WHEN RUSSELL MET ROBERT
Heaven’s Burning re-unites Russell, Crowe and Robert
Mammone on screen after seven years, reports ANDREW L. URBAN
I first interviewed Russell Crowe on the set of The Crossing, out in a small bush town, back in 1990. The same day that I met Robert Mammone, one of his co-stars. It was the first lead role in a feature film for both young men (first feature for Mammone, Crowe’s second following a support role in Blood Oath), and they’ve stayed friends ever since. Now, for the first time since then, they are together again on screen, as friends who fall out, when Colin (Crowe) accidentally kills Mahood’s (Mammone) brother, in Heaven’s Burning.
"Both men play vastly
different roles in Heaven’s Burning.. "
Crowe’s career has expanded with US films, notably LA
Confidential, while Mammone’s work has expanded into
television, with roles in a range of dramas from GP to The Flying
Doctors and Rafferty’s Rules, and the series produced by
Bryan Brown for the 7 Network last year (1996/97), Twisted Tales.
Both men play vastly different roles in Heaven’s Burning:
Crow’s Colin is a decent but aimless lad who gets involved,
rather reluctantly, in an armed hold up, organised by his friend,
Mahood, the son of a tough Afghan ex-soldier. When the robbery
goes wrong, the small time gang grab the nearest customer as
hostage, Midori (Youki Kudoh), a Japanese tourist who is in the
midst of running away from her brand new husband.
But conflicts within the gang lead to a confrontation which
ends in Colin shooting Mahood’s brother dead. Faced with the
family’s fury, he flees, with Midori in tow.
The ensuing chase forces Colin and Midori to change from who
and what they were, into fugitives not only from justice but
potentially brutal vengeance. And a jilted Japanese husband now
enraged by being dumped.
"It’s a thriller
that doesn’t feel an obligation to continually
Writer Louis Nowra, who has a wealth of theatre and film
credits to his name, has written what director Craig Lahiff calls
a modern day Tristan and Isolde. Lahiff sees Colin and Midori as
lost souls, fated to find each other. Producer Helen Leake also
sees a romantic parallel, with Romeo and Juliet, "in a very
unexpected and sometimes violent way."
Producer Al Clark (who produced Priscilla), feels there is a
mix of genres at work: "It’s a road movie, yet it veers
from being a traditional film of that genre. It’s a thriller
that doesn’t feel an obligation to continually thrill, and
it’s a touching film about the way people can collide at a
moment in their respective lives."
Clark, incidentally, was the producer of The Crossing.
"Youki Kudoh ... a
major star in Japan,"
Youki Kudoh, a major star in Japan, spent several days at this
year’s Cannes film festival, where the film was launched for
international buyers. She is best known in the West for her role
in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (1989), but she has since
made three more feature films and also released a number of
albums in her blossoming career as a singer.
A bright, effervescent young woman, Kudoh was a welcome guest
at several parties at Cannes, hosted by the film’s sales
agent, Beyond Films. At 26, she has crammed other interests into
her life besides showbiz, including SCUBA diving (she has an
advanced licence as well as an instructor’s licence),
skiing, aromatherapy, inline skating and golf.
In case anyone needs to know, her foot size is 23 cms, and her
height is 153 cms. You never know when info like that may come in
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career has expanded with US films, while Mammone’s work has
expanded into television,"
Read Paul Fischer's interview with
"Writer Louis Nowra
has written what director Craig Lahiff calls a modern day Tristan
"In case anyone needs
to know, her foot size is 23 cms, and her height is 153
"Producer Helen Leake also
sees a romantic parallel, with Romeo and Juliet"
Russell Crowe & Danielle Cooper in The Crossing