The articles and reviews are being laid on thick with Any Questions For Ben? due out in cinemas February 9. Sydney Morning Herald‘s journalist John Mangan talks to Working Dog frontman and AQFB Director Rob Sitch about their new feature, and how precise the locations needed to be to film their newest work of art. Melbourne looks like it is the place to be.
Sitch, who directed and shares writing credits with his fellow Working Dogs Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner, also has a crucial acting role, playing the jolly headmaster who utters the film’s title line, as Ben (Josh Lawson) cataclysmically discovers the students at his old school think his life is boring. Instead, they’re dazzled by attractive but shy foreign-aid worker Alex (Rachael Taylor), who starts looking pretty dazzling to Ben as well.
We’re in Mr Tulk, a funky cafe in La Trobe Street attached to the State Library, having a coffee before a city walk that will take in numerous historic churches, laneways and fashionable restaurants, culminating high above Swanston Street at the Rooftop Cinema in Curtin House.
While his engaging gaze and assured voice can’t help but remind you of Mike Moore, the vacuous current-affairs host in Frontline, or Tony, his scruple-free government operative in The Hollowmen, the real Rob Sitch is more interested in talking about town planning, church architecture and the minutiae of professional camera equipment.
”I guess it’s a rom-com,” Sitch says, getting back to the film. ”But it’s not the Katherine Heigl sort of pure rom-com dominated by the question, ‘Will they, won’t they?’ It’s really a comedy about a guy with a crisis and he’s completely clueless. It’s what the Greek philosophers were on about 3000 years ago, saying that a life has to be examined to be lived well. It’s funny – with various quotes by the great philosophers, if you hid their names you’d think they were said by your grandfather.”
You can read the full article on Sydney Morning Herald’s site here.