Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday on My Mind: Christiaan Van Vuuren & Nick Boshier

From Bryan Brown to the Bondi Hipsters, we're (totes) switching things up on Friday on My Mind - so come on down, 5pm at AFTRS.
Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier:  How to attract the attention of TV Networks & Record Labels...

The brainchild of Sydney creative duo and advertising mates Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick BoshierBondi Hipsters is a series of YouTube webisodes that satirises 'Bondi Hipster culture'. The duo's popularity soared two weeks ago after they uploaded their first music video, The Life Organic, proving web content can open mainstream doors with three TV networks and a record label coming knocking.

Bondi Hipsters is not the first viral comic success for the pair. Boshier is one of the co-creators of Beached Az while Van Vuuren gained international notoriety as the 'Fully Sick Rapper' after he began uploading videos while he was quarantined in hospital with tuberculosis  for which he also him won the 2011 Optus 180 Project (along with his brother Conner) to develop a 60-minute pilot for MTV which will air in April.

As the acting, writing and directing team behind Bondi Hipsters, Christiaan and Nick are amongst a new breed of 'YouTube-preneur' and they will share their ideas and approach to creating online content that takes off.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Giveaway: A Dangerous Method - Closed

A Dangerous Method opens on my birthday, so why not run a giveaway!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Paramount and Transmission, I have quite the dream prize packs up for grabs. You can win a double pass to see A Dangerous Method, plus a DVD starring each of the lead actors: The Duchess, Good, and (my favourite) Fish Tank.

And in case you need more impetus to see a film by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley (if you do, I'd worry!), here's the trailer:

To win one of THREE prize packs, simply email me (subject: A DANGEROUS METHOD) with your name and address. Winners will be notified by reply. 

Australian release date: 29 March 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Movie Club: The Hunger Games

Hands up who is heading to see The Hunger Games this weekend? Well over on The Movie Club, Mel, Jo and I have a little bit too much fun discussing Suzanne Collins' 'crack-lit' books and new hot film franchise. I get to demand that you all go and watch Jennifer Lawrence in the searing Winter's Bone, while also apparently channelling David Stratton with my hatred of The Hunger Games' incessant shaky-cam!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday on My Mind: Bryan Brown

Colour me excited! This evening on Friday on My Mind I'll be sitting down with Aussie screen legend Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown: Actor to Icon, and beyond.

Bryan Brown has a face (and voice) synonymous with Australian cinema. Newsfront, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, and his AFI award winning performance in 'Breaker' Morant forged Bryan's acting career, while TV-miniseries, that include the Emmy Award-winning A Town Like Alice and Golden Globe nominated The Thorn Birds saw him become a household name both at home and in Hollywood. US productions followed such as F/XGorillas In The Mist and Cocktail, while in 1999 the Australian feature Two Hands saw his character Pando become an instant cult classic.
Behind the camera, Bryan Brown has produced and starred in the acclaimed feature film Dead Heart, the innovative anthology the Twisted Tales and Two Twisted for the nine network and most recently producing and starring in Rachel Ward's directorial debut, Beautiful Kate. Bryan will share his experiences as an actor and producer and his enduring passion for Australian cinema.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trailer: Prometheus

I grew up on Alien (that might explain a lot).
No, really, I had a dog called Ripley and a cat called Nute (a cuter way of spelling Newt). So it goes without saying that I'm ludicrously excited about Prometheus. Even more so after this latest, epic, trailer:


Ridley Scott, director of 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner,' returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Australian release date: 7 June 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Rum Diary

Combining Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson makes for one potent shot. But throw in the writer-director of Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson, and you’ve got the all makings of an intoxicatingly perfect cocktail.

At the very least you should know better than to try and make a drinking game out of the movie…

Robinson is back behind the camera after a nineteen-year hiatus, serving up ‘the spiritual prequel’ to Terry Gilliam’s 1998 cult-classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In fact though written in the 1960s, The Rum Diary was only published in 1998 after Fear and Loathing sparked renewed interested in the Gonzo journalist. So there was really only ever one actor destined to step back into those drunken, drugged up shoes.

Cue Depp, playing New York novelist turned hack-for-hire Paul Kemp, who washes up on the sunny shores of Puerto Rico circa 1960 and winds up a lightweight newspaperman, penning horoscopes and tourist fluff for his harried editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Kemp’s purported attempts to turn over a new leaf and run dry are dashed by the film’s opening shot: a bloodshot eye. But he cleans up enough to get himself inveigled in a real-estate plot to develop a nearby island. Greasing the corrupt corporate wheels is suave businessman Sanderson (Aaron Eckhardt), whose blonde bombshell of a girlfriend (Amber Heard) leads Kemp into even deeper waters of deception. 

This all sounds suitably frivolous and fun, and on occasion it is. Especially when you factor in Dariusz Wolski’s sleek cinematography and Giovanni Ribisi chewing the scenery as a deranged walking corpse, Moberg, who collects Nazi memorabilia when he’s not scraping the bottom of his moonshine barrel. Of course Kemp partakes, wherein the elastic-featured Depp is an amusing sight to see, with Robinson ensuring a portrait of drunkenness so well rendered you can feel the dry-mouth and anticipate the pounding headache.

But droll drunkenness and some good-looking locations is about all The Rum Diaryhas going for it. Forget the boozy chortles, what are the stakes? The story is disappointingly slim and scattershot (not unlike its drunken characters), revealing about as much depth as alcohol vapors. Heards’ supposed femme fatale is thinly drawn, if undoubtedly sexy, and Eckhardt works in vain to bring heft to the toothless and similarly slight Sanderson.

Although Depp is always a delight to see bounding about on screen, here he is given precious little to do. Kemp is supposedly a writer in search of a voice, but essentially all we see from Depp is set of cool sunglasses and a couple of funny faces. And where the brilliant comedic chemistry between Kemp and his journalistic partner in crime Sala (Michael Rispoli) is further evidence of great casting, again the aimless story squanders the onscreen talent.

Indeed after all the promise of a perfect cocktail, The Rum Diary quickly becomes like being the only sober person at a party where everyone else is absolutely trashed. It’s entertaining for a spell, but pretty quickly you’ll be heading for the door.

2.5 stars
Published on TheVine

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday on My Mind: Daniel Krige

It's Friday again already? How wonderful! Because this week at AFTRS Friday on My Mind I'll be chatting to the charming Daniel Krige:
Daniel Krige: Crowdsourcing and finding the comedy in horror

Filmmaker, actor and AFTRS Screenwriting graduate (1994) Daniel Krige sees the funny side of the horror genre directing his second feature: REDD INC best described as 'The Office meets Saw'.  The project took the unusual approach of reaching out to horror fans to take part in the creative process and received over 800 submissions from 60 countries. Daniel incorporated crowd-sourced content in the final cut of REDD INCa nd he will be discussing his approach to crowdsourcing, filmmaking and the bloody business of horror filmmaking.
Many thanks to Dan, who is sharing his time the very night before the sold out World Premiere of REDD INC at the Australian Film Festival.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday on My Mind: Joe Berlinger

This evening I'm thrilled to be interviewing Joe Berlinger for Friday on My Mind (5-6pm at AFTRS):
Joe Berlinger: In the truth business
Joe Berlinger is the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind the Paradise Lost trilogy a stunning near 20-year chronicle of an infamous teenage trio which evolves over time from a doco about 'evil teens' to a vociferous advocacy against judicial injustice. Berlinger is also renowned for the award-winningMetallica: Some Kind of Monster and justice has been a leitmotif of his career, with Brother's Keeper andCrude amongst a filmography that largely focuses on the legal system. Joe will share his ideas about documentary and the business of truth telling.
The Q&A will be followed by a screening of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Giveaway: Margin Call

Thanks to the Becker Film Group, I have 10 in season double passes to the Academy Award nominated Margin Call. J.C Chandor's masterfully written and wilfully enraging ensemble piece is a must-see portrait of Wall Street. Like it's documentary sibling Inside Job, this is a film to get you all riled up and ready to (re)occupy Wall Street.

Here's the synopsis:

In 2008, the world held its breath as the worst financial crisis unfolded. In this powerful drama, desperate bank executives played by an extraordinary ensemble cast, lead by Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons, scrambled to save their millions while the world watched the unthinkable. 

To win one of TEN double passes to see MARGIN CALL, simply email me (subject: MARGIN CALL) with your name and address. Winners will be notified by reply. 

Australian release date: 15 March 2011

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Limelight Magazine: A Separation

The private disintegration of a marriage becomes a very public affair in Asghar Farhadi’s flawless domestic portrait. The film opens with a palpable long take of wife and husband, Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) making their cases for divorce (for and against respectively): Simin wants to emigrate from Iran to give their daughter (Sarina Farhadi) a better life, while Nader refuses to shirk his obligation to care for his Alzheimic father. Farhadi then teases out the consequences of their impasse into a complex and far-reaching web of human foible and tragedy that entangles the housekeeper (Sareh Bayat) Nader is forced to hire once Simin moves out.

While Moadi shoulders the drama with a superbly stoic and layered performance, which is beautifully countered by Bayat’s captivating conviction, it is young Sarina Farhadi (the director’s daughter) who shines from the side lines. Her closing scene will skewer your heart. Indeed, impeccable acting, writing and direction make A Separation a must see film, and one entirely deserving of all its international acclaim. Winning a Golden Globe and nominated for an Oscar*, such accolades should help audiences take a chance on Farhadi’s keenly Iranian, yet ultimately universal tale of love, lies and conflicting loyalties.

5 Stars
*Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film

Published in the March Issue of Limelight Magazine
Australian release date: 1st March 2012
Click HERE to watch The Movie Club episode on A Separation

Monday, March 5, 2012

Passenger: All the Little Lights

Please allow me a brief digression from film chat to share some unbelievably beautiful music. Over the years I've blogged about Passenger, aka my ridiculously talented and seemingly indefatigable friend Mike Rosenberg - he has busked his way around Australia and the UK and put the money into producing absolute gems of albums. His talent and tenacity truly boggle the mind.

All the Little Lights is Passenger's latest, and I almost burst with pride for Mike when the album hit #2 on iTunes, not to mention making #9 on the Aria charts! I'm obviously too biased to write a review, but 4/5 from SMH sounds pretty good to me.

Have a listen:

And watch his cute video for The Wrong Direction:

Now come along on his next tour - head to his Facebook or Website for more details:

Friday, March 2, 2012

AFTRS Friday On My Mind

I'm delighted to announce that I am the new Sydney curator and host for the Australian Film Television and Radio School's brilliant Friday On My Mind programme. Each Friday at 5pm I get to sit down and chat with creative types from across the broadcast industry - I know, it's a dream come true.

Friday on My Mind kicks off tonight! And first up we have:
John Winter : Black & White & Sex, and courageous filmmaking
Let's talk about sex or, rather with producer turned writer/director John Winter, whose bold feature debut Black & White & Sex has been making waves on the festival circuit.  John will discuss his self-described 'eclectic' career, which includes producing award-winning films like Doing Time for Patsy Cline and Rabbit Proof Fence, as well as script producing television's beloved SeaChange.

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