Small Screen

STARTING THE YEAR WITH A DVD GIVEAWAY – A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES is  a bold and romantic supernatural thriller.  

Adapted from Deborah Harkness’ best-selling trilogy of novels, the series uncovers a secret underworld of extraordinary beings hiding in plain sight for fear of persecution by humans – they are vampires, witches and daemons. Continue reading STARTING THE YEAR WITH A DVD GIVEAWAY – A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

AACTA AWARDS INDUSTRY LUNCHEON

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards are a continuum of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards which recognised screen excellence in Australia since 1958. The first AACTA award had humble origins in that it was presented to a short training film produced by the Federal Government.

The Minister for the Arts Don Harwin made the point that for every dollar the New South Wales Government invested on film and television, the New South Wales economy reaped a benefit of $21. Continue reading AACTA AWARDS INDUSTRY LUNCHEON

BULLETPROOF: AN EXPLOSIVE, ADRENALIN-FUELLED DVD GIVEAWAY.

Dive deep undercover and venture out onto the streets of London …
Adrenalin-fuelled and explosive, BULLETPROOF starring Noel Clarke (The Level, Star Trek: Into Darkness) and Ashley Walters (Top Boy, Cuffs, Hustle), Christina Chong (Line of Duty)  follows two undercover cops, Bishop ( Clarke) and Pike (Walters) as they chase down hardened criminals in London’s East End.

On the surface Bishop and Pike have a lot in common despite very different backgrounds: they’re cool, smart, unapologetically street-wise and tough, and they always have each other’s backs. Bonded by their moral code they are two sides of the same coin and, using their own special brand of policing they cause chaos, leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go. Disobeying orders and taking matters into their own hands they get results but at what cost? Continue reading BULLETPROOF: AN EXPLOSIVE, ADRENALIN-FUELLED DVD GIVEAWAY.

BLOOM : THE FLOWERING OF A NEW AUSTRALIAN DRAMA

A number of streaming services have been criticised for their lack of investment in the production of  Australian content.

The streaming service Stan can’t be included in this category. Over the past few years  under its banner  Stan Originals it has contributed to such productions as Romper Stomper The Second, Wolf Creek, and No Activity  which has been bought by Will Ferrell’s production company, Funny or Die for US adaptation.

BLOOM brings a stellar lineup of Australian actors to our tv screens including Bryan Brown, Phoebe Tonkin, Ryan Corr and Jackie Weaver. Continue reading BLOOM : THE FLOWERING OF A NEW AUSTRALIAN DRAMA

RECORD EXPENDITURE ON AUSTRALIAN TITLES ON SCREEN

This image: Screen Australia – overview Australian titles 17/18
Featured image: Ladies in Black
Images provided by Screen Australia

Screen Australia’s annual Drama Report released this week shows a record high expenditure on home grown stories, with $718 million spent on local productions, up 7% on last year.

The Drama Report measures the health of the Australian screen industry by covering the production of local and foreign feature films, TV dramas, online programs plus PDV (post, digital and visual effects) activity. Continue reading RECORD EXPENDITURE ON AUSTRALIAN TITLES ON SCREEN

KEEPING FAITH. DVD GIVEAWAYS TO THIS INTIMATE WELSH THRILLER

KEEPING FAITH is a Welsh drama starring Eve Myles (Broadchurch), Mark Lewis Jones (National Treasure) and Matthew Gravelle (Broadchurch).  The highly addictive series is currently showing on BBC First and has been compared to BIG LITTLE LIES if it relocated to rural Wales.

A husband, three children and a happy family: Faith had it all. One day, however, her husband leaves for work and never arrives. She discovers he has been leading a double life with a fake identity, bankrupted their law firm and got involved in a criminal underworld, all the time parading as the honest and reliable man she thought she knew.

This ordinary woman finds herself having to fight to protect her family and her sanity. This propels her into a lonely, frantic search in which she discovers as much about her unexplored self as her missing husband. A gripping suspense, emotion but also humour and hope are on the menu of this beautiful intimate thriller. Continue reading KEEPING FAITH. DVD GIVEAWAYS TO THIS INTIMATE WELSH THRILLER

SPINNING MAN : AN ABOVE AVERAGE YARN

Pearce and Pierce prove a perceptive pairing in the piece-it-together murder mystery, SPINNING MAN.

Guy Pearce plays Evan Birch, a philosophy professor whose former philandering makes him the focus of a missing female student investigation headed by Pierce Brosnan’s alibi piercing policeman.

Brosnan’s Detective Malloy has every reason to be suspicious when crucial evidence makes Evan the prime suspect in the girl’s disappearance.

And he’s not the only one grappling with his presumed guilt. Still flinching from a previous indiscretion, his wife, beautifully played by Minnie Driver, is torn between suspicion and support.

Directed by Simon Kaijser, SPINNING MAN is a competent psychological thriller that explores the fine line that sometimes exists between guilt and innocence, conviction and perception, doubt and truth.

What gives SPINNING MAN its spin is the pairing of Guy Pearce and Pierce Brosnan. The chemistry and physicality between the two characters keeps the yarn spinning.

Pearce’s academic is polished and assured, astute in the semantics of philosophy but fragile in personal ethos, subject to the flattery of female students.

Pierce’s policeman is a grizzled, gruff, recovering alcoholic whose instinct and experience make him a dogged inquisitor.

Both performances simmer with subtle shades of self doubt and self determination.

Caught in the middle of both these men, is Minnie Driver, a definite driving force of the picture, reacting to the pressure from both sides.

Two charismatic leading men and a splendid leading lady elevates SPINNING MAN from the stock standard sleuther.

SPINNING MAN launches on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

QUEEN & COUNTRY: SMALL SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT IN PRAISE OF COUNTRY QUEENS

Hilarious, just hilarious.  But not just hilarious.  This week I had the chance to watch all 6 episodes of Ironbark Media’s web series hosted by American travel writer, Jesse Archer.

QUEEN & COUNTRY AUSTRALIA is about the rural women competing to be the Beef Week Queen in Casino in Northern NSW. Co-created by long-time friends Mark ‘Max’ Walker (Australian Story, Who Do You Think You Are, Grand Designs Australia) and Matthew Kelly (Screen Australia, Foxtel)  the 6 short films go on the journey with Jesse as he meets the 5 competitors.

Through the eyes of a self-confessed piscatarian, tree hugger, animal activist, ignorant city folk, tiara envious, gun hater and Yank, we will fall in love with this diverse mob of women.  For, if Jesse has his pre-conceptions confronted, so do we.  We might mostly cling to the edges of this continent (and Tasmania) but our rich pastoral history is important to us, what else explains 3 R.M Williams shops in Sydney city?  Continue reading QUEEN & COUNTRY: SMALL SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT IN PRAISE OF COUNTRY QUEENS

DAMASCUS COVER : SILLY SYRIAN SPY YARN

Syria-ously?

As muddled and murky as the milieu of espionage, DAMASCUS COVER suffers from a distinct lack of pace, tension and action with a bloated run time that digests the story like a Galapagos iguana rather than a Syrian gazelle.

Based on a 1977 novel by Howard Kaplan, DAMASCUS COVER has been time travelled to 1989 by screenwriter Samantha Newton, whose dialogue and scenario skills are someone between latent and leaden.

We are introduced to Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Mossad agent in a clunky exposition voice over, always a tell tale sign of lazy dramatic writing which should show rather than tell, then see him through a botched extraction, only to have him psychoanalysed and sent back into the field.

He’s suffering post traumatic stress disorder due to the fact that he left his loaded gun unattended and his young son playfully shot himself dead with it. Just the man to send to Syria and extract their top double agent. Continue reading DAMASCUS COVER : SILLY SYRIAN SPY YARN

STAN AUSTRALIA THROWS A BIG BASH FOR NEW SEASON OF ‘YOUNGER’

Stan​​ celebrated their newest season of ​Younger last Tuesday in one of Hemmes` decadent party chambers on George Street. Beyond a mere screening, guests were invited to gambol about a boozy miniature fairground, which among it boasted a personalised bookmark booth, larger-than-life cheeseboard, 3D media wall and bagfuls of ​Younger merchandise.

Darren Star`s ​Younger  reprises the sparkly chick lit slant of his iconic ​Sex & The City.   ​ The (primarily) bubbly female characters tell the near-fantastical narrative of Liza (Sutton Foster), a forty-something mother, successfully operating professionally under the guise of a twenty-six year-old college graduate with the help of a bit of makeup and her friend Maggie. (Debi Mazar). The deception is initially deemed necessary by Maggie, a Brooklyn-based artist, after Liza fails to secure a job in the competitive New York publishing scene. After being forced out of her New Jersey home by the sins of her gambling ex-husband, she starts a new life in Brooklyn with Maggie, establishing a role at one of New York`s more prominent publishing houses as a `twenty-six year old`. Centrally, Liza becomes caught between two men. She lusts after a charming tattoo artist of twenty-six (Nico Tortorella) while also feeling a deeper attachment to the handsome head of Empirical Publishing (Peter Hermann). Hilary Duff makes a chic acting comeback as editor Kelsey Peters throughout the series. Continue reading STAN AUSTRALIA THROWS A BIG BASH FOR NEW SEASON OF ‘YOUNGER’

MUM: A SITCOM OF BITTERSWEET BRILLIANCE. WE HAVE DVD GIVEAWAYS

MUM stars Olivier Award winner and BAFTA nominee Lesley Manville.  The DVD box set containing Series 1 and 2 is being released in Australia on June 6th and thanks to Acorn Media we have 10 to give away.

Starring Olivier Award winner and BAFTA nominee Lesley Manville, Mum is a brand-new family comedy seen through the eyes of Cathy, a mother in her late fifties who finds herself at a milestone in life after the death of her husband. 
Over the course of one year, starting with the funeral in January and ending on New Year’s Eve, Cathy must navigate the everyday realities of this new era of her life alongside the good intentions of her lovably baffling family. 
Offering a refreshingly funny and modern perspective on an often-overlooked stage in our lives, Mum is the story of a woman discovering who she is again and maybe, if she could only see him, finding love second time around...

MUM stars Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread/Harlot’s/River), Peter Mullan (Top Of The Lake/Gunpowder), Lisa McGrillis (George Gently), Sam Swainsbury (Fearless) and you can see  clips from the show and find more information at the official website.

MUM is releasing in Australia on June 6th and thanks to Acorn Media [Facebook], Sydney Arts Guide has 10 DVDs to give away. To be in the running to win a DVD box set containing Series 1 and 2, email (editorialstaff.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com) with MUM COMP as the subject and your mailing address.

Competition closes midnight Saturday 16th June, 2018 when the winners will be drawn. Only winners will be notified and the DVDs will be posted directly from the promoter.