Month: May 2012

ABC Evening program interview with Wayne Blair – director of The Sapphires.

The Sapphires gained some credible reviews from its screening in Cannes.  It is the story of four aboriginal girls, who call themselves the music group The Sapphires, who travel to Vietnam to entertain the US soldiers.

On 21st May 2012, ABC Evening program, hosted by Lindy Burns (on which my DialM radio segment is broadcast) interviewed Wayne Blair over in Cannes.
Here is the interview.


The Astor Theatre petition. St Michael’s Grammar School response.

Earlier today The Friends of The Astor Theatre launched an online petition – concerned that St Michael’s Grammar School will not be extending the current lease with The Astor after 2015.

This afternoon I contacted St Michael’s Grammar School for an interview.
They declined the request but have released this statement (below):

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Statement regarding The Astor Building

St Michael’s Grammar School bought The Astor building in 2007. The building is a part of the living history of St Kilda with its beautiful Art Deco interiors and left largely untouched since it was built in the 1930s. Since then, St Michael’s has been bringing the site up to current occupational health and safety standards. The Astor continues to operate as a cinema and its facilities have been used for student assemblies.

With the ownership of such an iconic Melbourne landmark comes great responsibility. Acknowledging The Astor’s importance to the community, St Michael’s is currently undertaking a wide-ranging process of assessment and evaluation, considering all possible options for the future of The Astor.

Once St Michael’s has a better understanding of the direction we will be taking, we will embark upon an extensive consultation process with the local and broader community. We are committed to honouring the current lease arrangements with The Astor which extend until 2015.

Our overwhelming guiding principle is our desire to protect and preserve our heritage, respecting The Astor’s architectural, historical and social significance.

It is far too early to speculate on the long-term uses for The Astor.


Review: ‘POLICEMAN’ could have been one of the best films this year. But fails at the halfway mark.

POLICEMAN (Ha-shoter) had all the potential of being a great, emotional film.

Up until the midway point of the film, I was totally grossed in the story of 5 Israeli anti-terrorist policemen, who are facing charges of killing innocent civilans.  Collectively, they agree that one of their colleagues (for reasons which are revealed in the film) will become the scapegoat for the charges.

What an intriguing premise.  But, unfortunately, POLICEMAN becomes too smart for its own good.  It introduces a second storyline, midway through the film, that forces a momentum shift from which it never recovers.

Up until then the film simmers with a sense of bravado and masculinity, as each of the policemen jostle their way for supremacy when in each other’s company.  Their bond for each other is unbreakable.  Traces of homo-erotism is found in every scene.

But director Nadav Lapid, who also wrote the screenplay, should have either introduced his second storyline concurrently at the start of the film, or dismiss it entirely.  Perhaps he felt that POLICEMAN couldn’t sustain the one narrative. Certainly at the halfway point the film needed to begin moving towards its conclusion.   The final thirty minutes of the film feel rushed, and short on answers, particular for a major plot point.

If only the film stayed the course, allowing the characters to collide and the potential crossroads to appear, then I might have been talking to you about one of the best films of this year.

Policeman won the Best Screenplay award at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival, and was nominated in that category at the Israeli Film Academy Awards.   It screens at the Sydney Film Festival in 2012.

Score:  2.5 / 5

– Rhett Bartlett


The final frames. How Hitchcock ended all his films.

In celebration of  ‘For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon III’ – I have decided to collate the final frame from every surviving Hitchcock film (apologies to  ‘The Mountain Eagle’, you are a lost film.)

So while you enjoy the link to the final frames, I would also like you to click on the other link I have attached and consider donating just a few bucks to the National Film Preservation Foundation.  They are attempting to raise money to allow online streaming of The White Shadow – the film that Hitchcock wrote (uncredited) and edited.
Link below

Donation link:

Hitchcock’s Final Frames:


– By Rhett Bartlett.