Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Easter news

Happy Easter! While you're happily chomping away on your chocolate eggs it's time for a news update!

The latest issue of Filmink, on the shelves now, features two of my recent interviews. Edgar Wright chatted about the making of Hot Fuzz and gave me sneak peak at his work on Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse while Greg McLean talked all things crocodile for his latest horror action film Rogue.

The May issue of Film Review features my Vox Pops chats from Sydney's Dendy Opera Quays cinema. This time around we found out what Australian audiences thought of The Queen.

Shivers #132 continues my coverage of the making of The Ferryman with my chat with the always charming John Rhys Davies.

Issue 8 of the excellent Cinema Retro will be out soon and features my article on the making of Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik!

Finally you may recall I chaired a question and answer discussion at the Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind symposium at Sydney University. I've now been asked to contribute to a publication covering the event and have written the afterword on Cult Film & Religion. It gave me the wonderful opportunity to wax lyrical about two of my favourite directors; Ken Russell and Alejandro Jodorowsky, in particular their films The Devils and The Holy Mountain. Keep posted for a publication date.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You're Nicked!

For those of you Sydneysiders near a radio this afternoon I'll be reviewing Edgar Wright's fabulous Hot Fuzz at 17:30 on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. The director's follow up to Shaun of the Dead stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and this time around he pays hommage to the action films that filled the shelves of every video store during the Eighties. With a little Dirty Harry thrown in for good measure! Wright's love of cinema shines through in every scene, I can't wait to see what he does with his mock trailer featured in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Danny Boyle's Sunshine

Space suites inspired by Kenny from South Park, recreating the solar system in London’s East End and pitching a film about eight astronauts in space strapped to a bomb, these were just some of the topics covered by Danny Boyle last Sunday at Popcorn Taxi’s exclusive screening of his new film Sunshine at Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

The Scot who gave us Trainspotting and Shallow Grave, was in fine form as he discussed his cast, “Big stars just don’t work in space; it just humbles everyone.” He continued on this train of thought discussing the benefits of using a less than stellar line up of Hollywood talent. “If you don’t have big stars the audience has no idea who’s going to die next!” he laughed.

The event brought back memories of the London NFT’s Guardian Lectures and I very much look forward to the next Popcorn Taxi event. For the record, Sunshine, the film that Boyle wanted to be “more NASA than Star Wars,” is fabulous. Doing for the Sci-fi genre what 28 Days Later did for horror. Boyle’s new movie harks back to such luminaries as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and you can’t give higher praise than that.

For my full thoughts on the film listen to Cinemascape on Eastside FM nearer the time of the film’s release next month.

Monday, March 12, 2007

C.R.A.Z.Y DVD review

This wonderful French Canadian production follows the confused younger years of Zak Beaulieu. A misfit in his father’s eyes and seemingly sexually confused from the moment of birth, he hides himself in music and is seen as a freak by his brothers, a nerd, a biker and a jock. None of them can understand what is happening with their strange little brother.

The soundtrack is amazing; David Bowie’s Space Oddity, Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond and The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night all accompany some beautiful scenes as Zac battles his homophobic, Patsy Cline obsessed father and tries to find his place in the world. It may sound clichéd but director Jean-Marc Valleé handles the material with a deft touch.

Zac’s teenage years are played by Marc-Andre Grondin, a confident performance that combines the naivety, curiosity and confusion of the teenage years, all set to the glorious music of the time. He goes through all the trends of the Seventies, though Eighties. Glam rock, Punk, Goth, he tries them all, much to his families bemusement, and they form the soundtrack to his early teenage fumblings as he tries to unravel his confused sexual leanings. The films trump card is the use of music to depict the change in time and thus the acceptance of sexual preferences and the politics that accompany them. Michel Côté is also excellent as Zac’s father; an irascible rogue who’s adoration of the Fifties chanteuse Cline has affected his whole family and given Zac his passion for all forms of music. Their love hate relationship forms the core of the film.

C.R.A.Z.Y is wonderfully provocative, sprawling and highly recommended on all counts and Madman Entertainment’s DVD sweetens the deal with a few nice extras including The Making of C.R.A.Z.Y and the theatrical trailer. Add to that a thumping 5.1 mix and you have a must buy on your hands.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This Friday at 17:30 I’ll once again be appearing on Sydney's Eastside 89.7 FM’s Cinemascape show. This time around I’ll be discussing my thoughts on Emilio Estevez’s love letter to assassinated presidential candidate Robert. F. Kennedy entitled Bobby. Shot just two days after Andy Warhol in 1968, the much loved politician’s death still resonates today and the ex-brat pack star has managed to pull together a quite astonishing cast together to depict the Kennedy siblings last moments. Obviously an adoration of the Kennedys was a prerequisite as there is no way that a line up of this many Hollywood stars would normally appear in such a low budget movie. A quick glance at the credits brings up Sharon Stone, William H Macy, Demi Moore, Elijah Wood and Lyndsey Lohan and there are many many more. As a huge fan of The Breakfast Club and Repoman I’ve kept an eye on Estevez’s career since and I have to admit he’s done a commendable job considering he wrote, directed, produced and starred in Bobby. However, he may have bitten off slightly more than he can handle in places, his inexperience showing at times and a few of his high profile actors just don’t perform well but on the whole this is a sterling effort, not quite a classic but well worth a watch. Tune in to hear my thoughts.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Caught by the Fuzz

Last week I was lucky enough to interview Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright about his new film Hot Fuzz, once again starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Wright delightfully describes the film as an Agatha Christie set piece as if directed by Brian DePalma. The interview will appear in the next issue of Filmink.