SFF/Mystery Road Updates and Candids, The Maids, Updates on The Turning, No Budget, The Hobbit

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.

Hugo has turned up in more red carpet photos from the Sydney Film Festival this year than usual– no doubt due to his official position this time around. (He typically poses with the other three members of the SFF Jury.) Of course he’s always been spotted and occasionally photographed in years past, even when he didn’t have a film there to promote. I’ll post the most recent SFF photos under a cut because they’re nice and large– in general, the SFF Facebook staff have done a wonderful job promoting the films and providing a sense of the atmosphere there, for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be around.

But first, some photographic confirmation of rumors from a couple of days ago, ie that Hugo did indeed take a night off from SFF Jury Duty on the 8th to take in a performance of The Maids, starring Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert at Sydney’s Wharf Theatre. He and partner Katrina posed for a picture, a did he and Cate’s Uncle Vanya costar Jacki Weaver.  The play has received stellar reviews and demonstrates that Blanchett still takes her biggest, most fascinating risks as an artist onstage rather than in films. (Though I hope her forthcoming role in Woody Allen’s latest opus is a break from the shrewish villain roles she’s been dealt in Hollywood product in the past couple of years.) The play is a psychological thriller with class-conscious and sexual elements written by existentialist Jean Genet. Isabelle Huppert is one of the few actresses who could match Blanchett in this genre, so I’d love to see this production tour. (And someone needs to get the STC to film and simulcast productions like the RSC and Met Opera do… think of the revenue they could bring in! I know I’d subscribe to a season package if I could.)

Anyhow… the Sydney Morning Herald posted pics of the Maids’ more famous guests (alas, none posed with the actresses themselves) while slightly larger versions appeared in the print version.

Photo: Steve Lunham/Sydney Morning Herald

Mystery Road Promotion/SFF Candids

Ivan Sen has continued promoting Mystery Road at the Sydney Film Festival; he and producer David Jowsey participated in a Q&A on June 8 (not filmed, alas) and SBS posted a nice 7 minute interview/preview with Sen, which features a few new snippets of the film (no new Hugo footage, alas, but some interesting hints about the film’s look and internal tensions). If you’re curious about other films showing at the Sydney Film Festival, SBS has a comprehensive selection of director interviews and profiles.


David Jowsey, Ivan Sen and Sydney Morning Herald writer Garry Maddox at the SFF Q&A for Mystery Road (Photo: SFF Facebook page)


A new photo of Hugo at the Mystery Road premiere, 5 June   Photo: Cool Events Australia Facebook


The SFF Jury: Paolo Bertolin, Kath Shelper, Hugo Weaving, Anand Gandhi, Pia Marais with  festival director Nashen Moodley on 10 June (this and all subsequent photos: SFF Facebook)


Obviously amused by something… 😉


The SFF Jury with director Paul Wright, at the premiere of Wright’s film For Those in Peril

Hugo was also spotted at a screening of the Indian film Monsoon Shootout earlier today.

The Turning

A few tantalizing photos have begun appearing from Hugo’s next film to premiere, Tim Winton’s The Turning, via the film’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. So far no glimpses of the Wenham/Weaving short “The Commission” have appeared, nor have specific screening dates been announced. (The Melbourne International Film Festival website promises their full schedule will be announced early next month.) But if the scans I posted of the David Wenham profile in the last entry keep causing your browser to stall out, The Australian has finally posted the text part of the piece (and a few of the photos) online. This remains the most informative tease about The Turning thusfar. FilmInk also highlighted the film in its preview of next month’s Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Hard to believe, but we’ve already reached the halfway point between the first two installments of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy… as the director and cast continue shooting additional footage in New Zealand, the first promo poster has been issued, and a teaser trailer is promised for June 11 (ie later today) at noon EDT. I’ll embed it here as soon as it’s available. No, still no production videos from the set (yet) or news about Hugo’s further involvement.

UPDATE:

Here’s the brand new Desolation of Smaug teaser. Elrond doesn’t appear, but Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Thranduil (Lee Pace) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) get a substantial amount of footage… also, our first real look at the titular critter.  Looks like an upgrade of the dragon in Dragonslayer. 😉

No Budget

The short film No Budget, directed by Christopher Stollery, which features cameos by Hugo Weaving and David Wenham, will have its international premiere at The Palm Springs ShortFest. This particular festival features an unusually star-studded lineup, with short films featuring contributions from Cate Blanchett (A Cautionary Tale), Ian McKellen (The Egg Trick), Rachel Griffiths (Butterflies) and many others. For more info, check out Screen Daily as well as the ShortFest website. Alas, though the site offers streaming versions of some short films, none are those mentioned above. But the international exposure does bode well for an official online or DVD release for No Budget in the future. No Budget will screen as part of ShortFest’s Up From Down Under program of Australian shorts on June 22 at 5.30. I’d go, but I’m on the wrong coast… hope some of you are more ideally situated. 😉

The Mule

Though there have been no official news updates on Hugo’s next project to shoot, the filmmakers have posted a lot of amusing tomfoolery (all of it guaranteed 100% spoiler-free) on their Twitter feed. A sample below:


“Day 9: Behind the scenes on The Mule…Literally.”   Photo: via @themulemovie (Twitter/Instagram)

Del Kathryn Barton Hugo Portrait

Finally, Australian fans will have another chance to have a look at the Archibald Prize winning Hugo Weaving portrait as the full Archibald Prizes exhibit travels to The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in Victoria, where it will remain on display through July 7 before the Hugo portrait returns to Sydney (or Hunter Valley?) for a permanent exhibition in The Weaving Household.  More info about the new exhibit in Pieces of Victoria; more on Barton and her work in The Global Panorama.

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