Jake Freeman is a junior administration assistant, editor, camera operator and filmmaker. Jake has previously completed his studies in Film and Television at the Northern Melbourne Institute of Tafe (NMIT) and in Business Administration at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). During his business studies Jake co-managed and hosted a major fundraising event as part of his course assessment that raised over $1000 with guest speakers from the The Big Issue and The Oaktree Foundation in attendance. He has worked for Channel 31, SYN Media and RMITV in various roles such as camera operator, editor and director. Jake has recently been writing and performing stand-up comedy in various Melbourne venues.
When the animated film BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was released in November 1991, the film became an instant classic.
With the film’s rich, beautiful, high quality level of animation and musical numbers that everyone loves and remembers, it belongs to an era known as the Disney Renaissance which includes films such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lion King.
This was a time when the studio was enjoying a resurgence in producing hit animated films. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was the third highest grossing movie of the year, just behind Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The film made over $400 million; the highest ever grossing animated film up until that point.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song and was the first animated film in history to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It spawned direct to video sequels, a TV series, an award winning live theatre adaption and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
In recent years Disney has been experiencing success with live action remakes of its back catalogue of old animated films. First it was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, then Maleficent, aremake of Sleeping Beauty in 2014, The Jungle Book in 2016, remake of the 1967 version. To list a few in the works are live action remakes of: The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, Mulan and even a sequel to Mary Poppins scheduled for sometime in 2018.
Marketing consultant, management guru and author Simon Sinek, is back in Australia for his latest speaking tour.
In a press conference that was held at the Melbourne Convention Centre ahead of his sold out Start With Why Leadership forum, organised by The Growth Faculty, that also includes Sydney and Auckland, Simon, a former advertising executive, told the media crowd that he was thrilled to be back in Australia and New Zealand for the 3 day engagement. Leadership consultant and executive coach, Peter Docker, will also be joining him in the all-day event that includes speeches, workshops, networking lunches and training development seminars. Continue reading SIMON SINEk MAKES LIGHTNING SPEAKING TOUR TO AUSTRALIA→
Above- Adam Garcia in the starring role as Don Lockwood. Featured pic- Adam Garcia as Don Lockwood, Gretel Scarlett as Kathy Selden and Jack Chambers as Cosmo Brown. Photography by Nicole Tyers.
Appropriately, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN held it’s opening night on a very typical cold, wet, evening in Melbourne at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Rain was lashing down the street and onto the footpath as a large media crowd huddled underneath the marquee while celebrities, including the Newton family, Jason Coleman, and Jeannie Pratt graced the red carpet for photos.
Returning to Melbourne for the first time in 14 years, the production starred Adam Garcia who returned to the Australian stage for the first time in 24 years in the role of Don Lockwood, made famous by Gene Kelly in the classic 1952 film.
Audience members in the first few rows wore covered plastic ponchos as more than 12,000 litres of water poured and splashed onto the stage and into the crowd during the show whilst Adam and co danced up a storm.
This production had a lot to live up, standing up to such a great film, and the good news is that it didn’t disappoint. From start to finish, the whole production, from the sets, to the choreography, to the singing and dancing along with all the classic songs worked well.
The scene is Hollywood, 1927 and the film industry is struggling to adjust to the changing demands of talkies. The Jazz Singer has just been released and everyone is up in arms about what will happen next. The following year, Walt Disney released Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon synchronized sound. Many in the industry were reluctant about making the transition to sound films. Warner Bros. co-founder Jack Warner once famously remarked, “Who the hell wants actors to talk?”
Although no one was ever going to top Gene Kelly, Adam Garcia comes close, giving a great performance. His co-stars Gretel Scarlett as talented singer Kathy Selden, and Jack Chambers as Cosmo Brown, also play their roles beautifully. For me, Erika Heynatz as the shrilly and outrageous Lina Lamont really stole the show and left the audiences in stitches with her great comic timing and stage presence. Heynatz particularly impressed in the black and white film sequences used in the production.
This was a classic, high energy spectacular show. After its Melbourne season the show moves up to Sydney where it will play from July 9 to September 11.
The Martin Scorsese exhibition is in Melbourne, celebrating and showcasing the body of work of one of the world’s most renowned filmmakers. I went to the exhibition’s opening, keen to learn more about this great American filmmaker.
From the dark, gritty streets of New York City in Taxi Driver, to the boxing ring in Raging Bull, to the biblical surroundings in The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese continues to wow audiences in an amazing career spanning nearly six decades.
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City in 1942 to observant Catholic Italian immigrant parents. After studying at the prestigious New York University film school, Scorsese moved to Hollywood and began making and writing short, incisive cinema.
He was part of the New Hollywood generation, also known the American New Wave that originated in the early to mid-1960s and comprised of Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Peter Bogdanovich. This was the generation of young filmmakers who were the first to grow up with television, be influenced by European cinemas, experience the counterculture of the early 1960s, were film school-educated, young, and energetic and ready to make their own mark on the industry.
Hollywood was slowly moving away from its traditional studio system and shifting its focus on the director and writer.
Now showing at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is the Martin Scorsese Exhibition.
I spoke to Fiona Trigg, the exhibition’s curator, on how she perceives history will judge him.
“Scorsese has made a number of films that are well accepted as masterpieces, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Even if he had made just those 3 films, he would still have a towering reputation …. Over the last fifty years he has made many wonderful documentaries … He remains an iconic director whose films always have this incredible, complex, surging, vital energy to them and he has the ability to sweep an audience away, in a way that very few other filmmakers are able to.
“Even in his mid-seventies, Scorsese shows no signs of slowing down, currently directing his new film, Silence as well as a HBO series called Vinyl.
“He’s obsessed with his work and his films. Martin is a workaholic and he loves cinema and what else is he going to do with his time? He would rather be making films than do anything else.”
Melbourne based actor and director Josh Diaz was at the exhibition and I asked him for his take on the great man.
“Scorsese really opened up my acting in a sense of honesty and being fearless, and it’s there in all of his films, so Martin had a huge influence on me, especially when I was started out. Scorsese is one of those guys who will always be the same as a storyteller and never shy’s away from his decisions as a filmmaker and storyteller.”
With more than a hundred items on show at the exhibition, many from Scorsese’s personal archive, such as never before seen film outtakes and extracts, photos, handwritten notes, scripts, props, costumes, posters are on display, offering a close up view of his working process and creative instincts as a screenwriter, director and producer, this exhibition is well worth visiting.
The Martin Scorsese Exhibition is on display at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 18th September.
In 1993, Steven Spielberg amazed audiences around the world with the epic blockbuster that was Jurassic Park based on the based selling series by Michael Crichton. It was the highest grossing film of all time up and until that point, taking in over $900 million at the box office. Its stunning visual effects, scenery and CGI dinosaurs leaping across the screen were breathtaking. A successful billion dollar franchise followed and now Jurassic World: The Exhibition, a touring exhibition show that is open at the Melbourne Museum in time for the school holidays and Melbourne is the first in the world to see it.
The theme park exhibition that took nearly 8 years in the making or 65 million as jokingly said by the Imagine Exhibitions chief executive Tom Zaller, is structured as a walk through tour of Jurassic World’s fictional dinosaur island Isla Nublar. Animatronic dinosaurs such as a Brachiosaurus and a Parasaurolophus, Pachyrhinosaurus Sr come to life, terrifying and entertaining visitors with their roars, prowling and creeping up close to audiences in the darkened room and even pushing a car over as seen in the movie.Continue reading JURASSIC WORLD : THE EXHIBITION @ MELBOURNE MUSEUM→
In 2002, a little known independent film with no major stars called My Big Fat Greek Wedding went on to become the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, ranking in over $300 million up against a mere $5 million budget and even earning an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Starring, created, written and co-produced by Nia Vardalos, the film was adapted from her one-woman play based on her own family and her experience marrying a non-Greek man.
A number of celebrities saw the play, including actress Rita Wilson, who is of Greek origin and her husband, actor and producer Tom Hanks whose production company made the film and who along with Wilson, served as producers to the movie.Continue reading MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2→
There was an enormous turnout at the Arnold Classic Australia Exhibition last weekend.
Now in its second year, more than 30,000 people attended the 3 day sports festival at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Arnold Classic was established in 1989 and named after the former bodybuilder, turned, actor, turned governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and is held annually in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It is one of the largest multi-fitness sports festival in the world.
Australia is one of the only countries outside the US to host its own Arnold Classic event in partnership with Melbourne entrepreneur Tony Doherty, who owns multiple Doherty’s gyms across Victoria. Continue reading ARNOLD CLASSIC AUSTRALIA 2016→
Many were left feeling disappointed at last weekend’s fourth annual White Night event in Melbourne despite the comments by the event’s current Artistic Director, Andrew Walsh, “Last night was an incredible night, Melbourne turned out with joy in their heart. White Night again exceeded expectations with an increase in numbers and across the board Melbourne’s creative community delivered a spectacular night of art and culture.”
While the city and its landmarks looked and glowed spectacularly, there were still fewer projections and visual displays in close proximity than in previous years.
Most noticeable was the Flinders Street Station facade, which usually has an amazing array of colour and light, was left blank. Walking down the street, it became very clear that there wasn’t enough on display with hundreds of people idling and wandering around wanting more to see.
Some 600,000 people, including tourists and international guests, crammed into the streets of Melbourne on Saturday night which featured more than 130 free events. There was not a spare table at any of the restaurants, bars and hotels. Extra public transport services were added to accommodate the mass crowds.
The main highlight was the Golden Monkey hanging of the front of Melbourne Town Hall. The State Library and the Royal Exhibition Building was another attraction, both dazzling in colour.
Hundreds watched in awe of the electrifying performance of acrobatic dancers and artists of Circus Circus.
Now showing for a limited season in Melbourne at the Lido Cinema is the critically acclaimed picture FELIX AND MEIRA.
Directed by Maxime Girouxandin expressed in Yiddish, French and English, this film follows the story of an unconventional romance between two people who live vastly different realities though they live in the same neighbourhood.
We have Meira, played by Hadas Yaron, a young Hasidic Jewish wife and mother, hemmed in by her husband’s traditions and beliefs, and Félix, played by Martin Dubreuil, a carefree hipster mourning the recent death of his estranged wealthy father. Continue reading FELIX AND MEIRA→
It’s not everyday there are thousands of screaming fans at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. This took place recently when people crammed in at the balconies on every level, some waiting for many hours, to get a glimpse of stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart at the Australian premiere of their new film RIDE ALONG 2.
RIDE ALONG 2 is the sequel to the 2014 movie where Kevin Hart plays a high school security guard who must prove to his girlfriend’s brother, James Payton played by Ice Cube, that he is worthy of marrying her.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart greeted and thanked fans for coming out to support the film at the premiere which was hosted by Tommy Little.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart made brief appearances at the introduction of the screening to a packed cinema. Not surprisingly, hands with phones shot up in the air capturing the moment. Continue reading RIDE ALONG 2→
To this day, The Seekers remain one of the most successful musical groups in Australia. They were the first ever Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the USA and the United Kingdom, knocking the Beatles and The Rolling Stones off the top of the charts. They were the first and only Australian group to ever appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. More importantly they were loved by millions.
It was a refreshing change to see an original theatre production come to town rather than a revival of one of the classic musicals.
The early to mid-1960s was a big time for musicals. West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music, just to name a few became instant hits both on stage and screen.
Making its debut in Broadway in 1964 was a very different kind of musical named FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.
From the beginning, no one had wanted to adapt such a story and were worried that it would be “too Jewish” to attract a mainstream audience. Against all the odds, this musical became one of the successful and popular musicals in history, the first musical ever to exceed 3,000 performances and one of the longest running Broadway shows in history. It’s timeless story has made it a classic. Continue reading FIDDLER ON THE ROOF @ PRINCESS THEATRE→
In the midst of a large, eerily dark gallery beneath the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s busy streets, Cate Blanchett’s face plays out on one of many projector screens dangling from the gallery ceiling at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). These images are part of a new multi-channel video exhibition entitled MANIFESTO featuring the work of Berlin artist Julian Rosefeldt.
Rosefeldt body of work consists primarily of experimental, adventurous short films that comprise narrative structure and non-linear video installations. In his films, Julian carries viewers into surreal, theatrical realms, where the inhabitants are absorbed by the rituals of everyday life. Within these episodic arrangements, Rosefeldt uses familiar cinematic tropes and devices to engage with dislocation, alienation and social and psychological disruption. At its heart the exhibition is an exploration of the role of the artist in society. Continue reading MANIFESTO : JULIAN ROSEFELDT’S EXHIBITION @ ACMI→
The normal life of an everyday, typical Melbourne suburban family turns upside when their pop-star, diva of a cousin comes to stay with them in Now Add Honey.
The film is the creation of husband-and-wife team, Wayne Hope, director, co-producer and Robyn Butler, co-producer, writer and main star. The couple has considerable industry experience behind them being the creative force behind TV comedy hits such as Upper Middle Bogan, The Librarians and Very Small Business. NOW ADD HONEY is their first feature film together. Continue reading NOW ADD HONEY→
Director and screenplay writer Jocelyn Moorhouse described her film as, “Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven with a sewing machine.” Unforgiven would go on to win four Oscars including Best Picture and Director. Jocelyn Moorhouse would no doubt hope the same for her first directed film in nearly twenty years after A Thousand Acres and her first Australian film in nearly twenty five years after Proof, which caught Hollywood’s attention.
Based on the 2000 novel by Rosalie Ham, and set in a small, rural country town in 1950s Australia, Kate Winslet plays the titular role of the dressmaker, Myrtle Dunnage, who returns home to take care of her mentally unstable mother, Molly, played by Judy Davis. Continue reading THE DRESSMAKER→
Matt Damon becomes the space age Robinson Crusoe when he is presumed dead and left behind on Mars and struggles to survive and get himself back home to earth in THE MARTIAN.
Based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name and directed by sci fi auteur Ridley Scott who gave us Alien and Blade Runner, this is a film that has been best described as Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. Continue reading THE MARTIAN→
It has become an obsession. For almost a century, people across around the world have sought to bring more adventure into their everyday lives by attempting to climb the highest and most dangerous place on Earth: Mount Everest. In 1953, two British mountaineers were the first to climb the peak of Everest.
Since then, it has attracted thousands to achieve the same, including Erik Weihenmayerthe, the only blind person to reach the summit of Everest. Continue reading EVEREST→
There was plenty of unique designs and dress ensembles that graced the red carpet at last Saturday’s 2015 Annual Fashion Aid Gala at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
Every year since its inception, eight years ago, Fashion Aid, supports and raises money for a different charity or foundation through fashion and entertainment. At this year’s event, all the proceeds will go to the Leukemia Foundation’s Building of Hope project. Continue reading FASHION AID 2015 @ CROWN PALLADIUM→
Peter Pan first flew into our imaginations in 1902 in The Little White Bird by J. M. Barrie. Since then, the story has been reproduced countless times in books, stage plays, radio dramas and cinema.
Peter Pan made its silver screen debut in the 1924 silent, black and white motion picture with actress Betty Bronson as the title character. Then there was the classic animated version by Disney in the early 1950s. Spielberg with his 1991 adaptation gave us his take of a grown up Peter Pan lured back to Neverland by Captain Hook.
Joe Wright’s new take on the Pan tells the story of how a young Peter Pan first came to Neverland. Continue reading PAN→
By the age of 29, M. Night Shyamalan was already scouted as one the hottest directors in Hollywood. He had several of the highest grossing and most critically acclaimed films under his belt including, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs.
Shyamalan latest film, The Visit, which he directed, produced and wrote, followsthe “found-footage” film genre made popular by The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Unfriended and Grave Encounters.
Aspiring filmmakers brother-sister duo Rebecca and Tyler, played by Australian Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould are sent to stay for a week with their grandparents, whom they’ve never met before. In the film’s opening, it is revealed that the children’s parents have split up. Their mother has been estranged from her parents for many years.
To make their vacation more memorable they choose to film a documentary about their visit. They experience and record all the oddities displayed by their grandparents.
What makes this movie differs from others in this genre is that it plays down on the horror element and focuses more on the suspense, plot twists, emotion and comedy.
There was plenty of glitz and glamour at last week’s 1950s retro TV themed Annual Red Ball Gala at the luxurious Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne. All the proceeds of the event go to the Fight Cancer Foundation.
Of course all eyes were on the red carpet when Fight Cancer Foundation’s patrons and humanitarians, Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborah-Lee Furness arrived.
The Hollywood power couple, who next year celebrate 20 years of marriage, have been with the Foundation since the beginning. The inspiration came from Furness’s mother.
Deborah told Sydney Arts Guide, “My mother Faye Duncan was one of the original board members who started this committee and it started as a simple sausage sizzle and cooking bake offs. We began really small and have come so far, over 20 years on, with a lot of hard work and a lot of wonderful volunteers and support to make it such a wonderful event”. Continue reading 23rd ANNUAL RED GALA BALL @ GRAND HYATT HOTEL MELBOURNE→
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON has already become an unexpected box office hit and taken in $140 million in the US up against a budget of $28 million and has received positive reviews from critics. Now being released in Australian cinemas this week is the much anticipated bio of the rise and fall of one of the most well-known hip hop groupswho revolutionised pop culture and politics with their music: N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton. The group began in humble beginnings in the rough and broken neighbourhood of Compton in Los Angles.
There are a select few Australians who have made it in Hollywood. Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe…But what about those who work behind the scenes? We rarely hear about those who have successful careers behind the camera. There’s film editor Richard Francis-Bruce, (The Shawshank Redemption, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Perfect Storm, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone). Cinematographer John Seale, (Witness, Rain Man, Dead Poet Society, The English Patient.) Animator Adam Elliot, (Harvie Krumpet). But mention the name, Orry- Kelly, and many people will plead ignorance.
This is a shame as many of us will have unknowingly seen his work as a costume designer in some of the best known films ever made: The Oklahoma Kid, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, An American in Paris and the perennial favourite, Some Like It Hot.