Australian International Movie Convention – Part II


I could sit here and waffle on about how good Queensland’s weather was, how Garth Franklin and I ruled ‘the staircase’, or how Sylvester the Cat went for wins on my girlfriend – but I doubt anyone’s as interested in that as they would be in what films were shown at this year’s Convention.

As usual, there was a pretty decent bunch of films shown [except for one – big hi to Angelina], ranging from local Australian product to some of the upcoming Hollywood offerings.

“Seabiscuit”, from Buena Vista, released down under in November, is a top little flick. It hasn’t exactly rode atop of the box office since its release in the states a few weeks back – and it probably deserves to – but don’t let that deter you from checking out a good flick once it arrives. It’s pretty heart wrenching stuff – they just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

But talking of heart wrenching, ‘In America’, which has been doing festival rounds too lately, is an absolute winner. It’s about an Irish family who immigrant to America and find it hard to keep on top of things, especially considering they’re still all getting over the loss of their son/brother. Here’s a film with no stars, no real exterior appeal, and yet it’s a knockout. Come January, I’ll be reminding many to go see it.

Also quite good was “Matchstick Men”, released here in a couple of months, and starring Nicolas Cage as a con-man. Won’t be reviewing this one until the release date folks – but let’s just say it’s Nic back in oddball territory. Look forward to talking about it come October.

Oh, and that stinker – “Lara Croft : Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life”. The moment it was announced, that it would be showing half the audience packed their bags and walked out. Maybe I should have too? Although slightly better than the first one, this is still trash of the highest degree. Ok, so Angelina looks darn hot – but that’s it. And how’s Gerard Butler’s haircut? I’ll have to get in touch with Patrick over at Dimension’s ‘Dracula 2000’ series to see what he thought of Butler’s “I don’t wanna do Dracula 2000 sequels. Instead I’m doing Tomb Raider’ moment.

Other films that screened included : S.W.A.T, Mambo Italiano, The Honourable Wally Norman, American Splendour, and Getting Square.

Other events of this year included good mate, Mick, picking up best actor gong for the year for “Crackerjack” [he was more than a little surprised], as well as the film picking up best flick of the year. And well deserved too – congrats gang!

Also good to see Alan Finney getting the lifetime achievement award. Alan does some remarkable work over there at BVI. He deserved that round of applause and then some. The ‘Finding Nemo’ skit used for the award – which Alan provided a voice for – was just priceless.

Also good to see ‘Lord of the Rings’ scooping the awards. Very predictable, but also well deserved. One more hey?

A couple of good speakers and lecturers on hand this year too including Richard Alston on Piracy, and a discussion on the film industry here, which exposed some interesting revelations.

And as a former studio worker/drive-in boy/cinema boy [yeah how I miss those days as a film booker – huh], it’s good to always catch up with some I’ve either worked with in the past, or to get an understanding of life outside the medium spectrum. See you all next year.