Where Did All These Movies Come From?


I don’t know what’s going on at the moment but there are a lot of movies being released.  Last Thursday, I noted that there were 6 new films being shown.  I was wrong – the actual total was 9.  I’d left off Adam, Spread and The Age Of Stupid.  That’s the most in a single day since Boxing Day 2007 (which is always a big day for movies).


This week, there are another 6 films in release which will take the total for the month to 26.  That’s almost a film per day and I have to admit that I’m struggling to keep up.  September looks a little quieter thankfully with just 18 films coming out (or at least that I’m aware of).


Russian Film Festival


Who loves their Russian cinema?  Who has even seen a Russian film?  I can only think of four off the top of my head – Burnt By The Sun, The Return, Night Watch and Day Watch.  I’m sure there’s more but I admit it’s not an area of cinema I’m very familiar with.


Well, the 2009 Russian Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, September 3 and runs for one week.  It’s being held at the Palace Centro Cinemas in New Farm and 18 different films (some new, some old) will be shown.


The focus this year is on comedies and musicals – there’s a retrospective of the best Russian films in these genres over the last 70 years.  I’d like to catch Hipsters, a colourful, youthful musical set in the 1950s.


You can find out more at the festival website - http://www.russianresurrection.com/2009/.  Tickets are $16 for most sessions.  Go get some culture!


Charlie & Boots Premiere


I had a fun opportunity on Sunday to become, what I have dubbed, “my day as a paparazzo”.  There was a premiere at Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast of the new Australian comedy Charlie & Boots.  It stars Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson.


The film was the kick start to the 64th Australian International Movie Convention which now has a permanent home on the Gold Coast.  All the major movie distributors are showcasing their new films with the hopes of getting them picked up by as many cinemas as possible.  If you’ve ever been curious about these sort of events, you can view the agenda here - http://www.movieconvention.com.au/page/Agenda/.


This year’s convention includes screenings of Julie & Julia (the new Meryl Streep movie) and In The Loop (a great new political film which I’m buzzing about).  I’d love to be there all week for the convention but sadly I have a day job to keep me preoccupied.


Anyway, back to the premiere.  I was lucky enough to score a media spot on the red carpet and interview Gary Sweet and then stars Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson as they came down the red carpet.  Thanks to Ange (for letting me borrow her cool microphone) and to Sam (for taking the pictures of me in action).  You can view some photos are hear my interviews here:


Matt's Charlie & Boots Interviews & Photos


Having not done this before, I was a little apprehensive.  Having been reviewing movies for 14 years, I thought I’d take the next step up and see what it was like.


And yes, I had a great time.  I had to line up with the rest of the media beforehand to get my accreditation badge and guest list.  I then had to stand on a piece of card on the ground marked “612 ABC Local Radio”.  They lined up all the media people in a certain order to facilitate the action when they came down the carpet.  I was stuck next to the Today Show who had the power to snag a lengthy interview on the carpet itself.


When it came to asking questions, I assure you that it’s not the easiest thing in the world.  You don’t want to ask the same, boring questions that they’ve heard before.  On the other hand, it’s hard to come up with anything original.  The whole concept of red carpet arrivals is kind of cliché in itself.  Stars walk down looking happy, people stand trying to get photos and autographs.  I’m sure if Paul Hogan walked past people in the street, people wouldn’t stop and take photos.  But when you sexy it up as a movie premiere, it’s a different story.  I’m not trying to diminish the occasion but just pointing out that it’s just one of life’s odd things.


I’ll review the film in detail when it comes out on September 3 but I have to say that I liked it.  I think the audience did too – plenty of laughs.  The gala after party had nothing to do with my opinion either.  I think.  I did enjoy the free drink, seafood buckets, beef skewers, mud cake…


This has made me think how hard it is to put together a big premiere.  There’s so much to organise – kind of like a wedding.  You’ve got to get everything right for the arrivals and have everyone in place.  You have the screening and then have to cater for hundreds of people afterwards – with music, food and drink.  I don’t even want to imagine how big some of the Hollywood premieres can get.  Maybe I’ll get to check one out sooner rather than later.