Metro Magazine

Articles from No. 135, Winter

A Documentary Funding Tale-With a Happy Ending: Which Is Worse: To Take on the Catholic Church or Raise Funds for a Documentary? I've Attempted Both in the Last Five Years
I took on the Catholic Church in Melbourne with my own case of sexual assault by a priest. It concluded Christmas 1998. Along with the offer of a financial settlement and an accompanying standard letter of apology came the proviso that although the...
After Effects 5.5
PRICE: $1360 Macintosh computer with Power PC processor, G4 recommended. 256MB of RAM Mac OS 9.1, 9.2.1 or Mac OS X v. 10.1 or later QuickTime 5.0.4 or later recommended 120MB of available disk space for installation After Effects 5.5 is Mac only,...
Alex Proyas Lifts the Shade
The BFI (British Film Institute) recently asked Alex Proyas to mull over his Top Ten films of all time. Never an easy task but the Australian film-maker's choices hardly hint at the dark shroud that many have cloaked his reputation in. 1 Citizen...
All Those in Favour of Little Green Oases: Crackerjack
IF YOU HAD ONLY SEEN A FEW Australian features in the last years you might have felt that the Bowling Club had emerged as a master image and metaphor for the falling away of that generation which fought in the Second World War and produced the baby...
An Interview with Yee Chih-Yen: Directing with an Open Heart
FOR MANY YEARS TAIWAN WAS perhaps best known as a partner in other Chinese cinemas, such as that of Hong Kong. The increased international prominence of film-makers such as Hou Hsaio-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang and Edward Yang over the past twenty years...
An Underdog of Australian Cinema-Fred Schepisi
After seeing Fred Schepisi's latest film Last Orders (2001) I found myself wondering, why isn't Fred Schepisi like many other Australian and overseas directors these days, a household name? Given the success of not only Last Orders but many of Schepisi's...
A Slice of Catherine Marciniak's Documenting Life: Kerry Sunderland Talks to Catherine Marciniak
In the second of a series of four profiles on NSW Northern Rivers' documentary-makers, Kerry Sunderland asks Catherine Marciniak about the passion that drives her work, her role as director of the 2003 Australian International Documentary Conference...
Atlab's Digital Chemistry Colours Zhang Yimou's Wuxia Fantasy World
From Director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, 1991), Cinematographer Chris Doyle (Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2002), The Quiet American, 2002) and Producer Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, 2000), comes Hero. Premiering in China on 19 December,...
Australian Culture and Audiovisual Media in the Context of International Trade
INTRODUCTION The AFC considers trade to be our highest priority in terms of current policy issues. This article explores the connections between international trade and our creative industries, with a focus on the audiovisual sector. Free trade...
A Way with Words Extracts: From a Talk with Christopher Doyle
Beginnings: 'I grew up on Sydney's southern beaches, and the only time I went to the cinema was to get/aid or rip up the seats.' 'I came to film through music. Music and lifestyle. The first film I ever made was when I was in Taiwan studying...
A Wedding in Ramallah: The Home Front
SHERINE SALAMA TOLD AN audience at Melbourne's Nova Cinema that when she made A Wedding in Ramallah she set out to show something of the everyday life of Palestinians and the impact of Israeli occupation on their lives. Salama's feature length documentary...
Between School Bells and Funding Application Deadlines
There's been a lot of talk lately about film-makers moving into new media. I've been a new media person who is moving into film--and back again. Many years ago I spent time in the film world making community-based videos and project managing film clips...
Bodies-in-Stereo: Advertising at the Interface
The 'mutant baby' is an image from the TDK advertising campaign for its range of entertainment technologies, featuring the slogan 'Evolve to TDK'. TDK's representation of a posthuman existence underlines the shifting status of the body in the digital...
Bringing a Festival to the Festival City: Interview with Katrina Sedgwick
FEBRUARY 2003 MARKS THE return to Adelaide of an international film festival. Slotting into the Writers Week space in off-years for the Adelaide Arts Festival, the film festival marks an election promise by the Premier, Mike Rann, a self-confessed...
Bringing It All Back Home: The 3rd Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival
THE 3RD SYDNEY ASIA PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL It seems that in cinema, as in so many areas, Australia tends to look straight past Asia towards Europe and America for inspiration and products to fill our screens. This year Germany joined France, Spain...
Comedy and Affect: The Silkscreen Season and the Quiet Audience
THE SlLKSCREEN SEASON 2002 offered two mainland Chinese films: Missing Gun and Big Shot's Funeral, both of which are comedies. In this review I debate the source and effect of comedy in a transcultural environment, and the reasons why comedy eludes...
Creating Compelling Content: Marrying Commercial and Creative Objectives
NETWORK TEN'S GENERAL MANAGER OF PROGRAM FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT, ANDREW MCINTYRE, DISCUSSES 'CREATIVE DUE DILIGENCE' AND BELIEVES INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS, BROADCASTERS AND VIEWERS BENEFIT FROM A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO PROJECTS. Although the Australian...
Crossover Australia: High-End New Media, Digital and Interactive, Incubator for Filmmakers, Writers and New Media Producers
Crossover Australia is a creative think tank that brings together Australian and international independent, film-makers, writers and new media producers with the aim of developing innovative digital and interactive projects. Using the growth of broadband...
Denise Haslem: One of Our Treasures: Editors on Editors
The day before Denise Haslem took off for the Gove Peninsular in Arnhem Land I caught up with her to talk about her work. Denise was recently honoured by the Australian Screen Editors' Guild in their first round of accreditation for editors in September...
Disaprate Orders: The Millieux of Film and Television Production in QLD 1977-1987
When Bruce Molloy (1) made the comment that an extraordinary number of Australian feature films made reference to a mythologized notion of Queensland, he also pointed out that these images of Queensland co-existed at a time when there was a very limited...
Distributed Rendering
Today's desktop computers rival yesterday's supercomputers and broadcast quality Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) software that used to be the domain of highly trained specialists and can be purchased off the shelf at your local Harvey Norman. Raytracing,...
Documentary: Discussing the Issues
Documentary is often on the agenda at conferences and forums, although funding mechanisms and decision-making processes may elbow out aesthetics as topics of most importance. Recently some unease has been spreading amongst the documentary community...
Escape in Kitten Heels: Sex and the City
A SHARP RAP ACROSS THE LANCOMED knuckles for anyone who attributes too much significance to Sex and the City--it is pure escapism a la Warner Bros cartoons. A recent article seriously quantified--in long multiplication--how the WASP wenches, bar...
Filing the Last X
HAVING THEORIZED MY WAY THROUGH the pre-millennium X-Files, I was all ready to soak up the post 2000 reinvention. Initially I was a bit put out by the Mulder/ Scully surrogates--John Doggett (Robert Patrick) the intense, sad eyed meat and potatoes...
Financial Incentives for Aussie Films
THE TAX SYSTEM OFFERS A NUMBER OF FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT AND ENCOURAGE BIG BUDGET FILM PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIA. The film incentives fall into two categories--those providing tax deductions for investors in Australian productions,...
From Bollywood to Cannes
When I was a kid I only ever got out of bed during the school holidays for the Midday Movie. At high school, if I had a school assignment I'd spend the first weekend researching it and writing it up. I was called a 'greaser' because we had the whole...
'Giving Time to Images': Michael Wood on Film
Michael Wood is Professor of English at Princeton University. Before taking up his position at Princeton he taught at the University of Columbia, New York and at the University of Exeter in England. In addition to writing the books discussed in the...
Gold Fever: The Nugget
AS THE NUGGET OPENS, WE find ourselves in familiar territory: the bush, that most quintessential of Australian settings. Yet as the opening scene continues to unfold in a lovely long take, it becomes apparent that The Nugget is attempting to tell its...
Grand Ambitions: An Interview with Juanita Kwok
Daniel Edwards spoke to Juanita Kwok, co-founder and co-director of the Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival, three days before the opening of the 2002 programme. DANIEL EDWARDS: Can you tell me how the first Festival first came about? JUANITA KWOK:...
Having a Crack at Jazzing Up Bowls
CRACKERJACK IS AN AUSTRALIAN FEATURE which looks and sounds like the best of the renaissance films from the 1970s. It has no spectacular special effects, was made largely on location, and is a comedy based on the traditional values of an Australia...
How to Be an Overnight Success
THE EARLY YEARS When I was six-years-old I wrote a story, which won acclaim throughout my Grade One class. Not wanting to humiliate me in front of my fellow pupils, my teacher later took me aside and asked me where I'd 'copied' the story from. I...
I Dropped My Daks for Art
The Honourable Wally Norman (Ted Emery, 2003) was shot in and around Adelaide in April and May of 2002. It's an Aussie-battler comedy, not unlike The Castle, with its 'innocent abroad' central character and its distinctly Australian humour, satire...
In the Ghetto: A Year in Review (2002)
McLuhan famously observed that television has turned the world into a global village. We shall conveniently set aside the question of whether the Idiot Box might have also turned its residents into Village Idiots. If McLuhan had continued to watch...
Ken Burns Visits the AFTRS: Burning the Definitive Documentary
OSCAR NOMINEE, KFN BURNS has been making award-winning documentaries for more than twenty years, He addressed an engaged audience at AFTRS on the way to presenting the Premier's History Awards in Wauchope, on invitation from Bob Carr. A quiet and carefully...
'Let the Turtle Live!' A Discussion on Adapting Radiance for the Screen by Louis Nowra and Rachel Perkins
THE FOLLOWING TALK AND INTERVIEW WERE CONDUCTED AT THE UNversity of Wollongong, as part of a Novel and Film class run in the English Studies Programme by the convener of the subject, Gerry Turcotte. The focus was specifically on the art of adaptation...
Live Stage Professional 3 Software and Its Application in the Wrong Crowd, an Online Documentary for ABC Online
When we started our pre-production meetings for The Wrong Crowd we challenged ourselves to create a full screen cinematic experience. However, we also had to consider the parameters of the charter of accessibility that the ABC worked within and that...
Looking for John Waters: Damian Kringas Talks to Four Guerilla Film-Makers
In 1972 John Waters made Pink Flamingos, a movie that cost five thousand dollars and earned millions. But that's hardly surprising--squeeze a three hundred pound man into a dress and you can't lose. For many filmmakers, John Waters is a hero. For a...
Looking for the Story Engine: Breakfast with Roger Simpson
In the late 1960s Roger Simpson worked as barrister in New Zealand while writing gags part time for a variety show. In 1970 he came to Australia to spruik a series called The Investors which was based on the then mining boom in Western Australia. When...
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: The Two Gollums ... and the Unbearable Chasteness of Being Jacksons' Second Child
THE SCHIZOID SEQUEL TO LAST years Fellowship is an intermittently resplendent affair, despite a waterlogged middle passage. The battles are grand and operatic and for the most part it outpaces its predecessor. New Zealand helmsman Peter Jackson is...
Lovesick: Bill Mousoulis and the 'Outside World'
LOVESICK (2002) IS THE CHALLENGING and brilliant new film from independent, Melbourne-based film-maker Bill Mousoulis, a self-financed feature that deals with l'amour fou. In it, a couple (played by Clay Ravin and Holly Marshall) leave their office...
Not Fluffy in Concept: Catherine Berruer and Kathryn Bird, Designers of Booth at ACMI, Talk Visual Ideas
KB: This has been an amazing project for us as designers, since we've worked over so many forms. Think of the things we've collaborated on: there's the design of all the different screen Experiences that people will have with Booth, which includes...
On the Prisoner
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, MOST 'cult' shows we talk about really aren't all that cultish. True, Star Trek, The X-Files and Buffy have their obsessed, semi-religious followers but everyone knows about them. If you're looking for a real cult show, one...
Police and Pyromania in the Making of Razor Eaters
If bastards and bad men are so hated, why do good men love to read about them? Chopper Read At the tender age of eleven, during an overcast afternoon in the school holidays of 1987, three of us were sitting around my bedroom with a bad case of mischievousness...
Publicity Blues: Gaining Exposure in the Low/no Budget Independent Sector
Despite the virtual explosion of independent film and video making-fueled largely by the availability of low-cost digital video and desktop editing systems--there is apparently nowhere in Australia for the majority of independent low and no budget...
Repression and Expression: The Film-Maker's Voice in Australian Documentary
This article was born out of a paper Gillian Leahy and Sarah Gibson gave on the essay documentary at the documentary sites conference in Auckland in September 2000, and a second version at the Australian International Documentary Conference in Perth,...
Review of the Sony DSR-250
Like any product the Sony DSR-250 camera it has its pros and cons but in this case the pros far outnumber the cons: all in all it is exceptionally good. The DSR-250 provides great picture quality and has an array of functions that allow the user a...
Screen Hub: Streaming Short Films
Email news and jobs provider Screen Hub has begun streaming Australian short films on its web site at www.screenhub.com.au as part of a joint project with the screen resource organizations: Open Channel, Metro Screen, QPIX, the Media Resource Centre...
Screensound Australia Annual Lonford Lyell Lecture
THE SCREENSOUND AUSTRALIA Annual Longford Lyell Lecture was established in 2001. It is named in honour of two most significant pioneers of Australian Cinema, Lottie Lyell and Raymond Longford. Of the more than twenty-five films produced by their...
Script to Screen: A Distributor's Perspective
The recent SPAA conference highlighted (yet again) the crucial importance of a good script when making local features. Time and time again, film and television distributors remind producers and directors of the value of a good script. The fact that...
Selling TV Programme Ideas
How does one present programme ideas for television, and what exactly is the ABC is looking for? Who hasn't slumped in front of the idiot box, at some stage, watching some dross or other and said aloud; 'This is bloody awful! I can do better than that?'...
Shortcuts
COMMUNITY TELEVISION EARNS SECURE FUTURE About six months ago I pressed the wrong button on my remote and there, on my television screen, was Channel 31, community television. Readers in other cities, particularly Melbourne, might not think this...
Stress-Release: Essential Legal Fodder for the Documentary Producer
What is a documentary producer's worst nightmare? Camera crew in army greens in tow on location wading through a swamp to find the long lost tribe? The torturous hours spent researching in libraries, painstakingly filling in forms? It must be the dreaded...
Ten Moments in Cannes
10 > MAY 18 11PM As we flew out from London's Heathrow airport I began to wonder if the project was 'getting out of hand. Last July when we learned that Abbas Kiarostami was to spend a week in the West of Ireland (to get the picture, imagine...
'Thanks for Joining Us'
THE MOMENT JOHN CLARKE AND I ENTER HIS OFFICE, HE PICKS UP A GOLF CLUB--EVEN BEFORE HE TAKES OFF HIS HAT. NO PRIZES THEN FOR GUESSING WHY FURNITURE IS SCARCE AND HIS WORK SPACE IS OPEN PLAN--MORE ROOM TO PRACTICE SWINGS. A LARGE DESK, SQUEEZED OFF...
The Cold, Dead Heart of Gun Toting America: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
THREE YEARS AGO, JUST BEFORE LUNCH break on an unremarkable spring day in a normal American high school, two teenagers pulled out loaded weapons and began gunning down their schoolmates. No one will ever know what Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, eighteen...
The Cracks That Let in the Light: A Day with Christopher Doyle
Sydney-born, Hong Kong-dwelling cinematographer Christopher Doyle has been on the Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival's advisory board since the Festival's inception in 2000. Given his support for the event, and his own enormous contribution to Asian...
The Making of Mario's Ashes: A Short Documentary Film Written by Christine Paul
Over the past few years, many documentary film-makers have found that memoir and first-person narrative prove valid tools for telling a story and imparting information. In literature, of course, this style is often referred to as 'creative non-fiction'...
The Man Who Met Raymond Longford: Inaugural Longford Lyell Lecture. Saturday, 12 May 2001
Damn! I hadn't meant to knock on the door so loudly. What will he think of me? I was extremely nervous, to the point of shaking. Patience and persistence had been rewarded. After eighteen months of letter writing I was finally to meet the 'Big Man'!...
The Quite American: A Critique in Three Parts
I BACKSTORY AFTER FINISHING WORK ON RABBIT-Proof Fence, Director Phillip Noyce (who once made a film called Silver, proving the immemorial adage that nobody wants to see a movie with the word 'liver' in its title) and cinematographer Chris Doyle...
The Texture of Actuality: New Media Documentary
INTRODUCTION IF RESTRICTING ONE'S TECHNICAL and aesthetic means aids creative work, then multimedia faces all kinds of problems. The capacity to provide interactive access to many different types of media within a single delivery context means almost...
Think Global-Watch Local
IF, UNLIKE OZZY OSBOURNE, YOU are able to surf through the channels of commercial television in Australia, it is increasingly likely that you will stumble upon a form of reality television. Australian networks have embraced a global media phenomenon...
This Is Not a Museum. This Is a Live Archive (1): Exploring Mark Amerika's Notion of Interactive Cinema
MARK AMERIKA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado (2), and among Time Magazine's top 100 innovators, is often referred to as a pioneer of net art. The results of his 'practice-based research' have been exhibited...
Two Mels in Teesh and Trude
Producer Melissa Hasluck spoke with director Melanie Rodriga about their making of Teesh and Trude. MEL R TO MH: Looking back, what is your most vivid memory of the shoot (apart from September 11)? Mil: I'd say walking onto that amazing set the...
Up, Up and Away Born in the USSR
Are lives artifacts or accidents? A peculiar combination of the two? Once set, can the human stuff from which we come be recast, the script rewritten, the clay kneaded anew? If so, do the lines we speak then become our own, or do we remain puppets...
Zammy Sensibilities an Interview with Alex Zamm
ALEX ZAMM? THE NAME GIVES you a hint. Could there be some kind of Batman and Robin connection? 'Kapow', 'Boom'. Yes ... there was a 'Zamm' in there somewhere. Is Zamm his real name? It turns out it is and as a kid, Alex loved seeing his name flashing...
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