It’s an Easter miracle, if we ever heard one – the Astor Theatre is safe, and the outcome is even better than expected.
After almost three years of uncertainty, legal disputes and lobbying by groups like the Friends of the Astor Association, tenant George Florence – owner of the Astor name, as well as the projectors, screen and seats – has sold his interests to Palace Cinemas.
Fears of the cinema being homogenised into a multi-screen complex can be put to rest, as Palace CEO Benjamin Zeccola has confirmed that the Astor will remain as it is: one screen, 1,150 seats, and the same breadth of classic and contemporary programming. Palace have bought many of Florence’s prints, and will continue to screen films on film. Even the famous Astor calendar will remain. “Palace Cinemas are keenly aware of the importance of preserving the Astor experience and, to that end, we see the business operating very much as it does today,” says Zeccola.… Read more
Back in 2009, Stephen Cummings wrote a fine memoir about his time in the Sports. Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy? documented each epic disappointment that an anxious young chap in a rising band might encounter. It was imbued with a very gloomy (some might say very English), just-my-luck humour that made it stand out from the memoirs of his peers.
And now it’s a film. Don’t Throw Stones, a documentary by filmmaker Mike Brooks that premiered at MIFF, uses the brilliantly simple premise of giving people in the book the right of reply. Just as Cummings reads passages from the book, so do former band mates, industry big-hitters and friends, who then respond – sometimes with great indignation, sometimes with regret. Many of them, after all, painfully experienced firsthand Cummings’ refusal to jump through the hoops of the American record label, bringing the band to a grinding halt when on the brink of making it huge.… Read more
So you’re hoping to make an independent feature film in Australia, and you don’t have any government or commercial funding. If you’re not already packing some serious coin, bringing your film to life isn’t going to be easy.
Your solution? Like many musicians, artists and filmmakers, crowd-funding could very well be your saviour. Such is the case with indie film Play it Safe: a Melbourne flick that dives into our city’s music scene.
Play it Safe is the story of 26-year-old musician Jamie, who gets a soul-crushing job at a school after his band breaks up. It’s a sticky place that most artists find themselves in at some point or another: do you break out on your own and take the risk of failure – or do you play it safe?
Melbourne writer and director Chris Pahlow is the driving force behind the film. A long-time lover of the local music scene, he’s directed music videos for the likes of hip-hop artists Mantra and Allday.… Read more
Situated in the historic grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, the Shadow Electric Open Air Cinema is gearing up for its fourth year of screening old, new, mainstream and arthouse cinema.
The full program is now online, and it’s a sharp selection of new releases, arty flicks and old favourites. The fun kicks off with acclaimed 1984 feature-length concert doco Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (Fri Jan 2), followed by US drama Whiplash (Sat Jan 3); currently in cinemas. Get yourself down there early for happy hour at the bar and settle down for a night of movie magic and tasty food trucks.
Other highlights include:
What We Do in the Shadows (Sun Jan 4), Nightcrawler (Mon Jan 5), Only Lovers Left Alive (Wed Jan 7), Boogie Nights (Fri Jan 9), Boyhood (Thu Jan 22), Interstellar (Sun Jan 25) and Vertigo(Wed Mar 25).
For the full program, visit the Shadow Electric website.
The word is out for aspiring filmmakers, directors and screenwriters to submit their entries for next year’s Setting Sun Short Film Festival (SSSFF). Following a successful festival earlier this year, the SSSFF is back at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, screening the finalist entries across four days in April 2015.
As for entry requirements, the film must be no longer than 12 minutes, and anyone is welcome to enter. However, applicants are encouraged to film in Melbourne’s Western suburbs and those who do will be judged across five categories; short feature, documentary, animation, screenwriting and directing, and student film.
Four other films will be awarded for; people’s choice, best film in the Western suburbs, best culturally diverse film, and best film in the Metropolitan (non-west) area. There are over $5,000 worth of prizes to be won, and every entrant gets a free 2015 Open Channel membership. On top of this, there is the opportunity to enter films into other competitions; some of the winning films from the 2014 festival went on to win awards in festivals around Australia and overseas.… Read more