Stan today released the brand new full trailer for the highly anticipated second season of gritty crime drama series City On A Hill. Starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Kevin Bacon and Screen Actors Guildaward winner Aldis Hodge, the brand new season will premiere 29 March, same day as the U.S., only on Stan.
Season two centres on a federal housing project in the Roxbury neighbourhood of Boston that is plagued with drug violence and a rightful distrust in local law enforcement. As coalition leader Grace Campbell (Pernell Walker) works tirelessly on behalf of the community, her efforts are undermined by gang activity happening right under her nose. Enter irreverent FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Bacon), who is here to exploit Boston’s defective criminal justice system in a desperate attempt to salvage his own career. Unfortunately for Jackie, assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge) is onto his adversary’s latest misstep. In time, the personal antagonism between these two escalates to an all-out war between the offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Suffolk DA. No one is safe from the collateral damage.
Season two also stars Lauren E. Banks, Mark O’Brien, Amanda Clayton, Matthew Del Negro and Jill Hennessy with guest stars Pernell Walker, Lucia Ryan, Kameron Kierce, Shannon Wallace, John Doman, and Michael O’Keefe.
City On A Hill is executive produced by multiple Emmy winner Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street), who also serves as showrunner. In addition, City On A Hill is executive produced by Jennifer Todd, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jorge Zamacona Barry Levinson, Chuck MacLean and Michael Cuesta. Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge and Michele Giordano serve as co-executive producers.
City On A Hill Season 2 will premiere 29 March, only on Stan – same day as the U.S.
Bad Boy Bubby remains a cult staple of Australian cinema, twenty-eight years after its release. In this interview, director Rolf de Heertalks about his still-beloved film and where he believes it stands with today’s viewers.
The special edition Blu-ray of Bad Boy Bubby is being released by Umbrella Entertainment as part of their Beyond Genres range.
The idea of “coerced captivity”, where the protagonist has been told the outside world isn’t habitable, was completely original when Bad Boy Bubby was released. This premise has been used since then: Dogtooth, Brigsby Bear and even The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. You were the first of all of these – how does that feel?
[Bad Boy Bubby] is the only one of its kind, really. I don’t see it as a forerunner, because other people will come up with things like that anyway. But it’s a unique film that sits by itself – it’s not like anything else. It works for many people. It doesn’t work at all for some people – and some people hate it. But it’s interesting – 28 years later, it’s a film that people still want to see.
Do you think the film would be more or less successful if it were released today?
It could be more successful, I don’t know. The conditions are different. Humanity has changed radically. The way we think has changed. Social media has shifted everything – it didn’t exist when [Bad Boy Bubby] was made. [Social media] has made people behave differently towards each other and therefore they receive films differently. Still, people watch [Bad Boy Bubby] and like it on a small screen, and that’s a different experience to the big screen. So I don’t know – there is still some sort of demand for it.
You handle the film’s high-impact content in a way that it really does contribute to the film as a whole and make the ending really resonate. But how do you balance what you can and can’t say? Is there a boundary you wouldn’t cross?
The film came about in part because of boundaries – because I do have boundaries. One of the areas I was interested in is the way kids can be abused. I remember standing in somebody’s yard and [saw] a kid copping it from his mother and just screaming “Mummy! Mummy! I love you! I love you!” while he was being beaten up. I’ll never forget that. But how do you do that on film without crossing boundaries? Without potentially psychologically damaging the five-year-old kid you’re working with? You can’t, and so you don’t. And so Bubby is an adult-child. That’s because I’m stepping back from that boundary.
Bubby goes through a lot of trauma in the duration of the film. What made you decide to ultimately give him a happy ending?
I did have another ending in mind and at one point: well into the shoot, there were a bunch of politicians who wanted to bring the death penalty back in Australia. I was so outraged that I thought “well, we’ll change the ending: what will happen is that we’ll be at that final concert, with Bubby is doing his thing, and the cops will come in and they’ll arrest him and charge him and hang him.” I was so angry about it, but I was counselled to stick to the original ending and I think that was the right decision.
[The ending] isn’t all just happy happy happy. But what I wanted to say was that there is the possibility of some sort of happiness even for badly damaged people if we treat them with enough love and care and attention. There is the possibility of redemption.
What do you want the main takeaway of the film to be?
I never think about those things. I never think “I want the film to do this” or “I want the film to do that”. I don’t intellectualise the content of the film at all when I’m writing it or when I’m making it. That tends to happen afterwards – when people look at the film and go “what about this?” And I go “oh, I never thought about that! But now that you mention it…”
If I try to do this or that, I start to contrive things. I find when I’m in the cinema and I come across those sort of contrivances, I go “ugh!” and I don’t want that in what I do.
You can find the newly-released Blu-ray version of Bad Boy Bubby on Umbrella Entertainment’s official website. Extra features include:
Audio commentary with director Rolf de Heer and star Nicholas Hope
Christ Kid, You’re a Weirdo – Interview with Rolf de Heer
Being Bubby – Interview with Nicholas Hope
Popcorn Taxi Q&A with Nicholas Hope
25th anniversary Q&A with Nicholas Hope and Natalie Carr
Sean Young (Blade Runner, Wall Street) and Ed Asner (“Cobra Kai”, “Dead to Me”) star in the powerfully moving RAIN BEAU’S END, available on global video-on-demand (VOD) service LesFlicks on March 8, 2021.
Janelle Snow, Amanda Powell, Christian Stolte, Melanie Chandra and Kirk Kelleykahn also star in the Tracy Wren-directed film, an intimate drama set in the late 1990’s depicting how a progressive lesbian couple’s relationship is tested when their adopted son is mislabeled with a genetic predisposition for violence.
Progressive lesbian couple Hannah Driver and Jules Paradise adopt a child named Beau who is subsequently diagnosed with 47, XYY – which was believed at that time to make boys more prone to aggressive behavior (and has since been disproved). The couple ride the rough journey of Beau’s apparent behavioral issues, and how it not only affects his life and the small community they inhabit but markedly their relationship and their lives. As Beau gets older, and research of his condition grows, Hannah and Jules must face the reality of a self-fulfilling prophecy and the ghosts of their past.
Jennifer Cooney, Writer & Producer of RAIN BEAU’S END said: “The release of Rain Beau’s End exclusively on Lesflicks could not be a prouder moment for me, as both a filmmaker and a lesbian. I remember a time in my life when I owned every lesbian film ever made on DVD—and the collection barely took up any space on my shelf. So, to have a film that I wrote and produced be distributed to the world via a platform dedicated to the sharing of lesbian films is a mind-blowing honor, not to mention a monumental leap towards a greater understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. Every cast and crew member of this film led with their heart, all in service of this very important story about acceptance and the effects of labeling. Rain Beau’s End is the perfect film with which to begin our journey. With Love & Light, All Ways.”
RAIN BEAU’S END will have its global premiere online on Lesflicks Video on Demand platform and will be followed by a live Q&A Session featuring the cast: Janelle Snow, Amanda Powell, Ed Asner, Sean Young, Christian Stolte, Melanie Chandra and Kirk Kelleykahn; the writer, Jennifer Cooney; the director, Joe Orlandino; the producer, Tracy Wren; and the founder of Lesflicks, Naomi Bennett. This live Q&A will be hosted by Sarah O’Connell on Monday 8th March 2021 at 8pm GMT/12pm PST to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The poster and trailer for the brand new Australian film June Again has just landed.
In the heartfelt comedy JUNE AGAIN, a twist of fate gives family matriarch June (Noni Hazlehurst) a reprieve from a debilitating illness. Much to their amazement, June re-enters the lives of her adult children, Ginny (Claudia Karvan) and Devon (Stephen Curry), and learns that ‘things haven’t gone according to plan’. With limited time but plenty of pluck, she sets about trying to put everything, and everyone, back on track. When her meddling backfires, June sets out on a romantic journey of her own and discovers she needs help from the very people she was trying to rescue.
Summary: A group of middle-aged school teachers take part in a medical experiment that involves constant drinking in a bid to turn around their mundane lives
Cinema Release Dates: 11th February 2021 (Australia), 18th December 2020 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Screenwriter: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Maria Bonnevie (Anika), Cassius Aasav Browning (Sander), Aya Grann (Josephine), Martin Greis-Rosenthal (Overtjener), Waldemar Beer Hansen (Hjalte), Max Kaysen Hoyrup (Brille), Gustav Sigurth Jeppeson (Rasmus), Thomas Bo Larsen (Tommy), Freja Bella Lindahl (Caro), Albert Rudbeck Lindhart (Sebastian), Lucas Helt Mortensen (Fjonk), Mads Mikkelsen (Martin), Magnus Millang (Nikolaj), Maria Ovi (Sigrid), Clara Phillipson (Nicola), Helene Reingaard Neumann (Amalie), Lars Ranthe (Peter), Frederik Winther Rasmussen (Malthe), Mercedes Claro Schelin (Laura), Magnus Sjorup (Jonas), Silas Cornelius Van (Kasper), Aksel Vedseggard (Jason), Susse Wold (Rektor)
Running Time: 117 mins
Classification: M (Australia), TV-MA (USA)
ANOTHER ROUND REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Another Round Review:
After the disaster that was Buddy Games you could probably understand why I was a little nervous about sitting down and watching another film about middle aged men getting up to drunken hi-jinks with Another Round. Of course I didn’t factor something major into the equation though – Buddy Games of course came from that merry old country of the USA while Another Round hails from Scandinavia… a region of the world known for its brilliant cinematic pieces.
It is partially true that Another Round is about drunken hi-jinks, because realistically the film goes a lot deeper than that. The film centres around a depressed high school history teacher named Martin (Mads Mikkelsen – Doctor Strange) who is made aware of how far he has sunk into depression when his senior history class raises concerns that they are being so badly taught that they are likely to fail their graduation exams.
That makes Martin realise that his depression is also affecting his marriage and he needs to do something about it. That something is soon discovered when Martin and his school teacher buddies find out about a study, conducted by psychiatrist Finn Skarderud, that has revealed that humans may function better if they are slightly intoxicated. Soon Martin, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen – The Hunt), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang – Heavy Load) and Peter (Lars Ranthe – Adam’s Apples) are conducting their own ‘research’ into the experiment with mixed results.
What director/screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) has created here is one of the most important films of 2021. Often as a man you find yourself going through a range of emotions and never really knowing how to deal with them. Unlike Hollywood would have you think we don’t sit around talking to each other about marriage problems and if we are feeling a bit ‘down’ that week. Instead men hold onto it and let it fester – and sometimes it takes a movie like this one to really make us guys think ‘hey maybe I should do something about that.’
Another Round is not a film that glorifies a drinking culture, to the contrary without spoiling any major plot points I can say that the experiment at hand in the film causes some serious problems for some of the characters at hand. Likewise this isn’t a film that goes for the ‘childish’ style of excessive drinking that films like Buddy Games do, instead this is a film that has some powerful things to say and gets that across beautifully well. The heart and emotion that surrounds this film is understood even more when you realise that the director’s daughter died only days before the film begun shooting… something that touched the entire cast and crew as she was also to have a role in the film.
The powerful screenplay behind Another Round also has a massive affect on the acting performances in the film. Mads Mikkelsen is amazing here to the point where you find yourself asking – could there be an Oscar nomination in the wind? His portrayal of Martin has to be seen to be believed and he is so convincing in the role it really does feel like the audience is being taken on a character journey throughout the film.
I strongly get the feeling that when I put together my Best Of list at the end of this year that Another Round is going to be pretty high on it. This film not only deserves its Golden Globe nominations but is one of the films of the year.
Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson will have its world premiere at the prestigious South By South West (SXSW) Festival, to be held ‘virtually’ out of the US next month.
The film will premiere in the Festival’s Narrative Spotlight section, for high profile features having their World, North American or U.S. premieres.
SXSW is renowned for discovering and showcasing ground-breaking international creative voices in a program that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Filmmakers such as Lena Dunham, Barry Jenkins and Greta Gerwig are among the directors who made their mark at the Festival.
Based on the Henry Lawson short story and re-imagined for a modern audience by Leah Purcell, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson tells the story of a woman and her stubborn determination to protect her family from the harshness of a life in 1893, Snowy Mountains. Both a searing thriller and a stark revisionist Western, the film offers a powerful new interrogation of Australian history and culture through the determination of a woman to ensure her children are given a future filled with hope.
Filmed on location in Australia’s dramatic high country, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Leah Purcell’s hugely successful stage play. Amongst the play’s many accolades it received the national Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work, the David Williamson Prize for excellence in writing for Australian theatre and the AWGIE’s Major Award.
Leah Purcell directed and stars in the film and wrote the screenplay. She is joined in the cast by Rob Collins (Cleverman, The Wrong Girl), Sam Reid (Lambs of God, The Railway Man), Jessica de Gouw (Arrow, Gretel & Hansel), Malachi Dower-Roberts, Tony Cogin and Harry Greenwood.
The film is produced by Bain Stewart for Oombarra Productions and David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn and Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions. Roadshow Films will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand. Memento Films International is handling international sales.
Leah Purcell said: “I am excited and proud that my debut feature is World Premiering at SXSW in Austin TX USA. I’ve seen and heard so much about the festival over the years so to be following in the footsteps of the amazing films and filmmakers that have gone before me is humbling. As an Indigenous Australian woman and filmmaker, I am proud to be sharing a story that literally has mine and my family’s DNA all over it and to be able to share our cultural practise as storytellers through film to the world. I wish I could be at SXSW for the film’s premiere but I’ll be with you in spirit.”
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: ““To have your feature directorial debut selected to screen at this acclaimed film festival is a remarkable feat and testament to Leah Purcell’s talent as a storyteller. Congratulations to the entire creative team, including the producers at Oombarra Productions and Bunya Productions, for bringing this poignant Australian story to the big screen. It’s fantastic to see this powerful First Nations story and distinctive Australian landscapes showcased and celebrated on the world stage. ”
Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon, “Writer/Director Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s WifeThe Legend of Molly Johnson is a provocative and powerful story with a powerhouse team behind it. I am thrilled that it is set to engage global audiences with its raw authority and authenticity, which is matched by sweeping shots of New South Wales’ stunning alpine landscapes, and stirring performances from Australia’s finest talents.”
VP, International Sales & Marketing, Memento Films International, Alexandre Moreau, said: “We are delighted with the World Premiere at SXSW, it’s a great spotlight for the film! Leah Purcell is a multi-talented artist, following her acclaimed stage play and novel, we can’t wait to reveal her feature debut to the world. With The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson , she managed to capture some essential and current topics wrapped up in a thrilling tale.”
Roadshow Films CEO Joel Pearlman said: “We are tremendously excited to take The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson to Australian audiences later this year. Leah Purcell has assembled a remarkable cast to bring this seminal work to the screen.”
The film was shot in Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains, the Monaro Plains and in Western Sydney.
Production credit: The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is a Oombarra and Bunya Productions production. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW. Memento Films International is handling international sales. Distribution in Australia and New Zealand by Roadshow Films.
Summary: A rancher finds himself in a vicious war about the cabal after he tries to rescue a mother and her son.
Cinema Release Dates: 21st January 2021 (Australia), 15th January 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: Robert Lorenz
Screenwriter: Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz, Robert Lorenz
Cast: Kellen Boyle (Dalton), Christian Hicks (Danny), Roger Jerome (Otto), Dylan Kenin (Randall), Antonio Leyba (Rigo), Jose Mijangos (Emilio), Liam Neeson (Jim), Jacob Perez (Miguel), Yediel Quiles (Jorge), Alfredo Quiroz (Carlos), Juan Pablo Raba (Mauricio), Luce Rains (Everitt), Ann Barrett Richards (Bartender Clara), Sean A. Rosales (Hernando), Teresa Ruiz (Rosa), Jose Vasquez (Isidro), Katheryn Winnick (Sarah)
Running Time: 108 mins
Classification: M (Australia), PG-13 (USA)
THE MARKSMAN REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ The Marksman Review:
If Clint Eastwood watches The Marksman and then says “that Irishman is taking my roles” then you really couldn’t blame him. The Marksman’s hero Jim is almost your stereotypical Eastwood role. A rancher, almost disenfranchised with the world around him who is lost in his sorrow and doesn’t mind a good drink now and then. Also like most Eastwood films this is a film with grit that is certainly a must see in the cinemas.
As you would guess Jim (Liam Neeson – The Grey) is a bit of a loner. He has been that way since the death of his wife a few years earlier. He spends his days working on his hard-hit ranch and occasionally helping out the US Border Forces when he finds illegal aliens who have made the dangerous trip over the Mexico/US border.
Jim is not a snitch though, no it seems like he phones in his reports due to the fact that his step-daughter Sarah (Katheryn Winnick – Vikings) works for the border forces. However Jim sees a different side to the aliens crossing the border when he finds himself helping young Miguel (Jacob Perez – Papa Bear) and his mother Rosa (Teresa Ruiz – Narcos: Mexico) who cross the border with the cartel hot on their tail.
The resulting fire-fight sees Jim shoot dead several of the cartel members including the brother of determined leader Mauricio (Juan Pablo Raba – Peppermint) who then uses his corrupt colleagues to find his way into American and look for vengeance.
The plot of The Marksman is pretty simple. An ex-vet drives across country with a young refugee while being pursued by the cartel – it certainly wouldn’t have taken a scriptwriting genius to come up with the pretence. Why the film works is because director Robert Lorenz (Trouble With The Curve) and his other screenwriters steer the film away from the genre’s clichés and continually come up with the creative ways to see Jim and the cartel cross paths.
At times the film’s ‘road-trip’ vibe is a reminder of films like Roadkill and once the audience learns that no character is safe the film takes on a whole new level of suspense. It is that suspense and the great characterisation of Jim and Miguel that hold this film together. Yes, the character of Mauricio is a little stereotypical but at the same time he is so blood-thirsty it makes him a dangerous adversary that you never can predict the nature or actions of.
The real strength of this film though is the acting of Liam Neeson. Whether Neeson had made his mind up about walking away from action films before he made this film I guess we will never know but if this is his finale than at least he can say that he went out on top. So many action heroes turn up to make a film like this and bring nothing to the role – that certainly isn’t the case with Neeson playing rancher Jim.
Neeson puts life into Jim. He makes you care about the character and he can say more with one glance or facial expression that a page full of dialogue could. I recently said that with Honest Thief Neeson looked and showed his age, especially with some laboured chase scenes, but that certainly isn’t the case here. Here Neeson is reminiscent of Clint Eastwood in The Mule or Gran Torino. He is playing his age and it works. Yes this might just be an action drama but Neeson certainly brought his A-Game to the table.
The other strength to The Marksman is the fact that the film shows that every refugee has their own story but it never becomes preachy. There are no ‘up on the box’ moments as Jim launches into a ‘everybody must listen to this’ monologue. No instead the film simply tells the story at hand – a young boy needs the help of an American citizen in order to survive. It is surprising just how more powerful that makes the film.
The Marksman might not be the masterpiece that Let Him Go was but as far as modern day westerns go it is well worth a look. Suspenseful and brought alive by the talents of its leading man this is a film I more than happy to go back and re-visit.
Summary: The staff of a finishing school in France realise that the relevance of their school is quickly diminishing as the women of the country start to revolt.
Cinema Release Dates: 9th March 2020 (Australia)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: France, Belguim
Director: Martin Provost
Screenwriter: Martin Provost, Severine Werba
Cast: Armelle (Christiane Rougemont), Edourd Baer (Andre Grunvald), Francois Bereland (Robert Van der Beck), Juliette Binoche (Paulette Van der Beck), Stephanie Bissot (Raymonde), Pauline Briand (Corinne Schwartz), Alex Dey (Gaetan), Cecile Dominjon (Birgit), Stephanie Housauer (M. Frantz), Noemie Lvovsky (Marie-Therese), Yolande Moreau (Gilberte Van der Beck), Phillippe Morand (M. Schmitt), Cecile Ribault-Caillol (Menie Gregoire), Lily Taieb (Yvette Ziegler), Anamaria Vartolomei (Albane Des-deux-Ponts), Marie Zabukovec (Annie Fuchs)
Running Time: 109 mins
Classification: M (Australia)
OUR HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ How To Be A Good Wife Review:
I think one of the most disappointing things when you are a film lover is sitting down to watch a film only to find that it starts off with promise and then goes downhill rapidly. I can cope with a film that is bad from start to finish, but I get a strong sense of disappointment when I feel like I am enjoying a film until the wheels fall off and everything goes horribly wrong.
New French film How To Be A Good Wife sadly falls into the latter category. From director Martin Provost (Seraphine) the film should be a strong movie about the rise of women’s rights in France. But instead it becomes a promising film that three quarters of the way through forgets what genre it wants to be and completely loses its way. Yes, I know films can be absurd but this borders on ridiculous and loses the plot that previously was enchanting its audience.
Set in 1968 the film follows the staff of a French Finishing School were young women are sent to be trained to become ‘good wives.’ The school is run by Paulette Van der Beck (Juliette Binoche – The English Patient) while the finances are looked after by her much older husband, Robert (Francois Berleand – The Transporter). Also on staff are Robert’s kooky sister Gilberte (Yolande Moreau – Amelie) and Sister Marie-Therese (Noemie Lvovsky – Camille Rewinds) who tries to keep the moral compass with both students and staff.
After a tragic event though Paulette suddenly finds herself free from her marriage but at the same learns that the school and its relevance in the current society is casting doubt on the school’s future.
Early on I found the film worked. It worked because it gave us a broad prospective of what was happening. Despite her kookiness Gilberte is ready to embrace equal rights, the students are divided – some still want to learn to be a ‘good wife’ while others want to change with the society and have the power to explore their sexuality if they wish.
If the film had kept going in that way and allowed characters to explore what women’s rights meant for them this could have ended up becoming one of the most important and powerful films of this year. But somewhere along the line the director and screenwriter decided that turning the film into a comedic musical towards the finale would be a good idea. To me that lost all the power that the film had generated earlier and because of the inclusion of Marie-Therese in the musical numbers ended up looking like a lame parody of The Sound Of Music. A film about women’s right needs (and deserves) to be remembered for its strength and courage, not laughed at because the director tried to do something a ‘little different.’
Even with the film working the way it did early on this does feel like one of Binoche’s weaker performances. She is normally brilliant but here feels like she is just going through the motions whereas the ability to be able to mix comedy with dramatic scenes make Moreau and Lvovsky easily over-shadow her with their performances. In fact I was so impressed with Moreau portrayal of the strange but hurt Gilberte that as soon as I left the cinema I started scrolling through her filmography so I could watch more of her work.
Given the power of the story behind it How To B A Good Wife should be a film that we are talking about for Oscar contention this year, instead it is a film that I would rather forget and never re-visit.