Australia

Vincent Ward – The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey (1988)

From IMDB:
“A tantalizing meditation on faith, mystery, and imagination.

Sometime in the Middle Ages, a group of men living in fear of the Black Death follow the visions of a nine year-old boy (Hamish MacFarlane) to go on a pilgrimage by digging a tunnel through the center of the earth (!) emerging instead in twentieth century New Zealand (!) where they try to complete their journey by erecting a cross atop a church steeple. A willing suspension of disbelief (or the kind of unquestioning faith that the main characters have) never hurts when watching something like this, but if you’re in the right frame of mind, this fable will gradually draw you into its tantalizing meditation on faith, mystery, and imagination.” Read More »

Ted Kotcheff – Wake in Fright (1971)

Quote:
Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left… Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form. Read More »

Rolf de Heer – The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (2001)

Synopsis:
Antonio Bolivar (Richard Dreyfuss) lives a reclusive life in a hut on the outskirts of El Idilio, a far-from-ideal European outpost deep in the Amazon jungle. His main pleasure in life is reading love stories. The jungle holds memories of an earlier time that he would rather forget. Antonio is drawn back into the jungle when the mayor (Timothy Spall) decides to hunt down a grief-stricken jaguar that has tasted human blood and seems determined to kill the remaining population. Read More »

Dennis O’Rourke – Cannibal Tours (1988)

Quote:Cannibal Tours is a 1988 documentary film by Australian director and cinematographer Dennis O’Rourke. While it borrows heavily from ethnographic modes of representation, the film is a biting commentary on the nature of modernity. Read More »

Alkinos Tsilimidos – Tom White (2004)

Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man on the edge of collapse falls into a well of despair in this psychological drama from Australia. Tom White (Colin Friels) is an architect who is emotionally reaching the end of his rope. Edgy, confused, and losing touch with reality, White finds himself obsessively working on a project from which he was removed weeks before, and his hands shake so badly he can barely hold a pencil. Tom’s superiors suggest he should spend a few days away from the office to regain his bearing, but instead of returning home to his wife (Rachael Blake) and children, he goes on a bender. Read More »

Rowan Woods – The Boys (1998)

The Guardian wrote:

Rewatching director Rowan Woods’ chilling suburban drama The Boys (1998) feels like spending time with creepy acquaintances you hoped to never meet again. The story is based on a horrific crime, but there is something disturbingly mundane and commonplace about the way the film unfolds – the sense similar events may be taking place as we watch, in suburbs we frequent and neighbourhoods in which we live. Read More »

Frank Hurley – South AKA Shackleton’s Expedition to the Antarctic (1919)

Quote:
The story of the 1914-1916 Antarctic exploration mission of Sir Ernest Shackleton. The ship sails south, breaking the ice, and ultimately getting trapped by the fast-changing weather. The ship breaks up in the ice, and while 22 men and 70 dogs wait on Elephant Island, Shackleton and a crew of five take a 20-foot lifeboat 800 miles to South Georgia Island to mount a rescue mission. We also get a good look at the exotic animals of the region, particularly the penguins. Read More »