A freelance writer and copywriter for over fifteen years, Helene has written for publications and brands all over the world and couldn’t imagine herself in any other job. A shameless film freak, her first onscreen experience involved a trip to Avondale’s Hollywood Theatre at the age of five to see Yul Brynner in The Ultimate Warrior and she hasn’t looked back since. A big fan of documentaries, she has interviewed subjects as diverse as Henry Rollins, Jimmy Choo and Beyonce Knowles, and also has her own beauty blog - which can be found at www.mshelene.com - for the purpose of raving about red lipstick, big hair and other essential indulgences.

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‘Shadows of Liberty’ - don’t believe anything you read

Posted on Wednesday 10/1/2014 October, 2014 by Rialto Admin


Last week I was deeply disturbed whilst watching a nasty little slice of fiction - the darkly cruel ‘Silver Tongues’ - and this week I’ve been handed a major downer in the form of real life, the documentary ‘Shadows of Liberty’. Thanks Rialto boss and the happy pills are on you!

Essentially a little journey through the darker corridors of the American media landscape, it is essential viewing from beginning to end and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen - as much as I wanted to during several excruciating and tragic scenes.

A rather interesting - and totally compelling - watch in the wake of our recent election AKA Doing the Dirty with Politics, ‘Shadows of Liberty’ is a documentary directed by Jean-Philippe Tremblay and featuring a bit player in New Zealand’s own political game, Julian Assange. It has been called a “slick, masterful political essay on the degradation of contemporary journalism” (Ezra Winton, Art Threat), which makes it sound a little more dour than it is I think as it really gets the heart pumping and the anger bubbling.

Rialto Silver Tongues - mind games at their best

Posted on Wednesday 9/24/2014 September, 2014 by Rialto Admin

I’d heard 2011 indie film ‘Silver Tongues’ described as a “dark little drama” in passing, but by GOD was that an understatement. Director and writer Simon Arthur received the "someone to watch" award at the Independent Spirit Awards for his work directing the flick, which begins fairly innocuously with a saucy little scene in a hotel room bed. When the first scenario starts rolling out it could easily be mistaken for a challengingly funny sex romp - it has all the elements: the unhappy honeymoon, the sexy young wife, the dodgy swingers in the motel restaurant - but soon veers off in one hell of a tricky direction.

Concussion, or just plain bored?

Posted on Wednesday 9/17/2014 September, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons

When I first read about the premise for this week’s subject, indie movie ‘Concussion’, it all seemed a bit too simple. As in: Suburban Lesbian Mom gets hit on the head by a ball thrown by one of her children and becomes a raving sex fiend and eventually, covert prostitute. I was reminded of The Edge radio station’s tasteless and extremely unpleasant recent promo, which was won by two straight men who agreed to get married for tickets to the World Cup. It bought up the conversation of whether it’s possible to be “gay for a day” or even “straight for pay”, as I assumed aforementioned Suburban Lesbian Mom had turned the corner after a bump on the head and desired blokes but no, she was just in the market for a wider range of ladies. And then some.

‘The Brass Teapot’ and Juno Temple, the born chameleon

Posted on Wednesday 9/10/2014 September, 2014 by Rialto Admin

This week I’d like to take a look at a stunning new talent cropping up seemingly everywhere you look in the film arena right now, who also happens to have a killer pedigree and a chameleon-like ability to completely transform with each and every role. One presumes that the latter is why the amazing Juno Temple does seem to have her name attached to a slew of great projects, although the former most certainly had a hand in getting her delicate foot in the door.

Juno is the daughter of acclaimed director Julian Temple and producer Amanda Temple, and the star of ‘The Brass Teapot’ (showing on Rialto this week) as well as appearing in two other great flicks on the Rialto horizon, ‘Small Apartments’ and ‘Magic Magic’. She reportedly decided at age 4 that she wanted to be an actor after her father showed her ‘Belle et la Bête’ by Jean Cocteau, which seems dreadfully precocious to me but may well be true!

The ‘Last Dance’ for a first time director

Posted on Friday 9/5/2014 September, 2014 by Rialto Admin

Actress Julia Blake and Last Dance director David Pulbrook. 

Showing right now on Rialto, Australian film
 ‘Last Dance’ could be termed merely a damn great thriller, but I (and many others) believe that it's something much more than that. Highly topical in light of current happenings at several conflict spots around the globe, it’s also a film about tolerance and forgiveness, the unspeakable effects of religious and racial hatred and the power of kindness and basic humanity to change lives.

Last Passenger, first time director

Posted on Wednesday 8/27/2014 August, 2014 by Rialto Admin

In the feature film ‘Last Passenger’ (showing this week on Rialto Channel) Lewis Shaler (a weary-looking Dougray Scott) is a doctor and solo dad heading home with his young son Max (Joshua Kaynama) on a late night train from London. In true cinematic fashion, Max accidentally causes fellow passenger Sarah Barwell (a pixie-ish Kara Tointon) to spill coffee on her coat, prompting Shaler to apologize to Barwell. The interaction is the beginning of a romantic connection between the two.

Later, while the train is stationary, Shaler notices an unidentifiable man tampering with the train's brakes. As the train begins to move again the plot thickens - he sees another man crawling across the tracks and on investigation, Shaler discovers the conductor has vanished…

Rialto Natural Selection

Posted on Wednesday 8/20/2014 August, 2014 by Rialto Admin

“You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't.
”  ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In my family tree I have (in no particular order) a partisan, a French gambling whiz who reportedly broke the bank at Monte Carlo and various circus folk - all of which appear very glamorous/fascinating in hindsight, but were probably serious trouble in their day! It is most definitely true that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family, and generations of feuds (Cain and Abel, anyone?), embarrassments and hell raisers just go to show that’s not going to change in a hurry.

Behind the mask

Posted on Wednesday 8/13/2014 August, 2014 by Rialto Admin

“The virtue of wrestling is that it is the spectacle of excess,” French theorist Roland Barthes, ‘Mythologies’

When I lived in Mexico many years ago, one of my favourite pastimes was a weekly visit to the wrestling ring. In the seaside town I was living in ‘Lucha Libre’ was king, and attending masked wrestling matches in Mexico City completely blew my mind. The strength, the theatricality and the passion of the audience were absolutely unfathomable to me previously; it truly was great spectacle at its best.

A spotlight on the game of champions

Posted on Monday 8/4/2014 August, 2014 by Rialto Admin

“Chess is life.”  -  Bobby Fischer

I was one of the lucky people who got to see New Zealand film ‘The Dark Horse’ debut at the NZIFF a couple of weeks ago, its first public outing and a night that ensured its future as a Great Kiwi Film. Everyone in the house was moved, buoyed and impressed by the tale of Maori chess Genesis Potini, and the work he did with underprivileged and challenged youth in his own hometown.

Rialto Beatlemania

Posted on Wednesday 7/30/2014 July, 2014 by Rialto Admin

They emerged as smiley faced mop tops and conquered the world, but it was when The Beatles got all freaky that I think they really came into their own. It was also the moment that George Harrison - AKA ‘the quiet Beatle’ - really made his presence felt, and established his status as perhaps the coolest and most progressive thinking of the lot.

The documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World”  - directed by Martin Scorcese and showing now on Rialto - has been polarising for fans of the man and the band, but I love that fact that it has at its heart his dedication to Eastern thought and the power of meditation.

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