Monthly Archives: February 2020

 

The 23rd Moro Spanish Film Festival presented by Palace returns in April with a flick of the flamenco heel and toothpicks for our pinchos to celebrate cinema from Spain and Latin America.

 

The following six titles are our first sneak peak into the curated programme which will screen nationally from 21 April exclusively at Palace Cinemas.

 

From Spain, the selection includes:

 

Oscar-winner Alejandro Amenábar’s exposé of the 1936 Spanish coup WHILE AT WAR (Mientras dure la Guerra). Filmed across Spain and Argentina, it reveals the personal side of politics through the eyes of writer Miguel de Unamuno.

 

Trapped inside a small apartment where hidden secrets slowly rise to the surface, THE PLAN (El plan) sees three friends forced to confront revealing truths in this biting comedy featuring Spanish stars Antonio de la Torre and Raúl Arévalo.

 

THE EUROPEANS (Los europeos) stars Award-winning actors Raúl Arévalo and Juan Diego Botto in an unforgettable romantic holiday adventure set in the wild world of 1950’s Ibiza, where dreams sometimes carry a sting in the tail.

 

And the dream of home ownership takes an unexpected turn in ONE CAREFUL OWNER (El inconveniente)

when a young woman must wait for a property’s current elderly owner to die in this offbeat tale of women’s friendship. 

 

From Latin America comes:

 

HEROIC LOSERS (La Odisea de los Giles) the number one Argentinian film of 2019Heroic Losers is a homespun Ocean’s 11 featuring superstar Ricardo Darín and his son Chino in a comedy heist rich in local colour and unforgettable characters.

 

And highlighting the Australian-Spanish connection is LATIGO in which Australian comic and filmmaker Simon Palomares visits Cuba to reveal the universal joy of laughter in a film heralded as “The Buena Vista Social Club of comedy!”

 

The festival will take place nationally from 21 April to 17 May in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and Byron Bay.

 

LISTING DETAILS:

Sydney 21 Apr – 10 May: Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona & Palace Central.

Canberra 22 Apr – 10 May:  Palace Electric Cinema.

Melbourne 23 Apr – 10 May: The Astor Theatre, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Kino and Palace Balwyn.

Adelaide 28 Apr – 17 May: Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas.

Perth 29 Apr – 17 May: Palace Cinema Paradiso.

Brisbane 29 Apr – 17 May: Palace James Street and Palace Barracks.

Hobart 30 Apr – 6 May: State Cinema.

Byron Bay 30 Apr – 13 May: Palace Byron Bay.

 

For updates and more information, visit www.spanishfilmfestival.com and join the mailing list or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: #SPANISHFILMFEST

 

Hot Mess was inspired by my own head spin of a crisis, and once the dust settled, it became of deep importance to me to tell what I recognised as a very generational tale,” says writer, director and producer Lucy Coleman of her alternately gut-busting and heartbreaking debut feature film. “Growing up in a fervent time of unearthing your most gutsy feminist self, it can be an awkward and embarrassing paradox, when the road gets rocky and you feel like you’re ready to throw it all away for a guy and a false sense of stability.”

Funny, sweet, charming, rambunctious, and blushingly candid, Hot Mess is the utterly contemporary tale of 25-year-old Loz (Sarah Gaul), a wannabe writer who seems intent on sabotaging her own success. Tipped to receive a coveted writer-in-residence gig with a cutting- edge theatre group, the talented Loz continues to offend the artistic director (played by Terry Serio), by coming up with graphic and confronting feminist-minded material. Discouraged by her disapproving mum (Zoe Carides), the hopelessly adrift Loz sees an unlikely saviour in the form of Dave (Marshall Campbell), a nice guy who might just be the solution to her permanently messed up love life. But is he too good to be true?

Hot Mess is a mid-twenties coming-of-age tale of going about love, career and self-fulfilment all the wrong way,” laughs Lucy Coleman.

Packed with vibrant, honest performances and all-too-real characters caught up in the kind of emotional tripwires that anyone in the audience could recognise, Hot Mess announces a deft and original writing and directing talent in Lucy Coleman and a one-of-a-kind on-screen presence in Sarah Gaul. It’s a fresh and funny charmer, announcing a talented filmmaker and performer who you will be hearing a lot more from in the future.

Hot Mess is available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Google Play, Fetch TV and YouTube now.

 

For many hard rock fans in Melbourne this felt like a show that they would never get to see again. It had been twelve years since the mighty Whitesnake had graced our shores and the last time Scorpions visited their show was put on ice before they even took to the stage. The sad fact is that when you love aging bands the chances of getting to see them live again gets slimmer and slimmer every single day.

There was little wonder then that the most hardened hard rock fans decided to make the trek to Rod Laver Arena last night to see two of the greats. And the crowd number was pretty decent considering it was the middle of the week and Queen, Revocation and Cattle Decapitation were all in town playing on the same night as well.

Crowd numbers did feel like it was going to be an issue, as the stadium looked half empty as Whitesnake made their way onto stage playing along to The Who’s ‘My Generation.’ That seemed to pretty quickly change though as David Coverdale and co ripped into ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Slide It In.’ The seats and standing areas filled up and it was pretty easy to see that Whitesnake had a simple message – they were here to deliver the goods.

Just like Alice Cooper a few nights earlier it was very obvious that age has certainly not slowed down Whitesnake at all. Coverdale’s vocals were perfect and the band on song as they launched into tracks like ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ while the strong melody had the audience singing along to ‘Hey You (You Make Me Rock).’

Tommy Aldridge’s drumming sounded like rapid machine gun fire on ‘Slow An’ Easy’ (something he certainly wasn’t) but that was nothing compared to his epic drum solo that he delivered later which ended with him playing with bare hands… yep no sticks required Mum. In fact the solos became a very part of the highlights for Whitesnake especially when Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra’s duelling guitar solos ended up becoming a stunning rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda.’

Whether they were slowing things down for tracks like the cover of ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’ or cranking it up ‘Trouble Is Your Middle Name’ or ‘Shut Up And Kiss Me’ Whitesnake were at the top of their game and had the crowd completely in the palm of their hands. Of course the crowd favourites though were ‘Is This Love?’ during which time Coverdale looked for his wife in the crowd while everybody joined in for ‘Here I Go Again’ before Coverdale finished the night with some very sound advice “don’t let anyone ever make you afraid.”

Of course though Whitesnake was just half the night and after a half hour intermission one of Germany’s biggest exports Scorpions arrived a flurry of graphics depicting their helicopter flying over the city and dropping them into Rod Laver Arena where they landed for their first gig of the year and boy were they ready to put on a show for Melbourne.

The way they began their set was nothing short of spectacular. ‘Going Out With A Bang’ and ‘The Zoo’ were delivered with full force while the wailing guitars of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs on ‘Make It Real’ was phenomenal.

It was very easy to see that there was a great love affair happening between the band and their crowd. Frontman Klaus Meine repeated so many times how sorry he was that their last tour had been cancelled and by his emotions each time it was easy to see that he truly meant it. The respect from the crowd in return though had to be seen to be believed. Whether they were delivering a melody of past hits or a newer track like ‘We Built This House’ the audience was completely mesmerised by what was happening in front of them.

The heartfelt moments continued then with an acoustic version of ‘Send Me An Angel’ which was dedicated to Australia’s firefighters before the band then delivered a haunting rendition of ‘Winds Of Change’… a song that should be on every music fan’s bucket list of tracks to see performed live.

There were still more highlights to come though with energetic versions of ‘Tease Me Please Me’ and ‘Big City Nights’ while drummer Mikkey Dee was elevated into the rafters of Rod Laver Arena for his drum solo. Then came the big encore consisting of ‘Still Loving You’ and the perennial favourite ‘Rock Like A Hurricane.’

We may have had to wait a little while to get to see these two great bands live once more but nobody can see that Whitesnake and Scorpions didn’t deliver in abundance when they finally do touchdown. This was a night to remember.

The trailer has just been released for the brand new horror movie Antlers. You can find all the information about the film below.

 

DirectorScott Cooper

Cast: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan

Australian Release Date: April 16, 2020

About the film: In ANTLERS, a small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, discover that a young student is harbouring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.

Join the conversation:

#AntlersMovie

 

THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx – Genius, The Little Stranger), a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they die suddenly, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Academy Award® and BAFTA-winner Colin Firth – A Single Man, The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Baby) at Misselthwaite Manor, a remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Medlock (BAFTA-winner Julie Walters – Mary Poppins Returns, Harry Potter, Mamma Mia) and with only the household maid, Martha (Isis Davis – Guilt, Electric Dreams) for company.

Mary begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after chancing upon her sickly cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst – Genius, There She Goes), who has been shut away in a wing of the house, and through her discovery of a wondrous garden, locked away and lost within the grounds of Misselthwaite. While searching for Hector, a stray dog that led Mary to the garden walls, she befriends local boy Dickon (Amir Wilson – His Dark Materials, The Kid Who Would Be King) who, through the garden’s restorative powers, helps her to fix Hector’s injured leg. Once brought together, these three slightly misfit children heal each other as they delve deeper into the mysteries of the garden – a magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever.

Independent horror filmmaker Chad Ferrin (ParasitesThe Ghouls, Someone’s Knocking at the Door) has debuted the first photos from his eighth film The Deep Ones, a Lovecraftian take on Rosemary’s Baby.  A married couple rents a beachside dream home, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and bizarre occurrences. They soon discover they are in the crosshairs of a mysterious cult and their ancient sea god.

 

 

The cast of The Deep Ones includes Johann Urb (“Arrow”), Gina La Piana, Robert Miano, Silvia Spross, Jackie Debatin, Nicolas Coster, Rachel Pringle, Jerry Irons, Robert Rhine, Jon Mack, Bulet Rush, Timothy Muskatell, Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall, Night of the Comet) and Kurt Carley (the Underworld franchise, Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla).

 

 

Behind the scenes, Ferrin is joined by producers Gina La Piana, Robert Miano and Jeff Olan, composer Richard Band (Re-Animator, From Beyond), director of photography Jeff Billings, makeup effects artist Jim Ojala (Deadgirl, Strange Nature) with key art by Nenad Gucunja.  The Deep Ones is executive produced by Michael Schefano, Richard Pate, Gerry Karr and Zebadiah DeVane.

 

 

“H.P. Lovecraft must be smiling down on us,” Ferrin shared, “as this has been the most blessed film experience of my 25 years of doing what I love. And I thank the cast and crew from the bottom of my heart for going above and beyond all expectations.”

 

 

After suffering an untimely loss, Alex (La Piana) and her husband Petri (Urb) visit California for a much-needed break from reality. At an unassuming rental, they meet the mysterious Russell Marsh (Miano). Marsh introduces them to the oddly enthusiastic locals, fixes them a lavish meal and invites them out on his luxury boat.  Little do they know that beneath Mr. Marsh’s thin veneer of avuncular charm lurks a dark devotion to an archaic evil. A wickedly warped twist on the classic Cthulhu mythos, The Deep Ones is what it looks like when Rosemary’s Baby undergoes the Innsmouth Transformation.

 

The Deep Ones will premiere in 2020.

 

For most Australians Ross Noble needs no introduction. The talented comedian has become a staple on our television and radio. Perhaps not many people would know about Noble’s rising resume as an actor as well. I’m not talking about when he presented his own shows – but rather when his acted in horror films such as Stitches, Nails and The Circle.

Now however Noble is taking a turn away from horror and has instead lent his voice to a brand new family animation called Sanctuary City: The Wishmas Tree where he stars alongside Miranda Tapsell and Kate Murphy and he plays a frill-necked lizard… yes you read that right he plays a lizard.

As it turns out playing a lizard was one of the reasons why Noble decided to take up the role. “I literally got an email saying ‘do you want to play a lizard’ and I said ‘yes please,’” says Noble delivering his warm, familiar laugh down the phone line. “You can’t go wrong with playing a lizard, can you? So yeah, I then read the script and found it was one of those films where you find that it is a proper family film and it looked like a lot of fun. So I just replied to them and said ‘yeah I am in.’”

Of course playing a lizard is not an offer you get every day and here Noble gets the chance to play Yarra, a wise old sage who just happens to be a frill-necked lizard. “Well he is a lizard but he is sort of a kind of wise guy,” explains Noble. “He is the Obi-Wan, the Gandalf kind of figure in the film, but really kind of appealed to me was that he was a bit different. Normally the wise guy in a film, that is all they are, they are just wise. They are just there to be wise but what I liked about this script was the fact that Yarra is a little bit unhinged.”

That leads to both Noble and I laughing and when he continues he says. “You know he talks to his stick. It is just basically a stick with a face on it, but he talks to it. And because of that you don’t really know how reliable he is and because he is kind of old and a bit nuts. It really is a case where he isn’t just there for his wisdom, you find yourself asking ‘should we really be following him?’”

Anybody who has ever seen one of Noble’s stage shows knows just how good he is at lending his voice to any number of characters that he is impersonating but that still begs the big question of just how do you find a voice for a wise, slightly loopy frill-necked lizard?

“With the voice I wanted him to sound old and wise but because he is cracked I wanted to be able to take a left turn every now and then,” explains Noble as he gives me a bit of a taste of Yarra’s voice. “The great thing about it being animation is that you can try something else and you can try going crazy, crazy far. You can go much further than you think you could ever go and then the guys behind the glass can say ‘try that again but make it less insane’ or ‘you know what you can be more insane.’ So yeah, during that process I was just really going for and then they would look at it.”

“There was some stuff that they looked at and they were just rolling around going ‘really?’” he says laughing again. “But then once it is all put together it becomes something where you can choose the bits where you can say ‘yeah, he is properly helping this possum on the journey’ and then there are other times where you are like ‘I wouldn’t be trusting him.’”

The process though of finding Yarra’s voice was not easy though and Noble says he had to audition a few different voices for the creators of the film. “You kind of find the way you think he would sound,” he says explain the process to me. “And then you just play with it. We recorded a lot of stuff and it wasn’t quite right so we actually went back and re-recorded it. It was okay, but it just wasn’t quite right, because the thing is at the start of the film Yarra has to be sane – he is talking about the history and you know he is basically telling the story of the legend and that has to have some kind of authority to it but with what we recorded at first he was just a little bit too off the wall. We had to bring a little more authority to it and make it a little bit more steady. You do have to think about your performance but then you really just have to trust the guys that have created it.”

The guys that have created this film have certainly created something that is going to be very special for Australian audiences, so don’t be surprised if this film doesn’t become one of Australia’s next big hits.

 

Sanctuary City: The Wishmas Tree starring Miranda Tapsell, Ross Noble and Kate Murphy is in cinemas on 27th February.

 

When Australia does animation it always does it well. Think back to when you were a child and sat down happily to watch Blinky Bill. Now think about how the new generation enjoyed films like Happy Feet. When you really think about it it is a shame that Australia doesn’t do more animation, but that is why we should all be so excited about the brand new Australian animated film Sanctuary City: The Wishmas Tree which hits cinemas on the 27th February.

One of the stars of the film is Australian actress Kate Murphy who has gained experience as a voice actress on popular animated series like Shopkins and Space Chickens In Space. She says she couldn’t have been more excited about working on The Wishmas Tree.

“Well Kerry the ring-tailed possum is the lead character, but Petra, my character, is Kerry’s older sister,” says Murphy as we talk a little bit about the character that she plays in the film. “Petra is a little bit sensible, a little bit pragmatic, she likes her space and she likes not to put herself out of her comfort zone. She has an amazing journey throughout the film though and she learns so much from her younger sister.”

“I found though that I could really relate to her as a character,” says Murphy laughing as we continue to discuss Petra. “When I was reading it I kept on finding myself saying ‘oh there are some similarities between Petra and myself’. I find that something I can be a little bit safe and sensible at times. But having said that Petra can still have some fun and silly moments. When I was working with the directors in the booth I was always trying to find that fun part of her as well. So yeah, I was stoked at being able to play Petra.”

As far as characters go Petra is a very interesting character. In one way she is very much the voice of reason in the film but at the same time she is a character that can at times crack a joke. Murphy admits that it was at times hard to find that middle ground for Petra. “I was always conscious not to try and tip it too far one way,” she explains. “I remember being in the studio when we were doing it and we were always talking about it. The director and the producer would be there with me and we would always be discussing the lines and how we wanted her to come across. It was always an experiment because sometimes I would push it really far and then we would be like ‘nope that was too funny that doesn’t work for this moment’ but we were always trying to have that lightness in there even though there are dark moments. Even though she is quite sensible we did look for moments of comedy.”

One of the most interesting parts of voice acting is how the actor or actress comes up with the voice for the character they are playing but Murphy says she settled on the voice for Petra very early on. “Usually I try to hear the voice in my head,” she says after stopping to think about the process for a moment. “ I definitely play around with it, but I guess also it changes from project to project because the process can be very different”

“For Petra I guess I was kind of lucky because I got to see the director and the producer a few times prior to recording,” she says continuing. “Aside from that I would always be recording little bits and pieces on my phone and then sending it through. However, with voice over you can always be a little bit flexible and in the booth I found that we kind of found her in the first hour or so of recording. Usually though I have a bit of an idea in my head and I guess that is part of the voice artists job – they have to come ready to experiment and explore and not just come in saying ‘this is how it is’ because you do have to be prepared to change it vocally once you are in there.”

It is obvious when chatting to Murphy that she had a lot of fun playing Petra and while she was recording for Sanctuary City: The Wishmas Tree and she says that she hopes that audiences have just as much fun watching it. “Just go and see something that is completely Australian,” she says with an excited tone in her voice. “This is completely Australian produced, completely Australian created. Just enjoy the message and just really embrace the Australianess of it all. We have such beautiful land here and such beautiful creatures and we really need to look after them, especially now more than ever… so yeah go and enjoy it.”

 

Sanctuary City: The Wishmas Tree starring Miranda Tapsell, Ross Noble and Kate Murphy is in cinemas on 27th February.