Jazz Radio 94.1fm and Birch Carroll and Coyle co-sponsored the Australian Premiere of the movie "EVENING" on Wednesday, 18th July, starring Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave and Meryl Streep. Patrons included presenters and volunteers from 94.1fm and prize winners for the promotion.
The evening commenced with an informal gathering in the foyer that included a live jazz band and Doug Cummins, the 94.1fm breakfast announcer, introduced presenters and prize winners to the audience prior to the film commencing.
"Evening" is a film about life, with the influences and relationships that shape the destiny of the various characters. Vanesa Redgrave plays Ann Grant Lord, bedridden, and close to death, being cared for by her two daughters and a nurse. In the twilight of her life she reminisces through flashbacks about the pivotal moments of her life and a love affair that was prematurely ended by the tragic death of a friend.
Her daughters listen as she rambles, almost incherently, about the affair in her youth that appears to have been tinged with regret. The daughters appear to have had no inkling of the events which changed the course of her life and Nina, played by Toni Collette is intrigued by hints of her mothers unknown past. Nina has her own issues to deal with and she senses that discovering the past of dying mother may be the key to solving her own problems.
The film deals with the borders between infatuation and love. The flashbacks center around the wedding of Lila to Carl. Ann briefly meets Harris, a former employee and now family friend. There is an instant chemistry between Ann and Harris but this becomes complicated when Ann learns from her best friend Buddy, that Lila has been secretly in love with Harris since her youth. Lila reveals that her love for Harris is not reciprocal. Ann and Buddy encourage Lila to pull out of the wedding but Lila knows that her destiny is set.
Cynics might suggest that there are elements of a sophisticated Mills and Boon novel with unfulfilled love ruling the lives of the main characters. We slowly learn that Buddy has always loved Ann but she is not interested and is infatuated with Harris. This leads to a tragedy after the wedding that shapes the rest of their lives.
As we flash forward to the present day, we find that the central characters have married with children but there is a sense in them all of regret and lost love.
As Ann draws close to death, she is visited by her friend Lila who she has not seen for many years. Ann has some lucid moments as she asks about Harris and they both ponder what might have been.
Ann's troubled daughter, Nina, draws some inspiration from her mothers last moments and the words of her friend Lila "mistakes don't matter" with a message of "what will be will be".
Evening is a beautifully told story of life and love from a womans eyes with many poignant and bittersweet moments. The director Lajos Koltai has placed all of the male characters in purely supporting roles as the women tell the story. Some examples include Patrick Wilson who plays Harris, providing a backing vocal, to Claire Danes who sings at the wedding and Barry Bostwick who appears as one of the patriarchs at the wedding but barely says a word in the film despite being seen often. These are are all designed to place the focus of the film on the women.
The cast is exceptional with Claire Danes breathtaking as Ann and Toni Collette once again producing a powerful performance that must surely get the attention of the Academy. Evening is a thought provoking and sensitive film produced with wonderful style and grace. Highly recommended.
© John Reid
I recently watched an episode of an English TV series, an antiques show on the Lifestyle cable channel with David Dickinson, that was absolutely sickening in illustrating how a collector can take the wrong advice and end up having a valuable collection sold for a pittance.
The show featured an elderly cricket fan who had amassed a huge collection of signatures and memorabilia from County and Test players over a 40 year period. He had travelled to all of the venues in England and painstakingly sought out virtually every player who had played county cricket for Yorkshire and one or two other counties. He also had cricket bats signed by entire teams and a cricket ball signed in gold pen by each member of the Yorkshire cricket team.
He entrusted his collection to David Dickinson to sell at an auction that would be featured on his TV show. One of the common mistakes that people make when trying to sell a specialised collection is to consign their prized possessions to a general auctioneer. In this case the auctioneer sold antiques and bric a braq and although they were reputable and well known with a strong clientele they were in no way specialists in autographs or cricket memorabilia.
I watched as the collection was broken up into lots. That was OK. Each piece had a value in its own right and it was certainly better to auction each item individually rather than the collection as one lot. However, I started to feel that something ominous might happen when estimates of 32 pounds were placed on each Lot.
From what I saw, the collection was a significant historical cricketing record - irreplaceable and unique, something that a serious collector of cricket memorabilia would view as a jewel in their collection. I would have valued the collection conservatively at around $5,000.00 as a lot and would have offerred something in that region if it had been offerred to me.
I really felt for the collector as the auction started and each lot barely reached the estimate of 32 pounds. The entire collection struggled to achieve about $500.00 or $600.00 with commission to be taken out. The poor collector put on a brave face for the cameras and David Dickinson made some attempt to lighten up the proceedings but the fact is that the collector must have been absolutely devastated to have seen his lifelong collection disintegrate in value before his eyes.
In my view, David Dickinson's actions in allowing this collection to be sold at a general auction were reprehensible. The placement of this collection in a general auction was a recipe for disaster. Dickinson did not profess to have any knowledge of the value of the collection but he would surely have known that a collection of this type should have been placed in a specialist auction, perhaps one of the Christies sporting memorabilia auctions or cricket auctions or even an auction house that specialised in autographs. Perhaps that would not have fitted into his TV format.
I have often seen movie memorabilia sell very cheaply because it has been misplaced in a general auction. There have been many stories where collections have been picked up by antique dealers who have little or no knowledge of movie memorabilia. I have heard some horror stories where antique dealers have picked up valuable collections for a miniscule amount based on the fact that they know very little about movie posters.
There is an ethical question in these cases. If a dealer, like David Dickinson, comes across a collection that is outside his field of expertise he surely should direct the owner of the collection to a specialist rather than make an attempt to offer "specialist advice" that could lead to disaster.
As a dealer in movie memorabilia, I have a working knowledge of the value of collections and will make an offer based on that knowlege. In many cases, I have offered close to retail prices for collections. It always makes sense for anyone who intends to sell movie posters or autographs to sell them through a specialist.
As a collector, I found this program very hard to watch. I would hate to think that my collection would end up in a general auction or being sold to an antique gallery for a pittance. I can just imagine some sleazy dealer viewing the lifetime collection and making a paltry offer with comments like "Theres not much call for this stuff". I know of at least one person who inherited a small collection of posters that included The Lady Vanishes, 39 Steps and Casablanca. He had no idea of value but took the box to a local antique dealer who offered $100.00 for the lot. The funny thing is that the owner of the collection might have taken $500.00 at the time but thought $100.00 was a bit too low. He eventually ended up selling the posters off gradually for many thousands.
So, if you intend to sell your collection of movie or sporting memorabilia I would be extremely careful about who you choose to consign it to.
There has always been a great deal of confusion over the originality of Mad Max Country of Origin Australian daybills and one sheets. The fact is that more than one style of original poster exist but others, which are often referred to as original, are actually reissues or reprints. I have compiled a guide to serve as a reference point to determine original Mad Max Australian posters......
I present a Jazz radio program every week on 94.1fm on the Gold Coast between 12 and 3pm. Featured at 1.15pm each week is the Movie Quiz giving listeners the chance to win a prize for being the first to correctly answer a movie related question.
This weeks quiz...
This week were giving away a wonderful Ella Fitzgerald CD entitled A Tisket A Tasket with 12 great tracks from one of the all time great singers. Our prize comes to you courtesy of my website www.moviemem.com where you will find a huge selection of movie memorabilia including original Jazz posters and profiles of many of the musicians that I present here on 94.1fm.
Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant starred in An Affair to Remember, 50 years ago almost to the day back in 1957, one of the classic tear jerker romantic films. Despite being engaged to other people, they fall in love and both agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months. The film has been remade more than once and was the inspiration for a highly successful film in 1993. To win this weeks prize all you need to do is phone us here at 94.1fm on 5577 9999 and tell us the name of the movie that was inspired by An Affair to Remember and starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
I will be playing the track:
An Affair to Remember by Vic Damone
One James Bond daybill that has remained very elusive over the years has been FRWL. In all my years as a dealer I have never had one or even seen one and this is quite unusual because many thousands of titles have passed through my hands. I know of one collector who has just about everything there is to get on James Bond who has been searching for one of these for many years and he would probably be very keen indeed to get his hands on this one. Here it is in all its glory.....