Reasons to be cheerful, Courier-Mail, May 26, 2001
Roadwork / Another Dimension, Sunday Mail TV Scene, May 20, 2001
The X-Files Season 2 DBD Box Set, Ground Zero, May 18, 2001
The Truth Is In Here, DVD Now, cover date June 2001
All The pretty Horses, Courier Mail, May 12, 2001
X Marks the Spot as Anderson Heads to the Big Screen, Columbia TriStar, May, 2001
All The Pretty Horses, Time Off, May 9, 2001
The Grill, Who Weekly, May 4, 2001
Chris Carter, Gold Coast Bulletin, May 3, 2001
Courier mail, May 26, 2001
Reasons to be cheerful
Transcribed by Lucy.
It's a sombre film about the toxic upper class in turn of the century New York, but agent Scully shines.
Words Helen Yeats
The X-Files cult goddess Gillian Anderson plays the role of the beautiful, ill-fated heroine Lily in the new Terence Davies film, the house of Mirth- and she's exceptional.
The camera loves her as she moves gracefully and sensually across the big screen. For the audience, she is a joy to watch, not the least because her radiant looks and excellent performance are greatly complemented by the ravishing costumes she wears.
Anderson won the British Independent Film Awards Best Actress category for her performance in this handsomely crafted film.
Her role is seemingly light years away from her X-Files role as the scientist Scully who, in wanting to be taken seriously for her rational hard-headedness, often tries to downplay her sensitivity and sexiness.
In a different way, the spirited character Lily also wants to be taken seriously. Set in New York from 1905-1907, the House Of Mirth is certainly not brimming with laughter.
Indeed, the imposing houses that abound in this film are sombre, richly furnished mausoleum- type dwellings, replete with posh or would-be posh people preening themselves as they indulge in the elaborate, spiteful games of the idle rich.
Centrally concerned with the heady, toxic politics of sex, money and class, this quite chilling film relentlessly reveals the dark side of early 20th century life among the New York wealthy classes.
We witness a situation where, for all the wrong reasons, the name on everyone's lips is that of Lily, who unwittingly becomes the delicious next disgrace, the betrayed, despised object of scandal and gossip in this shallow, mocking culture. British filmmaker Terence Davies draws on the strong narrative thread of Edith Wharton's sobering novel in a seemingly leisurely fashion, rather like the languorous lives we are observing, until we find ourselves almost brutally face to face with the inevitable conclusion. Davies became interested in adapting the House of Mirth for the screen after reading the book 15 years ago. In comparing Wharton with Jane Austen, Davies comments:" With Edith Wharton, the gloves are off and there's blood on the walls."
Davies, following Wharton, shows the naked truth about the bloody wars of sex and class. The New York inhabitants of the upper echelons, despite having perfect manners and breeding, take no prisoners.
Wharton won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence, which was turned into a similarly distinguished film by that great US filmmaker, Martin Scorsese. Her novels are often decidedly tough and uncompromising at their core, particularly in relation to the fates of their women characters. One only has to reflect, for instance, on another of her grim prose creations, Ethan Frome. Compared with her friend and contemporary, Henry James, Edith Wharton tended not to be as kind to her heroines, although James also could decree a quite devastating fate for his female protagonists.
Davies is best known for his intense, highly acclaimed autobiographical films, Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, set in his home city, Liverpool. One of his authorial signatures is a careful, loving attention to detail, a quality that certainly marks his latest ambitious creation. Even though he is a long way from Liverpool, Davies successfully recreates a dramatic sense of time and place. However, inevitably, the film does not have the same underlying sparkling assurance that the New Yorker Scorsese brought to his vision of his beloved hometown in The Age of Innocence.
Edith Wharton is quite ascerbic in her view of humanity. Fitting the classic Wharton "negative hero" typology well, the men in Davies' film are largely weak, selfish and manipulative. Lawrence Selden is faintly redeemed, but he learns too late the rare value of the spirited, honest Lily, who uncompromisingly refuses to play her one last hand that could have seen her win the game of life.
Ironically, Sim Rosedale, the upstart man of fortune who wheels and deals his way into the upper classes, shows a genuine compassion for Lily, although his only solution to her misfortunes still involves a trading of her prized possession, her body. Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia acts impressively in the role of the calculating Sim.
The House Of Mirth is a fine, challenging film about passion and betrayal, about class arrogance and the fearful power of money. It is also, tragically, about believing that being charming, beautiful and trusting is enough. The assured direction, the fabulous settings and costumes and the outstanding performance by Anderson, all combine to make this film a feast for the eyes and a touching journey for the heart.
Helen Yeates teaches film and media studies at the Queensland University of Technology. House of Mirth opens on June 14.
Sunday Mail TV Scene, May 20-26, 2001
Transcribed by Lucy.
The departure, more or less, of Mulder has meant the X-Files has twisted and turned this season, and it's all been under the direction of Aussie Rod Hardy. Dianne Butler reports.
The FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, is a long way from Ramsey St, Erinsborough. And Neighbours is even further from the X-Files. But each has its place on the rich and varied CV that belongs to Australian television Rod Hardy.
Hardy was an old-hand in the local industry when what he describes as the smell of the big smoke lured him to Los Angeles in 1992.
"I felt I'd gone as far as I could go in Australia," he says. "I'd worked at Crawford Productions for many years and had been involved in the early Sullivans, Cop Shop, the Box, Flying Doctors and all those things.
"Then I left and went freelance and did all the early episodes of Prisoner and all the various soaps that were around town. There weren't a lot of TV series as such being made and there certainly weren't a lot of the movie-of-the-weeks being made." So he moved to Hollywood, but not before he directed one of the seminal moments in Australian TV history-Scott and Charlene's wedding.
"I'd directed weddings in the Sullivans and other things and the producer thought I'd be a good choice," he says.
" And it had nothing to do with the fact I'd been married three times either. It was the one episode of Neighbours that I did and, I've got to tell you, if I go to England…I'm a hero, forget everything else I've done."
Hardy had known the Donovan family for years-Jason's father Terence was a star of Division Four, a long-ago cop show Hardy worked on.
"So then to get to go and direct Jason in that episode-I noticed in some magazine it's listed in the top 20 of television history- I was delighted.
"I still see Jason at odd times and I'm still very fond of him. I saw Kylie a couple of years back and she certainly has grown as a performer, from those days of being- what did they call her? The singing sparrow?
"I remember doing that Neighbours episode and there was little pimply faced Kylie and even more pimply faced Jason. If only we could've known the extraordinary journey they'd both go on."
For all his experience, Hardy said it took him about a year to get a job in Hollywood.
"And it took me almost that time to get an agent, "he says. " because although I'd done a lot of television that was shown in Europe it had never really made it to the United States.
"But there were some miniseries I'd done that they liked and that kind of got me my start."
Hollywood logic dictated that Hardy make westerns ("I'm an Australian so I must know about horses and wide open spaces"), even though he was raised in inner- Melbourne and can't ride a horse. But a handy friendship with somebody who worked for the X-Files creator Chris Carter, led him to the series.
"He was kind enough to praise me when Chris called and the relationship began then," he says. Hardy joined the show at a time when David Duchovny's role as the paranoid Fox Mulder was being phased out, at the actor's behest, and John Doggett (played by Terminator 2's Robert Patrick) was moving in. It's an experience he clearly enjoys.
"If the series goes into a ninth season, I'm looking forward to doing more X-Files because I was a fan before the show and getting involved with them, I'm an even greater fan now, " he says.
But now, at 50, (32 in Hollywood years) Hardy is looking forward to coming home.
"I want to spend more time back in Australia. My family is here, my wife's family is here and my mother just celebrated her 80th birthday.
"I also hope I can bring something to the table again.
"What I've learned in the last 10 years is not just how to survive in the jungle but creatively how we can do certain things and maybe I can deliver that back here. I don't know. We'll see what happens."
Agent John Doggett didn't get off to an auspicious beginning as the new partner of Agent Scully on the X-Files.
Instead of breaking the ice by telling Scully (Gillian Anderson) he'd always taken with a grain of salt rumours about her and Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), new man Doggett (Robert Patrick) wound up wearing the contents of her water glass over his face.
It was a gesture which prompted the best steely-eyed glare the experienced Patrick could muster and it left no doubt that it would be a while before there was any thaw between Doggett and Scully as they're thrown together in the FBI's unsolved cases unit.
Patrick, 41, says he has only a vague idea of how the relationship will develop as the eighth series of the X-Files progresses.
"I'm open to anything,' he says. "I really hesitate to read the episodes as the scripts come in. I sort of stay focused on the one we're doing .I don't really want to know too far in advance where Doggett is going."
The X-Files is only the second TV series that Patrick has appeared on regularly and follows a recurring role on the Sopranos.
Better known for movies, he scored his breakthrough a decade ago as T-1000, the shape-shifting cyborg sent from the future to kill Sarah O'Connor (Linda Hamilton) in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
He reprised the character later in Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Action
Hero. Since then he has appeared in movies such as Fire in the Sky, Striptease and Cop Land.
In the new movie All The Pretty Horses, directed by Billy Bob Thornton, Patrick plays Matt Damon's gaunt and emotionally damaged father. He appears only briefly, but Thornton describes him as "such a strong actor that he was able to come in and get the whole father thing there in that moment…he's the only person I ever thought of for that role."
Patrick also will be seen on the big screen this year in Texas Rangers, opposite Dylan McDermott (The Practice), and with Antonio Banderas and Kelly Preston in Spy Kids. X-files creator Chris Carter saw 50-75 actors before casting Patrick as Doggett: "He was perfect for the character. It's working well."
Says Patrick:" This show is enabling me, all of a sudden, to be seen in a different light by a huge audience. I'm the good guy and this is very interesting to me. At least my parents will enjoy it, right?"
By Lawrie Masterson
Ground Zero, May 18, 2001
Broadcast on Ground Zero, channel 10.
"This week in the GZ Screening Room we're having a look at The X-Files Boxset, series 2. It's one of the awesome new releases from 20th Century Fox.
I know the X-Files has changed a bit since it's hugely successful days of the mid-90's. Aliens have finally abducted Mulder, Scully is now pregnant and Terminator 2 is now part of the X-Files team. But regardless of all these changes you can't deny how awesome the series has been.
No matter what level of fan you are, you'll be able to get something out of this feature packed DVD. For level 1 fans, people who are into the show and watch it when they can. You'll be very happy with having all your favourite episodes on hand in an awesome picture and sound quality plus you will love the special effects documentary, it's pretty cool.
Level 2 fans, ones who know all the episodes and can recite along,
you'll dig the interview with creator and director Chris Carter as he guides you through each individual episode. So you can know more about each episode and astound your friends with your x-file knowledge.
And for level 3 fans, ones who act scenes out from the X-Files and secretly pretend they are Mulder and Scully, they are gonna love the documentary, the Truth about Series 2. Conspiracy theory arama! You brain may explode with all the possibilities!
Either way this is a really cool way of being able to explore the X-file Series, which is a fantastic one. There is bound to be one of your favourite episodes in this series 2 boxset. My recommendation is get it and spend a Friday night in thoroughly checking it all out!
To get a copy for yourself, you local Target store is the place to go..."
X Files, The: Season 2 Boxset
X marks the spot
Type of disc: 7 x dual layer, single-sided
No of chapters: 369
Film format/length: 4:3 regular / 25 x 44 mins
Audio format: Dolby Surround
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
Year made: 1994-5
• Scene access
• ‘The Truth About Season Two’ documentary (15 mins)
• 12 Chris Carter interviews on his favourite episodes
• Special effects clips from ‘End Game’ and ‘Anasazi’
• Deleted scenes from ‘Sleepless’, ‘3’, ‘Humbug’ and ‘Anasazi’
• Clip of Gillian Anderson eating a cricket
• Nine ‘Behind The Truth’ featurettes
• 49 TV spots
• Foreign language clips from various episodes
• DVD-ROM Unholy Alliances game
Best of The X Files in a superb package.
Unlike movies, where in most cases sequels are inferior to the original, the second time around for a TV show is often its strongest. This is certainly true of The X Files; its second season produced some of its best-ever episodes.
This feat is all the more remarkable considering that one of the stars was pregnant for the first third of the season. As a result, the early episodes see Scully spending a lot of time wearing voluminous overcoats, sitting behind desks and being filmed from the shoulders up. However, Gillian Anderson was only absent from one episode, and even appeared on screen preggers to show that she’d been abducted and subjected to experiments!
Like the season one boxset, this package contains seven discs, with four episodes per disc – the last holds the cliffhanger ‘Anasazi’ as well as the extras. Again like the first boxset, the extras are interesting, if on the short side, and X-philes will already know the behind-the-scenes details. You do, however, get to see Anderson eat a live cricket.
Not every episode is a classic by any means; after you’ve seen the likes of ‘Firewalker’, ‘Aubrey’ or the invisible elephant antics of ‘Fearful Symmetry’ once it’s unlikely you’ll watch them again. On the other hand, ‘Die Hand Die Verletzt’ (Satanist schoolteachers), ‘Humbug’ (weirdness in a circus community – see boxout) and ‘Our Town’ (cannibal cultists) are among the best stand-alone episodes of the show. The second series also sees the ongoing conspiracy plot start to ramp up in the brace of two-parters, ‘Duane Barry’/‘Ascension’ and ‘Colony’/‘End Game’, coming to a head in ‘Anasazi’ as the Cigarette Smoking Man issues orders to incinerate Mulder in a buried container full of alien (?) corpses.
The stereo soundtrack is good if unremarkable, but the picture quality is uniformly superb, easily of broadcast quality. Even if, like most people, you think that The X Files has now passed its prime, this is your chance to enjoy that prime again.
Reviewed by AM
DVD Now, cover date June 2001 (available mid May)
The X-Files-The complete second set
Transcribed by Lucy.
The truth is in here.
By the time Season 2 commenced, Fox TV's The X-Files was already surfing a swell of popularity. Starting with the separation of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and the closing of the FBI "X-Files" at the end of season One, Season Two finds our heroes at a low ebb: Scully is relegated to teaching while an unhappy, borderline depressed Mulder is assigned to mundane electronic surveillance jobs.
It's also here that Chris Carter and company began to introduce new characters that would become staples of seasons to come: Mulder gets a new partner, Alex "Ratboy" Krycek (Nicholas Lea), a turncoat who introduces Mulder to what appears to be his long-lost sister Samantha. The alien bounty hunter (Brian Thompson), an idea of lead actor David Duchovny's morphs his way through the inaugural episodes, "X" (Steven Williams), the inscrutable informant who takes the place of the fallen "Deep Throat" makes his debut and the backstage role of the Cigarette Smoking Man becomes more apparent.
Outside the office, Scully's dead father returns in a hallucination. Mrs Scully and her sister Melissa also make appearances on the show, filling in the familial background and deepening our interest in what is basically a workplace drama.
But the core dynamic between the sceptic and the believer is what drives the show and made it such a hit with a broad TV audience, and the interplay between the leads is the best in this period- no matter how derivative certain episodes appear (i.e. Dod Kalm) to be. The chemistry between Anderson and Duchovny would be sorely tested in later series with the increasingly unhappy Duchovny relying on an ironic deadpan style that ultimately rendered his character opaque. But here in Season Two, Anderson and Duchovny act (and react) more convincingly.
Gillian Anderson's real-life pregnancy also demanded some creative thinking from the team. Instead of taking the easy option and writing Scully out of the entire series, Carter and his writers engineered a complex abduction by alien-obsessed ex-Agent Duane Barry, a multi- episode plot that kept her offscreen for a month but in the forefront of everyone's mind.
Season Two also shows a creative approach to episode planning with multi-episodes ("Sleepless", "Duane Ascension" interspersed with stand-alone plots of varying complexity and tone. This series also features the first "comedy"- "Humbug" which co-starred the freaks from Jim Rose's infamous Circus Sideshow and saw Scully eating a live cockroach. From" Little Green Men" to the cliffhanger ending in "Anasazi," the second season is unlikely to be equalled in terms of sustained quality. Even obviously bonkers episodes like "Excelsius Dei" and "Dod Kalm" (the latter guest starring John Savage lately of "Dark Angel" fame deserve another look on this format: even when logic and inspiration fails, the show's atmosphere is left intact.
Following the precedent set by The Complete First Season, this set is housed on seven discs in all, with four episodes on each of the first 6 and the season-finale and extras housed on the seventh. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and like all the early seasons of The X-Files, Season 2 is presented in the standard NTSC aspect ratio of 4.3- it wasn't until Season Six that the series began to be shot in 16.9 for HDTV broadcasts.
The world of The X-Files is a very murky one, but it's hardly enhanced by this particular transfer. The colours (such as they are) are fairly vibrant and well-saturated, although the blacks are grey at best and background details (and sometimes people) tend to be represented as ghostly blobs. The overall image still looks a little "soft" in comparison to later HDTV episodes, although much of that is probably due to their preference for heavy filtering and photographic effects.
An impressive amount of effort is obvious in the sound design, with the individual elements of dialogue, effects, ambient creepiness and composer Mark Snow's score all very apparent. That said, The X-Files is only available in 2.0 Surround and with 5.1 virtually the industry minimum these days, even for series that were made years before this, it's unfortunate that a high-price package like this has been left out in the cold. If you've spent big on a new sound system, this is hardly the product to put it to the test. French 2.0 surround tracks are also provided for each episode, along with English and Spanish Subtitles. There are also brief "International Clips" of the final episode available in German, Spanish and Japanese. Quite why they're there is anyone's guess.
Most of these supplementary materials will probably be familiar to X-philes (and frankly who else is going to shell out this kind of money?) but for newcomers, they should prove illuminating. "The Truth About Season Two" is a short featurette (12 minutes) made up of interviews with creator Chris Carter, producers Daniel Sackheim, Paul Rabwin and Howard Gordon, director rob Bowman, special effects supervisor Matt Beck, composer Mark Snow and cast members (including Mitch Pileggi, Darin Morgan, "Lone Gunmen" Dean Haglund, and Steve Railsback). There are also 12 short interviews with Chris Carter (each runs roughly 3 to 4 minutes) about each episode. Two sets of TV spots and infomercials for the show that aired between commercial breaks complete the package.
And talking of packaging…the fold- out set looks highly desirable (although the accompanying booklet is hardly worth the paper it is printed on) but careless handing will leave it looking pretty shabby in no time. Finally, there's the DVD-ROM portion of the set, an interactive and attractive add-on that connects episodes with information and excerpts from Jane Goldman's "Book Of The Unexplained, and throws up links to the official web site.
By Jason Blake
Courier Mail, May 12, 2001
Published in 1992, and with millions of readers worldwide, Cormac Mc Carthy's best seller All The Pretty Horses was much anticipated when it was announced as a film project for ward winning actor-director -writer Billy Bob Thornton.
Transcribed by Lucy.
But, as so often happens when a favourite book is worked over for the demanding medium of film, the film version loses most of the poetry and magic of McCarthy's original, offering a routine movie much like any other modern Western (with the events beginning in 1949).
Part of the problem clearly is that in typical "Hollywood "fashion, the movie version has been seriously miscast, particularly in the central roles of John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) and his best friend, Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas).
Damon and Thomas do nice work, but they are many years too old for the 16-year-olds of McCarthy's version and their adventure when they travel across the border from Texas to Mexico and find romance and a heap of trouble is undistinguished in its treatment.
McCarthy is a literate writer and, while much of the dialogue is lifted directly from his work, the attempt to match the beauty of his descriptive prose in cinematographic terms is seriously flawed. We've seen these National Geographic- style wide-screen vistas of canyons, chasms and open plains all too many times.
In Mexico, where he works breaking in wild horses for a wealthy landowner (Reuben Blades), Cole finds himself drawn to his employer's beautiful daughter (Penelope Cruz, who doesn't actually light up the screen), and the relationship becomes an issue.
The prison scenes that follow seem out of place in the story, but everyone has probably heard about the disputes over editing of the film, so perhaps Thornton can be excused on this count.
It all seemed awfully long anyway, so if there is a director's cut on the horizon, please don't expect me to saddle up for anything longer than this viewing.
The best scenes in a disappointing film belong to Lucas Black (as Jimmy Blevins). Black featured in Thornton's Sling Blade, and has no problems stealing scenes her as the runaway who joins Cole and Rawlins on their adventure into Mexico.
An eloquent book has become a so-so movie, a mere shadow of its source.
By Des Partridge
Columbia TriStar, May, 2001
X Marks the Spot as Anderson Heads to the Big Screen
Gillian Anderson/House of Mirth Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles
When actress Gillian Anderson landed the role of Agent Scully for the Fox television series X-Files she could not have foreseen that within two years she would become an internationally known cult phenomenon. She was born in Chicago, but moved to London at age two and remained there until she was in her early teens. She and her family then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where she rebelliously got heavily into the punk rock scene complete with spiky, brilliantly coloured hair and body piercings with safety pins. When she was fourteen, she became romantically involved with a twenty-year-old punk singer and occasionally sang in his band. Her punk period lasted through high school. Following graduation, she got involved in local theatre and from there studied fine arts at the Goodman Theatre School of Drama at Chicago's DePaul University. Following graduation, she moved to New York where she waited tables and appeared in off-Broadway plays, most notably in Absent Friends, a starring role which won her a Theatre World Award. Anderson made her film debut in 1992 with the low-budget drama The Turning. She then appeared in a theatrical production of The Philanthropist and after that moved to Los Angeles. Though she was frequently courted for television roles, Anderson disdained the medium until the X-Files audition came along. Though the producers were looking for a brainy version of a Baywatch girl, the beautiful but more natural looking (having long passed her outrageous days) Anderson got the role thanks to the insistence of the show's creator Chris Carter. The show became a smash hit within two seasons and Anderson has found herself an international star as did her co-star David Duchovny, the subject of numerous pages on the Internet, and the recipient of such awards as a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In addition to continuing work on the X-Files, Anderson has hosted a couple of television specials, including More Secrets of the X-Files and the BBC documentary series Future Fantastic. She has also lent her voice as a documentary narrator on Spies Above and as a guest character on the television series The Simpsons and Reboot. Her latest film is House of Mirth. Adapted for the screen from Edith Wharton's much-loved novel of the same name, House of Mirth follows the fortunes - or lack thereof - of Lily Bart, played by Anderson, an ambitious but financially imperilled young woman looking for a rich husband in early 20th century New York.
Anderson talked to Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.
Was it a conscious decision to find something as far removed from X Files as possible?
For now it's a conscious attempt, because really what people know me as is the character of Scully, and I think that people don't quite know whether I can do anything else. So there is a definite, conscious attempt to show that I CAN do something else.
And House of Mirth is one extreme to the other, yes?
Pretty much. There are a lot of extremes that I have yet to divulge, but this would be one of them. [Laughter]
Did you read the novel before you started working on the film?
Yes, read it and was a fan of the book as well as Terry's work [Terence Davies, director], and was reminded after reading the book again for the movie, how grateful I was for such an extraordinarily written role.
Was it easy for you, as an actress, to make the leap to lead in a film?
I'd done a couple of other movies and consciously decided to do smaller roles, because I liked smaller roles in particular, but also just wanting to stretch my legs a little bit. But it holds its own challenges doing something like that and doing a lead especially something like this where it seems that the stakes might be a little bit higher. But it was worth the challenge.
You mentioned that it was a conscious effort to show people that you can do different things. Are you saying that it's a stigma as an actress to be associated with Scully?
I didn't used to think so, but I'm starting to think that maybe yes, only because people are so SURPRISED by this. It doesn't piss me off as much as it does my manager but I'm starting to get the idea people don't KNOW, don't EXPECT it and wouldn't ASSUME I could play a drug addict.
Have you ever gone to Chris Carter and suggested that Scully needs to expand a bit?
You know, I don't want to do it as Scully. I've thought about that too and thought about ways in which I could say: How about if she gets into THIS predicament, or how about if she gets drugged and behaves THIS way. Then I said what's the point. This is Scully and my opportunity to do other stuff will come in different venues.
This is your 8th year on X-Files. Have you reached the point where you say: Enough is enough now?
I reached that point years ago, but I've been on contract, so I haven't been able to do much about it.
When is the contract up?
A new contract is up at the end of the ninth season, so I've got one more year after this.
But you DID sign on for another season.
I didn't have a choice if I wanted to be paid appropriately. I didn't have a choice.
Do you think that Scully has been a hindrance to you?
No, no. I don't have any regrets. I have learned an extraordinary amount through this experience of exploring a character over such a long period of time and having that much work time, constantly working and working on the craft has been invaluable.
Would you like to do another movie with Duchovny?
I think we'll do an X File movie together at some point. I doubt that anyone would ever think: Let's cast Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in a movie together that has nothing to do with the X Files.
Do you prefer doing movies to television?
Yeah I do, it's just different. There's more time, more respect for the work. In television, EVERYTING is so quick and is about making the day. There's no rehearsal time, no anything; it's about getting there, standing in front of the camera and doing the scenes. So it's a luxury to work on a film, where you do two pages a day instead of seven.
Despite House of Mirth being a period film, could you identify with this character? Do you think this was somebody you could have BEEN?
There are certain aspects of her journey that I identified with, but I was also struck by the tragedy of her dilemma and just not being able to make a decision one way or the other. I didn't actually realise until after I started reading the novel again, that she's quite conceited and self-obsessed, which I hadn't gleaned initially from the script or from my memory of the novel. So I felt that was important to add to the character, just in terms of the particular arc that she takes and the lessons that she learns. I like seeing characters in films learning something.
Do you see this as being a tragic period for women? You must be gratified that the role of women in society has changed since then.
Gratified? I thank God. It couldn't continue that way. The stakes were much higher for women in the situation than Lily was in, than they are today. Unfortunately, with this current (U.S) administration, we may be falling back to those times as far as I'M concerned.
So you're worried about the Bush presidency?
Oh yes. Highly, greatly, tragically worried.
Were you surprised that one of his first actions was to go against the woman's right to choose?
No, not surprised at all. It's so appalling to me and so unconscionable, that I can't discuss it without throwing things.
Are you a non-conformist?
On the most part, I would say so, yes.
How does that manifest itself?
In many different, private ways.
You've been in the public eye now for several years. How hard is it to keep out of the public eye in terms of your private life, etc?
I just don't show up to stuff. I'm invited to so much stuff in a year, it's ridiculous and none of it interests me. If it's something for a good cause or if it's something I'm needing to promote, that's one thing. But it takes up so much time and energy to focus on stuff that is superfluous.
Do you read stuff that is written about you and take notice of it?
I read the articles that I do. I think it's important to know what has been said and how it's been interpreted, to know how one is being perceived, so that you can counterbalance that.
How do you think you ARE being perceived?
I don't really think people quite know what to do with me. I also don't know, that out of all the interviews I've ever done, and there have been TWO that I felt had any resemblance to me as a human being.
So how does that make you feel?
It's frustrating. I mean I can't tell you how many times I read about myself, and not only do I think: I did not say that in that way, but sentences have been put elsewhere to mean something else. It's always about the angle, the particular way that an editor will want everything shifted to a particularly interesting focus in the article. So when you read that kind of stuff, you think: What's the point? This is supposed to be so that the audience and public can get a little bit more about WHO SHE IS. And it doesn't resemble me whatsoever.
Do you worry about self-image, care about what you look like, maintaining a movie star image?
No, not at all, life's too important and time is too precious. My time with my daughter is more valuable to me than spending two hours in a fucking spa. Half the time when I walk out the house, I don't look at the fucking mirror, and I get to work, and oops, you've got stuff in your eye and whatever. Who cares?
Is that because you come from a theatre background and therefore acting is more important to you than stardom?
Acting is definitely the only reason I do what I do, because this is what feeds my soul and this other stuff is bullshit. I don't want to be here on a f*****g Sunday morning sitting here. I don't want to be promoting this film, but I do it because one does. I also want people to see it and Sony has been so supportive and so I want to do something for them.
What would you do if you weren't an actress?
I'd probably be an artist in some way, mixed media, probably.
Did you know early on that you wanted to be an actress?
Yeah I did. I don't know how or why, but I think I did.
How did it express itself initially?
I didn't do anything in high school. At one point, when I was 12, we had just moved from London to the States, and I auditioned for a community play and there were like 250 other girls there and I don't even know how I got there. I remember thinking afterwards: I wasn't cast, this isn't for me. So I stopped and didn't think about it again till I was 16, auditioned again and WAS cast. All of a sudden, while I was doing the play, I felt like I had found a reason for being alive.
Any idea why?
I don't know. I think as a child, going through puberty and teenage years, and just flailing, as we all do, at that point we are looking for that which makes us feel comfortable and safe, and that which we can recognise as being a part of US, as a human being. Up until that point my grades were terrible, my focus was horrible, I probably had ADD, you know? So when I got cast in this play, and I realised there was something I could do, then I felt there was a reason for me to be alive.
What important lessons do you want to instil in your daughter?
The only thing I would ever want to preach to my daughter, is just about staying true to herself, following her heart and respecting herself. Wherever that leads her.
Time Off, 9-15 May, 2001
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES
Transcribed by Lucy.
Directed by Billy Bob Thornton. Starring Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, Henry Thomas, Lucas Black and Rueben Blades.
There is little chance of anyone mistaking All The Pretty Horses for anything but a western- and an exquisitely picturesque one at that.
In scene after scene, the camera seems to be pulling back further and further, as if it trying to apply some sense of scale to the never-ending, horizonless plains of America's finest cattle country.
Thankfully, there is more to this adaptation of the award-winning Cormac Mc Carthy novel than just rustic vistas and spectacular views. Better still, it conspicuously avoids the standard cowpoke clichés that inevitable follow when Hollywood puts on its spurs and leather chaps.
Instead, the gun-slingin', lassooin', and horse whisperin' take a welcome backseat to a haunting vision of the myth that was once the Wild, Wild West crumbling before our very eyes. The end result is a movie much quieter and far more enigmatic than we have become accustomed to. But if it can be viewed in the right mood on the part of the viewer, then, All the Pretty Horses has more than enough substance to match its good looks.
Matt Damon stars as John Grady, a laconic young frontiersman forced to look for work in Mexico in the late 1940's when his granddaddy's Texan ranch is put up for auction. With his pal Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas) in tow, Grady gets hired on at a big Mexican spread, where his way with a rope and a bridle takes the eye of his hard-nosed boss Rocha (Ruben Blades) and his beautiful daughter Alejandra (Penelope Cruz).
Just as the flame between Grady and Alejandra catches alight, the fallout from an earlier chance meeting with an ill-tempered teenage horse rustler (Lucas Black) catches up with Grady and Lacey, landing them behind bars in a squalid local prison.
According to industry scuttlebut, director Billy Bob Thornton (in his first stint behind the camera since the excellent Sling Blade) submitted a first cut of this movie that clocked in at a mammoth four hours. As a result, there are stretches in All The Pretty Horses where it feels like we are only being treated to half of what is really going on.
However, a superb performance by Damon in the lead role and a relaxed, understated feel to Thornton's handling of some difficult scenes (the jail sequences are particularly confronting) still lets the epic scope of McCarthy's tale cast a deceptively engrossing spell.
by Leigh Paatsch
Who Weekly, May 4, 2001
Transcribed by Lucy.
With Robert Patrick
He has long been best known as Arnie's arch-enemy in Terminator 2, but since agent Mulder (David Duchovny) split from The X-Files Patrick has materialised in his place as supernatural sleuth John Doggett. With Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson), he proves that the truth is still out there. Patrick, 42, solves some of life's mysteries for Juliette Jameson.
Is it true they call you LMG on The X-Files set, short for Liquid Metal Guy?
That was at the beginning. Now they say, "Hey, idiot, come over here." Stuff like that. With the occasional LMG thrown in.
It's been 10 years since Terminator 2, yet you're still known as the Terminator guy.
I've been acting for 16 years. I've done 55 movies and, in all seriousness, there's maybe five that are good and the rest are crap. They're bad movies. But the thing is, an actor has to work and I'm the kind of guy that instead of just sitting on my butt, I want to work. And every once in a while I would get to be in a movie that was good. Terminator was just one of them but it's still the one thing that follows me around. It's a great film and I'm very proud of the work I did, but I'd like people to see Cop Land, Fire in the Sky, rosewood, Striptease. To be associated with Terminator is a great thing but it casts a show over you because people always recognise me from it so the question always is:will they believe me in something else? That's why (playing John Doggett in The X-Files is great for me, not emotionally but for my career.
Motorbikes are your passion.
Yeah, that's a thing I do, but I don't get to ride as much now because of this job.
Is that because of X-Files' insurance policy on its stars?
No-one's said, "No more motorcycles." We work 80 hours a week, so I sleep on Saturday and the only day I have to ride is Sunday and I feel guilty every time I sneak out on my bike because Sunday is really the only day I have with my kids and my wife. So I get out maybe once a month on my motorcycle.
Who do you ride with? You're not one of those LA dandy weekend Harley-Davidson riders, are you?
No, I am not one of those dandies. I ride with a lot of guys who aren't concerned about how they look. We don't ride to be seen, we ride to ride. Most of the guys are teamsters, grips. We've got all sorts of guys in our pack from all walks of life. I'm lucky they let me ride with them.
What would you be doing if you weren't acting?
You know, I don't know because I left college early. I worked in a bank. I painted houses. I don't know what I would have drifted into. I really wasn't motivated to do too much. Maybe I'd be a mechanic. Maybe I'd sell cars.
Maybe you could have been in your brother Richie's band. I believe he's a rock star.
He used to be in Nine Inch Nails, now he's in a band called Filter. His first two records have sold over a million copies. Filter actually did two songs for the X-Files. For the 1996 album Songs in the Key of X, Richie wrote a song called "Thanks Bro," which is about me, and then he did a cover of the song "One", which Three Dog Night had big success with and it was a hit for Filter.
And then you got the job on the show. Was that a spooky coincidence- or a case for The X-Files?
It is spooky. And Richie feels lucky because the two TV shows I've done, the Sopranos and The X-Files are his favourite shows.
Spooky indeed! Well, it's great that apart from your brother, all the other X-Files fans have embraced you in the show.
It is. The ratings are great. It's all going well. Fans can expect things on the X-Files to get even scarier.
Gold Coast Bulletin, TV Guide, May 3, 2001
X-Files creator Chris Carter believes in government conspiracies, but not in aliens. "I want to believe," he told an audience at Montana State University.
Transcribed by Lucy.
Carter was invited to speak at the college by his cousin, Shari (Mulder) McCoy, the administrative assistant to MSU President Geoff Gamble.
Carter borrowed his mother's family name for FBI agent Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny.
One of the big questions during this season: Who is the father of agent Dana Scully? "Watch the next four episodes," Carter replied.
[Photo of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (from The X-Files Movie)]
Per Manum Review:
At the start of the last series of the X-Files, Agent Dana Scully(Gillian Anderson) discovered she was pregnant. The father of her chikld remains unknown.
Is Agent Mulder(David Duchovny) the father of her unborn child?
Has the incredibly close working relationship between Mulder and Scully extended further into their personal lives?
Fans should find out when Scully sets out to investigate a possible alien birth.
A woman who belives she was abducted by aliens has given birth to a child.
It gets Scully wondering.
Will her own child be an alien?
And if so, why is her doctor trying to cover it up and deceive her?
Meanwhile, Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Skinner(Mitch Pileggi) continue their investigation into Mulder's disappearance.
Their paths cross with Scully when they too meet upwith a group of people who believe they have been abducted by aliens.
The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox
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