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THE WESTWOOD DIGEST

Writing by Emma Westwood. Most likely about movies, monsters, cinematic events and other wild trips. Words should go down nice and easy.

The Act of Seeing

I’m chuffed, to say the least, that Screen Education has chosen my piece, The Act of Seeing: Cinema, Ethics and Responsibility, as one of the feature articles on their website for edition No. 91 of the magazine.

This was a mind-twister of an article and, given the breadth of subject matter, I enlisted a number of expert interviewees to put forward their opinions. Huge thanks to Matthew Beard, Steve Thomas, Stuart Richards and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas for lending their voices to this ongoing debate. Their contributions have helped make this particular article a work of which I can be very proud.

‘The Act of Seeing’ also functions as a partner piece to my previous article, ‘To Watch or Not to Watch, That is the Question’, examining similar ethical considerations on watching cinema but from a different angle, which you can read online at Diabolique.

I urge you to subscribe to Screen or purchase a copy so you can share in the many other insightful film articles this edition has to offer.

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The great southern creature feature

Once upon a time, in the summer of 2017, I wrote a story for Metro called ‘The Great Southern Creature Feature’ that used the release of the independent monster movie, Red Billabong, as a launching pad to talk about Australia’s proclivity for eco-horror.

While I was contractually unable to share this story with you until now, I’d like to point out that this particular edition of Metro is still available for purchase online, where you can enjoy this story (and many more) in all its colourful, printed glory.

Otherwise, here’s a plain text version for your reading pleasure… Continue reading “The great southern creature feature”

KOTCH: New DVD audio commentary

One of the most amazing minds in film commentary, Lee Gambin, has invited me to join him behind the mic to create a commentary track for a new DVD release from Kino Lorber of the 1971 film, KOTCH.

Starring Walter Matthau in an Oscar-nominated role, KOTCH is the one and only film directed by Jack Lemmon but it is the second DVD commentary by Lee and myself. What is the first one? That’s still under wraps.

Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for more…

Happy MIFF 2018

A reminder to everyone that the Melbourne International Film Festival is now in top gear, and the Plato’s Cave crew on Triple R is spending hours upon hours across the next two and a bit weeks in darkened cinemas to bring you the best festival coverage in town.

Tune in live on Monday 6th August and Monday 13th August at 7pm for your MIFF filmic fill or listen back to the podcast…

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Cheers from Plato’s Cave x

The 25 greatest Australian films of the 21st century

The brief was ambitious (and contentious) but Luke Buckmaster from Flicks.com.au approached over 50 Australian film critics and asked us to vote for the greatest Australian films since the year 2000. The clincher was: we needed to rank them in order of best to worst, with number one being our choice for the best film of the century so far.

As you can appreciate, this was a very challenging task, and I speak for myself in saying that the inclusions and running order changed several times. However, when all the votes were tallied, the top ten looked like this… Continue reading “The 25 greatest Australian films of the 21st century”

Watch the bear panel (grrrrrr!)

It was a pleasure to host a panel on bears in cinema following the Cinemaniacs screening of Prophecy earlier this year.

For those who weren’t in attendance, we created a Facebook live video that is now immortalised on the Diabolique website. Please watch it, and be aware that the screen will turn from landscape to portrait at about the three-minute mark.

Thanks to Lee Gambin, Clem Bastow and Christian McCrea for being so wonderful.

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To watch or not to watch, that is the question

This was a difficult article to write and, while it’s impossible to answer, I’m hoping it provides some means for people to navigate a challenging ethical landscape.

Thanks to Kat and Lee at Diabolique for having the editorial balls to run with me…

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Stacy Keach is one of the kind strangers

What do you do in a 10-minute interview with one of the greatest actors of our time? You ask him about his role as private eye Mike Hammer and a lesser known made-for-TV movie from 1974, All the Kind Strangers.

That’s what I did when I spoke to Stacy Keach for Diabolique...

Note: Via Vision has released Mickey Spillane’s The New Mike Hammer The Series (1986) for the first time on DVD.

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Cinemaniacs Presents Prophecy

On Saturday 17th March 2018, I get to introduce John Frankenheimer’s little-screened eco-monster thriller, Prophecy, at the Backlot Studios in Melbourne.

Following the screening, I will be hosting a panel featuring a menagerie of experts – Lee Gambin, Clem Bastow and Christian McCrea – discussing the subject of bears in cinema. And that’s not human bears but actual bears with claws and fur all over them.

I highly doubt there’s been a screening and panel anywhere in the world quite like this one. Here is the video evidence of it.

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