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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Film Fess by Helene Ravlich

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The Moo Man, a tribute to slow living

Posted on Tuesday 11/11/2014 November, 2014 by Rialto Admin

I thought of the above when I was watching THE MOO MAN - showing this week on Rialto - after a particularly frantic, borderline-mad day. Described as “the remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows,” and the surprise hit of Sundance Film Festival 2013, it is a documentary following several years in the life of farmer Stephen Hook.

THE RED ROAD’s Julianne Nicholson

Posted on Friday 31/10/2014 October, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons

I have long been a fan of US acting talent Julianne Nicholson, who has long been one of those ‘faces’ that you recognise in a plethora of incredible roles but don’t really know the name of… just that you think she’s bloody amazing.

That has all changed over the last couple of years though, with the actor popping up in some of the most quality series to hit the small screen in quite some time now. One of her latest roles is as troubled mother Jean Jensen in ‘The Red Road’, a Sundance TV series premiering on Rialto on Tuesday, November 4 at 8.30pm.

She stars alongside our own Martin Henderson, megahunk Jason Momoaand Tom Sizemore, in a story that revolves around a sheriff struggling to keep his family together, while policing two clashing communities – the small town he grew up in and the neighbouring Ramapo Mountains, home of the Romapo Mountain Indians.

They are currently shooting the second series in Cartersville, Georgia, and I spoke to Julianne (in a shamelessly breathy fangirl voice) about the series and one hell of an amazing couple of years. 

Manipulation: nothing is more true than a good lie…

Posted on Wednesday 22/10/2014 October, 2014 by Rialto Admin

As someone who has worked both as a journalist and a PR practitioner in my time (the latter thankfully no more), I have definitely experienced the feeling of being the gamekeeper turned poacher and have witnessed the joys and the stresses on both sides of the divide. Done well, PR is a force to be reckoned with and most definitely a tool for good, but done badly it can have implications for both the spin-doctor and their target.

Stupendous PR fails, bad blog pitches, media missteps, bad judgment, poor PR pitching and PR faux pas are a joy for the average journo like me to rejoice smugly in, and if the amount of people who like to chime in with, “What were they thinking?” is anything to go by then I guess there’s something about PR train wrecks that appeal to us all. In the age of social media one thing’s for sure, you’d don’t want be a bad PR example because on the trusty Internet, it’s forever!


The Turning - in it for the long haul

Posted on Wednesday 15/10/2014 October, 2014 by Rialto Admin

Films directed my multiple filmic talents have the capacity to go one of two ways. And by “multiple directors” I am referring to those that come in segments with one creative in charge of each, as opposed to true collaborative affairs that have two major names at the helm. Think such flicks as the controversial ‘Destricted’, the much-applauded ‘Four Rooms’ or the beautifully whimsical ‘Paris, je t’aime’, all flicks that are known as anthology, omnibus or portmanteau films, depending on which film studies class you graduated from!


100 Bloody Acres of damn good Aussie fun

Posted on Wednesday 8/10/2014 October, 2014 by Rialto Admin

When I read the term “comedy horror” in relation to Aussie flick “100 Bloody Acres” my first thought was: this could all go horribly wrong. I had visions of “Scary Movie part 115” and the like, but then remembered that the film was Australian - a nation who do dark very, very well.

I must admit that knew nothing of "100 Bloody Acres," the debut film by sibling writer-directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes, until I saw it in preparation for writing this blog. However the legendary Roger Ebert calls it “the best low-budget horror comedy since ‘Shaun of the Dead’,” so I went in with high expectations and a strong stomach for gore.

Wine and alchemy… one man’s obsession with the grape

Posted on Thursday 2/10/2014 October, 2014 by Rialto Admin

"I think there's a magic, a transformation from just grape juice to this magic… there's an alchemy, an otherworldly alchemy going on in there." Maynard James Keenan

When I first spent time with Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan just over ten years ago I was astonished at his passion for wine, which was threatening to overtake his passion for music. During a visit to the Penfolds winery just outside Adelaide his enthusiasm for the grape was infectious, but my budget didn’t extend to the $1000 plus bottles of red that he was quaffing on a regular basis. I didn’t hesitate to join in for a glass however - would have been rude not to - and by god I got an education in what tastes good, when and with what. I’m lucky it didn’t spoil me for life.

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

Posted on Wednesday 1/10/2014 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 24/09/2014 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 17/09/2014 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 10/09/2014 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!

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