Tag Archives: Ian McKellen

Hugo Weaving Attends CinefestOz Film Festival, Collects Screen Legend Award


Hugo Weaving prepares to be interviewed by ABC Perth at CinefestOz  Photo: 720 ABC Perth via Twitter

I’m going to try and avoid too much commentary this time and just post all the great new material that’s appeared this week in conjunction with Hugo Weaving’s appearance at Cinefest Oz in Busselton, West Australia. There have been three amazing interviews, (two text, one audio) and a plethora of new photos from both fans and the press. Hugo hasn’t revealed any new projects but continues to say that he’ll be committed to focusing on Australian films over the next year; still not certain if he has already signed on for some of these or is just speaking generally; we’ll have to wait and see. But his interviews reinforce what a lovely, humble person he is and where his true priorities lie, and I’m happy to hear he continues to prefer underappreciated Australian indies to  international projects that would earn him more money and fame, but in most cases wouldn’t serve the full spectrum of his talent. I also appreciate the fact that he feels conflicted about the notion of being named a “screen legend”, but was still willing to appear because it served the greater good of drawing attention to Australian film in general.

Here’s hoping that The Dressmaker becomes that elusive home-grown project that finally has an impact worldwide, and appeals to fans of both his commercial and artistic sides. The participation of Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth certainly can’t hurt, but above all I hope this finally breaks Hugo free of the franchise villain typecasting that has limited how too many international fans perceive him… and that it finally earns Jocelyn Moorhouse the respect she deserves.

CinefestOz Interviews

Here are the three interviews Hugo’s given (so far)… I haven’t yet found any video footage of Hugo’s Cinefest appearances (including last night’s Living Legend gala) but we’ll see if any gets posted. CinefestOz has shared video footage in years past, but none so far this time around. Click on the title of interviews for hyperlinks back to source sites.

First up here’s the Soundcloud version of Hugo’s interview with Geoff Hutchinson of 720 ABC Perth for The Morning Show. You can listen to the full show, which also includes 10-minute chats with David Wenham and Sarah Snook, here. Note that the unedited program will only be available for seven days from original airing.

Here are the text interviews, from The West Australian and The Guardian:

Weaving’s heart is right at home

The West Australian
Mark Naglazas 28 August 2015


David Wenham, Sarah Snook and David Wenham at the Busselton Jetty.  Photo: Courtney McAllister/Mac1Photography via The West Australian. Larger version here

Hugo Weaving is being honoured as this year’s CinefestOZ Screen Legend but the Matrix and Lord of the Rings star is not one for dwelling on his stellar career.

“The only time I look back is when I meet somebody I worked with and I’m trying to remember their name,” laughed Weaving, who is making his first visit to the South West for the five-day celebration of Australian and French cinema.

Although he is best known for his Hollywood blockbusters, he is proudest of the smaller films he has made in Australia, such as Little Fish and The Interview.

“The sad thing for me is that these films are not better known and the directors have struggled to go on to make a second or a third film,” Weaving said.

His passion for Australian movies is the reason he continues to work here, even though he could have a full-time Hollywood career and why he believes events such as CinefestOZ are vital.

CinefestOZ started on Wednesday night with the Australian premiere of Now Add Honey, a family comedy from Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler. It is one of five competing for the $100,000 Film Prize.

Hugo Weaving: ‘Just because Australian films aren’t seen doesn’t mean they don’t exist’

CinefestOz’s screen legend for 2015 on Tony Abbott, reuniting with director Jocelyn Moorhouse and why you’ve probably never seen his best work

by Nancy Groves, The Guardian 29 August 2015


Hugo Weaving on the Busselton boardwalk. Photograph: Courtney McAllister/Mac1Photography via The Guardian.  Larger version here

Hugo Weaving likes playing faceless villains, he once told an American journalist, because it means people are less likely to recognise him in real life. It’s a good tactic but one that certainly isn’t working for him in sleepy Busselton, Western Australia, where he’s in town to be honoured with the title of “screen legend” at the city’s annual CinefestOz festival – home to Australia’s richest film prize.

Over the course of five days, Weaving is repeatedly invited up to the mic – at opening ceremonies, screenings and lunches – and regularly stopped on the street by industry peers slapping him on the back or by local cinema-goers keen to take a selfie with him.

“It’s lovely to be here and a little embarrassing, but at the same time I appreciate it,” says Weaving, folding his 6’2” (188cm) frame into a chair at Busselton’s only hipster coffee outlet. “I do feel honoured but it’s hard to say that.”

This is not luvvie dissembling. Known to the world for his roles in the Matrix, Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, this modest, intensely private man has also been the linchpin in dozens of smaller Australian independent films, as Luke Buckmaster’s rewatching film blog reminds us on a weekly basis. It’s only a shame so few people have seen them.

“I could name 10 films I’ve done where I’ve thought: what a shame they didn’t catch on,” says Weaving, singling out Rowan Woods’ dark Sydney drama Little Fish with Cate Blanchett, as well as Last Ride, Glendyn Ivin’s 2009 film about a father and son on the run across Australia. “Not because I’m in them,” he stresses, “but because they are great works and they express something about who we are.”

His latest outing, The Dressmaker, which premieres at Toronto film festival this month, does not seem destined to disappear. A classic revenge Western dressed up in Dior, it stars Kate Winslet as the titular seamstress who returns from self-imposed exodus in Europe to her small “white-sliced” hometown and its smaller-minded residents. Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis, Barry Otto, Shane Jacobson and Sarah Snook also feature – a who’s who of established and emerging Aussie talent.

“It’s certainly an ensemble piece,” says Weaving, adding that the days when everyone was on set had a “reunion” vibe to them. The film also reunites him with director Jocelyn Moorhouse, at least professionally – the two have been friends since Moorhouse directed Weaving opposite a young Russell Crowe in her excellent 1991 film, Proof. “There is a sort of subterranean element to my relationship with Joss,” he says. “Proof was a long time ago but then there was the whole Eucalyptus saga. Or tragedy – whatever you want to call it.”

He’s referring to the 2005 Australian film that never was, adapted by Moorhouse from the Miles Franklin-winning novel by Murray Bail and set to star Nicole Kidman, Crowe and Weaving, until Fox cancelled production just three days into filming due to “creative differences” between Crowe and Moorhouse. Reports at the time suggested the differences were all Crowe’s. “The whole film going down was just really sad,” is all Weaving will say. “It was one of the greatest scripts I’ve ever read, just fantastic work from Joss. Fox ended up owning it and I don’t know whether she has ever got it back.”

The incident almost wiped Moorhouse out, Weaving adds, but she is back on confident form with The Dressmaker: “Joss has got such an eye for detail and specific sense of humour. There’s a surface expression to what she says and then something beneath that’s a little darker. I’m kind of interested in that.”

That same formulation seems to sum up Weaving’s acting – on stage, as well as screen. He has recently emerged from playing Hamm in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at Sydney Theatre Company back to back with taking STC’s award-winning Waiting for Godot to London for a run at the Barbican. A “Beckfest”, as he calls it, and he’s still not had his fill.

“I’m just re-reading his four early novellas, these absolutely beautiful little stories, all different, all difficult, and I’d love to bring to them to the stage. Put two on one night, two the next, mix and match them a bit, possibly on the same set. They are just extraordinary pieces of work. He’s exhausting and wonderful at the same time.”

Whether Weaving gets to realise this project any time soon is another matter. He has been a fixture of Sydney Theatre Company under artistic directors Andrew Upton and (until 2013) Cate Blanchett. But Upton is leaving in late 2015, to be replaced by British theatre-maker Jonathan Church. Does it feel like the end of an era for what, in its regular use of the same actors, began to feel like a rep company?

“It was a very fertile time,” says Weaving. “One thing leads to another and I loved that sense of exploration as a company, of moving forward as a unit.” He praises Upton for his openness and democracy in the rehearsal room, and Blanchett for her poise. “Cate’s extraordinary. She’s in hyperspace in terms of her profile – much more so me. But she manages to maintain her sanity, sometimes barely. I know it’s difficult.”

Is it easier to maintain a private life in Australia than in Hollywood? “Probably, says Weaving. “Possibly, a bit, yes, maybe. You’ve got to actively find that space for yourself. You’ve got to actively disappear. This industry is so vast that once you’re a part of it, you can easily lose yourself and the trade-off isn’t necessarily a great thing for your soul, you know.”

He hasn’t met Church but says “it will be a big change, a bit shift”, adding his hope that Church will nurture acting and directing talent, not just shows. It echoes Weaving’s stance on cinema. “Film is the great artistic medium and yet we don’t see it as that,” he says. “We don’t allow it to be everything it could be.”


Hugo Weaving in front of his CinefestOz 2015 screen legend plaque.  Photograph: Mac1 photography  Larger version here

At a meeting of Chinese and Australian film producers during CinefestOz, Screen Australia showed a promo reel in which big name Australian actors – Blanchett and Joel Edgerton among them – sung to camera the praises of those working behind it. This is more than a sell, says Weaving, citing veteran Australian producers Jan Chapman, David Jowsey and Vincent Sheehan, and cinematographers Donald McAlpine (Moulin Rouge) and Stefan Duscio, whose work on Michael Petroni’s thriller Backtrack could scoop it the festival’s $100,000 prize.

“The industry exists here,” he insists. “Just because films aren’t seen doesn’t mean they don’t exist; doesn’t mean they’re not good. That’s always the tragedy for me. I get so …”. He tails off only to pick up again. “What do we have to do to mature to the extent that we choose to watch and look at our own culture? Why don’t we do that?”

The fault doesn’t necessarily lie with Australian audiences, he says. It comes “from the top”, by which I’m guessing Weaving means government. “Yes,” he says – coupled with a US-dominated industry that makes it hard for any other market to break through internationally. “I’m not into free markets. I think they are just an excuse for destroying things, an excuse to make massive profits at the expense of cultures and people.”

Weaving has never been shy of criticising the Abbott government, voicing his concerns about ongoing cuts to the ABC in 2014, and recently adding his face to the stepped-up campaign for Australian marriage equality. “It’s less about the marriage bit for me” – Weaving and his partner since 1984, artist Katrina Greenwood, have two children but have never tied the knot – “and more about equality. Just because I don’t need to marry, doesn’t mean other people can’t.”

Conversation steers to the UK, where Weaving grew up, and its ramped-up rhetoric on immigration. “Now we’ve got Abbott lecturing the Europeans about what to do: “Turn back the boats.” You think, oh man! This is insane the world we live in.” Culturally, Weaving still feels the influence of his British upbringing. “My childhood and heritage and the stories I grew up with, well, I accept I’m not the purest Australian,” he says. “At the same time, I go back there and I don’t really feel English. We’re all a mixture of all the influences that made us.”

Should the government be protecting Australian film talent with production quotas, as some in the industry have suggested? Weaving sees a bigger picture. When it comes to policy, everything is connected, he says: “Protecting your culture, protecting your environment, protecting your land, protecting your stories, protecting who you are, protecting your thoughts – it’s all crucial.”

And he still doesn’t know what the fix is. “If it were obvious it would have been done. In terms of the skilled practitioners making the films, they are here. And they’ll keep on doing what they do in the hope that somehow, at the end, when the tap’s turned on, something comes out. At the moment, we’ve got rainfall, but it’s not coming out of the tap.”

*****

CinefestOz Photos

Here are all the photos I’ve found of Hugo Weaving appearing at various screenings, events and interviews. Thanks to all the news outlets and fans who shared these! Captions below photos are from original posts by the photographers/sharers.


Behind the scenes Today Show! David Wenham, Sarah Snook & Hugo Weaving!!! @MargaretRiver @ScreenWest #eventswa  Photo: CinefestOz via Twitter


“Hugo Weaving and David Wenham at #cinefestoz awesome to see these guys in WA to support Australian Cinema”  Photo: Lauren Monicka via Instagram


“Couple of icons of the Australian screen #DavidWenham and #HugoWeaving take to the stage at @cinefestoz #cinefestoz ”  Photo: Lucy Gibson via Twitter


“Hugo Weaving as we are about to start” Photo: ABC South West WA via Twitter


“Hugo Weaving & David Wenham commandeer the cobra! @cinefestoz #southwest #australianfilmindustry #cinefestoz.” Aravina Estate via Twitter/Facebook


“Aravina Directors lunch is underway! David Wenham & Hugo Weaving doing some Q & A’s. Simply stunning day!” Photo: CinefestOz via Instagram


“My nephew just met Hugo weaving WFT wow ” Photo: StevoVictoria via Twitter


“Hangin’ with Hugo #hugoweaving #CinefestOZ #filmfestival @ Aravina Estate”   Photo: Tasha Campbell via Twitter/Instagram


“”Hugo Weaving- CinefestOZ Screen Legend!! Check out his plaque outside Orana Cinemas Busselton!”  Photo: CinefestOz via Instagram


“Gold Fever models Libby & Tabs rockin’ the red carpet tonight at CinefestOz Bunbury with the very generous Hugo Weaving. Big thanks to Gemma Collins Makeup & Nadin from Niche for hair. #goldfevervintage #pinupgirlclothing #cinefestoz #cinefestoz #southwestlife #gemmacollinsmakeup #westisbest #downsouth #hollywoodglamour” Gold Fever Vintage via Instagram


“@_ashleejulian_ and #kadiaarmstrong of @cm_management #luluandvee alongside #Hellbunny with Actor #HugoWeaving @cinefestoz red carpet event! MUA: @gemmacollinsmakeupartist Hair: Nadine @nicheforhair Image via Stylo and Thankyou @goldfevervintage #redcarpet #gowns #models #glamour #southwestlife #WADesigner #aussieactor #cinefestoz ” Natalie Angus via Instagram

Photo: Guardian Aus Culture via Twitter

“Just chilling with @WenhamDavid, #HugoWeaving & #ShaneJacobsen and the @lomaxmedia” Grant M Fletcher via Instagram


Hugo interviewed on the red carpet at the Living Legend gala, 29 August CinefestOz  Photo: Busselton-Dunsborough Mail


Hugo on the red carpet at the Living Legend gala, 29 August CinefestOz  Photo: Busselton-Dunsborough Mail


Hugo interviewed on the red carpet at the Living Legend gala, 29 August CinefestOz  Photo: Busselton-Dunsborough Mail


“And then Hugo said……… When I lead in with “I love you and that’s ok… ” you know hilarity and silly buggerish will ensue. Great opening night @cinefestoz here in the beautiful southwest. Welcome to country by Josh Whiteland; smooth tune from the glamourous Local Vintage fine local bubbles followed by the Australian movie premiere of Now Add Honey. Robyn Butler you are absolute joy to watch and SO funny. What a cracking cast.” RemedyStore via Instagram

Other CinefestOz press: Sarah Snook (Hugo’s costar in The Dressmaker) was interviewed by The West Australian. And Hugo is briefly quoted in a festival-themed article at CommunityNews.com.au And there’s a full gallery of photos of the Living Legend and Awards gala at the Busselton-Dunsboriugh Mail.

The Dressmaker

We won’t have too long to wait before Hugo’s next film (and last completed project for awhile) debuts with the World Premiere Gala for The Dressmaker at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14. While Hugo hasn’t officially confirmed is presence at the premiere, I would be very surprised if he didn’t attend, as he’s been very supportive of the film and his director in all of his recent interviews, and has always gone to TIFF in the past unless a prior commitment prevented him.

Meanwhile, the film’s social media presence has kicked into high gear recently, sharing some new photos and character profiles. Here’s their formal introduction to Hugo’s character, Sergeant Farratt:


“Meet Sergeant Farrat. The local policeman and first to see Tilly’s magical skill with thread and silk.” The Dressmaker via Twitter/Facebook

The film has also secured British distribution and will premiere in the UK on 6 November. (The film’s IMDb page lists October and November 2015 release dates for Australia (29 Oct), New Zealand, Turkey, Argentina, Portugal, Thailand and Brazil, with the US given only a vague 2015 tentative release date.)  It is also slated to screen at Korea’s Busan Film Festival in October (date TBA).There are additional articles about the film at Premier of Victoria and The Border Mail, the latter including a interview with novelist Rosalie Ham and producer Sue Maslin.

Fans will also want to check out Rosalie Ham’s television interview on Network 7’s The Daily Edition.

The Hobbit Trilogy Expanded Editions Get Theatrical Release

In advance of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy completing its Expanded Edition release on DVD/Blu-Ray this fall, all three films will be re-released in the expanded cuts to theatres in 500 locations on October 5 (An Unexpected Journey) October 7 (The Desolation of Smaug) and October 13 (The Battle of the Five Armies). This will be fans’ first opportunity to see Five Armies in long form, and, as with last year’s marathon trilogy screenings, these will feature special introductions from Jackson. Here’s the official trailer for the reissue. You can buy tickets (US locations) here. The extended cut of Battle of the Five Armies has been re-rated R for violent content, but no specifics on whether Hugo Weaving has any additional footage. I’m guessing not from early descriptions of the 20 minutes of new material, which seem to focus on the titular battle. (Also, Hugo has mentioned in interviews that filming the additional scenes for his expanded role in the film (ie the five minute rescue of Gandalf near the beginning of BOFA, also featuring Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee) only took a few extra days.) I’d absolutely love to be wrong. I’m not sure whether my finances will permit me to indulge in the theatrical re-release, though I’d love to go. (I will be investing in the Blu-Ray eventually.) I first saw LOTR in the expanded cuts prior to Return of the King’s debut  2003, and I’ve always thought the theatrical edits of those films were inferior… but no one would argue that LOTR is generally the superior trilogy of the two and had much lengthier source material to draw from than The Hobbit.


via Warner Bros Online

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The Dressmaker Wraps Production (incl Hugo Weaving set photos); BOFA Promo Material; #TheMuleLive

Apologies for the gap between entries… as you know, this is a very busy time of year.

The Battle of the Five Armies

I did attend a marathon screening of all three Hobbit films on 15 December but will withhold my full review until the end of the moth, as there are still a few regions whee The Battle of the Five Armies hasn’t opened (including Australia), and many reviewers have already been too loose with the spoilers. I will say that yes, these films don’t hold a candle to Lord of The Rings. But I had a fun time seeing tis trilogy and– some early technical difficulties aside– it was an effortlessly fun way to spend a day. I was never bored. And I’ll dare say that these three films go down easier seen at at once than with a year in between. (Peter Jackson’s reliance on cliffhangers this time around is legitimate grounds for criticism; the Lord of the Rings films each ended on a decisive note with one story element completed as the overall arc continued.) Interestingly, An Unexpected Journey improves with a second viewng while The Desolation of Smaug deteriorates a bit– not only due to the distinct lack of Hugo Weaving in the second film.)

Yes, the material probably would’ve fit just fine in two films rather than three. But I’m reminded of the Beatles’ White Album conundrum: most fans say it could have easily been edited down to one great album instead of two “merely” good ones, but I’ve yet to see two Beatles fans agree completely on WHAT they’d cut. Similarly, reviews critical of BOFA (and The Hobbit trilogy in general) seem divided on whether the extravagant action sequences are in need of trimming or the plotting nuances between. I’m in the former camp. In fact, I’d have enjoyed a longer BOFA if the some character-based material was added to make the transitions between action setpieces a bit less jarring. My favorite parts of the film– and the trilogy– are the small character moments. And the immense talent of most of the actors on hand makes even the underwritten material (and too-swift transitions) work.


Hugo Weaving and Peter Jackson prep for the Dol Guldur rescue scene in BOFA. HD version of this photo here.

If you’re only watching these films to see Hugo Weaving (or Cate Blanchett, or Christopher Lee) you might be disappointed. Their sequence battling Nazgul at Dol Guldur (to resolve the Gandalf’s capture cliffhanger in DOS) comes early in the film and is over within minutes. Much of Hugo’s footage appears to be a stunt double or CG, and he only has about three lines. He has little to do- less than the other White Council members– once he makes the grand entrance seen in all the trailers and TV ads. I would argue the scene is necessary and gives the titular battle greater stakes than the novel as originally written, as it ties this conflict to the larger one in LOTR. While Tolkien might not have staged this specific scene per se, he did explicitly attempt to link The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings through supplemental material, and at one point toyed with the notion of rewriting The Hobbit as a darker tale more in tune with LOTR. While his work is more lyrical and less action-driven than Peter Jackson’s take, I would argue no great liberties are taken. Jackson fills in gaps left undefined rather than violating the spirit of Tolkien’s work. I’m not an overly devout fan of either the director or the writer– both have provided great entertainment at various times in my life, and both have flaws.

I’ll say no more about plot specifics until the film is open everywhere, as I can’t get too far into describing what worked (or didn’t) about the film without spoilers.  As far as recommending the film, I would wholeheartedly to anyone who likes what they’ve seen so far. If you hated the first two parts, though, or simply aren’t into these sorts of films, BOFA won’t magically change your mind. It’s completely of a piece with the first two. I actually understand (and in some cases, agree with) various criticism of the film and trilogy. But I have enough affection for the films and characters that even glaring flaws don’t matter as much as they might in films featuring less talented actors and filmmakers.

Here are some of the promo videos for The Battle of the Five Armies that have appeared since my last entry:


The Hobbit trilogy B-Roll footage (Hugo at 1.50) ; Screen Slam via YouTube


Memories of Middle Earth behind-the-scenes featurette w/actor interviews; Hugo Weaving interview snippet at 1.22 Warner Bros via YouTube


Completing Middle Earth (six film overview) featurette; Warner Bros via YouTube


17 Years in the Making Hobbit/LOTR overview; Hugo footage at 1.39, 2.00, 2.49, and 5.40; Warner Bros via YouTube

I’m not even going to attempt to compile all the reviews of the film; many are very cynical. But some of the more balanced, well-written ones appear at Empire Online, Entertainment Focus, Victoria Advocate, The Radio Times, Flickering Myth (1), The Boston Globe, The Scotsman, TIME, Flickering Myth (2), ABS/CBN, Examiner.com, The Daily News Online and MoviePilot.

Additional feature stories about Battle of the Five Armies and The Hobbit trilogy have appeared at The Guardian, Films on Wax (Howard Shore interview about the film’s score), Digital Spy, The New York Daily News,

You can watch Evangeline Lilly’s gonzo promo interview on Conan at TeamCoco.com and see a behind-the-scenes glimpse of uber-fan Stephen Colbert having the ultimate cosplay fun prepping for his Entertainment Weekly Hobbit cover story at EW Online. (Yes, I have the print magazine (Bilbo cover) and will try to have scans up at Flickr soon.) There’s an Ian McKellen photo quiz at TwitchFilm.  And a Cate Blanchett interview which notes The Hobbit in passing at The Daily Telegraph.

…And I’ve added three Hobbit-themed print articles from The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Express to my Flickr Archive. No Hugo Weaving interviews per se in these, but a two feature images of him.

The Mule

I hope some of you were able to participate in #TheMuleLive event back on December 7. (I know several of my Twitter pals were along for the ride).  I rented a copy of the film and tweeted along, and found it an indecent amount of fun.  Though it would be impossible to share everything contributed by the fans, filmmakers (Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and several film crew members) and actors (John Noble, Sampson and Whannell, Georgina Haig, Ewen Leslie and Chris Pang), here are some highlights, including wonderful behind-the-scenes images and script pages:


Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Ewen Leslie during pre-production   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter


The cast at an early table-read of the script (Hugo is far down on the left)   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter


Angus Sampson. Hugo Weaving, Ewen Leslie,   on set   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter


Hugo Weaving on set Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter

Here are script pages from some of Hugo’s (Det Croft’s) funniest scenes, as shared by Angus Sampson. Original screenplay by Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and Jaime Browne.

“There are tongs for that!” (Croft vs Ziggy)

THAT scene…

“Bit more choke and that would’ve started”

The Infamous Balloon Scene

The Perils of Australian Lamb

Some other great production images:


Fiona Rees-Jones’ make-up kit for the #HugoWeaving #TheMuleLive” The Mule Movie via Twitter


The film’s storyboards  Photo: Stefan Duscio via Twitter


Assembling scenes in the editing room   Photo: Stefan Duscio via Twitter

You can read interviews with Angus Sampson and info about the Live Tweet event at The Sydney Morning Herald, Subculture Entertainment, The West Australian, FilmInk, Quickflix (places The Mule in the Top 10 Australian Films of 2014),

The latest reviews of The Mule (which remain largey positive) can be read at Better Than IMDb, How To Win Game Shows, International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics, Eureka Street, Thy Reviewer, Broadsheet

And if you missed any earlier promo videos or video interviews for The Mule, Angus Sampson has assembled a Playlist (which includes a few of his and Hugo Weaving’s press interviews) on YouTube.

The Dressmaker

Of course, Hugo Weaving was unable to participate in #TheMuleLive and in most of the Battle of the Five Armies promotion because he’s been busy filming The Dressmaker for director Jocelyn Moorhouse at locations in Victoria. Production formally wrapped a few days ago (December 14), but not before several more photos of Hugo Weaving and other cast members (Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth chief among them) appeared online via Instagram and several online papers in the Wimmera area, where the last block of filming took place.

The production team announced filming completion via producer Sue Maslin’s second eNews announcement. Click on the link for the full text; here are a few highlights:

“On Friday the 17th of October 2014, we rolled cameras on The Dressmaker at Docklands Studios Melbourne. Eight weeks later we called “Cut!” for the very last time finishing up in Horsham, Victoria. ..

Kate Winslet has been our ideal ‘Tilly’: beautiful, strong, quick-witted, and even quicker with her period Singer sewing machine. The mother-daughter relationship between our ‘Molly’, Judy Davis, and Tilly is authentic, moving and a joy to watch. To see these two great actresses working together on the screen has been electric and often hilarious… Liam Hemsworth brings loads of natural charm and warmth to ‘Teddy’ and it’s no wonder Tilly falls for this likeable and devastatingly handsome rogue. And Hugo Weaving is perfect as our debonair ‘Sergeant Farrat’. Add to this Sacha Horler as the formidable ‘Una’ who attempts to rival Tilly and Sarah Snook, a revelation as ‘Gertrude’ who bowls everyone over in her exquisite gowns designed by Marion Boyce. We are indebted to our entire cast, of which there are so many, who have added such depth and character to the townspeople of Dungatar.”

The Wimmera Mail-Times featured several great photos of cast members (including Hugo) enjoying down-time at local haunt The Exchange Hotel , posing with fans. (Captions are from original news article).


“Nathalie Henry and Sharon McDonald meet stars Gyton Grantley and Hugo Weaving at the Exchange Hotel in Horsham on Tuesday night [9 December].”


“Annie Brack meets Hugo Weaving on Tuesday night.”


“Katherine Coorey and friends get to meet some of The Dressmaker stars at the Exchange.”


“The Dressmaker extra Paige Schmidt, left, and Horsham’s Loucas Vettos, right, with Caroline Goodall, Hugo Weaving, Kerry Fox, Sarah Snook and Shane Jacobson outside The Exchange on Wednesday night.”

All four above photos: The Wimmera Mail-Times; they have additional photos of the set and other cast members in their online gallery.

Here are some additional fan photos (with original captions) that have appeared on Instagram:


So I met Hugo Weaving on the set of ‘The Dressmaker’ the other day. You always think that whenever or if-ever you’ll meet your absolute idol then you’ll have an intelligent conversation, but take it from me, you end up looking like a bumbling idiot asking for an autograph when the opportunity arises. #hugoweaving #agentsmith #lordelrond #thedressmaker #onset #metgodtoday”
Photo: Charles Thompson via Instagram


My beautiful mum met Hugo Weaving, @gytongrantley and other cast members of The Dressmaker on Wednesday night! So lucky. After spending the arvo on set and then meeting these guys that evening – I certainly am jealous! #thedressmaker #hugoweaving #horsham”  Photo: Schmenz via Instagram


“Got to meet one of the best Australian actors ever!! #HugoWeaving” Ella Schorback via Instagram

JustJared posted a number of photos of cast members between scenes on set; most are of Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth and Winslet’s husband Ned Rocknroll, but there was one great pic of Hugo with Kate Winslet. (Featuring his infamous fire-carbonized glasses– yes, apparently Hugo needs bifocals now. Guess we’re all gettin’ old together.) 😉


Hugo Weaving, Kate Winslet and a Dressmaker crew member on the film’s Melbourne set   Photo: JustJared; no specific photographer credit given; enlargement here

An additional JustJared gallery doesn’t feature Hugo, but shares some amazing shots of Kate Winslet in a dazzling red dress and Liam Hemsworth in rugby gear.

The Wimmera Mail-Times posted several related stories (and loads of set pics featuring Winslet, Hemsworth and many costumes extras). You can find the links to all here. Hugo Weaving is mentioned but there are no interviews or photos in these pieces.

The film’s production-wrap announcement was covered by Variety, Screen Daily, The Courier-Mail, The Daily Mail, Inside Film, Weekly Times Now and Digital Spy. All featured the film’s first official stil, featuring Kate Winslet (below). Jocelyn Moorhouse is quoted as calling the film “’Unforgiven’ with a sewing machine” and adds “Working with Kate, Judy, Liam and Hugo was wonderful. A great crew, brilliant supporting cast and beautiful locations, costume and design helped make the shoot a delight.”  The Lowdown Under included a number of set photos, including some from the film’s Facebook page.


Kate Winslet as Tilly in The Dressmaker   Film still via Empire on Twitter

In Other Hugo Weaving News

You can now stream Mystery Road on Netflix (in the US) and Healing on QuickFlix (Australia.) Healing is also available on DVD in Australia (region 4) only as of December 3; a US release and European release are tentatively scheduled for next year, but no specifics have been announced, nor any info on whether this would be a cinema run or direct-to-video/streaming/DVD/Blu-Ray. I assume that Starz/Encore will eventually broadcast the film on cable in the US.

Battle of Five Armies Trailer Debuts (With a Little Hugo Weaving Footage); The Mule Preview Scene

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

Very quick entry today but since fans have been waiting for this trailer for months, I might as well help in spreading it around. The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armiers full-length trailer finally premiered today at 1pm simultaneously on the Hobbit and Peter Jackson Facebook pages, followed shortly thereafter by Warner Bros. YouTube feed. Since the latter will embed most readily, I’ll post that below:

We finally have a few seconds of Hugo Weaving as Elrond, albeit not much more than appeared in the film still that debuted/was leaked last month, a variation of which appeares in some Hobbit 2015 calendars. Here are a few quick caps I was able to grab of the White Council bit of the trailer (featuring Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee):


“Leave Sauron to me… we play bridge together every Thursday.” 😉

I suspect that the minimal use of Elrond in the film’s advertising does hint he has a brief presence in the film, so fans should have realistic expectations. Remember, Hugo only filmed for a few weeks (compared to two years for the lead actors) and didn’t participate in pick-ups specifically for this film (ie the titual battle sequences) so i suspect he and his felloow White Council members feature in an early rescue sequence resolving Gandalf’s cliffhanger peril at Dol Guldur. As always, I’d love to be wrong about this and see more Elrond footage than expected…

The bulk of the trailer appropriately deals with Thorin(Richard Armitage)’s dark transformation post reclaiming Erebor, hashing out his differences with Thranduil (Lee Pace) to face a greater enemy (Azog, Orcs.. and The Bats of War) 😉

The Mule

At least as entertaining (from my admittedly skewed perspective) have been the craftily selected preview scenes posted to various sites by The Mule’s marketing wizards. The most recent (and longest) debuted on YouTube yesterday (thanks for the conveniently-embeddable version, guys) courtesy Film Festivals and Indie Films :

This scene, presumably early in Ray’s hotel room incarceration, features Croft (Hugo Weaving) and Paris (Ewen Leslie) grilling Ray (Angus Sampson) about his visit to Thailand, including the strangely notorious Tiger Park ;), and tripping him up on one key point. Here are some screencaps:

IndieWire debuted a shorter, more decidedly R-Rated clip featuring Ray’s initial, intrusive examination at the airport. Needless to say I’m not capping that one, though the most infamous stil from that has been widely posted elsewhere. 😉

Healing

The film Healing (starring Hugo Weaving, Don Hany and Xavier Samuel) will air on Australian television later this month– Nov 23 to be precise– on ABC TV at 9.15 pm. A DVD/Blu-Ray release will follow (in Australia) the following week, with many sites already accepting pre-orders. More details at Memorable TV and the film’s Facebook page.

More New Promo Clips For The Mule; The Hobbit: BOFA To Premiere in London

Ideally this will be shorter than some of my recent entries because I haven't waited so long to post this time. 😉

The Mule's marketing strategy continues to impress me. They've put out several brief promo clips in the past week which let you know exactly what you're in for with the film, yet don't give too much plot detail away. Today saw the release of two short, establishing scenes from the film to different websites. Collider featured a clip depicting how Ray (Angus Sampson) and Gavin (Leigh Whannell) obtained the drugs which later land Ray in the predicament the film details; the second, from Twitch Film, shows Det Paris (Ewen Leslie) establishing the ground rules for Ray's detainment in the hotel, including the use of a colander I sincerely hope never finds its way back to the hotel kitchen. The second clip briefly shows Hugo Weaving's Tom Croft and includes his great line about the hotel wine list. (Also featured in the hilarious "Eat Drink Man Mule" clip from the film's website, which I'll embed below.

Note: I have mixed success at best embedding videos directly from websites, even those offering embed code. LJ used to be much more user-friendly in this respect but lately only readily takes YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion videos. But I'll do my best. If any embeds fail, do click on the website links. The Collider and Twitch clips are not yet up at the film website, but they probably will be soon.


Via Collider


Via TwitchFilm

Meanwhile The Mule's official website and Twitter feed showcased these new clips, which feature a bit more Hugo Weaving content:

Eat Drink Man Mule

The expurgated version of the Sweary Supercut (though the unedited version should neatly separate out people not up to the film itself) 😉

This Is Ziggy

I'll effusively thank The Mule's marketing team for featuring these clips via Vimeo, which my blog sites don't choke on. Not sure why LJ had no problem whatsoever with embeds from other sites until last year (non-Youtube/vimeo embeds in my older entries still work, too)  but now only embeds from a tiny handful of sites. I'm not trying to breach anyone's copyrights and I'm crediting my sources lavishly. These videos are MEANT to be promotional and are offered with embed code. Thus they should freakin' EMBED ON MY BLOG SITES. If anyone can give me a plausible explanation as to why LJ and WordPress are so obstinate and unhelpful on this score, I'd love to hear it. (Or, more than that, I'd love to know how to simply make the codes WORK on the two sites…)


(Via The Mule's Tumblr/Official Website)

Angus Sampson continues performing the bulk of early promotional duties; his latest interview is with Time Out Sydney. While I respect the rationale for the film's direct-to-VOD distribution strategy, I really hope the film has more than two Australian cinema screenings. In the US, most indie films are released simultaneously to arthouses (where the market exists) AND On Demand/streaming. The four month wait period no longer really exists. I hope this becomes the model for Australian film marketing at home, too, because it would be a pity if only SFX-driven escapist fare received a proper cinema showing. I have driven into NYC to see Hugo's Australian films before (Last Ride, Little Fish) and would certainly do so again for this one. Have a feeling The Mule won't play MoMA, but would love to be wrong on that score. Sampson also sat in for a Halloween-themed radio interview at Triple J.


Hugo Weaving as Tom Croft (via The Mule's Facebook page) Dig that abysmal hotel room art! 😉

One encouraging tidbit: the film made the New York Times' Holiday Releases insert. Funny how they go out of their way to avoid any hint of what the film  is actually about. 😉 Though this doesn't mention cinema vs VOD specifics, most of Hugo's recent indie films (even a few that did receive NY-area cinema screenings) failed to make this list at all. The film also made LA Times' equivalent rundown… so there's hope of at least a few US cinema screenings beyond the festival circuit.

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Photo of that NY Times Holiday Movies mention. Love how coy they are about the film's actual content. 😉

I'll re-post the links for the Sydney and Melbourne preview screenings to be attended by Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson and other cast/crew to be named: Cinema Nova (Melbourne 18 Nov), Dendy Cinemas (Sydney 19 Nov). Both events begin at 6.30pm and tickets are still available.

Other Mule previews are available at Movie Pilot, Horror Movies Uncut, and Shockya.com.

You can pre-order the iTunes version here.


(My screencap from the EatDrinkManMule clip. More here.)

The Dressmaker

Things have been fairly quiet from The Dressmaker's Victoria set since production began, with no major cast sightings or new photos since my previous entry. Hugo Weaving hasn't been on set the full time, but has been spotted in both Melbourne and Sydney since production began, indicating that as a supporting player, his presence isn't always required. (This is nothing new; his role in Oranges and Sunshine only required about six days of filming, his role in Mystery Road about two weeks, and he more than made an impression in each.)  Author Rosalie Ham did update her Production Blog a few days ago with a description of costume fittings and extras selection.. She hints that she may be a featured player in the film herself.

The Hobbit

As most fans are already aware, the final installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy will have its World premiere in London on December 1. It's unknown if Hugo Weaving will be on hand; ordinarily I'd say it depends completely on his availability pending The Dressmaker's shooting schedule, but Warner Bros has stirred up a hornet's nest by playing cheap with some supporting cast members, ie not paying to fly the New Zealand-based actors to London, even though some play characters crucial to the plot (TORN has the sorry details.). It's hard to know how essential they would find Hugo's presence given this controversy. They must know he's a fan favorite, but he's appeared minimally in the film's promotion (whereas Cate Blanchett, who presumably has a similar amount of screentime, is all over the posters and teaser.) So there are those two factors plus Hugo's well-known reluctance to attend big Hollywood-style premieres. He said he enjoyed events like An Unexpected Journey's Welington premiere in 2012 because it was as much a celebration of the films' location and of local fans as it was a promotional event. Many cast members are London/UK based, but this event wouldn't quite be the same, though obviously the fans in London/Europe are as fervent and eager to see the actors as anyone.  

We can be pretty certain the actors featured in the announcement video have been invited, though. 😉


Warner Bros UK, via YouTube

Peter Jackson dropped some hints about the final film's themes, tone and plot in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.  Interestingly, he says it should be the "shortest" of his six Tolkien-inspired films. So… no dozen false endings as in Return of the King? I can't imagine they won't do the obvious bookend with Elijah Wood and Ian Holm.  There are rumors that we'll finally see the film's official trailer in a few days, and you can view the latest banner and poster at Comic Book Movie (emphasizing Thorin, Fili and Kili… which to people who've read the book may seem a bit… obvious in the foreshadowing department.) 😉

Mystery Road

Ivan Sen's film will screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival on 23 November. Though it's now out on DVD/VOD in most markets, I urge fans who have a chance to see Mystery Road on the big screen to do so. The latest rave reviews are available at Nerve Reviews, The Independent and The Upcoming.

Hugo Weaving Flickr Archive Update, New Articles, Interviews and Reviews Since Jan. 1

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.

There hasn't been any earthshattering breaking news since the first of the year (or the last update), but many new articles and reviews of Hugo's films Cloud Atlas (which has still not debuted in Australia and the UK, where it's due next month) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey continue to appear. I'll also share links to a bunch of new scans I uploaded to Flickr about these films and a few others, and some video embeds that are either newly available in higher-res formats, or are newly available on YouTube.

Hugo began filming his role in the compendium project The Turning in early December. This was probably the reason he opted out of most of the post-Wellington Hobbit premieres, though I wouldn't say it pained him to skip a few more red carpets. Hugo referenced the film in an 3AW Radio interview conducted at the Wellington premiere (and shared in the previous Hugonuts entry), and The Turning's Twitter feed confirmed that filming on Hugo's segment (entitled "The Commission", directed by none other than David Wenham) commenced on December 10. Given the brisk pace of filming on most independent films, and the fact that this is in effect a short film that will appear in a themed compilation rather than an individual feature-length project, it's entirely possible Hugo's work on this project has been completed. The Turning will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival this coming July, and some international distribution rights are already lined up, though no formal release dates have been announced.

Hugo was also spotted in attendance at the premiere of Sydney Theatre Company's well-regarded new production of The Secret River, according to The Australian (and many Twitter fans). Alas, he eluded photographers– not that he should really be expected to pose for paparazzi when he's simply an audience member. 😉 Hugo's former costars Anita Hegh (Last Ride), Jeremy Sims (Riflemind) and Bruce Spence (The Matrix Revolutions, Wendy Cracked A Walnut) are in the cast, and the production was directed by his old friend/former stage director Neil Armfield.

There have been a pair of bona fide new interviews… sort of. 😉

News.com.au posted what was billed as a new Hugo Weaving interview back on 2 January, but in fact it was recycled brief  comments from other Wellington Hobbit red carpet interviews. 😉 The print version features an obvious transcription error in addition to the same great Hobbit set photo (with Ian McKellen) :


The scandalously missing/misplaced #2 is as follows: 2. PARTY ON, BILBO:"Maybe they should have it as a national day every year," Weaving said at the premiere – well, with two more Hobbit movies to come this year and next, they probably will! "It feels like a country celebrating its own culture. The film presents New Zealand culture so beautifully, that's why people here love it so much."

Of more interest is a longer interview featured in the Mexican newspaper El Universal (and its online edition.) Hugo's promoting Cloud Atlas in this one, but it never mentions if it was conducted recently or back in the fall when Hugo was involved in press junkets for the film in Toronto, Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin. I'll include the original print version below, along with an approximate translation of Hugo's comments; you'll notice a certain consistency in his remarks on this film and his career goals, but he finds an interesting way to put things each time.

On his favorite Cloud Atlas role: ""I like them all for different reasons, but the part I enjoyed most was Old Georgie, he isn't really a living person, but a figure representing the fear in the mind of the character of Tom Hanks plays in the [postapocalyptic Zachry storyline]. That was a thrill, an interesting challenge for everyone involved in the way it was filmed and because fear is not typically described visually, it is, rather, something you feel, [so] probably was the most interesting to me. "

On his preferred environment and causes: "I'm not very passionate about Los Angeles…Unlike my characters in Cloud Atlas, who want to control reality and try to limit the imagination, selfishly, I just started using a cellphone last year; I plant trees, read books and I can not drive a car. I'm interested in reality. I try to spend time with people and not objects, I am in favor of the organic and animals…We have a limited ability to change the life of the world, but that does not mean you should stop trying to do it, [It's like] one of the scenes in the movie that speaks of the evolutionists, about [how much we should be willing to personally risk to effect incremental change], but at any rate you do what is correct for you and do the movies you believe in and that speak of themes you believe in and do what you can through generating dialogue with people"

On working with the Wachowskis, and his career goals: ""I think they are extraordinary and take risks in achieving their purposes, but they are great human beings, essentially involving talented people in their projects and allowing them to grow with them and inject their own complexities in something that is already complex from inception; I like their movies and be with them, they're inspiring… One of the reasons I wanted to do this project (Cloud Atlas) is the risk posed, to start with, the original book is a bold work of imagination; author David Mitchell structured the story in a peculiar way [The] story had to be presented differently in a cinematic language, and Andy and Lana Wachowski are directors who like to take risks, trying to break the rules. They imagine doing something differently and seek [new means of] expression. Sometimes the results are not successful, but the interesting thing is that they [aren't hindered] and find an extraordinary way to tell a story with each new film proposal …I remember with V for Vendetta I encouraged the Wachowski to give me the character because my face is never on screen and I'm proud of that particular character. I do not care if I appear in a film hiding my face, because what interest me are the characters…I work a lot in theater and cutting-edge independent films, where I have many roles. [Most people probably] identify me as the villain from Matrix, but if I had to do that sort of character every time or play characters with no depth, that would not interest me. I like to play characters that are fully human, with all sorts of complexities and individual personalities, but I've been typecast playing the villain in Hollywood films. "

As I mentioned earlier, I was finally able to take some time to scan a batch of print articles that had been collecting since summer… none have a ton of Hugo content and none are exclusive interviews (the Oklahoman piece features an interview with Hugo and Susan Sarandon which previously appeared online) , or I'd have gotten around to it earlier. However, they're worth a look for fans of Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit (there are also pieces on Oranges and Sunshine, Mystery Road and a curio on 1986's For Love Alone.)

New York Daily News Hobbit Preview Part One, Part Two (Includes interviews with Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett; a companion piece to this Hugo Weaving interview which appeared only online.)

New Zealand Dominion Post Hobbit Premiere Preview (features cast photos taken at other events, including one of Hugo at the Berlin Cloud Atlas premiere)

Oklahoman Cloud Atlas interview with Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon

STC's Les Liaisons Dangereuses included in Sydney Morning Herald's list of Best Australian Theatre 2012

A brief update on Ivan Sen's Mystery Road (and a reprint of the astonishingly lovely photo of Hugo and Aaron Pedersen) from The Brisbane Courier-Mail


Aaron Pedersen and Hugo Weaving in the forthcoming Mystery Road

USA Today Weekend Hobbit preview/Martin Freeman interview

TIME Ian McKellen interview

Tribune Media Tom Hanks interview/Cloud Atlas preview

Tribune Media Cate Blanchett interview/Uncle Vanya preview (the New York City Center run)

STC's 2013 Season brochure: Waiting For Godot, starring Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh. Page One, Page Two

Curzon magazine advertisements for Oranges and Sunshine: Poster ad, Blurb

David Mitchell's charming NY Times Magazine essay on the process of adapting his novel Cloud Atlas for the screen; also, a thoroughly charming interview from the New York Times Book Review.

New York Times Cloud Atlas preview, featuring interviews with the directors and Tom Hanks: Page One, Page Two

Ben Brantley (New York Times theater critic) includes STC's New York run of Uncle Vanya among his Best of 2012 picks

A vintage review of For Love Alone (a 1986 period piece in which Hugo Weaving and Sam Neill competed for Helen Buday's affections) from TV Scene

Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie issue previews of The Hobbit and Cloud Atlas; also, their sneak peak of the first two film still from August and their positive (if slightly obnoxious and elitist review (Page One, Page Two.) And a brief interview with Halle Berry about her various guises in the film.

Ben Brantley's analysis of recent Chekhov productions in New York theaters, including more raves for the STC production of Uncle Vanya (Part One, Part Two)


Tom Hanks as Zachry gets some suspect advice from Old Georgie (Hugo Weaving) in Cloud Atlas

Online Cloud Atlas Articles: Cloud Atlas Among Art Directors' Guild Nominees (HitFix), The Independent predicted (correctly, as it tuens out) that "[Cloud Atlas's] huge ambition is likely prove too much for Academy voters [but] ignoring it will undoubtedly leave a very large elephant in the room", Movieline debunks Mary Pols' idiocy (as have many others), Lubbock Online includes Cloud Atlas in its Best of 2012 list, Unsolicited Criticism notes Jim Broadbent's performances among 2012's best, Slate justly excoriates the Academy (and it's overwhelmingly old, risk-averse membership) for snubbing Cloud Atlas, Den of Geek chimes in eloquently on the same subject, Awards Daily names the "all boundaries are conventions" sequence in CA one of the year's best (and I agree– I never got through it in four screenings without weeping). Though CA was snubbed for most major American movie awards, it was nominated by The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association’s (GALECA) for their Dorian Awards and for the German Film Awards (aka the "Lolas") in several categories.

Online Hobbit Articles: Peter Jackson Mourns Loss of Hobbit Sound Editor Mike Hopkins (Big Pond News), A detailed, lovingly written exposition of why The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in fact true to Tolkien's intentions (Huffington Post), A thorough debunking of the asinine notion The Hobbit is a "box office disappointment" at TORN, The Tolkien Nerd's Guide to The Hobbit at Smithsonian Online, Flicks and Bits showcased a Desolation of Smaug fan-made poster that's as good as any of the official Hobbit posters. Headless Hollow described the experience of seeing The Hobbit: AUJ in the Wellington cinema where it premiered… on an ordinary screening night. (Nice pics too. And you can sit in seats commemorating various cast members.)

New Cloud Atlas Reviews: RubikunsReviews, The Society For Film, The Roosevelt News, Scene Contemporanee (Italian), Il Referendum (Italian), Cinemio (Italian), Seoul Sisters, Reel Drama Queen, Die Filmkritikerin (German), MyWorld (Italian), Spettacolo (Italian) and DiddlesMovies.

New Hobbit: AUJ Reviews: The Examiner, The Film Connoisseur, The Highlander, Pop Culture Guy, Into The Sunset, and Filumreviews.

And Alan Waldman included Oranges and Sunshine among his favorite 2012 films (despite the fact it opened in 2011 in most of the world)… proving great films are always new to someone, and that many need time to find their audiences. Oranges and Sunshine recently screened on BBC2 and is now featured on the US Starz/Encore cable channels.

New/Newly Enhanced Videos:

This "13 Minute TV Special" shared by ComingSoon.net on YouTube featured a combination of cast interviews and behind the scenes footage, including some that was new to me.

And the previously-seen B-Roll videos (some of which Warner's has taken down at their original locations, rather inexplicably) are now available in HD versions, courtesy JimiBWatson. I'll re-post all five; Hugo Weaving is seen in #3 and #5.

I was going to add an HD version of the Polish TV Cloud Atlas interview featuring Hugo Weaving and James D'Arcy jokingly taking the piss out of each other… but it's already been removed (again). Will add that one if it appears again… or I might have to take matters into my own hands. (Hugo's full interview from the Hobbit Wellington premiere live event STILL hasn't appeared online in any official form. Inexcusable.)  

With Cloud Atlas due to debut in several more key markets early next month, there should be an uptick in news soon, though no official, additional premieres have been announced. (I think Hugo might be "premiered out" for the time being anyhow.) 😉 I'll also get back to work on adding additional vintage web articles (2005 onwards) to the digital Flickr archive as time permits.