By Zoe Rae & Bronte Rose Jovevski


the-royal-tenenbaums-cast-picture2THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) “I was 12 or 13 when my mum brought it home from Blockbuster. I watched it because it had Ben Stiller in it and I thought it was a comedy. This was the first Wes Anderson film that I had ever seen, and my brain exploded. I didn’t know that movies could look or feel like this. The super detailed characters, the music cues, the sets. The overly emotional undercurrent nailed my angsty tween heart. It stayed with me. For a solid week, I couldn’t stop thinking about Richie and his sweatband. When I was in Year 5, I fell in love with Harriet The Spy, and have wanted to live in a 1960s, tan corduroy, pencil-marked notebook version of New York City ever since. The Royal Tenenbaums was Harriet’s world brought to life, in my youthful eyes. In the words of Liz Lemon, ‘I want to go to there.’ Sincerely, my life was changed forever; I tugged on the Wes Anderson thread and a whole new seemingly-created-for-me world appeared. I discovered more incredible films and ways of telling stories, met some very important soundtracks, and solidified my love for the humble blazer. I’d wanted to make movies since I was a kid, but The Royal Tenenbaums was when the job of the director made sense to me.”

BirdcageTHE BIRDCAGE (1996) “The first DVD that our family ever owned was The Birdcage, and I think that really says a lot about me and where I come from. Elaine May is the queen of comedy writing, and thanks to my mother, I’ve known that for most of my life. I recently watched the French film that it’s based on [1978’s La Cage Aux Folles] and it didn’t feel as warm and sweet to me. That may be nostalgia, or my unfailing love for Nichols & May, but those were huge elements to me watching this as a kid. It showed people being brave and asking their loved ones to go on new adventures with them. It showed that family is complicated, but that family and love is always worth it. It showed people choosing their own paths and that being a good thing. It was bright, quick, and made fun of arseholes. The message to me as a kid (and still as an adult) was to just be yourself and not give a shit what other people think. This film taught me that there is never merit in trying to be someone else’s version of you. It taught me that the world is full of jerks, so don’t be one yourself. It taught me that Dianne Wiest is a national treasure, and that there should be more movies like this in the world, because the stories that we see on screen can be subconsciously very powerful.”

tumblr_njblccyXai1qzspj4o2_1280PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (2002) “The first time that I saw Punch-Drunk Love, I had a panic attack and turned it off before Barry even used his frequent flyer miles. The music freaked me out and unsettled me so much that I couldn’t keep up with the story. I also couldn’t keep up with the story because I was a teenager and was distracted by the colours. I only remember that I really liked the colours. It was on TV one time when I was flicking channels in a hotel room, and again, I had to turn it off because of Jon Brion’s score. ‘Stop with the fucking percussion, it’s making me anxious’ – me to myself in a hotel room. Years go by. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favourite directors, but still I can’t touch Punch-Drunk Love. Too noisy; too stressful. Then my friend, Luke, makes me watch it with him, and it instantly became one of my favourite movies ever. Behold, the power of a good calm friend. Turns out that Jon Brion’s an actual genius and wanted me to be unsettled, just like Barry. And now I understand film score. Thank you, panic attacks.”



mean-girls-plasticsMEAN GIRLS (2004)Mean Girls was released at just the right time for me as an awkward preteen, when I’m sure that I was told on at least one occasion, ‘You can’t sit with us!’ It is also, undeniably, the perfect film, and I refuse to hear otherwise! Or at the very least, one of the best comedies of the 21st century. At the time, I loved it because it was hilarious and incredibly quotable (and because it starred my Parent Trap childhood idol, Lindsay Lohan). I didn’t realise then that its impact on the cultural zeitgeist would signal the ability of female driven comedies to make money. Now, some twelve years later, and as a female writer and producer advocating to hear more female voices on screen, I love it for all of those reasons, but mostly because it is a shining example of the fact that female-centric films (particularly comedies) don’t need to revolve around male characters. Note: I share a birthday with Lindsay Lohan, which places the movie even closer to my heart.”

image10THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) “This one goes for both of us! The Royal Tenenbaums was a really important film for both Zoë and I at different times of our lives. When we began to seriously develop Shan And Kate, it was the aesthetic and heart of films like this one that really aligned us creatively. I watched it for the first time when I was about nineteen, and alternatively laughed and sobbed hysterically the entire time. I continued to watch it every couple of weeks throughout a bleak few months when I was living in a weird share house and not really keen on leaving my bedroom – The Royal Tenenbaums felt like my kooky, Old New York-y relatives that I hung out with every once in a while. It was a revelation to me that a movie that made me laugh was allowed to look so beautiful.”

mike-myers-dana-carvey-as-wayne-and-garth-in-waynes-worldWAYNE’S WORLD (1992)Wayne’s World was probably the most influential film of my formative years, which says a lot about my relationship with comedy today. Some light Googling just informed me that its Australian release was on the day that I was born, which is spooky and cool! My sister and I used to watch it constantly from about age eleven onwards (Note: We were not into the sequel – I’m strictly team-original-director, Penelope Spheeris). Wayne’s World did three very significant things for me as a preteen: Firstly, it led to a long tradition of using the quote, ‘I have an extensive collection of name tags and hairnets!’ Secondly, it introduced me to Saturday Night Live and the world of sketch comedy in general (Wayne’s World began its life as a popular recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, and made its way into feature world). I wasn’t really raised watching a whole lot of comedy, and growing up in Australia meant that there was no access to Saturday Night Live; looking back, I think that Wayne’s World flicked the switch in my brain that said, ‘Let’s write funny stories!’ Thirdly, and most importantly, it began my life-long love affair with Rob Lowe.”


Shan And Kate plays at The CinefestOZ Film Festival, which runs from August 24-28. To buy tickets to Shan And Kate, head to the official site. For more on Shan And Kate, head to the official site.


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