THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE FILM QUESTIONNAIRE: Alastair and Vanessa Riddell

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE FILM QUESTIONNAIRE: Alastair and Vanessa Riddell
Alastair Riddell is perhaps best know as the man who fronted the excellent glam-rock band Space Waltz back in the early Seventies whose single Out in the Street is a genuine Kiwi classic (as is the camp and clever clip which accompanied it).

And recently a British rock magazine pointed Ziggy-era Bowie fans in the direction of Space Waltz's sole self-titled album from '75.

But that's a long time gone – although the song lives on – and since then Riddell (brother of poet Ron) did a fine solo album, traveled overseas, got married, raised a family, played acoustic music and embarked into a new area of expression: film

With his wife Vanessa Cohen-Riddell he established Little Red Hen Pictures, produced the short drama The Last Stop in 2012 and now they have their first feature, Broken Hallelujah, in the Rialto chain (see here for screening details) and other selected cinemas nationwide.

Selected for the White Sands International Film Festival, Broken Hallelujah is described as a story about love, but also betrayal, hope and the increasingly complex lives of the central couples.

And yes, it has original music by director Alastair and stars producer Vanessa (who also appeared in the acclaimed New Zealand feature In My Father's Den).

Timely then for them to answer our Famous Elsewhere Film Questionnaire . . .

The first film which really affected you was . . .

Alastair: 20000 Leagues Under the Sea

Vanessa: Bambi. It broke my heart, I still cannot watch it without falling apart.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in movies were . . .

Alastair: Gregory Peck - The Guns of Navarone 

Vanessa: Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice

Gregory Peck or Dirk Bogart, Scorsese or Truffaut, Pacino or De Niro, French or Italian cinema?

Alastair: Gregory Peck, Truffaut, Al Pacino, Italian

Vanessa: Dirk Bogart, Scorsese, Al Pacino, French

If film was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Alastair: Music/ Painting

Vanessa: Writing/ Painting

The three films (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to see are . . .

Alastair: Armacord (Federico Fellini), The Servant (Joseph Losey), Citizen Kane (Orson Wells),  Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam)

Vanessa: Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes), Wind that Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach), In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison), The Insider (Michel Mann)

MV5BMjA3MzM5NTkxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTY5MTI2MQ__._V1_SY317_CR5_0_214_317_AL_Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange movie memorabilia at home?

Pokie machines (used in Outrageous Fortune and NZ films), sweet dispenser, In My Fathers Den poster

The best book on film or film-making you have read is . . .

Alastair: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Vanessa: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

If you could interview any actress it would be . . . (And you would ask?)

Alastair: Catherine Deneuve. “How difficult was it to be regarded as a beauty in film and still maintain your integrity and intelligence”

Vanessa: Vanessa Redgrave. “How hard was it to balance your political views with the Hollywood machine?”

The three pieces of music you'd insist anybody listen to because they might understand you better are . . .

Alastair: Henryk Górecki - Symphony Nº3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), Peter Warlock - Capriol Suite, She Moved Through the Fair - traditional Irish

Vanessa: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen), Masters of War (Bob Dylan), Mad World (Tears for Fears)

The last DVD you bought or rented was . . .

Alastair: I bought the documentary Big Men – Big oil in Ghana. Just a reminder of how money and the power associate with it corrupts and becomes preeminent over social or environmental concerns.

Vanessa: The last DVD rented was Only Lovers Left Alive – Jim Jarmusch. I have worked with Tilda Swinton so it is always fun to watch her and I love Jim Jarmusch’s quirky take on things.

One film, residuals for life, never have to work again. The film by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

Alastair: Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean). I love the expansiveness of it, the light. In its time it was slightly irreverent to the establishment. I love the opening shots of the motorcycle it was such a contrast with the English countryside and the desert.

Vanessa: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola). Great characters with stunning performances. The whole movie you are on tender hooks, it’s like a tinder box and you are just waiting for it to go off)

The movie poster or photo of an actor you could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

Alastair: Metropolis. A definitive deco science fiction mid-century modernism and still viable today as it ever was.

Vanessa: The Exocist is a cool poster but it would scare me every time so I would go for Metropolis

You are allowed just one great line in a film, and it is . . .

Alastair: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” Dr Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Vanessa: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (Apocalypse Now)

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, filming what?

Alastair: The next two film we have lined up. South Island and possibly the other in Europe

Vanessa: Same

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best film ever?”

Not sure what film you are referring to . . .

bh

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