Tag Archives: Australia

BEAUTIFUL KATE

Beautiful Kate
d. Rachael Ward / 2009 / Australia / 101 mins
Downstairs @ Prince Charles Cinema (London, UK)

Still from Beautiful Kate

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this one. I really wanted to like it (an all too common refrain, I suppose, for the type of melodramatic realism that seems to populate much of the Australian feature film market), and it did receive plenty of excellent reviews from critics around the world, but I cannot shake an abiding conclusion that I really just wasn’t sure exactly what this film was trying to tell me.

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LIKE MINDS

Like Minds [aka Murderous Intent]
d.  Gregory J. Read / 2006 / Australia-UK / 110 mins

Still from Like Minds

Having directed a string of acclaimed documentaries in the 1990s, Australian filmmaker Gregory J. Read cut his fiction teeth with producer credits on a handful of Australian features, including John Hewitt’s gritty, underrated Redball (1999). Modest in its means – and similar in scale to Hewitt’s police procedural – Read’s feature debut, Like Minds, is a capable but flawed thriller which reportedly started life as a documentary on the private lives of psychopaths.

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ON HIATUS

Oh yeah, it’s been a while, so I should probably mention that Screen Addict is currently on hiatus whilst I complete a dissertation for the Masters in Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia…

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SAMSON AND DELILAH

Samson and Delilah
d. Warwick Thornton / 2009 / Australia / 97 min
Viewed at: Cinema 1 @ Barbican (London, UK)

Still from Samson and Delilah

Riveting, raw, contemplative, miserable, uplifting, brave. Superlatives hardly do it justice, but Samson and Delilah really is a superlative film.

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LUCKY COUNTRY

Lucky Country
d. Kriv Stenders / 2009 / Australia / 96 min
Viewed at: London Australian Film Festival
Cinema 3 @ Barbican (London, UK)

Production still for Lucky Country

Although it’s mostly described as such, Kriv Stenders’ Lucky Country isn’t really a western. It is, however, a dark, tense, pessimistic colonial thriller, stacked with atmosphere and a palpable sense of menace.

A new country is forged from the ashes of disparate British colonies, the motherland replaced by a new patriarchy. On an isolated farm, Nat (Aden Young) – wifeless and increasingly desperate – struggles to get by with his two children, Sarah (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) and Tom (Toby Wallace), as they wring the very last drops of survival from a dry, godforsaken earth. The arrival of three strangers, and the subsequent lure of gold, just might provide that final straw.

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