whitehead Budgeted by: Aanya Whitehead Production Crew Insurer: Cinesure Completion guarantor: Film Finances Ltd Legal services: Marshalls and Dent On-set Crew Choreographers: Alida Chase, Leigh Warren Unit publicist: Catherine Lavelle Wardrobe Designer: Jilly Hickey Government Agency Investment Development: South Australian Film Corporation Production: South Australian Film Corporation, Australian Film Finance Corporation, SBS Independent Synopsis Vaslav Nijinsky was probably the greatest dancer of all time - the God of the Dance - and his 'Cahiers' (Diaries) must be one of the most extraordinary and moving literary works ever written. The film uses the words of Nijinsky, written in 1919 in St Moritz where he had retired, suffering extreme mental agony. PARADISE FOUND Principal Credits Director: Mario Andreacchio Producers: Mario Andreacchio, George Campana Scriptwriter: John Goldsworthy, Mario Andreacchio Synopsis Set in Paris and Tahiti in the 19th century, examines a slice of life of the French painter, Paul Gauguin, in his attempt to create a revolution in painting and thinking and his obsession with the questions of "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?'. -» QUEEN OF THE DAMNED Principal Credits Director: Michael Rymer Producer: Jorge Saralegui Scriptwriters: Scott Abbott, Michale Petroni, Anne Rice Cast Lena Olin, Vincent Perez, Aaliyah Synopsis Based on Anne Rice's 'Queen of the Damned' - a modern-day vampire thriller tracing the story of Lestat (last seen in 'Interview With a Vampire-) who has reinvented himself as a rock star. -> RABBIT-PROOF FENCE Jabal Films Distribution company: Ocean Films Principal Credits Director: Phillip Noyce Producers: John Winter, Phillip Noyce Co-producer.- Christine Olsen Executive producers: David Elfick, Jeremy Thomas, Kathleen McLaughlin

Associate producer: Laura Burrows Scriptwriter: Christine Olsen

Director of photography: Christopher Doyle Production designer: Roger Ford Sound recordist: Bronwyn Murphy Planning and development Casting: Christine King Casting consultants: Colin Murdoch Extras casting: Christine King, Colin Murdoch, Angela Hessom Dialogue coach: Rachel Mazar Production Crew Production manager: Julie Sims Production co-ordinator: Suzanne Mallos Production secretary: Jessica Brentnall Location managers: Mark Evans, Maude Heath Transport manager; Linda Taylor Unit manager: Will Milne Production assistant: Lucia Noyce Production runner: Chris Taylor Production accountant: Jane Smith Insurer: HW Wood Australia Pty^Btd Completion guarantor: Film Finances, Inc Legal services- Nina Stevenson Travel co-ordinator: Linda Taylor Freight co-ordinator: AusFilm Transport-Logistics Camera Crew 2nd unit DOP: Ian Jones Key Grip: Robbie Morgan Gaffer: Nick Payne Best Boy: Glen Jenkins Onset Crew 1st assistant director: Emma Schofield 2nd assistant director: Deb Antoniou 3rd assistant director: Ross Êargher Unit publicist: Emma Cooper Catering: Evangeline Feary, Steve Marcus Films Catering Runners: Lucia Noyce Art Department Art director: Laurie Faen Art department co-ordinator: Jocelyn Thomas Propsperson: Dean Sullivan Props buyer: Robert Webb Standby props: Dean Sullivan WaFdrobe Wardrobe supervisor: Ruth de la Lande Standby wardrobe: Julie Krogar Cutter: Judith Pritchard Construction Department Construction manager: John Moore Marketing International distributor: Hanway Films Publicity: Emma Cooper Cast Kenneth Branagh Synopsis Rabbit-Proof Fence tells the true story of three Australian Aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken from their outback families in 1931 to be trained as domestic servants as part of an official government policy. They escape and embark on an epic 1500 mile journey to get back home, with the authorities chasing them all the way. SUBTERANO Production company: Becker Films Distribution company: REP Films Principal Credits Director: Esben Storm Producers: Richard Becker, Barbi Taylor Scriptwriter: Esben Storm Director of photography: Graeme Wood

Production Designer: Chris Kennedy Planning and Development Casting: Ann Faye Production Crew Production Manager: Jane Sullivan Production co-ordinator: Clare Shervington Location manager: Peter Hicks On-set Crew 1st assistant director: Chris Webb Unit publicist: Amanda Huddle Art Department Art director: Scott Bird Special Effects supervisor: Peter Stubbs Wardrobe Wardrobe designer: Tess Schofield Wardrobe supervisor: Katrina Pickering Marketing Publicity: Amanda Huddle Cast Alex Dimitriades, Tasma Walton, Chris Haywood, Alison Whyte Synopsis Subterano is a virtual holographic game in which Ektoman, a God-like killer, hunts his victims through a subterranean maze.

■ In p o s t-p ro d u c tio n CUBBYHOUSE Principal Credits Director: Murray Fahey Producers: Chris Brown, David Hannay Line producer: Tom Hoffie Executive producers:; Gary Hamilton, Mikael Borglund Scriptwriters: Ian Coughlan, Murray Fahey Director of photographyJPhilip M. Cross ACS Sound: Greg Burgmann Production Crew Production designer: Sean Callinan Onset Crew Special fx make-up: Pro FX Special fx: Kevin Chisnall Art Department Art Director: Adam Head Post Production Editor: Brian Kavanagh CGI: Complete Post Cast Joshua Leonard, Belinda McClory, Amy Reti, Craig McLachlan Synopsis A family relocates from America to Australia and discovers that the house they've moved into is actually a gateway to Hell...and all of hell is about to break loose. DALKEITH Leigh Sheehan Productions Distribution company: High Point Films & TV Principal Credits Director: Leigh Sheehan Producer: John Chase Executive producer: Ruvi Hertzog Scriptwriter: Victor Kazan Director of photography: David Haskins Production designer: Ian McPherson Composer: Frank Strangio Sound recordist: Laurie Robinson Planning and development Casting: Wendy Rawady Production Crew Production manager: Pauline Barbara

Unit manager: Bevan Quelhurst Production assistant: Honie Bragg Production runners: Krista Jackson, John Jackson Production accountant: Matt Joordens Camera Crew Camera operator.- Steve Welch Focus puller: Gary Scott Clapper loader: Gary Scott Camera assistanLTalia Venn Key grip: Greg Wilson Assistant grip: Peter Mandersloot Gaffer: Darrel Stokes Best boy; John Butcher Onset Crew 1st assistant director: Wade Stevenson Boom operator: Mathew Taylor Make-up: Angela Conti Hairdresser: Krys Moore Make-up assistant: Shae Howlett Catering: Hel’s Kitchen Art Department Set dresser: Charles O'Brien Post Production Post-production supervisor: Ian Wilson Editor: Martin Fox Cast Ray Barrett, Gus Mercurio, Alan Hopgood, Esma Melville, Judy Banks Synopsis A whole new world awaits the residents of Dalkeith when they adopt a greyhound. THE ENCHANTED BILLABONG Prod. Company: TEB P/L - Imagine if Productions j D & R Productions a Distribution: Columbia Tristar Budget: 10.3 million Animated CGI feature film and 3D Imax film Principal Credits Director: David Waddington Producers: Rob McKenzie, David Waddington Executive Producer: Jack Wegman Scriptwriter: Michael Wagner Based on the original screenplay titled: The Enchanted Biltabong By: Michael Wagner, David Waddington Production designer: Wayne Bryant Editor: David Waddington Composer: Craig Bryant Sound Designer: Juliett Hill Planning and Development Casting: Bedford & Pearce Video Master by: FMTV Cast Chloe Lattanzi, Daniel Deparis, Tommy Dysart, Joan Brokenshire, Suzy Cato, Jenny Seesman, Mathew King, Rhona Rees Synopsis A boy learns to believe in an enchanted world and the characters that exist there apd in doing so he learns to believe in himself. JET SET Principal Credits Director: Jonathan Ogilvie Producer: Robert Brewer Scriptwriter: Jonathan Ogilvie Director of photography: Simon Higgins Cast Sam Atwell, Jane Borghesi, Beth Champion Synopsis A series of flight delays gives a glimpse into the lives of a group of departing passengers.

-> LA SPAGNOLA Production company: Wild Strawberries Pty Ltd Post Production: Until November

2000 Principal Credits Director: Steven Jacobs Producer: Anna-Maria Monticelli Co-producer: Philip Hearnshaw Scriptwriter: Anna-Maria Monticelli Cast Lola Marceli, Lourdes Bartolomé, Alex Dimitriades, Alice Ansara, Simon Palomares, Helen Thompson Synopsis A comical story of a Spanish mother/daughter relationship; their love, revenge, prejudice and survival in a small industrial town during 1960. MOULIN ROUGE Production company: Bazmark Productions Distribution company: Twentieth Century Fox Principal Credits Director: Baz Luhrmann Producers: Baz Luhrmann, Martin Brown, Fred Baron Scriptwriters: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce DOP: Don McAlpine Cast Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Richard Roxburgh, John Leguizamo, Garry McDonald Synopsis A young man casts aside the shackles oThis middle class society to become a writer and join the ranks of the free-living artistic underworld of Paris. TILL HUMAN VOICES WAKE US Production company: DND Productions/ Key Entertainment Investors: AFFC, Key Entertainment, Film Victoria International sales: Key Entertainment/ Tomorrow Films Australia/NZ Distribution: Globe Film Co Production Crew Director: Michael Petroni Producers: Shana Levine, Dean Murphy, Nigel Odell, David Redman, Thomas Augsberger, Matthias Emcke Executive Producers: Andrew Deane, Beau Flynn, Yoram Pelman, Stefan Simchowitz, Gareth Wiley Associate Producer.- Justin Pearce Line Producers: Nigel Odell, David RedmanNIGEL Scriptwriter: Michael Petroni Production Manager: Lucy Maclaren Director of Photography: Roger Lanser Production Designer: Ralph Moser Editor: Bill Murphy Sound: John Wilkson, Perry Dwyer, Michael Slater, Scott Findlay Planning and development Casting Director: Maura Fay & Associates Production Crew Production Co-ordinator: Anna Molyneaux Art Department Art Director: Adele Flere Costume Designer: Jeanie Cameron

Marketing Unit publicist: Andrew Mackie Cast Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter Synopsis The story of a man (Guy Pearce) who is haunted by the presence of a dead childhood sweetheart (Helena Bonham Carter) when he returns to his rural hometown after a long absence. TWO WELLS Production company: GIV Productions Distribution company: Becker Group Principal Credits Director: Michael Ralph Producer: David Rowe Line producer: David Lightfoot Scriptwriter: Rob George Based on an original screenplay by: Adam Head, Rodney Brennan Director of photography; David Foreman ACS Editor: Adrian McQueen Composer: Sean Timms Sound recordist: Toivo Lember Planning and Development Casting: Actors Ink Production Crew Production manager: Dale Fairbairn Production co-ordinator: Rebecca Somerton Location manager: Nadine Schoen Production runner: Paul Lightfoot Production accountant: Deb Wilde Insurer: FIUA Completion guarantor: FACB Post production Post-production supervisor: Ted McQueen-Mason Cast Gary Sweet Synopsis On the outskirts of the small outback town of Imyph, lies a tightly secured military compound. Twenty years prior a meteor crashed into the compound site unleashing an alien chemical with the ability to clone living beings. The clones are being sent back to the town while their original selves are kept comatose at the compound. Nobody suspects a thing. When security is broken at the compound the original townsfolk escape and head back to town where they confront themselves and where no one knows who is the original and who is the clone.

T e le fe a tu re s ■ In p re -p ro d u c tio n THE ROAD FROM COORAJN Chapman Pictures Pty Ltd Duration: 112mm Principal Credits Producer: Penny Chapman Scriptwriter: Sue Smith Synopsis Based on Jill Ker Conway’s celebrated autobiography, this is the story of a childhood. Set mainly on the western plains of NSW, The Road From Coorain is a witness to the relationship between extraordinary women over a lifetime of adversity.


■ In p ro d u ctio n BLONDE Crawford Productions/Robert Greenwald Productions Principal Credits Producer: Jacobus Rose Cast Poppy McGregor, Kirstie Alley Synopsis A mini-series about the life of actress Marilyn Monroe, based on the biography by Jill Ker Conway. -» HOPE FLIES Liberty And Beyond Productions Distribution Company: Beyond International Duration: 90 min Principal Credits Director: Geoffrey Nottage Producers: Simone North, Geoffrey Nottage Associate Producer: Peta Lawson Scriptwriter: Tony Cavanaugh Director of photography: Philip Cross Production designer: Richard Bell Production Crew Production manager: Barbara Gibbs Cast Rebecca Gibney Synopsis The story of Hope Flies focuses on Hope Fox, an ex-pat Aussie vet who lives with her husband and family in Glasgow, Scotland. At her father's request, she returns to her home town in outback Australia with her family in tow to help battle a mysterious virus which is killing the local horses.

■ In p o st p rod u ction -»• LI’L HORRORS December Films Australia Distribution company: Beyond International Principal Credits Directors: Chris Langman, Helen Gaynor, Declan Eames, Ralph Strasser Producers: Tony Wright, Stuart Menzies Executive producer: Tim Brooke Hunt Associate producer: Richard Mueck Story editors: Peter Hepworth, Jon Stephens Script editors: Jon Stephens, Adam Todd Script Assistant: Beverley McDonald Scriptwriters: Peter Hepworth, Robert Greenberg, Brendan Luno, Kevin Nemeth, Glen Dolman, Jamie Forbes, Nancy Groll, Claire Madsen, David Phillips, Hugh Stuckey, Anthony Watt, Annie Fox, Meg Mappin, Pepe Trevor, David Rapsey, John Thomson Director of photography: Jaems Grant Production designer: Otello Stolfo Composers: Al Mullins and Janine DeLorenzo Production Crew Production manager: Rachel Evans Production co-ordinator: Andrea Tulloch Producer's assistant: Melanie Hailstone Production assistant: Bee Matthews Production assistant/Production runner: Anny Beresford Production accountant: Mandy Carter

Insurer: Holland Insurance Brokers Completion guarantor: Legal services: Roth Warren Solicitors Travel co-ordinator: Stage and Screen Travel Camera Crew Camera operator: David Lindsey Camera assistant: Andy Butt Camera type: Sony 790 Digital Betacam Camera maintenance: Lemac Key grip: Jamie Leckie Gaffer: Jim Hunt, Dave Lovell Best boy: Dave Lovell, Warwick Brown Onset Crew 1st assistant director: Chris Page Assistant director: David Hart Continuity: Amy Barclay, Kay Hennessey Playback operator: Robert Hall Special fx producer: Rebecca Tolliday, Unreal Pictures Special fx: David Nelson, Unreal Pictures Still photographer: Suzy Wood Art Department Art directors: Marian Murray, Liam Siddell Art department co-ordinator: Art department runner: Penelope Laurence Set dresser: Denise Goudy Props buyer: Denise Goudy Props maker: Hamish Alderson Hicks, Justin Dix, Ben Green Standby props: Michael Saunders Wardrobe Standby wardrobe: Fiona MacKinnon Construction Department Scenic artist: Liam Siddell Construction manager: Ian (Kincade) Doig Leading hand: Lance Whitehouse Post production Post-production supervisor: Sarah Harrington Fox Assistant editor: Maryjeanne Watt Sound transfers by: Soundfirm Sound editor: Paul Pirola Musical directors: Al Mullins, Janine DeLorenzo Music performed by: Ridgidigital Music Recording studio: Soundfirm Foley: Soundfirm Fx mixer: TBA Music mixer: TBA Assistant mixer: TBA Mixed at: Soundfirm! CGIs: Unreal Pictures Titles: December Films Australia Grader: Noel McWhirter Screen ratio: 16:9 Shooting stock: Digital Betacam Video transfers by: AAV'Australia Offline facilities: Mr Kali Editing Video special fx: Unreal Pictures Video master by: AAV Australia Government Agency Investment Development: Australian Film Commission Marketing International sales agent: Beyond International International distributor: Beyond International Cast Voice cast: Ric Herbert, Paula Morrell, Rachel King, Richard Hart, Abbe Holmes, Michael King, Matthew King Puppeteers: Richard Mueck, Imogen Keen, Richard Hart, Simon Rann, Heath Mclvor, Hugh Simpson


Synopsis A 52 part live action puppet sitcom set in a spooky gothic school run by a retired movie actress. It features the (mis-) adventures of a group of children who just happen to be rather familiar monsters as well. -» SOUTH PACIFIC Principal Credits Director: Dick Pearce Producer: Chris Sacani Producer [Austl: Sue Milliken Executive producers: Michael Jaffe, Howard Braunstein, Glenn Close, Michael Gore Scriptwriter: Lawrence Cohen Based on the novel titled: Tales of the South Pacific' By: James A Michener Director of photography: Steve Windon Production designer: Patrizia Von Brandenstein Composer: Rodgers and Hammerstein Sound recordist: Guntis Sics Planning and development Casting: Christine King Casting consultants: Mullinars Casting Extras casting: Jane Dawkins Dialogue coach: Victoria Miewleska Production Crew Unit Production manager: Anne Bruning Assist Production manager: Jennifer des Champs Production co-ordinator: Paula f f Jensen Producer's assistant: Emanda Thomas Production secretary: Deb Alleck Location manager: Karen Jones Transport manager: Andy Matthews Unit manager: Will Matthews Assistant unit manager: Graedon le Breton Unit assistants: Nat Purdon, Christian McCollum, Richard Olsen, Kim Bostock, Ron Gladrhan Production assistant: Karl McMillan Production runners: Col Heidke, Ed Fitzgerald Production accountant: Angela Kenny Accounts assistants: Deb Sutherland, Tammy Miller Paymaster: Kylie Wilkie Smith Insurer: HW Wood Legal services: Stevenson and Court ¡Travel co-ordinator: Kate Todd Freight co-ordinator: Danielle Srour Camera Crew A Camera operator: Marc Spicer A Focus puller: Craig Philpott A Clapper loader: Jasmine YuenCurracan B Camera operator: John Platt B Focus puller: Jem Rayner B Clapper loader: Simon Williams Additional Focus: David Dunkley Camera loader: Matthew Windon Key grip: Warren Grieef Dolly grip: Toby Churchill Brown Assistant grips: Adam Kuiper, Craig Jackson, Jason Trews, Jason Weeks Gaffer: Reg Garside Best boy: Alan Dunstan Electrician: Colin Wyatt, Mark Jeffries, Travis Magee, Mark Watson Onset Crew 1st assistant director: Mark Turnbull 2nd assistant director: Jane Griffin 2nd 2nd assistant director: Noni Roy

3rd assistant director: Greg Cobain 4th assistant director: Eddie Thorn On Set PA: Marcus Levy Continuity: Pam Willis Playback operator: Stuart Waller Boom operator: David Pearson Make-up Supervisor: Deborah Lanser Hair Supervisor: Martial Corneville Key make-up artist: Nicole Spiro Make-up artist: Kylie O'Toole Key Hairdresser: Kerry-Lee Jury Hairdresser: Tina Gordon Special fx supervisor: Brian Cox Special fx: Dave Hardie, Walter Van Veenendaal, Angelo Sahin, Pauline Gerbert, David Goldie Special fx assistants: Patrick Carmiggelt, Aaron Cox Choreographer: Vincent Patterson Assistant Choreographer: Tracie Morley Stunts co-ordinator: Lawrence Woodward Unit nurse: Ron Houghton Still photographer: Carolyn Jones Catering: Mighty Bites Catering, Reza Mokhtar Art Department Art director: Nick McCallum Assistant art director: Emma Lawes Art department co-ordinator: Jen O’Connell PA to Designer: Sally-Ann Louisson Art department runner: Kent Sherlock Set decorator: Suza Maybury Set designer: Prisque Salvi Draftsman: Tim Kobin Drafting/Models: Jodie Fried Graphics: Ingrid Weir Aircraft co-ordinator: Ralph Simpson Props person: Lisa Brennan Props buyej: Mark Brimms Props buyer/dresser: Jo Beikoff, James Watts, Andrew Short Standby props: Murray Gosson Assist standby: Adrienne Ogle, Fiona Walker Armourer: Ken Jones Action vehicle co-ordinator: Paul Naylor Assist vehicles: Geoff Naylor Wardrobe Wardrobe supervisor: Kerry Thompson Wardrobe buyer: Natalie Gardner Standby wardrobe: Helen Maggs, Andrea Hood Wardrobe assistant: John Power Costumer: Julie Frankham Construction Department Construction supervisor: Geoff Howe Scenic artist: Steve Sallybanks Construction manager: Eugene Land Leading hand: Warwick Miller, Steve Kezic, Michael Rout Set'finisher: Frank Falconer, Richard Baldwin Greensman: Gregg Thomas Post production Assistant editor: John Lee Editing assistant: David Birrell Musical director: Paul Bogaev Music engineer: Joel Moss Recording studio: Studio 301 Cast Glenn Close, Rade Sherbedizja, Harry Connick Jr., Robert Pastorelli, Lori Tan Chinn, Jack Thompson Synopsis Remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, ‘South Pacific'.

Documentaries ■ In p re -p ro d u c tio n -» THE SALT OF THE EARTH: MAHATMA GANDHI Production company: Glass Box Distribution company: Glass Box Budget: $250,000 Principal Credits Director: Don Palmer Producer: Don Palmer Scriptwriter: Tom Weber, Don Palmer Based on the novel titled: On the Salt March By: Tom Weber Director of photography: Michael Newling Composer: Carlo Giacco Researchers: Tom Weber. .. Production Crew Production accountant: CDH Chartered Accountants Camera Crew Camera type: DV-Pro Post production Post-production supervisor: Michael Newling Venice Digital Sound editor: Hullaboloo Musical director: Carlo Giacco Music performed by: Purple Mixed at: Hullabaloo Synopsis: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein and Aung San Suu Kyi have one thing in common: they were all inspired by the vision, dedication and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. He is a household name but so few really understand why. Tom Weber has spent 20 years finding out and now takes us on a journey to see why Gandhi still rocks.

■ In p ro d u ctio n A FOX WITH TWELVE CHICKENS Director: Alan Carter Producer: Alan Carter Director of photography: Ian Pugsley Editor: Peter Pritchard Production Company: Alley Kat Productions Finance: ABC/FFC (Accord) Synopsis Following a veteran bush-lawyer as he prepares for a murder trial defence in an outback town.. Here the professional and the personal merge and blur adding fuel to an already explosive cocktail of small-town emotions. -» GREY VOYAGERS December Films Network: SBS Principal Credits Series Director: Steve Westh Episode Director/s: Steve Westh, Declan Eames, Erika Addis, Catherine Marciniak, Susan Lambert Producers:.Tony Wright, Stuart Menzies Synopsis Follows six highly motivated ‘older travellers" on unique odysseys to parts of the world of special significance to them. -»INSIDE THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET (60 ( minute documentary) East Australian Film Company

Principal Credits Directors: Bob Hardie, Matthew Dow Producer: Bob Hardie Co-producer: Matthew Dow Synopsis The Australian Ballet Company is recognised as one of the world's best. This series examines the way the ballet company works and the personalities that drive it. One of the highlights is an international tour, including performances in the USA. From its inception in the 1960s, the Australian Ballet has gone from strength to strength, with each new generation its character grows and changes. The metamorphosis guided by the artists whose life is ballet. MRSTREHLOW’S FILMS Production company: Jdurnocam Productions Distribution company: TBC Budget: SBS/FFC Accord Principal Credits Director: Hart Cohen Producer: Adrian Herring Scriptwriter: Hart Cohen Director of photography: Tony Wilson Sound recordist: Leo Sullivan Editor: James Bradley Planning and development Researchers: Hart Cohen, Adrian Herring Shooting schedule by: Cohen/Herring Budgeted by.- Herring Production Crew Production manager: Martin Coucke Insurer: HW Wood Australia P/L Completion guarantor: FACB Legal Services: Michael Frankel & Co Synopsis A documentary about the life and work of pre-eminent and controversial Australian anthropologist and Arrernte linguist TGH Strehlow (1908-1978). Tracks the challenges Strehlow set forlljj {nimself as anthropologist and filmmaker, and the work currently underway to repatriate his collection to Arrernte communities in Central Australia. -> RETURN TO EDEN Network: ABC Production Company: Artemis International Principal Credits Director: Celia Tait Producers: Brian Beaton, Celia Tait Executive Producerss: Brian Beaton, Peter Beilby, Dione Gilmour Scriptwriter: Celia Tait Format: Super16mm film Synopsis In the pristine landscape of the Northwest of Australia a battle for territory is being waged between two opposing forces : feral versus native animals. SMALL STEPS, GIANT STEPS Network: SBS Production Company: Emerald Films Principal Credits Director: Sally Browning Producer: Browning Associate Producer: Paola Garofali Director of photography: Roman Baska

Editor: Emma Hay Script writer: Sally Browning Format: DVCam & DVC Pro Synopsis Autism is a disorder that affects one in every 1000 children born in Australia. Most children suffering autism are initially catagorised as "unreachable" and until recently institutionalisation was the favoured cure. It has only been in recent years that alternative therapies have been explored and startling breakthroughs made by the children who respond to these therapies. The film follow several children who are attending Giant Steps, a special school of holistic one-onone therapy for affected children in Sydney, whose progress to communication has defied their initial diagnoses.

■ In p o s t-p ro d u c tio n ANIMAL X - SERIES 2 Series Documentary Storyteller Productions Principal Credits Executive producers: Mike Searle, Jennifer Wilson J Producers: Mike Searle, Nigel Swetenham, Jennifer Wilson, Melanie Ambrose, Linda Searle, Caroline Bertram Synopsis As with series one, ANIMAL X SERIES 2 investigates animal stories from around the world. From ghostly phenomena to lake monsters and mysterious sightings to unknown creatures. 13 x 30 minutes -» AUSTRALIANS AT WAR Series documentary Beyond Productions Pty Ltd in association with Mullion Creek Productions Principal Credits Supervising Producer: Stephen Amezdroz Series producer: Michael Caulfield Directors: Geoff Burton, David Goldie, Steve Best, Tim Clark Writers: Geoff Burton, David Goldie, Steve Best, Tim Clark Synopsis Australians at War examines the effects of war on the lives of Australians and how this nation has been shaped by those experiences. 8 x 55 minutes BUNDY’S LAST GREAT ADVENTURE Production company: Gulliver Media Australia Pty Ltd Distribution company: Beyond International Budget: $300,000 Principal Credits Director: Larry Zetlin Producer: Larry Zetlin Executive producer: Larry Zetlin Scriptwriter: Frank Chalmers Director of photography: Craig Lucas Sound recordist: Trevor Chalmers Production Crew Production manager: Trevor Chalmers Financial controller: Andrew McSweeney, BJ Grace and Co

Production accountant: Andrew McSweeney lnsure||Cmesure Legal services: Goss Crane and Herd Camera Crew Camera operator: Craig Lucas Camera type: Sony Hi Definition Post production Narrator: Peter Wear Animation: Procam-Studios Film/Video gauge: Hi Definition Screen ratio: 16:9 Shooting stock: Hi Definition Marketing International sales agent: Beyond Distribution Ijiternational distributor: Beyond Distribution Synopsis: This is a story of a final journey through stunningly beautiful country, in a small, cantankerous train called Bundy. It is also about fulfilling the personal dreams of a dedicated band of drivers, who drove Bundy and loved it. (No matter how often it leapt off the tracks and forced them to jump for their lives). FROM KOREA WITH LOVE Iris Pictures Pty Ltd Principal Credits Director: Jennifer Cummins Producer: Jessica Douglas-Henry Executive producer; C ou rtnep lj Gibson Scriptwriter: Justine Flynn Director of photography: Chris Thorburn Sound recordist: Leo Sullivan Production Crew Production manager: Chris Thorburn Production accountant: ASTI MS Insurer: HW Woods Pty LtdCompletion guarantor: FACB Legal services: Nina Stevenson & Associates Post production Editor: Liz Doran Synopsis Follows an Anglo-Saxon couple going through the process of adopting a Korean baby. MALPA Production company: CAAMA PRODUCTIONS PTY LTD Distribution company: TBC Budget: $225,000 Principal Credits Director: Erica Glynn Producer: Priscilla Collins Executive producer: Priscilla Collins Scriptwriter: Kate Gillick Director of photography: Helen Barrow Sound recordist: Flavia Abdurahman Planning and development Researchers: Kate Gillick Budgeted by: Priscilla Collins Production Crew Production managejgJacqui Bethel Producer's assistant: Dena Curtis Financial controller: CAAMA Production accountant: CAAMA Insurer: HW Holland Completion guarantor,:. FACB Legal services: Roth Warren Camera Crew Camera operator: Helen Barrow Camera type: Digital Betacam Still photographer: Priscilla Collins

Post production Editor: Denise Haslem Offline facilities: CAAMA Government Agency Investment Production: AFFC Marketing: TBC Synopsis This unique documentary features the special working relationships between indigenous and nonindigenous women who work out on remote Indigenous communities. TALES FROM A SUITCASE Production company: Look Television Production P/L Distribution company: JCM Budget: $355,000 Principal Credits Series Director: Andrea Dal Bosco Series Producer: Will Davies Directors: Peter Hegedus, Debra Beattie, David Vadivaloo, Veronica Iccono Commissioning Editor: Courtney Gibson (SBS I) Production Manager: Simone Uhlhorn Director of photography: Roman Baska Editor: Bernard Ashby Composer: Chopin Sound designer: Derek Allen, Zig Zag Lane Production Crew Production co-ordinator: Triny Roe Synopsis A thirteen part oral history series^ which looks at the migrant experience in Australia during the 1950s.

Recent funding decsisions ■ F ea ture F ilm s ^ BENEATH CLOUDS Autumn Films Pty Ltd Producer: Teresa-Jayne Hanlon Director/Writer: Ivan Sen Distribution: Axiom, SBS, REP Beneath Clouds is the story of ¡jena, the light-skinned daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Irish father and Vaughn, a Murri boy doing time in a minimum security prison in North West NSW. Dramatic events throw them together on a journey with no money and no transport. To Lena, Vaughn represents the life she is running away from, while to Vaughn she embodies the society that has rejected him. And for a very short amount of time, they experience a rare true happiness together. -> THE MAN WHO SUED GOD View Films Pty Ltd Producer: Ben Gannon Director: Mark Joffe Writer: Don Watson Distribution: Buena Vista, Icon Entertainment International, PMP When lightning strikes and sinks Steve Myers fishing boat (and floating home) the insurance company declares it an Act of God and refuses to pay. No man can

prevail against the might of the multinational. Angry and hungover, Steve sees no way but to sue the other party- God.

■ C h ild re n ’s Te le vis io n D ra m a ESCAPE OF THE ARTFUL DODGER (13 ( 30 minute Children’s Television Drama Series) The Producers Group Pty t Ltd/Grundy Executive Producers: Andrew Brooke, Roger Mirams Producer: Roger Mirams Director: Howard Rubie Writers: David Philips, Karen Peterson, Robert Loader Presales: Nine Network, NDR, Coral Europa Distribution: Cumulus Distribution Tells the story of Jack Dawkins, introduced in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist as the Artful Dodger, the fastest-talking, nimblest fingered young pick-pocket in London. As he side-steps and ducks his way from one disaster to another, the Dodger comes to realise that his voyage to Australia may be a real escape from his old life, an opportunity to be, not a crook... but a hero.

■ D ocu m e n ta ries -> BREAKING BOWS AND ARROWS (55 ( minute documentary) Land Beyond Productions Producer: Ellenor Cox Director: Liz Thompson Presales: SBS, Vision TV How do people manage reconciliation after a decade of civil war? Breaking Bows and Arrows explores the unique approach of the people of Bougainville to the universal problem of how victims forgive the killers, and killers forgive themselves. -» KING OF THE MARKET (52 ( minute documentary) Film Projects Pty Ltd Producer: Gregory Miller Director: Mark Abicht Presales: SBS, Vision TV Distribution: Minds Eye International Siddique is the King of the Chore Bazaar, Mumbai, the great old trading port of India. He solves all kinds of disputes and conflicts that arise for the people of the market, in creative, ingenious and sometimes sensational ways. The film will capture the magic Siddique weaves to help his community. PRIMAL SCREAM - DIARY OF A FAMILY UNTIED (52 ( minute Accord documentary) Dreamstone Productions Producers: Marc Radomsky, JoAnne McGowan Presale: ABC Distribution: ABC International This is a personal story about family roots, identity, exile, displacement and the dream of sanctuary. We will follow the Radomsky family, a family of four, as they leave their lives in Johannesburg, South Africa to resettle in Australia.


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Farscape, S e rie s 3 Producer: A n th o n y W in le y D ire c to r: Various DOP: Russell Bacon lh aka Producer: Ian Bradley D ire c to r: Peter Fisk DOP: M ino M a rtin e tti Journeys Producer: Becker E ntertainm ent D ire c to r: Various DOP: Various H o ly S m o ke Producer: Jan Chapman D ire c to r: Jane C am pion DOP: Dion Beebe Feeling S exy Producer: Glenys Rowe D ire c to r: Davida A lle n DOP: G ary Phillips Kick Producer: Ross M atthew s D ire c to r: Lynda Heys DOP: M artin M cG arth F la t C h a t Producer: Richard Clendinnen D ire c to r: Pino A m enta & Adam B laiklock DOP: H e n ry Pierce In A Savage Land Producer: Bill & Jennifer Bennett D ire c to r:B ill B ennett DOP: Danny Ruhlman M y H u s b a n d , M y K ille r Producer: David G ould D ire c to r: Peter A n d rik id is DOP: Joseph Pickering

B e t t e r T h a n Sex P roducer: Bruna Papandrea D ire c to r: Jonathon T eplitzky DOP: G a rry Phillips


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TEL: 612 8966 5000 FAX: 612 8966 5050 EMAIL: fsm@fsm.com.au WEB:


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ProCam Pigi Post Proprietor

The H DCAM is to be first used film ing a docum entary fo r Gulliver M edia w ith the support o f the Centenary o f Federation Com m ittee. It follow s a steam train called Bundy through some o f Queenslands m ost scenic country from Nambour to Mosman. The film has already been pre-sold to the 7 netw ork. "W e already have the product lined up fo r several jobs, and we haven't even taken delivery o f it yet. Everyone wants to w ork w ith this new technology!"

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Network Operations & Technology Manager Network Ten

Profile for UOW Library

Cinema Paper No.135 October 2000  

Cinema Paper No.135 October 2000  

Profile for libuow

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