Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Plonk - a fun new wine web series

Plonk - a fun new wine web series

As Robert Joseph points out, making a successful tv show about wine is hard work. Seriously hard. Many have tried, yet few have really made it (save for Oz and James' Big Wine Adventure series) and definitely none in Australia.

Yet the new Plonk web series could well change that.

Driven by local filmmakers Nathan Earl and Glen Condie and starring Chris Taylor (from The Chaser), Plonk is a new online comedy series (it may well be picked up Channel 10 apparently) following a television crew as they travel through NSW trying to produce a wine show.

I managed to attend a preview screening of the first two episodes (it premieres in full on Monday February 10th) of Plonk and can confirm that it is indeed very funny. Not 'face hurting' funny maybe, but the whole cinema was laughing at much of it (which we'll call a win).

More than just funny, Plonk also painted a few NSW wine regions in a very positive light, integrating classic Aussie vineyard scenery (brown hills, green vines) and a whole swathe of well-known Aussie winemakers (Bruce Tyrrell, Tim Kirk etc) into a simply premised comedy.

Obviously I know next-to-nothing about filmmaking, nor film reviewing, but series like this can only be good for wine regions (particularly NSW wine regions, given that funding for this was provided by Destinations NSW) both locally and internationally and the fact that it is genuinely funny only makes the whole project more worthy.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

Catch the Plonk series here:

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Review: Red Obsession Movie

Review: Red Obsession Movie

Tonight was the red carpet premiere of the new movie Red Obsession, an Australian documentary that looks at the fortunes of Bordeaux and the rise of the Chinese Bordeaux buyer (view the Red Obsession trailer here).

Now I am hardly a movie critic (I still have more Bond movies than anything else), but after having seen Red Obsession twice now I can at least pass comment from the wine perspective.

The general theme of this movie is that of an exploration, via a series of interviews with collectors, retailers, critics, winemakers and the like, into what it is that makes people obsess about Bordeaux.

It's an exploration - a narrative really - that uses the stories and opinion of interesting wine people to attempt to communicate the joy of wine.

What I most like about this film is that it never feels pretentious in any way - indeed there was more laughter than anything else in the cinema tonight, which was great to see.

I suspect that the lack of pretentiousness is largely due to the clever choice of interviewees such as the ever-jovial Christian Moueix (who proudly proclaims to be a good drinker and an average taster); forever articulate Jancis Robinson and the mischievous pipe-smoking Chinese collector Peter Tseng (who made his money in sex toys).

What I also like is just how much the film romanticises wine production and collecting, painting Bordeaux as a place of magic, mystique, history and prestige - all of which the wine industry could do with more of.

Actually, perhaps one of my few criticisms is that the Red Obsession subtext seems to suggest that Bordeaux makes the best wines in the world bar none, and has the strongest mortgage over fine wine history, when the region is merely part of the jigsaw.

Regardless, this is a very entertaining film that - most importantly - manages to share a little of the fervour that drives wine lovers to obsess about this most magical of beverages, all without relying upon esoteric language or technicalities. For that alone it is not only worth watching, but also worth recommending to others - and not just fellow wine geeks.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Bottleshock The Movie

Went and saw the Bottleshock movie last night - Based on the now infamous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting from a particularly feel good, David & Goliath American angle.

It's quite an entertaining movie, although its best to ignore the facts and simply roll with the storyline (apparently the 'brown bottle event' is purely for suspense). I did feel sorry for old Steven Spurrier though, as he is cast here as a snobby English wanker who knows nothing about Californian wines, though reputedly nothing is further from the truth.

Well worth a look all the same.