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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR : Jul 99 (2)

Letters to the Editor are welcome; they can be on any relevant subject (relevant meaning relevant to this zine) and preferably no more than 350 words. Please include your name and city where you live. The Editor has the right to edit. Wed like to hear your movie related stories, anecdotes and of course your opinions. Drop us a line to editor@urbancinefile.com.au

29/7/99

RE: CONGRATS
Hi Guys,
Love the website! Have been into it for a year and a half and it just gets better. Thanks heaps! I am a V.C.A student in Melbourne who is looking for a website that gives deadlines, entry details etc. of Australian film festivals. Do you know of one? I thought you might have come across something whilst doing your research. By the way, you got my vote!
Cheers,

Andrew O'Keefe, Melbourne

Ed replies: The Screen Network Australia site has a directory of Australian festivals and awards; youll have to trawl through them individually. Try it: http://www.sna.net.au/directory.html

RE: 42UP
Just a quick note to say how much I liked your site. I have been looking for a box office return for our film 42 Up (Im the film editor - Ive edited 28 & 35 + the Russian, South African 7 & 14 Ups) great find! Keep up the good work. Thanks also for positive review.
Cheers

Kim Horton
PS Im an ex Melbourne boy now living in Manchester, UK!

I would like to know when "The Blair Witch Project" is coming out to Aussie cinemas? It will be PG or M because there is no gore in the film it's not that kind of horror picture it's about what goes bumb in the night and has gotton stellar reviews
Brendan, Queensland

Dep. Ed: The Blair Witch Project is scheduled for release on December 26.

RE: WOMEN IMMIGRANTS IN FILM

Hello
I'm a German PhD student at the University of Oldenburg working on my thesis about 'Representation of Women Immigrants in Australian Film of the 1990'. For my special interest female immigrants in Australia I'm desperately seeking three films as video copy:
Fistful of Flies (Monica Pellizzari, AUS 1997)
Floating Life (Clara Law, AUS 1996)
The Sound of One Hand Clapping (Richard Flanagan, AUS 1998)

Does anyone have any idea how and where I could get (one of) those films on video? Does anyone have any idea whom and where I could ask for help? Does anyone have any idea how and where to contact the directors of these films or at least one of them? I would also be very thankful for references on other films that tell stories of immigrant women or their daughters and granddaughters.

As I'm working from Germany I'm dependent on help from Australia. So if you're able to help me in any way please get in contact with me. Thanks for your support
Julia Seipel
P.S. I won't be at the university during August but I will get back to everyone who contacts me.
julia.seipel@mail.uni-oldenburg.de

22/7/99

Just a quick note. Paul Fischer's review of Old Man and The Sea contains an errata. Both "Hemingway: A Portrait" & "OMATS" are presented in the IMAX 2D format, not IMAX 3D. Thank you for the otherwise great review, Mr Fischer.
Kind Regards,

Oliver Strickland
Projectionist, Sydney Panasonic IMAX Theatre.

Dep Ed: Thank you - correction has been made.

RE: FESTIVAL AGE LIMIT
You write that 'the 1999 Melbourne International Film Festival, which aims to cater for the cinema cognoscenti - and the other 100,000 or so patrons as well.' I was very disappointed to read (in the program for the festival that was published in the newspaper), that you must be over 18 to see any of the films. I understand that it means there is no need for classification, but as a 17 year old who would love to see many of the films, I find this very unfair.

Jessica Gibbs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Ed: We understand and sympathise; but come next year

RE: HONG KONG MOVIES
Dear Editor,
I enjoyed the feature on Hong Kong Cinema, and I am very interested in finding out where I can rent some of these movies on video in Sydney. I would appreciate it immensely if you could let me know if there is a store in Sydney similar to the Chinatown one featured in the feature.
Kind Regards,

Zoran Radosavic, Sydney

Ed: Weve passed on your query to Siren Entertainment in Melbourne, the distributors of the videos, who are sending you detailed info; they advise that several retailers in Sydney have all the titles and some have a selection.

RE: A LEGIT SUNRISE
I have an entry form for "Sunrise, the Dawn of New Ideas", which offers "prizes valued at $50,000" for "great film ideas". The only hitch is that we must pay $25 to submit our idea. The entry form is vague about the prizes, and what it takes to win them. "Finalists" may be invited to a function at Balmain Town Hall on Sept. 3, but it doesn't say how much that will cost either. It does, however, say that we can find out more by visiting this web site. Does anyone there know anything about this? Is it legit? How do I get more info? Ta!

Dave McKay

Ed: Weve passed on your letter to Shani Dowling, Director of Sunrise, who is responding directly, but let us also reassure you it is a legit operation. I was one of the judges at last years event, and would have been again had I been available on September 3. Rest assured, the film industry genuinely supports the concept.

RE: DESERT BLUE
I was just wondering if a movie that was made in 1998 called Desert Blue has been (or is going to be) at the cinemas here in Australia? (The movie has Christina Ricci in it).
Thanks

Craig

Dep Ed: Desert Blue is not as yet on our release schedule. It will certainly not be released before Christmas 99. Desert Blue also stars Brendan Sexton and Kate Hudson. We'll keep you posted.

RE: NEW FACES
New Faces of 1952. This movie is listed as being available from the USA. I am only aware of the record album by this name. Is it a film of the concert or what? Where would I find the film copy in the States please?
Andrew Davis, Adelaide

Dep Ed: New Faces of 1952 (Ithaca House Poetry Series) by Maxine Chernoff is currently out of print. The author has also written American Heaven: A Novel and Boy in Winter. No further information is available at this stage.

8/7/99

RE: WHO SHOULD BE REVIEWING THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL
Quite a few people were outraged by the fact that Paul Byrnes was chosen by the SMH to review the Sydney Film Festival this year. His first review, after the opening weekend, did not even carry a label announcing that he was the former director of 10 years standing - it was seemingly an attempt at passing itself off as an objective report.

No mention was made either of the fact that his wife/ partner (whatever) Mary Dickie is on the festival board. What hat was he wearing when he wrote the review - former festival director, or objective Sydney Morning Herald scribe? And while Gary Maddox resigned his position on the festival board so he could not be accused of conflict of interest when writing about the event - an entirely proper course of action - one could also ask if he is not somewhat close to the festival as far as the needs of an outside viewpoint are concerned?

Why wasn't the Herald's perfectly capable and experienced film reviewer Sandra Hall asked to cover the festival?

A question I'm sure many subscribers would like to see from a critique of Gayle Lake's first year as festival director is: how did the festival under her direction stand up next to Byrnes'? Since the answer from most subscribers I spoke to was, "a whole lot better!", is it not strange that the most widely read weekday paper among festival-goers was unable to answer - or even frame - that question? Is it not a disturbing sign of the lack of diversity in our arts commentary in this country, and of a small-town parochialism unbecoming of the Olympics city, that such a dodgy state of affairs should be allowed to pass with no public comment?
Yours,

(name & address supplied)

Ed: We have invited Paul McGeough, the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, to respond to the above. His response, received 14/7/99 is below.

RESPONSE FROM EDITOR SMH
Andrew,
It is a bit difficult to take seriously a single anonymous letter which begins: "Quite a few people were outraged..."

Where is the outrage? There has not been a single complaint - signed or unsigned - to the Herald about the work of Byrnes and Maddox. Your whingeing correspondent dwells on the fact that the first of Byrnes' two festival overviews did not declare his past association with the festival.

But his second piece did make such a declaration and given that it was a 10 year association, few festival goers would have been ignorant of the fact. It is doubly mealy-mouthed of your correspondent to whine about who Byrnes' wife is or what she does when he/she does not declare his/her own identity.

As for Maddox, either he does have a conflict of interest or he does not. That is treble mealy mouthedness. The fact remains that Maddox did resign from the board.

Finally your correcpondent is not only anonymous but dim to boot. He/she claims that this year's festival was not compared to those of the past. Wrong Byrne quoted long-time subscribers as happy with its quality, diversity and organisation and that "Lake deserves much credit for achieving this after only eight months at the helm ..."
Yours ...

Paul McGeough
Editor,
The Sydney Morning Herald.

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