Beyond The Valley is happening this weekend. Facebook tells us the event is sold out. Flashing signs are up on the main “road” leading to the event warning of heavy traffic due to a “Public Event”, Kentucky Fried Chicken has a banner at the corner of the road leading to the event letting everyone know their fried “chicken” is available New Years Eve morning from 8am and the local farmers have replied to a Beyond the Valley posting on Facebook asking fans to cleanup their sites with local farmers astride the site replying something about rubber gloves, gumboots, needles in school playgrounds and shovels for non cow poop. Let’s hope everyone enjoys themselves and don’t start flinging poop around. It sticks! Oh and remember that the road to the Festival is actually “Lardeners Track” which technically is not a road, but a roller-coaster with some tar.
Hot out the oven, Brisbane’s Born Joy Dead return today with ‘Sourdough’, a brand new single for daydreamers and brunch enthusiasts everywhere. There’s no mucking about either, they’ll take to Black Bear Lodge to launch this freshly baked tune in just under three weeks.
A delicious, chewy ‘F.U.’ to the daily grind, ‘Sourdough’ is a unique result for the band who recently changed up their writing style, demoing together as a group for the first time. “The band is taking on a more organic songwriting method now and as a result it feels as though we’ve created something really special and more personal to us all,” says front man (and former Hungry Kids of Hungary member) Ben Dalton.
Springing onto the airwaves in 2015 with single’s ‘Hey Blood’, ‘Stones in My Shoe’ and ‘Chains On You’, Born Joy Dead have been building their chops among the local scene. Supporting the likes of Ball Park Music, Bad//Dreems, Hey Geronimo, Babaganouj and My Own Pet Radio they’ve also impressed at a stack of headline shows including a packed debut EP launch. Add a recent signing to Mucho Bravado management, an upcoming second EP and a September single launch. Bake at 180 degrees for best results.
The first teaser trailer for the new Australian feature film thriller Landfall has debuted.
Landfall is about a young couple who are trapped in their beach house during a tropical cyclone when three desperate fugitives carrying a mysterious icebox invade their home following a heist. The ensemble cast includes Melbourne actors Rob Stanfield and Kristen Condon (both from Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla) and veteran actor Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Commando).
Landfall is the third feature film from Cairns-based writer/director Travis Bain, whose most recent project, award-winning monster movie Throwback (also starring Wells), had a successful international film festival run in 2014 and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray worldwide.
Bain and his team filmed half of Landfall in July and have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help raise finishing funds. Bain describes Landfall as “part neo-noir, part disaster movie” and says he looks forward to completing production within the coming months.
“We’ve got half a taut little thriller in the can,” says Bain, “and hopefully when people see the teaser they’ll get pumpedand help us finish the project with a pledge of a few dollars.” Anybody who wishes to get involved with funding Landfall can do so at http://igg.me/at/landfallfilm
Landfall will be submitted to film festivals in 2017 and is expected to receive a multi-platform global release in 2018.
You can view the Landfall teaser trailer below.
As the world’s first “rock star” there was no one to tell Elvis what to expect, no one who could help him, guide him, or advise him. On the outside he was full of charm, sex appeal, confident on stage and gifted in the recording studio. He had it all. With his voice and style influencing generations of musicians, he should have been able to sing any song that he liked, to star in any film he was offered and to tour in any country he choose. But he wasn’t.
The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American south, lack of education left Elvis with a life long vulnerability. His teaming up with ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, was a disaster and he lost control over his own life. The book covers all, in an easy to read and informative stye.
‘Being Elvis was published on the 40th Anniversary of his death. It is an easy read and fills in the details, especially around his relationship with his mother,drug addiction, the Memphis Mafia, time in the army, movies, and his wife (ex) Priscilla.
Muhammad Ali put it best: “I felt sorry for him…he didn’t enjoy life. He stayed indoors all the time. I told him he should go out there and see people. He said he couldn’t because everywhere he went, they mobbed him.”
Emo The Musical is the debut feature film for Neil Triffett, and is an extension of his 15 minute short film from 2014. As part of our MIFF coverage, Greg spoke to Neil about adapting the short film for this feature length version and about all things emo and musical.
Emo The Musical screens at Melbourne International Film Festival Thurs Aug 12 at 6.30pm @ Forum, Sat Aug 13 at 1.30pm @ Comedy, and Sun Aug 14 at 4pm @ Kino. Neil will be attendance at all sessions for Q&As following the film.
You can listen to or download our Neil Triffett interview right here.
Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing Dead 7 – available to own on DVD and Digital from August 11, 2016.
Featuring an ensemble cast of music’s biggest 90s boy bands, a ragtag band of assassins team up to rid a small town of a zombie plague in this post-apocalyptic Western thriller. Starring members from the BACKSTREET BOYS, *NSYNC, 98 DEGREES and O-TOWN, this horror thriller is written by NICK CARTER, and produced by the creators of Sharknado. After a virus has decimated humanity, a group of survivors settle on a simple Western lifestyle but their existence is threatened by a terrorising horde of zombies. Jack (NICK CARTER) teams up with a motely crew of renegades to take down villainess, Apocalypta, who, along with her right-hand man Johnny Vermillion (A.J. MCLEAN), uses the undead to wreck havoc on a small town.
The film also features an all-new song, IN THE END, from members of the Backstreet Boys, *NSync, 98 Degrees and O-Town, along with new music from a cast of pop legends.
The trailer is available to view here.
Patriots Day is the well-meaning that’s for sure. But in a sense is heralds in a new era of American movies that will no doubt be introspective and self indulgent. Maybe they will have to invent a new rating AO (Americans Onlyt).
Strangely it truly believes itself to be a kind of finest-hour prestige effort about everyday heroism. It’s a stylized and wello meaning attempt to recreate the Boston bombings.. But one can’t help but think about the intent of this movie. What is Peter Berg’s game here? An action flick as public tribute?
The history of the Boston Bombings is recent, but the world has moved on to fresh and greater terrors. The brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev each left backpacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, intended to harm and kill as many people as possible. For several days, the city of Boston went through lockdown and panic in the search for the Tsarnaevs, before Tamerlan was killed in a firefight and Dzhokhar was found and apprehended in the back of a boat in Watertown.
In re-enacting the bombing, Berg re-stages the event in an authentic digital manner that’s both impressive and uncomfortably anxious. He pulls punches, sparing the viewer from the most graphic violence, and yet creates a shock effect that works through other means: quick shots of panic and terror, hallucinatory debris, cuts faster than gunfire. It’s well managed visually.
After the blast, the film begins to resemble Zero Dark Thirty at whiplash speed, chasing the Tsarnaevs (Alex Wolff as Dzhokhar and Themo Melikidze as Tamerlan) through every corner of Boston. The FBI, local police, and government powers of Boston work together to capture them.
Patriots Day loves its imaginary hero Tommy, and Wahlberg gets almost as much screen time as the rest of the film’s cast. If the film is a celebration of a city coming together in the face of true terror, then Saunders as an easy, unrealistic through-line to get big parts of the story together seems cheap. He’s on the radio giving orders at the blast. He’s the one telling officers to collect phones and triaging medics. He suggests interviews with witnesses and everyone listens. He recreates the Tsarnaevs’ walking paths in his head for the FBI. As a person, he checks of all the requisite Boston clichés, calling patrolmen “chowder heads,” organizing his Red Sox cards, dragging low vowels.
And the locals all fight back in different ways. Meng was kidnapped by the Tsarnaevs for his car, and Berg manages to take the truth of Meng’s escape and turn it into a taut sequence with a satisfying last laugh. Pugliese tackled Tamerlan in the shootout on Laurel St., but Berg shrewdly avoids making him over the top by developing Simmons as an average guy who smokes and tells jokes.
Patriots Day is a fence sitter between exploitation and tribute. The star power is uncertain, and the action fierce, but Berg means well and likes the people in his recount.
It’s hard to find a new way to murder, or a different take on why murders are happening. But in this latest novel by J.D. Robb, there is a twist. Life imitating art. Or Murder imitating a good novel.
It starts straight forwardly enough. A murder. But its a twisted scene. A woman is murdered in a cinema with an icepick while watching Pyscho, a film with an ice pick. There is not apparent motive. It’s no random act of violence and poor budding actess Chanel Ryan, didn’t stand a chance.
Eve and her sidekick, Detective Amelia Peabody, have barely started to question the obvious witnesses when “really famous novelist” Blaine DeLano comes to the station to advise that one of her thrillers provided a detailed blueprint for the murder—and indeed for the killing of Rosie Kent, who was strangled a month ago in a scenario clearly borrowed from another of Blaine’s bestselling novels.
Eve and Peabody stumble over a second murder and realise they have a seriously disturbed individual on their hands. And you have to like the murderer/ She is deliciously oddball, so well fleshed out that, you can see her rationale. It’s so perfectly logical! Loxie Flash doesn’t stand a chance! Number three goes down in a blaze of poisoned drinks, well aware she is the next target but stupidly blind to then danger posed by Elizabeth Smith, the crazed seamstress with the poisoned mind.
Melbourne based director, writer, actor and citizen Nathan Hill is passionate about film. Cinema fills every moment of his waking mind and then some. A leading proponent of independent genre-filming his latest sensation “Revenge of the Gweilo” (ROTG) recently closed this year’s Underground Film Festival. Buzz Mag recently caught up with him in a moment when he came up for air from his busy schedule.
Revenge of the Gweilo is an “action-packed retribution tale about a retired policeman (played by Hill) setting out to revenge himself on a Triad gang responsible for the death of a woman he loved.
There were a few questions to solve. Was it made for Asian audiences? A “Gweilo” being a Cantonese slang term of a white Caucasian).
“ROTG is a tongue in cheek action martial arts movie not made specifically for an Asian audience, as the protagonist is a Caucasian man. If I had to try and describe the film, imagine if Chuck Norris had of survived the fight in Way of the Dragon and wanted to take his revenge on an Asian crime syndicate, then it would be something like this (or not). The name ROTG was created to entice an audience who might enjoy this style of film. It is cult martial arts genre, and some might say niche. A good is example is when I told Richard Norton I was making a film with this title and he burst out laughing, understanding exactly what I was trying to do, and that felt good. I have found that with Asian people in general when I tell them the title they find it quite amusing and are warmed by the fact that I can also laugh at myself. Didn’t Nick Giannopoulos make a film once upon a time called ‘The Wog Boy’?
How were you able to stage the opening shot in Chinatown, what sort of tick list did you have to create in order to accomplish this?
The opening sequence was shot in the CBD during the Chinese New Year festival, which I believe is the first ever movie to open with this particular style of intro from this country, or anywhere in the world, ie; Chinese New Year in Melbourne, Australia. In this city it is legal to shoot anywhere in a public place without a permit given that the whole crew is 5 people or less. With this in mind I used a couple of other camera operators and we attacked the parade with guerrilla shooting style tactics. There was no particular ‘rules book’ which made it fairly easy to get some nice shots that I could actually use in the edit. You also can’t directly shoot someone’s face without a release form, so I had to also take this into account.
I see you are a big Horror movie fan, but have you ever experienced real horror or the real supernatural?
I am a big horror fan and have been since I was a child. In fact my grassroots in filmmaking are horror movies. ‘Tomboys’ and ‘Hyde and Seek’ being the champion ones. I have experienced some very real horrors in my life, in fact you’d be shocked at how many, and too many to note here. However I will say that I was once awoken in the middle of the night to an intruder, who I found out later was an escaped prisoner, standing by my bed with a large kitchen knife. I used all of my acting skills to somehow talk my way out of an attack. In regards to the supernatural, my father was in fact an exorcist and as a teenager I was somewhat groomed by the Church in the hope that I might become a Priest. I was totally obsessed with ghosts as a child growing up and was always searching for an encounter. My first real experience came one night when I was staying in the abandoned Asylum at Ararat where I was locked into one of the cells by an unseen force, fearing for my life I got down on my knees and prayed, eventually the door opened, and by an unseen hand. My mobile phone suddenly lost all signal too. I was trapped in a space where no-one could hear me scream. I’ve never been so terrified in my life like I was that night.
Mimicing heroes is something you have been quoted as “not afraid to do”, but to you what makes a hero?
I love the fictional ‘hero’ and I like movies that have a hyper reality. But to me a real hero is someone who might be suffering or going through some real hardships in life, but is still able to help others and be selfless. Sympathy and empathy are what makes real heroes in my book. I’ve often been asked why I make movies with unknown actors and am comfortable in the low budget realms of film making. To be honest I’ve often thought that my calling was to help, comfort and support other artists and I am grateful that only recently my reputation is starting to become just that, well at least that’s what I hear.
People often refer to you as that “Horror Guy”, how happy are you with this title?
It’s funny because most people refer to me as the ‘horror’ guy or the ‘Casanova’ because of some of the roles I’ve chosen to play in the past. But to be honest I’ve made and am making a movie in all genres. Once upon a time I was a video store geek, and even worked in them, so I learned how to appreciate all genres of movies. One of my heroes Stanley Kubrick achieved that. A horror, a war piece, a drama, a thriller etc. etc. On the low level scale I have already done very similar. I have a sci-fi, a horror, a thriller, a drama, a comedy and so on. I’m approaching my 9th feature to direct and feel like the catalogue is very well rounded so far, at this level. And experimenting in all genres ultimately helps me find my strengths and style by doing so. Hopefully when the bigger budget comes along I’ll be ready.
Looking at yourself, how would you define your strengths and weaknesses?
Creatively I would say my best strength is writing. Most people that act in my films or collaborate in my movies always seem to forget where the idea came from, my head. Without the story you have nothing to work from. Recently I’ve seen some filmmakers try to make ‘improvised’ style features and I find that annoying as that is called ‘reality TV’ not fictional film. It kind of insults actual writers when people do that. I also have great casting ability and solid producing capabilities. On set I’m told I’m a great director because I’m an actor too so I can speak the language and draw out of a performer anything that a scene requires. I don’t know how many creative weaknesses I’ve got but I have been told that I sometimes spread myself like a small piece of butter over a large piece of bread. Wearing so many hats on set means sometimes you miss some of the finer details. Because I’ve worked in the low budget Indy realm it’s very hard to always nail every department, but I do enjoy seeing the progression (although sometimes slow) from one film to another and where I did improve. Plus the fact that I think you can never make any ‘art’ or ‘creation’ perfect. At least not all the time.
How could the Aussie Government get behind independent film makers in this county?
I think if Screen Australia actually put 1M on the line to test out 10 Indy filmmakers at $100,000 a piece (which was the idea) could really shake up the local industry. You would get the next ‘Madmax’ or the next ‘Romper Stomper’. Why the hell not, it’s chump change for them.
What advice could you give a Year 12 student about going out and being an independent film-maker?
For a year 12 student wanting to be a filmmaker my advice would be to not spend any money. It’s a long road and it takes a lot of patience and time to find not only yourself, but your style. Just shoot, shoot, shoot, whenever you can. Weekends just shoot. Holidays just shoot. You have to become the camera. You need to sleep with it beside your bed. Then research all the film schools and find one that suits you. Whether it’s Swinburne, Deakin, RMIT, VCA, Footscray – there’s a lot of them now! Get in and gel with like-minded people who can assist you in helping you to create your vision. You cannot be too controlling and do it all yourself. It’s impossible. You need to learn that you will need help. Film making is a collaborative effort.
How a senior Medical lecturer at a Scottish University can write about a female detective agency in Botswana with such warmth, such skill, such characters amazes me.
The warmth and ambling read with no real pot boilers, no savage fighting, no super villains clothed in casualness, makes this read as calming as the red Leaf Tea Ma Ramotswe likes to drink to think things through. The thing is these characters are so real, that after going through a few of them, I’d like tot hink i couldf visit Botswana and go ther the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and meet Grace, her erstwhile partner Grace Makutsi ( the now, J.B. Matakuni and Fanwell the apprentice, have some sea, maybe go out to the Children’s Orphanage from some wonderful cake and discuss the cases.
If there is a villian it is Violet Sepotho, if there is a hero it has to to be Mr. Polopetsi, this is a story about family about an adopted sister, about “not jumping the gun,” a missing sister and revenge of a mild and ingenious nature.
And for both ZMma Makutsi and Mma Ramotswe, the wise words of their mento Clovis Anderson – “the needle swings in confusing ways,” has never been more evident.