Vintage Hugo Weaving Photos From SFF Archive, More on Archibald Prizes

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.

First off, I find I need to repeat a request that people NOT randomly post material here, but submit links to me either via comments or personal message (here or on Twitter). I really want this to be an organized, properly-sourced resource, not a free-for-all. Posting images or other material without proper source credits can get us into trouble. If you can’t abide by this simple request, please leave the site alone. However, I have no issue with fans reposting material they found here so long as they include source credits for this site and the website of origin, original writer/photographer/etc. I am not trying to exercise ownership over any of this material, just control over what content happens to get posted here. If anyone wants to start their own fansite, and share material in any way that pleases them, they are free to do so. But please don’t try to take over this one. If anyone has genuinely rare or exclusive material they want shared here, I will do so with lavish thanks and proper credit. Most fans do in fact follow proper channels and submit material this way, and I am grateful. But I don’t need people to repost (without source credit) material they found online in a random, haphazard manner. In almost all cases I know about this material and am already working on the next entry, which will include it. I try to carefully compose entries which make ALL recent news and material available together rather than posting each new item on its own– that’s what Twitter is for. And I am scrupulous about context and proper source credits. Again, please respect this rule, or don’t use this site.

Sorry about that– I know 99.9999% of you didn’t need to hear it, and have always respected my wishes.

My previous entry detailed Del Kathryn Barton’s winning of the Archibald Prize with her lavish, visually striking and symbol-rich portrait of Hugo Weaving, simply entitled hugo.  I noted at the time that Hugo was unavailable to attend the ceremony, as he’s busy in Victoria filming Healing. But the Sydney-are arts blog The Social Shuttle noted that his partner Katrina and daughter Holly were on hand and posed with the portrait (see under cut– it’s a large photo). Katrina is quoted as mentioning that the prior portrait of Hugo in the running for the Archibalds– Nicholas Harding’s Hugo at Home— was recently purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.  Which neatly counteracts a lot of the skepticism in the media about the Prizes’ impact. 😉

There was also an interesting letter to the editor in the Sydney Morning Herald, debunking one of the more snide appraisals of the portrait, from reader Anne Lennard:

The cat’s pyjamas

I have known Hugo Weaving for many years and I disagree with John McDonald. I find Del Kathryn Barton has captured the essence of the man.

There is a ‘special likeness’ and great ‘psychological insight’ in the portrait. The ‘strange animal’ looks very like his Abyssinian cat, not something ‘the special effects crew of The Matrix dreamt up’. (Hugo’s always been something of a cat whisperer – they adore him).
For me, the leaves represent his passion for the environment. He and his family have planted more than 2000 trees at their country home, replacing those logged in the past century. So, look again, John McDonald. I love the painting and its subject.

Anne Lennard has indeed known Hugo Weaving for many years. She ought to– she’s his mother. 😉 So the Barton portrait seems to have full familial endorsement in addition to Hugo’s participation in its creation, both through multiple sittings and thematic content.  I didn’t know Hugo and family currently have an Abyssinian cat, though I assumed he must have some sort of feline companionship. (Also, the “Deja Vu” cat in the Matrix was a simple black cat, not anything exotic or SFX-generated, heh heh.) Vintage interviews with Hugo were often held at his home, and mentioned a three-legged calico named Eve and a Siamese named Thisbe, but as Hugo became more famous, such homey details were harder to come by. But Hugo has often referenced loving cats and animals in general.

New footage of Del Katryn Barton discussing her portrait can be viewed at WA Today and Art Gallery of New South Wales.  And I’ll mention again that the full Archibald Prizes portrait exhibit remains on display at Art Gallery of NSW through 2 June for fans lucky enough to be in the Sydney area. (Our Special Correspondent Yvette has already visited. Lucky, lucky, lucky.) 😉

UPDATE: There’s a new, 24-minute interview with Del Kathryn Barton available for streaming or download at ABC Radio National’s Sunday Profile. Of course, she discusses her award-winning portrait, why she chose Hugo Weaving, and the symbolism and work process she used creating it. (Apparently both were under the influence of “a long, slow cup of tea” while discussing concepts!) 😉

As I mentioned, Hugo himself continues work on Healing… In addition to the Healesville Sanctuary photos posted previously, Victoria Greens Party politician Janet Rice visited the Healesville shoot and got to pose with Hugo:


Photo: Janet Rice via Twitter

Some fascinating vintage photos of Hugo at past Sydney Film Festivals recently surfaced as part of the vast, engrossing SFF Archive which went live earlier this week and continues to add new content– so the images below are probably just for starters. As longtime fans know, Hugo has served as a patron, judge and fan of the Sydney Film Festival for many years in addition to premiering several of his classic Australian films there over the years. He attends every year (unless work physically prevents him), whether in an official capacity or just to enjoy the wide variety of films showcased. The new archive features a wealth of vintage photos, program scans, videos, anecdotes and other material from 1954 to the present. If you’re a fan of Australian film, directors or actors (Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, George Miller, Toni Collette, David Weham and Russell Crowe, among many others, are well-represented) do yourself a favor and reserve a few hours to look it over.

Some SFF Archive photos of Hugo:


Russell Crowe with Hugo Weaving, Opening Night Party SFF 1991 (Proof premiere)


Hugo Weaving (right) with partner Katrina, Opening Night Party SFF 1991 (Proof premiere)


Hugo Weaving (left) with partner Katrina, Proof producer Lynda House and director Jocelyn Moorhouse, Opening night party, SFF 1991 (Proof premiere)


Hugo Weaving at the 1994 SFF Opening Night Party


Hugo and partner Katrina at the 2002 SFF Opening Night Party

I’ll add additional relevant material from the SFF Archive as it becomes available.

In Other Hugo Weaving News:
The sneak preview material for The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, debuted online on March 24. Total Film provided some details; other websites have attempted to share the footage itself, but usually get blocked or threatened by Warner Bros within hours… ideally this material will be made available to everyone soon. (Some fans have reported in frustration that those who missed the initial webcast could not view the footage later at the site, despite having purchased An Unexpected Journey on DVD/BluRay and having the necessary access code; I have no idea if this was a problem across the board.) Elrond wasn’t specifically mentioned in any online reports about the new footage (nor was Smaug unveiled), but there were first glimpses of Luke Evans’ Bard the Bowman, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, and Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel.

Speaking of The Hobbit, the first installment recently picked up Empire Awards for Best SciFi/Fantasy Film and Best Actor (Martin Freeman). Sir Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman were on hand to collect; you can view pics and footage here.

Geraldine Hakewill, who costarred with Hugo Weaving in Les Liaisons Dangereuses last year and will costar with Harry Greenwood in Fury for The Sydney Theatre Company next month, gave the Sydney Morning Herald an interview. She said this of Liaisons’ salacious sex scenes: ”I trusted Hugo from day one; it never felt strange or awkward. ‘Sex scenes are always difficult, but it’s often about the girl saying, ‘What you’re doing is fine with me.’ It’s actually the guys who feel more uncomfortable. Once everything is OK, you do it and try to have fun…[Hugo Weaving is] He was such a joy to work with. ‘He’s a beautiful human being, and such a talented actor, with no ego. He’s become a dear friend. I’d love to work with him again. We’re so lucky to have him.”

There’s a lengthy, enthusiastic review of Hugo’s 2009 film Last Ride at Geeks of Doom. Last Ride is currently available for streaming on Netflix (US).

And there’s a great behind-the-scenes shot of Hugo Weaving and Keanu Reeves filming The Matrix’s climactic fight scene included in Bored Panda’s30 Awesome Behind The Scenes Shots From Famous Movies.”

That’s all for now, but I hope to be back on April 4 with some special material in celebration of Hugo’s birthday.

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