MIFF Congeniality

Just a quick reminder to all of you in Melbourne that I’ll be appearing at two free events at the Melbourne International Film Festival tomorrow!

From 5:30pm to 6:15pm, myself and The Bazura Project’s Shannon Marinko will be hosting A Nervous Kind of Laughter, talking about the great edgy American comedies of the 1970s: films by Woody Allen, Hal Ashby, Mike Nichols and more. Appearing on the panel with us will be Adam Zwar (Wilfred, Lowdown), Judith Lucy (The Late Show, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey) and MIFF special guest Bobcat Goldthwaite, director of Shakes the Clown, Windy City Heat, Sleeping Dogs Lie, World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America.

Come down to the Festival Lounge at the Forum Theatre and listen to us wax lyrical about one of the greatest periods of cinematic comedy.

Then you’ve got forty-five minutes to get something to eat and then come back for the MIFF Comedy Night. From 7pm, I’ll be MCing a night of film-themed stand-up comedy featuring Danny McGinlay, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, Matt Kenneally, Geraldine Quinn, Harley Breen and Bobcat Goldthwaite.

This is the sort of night that’s perfect for everyone. If you’re a MIFF addict, you probably need a night off from the screen-staring. But if the sessions have proven too pricey for you, then hey, these are free. Sorted!

Wednesday 15 August 2012 at the Forum Theatre, 154 Flinders Street.

5:30pm: A Nervous Kind of Laughter

7pm: MIFF Comedy Night

Quick Update

I try not to avoid doing it, but I occasionally complain on social media about the sheer amount of work I’m doing from day to day. So when people ask when they’re going to see the fruits of these labours, I have to beat them to a bloody pulp for their insolence, then – after a bloody shoot-out with police – go on the lam with a different passport, some quicky cosmetic surgery, and a sassy, gun-toting sidekick.

So, to save time, I thought I’d do a brief update on some of the things that have begun to see the light of day, presented in an unnecessarily exciting tone:

me on this month’s Hell Is For Hyphenates podcast, talking about the films of July (The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-man, Not Suitable For Children), the career of Sarah Watt, and the films of Todd Haynes. Our guest this month was John Richards, he of the TV show Outland and the TV-themed podcast Boxcutters, both of which rank among my list of favourite things. Somewhat coincidentally, the same day we recorded Hyphenates, I guested on the most recent Boxcutters, debating Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. It’s a brilliant podcast (despite my contribution) and anyone who’s been following the show and feels passionately either for or against it should really have a listen.

my new column in Encore Magazine, in which I get nostalgic about classic Australian film and TV. I kick off with a look back at The Games, the brilliant Olympics-skewering show by John Clarke and Ross Stevenson. I also have a piece in the forthcoming Big Issue, looking at how recent films have handled the tricky topic of bullying. It’s possibly more entertaining than I just made it sound.

me at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Wednesday 15 August, talking about the wave of American comedies of the 1970s, alongside Bobcat Goldthwaite, Judith Lucy, Adam Zwar and my Bazura Project co-host Shannon Marinko. That’s in the Forum Lounge from 5:30pm to 6:15pm, and it’s a free event, so you have no excuse not to attend. But you should stick around for the MIFF Comedy Night (also free!) from 7pm to 9pm, also in the Forum Lounge. I’ll be MCing, and guests will include Bobcat Goldthwaite, Matt Kenneally, Danny McGinlay, Geraldine Quinn, Harley Breen, and more! They’ll all be telling their best film tales, and you should definitely attend.

That’s all for now. More to come soon. Thanks for your indulgence.

A Ranting Pilot

About a year-and-a-half ago, my Bazura Project co-person Shannon Marinko made a pilot for Channel Ten. The show was called Rant, and it was basically Shannon yelling at the audience about things that annoyed him. Like Media Watch if it was shoutier.

Shannon invited me to come on board and do something for it, which I did. Comedian and filmmaker Dan Ilic directed, and he brought in Tegan Higginbotham for a segment. (Tegan impressed us so, we invited her back to appear in The Bazura Project’s ABC2 incarnation.)

Whilst I’m not especially happy with my own contribution (a couple of my line deliveries grate with me intensely), I do dig everyone else’s work a lot. And now it’s been put online, you can enjoy it in all its ranty glory.

ABC picking up The Bazura Project immediately after the pilot was shot meant Rant was put on ice, but my fingers are crossed that it get made at some point in the future. After all, there’s so much pop culture, and so few people yelling at it.

The Bolt Retort

Ever since The Bazura Project‘s 2011 incarnation came to an end, Shannon and I have been working on our own super-secret, super-exciting projects behind government-mandated closed doors. Okay, I’m lying, we’ve just been playing online Scrabble against each other. But occasionally, something productive accidentally emerges.

The first of these accidental emergences to properly come to fruition is The Bolt Retort, a show created by Shannon in response to Channel Ten’s The Bolt Report. Never heard of it? Channel Ten, presumably in response to the notoriety of America’s Fox News, decided to go down the rabbit hole of “conservative commentary”, hiring firebrand columnist Andrew Bolt to espouse his right-wing politics at a desk every Sunday morning. The show was a terrific cure for hangover recovery and breakfast digestion.

The Bolt Retort is the response. You’ll see my name at the end, but I merely gave notes through the script drafting process. Shannon’s the one who was brave enough to actually wade through hours of Bolt Report to find the clips and arguments necessary for a televisual rejoinder.

All three episodes of 2011’s The Bolt Retort, which originally aired on Melbourne’s C31, can now be enjoyed online. At a mere five minutes in length, you’d be mad not to. Enjoy!