Articles

Hollywood Diary.  April, 2009

Having directed an opera (“A Streetcar Named Desire”), a film (“Maos Last Dancer”) and a play (“Moonlight and Magnolias”) in Australia, I realize it’s time to visit Los Angeles, after an absence of nearly two years, to reassure my agent, producers and studio executives that I still (a) exist ,am (b) sober and (c)...

Hollywood Diary, April, 2009

Having directed an opera (“ A Streetcar Named Desire”), a film (“Maos Last Dancer”) and a play (“Moonlight and Magnolias”) in Australia, I realize it’s time to visit Los Angeles, after an absence of nearly two years, to reassure my agent, producers and studio executives that I still (a) exist ,am (b) sober and...

Tender Mercies by Peter Coleman

Peter Coleman: Tender Mercies (1983) directed by Bruce Beresford. A once famous country-and-western singer, now a down-and-out drunk, is redeemed by Christ, the love of a good woman, and family life. This sort of summary of Tender Mercies (1983) may revive sour memories of old Hollywood formula movies. Yet the film succeeds. This is because...

Sven Nykvist 1922-2006. An appreciation

Few, very few, movie cameramen achieve the celebrity of actors and directors, a fact that is perhaps a little surprising as so many still photographers have achieved world fame – Brassai, Steiglitz, Doisneau, Adams, Cazneaux, Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Weston, Curtis, Leibovitz – the list goes on & on. Most people familiar with these talents would...

American Opera

The popularity of American musicals for the past 100 years has helped to obscure, even to the point of invisibility, the achievements of American opera composers. Everyone has heard the names of Rodgers and Hart, Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, Victor Herbert ( who wrote a failed opera , “Natoma”” in 1911), Kander & Ebb,...

Georges Delerue, Composer

I think that the first film score I ever heard by Georges Delerue was Jules and Jim in the early sixties. I was captivated by its melodic charm and the manner in which it captured the spirit of the movie. Today, the score has not dated at all, a claim that can be made...

Painters in the Australian Desert

There is no flight to Mildura direct from Sydney… “there usta be”, one of the locals told me, helpfully. No train either… “there usta be” – same local. Mildura is a twelve hour drive from Sydney – over the mountains, through gently hilly pastureland, then, for the final three hours, through flat, featureless semi-desert...

Directing for Stage and Screen

Now that I’m in Melbourne directing a play, “Moonlight and Magnolias” for the MTC, I find I’m often asked if this is much different to directing a film. The question invariably surprises me as it must be apparent to everyone that in a stage production the audience views from a fixed position – in...