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.
Bryan Brown, one of Australia’s most admired and respected actors, was today announced as this year’s recipient of the Australian Academy’s most prestigious award – the Longford Lyell Award.
The Award will be presented to Bryan at the 2018 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel on Wednesday 5 December at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, and telecast at 8:30pm on Channel 7.
“It’s an honour – thank you to the Academy,” said Bryan Brown. “I’m an Australian telling Australian stories and I love it.”
First presented in 1968, the Longford Lyell Award honours Australian film pioneerRaymond Longford and his partner in filmmaking and life, Lottie Lyell. The Award is the highest honour AACTA can bestow upon an individual and recognises a person who has made a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s screen environment and culture.
“In the 38 years since Bryan received his first AFI Award, we have seen him firmly established as one of Australia’s most respected actors and, as one of our earliest performance winners, it is fitting that we honour Bryan this year as AFI | AACTA celebrates its 60th Anniversary,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella.
“We are full of admiration for Bryan’s commitment to his craft, his role as a mentor to so many performers over the years and as an ambassador for the Australian screen industry. On behalf of AFI | AACTA, it is a pleasure to honour Bryan alongside so many of Australia’s great men and women of screen, and we look forward to seeing him honoured at the 2018 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel next Wednesday.”
As the debate continues about the appropriate date to celebrate our national day, a provocative piece of programming invades our cinemas this Australia Day.
SWEET COUNTRY begins with a close up of a boiling cauldron into which first is placed a black substance, soil, perhaps, followed by a white additive, sugar maybe. The audio is of a confrontation, a fight between men. This simmering commencement is an encapsulation of the themes examined in Warwick Thornton’s expansive film. Continue reading SWEET COUNTRY: FIRST GREAT AUSTRALIAN FILM OF THIS YEAR→
David Williamson’s play TRAVELLING NORTH is now 35 years old. Many people will know this piece from the film adaptation which starred the late Leo McKern as the larrakin, left wing, classical music loving Aussie, Frank. For the current Sydney Theatre Company revival, directed by STC’s Artistic Director Andrew Upton , Bryan Brown is well cast in the role.
Playing opposite Brown is Alison Whyte as Francis. What a fine performance she puts in, especially considering how she came in late in the rehearsal period after Greta Scacchi pulled out due to a back injury. She is a warm, confident performer and came across as being well suited to the role of this good natured, warm hearted woman.
A recently formed couple and newly retired, Frank and Frances decide to make a sea change and leave their Melbourne digs and move up to North Queensland where the weather is warmer and the people are friendlier. What starts out as a great idea becomes infinitely more complicated when Frank’s health takes a serious turn for the worse, his heart starts going on him, and Francis’s grownup children put pressure on her to return. The best laid plans of a happy retirement begin to fall apart….
Williamson puts in a lot of light touches, particularly his trademark witty lines, into what is a bit of a sad tale. Plenty of humour is generated out of the encounters that Frank has with the local medic, Saul, really well played by Russell Kiefel, as Frank tries to get to the bottom of his condition. It becomes tricky to work out who the Doctor is, and who is the patient!
Another great source of humour is the character of their newly acquired nerdy neighbour, Freddy. This was another fine comic performance, delivered by Andrew Tighe. Tighe had the audience in hysterics with every entrance, dressed in short shorts and appearing at the most inappropriate of times.
Harriet Dyer came across strongly in the role of Frances’s needy, bitchy daughter, Helen, whose husband leaves her. Frank displays little sympathy for Helen, ‘you can’t blame him for leaving, after being married for five years to that tongue’!
There’s so much to like about TRAVELLING NORTH. The play still works a treat. Upton ‘s production disappointed in one main way. This was in the staging- in the set design. There was nothing in the design to convey the lure, natural beauty and sensuality of life in the tropics, which had so much to do with Frank and Frances leaving their Melbourne home and comfort zone. The sparse set basically comprised different levels of platforms. So disappointing…
This current revival of TRAVELLING NORTH plays Wharf 1, the Sydney Theatre Company, until the 22nd March, 2014.
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