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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday November 16, 2018 

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HEAVEN'S BURNING

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 thrill," Producer Al Clark

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 handy.

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Crowe’s career has expanded with US films, while Mammone’s work has expanded into television,"

Read REVIEWS


Read Paul Fischer's interview with
YOUKI KUDOH


"Writer Louis Nowra has written what director Craig Lahiff calls a modern day Tristan and Isolde."



"In case anyone needs to know, her foot size is 23 cms, and her height is 153 cms."


"Producer Helen Leake also sees a romantic parallel, with Romeo and Juliet"


Russell Crowe & Danielle Cooper in The Crossing








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