Monday, May 14, 2012


It's rare that we get to talk about genuine surprises from an awards organisation, but a year after Julia Leigh's divisive and hypnotic (some would say boring - I would not be one of those people) Sleeping Beauty premiered at the Cannes Film Festival it has taken out the prestigious Australian Director's Guild prize for feature film. The award was a last minute surprise for the director who was nominated against Kriv Stenders for his box office smash, Red Dog, and Justin Kurzel for his critics favourite, Snowtown. Leigh's effort was comparatively lowkey compared to those films' broad humour and attention-seeking atmospherics. If you recall, I really rather liked it at the time, and my opinion on the Emily Browning starrer has only improved since. Sleeping Beauty went sadly under-represented by the local AACTA Awards, receiving three nominations for below the line categories. Where Emily Browning disappeared to from that ballot I have no idea, but I can only imagine people confused Browning's startling, brave performance with that of her unlikeable character.

Speaking of Kurzel, he been announced as the director of A new John Le Carre adaptation, Our Kind of Traitor from a screenplay by the writer of Drive. I'm genuinely surprised that Kurzel beat the likes of David Michôd to a big international project, but good luck to him. Michôd, however, isn't being left behind after the surprise success of Animal Kingdom, which went all the way to an Oscar nomination for star Jacki Weaver, having announced his plan to director a new film called The Rover with Guy Pearce and, in his own Hollywood coup, Twilight Saga star Robert Pattinson. From my understanding of the project, it will be an Australian production with some international funding thrown in. It will be set and filmed in Australia though so I'm psyched that Michôd didn't immediately ditch our fair shores for what was surely some tempting offers. If anything, the genre elements at play, that cast, and the man's newfound status on the world stage could set The Rover up as a big hit both here and overseas and who wouldn't want that for the local industry?

Speaking of Cannes (yes, we were in the first paragraph, remember?), one film that most certainly won't be getting there or anywhere near any awards whatsoever is Housos vs Authority. I don't claim to know anything about the TV show that this film is adapted from, but I think "Housos" is slang for people who live in housing commission flats so, basically, it's gonna be like NEDs, but as done by Paul Fenech. Yes, you kinda know what you're gonna get with a Paul Fenech production so I suspect I won't be going there, but people have liked weirder things so if it is your sort of thing then here's the teaser trailer.

The plot, if one is necessary after viewing that video, involves a character wanting to spread their mum's ashes over Uluru. I am sure plenty of people will be offended and look forward to it. The movie? Not so much.

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