Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
"This was a Bond for our times but I was inspired by those early Bonds,” explains director Forster as he talks about working on the film. “I did a lot of pre production to create the Bond film that I always wanted to see. We took some key moments from the early Bond films and paid homage to them or what I loved about the early Bond films and then added my vision of how I thought the Bond franchise should go forward in the future.” Not that it was only the early Bond films that influenced the helmsman, “I love action movies from the Seventies and the conspiracy thrillers of the Sixties. I also think James Cameron created some great action moments especially in Alien and The Terminator.” At first glance at Forster’s resume, Monster’s Ball and The Kite Runner, he doesn’t look like an obvious choice for a Bond film director, “It’s been an interesting journey. I like switching genres, I wouldn’t like to do these big films all of the time,” although he is rumoured to be taking the directorial reigns on the forthcoming Brad Pitt produced World War Z, “I approached the Bond film more like a character study than anything else. It was all about Daniel and Bond and his character so I tried to approach the big films in almost the same way.” You can certainly begin to see why Broccoli picked Forster to inject new blood to constantly challenge the series and keep every new film fresh. “I treated it more like an independent film, in a sense that I had to work with the Bond framework but still create my own vision which was very important to me.”
“Bond is a sexy man” purrs actress Olga Kurylenko “who has success with women.” Not that her character, Camille, succumbs to the charms of young blue eyes. This isn’t your typical Bond girl. “Well she’s a very different Bond girl. She’s very independent from Bond, she doesn’t really need him. She also not a perfect person, she’s not just a beautiful doll, she’s a real woman. It’s not about the beauty, its not about getting Bond into her bed, I think she is much more real, she’s has her own story.” Camille may seem to have a love hate relationship with Bond but Kurylenko has nothing but praise for her co star, “It was great, he was amazing, he works so hard. He really inspires you. It was a great lesson to watch him in the role of Bond.”
Finally we meet Bond himself and first thoughts are about living up to the Bond legend. This is his second Bond. After the pressures of following Monsieurs Connery, Lazenby,
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Well he proved to be both the perfect host, and on the strength of the footage we were shown, the perfect choice of director. The attention to detail is breathtaking and the comic book aesthetic created by Moore and artist David Gibbons has been painstakingly recreated, even in the unfinished state we witnessed. He waxed lyrical about each clip he showed us, setting up its position in the film. He even took time out to answer all of the audience’s questions. We started, funnily enough, at the beginning with the first 10 minutes of the film including the extraordinary opening credits showing the superheroes lives through an alternative history that shows the likes of JFK, Andy Warhol, David Bowie and The Village People brushing shoulders with our caped heroes to the dulcet tones of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin. We were also taken on a trip to Mars and witnessed a prison break out. If they are not already; Dr Manhattan, The Comedian, Night-Owl, Ozymandias and Rorschach will be household names come March 2009.
When questioned how the film would sell to the non comic book fanatics out there, he even managed a dig at the
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
What was your inspiration for your films What is It? and It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE! I have heard mention of the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky?
There are four filmmakers that I was very consciously thinking a lot about while I was making What is it? These four were Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Stanley Kubrick. That is not to say there are no other filmmakers that I thought about as I am sure there were, but those four very much. I should also mention that David Lynch had agreed years ago to executive produce what will now be part three of the “IT” trilogy entitled IT IS MINE. So he also was very important in this trilogy of films and I am very grateful to him for that. On top of which Eraserhead was an extremely important film to me when I was 16 years old and I still hold that film in the highest regard.
Of all the directors you have worked with who did you learn from when making your own films?
I have enjoyed working with many directors such as David Lynch, Milos Forman, Oliver Stone, and Lasse Hallstrom, Jim Jarmusch. I always watch how directors I admire work and glean what I can from them and I have seen many other directors not listed do interesting things as well. But I certainly have learned things from watching directors that are not as renowned as the above and I have worked with directors who I will not mention by name that I have seen clearly making mistakes. I hope to have learned of things not to do from those directors not mentioned.
You’ve worked with David Lynch twice now, on Wild at Heart and Hotel Room, what was he like as an actor’s director?
David Lynch is the most specific director I have worked with in terms of psychological underpinnings of a character. This to me is the most important thing and so he a therefore a great actors director!
Did you have much input into the character of Cousin Dell?
I did, but that performance is probably the most specifically directed performance by a director I have performed, and because it was directed by such an excellent director it is one of my favourite performances of myself and I get a lot of compliments on it.
You have made a couple of excursions into the horror genre with Willard and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and have now returned to the genre with Wizard of Gore, do you enjoy horror films?
As a viewer I do not seek out the horror genre. As a performer sometimes the roles are very enjoyable roles to play. I enjoyed playing both Willard and Montag the Magnificent in the Wizard of Gore.
What was Friday the 13th like to film, especially your death scene?
I knew that in the future there would be some humor in having appeared in that film. I did not know it would have as much of a following as it still does. I remember working with Tom Savini and acting in reverse for the effect of having my face hacked with a cleaver. The cleaver was shaped like my face and pulled out. In the film it is played back in reverse. I have used reverse shots a lot in my own films for various reasons. It can be very helpful.
I loved the video to Ben, was there ever any doubt that you would rerecord the track? Do you know what Michael Jackson thinks of your version?
I do not know if Michael Jackson has heard my version of the song or not. I have not met him. The way my singing the song came about was from discussing it with Glenn Morgan the writer/director of the film. I think he sort of mentioned it in passing, but I still do not know how much he meant it at the time, but I had a record out years before called “The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be. I thought it was something that could work and I ended up producing the song with one of the producers from that record.
What was it like playing Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone’s The Doors?
I met and spoke with Andy Warhol at the wedding of Madonna and Sean Penn. It was right after Back to the Future had come out which he had apparently seen. I did not speak with him for so long but definitely enough to get an idea about him. He was quite nice to me. I stood back and looked at him and watched how he held himself and thought he would be an interesting person to play. I pursued the role when I heard there was an Andy Warhol role in the Doors movie. I had met Oliver Stone previously for Platoon which I was not in, but we had a good meeting and I auditioned for the role and got it. I liked working with him and it was a role which I asked for less lines than were in the script and he was OK with that. I am glad to have played that role.
You are renowned for playing eclectic characters; Layne in Rivers Edge, George McFly in Back to the Future, The Thin Man in Charlie's Angels, what attracts you to these different characters?
I have always enjoyed playing more unusual characters. Now more than me pursuing them they often are roles that are offered to me.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Shivers Magazine featured my set reports on The Ruins and I’m presently writing up a large feature on Australian Exploitation cinema tying in with the recent release of Not Quite Hollywood. I'll also be reporting on Mark Hartley's fantastic documentary for Cinema Retro.
Talking of The Ruins, The latest Filmink features my interview with actress Jena Malone following last months preview from the set of Acolytes.
Smoke & Mirrors latest issue features my interviews with the Double Negative FX team on Guileramo Del Tor’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army and the next issue includes my interview with Keanu Reeves discussing his career, Street Kings and the forthcoming remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.
Drum Media has featured my interview with Benjamin Gibson; the creative force and ambulance medic turned director of Son of a Lion, a preview of the recent Sydney Underground Film Festival.
I have also recently interviewed Crispin Glover about the
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I also interviewed Rusty Nails about his documentary Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George. A. Romero which was an eye opening look into the perils of low budget filmmaking and Olly Blackburn, the director of Donkey Punch, which is very much a cause celebre in the UK at present. I also attended some screenings tied in with the premiere of Not Quite Hollywood including Turkey Shoot introduced by director Brian Trenchard Smith and producer Anthony. I. Ginnane and Long Weekend with appearances by writer Everett De Roche and executive producer Richard Brennan. The afore mentioned also appeared on the Focus on Ozploitation Panel along with stuntman Grant Page and Stone producer David Hannay. Threnchard-Smith and Ginnane in particular were marvellously entertaining company reminiscing on the making of their exploitation classics while passing judgement on modern day Australian cinema…. ‘Ten Empty, more like Ten Empty cinemas!”
On a similar theme I advise all of you horror fans to head to http://www.frightfest.co.uk/ to check out my ‘Dave Down Under’ blog and also to see the incredible line up of films that Messeurs Jones, Rattray and McEvoy have lined up for this years Frightfest Festival taking place at the Odeon West End over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Tickets are on sale now but be quick, they get snapped up fast. Great to see the festival is showing the world premiere of Doug Turner and Stacey Edmonds I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer which I have championed on this site. As always, Sydney is just too far away from London!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Not Quite Hollywood is the opening film of the Melbounre International Film Festival and I’ll be heading down for the opening weekend to catch screenings of Long Weekend and Turkey Shoot, attend the Aussie Exploitation seminar featuring many of the names mentioned above and interview Australian stuntman extraordinaire Grant Page who made many of these action packed thrillers look so good. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image will be screening a slew of Ozploitation classics throughout the festival so for the brave among you, check out http://www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au/
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Michael Haneke’s shot for shot remake of his own Funny Games was a brilliant piece of audience manipulation that frequently broke the fourth wall, often cruelly taking away the viewers few moments of joy. Naomi Watt’s gave an amazing performance as the beleaguered victim of a very strange home invasion. Tim Roth also made a welcome return to the big screen as her husband but unfortunately spent most of the film with a broken leg. The brilliance of the film was that no explanation is given for the horrendous events that occur; much like real life people’s lives are shattered and destroyed, often at the whim of someone they don’t know. The film divided the audience and created the most verbose response of the festival.
Somers Town; Shane Meadow’s low key follow up to his fantastic This is England was a hugely enjoyable glimpse into the friendship of a young midlands lad and a Polish immigrant. Shot in black and white, once again This is England star Thomas Turgoose enters Meadow’s world as the loner hitting the streets of London and the director brings his customary gritty realism to a surprisingly good natured and entertaining diversion.
American Teen took the template of John Hughes The Breakfast Club and recreated a heart warming and life affirming documentary about the trials and tribulations of being a teen in America. They were all there; the jock, the prom queen, the geek, the rebel and the basket case. The really interesting thing about the documentary is the footage they managed to get, often catching the teens at their most vulnerable. Hilarious, uplifting and moving, one of the feel good hits of the festival.
Brian DePalma’s Redacted has come in for a lot of criticism since it began the festival trail. Returning to the themes visited in the director’s previous excursion into the darker side of war Casualties of War; Redacted takes a very modern approach to tell its story using footage from video cameras, news reels, even Arabic You Tube. Based on true stories, he film is just as much a condemnation of the media as a look at the horrific depths that the armies of young men will go in the face of war. It’s unfortunate that DePalma’s vision is hindered by the often amateur performances but even these do add a certain resonance to some scenes, recommended with reservations. In a similar vein was the new Errol Morris documentary Standard Operating Procedure which looked at the stories behind the infamous photographs taken by American troops at Saddam Hussein’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
A definite surprise highlight was the Icelandic murder mystery Jar City directed by Baltasar Kormáku. Never taking the easy path, the beautifully shot film is a gripping examination of how a murder touches everyone, no matter how slight the persons connection to the departed. Excellent performances from the entire cast firmly ground this gritty thriller that is as shocking for the Icelandic diet as it is for its twist plot. The closing film was the Oscar nominated animated feature Persepolis which was a beautifully crafted adaptation of Iranian born Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel featuring the voices of Catherine Deneuve and Iggy Pop.
Well that about wraps it up for Sydney, all roads now lead to the Melbourne International Film Festival at the end of July. Tune in soon for more news on the festival line up and some legendary interviews I’ll be conducting.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
My favourite film thus far has been the fabulous Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist the film portrays the trials and tribulations of a twelve year old boy dealing with bullies, his parents divorce, school and living next door to a vampire. Subtlety using ideas and motifs from many classics of the genre, in particular
Running a close second was In Bruges, the tale of two hitmen hiding out in the small
Guy Maddin made a welcome return to the festival after Brand Upon the Brain astounded viewers at last years festival, despite the fact that his The Saddest Music in the World was voted last place by the audience a few years ago. A point brought up, much to the directors amusement and festival director Clare Stewarts embarrassment, during Maddin’s hilarious Q&A session after his latest film My Winnpeg was shown. The gala screening of his hilarious travelogue featured a live on stage narration. Two thumbs up must also go to the trashy Donkey Punch, love that outboard motor in the face scene…(best since Dr Butcher MD!) and the high school nightmares of Class. Another nice surprise was the quirky Russian fairy tale Mermaid. I also very much enjoyed Steve McQueen’s Hunger, a beautifully shot retelling of the hunger strikers of the early Eighties, in particular Bobby Sands. The director used his artistic background to stunning effect and was aided by some fabulous performances. The unusual structure of the storytelling was slightly unsettling and there was an assumption that the audience had some prior knowledge of the subject but this warts and this expose definitely lived up to its
I missed out on Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django but did manage to catch the director’s Crows: Episode 0 which was enjoyable but to be honest, we’d seen it all before. You, the Living also showed initial promise but descended into an episodic mess that when it worked certainly raised a smile, but come the films conclusion it garnered little more than a shrug of the shoulders.
The retrospective season this year is the amusingly From Kerr to Eternity gave me another chance to revisit Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. Last time I saw this classic was at
That’s it for now, there are plenty more movies to see so I’ll be back with a final round up next week.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Once again it looks like an entertaining and enthralling line up. Of the films announced by the festival’s director Claire Stewart, there were definitely a few stand outs. The new Official Competition brings twelve Australian premieres, three of which are world premieres. Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky has been widely acclaimed for a fabulous performance by Sally Hawkins and is the Opening Film of the Festival. Steve McQueen’s Hunger tells the story of hunger striker Bobby Sands and the ever reliable Guy Maddin will be narrating his latest film My Winnipeg live on stage at a Gala screening.
Of the clips shown Samuel Bencheritrit’s I Always Wanted to be a Gangster and Roy Andersson’s hilarious looking You, The Living both brought the house down. The Aussie documentary Salute looks fabulous; telling the story of the 1968 Olympics in
Music will once again play a major part of the festival at the Metro Theatre. Special nights are planned around many of the films. Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story and Anvil: The Story of Anvil (a true life Spinal Tap) in particular have themed nights with DJs and live bands to enhance your viewing pleasure.
For me, at first glance of the program, I was also very happy to see two new film’s from Takashi Miike – Crows: Episode 0 and Sukiyuki Western Django, the prolific director’s tribute to Sergio Corbucci’s classic spaghetti western Django, Brian DePalma’s Redacted and Son of Rambow – the story of two young boys remaking Rambo in their backyard. The horror genre is somewhat lacking this year round but two film’s do show promise. Oliver Blackburn’s UK low budget thriller Donkey Punch takes terror from Leeds to Mallorca as three brash young girls go on holiday for a good time and rather predictably…don’t get it when they head out on a cruise (Ladettes to Ladies meets Dead Calm anyone?) and the Icelandic murder mystery Jar City just looks grim, the scene when the film’s ‘hero’ tucks into a sheep’s head are not want you want to see over coffee on a Thursday morning!
And the fact that Jack Black will be introducing the Australian premiere of Kung Fu Panda is just the icing on the cake! This is only a very small selection of the huge amount of films showing between June 4th and 22nd. Check out www.sydneyfilmfestival.org and check back here for my reviews and interviews as the festival gets under way. Happy Viewing!