Tuesday, April 28, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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My review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is up at Trespass.

I do feel like I damned (make that sledgehammered) the film with faint praise, but honestly I did enjoy myself. It's an honest to goodness, ol' fashioned popcorn movie. Go have fun!

I also came across this Frenchie poster, which fairly accurately symbolises the stylised, overwrought - and therefore at times, unintentionally funny - cliche ridden film.

But oohh look at those muscles!

Australian Release Date: 29 April 2009 - though there seem to be pre-screenings on today at GU George Street.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cannes: A New Film Language?


The line-up for Cannes was announced last night. But before we get to it, a little love for the poster hey. Isn't it dreamy? According to FilmoFilia, it's the work of Annick Durban, inspired by Michaelangelo Antonioni's L'avenntura, which won at Cannes back in 1960.

Actually, the choice of L'avventura is a curious one for Cannes. The film, now famous (or infamous) for it's long takes, wasn't received well at all upon it's first screening. Indeed the story goes that spectators starting laughing and shouting "Cut! Cut!", being so disruptive that the filmmakers and critics protested until the festival was forced to organise a second screening.

Only upon second viewing was the mastery of this film fully translated. So much so that L'avventura was awarded a special, tailor-made prize, "For the beauty of its images, and for seeking to create a new film language."

Ok, yes, you can tell I geek out on film history. Perhaps, then I'm reading too much into this representation; I wonder who, if anyone remembers this story? If so, does it then follow that this year's festival seeks a similar special (or controversial) tone?

The Opening Night film Up - in 3D no less! - does seem to speak to this 'new film language'. And the big names in competition this year Haneke, Tarantino, Almodovar, Von Trier and Lee are all known for their distinct and at times, confronting, visual and narrative styles. So here I am thinking maybe there's something in my theory after all.

Then I took a look at the press kit, and the opening statement confirmed my thoughts.

Extract: "The new generation of filmmakers from the East and Far East do not have any form, laws or traditions to obey. They are more, to evoke a famous film: Let's throw away the books and rally in the streets! They never run short of visual ideas.
Creativity, boundless energy and singularity - these far-away young filmmakers are constantly stepping outside the boundaries of the cinema of the past. They don't know much about it and they're fine just as they are. They are reinventing it."

It appears the festival is hoping to inject a little adventure into this year's proceedings after all.

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For the full festival line-up, head over to Eyes Wired Open, or you can download the press kit as above - I can recommend reading the rest of the statement.

Special high fives for Samson & Delilah who made it in for a deserved Un Certain Regard.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trespass Trailer: Gomorrah


This week's Trespass Trailer Teaser is for the critically acclaimed (though not by the Academy!) Gomorrah.

Squeamish as I am, I wonder how I'll go sitting through this. Speaking of which, I went to a preview screening of Der Baader-Meinhoff Komplex last night.* Wowsers. That wasn't exactly easy going, so perhaps I'll be ok tackling the Camorra.

I hope I'm not the only one having a chuckle about the whole Martin Scorsese connection? Or am I just easily amused?

Ahem...

Which trailer do you prefer?


Australian Release Date: 15 May 2009.



*Click here if you fancy winning a free double pass to Der Baader Meinhoff Komplex

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

28th April: For Your Diaries!

@ Qirkz
An intimate evening of new acoustic music
Tuesday 28th April 2009

A converted warehouse in Marrickville would not usually be considered a Sydney hotspot but that is where we lay the scene for two rising acoustic performers this month.

Adorned with Bric a brac, retro soft furnishings and much more, ‘Qirkz’ is one of the most exclusive venues in Sydney for the next big thing and April is no exception. From the UK, Passenger will be performing a rare acoustic show along with young Australian singer Jess Chalker. Both have spent the last month on tour with ARIA award nominee Lior on his recent Shadows & Light tour.

Passenger

Mike Rosenberg doesn’t look like a man with a dark side. Yet the 23 year old founder of Brighton-based Passenger pens unsettling songs about stalking, wasted lives and, er, the despair of abandoned dogs with an alarming eye for detail. “Even my darkest songs have a sense of humour. The worst crime you can commit in pop is taking yourself too seriously” says Mike. “Passenger has its down-tempo moments and some our songs are quite sensitive, but they all share a certain quirkiness. In the end, it’s about storytelling – creating characters and sending them off on a journey.”

Jess Chalker


From the foothills of the Blue Mountains, to the big smoke and now the world, singer-songwriter Jess Chalker is rapidly emerging as one of Australia's most promising new artists.

A gifted lyricist with an innate sense of melody and musicality, Chalker shuns the 'another girl with a guitar' moniker and embraces an acoustic style that is always endearing, sincere, and inherently her own.

With a voice that cuts right through to your heart, and songs that could almost be written just for you, the rise of this young talent is not one that will be limited to the backyard for very long - this lovely lady is certainly one to watch in 2009.

This show is so exclusive you can only get tickets through pre-booking via info@qirkz.com but when you do you will receive 4 free mp3’s from Passenger and Jess Chalker just to tease you before you make it to the show.

For more information on this show please contact:
Katie Rynne: Katie@lior.com.au
0405 306 998

www.myspace.com/passengerofficial

www.jesschalker.com

Mike in Oz



Fabulously random stuff.

Check out his gig dates here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Russ in Tights


....or not. First pic has been released of Russell Crowe as the legendary Robin Hood. Turns out it's less a case of men in tights than archers in leathers.

You say tomato...

This shot is very reminiscent of the early scenes of Gaul from Gladiator. I'm really hoping Ridley Scott is channeling that sort of epic scope for his trip to Sherwood Forest.

Oh yes, I'm trying not to get too excited about this film. Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Vanessa Redgrave as Robin Hood, Maid Marian and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Thems fighting words.

No word on Australian release date as yet. American release slated for 14 May 2010.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Recessionistas

Image - Downsizing - say whaaa?

Our favourite fashionistas are rumoured to become recessionistas for the Sex and the City sequel. Slated for a May 2010 release, the sequel supposedly sees Sam falling on hard times, Big losing his bucks and shipping out to London. There's also talk of an affair and a pregnancy. Woo!

Somehow I doubt they'll actually downsize the fashion. But perhaps poor is the new black.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Through the Looking Glass

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Tim Burton's upcoming version of Alice in Wonderland is a film I'm ridiculously, deliciously and borderline obsessively anticipating. On top of being a fan of the book, the original Disney cartoon, the director, and the actors, I have the fantastic delusion of some sort of special ownership seeing as I share the name.

Aren't delusions delightful?!

Look at darling Alice, played by Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. If you want to see her acting chops, check out In Treatment.

Isn't her costume just divine?

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Of course Johnny Depp should play The Mad Hatter. This sneak peak at his transformation is just brilliance.

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Other cast members include:
Anne Hathaway as the White Queen
Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit
Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen
Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar
Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat

Not bad ay?

Tim Burton taking on new territory also sounds intriguing. Wonder where the rabbit hole will lead him?


And this picture I just love. Tim Burton may be engaged to Helena Bonham Carter, but methinks Depp + Burton = match made in cinematic heaven.

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And in a rather literal interpretation of Through the Looking Glass, Disney recently announced that Alice in Wonderland will also be released in IMAX 3D. I'm a bit so-so about this technology, but what a film and what a world to experience in 3D. Methinks this might just win me over.

There's no news on an Australian release date as yet, but it's the 5th March 2010 for the US and 2nd April 2010 for the UK.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Keeping it in the family

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Check out this cool poster for Rian Johnson's much anticipated The Brother's Bloom. This was designed by his cousin Zach - what an artistic gene pool!

I've already nattered on about how much I'm looking forward to Johnson's follow up to Brick. Unfortunately, we're still awaiting an Australian release date, though Rian mentioned on Twitter that it may get to us around June-ish. News will hit his forum as soon as its available.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trespass Trailer: Synecdoche, New York

This week's Trespass Trailer Teaser is for Charlie Kaufman's brain-bending Synecdoche, New York.

Are you going to give it a try?

Australian release date: 7 May 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passenger's Australian Tour


It's official, people, Mike (of /Passenger. fame) is hitting our shores later this month. Sure, I've already shamelessly plugged his music, but what are friends for, hey?

Check out the website for tickets, dates and most importantly, tunes.

Julie & Julia


This is the teaser poster for Nora Eprhon's upcoming film Julie & Julia. Now I'm no foodie (I'm looking at you Eat Tori!), but I delighted in Julie Powell's book describing her year long culinary affair with Miss Julia Child. I distinctly remember snorting tea over myself as I read her particularly hilarious account of tackling lobster (granted, not so hilarious if you're the lobster).

I haven't read Miss Child's memoir, My Life In France, but Ephron's film will combine the two books and will make chefs out of Doubting nuns, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Ephron's filmography - When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Bewitched - should leave no real surprises about how she'll have tackled this film.

Passion. Ambition. Butter...I'd account for a sack of sugar ("sweet, sweetness") as well.

So do you have what it takes?!

Australian release date: 8 October 2009.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trespass Trailer: Samson & Delilah

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My Trespass Trailer Teaser this week is for the much anticipated Australian film Samson & Delilah.

A couple of years ago I recall seeing writer/director Warwick Thornton's 2002 short Mimi: a tongue-in-cheek look at the magic and mysticism white Australians imbue parts of Aboriginal culture. Though I doubt we're in for the same giggles, I'm looking forward to Thornton's debut feature.

Australian release date: 7 May 2009.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Samson & Delilah for being considered for Un Certain Regard at Cannes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Check out this new poster and these gorgeous new pics for Where the Wild Things Are. Dreamy, nicht wahr?








This last one is absolutely sublime! I know I'm harping on about this film a bit (you can see my Trailer Teaser for Trespass here), but I have a feeling that Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers won't let me down.

Australian release date: 3 December 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keira gets Knightley for Women's Aid

Keira Knightley has taken a beating to raise awareness of domestic abuse. Lending her celebrity to this graphic advert for Women's Aid will hopefully do much to communicate the devastating danger across many generations.

Keira's statement on the ad: "I wanted to take part in this advert for Women's Aid because while domestic violence exists in every section of society, we rarely hear about it. We may not think we know someone who has experienced domestic violence, but this does not mean that it is not happening. Domestic violence affects one in four women at some point in their lifetime and kills two women every week. Without the services provided by Women's Aid, many more women could be at risk of being killed, yet without donations the charity may not exist this time next year. Please donate £2 a month to Women's Aid to help save lives."




We all know that domestic abuse hit in the spotlight in February when Rihanna suffered a brutal and very public bashing by her boyfriend Chris Brown. And when Oprah weighs in on the subject, you at least know the world is listening.

So congrats to the knightly Keira for joining in on this confronting campaign.


And thanks to the Trespassing Liv for Dishing This important news.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flashbacks of a Fool

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With Daniel Craig all buff Bond these days, it's a surprise he signed up to play the fool. As far as I can tell, Craig's turn from Bond to Hollywood brat in Flashbacks of a Fool managed to fly under the radar, going straight to DVD in Australia.

Writer/director Baillie Walsh presents us with a small and seemingly personal story of love, loss and sexual awakening one sultry English summer in the 1970s. Walsh, an old friend of Craig's (and indebted to him for getting the production off the ground) has a background in music videos, and he certainly incorporates this in his debut feature. Indeed music plays such a dominant role in the film, most successfully in a truly wonderful sing-along scene to Roxy Music. Unfortunately however, the soundtrack at times threatens to suffocate the action, particularly some overly dramatic instrumental sections that seem to manipulate the atmosphere.

This is a simple story, with no real plot surprises, so the focus rests on the performances. Craig does a convincing job as Joe Scott, a coked out celebrity-type with a skerrick of conscience. Having been a bit frustrated by the way he pouted through the latest Bond, I'm pleased to say his face acting here is subtle and intelligent. His youthful counterpart, Harry Eden, has an absolutely striking resemblance, and while he doesn't quite match up in the acting department, he does portray well the awkward, self-conscious sexuality of a teenager.

The other characters are equally well cast. Felicity Jones is absolutely captivating as the young Ruth in her Roxy sing-along scene, and the grown-up Claire Forlani is surprisingly and compellingly emotive in her final scene. But as the hard-done-by housekeeper, rapper Eve convinces us that she shouldn't quit her day job, just yet.

Despite the obviously simple story and well drawn characters, I still wanted more depth from this film. The flashbacks allowed for the film to progress through vignettes, and while it was refreshing to see that a lot was allowed to be left unsaid (what happened to Joe's Father, who was the other woman now living with his Mum, how), the ellipses in the story at times frustratingly underscore its simplicity. It's as if Walsh uses the conceit of the flashback to skip from plot point to plot point, without giving us enough time to sit and breathe with the characters.

That said, it's telling that I wanted to spend more time in Joe's world. Call it foolish or simply intriguing.

Flashbacks of a Fool is available on DVD.

More Sex and the City

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Want more Sex (and the City)?

Alas the blu-ray extended edition of Sex and the City: The Movie doesn't feature more sex, instead opting mostly for cutsy girl time. I'll usually check out the deleted scenes on any DVD, and generally agree that the footage deserved to be left on the cuttting room floor.

The same definitely goes for SATC, which as far as I could tell, has an extended 80s dress up montage, where all the girls get involved (pic above) and a scene where Sam says she's staying in LA to work on things with Smith (not that it did them much good).

However one extra scene absolutely fascinated me. It's Halloween and Charlotte and Lily come over to invite Carrie to come trick-or-treating with them. It's all very sweet, Lily's begging Auntie Carrie. Charlotte asks Lily to tell Carrie who she's dressing up as and she exclaims "Cinderella!!" Then, Charlotte says "but we've also got a Mulan costume," to which Lily vigorously shakes her head and says "No, Cinderella!"

Image Cinderella story time with Lily

Isn't that incredible! I'm not sure if it says more about Charlotte trying to be sensitive of Lily's Chinese heritage, or that Lilly so vehemently wants to assimilate to become the blond, blue-eyed princess Cinderella. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it exchange, but my response was "Say what?!?"

Now I've already alluded to having misgivings about racial stereotypes in the film, finding Louise's character particularly problematic. Actually, see Kate's more precise 'rant' in the comments at the end of the post. So this additional and perhaps unintentional gaffe is quite striking.

Then again, I'm fairly sure the film isn't supposed to be a commentary on race relations (not that that excuses representations portrayed). We can probably agree that's is all about friends, fidelity and fashion. And on these points the film delivers.

On an entirely separate point: I quite fancy the collage of framed pictures that feature in Carrie's 'grown up' apartment. Pretties!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yowzah!


Ohhhh check out the poster for The Twilight Saga: New Moon. I'm pretty sure they've identified their target market with this poster...just a hunch.

Australian Release Date: 19 November 2009
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