Tuesday 17 April 2018

Vale Frank Bren - Actor, writer, director, scholar, critic - Friends John Snadden and Mark Savage remember

Frank Bren the Melbourne based actor, writer and scholar died this week. Two friends have posted on Facebook:

John Snadden
A very good friend of mine, and many others, died late on Saturday night. Well known Melbourne actor and writer, Frank Bren, succumbed to a short but virulent bout of cancer which was diagnosed less than 6 weeks ago. His gentle humour and demeanour will be fondly remembered by his friends and 
colleagues. This picture is from BETEL NUT GIRL, a low budget Chinese film made in 2012.
I first met Frank in the early 90s, when we were both discovering the cinema delights being offered up by Melbourne's then 2 Chinese cinemas. It's been a long and very enjoyable friendship and I will miss Frank dearly. Farewell friend.
 Mark Savage
Frank Bren, who was a dear friend and professional colleague (he'd appeared in a few of my films) was a true old world gentleman, scholar, and extraordinarily unique individual.

His death has really shaken me.

Frank was a talented writer, and championed many long-forgotten and ignored actors and directors of Chinese/Hong Kong cinema. He walked everywhere, always dressed impeccably, and always welcomed a get-together for a coffee, and never exhausted his storytelling skills.

As an actor, Frank exuded a unique, powerful, quirky, old world presence, and I saw this ably displayed when he played 'The Snake' in my film SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER. He was a skilled comic actor also, and knew exactly how to balance a character's personality. In some critiques, he was described as "a George Sanders type,", and, in this context, that description was accurate. He also wrote a number of plays, reviewed HK films with me for the Herald-Sun, and once asked me to direct one he had written and was starring in (at La Mama). The experience gave me a deep appreciation of Frank's diversity and dedication to the craft.

He will be terribly missed. He was a unique Melbourne fixture. He always left an indelible impression, and warmed every heart he touched.

His email address, frankmondial@, said it all: "Frank Of The World." He truly was.

And he's now of the next world.

RIP, dear Frank. Your passing leaves an abyss in Melbourne and the world.

Fellow scholar and critic Adrian Danks advises that there will be a memorial for Frank at La Mama on April 29 at 6:00

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