Category: Film News

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Transmission Films invites Australian audiences on a personal journey through Australian cinema with David Stratton, our most revered film critic, when DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE releases in cinemas this year.
DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE is an intimate journey with David Stratton, from his first boyhood cinema experience in England, to his migration to Australia as a ‘ten pound pom’ in 1963 and onto his present day reflections on the iconic themes that run through our cinematic legacy.
While David turned his passion for cinema into a profession, a growing band of courageous Australians turned their enthusiasm for storytelling into an extraordinary body of work. Alongside David, this absorbing documentary includes commentary from some of the most recognisable names in Australian cinema including Gillian Armstrong, Eric Bana, Bryan Brown, Russell Crowe, Judy Davis, Nicole Kidman, George Miller, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Fred Schepisi, Warwick Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Hugo Weaving.
“David Stratton is a true champion of Australian cinema. The opportunity to share his unique personal story on the big screen is a privilege,” said Transmission Films Joint Managing Director Andrew Mackie.
DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE is written and directed by Sally Aitken (Getting Frank Gehry, Streets of Your Town) and produced by Jo-anne McGowan and executive produced by Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa).
DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE will open in cinemas nationally on March 9th. David Stratton will be in attendance at select Q&A screenings across the country from late February, with more details coming soon.

The Coming War On China

Antidote Films is proud to announce Australian theatrical release and Q&A screening dates of John Pilger’s compelling new film, The Coming War On China.

Participating cinemas are Cinema Nova in Melbourne (opening Feb 9 with Q&A on Feb 10), Dendy Newtown in Sydney (opening Feb 16 with Q&A), Dendy Canberra (opening Feb 23 with Q&A), Orpheum Cinema, Sydney (Q&A on March 1), Riverside Parramatta (Q&A on March 6) and Luna Leederville in Perth (opening March 9).

This new feature-length documentary by award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger is his 60th film for television. Coming straight after the election of President Trump, the film is one of John Pilger’s most timely and urgent investigations. As Trump threatens China with a trade war and worse, this film is both a warning and an inspiring story of people’s resistance.

Filmed over two years in the Marshall Islands, Japan, Korea, China and the United States, The Coming War on China reveals a build-up to war on the doorstep of China. More than 400 US military bases now encircle China in what one strategist calls “a perfect noose”.

Bringing together rare archive and interviews with witnesses, Pilger reveals America’s secret history in the region – the destruction of much of life in the Marshall Islands, once a paradise, by the explosion of the equivalent of one Hiroshima every day for 12 years, and the top secret ‘Project 4.1’ that made nuclear guinea pigs of the population.

Pilger and his crew chartered a plane to the irradiated island of Bikini where the 1954 Hydrogen Bomb poisoned the environment forever. He reports: “As my aircraft banked low over Bikini atoll, the emerald lagoon beneath me suddenly disappeared into a vast black hole, a deathly void. When I stepped out of the plane, my shoes registered “unsafe” on a Geiger counter. Almost everything was irradiated. Palm trees stood in unworldly formations, unbending in the breeze. There were no birds. It was a vision of what the world can expect if two nuclear powers go to war.”

In key interviews — from Pentagon war planners in what is now Donald Trump’s Washington, where the undeclared strategy is “perpetual war”, to members of China’s new political class who rarely feature in Western reports — Pilger’s film challenges the notion of the world’s newest, biggest trading nation as an enemy.

Edited in chapters, The Coming War is also about the human spirit and the rise of an extraordinary resistance in faraway places. On the Japanese island of Okinawa, home to 32 US bases – where the population lives along a razor-wired fenceline and beneath the screeching of military aircraft – Okinawans are challenging the greatest military power in the world, and succeeding.

One of the resistance leaders is Fumiko Shimabukuro, aged 87. A survivor of the Second World War, she took refuge in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The Japanese government wants to fill in much of the bay to extend runways for US bombers. “For us,” she told me, “the choice is silence or life.”

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary and World Heritage Site declared “an island of world peace”. On this island of world peace is one of the biggest military bases in Asia, aimed at China — purpose-built for US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and missile destroyers.

For almost a decade the people of Jeju have been peacefully resisting the base. Every day, twice a day, farmers, villagers, priests and supporters from all over the world stage an extraordinary Catholic mass that blocks the gates. Every day, police remove the priests and the worshippers, bodily, and their altar. It is a silent, moving spectacle. One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, says: “I sing four songs every day at the base. I sing in typhoons — no exception.”

From Jeju, Pilger flew to Shanghai. “When I was last in China,” he says, “ the loudest noise I remember was the tinkling of bicycle bells; Mao Zedong had recently died, and the cities seemed dark, forbidding places.  Nothing prepared me for the astonishing changes that had taken place.”

He interviews Lijia Zhang, a Beijing journalist and typical of a new class of outspoken mavericks. Her bestselling book has the ironic title, Socialism Is Great!  She grew up during the chaotic and brutal Cultural Revolution and has lived in the US. A critic of her own country, she also rejects outdated stereotypes. “Many Americans imagine,” she said, “that Chinese people live a miserable, repressed life with no freedom whatsoever. The [idea of] the yellow peril has never left them …They have no idea there are some 500 million people being lifted out of poverty.”

China today presents exquisite ironies, not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades secretly founded the Communist Party of China in 1921. Today, it stands in the heart of a very capitalist shipping district; you walk out of this Communist shrine with your plastic bust of Mao into the embrace of Starbucks, Apple, Cartier.

Eric Li, a Shanghai venture capitalist and social scientist, tells Pilger: “I make the joke: in America you can change political parties, but you can’t change the policies. In China you cannot change the party, but you can change policies. The political changes that have taken place in China this past 66 years have been wider and broader and greater than probably any other major country in living memory.”

The world is shifting east, and America’s dominance is ending. Once subjugated, scorned and impoverished, China is rising inexorably as the world’s banker and builder. Will all this be allowed to happen peacefully? “We need to make America strong again,” says President-elect Donald Trump. “We need to make America great again … and we need victories.”

RELEASE DATES AND CINEMAS (additional cities to be announced):

SYDNEY:  
Feb 16 – Dendy Newtown (Q&A on Feb 16 then screening daily)
March 1 – Orpheum Cinema (Q&A only)
March 6 – Riverside Parramatta (Q&A only)

MELBOURNE:
Feb 9 – Cinema Nova (screening daily, with Q&A on Feb 10)

CANBERRA:
Feb 23 – Dendy Canberra (Q&A on Feb 23 then screening daily)

PERTH:
March 9 – Luna Leederville (no Q&A, screening daily)

THE COMING WAR ON CHINA
Written, directed and produced by John Pilger
Edited by Joe Frost
Line Producer Sandra Leeming
Executive Producer Christopher Hird
Assistant Director Bruno Sorrentino
Chief Archive Producer Jacqui Edwards
Archive producers Paul Gardner, Jim Anderson
Camera Rupert Binsley, Owen Scurfield, Bruno Sorrentino, Joseph Zafar

T2 trainspotting2

First there was an opportunity….then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home.

They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorry, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.

T2 Trainspotting is released in cinemas on Feb 23rd.

Raw

With Julia Ducournau’s horror flick Raw getting rave reviews right around the world the film’s Red Band US Trailer has just been released.

Raw has currently won award at the London and Austin Film Festivals and also picked up the Directors Fortnight/Critics Week prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

You can check out the new trailer right here.

RAW (US Red Band Trailer) from Monster Pictures on Vimeo.

Pitchfork

Glenn Douglas Packard’s well-received indie horror ‘’Pitchfork’’ officially hits VOD this Friday the 13th.
An ultra-low budget film, made with only one camera and shot in just 21 days, ‘’Pitchfork’’ has struck a chord with film fans, horror buffs and filmmaking aficionados alike.Despite its low- budget and guerrilla-style construction, ‘’Pitchfork’’ not only looks like a multimillion dollar, big studio movie but has been covered by major Hollywood publications like The Hollywood Reporter, L.A Times, Indie Wire and Deadline.

Like “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity”, “Pitchfork” is further proof that you don’t need big bucks, just a big idea and lots of drive, to make a solid genre film.

To coincide with the VOD release of the film, we are pleased to present a new behind-the-scenes featurette – which reiterates that a lot was done with a little! – and the terrific VOD artwork.

Having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York City to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time. As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges. While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger as they start being stalked by a twisted, dark, and disturbing beast, Pitchfork.

‘’Pitchfork’’ is co-written, directed and produced by Emmy award nominee Glenn Douglas Packard, Director of Photography Rey Gutierrez. Producers Darryl F. Gariglio (executive/co-written) Shaun Cairo (associate) & Noreen Marriott.

Get Pitchfork on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/pitchfork/id1181779327

XXX Return Of Xander Cage2

Three brand new XXX: Return Of Xander Cage featurettes have just been released.  In XXX:Return Of Xander Cage Vin Diesel returns as Xander Cage joined by a global cast including Australia’s own Ruby Rose & Toni Collette plus Donnie Yen, Nina Dobrev, Deepika Padukone, Tony Jaa and Samuel L. Jackson.

Meet the team and get ready to enter the Xander Zone on January 19.

 

FeatureDanny Trejo

World-renowned actor Danny Trejo has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Brett Harvey (Ice Guardians, The Culture High) to tell a story 71-years in the making.

“Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo”, currently in production in California, explores the life and career of Hollywood’s most unlikely hero, Danny Trejo.

Trejo, whose myriad of TV and motion picture work includes Desperado, Machete, Sin City, Predators and Sons of Anarchy, executive produces alongside proficient producing team Adam Scorgie, Rocky Mudaliar, Iliana Nikolic and Craig Balkam.

From an early life of drugs, armed robbery and hard prison time, to the red carpets of Hollywood blockbusters all the way to helping troubled addicts; Trejo gives a firsthand account of one of the greatest transformations of human character ever put to film.

“Today, Danny Trejo is temperate, benevolent and likely one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. But he wasn’t always this way”, explains producer Adam Scorgie, whose credits include recent success Ice Guardians and upcoming Chasing Evel: The Robbie Knievel Story . “Growing up in the mean streets of Pacoima, California, he was raised and mentored by his uncle, a drug addict and armed robber. By the age of 12, he had tried heroin. By age 15, he was introduced to his first jail cell. At 23, he was sentenced to San Quentin for selling a $30,000 bag of heroin to an undercover agent. From bad to worse, he boxed his way through the prison jungle, winning fight after fight and learning self-discipline along the way. Surviving some of the most hostile conditions in the country, Danny would eventually find himself involved in a prison riot that would lead to the turning point in his approach to life.”

Upon his release from prison in 1969, Danny’s life took a turn for the better. He started counseling teen drug addicts and working as a boxing coach. One chance meeting led to another and eventually, he found himself on the set of Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train (1985), where he was hired to train the film’s star, Eric Roberts how to box.

During the course of his illustrious acting career, Trejo has worked with such heavyweights as Quentin Tarantino, Antoine Fuqua, Michael Mann, Ivan Reitman and Robert Rodriguez.

Trejo recently completed filming Death Race : Anarchy and western Dead Again in Tombstone, both for Universal Pictures. Shortly, he’s expected to reprise his trademark role of Machete in a second sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s cult classic.

Inmate #1 : The Rise of Danny Trejo is currently lensing for a release fall 2018.

A Street Cat Named Bob

Sony Pictures have just released the trailer for brand new film A Streetcat Called Bob.

Based on the internationally bestselling book, A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting feel-good true story. When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas. Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.

A Street Cat Named Bob is directed by Roger Spottiswoode and stars Luke TreadawayRuta GedmintasJoanne FroggattAnthony Head and Bob.

Monster Trucks

Paramount Pictures have just released the trailer for brand new film Monster Trucks.

The film is follows Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, who is looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into. He ends up building a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars.  After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.Melding cutting edge visual effects and state-of-the-art CGI, Monster Trucks is an action filled adventure for the whole family that will keep you on the edge of your seat and ultimately touch your heart.

Monster Trucks is directed by Chris Wedge and stars Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Barry Pepper, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Thomas Lennon and Holt McCallany.

The film will be released in Australian cinemas on the 12th January, 2017.

XXX Return Of Xander Cage

Paramount Pictures have just given us a sneak peek at what Aussie Ruby Rose’s character will be like in XXX: Return Of Xander Cage. The trailer which has been dubbed the ‘Ruby Rose XXX trailer’ reveals more of Rose’s Adele character to the world.

XXX: Return Of Xander Cage is directed by D.J. Caruso and also stars Vin Diesel, Nina Dobrev and Samuel L. Jackson. It will be released in Australian cinemas on January 19th.