RAW: Meet Lucas Pittaway Pt 2

He arrives 10 minutes late, but he has politely texted ahead. He steps in wearing a white t-shirt and grey jeans ripped open on one knee. That long straggly hair from the movie stills adorns his head but he is more diminutive than his film persona would suggest. But far from the morose, sullen, introspective character that he plays in Snowtown, Lucas Pittaway only knows how to light up a room. Smart, confident and assured, his deep brown eyes engage but the impish grin he features is the type Da Vinci has received 500 years of acclaim for. When he smiles, a fiesta of happiness radiates forth.

This time last year, Lucas, then 17, was considering a future as a mechanic in the army, as he roamed an Elizabeth shopping centre with his older brother Paul one Saturday afternoon. He had quit school just two months out from graduating because as he said ‘I had my licence and a job.’ That was as a pizza delivery boy – a real life Dougie if ever there was one.

As luck had it, it was Paul who first captured the attention of some casting agents on their last day out looking for suitable candidates for their film. A film about the horrors that went on just a few miles south on Main North Road in Salisbury but which will be forever remembered for the barrels full of decomposed body parts found in a disused bank vault at Snowtown in South Australia’s mid north.

Lucas was not there when they approached Paul; he was lurking elsewhere in a store when that happened but when he did appear it he also caught their eye and soon it was just him who was being groomed for a part. After three days of intense training and screen tests word came through, the investors liked what they had seen too and he had the role of Jamie Vlassakis – the lead role in a full length film – and this without a moment of prior actor’s training or experience. As Lucas recalled, his only previous theatrical performance was in a school play that never came to be.

Indeed it was not just Paul as a close associate who missed out to Lucas’ great fortune. His best mate, Ben, was down to the last two for one of the minor parts but his close connection with Pittaway was considered a potential issue when filming. So he too has only got to watch their mate on the screen and not play alongside him.

Given the notoriety of the crimes involved, playing the somewhat public Vlassakis figure threw up its challenges to both Pittaway and director Justin Kurzel. But Lucas is adamant this is no attempt to portray the real Vlassakis.

“What you see in Snowtown is not Lucas playing Lucas or Lucas Pittaway playing James Vlassakis but rather my depiction of Vlassakis”. With suppression orders, changes of identity and undisclosed locations, access to the real Vlassakis was not available, not that either Pittaway or director, Justin Kurzel, desired it.

The first time someone compared his looks to famous actors was when Lucas was working at Hungry Jacks. “I was serving this old lady and she said to me that I looked like Heath Ledger. I didn’t take much notice of it until I asked the other guys after and half of them immediately agreed. It had never occurred to me before.”

With different hair dos, Pittaway has also been compared to 127 Hours’ James Franco. “But I want to be clear, I am not doing this to imitate Ledger or anybody else, I am not looking to ride on the coattails of their looks. This is me out there.”

This is the only moment in our two hour chat and photo shoot that he gets at all defensive. Otherwise, the self proclaimed ‘modern man’, presents as one who is a natural in this sphere. His lateness came due to a visit to his girlfriend’s for some make-up.  Lucas possesses an instinctive feel for what a cameraman seeks; he fiddles with his shirt, his hair, his shoes as he prattles away for the ‘natural’ images.

But there is neither bemusement with his big break and his grasping of it nor conceit. He’s a kid enjoying the moment and being himself. For Tropfes, he tested the patience of distributors, Madman, by sleeping in after a big night which caused him to miss his plane. At the Adelaide Film Festival premiere, Kurzel had to upbraid him to wear some decent clothes but the moment he best remembers about that time in February was when the film ended. “It ended and all of a sudden you could hear a pin drop and there seemed to be this long silence. I thought, oh fuck they hate it. But then the applause rang out – we had made it,” Pittaway recalls.

It is just his world is different now or may be different now. Snowtown earned him enough to pay off some debts, buy some new clothes, pay for three months car rego (one of which was blown when he had his licence taken away for doing burnouts) and a few weeks off work.

Now he is off to Sydney for the premieres and then to Cannes for critics week. It is a long way from delivering pizzas in Elisabeth to the ideal of southern France.

In the dog eat dog world of the movies, how things pan out after Snowtown’s screen run is anybody’s guess and Lucas’. He has signed with RGM in Sydney, one of Australia’s foremost agencies and has already secured a role in a short film. But one thing does appears certain, Defence will not be seeing this young man fixing up their jeeps and tanks any time soon.

See our video interview with Lucas at: Lucas Pittaway Speaks With Kryztoff

See more images of Lucas and our interview with Snowtown director, Justin Kurzel in this month’s Kryztoff at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Adelaide Oval – How We Are Going To Pay For The Folly Of The Elites

The sporting elites of Adelaide may well reflect on the prices now being paid for the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, all announced since the vote last Monday week. No doubt the list will grow:

  • Timber forests being sold off with 5,000 jobs in the South East threatened as processing goes off-shore.
  • Electricity bills in Cooper Pedy up 100% as tariff concessions get dropped.
  • Base water bills up 50% this coming year and another 50% next year.
  • New RAH now to cost at least $1b more up front with an ongoing tail payment of $360m a year just to open the doors
  • The Adelaide casino is stalling on its planned expansion, describing it as just one option. That may mean the footbridge to its door may not get built.
  • The Keith Hospital’s future now rests with donations.

All this on top of the shock surprise of a $600m shortfall in GST revenue over four years!

Closer to the hearts of the sporting elitists, we now know:

  • The great Michelangelo Rucci has confessed Adelaide Oval is not going to save the Crows and Power from going further backwards on and off the field
  • The romantic notion of wandering down after work on a Friday night to watch the football will be restricted to a mere two, may be three nights a year
  • AFL to contribute at most $5m – less than 1% of the current cost and around 0.3% of their $1.25b media rights deal – with games on Foxtel now to be shown against the gate.
  • And finally, the big doozer, this morning’s Advertiser confirms what we last wrote on the topic that ‘pre-season games [are] predicted before that year’s [2014] election.’ Students of the SACA Information Booklet will recall this being written ‘The State Government will grant to .. SACA .. to unrestrictedly and exclusively use Adelaide Oval for cricket during [its] season subject only to to the right of the State Government to stage international events.’ The Cricket season does not end until 15th March. The election is on March 14!

Still there are no seats to be lost in Mt Gambier or Cooper Pedy and the good news for the elites is that their excess water blls will only go up by 10%.

Next stop – the State budget.

RAW: Snowtown – Meet Lucas Pittaway – Pt 1 – Video Interview

Lucas Pittaway By Harry Pearce

Snowtown, the most acclaimed Australian movie of the year and perhaps of the millenium to date, opens next week.

Starring as Jamie Vlassakis, Lucas Pittaway recently spoke at length with Kryztoff in an exclusive interview. In this the first of a three part series entitled ‘Meet Lucas Pittaway’, Lucas speaks of how he got the part and his experiences from being involved.

The video is at: Lucas Pittaway Speaks With Kryztoff

See also Kryztoff’s preview interviews with both Lucas and Kristina Sedgwick, Director of the Adelaide Film Festival that premiered the film in February at Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown

From Thursday 12th May, see also our interview with Justin Kurzel, Snowtown director, in our monthly mag at: Kryztoff\’s May Edition

RAW: Henri Mallard – Building The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Artspace Til 29 May

Henri Mallard At Work

Coming up to the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Henri Mallard’s photographs and film record more than a significant public works project but a monumental Australian undertaking.

The design of the bridge itself offered all kinds of photographic possibilities and Mallard has taken them all. From closely cropped images of work being undertaken and of the workmen involved, the use of the lattice of cross beams and the arches, to panoramic vistas of the harbour, the boats and ferries below and of workmen suspended between the two. They are gritty, heroic and stunning in equal portions.

As good as the images are in and of themselves, much is added by the film that goes with the exhibition. While requiring 20 minutes of attention, the time is well spent as they not only place in great context many of the photographs, giving them greater meaning, but the sheer engineering and logistical genius involved in making the project happen is made plain. The quality of the commentary is hard to believe in this day or professional voice overs and documentaries but for raw authenticity this is terrific stuff.

When one appreciates that the safety concerns of the Chief Engineer, Bradfield, almost prevented this record being made, the fact this was the first such undertaking of a project like this by an art photographer in this country and the equipment involved was all somewhat new in itself, these are the works of a dedicated artist who knew what to record and where and how to get it. The results are quite memorable.

Whether viewed as a record of a great Australian achievement done in the depression (that also cost 17 lives) or of a committed and brave artist working in the industrial aesthetic of the time, this exhibition is stirring stuff and worthy of a visit.

[Images shown are allHenri Mallard Untitled c. 1930

Photographic Images © Paul Mallard and the Australian Centre for Photography

Kryztoff’s Rating  4.5K

See Kryztoff’s other visual arts reviews and features and profiles in its magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Adelaide Oval – One Week On – Part 1

One week on from the surprise 80% SACA members’ vote what has changed? Well quite a bit actually.

First thing is this surprise vote. Questions linger over how such a vote was obtained given the historic difficulties in getting anywhere near a 75% majority for any proposition where there is a bona fide ‘No’ case. Former Federal Labor member for Port Adelaide, Rod Sawford is staggered as were all pundits who had followed interest in the matter. Of course, consistent with every other sticky piece of information that came up in the Oval debate for either the SACA or the SMA (see further below), the SACA says it won’t provide access to the votes to anyone. It is hard to believe a member has no right to review such major things like this of their own association or would have an association that would prevent it.

Then, the Government came out with the usual stream of held back announcements. The forests are going to be sold (we heard the next day), a position not declared in the lead up in case some SACA country members didn’t like the sound of that. Premier Rann also announced the oval would be ready just in time for the 2014 State election. Kryztoff is happy to have a bet with anyone that there will be a football game played in the new stadium between Port and the Crows just prior to the election – try 7.40pm on Friday 28th February 2014 (yes, in cricket season) – under the State’s reserve rights to stage whatever it likes, whenever it likes. Then Rann can make his debut appearance at a football game in 12 years as premier to show the football princes and proles alike what he has done for them.

Under attack from Kryztoff and the No case, last week the Stadium Management Authority changed its constitution so that the anomaly that had existed from the outset that its CEO can’t also be a director is now gone. Interestingly, one of our gonged investigative journos from the SA Media Awards, did not believe that such an issue existed when asked to consider writing an article on the sloppy way the SMA was operating relative to its constitution. Well I suppose if you cover your ears, eyes and mouth and turn the music on really loud not much will get through.

Greg Howe of the No Case also revealed what a croc of dust the report of the SA Centre for Economic Studies was. This is the one that every cheerleader for the project chirped on about that suggested $110m worth of benefits were coming the State’s way. As he showed, the $110m related to gross expenditure, not any net economic gains (as say after including costs involved in earning that revenue, likes wages.) Then around half comes from a transfer of expenditure from West Lakes and much of the rest comes from dream world crowd projections for Port football games, rugby internationals, soccer games and concerts (see separate article to come.)

Nowhere in the document did it deduct from the gross interest costs on the $535m debt the State will be incurring ($40m pa approx). Anyway, any body worth their salt and worried about their integrity would never have been associated with such a piece of crap or allowed its report to be so badly misused. Kryztoff understands some SACES directors did exactly that – endeavoured to distance themselves from the production of the report. Now, let me guess, who do your reckon funds the SA Centre for Economic Studies?

Interestingly, all comment about the economic benefits seems to have been dropped in recent days in both The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail.

Then in a triumphant act of schutzpah, The Advertiser just on Tuesday happened upon a copy of the Macquarie Bank investment proposal that showed the Royal Adelaide Hospital will be built with a $1b over spend up front and annual on-going costs of $1m per day to the taxpayer thereafter. Trying to show to its readers (who generally hated the Adelaide Oval proposal – 90% against in two large phone in polls leading into the SACA vote) that it still cared for Government waste and the plight of the battler, the paper let rip on the Premier and Minister Hill. Little was made of the fact that Jim Katsaros, the doctor who ran the Save The Adelaide Hospital campaign had promoted the exact same figures in the lead up to last year’s State Election.

Again, full marks to those highly honoured investigative journos we have in this State. We are so lucky to have you on our side.

We could go on and we will but in separate pieces about the political machinations since and also further review of the dream world crowd and fixture projections for this ‘game changer’ that will transform this State from the summer of 2014 and make us all feel a lot better.

PS           Taking a walk around the so called Riverfront precinct this afternoon, there were about 500 people there, 50 of whom were young guys doing parkour. Just where all these people will come from to fill all those restaurants and cafes that are going to be built is anyone’s guess. Let us not forget that the fabled Federation Square sits next to one of the great railway stations of the world and is a major meeting spot to boot. Adelaide railway station is nothing like that, or will it ever be.

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Snowtown – Movie Preview With Lucas Pittaway & Katrina Sedgwick

The Snowtown movie releases on 19th May but it has already received rave reviews with its first sold out screenings at the Adelaide Film Festival.

In two exclusive interviews with Kryztoff, Adelaide Film Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick, and Snowtown star, Lucas Pittaway, talk about the film and their involvement in it, Sedgwick as an investor and Pittaway as an actor.

Catch that video here: Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown.