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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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Hugo Weaving on playing a tough nut, ex jailbird with anger management issues – and a son; and Glendyn Ivin on the zeitgeist breeding films about fathers and sons on troubled circumstances. He first sat down to read the script wondering “how crap it will be” – but within a dozen pages, he was hooked. They spoke to Andrew L. Urban on the eve of the film’s release.



A desperate father (Hugo Weaving) takes his ten year old son, Chook (Tom Russell), on the run after committing a violent crime. As the two travel across the South Australian desert and toward an unknown future, their troubled relationship and the need to survive see them battling the elements and each other. Chook eventually takes control and the choices he is forced to make have a devastating effect on both their lives.

Last Ride is Glendyn Ivin’s feature film directorial debut. Despite this, producer Antonia Barnard realized he was well experienced to take on the role of director. Antonia says, ‘working with Glendyn was a real joy, and I would welcome the opportunity to do it again. Whilst he was a debut feature film director, he has extensive experience with film, and has an extraordinary cinematic approach.’

Ivin, who won the Palme d’Or for best short film at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for the drama ‘Cracker Bag’ was able to bring his usual creative team on board for Last Ride. Antonia says, ‘because we were able to keep Glendyn’s key creative people around him like cinematographer Greig Fraser, production designer Jo Ford, editor Jack Hutchings and sound designer Craig Conway he was always fully supported in creative sense.’

‘I felt very comfortable going into the production as I was surrounded by my friends who I had been collaborating with for the past ten years, on shorts, commercials and music clips,’ says Glendyn. ‘We have always tried to keep things small and intimate and found budget or production limitations to be strengths as it always makes you more creative and inventive. In this way I rarely use much film equipment and try and get away with the least amount of lighting as possible. You can be far more flexible when free of gear and extraneous people. It’s so much more exciting to have just the essentials.’ He adds ‘We have a very close working relationship. We know how each other thinks, each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we support each other. In this way it’s very much a team effort.”

‘Ultimately for me the most important thing is what’s happening on the day, in the moment. In this way we followed the script very carefully, but I always welcomed and kept my eyes and intuition open to possibilities and surprises. In this way we tried to keep the story alive.’

Over the 6 week shoot, the cast and crew of 25 travelled nearly 6000kms through some very remote and rugged country. ‘This was a huge strain on the budget and the production in general,’ says Antonia, ‘But Glendyn was determined from the beginning that if we were making a ‘road movie’ that we should all experience the journey ourselves. You absolutely see and feel the landscape change throughout the film.’

Antonia adds, ‘travelling with such a small number of people through quite difficult terrain is an endeavour in and of itself, but somehow we managed to turn it all into one of those life experiences you are glad to participate in. Glendyn is a very collaborative director and the crew were dedicated to him, so for me, with all the films I have been involved with, this one stands out.’

Published July 2, 2009

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Hugo Weaving and Glendyn Ivin


Hugo Weaving

Producer Antonia Barnard onset with director Glendyn Ivin

Glendyn Ivin onset with screenwriter Mac Gudgeon

Hugo Weaving with Tom Russell

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