Wednesday, 10 April 2013 05:25

The History Of Future Folk

Performing at the opening night of the Gold Coast Film Festival are a couple of bucket-head aliens about to take over the world.

Ok, so maybe they're not literally taking over the world but the musical duo of Jay Klaitz and Nils d'Aulaire are heading down under, space suit and all, for the Australian premiere of their latest film ‘The History of Future Folk'.

Jay, the Spanish-speaking, guitar-playing crappy assassin, says he can’t wait for Aussies to experience something new.

“What really works for the film is that people expect it to be one thing and find it to be very different. I think because it’s such a silly film about space aliens playing bluegrass and folk music, people go in expecting a slapstick comedy and something a little ridiculous and are pleasantly surprised (not that I think there's anything wrong with slapstick and ridiculous comedy) to find something that’s a little sweeter and softer.”

Not only did he get to play his space alien alter ego, Jay says that in such a tough industry, it was great to be able to work with his mates on set.

“I would say that my number one favourite thing was that it was a real family affair. Many of us lived in the same neighbourhood in Brooklyn so we were buddies and it was like going to work with your best buddies every day for six weeks.”

So how did two grown men end up dressed as bucket-head aliens playing bluegrass and folk music? Jay says it was a combination of beers and basement jamming. “One day I had an idea in my head that I wanted to write an alien-themed album and make it folk and acoustic, and then Nils started playing the banjo along with me. How exactly we became space aliens is unknown because it was quite a while ago; I guess it was one of those ideas that came from sitting in a basement drinking one too many beers, playing our instruments.”

Surprisingly playing a space alien still isn’t Jay’s most unusual character to date, as he talks about other unique roles he’s played in his career.

“Once I had a guest role on an episode of ‘Rescue Me’ where I played a chronic masturbator. It's a weird thing to call your parents and say 'hey mum i'm going to be on a really popular show playing a chronic masturbator.' It was really a funny scene and I had Dennis Leery cracking up a little bit on set, so that was fun. I like to think I have a healthy appreciation for the absurd and well somebody has got to fill those shoes.”

Pacific Fair hosts the 2013 Gold Coast Film Festival from April 18 – 28. Check out the full program on their website

Published in Film
Friday, 27 April 2012 15:27

GC Film Festival: Opening Night

If it feels like we just did this, that’s because, well, we did. Just five months on from the last Gold Coast Film Festival (the date has been changed to tie in with the Supanova Pop Culture Expo), an eager crowd gathered again at Australia Fair to laugh at Chairman Richard Featherstone’s jokes and watch a buzzworthy international film. This time around, it was ‘Iron Sky’, a Finnish-German-Australian production (partly filmed in QLD) about Nazis from the moon.

It’s every bit as fun as it sounds, and though the script occasionally feels like it was written by an excitable child, the special effects gloriously showcase what can be done with a limited budget and unlimited ingenuity. Certainly, it was the perfect choice to herald the festival’s reinvention as a celebration of pop culture, and it was great to see charismatic leading man Christopher Kirby in attendance at the screening (and at Stingray Lounge’s swanky afterparty).

It’s a shame we’ll have to wait a full twelve months to do it all again, but luckily, there are a number of gems still to screen this weekend.

Highlights include:

‘Blackthorn’ (Thu Apr 26, 6:30pm) — A full-blooded Western adventure starring Sam Shepard as an ageing Butch Cassidy.

Irvine Welsh’s ‘Ecstasy’ (Fri Apr 27, 7:15pm) —  A dark romantic comedy from the author of ‘Trainspotting’.

‘The Cabin In The Woods’ (Fri Apr 27, 9:15pm) — Joss Whedon (‘The Avengers’, ‘Serenity’) reinvents the horror genre.

‘Safe’ (Sun Apr 27, 8pm) — Jason Statham does what he does best and brings the curtain down on the festival.

For more info, head to Read our Supanova review on page 9.

Published in Arts
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:51

Iron Sky: Gold Coast Film Festival

When actor Christopher Kirby was asked to audition for a movie about Nazis on the Moon he thought it was a joke.

The Australian-Finnish-German science fiction comedy ‘Iron Sky’ recently premiered in the Panorama Special section of the Berlin International Film Festival, the only Australian feature film to be selected. “I was completely and utterly shocked. On one hand, it’s an honour and on the other hand it was like ‘wow man’. I was a nervous wreck but the audience loved it and that’s the reason we make films,” Kirby says. “It was just huge over there. People kept walking up to us in the streets of Berlin.”

The film is set in 2018 where Nazis, who fled to the dark side of the Moon in 1945, are planning their return to claim Earth. As a publicity stunt, the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul) sends two astronauts to the Moon, one a model named James Washington (Christopher Kirby). Washington puts his Lunar Lander too close to the secret Nazi base and is captured. “Then all the fun ensues after that,” Kirby says. “It’s a comedy but there are little things in there that make people think,” he says. “You’re really just putting a mirror up to society. And I think that’s why people are laughing, because they recognize things in themselves.”

Based on the original story by Johanna Sinisalo, ‘Iron Sky’ was created by director Timo Vuorensola, and Michael Kalesniko, who thought of the script sitting in a sauna in Finland. “I ended up reading it eight times. After the first time I was like ‘wow did I really just read that?’ The more I read it the more I started to see the layers. By the time I was done reading I was like ‘ok I have to meet these guys because this could be interesting’,” Kirby says.

“After meeting the director and the producer, we just sat down and they put me on tape and I had an audition. I sort of walked away not thinking anything of it. I’d completely forgotten about it and then all of a sudden they were like ‘you’ve got the part!’”

‘Iron Sky’ gained notoriety as a pioneer in Crowd Sourcing and Crowd Funding. Fans and followers were able to take part in the film by offering ideas, funding and publicity, investing over half a million Euros.

“They went out and asked for donations from fans,” Kirby says. “A lot of fans came on board with a lot of money so we could get this film up and running, which in itself can be a bit daunting.”

Kirby says he sees a lot of potential in Australian film. “We have a gold mine that could really go through the roof,” he says.

“I think sometimes people are hesitant about what to put out there and what to not put out there. But to me it’s like soup, you’ve got to put it in, mix it up, and see what comes out, because you don’t know until you do.”

‘Iron Sky’ is the opening night film at the 2012 Gold Coast Film Festival, Thursday April 19. The festival runs from April 19-29 and to view the full program and to buy tickets, head to

Published in Film
Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:31

Harry Potter Stars GC Bound

Harry Potter stars, James and Oliver Phelps, will appear at Supanova Pop Culture Expo as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival later this month.

The identical twins — who played Fred and George Weasley — will introduce an encore screening of the final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2’.

"I am thrilled that James and Oliver Phelps will be with us on Saturday 21st to introduce our special encore screening of the final instalment of Harry Potter,” GCFF director Casey Siemer says.

“As we have always said, the relationship between Supanova and the Gold Coast Film Festival is going to create many exciting experiences for fans. Experiences where we extend and ameliorate audience interaction with film and television guests.

“I hope both events see outstanding support from Gold Coasters and I encourage everyone to get out and attend both Supanova and the film festival next weekend.”

The film screens at Birch Carroll & Coyle Australia Fair Cinemas in Southport on Saturday April 21 at 8.30pm. Fans are encouraged to come dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, with a fantastic prize awarded for ‘Best Costume’.

The Gold Coast Film Festival, presented by Australia Fair Shopping Centre, will be held April 19-29 at Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas at Australia Fair Shopping Centre in Southport.
Published in Events Music
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 16:08

Is It A Bird: Gold Coast Film Festival

The Gold Coast Film Festival is inviting movie fans to name the vivacious maiden who adorns the event’s 2012 artwork.

“She is 50 percent The Incredible Hulk, 50 percent Attack of the 50ft Woman and 100 percent Gold Coast Film Festival,” Casey Marshall Siemer, Festival Director, says.

“The Gold Coast Film Festival now has a new pop culture focus, as such we wanted to create a fun pop culture Gold Coast super hero for our poster. She is breaking things up because she symbolises that the film festival is breaking new ground and breaking stereotypes of screen culture and traditional film festivals.”

The Gold Coast Film Festival presented by Australia Fair Shopping Centre, will be held April 19-29 at Australia Fair Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas in Southport.

To suggest a name, click here. Entries close Monday March 19.

Published in Events Music
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:32


Gold Coast Film Festival

Crimson Bolt - a superhero with only three rules (and even fewer super powers) - you are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars. If you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt.

Combining a handmade suit, a wrench and a crazed sidekick, ‘Super’ is a film that will rock your world. It’s the anti-superhero superhero film, written and directed by James Gunn, is being exclusively screened for the first time in Queensland at the Gold Coast Film Festival 2011. With a stellar cast of comedic talents, the film brings together Kevin Bacon, Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler and of course the irrepressible Ms Page. The film itself has been described by IFC Films as “combining absurd humour with balls-out violence to create something that is both unashamed and inimitable. But this time, there is a new ingredient, one that is dark, dramatic and subversive to the core.”

The synopsis of the film goes something like this: Frank (Wilson) thought he was happy, appears he is instead a sad-sack loser as his ex-addict of a wife leaves him for a seductive, psychopathic drug dealer (Bacon). Please note that this alone was enough to thoroughly pique my interest for over the years, my ‘Bacon’ obsession has slowly but steadily grown. Enter trusty (yet maniacal) sidekick (Page) and Frank has now completely morphed into Crimson Bolt. Without the necessary finances available for bribery, interviews with Page fell through but luckily, James Gunn was available to answer pressing questions.

As both the writer and director of the film, Gunn was passionate and knowledgable, providing some hilarious anecdotes and insightful information. With the recent glut of superhero and comic book-based films that has flooded the industry, there was pressure of Gunn to create something different that would appeal to both a mainstream audience and geeks alike.

Sounds like a daunting prospect but Gunn was motivated to do it as he explained, “before I directed ‘Slither’, I wanted to show people I could direct, and thought a short film might be the way to do it.  So I started writing ‘Super’ as a short film, but, as I did, it took on a life of its own. There were no initial fireworks and there was no big, grand idea, but as I wrote it the characters took hold of me, and the short film became a feature, and the story became about something far more than what I originally thought it was.” Not everyone agreed and it wasn’t picked up straight away which, for Gunn, was disappointing but he remained undeterred. “When the script didn’t immediately get made, I tried to forget it, to put it down but never quite could. I felt beholden to the story, if that makes any sense. It was a story, for whatever reason, that I needed to tell.”

His inspiration for the film? He ponders then lists, “definitely the comics of Alan Moore, along with the films of Scorsese, Tarantino, and Lukas Moodysson, the comedic and tonal shifts of Asian cinema, and to a smaller degree old ‘60s pop art films like ‘Send Me No Flowers’. I was also greatly influenced by William James’ 1902 book, ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’.

You could say ‘Super’ is an adaptation of that book, only it’s fictional, comedic, and wearing a superhero costume.”
Being so intrinsically involved in the entire process from conception to creation, Gunn is well placed to talk about the essence of the film and what its characters are about. Talking rapidly, he points out that “for me, the film is about one man’s relationship with God, and his journey to fulfill his side of that relationship, no matter how insane or morally ambiguous that journey may seem to others.”

The inherent appeal of a superhero lies in the ability to do things that mere mortals cannot. When asked what ‘power’ Gunn would want, his answer is surprising (and hilarious). “I think we’re all given superpowers, it’s just whether we choose to use them or not.  For instance, there are a lot of people who have been given the superpower of ‘plumbing’ but who are running around here in L.A. trying to use the superpower of ‘acting’ which they very clearly don’t have. I could be easily satisfied with superpowers for instance, I’d love to have ‘can’t-get-AIDS’ superpower, or ‘not-make-a-baby-at-will’ superpower, or ‘an-extra-fifty-years-of-life’ superpower. Those all sound pretty good to me. If I could have one of the big ones – invisibility, flying, invincibility etc. – I’d be having an orgasm for the rest of my life. Please note I would not want to have the ability to shoot beams out of my eyes. It’s not worth having a superpower if you have to wear sunglasses inside and look like a douche bag for the rest of your life.”

Watch ‘Super’ on the big screen before anyone else at the Gold Coast Film Festival, November 26 at 8.15pm. To book tickets, head to

Published in Film
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 13:29

Gold Coast Film Festival

Actress Interview

Local actress Georgina Haig stars in upcoming Australian thriller ‘Crawl’, a tense, character-driven film set in an unknown rural town where a seedy bar owner hires a hitman, the double-crossing backfires and a young woman is caught in the middle and taken hostage.

Q: Describe your character and what appeals and repels you about her? Marilyn's the innocent in the film who ends up having to make a choice about whether to lose that innocence in order to survive. The idea of an ordinary girl that everyone can relate to being put in an extraordinary situation appealed to me. It's nice when characters have contradictions, and that was the part of her that appealed to me the most.

Q: Hardest aspect of this role? It was the scene where I was gagged and bound. I spent most of the afternoon that way and it made me so angry. I had to do a lot of foot stamping to get the energy out. It's so interesting how putting your body into a stressful place affects you psychologically too. It's ridiculous because you know it's pretend but your body is going into fight or flight as though no one’s given your subconscious the memo.

Q: What do you think of the local film industry? I think it's incredibly hard to get a film made in this country, and it's a huge credit to Ben, Bryan and Paul that they got this film up privately. Australians just don't see that many Australian films, but it's also our responsibly as filmmakers, and the responsibly of the funding bodies to remember that audiences want to be entertained and people are entertained in lots of different ways.

Q: What do you want audiences to say as they leave? Hopefully they won’t say much but put their hand to their chest and feel the heart pulsing. And then forget to turn their phones back on til late - that's when I know I've been taken in by a film.

Q: Describe the film in 5 words? Unforgiving, edgy, cinematic, brittle, unrelenting.

‘Crawl’ is screening as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, November 25, 5pm at Australia Fair Event Cinemas. Plus the cast and crew will be attending the session to present the film.

Published in Film


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