Gen­er­a­tional change

Ex­cit­ing young tal­ents are dis­cov­er­ing there’s still life in the old box first watch

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Graeme Blun­dell

THERE’S an in­ter­est­ing para­dox at work in Tv-land: a gen­er­a­tion that tells us over and over it isn’t in­ter­ested in the TV its par­ents grew up with has dis­cov­ered just how much fun it is to make shows for what they once re­garded as an an­ti­quated tech­nol­ogy. These are the kids who can watch their choice of hun­dreds of thou­sands, if not mil­lions, of chan­nels all de­liv­ered over the in­ter­net, in­sou­ciantly avoid­ing the piracy po­lice. Un­like their par­ents they have grown up with the idea of com­pu­ta­tional flex­i­bil­ity and can out­put an in­ter­net-based video stream with­out break­ing a sweat.

This gen­er­a­tion in­cludes the guys be­hind Dan­ger 5, a new six-part ac­tion-com­edy se­ries com­mis­sioned by SBS with the sup­port of the South Aus­tralian Film Cor­po­ra­tion and the en­tre­pre­neur­ial Ade­laide Film Fes­ti­val. Its cre­ators are the ab­surdly tal­ented Dario Russo and David Ashby, who are also di­rec­tor and star of the in­ter­net sen­sa­tion Ital­ian Spi­der­man, their short spoof of 60s and 70s Ital­ian cinema made when they were in high school.

Ital­ian Spi­der­man was the no-bud­get trailer for a non-ex­is­tent film of the same ti­tle — you need to hang in here — fea­tur­ing an over­weight Ital­ian su­per­hero whose pow­ers in­cluded cof­fee drink­ing, smok­ing and the odd bit of tele­port­ing. It was made in 2007 with one roll of 16mm film as a stu­dent ex­er­cise and sud­denly Russo and Ashby were stars, part of a vi­ral video craze on the in­ter­net, where short film clips spread by email and me­dia shar­ing web­sites. A Youtube sen­sa­tion, the clip has amassed close to 31/ mil­lion view­ers to date.

They ex­panded the Ital­ian Spi­der­man cos­mos with the sup­port of the South Aus­tralian Film Cor­po­ra­tion and turned it into a 10-part on­line se­ries, which to­gether with their trailer has ac­crued a com­bined to­tal of more than nine mil­lion view­ers. This ex­er­cise in guerilla film­mak­ing — 36 min­utes shot for a bud­get of less than $10,000 with a five-week edit — brought them to SBS, which com­mis­sioned Dan­ger 5 with a $1.5 mil­lion bud­get. It seems a fair whack, but $150,000 an episode for a TV show is very small beer when the av­er­age cost of an episode of drama is around $700,000. They have used what they had bril­liantly, the short­com­ings adding to the mashed-up highly eclec­tic aes­thetic.

Dan­ger 5 is a com­plex epic of so­cial and cul­tural satire set in a sexed-up 60s in­spired ver­sion of World War II and viewed through a prism of Godzilla movies. It’s funny, of­ten hi­lar­i­ous, pulpy and weirdly en­gag­ing. Well, I found it so, but there will be some who may be dis­mayed and of­fended by the ap­proach these film­mak­ers take to the ter­ri­ble events of last cen­tury.

The se­ries fol­lows the heroic ex­ploits of a team of five in­ter­na­tional su­per­spies on a right­eous mis­sion to kill a Hitler (Carmine Russo) straight out of the pulp comic genre. The finest group of op­er­a­tives the Al­lies have to of­fer are the bearded Amer­i­can Jack­son (David Ashby), blonde Aussie Tucker (Sean James Mur­phy), and swarthy, mous­ta­chioed Ital­ian Pierre (Aldo Mignone). These tough, hard men are com­ple­mented by some equally dan­ger­ous and, of course, very beau­ti­ful women.

The blonde Claire (Amanda Si­mons) is from Bri­tain and sul­try brunette Ilsa (Nata-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.