Fri, Jun 20, 2008 - Page 18 News List

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Titled Australia and directed by flamboyant home-grown director Baz Luhrmann, the US$122 million film follows an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a sprawling property and falls in love with a rugged drover (Jackman).

With sweeping Outback scenery and set in northern Australia on the eve of World War II, Australia will see Kidman and Jackman take 2,000 cattle overland and caught in the wartime bombing of Darwin by the Japanese.

“This movie will potentially be seen by tens of millions of people and it will bring to life little-known aspects of Australia’s extraordinary natural environment, history, and indigenous culture,” Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said at the weekend.

Tourism Australia will kick off an international marketing campaign to coincide with the film’s planned release in November, Ferguson said. The epic was tipped to bring the biggest boost to tourism since Crocodile Dundee in 1986.

Some cinema critics have predicted the film will be an amalgam of Australian cliches.

Australia’s government recently dumped the controversial US$170.5 million “Where the bloody hell are you?” tourism campaign featuring a bikini model, which was banned in Britain and Canada.

Pioneering special effects and makeup artist Stan Winston, a four-time Oscar winner who transformed Arnold Schwarzenegger into The Terminator and brought dinosaurs to life in the Jurassic Park films, has died at age 62 of multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood plasma cells, his studio said on Monday.

Winston, whose studio’s work was on display in the high-tech armored suits worn by Robert Downey Jr in the blockbuster Iron Man, died at home in Malibu, California, on Sunday surrounded by family.

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