It was night, stormy, and the oil rig Transocean Winner was somewhere in the North Atlantic on 7 August 2016 when her tow-line broke. No crew members were on board. The rig was being dragged by a tugboat called Forward, the tethered vessels charting a course out of Norway that was meant to take them on a month-long journey to Malta. Within the offices of Transocean Ltd, the oil-exploration company that owned the rig, such a journey might have been described with corporate seemliness as an “end-of-life voyage”; but in the saltier language heard offshore, the rig was “going for fucking razorblades” – for scrap, to be dismantled in a shipbreaking yard east of Malta. In that Atlantic storm, several thousand miles from her intended destination, Winner floated free. The 33-year-old rig had never moved with so little constraint. Winner was huge – 17,000 tonnes, like an elevated Trafalgar Square, complete with a middle derrick as tall as Nelson’s … [Read more...] about Where oil rigs go to die
Eyes wide open movie
Craig Silvey’s bestselling 2009 novel Jasper Jones was greeted with none-too-faint praise, lauded in some circles as Australia’s own To Kill a Mockingbird. The arrival of a feature film from the director Rachel Perkins – on the heels of several successful stage adaptations – raises the question: can the same be said of the movie adaptation? Is this our Mockingbird? I prefer to think of it as Stand By Me down under, with a bit of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson thrown in. Perkins’ morbidly enchanting coming-of-age drama has much in common with the director Rob Reiner’s beloved 1986 adaptation of a Stephen King novella. From the small-town period setting, to the presence of secret-bound kids discovering a dead body, to the way these wide-eyed pipsqueaks huddle together and exchange scepticism about the adult world, including coming to terms with abusive parents. Both films feature protagonists who are writers. During one scene in Stand By Me, two boys … [Read more...] about Jasper Jones review – enchanting coming-of-age film could be Australia’s Stand By Me
With its outsize red carpet, compulsory sunglasses and auteur-worship, the Cannes film festival has been at the pinnacle of the international film festival circuit for decades. It somehow manages to shoehorn both movie-world glamour and austere artistic rigour into the same 10-day screening frenzy on France’s Côte d’Azur, packing movie stars on to its gala premiere conveyor belt as well as bestowing the Palme d’Or, one of the film industry’s most prized and valuable awards. But for this year’s edition, the 71st, Cannes is having to face up to the fact that business cannot go on as usual: the Harvey Weinstein scandal has seen to that. The film festival is now, in effect, a crime scene. Weinstein was one of Cannes’ princes, a showman who used the festival as a personal fiefdom: buying and selling films, holding court to the press and public, and, it would now appear, using the festival as a private playground. A good number of the accusations … [Read more...] about Cannes in crisis: has the festival learned the lessons of Weinstein?