Three Blind Mice (2008 film)

Last updated

Three Blind Mice
Three Blind Mice.jpg
Three Blind Mice Film Poster
Directed by Matthew Newton
Produced byBen Davis
Caitlin Stanton
Written by Matthew Newton
Starring Matthew Newton
Ewen Leslie
Toby Schmitz
Music by John Foreman
CinematographyHugh Miller
Distributed by Titan View
Release date
  • 8 June 2008 (2008-06-08)(Sydney)
  • 20 August 2009 (2009-08-20)(Australia)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish
Box officeA$9,590 (Australia) [1]

Three Blind Mice is a 2008 feature film written, directed by and starring Matthew Newton, alongside Ewen Leslie and Toby Schmitz. It premiered at Sydney Film Festival in 2008. [2] To date it has screened at over fourteen international and Australian festivals. [3] [3]

Matthew Joseph Newton is an Australian born actor, writer, and director and son of TV personality Bert Newton. His acting career was interrupted by treatment in a psychiatric unit for bipolar disorder after several serious incidents of domestic violence and assault which were widely reported in the Australian media. Newton has relocated to New York City where he is now based and has resumed his directing and acting career.

Ewen Leslie is an Australian stage, film and television actor.

Toby Schmitz Australian actor

Toby Schmitz is an Australian actor and playwright.

Contents

Plot

Three young Australian naval officers hit the streets of Sydney for one last night before being shipped out to Iraq. The dynamic between the three friends is uneasy; Sam (Ewen Leslie) has been mistreated at sea and is going AWOL, Dean (Toby Schmitz) has a fiancé and the future in-laws to meet, and Harry (Matthew Newton) just loves playing cards. Throughout the night, the boy's struggle with what a night in Sydney can offer, as details of their last six months at sea emerge. [4]

Cast

The film features many distinguished and critically acclaimed Australian actors. [5] The full cast list is as below: (This is also Charles "Bud" Tingwell's final film before his death).

ActorRole
Toby Schmitz LEUT Dean Leiberman
Matthew Newton SBLT Harry McCabe
Ewen Leslie SBLT Sam Fisher
Gracie Otto Emma
Marcus Graham John
Clayton Watson Vito
Alex Dimitriades Tony
Pia Miranda Sally
Barry Otto Fred
Heather Mitchell Kathy
Jacki Weaver Bernie Fisher
Charles Tingwell Bob Fisher
Brendan Cowell LCDR Glenn Carter

Themes

Three Blind Mice has been noted as the first portrayal of Australian soldiers serving during the War in Iraq. [6] While Newton has stated the film is not a political statement, it does portray his belief that young men should be making mistakes, rather than going to war. [7] The film also references iconic Australian military legends, such as Gallipoli [6] Primarily, the film explores what it is to be a man, and what that means to live and act in a male-dominated world today. [8] [9]

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

Gallipoli peninsula

The Gallipoli peninsula is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.

Production

Three Blind Mice was filmed in a 'Guerilla' style; on location without proper permits and in locations in Sydney that are not often seen on screen. [10] The film relied solely on independent funding, while Screen Australia contributed funds for the film to be transferred to 35mm print. [7] Cast and crew from the film was largely made up of friends of Newton's. Gracie Otto who was a lead support in the film also edited. [11] It has been noted in several reviews that the film was inspired by John Cassavetes, and thus many scenes were improvised around the screenplay. [8] Newton has stated that he intended to make a multi-narrative film, so that every character could treat the film as though they were the lead, [7] rather than rely on a sole protagonist.

Screen Australia is the Australian Federal Government's key funding body for the Australian screen production industry. Its functions are to support and promote the development of a highly creative, innovative and commercially sustainable industry.

Gracie Otto Australian actress, film producer, writer, and film director

Gracie Otto is a film director who made her feature-length directing debut with the 2013 documentary The Last Impresario about prolific British theatre impresario and film producer Michael White. The film made its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2013.

John Cassavetes American actor, film director, and screenwriter (1929-1989)

John Nicholas Cassavetes was an American actor, film director, and screenwriter of Greek descent. Cassavetes was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a cinéma vérité style. He also acted in many Hollywood films, notably Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). He studied acting with Don Richardson, utilizing an alternative technique to method acting which privileged character over traditional narrative. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.

Reception

Three Blind Mice was critically well received, earning three and a half stars from both Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton on ABC's At the Movies. Primarily, both reviewers noted the strong performances by the distinguished cast. [12] While the performances by the cast were particularly acclaimed for their freshness, [9] Matthew Newton's screenplay was also commended and noted for its maturity, comedy and realism. [5] His directorial ability was also commended. [6] [8] [13] In the opening scene Mathew Newton is wearing the epaulettes of a Leut Commander (two and a half rings). In later scenes he is wearing the single ring of a Sub Lieutenant on his jacket. All Officers in the film are wearing their medal ribbons on the right breast, when they should be worn on the left breast.

Margaret Pomeranz Australian film critic

Margaret Pomeranz AM is an Australian film critic, writer, producer and television personality.

David Stratton Australian film critic

David James Stratton AM is an English-Australian award-winning film critic, as both a journalist and interviewer, film historian and lecturer and television personality and producer.

Release

Three Blind Mice did not secure a theatrical distributor for several months throughout 2008 and 2009. Finally in April 2009, Titan View picked up distribution rights for Australia and New Zealand. [14]

Three Blind Mice struggled to secure a theatrical release in Sydney, the city it was produced in. [15] Finally, the Chauvel Cinema agreed to show the film for five consecutive Friday nights. [10] Titan View CEO John L. Simpson noted that this limited release was due to the city's arthouse cinemas rejecting the film as not commercial enough. [15]

Meanwhile, Three Blind Mice secured a limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles, promoted by exposure at such festivals as SXSW. [16]

Awards and Festivals

Three Blind Mice has featured and been in competition at the following festivals [3]

Despite critical acclaim at several international and local festivals, Three Blind Mice was not nominated for an AFI within Australia [17]

Related Research Articles

Cate Blanchett Australian actress and theatre director

Catherine Elise Blanchett is an Australian actress and theatre director. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and three BAFTA Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007, and in 2018, she was ranked among the highest-paid actresses in the world.

Jedda is a 1955 Australian film written, produced and directed by Charles Chauvel. His last film, it is notable for being the first to star two Aboriginal actors, Robert Tudawali, and Ngarla Kunoth, now known as Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, in the leading roles. It was also the first Australian feature film to be shot in colour.

Charles Chauvel (filmmaker) Australian filmmaker

Charles Edward Chauvel OBE was an Australian filmmaker, producer and screenwriter and nephew of Australian army General Sir Harry Chauvel. He is noted for making the films Forty Thousand Horsemen in 1940 and Jedda in 1955.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, known as the AACTA Awards, are presented annually by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). The awards recognise excellence in the film and television industry, including the producers, directors, actors, writers, and cinematographers. It is the most prestigious awards ceremony for the Australian film and television industry. They are generally considered to be the Australian counterpart of the Academy Awards for the U.S. and the BAFTA Awards for the U.K.

Bitter & Twisted is a 2008 feature film written, directed by and starring Christopher Weekes. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 and has since screened at over eleven international and Australian festivals and been critically well received.

Paulus Henrique Benedictus Cox as Paul Cox, was a Dutch-Australian filmmaker, who has been recognized as "Australia's most prolific film auteur". "Cox's delicate films have been pockmarked with life's uncertainty. Loneliness within relationships is a staple of the Cox oeuvre, too". David Wenham states, "There is no one like Cox.... He is unique, and we need him, and people like him.... He is completely an auteur, because everything you see on the screen, and hear, has got Paul's fingerprints all over it."

Susie Porter Australian actress

Susie Porter is an Australian television and film actress.

A Night of Horror International Film Festival is a horror genre film festival that is based in Sydney, Australia.

Amy is a 1997 Australian film written by David Parker and directed by Nadia Tass, starring Alana De Roma in the title role, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, and Nick Barker.

<i>Cedar Boys</i> 2009 film

Cedar Boys is a 2009 Australian film about the life of Middle Eastern young adults in Western Sydney, Australia. Written, directed and co-produced by Serhat Caradee and produced by Matthew Dabner, Ranko Markovic, Jeff Purser. Cedar Boys had its world premiere at the 2009 Sydney Film Festival. It opened in theatres on 30 July 2009 and was made available on DVD on 7 December 2009. The film has a dedication at the end to Caradee's mother, who died of cancer nineteen days after the film was completed.

Anthony Hayes is an Australian actor, best known for his roles in War Machine, The Light Between Oceans, The Slap, Look Both Ways, The Boys, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Animal Kingdom and soap opera Paradise Beach.

<i>33 Postcards</i> 2011 film by Pauline Chan

33 Postcards is a 2011 drama film written and directed by Pauline Chan and starring Guy Pearce. It is the first co-production between China and New South Wales.

John Winter (producer) Film writer, producer and director

John Winter is an Australian film and television writer, director and producer. He is best known for producing Rabbit-Proof Fence, Doing Time for Patsy Cline and Paperback Hero. His directorial debut Black & White & Sex premiered at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival with its international premiere at the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film won the 'Best Experimental' at the 2012 ATOM Awards.

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts film and television organisation

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) is a professional organisation of film and television practitioners in Australia. The Academy's aim is "to identify, award, promote, and celebrate Australia's greatest achievements in film and television".

The Inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, known more commonly as the AACTA Awards, presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), honoured the best Australian and foreign films of 2011 took place on two separate events, in Sydney, New South Wales: the AACTA Awards Luncheon, on 15 January 2012, at the Westin Hotel, and the AACTA Awards Ceremony, on 31 January 2012, at the Sydney Opera House. Following the establishment of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, by the Australian Film Institute (AFI), these awards marked the inauguration of the AACTA Awards, but served as a continuum to the AFI Awards, which were presented by the AFI since 1958. The ceremony was televised on the Nine Network.

The 1977 Australian Film Awards ceremony, presented by the Australian Film Institute (AFI), honoured the best Australian films of 1976, and took place on 21 September 1977 at Regent Theatre, in Sydney, New South Wales. The awards were televised on ABC. Actors Keir Dullea and Karen Black, and former Australian Prime Minister John Gorton hosted the show.

The 1st Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards, were presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), a not for profit organisation whose aim is to identify, award, promote and celebrate Australia's greatest achievements in film and television. The Academy, which normally hand out awards to Australian made films, presented awards for the best films of 2011 regardless of geography.

Bob Connolly Australian film director, cinematographer and author

Bob Connolly is an Australian film director, cinematographer and author. He is best known for his documentaries produced over the past 30 years, including The Highlands Trilogy and Rats in the Ranks. More recent films include Facing the Music (2001) and Mrs Carey's Concert (2011). His films have won Academy Award nomination, AFI Awards, and Grand Prix at the Cinema du Reel Festival.

References

  1. "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office", Film Victoria Archived 9 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine accessed 13 November 2012
  2. "Of mice and men (Three Blind Mice) | A Life In Film". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. 1 2 3 "Three Blind Mice - Matthew Newton at Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney, NSW on 4 Sep 09, 8:30 AM". Liveguide.com.au. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  4. "Three Blind Mice (2008)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  5. 1 2 "Urban Cinefile THREE BLIND MICE". Urbancinefile.com.au. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 "Three blind mice | Film & TV". Sydneyanglicans.net. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Stuart O'Connor (17 October 2008). "Matthew Newton talks about making Three Blind Mice | Film | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 "Three Blind Mice film review : In Film Australia - all about Australian films". Infilm.com.au. 1 July 2008. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Three Blind Mice | Review, Cast | SBS Film". Sbs.com.au. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  10. 1 2 "Three Blind Mice - Film Reviews - Film - Entertainment". smh.com.au. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  11. "Three Blind Mice". hoopla.nu. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  12. "At the Movies: Three Blind Mice". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  13. "Three Blind Mice, Matthew Newton, Film Review: Cinephilia - Australian Film & more". Cinephilia. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  14. "Titan View nabs Three Blind Mice". If.com.au. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  15. 1 2 "Stale Popcorn: Shame". Stalepopcornau.blogspot.com. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  16. "Mice to hit US cinemas, TV & festival". If.com.au. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  17. "Stale Popcorn: Three Blind Mice Wins Awards in Britain, AFI Members Continue to Embarrass [sic] Themselves, World Turns for Another Day, etc". Stalepopcornau.blogspot.com. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2012.