- Describe your age.
Jack Benny always claimed he was 39. I think that's the best response. Anyway, how do you 'describe' an age? Fine and mellow?
- Where were you five years ago?
I was in an Australian city named Sydney, and working for The Australian Ballet, which I'd just moved to from The Australian Opera. I shared a home in Paddington with wife, three children, cat, cockatiel, goldfish and dog. And back then I knew absolutely nothing about ballet.
Then I moved to Rushcutters Bay, still with the same wife and same dog, but with only one child remaining at home.
Now we have no children at home; I've left Sydney, and my wife and I now live in beautiful Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. And life is indeed beautiful.
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
My wife sees me in five years time in the South of France, and she is more prescient than I. Hope she's right!
- What's a good night's entertainment for you and your friends?
We start with some music -- the music depends on friends. I've been getting into the very first Rolling Stones albums, courtesy of some great bootleg releases of the original mono albums, taken from the master-tapes. Or Dylan, or Bryan Ferry. Or jazz, or opera, whatever is right for the night.
After dinner, if everyone is interested, we'll watch a great DVD. Otherwise, pour the red wine and stick with the music.
- What got you into DVD and how long ago?
I bought my first machine about six years ago via the DVDShop in Melbourne - a multi-region Panasonic which is still going strong, and which copes with any disc from any where.
I've augmented that with a Pioneer 655A, which I bought mainly for its ability to play SACDs and DVD-Audio format discs, but it also handles DTS.
I'll buy Region 4 discs by choice if the title is available. If not, I'll seek out movies I want via internet sites in America or Canada, or the UK or France -- those are my main markets.
- What do you love about DVD?
The fact that in a good transfer, we're not seeing, as video gives us, what seems to be a poor photocopy of a movie -- we're seeing what seems to be the FILM itself. The detail in a top anamorphic transfer of a widescreen movie such as Almodovar's Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down is such that we seem to gain just about as much as from viewing the film on the big screen. But there are some films which still need that genuine cinema experience........
- Given the advances in DVD over the past few years, does the format still surprise you and why?
It constantly surprises me, every time I open the case and take out that little disc. This is a film!!!! That's unbelievable.
- What title in your collection do you use to introduce friends and family to DVD and why?
Galaxy Quest because it's a very decent anamorphic transfer, and a great comedy which seems to go over well with just about everybody.
Groundhog Day because every day should start with that disc.
The Adventures of Robin Hood because that's how old films should be transferred -- the 1938 Technicolor three-strip process has been moved onto DVD with resounding everlasting brilliance.
- Outside of DVD, what keeps you entertained?
Great music of all sorts, travel, wine, food, etc etc
- Have you ever met someone famous before and/or wish to meet someone famous?
I've met/interviewed John Lennon, and John Fahey (the great US guitarist, not the former NSW Premier!) and Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan. Dylan only in a press conference though, not one-to-one dammit.
Had breakfast with the American actor Jimmy Stewart and lunch with the British actress Margaret Lockwood. And singers James Taylor, Joe Cocker and others I can't remember.
- What is your current method of transport and what would you like to upgrade to?
A Honda CRV (or is that CVR -- can never remember) and a Shogun hybrid road/bush-track bike.
Would like to upgrade to a vintage Morgan sportscar.
- What is your favorite recipe/meal/take-away?
Lemon sorbet to follow.
- What is the only joke you seem to remember when people around you are telling jokes?
Two recently-graduated interns are in the corridor as a beautiful woman is wheeled past.
One says 'she has acute angina'.
'Lovely tits too', says the other.
- Can you juggle? Can you juggle knives? Can you still juggle?
If I tried juggling knives, I wouldn't be here to answer the question.
- What are the most memorable nicknames you've had in your lifetime?
The most memorable are the ones no-one dared tell me.
I found out after I left the Opera that I was 'the eccentric Professor'.
Still don't know what that meant....
- What was the first video game you fell in love with, on what machine? What is your favourite now?
On my very first home computer, Wolfenstein 3D.
My son has tried to convert me to his updated gamesmanship, but that one is still enough for me -- though I would really like the emended version which has got rid of the Nazi uniforms and replaced them with Collingwood football jumpers.
- What are your favourites? (Music, movies, books, anything!)
Getting into old Kurosawa at the moment, and revisiting all of Jacques Tati's movies.
And I've been reading some old science fiction and detective novels (the old Green Penguin series).
Love The Who, the Stones, Neil Young, Bryan Ferry, jazz singer Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, opera singers Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Beniamino Gigli -- all sorts of music as long as they show standout brilliance.
- What DON'T you like about DVD?
The missing titles.....
Where is Bertolucci's greatest movie The Conformist?
And the Billy Wilder classic The Major and The Minor?.
And I hate regional coding -- why should people have to put up with the tyranny of Hollywood film studios about what titles they can watch, in what region! There are close to 15,000 titles now, I think, in Australia. In Region 1 there are closer to 50,000, and the gap will never be bridged. Cult films in particular can only be served by an open-market policy.
|Anthony's recent reviews:
A Fistful of Dollars (Sony)
"An essential Spaghetti-Western, given deluxe treatment by MGM."
"Falls short of being a classic, but it gives us Bill Murray, so it just has to be seen."
Creature Comforts - Series 1: Vol. 2
"Delicious comic idea given the right-royal Aardman treatment. "
The General (Buster Keaton)
"Forget that this is a silent movie. This 1927 classic has more expression, movement and sheer beauty (along with its comedy) than 99 per cent of films made today."
Dr Who - Claws Of Axos
"Is it Worzel Gummidge? No, it's Jon Pertwee in his other great television role, as the good Doctor battling all kinds of evil on our behalf."
Looney Tunes - Stranger Than Fiction
"Modern website cartoon versions of the classic Looney Tunes is perhaps slightly better than we could have expected."
Looney Tunes - Reality Check
"The Looney Tunes gang invades modern-era television with mixed results."
The Day Of The Triffids (Roadshow)
"Is this the best television dramatisation yet of a classic science-fiction tale? Could well be...."
Bewitched - Complete Season 1
"The loveliest witch in the entire known universe just has to twitch her nose to cast her special spell all over again."
Dr Who - Series 1: Vol. 1 (2005)
"He's back -- and the Good Doctor doesn't let us down. These new adventures are simply terrific."
List all Anthony's reviews