Search
3D 5th Wave 80s Cinema A Night of Horror Action Activism Adaptation Adelaide Film Festival Adventure Advocacy African American Age of Adaline AI albanian aliens altzheimers amazon Amitabh Bachchan Animation anime Ari Gold Art Asian Cinema Australian film AV Industry Bad Robot BDSM Beach Boys Berlinale BFG Bianca Biasi Big Hero 6 Biography Biopic Blake Lively B-Movies Bollywood Breast Cancer Brian Wilson Brisbane Camille Keenan Cancer candyman Cannes cannibalism Cannon Films Cesars CGI Chapman To Character Actors Charlie Hunnam Charlize Theron Chemsex China Lion Chloe Grace Moretz Chris Hemsworth Chris Pratt Christchurch christian cinema christmas Christopher Nolan Classic Cinema Close Encounters Cloverfield Comedy Coming-of-Age Conspiracy Controversy Crowd-sourced Cult Cure Dakota Johnson Dance Academy Dardennes Brothers darth vader Debut Deepika Padukone Depression Disaster Movies Disney Diversity Documentary doomsday Dr Moreau drama Dustin Clare Dystopic EL James eli roth Elizabeth Banks Entourage Environmental Epic Erotic Cinema Extreme Sports faith-based Family Film Fantasy Father Daughter Feminism Fifty Shades of Grey Film Film Festival Foreign found footage French Cinema Friendship Fusion Technology Gareth Edwards Gay Cinema Ghostbusters Ghosts Golan Globus Gothic green inferno Guardians of the Galaxy Guillermo del Toro Gun Control Hacker Hailee Steinfeld Han Solo Happiness Harrison Ford Harry Dean Stanton Hasbro Haunted house Hhorror Himalaya Hitchcock Hollywood Holocaust horror Horror Film Housebound Hunger Games Idris Elba IFC Midnight IMAX In Your Eyes Independence Day Independent Indian Film Indigenous Infini International Film Internet Interstellar Iron Man 3 Irrfan Khan James Gunn
Sunday
Apr162017

SUNTANNED CINEPHILES SET TO FEAST ON GOLD COAST FILM FEST.

Its very mention once conjured images of a hedonistic mecca peopled by meter maids and partying teens, but Queensland’s Gold Coast tourist strip has more recently re-emerged as a film lover’s paradise. Central to this cultural growth is Festival Director Lucy Fisher and her team at the Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF), who celebrate 15 years as the region’s premiere movie-going event, a crucial conduit between local and international filmmakers and the Sunshine State’s cinephiles…

“2017 is about a shift in a new direction,” says Fisher, who has worked our interview into a frantic schedule ahead of the April 19 launch of the 2017 event. “It is about bringing films to life in a distinctly Gold Coast way for local and visiting audiences and to help grow and support Queensland’s screen industry.” From humble beginnings in 2002 when it launched as a genre-based fan event, the scale of this year’s 12-day celebration now reflects both the vast, stunning geography of Australia’s north-east and the richness of its film culture.

“The festival has really found its feet in the last three years,” says Fisher (pictured, left). “For general cinemagoers, we play a social role, affording them a chance to meet and bond over shared film experiences, discovering new films or films that would normally only release in Sydney and Melbourne.” Kicking off with the New Zealand hit comedy Pork Pie from director Matt Murphy, patrons with a penchant for global cinema are spoilt for choice with works from Finland (Juho Kuosmanen’s Cannes sensation The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki), The U.K. (Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion; Jason Connery’s Tommy’s Honour); The U.S.A. (Maggie Greenwald’s Sophie and The Rising Sun; James Ponsoldt’s The Circle); Egypt (Mohamed Diab’s Clash); Indonesia (Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto’s Headshot); Chile (Pablo Larrain’s Neruda); France (Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium); and, Kenya (Mbithi Masaya’a Kati Kati).

The Festival’s major sponsor is the state’s funding and production overseer Screen Queensland who, under the energised stewardship of CEO Tracey Vieira, has seen the region attract big-ticket productions like Kong Skull Island, Thor Ragnarok, The Shallows, San Andreas and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. In an inspired piece of off-site programming, the GCFF is offering a 3-hour bus tour of these locations, with accompanying AV content to enhance the experience.

The Screen Queensland collaboration and the role it plays in fostering talent and production activity is taken very seriously by Fisher, who states, “For the local industry, we develop future film professionals through screen culture and screen education, (including) dedicated screenings, career forums and workshops for high-school students. For film industry audiences, we provide professional development through Q&As, panels and workshops.” In 2017, these events come under the ‘ReelLife’ banner and include sessions on film criticism, chaired by FilmInk editor Dov Kornits; the intricacies of film production, hosted by industry veterans Sue Maslin and Jan Chapman; understanding the audition process with actress Claudia Karvan; sound design and composition with Oscar winner David White; and, working with animals on-screen, chaired by director Simon Wincer (Phar Lap; Free Willy).

Australian productions in the 2017 programme include four World Premieres – Dee McLachlan’s supernatural thriller Out of The Shadows; Josh Hale’s gamer mockumentary Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League; Jude Kalman’s uplifting documentary Uncontained Love: Love > Fear; and, Enzo Tedeschi’s gripping socio-political thriller, Event Zero, which will close the festival on April 30. Other local filmmakers represented include James Bogle, with his bio-doc Whitely; Douglas Watkin and his indigenous ballet doco Ella; Michael Jones, with Lazybones; Romi Trower, presenting her debut What If It Works?, with Luke Ford; Shane Abbess, with his sci-fi spectacle Science Fiction Vol 1: The Osiris Child (pictured, above; stars Isabel Lucas and Daniel McPherson); and, Gerald Rascionato, whose shark-attack found-footage thriller Cage Dive should play well to the beachgoing locals.

Fisher is fully aware of the importance of a placement in a festival line-up can represent to the young filmmakers of Australia. “We seek out Australian films that haven’t had any screen agency funding. These are the go-getters, the hustlers, the deal-makers,” she says. “To make a film on a credit card budget or find funding for a couple of hundred grand is incredible. The discovery and support of independent filmmaking talent is one of our distinctive points of difference.”

Perhaps the most crucial point of difference is Lucy Fisher’s commitment to gender equality in her festival’s programming. Her selections are all rated utilising the Bechdel Test, an industry standard that determines a film’s gender bias based upon a) whether it has at least two women characters, who b) talk to each other about c) something other than a man. Says Fisher, “We rated all films by the Bechdel Test first in 2016 and have again in 2017 to highlight how women are being written for screen.” Her determination to strengthen the profile of women in the film industry also extends to the festival podiums. “The bigger, older film festivals still won’t even register that they might have an event that has a man introducing a man guest, moderated by a man, thanked by a man,” she states. “We commit to at least 50% women speakers, which sounds deceptively simple.  But when Australia produces only 23% of films with women writers and 16% with women directors, that’s something we have to deliberately consider in our speaker and programming choices.”

Fittingly, the recipient of the 2017 GCFF Chauvel Award for career achievement and artistic integrity is actress Deborah Mailman, who will participate in an extensive interview with past winner David Stratton at the event’s host venue, The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast Film Festival runs April 19-30. Ticket and session information is available at the official website here.

Friday
Feb242017

FEMALE EMPOWERMENT DRAMA DENIED RELEASE BY INDIAN CENSORS

India’s hardline censorship body, The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), has refused to classify Alankrita Shrivastava’s female empowerment drama, Lipstick Under My Burkha. The decision effectively denies a theatrical release of the Hindi film in its homeland, pending severe edits by the filmmaker or appellate court action by the distributor.

Starring Konkona Sensharma, Ratna Pathak Shah and Plabita Borthakur (pictured, above), the pro-feminist comedy/drama focuses on four women in a small Indian town who each seek a small degree of personal freedom in their daily lives. It played to acclaim on the 2016 festival circuit, earning the Spirit Asia Award at the Tokyo Film Festival and a Best Film on Gender Equality prize at the Mumbai Film Festival.

In a letter to producer Prakash Jha (subsequently posted on the film's social media platforms), The CBFC stated, “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused (sic).”

The body cited violations of a number of guidelines to which submitted films must adhere, including: vulgarity, obscenity or depravity; scenes degrading or denigrating women; sexual violence against women; sexual perversions; and visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups.

Speaking to the press ahead of the U.K. premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival, Shrivastava (pictured, right) was defiant in the face of the ruling. “I will battle this out and do whatever it takes to ensure that audiences in India can watch the film,” she said. “I believe the decision to refuse certification is an assault on women’s rights. For too long the popular narrative has perpetuated patriarchy by objectifying women or minimising their role in a narrative.”

Shrivastava was adamant that the traditional gender bias endemic to Indian culture was a factor in the decision. “A film like Lipstick Under My Burkha, that challenges that dominant narrative, is being attacked because it presents a female point of view. Do women not have the right of freedom of expression?,” she demanded. “India is so steeped in its discrimination against women, it becomes evident in such decisions. In a country where there is so much violence against women, and such double standards for women, rather than encourage women’s stories told by women themselves, our stories are stifled.”

In a positive review published in November 2016 following the Tokyo Film Festival screening, trade paper The Hollywood Reporter pre-empted the controversy, stating, “one wonders how the Hindi-language film will be received locally and whether its frankness will be cause for scandal.”

Like many of his contemporaries, Prakash Jha (pictured, right) has clashed with The CBFC in the past. His 2016 film Jai Gangaajal, starring India’s biggest international movie star Priyanka Chopra, was denied CBFC classification before being cleared by the next level of industry bureaucracy, the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. Hollywood has also felt the sting of CBFC disapproval, with Barry Jenkin’s Oscar nominated Moonlight having scenes of same-sex affection, swear words and heterosexual lovemaking excised before classification was allowed; in 2012, David Fincher denied Indian audiences a theatrical release of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo when he refused to make extensive CBFC-sanctioned edits.

 

Thursday
Dec082016

AACTA KUDOFEST BECOMES 'THE GIBBO AND HOGES SHOW'

The band of brothers who fought to get Hacksaw Ridge made were rewarded with 9 AACTA trophies in at a red carpet industry soiree in Sydney last night. Returning again and again to the podium, artisans and craftsmen on Mel Gibson’s bloody ode to faith and heroism all but shut out the rest of the nominees, with only Simon Stone’s dark drama The Daughter feeling any love in other major categories.

In accepting his Best Director award from Mad max director Dr George Miller, a moved Gibson (“I am so choked up, I can’t even talk”) acknowledged the ongoing support afforded filmmakers by the funding bodies Screen Australia and Screen New South Wales. He also paid service to local below-the-liners, stating, “the calibre (of this cast and crew) is as good as or better than anywhere in the world. I’m not the only one who wants to make films here, because Ridley Scott says exactly the same thing about working here.”

By the end of the night, most of those cast and crew had AACTA awards in their grasp, with the film earning Andrew Garfield the Lead Actor gong (he accepted via a pre-recorded link) and Supporting Actor for Hugo Weaving. Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan earned Screenplay honours; DOP Simon Duggan’s immersive battlefield camerawork saw him take the Cinematography nod; the kudo list was rounded out by John Gilbert’s editing, Barry Robinson’s production design and the sound design unit.

AACTA’s in the Female Lead and Supporting categories for The Daughter halted a Hacksaw Ridge clean sweep. In her first feature film role, Odessa Young (pictured, right) earned Best Actress while industry favourite Miranda Otto received her first and long-overdue trophy for her supporting turn. Writer/director Simon Stone secured the Adapted Screenplay honour, having reworked Henrik Ibsen’s play The Wild Duck into a contemporary Australian drama.

The only other honourees were the lovably offbeat coming-of-age comedy Girl Asleep, which earned Best Costume Design for Jonathon Oxlade and the Pacific Island romance Tanna, which took home Best Original Music Score for Antony Partos. Chasing Asylum, a harrowing account of the immigrant experience in Australia, won Best Documentary, with the film’s director Eva Orner on hand to collect.

A highlight of the night was the bestowing of the AACTA Longford Lyell Award upon beloved icon Paul Hogan, an honour that has previously acknowledged the global standing of such talents as Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush. Accepting the trophy in typically laconic style, he cheerfully recognised his entire career has largely been a been based upon the one-hit wonder Crocodile Dundee and its sequels, but as he pointed out to the roar of the audience, “It was a mighty hit.” Other industry accolades went to Isla Fisher, who joined the likes of Naomi Watts, Margot Robbie and Toni Collette as the recipient of the Trailblazer Award, and visual artist and VR innovator Lynette Wallworth, who earned the Byron Kennedy Award.

Tuesday
Nov152016

FOUNDER OF HANOI FILM HEAVEN REFLECTS ON REEL LEGACY

It has been fourteen years of passionate struggle for Gerald Herman. Hailing from upstate New York, the expat director/producer’s nomadic sense of adventure led him to Vietnam where, in 2002, he founded and has programmed the Hanoi Cinematheque ever since. The only venue in the bustling Vietnamese metropolis that has steadfastly adhered to screening classic international cinema, it has remained the ‘best kept secret’ amongst the cinephiles of southeast Asia. “Cinema has always played an important role in Vietnamese society,” says Herman, who spoke to SCREEN-SPACE from his Paris base…

Set well back from the ceaseless din of Hanoi’s busiest shopping district, Cinematheque patrons walk a darkened, enclosed alleyway before emerging into an art-deco themed courtyard. To the left, an elegant bar services the dedicated few attending the Tuesday evening screening of director Trong Ninh Luu’s 1991 rural drama, The Gamble; to the right, the box office beckons, the ambience enhanced by framed posters heralding some cinema classics (our eye is instantly drawn to an original US one-sheet for Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, one of Herman’s favourite films).

“I set up Hanoi Cinematheque thinking I could educate and inspire a new generation of young Vietnamese filmmakers,” recalls Herman, who now recognises that the birth of the new millennium may not have been the ideal time to launch a celebration of the past. “Young Vietnamese filmmakers were not interested in watching old movies (with so) much new stuff to discover,” he admits, “so we became mostly an expat hang-out, (with) support from foreign embassies in Hanoi, as we do many programs together.”

Having graduated from the prestigious NYU Film School (under the mentorship of one Martin Scorsese), a three-year stint in the Hollywood trenches followed (he would become the youngest ever director to gain DGA membership) before Herman’s wanderlust took hold. By 1992 he had settled in Vietnam, his passion for film production leading to a 24-year career in the sector. In 2009, he directed the acclaimed short, A Dream in Hanoi (pictured, below left); in 2015, his production Finding Phong was praised for its humanistic study of transgender issues in modern Vietnam.

“Making movies in Vietnam is always a challenge, but also rewarding,” he says. “People are keen to help in every way possible, without the kind of salaries one must pay in more ‘developed’ countries. Technical facilities are lacking, but more and more professional services, equipment and people are becoming available.” In addition to his filmmaking endeavours, he has lent his talents to film preservation, including overseeing the digital restoration of Hai Ninh’s landmark 1973 drama Little Girl in Hanoi, in conjunction with the Vietnamese Film Institute.   

Determined to impart this passion and knowledge for global film on the Vietnamese population, Herman spent five years searching for the ideal site for his Cinematheque dream. The Hai Bà Trưng Street building he settled upon was rich in history; in 1954, it had served as the regional headquarters for the Ministry of Culture, before some bawdier times as a massage parlour. “Since the French colonial days, imported films were shown in city cinemas and widely distributed via traveling ciné companies to introduce French culture and life-styles,” notes Herman, who cites the crucial role that film played in unifying the population. “During the war years, locally-produced documentaries and narrative films were effective political and propaganda vehicles.”

Sadly, time has run out for the Hanoi Cinematheque; its elegant screening room and art deco façade will be demolished by years-end to make way for yet another shopping/parking complex. But Gerald Herman leaves behind a rich cultural legacy; when one glimpses his backroom DVD library, you are struck by what an extraordinarily diverse and complex contribution the Cinematheque has made to Hanoi film society. The walls are lined with over 3500 titles, featuring such names as Sidney Lumet (Prince of The City), Jean-Jacques Beinex (Roselyne and the Lions) and Theodoros Angelopoulos (Ulysses’ Gaze). Across the few days that SCREEN-SPACE was in Hanoi, sessions included Regis Wargnier’s Indochine, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Nguyen Viet Linh’s 1988 local industry classic, Travelling Circus.

Perhaps of even greater resonance will be the bridge that the Hanoi Cinematheque has provided between its members and an array of international artists. Says Herman, “Our very best moments have been hosting local and foreign filmmakers who present their work and then discuss with our audience.” Herman has hosted the likes of Ira Sachs, Philip Noyce, David Bradbury, John Pilger, Les Blank, Dang Nhat Minh, Albert Berger, John Cameron Mitchell, Todd Solondz, Tim Zinnemann, Le Le Hayslip and Jorgen Leth, to name a few.

After years of existing on meagre returns and occasional local business support, Gerald Herman considers the closure of his Cinematheque with melancholy. “Yes, sad indeed,” Herman says, during the course of our chat, “but I am grateful for all the fun and adventures we've had for the past 14 years”.

Read the SCREEN-SPACE World Cinema: Vietnam article here.

Saturday
May282016

VIRTUAL HORRORS AT FOREFRONT OF NEW ERA IN STORYTELLING

A sidebar to the Marche du Film distribution marketplace at the Festival de Cannes is NEXT, a gathering of business and tech innovators who are shaping the future of the global film industry. Presently, there is no more energised sector than the world of Virtual Reality (VR), represented at NEXT by designers and financiers from the US, Canada, Switzerland, The Netherlands and France. One of the most enthusiastic VR entrepreneurs is LA-based industry veteran Russell Naftal who, with co-managing partner Alex Barder, is primed for the launch of the VR horror experience, Paranormal Activity, an immersive brand extension of the popular film franchise being developed in-house at their company, VRWerx. SCREEN-SPACE got the latest VR spiel from Naftal (reproduced below, in full), before donning the eyewear and plunging into the Paranormal Activity Cannes 2016 demo footage, recounted in its entirety (in italics) by your quivering correspondent…. 

“Two years ago, Alex and I merged our companies – I had a television and digital company and he had a film company, we’d been doing business together for years. We’d both been looking at VR because distribution in the entertainment business is priority; if you have content, you need a distribution platform. We looked at the industry and it was starting to change; digital was growing fast and my role within it was becoming a little stale, a little standard. So we defined VR as being the new distribution platform, a new way to explore content while providing a more immersive experience.”

Having grasped two lightweight devices that will provide virtual hands as well as allowing freedom of movement within the contained VR environment, a tech assistant fits the HTC Vive eyewear and a headpiece for aural immersion. As large as - but lighter than - a hi-top sneaker, the ‘goggles’ slip comfortably over my eyebrow ridge and rest on the bridge of my nose. My field of vision is immediately engulfed by a 3d greyish-white grid, until the assistant says, “Ok, I’m going to plug you in…”

“Our first consideration was, ‘who are going to be our consumers?’ The gamers were our low-hanging fruit; they’re going to be the taste-makers, the ones who will say, ‘VR, thumbs up!’ And we need them, because there are millions of kids playing games and spending money. Next, we knew if we were going to get a game we needed something that was going to be really immersive. What’s going to be visceral? And, of course, that’s horror. But no one has the time or money to launch a new platform and a new brand. We needed a brand that was already out there.” (Pictured, right; Russell naftal of VRWerx)

The entrance foyer of an average suburban home materialises before me. It is dimly lit, with one white-light source cutting through the shadowy ambience. Illuminated is a square table, upon which I find a torch and a post-it note, which reads, ‘Needs batteries.’ Atmosphere is enhanced with a steady hum pumped through the headset. To the right, glass-panelled sliding doors beckon, but I need those batteries to proceed. To the left, a door is ajar; pushing it open, a chest of drawers stands before me. A lighter is visible, which I grab and consign to my inventory; I lift a soda can, which falls to the floor when I try to file it away (meaning it serves no purpose in this section of game play). In the second drawer are the batteries, which I insert in the torch, and exit the room…

“Paranormal Activity is the second highest grossing horror franchise ever, has a huge fan base and, frankly, who doesn’t love the haunted house experience. We went over to our friends at Paramount, who had just released the last of the movies in October. It was a moment in time when the rights happened to be available, and we acquired them to make the Paranormal Activity interactive VR game. This will be the first time that a feature film will be integrated into a VR environment and is being viewed as a continuation of the franchise, but in the most immersive way.”

As I return to the entrance foyer, I find chairs have been balanced precariously on the small table, recalling the famous fright from Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (a film referenced often in the franchise).  As I approach the sliding doors, a small child’s voice whispers, “She’s behind you.” Chills run up my neck; suddenly, I am aware of my pulse. I hesitate to look behind me, and when I do, nothing is there. There is a crashing sound, and I turn quickly to find the panelled doors have slammed shut. I move through them, entering the expansive living room familiar to fans of the series. I instantly recall it is where some horrible things have happened...

“We are scheduled to launch around the end of the American summer. The game is about 3½ hours of story, with gameplay coming it at about 10 hours. Our background is as storytellers and that was our focus going into VR. If we were going to get into this we wanted to have something that was immersive, of course, but also engaging. We had all the confidence that we were going to develop a good looking product, but we had to make sure that the story was there and the people that players would be immersed with were real and affecting.” 

To the left is a hallway, at the far end of which is a staircase. To the right are a few steps that lead to a landing, upon which a little girl is nervously pacing. She utters a shrill warning about what haunts her house, and that I should follow her, before darting out of view. At this point, my tension level is growing alarmingly; a presence is in this room with me…

“We are evangelists for VR! We are firm believers that this platform has the potential to impact everyone on the planet. When the last Paranormal Activity film came out, we set up the VR booth right there in cinema foyers; if you bought a ticket to the movie, you also got to experience the game. We knew the gamers would respond, but we wanted to see how the general public would respond. And it was massive. So we know that VR is not just for gamers. I mean, you can travel the world via VR; you can adapt educational programmes. VR is a game-changer, the first one the industry has seen for a while. It is not just about the games industry, or the movie industry. It’s a whole new experience in storytelling.”

I notice a room in the hallway, its darkened interior offering the promise of more frights but none are forthcoming. The staircase beckons, but a rumbling stops me cold. Two heavy pieces of furniture atop the stairs are shaking violently and are hurled down the steps in my direction; I leap back as they land at my feet, and I begin to walk backwards out of this place. A cracking sound fills my head; I look up and see the walls are peeling, paint and plaster falling to the floor. It is time to leave. I turn and, standing before me, is a woman… 

SCREEN-SPACE would like to thank Marie-Emmanuelle Oliver, Head of Marketing for Marche du Film for providing access to the VRWerx team and the NEXT Pavilion.

Thursday
Mar312016

STARDUST MEMORIES: THE PETER FLYNN INTERVIEW

The digital revolution represents the biggest shift in the exhibition sector since the ‘multiplex boom' of the 1980s. Old-school projection booths, once the beating heart of the cinema-going experience, have all but vanished, replaced by sterile environments housing touch-screen monitors filled ‘encrypted files’. Dying of the Light is a stirring, melancholy account of American film exhibition up to this moment in time; a point in film history that threatens to reduce to museum pieces 1000s of spools of classic film storytelling and the grand machines that lit them up. In his moving, insightful film, director Peter Flynn, Senior Scholar-in-Residence at Boston’s Emerson College, profiles the projectionists who have forged generations of film-going memories and who are now faced with a ‘change or perish’ life choice. He spoke with SCREEN-SPACE about his loving tribute to the art and romance of movies…

SCREEN-SPACE: Where did your passion for the moving image and how it is presented and preserved originate?

FLYNN: I’ve always loved film.  My earliest memories are of the large-screen cinemas of Dublin City, where I grew up in the 70s and 80s—the Ambassador, the Savoy, and the Adelphi.  Back then it was not uncommon to spend two hours waiting outside in the rain for the doors to open and for the show to start. But it was worth it.  To enter those old theaters, with their ornate surroundings and lush carpeting, their balconies and curtained screens, was to enter another world.  Going to the cinema was something special back then, and it remained so throughout my childhood. The Dying of the Light digs deep into those memories, I suppose.  Try as I might to be balanced in the film, its by no means objective.

SCREEN-SPACE: As a lover of film culture and academic dedicated to film history, how did the research period and the trips to hollow, dilapidated halls in small towns impact you?

FLYNN (pictured, right): The image of the ruined abandoned movie theatre/projection booth became a sort of visual metaphor in the film, I suppose; a way to underscore the loss and ruination of the practice of film-handing and projection.  It was also the right place to start—with this palpable sense of loss, of better days gone by. The idea of the projection booth as an archeological site fascinated me from the start.  So many had the feeling of being tomb-like—relics of an older order, filled with the possessions of the dearly departed.  It was not uncommon as late as three or four years ago to enter a projection booth and find traces of the very early stages of film’s history. Fire shutters dating back to the nitrate days which lasted up until the 1950s; old 1,000 foot reels, which would have held silent films of the 1920s; notes written on the walls from one projectionist to another; old magazines tucked away in corners. Projectionists spent so much of their lives in those little rooms.  How could they retire without leaving something of themselves behind? So the film was inherently sad, or inherently reverential in a way.  But I’m also Irish and I entered into this with the idea that the film would be a wake—mixing the sad and the solemn with a spirit of tribute and celebration, with humor and energy.  I hope balance comes across.

SCREEN-SPACE: The film walks a fine line between eulogising a dying/dead aspect of the industry and celebrating its impact. Was it a struggle not to succumb to the sombre, sad loss of film projection?

FLYNN: Yes, it’s a very fine line.  And I did struggle at times to temper my own nostalgia for, or romanticization of “the good old days.”  But as a documentary maker you have to listen to your interviewees.  And not all waxed lyrical on the old days.  Nor were all critical of the new digital technologies—some “old-timers” embraced the future.  The final lines in the film, spoken by one of the older projectionists (ironically to one of the younger ones), ask that we look ahead to the future, not the past. And I thought that was a very important note to end on—a corrective to the romantic view that so many of us can easily fall into. (Pictured, above; David Kornfeld, projectionist at the Somerville Theatre, Somerville, Massachusetts).

SCREEN-SPACE: How much did your film's tone waver in post-production?

FLYNN: Post-production is where you (hopefully) find the right balance. You go out with your camera, you follow your gut, you engage emotionally and instinctually—in other words “on the fly”—with the world you are capturing and then you come back and you have to edit intellectually.  You have to moderate all the voices you find, give each its proper weight in the film, and hopefully find the right balance in the end. 

SCREEN-SPACE: Did you notice defining personality traits that were common across the projectionists you interviewed? What drove these men and women to commit to a life inside a small, dark room?

FLYNN: There is certainly a love and devotion to cinema uniting these people, but there’s a lot more besides.  There’s a commitment they all share to a quality of performance that is lacking today—to the idea of doing a job to the best of your ability, whether you’re acknowledged for that or not; and also to a notion of showmanship, which is likewise missing today.  The projection booth is a place of arrested development in many ways.  Its easy to hold onto older practices, older standards, when you’re isolated from the rest of the world as you are in the booth. As such, many projectionists may be seen to be out of step with contemporary culture, or normal social conventions—a hazard of spending too much time alone in a darkened room, I suppose—but, without exception, the people I interviewed for this film were wonderful; very warm and welcoming, open and generous.  Many have become good friends. (Pictured, above; projectionist Dave Leamon at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts).

SCREEN-SPACE: You address the recent release of The Hateful Eight, noting that it was ultimately a box office disappointment. But the initial 70mm 'roadshow' screenings were sell-outs. Does this indicate that large-scale film projection may still have a place as a 'prestige ticket' event?

FLYNN: The success or failure of The Hateful Eight in relation to the future of 70mm has yet to be determined. It’s a case of “wait and see.” My guess is that 70mm will pop up periodically in specialty theaters (but) not on the grander multiplex scale that the Weinstein Company and Tarantino had hoped for.  For me, the great visual surprise of the holiday season was not The Hateful Eight in 70mm, but Star Wars in 4K Digital 3D.  It was the best digital presentation I have ever seen.  That seems to be the future of large-format, large-screen presentations.  That does not imply that there is no room for 70mm presentations.  In fact, the arrival of digital does not, or rather should not, imply the complete eradication of film presentations.  There’s room for both—maybe less room for film than we’d like, but room for both nonetheless.  Theaters like the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts, prove conclusively that there’s still a place for analog film in commercial exhibition.  And that more than anything makes me feel there’s a future, albeit a limited one, for 70mm.

Dying of The Light is a First Run Features release currently in US specialty venues; other territories to follow.

 

Monday
Feb292016

PROYAS CASTS DARK SHADE OVER GODS OF EGYPT DETRACTORS

Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas has taken aim at the current crop of movie reviewers in the wake of his film’s critical mauling, calling them “diseased vultures”.

US critics have been scathing in their coverage of the latest work from the typically ambitious Proyas; at time of press, the US$140million production, shot largely in Australia, is at 17% on the Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus site and was posting opening weekend numbers in the low teens domestically.

Born in Egypt of Greek heritage, the Australian director debuted with the startling sci-fi vision, Spirits of The Air Gremlins of The Clouds (pictured, right) in 1989 and has an acclaimed resume of commercials and music videos to his name. Having relocated to Los Angeles in the early 90s, his feature film trajectory has endured a turbulent path; his 1994 American debut, the ill-fated The Crow, was a profitable hit, which he followed with the underperforming Dark City (now, a cult classic; 1998). He enjoyed blockbuster box office with the Will Smith hit, I Robot (2004), only to feel the sting of expensive failure with the 2009 misfire, Knowing, starring Nicholas Cage.

Proyas’ films have often divided critics, as he points out in the extensive diatribe that he posted on his Facebook page earlier today. Each work is a unique, complex genre vision that rarely fits comfortably within mainstream expectations. Even I, Robot, superficially a studio-backed/star vehicle summer tent-pole, was a morally ambiguous, thought-provoking murder mystery at its core. Critics have struggled to define Proyas’ work, usually praising his technical prowess and visionary scope but remaining bewildered or unengaged by his plotting.

But no work has been so savagely attacked as Gods of Egypt and Proyas clearly felt the need to even the playing-field. In his post, he addresses the accusations of ‘white-washing’ (the casting of Anglo actors in ethnically diverse roles); questions whether or not freedom of thought within the critical community exists anymore; alludes to the nature of social media and the need for acceptance within the ‘likes’-driven landscape. With the kind permission of the director, SCREEN-SPACE reproduces the post verbatim:

“NOTHING CONFIRMS RAMPANT STUPIDITY FASTER...
Than reading reviews of my own movies. I usually try to avoid the experience - but this one takes the cake. Often, to my great amusement, a critic will mention my past films in glowing terms, when at the time those same films were savaged, as if to highlight the critic's flawed belief of my descent into mediocrity. You see, my dear fellow FBookers, I have rarely gotten great reviews… on any of my movies, apart from those by reviewers who think for themselves and make up their own opinions. Sadly those type of reviewers are nearly all dead. Good reviews often come many years after the movie has opened. I guess I have the knack of rubbing reviewers the wrong way - always have. This time of course they have bigger axes to grind - they can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale asses look so politically correct by screaming "white-wash!!!” like the deranged idiots they all are. They fail to understand, or chose to pretend to not understand what this movie is, so as to serve some bizarre consensus of opinion which has nothing to do with the movie at all. That’s ok, this modern age of texting will probably make them go the way of the dinosaur or the newspaper shortly - don't movie-goers text their friends with what they thought of a movie? Seems most critics spend their time trying to work out what most people will want to hear. How do you do that? Why these days it is so easy... just surf the net to read other reviews or what bloggers are saying - no matter how misguided an opinion of a movie might be before it actually comes out. Lock a critic in a room with a movie no one has even seen and they will not know what to make of it. Because contrary to what a critic should probably be they have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo. None of them are brave enough to say “well I like it” if it goes against consensus. Therefore they are less than worthless. Now that anyone can post their opinion about anything from a movie to a pair of shoes to a hamburger, what value do they have - nothing. Roger Ebert wasn’t bad. He was a true film lover at least, a failed film-maker, which gave him a great deal of insight. His passion for film was contagious and he shared this with his fans. He loved films and his contribution to cinema as a result was positive. Now we have a pack of diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass. Trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus. I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality say is good or bad.”

In subsequent correspondence with SCREEN-SPACE, Proyas did acknowledge that his film, "seems to be getting a very good response critically and commercially everywhere outside the US."

It is the latest rebuke from a film community frustrated with the standard of modern film writing; last week, British director Ben Wheatley (pictured, right) aimed his own barbs at the current standard of film criticism. The director, whose films Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England have enjoyed critical warmth, spoke out after a mixed reaction to his latest thriller, High Rise. “Talking about other people’s stuff is weird,” he told Flick Reel. “Why aren’t you making stuff? And if you aren’t, why should you really have a voice to complain about things until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes?”

(Editor’s Note: SCREEN-SPACE gave a ‘4 star’ rating to Gods of Egypt on it’s official Letterboxd page on February 24. In 2009, this writer gave a mixed review to Knowing when contributing to the SBS Movies site.)

Monday
Dec282015

THE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART 2: AUSTRALIAN CINEMA IN 2015.

During the recent AACTA Awards film sector backslap, the message was loud and clear. “Australian cinema has been reborn!” the presenters continually reassured us, stressing that 2015 was a great year for local content. Homegrown movies earned AU$84million at the domestic box office, 7.7% of total takings; those figures represent the highest gross receipts ever for Oz films in a calendar year and the best market share since 2001. 

But breaking down the statistics reveals some devil in the details. Which Aussie pics wooed local audiences back to the ticket counter? What trends emerged amongst the hits (and misses, of which there were plenty)? And is Australian cinema on the cusp of a new ‘New Wave’, or has the tide already turned? SCREEN-SPACE ponders 'The Year in Australian Film'…

“YA WANNA GET OUTTA HERE, YA TALK TO ME…”
It was a long time coming, and took a very bumpy path to get to its audience, but Dr George Miller’s operatic action extravaganza Mad Max Fury Road was exactly the guzzoline needed to fuel the 2015 box office engine. It wasn’t the singular driving force that blew out the figures, like Moulin Rouge in 2001 or Babe in 1995 or Crocodile Dundee in 1985; in fact, some might counter that our iconic action hero’s return did not carry its weight at the box office, given it was only the 13th biggest hit of the year with takings sputtering out at AU$22million (beaten by the likes of 50 Shades of Grey, Cinderella and Pitch Perfect 2). But it was unarguably ‘event cinema’ of the highest order, the blockbuster ‘Aussie’ film the likes of which rarely emerge from the Antipodes. (Pictured, right; Charlize Theron as Furiosa)

SYDNEY OR THE BUSH?
The anachronistic ‘rural essence’ of this nation’s DNA is still a crucial and compelling component of our storytelling. Jocelyn Moorhouse’s raucous outback oddity The Dressmaker was the second biggest locally made hit, weaving AU$19million; Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, the WW1-set drama The Water Diviner took the bulk of its AU$17million this year after a Boxing Day 2014 debut; and, Jeremy Sims’ red-centre road-trip tearjerker Last Cab to Darwin earned a solid AU$7million and a Best Actor AACTA for local hero Michael Caton. Traditional Australian iconography and a sense of warm larrikinism were central to these works. What didn’t work were the contemporary narratives. Neil Armfield’s critically-lauded Holding the Man (AU$1million) and Dean Francis’ challenging odyssey Drown (figures n/a) failed to break out of their niche demographic. Brendan Cowell’s Sydney Film Festival opener Ruben Guthrie (AU$300k; pictured, top), Peter Andrikidis’ multicultural romance Alex & Eve (AU$390k), comedian Carl Barron’s self-penned vehicle Manny Lewis (AU$390k), Anupam Sharma’s Bollywood-themed rom-com UNindian (AU$100k) and Wayne Hope’s Melbourne-set misfire Now Add Honey (AU$87k) all bombed. On the upside, Damon Gameau’s new-agey diet doco That Sugar Film worked hard for its AU$1million, a respectful return on investment.

“WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”
Local producers have occasionally been guilty of neglecting the commercial and cultural potential of all-age films; everyone seems surprised when they hit big. Consider the sector without the likes of Storm Boy (1976), Fatty Finn (1980), The Man From Snowy River (1982), BMX Bandits (1983), Napoleon (1994), Babe (1995), The Wiggles Movie (1997), Hating Alison Ashley (2005), Happy Feet (2006), Red Dog (2011) and The Rocket (2013). Behind the angry road warrior and the snooty seamstress, family films carried the local industry in 2015. Oz production giant Village Roadshow brought all their marketing might to two kid-friendly hits – Stuart McDonald’s country-bumkin puppy-dog tale Oddball (AU$11million; pictured, right) and Robert Connolly’s rousing family drama Paper Planes (AU$10million) defined and maximised their audience with precision. The local arm of Studio Canal invested in Deane Taylor’s contemporary take on Blinky Bill (securing such voice talents as Toni Collette, David Wenham and Barry Humphries) and recouped a healthy AU$2.7million. In 2016, the ‘Aussie teen’ genre will be re-energised by Rosemary Myer’s wonderful Girl Asleep, which warmed hearts at this years’ Adelaide Film Festival.

"WHEN YOU WISH, UPON A STAR"
While the might of the ‘A-list movie star’ continues to wan at the global box office, Australian audiences seem to respond to big name talent in their little Aussie stories. Kate Winslet’s presence in The Dressmaker was a key selling point, earning the film not only acceptance at the local ticket counter but helping to secure the PJ Hogan-produced film a Toronto world premiere. Crowe’s presence both behind and before the camera paid dividends for The Water Diviner, in addition to his uncharacteristic openness with the press and the photogenic charms of Ukrainian co-star Olga Kurylenko. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron didn’t hurt Mad Max: Fury Road, though the ‘star’ was ultimately the chaotic artistry of Miller’s visuals. The exception that proves this rule is our own Nicole Kidman; her brave lead turn in Kim Farrant’s dusty ‘Twin Peaks’ wannabe Strangerland (to date, a global take is AU$24k) was all but ignored, while her latest US effort, Billy Ray’s Secret in Their Eyes, stumbled to AU$1.5million locally (despite the presence of co-stars Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor).

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR...
None of these films contributed more than loose change to the year’s box-office haul, but each one signals a new breed of commercially-oriented young filmmaker is on the verge of breaking through. Had the scourge of piracy not eaten away at it’s theatrical potential, Kiah Roache-Turner’s Wyrmwood would have certainly expanded upon its meagre AU$133k gross. Everyone of the following should earn its keep, via either the developing self-distribution theatrical model (see Fan-Force or Tugg) or as a 2016 home entertainment hit – Joe Bauer’s hilarious sci-fi/comedy Australiens (pictured, right); Rhiannon Bannenburg’s polished chamber piece, Ambrosia; Sam Curtain’s ruthlessly corpulent Blood Hunt; the unforgettably twisted Cat Sick Blues, from Dave Jackson (you’ve been warned); Deadhouse Film’s anthology A Night of Horror Volume 1; Shane Abbess’ handsomely mounted outer-space thriller, Infini; Jesse O’Brien’s bracing and brilliant sci-fi vision, Arrowhead; and, the off-kilter, heart-warming doco Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, from Matthew Bate.

Read The Year in Review, Part 1: The Ten Best Festival Sessions of 2015 here.
Read The Year in Review, Part 3: Our Ten Favourite Films of 2015 here.
 

(All figures courtesy of Box Office Mojo; conversion rates as of 28/12).

Friday
Nov272015

DOWN UNDER DOLLAR HELPS SECURE SCOTT'S ALIEN EPIC

After a full first day of location scouting, Sir Ridley Scott fronted the Sydney press corps to discuss his blockbuster Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant, which begins a 16 week shoot in April, 2016.

“I discovered I get on with Aussies,” joked the legendary British filmmaker, the grand façade of the old Manufacturers Hall hiding the early pre-production activity within. “I’ve worked with one of the toughest ones there is five times, a Mr Crowe, and we are now friends. We weren’t always friends, but now we are friends. I think I’m going to enjoy Sydney.”

Joining the director was The Honourable Julie Bishop, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (pictured, right), who acknowledged that incentives were being re-evaluated in order to attract studio productions to Australia. “I know that film industries, both here and abroad, have been lobbying consecutive governments for a very long time to make our tax arrangements more competitive and attractive,” she said. “Other countries had increased their location off-set to around 30%, so we matched that, and immediately drew a response from 20th Century Fox and the Alien production team, as well Disney and Marvel studios for the Thor series.” Flanked by NSW Minister for the Arts Troy Grant and Federal Minister for Industry, Resource and Energy, Anthony Roberts, Ms Bishop revealed that, “within the context of the next budget, any permanent changes to be made to the location off-set [will be considered].”

Alien: Covenant represents estimated revenue for the state of US$61million, with approximately 600 jobs to be generated. Having lost out during the bidding to secure Scott’s last film, The Martian, Ms Bishop stated with some circumspection, “The opportunity to have a film of [this] stature, to be filmed by a director of Sir Ridley’s standing, is one not to be missed.”

A savvy businessman, Sir Ridley Scott recounted a time when his native industry suffered due to a lack of concessions for large-scale productions. “I used to own Shepparton Studios in a pre-tax rebate U.K. film industry. Twenty-two stages over twenty-two acres; it’s where I shot Alien, and I wanted to put back into the industry,” he recalled. “Our biggest problem was that when a big film moved out, we had no return business because we had no rebate. So I sold it. Then, God damn, four years later the rebate happened and today, you can’t get into Shepparton or Pinewood or Leavesden. When you combine the frequency of production with the talent and infrastructure already in place, everything gets better.” (Pictured, left; Scott directing Veronica Cartright and Sigourney Weaver in Alien).

When questions turned to the scale of the production, Scott hinted that his narrative would drill down into the epic history of the alien life cycle. “It’s a very complex story,” he said. “Prometheus 1 was born out of my frustration that of the three sequels that followed my 1979 film, Alien, no one posed the question, ‘Who made the alien and why?’ Alien: Covenant further develops that evolution. When this film finishes, there will be another one then another one, which will drive into the back end of the 1979 film, explaining why the ‘space jockey’ was there and why did he have the alien inside of him.”

Prometheus leading man Michael Fassbender (pictured, right) will arrive in Australia in mid-March to reprise the role of android David. Scott revealed that the actor will play, “a doppelganger, so you’ll have two Michaels,” and that Noomi Rapace, as Shaw, will make a brief re-appearance. Other casting is still in contract phase, but the director confirmed that Australian actors will feature. “I would always look to do that,” he said, “It’s a very natural thing to do.”

The windfall for the local industry will be immense over several years, the level of production on a scale not seen since the heady days when the region hosted The Wachowski’s Matrix trilogy, Bryan Singer’s Superman Lives and Rob Cohen’s Stealth in quick succession. Scott confirmed that, should the shoot proceed with relative ease, all three planned instalments will shoot in Oz. “That’s the whole point,” he said. “We will be employing up to 600 personnel, all Australian, and all representative of a highly-skilled labour force.”

Tuesday
Aug042015

THE OUTBACK AMERICAN SAVING SOVIET SCREEN HISTORY

Over 1000 kilometres west of Sydney, the township of Menindee garners scant attention. The population of around 1000 claim some fame - explorers Burke and Wills camped there during their fateful 1860 expedition; it holds the record for the hottest day in the state’s history, the mercury topping 49.7 °C on January 10, 1939; and, postmaster John Cleary introduced the state’s first motorised mail service there in 1910. But how did this dusty township on the Darling River become home to the Kinopanorama Widescreen Preservation Association (K.W.P.A.), a crucial film preservation initiative overseen by a Texan-born former record industry executive committed to restoring the long dormant Russian format to its past glory…?

Honouring cinematic history has driven John Steven Lasher for most of his professional life. In 1974, his music label Entr’acte produced the legendary composer Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack for Brian De Palma’s Sisters; he has overseen newly recorded re-issues of such classic scores as Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and King Kong. But in 1992, Lasher refocussed his love affair with film and took on the daunting task of resurrecting Kinopanorama, a three-lens, three-film widescreen format that emerged from the U.S.S.R. Cinema and Photo Research Institute (N.I.K.F.I.) in the mid 1950s in answer to Hollywood’s own ultra-wide projection brand, Cinerama.

“Kinopanorama's legacy is unique because it was the only three-film system developed by a country other than the United States, which could compete with Cinerama on the world market,” says Lasher. The first Kinopanorama film, Roman Karmen’s rural vista Vast is My Native Land (US title - Great is My Country; pictured, right), premiered in Moscow in February 1958; over the next decade, eight travelogue epics were produced in the format. As Cinerama boomed with the release of Hollywood films such as How The West Was Won (and single-camera conversions such as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), the Soviet industry remained committed to its own technology; an advanced camera design called the PSO-1960 (pictured, top) allowed for the use of interchangeable lens kits with different focal lengths. Often viewed as cultural by-products of Cold War one-upmanship, both formats proved expensive and fell out of favour by the mid 1960s.

It would not be until 1992 that Lasher, now head of Fifth Continent Movie Classics, would begin the long process of resurrecting Kinopanorama. His first point-of-contact was the Russian Consulate in Sydney, who steered him to veteran cinematographer Yuri Sokol A.C.S., a Russian émigré who had forged a revered Australian resume in collaboration with director Paul Cox (Lonely Hearts, 1982; Man of Flowers, 1983; My First Wife, 1984; Cactus, 1986). “Yuri Sokol was instrumental in negotiating with N.I.K.F.I. for the purchase of the PSO-1960 camera and ancillary equipment,” recalls Lasher, who would subsidise the restoration and transportation of the camera to Australia, accompanied by respected scientific technician, Sergei Rozhkov. “It was possible over time to form a bond with the Russian organisations thanks to Yuri, (who) had retained contacts with other Russian filmmakers and organisations. In this respect, Sergei Rozhkov was most helpful in liaising with the various Russian organisations and colleagues.” (Pictured, below: The Kinopanorama team, 1993)

With further guidance offered by local D.O.P. John R McLean A.C.S. (The Cars That Ate Paris, 1974; Turkey Shoot, 1982), who had crewed on the 1956 Cinerama travelogue South Seas Adventure, Lasher and Rozhkov guided the first Kinopanorama productions in nearly three decades - Chastity Truth and Kinopanorama (1993), a compile of test footage captured on the restored PSO-1960, shot in Moscow by Soviet director Igor Shetsov; and, Bounty (1993), a picturesque examination of Sydney Harbour from the deck of the famous tall-ship. Over this period, Lasher, Rozhkov and Sokol also undertook location shoots in some of regional New South Wales most photogenic locations, including The Blue Mountains and the central western plains surrounding Dubbo, as well as the hallowed sporting venue, The Sydney Cricket Ground (pictured, below).

It was Lasher’s affinity for the landscape of rural Australia that drew him to Broken Hill, the most remote township in New South Wales, where he lived until 2009. “It was not possible to operate a heritage cinema in Broken Hill, where I lived at the time,” recalls Lasher. “The political landscape, particularly after the proposed film studio complex failed to materialise, was not favourable to launch such a venue.” Determined to further his preservation efforts, he shifted base to Menindee and established the K.W.P.A., which secured all rights to the Kinopanorama brand in 2012. “Menindee offered alternate facilities, including an abandoned building next door to the tourist information centre. We have approached the local council about acquiring it. Until this is sorted out we have no set facilities at present.”

Of course, setbacks have never deterred John Steven Lasher from pushing forward with his passion project. In 1999, Lasher helped fund a partial restoration of the first Kinopanorama feature film, Kaljo Kiisk’s Estonian-shot 1962 drama, Opasniye Povoroty (pictured, right: original lobby-card). Despite the project being abandoned due to spiralling costs, the two complete reels have been screened at widescreen celebrations in the U.S. and U.K.  “We are negotiating with Gosfilmofond of Russia for the purchase of a 4K digital master of the restored Opasniye Povoroty for exhibition at film festivals in Australia and New Zealand. From that point onward, I will contact the various festival organisers as to the possibilities of scheduling the film,” says Lasher, who believes the screening of a Kinopanorama feature in all its majesty would be a unique cinematic experience for local audiences. “After all,” he says, “it would be the first time that a three-film panoramic film format had been exhibited in Australia and New Zealand.”

For more information on the Kinopanorama Widescreen Preservation Association, including membership details and the full range of screen services offered, visit the official website or Facebook page.

The KINOPANORAMA ™ name and logos are the exclusive ™ and © of K.W.P.A.; all images are © of K.W.P.A.