Monthly Archives: October 2005

Underground

Wait Means Never (Andrew Groves, 2004)

Andrew Groves’ Wait Means Never, the winner of Best Film at the 2005 Melbourne Underground Film Festival, is a timely and important film that deserves wider distribution than it has thus far received. It tells of four young extreme-left activists – Elizabeth (Rebecca Lowman), Paul (Mark Rizzo), Tom (David Haydn Jones), and Linda (Marissa Petroro) – who grow frustrated by the ineffectiveness of conventional methods of protest, and in desperation kidnap the head of an international oil company and hold him hostage. The film spends roughly equal time on the lead-up to, and the unfolding of, the kidnapping, and explores the psyche of the kidnappers as the situation deteriorates.

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Craig, Daniel Craig

The news that Daniel Craig will take over the role of James Bond in the upcoming Casino Royale has been greeted with a brief flurry of perfunctory publicity, but what seems to be general apathy. It’s not hard to see why: as Jaime J. Weinman put it, “The Bond movies are basically the big-budget equivalent of an endlessly-running TV adventure show, and replacing Bond doesn’t mean much more than replacing Dr. Who.” Which, as a Bond fan, is sad but indisputably accurate.


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But Henry: What Will the Neighbours Think?

You notice all sorts of things when you can (finally) see a cartoon on DVD. This is from Chuck Jones’ classic Three Bears short A Bear For Punishment (1951):


The things DVD can tell you about the lives of cartoon characters.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Honest Director

iFMagazine has a really interesting update – brought to my attention by Dark Horizons – on the status of the sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s interesting not because I care about the sequels (I enjoyed the first film, but it screamed “fluke” to me and I always expected any sequels to resemble Cutthroat Island), but for what an overly candid director can let slip about the production process for Hollywood movies today:

Although the movies are shot back-to-back, Verbinski reveals they’re shooting both films simultaneously with both scripts constantly in flux.

“We’re shooting scenes in the third movie without even knowing what the hell we’re doing,” laughs Verbinski. “We actually have a pretty good second script and the third script is still on the operating table. And we’re in triage constantly, everyday. I don’t recommend making two movies at once. I think that we’re going to get there, but it’s just madness. You’re like building ships and the ships aren’t ready and you have four hundred extras. There’s a lot of fun and I think that the second movie is strong and clever and has a lot going on. The third movie we’re still working on.”

Verbinski did discuss shooting back-to-back movies with director Peter Jackson who did three films at once with his LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and he did have one bit of advice.

“I did talk to Peter Jackson about it and he said, ‘Re-shoots,'” says Verbinski who adds that might not be a luxury the PIRATES sequels will have. “We don’t have time for re-shoots. We don’t have the time.”

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Bob Clampett: It Can Happen Here

The second wave of Looney Tunes DVDs – consisting of The Best of Bugs Bunny Volume 2, All Stars Volume 3, The Best of Tweety and Sylvester Volume 1, and The Best of the Road Runner Volume 1 – is now in Australian stores. The documentaries in these are much better than the first round, and the best of them is a solid twenty minute documentary on Bob Clampett. This, and the inclusion in this wave of several of Clampett’s best cartoons (including Porky in Wackyland, Kitty Kornered, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, and A Corny Concerto) should help raise awareness of Clampett’s work. Clampett is much better known than he used to be, but there remains, I think, a huge discrepancy in the way in which his reputation has grown. Amongst animation buffs he now rivals Tex Avery and Chuck Jones as the most revered American animator outside of Disney, and yet he has never become a household name in the way that Jones, Avery or Friz Freleng have. In the wider popular consciousness, fate has conspired to leave one of the major Warner directors a relative unknown, and it’s well past time for a more widespread rediscovery of his work.

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