The first images have been released for the upcoming Snow White by the incredible Director Tarsem Singh. Tarsem Singh's films reach beyond the realms of reality and take you on a magical trip to a Dali-esque parallel universe. If you haven;t seen his work: Check out The Cell or The Fall.
I am counting down to this one:
Something happened to me.
Something happened to Pollywood. I can't quite put it into words and that has basically been the problem: I can't seem to be able to put anything into words! I just haven't had the urge or desire to write at all! No words have been written for so long and I almost thought about erasing Pollywood and just forgetting about it.
I have sat down many times after seeing new films and tried to bring myself to write but I just couldn't.
I put it down to tiredness. I put it down to the fact I have seen few movies of late. But none of it made sense.
I am and always will be obsessed with films, even when I am not watching them. I get excited about films, angry about films and sad about films all the time. This is what I usually share on my little blog but alas, of late, I have shared nothing.
It is still a mystery to me but today I watched a film that reminded me how much I love to write Pollywood and how important it is to me to record all my little rantings and ravings.
I am currently working on a show with my new friend and fellow Filmster Cam Eason. We have exchanged film stories, recommended films to watch and I have even read one of his scripts.
Somehow one of our conversations turned to the film 'Shakespeare In Love'. I quickly dismissed the movie, saying I didn't really like it. I recalled it being cheesy and over-acted and particularly didn't like Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare
As I said these words I realised that I wasn't telling the truth. I was in fact just grumpy, tired and dismissive.
I loved this film when it came out. It tells the tale of William Shakespeare and how he came to write the most beautiful play of all time 'Romeo and Juliet'.
After disagreeing with Cam, who loved the film. I felt a pang in my heart. I realised that I have become somewhat jaded of late. My romantic, whimsical and always dreaming heart has been a little lost.
All I have been doing lately is working. Usually my work helps to feed my soul. It allows the kid in me to be wowed by the wonder that is film-making. Presently, however, I find myself working on something that doesn't give me much artistic satisfaction at all. I think that it has worn me out a little and I have forgotten how important it is for me to record all the things I love.
I watched Shakepeare In Love again today. I cried as he recited the closing monologue in Romeo and Juliet. I cried when Romeo didn't receive the Friar's message and I cried when William dedicated his following play twelth night to his beloved Viola.
It wasn't cheesy, it was beautiful. I thought Joseph Fiennes was lovely. I felt like a cloud had been lifted and I felt compelled to write this on Pollywood
And so I am going to start again. I am going to remind myself every day that my current job will allow me to go to Paris and write my own little film. I am going to remind myself that I am inspired by the films I watch, I am inspired by the people I meet in my job and I am inspired by the man in my life who I love so much
I am going to write as much as I can- even when I'm tired from work.
I have lots of things to tell you. I saw the last Harry Potter for goodness sake! That was a momentous occasion!
So I'm sorry I disappeared. I'm back and I'm as Nerdy as ever.
Ohhh I am looking forward to this one. A Dangerous Mind is David Cronenberg's latest film. It is based on the true story of the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Aside from 'old pouty' lips the cast are amazing: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel! Eeeeeeeeee. Excited. http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3449592857/
I can't wait any longer for the new version of Jane Eyre to come out. I just can not wait. It isn't out until August 20 and I'm fed up. I've posted twice about this film.
Next to Steppenwolf, Jane Eyre is quite easily one of my favourite literary characters.
Before I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice and Mr Darcy my Mum introduced me to Jane Eyre. She owned the BBC series on video and we watched it together many times. I used to come home from school and watch it again and again.
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre portrays the development of a thinking and passionate young woman who's desire for a full life conflicts with her conventionally high morals. Jane suffers much in her younger years. She eventually finds herself working for the incredibly wealthy and incredibly cruel Mr Edward Fairfax Rochester. While Jane is plain and poor, something in her ignites a passion in Mr Rochester that forces him to bury his households secrets. He does not succumb to his passion and instead torments Jane and forces her to flee.
I won't tell you any more but I highly recommend you see it or even better, read it.
Timothy Dalton played Mr Rochester and I clearly remember being both completely terrified of him and completely in love with him.
It got me thinking: Isn't is amazing how young you can convince yourself that you are in LOVE with a character or a movie star. I have such vivid memories of loving Mr Rochester with all my heart. He was so cruel, so sinister, and so utterly confounding and yet I was mesmerised by his unattainably.
I felt Jane's pain and desperately wanted him to love her (and me).
I would have only been about 10-12 when I watched this show but I truly felt I knew what love was. There's something so lovely in that youthful naivety.
Like many many girls my first love was Johnny Depp. I remember saving up and buying 2 copies of the TV hits Johnny Depp poster book so I could put up both sides of each page on my wall.
I wallpapered my entire room with his face. I had deeply overwhelming feelings of love (and perhaps even lust) for him. I remember being astounded by his beauty and imagined kissing him over and over.
I would lie in my bed and just imagine him talking to me or smiling at me. I felt a pain in my heart knowing he would never be mine.
In my early teens I experienced an incredibly intense love for a real person, but someone that to this day I have never actually met. My Mum took me to a play. It was Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The Character Malvolio was played by a teenage actor from a neighbouring high school called Thomas La Hood. It was the first time I had seen Shakespeare done well. I was absolutely smitten.
Shortly after seeing this play I went to stay with my Grandparents on their farm. I would spend my days walking around the garden imagining Thomas La Hood there with me. I would imagine him rescuing me from a storm (ala Jane Austen) and I used to have this recurring vision of him and I kissing in a cave while we sheltered from the rain! Ha! What an absolute goose I am.
Thomas La Hood is actually a good friend of my pal Charlotte's. Only a few years ago she told me that she'd been to Thomas' wedding. I couldn't help but feel like I'd lost my first love. HA!
My obsessions moved to musicians in later years. I was infatuated with Damon Albarn and was so happy when my amazing Mum told me that if I wanted Damon Albarn, I could have him.
In my later years my obsession with film and also with actors is far more professional and far less whimsical.
It is always a lovely feeling to see someone in a film and be carried away by their beauty and talent though isn't it.
Today's teenagers are smitten with the likes of Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautiner and Zac Efron. I don't think these boys are a patch on my Johnny or my Rochestor or even my Malvolio.
But I understand your hearts you lovely young things.
I hope those boys are hiding in caves with you in your dreams.
Sometimes when I'm too busy to see many films, I try and think about old ones that I could write about.
As my brain races through the film library in my head, I often just see seminal images from all the classics.
It made me think how so many films are now remembered by one image. One incredible shot sticks in people's minds and takes them right back to when they saw it. Whenever someone mentions a scary movie I often think about Jaws and the POV shot of the shark looking up at the girl in the water. Similarly if someone mentions kids films, I see Elliot and E.T riding across the sky, silhouetted by the moon. I have a distinct memory of the first shot in Jurassic park when Sam Neill sees a dinosaur for the first time and realising movies weren't going to be the same anymore.
Here are a few of my favourite shots in films that have, in later years, come to define them:
I am very forgiving when it comes to actors I absolutely love. I'll pretty much see George Clooney in anything, I am always keen to see Meryl Streep's next and I have a crush on Penelope Cruz so even her English speaking films make it onto the playlist.
Seth Rogen can really do no wrong for me, and he has starred in some doozies. I am yet to see The Green Hornet but I think it looks terrible. I haven't liked quite a few of his films but I will end up seeing every single film he is in.
His new film coming out is called 50/50. It stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, Anna Kendrick. It is about a young man discovering he has cancer and learning he has a 50/50 chance of living.
It looks sweet, funny, if not a little twee. I will absolutely see it though, because that mushy, adorable Jewish teddy bear Seth is in it.
I don't know specifically what it is about Seth that I find so funny. His deadpan dude humour is really the stock standard comedy routine of late. That kind of dumb bro down, 'I'm an idiot but adorable' routine is seen in every Judd Apatow film going around.
A decade ago, and further back, comedians like Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, and even Ben Stiller created a completely new characters for their roles. They were (and are) the masters of impressions and often a film was built up around one of their characters (Zoolander, Ace Ventura etc). These days comedians like Jonah Hill, Zach Galifianakis and Seth Rogen just roll around a film being themselves. They have excellent comic timing and an ability to knock each other down but gone are the comedy characters. They are just filming their true selves.
While this doesn't always work, I do really love watching Seth and his mates in most things. It feels genuine to me. It really has taken off and these days even romantic comedies seem to have the token 'Apatow' sidekick. But no one can beat Seth's deadpan, stoner Rogenisms.
Take 'Knocked Up': Seth and 4 of his best friends spend half the film just improvising. You know they have spent hours together trying to one up each other. It feels effortless. A great example is the ongoing joke about their mate who has been dared to grow a beard for the duration of the film:
"How Did It Feel changing your name from Cat Stevens to Yusef Islam?"
"See ya later Scorsese on coke"
"Your face looks like Robin Williams Knuckles"
None of it felt forced or scripted....and it's damn funny.
Compare that to say The Hangover, where carefully cast, handpicked stereotypes are grouped together and fed very calculated lines and jokes. Not so funny to me.
The Hangover is well done, don't get me wrong, but I didn't find any one person incredibly funny in it.
I do love Zach but I prefer his stand up and find the whole 'I'm a Retard' routine pretty ho hum.
Imagine The hangover with Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel and one straight laced actor. You could just let the events play out and the unscripted ridiculousness ensue.
ANYHOO...50/50 the film I mentioned before getting completely off track looks funny.
My pal Victoria wants to take me to The Hangover 2 this week. I love her dearly so I'm going to go.
As Seth would say, it's a chance to hang out with mates for 2 hours...... the film comes second to that.
This is really lovely. Alan Rickman has posted a public letter to the Author of Harry Potter J.K Rowling, thanking her for his experiences playing Severus Snape. I get emotional saying goodbye to crew members after 3 months on one feature. I can't imagine how sad it is to let go of a character like Snape that Alan has carried for 7 films and a cast that he has seen grow from children into adults.
"I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway. A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.
"Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.
"It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo."
What an interesting end to the Lars Von Trier saga at this years Cannes. Did you hear about it?
This year Lars Von Trier's new feature Melancholia was up for all the big awards at the Cannes film festival.
Lars spoke at a press release for Melancholia. He went completely off topic and confessed he is a Nazi. He went on to say he empathised with Hitler and thought that Israeli Jews are annoying.
Lars always tries to get a rise out of the press but this time it went down like a lead balloon and he was subsequently ejected from Cannes and banned forever!
I think this is a bit of a knee jerk reaction but his comments were incredibly stupid and inflammatory.
I hope he learnt his lesson. There have been huge disagreements over this ejection. Some say Cannes overacted and some say he should never be allowed back. I think it was fair to ask him to leave but Cannes in not a political or moral platform, it is a film festival and many directors and actors have said equally stupid things in the past.
Interestingly, Kirsten Dunst then went on to win best actress at the festival. She has completely distanced herself from Lars and his comments and said she thought he was idiotic.
Lars Von Trier is a bit of a Cannes darling. His films never cease to invoke controversy and are often touted as 'the one to watch'. In 2000 Lars won the coveted Palme D'or for Dancer In The Dark. Conversely, his last film Antichrist caused a complete uproar as people booed, hissed and walked out.
SPOLIER ALERT: The final scene in the film see Charlotte Gainsbourg cutting off her own clitoros with a blunt pair of scissors.
I hated Antichrist. 'Hate' is word I know Lars would love to hear when describing his films so perhaps I'll say I 'Nothinged' Antichrist. I felt nothing but disdain for it's characters and their journey.
It was well documented that he made that film in the depths of depression. He admits it was a therapeutic experience. It may have been cathartic for him perhaps, but it was apparently a ghastly experience for everyone around him.
I worked with the cinematographer Anthony Dodd Mantle who shoots all of Lar's films. He said Antichrist was a crippling experience. For all the drama surrounding it, I found it to be dull, slow and more sad than shocking. I was deeply disappointed.
Lars Von Trier is responsible for some of the most emotionally taxing experiences I have had while watching a film. Both Breaking The Waves and Dancer In The Dark left me in a heap on the floor. When I watched Dancer In The Dark I was literally on the floor, sobbing. I have never seen it again but it is one of my all time favourite films. It was Bjork's first and last film. She swore she would never ever do a film again.
I hope Melancholia wins me back. I've read mixed reviews. I am not a fan of Kirsten Dunst. I'm yet to see a performance that equals her Claudia in Interview With A Vampire. The trailer looks interesting, slightly melodramatic.
Here is the trailer and also Lar's comments that sent him packing.
Oh I love this! Michel Gondry's next film is going to be French. Bliss. Michel decided he wanted to cast Amelie's Audrey Tatou in his film. He made her a little start stop animated movie showing himself asking her to be in it. He said the very short little film showed him giving her flowers and then both of them flying in the sky.
A true Aussie legend left us today. Bill Hunter sadly passed away last night after battling cancer. He was 71.
Bill has been working as an actor in Australia since the late 1950's. He wasn't just part of our industry, he was our industry. You can not think of Australian film without one of Bill's classic roles popping into your head. His range of characters were both dramatic, comedic and quintessentially 'Aussie'.
I think the first film I saw him in was Gallipoli. In later years I went through a serious Aussie film phase and tried to watch as many as possible. Bill would pop up in every second film.
In the 90's Bill really stood out for me in some brilliant comedic roles, namely: Muriel's wedding, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Strictly Ballroom. I loved his warmth and heart in Priscilla and thought his chemistry with Terence Stamp was excellent.
I always wanted to worked with Jack Thompson, and Bill Hunter. They are the 2 greats in my eyes.
I am blessed and lucky to say I got to work with them both. Like Jack, Bill comes with a huge legacy and he doesn't take any prisoners. I was told he's a cheeky buggar who "doesn't put up with any shit".
I get more nervous working with pros like Bill than any big time hollywood actor.
Bill was an absolute treasure, a cheeky monkey and very easy to work with.