Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cloud Atlas Wraps Production, Hobbit Location Filming, New Hugo Scans

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.

Here’s my Odds and Ends Christmas Entry… though we don’t have any new news about or photos of Hugo Weaving specifically, some important items about his two big 2012 films have come out in recent days, so I’ll share those without further ado.

First, Cloud Atlas recently wrapped primary photography at Babelsberg studios in Berlin, so the cast have presumably dispersed to their homes around the world for the holidays. Though no stills or behind the scenes pics of the actors have emerged recently, the filmmakers did share this group photo of the directors (including the elusive Wachowskis) and producers with a tantalizing array of props symbolizing each of the story’s six sequences. I won’t divulge their significance here, as many readers haven’t read the novel, but you can learn more at Empire Online, Collider, IndieWire and BoomTron. The photo was originally posted at Empire, but has since made its way to pretty much every other movie blog. 😉


Pictured are (far back) executive producer Uwe Schott, novelist David Mitchell executive producer Philip Lee. Front row:  producer Stefan Arndt, director/writers Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski and producer Grant Hill.

Will Hugo be using any of these props? Too soon to tell, though if the film follows the novel closely, he’ll be consigning one of them into a large body of water. 😉 Somehow I doubt he’ll be playing Papa Song, though, if the balloon likenesses are a match.

Next up: Peter Jackson’s released another lovely Production Video (#5 to be precise) just in time for the holidays, with the promise of another to follow early next year. Since this segment is primarily about location filming, there are no glimpses of Hugo or of Cate Blanchett, as their scenes were completed on a sound stage earlier this year. (Some day it’d be nice to see Elrond someplace other than Rivendell, wouldn’t it… I guess that’ll have to wait for an adaptation of The Silmarillion.) 😉 But I defy you not to get misty at Elijah Wood’s set tour of the new Hobbiton. Wood recently got a bit testy with the British chat show host Graham Norton when the latter blithely suggested Hobbiton “isn’t real”; this clip will give you some insight into Wood’s deep feelings about the issue if you don’t already share them. I’ll also embed the trailer in case anyone’s been in a deep coma for the past week and missed it. 😉 I think both are sublime, and reassure me that the film(s) will be very much worth the long wait


Peter Jackson, via YouTube

Finally, I have a batch of new Hugo-related scans posted to my Flickr Archive, including the full press kit for Proof’s 1992 North American release– including a lot of photos– an Oranges and Sunshine preview from FilmInk (featuring extensive comments from Hugo, including his mother’s reaction to some of his work) ;), and a vintage 1988 preview of The Dirtwater Dynasty featuring photos and a funny little blurb about Barlow & Chambers (aka Dadah is Death, aka A Long Way From Home.)

Proof Press Kit Photo 1
Photo 1 closeup
Photo 2
Photo 2 closeup
Photo 3
Photo 3 closeup
Color Slide 1
Color Slide 2
Color Slide 3
Color Slide 4
Proof Press Kit CoverPage 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8

Dirtwater Dynasty Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Oranges and Sunshine Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Review

Oh! And here’s a new article from the Adelaide Advertiser about next month’s AACTA Awards. This critic likes Hugo’s chances. 😉


The vet waiting room scene in Proof (1991), from the film’s press kit

Happy Holidays everyone! Next year should be particularly exciting for Hugo fans.

Here it is: The first Hobbit trailer!

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.


Courtesy comingsoon.net. they also had a copy of the film’s first poster:

Already they’re trying to help us keep the dwarves straight… and very effectively stoking our LOTR nostalgia. 😉 I can’t believe anyone would find fault with it really… apart from the Elrond shortage, (though we see glimpses of Rivendell and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett). 😉 Also, anyone fretting that Peter Jackson would exise Tolkien’s songs from his adaptation should be greatly reassured.

STC’S Uncle Vanya To Play in NYC July 2012, Mr McGee

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.

This breaking news was just posted to the New York Times Arts Blog about an hour ago, so details are spare as yet, but this is major, so I’ll repost the whole thing as written:

December 18, 2011, 2:44 pm
A New York Stop for Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Uncle Vanya

By James C. McKinley Jr

New Yorkers will have a chance to see the Sydney Theater Company’s celebrated production of Uncle with Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving next summer. The production, which received rave reviews when it appeared last August at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, will be presented at City Center from July 19 through July 28 as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, a festival spokeswoman, Eileen McMahon, said. Ms. Blanchett plays Yelena, and Mr. Weaving plays Astrov in the farcical-yet-heartbreaking production, which was staged by the Hungarian director Tamas Ascher. Ms. Blanchett’s husband, Andrew Upton, provided the actors a new English translation of Chekov’s in 1897 play in Russian.”

Fans in the New york vicinity will probably want to bookmark Lincoln Center’s web page right now, though details about next year’s Festival haven’t yet been added to the site. (It will be formally announced in January, and you can sign up for email updates now.) This is only a ten day run, so tickets might be even harder to come by (and more expensive) than they were in Washington DC. But if you didn’t see the production there or in Sydney– I highly recommend it. It’s one of the most transcendent theatrical experiences I’ve ever had, and Hugo shows much more much more humanity, dimension and (yes) sex appeal as Astrov than any of his high-profile American roles have permitted. The blurb above doesn’t specify whether the rest of the excellent cast (including Richard Roxburgh, Jacki Weaver and Hayley McElhinney) will be back too. The Twittersphere is already lit up with the news.. the one down side will be that it probably means US residents won’t be able to see a US reprise of Hugo playing the Vicomte du Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which he’ll star in back home in Sydney next April. So Hugo seems to be refocusing on theatre next year, though he’ll also have two rather prominent films opening fall/winter too. 😉


The Sydney premiere of Uncle Vanya, 12 November 2010; Cast are (left to right): Andrew Tighe, Anthony Phelan, John Bell, Sandy Gore, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Jacki Weaver, Richard Roxburgh and Hayley McElhinney. Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images

No updates on where specifically the new Hobbit Trailer will stream online tomorrow, though we were told to expect a 15-minute presentation tomorrow at 10pm EST and Dec 21 at 9am EST. (I suspect the trailer itself will be readily available online after that.) Even TORN (TheOneRing .net) has no specifics, but I’d keep checking their site… they seem to be ahead of the curve on all things Hobbit. 😉

Finally, the trailer for Hugo’s most recent narration project, The Adventures of Mr McGee, has resurfaced on YouTube after appearing and as quickly disappearing earlier this year. One member of the creative team behind the project posted some behind the scenes details to his site, The Optimistic Painting Blog, earlier today. The trailer is embedded below; to see it in high def, go here. This remains a “test” trailer, so there is no series to follow as of yet.

Oranges and Sunshine US Release, Happy Feet Two, Year-End Accolades

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.

First off, sorry this entry has been delayed for so long. In addition to prolonged power failures, health issues and work issues, this is generally a chaotic time of year. 😉 There hasn’t been any breaking news on Hugo, or his current project Cloud Atlas, for some time. (Hugo was still in Berlin as recently as December 9; I have no idea whether or not production will continue through Christmas.) No new casting confirmations have been announced, but Halle Berry did give the New York Times some broad hints about the range of her characters.

But I have promised a compilation of Oranges and Sunshine material from the recent, all-too-brief US theatrical release for some time, and I need to deliver on that. 😉 Unfortunately, Cohen Media never opened the film beyond its announced list of about twenty US locations and did very little to publicize it. Emily Watson did a handful of interviews for the US media, but most of these were only posted online, and didn’t attract the attention they deserved. Nonetheless I have saved all of the US coverage and reviews, and I’ll share a selection here.

US Reviews: The Village Voice, The New York Times, Cinespect, Time Out New York, New York Observer, Living in Cinema, Whistleblower, Bloomberg News, Christian Science Monitor, Working Author, Tonight At The Movies, YouSayToo, Glendale News Press, RamaScreen, Paste, San Francisco Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, TwinCities.com, Dallas-Fort Worth Entertainment, BerkeleySide, Boston Herald, Roger Ebert

Emily Watson interviews: Looseleaf Report, Collider.com, Working Author, Celebs.com, MovieWeb (includes Jim Loach)

Jim Loach interviews: ShockYa

Margaret Humphries interviews: Social Workers Speak, LA Times, ShockYa, Tonight At The Movies (includes Jim Loach),

Coverage of O & S’s Hamptons Film Festival premiere: Showbiz 411, Huffington Post

Unfortunately, the US DVD release date has not yet been announced, though I’d guess it will probably happen early next year. This is the sort of film that could have a fulfilling second life on DVD, since many of the fans eager to see the theatrical release never got to. The British and Australian DVDs have been available for several months now and have similar bonus features. The Aussie DVD features Hugo more prominently on the cover art, but the UK DVD is much less expensive– I ordered a new copy from Amazon UK for only $12 including shipping to the US.

I’ve compiled a selection of trailers, interviews and other video publicity for Oranges and Sunshine here; this includes clips of Hugo and David Wenham at the film’s Australian premiere in June as well as the worldwide promotion done by director Jim Loach, author/social worker Margaret Humphries and lead actress Emily Watson.


Hugo Weaving and Emily Watson in Oranges and Sunshine

Fortunately the film’s been more properly appreciated in its overseas release (particularly in Australia, where it was one of the biggest home-grown hits of the year.) While Oscar nominations for any of the cast are highly unlikely at this point, Hugo, Emily Watson and David Wenham have been nominated for awards in less glitzy (but also less political and publicity/fame-driven) venues. Hugo, David Wenham and Emily Watson were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor and Best Actress respectively by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (the AACTAs, formerly the AFIs), and the film itself was nominated for Best Picture and several other awards. (Read more in the Hollywood Reporter and Encore Magazine). Hugo was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Emily Watson for Best Actress at the international, much more crowded Satellite Awards as well. The Satellite Awards will be handed out on December 18, the AACTAs on January 30. Hugo probably stands a better chance of winning the latter, as the film made its strongest impression in Australia. (Also, Hugo won’t have to compete with Christopher Plummer there.) 😉

Happy Feet Two performed more modestly at the box office than its Oscar-winning predecessor did, and received a more mixed critical reception as well. I saw the film in 3D and wasn’t sure where the hostility was coming from…. the plot is a mess, but so was that of the original Happy Feet. 😉 I would guess people who enjoyed the first will enjoy this one. The animation in particular is gorgeous, much better than that in some of the year’s more vaunted animated sequels featuring pandas and cars. If you’re only going because Hugo’s among the voice cast, you might be disappointed– he has maybe ten lines. Noah the Elder remains a crochety, feisty old geezer but is no longer Mumble’s enemy, so he’s not as central to the plot. (Characters played by Sofia Vergara, Anthony LaPaglia, Common and Pink are also in the film much less than you’d think given the advertising.) Noah’s big moment involves a showdown with some villainous and incontinent skuas. 😉 (You can read my full review at my personal LJ). I did enjoy Hugo’s voice work, and the fact that Noah was able to reform without much change to his essential personality. But your reaction to the film will probably be based more on how you like the rest of it– the chaotic plot (it’s basically two different films coexisting), the characters, etc.

NoahHappyFeet2“Damn skuas!” 😉

The most interesting reviews are as follows (these are both positive reviews and mixed ones that make interesting points):
Roger Ebert, Filmonic, Boston.com, Prizm, Entertainment Weekly, Toronto Globe and Mail, Knoxville.com, Salinas Californian, DNA, Free Press Journal, KoiMoi, Comingsoon.net, Perth Community News, Galveston Daily News, At the Movies (Australia), The Reading Eagle, The Manicunean

There’s also an extended interview with director George Miller in Animation Magazine. Hugo didn’t do any publicity for Happy Feet Two; he rarely does promotional work for voice roles and has been busy in Berlin in recent months. 😉 Curiously, no footage of him from character voicing sessions has emerged either (as did during promotion for the first film), just the photograph I shared in an earlier entry. There’s an extravaganza of footage of other actors, though, as well as most of the film’s trailers and teasers, and Trailer Addict.

Finally, Sydney Theatre Company’s Uncle Vanya, which had a sold-out run at The Kennedy Center in August, is popping up on year-end Best Of lists in the Theater category, including those of Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, which placed the very top of its list. Anticipation is already high for Hugo Weaving’s next theatrical role for the STC, that of the Vicomte du Valmont in Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The production debuts next 30 March.  Here’s the latest publicity photo:


Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving, from STC’s promotional email

The Hobbit’s first promotional trailer will be debuting any minute now (you can read a breathless description of its contents at the ever-reliable TheOneRing.Net.) Once it’s online, I’ll repost it here. Unfortunately, Elrond isn’t prominently featured. 😉 You can also read a lengthier new synopsis at many sites, including Flickering Myth, and an interesting article about the development of the Gollum character at MovieWeb. Next year at this time, we’ll finally get to see what the whole thing looks like. 😉

HOBBIT BREAKING NEWS: Warner Bros has announced that “The 15-minute satellite feed for “The Hobbit” trailer will stream on Dec. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, then again Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.” No specifics on whether this means they’re actually screening 15 minutes of footage or not… most early descriptions of the trailer clock it at only about a minute and a half. The trailer will also screen in theaters before showings of Peter Jackson’s new animated collaboration with Stephen Spielberg, The Adventures of Tintin, which opens 21 December in most US cities. For more info, and a new pic of Martin Freeman as Bilbo (possibly on the Rivendell set, definitely with Dwarves in the background) see The Examiner, USA Today or HeyUGuys,co.uk .