The Spider and the Fly
born in Sicily - an island with an active volcano, prickly pears,
rich food, an even richer history, and, some have said (sotto
voce, if you don't mind), home to moustachioed Mafiosi.
departed Italy when he was knee-high to a Sicilian as his family
took advantage of the low-fare passage to Australia. As son to
a barber and a "housewife" who loved to cook, Angelo
was fed well and scored cheap haircuts. Growing up in Melbourne,
he staved off "wog" taunts by becoming a proficient
footballer. Anyone who can rove the packs as well as he did couldn't
be all that bad - weird salami sandwiches notwithstanding.
the focus from sport soon shifted to cinema as Angelo started
noticing names other than actors cropping up repeatedly in the
end credits: John Ford, Raoul Walsh, Preston Sturges. He wondered
what it was that a director actually does, other than call "cut"
through a loudhailer and ponce about authoritatively in jodhpurs
and tweed jackets. Determined to find out, Angelo hung up his
footy boots and made his first film at secondary school.
The Spider and the Fly
Shot on Super
8, Deadly Diane was described by his class mates as the
definitive "vampire western". The fact that such a genre
didn't exist proved to be a moot point but Angelo was grateful
that this short film, financed by his school, created controversy
not least because the female hero walked off into the sunset with
the female sheriff. This was, to be sure, the sexually-revolutionised
'70s so, parody or no parody, taboos were there to be broken.
decade, Angelo felt the call of the stage and after realising
he was spending more time in the university theatre than in lecture
halls, he took the plunge and auditioned for an Australian touring
theatre company. Adventures in England, Scotland, Wales, Holland,
Germany, Belgium and Italy, eventuated. However, the allure of
film-making was compelling and in the mid '80s, Angelo began creating
characters and putting mise-en-scene on the page.
eight years away, Angelo returned to Melbourne and commenced working
professionally in the film industry as a screenwriter. His work
included co-writing the feature Hungry Heart and writing
another feature Closer and Closer Apart, which was described
by David Stratton in Variety as "a well-written script".
He also worked in other facets of film production such as being
a casting director, production assistant and runner.
The Right Moves
taught screenwriting at RMIT, and, in 1990, established "The
Australian Cinema Ensemble" with a view to facilitating better
communication between actors and filmmakers.
first serious attempt at directing was as a post-graduate student
at Swinburne Film and Television School (Victorian College of
the Arts Film and TV School) where his graduate film, Urban
Myth was picked up for distribution by the Australian Film
Institute and received a certificate of Merit at the Nimes Film
After a series
of short films, documentaries and educational/corporate productions,
Angelo has embarked on his first feature as writer/director, Hostage
to Fate produced by Michael Agar. The film's subject matter
was inspired by the premise: is the truth worth knowing at
any cost? and to what degree are our lives pre-determined?
recently welcomed the opportunity to direct The Spider and
the Fly. To be able to take someone's vision and attempt to
compliment it with one's own as a filmmaker, is delicious. What
can be more enthralling than putting a world up on the screen
where all that is human and that which is not, is scrutinised
by an audience whose own definition of "humanness" is
constantly challenged in the world outside the picture theatre.
at 24 frames a second"
Spider and the Fly
for film evolved in my early teens when stumbling across a rare
TV screening of Bergman's The Seventh Seal in the early
'70s. The arresting imagery that film afforded with its theme
of purity pitted against pestilence underpinned by religious iconography,
made an indelible mark on my psyche. I knew from that moment on
that at some point in the future I would explore the realm of
film as a medium for telling stories.
it wasn't solely Bergman's masterpiece that was so influential
- there was Bertolucci's realisation of Alberto Moravia's novel,
The Conformist. The remarkable interplay of word and image
in Hiroshima mon amour. Films like Fellini's 8 ˝ demonstrated
that the human spirit needs to be sustained by reality, art and
fantasy in equal dosage. Truffaut's 400 Blows, Ray's
World of Apu Trilogy and De Sica's Umberto D. affirmed
my belief that domestic drama has universal reach - its ample
tentacles sprouting right there from the kitchen sink.
It was films
and directors such as the aforementioned - along with acerbic
wit of Hawks and Wilder, the humanism permeating works by Kurosawa,
Capra, Renoir, Akerman, Varda, Bresson, the risks taken by Herzog,
Pasolini, Fassbinder, Kazan, Godard, Tarkovsky, Eisenstein and
Cocteau - which convinced me that great filmmakers are poets
peddling heart-starting drugs. I have been lining up ever since
for my celluloid fix.
hope to one day make a great film myself, I feel comfortable in
the knowledge that, even as I write this sentence, there are filmmakers
out there conceiving, planning, shooting and caressing wondrous
stories itching to be told. These narratives will be ultimately
perceived through the agency of sight and sound, and in so doing,
enrich our lives.
Salamanca, April 2003
CGI Animation. Short film.
(Steve Middleton as Animator and Producer)
ReVivo, a 7 year project, is in final stages of post-production (late 2017).
Sometimes painful memories die hard and forgiveness is not always at hand. The eternal triangle looms large in the lives of three elderly people. Loves and loyalties shift and waiver like wind-tossed willows. A tale of mystery, intrigue, and ghostliness.
Cast: Serge Denardo, Nadia Andary, Belinda Kirwan, Keiran King, Nina Nicols, Peter Frank, and Giancarlo Salamanca.
Super 16 mm. Drama. Feature film. Screened at Home Brewed International
Film Festival 2004. See also Hostage to Fate website
(8-minute teaser available at this website).
Lost, Something Gained
Dave, a young
investigative reporter for a popular community TV station program
is determined to reveal the mysterious Mr. Big behind a local
When a dangerous
anti-aging drug is put onto the black market, Dave's fearless
enquiries cause skeletons to rattle in the family closet.
Dave is on
a collision course with Fate and must face that all-important
question: Can we escape our fate or is every second of our existence
mapped out for us?
Lost, Something Gained
16 mm. Comedy. Screened at 1994 Melbourne Fringe Film Festival.
busker and mime artist gets more than he bargains for when he
answers and ad for free bed and board. The film explores the degree
to which some people will go to in order to add a spark to their
16mm. Drama. VCA graduate film distributed by the AFI. Certificate
of Merit: Nimes Film Festival 1992
to one's art. Married to one's convictions. Married to
one's spouse. Married.
1973 Deadly Diane
minutes. Super 8. Comedy.
directing Life on Earth: Severance
photo by Eric Platz
western redolent with sexual and gender politics.
2018 Life on Earth: Severance
(feature, 2018, currently, late 2017, in post)
(Kieran King as Writer / Kieran King and Emma Burnside as Producers)
When an alien pandemic threatens to end the world, two scientists steal the virus and flee civilization in a last-ditched attempt to find a cure.
directing The Last Babushka Doll
2017 The Last Babushka Doll
15 minutes, HD, drama
as Writer and Producer)
Virtually the whole
Blue Mountains community supported
the film shoot.
individuals and businesses
rehearsal space, transport,
publicity and even a pair
of workpants when we
discovered an actor’s
costume was too small.
It helped create such a
positive atmosphere on
set—and I think this comes
through in the stunning
from Ozarts feature on The Last Babushka Doll (PDF file)
HDV. Drama. Feature film. Written by Ian Handasyde.
Screened at Kent International Film Festival, Connecticut USA, Seattle True and Independent Film Festival, USA, and Sled Island Festival in Alberta, Canada.
Zyco Rock is a futuristic teenage drama exploring music and drug culture
as sanctioned by the government and schools of the day.
JEN decides to rebel against the prevailing "Zyco Rave" culture
and what it stands for, she befriends an enigmatic, old-style
Rock aficionado, TOM and his ebullient automaton, FLICK.
As Jen becomes
acquainted with the music of distant past, she grows to appreciate
a culture which she considers to be more vibrant and genuine.
Tom's help and that of her close friends, KAT and LORRIE, Jen
enters a school talent quest. Her mission: to open her audience's
eyes to a very different sensation, through the kinetic energy
of Rock and Roll.
fearing a fall from grace, the all-powerful MIRO, the Zyco school-yard
"Queen", backed by her cronies, DEZZIE and FLAPPY, attempt sabotage
on Jen's growing popularity.
Jen is alerted to Miro's scheme, she equips herself with even
more grit and determination. Jen is hell-bent on championing the
qualities of non-conformism and win the day.
Spider and the Fly
35 mm. Drama. produced by Savant Films. Screening at the 2003
St.Kilda Film Festival.
into my parlour said the Spider to the Fly". A modern re-working
of the Victorian era children's poem/fable.
Super 8. Drama. Produced by Ian Handasyde.
post puberty blues against a backdrop of sand and sea. Sometimes
you just have to seize the moment.
and Closer Apart
minutes. 16mm. Drama. Feature film. Directed by Steve Middleton
and produced by Rosa Colosimo.
friendship and infidelity amongst a group of 20 something Italo-Australians.
2018 The BBQ (2018, feature, completed, due for release in 2018)
by Stephen Amis.
Dazza has a passion for barbequing. He accidentally gives his neighbours food poisoning. To make amends he seeks tutelage from the tyrannical Scottish chef and together they enter an international barbecue competition.
Cast: Shane Jacobson; Magda Szubanski; Julia Zemiro, Nicholas Hammond; Manu Feildel.
16mm. Drama. Feature film. Directed by Luigi Acquisto and produced
by Rosa Colosimo. To be screened at "The Weird Mob" - Three Generations
of Film makers 1962 - 2004. A retrospective of Italo / Australian
Cinema. (Screening scheduled for May 2005)
and disorientation. The push and pull of feelings which
can't be easily recognised or defined.
by Angelo Salamanca
Angelo Salamanca, November 2017.
to Angelo Salamanca profile