The Combination saw its world premiere at Parramatta’s Riverside theatre last night, after “seven years in the making”.
Although rain had been expected, it didn’t stop the celebrities from turning out in full force to what might be this year’s sleeper film. Sports stars Anthony Mundine and Hazam El Mazeri, as well as Underbelly’s Gyton Grantley, Matthew Newton and Peter Phelps mingled with the crowd on the red carpet before the screening.
(Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images AsiaPac)
The atmosphere was intense with anticipation, as many people had not seen the preview screenings and had no idea what to expect. We were then ushered into the Riverside’s glorious theatre. Parramatta’s Lord Mayor Tony Issa took the stage for a “short” speech, before John Pirrie, David Field and George Basha held the audience’s attention, outlining the struggle it had been to get The Combination off the ground.
There was a rapturous applause as the final credits rolled and the actors took the stage.
The acting from the first timers, especially Rahel Abdul Rahmen, was outstanding. Let’s hope the rest of the country gets behind The Combination.
It’s not often you get to see how Australian films are put together. So it was exciting to see how The Combination progressed – from looking for people in a local newspaper, to early rehearsals in a small office space in the middle of Rydalmere (surrounded by industrial sites), and then finally to garnering screenings in some of the biggest cinemas across the country.
Australian films with violent Middle Eastern themes generally don’t have the government rushing to support them, and you would be right in recalling the old adage It’s not what you know. This rings true in most cases and that’s why we see so much rubbish on screen. In any case, it’s no surprise that while HoWARd was in power, funding to the arts diminished at a rate not seen since the great depression.
The Combination was put together with private funding and filmed mainly in Granville, which is why it’s great to see a movie like this finally make its way to the big screen.
The Combination is a story written by and starring George Basha, who grew up in Guildford and who, between stints as a tradesman, has had minor acting roles in other Australian films including Blackrock.
Directed by one of Australia’s most respected actors, David Field, The Combination will be his directorial debut. The film is produced by the lovable screenwriter John Pirrie of See Thru Films.
Filming was completed by none other than Toby Oliver of Looking For Alibrandi fame and was filmed on RED (you can read about it on his blog). The film was edited by Ken Sallows whose work includes the brilliant Australian film Chopper (Hi Chop!).
So whatever you might think, you know it will look fantastic.
Will The Combination be anything like Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Café Lumière?
No, It will be more like a Takeshi Kitano Flick, say Sonantine.
Excitement, violence, and a few kicks!
The Combination is in Cinemas Feb 26th.