Monday 3 December 2018

Talkie Talk #40 - Adam Bowen notes eleven (count 'em) movies opening this week, a movie music program, two films by Alexander Mackendrick on the telly, and notes the passing of Goldman, Bertolucci, Roeg and Bluthal (phew).


The School – Aussie horror about a doctor (Megan Drury) seeking her son, and confronting supernatural terrors. Budget $3 million.

Overlord – WW2 soldiers face horrors on the eve of D-Day. Budget: $38 million.

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie – Aussie doco about an LGBTI gala, staged in the middle of the marriage equality vote. Closing Night at MIFF 2018. Read the program note

Climax – Horror as hoofers discover their party punch is laced with LSD.

Mortal Engines – Peter Jackson's fantasy adventure in which a young woman (Hera Hilmar) and her pals rebel against a giant predator city on wheels (not a misprint).

Hostiles– In 1892 a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family are escorted through dangerous territory by Christian Bale.

Roma – family saga set in 1970s Mexico City, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Limited sessions before going on Netflix

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – on her uppers, best-selling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel, (Melissa McCarthy) turns to fraud

New Life – Saga of a couple’s ups and downs.

Arctic Justice – animated adventures voiced by stars.

Elliott, the Littlest Reindeer – animated family drivel.          

MOVIE MUSIC ON 102.5fm Fine Music Saturday 7pm

Gone With the Wind(1939 Steiner)
Hurricane(1979, Rota)
Written on the Wind(1956, Young-Skinner)
The Wind and the Lion(1975, Goldsmith)
Agatha & the Storm(2004, Venosta)


Alexander Mackendrick directs Tony Curtis
The Sweet Smell of Success
Monday 12.15pm  Fox ClassicsThe Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Jet black drama about a shady press agent ((Tony Curtis), keen to ingratiate himself with a megalomaniacal newspaper columnist (Burt Lancaster). Directed by Alexander Mackendrick*.

Monday 1.50 pm Fox ClassicsStrangers on a Train (1951) – based on an excellent Patricia Highsmith novel. Tennis star (Farley Granger) meets a swish psychopath (Robert Walker - brilliantly creepy), who proposes they solve their respective problems by swapping murders. High-class Hitchcock; cinematography by Robert Burks.

Wednesday 12.00pm 9GemPassport to Pimlico (1949) - the inhabitants of a down-at-heel district of London discover they are citizens of Burgundy. They decide to secede from Britain, its post-war regulations and rationing. A highly enjoyable romp, starring Margaret Rutherford and Stanley Holloway.

Saturday 11am 9GemThe Ladykillers. Sweet old Katie Johnson allows a string quintet to rehearse in her lopsided house. The “musicians” (Alec Guiness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom and Danny Green) are actually planning a robbery, but all doesn’t go to plan. Delightful Ealing comedy in Eastman colour, brilliantly directed by Alexander Mackendrick*. Not to be confused with a dire Coen Bros remake.

Saturday 7pm 9GemThe Guns of Navarone big WW2 boys-own-adventure story, about the attempt by allied commandoes to destroy some enormous Nazi guns hidden on Aegean island of Navarone. Stars starring Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas , and a stirring score by Dimitri Tiomkin.


Screen luminaries who left us in November…

William Goldman, once the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood, died on November the 16th, aged 87. His versatile output included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid(1969); The Princess Bride(1976); Misery(1990) and Marathon Man(1976) – based on his own novel. He was also a dramatist and author of the best-selling memoir/screenwriter’s manual “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” which did much to elevate the status of the writer in Hollywood. Aged 15, Goldman met Judy Holliday and became instantly besotted with her and with show business. He wrote several unsuccessful novels, but one of them, No Way to Treat a Lady, written like a movie treatment, caught the eye of movie-star Cliff Robertson, who offered Goldman a job as its screenwriter. The movie, starring Rod Steiger and Lee Remick, was a hit…

Bernardo Bertolucci
Writer/director Bernardo Bertolucci, born, 1941, was the son of the Italian poet, Attilio Bertolucci, with whom he frequently went the cinema in his native Parma. Bertolucci was a production assistant for Pasolini on Accatone (1961), and the next year directed the gritty, documentary-style, The Grim Reaper. His subsequent output included many strongly visual, political, and long-winded “art-house” movies, including The Conformist(1970) Last Tango in Paris (1972); 1900(1976); and The Last Emperor(1987).

Brilliant director and cinematographer, Nicholas Roeg was of aristocratic Dutch extraction. He was was born in London, in 1928, and started his career, aged 19, as an assistant film editor. He moved to clapper boy; and by 1962 was second unit cinematographer for Freddie Young, on Lawrence of Arabia. Four years later Roeg was Director of Photography for Truffaut on Fahrenheit 45; then for John Schlesinger on Far From the Madding Crowd(1967). In 1970 he co-directed and photographed Performance, starring Mick Jagger and James Fox. His impressive directorial work also includes Walkabout(1971); Don’t Look Now(1973) and The Man Who Fell to Earth(1976), starring David Bowie.

John (Isaac) Bluthal was born a year after Roeg, but in Southern, Poland (now Ukraine). He worked mostly in TV and radio comedy, mainly in England, but also in Australia. His biggest hit was the TV sitcom, Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width (1967-71), which, at its peak, had an audience of 20 million. His films include The Mouse on the Moon(1963); A Hard Day’s Night(1964); Help!(1965); The Return of the Pink Panther(1975) and Hail Caesar!(2016). He died in Sydney on November the 15th.

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