Tag Archives: steve mcqueen

Hii On McQueen

We can't remember how long ago we added Ming-Zhu Hii to our guest wishlist, but in the intervening years she's directed short films, landed prominent roles on half of Australia's comedy and drama TV shows, and appeared in films like Peter Rabbit and That's Not Me. Frankly, we're lucky we were able to book her.

Ming-Zhu joins us for the whole damn show, including the reviews! This month, we look at Unsane, the thriller Steven Soderbergh shot on his damn iPhone, Rungano Nyoni's debut feature I Am Not a Witch, Sally Potter's single-location comedy-drama The Party, and Wes Anderson's stop motion animation Isle of Dogs. If you love high drama and lots of laughs, but can't decide which of these films will deliver, then this month's reviews will certainly provide you with what you need.

We then look at the Cannes Film Festival's announcement that Netflix films will no longer be permitted to screen in competition. Is Cannes shooting itself in the foot by ignoring the natural evolution of cinema? Or is it one of the last remaining defenders of the traditional theatrical experience?

Finally, Ming-Zhu introduces us to the works of her filmmaker of the month, Steve McQueen! We all know McQueen's work as director of Hunger (2008), Shame (2011), and 12 Years a Slave (2013), but that is only part of the story. McQueen was an internationally-renowned artist long before he tackled features, and Ming-Zhu walks us through his fascinating history.

You may have noticed (or, mostly likely, not noticed even a little bit) that there was no cheat sheet for this show, and that was largely because no cheating is needed - you can quite reasonably watch all of McQueen's readily-available work over the course of a weekend and still have time to go to that thing. Or you could blow off the thing entirely and watch Shame twice. We know which one we'd do.

But in addition to Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, there are some McQueen shorts available online: you can right this second watch his first film Bear (1993) here, Five Easy Pieces (1995) here, and Western Deep (2002) here. And if you like your TVCs, you can also watch his commercial Mr Burberry (2016) here.

Further reading:

Outro music: score from 12 Years a Slave, composed by Hans Zimmer

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Ming-Zhu Hii talking the films of Steve McQueen, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed directly from our website.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – April 2018

Ming-Zhu Hii joins us to talk the films of Steve McQueen!

Rochelle and Lee are joined by this month’s guest, actor and filmmaker Ming-Zhu Hii! Ming-Zhu joins us to chat about some of the key films from this month, including Steven Soderbergh’s feature-film-shot-on-an-iPhone Unsane (01:21), Rungano Nyoni’s dramatic debut I Am Not a Witch (07:40), Sally Potter’s one-act stageplay-esque The Party (14:47), and Wes Anderson’s stop motion animation Isle of Dogs (20:37).

They then look at the news that the Cannes Film Festival has banned Netflix films from playing in competition. Is Cannes turning its back on the changing nature of cinema, or helping to preserve its traditions? (27:10)

Then, Ming-Zhu takes us through the films of British filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen. McQueen is best known for his feature films Hunger (2008), Shame (2011), and 12 Years a Slave (2013), all of which received high critical praise, and the latter of which won the Oscar for Best Picture. But McQueen had a prolific career before he entered the world of feature films, winning the Turner Prize for his art, as well as making short films, video installations, TV commercials, music videos, and much more besides. Ming-Zhu talks about how she first discovered McQueen’s work, and what it means to her. (35:48)

Our Next Hyphenate Ming-Zhu Hii

Actor, filmmaker and Hi4H April 2018 guest host Ming-Zhu Hii

You've definitely seen the work of Ming-Zhu Hii.

Maybe you caught her in some of Australian television's best comedies, appearing with Kates McCartney and McLennan in Get Krack!n, or starring alongside Shaun Micallef in The Ex PM.

Or maybe you saw her in really any of our high-profile dramas, in Sisters, or Newton's Law, or Party Tricks, or Offspring.

You'll also have seen her in some recent (and current) films, as the director Corrie in That's Not Me, and as Sarabeth in the currently-in-cinemas Peter Rabbit.

But we're not at the end of the bio yet, because she's also a filmmaker in her own right, writing and directing the 2016 espionage short Close Observations of a Single Subject, as well as the forthcoming psychological thriller short Intrusion.

But forget all those credits, as well as the numerous other ones we ran out of room for, because Ming-Zhu is about to top them all with her next role: Hell Is For Hyphenates guest host!

But which filmmaker has she chosen to talk about?

None other than Steve McQueen!

If you recently listened to last month's episode, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the star of The Great Escape had a few directorial efforts up his sleeve.

But those of you who are one stage closer to galaxy brain will immediately know that we're talking about the director of the Best Picture Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave (2014), as well as the phenomenal Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011).

But McQueen isn't just a feature director with a flawless three-for-three track record: he was directing for long before Hunger, as a prolific maker of short films, music videos, and video installation art pieces. Even if you're super familiar with his three feature films, we're pretty confident that there's a whole lot about him you don't know. We're certainly learning a lot as we prep for this episode.

But most importantly: what is it about McQueen's work that Ming-Zhu loves so much?

Check back in with us on April 30 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Steve McQueen