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actress Sash Milne
makes her mark with
a rape revenge ﬁlm, Tomboys.
Actress Sash Milne’s ﬁrst
memory of going to the thea-
tre was as a young girl -- visit-
ing her grandparents in Toronto.
The play: the musical, Beauty
and the Beast. "My grandfather
took me, and I remember being
completely in awe of the magic
of the whole thing," remembers
Sash. "It was so much better than
anything I had ever experienced
in my whole life."
Of course it goes without saying
that Disney ﬁlms featured promi-
nently in Sash's childhood -- but it
is Kaufmann's Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind that really made
her jaw drop as an adolescent.
"I remember watching it with my
older sisters Sarah and
Ruth, with all of our
mouths open. It is just
so beautiful and quirky,
and I'm a huge Kate
Winslet fan. I remem-
ber watching it and
saying to my sisters,
'That is why I want to
Strange then that
Milne's debut feature
role is not in some arthouse indie ﬂick but rather
a no-holds-barred horror ﬁlm whose plot revolves
around torture and brutality. Not so surprising
though, when you discover the ﬁlm’s writer/direc-
tor, Nathan Hill, was once her ﬂatmate whilst she
was studying acting at VCA.
"We used to bounce creative ideas off each other
all the time," says Sash. "I'd vent about school and
he’d have me read the ﬁlms he was writing. When
he started talking about shooting Tomboys, he
asked me if I'd play Emily. I was excited, and we
shot the ﬁlm in my school holidays. I had always
worked in theatre and was really keen to move
into ﬁlm, and so I jumped at the opportunity. The
way that Nathan talked about the ﬁlm, his passion
about showing a different side to women in ﬁlm,
the female heroine, the female as the killer... really
sparked my interest."
The ﬁlm, Tomboys, sees its heroines exacting a
rather gruesome revenge upon a couple of blokes
who've raped one of them - it's exhausting view-
ing. According to Milne it was equally exhausting
“We shot the ﬁlm in a very short period of time,
so I think the biggest challenges came from a lack
of sleep. We all lived on set for nine days out in Lily-
dale, Victoria, and shot all night, every night, and
we rehearsed in the afternoon. Also, it was really
cold, we shot in the middle of winter, in singlets and
thin jeans, covered in fake blood, we were freezing.
were times I couldn't move my
ﬁngers or my face from cold, so that was deﬁ-
nitely a challenge! But we got through it with no
The highly charged emotional nature and max-
imum gore setting also proved fairly tough going
for the actors.
"We would wrap sometime between 5am and
7am every morning, which is a strange time to
ﬁnish work,” says Sash. “So we would share a
couple of beers and tell ridiculous stories and
jokes to lighten the mood. There was a lot of
practical jokes and laughter when the camera
wasn't rolling. It was so important for us not
to take it too seriously; otherwise it could have
been quite a harrowing way to work! Despite
the tough subject matter, the whole experience
was actually a lot of fun."
So is she now a fan of the horror ﬂick?
"I have grown to love the genre, and now I
often pick up a ﬁlm from the horror section at
the video store. I think horror deﬁnitely has its
place as a genre in modern cinema. You get a
chance to see things that are so far from your
own day to day life, and that's exciting. And on
top of that they are a thrill right? The same way
as we like to jump out of planes or race fast cars,
you get a rush of adrenaline when you watch
them. Horror ﬁlms are entertaining because
they are scary... and they touch on emotions that
aren't explored in other genres. These height-
ened emotions that you have in horror ﬁlms get
passed on to the viewer when their heart starts
pumping. After all, there is no safer way to get
Tomboys is available now on DVD.
Frankie Valentine brings her burlesque to
the Gangster's Ball.
If you've ever watched Gypsy, then you
already know that for a burlesque act to be a
success they have to have a gimmick. In the
case of performance artist Frankie Valentine it's
not just her incredible costuming that makes
her unique -- Valentine likes to add a touch of
satire to her shenanigans.
This month, audiences will get to sample
just what is so appealing about Valentine's
unconventional bump and grind as she
performs at the Gangster's Ball.
Valentine came to burlesque in a rather
round-about fashion -- this talented performer
is also a costume designer. From there it
was just a short step to combining her two
passions -- fashion and dance -- and Frankie
Valentine was born. "I'm definitely a fan of that
old school burlesque," she comments. "I'm
interested in burlesque as performance. I'm
a big fan of vaudeville and Carnie and circus
stuff and am very inspired by that period -- that
vaudeville burlesque rather than the 1940s pin
This allows Valentine to develop her act from
a character base. "I get a lot of inspiration from
music and costuming -- sometimes I'll have
a piece of music in mind and a character will
develop out of that or vice versa."
Of course, the very nature of burlesque often
requires the artist to perform in skimpy attire --
which begs the question, does Valentine ever
get stage fright?
"Definitely," confesses Valentine, "but it's
character based, so you get into your character
and develop your performance from that. That
eliminates a lot of the fear -- as you're putting
on a character it's not like your displaying your
personality... but I guess there is a bit of me in
all of them..."
Despite honing her craft for years, Valentine
confesses she still gets a kick out of performing.
"It pushes me. It's a creative process
conceptualising ideas and working with other
performers and bands. It's always challenging
and nerve wracking and pushes you."
As for the naysayers that think burlesque is a
step backward for feminism, Valentine has the
following to say: "I disagree. It's empowering.
You can take control of your femininity. There are
so many different forms of burlesque; you don't
have to be pigeon holed or stereotyped and
that's empowering. There's nothing derogatory
about that at all."
Catch Frankie Valentine at the Gangster's Ball
on November 7 at the Forum Theatre.
BUMP & GRIND
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