ABBA in Pictures exhibition

ABBA in PicturesFans disappointed about the postponment of the opening of ABBA the Museum will be pleased to hear about a new exhibition, ABBA in Pictures, that opens in Stockholm in May.

ABBA in Pictures will be held at Gallerian shopping mall in central Stockholm from 15 May to 13 September 2009. Tickets will be available from 1 April or at the door.

The exhibition promises that “the visitor will physically enter the world of the stars and experience the ABBA story through hundreds of well-known and never-before-seen photographs” by photographers including Anders Hanser and Torbjörn Calvero.

For more information see the exhibition’s website.

UPDATE 9 MARCH: according to the Official International ABBA Fan Club, the exhibition has been cancelled due to “rights issues” but may go ahead at a later date.

Author: Ian Cole

My name is Ian Cole, and I live in Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales in Australia.

3 thoughts on “ABBA in Pictures exhibition”

  1. Hi Ian

    Just articles.

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    * The Sunday Telegraph –11 January 2009 (Page 132)

    Spotlight – Insider

    Who’ll strike Gold

    This is one of the biggest weekends in the 66-year history of the Golden Globe Awards. After last year’s Writers Guild of America strike reduced the event to a glorified press conference with no big stars attending, this year’s Globes are back in full force on Sunday night in Los Angeles (early tomorrow afternoon, NSW time) to reclaim their place as “Hollywood’s party of the year”.

    Tinseltown will be dressing up and partying down, but who will be leaving the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom with one of the shining statuettes? Lawrie Masterson has a stab at the likely winners.

    * Best Supporting Actor

    Despite the presence of heavyweight nominees Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, it’s likely to be Australia’s moment.

    The late Heath Ledger is a raging favourite to take the Globe for his role in ‘The Dark Knight’ as The Joker, one of the great screen villains of last year (or any year).

    My tip: It’s bittersweet, but Ledger will be given his due.

    * Best Actress (comedy or musical)

    Perennial nominees Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Frances McDormand feature here along with British newcomers Rebecca Hall and Sally Hawkins.

    I want to say Streep will win simply because she’s Streep, but I have a feeling this will be one of the Globes’ unpredictable moments.

    My tip: Hawkins will leave happy.

    * Best Actress (drama)

    Meryl Streep, who bestrides awards nominations like no other, is incredible in her range (‘Mamma Mia!’ to ‘Doubt’ this past year) and only gets better at what she does.

    The others paying homage to her this year are Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Kristin Scott Thomas and Kate Winslet.

    My tip: No one will be happier than Streep when first-time nominee Hathaway’s name is announced for ‘Rachel Getting Married’.

    The rest of us will continue to be puzzled about why Cate Blanchett wasn’t even nominated for ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’.

    * Best Movie (comedy or musical)

    Only one musical, Phyllida Lloyd’s wildly successful ‘Mamma Mia!’, made the cut in an eclectic bunch.

    Martin McDonagh’s ‘In Bruges’ is a dark comedy released relatively early last year, but obviously it had some impact.

    ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ is a change of pace from British director Mike Leigh. ‘Burn After Reading’ and ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ come from serial nominees the Coen Brothers and Woody Allen, respectively.

    My tip: Mike Leigh will get lucky, and may actually look happy about it.

    Lawrie Masterson is a voting member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Get all the live red-carpet action and the winners of the 2009 Golden Globes from 10am tomorrow on

    Place your bets…the US ranks its favourites

    * Best Actress (Drama)
    Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married: 5/2
    Angelina Jolie – Changeling: 4/1
    Meryl Streep – Doubt: 3/1
    Kristen Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long: 5/1
    Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road: 5/2

    * Best Actress (Musical or Comedy)
    Rebecca Hall – Vicki Christina Barcelona: 3/1
    Sally Hawkins – Happy Go Lucky: 3/1
    Francis McDormand – Burn After Reading: 5/1
    Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!: 5/2
    Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey: 7/2

    * Best Supporting Actor
    Tom Cruise – Valkyrie: 8/1
    Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder: 2/1
    Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess: 13/2
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt: 7/1
    Heath Ledger – The dark Knight: 10/11

    * Best Picture (Musical or Comedy)
    Happy Go Lucky: 2/1
    Mamma Mia!: 4/1
    Vicky Christina Barcelona: 3/1
    Burn After Reading: 7/2
    In Bruges: 5/1

    * The Sydney Morning Herald –Tuesday, 13 January 2009 (Page 7)

    Ledger’s dark finale takes on golden glow. By Emily Dunn

    The odds of Heath Ledger winning an Academy Award narrowed yesterday after the actor was honoured with a posthumous Golden Globe for his menacing portrayal of the Joker in the hit Batman film ‘The Dark Knight’.

    The win – days before the anniversary of the actor’s death in New York by accidental drug overdose on January 22 last year – cements Ledger as the favourite to win the best supporting actor Oscar at the awards next month.

    The actor’s family were not present to collect the award yesterday, but Ledger’s father, Kim, said he was touched by the standing ovation at the ceremony.

    “I’m just kind of relieved, amazed,” Mr Ledger told Channel Nine. “You can never take anything for granted at these awards…People have said that it’s a dark piece and that brought him down but that just didn’t occur. He was so elated with his work. It was amazing.”

    ‘The Dark Knight’ director, Christopher Nolan, accepted the award on the star’s behalf.

    “All of us who worked with Heath on the ‘The Dark Knight’ accept this with an awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride,” Nolan said.

    “For any of us lucky enough to work with him, I think for any of us lucky enough to have enjoyed his performances, he will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten.”

    Other winners at the 66th Golden Globes included the hit independent film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, the story of a boy’s rise from Mumbai’s slums to the brink of fortune on a television game show, which won best motion picture and best director for its British filmmaker, Danny Boyle, as well as best screenplay and best original score.

    Kate Winslet, who has been nominated five times before and also has five Oscar nominations to her name, took home two statues, for her portrayal of a frustrated 1950s suburbanite in ‘Revolutionary Road’ and for her supporting role in ‘The Reader’.

    Mickey Rourke won the award for best actor in a drama for his portrayal of a fading fighter in ‘The Wrestler’.

    The Irish actor Colin Farrell won the award for best actor in a comedy or musical for his performance as a hitman with a troubled conscience in ‘In Bruges’.

    Australian actresses Rachel Griffiths and Melissa George, both nominated for best supporting television actress, lost to Laura Dern, who won for her role in the TV movie ‘Recount’.

    With agencies

    The Winners
    Best actress in a musical or comedy: Sally Hawkins, ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’
    Best Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, ‘The Dark Knight’

    Photo: Standing ovation for a star … Heath Ledger in 2003 and, inset, as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Thursday, 15 January 2009 (Page 6)

    Movies big ticket

    When the going got tough, Aussies went to the movies. Australians spent $946 million on cinema tickets last year, the highest grossing year on record.

    Box office revenue increased by 6 per cent on 2007, and 4 per cent on the previous best year, 2004, according to figures released by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

    Film fans flocked to see Heath Ledger in his last completed film ‘The Dark Knight’, making it the highest grossing film of the year with $45.7 million.

    It also secured the sixth position on the chart of the highest grossing films of all time in Australia.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Saturday, 24 January 2009 (Page 11)

    We’re so proud of Heath

    Ledger tipped for Oscar on Knight of nights. By Peter Mitchell

    Tragic actor Heath Ledger’s final chapter will be played out next month on Hollywood’s greatest stage.

    The late Australian star was nominated for an Oscar – and if victorious at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, his name will be etched in history alongside such names as Marlon Brando, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Robert De Niro and acting’s other greats, Ledger’s nod for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ ironically came on the first anniversary of his death from an accidental overdose.

    “I really hope he wins,” fellow Ausiie and ‘Dark Knight’ film editor Lee Smith yesterday.

    “He deserves it … what Heath did on the set was just extraordinary.”

    Smith, visual effects supervisor Ben Snow and costume designer Catherine Martin were Australia’s other nominees.

    If Ledger is honoured with the Oscar on February 22 it will be the first posthumous win for an actor since another Australian, Peter Finch, did it for ‘Network’ in 1977.

    Film flutter: How bookies see the running:

    Best Actress
    Kate Winslet – The Reader: 5/4
    Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married: 6/4
    Meryl Streep – Doubt: 11/2
    Angelina Jolie – Changeling: 12/1
    Melissa Leo – Frozen River: 12/1

    Supporting Actor
    Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight: 1/8
    Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road: 10/1
    Josh Brolin – Milk: 12/1
    Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt 10/1
    Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder: 25/1

    * The Sun-Herald (Sydney) – Sunday, 25 January 2009 (Page S7)

    Oscars 2009: The Hot Picks

    Who will take one of the coveted statuettes home, wonders Rob Lowing.

    There were few surprises in Friday’s announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees. Unimaginatively, Academy Awards voters followed the recent Golden Globes and singled out ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ (13 nominations), ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (10 nominations), ‘Milk’ (eight), ‘Frost/Nixon’ (five) and ‘The reader’ (five), for best motion picture and director, and continuing the Oscars trend of avoiding expensive studio epics.

    So Australians – or Australia – fared badly, Catherine Martin picked up a costume design nomination but the film, which is crawling towards $US50 million ($76 million) at the US box office (the low-budget ‘Twilight’ did $US183 million in the same period), was ignored in other categories. At least Hugh Jackman will be hosting the ceremony.

    Heath Ledger picked up a supporting actor nomination for ‘The Dark Knight’. But Academy voters may not be as sentimental as the Globes’ (whose ceremony was recently described as “far drunker than the Oscars” by ‘Entertainment Weekly’. Ledger is good – in fact, he saved the film, but his drug-induced death and waste of talent makes professionals impatient. He’s up against popular comeback guys Robert Downey jnr (‘Tropic Thunder’) and Josh Brolin (‘Milk’) and favourite Philip Seymour Hoffman (‘Doubt’).

    The showdown is for best actress. Kate Winslet picks up her sixth nomination, for ‘The Reader’. The British actress is regarded as a beloved Hollywood daughter, her ‘Titanic’ is still the top-grossing movie of all time in the US.

    But she’s up against frequent nominee Meryl Streep (‘Doubt’) whose ongoing career – and $500 million-grossing ‘Mamma Mia!’ – make her a favourite with older voters.

    If he quits falling up steps at awards ceremonies, ‘The Wrestler’s’ Mickey Rourke should win best actor. His much-trumpeted comeback story (drugs, bad movies, etc) and fiercely intimate performance should edge out ‘Milk’s’ Sean Penn.

    The 81st Academy Awards will be presented on the 23rd of February, 2009, Australian time.

    Photos: Hopefuls…(1) Mickey Rourke in ‘The Wrestler’; (2) Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Doubt’; (3) Kate Winslet in ‘The reader’; (4) Robert Downey jnr in ‘Tropic Thunder’; and (5) Catherine Martin, costume designer on ‘Australia’.

    * The Sydney Morning Herald – Tuesday, 27 January 2009 (Page 16)

    SiT – Stay In Touch with Louise Schwartzkoff & Garry Maddox

    Another Award on the ledger

    Heath Ledger looks even more likely to win a posthumous Oscar after another key award in Los Angeles yesterday.

    Just days after the Australian actor’s posthumous nomination for next month’s Academy Awards, the star of ‘The Dark Knight’ won best supporting actor at the Screen Actor Guild Awards. His co-star, Gary Oldman, accepted the award in front of a giant image of Ledger as a Joker.

    Although none of the Indian actors in the rags-to-riches drama ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ got an Oscar nod, they won the guild’s top prize for outstanding performance by a movie cast. The Award continues the film’s momentum towards a possible best picture win at the Oscars.

    The surprise at yesterday’s awards was Sean Penn winning best actor for playing ground-breaking gay politician, Harvey Milk, in ‘Milk’, defeating an Oscars favourite, Mickey Rourke, for ‘The Wrestler’.

    A delighted Meryl Streep ran down the aisle to collect her award for best actress for ‘Doubt’, beating a glamorous field that included Anne Hathaway for ‘Rachel Getting Married’ Angelina Jolie for ‘Changeling’, Mellisa Leo for ‘Frozen River’ and Kate Winslet for ‘Revolutionary Road’. Winslet won best supporting actress for the post-Holocaust drama ‘The Reader’.

    Photo: Come on down… Meryl Streep rushes to accept her award.

    * The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Tuesday, 27 January 2009 (Page 15)

    Oscar momentum builds for Ledger. By Peta Hellard in Los Angeles

    Heath Ledger is one step closer to a posthumous Oscar, with the late actor winning a Screen Actors Guild award yesterday.

    Ledger, who died a year ago of a prescription drug overdose, was honoured for his chilling performance as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’.

    His co-star Gary Oldman accepted the supporting actor award on Ledger’s behalf, with the actor hoisting the trophy in the air and shouting “Heath” as he struggled to hold back tears.

    “He was an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent,” Oldman said.

    It is the latest in a swag of awards for the Perth-born actor, who won a posthumous Golden Globe for the role earlier this month and has also been nominated for an Academy Award and a British Film Award.

    The night’s other major winners included Sean Penn for best actor for playing slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk in ‘Milk’, kate Winslet for best supporting actress as a Nazi prison guard in ‘The Reader’ and Meryl Streep for her performance as a stern nun in ‘Doubt’.

    Streep was clearly surprised when her name was announced, with the veteran actress running to the podium with her hands in the air and giving presenter Ralph Fiennes a big kiss on the lips.

    “I didn’t even buy a dress,” a pants-clad Streep said.

    Photos: Triumph…Gary Oldman accepts the award for Heath Ledger, Sean Penn wins best actor and a surprised Meryl Streep.

    * The Weekly Telegraph (UK) – Thursday, 5 February-Wednesday, 11 February 2009 (Page 23)

    Who’s the woman of no importance?

    After being dropped from her role as Maid Marian in Sir Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Robin Hood film, ‘Nottingham’, allegedly because she was considered too slim to appear opposite her chunky co-star Russell Crowe, Sienna Miller appears to have lost out again.

    This time, it is to the femme du jour Amanda Seyfried, for a role in a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play ‘A Woman of No Importance’.

    Amanda, 23, who found fame cavorting in a swimsuit in the Summer blockbuster ‘Mamma Mia!’, has won the role of Hester Worsley, the buttoned-up American puritan, a part which was widely reported to have already gone to Sienna, 27.

    While filming the ABBA musical, Amanda fell for her co-star Dominic Cooper, who played her fiancé.

    * TV hits (Sydney) – November/December 2008 (Page 70)

    Faces To Watch

    Mamma Mia! – Hottie Dominic Cooper chats with us about his new flick, ABBA mania and chilling in Greece.


    Question: did you get sunburnt filming ‘Mamma Mia!’? You were all so tanned!
    Dominic Cooper: I didn’t get sunburnt because I’d already been made to lie on a sun bed for about two months. It wasn’t sprayed on. We got to hang out in Greece a bit before we started filming. I don’t think I burn, there was no burning. Some people were burnt, but I don’t burn very easily.

    Q: Was there anyone who played jokes on set or messed up their lines on purpose? Fess up!
    DC: No, there wasn’t! Yeah, everyone was badly behaved, we were all badly behaved. I don’t think anyone took it too seriously, which I think was the spirit of the whole thing anyway. I just remember it was the whole atmosphere, like watching Pierce Brosnan sing his song. We were never very kind to each other. We used to mock each other quite a bit as well, but it was such an incredible place to be filming and we had a great time. No one brought fart machines onto the set, which people used to do when I worked on stage quite a lot. [laughs]

    Q: Is Amanda Seyfried is as gorgeous in real life as she is in the movie?
    DC: Yes, she is. She’s absolutely lovely. She’s a great actress, who is brilliant to work with. She’s a liar though. [laughs] She told me when I first met her that she couldn’t sing, and then this incredible voice came out that put me to shame. That made me even more embarrassed because I can’t sing!

    Q: What was the audition process like?
    DC: I got a phone call saying can you sing, and I said no and tried not to go to the audition. Then I finally went to the audition and I really insisted that I couldn’t sing very well and they insisted that I still come in. I went into a room, which had a keyboard that played ABBA music by itself, which I found terrifying, and the feeling was that I just had to embrace it and go for it. I’m really happy that I eventually did it. It’s always good to push yourself and experience the challenge of it. When you suddenly hit that note that you didn’t think you were capable of hitting it’s a really, really exciting feeling.

    Q: What are your favourite memories on being on the set?
    DC: There was a fantastic evening where Benny and Björn were around when we had the wrap party, and they played ABBA tracks and the whole cast got around and started singing them. It was a really nice way to end the job, and it was a really great memory in Greece. It was fantastic.

    Q: Is it weird being in a movie with so many fantastic actors?
    DC: Yeah, it was daunting at first. You know, you’ve grown up watching their brilliant work, but then you realise they’re in the same boat as you. The look of terror on Colin Firth’s face when we started working and he was in his suit when we were about to start our dance rehearsal… [laughs]

    Q: What do you hope people take from this movie?

    DC: I think this movie doesn’t ever pretend to be something it’s not. The foundations of it are some incredible pop music, whether you like it or you don’t, but then it’s got that heartfelt human story in the middle of that and the backdrop of Greece and some incredible movie stars in it. The music evokes many memories and the story reflects that. It takes you on a journey as you’re watching it, and I think ultimately it’s just a really entertaining night out.

    Q: Are you over ABBA songs now?
    DC: Yes, yes… [laughs]

    The Lowdown:
    DOB: 2 June, 1978
    Hometown: London, UK
    Latest gig: Playing cutie Sky in “Mamma Mia!’ alongside Meryl Streep and Colin Firth.
    Catch him in: ‘The Duchess’ starring opposite Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, out later this year.

    * The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Monday, 9 February 2009 (Page 16)

    Tight Grammy fight. By Peter Mitchell

    Kylie Minogue, AC/DC, Keith Urban and Sam Sparro make an unlikely quartet but they will unite to fly the Australian flag at the 51st Grammy Awards in Los Angeles today.

    Music’s night of nights will be a showdown between New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne and British super group Coldplay, who go head-to-head for album of the year and are nominated in most of the other major categories.

    Lil Wayne is up for eight Grammys and Coldplay seven, while rappers Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West each received six nominations.

    Much of the buzz is centred on veteran rockers AC/CD and whether they will break a three-decade losing streak at music’s version of the Oscars.

    The band, formed in Sydney in 1973, is nominated this year in the best rock performance by a duo or group category for the song ‘Rock N Roll Train’.

    The category may be rock but AC/DC is facing subdued competition. The band is up against Coldplay’s sleepy ‘Violet Hill’, The Eagles ‘Long Road of out of Eden’, Radiohead’s ‘House of Cards’ and the Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’

    Minogue and Urban are no strangers to the red carpet. Minogue has been nominated four times before, winning best dance recording category in 2003 for ‘Come Into My World’, and is in the running this year in the best electronic/dance album for ‘X’.

    She is up against Moby, Cyndi Lauper, Daft Punk, Robyn and Brazilian Girls.

    Urban is a two-time Grammy winner and is nominated this year for his duet with Trisha Yearwood.

    They are nominated for best country collaboration for ‘Let the Wind Chase You’, along with Kenny Chesney and George Strait for ‘Shiftwork’, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for ‘Killing the Blues’, Strait and Patty Loveless for ‘House of Cash’ and ‘Sugarland, Jake Owen and Little Big Town for ‘Life in a Northern Town’.

    The Grammy ceremony continues the rise of electropop’s new prince, Sam Sparro. The 26-year-old Sydneysider has ridden music’s highs and lows in the past, working at times in cafes to pay the bills.

    Today he is up against the music industry’s queen, Madonna, and another rising star, Rihanna for the best dance recording Grammy. Sparro is nominated for his hit ‘Black and Gold’.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Friday, 20 February 2009 (Pages 34 & 103)


    Standout movies boost earnings

    Success of films such as ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Mamma Mia!’ has helped Greater Union owner Amalgamated Holdings to a lift in first-half earnings before one-off items.

    The entertainment and hospitality operator made a normalised net profit for the six months to December 31 of $62.5 million, up 26.7 per cent over the previous first half.

    Its bottom-line net profit fell 35 per cent to $50.76 million, from $78.15 million.

    Amalgamated’s previous first half net profit was lifted by $38 million on the sale of its 50 per cent interest in Roadshow Distributors.

    The result was driven by its cinema exhibition business, particularly In the German and Middle East circuits.

    Other standout films for the first half included ‘Quantum of Solace’ and ‘Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa’, it said.

    Managing director David Seargeant said the company was “delighted” with the performance of its cinema exhibition business.

    But Mr Seargeant said it remained concerned about the outlook for its hotel business – the group spans Rydges hotels as well as the Thredbo Alpine Resort – in the second half and the impact that a softening in both occupancy and yield may have on the full year result.

    Earnings from the hotels group declined by 5.9 per cent over the previous first half.

    Amalgamated said existing debt facilities were $263 million, most of which extended to 2012. It declared an interim divided of 11c a share.

    Photo: Daylight – Actor Heath Ledger’s last film ‘The Dark Knight’ has given Amalgamated Holdings a lift.

    * mX News (Sydney) – Monday, 23 February 2009 (Page 5)

    ‘The Dark Knight’ has cracked the $US1 billion ($1.5 billion) mark at the international box office, studio Warner Bros said. The film is now in fourth place on the list of all-time box 0ffice grosses, behind ‘Titanic’ ($2.8 billion), ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King’ ($1.7 billion) and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ ($1.65 billion). ‘The Dark Knight’ has taken $825 million in the US and $724 million elsewhere.

    * The Sydney Morning Herald – Tuesday, 24 February 2009 (Page 13)

    Jackman grabs the paddles and saves the show. By Clare Morgan

    He sang, he danced, he cracked jokes. And by the end of his raucous opening number, Hugh Jackman had resuscitated a flat-lining Oscars ceremony.

    Brought in as part of the overhaul by organisers stung by last year’s lowest-ever television figures, Jackman admirably fulfilled his brief to add some old-style pizazz. OK, some of his patter was akin to open mic night at Hurlstone Park RSL, but he had the charm to carry it off.

    Joking that the broadcast had been downsized because of the recession, Jackman told the audience that he’d put together his own tribute in his garage.

    There followed a crazy musical tribute to the nominated films – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Milk’, ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’, ‘Frost/Nixon’ and ‘The Reader’ – that featured home-made props cardboard cut-outs and bucket s of irreverence.

    As he gazed into the eyes of Kate Winslet during the ‘Slumdog’ number, he sang about “swimming through a sea of excrement”. The Milk routine featured the Craiglist Dancers. Anne Hathaway was carried onstage for a ‘Frost/Nixon’ duet, with Jackman singing “Why didn’t you burn the tapes?” In the final segment, Jackman was joined by futuristic dancers to confess cheekily he hadn’t seen ‘The Reader’.

    American film-goers more familiar with Wolverine’s sideburns and retractable claws might have found Jackman’s performance a revelation, but those who have seen him in ‘The Boy From Oz’ and other musicals wouldn’t be surprised.

    The routine won a standing ovation and raised expectations for the rest of the show.

    Those expectations were slightly dented when Jackman donned top hat and tails for a Baz Luhrmann-designed tribute to movie musicals, only to be joined by Beyonce Knowles in spangly red dress and top hat.

    Things got worse when Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens from ‘High School Musical’, Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried from ‘Mamma Mia!’ and squadrons of dancers joined in. “The musical is back!” Jackman exclaimed. Or this routine just killed it.

    Thereafter, Jackman confined himself to wandering on and off stage as he introduced presenters. Overall he was charming, and no doubt raised his Hollywood stocks even higher.

    And he kept the show under four hours.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Thursday, 5 March 2009 (Page 26)

    Jackman can’t stop the music

    It’s a bit of a step down from their Broadway-style song and dance number at the Oscars but Hugh Jackman and Baz Luhrmann are still making music together, even if it is in a karaoke bar. They were spotted belting out some tunes in Tokyo. They were in good company, too, singing alongside box office hit ‘Twilight’ cast members, among them Robert Pattinson. The duo were in the Japanese capital to spruik ‘Australia’. It seems when it comes to a show tune, you just can’t hold these boys back.

    * The Australian – Thursday, 12 March 2009 (Page 10)


    Music‘s coalition of the no longer willing

    Big name artists are rebelling at exploitation by record companies and the internet, writes Dan Sabbagh

    They earn millions and their diva-esque demands are often mind-boggling. But today, Robbie Williams, K.T. Tunstall and the members of Radiohead will join a group of high-profile musicians to protest at how badly they are treated by record companies and music streaming websites such as YouTube.

    The inaugural meeting of the Featured Artists Coalition, which will be held behind closed doors at a secret venue in London’s West End, is aimed at giving famous names a greater say in how music industry contracts are struck in an increasingly opaque digital age.

    The FAC, which describes itself as “ a coalition, not a union”, has been organised by Billy Bragg, the veteran protest singer Dave Rowntree, the Blur drummer turned Labour party candidate, and Radiohead, who walked out of a deal with EMI to release their last album ‘In Rainbows’ directly over the internet.

    It says it does not seek to compete with the Musicians Union and aims to represent the famous names in the business – the so-called “featured artists” who appear on the covers of CDs and are named as those behind the songs – who generate an estimated 95 per cent of industry revenues.

    But the timing of its birth is pertinent, coming as YouTube prepares to block thousands of music videos on its site amid a dispute over the royalties.

    “Google, YouTube’s owner, is a company that makes billions in profits; we think they should be paying artists royalties from the advertising revenue they make,” Bragg says. “A dispute like this illustrates the needs for the creation of the Featured Artists Coalition, so we have a voice and the public understand that sites like Google should be paying for music.”

    The stars complain that performers often do not receive any royalties from digital music deals – struck on confidential terms none of the artists understand – and that music companies unfairly restrict creative expression by hanging on to copyright for up to 50 years.

    Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brian says: The music companies did a deal with Nokia recently, so they could launch phones with access to all sorts of music. We think they all received advances from Nokia, but nobody is saying who got what, and we think some of that money should go to the artists.”

    Another target of complaints is MySpace, the social networking website owned by news Corporation, parent company of ‘The Australian’. Bragg says: “I don’t know how much money MySpace makes from advertising, but we don’t receive any royalties from it. They are not putting any money back into content.”

    Musicians’ pages on MySpace are categorised by the company as a “promotional platform” and as a result the site dos not believe it has to pay a royalty of the kind that falls due whenever a song is played on radio, live, or on a stereo in a shop, bar or restaurant.

    Royalties are paid on a separate MySpace music downloading service, which only operates in the US. Under pressure from rampant illegal downloading, record companies are increasingly striking new kinds of digital music deals, in which they license their entire catalogues to internet providers who are willing to charge their customers a fee.

    Last year, Nokia offered a pay-as-you-go mobile, priced at £129.99 ($277), which also gave owners the right to download and keep any song recorded on one of the four major labels, Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI.

    The performers believe that only by representing themselves will they be taken seriously by the music industry (which they accuse of ignoring their managers), digital music companies such as Nokia and MySpace and politicians.

    “To get the attention of these people we need somebody like Robbie Williams on Board,” Bragg says.

    Complaints about copyright are also expected to dominate, amid concerns that record companies insist on keeping ownership of songs for the entire 50-year period they remain under copyright. “It’s like taking out a mortgage on a house, paying off the mortgage and you still don’t end up owning the house,” O’Brien says.

    However, there are signs that the effort at collective action is not impressing the record companies. One senior industry executive, who asked not to be named, says: “I don’t know if the industry needs another lobby group; there are already plenty out there. We need to all pull together here.”

    Other attendees are expected to include singer-songwriter Kate Nash, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Limahl, the former frontman of Kajagoogoo.

    But to form a plan of action will require agreement from a string of famous names who are not used to collective action. “We’ll have to see how it goes,” O’Brien says. “It could all end up in a great big ruck.”

    Photo: Opaque agreements – Radiohead is among acts that feel they’re been digitally dudded.

    The Times

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Friday, 27 March 2009 (Page 33)

    Beyonce’s No.1 fan

    Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has fallen head over heels for Beyonce Knowles since directing the star in that dreadful musical medley at the Oscars. He now wants to put her in his movies and is keen to get her to team up once again with Hugh Jackman. “I’m sure that there is a dramatic cinematic life for her,” he told ‘Vogue’. Jackman is also said to be excited by the idea after working with Knowles. “I just found myself going, ‘Oh, my God, I want to do movies with this girl. I want to do a movie musical,” he said.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Thursday, 9 April 2009 (Page 15)

    Hugh’s latest trick flown to the wolves. By Alice Wasley

    Hollywood hunk Hugh Jackman said yesterday he was left “heartbroken” by the premature release of a pirated copy of his hit ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’.

    “Obviously people are seeing an unfinished film. It’s like a Ferrari without a paint job,” the Australian actor said yesterday.

    With the FBI called in to investigate the online leaking of the film, Jackman, 40, said the whole debacle ahead of the film’s opening later this month was “very disappointing”.

    He put some of that disappointment aside yesterday, arriving by helicopter to treat more than 600 excited fans to a 20-minute peek at the film on Cockatoo Island – where some of the movie scenes were filmed.

    He then swept down to the island on a flying fox. As star of the film and a producer, Jackman knows a lot of rides on its success.

    He added: “Yeah. Without a doubt … [and] this character’s very important to me.”

    Photo: Action man – Jackman yesterday at Cockatoo Island, where he treated fans to some high-flying thrills and a peek at his new movie.

    Video: Watch Hugh’s grand entrance plus more photos

    * The Sydney Morning Herald – Easter Weekend Edition, 10-12 April 2009 (Page 15)

    Arts & Entertainment

    Bootleggers rule, from Bali to Blacktown

    The Wolverine leak has highlighted the battle against film piracy, writes Garry Maddox.

    On a beachfront in Bali, a stallholder was explaining about the three versions of pirated movies he was selling.

    First came what he called cinema quality. “You know, filmed in the cinema,” he said.

    A week or two later came a better version. And a reliable production line would deliver a virtually perfect DVD in another few weeks.

    At 10 movies for about $12, with three extras thrown in free, tourists were picking the shelves clean of movies that were then yet to be released on DVD in this country, including ‘Australia’, ‘Gran Torino’, ‘Quantum Of Solace’, ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Milk’.

    No one was deterred by the bizarre critics’ quotes on improvised covers (“Less sexy than it sounds” was the tagline for ‘Body Of Lies’; “logic applied to this movie will drive you mad” was not exactly helping ‘The Mummy III’).

    Around the same time, investigators were tracking pirated movies that appeared to be coming from western Sydney. Frame-by-frame analyses of the digital watermarks on ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’, ‘Yes Man’, ‘Bedtime Stories’ and five other movies showed they came from prints that had screened at the Blacktown Drive-in.

    Using night-vision goggles, they discovered a Prospect man filming ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ on its opening weekend. He had backed his car to the screen, tucked a camcorder next to a mattress and was taking the audio from the car’s FM radio.

    Film of him pirating the movie was handed to police, and the 26-year-old man was charged. He pleaded guilty, was fined $5400 and placed on an 18-month good behaviour bond.

    Flash forward to this week when Hugh Jackman said he was heartbroken that an early version of ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ had been leaked online.

    “There’s a lot of people, here in Australia and all over the world, working on this film, and to have it out there in that way was very disappointing,” he said after screening scenes from the movie on Cockatoo Island.

    “Obviously, people are seeing an unfinished film from months ago so it’s kind of like a Ferrari without a paint job.”

    But Jackman was heartened that at least 90 per cent of websites had condemned the leak. “That’s been terrific, not just for this film but for the film industry in general.”

    Despite years of condemnation and tightened security, piracy remains a red-hot topic for the movie business. While ‘Wolverine’ is a g high-profile leak, bootlegging remains a fact of life when every big movie reaches cinemas, especially in Asia.

    Four years ago, the producer of the ‘Star Wars’ movie ‘Revenge Of The Sith’, Rick McCallum, said that viewers waiting in line outside Chinese cinemas were being offered DVDs of the movie at half the ticket price in its opening days. He expected they would lose at least $US300 million in revenue.

    Mike Selwyn, the managing director of one Australian distributor, Paramount, believes piracy has been cutting into repeat visits to movies.

    “There are a lot of films that are just having the edge taken off them – time and time again – and the money is not going back into the production cycle,” he said. “That hurts at every level – from the studios all the way down to your local neighbourhood cinema where, if they’re not getting the people through the door, they don’t employ the staff.”

    But Selwyn does not expect the ‘Wolverine’ leak to be too damaging at the box office.

    “If it does hurt, it will only be marginal,” he said. “There’s been a backlash against [the leak] on a lot of internet sites. And there’s a difference between what is apparently a very non-final version of the film and a perfect version … Most people seeing an incomplete version of a film like this will still give it a go.”

    The precautions for Jackman’s screening reflected fears of further piracy, with security staff cloaking bags and phones, scanning viewers with a metal detector, then monitoring the audience with night vision goggles.

    There were similarly tight measures at the premiere of ‘Star Trek’, at the Opera House this week. But just before the movie started, a tell-tale flash indicated that one audience member had still smuggled in a camera to take photos. A film executive sprinted up the aisle and ordered the camera be put away.

    The Australian Federation against Copyright Theft estimated that piracy was costing the country’s film and television business $230 million a year in 2005, largely through lost cinema ticket and DVD sales and rentals.

    Its executive director, Adrianne Pecotic, said the loss would be at least as much now, despite cinema ads warning that piracy is illegal, rewards for ushers who spot infringements and a copyright education program for high school students.

    While the FBI is likely to find ‘Wolverine’ was leaked by someone inside the industry, Pecotic said that 90 per cent of the first versions of pirated movies still came from camcording in cinemas.

    The challenge for the film business is the common view online – seemingly shared by tourists to Asia – that movies, TV shows and songs are all fair game.

    The federation is lobbying internet service providers to discourage downloading of pirated movies, as is happening in France, the US and elsewhere.

    “It’s up to the ISP what they do to stop their customers illegally transferring files but there are several things available to them,” she said. “In the first instance they can send a [warning] notice. Trials overseas have shown that nine out of 10 people who get a notice stop, so that’s very effective.

    * The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Monday, 27 April 2009 (Page 9)

    Fake Wolverine

    Pirated copies of Hugh Jackman’s yet-to-be-released ‘Wolverine’ were among more than 1000 DVDs and CDs seized by police.

    Officers, who were tipped off by a member of the public, arrested a 38-year-old woman who was allegedly selling the DVDs outside a pub in Wetherill Park. A man was also arrested.

    The pair were taken to Fairfield police station for questioning but were released without charge pending further investigations.

    Photo – Stolen: Jackman

    * The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Monday, 4 May 2009 (Page 16)

    Wolverine claws way to top of box office

    Going solo has paid off for Hugh Jackman and his ‘X-Men’ spin-off.

    ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ kicked off the US Summer movie season with a howl by taking in $US35 million ($48.27 million) when it opened on Friday. box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian said that puts ‘Wolverine’ solidly in line with the three previous ‘X-Men’ movies in which the Australian actor co-starred.

    The final chapter of that trilogy, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, was the most successful, taking $US45.1 million ($A62.2 million) on its opening day.

    But ‘Wolverine’ outdid the first two movies, ‘X-Men’ made $US20.8 million ($28.69 million) on its opening day, while ‘X2: X-Men United’ made $US31.2 million ($43.03 million) on its first day in theatres.

    * The Sydney Morning Herald – Tuesday, 5 May 2009 (Page 10)


    Jackman’s howling success

    Middling reviews have had effect on audiences for Hugh Jackman’s ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, which earned about $US 160 million ($221 million) at cinemas across the world at the weekend. More than half the haul came from North America, where $US87 million worth of tickets were sold, making it the number one film in that market. In Australia, it earned $US5.7 million, making it the biggest opening weekend for any ‘X-Men film and the biggest non-holiday opening weekend of 2009.

    Photo: Jackman in ‘Wolverine’…No.1 film in the US.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: