Australia

Adam Elliot – Cousin (1998)

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Crispin wrote:

Adam tells us a story about playing with an older cousin, who had cerebral palsy and smells of licorice. Read More »

Adam Elliot – Mary and Max (2009)

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MARY AND MAX is the claymation feature film from Adam Elliot who won an Oscar for his short film Harvey Krumpet.

It was invited to open the Sundance Film Festival this year, an auspicious start for this very individual film which covers 20 years of a pen-pal friendship between Mary Daisy Dinkle – voiced by BETHANY WHITMORE as a child and TONI COLLETTE as an adult and Max, (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN) a large sized New Yorker who has problems relating to people. This odd couple friendship has loneliness at its core.

Adam Elliot has a unique way of looking at the world. MARY AND MAX is not a film with a strong dramatic arc, it’s a film about details, funny, sad details that encompass the characters in a compassionate embrace.

The film is sublime. It’s funny and insightful as it creates very different worlds for its two characters, and yet it doesn’t shy away from the harsher aspects of the lives of Mary and Max.

BARRY HUMPHRIES narrates and he does it beautifully. The animation perfectly suits the story, it was five years in the making and it’s worth every minute. Read More »

John Dixon – Sunbury Rock Festival (1972)


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The 70’s was a period in Australian Rock Music when the industry’s top acts could also be seen at the annual Sunbury Music Festival. On each Australia Day Weekend from 1972-1975, crowds of 35,000 or more would camp at the picturesque site 30 minutes from Melbourne, anticipating a full rocking of their socks from Australia’s own rock’n’roll icons. But the very first Sunbury – an all Australian affair showcasing the talents of the day – is the most fondly remembered by those that made the pilgrimage. Where else could you see Chain, Lobby Loyde and Max Merrit on the same bill? And where else but Sunbury would Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs debut ‘Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy’? In 1972 – post Woodstock but years before The Big Day Out, Sunbury was an event not to be missed. This film serves as a reminder of that first festival in 1972, and captures the spirit of Sunbury’s ethos – “”to have a good time””. So join your host Molly Meldrum – dressed in the style of the times – and sit back, relax, crank up the volume, and stroll down memory lane to Sunbury.
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Justin Kurzel – Snowtown (2011)

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Australia’s most infamous crime story.

Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother, Elizabeth, and two younger brothers, Alex and Nicholas, in a housing trust home in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. Their home is but one of many sun-starved houses crammed together to cater for a disenfranchised society.

Jamie longs for an escape from the violence and hopelessness that surrounds him and his salvation arrives in the form of John, a charismatic man who unexpectedly comes to his aid.

As John spends more and more time with Jamie’s family, Elizabeth and her boys begin to experience a stability and sense of family that they have never known. Read More »

David Bradbury – My Asian Heart (2009)

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Despite today’s cynical and fast world turnaround of images and headlines where traditional photojournalism has become swamped by a torrent of lifestyle reporting and celebrity paparazzi photography, there are some who still care. Classic photojournalism is still alive, though struggling, amongst a new generation of photographers. Philip Blenkinsop is one of them. He documents conflict, war, life and death in all its forms throughout Asia. Read More »

Paul Cox – Vincent [+Extras] (1987)

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Quote:
Though art is not my specialty, I do love to wander around a museum. It’s not something I do often, but I get that itch to surround myself with works that have stood the test of time. Gazing at such beautiful art stirs pangs of jealousy that I’m not able to do such things myself. But I know my limitations, and I will simply allow myself an occasional stroll through the controlled environment of my local museums. Shamefully, while I lived just outside of Washington D.C., I spent just one afternoon in its superb Smithsonian Museum of Art; and, on a recent trip to New York City, I nearly ran through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Ohio, where I have spent most of my life, the museums in Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati don’t have the works we’d all like to see. I am actually quite selective in what I like, and that tends toward realism, impressionism, and a touch of surrealism. Contemporary art, cubism, and other abstract forms irritate me and implore me to return to the rooms that showcase works created before the twentieth century. Read More »

Ted Kotcheff – Wake in Fright AKA Outback [+Extras] (1971)

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DVD case blurb reads:

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 Bundayabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But his one night stretches to five and 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 »