First Photos of Hugo Weaving on Healing Set; Portrait Makes Archibald Prize Finals; Hobbit DVD

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

A mixed bag of new material to share this week, the most exciting of which is the first photos of Hugo Weaving in character on the set for his latest Australian feature, Healing. I shared a link from a Sydney Morning Herald report on the filming, featuring comments from some cast members, but it was unclear at the time whether or not Hugo had begun work on the project; a couple of days later, these images appeared on the film’s newly-launched official website and Facebook page (these are very large, so they’re under a cut):

Hugo Weaving and Don Hany as Matt Perry and Viktor Khadem (from the official website)

from the film’s Facebook page: “Very first pic of Hugo Weaving, from day 2 of shooting on HEALING. Hugo plays Matt Perry, Senior Prison Officer at a low-security country prison.”

While Hugo’s at work on Healing in Victoria (the set is near Melbourne), a new portrait of him is making something of a splash in Sydney. Del Kathryn Barton’s portrait of Hugo has made the finals of the Archibald Prizes, a biennial award given to portraits of notable Australians. Portraits of Hugo Weaving by David Bromley (1998) and Nicholas Harding (2011) were previous finalists. Neither won, but artist Barton did win for a self-portrait with her children in 2008. Her portrait of Cate Blanchett with her sons was a popular entry in the 2011 event.

None of the articles about the current Hugo Weaving portrait has much detail about the circumstances of its creation or content– a lot of people find the exotic-looking feline an intriguing element. Hugo did sit for the previous two portraits, so it’s safe to assume he did so for this one, and might be a friend of the artist. (He and David Bromley are friends, and Hugo attended the 2011 gallery showing of nominees.) This is another large image, so it’ll be beneath a cut. You can read more about this year’s Archibald Prizes at The Sydney Morning Herald, (a second SMH article),  ABC News, Making a Mark, Limelight and The Australian.

Hugo Weaving and his family have had several pet cats over the years, but the imagery here is so wild and phantasmagorical that it could be purely a product of the artist’s imagination, or her representation of Hugo’s personality. I’d love to know more about it, at any rate…

There are brief updates about another of Hugo’s forthcoming Australian films, the Tim Winton anthology The Turning which will debut at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival in July. Hugo will star in a segment entitled “The Commission”, directed by David Wenham. More at Pedestrian TV, The Australian, and SBS. Curiously, no stills have yet appeared. Hugo filmed his sequence last December.

New Cloud Atlas reviews continue to appear, with the majority being positive or leaning-positive. Some of the best recent ones can be read at Japan Times, Huzzah Etc, Movie Freak 77, Skepticism and Dice, Pretty Little Things, The Founder, MMGN, Sobriety Test Movie Reviews, Mike & Rusty’s & Co, YAGG (French), (French) and Through The Fringe.

Cloud Atlas was recently released in Japan and France; you can read new previews and cast interviews video at Allocine (French, incl video interviews), Rue 89 mixes review with previews and some behind the scenes info (French), and The Movie Blog convincingly rebuts the misguided charges of racism raised (mostly) by academic snobs and publicity seekers who haven’t actually seen the film.

Monsieur Hollywood’s interview of Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon (conducted last October in LA) in embedded below the cut; once again, the Reincarnation Question rears its head. It’s interesting how Hugo has varied his responses over several interviews.

Some new pics from Cloud Atlas promotion and this year’s AACTA Awards have also turned up:

Hugo Weaving at the AACTA Awards, 30 January 2012. Photo: Gaye Gerard/Corbis

Hugo at the AACTA Awards, 30 January; Photo (and photo below): Gaye Gerard/Corbis

Hugo Weaving at the Beijing Cloud Atlas press conference 21 January 2013  Photo: TPG/Corbis

Hugo Weaving at the November 5 Berlin Cloud Atlas premiere; Photo: Global-MET

Finally, the DVD/BluRay edition of the theatrical cut of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is officially released tomorrow (March 19) in the US. (It’ll be out April 8 in the UK). Flicks and Bits provides an interesting infographic detailing the numerous characters (including a certain elf), while I Am Rogue features an interview with Martin Freeman.  This first release (of many, if LOTR is any guide) 😉 features making-of featurettes and cast interviews, as well as a code to unlock an exclusive online preview of the next film in the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. This will include a live event featuring Peter Jackson on 24 March at 3pm EDT, but most advertising for the DVD/BluRay promises the content will remain available for buyers who for whatever reason are unavailable at that time. I’m also pretty sure that the content will eventually be available online free of charge at some point, if, like me, you’re holding out for the inevitable Expanded Edition. 😉 Finally, in Hobbit News, the third film in the trilogy has been pushed back from a summer 2014 release to December 14… which is fine with me. Not only will this provide more time for the creative team to put the third film together, but it’ll continue the tradition of year-end Tolkien films from PJ and Co. No word yet on whether/when Hugo Weaving will film any content for that third film.


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