Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Week That Was - Three

Everybody’s a film buff – even the Chanticleer columnist in the Australian Financial Review who opened his Friday piece with the “The banks lending Airline Partners Australia the money to buy Qantas Airways shares have, as they might say in a spaghetti western, cojones the size of the Sydney Opera House”…. while saying nothing of the Spanish vocabulary, it’s doubtful ‘they’ would have ever said that…Jane Campion is making a comeback to feature films with Bright Star, starring Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne the fiancée of John Keats…a page three article in the SMH informed us that the surprise art house hit of the year, As it is in Heaven, has now completed nineteen weeks and grossed over $600,000 mainly at the Cremorne Orpheum…Bra Boys is fading fast from local screens but not before one punter asked the director in a Q&A about the absence of women from the movie and ended with ‘Are you guys gay?’…the Chaser did Bra Boys over in a way that inevitably drew crude attention to the first of the two words of the title….Dave Kehr in the New York Times gave us the first review of the new releases on Criterion’s new budget label, Eclipse. It’s a five film early Bergman package selling for a third less than the usual Criterion releases. To come we are promised packages of films by Louis Malle, Yasujiro Ozu, and Raymond Bernard, the last being a near forgotten French film-maker of the thirties…. Donald McDonald, a man well-known as a close friend of the Prime Minister, and a member of the PM’s cheer squad during the last election campaign, has been put forward by the odious Philip Ruddock as the next Chief Film Censor. What a sad way to finish a career, going from being the head of two of Australia’s great cultural institutions, the ABC and the Australian Opera, to being the nation’s cultural copper. The SMH reported that Ruddock unilaterally decided to overrule formal advice from his Department recommending another person. He took McDonald’s name to the regular meeting of state and commonwealth Attorneys-General and got a bagging for his trouble. A corrupt process said the NSW Attorney, a sentiment echoed by the Victorian A-G who said, according to the SMH, that the proposed appointment ‘had a stench about it that really smacks of a decaying government in Canberra’. Ruddock was at pains to say that Mr Howard did not participate in the consideration of the matter by Cabinet. I suppose that neatly confirms that a mate is getting the nod…

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