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. We’d like to hear your movie related stories, anecdotes and – of course – your
opinions. Drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Andrew O'Keefe, Melbourne
Ed replies: The Screen Network Australia site has a directory of
Australian festivals and awards; you’ll have to trawl through them individually. Try
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 (I’m the film editor - I’ve edited 28
& 35 + the Russian, South African 7 & 14 Ups) great find! Keep up the good work.
Thanks also for positive review.
PS I’m 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
Dep. Ed: The Blair Witch Project is scheduled for release on December 26.
RE: WOMEN IMMIGRANTS IN FILM
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
P.S. I won't be at the university during August but I will get back to everyone who
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
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
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
Zoran Radosavic, Sydney
Ed: We’ve 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!
Ed: We’ve 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 year’s 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).
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.
RE: WHO SHOULD BE REVIEWING THE SYDNEY FILM
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?
(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
RESPONSE FROM EDITOR SMH
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
The Sydney Morning Herald.
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JUL 99 (2)
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