International Screenings for Oranges & Sunshine, Last Ride

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

Things have been quiet in the fandom over the past few weeks; Uncle Vanya closed on 1 January and Hugo remains in Sydney but is taking a well-earned break before he begins what promises to be a busy year. We’re still awaiting a lot of basic promotional material for Oranges and Sunshine, Hugo’s first film to open in 2011. A trailer exists and has been screening with The King’s Speech in Australian cinemas (the two films share an international distributor) and has received enthusiastic feedback from those lucky enough to see it… but it’s still not available online, nor does the film yet have a website, though it has a Facebook page. A lot of people are very eager for more info on the film, so I hope the good word of mouth and post-festival reviews aren’t squandered in bad promotion… too many of Hugo’s Australian films have suffered this fate. The good news is that the film will have another festival screening, this time in Glasgow, Scotland on 25 and 26 February. More info can be found here. The film will also screen on 31 March– followed by a discussion with director Jim Loach– at London’s Barbican Theatre. The film opens wide in the UK on 1 April and in Australia later that month. No additional countries have been announced yet, but I’ll keep you posted.  Also, for you David Wenham fans, some pics of his character have finally been released and can be seen here. I know you and Emily Watson’s fans are also actively searching for more info about this film… this is the sort of indie project that will really need strong word of mouth and fan support to get attention beyond its countries of origin.

Meanwhile, Last Ride, one of Hugo’s personal favorites of all his films, will finally be formally screened in America this April as part of the Adelaide Film Festival’s Investment Fund Films at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art along with many other prestigious Aussie films from the past several years. While some of these films have been seen in the US previously (Look Both Ways, Ten Canoes, etc) Last Ride has only been officially screened in the US once, in LA in late 2009. The film never found a US distributor, so it wasn’t released theatrically here. Many of us already own the Region 4 DVD, but this will be a rare opportunity to see the film as it was meant to be seen, and at a venue worthy of it. 😉 For more information, go to Inside Film and encoremagagine.com.au . MOMA doesn’t yet have any specifics available, but the Adelaide Film Festival screenings will take place the week of April 7-13, so keep checking this page for dates and times.

We still have no confirmation of Hugo’s possible participation in The Hobbit, Happy Feet 2 or a US season of STC’s Uncle Vanya. But Hugo’s Vanya costar Jacki Weaver received a well-deserved Oscar nod this week (as did his old pal and clowning teacher Geoffrey Rush) ;), and Richard Roxburgh has a high profile film opening this week (Sanctum)… I suspect if either of them knows anything about any upcoming theatre commitments, they’ll say so soon in interviews. 😉 The Hobbit has been delayed again after director Peter Jackson suffered a perforated ulcer and was rushed into surgery a couple of days ago… he should make a full recovery, according to stuff.co.nz, and the production delay will be “only slight.”

Also, Hugo’s recent Aussie TV projects Rake and I, Spry are now available on DVD from many fine Australian retailers. There’s an interesting 13 minute Making Of doc for I, Spry over at YouTube; Hugo isn’t in it, but it provides interesting tidbits about the docudrama, which Hugo narrated. You can also see the trailers for both shows: Rake, I, Spry. NOTE: Hugo only appears in episode 1 of Rake, which can be found on Part 1 of the two part DVD set. I’ve seen a lot of competitive prices for both programs on ebay. And I’ve recently noticed that Hugo’s hard-to-find 1993 black comedy Frauds (costarring Phil Collins and Josephine Byrnes) is now available for streaming on Netflix if you’re a member… as is his 2005 drama Peaches.

And… all those wild rumors about possible Matrix sequels in 3D which were running rampant on the internet last week turned out to be hoaxes. I suspected as much, but some people who think Harry Knowles can’t be punked are still repeating this stuff. Always get confirmation from a credible source before repeating fanboy gossip. 😉

Update: There’s a nice preview of Oranges and Sunshine at Dark Horizons, highlighting “…a film that avoids easy emotional manipulation or sensationalistic tricks. The acting talent, especially the three W’s – Watson, Weaving and Wenham – all apparently deliver strong performances in a film that keeps the focus on personal costs rather than political justice. Powerful stuff.”

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