Metro Magazine

Articles from No. 136, Spring

A Different Kind of Paradise: Reality Television in New Zealand. (New Zealand in Focus)
New Zealand is fertile territory for reality television. As a crossing point for popular programming from both the UK and the US, New Zealand television is uniquely positioned to pick up and reflect the going trends of television production and development...
'A Good Kick Up the Clapperboard': The State of New Zealand Film and Television. (New Zealand in Focus)
SOME INTRODUCTORY REMARKS More than ever before, talk about film and television--and local-this and local-that--occupies a significant space in the New Zealand public discourse. It is not just because of the enormous global success of the Peter...
A Modern Girl's Guide to Artistic Excellence. (My Side of the Picture)
Sadly, in the 'noughties', creative expression for the small and large screen seems to be inextricably tied to the dollar. While it's understandable, as we are in the business of making a very expensive product rather than a dollar widget, it's rare...
Atlab's Digital Team Takes the Plunge with Swimming Upstream. (Business Section: Let's Talk Business)
SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE IN EARLY 2003, SWIMMING UPSTREAM'S DIRECTOR RUSSELL MULCAHY'S MOST CHALLENGING TASK WAS TO TELL A PERIOD STORY WITH A CRAFT STYLE THAT WOULD APPEAL TO A MODERN AUDIENCE. ATLAB AUSTRALIA WAS CHOSEN TO MAKE THIS VISION A REALITY....
A Twelve Month Journey from the Urinal
FILM-MAKERS CHARLES WILLIAMS' AND JOEL KOHN'S promo material has a line about being professional bullshit artists. It's more a case of the young duo having a knack for getting talented mentors on board their defiantly taste-challenging projects, notably...
Australian Films-2002 Box Office Share. (Police Section)
Australian films earned $41.8 million or 4.9 per cent of the total Australian box office in 2002. While the percentage is down on 2001, the overall performance by Australian films was solid, with three Australian films earning over $5 million each...
'Between Fact and Fiction': Speculating on the Documentary with John Hughes
JOHN HUGHES TRAINED AS A news cameraman with the ABC before turning to the world of independent film-making where his documentaries have been remarkable for their social and political content as well as their stylistic and visual experimentation. His...
Blood-Shot-90-Minute Feature on Digi for under $30,000. (My Side of the Picture)
Short films shot on Digi are relatively common these days, with the ease of mini-DV and desktop editing. But a full-length feature shot on mini-DV, edited and completed, for under $30,000 is a different story altogether. Warwick Moss (you might...
Chinese Epic, Australian Heroes. (Behind the Scenes)
With the development of digital technology, the role of the visual effects specialist has risen to new status. Working closely alongside director and DOP, the visual effects producer and visual effects supervisor are often required to play a hands-on...
Claustrophobic Reckonings in Tape
Tape, director Richard Linklater's latest release, is not a standard or comfortable movie experience, but Linklater has established this as his forte. Waking Life (2001) was a refreshingly different and remarkable cinematic experience, but Linklater...
Cutting a Long Story Short: An Interview with Editor Roberta Horslie
Roberta Horslie ASE is an energetic, capable, intelligent, generous and passionate film editor and stalwart of the Victorian ASE. She first came to my attention amid glowing reports from various directors who had worked with her in Melbourne--particularly...
Doco-Makers Take on the Big Issues at the 2003 AIDC
CONFERENCE DIRECTOR Catherine Marciniak's personal goal for the 2003 Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Byron Bay was to create an event that was relevant for the whole of the documentary industry. With a record 800 delegates...
Ed: Small Town Utopia. (TV Eye)
SOMEWHERE IN GEORGE BUSH'S America we find the small town utopia of Stuckeyville, which almost seems to have sprung out of the Texan's big book of stories. I sense that in following George's lead in stepping away from engagement on the international...
'Enjoy Death, Arsehole!' (Idiot's Box)
THE ONLY PARADISE IS PARADISE LOST. Marcel Proust WELCOME TO VICE CITY, population: dwindling at an alarming rate. The license to kill partially explains Vice City's popularity as a game. It's the sequel to Grand Theft Auto 3 and is currently all...
Entering Thriller Country: Rolf De Heer's 'Alexandra's Project'
Alexandra's Project (2002) has been described as a psychosexual thriller and, at least initially, it certainly appears that the territory we are entering is 'thriller country'. The camera prowls smoothly through the blandness of suburbia, evoking memories...
Enterprise: Something Different? (TV Eye)
STAR TREK WAS DEAD. As Voyager limped to a close, capping twenty-one series of the modern Trek phenomenon, series co-creator Brannon Braga had declared that he 'really had just about had it with the twenty-fourth century' (1) and spoke longingly...
From Mad Max to Pitch Black: Cinematographer David Eggby
THE STANDARD OF AUSTRALIAN cinematography has long been recognized as world class and it is not only our Oscar winners, (1) Andrew Lesnie, John Seale and Dean Semler, who have established this enviable reputation. Some top Australian cinematographers,...
Height of Passion: A Film-Maker's Observation. (My Side of the Picture)
Filming television documentary series that are both historic and contemporary in content creates its own dilemmas. The former requires you get the information which has the most archival priority whilst the latter demands you maintain the importance...
Home Copying: Making It Legal, Paying Our Creators. (Policy Section)
Over the last decade, technology has thrown up a constant challenge to our copyright laws--how do we protect the interests of our creators when copying has never been easier? In the case of home copying, key players in the audio visual industry...
Housewife Implosions in Rain: Beyond Proper Comprehension. (New Zealand in Focus)
IN THE OPENING SCENES OF RAIN (Christine Jeffs, 2001), the funky, evocative soundtrack combines with the slow motion drawl of a hand-pushed lawn mower to seduce the viewer into relating to the rhythms of lazy summer days. Although these are the days...
Is the Great Australian Comedy Disco-Dead? You Can't Stop the Murders
To answer the headline question: No. This DIY shaker, You Can't Stop The Murders, is a testament to that. It's alive, perhaps, but it is fatally sick and sputtering bile. The countenance of comedy in Australia is serrated and unsure, not to mention...
Life, the Universe and Documentary Film-Making: Russell Porter in Chicago Reflects on His Film-Making Journey. (My Side of the Picture)
Documentary film-making and the experience of life itself seem to dance together, co-existing in a strange parallel universe, each one stimulating and influencing the other. They also share a common unpredictability--no matter how carefully you...
Manga Is from Mars: Cowboy Bebop
Given the long-established popularity of manga--the surreally sexual and violent comic books popular with adult males in Japan--and my last brush with manga anime being 1989's revolting but weirdly fascinating, Urotsukidoji; Legend of the Overfiend...
Middle-Earthly Creatures: Some Local Comments on the Cinematic Ring-Cycle So Far. (New Zealand in Focus)
Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above seas of foam that sighed upon the margin of the world. Then...
Not Drowning: Swimming Upstream: Swimming Is the Sport the Rest of the World Most Closely Associates with Australia. It Has Long Held a Privileged Place within a National Psyche Fascinated by Sporting Heroics. Surprisingly, Apart from a Lacklustre Dawn Fraser Biopic, There Have Been Few Attempts to Capture This Relationship on Film
Swimming Upstream (Russell Mulcahy, 2003) is set within the first golden age of Australian swimming in the late fifties and early sixties. Whilst it was the exploits of our runners, especially the women, who came to epitomize the local victories of...
Racing Ahead with 'Dalkeith'
SOMEONE ONCE SAID, 'YOU CAN always tell the pioneers. They're the ones with the arrows in the ass.' Next time you see John Chase or Leigh Sheehan, check for the arrow holes in their backsides. With their film Dalkeith, they've been the pioneer force...
Rain and the Tradition of Art Cinema in New Zealand (1). (New Zealand in Focus)
WHILE RAIN (CHRISTINE JEFFS, 2001) is a film overtly steeped in New Zealand culture and landscape, from one perspective it is not a typical New Zealand film but a European style 'art film'. Its emphasis on the psychological rather than the physical,...
Red Ned
I I thought it was about a bunch of guys shooting guns and riding horses, making havoc wherever they went, but then I discovered they were unjustly persecuted and were fighting for freedom and for justice. ORLANDO BLOOM (1) Ned Kelly (2003),...
Royalty and Goodwill Behind the First Bangkok International Film Festival
IN THAILAND, THE PEOPLE still worship their king more than the movies, and before any film screening everyone stands for the King's Song--an uplifting montage of biographical images accompanied by the breathless hum of Thai angels singing. Without...
Saathiya: South Asian Cinema Otherwise Known as 'Bollywood'
INTEREST IN POPULAR INDIAN cinema, commonly known as Bollywood, and its global culture has literally exploded. What was once purely the domain of the diaspora of non-resident Indians--and before that, Indians within the subcontinent itself--is now...
Save Our Homes: Activist Documentaries 1970-1985
Green Bans Forever Green Bans Forever Green Bans Forever In Victoria Street We sang as we hopped from Chimney top to chimney top Green Bans Forever In Victoria Street (to the tune of 'Waltzing Matilda'). Lyrics composed and...
Screen Tech: May 2003. (Technical Section)
Go on, admit it. Isn't, it about time you faced the truth? All this nonsense about making movies, being creative, expressing ideas through the glories of mass media--film, video, music, the Internet--it's all a big hoax. If we're really honest with...
Sex, Violence and Videotape: Making the Hard Calls on New Zealand Broadcasting Content. (New Zealand in Focus)
INTRODUCTION Gritty drama like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, and niche shows like Sex in the City and In The Mind of Married Men, are at the forefront of contemporary regulation of New Zealand broadcasting content. Viewer complaints to the Broadcasting...
Shortcuts
COMBINED GUIDELINES FINALLY RELEASED FOR FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES Over a year after the State and Territory Censorship Ministers agreed to combine the review of the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Videotapes and the Guidelines for...
Some Significant Women in Australian Film-A Celebration and a Cautionary Tale
IMAGINE LOTTIE LYELL BECAME A producer for much the same reason I did--she wanted to ensure that an idea would really become a feature film. For it is the producer who is ultimately prepared to take responsibility for a film--to find the money for...
Sonic Foundry Plays Its Ace in Vegas. (Technical Section)
$999 (INC GST), VEGAS DVD, $1399. VEGAS 4 REVIEWED Many might consider the world of software non-linear editors (NLEs) a flooded and sown-up market. AVID holds a name that still drags the suffix 'Industry Standard' around behind it. Apple successfully...
Spotlighting New Talent at the AEAF
The need to share a passion is strong. At an Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF) the pleasure of sharing a passion can be exhilarating, despite being one of the small number of women present. A major attraction for me is the pleasure of...
State of the Art: Matte Painters-A Secret World of Illusion. (Behind the Scenes)
THE TRADITION OF MATTE PAINTING and the history of motion picture have been inextricably linked for more than a century. In early twentieth century motion pictures, a matte painting on glass a few feet from the lens could, if the artist and the cameraman...
The World's Smallest Cinema; the World's Largest Photobooth
ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE from the largest cinema screen format in the world (IMAX at the Melbourne Museum) can be found the world's smallest public screen at the recently opened Australian Centre for the Moving Image, at Federation Square, Melbourne....
Threads of Resemblance in New Australian Gothic Cinema
'... unlikely to be endorsed by Australian tourist commission' (Leonard Maltin's closing sentence in his review of Wake in Fright [Kotcheff, 1971] (1)) THERE IS A PECULIAR PRESENCE in the catalogue of Australian feature films, sitting in...
Whale Rider and the Politics of Location
Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002) is being widely proclaimed as a return to form for New Zealand cinema and film-makers, and heralded for its representation of a distinct New Zealand cultural identity. Despite telling a universal triumph-over-adversity...