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com September/October 2012
There's more to flm than meets the eye...
September/October 2012 3
, s
04 | Reel World
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
20 | Four Frames
The Truman Show
26 | On Location
Mebourne, Australia
31 | Screengem
Kermit's Bicycle in
The Muppet Movie
34 | Parting Shot
Comin' Atcha:
Breaking free from TV
38 | Listings
A Roundup of this Issue's
Featured Films
contents Issue Seventeen. September/October 2012
06 | Spotlight
Here's Looking At You:
TV on Film
1 4 | Widescreen
Flash Forward:
Future Cinema and the
Evolution of Moviegoing
1 8 | Architecture & Film
Scene Setter:
The Spatial Genius of
Scenographer Ken Adam
22 | 1000 Words
On Your Marks:
Killer Gameshows
intellect | Published by
'I just keep wishing I could
think of a way to show them
that they don't own me. If I'm
gonna die, I wanna still be
me. Does it make any sense?'
Peeta Mellark
Published as a bi-monthly, Film
International covers all aspects of
film culture in a visually dynamic
way. This new breed of film
magazine brings together
established film scholars with
renowned journalists to provide an
informed and animated commentary
on the spectacle of world cinema.
Film International
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The Big Picture ISSN1759-0922 © 2012 intellect Ltd. Published by Intellect Ltd. The Mill, Parnall Road. Bristol BS16 3JG /
Editorial ofce Tel. 0117 9589910 / E: info@thebigpicturemagazine.comPublisher Masoud Yazdani Chief Editor & Art DirectionGabriel Solomons Editor Neil Mitchell
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Please send all email enquiries to: /
- including telethons to
fund a multi-million dollar
resort - The Eyes of Tammy
Faye (2000) is a personal
odyssey of the woman whose
life was left in tatters. But
its reverential narration
from famous drag queen
RuPaul never touches on the
motivations of Faye.
The title is inspired by
Tammy Faye's heavily-lined
lids that would stream black
during broadcasts in moments
of penitent rapture. Her eyes
are also an apt symbol for
suffering, and this flm extolls
her victim status with attempts
at confrontations with those
who wronged her, skimming
history while packing it with
painful pinches of failure
along the way.
While The Eyes of Tammy
Faye proves that TV
personalities are people too, it
also demonstrates the harms of
the spotlight that are strikingly
prevalent in today's reality
televisual society. There Will
Be Tears. [tbp]
September/October 2012 5
gofurther [weB] [Book] Questioning evangelism by Randy Newman
Her eyes are an apt symbol
for suffering, and this flm
extolls her victim status with
attempts at confrontations
with those who wronged her.
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's
documentary Te Eyes of Tammy Faye was,
if nothing else, revealing of a troubled life.
Ni cola balki Nd takes a closer look.
Nowadays, the meNti oN
of Christian broadcasting is
likely to bring to mind a certain
degree of notoriety. Where
Tammy Faye Messner and
her ex-husband Jim Bakker's
names are concerned, infamy
is the frst thing that springs to
mind. Hagiographies like this
one have no business calling
themselves documentaries,
and there's a distinct MTV
Behind the Music feel to this
aspirational flm directed by
Fenton Bailey and Randy
The Bakkers rose to fame
within Christian television
programming in the mid-60s
with shows on Pat Robertson's
Christian Programming
Network, before moving on
to launch their own PTL
Television Network. They
sparked the revolution of TV
evangelism that we recognise
today. Avoiding almost all talk
of Jim Bakker's adultery and
money-scheming scandals
fi lm beyond the borders of the screen
reel world
above © 2000 cinemax, FilmFour, world oF wonder
: ©
ci nema' s themati c strands
Cinema and television have for some time been
uncomfortable bedfellows, but the power and infuence
of the small screen has long been prime source material
for the big screen. Rob beames and heleN cox settle
into their seats and grab their remotes.
andY griFFiths
Unfairly overlooked upon its
original release, this dark and
disturbing chronicle of the media –
as a mass manipulator with undue
infuence over political affairs – is
now regarded as something of a
prescient classic. In it Andy Griffth
portrays a drunken, abusive drifter
who, after becoming a national
radio and television celebrity,
comes to represent the flm’s highly
cynical view of the media as he
maintains an affable public persona
whilst actually having nothing but
contempt for his audience. After
“Lonesome” Larry Rhodes gains
this sudden fame and fortune
as a charismatic singer, Kazan’s
gripping polemic examines how
this power to infuence people can
become an extremely dangerous
force in the hands of unscrupulous
and egocentric individuals. For
instance, not long after referring to
the American people as his “fock
of sheep”, Rhodes delivers perhaps
the flm’s key lines at the climax
of a snarling tirade volleyed at his
visibly frightened mistress (Patricia
Neal): “they’re even more stupid than
I am, so I gotta think for ‘em... I’ll be
the power behind the president and
you’ll be the power behind me.”
[Rob Beames]
A fAce in tHe crowd
Dir. Elia Kazan
Kazan’s gripping
polemic examines how
the power to influence
people can become an
extremely dangerous
force in the hands
of unscrupulous
and egocentric

At you
September/October 2012 7 6
James woods
toP leFt
Peter Finch
the choice of renn as a
protagonist was no mistake, he
is so deeply desensitised that
when he initially watches a tape
in which a desperate woman is
tortured his only focus is on the
production values.
Perhaps the seminal
flm about television,
Paddy chayefsky’s oscar
winning screenplay is a
satirical masterpiece and
incisive piece of social
commentary that only
seems to improve with age.
Image: © 1983 Canadian FilmDevelopment Corporation (CFDC) Image: © 1976 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to
take this anymore!” So rants veteran
primetime news anchor Howard Beale
(Peter Finch) in this most enduringly
relevant of movies: a dark-hearted
cross-examination of the state of
television, in which producers eagerly
broadcast a crass public spectacle
in pursuit of higher ratings. After
Beale states on air that he is going
to kill himself, the clearly unhinged
broadcaster is re-branded as the “mad
prophet of the airwaves” and – in a
move that seems to foreshadow the
coming of Glenn Beck – becomes
an overnight sensation watched by
millions of Americans eager to witness
the next meltdown and, potentially, his
live suicide. Perhaps the seminal flm
about television, Paddy Chayefsky’s
Oscar winning screenplay is a satirical
masterpiece and incisive piece of
social commentary that only seems
to improve with age. A sign of its
increasing relevance and power decades
later can be seen in the fact that it’s
often still self-consciously imitated and
referenced – most obviously in the pilot
of Aaron Sorkin’s ill-fated Studio 60 on
the Sunset Strip (with Judd Hirsch flling
in for Finch) and a recent episode of
Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.
[Rob Beames]
network (1976)
Dir. Sidney Lumet
“Do you think erotic and violent
TV shows lead to desensitisation? To
dehumanisation?” This question is
posed not ffteen minutes into David
Cronenberg’s classic body horror
movie, the query underlines every
second of the remaining runtime.
Seedy TV programmer Max Renn
(James Woods) is physically disfg-
ured by his quest to uncover the truth
about snuff TV show Videodrome;
becoming less than human to the
point that his stomach eventually
accepts a carefully-placed Betamax
tape. The choice of Renn as a protag-
onist was no mistake, he is so deeply
desensitised that when he initially
watches a tape in which a desperate
woman is tortured his only focus is
on the production values. To further
desensitise Renn, Cronenberg bends
and removes him from reality. Is it co-
incidence that the movie was released
at a time when increasingly gruesome
scenes were playing out on tape re-
corders across the western world? Or
that, within the narrative, Videodrome
was produced in Pittsburgh, home
to Romero’s inhuman fesh-eaters?
Given that it is David Cronenberg
playing God here, it’s highly unlikely
that anything was left to chance.
[Helen Cox]
Videodrome (1983)
Dir. David Cronenberg
spotlight here' s looKing at you
8 September/October 2012 9
September/October 2012 11
spotlight here' s looKing at you
On its release Time Out described
Stay Tuned as a 'pointless 'satire' with
the 'emotional depth of a 30-second
soap commercial.' Clearly, they had
missed the social relevance of this
quirky fantasy comedy in which John
Ritter plays Roy Knable – a plumbing
salesman who is sucked into a hell
dimension inside his TV set. In the
late 1980s Rupert Murdoch started
Sky TV, making satellite dishes
one of the most desirable home
commodities of all time. According
to the commercials, there was no itch
30+ channels couldn’t scratch. Stay
Tuned highlighted the epidemic of
couch potato-ism in contemporary
America, comparing Murdoch
to the devil himself as John Ritter
signs away his soul to Jeffrey Jones'
demonic Mr Spike in exchange for
the ultimate TV package. Only when
Knable realises how much he has to
lose by tuning out of reality is he able
to save himself and his wife from an
untimely televised doom. Even though
it contains lame puns on well-known
pop-culture greats such as 'Duane’s
Underworld' and 'I Love Lucifer’, Stay
Tuned should still be recognised for its
critique of an over-dependence on TV
culture and commercialism as a whole.
[Helen Cox]
StAy tuned (1992)
Dir. Peter Hyams
Stay tuned highlighted
the epidemic of
couch potato-ism in
contemporary America,
comparing murdoch to
the devil himself...
Image: © 1992 Morgan Creek Productions
nicole kidman
In To Die For, Nicole Kidman
plays ruthless TV wannabe
Suzanne Stone, the dark
side to Curley’s Wife in John
Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
America, home to Hollywood,
has always deemed movie star
status more signifcant than any
other (perhaps save presidency).
In the 90s, with television an
established, ubiquitous household
necessity, small screen celebrities
became equally as adored and
often transitioned to flm (Will
Smith and Melissa Joan Hart
for example). This obsession
with being seen is something
that director Gus Van Sant
keenly explores, hinting that
people generally believe that
being watched somehow lends
our actions a greater substance.
'What’s the point of doing something
good if nobody’s watching?' Stone
asks in the opening sequence,
breaking the fourth wall;
communing with the audience
and coercing them to consider
why we watch people and why
they like to be watched. Given
the glut of Reality TV shows that
have dominated schedules for the
past 15 years, the question of why
people urgently crave recognition
is more relevant to popular culture
than it has ever been.
[Helen Cox]
to die for (1995)
Dir. Gus Van Sant
Given the glut of reality tV
shows that have dominated
schedules for the past 15 years,
the question of why people
urgently crave recognition
is more relevant to popular
culture than it has ever been.
Image: © 1995 Columbia Pictures Corporation / The Rank Organisation
September/October 2012 13
spotlight here' s looKing at you
Image: © 1994 Baltimore Pictures / Hollywood Pictures
redford’s well-liked drama
looks at the tV set’s place
of reverence in the average
American living room and
how public trust in it can be
exploited by corrupt forces.
A star-powered account of a
real life 1950s television scandal,
Redford’s well-liked drama looks
at the TV set’s place of reverence
in the average American living
room and how public trust in it
can be exploited by corrupt forces.
While following Rob Morrow’s
congressional investigator – a man
who excitedly declares he’s 'going to
put television on trial' – it recounts
how the game show Twenty One
was rigged, with the programme’s
producers and sponsor giving their
preferred contestant the questions
in advance in the name of ratings.
In the screen version, John
Turturro’s gawky schlemiel, a long-
running champion on the quiz,
is found to be a less photogenic
and aspirational fgure than Ralph
Fiennes’ handsome challenger,
a clean-cut college intellectual,
and is forced by those in charge
to 'take a dive' live on air. His
replacement and subsequent fall
into obscurity enables the flm to
explore the superfcial and feeting
nature of celebrity, something
which resonates even stronger in
contemporary times.
[Rob Beames]
Quiz SHow (1994)
Dir. Robert Redford
ralPh Fiennes, christoPher mcdonald
and John turturro
[Book] The Spectacle of the Real: FromHollywood to ‘Reality’ TV and Beyond ( gofurther
fi lm i n a wi der context
La Haine
Asian Dub Foundation providing
the score for The Other Cinema
at Broadwater Farm
Bugsy Malone
Transfroming East End's Troxy
into Fat Sam's Grand Slamin
April 2012
Top Gun
A screening and immersive
event at Canary Wharf
summer 2011
Since 2003, Future Cinema have been transforming how people watch
flms. Tis summer, they staged their biggest spectacular yet – taking
over an entire music festival with an immersive live movie experience.
Founder and creative director Fabien Riggall explains how they did it.
i NteRVi ew by leoN mcdeRmott
future cinema started as the
future Shorts flm festival, in
2003. can you give us an idea
of why you set it up in the frst
I was a flm-maker, going to
a lot of flm festivals, but also
to lots of clubs and music
festivals. With Future Shorts,
we wanted to create an
experience-led flm festival –
combining a gig or a club with
a flm festival, which allowed
people to experience flms
in another way. We wanted
it to be about the collective
experience, because I truly
believe that – however much
technology takes us away from
connecting – people do want
to connect and feel part of a
community. Future Shorts
started as that, and from that
one event has spawned into
300, in over 50 countries.
It’s this global community,
who can connect online and
through social media, who
are looking for something
different. They want to be
shaken, as it were, rather than
just have a passive experience.
Disruption is my favourite
thing in the world – it’s what
makes me happy, and when
you see something unusual, it
fips your mind from its daily
routine and I think that’s what
people are looking for today,
when everything is so laid out:
you know where you’re going,
what’s happening, you’ve read
the reviews and so on. Short
flms can be incredibly good at
breaking with that; they’re little
bursts of creativity, and we
thought, if we can bring them
into a non-theatrical setting
and build things around that,
why can’t we do it with feature
September/October 2012 15
Photos Sandra Ciampone (botoom)
'...however much technology
takes us away from connecting
– people do want to connect
and feel part of a community.'
The Wolf Man (©2008)
4-color screenprint
Part of the 'Universal Series'
widescreen future cinema
in 2007, you put on a screening of
one flew over the cuckoo’s nest
which took this idea even further,
keeping the flm itself secret until the
event. How did that work?
That was really about building a
parallel world for the flm before
it screened, so you have this gang
or community who are engaged
in what the flm might be, in
actually entering the narrative and
becoming characters. With One
Flew … we worked with Mind, the
mental health charity. We created
the Oregon State hospital and
took the audience around there;
we had actors playing the doctors,
who knew every member of the
audience because we got them to
fll out profles beforehand. We
took them on a surreal fshing trip,
had them play basketball on the
roof, and got them to break out of
the hospital. This all culminated
in a screening, and the audience
watches the flm having spent two
hours experiencing that. So they’re
more engaged with the flm than
with any other flm they’ve ever
been to.
you took over the wilderness festival,
in oxfordshire, this August, with
screenings of Bugsy malone, La
Haine and one secret flm. what are
the challenges there?
It was kind of crazy. Bugsy Malone
was such a nostalgic hit when we
staged it in London; it was such
a happy, positive project. So we
talked to the Wilderness organisers,
and thought about the idea of
taking over the whole festival – so
you have Fat Sam being the biggest
guy in town, and essentially turning
the whole festival into New York,
but over the course of the day,
Dandy Dan started taking back
the territory. And we worked with
all the festival partners – the other
stages, the food stalls, everyone
– taking over the festival for one
day and turned it into this Bugsy
Malone wonderland, where we
had splurge fghts, gambling,
shakedowns, everything.

the screening of La Haine had a live
soundtrack by Asian dub foundation.
what were your aims with taking
such an urban, inner city flm into the
We screened La Haine in
Broadwater Farm in London
earlier this year. We’re very
passionate that cinema can
have a big part to play in giving
young people an opportunity to
experience something different,
and this flm – which is a witness
and a mirror to the riots which
happened in London last year
– gave them that opportunity.
And we wanted to practice what
we preach, by giving a chance to
some of the people who the flm is
about to do something different,
so we had some of the people from
Broadwater Farm who came with
us, working with us, at Wilderness.
We created a show around the
flm: we had breakdancers, a boxer,
and even a cow. And Asian Dub
Foundation were just phenomenal
– they lifted the flm on to another
level, and created yet another way
of engaging with it.
do you think that what you’re doing
– creating this broad, immersive,
total experience - is a more
fruitful direction for the future of
cinema than just selling it on the
technological advances like 3d?
I think that what we’ve tapped in
our audiences is that there could be
another way of experiencing flm,
beyond 3D. We’ve just fnished an
event with Prometheus in 3D, and
the 3D experience is fantastic but
I do think that we’re taking it up
a level. I think that in combining
flm with music, with theatre,
to create a multi-layered thing,
we’ve genuinely created another
way for flm. We’re not going to
replace what’s already there – the
traditional exhibition is the heart of
cinema – but we’re asking people
to do something different – to dress
up, to take part, to become part of
the world we’re creating. That, for
me, is our mission: to fnd a new
format. And the fact that we’re
doing it at Wilderness – disrupting,
in a good way, this amazing festival
with a crazy, fun movie we all
saw when we were kids, and then
with another about disadvantaged,
inner-city youth – I think is a good
sign. I genuinely think that this
could be the future.
Bugsy Malone
More shenanigans and tomfollery
of the creampie kind at East End's
Troxy. April 2012
Photo Melanie Gow Photos JefMoore
September/October 2012 17
[weB] [weB] gofurther
Paul (©2010)
4-color screenprint
produced for the US premiere
of the flmat the SXSWfestival
Monsters, Inc. [Variant] (©2011)
5-color screenprint
size: 18" x 24"
adventures through the bui lt and fi lmed envi ronments
architecture & film
“ Y o u k n o w, we n e e d
a set for that”. This reminder
from director Terence Young
to production designer Ken
Adam during the making of
Dr No not only resulted in a
hastily-conceived yet brilliant
solution from Adam for the
‘spider room’ – a small space
dominated by a disquietingly
sloping, forced-perspective
roof whose circular grille casts
ominous shadows – but also
laid the foundations for a series
of designs that, if realised
in bricks and mortar, would
surely have seen the German-
born artist crowned a post-war
architect of some talent.
By 1962 Adam was already a
seasoned professional, having
designed for the cinema since
the late 1940s when he left
the Royal Air Force. Though
he worked across genres, it
is the very particular look he
developed for seven Bond flms
that is his legacy in flm.
Undoubtedly informed by
study of architecture and
employment in a British
practice before the war and
his experiences piloting the
snarling Typhoon fghter-
bomber during it, Adam’s
philosophy blended extravagant
technology with a dramatic
and often unsettling use of
geometric forms. Rightly
celebrated for audaciously
grand constructs, whether
Blofeld’s volcano, Stromberg’s
tanker or the vaults of Fort
Knox, each flm also contains
more intimate spaces that are
equally worthy of attention.
Common elements such as
ramps, bridges and open-tread
staircases and a concern for
fnishes tie all these projects
The offces of Osato
Chemicals in You Only Live
Twice are an exquisite nod to
traditional Japanese architecture
updated for Western tastes, with
sliding screens, fnely-crafted
woods and clean lines, all in a
sympathetic palette of colours.
Willard Whyte’s penthouse
in Diamonds are Forever is
a carefully-orchestrated
symphony in chromed steel
and glass with activity in every
plane, from the chandelier
in the ceiling to the picture
window and eye-like wall safe
to the model landscape set into
the transparent foor. Circles
feature heavily.
Adam’s work here shows
a real sympathy for the
Panavision frame, although
he has admitted to the current
writer a preference for flms
shot in Academy. In fact his
Bond sets tend to ft the picture
space perfectly, regardless of
its proportion. Ceilings are
low and often canted; foors
separate into layers, refecting
the ‘60s fashion for split-level
living and conversation pits;
end walls are usually shown,
often defned by a window.
Adam has an intelligent
eye for actual architecture as
both inspiration and location.
Goldfnger’s rumpus room,
with its angled structural
members, rubble walls and
exposed timber, is clearly
infuenced by the great Frank
Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
home and studio. In Diamonds
are Forever the Las Vegas
Hilton is extended by a matte
painting to become The Whyte
House, whilst the wonderfully
sculptural desert dwelling in
which Bond does battle with
Bambi and Thumper may
appear to be classic Adam but
is in fact the Elrod house by
noted California architect and
Wright disciple John Lautner.In
The Spy Who Loved Me, the soft
curves of Stromberg’s Atlantis
have affnities with the organic
1970s designs of Luigi Colani.
These spaces exist between
reality and fantasy, thrusting
Expressionism into the
Swinging Sixties to generate
a world perfectly matched to
an aspirational audience and
the new architecture they saw
emerging around them.
‘Designing 007: Fifty Years of
Bond Style’ is at the Barbican
Art Gallery, London until 5
September 2012.The new James
Bond flm Skyfall is released in
the UK 28 October.
[Book] ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond gofurther
Responsible for creating some of the most iconic and
memorable sets in the history of flm, production designer
Ken Adam knows a thing or two about dreaming on a
grand scale. chRi s RogeRs takes us on a brief tour.
Sketches of the modifed Lotus Espritas
seen in The Spy Who LOved Me
Volcano set design as seen in
You Only Live Twice
© 1967 Danjaq, LLC & United Artists
Corporation. All rights reserved
Pentagon War Roomdesigned for
Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove
18 September/October 2012 19
i n m i l d - m a n n e r e d insurance
salesman Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey)
is unwittingly the star of a perpetual
reality TV show. His world, the town of
Seahaven, is a Norman Rockwell-inspired
idyll of heart-warming dependability,
a saccharine stasis that Truman never
thinks to doubt – until the sky falls in on
him. Exiting his perfect house on another
perfect sunny morning, he waves to his
smiling neighbours and prepares to take
the short drive to work when from out of
the blue drops ‘Sirius (9 Canis Major)’,
a television stage lamp that smashes onto
the road before him. Truman investigates
but when he looks up in the direction it
has come from all he can see is clear blue
sky. Sirius, the falling ‘star’ is Truman’s
frst clue as to the reality of his existence
(Seahaven is a huge, elaborate television
sound stage) and despite being passed
off later by a radio announcer as a
piece of space junk it is the catalyst that
sparks Truman’s process of questioning
everything that he has come to know.
Read More f o u r f r a me s online at
the art of abbrevi ated storytelli ng
four frames
tHe Sky i S fALLi nG Te Truman Show, Dir. Peter Weir, 1998
1 2
4 3
Te moment of
revelation comes with
a bang. Jez coNolly
sidesteps the falling
debris to delve deeper.
Images: © 1998 Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions
20 September/October 2012 21
JenniFer lawrence as katniss everdeen
w i t h g a r Y r o s s ' adaptation
of Suzanne Collins' Young Adult
novel, The Hunger Games, a new
generation of cinema-goers were
introduced to the concept of a future
world in which watching people
being killed live on television is
a national pastime. Collins' post-
apocalyptic narrative was inspired
by graphic footage of the Iraq War
and Reality TV and drew from
the Greek myth of Theseus and
Shirley Jackson's 1948 short story,
The Lottery. The Hunger Games'
vision of lethal televised violence
is a neat entry point into the world
of killer gameshows in the movies.
Gladiatorial combat, war, sport
and violence dominate gameshows
within movies that address,
satirize and deconstruct themes
1000 words
moments that changed ci nema forever

Let's hope the future of televised entertainment is
nothing like it is in the movies, where death, conspiracies
and ratings go hand in hand. Nei l mi tchell channel
surfs the world of killer gameshows.
of suppression, lowest common
denominator entertainment,
voyeurism, commercialism and
celebrity culture in the name
of political power and ratings.
Existing Reality TV and gameshow
formats, aesthetics and emotionally
manipulative, constructed narratives
have been taken to their (il)logical
end point in this and a number
of other cinematic, televisual and
literary antecedents.
The Ur-texts for the killer
gameshow movies came from
American author Robert Sheckley.
His short stories Seventh Victim
(1953) and The Prize of Peril
(1958) anticipated Reality TV
and gameshows during which
contestants kill or attempt to
avoid being killed for a big cash
prize. Seventh Victim was loosely
adapted in 1965 by Elio Petri as
The Tenth Victim, a gaudy, camp
exercise in satire starring Marcello
Mastroiannii and Ursula Andress as
contestants in The Big Hunt, a show
broadcast worldwide and devised
to allow the violent tendencies of its
bored, bourgeoisie contestants to
be released. The Prize of Peril was
adapted as the German TV movie
Das Millionspiel (Tom Toelle, 1970)
and again as Le Prix du Danger
(Yves Boisett, 1983). The tale of
an ordinary Joe with the habit of
winning dangerous reality television
shows, The Prize of Peril – in both
Image: © 2012 Color Force, Larger Than Life Productions, Lionsgate
22 September/October 2012 23
its offcial, downbeat adaptations
– sees its central fgure uncover a
conspiracy behind a popular televised
manhunt. If that scenario sounds
familiar, it should. The team behind
Paul Michael Glaser's The Running
Man (1986), were successfully sued
by those behind Le Prix du Danger
for liberally remaking their movie
while ostensibly adapting Stephen
King/Richard Bachman's novel of the
same name. The cartoonish Arnold
Schwarzenegger action movie, with
its ads for other killer gameshows
– Climbing For Dollars anyone? -
catchphrases, audience participation,
political oppression, underground
revolutionaries and lethal violence
brought killer gameshows, and the
themes explored via them, to a
mainstream Hollywood audience
in wildly bombastic fashion. Paul
Bartel's earlier Death Race 2000
(1975) similarly saw a revolutionary
front attempting to destabilize
a dictatorship via sabotaging an
ultra-violent, televised event – the
annual staging of the murderous
Transcontinental Road Race. British
director Peter Watkins' The Gladiators
(1969), is an under-seen vision of
a near future world in which wars
are averted and national security
maintained by The International
Peace Games; a series of televised
military games, based on Roman
gladiatorial events, sponsored by a
Pasta company. Orwell may have
written that sport was war minus
the shooting but for Watkins war
will become sport endorsed by your
favourite brands. Concerns regarding
a perceived degradation of moral,
ethical and spiritual values in the real
world have been addressed through
these fctional visions of killer
gameshows; standing as refective,
self-refexive and pointedly critical
works that themselves are often as
hyper-violent and sensationalist as
the fake gameshows they imagine.
Some killer gameshow movies
eschew a future-world environment,
playing out in a recognisable here
and now. Daniel Minahan's lo-f
Series 7:The Contenders, which,
like The Hunger Games, uses a state
controlled lottery to throw unwitting
citizens into a life or death situation,
takes the killer gameshow aesthetic
one step further by playing out
entirely as an episode of the titular
programme. Shot and edited to
closely resemble actual reality TV
shows – with onscreen narration,
highlights packages, to camera
interviews, viewer discretionary
warnings and episode recaps –
Series 7:The Contenders places
'real people in real danger' and
enthusiastically reminds us
that 'these cats don't have nine
lives'. Symbolically climaxing
on an American Football feld
– the modern gladiatorial arena
– and in a cinema – heavily
implicating the viewer in the
action – Minahan's low budget
satire takes aim at the form
itself; its addictive, emotionally
manipulative construction and
base, schedule flling vacuity. Bill
Guttentag's mockumentary, Live!
(2007), follows Eva Mendes'
ambitious TV exec, Katy, as
she brings a Russian Roulette
gameshow to the airwaves. With
its 'One Shot. $5 million. Killer
Ratings' tagline, Live! presents
itself as a movie seeking to court
the controversy that Katy's killer
gameshow achieves within the
narrative by using a format – the
fake documentary – that aims
to add a level of televisual
realism to its fctional
cinematic tale.
As Glaser's The Running Man
did, Mark Pirro's Deathrow
Gameshow (1987) places
condemned prisoners in the
limelight. This time as they
compete in the quiz-show
'Live or Die', hoping to win a
reprieve or, failing that, prizes
for their next of kin in lieu of
their live executions. A crude,
comedic and outrageous
vision of television it may be
but, with Reality TV shows
such as Cell Block 6: Female
Lock Up and JAIL appearing
on American television, an
appetite for following the
lives of incarcerated citizens
for entertainment is evident.
Prisoners again feature in
Scott Wiper's The Condemned
(2007), starring Stone Cold
Steve Austin and Vinnie
Jones. Appealing to lovers of
graphic, knuckle-headed action
movies, The Condemned, in
which purchased criminals
fght to the death, is primarily
of interest as its murderous
action is broadcast online.
Unscrupulous TV producer
Breckel (Robert Mammone),
airs his killer gameshow to
anyone with a credit card,
across the globe and free of
television's boundaries of
acceptability. In this vision
of murder as entertainment,
the constrained nature of
television is the obstacle to
be circumvented, with the
internet the brave new frontier
for unrestricted, uncensored
and unedited Reality TV.
The recurring viewpoints of
the majority of these movies
are that life is becoming
increasingly cheap, television
is the mouthpiece of the state,
the general public will watch
anything and that an Orwellian
fate awaits us all. According to
the movies, in the future Big
Brother is watching you die...
and so is everybody else. [tbp]
arnie in the running man
above oPPosite
gérard lanvin in le Prix du danger
1000 words on your marKs...
the team behind Paul
michael Glaser's the
running man (1986),
were successfully
sued by those behind
Le Prix du danger for
liberally remaking
their movie while
ostensibly adapting
Stephen king/richard
Bachman's novel of
the same name.
[weB] 1000 words: Through a glass darkly: refections on M and its descendents by Jez Conolly THe BIgPICTuRe issue 18: Cinema of the Mind / Due out November 2012
Images: (opposite) © 1987 Braveworld Productions, Home Box Ofce (HBO) / (Below) © 1983 Avala Film / Swabie Production
24 September/October 2012 25
the places that make the movi es
on location
Chopper begins with a disclaimer
that the narrative to follow is a
dramatization and not a biography.
Functioning as an exploration on the
notion of myth, the flm recreates
various infamous set-pieces from the
criminal life of notorious stand-over
man, Mark ‘Chopper’ Read and then
leaves the veracity of his claims open
to dispute. For the purposes of the
exercise two infamous Melbourne
landmarks are also recreated – the
maximum security H division of
Pentridge Prison in the northern
suburb of Coburg (where the blood
of Chopper and his enemies fows
freely) and the vice-rife Bojangles
nightclub in the bayside St. Kilda
(in which Chopper more than once
drew his gun against a backdrop of
harsh lighting, big hair, bad jewelry
and hard 80s rock). In both cases the
flmmakers use the original locations,
yet the former is now home to
upmarket apartments and the latter
a lifestyle complex. The facades
of each still stand as their histories
are kept alive in the mythology of
Melbourne’s dark past.
cHoPPer (2000)
Dir. AndrewDominik
AUS, 94 minutes
Starring: Eric Bana, Simon
Lyndon and David Field
eric bana in choPPer
ben mendelsohn in animal kingdom
It may not be one of the frst cities that springs
to mind as a hotbed of cinematic creativity, but
Melbourne has a long, rich history of evocative,
striking movie-making. Melburnian deaN bRaNdum
takes us on a journey around its multicultural
suburbs, criminal underbelly and tram lined streets.
The notorious Pettingill crime
family was a staple of tabloid
reportage in the 1980s, especially
due to their involvement in the
revenge killing of two young police
offcers in 1988. The unraveling
of the family is the inspiration
for Michod's flm, which eschews
the regulation crime beat of
inner-Melbourne for the city’s
nondescript northern suburbs. The
post-war brick veneer of Ivanhoe
features prominently, including
its church, shopping strip and
restaurants. The anonymity of the
suburban setting offers a stark
contrast to the ruthless violence
inherent within the dysfunctional
clan. An early view of St. Kilda
offers false promise that familiar
landmarks will permit a sense
of inclusion for local viewers,
but although certain places are
name-checked, there is little visual
evidence of this being a Melbourne
story. The one establishing shot
within the Central Business
District (in Little Collins St) is
from an area rarely traveled, yet
the prominent “Victoria Hotel”
signage slyly alludes to the state
where this drama unfolds.
AnimAL kinGdom (2010)
Dir. David Michôd
AUS, 113 minutes
Starring: James Frecheville, Guy
Pearce and Joel Edgerton
Penridge Prison as seen
in choPPer
Images: (opposite) © Australian Film Finance Corporation (AFFC) / (Below) © 2010 Porchlight Films, Screen Australia
26 September/October 2012 27
the places that make the movi es
on location
[Book] To order your copy of world Film Locations: Melbourne Simply visit for further information [weB] 'Like' world Film Locations on Facebook gofurther...
graeme blundell is alvin PurPle
colin Friels in malcolm
Ari (Alex Dimitriades), the young,
gay, Greek-Australian protagonist
of Head On is always on the move,
whether by foot, tram or car his is
a constant strive to escape from
the suffocating pressure of his
strict family and his community’s
cultural expectations. Thus we
are provided with many location
shots of the western suburbs,
with Footscray most prominently
featured. An area that was settled
with many Greeks and Italians
after the post war migration infux,
Head On also acknowledges the
later infuence of the Vietnamese
migration which has characterized
the suburb. In one striking
sequence the aural and visual
cacophony of the Footscray
Market is used to relate Ari’s
anxiety and confusion; in another,
Victoria Dock overlooking the city
lends itself to reminding us of the
transport many Greek immigrants
used to travel to Melbourne, but
for Ari the now disused precinct
offers no means of escape.
HeAd on (1998)
Dir. Ana Kokkinos
AUS, 104 minutes
Starring: Alex Dimitriades,
Paul Capsis and Julian Garner
The introduction of the
‘R-certifcate’ in 1971 was
intended to usher in a new era of
cinema for liberated Australian
adults; yet the initial result was a
bevy of boobs and bums across
the screens to the delight of both
audiences and, in turn, theatre
owners. Getting in on this action
was the sex romp Alvin Purple,
which would become the then
highest grossing Australian flm
of all time. For locals this offered
the combined attractions of seeing
a number of popular television
actresses unclothed and familiar
surroundings including both
Bourke Street (in a lovely night-
time montage) and Swanston
Street (during a Benny Hill style
chase sequence) and the banks of
the Yarra river (including a rare
backdrop shot of Flinders Street’s
detested Gas and Fuel buildings).
Most notable is the capturing of
the south eastern suburbs, from
leafy Caulfeld to the emerging
Moorabbin : areas seldom
captured on flm for footage
perhaps of more value to historians
than to Alvin Purple’s narrative.
Although the inner suburbs of
Melbourne were riddled with
murderous thugs, crooked cops,
drugs and vice in the 1980s,
Malcolm utilized Collingwood
for a more genteel crime caper
narrative in which a likeable
ne’er-do-well and his partner team
with a socially awkward (possibly
autistic) tram lover to pull off a
heist involving a charming array
of mechanical devices. One has
a vague sense of an Antipodean
Ealing comedy at play in which
the antiquated eccentrics of
an anachronistic working class
community overcome the high-
tech measures of the big city
fnance companies. Malcolm
depicts a vanishing world of
terraced housing, faded pubs
and milkbars, bluestone streets
and trams. Lots of trams. The
fnal Melbourne shots (prior to
an international coda) show a
tram disappearing over “The
Hump” of Thornbury, an oddly
charming little linking section of
track (over a train-line) that was
decommissioned from passenger
use several years ago – the ideal
homage to the inner suburban
milieu and its characters.
ALVin PurPLe (1973)
Dir. Tim Burstall
AUS, 95 minutes
Starring: Graeme Blundell,
Abigail and Lynette Curran
mALcoLm (1986)
Dir. Nadia Tass
AUS, 90 minutes
Starring: Colin Friels, John
Hargreaves and Lindy Davies
malcolm depicts a vanishing
world of terraced housing, faded
pubs and milkbars, bluestone
streets and trams. Lots of trams.
Images: (opposite) © 1986 Cascade Films, Film Victoria / (Below) © 1973 Bi-Jay, Hexagon Productions
28 September/October 2012 29
nowadays, it’s impossible
to understand how much of a
commotion was caused by Kermit
the Frog’s bicycle. Its appearance
was the main event of The Muppet
Movie, the 1979 flm debut of Jim
Henson’s iconic creatures. Roger
Ebert’s review began: ‘Jolson
sang, Barrymore spoke, Garbo
laughed, and now Kermit the
Frog rides a bicycle.’ He wasn’t
being funny. The bicycle was big
business. People bought tickets
just to see it. And, having seen it,
they argued about how it could
possibly exist.
When Kermit hopped from the
small screen to the big, he needed
to do something he couldn’t do
on TV to entice his fans to follow
him into cinemas. Something
like ride a bicycle. The bicycle’s
frst appearance is not built up
within the flm: Kermit simply
needs to cycle somewhere, and so
he does. The bicycle, too, is not
in itself extraordinary: it looks
like a bicycle you or I might ride.
And that is the point of it: it is a
bicycle you or I might ride that,
through the magic of the movies,
is being ridden by a Muppet. I’ve
never been sure it is true that
once you learn to ride a bike you
never forgot – but I am certain
that once you’ve seen Kermit the
Frog ride a bike you will always
remember it. [tbp]
evocati ve obj ects onscreen
Te Muppet Movie (1979)
In the 1970s, a puppet’s bicycle created more
of a sensation among cinemagoers than
anything in Te Exorcist or Emmanuelle.
scott JoRdaN haRRi s takes off his stabilisers.
Intellect is an independent academic publisher of books and journals, toviewour catalogueor order our titles visit
or E-mail: Intellect, TheMill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, UK, BS163JG. | Telephone: +44(0) 1179589910 | Fax: +44(0) 1179589911
The CITy
A new flm book series from Intellect /
One of the most dynamic capital cities of the twenty-frst century, Berlin
also has one of the most tumultuous modern histories. A city that came of
age, in many senses, with the cinema, it has been captured on flm during
periods of exurberance, devastation, division, and reconstruction. World
Film Locations: Berlin offers a broad overview of these varied cinematic
representations. Covering an array of flms that ranges from early classics
to contemporary star vehicles, this volume features detailed analyses of
46 key scenes from productions shot on location across the city as well as
spotlight essays in which contributors with expertise in German studies,
urban history, and flm studies focus on issues central to understanding
Berlin flm, such as rubble, construction sites, and music, and controversial
flm personalities from Berlin, such as Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl.
With the help of full-color illustrations that include flm stills and
contemporary location shots, World Film Locations: Berlin cinematically
maps the city’s long twentieth and early twenty frst century, taking
readers behind the scenes and shedding new light on the connections
between many favorite and possibly soon-to-be-favorite flms.
Tracing cinematic depictions of life in Melbourne from the Victorian
era to the present day, World Film Locations: Melbourne serves as an
illuminating and visually rich guide to flms set wholly or partially in one of
Australia’s most diverse and culturally important cities. In a series of short
analyses of iconic scenes and longer essays focusing on key directors,
recurring themes, and notable locations, the contributors examine the
city’s relationship to cinema from a variety of angles. Covering everything
from sporting dramas to representations of the outlaw Ned Kelly to the
coming-of-age flms of the 1980s and beyond, this accessible trip around
the birthplace of Australian cinema validates Melbourne’s reputation
as a creative hotbed and reveals the true signifcance of the flms and
flmmakers associated with the city. Illustrated throughout with full-color
flm stills and photographs of the locations as they are now, World Film
Locations: Melbourne also contains city maps for those wishing to explore
Melbourne’s cinematic streets with this volume’s expert guidance.
ISBN 9781841506401
Paperback £9.95
ISBN 9781841506319
Paperback £9.95
NeW yORk
Image: © 1979 Henson Associates (HA), ITC Films, Walt Disney Productions
September/October 2012 31
The Directory of World Cinema aims to play a part in moving
intelligent, scholarly criticism beyond the academy. Each volume
of the Directory provides a culturally representative insight into a
national or regional cinema through a collection of reviews, essays,
resources, and flm stills highlighting signifcant flms and players.
Over time, new editions are being published for each volume,
gradually building a comprehensive guide to the cinema of each
region. To contribute to the project or purchase copies please visit
the website.
To view our catalogue or order our books and journals visit

Directory of World
Cinema: France
Edited by Tim Palmer
and Charlie Michael
ISBN 9781841505633
Price £15.95, $25
September/October 2012 35
i mi tati on i s the si ncerest form of flattery
parting shot
Sadako shifts through the screen
from terrifying video abstraction
into the ‘real’ world to enact
her revenge is as frightening as
the violence she commits upon
the cursed itself. In Lamberto
Bava’s Demons 2 (1986), a demon
escapes from a TV horror flm,
and approaches his prey from
a frst person point-of-view
perspective as he walks down a
long dark corridor toward the
screen. Unlike Sadako, however,
he struggles to break through
before he can attack. While in
Ringu and Demons 2 this ghastly
transformative ability lies in the
ability of the monsters to utilise
the screen as a transport system,
in The Video Dead (Robert
Scott, 1987) it is one particular
television set that contains the
capacity to send forth killers and
ghouls from its fantastic realm
into that of the protagonists
through the screen. Whatever
the specifc contexts from which
these gruesome otherwordly
fgures manifest, the image of
the television screen as a portal
into darkness is a familiar one in
horror, demonstrating the genre’s
fundamental self-refexivity. [tbp]
Te television set may be a window into different worlds, but for
some directors it is also a dangerous portal for all manner of evil.
alexaNdRa helleR- Ni cholas can't look away as a number of
supernatural entities give new meaning to interactive viewing.
Parting Shot: The Dance of the Bread Rolls by Scott Jordan Harris on gofurther...
from the earli est days of
silent actuality flms, the screen
has functioned as a gateway
to other places. In Sherlock
Jr. (1924), the self-referential
capacity of the diegetic screen to
act as a portal into the fantastic
became clear as Buster Keaton
was transported through the
cinema screen into an alternate
world ruled by his imagination.
Horror’s signature dark twist
has shared this fascination
and screens have often acted
as windows into sinister and
supernatural worlds in flms
including Videodrome (David
Cronenberg, 1983), TerrorVision
(Ted Nicolaou, 1986), Remote
Control (Jeff Lieberman, 1988),
Nightmare on Elm Street III:
Dream Warriors (Chuck Russell,
1987) and Poltergeist (Tobe
Hooper, 1982).
The television screen in
particular functions as a liminal
space between the private sphere
of domestic viewing and the world
beyond. Nowhere is this clearer
than in the Japanese horror flm
Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998),
and the ease with which ghostly
the television screen in
particular functions as a
liminal space between the
private sphere of domestic
viewing and the world beyond.
toP sherlock Jr. / above the video dead
toP ringu above demons 2
Images: (Below) © 1924 Buster Keaton Productions (Bottom) © 1987 Interstate 5 Productions, Highlight Productions
Getting involved with...
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word. So, if this sounds like
you, then simply send us a few
examples of your writing along
with a short personal bio to:
Gabriel Solomons, Senior Editor
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The writing’s on the wall
Read some of the fnest
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our latest
publishers of original thinking |
Europe and Love in Cinema
Edited by Jo Labanyi and Luisa Passerini
and Karen Diehl
ISBN 9781841503790 | Paperback | Price £19.95, $35
Europe and Love in Cinema explores the relationship between
love and Europeanness in a wide range of flms from the 1920s
to the present. A critical look at the manner in which love - in
its broadest sense - is portrayed in cinema from across Europe
and the United States, this volume exposes constructed no-
tions of ‘Europeanness’ that both set Europe apart and defne
some parts of it as more ‘European’ than others. Through the
international distribution process, these flms engage with
ideas of Europe from both outside and within, while some,
treated extensively in this volume, offer alternative models of
love. A bracing collection of essays from top flm scholars, Eu-
rope and Love in Cinema demonstrates the centrality of desire
to flm narrative and explores multiple models of love within
Europe’s frontiers.
Studies in Eastern European Cinema
Principal Editor: John Cunningham
Sheffeld Hallam University:
ISSN: 2040350X Online ISSN: 20403518
In the years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the politi-
cal changes of 1989/90, there has been a growing interest in
the cinemas of the former countries of the Eastern Bloc. There
is a growing community of scholars, including a number of
students working for post-graduate qualifcations, who are
engaged with flm but also media, culture, and art (of one form
or another) from the region. This is not a community existing
on the margins of academia but one which is nationally and
internationally recognised for the centrality and high quality
of its scholarship.
Studies in Eastern European Cinema provides a dynamic, in-
novative, regular, specialised peer-reviewed academic outlet
and discursive focus for the world-wide community of Eastern
European flm scholars, edited by a board of experienced,
internationally recognised experts in the feld.
Intellect isanindependent academicpublisher of booksandjournals, toviewour catalogueor order our titles visit
www.intellectbooks.comor E-mail: Intellect, TheMill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, UK, BS163JG.
The eyes of Tammy Faye
Dirs. Fenton Bailey
and Randy Barbato
g see page 4/5
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Dir. elia kazan
g see page 6/7
Network (1976)
Dir. Sydney Lumet
g see page 8
Videodrome (1983)
Dir. David Cronenberg
g see page 9
Stay Tuned (1992)
Dir. Peter Hyams
g see page 10
To Die For (1995)
Dir. gus Van Sant
g see page 10/11
Quiz Show(1994)
Robert Redford
g see page 12/13
The Truman Show(1998)
Dir. Peter weir
g see page 20/21
The Hunger games (2012)
Dir. gary Ross
g see page 22/23
The Running Man (1987)
Dir. Paul Michael glaser
g see page 24
Le Prix Du Danger (1983)
Dir. Yves Boisset
g see page 25
Chopper (2000)
Dir. AndrewDominik
g see page 26
Animal kingdom (2010)
Dir. David Michôd
g see page 27
Malcolm (1986)
Dir. Nadia Tass
g see page 28/29
Alvin Purple (1973)
Dir. Tim Burstall
g see page 29
Head on (1998)
Dir. Ana kokkinos
g see page 29
The Muppett Movie (1979)
Dir. James Frawley
g see page 31
Ringu (1998)
Dir. Hideo Nakata
g see page 34
Demons 2 (1986)
Dir. Lamberto Bava
g see page 34
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Dir. Buster keaton
g see page 35
The Video Dead (1987)
Dir. Robert Scott
g see page 35
Film Index
So you’ve read about the
flms, now go watch ‘em!

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