Lex Marinos was in Melbourne this weekend to talk about his work with Wendy Hughes as part of the Australian Centre of Moving Image (ACMI) Focus on Wendy Hughes.
As Marinos says to Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE), “Wendy was the first of our post World War II movie stars. Her star quality was evident even as a student when she was only 16 or 17 at NIDA, you could just see it she was someone special.”
If there was a golden age of Australia cinema it was somewhere between the 1970s and 1980s as far as Lex Marinos is concerned.
“I am out of the film industry right now, but I think it has changed. Without a reasonable tax incentive and regardless of many of the failings of the 10BA Scheme, (tax incentives for investment in films), what it did do is allow the industry to work. It allowed lots of people to work; technicians, crafts people, writers. It gave everyone an opportunity to invest in Australian films.”
He is not overly excited about the current state of affairs in the film industry “There isn’t enough conviction anymore in the benefits of an Australian film industry.”
Clearly when $40 million is spent creating an over-blown tourism industry ad in the form of Baz Luhrmann’s film and critical flop Australia one wonders where the industry is heading.
As a director, Lex Marinos’ films include An Indecent Obsession, Boundaries of the Heart and the television series Bodyline, Embassy as well as various documentaries and theatre productions.
Marinos made his acting debut in television in the hit comedy series Kingswood Country, has played festival director, radio personality and was the recipient of an Order of Australia Merit.
He waxes lyrical about Wendy Hughes, “She could not hide the truth of emotion, she bears her soul. There are lots of great actors now, but she was special. Every now and then someone comes along like Wendy Hughes or like Cate Blanchett.”
He first met Hughes as a student and the first thing he directed with her was An Indecent Obsession in 1984 as a result of “a falling out” between the previous director and producer.
“It was short notice and I had just finished directing Bodyline series, it was the first film I directed and I knew most of the actors in it. An Indecent Obsession was based on a Colleen McCullough’s book.”
An Indecent Obsession revolves around the story of a seemingly normal and handsome patient (played by Gary Sweet) who arrives, stirring all sorts of repressed and unhealthy desires in Sister Langtry (Wendy Hughes) and her unhinged wards.
A Focus on Wendy Hughes at ACMI between Thursday 16 – Sunday 26 April.
For further information http://www.acmi.net.au