Hughes, first seen as a child being bathed by his mother, was one of the most powerful and eccentric figures the industry ever produced, from 1927, when he directed the World War I flying epic, Hell’s Angels, with its amazing scenes of aerial combat and its woeful scenes of appalling dialogue, to the period in the late 1940s when he owned the RKO studio and lusted after contract actresses like Jane Russell and Faith Domergue.
With Cate Blanchett in her first Oscar-winning role as a surprisingly convincing Katharine Hepburn, and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner, the film is nothing less than alluring and its technical achievements, including its representation of various early stages of the Technicolor process, earned it a handful of Oscars: Robbie Richardson for cinematography, Thelma Schoonmaker for editing, Dante Ferretti for production design, Francesca Lo Schiavo for set design and Sandy Powell for costume design. A highlight is the scene in which Hughes crash-lands the aircraft he’s testing in the middle of the Los Angeles suburbs.
Presented in association with the Sydney Film Festival and National Film and Sound Archive
4 Jun - 12 Jun
Religion, crime, show business, and especially cinema itself, have fascinated Scorsese throughout his career and although The Aviator is essentially a biopic of eccentric inventor and flyer Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) it’s just as much a portrait of the glamour of filmmaking during Hollywood’s Golden Era.