Metro Magazine

Articles from No. 139, Winter

2003 Idiot's Box Awards
WELCOME TO THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY IDIOT'S BOX AWARDS. Our annual look at television commemorates popular culture in all its forms. Please don't let the fact that this is an inaugural event dissuade you--that's the kind of idiocy we're celebrating. And...
50 Minutes from Home: An Australian Film Festival
I got my first taste of the fruits of the combined AFC/SBS Initiative '50 Minutes From Home--An Australian Film Festival' in July this year, on the eve of the Melbourne International Film Festival. The publicists were showcasing two short 'tv-movies':...
Adam Elliot: On Carbog, Clay and Harvie Krumpet
Adam Elliot is a multi award winning Melbourne animator whose work is characterized by a droll humour, humanist perspective and a deceptively simple style. His trilogy of short animations, Uncle (1996), Cousin (1998) and Brother (1999), has won awards...
A Delicate Magic: Grisha Dolgopolov Reviews Cluth
Clutch (2003) is a lovely, whimsical short film about a rather learning to relate to his estranged five-year-old daughter and the magic of their eventual correction. It could be a story from anywhere in the world, but the texture of the visuals, the...
After the Deluge-Making Sense of Men's Experiences
As an astute contemporary Australian narrative about men and relationships, After the Deluge deserved a much greater share of audience than it received. Its style and association with ABC series such as SeaChange, through the writing of Andrew Knight,...
A Labour of Love Story
Orange Love Story is a feature film directed by Tom Cowan and made in Orange, NSW. Tom explains the local connection of the film and describes a local way of making movies. Orange Love Story tells five interwoven tales of people who live around...
Alternative Views: Alternative Possibilities for Screening Short Films and Videos
An issue of concern to most short film/video-makers is getting their films or videos screened and seen by audiences. Many beginning film/ video-makers aim at certain festivals, finish their films, send them to the chosen festivals and, to their great...
Animation
The second Metro Special Feature Section explores the diverse and continually evolving world of animation. The discipline of animation has a long and illustrious history. While early developments in animation, particularly in America, have been exhaustively...
Asylum: Documentaries, Contexts and Identities
Whatever is unnamed undepicted in images, whatever is omitted from biography, censored from collections of letters, whatever is mis-named as something else, made difficult-to-come-by, whatever is buried in the memory by the collapse of meaning under...
Atlab Digital
Why have you established a digital lab and how does a project progress along the digital chain? Essentially, what we needed to achieve was a process that didn't diminish what was already being done. We wanted to use the current status of photo/chemical...
Australian and Very Animated: Cynthia Karena Talks to Three Prominent Australian Animators
Three talented and successful Australian animators--John Skibinski, Lucinda Clutterbuck and Dennis Tupicoff--talk to Cynthia Karena about their work. All three make a living in the competitive world of animation but have very different approaches to...
Changi: Dangerous Adventures in Memory
I've been with my mates, Molly. A great day. Adventure. They're dangerous, though. I love being with them, but I hate where they take me. It's the same for all of us. (1) Old Tom. The place of remembering the past ii the present remains unclear...
Drugs, Knives and Light Meters at the Hotel Murray
It was October 2001. I was in my last year of a BA in Film & Television at Curtin University, WA, and I was directing our graduation film, Method Writing, which I had written the previous year. It was a comedy-drama about Oscar, a struggling writer...
DVD Authoring and Adobe's New Edition
The acceptance of DVD as a consumer format for home entertainment playback arguably ranks as the fastest popular take up of a new technology over the past two decades. The Compact Disc for audio, by comparison, was not nearly so quick and even DV camcorders...
DVD Studio Pro 2
PRICE: Upgrade from previous DVD Studio Pro $380 FULL RETAIL PRICE: $949 www.apple.com.au DVD Studio Pro 2 is Mac only. MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: --Mac Only 733Mhz PowerPC processor and AGP graphics card. --8MB Video Ram (32MB...
Everybody Knows, Nobody Talks
Introduction: Ararat, or Raffi's Video ATOM EGOYAN WAS ONE OF THE first directors who--long before the advent of digital technology--reflected deeply on video. He did so in order to expand the frontiers of what is considered the 'visible world'...
Exploring Film Censorship in Malaysia: Michael D'Oliviero Delves into the Realm of Conservative Muslim Bureaucrats, Independent Film-Makers and Syndicated Pirates Who Are Doing Battle in Malaysia, While a Bewildered Public Goes Underground
MALAYSIAN FILM-MAKER James Lee's last film, Room To Let (2001), didn't make it to his country's Film Censorship Board. And honestly, Lee didn't even try to get it viewed. The soft-spoken, 25-year-old has been creating a name in the independent scene...
Fat Pizza
Paul Fenech (w/d), Aust, 2003, 99 minutes, Rated MA. ACTORS INCLUDE: Paul Fenech, Paul Nakad, Johnny Boxer, Jabba, and a cast of baker's dozens. DVD FEATURES INCLUDE: Deleted Scenes, Outakes, Music Videos and Burnouts. Make no mistake--Fat Pizza...
Final Effects Complete
PRICE: $1650 FROM: www.adimex.com.au SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: --Mac OS 9.0.4 and above --PowerMac G4/400 (AGP) --256 MB RAM --Mac OS X (10.2.2 and above)--PowerMac G4/400 --512MB RAM --Windows 2000 Professional --400Mhz or faster...
Financing Your Dream
GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR Australian films is, in many ways, a blessing, but endeavouring to get hold of a bagful of that much-coveted cinematic coin can feel like a curse. I spoke to the successful applicants in the latest round of the NSW Film and TV...
Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Paul Davies Talks to Andrew Knight at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, August 2003
IN HIS OWN WORDS, ANDREW KNIGHT has created 'some of Australia's highest rating television series and some of its worst'. Along with Deb Cox he wrote the acclaimed series SeaChange and After The Deluge. Prior to this Andrew 'held the pen' in rooms...
Gross History: Animating a Past
Introduction In this paper I will examine a number of issues which relate to the writing/telling of history. I would like to consider firstly the view of national history presented by Bruce Petty in Australian History (1971) and the use Petty makes...
Ian Christie A Matter of Life and Death
IAN CHRISTIE A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH BFI Film Classics, London, 2000 PAM COOK I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! BFI Film Classics, London, 2002 MURRAY SMITH TRAINSPOTTING BFI Modern Classics, London, 2002 At first glance books dealing with two Powell...
I Danced with a Man Who Danced with a Girl Who Danced with 'The Lord of the Rings'
Middle earth returns to Wellington when the final instalment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003), has its world premiere in December. While a world premiere may be a regular event in Los Angeles or London,...
Inside the Lion's Den-SpaaMART 2003
The excitement is palpable. It's the first day of SpaaMART, the inaugural feature film market that introduces Australian director/producer teams to international and local distributors, sales agents and financiers. At SPAA this is a sidebar event,...
Inspiring Passion and Hatred: Jane Campion's in the Cut: Described as a Psychosexual Thriller, Jane Campion's in the Cut (2003) Explores the Intense Sexual Relationship between a Creative Writing Teacher and a Detective, Set against the Backdrop of a Serial Killer Investigation in New York City
THE TEACHER, FRANNIE AVERY (Meg Ryan) is a student of words, particularly slang, and her fascination with subway poetry betrays an insatiable curiosity that leads her into dangerous situations, including a relationship with a man she suspects is the...
Interview with Shane McNeil: Director of the 13th House
SHANE MCNEIL'S FILM THE 13TH HOUSE IS A HIGHLY STYLIZED metaphorical tale about the brutalization of employees under corporate culture. Funded under the AFC's 'short feature' fifty minute film programme, The 13th House recently toured the country as...
Janet Harbord Film Cultures
Sage Publications, London, 2002 As Janet Harbord, lecturer in Film Studies at London University, explains in her introduction, precedents for Film Cultures are not plentiful. Explorations of film as social practice, of filmic taste cultures, seem...
Jason Jacobs Body Trauma TV: The New Hospital Dramas
British Film Institute, London, 2003. According to Jason Jacobs, bodily trauma is a metaphor for millennial angst. In his study of the TV medical series as a genre, Jacobs addresses the popularity of the hospital drama as a setting for action--injury,...
Jerry Bruckheimer and the Unreal: The Amazing Race
In an article written on the evolution of the photographic image in the digital age, Arild Fetveit wrote that the scientific nature of early photography has a distant although resonant connection to documentary and reality TV; two modern media formats...
Lalitha Gopalan Cinema of Interruptions: Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema
BFI, London, 2002. Lalitha Gopalan's text on Indian popular cinema is a delight, and offers insights not only into Indian cinema, but also into global film culture. Cinephiliacs interested in genres such as rape-revenge, westerns and gangster films,...
Looking for Credit in the Straight World: Gettin' Square
The publicity for Jonathan Teplitzky's new film describes it as 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels [Guy Ritchie, 1998] on the Gold Coast', and while that's not the most accurate description, it's not difficult to perceive a direct line of influence...
Matrix: Reloaded
Andy and Larry Wachowski (w/d), US/Aus, 2003, 132 Minutes, Rated M15. ACTORS INCLUDE: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Randall Kim, Helmut Bakaitis and Gloria Foster. DVD FEATURES INCLUDE: Multiple...
Michael Rabiger Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics
3rd ed., Focal Press, Baston, 2003. Apprenticing the Film Director: A Scriptwriting Perspective If nothing else, this third edition of Michael Rabiger's Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics reinforces one immediate impression: this is a...
Ned Kelly
Gregor Jordan (d), John McDonagh (w), Aust, 2003, 110 minutes, ACTOR'S INCLUDE: Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts. DVD FEATURES INCLUDE: 'Ned Kelly In Popular Culture' Featurette, 'The Real Kelly Gang' Stills, and an Artist to...
Negotiating Indigenous Documentary: Storytelling, Audience and Cultural Sensibility
Gulpilil: One Red Blood, directed by Darlene Johnson, follows the life and career of multi-award wining Aboriginal actor, David Gulpilil, through interviews, clips from Gulpilil's films, and footage of his life with his family and community in Arnhem...
One Perfect Day: All You Have to Do Is Listen
SYNOPSIS Tommy Matisse hears music in everything, from the rhythm of the traffic to the beating heart of his girlfriend Alysse. For him, it is all 'life's secret symphony'. Struggling to express himself away from his family and friends within the...
Online Film Distribution
Global, digital networks have finally reached a degree of sophistication where they are a viable option for the distribution of films, both features and shorts, www, p2p, ftp, irc, wap.--Each of these offer dimensions of connectedness that were once...
Opening Night: Reflecting on Gala Events, Film Culture and Federal Politics
Friday 6 June, 2003. Opening Night of the 50th Sydney Film Festival--1953-2003. Fifty years! This has to be something of a milestone in Australian cultural history. Sweeter still is that it is film culture that is celebrating its Golden Anniversary....
Picture Placement: The Rise of the TV Ad-as-Movie
A commercial recently appeared on British TV that plays upon familiarity with a range of American thrillers, particularly those of Michael Mann. In this diverting little 'movie', a driver smugly admires the dash display in his new car. Cut to suited...
Pusan International Film Festival
In only its eighth year, the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has become Asia's best-known festival, bringing together a market and project development event with the more traditional programme of screenings, Its ability to link a wide range...
Screentech
This month is not so much about new stuff but about new versions of long standing stuff. It's become relatively rare to see brand new applications on the market for media creators. Adobe's Encore DVD was one of the few new applications, in the sense...
Shortcuts
Speaking out at the Awards The deadline for the final round of negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement with the USA cast a shadow over this year's award season for Australian film and television. With the federal government's recent statement...
Sifting through the Wreckage: CrashBurn
CrashBurn symbolizes everything I hate in Australian television. It is dull, smug, stereotypical, and painfully transparent in its attempts to chase a demographic. If a TV executive were to mash together The Secret Life of Us and SeaChange in some...
Small Proportions and Mythic Dimensions in the Animated World of Pierce Davison
'I just flew in from Crete and boy are my arms tired!' The drum rolls, the cymbal crashes and the nervous looking man with wings strapped to his back looks to the audience. Silence. Coughs. This audience has come to expect better from their mythical...
Sound Control to Major Tim
Radio National (RN) has been in the news quite a lot lately. With so much attention being paid to the current affairs and political reporting, you would be forgiven for forgetting about the other programming nestling in the grid, Hidden deep in the...
SPAA and the Free Trade Agreement
The implications of the impending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and the US loomed large over most sessions at the recent Screen Producers' Association of Australia (SPAA) Conference held in Melbourne last month. Representatives of SPAA...
Steve Neale (Ed.) Genre and Contemporary Hollywood
British Film Institute, London, 2002. Genre and Contemporary Hollywood is overtly a response to a relative lack of published writing on contemporary Hollywood genres. While there has been a steady flow of books and articles about both contemporary...
Streetlife: The Facts and the Fiction: The Finished People
IT IS A BRAVE FILM-MAKER WHO tackles a complex subject like homelessness, let alone attempts it in partnership with a cast of young, first-time actors. Add a behind-the-scenes heroin addiction and a looming jail term into the mix, and it's a miracle...
Stuck in the Middle
Historically, television networks have struggled to conjure up a TV sitcom that could honestly typify the middle-class suburban family. Over the years, Aussie soaps such as Neighbours and Home and Away have continued to exploit the myth of the close-knit...
Talking the Back Leg off a Chair: A Conversation with Jonathan Teplitzky
'Everyone in the film is deluded', opines Gettin' Square's director, Jonathan Teplitzky when I ask him to talk about the themes of his new film. And probably the person who comes closest to not being deluded is Barry, Sam Worthington's character....
The Inside Story: The Inside Story of a Successful First Feature-An Interview with Robert Sutherland
A NEW FILM IS BEING RELEASED. You may see it reviewed for two minutes on television, or take a bit more time to read a few hundred words in the print media. Web reviews can be glanced at and you can half-listen to a radio review. But for the producer...
The Intimacy of the Interview Chat Show
Since its inception, chat shows, talk shows and variety shows have been a staple of what Frances Bonner calls 'ordinary television'. (1) They fill the gaps left over by drama and news events, they take up space during the day or later at night, they...
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Peter Jackson (d), Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson (w), NZ/US, 172 Minutes, ACTORS INCLUDE: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Miranda...
The Man Who Saw Too Much
Australia has a great international reputation for its news camera men and documentary film-makers, with names such as Frank Hurley, Damien Parer, and Neil Davis. While these renowned film-makers are no longer able to share their valued knowledge with...
The Plight of the Desert Horses
(David Lord/Jill Mather, 2003) A DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM Out of the desert they came, more than ninety wild brumbies. Identified as 'Walers', they were bound for the saleyards in Alice Springs. All but twelve were slaughtered on the eve of the...
The Wannabes: From Wog Boys to Wannabes
The Wannabes (2003) is the latest offering from the multi-faceted Nick Giannopoulos. Giannopoulos stars in The Wannabes, as well as co-writing (with Ray Boseley and long-time collaborator Chris Anastassiades) and co-producing the film (with Tom Burstall)....
'Through the Eye of the Needle'
'Fair suck of the sav' is as Aussie as they come. It can be interpreted in a number of ways, but none is more relevant, at present, than the desire for a level playing field. As the FTA discussions emotively and literally drag on, provoking angry industry...
When Good Comedy Goes Bad: The Honourable Wally Norman
The Honourable Wally Norman (Ted Emery, 2003) is a funny film. Both types of funny, that is. At first glance it appears to be a relatively simple, politically-minded tale of one man's battle against the evil forces of corporatization. And it is. The...
Where's Massive? Past, Present and Future for the Lord of the Rings' Crowd Software
Battalions of Orcs of the eye and countless companies of men of a new sort that we have not met before .. The numbers ... could not be guessed in the darkness ... fear ... had scarcely overcounted ... dark with their marching companies ... Busy as...
'Wow! There Is a Whale in My Net'
THE HIGHLIGHT of the 2003 Melbourne International Film Festival was the retrospective of films by famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Kiarostami was a guest of the festival, and spoke with Geranaz Moussavi on 31 July at the Melbourne home of Firooz...
You Wanted Me in the Toilet: A Journal of Film Production
YOU WANTED ME IN THE TOILET: A JOURNAL OF FILM PRODUCTION Or IF I COULD DO ANYTHING ELSE, I WOULD: A JOURNAL OF FILM PRODUCTION I'm instructing my two straight male actors in the mechanics of anal sex when the cinematographer calls a stop....