Outdoor cinemas proliferate during summer Down Under


It is summer Down Under and outdoor cinemas are sprouting faster than summer bulbs. Almost every major city has at least one outdoor cinema operating through January and, sometimes, February. Sydney has around five, with one screen emerging from Sydney Harbour every night. Films are shown for one night only, and a large number of upcoming movies are having their premiere screenings at an outdoor cinema. Personally, I would rather sit back in a comfortable seat with great sound in a cinema, but there is a nice summer atmosphere at the outdoor screens.

If a subject is good enough for one film, why not make two, indeed why not three? Two feature films and one TV mini-series about Australia’s Michael Hutchence, the late INXS rocker, have been announced for local production in the past two months. The first film to be announced, Michael, is to be produced by Sue Murray and directed by Richard Lowenstein, who directed many INXS music-videos. The project is being partly funded by Film Australia. Two Worlds Colliding, the second feature, is based on the book Just a Man: The Real Michael Hutchence by his sister Tina Hutchence and mother Patricia Glassop. The last to be announced is a four-hour miniseries for TV, Never Tear Us Apart: The INXS Story. As TV production is generally faster than feature films, this could well be the first to be completed. Filming for the miniseries is expected in mid-2013. No dates have been announced for the features. Hutchence had an interesting life, including affairs with a number of actresses, models and singers before his death alone in a Sydney hotel room in 1997. He appeared in the films Dogs in Space and Frankenstein Unbound.

Air New Zealand and The Hobbit have formed a strong alliance. A new onboard Hobbit safety video produced for Air New Zealand has proven very popular across the Internet. The latest joint venture between the film and the airline is an Air New Zealand jet as a huge Hobbit billboard. The jet flies to the USA, the U.K. and Australia.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand news items to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.