It sometimes make me sad to know that some information are lost when fan sites close down or when media companies archive or suspend certain information on their internet sites. While I have been looking at all the old interviews, I found many of the original source data gone. 😦
In this post I have combined a little research about some old photographs, combined with some interesting articles written at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2004.
During this week we have had a discussion about old pictures of Alex and specifically these above. The source that I previously had about these pictures is no longer available, but I saved it as: ‘Oyster Farmer Premiere March 2005′. But I then also found a picture I saved from the closed down site, ‘Adoring AlexOLoughlin.org’ marked as: ‘Oyster Farmer Premier 2004‘. I decided to have a closer look and follow-up on it, by following the timeline and picture, in order to find when it was most probably taken.
We know from other pictures taken at the world premiere of the Oyster Farmer at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2004, that this is what Alex looked like at the time:
Toronto Film Festival – 2004
by Paul Fischer
9-18 September 2004
After Crash, it was time to catch up with old friends Kate Bosworth and Bob Hoskins, here for Beyond the Sea, before checking Oyster Farmer, a great Australian film which had its world premiere here. A stunning feature directorial debut from Anna Reeves, who wrote this gentle, yet wry comedy/drama, Oyster Farmer is a love story about a young man who runs away up an isolated Australian river and gets a job with eighth generation oyster farmers, falling reluctantly in love along the way. Aussie newcomer Alex O’Lachlan is a star on the rise, the new Russell Crowe, appealing and charismatic as the young Jack, Trying to find himself amidst the lush beauty of the Hawkesbury River. Like with so many Australian films, this one looks gorgeous, shot on location, as the Hawkesbury takes on a life of its own. Reminding one of the classic Sunday Too Far Away, Oyster Farmer is about male bonding, love, sex and mateship. And Jack Thompson returns to Australian cinema, reminding us of how nicely he ages. Oyster Farmer is funny, human, sexy and glorious, one of the best Aussie films in years, and one destined for both local and international success.
When I spoke to director Reeves, she was saddened that representatives of the Australian distributor didn’t even support the film’s first screening, which regrettably says it all about the state of the Australian film industry. Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come, especially since that distributor didn’t even mention that Oyster Farmer was even premiering in Toronto. If they don’t even care about their own, home-grown films, what does the future hold for gems such as that film and beyond?
While wrapping things up, I bumped into Australian icon Jack Thompson, unexpectedly here because of both The Assassination of Nixon and Oyster Farmer, both films of which he spoke with genuine pride and passion. Of course, nobody told me he was coming, including the Australian distributor of Oyster farmer, determined, one suspects, of not telling anyone about what a special film they had. But Jack, whom I first interviewed nearly 20 years ago, said that if he were to retire now, he’d be happy “because I got to share the screen with Sean Penn.” Thompson also talked about his role in the comic book film Man-Thing, in which he and real-life son Patrick Thompson play the bad guys, in this Australian-shot film. “I’m a huge fan of these kinds of film so it was a joy to work on it,” Thompson said, while sipping beer at the Intercontinental.
Toronto International Film Festival
Another newcomer to Toronto and a newbie to the movies in general is young Alex O’Lachlan. Remember the name; you’ll be hearing it in the future. The 2002 graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art has appeared in television roles in his native country, and he’s set to appear in the U.S. in yet another Marvel comic adaptation, this one of Man Thing. He makes his film debut in the starring role of Jack, an out-of-towner who adapts to rural ways in the crowd-pleasing Oyster Farmer.
The blue-eyed O’Lachlan remembers the thrill of reading filmmaker Anna Reeves’ screenplay for the first time, “I opened up the script and started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s fantastic, the writing is so powerful and the characters are so strong and full, and it’s such a beautiful story and such an important story, I think, for us, because of the way things are in the world at the moment.”
“It’s about love; it’s about hope; and it’s about family. I just went back to [my agent’s] office and said, ‘I’ve got to do this; get me this job!’”
The whole experience has been a series of firsts for O’Lachlan, including flying to Toronto to watch the film with an audience. With the film making its world premiere here, this is the very first time he’s ever seen himself on the big screen. He almost didn’t make the trip, as he says, “I had a bunch of stuff going on back home, and I wasn’t sure if I was invited. But I spoke to the guys and they said, ‘No, you’ve gotta come! We’ll fly you over!’”
Now that he’s here, a ubiquitous part of the back patio scene at the Hotel Intercontinental in his Roots sweatshirt as he meets and greets a seemingly endless wave of journalists, he enthuses, “I’m so glad I came. The people at this festival and in this city have been wonderful. It’s so relaxed, everyone’s so chilled out, but at the same time, so enthusiastic about the work,” he continues. “It’s been great. And some of the films have been great. I saw The Assassination of Richard Nixon last night and I got to hang out with those guys after it, what a group of talent we have here.”
O’Lachlan continues modestly, “I’m really starting to feel a part of it. As a young actor, I’ve got so much to learn and I’m so keen to learn. At the same time, I don’t want to impose or ask too many questions. It’s a weird thing. It’s not that it’s a clique-y industry, it’s just that it’s a full-on industry, and I’m just learning the ropes.”
He’s certainly starting in the right place, appearing in one of the films alongside The Sea Inside, Greg Araki’s Mysterious Skin, Lukas Moodysson’s A Hole in My Heart and Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love. As Oyster Farmer prepares for its March Australian premiere and searches for US and other foreign distribution, the extra attention can’t hurt.
U.S. Premiere of Australian Film “Oyster Farmer” Opens the Rosemount Australian Film and Style Festival.
The exclusive U.S premiere engagement of the Australian feature film “Oyster Farmer” is the debut event of the three-day Rosemount Australian Film and Style Festival, part of G’Day LA: AUSTRALIA WEEK 2005
First Screening Tuesday, 18 January 2005
Feed filmed from mid-January to mid-February 2005
(Alex with fairly long blond hair and blond brows)
The 4th Commonwealth Film Festival, 29 April – 8 May 2005
Opening the festival was Oyster Farmer (2004), an Australian gem from director Anna Reeves. With its uplifting narrative (Jack returns to an insular oyster-bay community to nurse his injured sister), meandering storyline and a fine collection of character actors, this crowd-pleaser was a worthy opener, and hints at a newfound ambition and scope in antipodean filmmaking.
52nd Sydney Film Festival
10-25 June 2005
(Alex with darker coloured and straightened hair in June 2005)
Looking at all the information at hand (dates of premieres and the way Alex looked – including hair colour and length), I believe that the pictures in the light blue sweater, were most probably also taken in Toronto at the Film Festival in September 2004 (and not in March 2005, as I originally thought)
- I wonder who took these pictures?
- If anybody else have some further information about that time (2004 – 2005) in Alex’s career, that can clear things up, please let me know. – I would like to update all information with correct information. 🙂
We managed to find the original upload of the pictures. Date taken ’12 September 2004′ at the Toronto Film Festival by @cbutkovich : Album – 04filmfest
Thank you to Sheppy for providing us with the info – You are a STAR! ❤