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submitted by James Victor Prineas on 05.07.2016

Brettes Haniotis and two sons

Here's my great grandfather Brettos Haniotis with two of his three sons: Panayoti (Peter) and Theodorakis (Akis). Taken sometime around 1920.

 

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Cinema Review on 15.02.2016

George Miller at the BAFTA's, 2016

Mad Max receives four awards at BAFTA's (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)

Sky News

Monday, 15 February 2016


Australian director George Miller's film Mad Max: Fury Road has won four awards at the Baftas.

Cate Blanchett has missed out on a best actress award at the British Academy Film Awards in London but fellow Australian George Miller's Mad Max film has picked up four.

Blanchett was up for best actress on Sunday night for her role in the lesbian love story Carol but the award went to American Brie Larson for her role in Room as a young mother held hostage with her son.

Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor for his role in The Revenant at the ceremony at the Royal Opera House.

Mad Max: Fury Road picked up Bafta awards for best editing, best costume design, best production design and best make-up and hair.

Mad Max was nominated for seven awards in total but not for best film or best director.

The British Academy Film Awards ceremony was held at the Royal Opera House and was hosted by Stephen Fry, with Blanchett and Australian comedian Rebel Wilson both presenting awards.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by News Corp Network on 11.12.2015

Held the dream for 36 years ... Director George Miller poses with the AACTA Award for Best Film for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Picture: Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images for AFISource:Getty Images

George Miller named best director and Max Mad: Fury Road best film at Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA Awards)

December 9 2015 9, 2015


George Miller’s epic film Mad Max: Fury Road has been crowned the best film of the Australian industry’s biggest year at the box office since the 1990s.
The action-packed revival of Miller’s 1970s franchise took out the AACTA Award for Best Film at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts’ star-studded ceremony on Wednesday night at The Star Event Centre in Sydney.
Having already scooped awards for Cinematography, Sound, Music Score, Editing, Production Design and Visual Effects at last week’s craft awards, Mad Max: Fury Road, which starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, took its total tally to eight AACTAs when Miller was awarded Best Director.
The 70-year-old Miller had fought for years to get another Mad Max movie off the ground — Fury Road eventually had to be shot in Namibia after drought-breaking rains turned Australia’s red desert sands green.
But while the post-apocalyptic blockbuster was largely shot overseas and backed by Hollywood studio Warner Bros, it qualified as an Australian film thanks to its director and funding from local bodies.

The original Mad max ... Mel Gibson with George Miller at the 2015 AACTA Awards held at The Star in Pyrmont, Sydney Picture: Richard Dobson

Miller was given his best director gong by his original Mad Max, Mel Gibson, who is back in town to make his film Hacksaw Ridge.
He seemed genuinely thrilled to present the award to his old colleague.
“Oh hey, it’s George,” he said as he opened up the envelope. Miller praised his Mad Max: Fury Road crew saying “this wasn’t an easy film to make”.

Smaller films shined in the AACTA Awards’ acting categories, with The Dressmakerstar Kate Winslet named Best Lead Actress and castmates Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving claiming the Supporting Actor gongs.
Englishwoman Winslet winning over Charlize Theron’s Mad Max performance may come as a surprise to some, with the South African-born star currently featuring prominently in Oscars predictions over in the US.
Winslet recorded her very funny thank you speech for Best Lead Actress in a feature film from overseas.
“They said I ought to put something together on the off-chance I might win this award. But I’m sure I haven’t because it should go to a local and I am indeed an outsider.
I did put on lipstick just in case. I loved being a part of The Dressmaker. Thank you.”
Unsurprisingly, The Dressmaker stitched up the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film — Aussies have delivered the Victorian-shot film over $16 million in ticket sales so far.
Meanwhile, Aussie stalwart Michael Caton was recognised for a performance that spanned comedy and moments of heavy drama, winning Best Actor for his role as a taxi driver diagnosed with only months to live in Last Cab to Darwin. It was his first AACTA award.
Cate Blanchett called for more of the country’s actors on screen as she tearfully accepted one of the highest honours in the Australian film industry.
As had been announced, Blanchett was given the Longford Lyell Award for an outstanding contribution to Australian screen by actors Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving.
“Oh I’ve become one of those ridiculous people who cries it’s just a f!@#ing award,” a teary Blanchett said as she accepted the gong.
A cavalcade of Hollywood directors, including Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard and Robert Redford, delivered video messages congratulating Blanchett.
Blanchett said that more Australian actors should be cast.
“It’s not a quota ... it needs to be fought for,” Blanchett said.
She also acknowledged how happy she was the award she received had had a name change to include Australian 19th century actress and film producer, Lottie Lyell.
“Thank you for recognising Lottie Lyell,” she said.
“I think it’s fantastic AACTAs is coming into the 21st century,” she said in a nod towards gender equality, as the film industry works towards having 50/50 gender equity in upcoming Australian projects.
Backstage, Blanchett said the Australian industry needed to be celebrated for being small and unique, and it should stop trying to emulate other industries around the world.
“I love this industry so deeply and am so very proud to be a part of it that it always pains me so much that we talk ourselves down,” she said.
“We are a small industry and that’s a virtue, I think it makes us unique.”
Directors Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese both lamented the fact they’d only had the chance to work with Blanchett once and would love to do it again. Robert Redford also paid Blanchett a great tribute.
“You are brilliant and you do honour to your craft,” Ron Howard said.
The director of her upcoming film Carol, Todd Haynes, called the actress “a beacon, a galaxy and a mensch.”
The AACTA Awards’ TV categories were dazzled by Channel 7’s Peter Allen — Not the Boy Next Door, which sang and danced its way to seven statuettes.
That haul included Best Actor awards for the two Peters: Jackson for his Lead role as the grown up Allen and teenager Ky Baldwin for his Supporting work as the young Allen.
Sigrid Thornton’s transformation into the legendary Judy Garland was rewarded with the Best Supporting Actress AACTA.
Not the Boy Next Door was also named Best Telemovie or Miniseries.
Ten’s repackaged MasterChef Australia won in a crowded Best Reality Series category, while the ABC’s new series Glitchwon Best Drama ahead of more experienced and fancied rivals Wentworth, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Love Child.
Pamela Rabe’s consistently terrifying character The Freak in Foxtel drama Wentworth won her Best Actress.

Mad Max: Fury Road grossed $21.7 million at the Australian box office and $520 million internationally.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 08.10.2015

George Miller. Has good news and bad news for fans of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Miller reveals the magic and madness behind Fury Road

Sydney Morning Herald

Friday October 9th, 20125, page 2-3

Garry Maddox


Yes, he still wants to shoot the two sequels that were written during the 12 years it took to get that movie to the screen. But it is still too early to say when or even which new instalment – one centring on Tom Hardy's Max, the other on Charlize Theron's Furiosa – he will film next.

"We're certainly talking about them but exactly the timing of that, I don't know," Miller said. "We're still working all that out."

The sequels, which would be shot in Australia after extended rain at Broken Hill forced a shift to the Namibian desert for Fury Road, have been a hot topic since the movie became a rare box office hit, taking $US375 million worldwide, that was almost universally acclaimed by critics.

The fourth Mad Max movie started with an idea that flashed into Miller's head as he crossed a street in Los Angeles in 1998. Then two years later, the former doctor had what he calls a waking dream – with the movie playing out in his head – on a flight from from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Ahead of a talk on creating Fury Road at the Graphic Festival on Sunday, Miller said it grew out of his "strong sense of inquiry".

Recasting changed the storytelling: Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road. Photo: Jasin Boland

"One of the things that drew me to this film was the notion of an extended chase and seeing what [viewers] could pick up on the run as it were," he said. "We were trying to put as much iceberg as possible underneath the tip.

"So you read it on the surface as a kind of visual poem but underneath you're trying to pick up as much subtext as possible."
As well as being one of the country's great storytellers – an Oscar winner whose celebrated directing career includes four Mad Max movies, two Happy Feets, Lorenzo's Oil, The Witches of Eastwick and the mini-series The Dismissal – Miller has long been a deep thinker about how stories work and why they matter, drawing on the theories of American mythologist Joseph Campbell.

"One of the major attractions of working in this wasteland world with Mad Max and all his cohorts is that you're going forward to the past," he said. "You're going back to a much more elemental world, which allows you to basically work in allegory.
"So you're drawing on history. You're drawing on present-day events. You're drawing on speculations as to the future we may be heading towards. You're conflating all of those and putting them into the mix and being rigorous about the design criteria that you're working with ... so that even though the movie plays at a helter-skelter pace, [viewers] are picking up enough on the run to make it believable. You hope they're drawn up into the world of the screen without questioning it."

Miller, 70, said "dreaming" a movie was far from rare in his life.
"It probably means I'm crazy but I do it all the time. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been living this imaginative life.
"The more you do something, the more your neurology adjusts to it and I'm pretty well hard-wired for story. Out of habit now, stories are playing in my head all the time."

Every movie Miller has written has come from a similar experience.
"They're not sleeping dreams," he said. "They're what I call hypnagogic dreams or daydreaming – that place between sleep and wakefulness. That unguarded moment when you're in a kind of dissociated state ... It's always in those sort of moments: on a long flight or in the shower.
"I remember having a conversation with George Lucas once and he said just about every great idea he's ever had has come in the shower because you can't be on the internet, you can't be on the phone, you're not watching TV.
"You're just there in that kind of state and the ideas come to your mind."
Miller said it necessarily changed the storytelling in Fury Road when Hardy took over from Mel Gibson as Max in the action series.
"The essential architecture of the story is always going to be there. But the actual tones and colour are going to vary depending on what the actor brings.
"You have something in your mind as you've written or devised it but when it's captured in the camera, that becomes the new reality. That's what you've got to work with.
"It's impossible to know exactly how different it would be but it must be different and pretty soon you've forgotten what you had in your imagination."

After that waking dream one night over the Pacific, Miller and co-writers Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris developed Fury Road in an inventive way. Instead of a script, they created 3500 storyboard panels – effectively comic book scenes – that outlined what happened in the movie shot by shot.

"The task was to see how much story or experience or felt life you could create for an audience during a very fast action piece," he said. "I'm always interested as to how film language is evolving.
"It's an acquired language. It basically laid down its syntax in the silent era. In many ways Mad Max is a silent movie with sound."

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Ethnos Newspaper on 19.05.2015

George Miller with his family, who migrated from Greece.

On the left is Thanasis and Toula Sklavos.

Οικογενειακή σύναξη στην Αυστραλία, μαζί με τους συγγενείς που έφτασαν από την Ελλάδα.
Στα δεξιά διακρίνονται ο Θανάσης και η Τούλα Σκλάβου.

ΕΘΝΟΣ «E» 17/5/2015

ΤΖΟΡΤΖ ΜΙΛΕΡ ΑΠΟΘΕΩΣΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΥΣΤΡΑΛΙΑΣ

Μιλάει Ελληνικά και στηρίζει τις δράσεις της ομογένειας
Ο Τζορτζ Μίλερ γεννήθηκε στην πόλη Τσιντσίλα του Κουίνσλαντ, 3 Μαρτίου του 1945 με τον δίδυμο αδελφό του Γιάννη, ενώ η οικογένεια απέκτησε και άλλα δύο αγόρια, τον Χρήστο και τον Βασίλη.

Σε εκείνη την άκρη της Γης έπαιζε ινδιάνους και καουμπόηδες με τους φίλους του και παρακολουθούσε μερικά φιλμ της εποχής που εξάπτουν τη φαντασία των παιδιών. Αργότερα η οικογένεια έφτασε στο Σίδνεϊ, ενώ ο Τζορτζ μεταξύ άλλων υπήρξε και παπαδοπαίδι στον ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου.
Ο σκηνοθέτης του «Mad Max» σπούδασε Ιατρική μαζί με τον δίδυμο αδελφό του, εργάστηκε σε νοσοκομείο και κέρδισε βραβείο σε διαγωνισμό μονόλεπτου φιλμ. Για χρόνια υπηρέτησε την Ιατρική πριν τον κερδίσει ο κινηματογράφος και σταδιακά γύρισε επαγγελματική σελίδα. Τα επείγοντα περιστατικά του δημόσιου νοσοκομείου όπου βίωσε δύσκολες καταστάσεις, τραυματισμούς και θανάτους, και η εξάσκηση του ιατρικού επαγγέλματος για χρόνια ήταν η αναγκαία προϋπόθεση για να υποστηρίξει την καριέρα του σκηνοθέτη.
Η πρώτη ταινία του είχε τίτλο «Βία στο σινεμά μέρος πρώτον», αν και δεν υπήρξε ποτέ η συνέχεια. Σημείο-σταθμό βεβαίως αποτέλεσε ο «Mad Max». Ηταν το 1979 όταν ο Μίλερ παρουσίασε τον ήρωά του, έναν αστυνομικό που μεταμορφώνεται σε εκδικητή για τον χαμό της οικογένειάς του. Πρωταγωνιστής ο άσημος τότε Μελ Γκίμπσον, ο οποίος τότε έγινε γνωστός στο ευρύ κοινό.



Με τη σύζυγο και τον πρώτο τους γιο στα Κύθηρα.
Την ταινία, η οποία έγινε παγκόσμια επιτυχία, απέφερε τεράστια κέρδη και απέσπασε βραβεία δημιούργησε ο Τ. Μίλερ σε συνεργασία με τον Β. Κένεντι. Ακολούθησε το δεύτερο μέρος το 1981 με πεδίο πάλι την Αυστραλία, ενώ το 1989 η τρίτη πράξη βρίσκει τον ήρωα Μαξ στη μέση της ερήμου σε ένα δυστοπικό μέλλον. Εκτός από τον «Mad Max» ο Τζορτζ Μίλερ έχει υπογράψει σημαντικά έργα και έχει διακριθεί πολλές φορές. Κέρδισε το Οσκαρ κινουμένων σχεδίων με την ταινία «Happy Feet», ενώ είχε και τρεις υποψηφιότητες για Οσκαρ για το σενάριο της ταινίας «Lorenzo's Oil» και την ταινία «Babe» στις κατηγορίες Καλύτερης Ταινίας και Σεναρίου. Μάλιστα έχει συνεργαστεί με πολλούς πρωταγωνιστές του Χόλιγουντ, όπως οι Τζακ Νίκολσον, Μισέλ Φάιφερ, Σερ, Νικόλ Κίντμαν κ.ά.




Οι γονείς Μίλερ (κέντρο) και ο αδελφός του Γιάννης (αριστερά).
Δεν ξεχνά τις ελληνικές ρίζες του
Παράλληλα με την καλλιτεχνική καταξίωση όμως δεν ξεχνά ποτέ τις ελληνικές ρίζες. Στην Αυστραλία η πολυπληθής παροικία των Κυθηρίων με 50-60.000 μέλη αναπτύσσει έντονη κοινωνική δράση και ο Τζορτζ Μίλερ δίνει συχνά το «παρών» λέει ο Γιώργος Πούλος γραμματέας στον Σύνδεσμο Κυθηρίων και εκπρόσωπος του Kythira family net όπου υπάρχει εκτενής αναφορά και φωτογραφίες απο την πορεία της οικογένειας.



Κοντά στην Ομογένεια της Αυστραλίας. Με τον πρόεδρο του Συνδέσμου Κυθηρίων Βίκτωρα Κυπριώτη και την αντιπρόεδρο Κατερίνα Σαμίου.

http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=64187974

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 30.04.2015

Charlize Theron with director George Miller. Photo Jasin Boland Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

On the set of Mad Max: Fury Road with director George Miller

Sydney Morning Herald

April 25, 2015

Garry Maddox


The badlands of the latest Mad Max movie have never looked more forbidding. But for director George Miller, it’s a happy homecoming.

Mad Max: George Miller's enduring anti-hero
Thirty years on, the iconic Mad Max franchise has been reimagined by its original creator.The result is an explosive, 'very Australian' modern action movie. George Miller talks to Garry Maddox.

Inside a cavernous sound stage in sweltering heat, a surreal scene is taking place. A band of skinny, shirtless men wearing filthy shorts and bandannas are clambering onto two giant steel turbines. On a command, they begin to pedal. The job of these sorry souls, called Treadmill Rats, is to operate a platform that brings battle vehicles and warriors up to a mountaintop citadel then back down to a desert wasteland.

Milling around nearby are a group of bald youths, also shirtless and wearing combat pants. They are daubed in white paint and marked with a menacing skull tattoo. Called the War Pups, they answer to a masked warlord known as Immortan Joe, who styles himself as a cult leader in the post-apocalyptic future.

While the Treadmill Rats pedal, the War Pups lounge around waiting for their scene. A make-up artist touches up the white paint on one. Another has found a spot in the sun to study a school book.

Watching the action intently on a monitor is George Miller, the acclaimed director who is about to finally finish filming Mad Max: Fury Road at Sydney's Fox Studios.

The former doctor made his name with Mad Max in 1979, then followed up in 1981 with Mad Max 2 (known as The Road Warrior in the US) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. While he has had many other successes, including the Oscar-winning Happy Feet, the trilogy about a damaged cop roaming the lawless Australian wasteland remains a cinema landmark.

Tom Hardy fires up as Mad Max

Photo: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Still one of the most profitable films ever made, the first instalment launched an unknown Mel Gibson to stardom as Max Rockatansky and influenced countless celluloid versions of the post-apocalyptic future. Out of Miller's vivid imagination came such memorable characters as Toecutter, Goose, the Feral Kid, the Gyro Captain, Master Blaster and Aunt Entity, as well as an inspired range of futuristic vehicles.

And there, on the platform the Treadmill Rats have been lowering, is one of the icons of the series – Max's Interceptor, the black V8 muscle car he drove at turbo-charged speed in his battered leather jacket with a cattle dog by his side. Despite the heat, Miller is also wearing a black leather jacket as he directs one of the last of 135 gruelling days on the movie.

"I liked being hot from when I was making the first Mad Max," he says, joking that it might be an attempt to raise his metabolism, or just an idiosyncratic security blanket on set.

Charlize Theron muscles in as Furiosa

Photo: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Miller describes Fury Road as a "wild and operatic" chase movie that is neither a reboot, prequel nor sequel. "It's revisiting the world," he says. "For me, it's revisiting old friends."

Pursued by Immortan Joe's marauding hordes, a one-armed female warrior named Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, drives a giant tanker carrying a precious cargo – his five young wives – through the wasteland. Along the way, she gets help from Max, played this time by Tom Hardy.

In its 114 minutes, Fury Road features no less than 300 stunts, all performed for real on set rather than simulated in a studio with digital effects. "Old school", Miller calls it. There are enough crashes, jumps, tumbles and explosions for producer Doug Mitchell to describe the movie as "Mad Max 2 on steroids".

Future shock: It took only minutes for George Miller to be inspired to make Fury Road It took 12 years to bring it to the big screen

Photo: Tim Bauer

As epic as that sounds, the movie's production has been even more so. Over 12 years, Miller has had to persevere during three major delays, with three actors down to play Max – including Heath Ledger until his tragic death – a switch of continents, three different Hollywood studios and enough financial challenges to sink just about any other movie.

And with up to 10 cameras shooting the action, Fury Road has been assembled from a huge 480 hours of footage. Back in the sound stage, it's time for a shot that has two War Pups reacting to Max's arrival off screen. They are joined by one of Immortan Joe's sons, Corpus Colossus (Quentin Kenihan), in a harness seat.

"Can we ask Jamie to just drop his head a little
bit," Miller says calmly into a microphone. "Crouch down. Not too far forward, Riley. And we're in action. The vehicles arrive. We're watching Max."

Around the corner, production designer Colin Gibson prepares for another shot. Up a ladder, he is painting a slogan on the wall of what looks like a cave: "There's a new world coming … she's already on her way."

This is the mountaintop vault where Immortan Joe keeps The Wives, played by a glamorous group of actresses and models: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Courtney Eaton, Zoe Kravitz and Riley Keough.

Gibson describes the cave as a combined harem, library, crèche and museum for all the flotsam and jetsam of history. "In a world of horror, this is an attempt to keep all the other bits of civilisation you don't worry about anywhere else," he says. "There's music, art, literature, plants."

A short walk away on the busy lot – Angelina Jolie is directing Unbroken and Russell Crowe is shooting The Water Diviner on other sound stages – Mitchell and Gibson show off more
of the dystopian world. Their team
has built 150 metres of tunnels, where Max is held prisoner and treated as a blood donor.

In another corner stands the truck that Furiosa pilots across the desert. Called the War Rig – one of three built for the movie – it looks like a battered dusty petrol tanker with chunks of two other vehicles welded on top, spiked wheels and a fuel-pod trailer.

"For George, this was Stagecoach, this was John Ford," says Gibson in a reference to the classic John Wayne western that takes place on the move. "There may be 10 million stunts happening out there but this is the stage for the drama. The beating heart."

Upstairs in the elegant Metro Theatre in Potts Point, three kilometres away, is an office with a rich history that dates back to some of the famous miniseries Kennedy Miller made in the 1980s. It was the prime minister's office in The Dismissal, a ship's bar in Bodyline, and a prison in The Cowra Breakout. Now it's Mad Max Central. George Miller's office.

With only weeks until Fury Road opens worldwide on May 14, the director is still flat out finishing all the different versions required for a Hollywood blockbuster: subtitled, dubbed, IMAX and various sound and 3D formats.

Beneath three whirring ceiling fans, signs of the movie are everywhere. There are large black models of the War Rig and another vehicle called the Doof Wagon, which urges warriors into battle in the movie with musician Iota playing a flame-throwing guitar. Elsewhere, some of the ornate steering wheels worshipped by War Boys, grown-up War Pups, hang on a wall, and a pile of movie posters are waiting to be approved.

For much of the production, the office was lined with 3500 storyboard panels that outline what happens shot by shot in Fury Road. "That's how we conceived the film," says Miller.

A genial figure behind glasses, the 70-year-old has long been one of the country's finest filmmakers, telling serious, thoughtful stories in a variety of genres.

Since forming Kennedy Miller with the late Byron Kennedy in the 1970s, George Miller has directed and mostly produced The Dismissal, The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo's Oil, Babe: Pig in the City, two Happy Feet films and the Mad Max trilogy. He also produced Babe (which he co-wrote), Bodyline, Vietnam, The Year My Voice Broke, Dead Calm and Bangkok Hilton. And he's done it all while living in Sydney rather than moving full-time to Los Angeles.

The four-time Oscar nominee – he was a winner for Happy Feet – traces his intense imaginative life back to a childhood based around play, without television, as one of four sons of Kytherian Greek immigrant parents in the Queensland town of Chinchilla.

After studying medicine at the University of NSW with his twin brother John, then working at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Miller was already making short films when he met Kennedy at a University of Melbourne film workshop.

He worked as a locum while they shot Mad Max around Melbourne, with the story influenced by seeing the damage caused by the country's car culture: the "death by autocide" in rural Queensland, and then dealing with the trauma as an emergency doctor.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've basically lived the imaginative life," Miller says. "I'm pretty hard-wired for that now. So these characters you've come up with, they live like imaginary characters in your head."

One of these characters, Max Rockatansky, unexpectedly jumped back to life as Miller crossed a street in Los Angeles in 1998. "Halfway across, this idea popped into my head," he says. "I thought, 'Oh my, that's a Mad Max movie.' By the time I got to the other side of the road, I said, 'There's no way I'm going to go anywhere near that because I've already done three.'

"Two years after that, I was on a plane flying across the Pacific during the night – from Los Angeles to Sydney – and the whole movie played in my head. It was in a rough form and it was very misty but the scenes played.

"By the time I landed, I told everyone, 'I think we're going to make another Mad Max movie.' "

Influenced by a love of silent movies and Alfred Hitchcock's theory about making films so people in other countries do not need to read subtitles, Miller conceived Fury Road as a helter-skelter action movie told largely through visuals rather than words.

After the apocalypse, there are no books, internet or TV, and language has become purely functional. So Max speaks just 41 lines and Furiosa less than 100. "There's very specific language in Fury Road but people don't do it recreationally and they don't think aloud because they're in extremis," Miller says. "They don't have time to think aloud."

The director and his team devised a new dark age. "All the worst-case scenarios we see in the news come to pass all at once. Economic collapse, power-grid collapse, oil wars, water wars and things we just didn't see coming. There's wholesale organ failure of all the things that glue us together. You jump 45 years into the future. All the coastal cities so far as we know have been razed. Great gangs have marauded like locusts across the land. In the centre of a continent like Australia, there's a new dominance hierarchy, where all the resources are controlled."

Immortan Joe controls artesian water from his citadel and trades with other warlords who run Gas Town, which has the fuel, and the Bullet Farm, which has the weapons.

With computer systems wiped out, the wasteland is filled with whatever can be cobbled together from a more robust technological era. "Everything is found objects," says Miller. Everything on screen, including the wardrobe, weapons, vehicles, dialogue and the way the actors behave, was created from these found objects. Two other rules governed what takes place in the movie. "Just because it's after the apocalypse, it doesn't mean people can't make beautiful things. We see that in early man. The palaeolithics did all that wonderful rock art. In refugee camps in the most impoverished parts of the world, they can make beautiful things. And just because it's the wasteland, it doesn't mean people lose their sense of humour. There's a certain rambunctiousness to the world and the story."

As he talks, editor Margaret Sixel – Miller's partner – arrives in the office. When he praises her "massive brain", she jokes that "together we make the complete person".

He chimes in: "If you can imagine the world's biggest Rubik's Cube, that's what Margie had to deal with."

She chips back: "It takes you three months to view all the material, just watching, before you can do anything – it's the bloody digital cameras they can stick everywhere. Then everyone leaves and the poor editor is left in the cutting room. 'See you later, guys. There's 400 hours. Good luck.' "

The movie has a rapid-cutting style that reflects Miller's view that audiences can process information much quicker than years ago. While Mad Max 2 was made up of 1200 shots, Fury Road has more than twice that many at 2750. "Film language – this relatively new language – has evolved that much in 30 years," says Miller.

What keeps him making movies is the same intense curiosity that once drew him to medicine, a fascination with the power of stories and a passion for new filmmaking technology. "It took us 10 years to get the technology to make Babe talk," he says. "The Happy Feet movies came from seeing motion capture and developing it when [cinematographer] Andrew Lesnie came from Lord of the Rings and showed me the first Gollum motion capture."

Doug Mitchell, who joined what is now called Kennedy Miller Mitchell after Mad Max 2 and took over as producer when Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash in 1983, says the good doctor's genial nature is deceptive. "You've got to be tough," Mitchell says. "George is very gentle and very humorous and very affable but behind that he's a very capable, strong man. You can't lead a company into a filmmaking venture like this without that."

Back when John Howard was still prime minister, Miller planned to shoot Fury Road in and around Broken Hill in western NSW, with Mel Gibson returning as Max. But shortly before filming in 2003, production stalled due to the looming Iraq War, the rising US dollar, insurance issues and problems with the star's deal.

When the movie was eventually revived – with Miller making two Happy Feet movies in the interim – filming was delayed again when heavy rain caused the desert around Broken Hill to bloom in 2009. And it was delayed again when the desert was still too green in 2010 for a start the following year.

After the first delay, Gibson was no longer young enough (and becoming too controversial) to play the role. Miller wanted to replace him with Heath Ledger until his sudden death in 2008. So the role went to Tom Hardy, best known for Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. "In casting sessions, Tom Hardy walked through the door and I just got the same intense vibe that I got when Mel Gibson first walked through the door," Miller says. They both have "an animal-like charisma".

While Beyond Thunderdome was made with Warner Bros, Miller's unhappy experience trying to make the sci-fi movie Contact with the studio meant Fury Road would be made with Universal Pictures, which had great success with Babe. But after the movie stalled for the first time, it went to 20th Century Fox because of its deal with Gibson. When he dropped out, Warner Bros, with a new executive team, took over the movie.

Without Broken Hill, the filmmakers considered deserts in China and Chile but decided to shoot in Namibia in southern Africa, which had a variety of landscapes, a population that spoke English and enough accommodation for a crew that ranged from 1200 to 1700 during the shoot, plus a cast of 55. But it was prohibitively expensive to ship more than 200 vehicles and all those people across the world. "By the time we got to Namibia, the cost and the additional expense of getting there required us to cut back on what we were going to shoot," Mitchell says. They also found themselves fielding flak from Hollywood executives, who were fearful about what else could go wrong so far from home.

While Miller and his crew wanted to shoot for 150 days, the extra costs meant cutting back to 100 days in the Namibian desert and another 20 days in a South African studio. "The sacrifice was to cut off the start and the end of the film," Mitchell says. "George wisely agreed that was the way to go because at least we could get all the action in the desert, which was what we needed – the essence of the film. We'd find somehow, later on, a way to cope with the problem."

Two units went out to shoot moving vehicles every day – one with Miller directing, the other with stunt co-ordinator and second-unit director Guy Norris at the helm. Along the way, they abandoned plans to shoot the movie in 3D because it was taking too much time, deciding to convert the movie in post-production.

They persevered, making safety a priority as they shot from June to December 2012. From their base in the town of Swakopmund, they had to move a giant tent city six times to shoot in locations that allowed more rugged terrain, canyons and bogs.

Heat was not the only challenge. At times it was so cold the Wives wore overcoats and carried hot water bottles between takes. "I must confess I got massively stressed for a period out there in Africa, where I'd be on the phone at four in the morning to the States," Mitchell says. "There was a lot of noise going on through the film."

Former model Megan Gale, who plays a rifle-toting warrior named Valkyrie, describes the shoot as "completely surreal". "It was just wild," she says. "There were hundreds of guys in character. My first impression
was – everyone says it – it's mad, it's mental, it's just this crazy world that's just full of people who are desperate to survive and are ruthless. It was just a trip to see it on day one."

Gale was so thrilled to be involved that she took on the stunts she could handle safely, including one that involved rolling out of the way of pursuing vehicles after a motorbike crash. "I just had to trust that they would all drive and hit their mark and miss me," she says. "I had to just roll to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right over rocks. That was pretty exhilarating."

Gale says they shot the scene several times for different camera angles and that the expert stunt crew did exactly what they had to do each time. Even working in extreme conditions, Miller still made himself available to discuss dialogue and costumes to help her with the role.

"It was a gruelling shoot," she says. "I came in quite a few months after they'd been there and he was just collected and calm. I never saw him lose his cool, even logistically a lot of things were happening. There's always something that can go wrong, whether it's a car that breaks down or someone's sick or a stunt is not quite working, and he was just so calm."

Miller says shooting stunts "where if it went wrong, it could go horribly wrong" plus the heat, dust and long days in remote locations, were exhausting. "Every day for 120 days was doing heavy-duty action. It was the relentless quality of it that really took its toll."

Security was also an issue, especially with so many actors and the families of crew members who had joined the shoot. A former SAS soldier, John Iles, headed a security team and moonlighted as a warrior named Ace in the movie. "There were a number of burglaries and he was first there," Mitchell says. "John billeted himself near where the Wives were, so if
anything happened, I had an emergency hotline to him to get down and help."

Mitchell takes great pride in completing Fury Road without anyone sustaining serious injuries during filming. "Without patting ourselves on the back, we got through an extensive war in terms of the potential carnage with real vehicles going at speed – massive vehicles – not just one behind the other but in a convoy attacking each other."

If Fury Road is a hit, it will not be the last audiences see of Mad Max. While working on the movie, Miller and co-writer Nico Lathouris came up with two other stories. One was due to be made as a Japanese-style anime but, with a full script written, has been held back as a live-action movie. The other story has been written as a 200-page novella. There are also plans for a Mad Max live-action arena spectacular with producer-director David Atkins.

Clearly as resilient as he is driven, Miller seems calm about what's at stake. A movie made with a budget of $US150 million to $US200 million – and possibly costing more than $US240 million, including government subsidies – will open on the same weekend in every major cinema territory bar Japan and China.

"Our test screenings have gone well," says Miller. "I'm very cautiously hoping for the best but that's not to say that all this effort won't be for naught."

Miller plans some family time – he and Sixel have two sons aged 19 and 14 and he has a 27-year-old daughter, Augusta, with former wife Sandy Gore – but clearly wants to turn more of those ideas that leap to mind crossing roads into movies. "I often say that if I end up in a nursing home staring into the distance, I'll be playing some movie in my head," he says.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 30.04.2015

Future shock: It took only minutes for George Miller to be inspired to make Fury Road It took 12 years to bring it to the big screen. Photo Tim Bauer

On the set of Mad Max: Fury Road with director George Miller

Sydney Morning Herald

April 25, 2015

Garry Maddox


The badlands of the latest Mad Max movie have never looked more forbidding. But for director George Miller, it’s a happy homecoming.

Mad Max: George Miller's enduring anti-hero
Thirty years on, the iconic Mad Max franchise has been reimagined by its original creator.The result is an explosive, 'very Australian' modern action movie. George Miller talks to Garry Maddox.

Inside a cavernous sound stage in sweltering heat, a surreal scene is taking place. A band of skinny, shirtless men wearing filthy shorts and bandannas are clambering onto two giant steel turbines. On a command, they begin to pedal. The job of these sorry souls, called Treadmill Rats, is to operate a platform that brings battle vehicles and warriors up to a mountaintop citadel then back down to a desert wasteland.

Milling around nearby are a group of bald youths, also shirtless and wearing combat pants. They are daubed in white paint and marked with a menacing skull tattoo. Called the War Pups, they answer to a masked warlord known as Immortan Joe, who styles himself as a cult leader in the post-apocalyptic future.

Charlize Theron with director George Miller.
Charlize Theron with director George Miller. Photo: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

While the Treadmill Rats pedal, the War Pups lounge around waiting for their scene. A make-up artist touches up the white paint on one. Another has found a spot in the sun to study a school book.

Watching the action intently on a monitor is George Miller, the acclaimed director who is about to finally finish filming Mad Max: Fury Road at Sydney's Fox Studios.

The former doctor made his name with Mad Max in 1979, then followed up in 1981 with Mad Max 2 (known as The Road Warrior in the US) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. While he has had many other successes, including the Oscar-winning Happy Feet, the trilogy about a damaged cop roaming the lawless Australian wasteland remains a cinema landmark.

Tom Hardy fires up as Mad Max.
Tom Hardy fires up as Mad Max. Photo: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Still one of the most profitable films ever made, the first instalment launched an unknown Mel Gibson to stardom as Max Rockatansky and influenced countless celluloid versions of the post-apocalyptic future. Out of Miller's vivid imagination came such memorable characters as Toecutter, Goose, the Feral Kid, the Gyro Captain, Master Blaster and Aunt Entity, as well as an inspired range of futuristic vehicles.

And there, on the platform the Treadmill Rats have been lowering, is one of the icons of the series – Max's Interceptor, the black V8 muscle car he drove at turbo-charged speed in his battered leather jacket with a cattle dog by his side. Despite the heat, Miller is also wearing a black leather jacket as he directs one of the last of 135 gruelling days on the movie.

"I liked being hot from when I was making the first Mad Max," he says, joking that it might be an attempt to raise his metabolism, or just an idiosyncratic security blanket on set.

Charlize Theron muscles in as Furiosa.
Charlize Theron muscles in as Furiosa. Photo: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Miller describes Fury Road as a "wild and operatic" chase movie that is neither a reboot, prequel nor sequel. "It's revisiting the world," he says. "For me, it's revisiting old friends."

Pursued by Immortan Joe's marauding hordes, a one-armed female warrior named Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, drives a giant tanker carrying a precious cargo – his five young wives – through the wasteland. Along the way, she gets help from Max, played this time by Tom Hardy.

In its 114 minutes, Fury Road features no less than 300 stunts, all performed for real on set rather than simulated in a studio with digital effects. "Old school", Miller calls it. There are enough crashes, jumps, tumbles and explosions for producer Doug Mitchell to describe the movie as "Mad Max 2 on steroids".

Future shock: It took only minutes for George Miller to be inspired to make Fury Road. It took 12 years to bring it to the big screen. Photo: Tim Bauer

As epic as that sounds, the movie's production has been even more so. Over 12 years, Miller has had to persevere during three major delays, with three actors down to play Max – including Heath Ledger until his tragic death – a switch of continents, three different Hollywood studios and enough financial challenges to sink just about any other movie.

And with up to 10 cameras shooting the action, Fury Road has been assembled from a huge 480 hours of footage. Back in the sound stage, it's time for a shot that has two War Pups reacting to Max's arrival off screen. They are joined by one of Immortan Joe's sons, Corpus Colossus (Quentin Kenihan), in a harness seat.

"Can we ask Jamie to just drop his head a little
bit," Miller says calmly into a microphone. "Crouch down. Not too far forward, Riley. And we're in action. The vehicles arrive. We're watching Max."

Around the corner, production designer Colin Gibson prepares for another shot. Up a ladder, he is painting a slogan on the wall of what looks like a cave: "There's a new world coming … she's already on her way."

This is the mountaintop vault where Immortan Joe keeps The Wives, played by a glamorous group of actresses and models: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Courtney Eaton, Zoe Kravitz and Riley Keough.

Gibson describes the cave as a combined harem, library, crèche and museum for all the flotsam and jetsam of history. "In a world of horror, this is an attempt to keep all the other bits of civilisation you don't worry about anywhere else," he says. "There's music, art, literature, plants."

A short walk away on the busy lot – Angelina Jolie is directing Unbroken and Russell Crowe is shooting The Water Diviner on other sound stages – Mitchell and Gibson show off more
of the dystopian world. Their team
has built 150 metres of tunnels, where Max is held prisoner and treated as a blood donor.

In another corner stands the truck that Furiosa pilots across the desert. Called the War Rig – one of three built for the movie – it looks like a battered dusty petrol tanker with chunks of two other vehicles welded on top, spiked wheels and a fuel-pod trailer.

"For George, this was Stagecoach, this was John Ford," says Gibson in a reference to the classic John Wayne western that takes place on the move. "There may be 10 million stunts happening out there but this is the stage for the drama. The beating heart."

Upstairs in the elegant Metro Theatre in Potts Point, three kilometres away, is an office with a rich history that dates back to some of the famous miniseries Kennedy Miller made in the 1980s. It was the prime minister's office in The Dismissal, a ship's bar in Bodyline, and a prison in The Cowra Breakout. Now it's Mad Max Central. George Miller's office.

With only weeks until Fury Road opens worldwide on May 14, the director is still flat out finishing all the different versions required for a Hollywood blockbuster: subtitled, dubbed, IMAX and various sound and 3D formats.

Beneath three whirring ceiling fans, signs of the movie are everywhere. There are large black models of the War Rig and another vehicle called the Doof Wagon, which urges warriors into battle in the movie with musician Iota playing a flame-throwing guitar. Elsewhere, some of the ornate steering wheels worshipped by War Boys, grown-up War Pups, hang on a wall, and a pile of movie posters are waiting to be approved.

For much of the production, the office was lined with 3500 storyboard panels that outline what happens shot by shot in Fury Road. "That's how we conceived the film," says Miller.

A genial figure behind glasses, the 70-year-old has long been one of the country's finest filmmakers, telling serious, thoughtful stories in a variety of genres.

Since forming Kennedy Miller with the late Byron Kennedy in the 1970s, George Miller has directed and mostly produced The Dismissal, The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo's Oil, Babe: Pig in the City, two Happy Feet films and the Mad Max trilogy. He also produced Babe (which he co-wrote), Bodyline, Vietnam, The Year My Voice Broke, Dead Calm and Bangkok Hilton. And he's done it all while living in Sydney rather than moving full-time to Los Angeles.

The four-time Oscar nominee – he was a winner for Happy Feet – traces his intense imaginative life back to a childhood based around play, without television, as one of four sons of Kytherian Greek immigrant parents in the Queensland town of Chinchilla.

After studying medicine at the University of NSW with his twin brother John, then working at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Miller was already making short films when he met Kennedy at a University of Melbourne film workshop.

He worked as a locum while they shot Mad Max around Melbourne, with the story influenced by seeing the damage caused by the country's car culture: the "death by autocide" in rural Queensland, and then dealing with the trauma as an emergency doctor.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've basically lived the imaginative life," Miller says. "I'm pretty hard-wired for that now. So these characters you've come up with, they live like imaginary characters in your head."

One of these characters, Max Rockatansky, unexpectedly jumped back to life as Miller crossed a street in Los Angeles in 1998. "Halfway across, this idea popped into my head," he says. "I thought, 'Oh my, that's a Mad Max movie.' By the time I got to the other side of the road, I said, 'There's no way I'm going to go anywhere near that because I've already done three.'

"Two years after that, I was on a plane flying across the Pacific during the night – from Los Angeles to Sydney – and the whole movie played in my head. It was in a rough form and it was very misty but the scenes played.

"By the time I landed, I told everyone, 'I think we're going to make another Mad Max movie.' "

Influenced by a love of silent movies and Alfred Hitchcock's theory about making films so people in other countries do not need to read subtitles, Miller conceived Fury Road as a helter-skelter action movie told largely through visuals rather than words.

After the apocalypse, there are no books, internet or TV, and language has become purely functional. So Max speaks just 41 lines and Furiosa less than 100. "There's very specific language in Fury Road but people don't do it recreationally and they don't think aloud because they're in extremis," Miller says. "They don't have time to think aloud."

The director and his team devised a new dark age. "All the worst-case scenarios we see in the news come to pass all at once. Economic collapse, power-grid collapse, oil wars, water wars and things we just didn't see coming. There's wholesale organ failure of all the things that glue us together. You jump 45 years into the future. All the coastal cities so far as we know have been razed. Great gangs have marauded like locusts across the land. In the centre of a continent like Australia, there's a new dominance hierarchy, where all the resources are controlled."

Immortan Joe controls artesian water from his citadel and trades with other warlords who run Gas Town, which has the fuel, and the Bullet Farm, which has the weapons.

With computer systems wiped out, the wasteland is filled with whatever can be cobbled together from a more robust technological era. "Everything is found objects," says Miller. Everything on screen, including the wardrobe, weapons, vehicles, dialogue and the way the actors behave, was created from these found objects. Two other rules governed what takes place in the movie. "Just because it's after the apocalypse, it doesn't mean people can't make beautiful things. We see that in early man. The palaeolithics did all that wonderful rock art. In refugee camps in the most impoverished parts of the world, they can make beautiful things. And just because it's the wasteland, it doesn't mean people lose their sense of humour. There's a certain rambunctiousness to the world and the story."

As he talks, editor Margaret Sixel – Miller's partner – arrives in the office. When he praises her "massive brain", she jokes that "together we make the complete person".

He chimes in: "If you can imagine the world's biggest Rubik's Cube, that's what Margie had to deal with."

She chips back: "It takes you three months to view all the material, just watching, before you can do anything – it's the bloody digital cameras they can stick everywhere. Then everyone leaves and the poor editor is left in the cutting room. 'See you later, guys. There's 400 hours. Good luck.' "

The movie has a rapid-cutting style that reflects Miller's view that audiences can process information much quicker than years ago. While Mad Max 2 was made up of 1200 shots, Fury Road has more than twice that many at 2750. "Film language – this relatively new language – has evolved that much in 30 years," says Miller.

What keeps him making movies is the same intense curiosity that once drew him to medicine, a fascination with the power of stories and a passion for new filmmaking technology. "It took us 10 years to get the technology to make Babe talk," he says. "The Happy Feet movies came from seeing motion capture and developing it when [cinematographer] Andrew Lesnie came from Lord of the Rings and showed me the first Gollum motion capture."

Doug Mitchell, who joined what is now called Kennedy Miller Mitchell after Mad Max 2 and took over as producer when Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash in 1983, says the good doctor's genial nature is deceptive. "You've got to be tough," Mitchell says. "George is very gentle and very humorous and very affable but behind that he's a very capable, strong man. You can't lead a company into a filmmaking venture like this without that."

Back when John Howard was still prime minister, Miller planned to shoot Fury Road in and around Broken Hill in western NSW, with Mel Gibson returning as Max. But shortly before filming in 2003, production stalled due to the looming Iraq War, the rising US dollar, insurance issues and problems with the star's deal.

When the movie was eventually revived – with Miller making two Happy Feet movies in the interim – filming was delayed again when heavy rain caused the desert around Broken Hill to bloom in 2009. And it was delayed again when the desert was still too green in 2010 for a start the following year.

After the first delay, Gibson was no longer young enough (and becoming too controversial) to play the role. Miller wanted to replace him with Heath Ledger until his sudden death in 2008. So the role went to Tom Hardy, best known for Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. "In casting sessions, Tom Hardy walked through the door and I just got the same intense vibe that I got when Mel Gibson first walked through the door," Miller says. They both have "an animal-like charisma".

While Beyond Thunderdome was made with Warner Bros, Miller's unhappy experience trying to make the sci-fi movie Contact with the studio meant Fury Road would be made with Universal Pictures, which had great success with Babe. But after the movie stalled for the first time, it went to 20th Century Fox because of its deal with Gibson. When he dropped out, Warner Bros, with a new executive team, took over the movie.

Without Broken Hill, the filmmakers considered deserts in China and Chile but decided to shoot in Namibia in southern Africa, which had a variety of landscapes, a population that spoke English and enough accommodation for a crew that ranged from 1200 to 1700 during the shoot, plus a cast of 55. But it was prohibitively expensive to ship more than 200 vehicles and all those people across the world. "By the time we got to Namibia, the cost and the additional expense of getting there required us to cut back on what we were going to shoot," Mitchell says. They also found themselves fielding flak from Hollywood executives, who were fearful about what else could go wrong so far from home.

While Miller and his crew wanted to shoot for 150 days, the extra costs meant cutting back to 100 days in the Namibian desert and another 20 days in a South African studio. "The sacrifice was to cut off the start and the end of the film," Mitchell says. "George wisely agreed that was the way to go because at least we could get all the action in the desert, which was what we needed – the essence of the film. We'd find somehow, later on, a way to cope with the problem."

Two units went out to shoot moving vehicles every day – one with Miller directing, the other with stunt co-ordinator and second-unit director Guy Norris at the helm. Along the way, they abandoned plans to shoot the movie in 3D because it was taking too much time, deciding to convert the movie in post-production.

They persevered, making safety a priority as they shot from June to December 2012. From their base in the town of Swakopmund, they had to move a giant tent city six times to shoot in locations that allowed more rugged terrain, canyons and bogs.

Heat was not the only challenge. At times it was so cold the Wives wore overcoats and carried hot water bottles between takes. "I must confess I got massively stressed for a period out there in Africa, where I'd be on the phone at four in the morning to the States," Mitchell says. "There was a lot of noise going on through the film."

Former model Megan Gale, who plays a rifle-toting warrior named Valkyrie, describes the shoot as "completely surreal". "It was just wild," she says. "There were hundreds of guys in character. My first impression
was – everyone says it – it's mad, it's mental, it's just this crazy world that's just full of people who are desperate to survive and are ruthless. It was just a trip to see it on day one."

Gale was so thrilled to be involved that she took on the stunts she could handle safely, including one that involved rolling out of the way of pursuing vehicles after a motorbike crash. "I just had to trust that they would all drive and hit their mark and miss me," she says. "I had to just roll to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right over rocks. That was pretty exhilarating."

Gale says they shot the scene several times for different camera angles and that the expert stunt crew did exactly what they had to do each time. Even working in extreme conditions, Miller still made himself available to discuss dialogue and costumes to help her with the role.

"It was a gruelling shoot," she says. "I came in quite a few months after they'd been there and he was just collected and calm. I never saw him lose his cool, even logistically a lot of things were happening. There's always something that can go wrong, whether it's a car that breaks down or someone's sick or a stunt is not quite working, and he was just so calm."

Miller says shooting stunts "where if it went wrong, it could go horribly wrong" plus the heat, dust and long days in remote locations, were exhausting. "Every day for 120 days was doing heavy-duty action. It was the relentless quality of it that really took its toll."

Security was also an issue, especially with so many actors and the families of crew members who had joined the shoot. A former SAS soldier, John Iles, headed a security team and moonlighted as a warrior named Ace in the movie. "There were a number of burglaries and he was first there," Mitchell says. "John billeted himself near where the Wives were, so if
anything happened, I had an emergency hotline to him to get down and help."

Mitchell takes great pride in completing Fury Road without anyone sustaining serious injuries during filming. "Without patting ourselves on the back, we got through an extensive war in terms of the potential carnage with real vehicles going at speed – massive vehicles – not just one behind the other but in a convoy attacking each other."

If Fury Road is a hit, it will not be the last audiences see of Mad Max. While working on the movie, Miller and co-writer Nico Lathouris came up with two other stories. One was due to be made as a Japanese-style anime but, with a full script written, has been held back as a live-action movie. The other story has been written as a 200-page novella. There are also plans for a Mad Max live-action arena spectacular with producer-director David Atkins.

Clearly as resilient as he is driven, Miller seems calm about what's at stake. A movie made with a budget of $US150 million to $US200 million – and possibly costing more than $US240 million, including government subsidies – will open on the same weekend in every major cinema territory bar Japan and China.

"Our test screenings have gone well," says Miller. "I'm very cautiously hoping for the best but that's not to say that all this effort won't be for naught."

Miller plans some family time – he and Sixel have two sons aged 19 and 14 and he has a 27-year-old daughter, Augusta, with former wife Sandy Gore – but clearly wants to turn more of those ideas that leap to mind crossing roads into movies. "I often say that if I end up in a nursing home staring into the distance, I'll be playing some movie in my head," he says.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Art World on 01.05.2015

Alexia Psaltis

Art Student gets subsumed

By HELEN GREGORY

Newcastle Herald

February 10th, 2015

Reproduced with permission of The Newcastle Herald ©Copyright 2015
.

Alexia is the daughter of Peter and Sheri Psaltis, who live in Newcastle, and granddaughter of the late George Psaltis and Alexandra Psaltis (nee, Feros), of Gilgandra, and later Earlwood.

ALEXIA Psaltis’ hair-raising expeditions squeezing through fences to photograph abandoned industrial sites have paid off, culminating in an eye-catching piece selected to hang in the Art Gallery of NSW.

The 2014 dux of Hunter School of the Performing Arts is the woman behind Subsumed, which has been selected for Artexpress, a showcase of the best works of art completed by NSW students as part of last year’s Higher School Certificate.

Of the 219 works selected for exhibitions in galleries across the state, only 37 have been selected for inclusion in the exclusive Art Gallery of NSW exhibit.

‘‘When I heard, I was jumping around in excitement, it was the best feeling,’’ Ms Psaltis said.

‘‘Out of all of my HSC achievements, that’s the one that really stood out to me.’’

Ms Psaltis’ work explores the paradox of Newcastle’s heavy industry sitting alongside its pristine coast.

It comprises six surrealistic portraits of female figures, representing Mother Nature, being consumed by industrial structures, objects and landscapes that convey destruction and invasion.

Each portrait includes layers of hundreds of photos she captured from both active and abandoned industrial sites including Kooragang Island, Cockatoo Island and around Hexham and Maitland.

‘‘I visited quite a few deserted and unused machinery yards where there was equipment that had rusted and been left to rot,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a bit scary going into the abandoned sites, but I just squeezed through holes in fences.

‘‘The portraits represent how physical, spiritual and psychological identity is threatened by industrialisation, which removes individual human inspiration and imagination.

‘‘We now face a future of surreal, stunted landscapes.’’

Ms Psaltis also completed major works in English Extension II, Music and Society and Culture and was named on the All-round Achievers list for receiving marks in the highest band possible for 10 or more units.

She began her combined law and arts degree at the University of Newcastle in February 2015.

Artexpress at the Art Gallery of NSW will open to the public from Thursday.

The remaining works selected for Artexpress will be on display in venues across the state throughout the remainder of the year.

The exhibition will come to Maitland Regional Art Gallery between September 11 and November 1.

Rationale of the artwork

Alexia Psaltis
Hunter School of the Performing Arts

SUBSUMED

Photomeita
Prints to Breathing Colour Velvet paper

Subsumed is a series of portraits representing the threat to physical, spiritual and psychological identity from rampant industrialisation. The portraits identify how the dominance of industry removes individual human inspiration and imagination. We face a future of surreal, stunted landscapes populated by impaired humanity, symbolised by the replacement of human physicality with machinery. I photographed all the images of industrial structures, objects and landscapes that convey destruction and invasion. I layered these eclectic images with the human portraits to represent the unchecked, pervasive presence of industrial processes in our lives. We are consumed by industry and its detritus.

What is ArtExpress?

ARTEXPRESS is an annual exhibition of artworks created by students from government and non-government schools for the Higher School Certificate Examination in Visual Arts. The works demonstrate exceptional quality across a broad range of subject matter, approaches, styles and media including painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, documented forms, textiles and fibre, ceramics, digital animation, film and video, and collections of works.

ARTEXPRESS represents the high standards and diversity achieved by Year 12 Visual Arts students in New South Wales schools.

The continued excellence of the annual ARTEXPRESS exhibition is the outcome of a rigorous Visual Arts curriculum that builds on study from Kindergarten through to Year 12.

Visual Arts is part of the core curriculum in primary school and junior high school and a popular elective for the Higher School Certificate examination.

Student assessment in Visual Arts for the Higher School Certificate is based on submission of a Body of Work plus a written examination. Each students develops their submission through a process, recorded in a Visual Arts Process Diary, which reflects the problem-solving approach of the practising artist.

Equally important especially at senior level, is critical study and art history which plays a crucial role in informing the artworks produced by students.

The works chosen for ARTEXPRESS are a representative selection from over 12,000 examination submissions and reflect not only the talent of the individual students, but also the strength of the curriculum and excellence of Visual Arts teaching in New South Wales schools.

ARTEXPRESS is shown at 9 metropolitan and regional venues in NSW.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Good Weekend Magazine on 06.03.2015

Two of Us. Kristina Oldson & Peter Preneas

Good Weekend

February 28, 2015

Photograph: Kristina Olsson with her brother, Peter Preneas, in Sydney.
Photo: Janie Barrett

By SUSAN WYNDHAM

Website designer Peter Preneas, 66, was a baby when he was snatched by his father as his pregnant mother boarded a train in Cairns in 1950; they were finally reunited in Brisbane in 1985, when he was 35. His half-sister, author Kristina Olsson, 58, tells their story in the 2013 memoir Boy, Lost.

Kristina:
The day Peter arrived in Brisbane, my mother called us all and said, "Can you come over? There's someone I'd like you to meet." We all turned up and none of us was surprised about who it was.

We were all protective of our mother that night. Peter's then-wife, Kim, was with him and their little girl, Tamara. The whole family was there: [my half-sister] Sharon and her son John, me and my then husband and two children, my two younger brothers, and my father and my mother. So it was easy to diffuse some of the emotion.

We didn't know the story, we just knew he had been taken from her. Seeing Peter and Sharon sitting together, it was indisputable that they were siblings. I liked him straight off. I recognised my mother in him - her eyes and her smile - and it was safe.

Around 2006, six years after mum died, he applied for his records from DOCS. He was shocked. He called and said, "Krissy, you're the writer in the family, why don't you write about this?" He thought it'd be interesting to put something together about the polio he suffered as a boy and all those people who thought they had recovered but were now getting post-polio syndrome. Later I rang him and said, "Polio is a big part of your life but I don't think it's what affected you most; it was being stolen from your mother's arms." He didn't want to do that, but finally he came back and said okay.

We'd been casual friends until then but we had to spend a lot of time together. It was incredibly emotional. When I'm in Sydney I stay with him in Newtown; he's turned over one of his rooms to me. He says all the time, "Don't do that Krissy, you don't want to do that." He would have been a wonderful big brother to have. We're all much bigger human beings because he's the person he is.

Peter is incorrigible in many ways, but he has an extraordinarily big heart; he's incredibly generous. There's a survival mechanism in him. Polio does that to you but living on the streets, the terrible abuse at the hands of his father and as a ward of the state; he's still the little boy who had to get off at the right station, had to sleep under the right bush, had to pick the right people and sometimes didn't. I think he trusts me now, and the rest of his family, but there's still that wariness about parts of the world.

The first thing people ask me is, "How's Peter now?" I say he's wonderful, and the thing that amazes me is that he's come through as this decent human being.

Peter:
I first started looking for my mother and her family when I was six. I started running away from my father's home; he would catch me, I'd run away the next day. I can remember being at Central Station asking people if they knew how I could find my mother. If I hadn't found Mum, I'd be bitter, I'd be a different person. I probably felt sorry for myself for not having had that nurturing but I have no resentment towards my mother's later children, because all they have ever given me is love.

I like having little brothers and sisters. They naturally love me and accept me 100 per cent for all the stupid things I've done along the way that should have put them off. All I told them was the fun stuff.

I told them I used to renovate massage parlours and did a bit of travelling; the stuff you could brag about. I didn't tell about the dark stuff because I was ashamed of it.

When I was eight or nine, I was molested by some guy opposite Maitland Public School. And when I was 11, I was picked up in North Sydney and a man had five charges laid against him of sexual molesting. I didn't tell Krissy about this for the book. I was hungry on the streets; I didn't know what was going on.

I'd have liked to be around when Krissy was younger and going out with boys so I could belt 'em up. I missed out on all that. She mightn't have got married quite so quickly; I'd have warned her about 'em.

But she's got two beautiful children, so she would never regret her marriage.

Krissy is eccentric. Ring her and her message says: "I don't normally take calls so ring me back." She has a passion for writing - and can't she write! I said to her one day, "You don't make any money out of this writing. I can give you some stories." But she's not interested. I could give her a series on [Sydney brothel] A Touch of Class or the underworld.

I think the book took its toll on her. She'd come down to Sydney and we'd walk around Sydney Hospital, where I spent a couple of years. We walked around the Rocks, and I showed her where I used to sleep and a tree I slept inside under a Harbour Bridge pylon. When she was doing the final editing, she rang me up and started bawling her eyes out: "What happened to you Peter, it's all coming to me now." I was having a little cry, too, but she was beside herself because it all came crashing down.

Krissy brought us all closer together by writing the book. We all now know what Mum went through, what I went through, what we all missed out on. I just did a website for the family photos. I'm the custodian of 18 or 20 photo albums, so I'm scanning them and putting them on DVDs and I'll give a copy to all the kids. I'm catching up with what I missed out on.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by George Poulos on 11.05.2014

James Prineas. Founder of kythera-family.net

kythera-family.net turns ten. Χρόνια Πολλά. Να τα εκατοστήσεις

"I found Vikki Vrettos Fraioli on Kythera-Family.net and mailed her regarding her Hlentzos connection, and since the first email a couple of days ago, I have had many many emails from her with a huge amount of information regarding my relatives. If this website was not available to us, all this information would never have been shared."
Heather de Marco, April 2013

James Prineas:

It is now ten years since we first launched kythera-family.net (kfn). If you don't already know how it came to be, here's a short recap of the story:
The seed was actually sown back in 1996 when I put on a photographic exhibition called "A Village on Kythera" in the Bondi Pavilion. There I met so many lovely Kytherians (and others – like a group of Sicilian grand¬mothers who cried when they saw my pictures because it reminded them of home...). Many of the Kytherians told me of their collections of vintage pictures from Kythera. I would have loved to help them collate and scan and publish their pictures but it wasn't until about 2001 that I found an affordable and practical solution: to use the internet.

Back then, "community sites" were almost unheard of and the founder of Facebook was probably just out of nappies. So I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that my idea to create an online heritage repository, to which members of the Kytherian community could upload their family material to the site for the rest of the world to share and enjoy, fell on deaf ears in the beginning.

Then a man, who, up until that time, had never used the internet himself, saved the day: Angelo Notaras. Ann Coward suggested I get in touch with him and it didn't take long for Angelo to recognise the potential benefits to the Kytherian community and he put his conside-rable reputation behind the project. He and his equally generous brothers, John and the late Mitch Notaras, put their money where their vision was and helped convince others to financially support the endeavour.

Next came the ebullient George C. Poulos to the party and, when he wasn't fervently preaching to the less internet-savvy members of the Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) that the internet wasn't just a fad, he was motivating community members to entrust copies of their heritage material to him to upload to the young site. He and Angelo managed to persuade the KAA Board to embrace the concept, and the latter have been loyal supporters ever since, as evidenced by this article.

The initial problem was that the people with the most knowledge and material on Kythera were of a generation who were still fazed by mobile telephones, never mind by "websites", "uploading" and "urls". Ten years on, even if that generation doesn't use the internet or emails regularly themselves, they generally know what it is about and allow their children and grandchildren to upload their family stories and picture to our site.

Over the past ten years the 3,000 registered users have submitted over 19 000 entries to KFN: life stories, maps, recipes, and other documents to the site, which are viewed by around 20 000 visitors each month!

The extensive Message Board on the site gives evidence of the hundreds of connections made by the site between Kytherians separated by thousands of kilometres, or far less. Two of our most avid contributors live only a few kilometres from each other in California, but discovered their family link through our site.

The possible significance of one group photo from Kythera from 1920 with a dozen people in it is exponential: a fifty-year-old in that picture might have had five children and twenty grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren. That makes sixty-five descendents per person in the picture and a total of 780 for all the subjects. Now, how many of those 780 will have ever seen that picture? Not many if it is stored under someone's bed. But online all of them have access if they care to look.

And the nice thing about a website as opposed to a publication is that there is virtually no limit to the amount which can be presented on it. So it's not too late to post your grandmother's Greek passport or your great-great-grandfather's birth certificate. It's the best way to make sure that your own great-grandchildren will be able to find it one day.

The ten-year anniversary of kythera-family was celebrated with a well-attended party held at the Mill Resort, Mitata, Kythera, in July 2013.

In Australia it was celebrated at the Kytherian Association November Family Dance, Westside Reception Lounge, Marrickville on 23 November 2013.

[[picture:"Familydance-0790ts.tif" ID:22315]]

George Poulos:

I agree with James that the key driver of kfn has been Angelo Notaras OAM. I also agree that the success of the web-site can be attributed to a number of superior features inherent in the site: The web-site is generative. One photograph or one story can elicit a great deal of additional inter-related information.

The web-site is connective. Individuals, families, and organisations have been connected, and re-connected. At every level, the spirit of kytheraismos has been greatly enhanced.

The web-site is revelatory. New information is being uncovered all the time, which most of the world’s Kytherians had previously been unaware of.

The number of Kytherians and Philokytherians who, like Heather der Marco, quoted earlier, who have derived immense pleasure from kythera-family.net? Unknowable! What we do know is that an economic and architectonic infrastructure has been put in place to ensure that www.kythera-family.net will be maintained indefinitely. Hence it will always remain a key force in the preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of Kytherian history, culture, artefacts, ethos and heritage.

By its very existence kythera-family.net has helped energise its principals and supporters to create new and exciting projects – many of which most Kytherians around the world would not guess have derived from kfn. These include the publishing accomplishments of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund – as of mid 2014 thirty-one books with a Kytherian theme available for sale in Australia and in Greece.

kfn has also forged powerful links with the Society of Kytherian Studies in Athens, who have also published 25 books with a Kytherian theme in the Greek language, and the Departments of History and Philosophy at Athens University through Professor’s George and Athanassia Leontsinis. Strong links with KIPA and the Kytheriasmos Institute have also been created. The website has already inspired a Masters Thesis in Germany by Angeliki Pentsi, and Alexander Riedmuller will soon publish his Ph.D thesis on the the kfn website in Bamberg, Germany.

kfn aids people in research, sometimes on a daily basis. For example, on the 7th of April 2014, I received an email from a person thanking kfn and me for providing information on the site which helped him with a paper he delivered the previous week to the 10th Panionian Conference. The topic being "Kythira-Smyrna: The steamboat connection between two places during the 19th century and their unknown perspective." Rosa Cassimatis's name found its way into all.

After research I have concluded that Rosa is NOT buried, as most believe, in the Angelo Cavallini tomb in the Saint Spyridon of Kapsali cemetery but was, most likely, buried in Corfu where she died. If she had been buried in Kythera she should have been mentioned on the gravestone, as her (second) husband died much later than her. No such thing. The Corfu Mental Hospital Archives do not report any final resting place, but as she died in 1882 even if she had been buried in the city of Corfu cemetery her grave is probably lost. Again I'd like to thank all contributors to the site who helped me with my research”. This is a tangential Kytherian interest. But the communication indicates into how many different areas kfn managed to penetrate.

kfn inspiration also led to the preservation and archiving of the Fatseas collection of plate glass negative photographs. This in turn led to the publication of the books, A Kytherian Century and Panayotis Fatseas: Kytherian Faces, 1920-1938, and an Exhibition in the prestigious Benaki Museum, Athens.

Other Special Projects included the importation into Kythera of medical and aged care equipment to benefit residents and patients at the Aged Care facility and Hospital at Potamos. The importation into Kythera of Library shelving from the USA, and later the organisation and funding to completion of both the interior and exterior of the Kytherian Municipal Library, the first Lending Library established on Kythera in 3,000 years. Principals of kfn also aided in creating the first Greek Australian Museum of migration in Australia – the Roxy Museum, located within the Roxy Museum ‘complex’ in Bingara.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) asserted that "creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found." By that criterion www.kythera-family.net is a very creative entity indeed. Να τα εκατοστήσεις.

You are the authors! Kythera-Family.net - the online cultural archive for Kythera - aims to preserve and reflect the rich heritage of a wonderful island. Members of the community are actively invited to submit their family collection of Kytherian stories, photographs, recipes, oral histories, and home remedies etc. to the site. Uploading directly to the site is easy and free. Thus we can help make available valuable and interesting material for current and future generations, and inspire young Kytherians to learn more about their fascinating heritage.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 13.04.2014

Peter Prineas (left) with wilderness photographer Henry Gold, in the Snowy Mountains 1982.

Australia Day Award, for Peter Prineas. 2012.

Peter Prineas (left) with Jim Somerville an old comrade of rainforest and wilderness campaigns

Among the honours announced by the Governor General on Australia Day 2012 was the award to Peter Prineas of an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his "service to conservation and the environment through executive and advocacy roles".

Peter's involvement in conservation and environmental issues grew out of his early interest in bushwalking and friendship with the Sydney conservationist Milo Dunphy. While a university student in the early 1970s, Peter joined the Colong Committee and participated in efforts to save Lake Pedder in Tasmania and the Boyd Plateau forest in the mountains south-west of Sydney. Later he was appointed as the first Executive Officer of the National Parks Association of NSW where he directed his writing and legal skills into successful public campaigns to save rainforests from logging and for the establishment of new national parks. Some of the contested forests are now World Heritage Areas. He also worked for the preservation of wilderness areas and helped secure the enactment of wilderness protection legislation in 1987.

Peter contributed to community environmental organisations at a senior level for over 30 years. As well as the National Parks Association, he held honorary positions with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and served as its Chairman for three years. He was also a long-time member of the board of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, taking the Chair in 2007. He was Convener of the first Sydney Water Project in the 1990s and assisted the Nature Conservation Council with urban water policy up to about 2007.

Peter also represented community environmental interests on government committees and boards including the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Board.

In recent years Peter has produced books on Greek Australian themes but his earlier books were about the environment. With photographer Henry Gold, he published 'Colo Wilderness' in 1977 and 'Wild Places' in 1983. These books argued for the protection of extensive tracts of bushland in the eastern highlands of NSW, most of which are now reserved in national parks.

How an Australian Day honour is awarded:

In the Australian honours system, appointments to the Order of Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement and service. Recipients of the Order of Australia are from many fields of endeavour and all walks of life. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens. Nominations to the Order of Australia come directly from the community: either individuals or groups. The 19-member Council for the Order of Australia then considers the nominations. The Council makes its recommendations, independent of government, direct to the Governor-General.

Awards in the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (26 January) and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday (June).

This article appeared in the March edition of The Kytherian, Newsletter of the Kytherian Association of Australia.

View / download a .pdf version here:

Australia_Day_Award_for_Peter_Prineas.pdf

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 13.04.2014

Peter Prineas (left) with Jim Somerville an old comrade of rainforest and wilderness campaigns.

The photograph was published in conjunction with the announcedment of an Order of Australia conferred on Peter Prineas.

Australia Day Award, for Peter Prineas. 2012.

Among the honours announced by the Governor General on Australia Day 2012 was the award to Peter Prineas of an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his "service to conservation and the environment through executive and advocacy roles".

Peter's involvement in conservation and environmental issues grew out of his early interest in bushwalking and friendship with the Sydney conservationist Milo Dunphy. While a university student in the early 1970s, Peter joined the Colong Committee and participated in efforts to save Lake Pedder in Tasmania and the Boyd Plateau forest in the mountains south-west of Sydney. Later he was appointed as the first Executive Officer of the National Parks Association of NSW where he directed his writing and legal skills into successful public campaigns to save rainforests from logging and for the establishment of new national parks. Some of the contested forests are now World Heritage Areas. He also worked for the preservation of wilderness areas and helped secure the enactment of wilderness protection legislation in 1987.

Peter contributed to community environmental organisations at a senior level for over 30 years. As well as the National Parks Association, he held honorary positions with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and served as its Chairman for three years. He was also a long-time member of the board of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, taking the Chair in 2007. He was Convener of the first Sydney Water Project in the 1990s and assisted the Nature Conservation Council with urban water policy up to about 2007.

Peter also represented community environmental interests on government committees and boards including the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Board.

In recent years Peter has produced books on Greek Australian themes but his earlier books were about the environment. With photographer Henry Gold, he published 'Colo Wilderness' in 1977 and 'Wild Places' in 1983. These books argued for the protection of extensive tracts of bushland in the eastern highlands of NSW, most of which are now reserved in national parks.

Photograph: Peter Prineas (left) with Jim Somerville an old comrade of rainforest and wilderness campaigns.

Photograph: Peter Prineas (left) with wilderness photographer Henry Gold, in the Snowy Mountains 1982.

How an Australian Day honour is awarded:

In the Australian honours system, appointments to the Order of Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement and service. Recipients of the Order of Australia are from many fields of endeavour and all walks of life. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens. Nominations to the Order of Australia come directly from the community: either individuals or groups. The 19-member Council for the Order of Australia then considers the nominations. The Council makes its recommendations, independent of government, direct to the Governor-General.

Awards in the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (26 January) and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday (June).

This article appeared in the March edition of The Kytherian, Newsletter of the Kytherian Association of Australia.

View / download a .pdf version here:

Australia_Day_Award_for_Peter_Prineas.pdf

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 16.06.2011

Iconic photograph of George Feros, Byron Bay

Taken by USA and subsequently Australian resident surfing icon, Rusty Miller.

Rusty Miller Photo www.rustymillersurf.com

George Feros in 1973 on his bike early in the morning on what is now the Lawson St. / Jonson St. Byron Bay roundabout, Byron Bay. He is heading towards Main Beach. His persistent collection of coins for his dream of an aged care home in Byron Bay has come to fruition as Feros Care aged services.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 02.02.2011

George Feros. George, his passion

Author: Ruby Brown (nee, Feros)

When Published: 2010

Publisher: Kytherian World Heritage Fund. Kytherian Publishing and Media.

ISBN: 9780646500423

Dewey Number: 994.00489

Cost: $50 + $10 postage and handling.

(Up to three copies can be posted at the same time for the same cost of postage.)

Available: Phone Ruby Brown Ferros on 0427 484 002

or

Emal: Email, Ruby Brown Feros

You can also purchase the book by sending payment to:

Kytherian World Heritage Fund
PO Box 513
Rozelle NSW 2039

Make all cheques payable to:
KAA. Kytherian World Heritage Fund

CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED! Phone, or email details.

Enquiries: George C. Poulos
Ph: 61 2 9388 8320

e: Contact George here

Angelo Notaras p: 61 2 9810 0194 ext.711

f: 61 2 9810 6691

e: Contact Angelo here

Description: 368 pages
Superb quality hardback book, printed on 130 gsm art paper. Dust jacket.
Colour photographs
Bibliography, Index.

George his passion. An Overview

Kytherians are proud. They are proud of their race, and their achievements.

One Kytherian of whom we should all be proud, is the late George Feros.

George, a ‘loveable eccentric’, was a humble man. He lived most of his seventy-eight years in Byron Bay. The story of George’s exploits has been recorded in a book, George his Passion, written by his daughter, Ruby. He was proud to be a Kytherian-Australian.
George was born in Mitata in 1902. He immigrated to Australia when he was twenty, and like a lot of Kytherians of his generation, he never returned to the ‘old country’ as he called it. George told me he was a stow-a-way on a fishing trawler on his way from Athens to Port Said.

Ruby M Feros (also known as Ruby M Brown) has chosen to write under her Kytherian birth name. Ruby is an accomplished author having written her first book in 1983. Since then she has written on a variety of food related topics. Ruby likens George his Passion to a doctoral thesis. It took her five years to research and write the book. Ruby said she hadn’t written for a year when her friend challenged her to write more. Once she took up the challenge to tell George’s story, she fell in love with his passion, and began to write about him, rather than simply relate his exploits.

In the foreword to George his Passion, Nick Towers wrote, “George Feros, like the lighthouse, was hard to miss in Byron Bay. When I arrived from the U K in the late 1960s, they both shone very different beacons. One was an elegant white fixture on the Cape, the other a selfless beacon of charity, manifested as a very strange man, with his bell and moneybox. First impressions – a beggar collecting for himself to buy shoes and clothing. On a closer inspection it was clear that the writing on the moneybox said he was collecting for a nursing home. When in 1968 I asked him where in fact the nursing home was, he replied it was still a dream and with the help of God it would get built. I will always remember those piercing eyes that went straight through me. I instantly knew that he was genuine. I also knew that there was no sidestepping his moneybox, without possible detriment to my very own soul. Thankfully the dollar was still in note form and not really expected to be poked through the small slit in the moneybox. Everybody gave a coin, some only a few cents. I was one of the latter”.

Ruby asserts in the opening chapter of her book that if this story of George his Passion had not been written, a grave injustice would have occurred, and the history of Australia would have been all the poorer. It would have been poorer in more ways than one. George was on a mission to raise money for aged care in his local area of Byron Bay on the far north coast of NSW. In the early 1970s there were no aged care facilities in Byron Bay and George set out single-handedly to raise funds to ensure that one was built.

Ruby believes that most Kytherians have a project or a mission. George was a man with a mission. His only mission was to raise money for aged care. How George set about doing this is the story of her book. Convention was not part of George’s way of life. The reader will be able to learn some of the unusual methods George employed to raise the necessary funds.

Ruby had tried for about two years to find someone who would publish her book about her father. She met a man called Geoff, through her friend Lorraine. Sadly Geoff’s body succumbed to the ravages of cancer. Ruby believes that when one door closes, another opens. Another door opened for Ruby when she met George C Poulos through the Kytheraismos Conference in Canberra, on 16 September 2006.

George C Poulos is a Kytherian who also is proud of his heritage. He too is passionate to see works published about notable Kytherians. Ruby says her book would never have been published without George C Poulos and his driving force and enthusiasm.

To learn about how George Feros lived his life, you will need to read George his Passion. Ruby is donating the profits of her book to Feros Care, the aged care facility that her father raised funds for. She said that by purchasing a copy of the book, you will be in some small way contributing to the ongoing work her father pioneered. Ruby said that when she was writing her book, her friend Lorraine said to her she had hoped the book would do well, and would be financially beneficial to Ruby in her retirement. Ruby explained to Lorraine how she wanted George’s dream to stay alive and said she was writing the book in that hope. She knew George would not have approved of it any other way.

When Ruby spoke about the work of her father at the Kytheraismos Conference, she challenged all Kytherians to be proud of their heritage and to keep the dream alive.

George’s story is about one man’s passion to do great things for the citizens of Australia. Ruby says writing her book has become one of her passions. If you have a passion for what you are doing the enjoyment is multiplied.

Feros Care Ltd started out as a small acorn. When you plant an acorn, as George did, you don’t know how big the oak will grow. The final size doesn’t matter; the acorn has to be planted first. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. It is interesting that the first two letters of the word goal are GO. Some people just dream of worthy accomplishments, others wake up and do them. George tirelessly worked to see his acorn grow into a big tree. Feros Care now provides a range of aged care services. From the efforts of one man, grew a large not-for-profit organization that helps to care for people in their senior years.

George his Passion is a must for your reading list, and for your library. Again, to purchase the book,

Phone Ruby Brown Ferros on 0427 484 002

or

Emal: Email, Ruby Brown Feros

Remember by purchasing this book you are keeping the Kytherian dream alive and helping a worthwhile charity.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Jim Saltis on 13.11.2010

Athanasios Emanuel Protopsaltis

My father, Athanasios Emanuel Protopsaltis, nickname Blaveri, was born on the idyllic village of Mitata on the Aphrodite’s island of Kythera at the turn of the twentieth century 1900. We know very little of his childhood. He attended school for two years and at the tender age of nine he was shipped off to Piraeus to earn his own living. His first job was washing glasses and crockery at a taverna in Troumba, an area near the harbour, famous for its small-time criminals and deviants.

He soon resigned from that job and used his meagre savings to buy a ticket for a trip to Alexandria, Egypt, where his sister lived with her husband Dimitris Tsaloumas and his brother Yiannis who was married to the sister of Dimitris Tsaloumas, our aunty Anthipi.
His stay in Alexandria was short because he found a well paying job at a classy bakery/restaurant at the small township of Damanhur.

The situation in Greece was chaotic and divisive. King Constantine insisted that Greece must remain neutral in the WW1 not so much for the benefit that neutrality would bring to the country, but mainly because he was pro- German.

Venizelos, who was a shrewd politician, maintained that joining the Allies would be more beneficial because with their aid we would be able to repel the Ottomans from Asia Minor and realise the “Big Idea” of spreading our Nation on both sides of the Aegean Sea. He went to Thessaloniki where he created a new government of the “New Hellas” and a Greek Army “The Defence”.

My father left his job in Egypt, travelled at his own expense to Thessaloniki, presented himself to the Enlistment Bureau, lied about his age and served as a soldier for the Greek National Army until the catastrophe of Smyrna in 1922.

Dad remained a loyal Venizelikos throughout his life. I remember when Venizelos died in Paris in 1936 my father came home from work clutching a black bordered newspaper, crying like a child.
- What happened, why are you crying? Did your mother die? asked my perplexed mother.
_ Worse than that. Venizelos died.

My father was above all proud that he was Greek. He always wore his war medals on Independence Day, the “OXI” day on the 28th of October, and since he came to Australia, on the Anzac Day.

You can read more about my father, and our familys' subsequent life in Alexandria, Egypt, by reading my book, My Four Homes.

When Published: 2009

Publisher: Kytherian World Heritage Fund

Price: $25

Available: Jim Saltis Ph. 93999767, and

Email Jim Saltis

and Kytherian Association

Email KAA

Description: The English translation of ΤΑ ΤΕΣΣΕΡΑ ΣΠΙΤΙΑ. ΜΥ FOUR HOMES

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 24.10.2010

Jim Saltis, depicted on the front cover of the book My Four Homes

In the foreground, scenes from his beloved city of Alexandria.

Author: Jim Saltis

When Published: 2009

Publisher: Kytherian World Heritage Fund

Price: $25

Available: Jim Saltis Ph. 93999767, and

Email Jim Saltis

and Kytherian Association

Email KAA

Description: The English translation of ΤΑ ΤΕΣΣΕΡΑ ΣΠΙΤΙΑ. ΜΥ FOUR HOMES

Background, and an appraisal, by George C Poulos

Being a “baby boomer”, and eldest child of Kytherian-Greek immigrants to Australia, from the 1950’s, I grew up as a Greek-Australian “café kid”. I share “café kid” experiences with thousands of others from my generation; standing up on a banana box to receive money for fruit, vegetables, chocolates, milk shakes, lollies, from customers, making orange “squash” (juice) from fresh oranges, arranging apples in “artistic” stacks, washing potatoes in large tubs, working late to help serve the audiences that exited the next door cinema, who feeling a bit “peckish”, wanted to make a late night “snack” purchase. Weekends spent working in the shop, whilst the Australian children played sport. Trying desperately to disown my “wog” heritage, so that I could more readily “fit into” Anglo-Australian culture. You could fill a book with “café kid” experiences.
.
But what knowledge could I have about the experiences of previous generations of Greeks and Kytherians, who lived a very different life, in various, very different countries? How did the Kytherians and Greeks who had emigrated to Smyrna and other parts of Turkey live, in the period from the 19th century, to 1922? How did the Kytherians and Greeks who had immigrated to various parts of Egypt, including “Hellenic” enclaves in cities such as Alexandria live, in the period to 1956?

Jim Saltis has “filled a book”, book, My Four Homes, with Alexandrian experiences. This constitutes a very significant achievement. Jim manages to convey, in a deeply evocative way, how a Kytherian-Greek-Egyptian lived in Alexandria, in the 1930’s, and 40’s. What was it like growing up in an Arabic milieu? What was the look, and “feel” and smell of Alexandria? How well did the various “foreign” children intermingle. What was it like going to school there? What was it like travelling around the city, and going to the shops, and the cinemas? What was the relationship between the various families? What were some of the life stories of persons from these families? What kinds of houses did Greeks live in? What was the standard of living? What if, like Jim’s father, the Greeks were employed in occupations that were seasonal, or dependent on the patronage of English garrisons? What if, at times, there was not enough food on the table?

What were frequent visits back to Kythera like for Jim and his young siblings? What did Kythera seem like through the eyes of a young Kytherian-Greek-Egyptian? How did the contrast between the two cultures, the Greek and the Egyptian, influence Jim’s reaction to Kythera? Why did his grandfather seem to act in such strange ways towards him?

I could go on asking these question, but if I do, I will spoil your enjoyment of Jim’s story. The important thing is that Jim has managed to commit his story to the written word, and hence managed to achieve a number of important things. He has managed to preserve his experiences for posterity, and for the enjoyment of future generations. He has managed to communicate his experience. Now a “café kid” can understand; can “know”, what a “Alex” kid “went through”, and the 3GG kids, (third generation Greeks), the next generation, will have access to this knowledge as well. Greeks, particularly Greeks of the diaspora, must continue to chronicle their experiences and their stories. When “Greek” stories are retained, explained, and maintained, the Hellenic spirit is regained.

That is why when the opportunity arose to print and publish an English version of Jim’s story, my fellow Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, Angelo Notaras, and I, rushed in to help foster, finance, and promote the book.

Congratulations Jim, on a story well told. I hope that your efforts encourage other members of your generation, whatever their life circumstances, to chronicle their experiences and their stories. It is so important.

George C Poulos

Trustee, Kytherian World Heritage Fund

Public Relations Officer, Kytherian Association of Australia

Editor, www.kythera-family.net

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Roxy Theatre, Bingara, NSW on 22.06.2010

John Wearne AM

John was instrumental in ensuring that Bingara Council (later Gwydir Council) purchased the Hellenic and Kytherian "sacred sites", and pilgrimage destinations, the Roxy Theatre", Roxy Cafe), and Roxy Museum.

He is a great Philhellene and Philokytherian.

He is on the Committee of the Roxy Museum. Other members of the Committee include Sandy McNaughton, Manager of the Roxy,
mob: 0427241 582 or Email, Roxy, and Peter A Jones, President of the Bingara District Historical Society. Kytherians Peter Prineas, Peter McArthy (Delungra, married to Deanna Fatseas), & George C Poulos, make up the membership of the Committee.

John Wearne was born in Bingara and has had a lifetime’s experience in community organisations. Until the proclamation of the new Gwydir Shire Council he had served for 17 years on Bingara Shire Council, including five as Mayor. He was then elected to Gwydir Shire Council in September 2004, a position he continues to occupy today. His local government career includes 8 years representing the North West/New England area on the Executive of the Shires Association of New South Wales including 2 years as State President between 1995 and 1997. Nationally, he served two terms as Senior Vice- President of the Australian Local Government Association.

He holds a number of positions, and is currently:

a Director of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme and chairs the Scheme’s Investment Committee;

a Director of Local Government Financial Services;

a Director of Beyond Empathy Limited;

a Trustee of the Bluett Awards Trust and

Patron of a number of organisations including the Shires Association of NSW.

He was a Board member of the Australia Day Council of NSW for ten years and also had a major role on the NSW Centenary of Federation Committee.

In the transport field, he was previously Chair of the NSW Local Government Roads and Transport Committee, held the National transport portfolio for the Australian Local Government Association and was a delegate to Austroads and the Australian Ministerial Transport Council. He also represented local government on the NSW RTA Advisory Council, and chaired the ALGA National Local Roads Committee following prominent involvement in the Rural Roads Congresses at Moree, Mildura and Toowoomba. From 1999 to 2005 he was a Commissioner on the National Road Transport Commission and the National Transport Commission, which develops and makes recommendations to all State, Territory and Federal Ministers on regulatory reform of the road, rail and other transport systems.

Positions he holds in the Arts include Chair of the NSW Arts Infrastructure Advisory Committee, Chair of the NSW Museums Committee, Deputy Chair of the Arts North West Regional Arts Board and Deputy Chair of Q Theatre Company based in Penrith.

Previous positions held include 5 years as a Director of Greening Australia (NSW), 5 years as a Director of Country Energy, 5 years as a member of the National Rural Communities Program Advisory Committee and 4 years as a Director of Teletask. He also chaired the successful Country Summits in Tamworth (1996) and Wagga Wagga (1998).

John Wearne was awarded an AM in 2000 for service to Local Government and to the community through conservation, arts and sporting organisations, and a Centenary Medal in 2003 for his services to the NSW Centenary of Federation Committee.

April 2006

LINKS:

What's On at The Roxy? Gwydir Shire Council

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Cultural Exchange on 18.12.2008

Kytherian Ruby Brown (nee, Feros), stars at Sydney’s 3rd Annual Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show

Ruby launched her new book - Homestyle Cooking. Gluten Free. Breads, Buns & Pancakes.

This is the third of Ruby's Gluten free books.

Sydney’s third annual Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show was held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre from 15-16th November 2008.

The Gluten Free Food and Allergy Show focuses on gluten free foods and free-from foods for food intolerant people, and allergy advice and management of conditions for allergy sufferers.

Allergies and food intolerances now affect more than 20% of the Australian population. The event attracts thousands of sufferers and features more than 100 exhibitors and Australia’s top dieticians, specialists and speakers ever assembled.

The show is sponsored by Coles, Eskal, Nilfisk, Orgran, GSK, Breville, Hype Energy and the Mindd Foundation.

At the show you can:

· Sample gluten-free products

· Learn how to ‘Allergy-proof’ your home

· Speak with dietitians, naturopaths and nutritionists

· Massive selection of presentations across two rooms

· Discover healthy alternatives

· Breville cooking stage – featuring the bread queen cooking

The times this year were:

Saturday 15th November 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 16th November 10:00am – 5:00pm

WHERE: Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, NSW

Ruby M Brown

Ruby is a qualified Food Technology Educator who has worked with students in all areas of Home Economics. She is a very skilled and dedicated teacher as well as a multi-talented culinary author.

She has been associated with Roma Foods for eight years, providing us with a vast repertoire of gluten free recipes and ideas.

Ruby has written many books in the area of special diets. She has been able to help many people through her publications,
Wheat-free Cooking 1990
Milk-free Cooking 1991
Diabetes Good Food Choices 1993
Low-sugar Cooking 1993
Good Food for Diabetes 1997
Diabetes Good Food Choices (revised) 2003
Gluten free Cooking 2005
Gluten Free Cakes, Muffins & Loaves 2007,
as well as the book reviewed here,
Breads, Buns & Pancakes, 2008.

Each Book features over 100 recipes with helpful text on the topic.

Ruby is the author of two very successful Country Kitchen books. Patonga Country Kitchen tells a story about her family and country property, nestled into the gentle slopes of the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. In this book Ruby compiles the recipes created at her property which is now very well known for its Country Kitchen Products. She has written a biography about her father who emigrated to Australia in 1922, called, George, his passion, which will be published in 2009.

Her second book, The Explorer’s Country Kitchen is a sequel, with recipes from many different culinary styles.

Having written many text/workbooks for her students, Ruby has enthused her students with her teaching of culinary arts.

Coupled with a very interesting craft book called Decorated Eggs Ruby has written for magazines and journals and has taught healthy lifestyle programmes at Community Health Centres and she has been a guest speaker at national and international conferences.

Ruby has written for Everyday Health Magazine published by Roma Foods. In this magazine she extends to the readers her vast experience of being able to use Roma Food products and create innovative recipes.

Her two daughters are conversant with Special Diets and share her culinary interests. Both girls have contributed recipes in this book.

Ruby has a great love for the celebration of family life and enjoys entertaining at her country property.

Ruby’s husband Kevin did the photography for the book. Kevin is affectionately known as Farmer Brown. He has been semi-retired for many years, and enjoys photography as a hobby.

Following the success of Cakes, Muffins and Loaves Ruby has produced 147 recipes for Breads, Buns and Pancakes all using Roma Foods gluten free products.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by John George PRINEAS on 28.04.2012

Louisa Psaltis's daughter Anna Gowing (Black)

(Anna Gowing - Louisa Psaltis)

Amongst the Kytherian Pioneers in Australia were the Psaltis Family from Kythera and the Black, (Mavrokefalos) from Ithaca. Nick Psaltis with his brother John migrated at an early age and established themselves in Australia. Nick married Louisa Krithary, that unforgettable lady who was so loved and respected from the community at large.
Nick and Louise had one child, a lovely daughter Anna. Anna married a handsome young man originally from Brisbane called Dennis John Black (Dionisios Mavrokefalos) See his fathers story in the recently published book of “Aphrodite and the Mixed Grill” Page 40.

Anna and Dennis had 4 beautiful children, one son and three daughters.
Unfortunately the happy family was shaken by the early death of Dennis. Anna with the moral support of her mother Louisa went on to raise and marry her children, and soon Louise was a Great-Grand-Mother.
Anna later met and married Mr Ted Gowing and watched her ‘extended’ family grow. She also is now a Great Grand-mother.
This year again, Anna invited her ‘extended’ family to coincide with the birthday of her late Mother Louisa. The photo was taken by Peter O’Neill, (A grandson by marriage) at Anna’s Palm Beach Home.

Photos > Diaspora Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by Kytherian Ball Sydney on 14.10.2007

George Miller. In a reflective mood at the pre-party to the 2007 Kytherian Ball.

Traditionally, the guest of honour at the Kytherian Ball is hosted at a pre-Ball function.

This year, reknowned film producer & director, George Miller was the guest of honour.

A very relaxed George Miller mingled with invited guests.

Kytherian Ball Committee