Tag Archives: Australia

Yelp In Australia

Starting today, we hope that Aussies will find Yelp.com.au to be a fun place to share their thoughts on who has the best cup of coffee or where to find the most eclectic collection of local fashion designers. Over time, we’d expect that Yelp will help people find a great dentist or mechanic.  No local business is too small to be reviewed, and therein lie the hidden gems.via Yelp Official Blog.

I wonder if its too late, has foursquare et al captured the hearts and minds of geeks in the time it took Yelp to come to Australia?

The Loved Ones, not pretty enough at box office | Encore Magazine

Sean Byrne’s acclaimed horror film The Loved Ones Madman Entertainment failed to capture the Australian box office, opening outside the top 10 with a screen average of $1,586 $141,152 from 89 screens.But it’s not like Australians reject torture on film; a different kind of physical abuse did reach the top of the box office, with Jackass 3D Paramount earning $3,582,884.

via The Loved Ones, not pretty enough at box office | Encore Magazine.

“Setting the Scene” @ ACMI, Through The Eyes of a Cinema Layman

I’m not that much of a movie buff compared to some people. Sure, I like movies more than the average guy and did I spend most of my teenage years avoiding social activity by having Kubrick marathons, pretending to be smart by quoting Tarantino at my school teachers and re-enacting sections of Caddyshack with my pathetic friends, but I’ve never made a movie, gone to film school or even known anyone who works in the industry. These facts became painfully obvious when I entered “Setting the Scene” an exhibition currently on at The Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI, God’s gift to Melbourne).

If you’ve ever been to an expo at ACMI, it’s downstairs. That sign on the stairs saying “be careful, it’s dark, your eyes need time to adjust” isn’t there for shits and giggles. Listen to it. I almost dropped my iPhone due to being inserted into darkness all of a sudden. Anyways, Setting the Scene. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an expo about movie set design. I had no idea set design was so elaborate. It didn’t occur to me that they often build these places they film movies in. There’s some big fuck off places built too. One part of the expo has in it dedicated to The Terminal. They built the set for that whole thing from scratch. The entire airport terminal. I guess if you’re Spielberg you can do that, but still, that’s a big fucking set. The exhibit has photos, clips of movies and for some movies, interviews with the set designers about the set of that particular movie. There’s also a large, large space dedicated to that movie Australia by our pal Baz. The exhibit is split into areas, I will list them here and give you my opinions on what I saw there:Spaces of Power (Metropolis, Das Experiment and Minority Report). Metropolis is old and I don’t care. Das Experiment I have not seen but now want to as it is about the Stanford Prison Experiment and I like prison (from the outside). Minority Report was cool and so was it’s set. There’s photos of it here.Private Spaces (Mon Ocle, The Sacrifice, The Miracle of Bern). Never seen or heard of any of these. Philistine! Labyrinth Spaces (Alien, The Shining, The Name of the Rose). Alien is fucking awesome and one of my favourite sci-fi movies. The sliver of exhibit dedicated to Alien was underwhelming. A couple of photos up on the wall of the set with no people on it. Boring. I saw the set in the movie? Why do I give a shit? There’s not even any interesting back-story to it, or the set designer giving a monologue about how he designed it. Nuthin’, just a couple of photos and a projector playing a couple of clips from the movie. Ditto The Shining – I love the movie, but the exhibit didn’t add anything new to my knowledge of the movie except that bits of it were filmed in a real hotel. Wikipedia could have told me that. From the 90-second excerpt of “The Name of Rose” all I could gather was that it is about Sean Connery running around in a hessian sack for a few hours. What the hell?Transit Spaces (Play Time, The Terminal, The Bourne Supremacy). Never saw Play Time and this exhibit failed to inspire me to. The Terminal, like I said earlier, is a Spielberg movie with a Spielberg set. I want to watch it now. Not just because I have a man-crush on Tom Hanks, but if they went to the effort to build a goddamn airport terminal for a movie, then it probably deserves I put some effort in too and watch it. There’s even a scale model of what they built in a glass case. Nifty. The Bourne Supremacy part had a whole bunch of bits they took from some hotel and other places as “research” for the set. That was cool. If you’re a huge fan, you might get a kick out of it.Stage Spaces (A Clockwork Orange, Cabaret, Dogville). I saw the Cabaret section as it’s got a bloody Oscar in a glass case and I gawked at the shiny gold man, but the rest is so miniscule, that I didn’t notice that Dogville and A Clockwork Orange were there. That’s how insignificant it was. I even like those movies and I still didn’t notice. Virtual Spaces (Dark City, The Matrix Trilogy, Chronicles of Narnia). Dark City is a great movie that I haven’t seen. The Matrix Trilogy has awesome CG and we all know it. There’s very impressive scale models of the robots and aliens from the movies that set my geek hard-on into rock mode. So cool, that it makes you want to buy them from the ACMI gift shop, even if they’re $500, but then you see the plaque next to them and they’re on loan from the actual set designer and not figurines you buy to keep on your nerd shelf (unfortunately). My girlfriend loved the Chronicles of Narnia movie and I think I heard her say “this is lame” while I was looking at a scale model of the car from Speed Racer. I wasn’t really paying attention.Location Spaces (Night Cries: A Rurual Tragedy, Ned Kelly, The Proposition). Bunch of Australian outback themed movies I don’t give a damn about. The paintings from the Ned Kelly set planning were kinda cool though. I looked at those for about 20 seconds. Australia (err, Australia). A whole bit about Australia. Boring as all fuck. I presume it appeals to middle aged women who wish they were on a sheep farm in the middle of nowhere being bonked senseless by Hugh Jackman? Damned if I know. Either way, the majority of the exhibit space is dedicated to Australia when it really should just be for Kubrick films. The whole thing should just be “THE SET DESIGN OF STANLEY KUBRICK” actually, that would have been way better than what I paid to see.So do I suggest you go? Probably not. Unless you’re a massive Australia fan (haha, as if), have a fetish for scale models (there’s fucking loads) or work in the movie industry and have a thing for set design. If you are an actual set designer or a student of set design, drop that bag of chips, wipe your hands, put your Mac to sleep and get on a train to the city already. But if you’re just a movie nerd who enjoys some of the movies listed in the exhibition synopsis, you will be, like me, bitterly disappointed and lamenting the fact that the $15 entry fee could have been spent on two or three Steven Seagal DVDs. Seagal always delivers bang for buck.