All posts by Jake Freeman

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.

SWINGING SAFARI

Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue in SWINGING SAFARI.

It’s not everyday you get hundreds of fans queuing outside the Rivoli Cinemas on Camberwell Road in Hawthorn on a scorching hot Thursday afternoon in December. They weren’t there to see the new Star Wars film, but the new Australian comedy drama, Swinging Safari and some of its stars.

Gracing the red carpet in her first major film debut was Kylie Minogue, followed by Asher Keddie and Julian McMahon and director and producer, Stephan Elliot. A bevy of Kylie Minogue fans lined up outside the theatre and in the foyer, many holding old memorabilia such as photos and records.

Best known for his previous film, the quirky classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Stephan Elliot newest picture goes back in time. Swinging Safari is set the summer of 1975 in a typical Australian beachside town. A semi-autobiographical telling of his own childhood in the 1970s the story is centred on three neighbouring families — the Halls, the Joneses and the Marshes. Continue reading SWINGING SAFARI

JERRY SEINFELD WOWS AUDIENCES DURING HIS LIGHTNING AUSTRALIAN VISIT

“You made an effort to come, to worry where you will meet, who has tickets, to get here on time then get out of here on time!”

These were the first lines of Jerry Seinfeld’s opening monologue to a sold out crowd on his second show on Monday night.

The audience, a diverse lot from middle aged to teens that weren’t even born during the run of the show roared with laughter. It was classic Seinfeld humour and he’s being doing it that way for the past 40 years.

Jerry’s career as a stand-up comedian began in the late 1970s in the New York comedy club scene. Not long that after he became a favourite on the late-night talk show circuit where his witty and sharp observations about day-to-day life from the quirkiness of weather reporters to phone answering machines became his trademark.

Then from 1989 to 1998 he co-starred, produced and created what TV Guide Magazine named the Greatest TV Show of All Time: a show about well; nothing. After a slow start and at one point an uncertain future, Seinfeld the sitcom became a cultural phenomenon. Continue reading JERRY SEINFELD WOWS AUDIENCES DURING HIS LIGHTNING AUSTRALIAN VISIT

MY FAIR LADY @ THE REGENT THEATRE MELBOURNE

Featured image – Reg Livermore as Alfred P. Doolittle. Production photography by Nicole Tyers.

As always, Melbourne is blessed to have its own West End. At one side of the city there’s Aladdin showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Now showing at The Regent Theatre for a limited time is My Fair Lady.

Directed by theatre legend and the original Eliza Doolittle, Dame Julie Andrews, MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phonetician, so that she may pass as a lady, during the Edwardian days of London. It was all because of a bet with fellow phonetics Professor Hugh Pickering. The show is based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

The show became a sensation during its original 1956 season, setting the record for the longest run of any show (2,281 performances) on Broadway up to that time. It has since become one of the most successful and popular musicals in history. It’s a story about love, comedy; drama and social class which has made it not only a great show, but has also seen it frequently being described as “the perfect musical”.

A film version released in 1964, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, also won praise, winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. Continue reading MY FAIR LADY @ THE REGENT THEATRE MELBOURNE

ARNOLD CLASSIC AUSTRALIA EXHIBITION 17/3- 19/3/2017

Images by Belinda Xerri.

There was an impressive turnout at the Arnold Classic Australia Exhibition. Now in its third year, more than 50,000 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 businessman, 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. Continue reading ARNOLD CLASSIC AUSTRALIA EXHIBITION 17/3- 19/3/2017

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE CLASSIC TALE REVISITED AGAIN ON THE BIG SCREEN

 

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, a remake 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.

Continue reading BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE CLASSIC TALE REVISITED AGAIN ON THE BIG SCREEN

SIMON SINEk MAKES LIGHTNING SPEAKING TOUR TO AUSTRALIA

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

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN @ HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE

Adam Garcia as Dan Lockwood in the iconic Singing In The Rain scene

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.

http://www.singin.com.au

 

AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE PRESENTS THE SCORSESE EXHIBITION

-Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of TAXI DRIVER in New York City in 1976.
-Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of TAXI DRIVER in New York City in 1976.

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.

https://www.acmi.net.au/scorsese?gclid=Cj0KEQjw7LS6BRDo2Iz23au25OQBEiQAQa6hwNwA45hMNZkwv7fy9KQWRwapJXk6WUdfAA9xPm9g68YaAgsP8P8HAQ

JURASSIC WORLD : THE EXHIBITION @ MELBOURNE MUSEUM

Jurassic World Gates

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

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2

Above- Jake Freeman interviewing Effie, the host of the film's Melbourne premiere. Featured- The film's writer and star Nia Vardalos. Photography by Melissa Romao.
Above- Jake Freeman interviewing Effie, the host of the film’s Melbourne premiere. Featured- The film’s writer and star Nia Vardalos. Photography by Melissa Romao.

 

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

ARNOLD CLASSIC AUSTRALIA 2016

Jake Freeman has a friendly encounter with one of the bodybuilders at the exhibition.
Jake Freeman has a friendly encounter with one of the bodybuilders at the exhibition. Photography by Belinda Xerri.

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