I know this blog is long overdue for an update… So I’ll start off with profuse apologies and hopes that everyone enjoyed their holidays, and that they’ve had good fortune thusfar in 2015. I’ve been sidelined with various illnesses (mine and my cat Carmelita, whom many of you know from my Twitter feed– she’s still being treated for lymphoma, but has successfully fought off a pair of opportunistic bugs) and seasonal maintenance as well as work commitments.
Strangerland At Sundance
Fortunately I haven’t missed a ton of new material because Hugo Weaving has also been on an extended break since The Dressmaker wrapped filming in mid-December. He hasn’t made a public appearance since, but might pop up later this week at the Sundance Film Festival if we’re lucky, as his new film Strangerland (also starring Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes) is scheduled to premiere this Friday, Jan 23 at 6.15 pm (MST, one presumes, ie 8.15pm EST, 11.15 GMT). Oddly, tickets aren’t yet available via the film’s Sundance website page, though one assumes most tickets for the premiere have already been snapped up by industry insiders. 😉 (It’s also common practice for festival ticket package-holders to have a lengthy period to buy their allotment of tickets before single per-screening tickets are made available.)
There has been no official announcement as as to whether Hugo or his costars are scheduled to attend, though this website hints they might be expected. Hugo has no announced work conflicts and is usually on hand for world premieres on independent films, but he’s also unpredictable. It’s hard to guess whether Sundance’s mix of independent film tradition and increasing celebrity/commercial focus will attract or repel him… but my guess is he’ll be there if he has no prior commitments. Strangerland will screen a total of six times over the course of the festival, with post-premiere screenings at different venues in Park City on January 24, 25, 26, 28 and 31. (again, check Sundance’s website for specific time and ticketing info.) There is still no official trailer or teaser for the film, though the ‘unofficial’ teaser keeps popping up and as quickly being taken down; my guess is that it will be the eventual teaser, as it’s nearly perfect as-is. A longer trailer will probably follow once the film’s distribution is announced and its wide release is approaching. So far there’s no news on that front, and no official website or social media presence for the film (Facebook, Twitter, etc) though that’s sure to change. At the moment, there’ds merely a sub-page on the film’s distributor’s website, Worldview Entertainment. The film has scored decent programming slots at one of the most prestigious early festivals of the year, so let’s hope this translates into generous worldwide distribution.
In my last entry I mentioned that Hugo’s other major film to open this year, The Dressmaker, wrapped production in early December. The film’s Facebook page noted that Jocelyn Moorhouse and editor Jill Bilcock began working on post-production about a week ago. With an announced official release date– for Australia, at least– of 1 October 2015 it should be an eventful year of updates via the film’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. You can also subscribe to their occasional newsletter via the website if you haven’t already.
Then there was this fan photo posted to Instagram by a crew member shortly after production wrapped. In some ways I think this is spoiler content, and wish Sgt Farrat’s off-duty look had been kept in the bag until the film is released, but it’s an irresistible photo. Also, that particular plot “secret” was disclosed when Hugo signed on, and I can’t imagine it won’t be all over the trailers and pre-release stills, given how reluctant marketers are to leave any plot twists undisclosed in promotion. 😉
“Here is me with Kate winslet and Hugo Weaving on the wrap day. Again an amazing cast, were extremely nice and talented people. #katewinslet #hugoweaving #setlife #livingthedream #lookingcreepy #namedrophooper” Tom Hooper, via Instagram
A few fans have commented to the effect that Hugo’s costume seems a bit… er… dowdy for the former Mitzi del Bra. 😉 But this is a film set in the 1950s and Kate Winslet has been photographed in some striking outfits on set, so I’m optimistic. Also optimistic that the high star-wattage of this cast will guarantee global distribution. Jocelyn Moorhouse is more than overdue for a comeback in cinemas.
Hugo Weaving 2015 Calendar
Yes, I know this is late… to be fair, I have posted the link several times on Twitter, and did have it up before the new year began. But I’ve been remiss not posting the pages here. Since there are no high-res stills yet available showing Hugo’s characters in either Strangerland or The Dressmaker, I elected showcase Hugo’s expansive 30+ year theatrical career in this year’s calendar. (This will a theatre-heavy year for Hugo, who will star in Endgame for the STC in March before reprising Waiting for Godot with Richard Roxburgh at London’s Barbican in June.) Here is each monthly page plus info on the productions the stills capture. I do print these out every year. I’ll post the largest-sized photos here: they’ll be under the cut at LJ and available via right-click-Open Image In A New Tab via WordPress.
With Robyn Nevin in David Williamson’s The Perfectionist at Sydney Theatre Co, 1982
With Geoffrey Rush in Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist at Belvoir Theatre, 1996
With Angie Milliken in John Webster’s The White Devil at Sydney Theatre Co, 2000
With Angie Milliken in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing at STC, 2003
With Cate Blanchett in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at STC (2004) and New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (2006)
With playwright Andrew Upton, costars Jeremy Sims and Ewen Leslie and director Philip Seymour Hoffman in Riflemind at STC, 2007
With Natasha Herbert in Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage at Melbourne Theatre Co, 2009
With Hayley McElhinney in Checkhov’s Uncle Vanya at STC (2010) Washington DC’s Kennedy Center (2011) and NYC’s Lincoln Center (2012)
With Geraldine Hakewell in Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, at STC 2012
With Richard Roxburgh in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot at STC, 2013
As Shakespeare’s Macbeth at STC 2014
Promo artwork for STC’s Engame, to begin performances this March 31. Hugo will portray Hamm in Samuel Beckett’s play
Sorry I couldn’t finfd high-res images for some productions, but all pages print crisply to standard letter-sized paper. You can see the full set at the Hugonuts Photobucket Archive too.
Tim Winton’s The Turning To Open In UK
More than a year after its Australian theatrical release, Tim Winton’s The Turning will finally be be distributed in the UK, with a 6 February opening date. The British distributer debuted a recut trailer earlier this week emphasizing the compilation’s overarching theme. While the footage seen is similar to what was in prior trailers, this version is particularly lovely:
SodaPictures via YouTube
Yes, I do own the Aussie DVD, but I haven’t watched it yet because I cling to the masochistic hope that this film might still be PROPERLY released– ie to cinemas– in the US, though there are no plans for that as of yet. (The film does have a US distributor, Main Street Films; they have a nice page for the film with photos and descriptions of all 18 segments, but only list a tentative “coming in 2015” release date.) More on the UK release at Film School Rejects, Digital Spy and IndieWire.
And there are many lovely high-res photos from The Turning available on producer Robert Connolly’s Flickr account, including these three of Hugo:
Hugo Weaving and Josh McConville in “Commission”, directed by David Wenham
Larger versions of these images, plus high-res pics of the directors and stills from all the the short films in The Turning, can be viewed here.
The Mule Out on Blu-Ray in US
One piece of good news for Hugo’s US fans, though… The Mule is released on Blu-Ray this week. If you ordered the bargain-priced Amazon pre-order, they should be informing you it’s en route shortly if they haven’t already. You can read detailed reviews of the US home release at WhySoBlu?, Alien Bee, Keep It Classic, and The Examiner. The Examiner also reposted their excellent Hugo Weaving interview promoting the film.
In Other Hugo Weaving News
Healing had its British TV debut on Sky Movies January 16; screenings will continue for a month or so; the film is also available for on-demand viewing to their subscribers.
STC has announced the Pre-Season Briefing dates for their full 2015 slate, including Engame on March 23. Seats are available for ticket-holders, but STC suggests you RSVP them quickly, as they’ll go fast.
Ivan Sen has announced that Aaron Pedersen will reprise his already-iconic Jay Swan character for a sequel/spin-off to Mystery Road. Unfortunately, plot developments in the original film make it unlikely we’ll see Hugo Weaving reprise his Johnno character, unless it’s a flashback/ghost-mentor thing along the lines of what Matt Frewer did on the Cinemax series The Knick. 😉 The Age has more info. The new project will find Swan taking on a new case in a different town.
And this very strange bit of Hugo Weaving Early Career Ephemera popped up on YouTube via Craig Anderson on YouTube last month. It’s Hugo’s four-minute role as a very clumsy but enthusiastc scientist studying mangrove forests. This segment was part of a one-hour 1987 film called Fish ‘N Tips, apparently a comedic take on fishing, though I couldn’t dig up much other info. The project is so obscure it’s not listed on IMDb or any film database or website covering Hugo’s career; it took me and many other long-term fans by surprise. Apparently the only home video release was an Australian VHS in the late 1980s; the film was directed by Michael Horrocks. It’s always exciting when hitherto unknown bits of Hugo’s back catalog pop up like this, but I’m afraid this is very much at the Sky Pirates end of the quality spectrum rather than, say, the Everything Goes end. At best it’s slightly reminiscent of John Lurie’s often-hilarious parody fishing show Fishing With John from the early 1990s, though much less sophisticated. Still, Hugo wasn’t phoning anything in even then, and some fans might find the mud-striptease angle titillating. 😉