20 items from 2015
Mel Gibson, whom I interviewed for Venice Magazine in late 2000, was my first real childhood hero I sat down with. If you were a Gen-x male, Mel Gibson was the closest thing we had to Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Sean Connery: a guy's guy whom guys wanted to emulate and women wanted to copulate. If you were a guy who liked girls, the math in the previous equation was pretty simple: be like Mel. Sadly, Gibson's life has taken a very public turn for the worse in the last decade, since his personal legal and troubles stemming from a 2006 DUI arrest in Malibu were made public, one from which his image has yet to fully recover. It was an unfortunate fall from grace for a guy who literally had Hollywood, and the world, in the palm of his hand after sweeping the 1995 Oscars with his box office smash "Braveheart. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
David Argue has rediscovered his passion for acting after playing an Australian astronaut in Astro Loco, the debut feature from writer-director Aaron McLoughlin. The actor who made his name in the 1980s classics Gallipoli, BMX Bandits and Razorback, shot the sci-fi comedy at Rmit University.s studios in Melbourne after taking a self-imposed break .
Explaining the hiatus, he tells If, .On a couple of projects I felt I was not treated the right way, or the film was shafted..
Astro Loco follows four misfit astronauts who discover during their mission they have been given one-way tickets and they.re not going home.
.When Aaron sent me the treatment I thought, .That.s right out there,. a bit like Red Dwarf,. Argue says. .My character Lucien is quite angry, he.s not the full astronaut..
The actor thoroughly enjoyed the shoot, observing, .It was an awakening, my reconnection with the film business. »
- Don Groves
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 BFI London Film Festival. The First World War was one of the greatest, most terrible conflicts and losses of life in the history of humanity, but curiously, it's been relatively under-represented on screen, aside from a smattering of pictures like Oscar-winner "All Quiet On The Western Front," Stanley Kubrick's "Paths Of Glory," Peter Weir's "Gallipoli," and most recently, Steven Spielberg's "War Horse." Perhaps it's because it was less of a just war than its bigger sequel, perhaps it's that it was a particularly gruesome slog of mud and sacrifice, perhaps it was because America only entered the war three years in, but there's no doubt that the conflict has been seen in the movies much less than WWII, or even Vietnam. Read More: Watch: First Trailer For 'Testament Of Youth' Starring Kit Harington & Alicia Vikander This year, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
When actor Brenton Foale told friends he wanted to try his hand at writing and directing they suggested he start with a short film.
Foale had different ideas, convinced he had the ability to shoot a feature based on a script he started developing just two years ago.
He joined forces with Passion Media Productions. Leanne Campbell, for whom he worked as a crew member on her short film Love in Motion last year.
With private investment, a crowd-funding campaign on Pozible and $60,000 of Foale.s own money, they are financing Deal, which started shooting in Melbourne on Saturday.
The plot follows six people whose lives become entangled, erupting in violence, deceit and crime. They include Stephanie (Madison Vulic), an attractive young woman who has an opportunity to attend a top modelling school but has little money.
Dean (John McCullough) is living on »
- Don Groves
And he.ll be disappointed with the lack of interest from mainstream moviegoers. Playing at 320 locations including 70 IMAX screens, the drama fetched an estimated $US1.25 million in its first three days for a lowly per screen average of $3,906.
Many critics faulted Crowe.s feature directing debut and ridiculed the romance between his character and Olga Kurylenko.s gorgeous Turkish widow.
The New York Times. Manohla Dargis opined, .For The Water Diviner, his muddled directorial debut about love in the time of war and dissemblance, Russell Crowe wanted to go full David Lean while nodding at Peter Weir.s Gallipoli.
.Mr. Crowe has signed onto a preposterous, would-be sweeping historical romance that.s far too slight and silly to »
- Don Groves
Turkey Dressing: Crowe’s Well-Intentioned Debut Ultimately Mundane
In the comparable tradition of Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner, actor Russell Crowe makes a big budget, historically relevant directorial debut with The Water Diviner, a World War I Australian drama. As penned by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, both writers accustomed to writing almost exclusively for television, the film’s significance is straightjacketed into a garden variety of manipulative clichés, replete with an unnecessary and oddly provoked romance that ends an otherwise workmanlike tale of woe on a sour note.
Beginning in 1919 Australia, well-digger Joshua Connor (Crowe) lives alone with his wife (Jacqueline McKenzie), using his powers of water divining (basically a concept where a stick or similar apparatus is used to steer a user toward a water source—often called water witching) to continue their idyllic farm. All is not well with the Connor’s, as he comes home to »
- Nicholas Bell
The Water Diviner Warner Bros. Reviewed by: Harvey Karten for CompuServe ShowBiz. Databased on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B+ Director: Russell Crowe Screenwriter: Andrew Knight, Andrew Anastasios Cast: Russell Crowe, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Jai Courtney, Ryan Corr Screened at: Warner, NYC, 4/20/15 Opens: April 24, 2015 For his directing debut, Russell Crowe chose a tale first attempted by Peter Weir in that helmsman’s 1981 film “Gallipoli”—about two sprinters who go from Australia to Turkey to fight in the disastrous battle of Gallipoli. But Crowe adds a patina of romance and sentimentality while showing the movie audience that war is hell. “The Water Diviner” is an old-fashioned Hollywood treatment in which [ Read More ]
The post The Water Diviner Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
Having worked with the likes of Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Peter Weir, Michael Mann, and Darren Aronofsky, I would venture to say Russell Crowe may have picked up one or two directing secrets over the years. The Water Diviner shows us what the Aussie actor may have learned from some of these cinematic legends. Immediately visible are traces of Ridley Scott’s wide scope as well as Ron Howard’s knack for schmaltz. In his directorial debut, Crowe feels assured in his presentation of a heartfelt historical drama, but this confidence can’t make up for a story that feels a little tired and a presentation that leans towards superfluous melodrama.
Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to look for his three missing sons whom are presumed dead. World War I may have ended but other obstacles still stand in »
- Michael Haffner
Once upon a time, to cast Russell Crowe in a film was to immediately give the project a pedigree. He gave undeniable gravitas to period pieces like Cinderella Man and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, just a few years after getting three straight Best Actor Oscar nominations (and one win, for Gladiator). In the last few years, however, he has become a kind of Hollywood punching bag, mainly for his emotionless turn as Jor-El in Man of Steel and his fruitless attempt at playing Javert in Les Misérables. (His howlingly inept turn in Winter’s Tale is a footnote, since very few had the misfortune of seeing that abysmal drama.)
In a bit of good news, Crowe’s feature directorial debut, The Water Diviner, is a step in the right direction – even if it is a largely hit-and-miss affair. One can clearly see the influence of Crowe’s collaborators, »
- Jordan Adler
At least Russell Crowe is self-aware.
"It won't come as any surprise to you, but I'm completely comfortable when all the creative decisions are mine," says Crowe.
The Oscar-winning actor stepped behind the camera for the first time with The Water Diviner, a classically made epic about a father (Crowe) who travels from the Australian outback to Istanbul in search of the bodies of his three sons, who were killed at the Battle of Gallipoli. The story is at once an adventure tale, a drama, and a romance.
Inspired by Australian cinema's golden age directors like Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong and Phillip Noyce, Crowe and his cinematographer, Oscar-winner Andrew Lesnie (The Lord of the Rings), weave together an intricate tapestry of striking visuals to both recreate the war and its aftermath.
Crowe talked with The Associated Press in Los Angeles recently about his foray into directing. The remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Plot: After the end of The Great War, a grieving father (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey to recover the bodies of his three sons, who perished in battle at Gallipoli. Review: After years of starring in epics from people like Ridley Scott, Peter Weir and Darren Aronofsky, it looks like Russell Crowe has picked up more than enough knowledge to make his directorial debut with an epic that certainly wouldn’t be out of any of those directors’ wheelhouse. Considering his »
- Chris Bumbray
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner” might be seen as just another film struggling to get a look from American audiences during a spring movie season dominated by the latest installments in the “Avengers” and “Furious” franchises.
But for the film community Down Under, and especially first-time director Crowe, the war epic amounts to something much larger – another chance for Australia to reassert itself as a maker of mass-appeal films and for the actor to shift from leading man to the man leading production.
Crowe did not try to downplay the stakes — or his ambition, at age 51, to shift at least a portion of his career to behind the camera — in an interview before the film’s American premiere last week.
“That’s the gamble, man. It’s three years of my life. And that’s what’s on the line,” he said outside the Tcl Chinese Theater. “The two »
- James Rainey
“The Water Diviner” has already won three Academy Awards and been tops at the box office, but those victories came Down Under. The Australian-made period picture debuted in Hollywood Thursday night, with high hopes from cast and crew that their winning streak will continue on American soil.
Star Russell Crowe, who makes his directorial debut in the story about a man coping with the losses of war, called it “a much more intimate thing” to be helming a movie for the first time.
He expressed high hopes for a box office breakthrough in America to go with the film’s success in Australia, where it was the top-grossing home-grown movie of 2014. “The Water Diviner” has made $12 million so far worldwide, on a budget of $22.5 million.
“It’s three years of my life and that’s what’s on the line,” Crowe said outside the Tcl Chinese Theatre. “The two things that come out of this, »
- James Rainey
The National Film and Sound Archive Strategic Plan 2015-2018 sets some ambitious targets while making a strong case for additional government funding.
Released on Thursday, the document warns, .Unless we substantially increase revenue, from government as well as private sources, the organisation will run the risk of under-performing on a range of government expectations and will not be able to deliver to our constituencies what they are entitled to expect..
In the next three years the institution aims to to boost sponsorship, fund raising and commercial activities to generate $2 million per year.
It is committed to provide a new range of curated public programs including theatrical screenings of up to 10 restored or remastered Australian films annually.
And it will continue to lobby the federal government to make it mandatory for producers of audiovisual works to offer digital copies to the Archive.
The release of the plan follows 10 months of workshops »
- Don Groves
★★★☆☆ Russell Crowe's good-looking, and thoughtful directorial debut, The Water Diviner (2014), makes for a fitting companion piece to Peter Wier's 1981 war-drama, Gallipoli, picking up the story months after the ferocious and disastrous military campaign of the First World War. Crowe stars as Joshua Conner, an Australian farmer who packed his three sons off to fight half way across the world in the aforementioned Gallipoli campaign, where they perished. Struggling to deal with his grieving wife, Crowe decides to set out for Turkey to bring his boys home to rest. Once in Constantinople, Conner encounters the beautiful Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), who helps him head to Gallipoli to find where his boys fell.
- CineVue UK
Coinciding with the centenary of the Battle of the Gallipoli, where 8,709 Australians were killed during the First World War, The Water Diviner comes as a reminder that this was a tragedy on both sides. Russell Crowe boldly chooses this subject to make his feature directorial debut - picking up where Peter Weir left off with Gallipoli (1981) - and also stars as a father looking for his sons' remains after the guns are laid down in Turkey. His case isn't watertight, but he angles for tear-jerking drama and delivers.
Realism takes second place to mysticism and the foreword, claiming this story to be based on real events, is a leap given that the writers were inspired by just a single line in a letter penned by Lt-Colonel Cyril Hughes (here »
Australian media have reported that the production will shoot in one of three Australian states: Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria. Producer, Bill Mechanic told Variety that the destinations have not yet been pinned down.
“We are absolutely targeted to shoot in Australia, however we haven’t yet scouted locations so are unsure which states we’ll make use of. Most likely more than one of the three [states], but we haven’t even begun to narrow the process yet,” Mechanic said.
The film is based on the life of Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving dozens of soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa while serving as a medic. Andrew Garfield is set to portray Doss, who was a Seventh »
- Patrick Frater
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is looking to ramp up the programming of its Arc cinema in Canberra with a commercial partner. The Nfsa today called for expressions of interest from qualified parties to develop and deliver a regular screening program at the Arc. The institution was forced to cut back the cinema's screening program last year as part of a restructure which entailed slashing the workforce from 206 to 178, sparking protests from directors, producers, writers, actors, academics and journalists, many of whom complained about lack of consultation. Nfsa CEO Michael Loebenstein tells If, .The Arc is one of the few cinemas that can play archival films as well as digital content, but running it at full capacity proved unviable and beyond our capacity. By ourselves we can only manage a limited number of programs.. Among recent events at the Arc, classic Disney animation films have been shown »
- Don Groves
What a bold yet strangely sensible turn of casting by Peter Weir: hiring a woman to play a man simply because she was the best fit for the part
• Van Badham: female actors want better roles because none exist
• Gallipoli rewatched – Weir deconstructs war as grand adventure
• The Last Wave rewatched – mysticism, prophecy and end of times
Continue reading »
- Luke Buckmaster
20 items from 2015
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