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AICN-Downunder: Life & Death of Peter Sellers; Fahrenheit 9/11; Irreversible; Look at Me; Forty One North; Red Dwarf

Well, its the end of the work week and time once again for Father Geek to post up another edition of our Downunder Report from Latauro... sooo here it is...

You said leave the house, everybody said leave Paro, Paro said leave the alcohol. One day He will say leave the world.


I’m going to step aside and give my editorial-like space over to Supertoyslast, who sent me an amusing rant:

This didn’t come as a surprise to me (I was actually waiting for it to happen) so it won’t come as a surprise to you either: shooting on the RED DWARF movie has been pushed back again. Last week, the FAQ on was saying that shooting was planned to start in May 2004, but this week it was updated to say that pre-production will begin in July and shooting is planned for January 2005. But if shooting had recently been planned to start in May 2004, shouldn’t all the pre-production be done already? It’s not like they’ve had anything better to do in the meantime.

If at the beginning of 2004 you had told me that a new series of “Doctor Who” would have arrived on our screens before a RED DWARF movie, I would have scoffed at you. Yes – scoffed. I would have told you that Grant Naylor had said that they had all the funding in place and that shooting would begin in July 2003. I would have said that the script it written, rehearsals have been videotaped to gauge the pace of the story and I had even seen some storyboards! (Isn’t most of that stuff pre-production?) Then I would have said that the BBC will never bring back “Doctor Who” because no matter how many times it is voted best BBC drama ever, or TV show viewers most want to see back, the BBC just don’t WANT to bring it back. They say sci-fi would be too expensive for the BBC to do without a partner and rights issues were still complicated. No matter how much money the enduring appeal of spin-offs and merchandising makes, as well as the huge ratings of the Paul McGann TV movie, the BBC is just dead-set against taking the expensive risk of commissioning a new series. And even if they did, they wouldn’t be smart enough to do it right and put someone in charge of it who knows what they’re doing – like Russell T Davies, perhaps?

So, now my 2004 self looks back at my early 2003 self and pities his inept decisions of what to be optimistic and pessimistic about. I just wonder why it is so difficult to put new “Dwarf” together? I mean, in some form or another, it has been possible to bring about new versions of “Farscape”, “Firefly”, “Battlestar Galactica”, and “Doctor Who”. But should I be bothered? After all, everyone knows that any new Red Dwarf will be crap. Won’t stop me watching it if and when it comes out, of course. I just wish they’d make a two hour TV movie to finish off the annoying “like smeg it is” conclusion to Series VIII and get the crew home in one form or another. Just to end it and put it out of its misery once and for all. And I say this as someone whose favourite television of all time is probably “Red Dwarf” during Series III-VI. Just let the end come before it becomes less “Porridge-In-Space” and more “Last of the Summer Wine-In-Space”.



* First-time scriptwriter Heather Morris has had her screenplay FORTY ONE NORTH optioned by Hollywood executive Kathie Fong Yoneda and scriptwriter Pamela Wallace. Yoneda and Wallace were in town for a seminar last weekend (which was, incidentally, attended by Latauro... who is now wondering if he should have got off his arse and pitched some ideas). The film has a project budget of $7 million, and will shoot in Melbourne.

* The Film Finance Commissions (FFC) has approved finance for the National Indigenous Documentary Fund (NIDF). The fund will, annually, support the production of four documentaries from Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander creative teams. This year’s theme is ‘Loved Up – Everyone wants it and most people have fallen for it, but what is this thing called love?’.

* Dendy Films picked up the distribution rights to three films from Cannes: LOOK AT ME (COMME UNE IMAGE), which picked up Best Screenplay; VERA DRAKE, directed by Mike Leigh; and TARNATION, a documentary made for US$218.32. All three films will be released throughout 2004.

* Earlier this year, the Commonwealth Attorney General Phillip Ruddock declined a request by the Australian Family Association to apply for a review of IRREVERSIBLE’s classification. Now, Ruddock is back flipping, bowing to a request from the South Australian Attorney General to do the exact same thing. According to Watch On Censorship, Ruddock will ask the Australian Film and Literature Classification Board to take another look at the rating they granted the film. More insidious than the threat of the film’s banning is the idea that Phillip Ruddock’s integrity could be in question. The very thought!



Palm D’Or winner FAHRENHEIT 9/11 will make its Australian premiere at MIFF on July 22. It will then open a week later to audiences around Australia (despite email threats sent to the distributor).


Geoffrey Rush will head up the big name industry guests at the SFF opening night party. Rush will present the Australian premiere of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS on June 13. Also, to add to AICN’s recent GODZILLA lurve, Matt passed on the word that SFF will be playing the original GODZILLA at the State Theatre, on the 19th of June at 11:30pm. Book tickets to see it on the big screen!


Jan Kenny, ACS, has become the first woman to be inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame. Kenny, Head of Cinematography and the Australian Film Television and Radio School, shot the film FRAN in 1985 and MARY 1994.


The top two spots remain unchanged this week, with only TWISTED and Australian road trip comedy THUNDERSTRUCK as new entries. Next week, these should all be pushed down a notch when the weather reigns havoc upon everything.

And the Boxoffice winners are...
  • 1. TROY
  • 3. TWISTED
  • 5. GOTHIKA


Gerard Depardieu has now officially been in over half the films ever made, Roland Emmerich aptly associates himself with the word “disaster”, the first ever Bollywood production to get into competition at Cannes gets a release, Andy Lau defies convention by starring in a Hong Kong crime thriller, and German twins escape the Nazis.

The flicks just released are...


- Tommy Lee Jones replaces Sean Bean for sequel ODDYSEY, in which Odysseus sails home without interference from any Gods whatsoever (thus ensuring the journey takes only nineteen days)

- Martin Lawrence signs on to play a look-alike who must become the Secretary-General of the United Nations during a crisis and create peace in the Middle East using hip-hop in INSTANT KOFI

- Trouble arises when Buzz Lightyear (Jeremy Piven) decides to leave Andy’s room when Woody (Ted McGinley) refuses his request for more Monopoly money in Disney’s TOY STORY 3: BITTERNESS

Peace out,


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