Urban Cinefile
"I wonder if people who stand up to cheer a hagiography of Che Guevara, as the Sundance audience did, will ever give a damn about the oppressed people of Cuba - will ever lift a finger on behalf of the Cuban liberals and dissidents. "  -Paul Berman in slant.com on The Motorcycle Diaries
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday December 13, 2019 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Aug 99

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 editor@urbancinefile.com.au

26/8/99

To the editor:
I love this site, but since returning from America, I get increasingly vexed by the loooonnnggg delays between movie releases between there and here. The whole world has heard about The Blair Witch Project but as far as the movie people of Australia are concerened, it doesn't exist. How much longer can they expect us to remain ignorant when the web puts all the latest entertainment news at our fingertips???? I heard once it was so they could focus advertising efforts first in America and then overseas at staggered times. I think that is rot as there are plently of advirtising agencies overseas!
So, do you have ANY gossip on the future of the Blair Witch Project and its arrival in Australia???

Sally, Sydney

Louise replies: It's true – many films take a long while to reach down under, although you may remember that last year, Titanic actually opened here before US. Blair Witch Project is generating great interest and is due for release in Australia on December 16 by Dendy.
Andrew adds: Sometimes marketing decisions drive these release dates, other times it's sheer inefficiency or seasonal matters. There are also issues with availability of cinema screens . . . it's never as simple as it looks. And as you know, in showbiz, nobody knows anything.

RE: AUSTIN POWERS POSTERS WANTED
Hello Australia! I'm trying to find Austin Powers Movie Posters, could you help? We could buy them in bulk or as singles. We have visited your great country many times and just love it! Thanks for any help, and if you run out of ideas on how we could find posters please pass this message on.
Larry Fulton
lcarey38@aol.com
3897 Cypress creek dr.
Columbus, Ohio, 43228
USA

Louise replies: We have spoken to Roadshow Film Distributors – they THINK the posters have all gone, but are checking.

19/8/99

RE: IVAN HUTCHINSON LECTURE & BUMS ON SEATS:
Andrew,
Hi. Love this site! This rave is a response to the question posed in the lecture: "the vast majority of Australians do not embrace Australian films per se, and have not supported them at the box office."

Face facts. We've grown up with the dominant influence on our collective cinema

psyche being 'product' from the US and mother England. Should anyone have a problem with that? Should we hate ourselves for it? No and no.

Unlike our old eating habits (SAO) and driving habits (HOLDEN), our watching habits have been formed by dominant producers from other nations. But we are not indiscriminate impulse buyers. We are not morons! There are a lot of good reasons why we don't choose Australian.

We make our choice for a whole stack of subjective, contentious reasons. We follow our eyes and ears and, to our credit, we ignore the carping patriotic monkey that sits on our backs. We call a spade a spade - especially if it's loaded up with another steaming, Aussie, AFI-winning turd.

But all this doesn't stop us from yearning for a glimpse of our culture on the screen, nor does it preclude the remote possibility that an Aussie film may enter our top 100. Considering the relative youth of our film culture, such an achievement would be a grand one.
Regards,

Ron Wood

Hi Andrew; Thanks for posting your speech up on your site (I was hoping you would) it was thought provoking and raised some important issues that I feel most film reviewers - or critics - disregard. I would just like to add though, that while I was listening to you on Saturday, and to the comments and questions your speech provoked, I was feeling uncomfortable. What was being generated was an idealist and superior mentality which I feel can be more destructive than was intended at the forum. It is fine for us - I am grouping 'us' together as a film appreciating collective - to sit back and suggest there should be less cynicism in film reviewing.

What most people were forgetting was that 'we' would generally be selective with our film criticism reading and having a great interest in film would be able to judge it for ourselves. The majority of people who read such cynical reviews are not regular film goers, and may scan the paper to see which film got the most stars - and hey, maybe I'll take my girlfriend to see it on Saturday night.

Urban Cinefile is in its own category. You are able to give different points of view on a film. It is tragic that a film could be ripped to shreds by one person's newspaper column, and I think it was excellent that you raised the issue of cynicism as it does seem to be getting out of hand - to the point that we expect it from a film review. I believe that every film has something to offer audiences. Thanks for an insight into how great film reviews can be.
Cheers,
Chelsea Mannix, Melbourne

As a young film reviewer, I found your comments about cynicism in reviewing both refreshing and enlightening. I have often felt obliged to suspend my enjoyment or emotional involvement in a film in favour of a more 'objective' appraisal of its strengths and weaknesses. Your lecture confirmed what I had long been thinking about - that, as a reviewer, it is OKAY to enjoy a film and become emotionally involved, so long as you can communicate to your readers how the film managed to achieve this. Indeed, the notion of remaining 'objective' and thereby detached from the film you are reviewing is rather naive.
Fincina Hopgood, Melbourne

RE: SHORT FILMS BEFORE THE FEATURE
I would like to echo the sentiments you expressed at the Short Film Awards here in Melbourne, Sunday a week ago. I too, believe that there is a collective wish to see short films shown prior to feature films at art-house and mainstream cinemas. Further, Short Films are a very important part of cinematic art, and an important bridge between the aspiring film artisan and the art-house or mainstream film industry and audience.
I look forward to more wonderful Cinefile reviews, competitions and cinematic provocation on your site...
Simon Kosmer, Melbourne

STRAIGHT STORY
Hello, A few of us here are going into fits because David Lynch's new film, Straight Story, has not yet been released in Australia. Do you have any idea when we can expect it to hit Melbourne? I have been checking your release dates page religiously but I am starting to worry that we will never see it due to one or more of the following:
a) its non-appearance in the Melbourne International Film Festival = it has no Australian distributor;
b) American distributors hold the belief that Australia is still a colonial outpost populated by convicts and we have neither the technology or intelligence required to experience a David Lynch film;
c) the powers that be have blocked its release for fear that there will be a spate of copycat lawn-mower usage throughout the suburbs - ie: people meandering through McDonalds drive-throughs on a ride on mower, "No drinks with that, please" because drink-holders are not a standard feature (yet). Can you shed any light on this?

Rachel, Melbourne

Louise replies: Relax (take a mower ride…); Straight Story is scheduled for release in December by Buena Vista (exact date to be advised).

RE: SIXTH SENSE
Do you know when The Sixth Sense will be released in Australia?
Many thanks

John Wilson

Louise replies: Sixth Sense will be released nationally on October 14 by Buena Vista. It is the Opening Night Film at the Noosa International Film Festival on September 2.

RE: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
What can you tell me about a film called Being John Malkovich? I believe it stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and John Malkovich who plays himself. Can you reveal anything about the plot or its likely release date?
T. Biniares

Louise replies: Being John Malkovich is scheduled for release on November 4 by Universal Pictures. The premise (per the official site) describes how a puppeteer (John Cusack) finds a door in his office that allows him to literally become actor John Malkovich for 15 minutes. They begin by trying to use this experience to make money, but are confronted by a choice between a life of fantasy and deception or reality and truth. Other than the stars you mention, the film also features Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, W. Earl Brown and Mary Kay Place.

RE: LAST WEEK'S EDITION
Loved the last edition of Cinefile….you've got my vote.
Phil Avalon, Sydney

12/8/99

Howdy ho,
Last Friday I went to Village cinemas at Parramatta.. When I entered the cinema I experienced what I can only describe as the worst theatre I have ever attended.... The room itself was tiny, (only 6 rows long), and throughout the picture we had to listen to the projector whirrring loudly ad nauseum at the back.

Now I know these wardrobe-sized money spinners are nothing new, but Village Parramatta has reached an all time low. Why bother going to the movies at all when you're only going to share it in a room with an average of 3 or 4 people?
FOR SHAME !!!!

Kenton Baines

To Paul Fischer, re your review of Carrie 2:
You say it "takes itself too seriously:" What is wrong with that? I happen to like dark, serious films especially in the horror genre and I don't think Carrie 2 did take itself too seriously. I think it should have taken itself even more seriously as far as I'm concerned. I am sick of horror films being played for laughs; I am sick of horror films that have to be funny; why do we need more Scream clones? I like a dark musical score & nifty camera work. I have the first Carrie at home and the camera work is very good. I also have that film's soundtrack on CD and I like it plenty. I thought that Emily Bergl was good as Rachel Lang; sure most of the acting is quite bad really and the jocks in the film got on my nerves but who cares? The music score could have done with a bit more kick. Rachel's theme melody was ok, not quite as nice as the Carrie theme in the first film, but ok. I hope we (me and others who liked it) see more of Emily Bergl. I would like to know when Virus comes out.

Brendan Day

Louise replies: Virus is due for release in November 99, date to be advised.

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