Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two 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.
IFC has finally posted the Last Ride portion of their Hugo Weaving interview, which is great… unfortunately, the reporter casually added spoilers of every major plot twist in the film. So I’m going to just repost Hugo’s quotes (which are spoiler-free). If you’ve already seen the film, by all means click check out the full piece.
“I’m very pleased to be talking about [Last Ride]. It’s great that it’s getting a release in the States. There aren’t many films that you do that you feel very passionate about and strongly about, but this is certainly one of them, so it’s nice to know that it’s getting a release even if it’s two and a half, three years later than it was here….Most of the films I’ve done have been small, Australian films, a lot of which haven’t seen too much light of day. A little bit here and there… But it’s always very hard for Australian films, because of the nature of the world in which we live in, the dominance of the American film industry even you know as far away as Australia. It’s quite hard for an Australian film to get much of a look even in Australia, let alone in the rest of the world.”
“It was difficult [for Tom Russell to handle the damnds of filming and difficult subject matter] in some ways. Difficult because he wasn’t used to the film set, wasn’t used to working. But with Tom, he’s so present and he’s so there … And he’s a delightful boy, a lot of fun, and just a kid, you know? Just a kid who you point the camera at him and whatever he’s doing is interesting… But yeah, it did mean that there were some other scenes that were quite –particularly some intensely dramatic scenes — there were a couple where he was not in that mood to be intensely dramatic and you think well, he’s a 10-year-old kid, and you’ve got to try to find that in him in another way. No, he’s great. He’s absolutely wonderful. It was a real treat to work with him.”
An unexpected surprise today was Hugo’s participation in Rotten Tomatoes‘ popular Five Favorite Films feature. He technically named more than five films, and qualified that they’re five of his favorites, and that the selection would vary from day to day. Interestingly, none of these are identical to the films Hugo chose the last time he did this sort of thing in 2003* (in an MTV interview), but once again his taste in challenging, artistic arthouse fare (what my boyfriend and I jokingly call Criterion Collection Cinema) comes to the fore. Here’s the text of his remarks; go to the article itself (or IMDb) if you’ve been provoked into further curiosity about these films and want links. I consider myself a bit of an arthouse nerd ;), but I’d never heard of one of these, and have never seen two. I could also have some spirited debates with Hugo about Kubrick, but I think that’s true of any two Kubrick fans.
” My five favorite films would change from, you know, day to day, but if you want five of my favorite films, one would have to be (1) The Rules of the Game, by [Jean] Renoir. A fabulous upstairs-downstairs look at French society in a very particular period. It’s both unbelievably sad and tragic, and moving and funny. And a delightfully humanist film. In fact, a lot of my favorite films are like that…. For instance, (2) A Tree of Wooden Clogs [Ermano Olmi, 1978], which would have to be one of my favorite films. A year in the life of a peasant commune in Italy — again, it’s poor souls living through a year, so you’re getting a sense of seasons and hardship and community, and a simple, very basic deprived existence. I think that’s a masterpiece, that film…(3) Closely Watched Trains , one of my all-time favorite films, by Jiri Menzel. Funny, wry, beautiful, entertaining; and subversive, in its own quirky way. A beautiful film…. (4) A film like If….. Lindsay Anderson’s If  …., which I think is a work of genius…(5) And Barry Lyndon [Stanley Kubrick, 1975]. Anything by Kubrick. [Pauses] 2001 [A Space Odyssey, 1968]… no… Barry Lyndon, yeah. If we’re talking about Australian films, probably something like Ten Canoes. [Rolf de Heer, 2006] That’s probably my favorite Australian film ever made, actually. I think it’s a great, great film. I’ve probably listed more than five. And then there’s [Fellini’s] 8 ½ … I could go on forever. There are some great films coming to mind, like The Return [Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2003] the Russian film. [Laughs] I’ll stop.”
Hugo on MTV Movie House, 2003. Yes, that’s Peter Jackson’s early splatter masterpiece Bad Taste (1982). 😉
* In the 2003 MTV Movie House piece, Hugo picked Fellini’s 8 ½, Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), and Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise (1945)… and picked 2001 as his favorite Kubrick film. (“There’s a great character in this called Hal. And Hal has an extraordinary voice. He’s not a human being, but he’s one of the major influences on Agent Smith.”) 😉
Now I’ve gotta go adjust my Netflix queue. 😉 There are some films on this list even Hugo will never completely sell me on, and others I love as much as he does, but they’re all artistically provocative on some level and worth seeing at least once. I couldn’t narrow my favorite films list down to five in any given week either. But, in the spirit of fan participation, feel free to list your own in Comments if you like. 😉