Interview with Joe Cornish

by Simon on December 5, 2011 · 0 comments

Joe Cornish reckons – at 42 – he’s old. “I’ve left making my first feature film so long – until I’m in my dotage really. Let’s face it, I’m going to be dead pretty soon.” It’s the kind of self-deprecating humour that the well-mannered, well-spoken English comedian, writer, television-presenter (and now ageing film director) is best known for. But if he left his run at the film industry until he’s a bit long in the tooth, then he’s certainly making up for it this year. Not only is his first feature film, Attack The Block opening in Australia next week, but he was one of the screenwriters of Tintin – the Spielberg-Jackson extravaganza that is almost certain to be the biggest summer blockbuster of the year. [click to continue…]

Interview with Richard De Aragues

by Simon on September 12, 2011 · 0 comments

“If I finish life with more than two quid in my pocket then I’ve made a miscalculation.” So says Guy Martin, the good looking bad boy of motor-cycle racing, and every documentary filmmaker’s dream subject: outrageous, funny, charming and dressed in leathers – a man who always has a story to tell when he isn’t busy creating them by upsetting sponsors or disappearing when there’s a press conference he’s meant to be at. No surprise then that he is the heartbeat of a new film about the world’s most dangerous bike race that takes place every year on the Isle of Man, almost certainly taking a few lives in the process. [click to continue…]

Interviews – Wim Wenders’ PINA

by Simon on August 21, 2011 · 0 comments

When Julie Shanahan left Australia 25 years ago to join a dance company in Germany, she thought she’d be back within a year. “I never imagined I could be even 10 years in one dance company,” she says “but I’ve now been there 25 years! And I am still only beginning to understand so much. That’s a testament to one person and her work – Pina.” [click to continue…]

Interview with Morgan Spurlock

by Simon on August 6, 2011 · 0 comments

Let’s face it, Morgan Spurlock made a name for himself doing strange things for thirty days at a time and documenting the results on film. Back in 2004, in his breakout documentary Super Size Me, he ate only McDonald’s food. Three times a day for thirty days. He gained eleven kilos and ended up with depression, a dodgy liver and an Academy-Award nomination. [click to continue…]

Interview with Julia Leigh

by Simon on June 27, 2011 · 0 comments

Frankly, after checking out her credentials and seeing a few online interviews, I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of talking to Julia Leigh, the Australian director of Sleeping Beauty. She seemed so utterly composed, thoughtful and deliberate in her interviews and about her thoughts on her debut feature film, which was selected to screen in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival last month. Her biography mentions her two novels – The Hunter and Disquiet – and their many accolades and prizes. She is described as “a sorceress” who “casts a spell of serene while the earth quakes underfoot”. [click to continue…]

Interview with Ben C. Lucas

by Simon on February 24, 2011 · 0 comments

Without question one of the most striking Australian films of recent years, Wasted On The Young confirms the visual storytelling confidence of new director Ben. C. Lucas. In his early thirties and now looking for a project in LA after the critical reception he has already received for the film, Lucas tells a very contemporary, and at times very confronting story about the disturbing power games of young people when there are no barriers on behaviour. [click to continue…]

Interview with Jim Broadbent

by Simon on January 25, 2011 · 0 comments

Jim Broadbent is running late for the interview. His publicist is in a flap because he was due half an hour ago and his mobile phone is off. Not to worry I say, it will give me time to go through his incredible career again. I scan the details: born in Lincoln; both parents “artistic” and amateur actors; attended a Quaker school in Reading; graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1972. And then pretty much constant work on stage and screen – with the name of director Mike Leigh popping up regularly. It’s clear the two men have had a special relationship spanning more than thirty years – and it’s continued into Leigh’s latest film Another Year, with Broadbent in a lead role as the kind friend Tom who deals patiently with the problems of others as the seasons turn. [click to continue…]

Interview with Tom Hooper

by Simon on December 19, 2010

Director Tom Hooper credits his Australian mother for providing him with the ability to properly understand English culture. Born in the UK with dual citizenship and a regular visitor to Australia since the age of six, Hooper is back in the country with his new film The King’s Speech, a story that deals with the complexities of the restrained and troubled man who would become King George VI. “One of the remarkable things about my mother Meredith,” says Hooper, “is that, not only did she protect me from the worst aspects of an English upbringing, but she also gave me a dual perspective on English culture. Through her I was able to see it from the outside and the inside, and the ability to inhabit that duality – of being both an outsider and an insider – is very much what being a director is.” [click to continue…]

Interview with Derek Cianfrance

by Simon on December 14, 2010

When Derek Cianfrance went to film school at the University of Colorado and studied under legendary experimental filmmakers Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Brakhage was an intense filmmaker and theorist, searching for new forms of expression on screen and wary of the mechanics of filmmaking. “Brakhage taught my film history course and would do the craziest things,” says Cianfrance. “When he showed us Ivan The Terrible, he would have the projectionist rack the film completely out of focus so we could only see the shadow and light play on the screen. [click to continue…]

Interview with Adam Elliot

by Simon on December 4, 2010

Adam Elliot looks like he’s dressed to go out. Smart black shirt, shiny polished shoes and a distinctly clean-cut, fresh-faced look. He’s in Canberra as part of a promotional tour for something a little different – a book rather a film. But he’s not dressed up for this interview – the makeover is for a speaking engagement that follows – something he’s been doing since he won an Academy Award for his short animation Harvie Krumpet. Our photographer arrives and Elliot pulls faces for the camera. “I’m trying to look unfortunate,” he explains. The book is – after all – about 26 unfortunate dogs. [click to continue…]