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There is one very important question plaguing the minds of die-hard Diana Gabaldon fans: who is going to play Jamie Fraser in the upcoming Outlander films/mini-series? Filling the boots (and swinging the sporran) of a Highland hero so vividly drawn in the minds of millions of loyal readers is no mean feat.

Outlander Casting Jamie Gabriel Aubrey
Gabriel Aubrey: doesn't fit the bill, but has potential. Image:

Here is a list of the attributes required:

- Incredibly rugged sexiness
- Elegantly refined sexiness
- Extreme height
- Red hair of a very particular shade (must be natural)
- A Scottish burr of a very particular degree (must be natural)
- The ability to pull off being ruthless, honourable, passionate, amusing, fierce, laconic, romantic, vulnerable, stoic, disturbed, and violent with a large smoked sausage, convincingly and possibly all at once

Outlander Casting Jamie
Allan Scott-Douglas: not quite there. Image: Jon Davey

Now for those not familiar with what we are discussing here, I say get ye to a bookstore quick-smart. This story is one of the most enrapturing fantasy tales of all time, and extremely realistic (considering it involves time-travel through a stone circle).

Outlander Movie Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth: Home and Away doesn't help his cause. Image:

So, back to the issue of casting about for a Jamie. Diana Gabaldon herself has said she knows not who it will be, though is partial to little-known actor, Allan Scott-Douglas, who played Jamie in the musical. I’m not entirely convinced about this, though he is much preferable to other more-famous actors whose names have been thrown out there. (Chris Hemsworth – NO, Kevin McKidd – NO, Gerard Butler – love him, but not for this).

Outlander Movie Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler: not this time. Image:

Have you read the books? Do you have any ideas about who could play Jamie? Are you a budding actor who fits the bill? (If so, please send photos for review). (Sans shirt).

Outlander Film Jamie Fraser
Kevin McKidd: red hair does not a Jamie make. Image:

The film rights to Outlander were purchased four years ago by Essential Pictures and the project is currently still in development (probably because of all the angst over Jamie). Speculation about the production is heating up of late however, so stay tuned!

Michaelie Clark

Ten Films Every Bigot Should See

April 6th 2012 15:39
We live in the lucky country, and while that’s a grand place to be, it means that there is a certain amount of ignorance prevalent in our society, fed by cultural complacency and the dominant norms of patriarchy and Western superiority. Film has long been a medium for challenging social simplicity and prejudice – here are ten examples that have confronted their audiences.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

To Kill a Mockingbird
In 1962, the adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel about one man who stood up to a town filled with hate and racial righteousness struck a cord with many, and is today considered one of the greatest films of all time. Atticus Finch’s quietly passionate and unwavering belief that everyone is equal and deserves to be treated fairly makes him a character not easily forgotten.

Boys Don’t Cry
Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Brandon Teena, who was bashed, raped and murdered at the age of 21 after his male friends discovered that he was biologically female. Hillary Swank won Best Actress for her portrayal of Brandon, which gave a heartbreakingly anguished account of life as a young transgender man in proletarian America.

Schindler’s List
This hard slog through the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust highlights the indescribable atrocities perpetrated under the Nazi regime and the outcomes of unchecked racist ideologies.

American History X
The story of white supremacy a little bit closer to the present day, which deals with the impacts of being raised amid fundamental racism. Edward Norton stars as a neo-Nazi who, after a period in prison, becomes disillusioned with the racist dogma he grew into.

Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
A glimpse into the lives of three very different women as they each struggle with unsatisfying, unconventional or abusive relationships while seeking to regain or attain a meaningful sense of identity.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Rabbit-Proof Fence
A based-on-true-life film about the Stolen Generations, which chronicles the story of two Aboriginal girls who walk for nine weeks after escaping an internment camp in an attempt to return to their home.

Desert Flower
This biographical film depicts the early life of supermodel Waris Dirie. Dirie was subject to genital mutilation at the age of five then escaped an arranged marriage by crossing the Somalian desert alone in order to reach the nation’s capital and flee to London. She lived in a precarious state without home or legal status, before being discovered by a celebrity photographer and making a name in the fashion world.

North Country
Based on real life events that led to the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in the US, this film follows the life of a woman who takes a stand against gender-based bullying, prejudice and abuse, in her personal life at home, and in her professional life working in the male-dominated mining industry.

Even today, there are not a lot of films based around the themes of homophobia and HIV/AIDS, so this one caused quite a stir when it was released, almost twenty years ago. The film follows the story of a young homosexual man who has been wrongfully dismissed by his employer due to the discovery that he has AIDS. After failing to find representation, a lawyer who is homophobic and largely ignorant about AIDS has a change of heart and agrees to help him.

Little Bee/The Other Hand
This one is still in the works, but if the book is anything to go by, it should be a powerful film. The novel is told from the view points of a Nigerian asylum seeker and a British magazine editor. The two very different women find themselves bound together by a series of tragedies that expose the huge contrasts in their lives as well as their fundamental kinship.

White Australia
Image: Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard someone:
- Wax lyrical about ‘queue jumpers’ without a solid understanding?
- Dismiss Indigenous people as a collective group of wasters who can’t get over the past?
- Spout the phrase, “I’m not a racist, but…”?
- Become indignant over an apology to the Stolen Generations, claiming it’s all about getting more money for something ‘we didn’t do’?
- Defend assimilation practices as generous and altruistic?
- Justify a case of sexual assault or label someone who has reported an instance of sexual harassment in the workplace as a trouble maker?
- Vilify another due to their religious beliefs?
- Display fear, revulsion, mockery or hatred for a person who identifies as Queer?
- Discriminate against another because of age, appearance, ability, etc?

Have you recognised the bigotry that exists in the media? Have you been guilty of bigotry yourself at some point in your life? Not many people can say that they never have.

Has there been a film that has opened your eyes to unconscious prejudice? What films do you think have been important in confronting bigotry in our society?

Michaelie Clark

The Astor Theatre

October 28th 2011 17:59
A once-grand lady, now withered and knurled with age, worn thin like an oft-washed chemise, print a bare impression, lace a suggestion of fraying strands – this is the Astor Theatre. She may be a dame of faded glamour but she’s lovely and witty and the stories she can tell..!

The Astor Theatre
The Astor Theatre

No-one can spin a tale like this holy art deco icon of Chapel. She may be a bit dingy, and her vertical neon signage isn’t always wholly a-blazing, but the charm of her musty, dignified, steadfastly ostentatious glory continues to appeal.

This is the place to go to see the black and whites and cult hits on the big screen. It’s the lair of cheap double-billings and new indie flicks, and is undoubtedly a favoured haunt of South-side cinema lovers.

Check out the brand new website (a huge improvement on the old haphazard one) to see what’s on, or take a look at this article by Joshua Samonini for all the information on next weekend’s marathon event – a special screening of the Back to the Future trilogy.

Michaelie Clark

Captain Planet: The Movie

August 14th 2011 05:02
By Cartoon Network and Angry Filmwork’s powers combined, here comes Captain Planet – the movie. Continuing the trend in making movies of nineties animated favourites, Captain Planet and the Planeteers is apparently in development to hit the big screen in live action.

Captain Planet The Movie
Go Planet! Image courtesy of

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Based on David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer winning play of the same name, Rabbit Hole takes viewers through the dark tunnel of life after the loss of a child. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell, the film stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as parents struggling to cope after the sudden death of their five-year-old son, Danny.

Rabbit Hole
Kidman and Eckhart in Rabbit Hole - Image courtesy of

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The Long and the Short of it All

May 12th 2011 01:55
While short film continues its resurgence in the arts scene, there is still a question of whether it has really made its mark in modern culture as something that is significant in its own right and not just something aspiring film-makers do because they haven’t the budget or backing for features.

While mainstream audiences may see shorts as the easy make, the reality is that short doesn’t mean simple. By definition, shorts have to pack a punch - immediately. There’s no room for the superfluous because every second counts. It takes skill to make a cinematic impact, and more so to do it succinctly

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The Inbetweeners: The Movie

March 20th 2011 05:44
The four misfit adolescent boys known as The Inbetweeners are set to hit the big screen later this year in a film that will no doubt be incredibly crass, scrupulously low-brow, steadfastly indecent and therefore endlessly entertaining.

The Inbetweeners Movie
The Inbetweeners: Image courtesy of

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Juicy Aussie Movie: Summer Coda

January 26th 2011 06:28
Well it’s Australia Day, so it’s about time for a review of Richard Gray’s fresh flick, Summer Coda. Set along the Murray River, in the orange groves of Mildura, we begin to unpeel the life of American girl Heidi (Rachel Taylor) who has returned to Australia for the funeral of her father. With just her violin and an air of spiky singularity, she sets off to hitch-hike her way to the Sunraysia region and soon catches a ride with Michael (Alex Dimitriades), a local fruit farmer. Michael is nursing his own secret sorrow, and a tacit bond soon grows as they make their way north.

Summer Coda
Image courtesy of

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Easy Viewing: Top Ten Comfort Movies

November 27th 2010 06:14
If you have ever been depressed, hung-over or exhausted to the point of insanity, chances are you’ve found yourself fossicking about for a little cinematic comfort food to go with your family sized bag of M&Ms. Below are the flicks that always do the trick when I find myself feeling emotionally feeble:

Amelie: Provided you either understand French or you are in a fit state to keep your eyes open

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Apparently, I have a glass face. Everything I think and feel is evident to anyone watching me before I have even really worked it out myself. Without giving my mind the time to think something through, my face goes about heralding my initial reactions like a particularly gleeful small-town gossip.

Balancing Act
Image courtesy of

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Having just watched Pride and Prejudice for the bazillionth time, I understandably therefore had to set aside an hour for my habitual post-Darcy state of delusion in which I vividly imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennet. In my own little mind I don my petticoats and frolic about Pemberley being witty and irresistible to handsome members of the landed gentry, only to be rudely interrupted some time later by the dishwasher beeping.

Pride and Prejudice
Mr Darcy and... me - Image courtesy of

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Fresh 'Eyre' for Fassbender

October 31st 2010 03:33
Excitement abounds. The latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is slated for release in just over four months, starring none other than Michael Fassbender as the moody, brooding (can we hope for denuded?) Mr Rochester. Brava, brava! This promises to be a supreme choice of casting, along with Dame Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax – but what of the leading lady?

Michael Fassbender
Image courtesy of

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That tall drink of water, Richard Armitage, has been cast as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves (go figure) in Peter Jackson’s upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

Richard Armitage The Hobbit
Richard Armitage - Image courtesy of

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Interest is a-stirring for A Dangerous Method, the story of Jung and Freud and the woman who drove these sires of psychoanalysis crazy. Now, we all know Keira Knightley, who plays said woman, is prone to dividing her audience (for the record, I like her, though would have liked to drown her in Pemberley’s lake when she tried on Elizabeth Bennet) but when matched with the likes of Viggo Mortensen (stepping into the psyche of Sigmund Freud) and Michael Fassbender (exploring the consciousness of Carl Jung), with Vincent Cassel thrown in for good measure, you’d want your head read if you didn’t think it worth a trip to the cinema – or at least a session on the couch.

Viggo Mortensen
Oh Viggo! Image courtesy of

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Moderated by Michaelie Clark
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