Tonight I attended the World Premiere of Beneath Hill 60. The story of an Australian mining engineer who orchestrated the largest demolition by explosion in history. This particular explosion took place during World War One to basically end the checkmate situation that was occurring between Australia (and England) and Germany.
Australians do many, many, many, many, many, many things well. One of those things is make war films. Beneath Hill 60 is no exception.
The thing I love about Aussie War movies is that there's absolutely no sensationalism. We don't pretend we were heroes, we just play it out like it was. And if we did manage to save the day- then so be it; that story will be told.
The beautiful thing about Beneath Hill 60 is that each character featured is a hero. From Oliver Woodward to Billy 'Streaky' Bacon, each of these men plays a huge part in completing the important mission.
This film encapsulates alot of typical brilliant Aussie features: Hot blokey men, the perfect amount of Aussie/Pom rivalry, cheeky, witty humour and just a hint of Rugby League. It's the quintessential Aussie film with a love story to suck the ladies in just in case the...oh wait, I already mentioned the hot blokey men.
That said- the 'love story' is not as strong as it ought to be. To be honest, I was so emotionally invested in the young boys being at war, I didn't really and truly get taken on a journey with the main couple. I mean, it would be cool if they met again, but I didn't care if they didn't meet again, either. I was more concerned with all the boys getting home safely individually to care about their girls..
I don't want to give too much away so you will have to see if for yourselves...and trust me; you want to see this one.
Bonuses- because this film is centred around the actual engineering of war it's alot tamer than a straight out war flick. There's not as many gruesome scenes as you'd get in your typical war movie and you get to witness the logistics of war.
This movie doesn't take itself too seriously. Although I found myself going "woah, this actually happened" there are still so many hilarious and funny one liners that it meant I wasn't tense the whole way through. This was a nice change as often I'm really anxious throughout these kinds of movies.
There are some serious hotties in this film. Notably Mark Coles Smith who I had the pleasure of talking to for a while at the after party. Not only has he got the greatest smile known to mankind (you wouldn't believe how many women came up to tell him this...me included) but he is so, so eloquent and charming he makes you feel like the only girl in the room. Watch out for this boy- he's definitely going places. Another thing to watch out for- the first scene he is in....glistening bicep and that million-dollar smile. Mmmmmm.
Minuses- I found the music really corny. I mean, the composition overall was fine. It was great. It's just as though it didn't match the actual actions taking place in the movie.
The acting by Brendan Cowell and Bella Heathcote was a bit tedious to begin with. I found it really contrived and dreaded watching them for another 2 hours, but after their first scene together the pretentiousness was lost and they were both fantastic. Also worth noting were Bella Heathcote's beautiful features. She looks like an absolute doll. Porcelain skin, doe eyes, bow lips and high cheek bones with the correct amount of blush. Perfection.
Overall I felt like this is going to be the next Aussie hit. Really well directed by Jeremy Sims and the writing by David Roach is spot on. Mad props to Ross Thomas for finding the actual diary with this story of how this all went down (I hope I heard that correctly when it was announced) because it's something so important that all Aussies should know about our history. I for one am admittedly (and not proudly) ignorant about our history, so any information I get I'm thrilled to add to my knowledge bank. This film made it so much easier for me to absorb and I'm so proud to be part of a nation that's so clever and tenacious as these men were.
Aside from the movie itself, the night overall was really, really fun. It was held at Event Cinemas on George Street Sydney across two cinemas (so as to hold the 700 viewers).
Cast and crew including Gyton Grantley, Brendan Cowell and Jeremy Sims were among guests which also included Rai Thistlethwayte of Thirsty Merc and Angus McLaren of Packed to the Rafters.
Soldiers who greeted us on the red carpet. I took this as I left because I didn't want to be taking photos of while walking down said carpet. I'm not that lame.
Director- Jeremy Sims
The after party was hosted by Arthouse which put on a selection of much-needed-by-that-point-in-the-night fried foods like spring rolls, curry puffs, pork and prawn wantons (which is like my devil food but I still downed out of sheer desparation) and calamari while some people got a little frisky to the late-90s tunes being offered on the dance floor....hhmmm
Oh, and to the man (let's call him douchelord) who literally walked through my friend to push his way to the bar- I have photog'd you and I'm outing you as a jerk who can't wait 4 seconds to get a drink and thinks it's OK to push people for no reason. Next time, how about you wait a bit longer for a $5 beer and spend less time walking around looking for people who have no idea who you are. OK, mate? Cool.
Douchelord after he pushed my friend.
See my pics below with some of the stars of the film.
Gyton Grantly who played Norman Morris and I.
Myself with Alex Thompson who played Walter Sneddon.
Mark Coles Smith- AKA Billy 'streaky' Bacon with my friend, Angie.
Million-dollar-smile with myself.
Angie, Cutie patootie- Harrison Gilberston (whom I almost burst into tears after locking eyes with post-film. Watch it and you'll see why) and I.
Beneath Hill 60 opens on April 15th in Cinemas across Australia. Visit www.beneathhill60.com.au for more information and to watch the trailer.