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Friday, 20 January 2023

'Transfusion': Stan Movie Premiere

The blue carpet was rolled out for the Stan movie premiere event for 'Tranfusion'.

It's dropping on the Stan streaming service TODAY - Friday January 20, 2023.

Sam Worthington (he of the iconic #Avatar: The Way of Water), Matt Nable (from the Stan Original Film Poker Face) and the insanely talented Edward Carmody, were all so gracious with their time with red carpet journalists and photographers, as well as eager fans as walked the blue carpet at the Sydney premiere of the Stan Original Film TRANSFUSION on Thursday 19 January at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Sydney.


The action-packed drama is the story of a father (Worthington) and his young son (Carmody) attempting to reconnect after a devastating loss. 

The son, filled with guilt for a choice he never made, and a father suffering from PTSD and without identity after retiring from the Special Air Service regiment (SAS) of the Australian Army.

On his last chance with the law, the father is thrust into the criminal underworld by a former SAS brother (Nable) to keep his only son from being taken from him. The film also stars a positively ageless and magnetic Susie Porter (Stan Original Film Gold) and a stoic performance by Jessica Napier (Harrow).

Phoebe Tonkin also gives a measured, memorable performance which was as sublime as it is unforgettable.

This film was A LOT. (In a good way… read on). What you see on screen is THAT good.

It was triggering for me, as a life event happens which completely transforms the lives of a family in an irrevocable and devastating way.

I cried at a line at the end which was so pure and tender and simple… one between father and son, which seems like a flippant line in a movie, but is woven in so expertly. You’ll know when you see it.

The intensity of emotions and major scuffles (as well as shootings, and the rest) - was confronting for me, but it’s only as I’m not a fan of fights on screen. I’m really hopeless like that… I leave the room at home.

But the performances… oh my goodness… devastatingly moving and award-worthy.

This is the directorial debut for Matt Nable - and what a way to make a massive impact.

Matt is a former professional rugby league player, and sports commentator, turned actor, known for starring in ‘Underbelly: Badness’, ‘Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms’ and ‘Gallipoli’.

As an actor, he also had success in the US playing Ra's al Ghul in both ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’.

But now, in a career first, Nable is directing his first feature film, ‘Tranfusion’ and it is crystal clear this is a passion project.

Matt spoke to Josie's Juice on the red carpet last night, and he gave us an insight into the world of this movie, and the concept of toxic masculinity.

"It's an idea that I hate and don't believe in. At all. In fact, that term shouldn't exist, at all. It does harm, and shoves all men into one group. Not all men are this angry. And perhaps we should start to question what makes men angry," he said, with passionate conviction.

In Transfusion, Matt's character certainly has anger management issues to resolve, and they ultimately don't manifest in the best way for him in the end...

Sam Worthington also spoke to Josie's Juice about his experience on the red carpet, though relished giving his young co star Edward Carmody the floor...

"This is a movie about a father's deep relationship with his son, and the consequences and fall out of a life event. It's deep, it's moving, and it's about grief and the fall out and how we deal with it all," said Sam.

Adds Edward: "It was an intense experience, but I loved working alongside Sam and everyone, and I learned so much from them all." It was wonderful to watch their deep affection for each other on the red carpet... and it's no surprise given the film's subject matter, and that Sam is dad to three sons, with his wife Lara Bingle.

Intense indeed, and life changing as his first major role.

And then, the glorious Phoebe Tonkin.

Google her, and one of the predictive text results are: "Is Phoebe Tonkin really Australian"

I share that funny nugget of info with her, and we have a good chuckle about it all.

"Oh, I am definitely Australian and so proud of that," she tells Josie's Juice with a big laugh.

I love being home, and I am so proud of this work in Transfusion, and working with Matt and Sam was just incredible and memorable," she adds, as she attends movie premiere number two for the week, with 'Babylon' premiering on Monday this week.

"This movie ['Tranfusion'] is about grief and loss and how we cope with that," says Phoebe.

"It's about the choices we make in the face of grief, and the consequences of those decisions we make," she adds.

The movie's ensemble is SO well cast, such a perfect fit for their respective roles.

Huge props to actor George Houvardas who plays a thug with such accurate authenticity, and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor.

Gilbert Bradman as young Billy is beautiful to watch on screen.

Meanwhile Sam Parsonson as Ned - WOW. Thug central and INSANE on screen as a very angry guy...

All in all, 'Transfusion' is one of the most memorable, rollercoaster, award worthy performances you'll ever see, of any Australian or global release.


You can stream ‘Transfusion’ RIGHT NOW, only on Stan.

Sunday, 8 January 2023

Tony Pantano dies, age 74

Tony Pantano, the most nominated male vocalist in Australia, and winner of 14 Moe awards, died last night, on Saturday January 7.

He was 74.

Born in 1948 in Montalbano, Sicily, the much loved singer received a standing ovation from Andrea Bocelli, and was complimented by the legendary Tony Bennett, saying he had “one of the best voices” he’s ever heard.

Respected by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck for his interpretation of their songs, he was also renowned as a performer at every Italian festival around Australia.

He was regularly a fixture on Australian television appearing on the shows of Graham Kennedy, Don Lane, Bert Newton, and Mike Walsh, and more.

His grandson is the ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ stand up comedian JJ Pantano, and he is survived by six sons, and six grandchildren, and two great grand children.

He was revered by his peers and adored by his fans.

If you are Italo-Australian, you have heard Tony being introduced at at least one Italian 'festa' in your lifetime - though probably at least a dozen - and you have heard his distinctive voice bellow through the appreciative audience, to rousing applause, cheers, and standing ovations.

He was Australia's own Tom Jones, with Tom himself a mega fan, and lauded by greats around the world.

Tony had been battling cancer for several years, and finally succumbed to the disease.

His grandson JJ Pantano paid tribute to his grandfather last night:

At the 7th hour of the 7th day of January the angels came to take my Nonno 
@tonypantanoofficial to heaven so he could grace heaven with his incredible voice like he did here on Earth. Nonno you are my inspiration and my love of entertaining comes from you. I’m so happy I have made you proud and I will continue to do my best to walk in your footsteps. You brought joy to all the people you ever entertained. Everyone loved you. I love you Nonno. Please watch over me from heaven & RIP. #tonypantano #jjpantano 

His family also posted a touching tribute to Tony:

Tonight on the 7th January at 7pm we lost not only a giant in the music industry but a much loved son, brother, father, father in law, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, partner & friend. A man who was blessed to have lived his life doing what he loved everyday right up until the very end. He passed tonight peacefully, in prayer surrounded with his family by his side. And whilst he kept saying he didn’t want to go and fought so hard to the very end, eventually God’s offer was too good to refuse and the angels took him to no doubt do in heaven what he did on this earth bringing joy to so many people by sharing his God given voice - one of the greatest voices we’ve ever heard. We love you. We honour you and may you look over us and guide us everyday from above. We know you will. Gone but never forgotten.May you Rest In Peace Dad & Nonno. Rest In Peace Tony Pantano

P.S. 7 was his favorite number

Here are some pics of Tony in action over the decades:

Here at a tribute concert for Don Lane, with Don's son PJ Lane, and Maria Venuti, Rhonda Burchmore, and Patti Newton, and more:

With the Italian Australian new guard, Sooshi Mango:

See their tribute here:

Tony with Engelbert Humperdinck:

Tony performing:

Tony's six sons:

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Sydney Dance Company: 'Dance Noir: Euphoric'

After a three-year hiatus, Sydney Dance Company’s Dance Noir returned to Sydney 

for a sensational evening of dining, dancing, fundraising and fun!

On Saturday 17 September, Sydney Dance Company made a triumphant return to The Hordern Pavilion with their gala fundraiser, 'Dance Noir: Euphoric'. 

The evening lived up to its reputation as the sparkliest party of the year, while also raising vital funds to ensure that Sydney Dance Company’s artists and audiences can continue to be supported and inspired by exceptional contemporary dance experiences.

The dress code was 'Glittering Glamour' and guests stunned in spectacular ensembles embracing the true Dance Noir spirit.

The 450 guests in attendance included:

Bianca Spender, Paris Neilson, Kerr Neilson, Hon Julie Bishop, Skye Leckie OAM, Ellie Aitken, Rebekah Giles, Taryn Williams, Marten Peck, Felicity McVay, Chris Wirasinha, David Hancock, Nadia Fairfax-Wayne, Nicky Oatley, Deborah Symond-O’Neil, Alyce Tran, Caroline Tran, Kate Bond, Hannah Gold, Tamie Ingham, Angus Logan, Faraz (Fuzz) Ali, Michael Lo Sordo, Richard and Jane Freudenstein, Don Harwin, Rebel Penfold-Russel OAM, Guy and Georgina Fergusson, Martin and Michelle Walsh, Andrew and Jane Clifford, Shemara Wikramanayake, Hayley Bailey, Pip Smith,  Kate Keane, Tory Archbold, Alex Smart, Peter Reeve, Mandy Foley, Alexa Haslingden, Sally Burleigh and more. 

The Company performed an excerpt from Rafael Bonachela’s critically acclaimed 'Impermanence', an intimate duet by Rafael Bonachela - originally created for a Cartier High Jewellery event - and Holly Doyle’s electric finale piece, Euphoric.

Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year students also dazzled in intricate neon costumes by the Enmore Design School.

The incomparable Matty Mills was the MC for the evening, with the event raising in excess of $600,000 to support Sydney Dance Company. What an incredible result!

These funds are instrumental in delivering Sydney Dance Company’s transformative artistic and touring programs (international and national), as well as supporting vital community outreach and advanced training.

There was friendly fierce competition for a suite of spectacular prizes at the live auction held by Romany Brooks of BresicWhitney.

Thee impressive prize list included:

- a pair of exquisite Jan Logan pearl and diamond earrings

- an unforgettable cruise for 30 people aboard custom-built luxury super yacht Quantum

- luxury stays at 5-star resorts, The Datai in Malaysia

- a 10-day getaway in a private retreat in Mexico

- a week in a luxury villa on Lake Annecy in France

- a sublime 7-nights on the privately-owned Turtle Island in Fiji complete with staff

- and an exclusive MasterChef dining experience at Sydney Dance Company with MasterChef Australia alumni Michelle Walsh (we love her!)

Beverage partners Champagne Henriot, Archie Rose, Capi and Cassegrain Wines provided refreshments throughout the evening to accompany a delicious array of canap├ęs, mains, sides, charcuterie and cheese stations.

Roving desserts, cocktails and mocktails fuelled the guests as they hit the dancefloor while DJ Sveta got the party started.

Sydney Dance Company extended a huge thanks to the incredible Dance Noir committee for helping to make this unforgettable night possible:

Co-Chairs Peter Reeve and Mandy Foley, Sally Burleigh, Hilary Burton, Jane Clifford, Debbie Coffey, Georgie Fergusson, Alexa Haslingden, Jan Logan, Jane McCallum, Stephen Thatcher, Christina Voitenko, Michelle Walsh and Judy Wolf.

Sydney Dance Company is Australia’s leading contemporary dance company, presenting new works in Sydney, around Australia and internationally, under the Artistic Direction of Rafael Bonachela. Since 1985 the Company has been resident in purpose-built and recently refurbished studios at Wharf 4/5 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.

Its studios house the largest public in-studio and online dance class program in Australia, attracting nearly 100,000 attendances each year. A legendary force in contemporary dance in Australia, Sydney Dance Company celebrated its 50th year in 2019.

More information: www.sydneydancecompany.com

And, see the gorgeous guests in all their sparkly glory here: