0 Comment(s) 05/20/2016 Films | News

Should you ever require an Oscar winner to compile cheat notes for a play, might we point you towards Geoffrey Rush, an actor who can make you rethink everyone from the Bard to the breast-beating Greeks, and who can still sound enthusiastic about his earliest stage turns in Waiting for Godot (opposite his then flatmate, Mel Gibson) and Juno and the Paycock.

The Australian actor is, accordingly, full of questions about Ireland’s centenary celebrations: “The thing that astonishes me about the O’Casey plays is the timeframe between the events and the writing,” he gushes. “It’s almost like reportage.”

The youngest of an elite group to have managed the great acting treble – having lifted the Oscar, the Emmy and the Tony – Rush is now such a familiar screen presence, one can easily forget that he was a “latecomer” to the movieverse.

A theatre veteran who trained at Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane and L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Rush had tread many’s a board before his big screen debut. He was 44 and the movie was Shine, the 1996 biopic of the pianist David Helfgott, and the first performance to win the Academy Award, Bafta, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.

“When I started out the subsidised theatre scene was taking off,” he recalls. “The film industry was still very small. It simply didn’t occur to me that I had a future there. But after years of doing eight plays a year, it was time for a change.”

Oscar nods

Rush has certainly made up for lost time with three additional Oscar nods for roles in Shakespeare in Love, Quills and The King’s Speech. Not to mention such box office stormers as Finding Nemo, Minions and the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He’s worked with Spielberg on Munich and the Coen Brothers on Intolerable Cruelty.

“I often get the squint,” he laughs. “‘It’s that guy. What’s he in again?’ Or, when I do get asked for an autograph – or more often a selfie nowadays – it’ll be dad telling their kids: ‘Look, it’s Capt. Barbossa from the Pirate movies’. And the kids have no idea what he’s talking about.”

Rush has also essayed the Marquis de Sade (Quills) and Peter Sellers (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), a role he regards, perhaps surprisingly, as his darkest: “I almost scared myself. There’s something about all of Sellers’s contradictions that remains very unsettling.”

Next year, he’ll be squabbling once again with Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but for the moment he has returned to his theatrical roots, sort of, with The Daughter, a reworking of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, by Simon Stone.

“Simon is the enfant terrible, if you like, of Australian theatre,” says Rush. “About six or seven years ago, he was just out of drama school and he put on a version of Chekhov’s first play , Platanov. And it was classical and faithful. But entirely fresh and electrifying. I saw his Thyestes by Seneca. Nobody wants to see Seneca. It’s box-office poison. But it was mind-blowing. Then I saw his Wild Duck. So when the film version came up, I said, ‘I’ll play the duck if you want me to’.”

The Daughter, as befits its source, makes for properly searing family drama. Henry (Rush) has invited his estranged son Christian (Paul Schneider) to attend his marriage to a much younger woman (Anna Torv). The aloof patriarch’s closure of the local mill has already created much ill-feeling. And that’s before Christian reveals a certain family secret.

Old enough

“I’m now in the market for patriarch roles,” Rush says. “I used to be Lear’s Fool; now I’m Lear. But this was otherwise a very different role for me. It was very muted and introspective. My agent was surprised. Which I think was a compliment.”

Next month, Rush will be rather less muted as Ra, the Sun God, in Gods of Egypt. The CG bonanza was much-maligned on its US release earlier this year.

“Let’s be honest: it bombed,” he says. “But I really admired the director, Alex Proyas, who took on the film after his adaptation of Paradise Lost fell through. And I loved that it was completely original. You can’t say that about many films nowadays.”

The Daughter opens on May 27th.


0 Comment(s) 05/05/2016 Films | News

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne will be celebrating the extraordinary animated collaboration of two-time Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton and acclaimed filmmaker Brendan Fletcher with a new exhibition, “Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose,” which opens June 21 and runs through September 18, 2016.

The exhibit in ACMI’s Gallery 2 will feature original artworks, hand-crafted paper props, photos of the animation production process and behind-the-scenes interviews with the creative team — as well as a space to watch the film in its entirety.

Produced by Aquarius Films, The Nightingale and the Rose features the voices of some of Australia’s best known actors, including Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush, as well as a score by singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko. It won Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2015 and was nominated for the Crystal Bear at Berlin the same year.

Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s classic story, the 14-minute short blends Barton’s distinctive painting, papercraft, stop-motion and digital effects and manipulation (produced with some help from Method Studios) to explore the tragic fairytale story of the Nightingale, who gives up her life so that the Student can offer a red rose to the girl he admires, only for her to spurn his gift and cause him to swear off love completely.

“From the making of my paintings and drawings for the [Art&Australia] book project, to a three year (and often agonising) marathon making the animation, the Nightingale experience has been an extraordinary and multifaceted creative journey,” says Barton. “I feel so blessed to have shared the challenges of this journey with so many talented collaborators and to have created relationships that will no doubt enable many more film projects. I am truly in love with this exciting, exacting medium!”


0 Comment(s) 05/05/2016 Films | News

Top notch actor? $10 million. Visual effects team? $25 million Shooting in 3D? $15 million. Creating a film that brings viewers into another world? Not exactly priceless.

Over the past 10 years, movies have become more expensive than ever before, with the priciest one, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, costing Disney $300 million to produce in 2007. That’s almost $40 million more than the runner up 2012′s John Carter, a $264 million flop also by Disney. The slew of superhero and fantasy films that follow in our list of Most Expensive Movies Ever Made all cost upwards of $200 million to produce.

Our list is based only production costs—not marketing and other post-production expenses—and was sourced, unadjusted for inflation, from IMDB.

Had inflation been counted for, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End would have still been the most expensive film, costing an adjusted $341 million. Post inflation, 20th Century Fox’s 1997’s Titanic would have rounded out at $296.4 million to rank second. While the studio was originally concerned about its $200 million budget, the James Cameron film has grossed over $2.1 billion worldwide—and earned millions more on home video. Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, infamously almost caused 20th Century Fox to go into bankruptcy at its 1963 price tag of $31 million.In 2016, it would have cost a steep $241 million—eye-watering but not implausible in Hollywood today.


0 Comment(s) 04/27/2016 Films | News

Although the fifth movie of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has already completed filming last year, a three-week extension of the production was held in Vancouver, Canada beginning on March 24, which was possibly meant to tie loose ends and plug all the loopholes in the overall filming.

It was an added cost on the part of Disney Pictures as reports have it that Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is unofficially gunning to be the most expensive movie that was produced in history. Unconfirmed reports place the movie budget to have gone past $500 million and it looks to balloon some more before its May 26, 2017 release date to global theaters.

However, reports later came out to confirm that the extended shooting in Vancouver, Canada was not meant to re-shoot some of the scenes of the film but actually it was made to accommodate the entry of Beatle’s great Sir Paul McCartney into the franchise in a cameo role most likely.

It was meant to be a quiet involvement for the iconic musician in the movie and the production team was trying their best to contain it but the information apparently found its way online and also in the media.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer along with Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg were actually the ones who called on the filming extension to add an extra big set-piece scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales built around Paul McCartney, reports Deadline.

Everybody seems to be mum on what role will McCartney be playing in the film but what seems confirmed is that the previous reports of a re-shoot are just cover for the filming of the extra scene.

McCartney actually has a long list of movie credits to his name but his participation in it was mostly in coming up with the musical scores for those films. In fact, the Beatles won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the movie Let It Be and McCartney’s memorable acting happened when he played as himself in A Hard Day’s Night shown in 1964 and Help in 1965, both movies of which had their counterpart Beatles’ songs.

Corrective production work

Early last month, the reports of the three-week filming extension of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in Vancouver was believed to be just corrective production work while the movie was already being edited in post-production.

Critics believe that the additional sequences shall also be shot to add the final touch to the movie.

Instead of going back to Australia, which would entail more cost, the production team decided to do it instead in nearby Canada.

Reports early last month said that Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush will be leading the other cast members who will do filming in Vancouver, Canada under the helming of Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.

But Canadian fans were disappointed to learn eventually that filming was done in an indoor studio and not in public.

Way over the budget

Sometime in May 2015, four months before the movie wrapped up filming, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 was already US$70 million over its US$250 million budget, which only means that after four months of production, the movie could have actually doubled its given budget.

With the additional three-week filming in Vancouver, it is possible that the movie’s budget could already hit more than $500 million, making it the most expensive movie of all time.

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0 Comment(s) 04/12/2016 News | Reviews | Theatre

This year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings a host of big names, the greats of comedy and television. George and Pam are going to host the BIGGEST name – Australia’s favourite actor of the stage and screen- Sir Geoffrey Rush. George & Pam: In Conversation with Sir Geoffrey Rush is a brand new, absurdist character comedy starring siblings Pam (Arts Administrator) and George (Administrator of the Arts.) As the middle-aged Camberwell-born and bred duo prepares to interview their – our – esteemed guest, they shine a laughable and lovable light on theatre, fandom and the arts in all its absurdity.

Like a gingernut complements a cup of tea; these idiosyncratic individuals complement each other. Their storytelling and transitions to reenactments through song and voice overs is seamless and hilarious. The thing that struck me the most was how natural and believable the characters are for people who are so batty and absurd. I guess it shows there’s these little twists in all of us, and shows us how talented and clever the brains and bodies behind this operation are. Written and performed by Australian comedians Anna O’Bryan (Al & Anna’s Music Rant) and Sam Rankin (Wake Up, Sheeple!) and directed by award-winning Rachel Davis (EDGE!, Best Comedy, Melbourne Fringe 2013; Weekly Award, Adelaide Fringe 2014), it shows us that two/three heads are better than one. (Unless the one head is Sir Geoffrey’s)

It was Monday night, I’ve got a cold from the late nights of comedy and early mornings of writing and I honestly felt like climbing in a cocoon of tissues and hot toddies. It took about 30 seconds to change my mind. There’s not many days left of this festival, if you feel like you have heard every joke about Tinder, Tony Abbot and topics of the year, then you are in for a real treat, as George and Pam: In Conversation with Sir Geoffrey Rush is refreshingly sharp and witty. There’s no forced laughs or fizzles, it’s delightfully different and it’s a “YES” from me.

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0 Comment(s) 04/11/2016 Films | News

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales already wrapped up its production in Australia last July. But Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush are expected to reshoot and film additional sequences in Vancouver.

Vancouver Sun confirmed that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will work under the production title Herschel Additional Photography. Depp and his wife Amber Heard were also spotted publicly after dining at Tojo’s, a Japanese restaurant in Vancouver on Thursday night [April 5]. As reported, the filming is said to have started on March 24 and will continue until April 13.

According to Vancity Buzz, Paul McCartney is also in Vancouver to join the company of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. It was reported earlier that the former Beatles member will have a major extra scene. His character, though, remains unnamed as of this stage.

The movie, fifth installment in the franchise, is reportedly the last. The movie has gone through a few challenges including some production delays, injury to its star, and cost overruns.

The movie had an initial budget of $250 million but racked up a $320 million bill after Depp accidentally injured his hand on set in Queensland’s Gold Coast last March. Because of his injury, production stopped for four weeks.

Furthermore, Depp was involved in illegally importing their two Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, by private jet into Australia. There were claims that the actor was in hot water with the Australian authorities. The country has some regulations to prevent diseases such as rabies spreading to its shores.

Meanwhile, filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Vancouver will reportedly take place at Seaspan’s shipyards in North Vancouver. The filming will be in an indoor setting as most of the scenes will be taken inside the Block Assembly Shop building, where the set of the pirate ship has been built. An insider also said that the body of vessels are fitted and welded inside the facility.


0 Comment(s) 04/07/2016 News | Theatre

Sick of Waiting for Godot? Come and wait for God (read: Australia’s favourite actor and anti-urban development activist, Geoffrey Rush).

Yes, it is we! Camberwell’s offspring, George and Pam – renowned advocates for the arts and closest of friends with the revered actor Sir Geoffrey Rush. Join us for an intimate discussion and Q&A with the great man.

Ever Yours,
George and Pam

P.S. He’ll definitely come

This brand new, absurd character comedy satirises deranged sibling rivalry, overbearing theatre, misguided fandom and how we’re all just a short twist of the dial away from madness.

Proudly brought to you by comedians Sam Rankin (Wake Up Sheeple, 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and 2014 Melbourne Fringe) and Anna O’Bryan (Al & Anna’s Music Rant, 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and 2013 Melbourne Fringe, as heard on triple j) with award-winning director Rachel Davis (EDGE!, Best Comedy 2013 Melbourne Fringe 2013, Winner Weekly Award 2014 Adelaide Fringe).

Suitable for audiences 16+

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