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Foreign Films > Flicks from Down-Under

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message 1: by Sam (last edited Mar 22, 2009 12:05AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments Now it feels strange for me to talk about Aussie filums in the Foreign Films category ... but it was here or Lists, Lists, Lists - and this sounds much more exotic ...

So - here's where we can hava lil chat about Australian movies ... the good ones (my recent favourite is The Black Balloon) ... the crap ones (I have a Freddo frog for the first person to quote their favourite Crocodile Dundee line) ... the quirky ones that you hafta be Australian to understand (Priscilla Queen of the Desert springs to mind but I'm sure there are heaps more) ...

So pop on ya thongs, slap a bit a sunscreen on ya snoz so ya don't get burnt, pull up a a pew, and someone chuck me a tinnie ... let's have a chat

(just keep an eye out for the drop bears)

message 2: by Phillip (last edited Mar 22, 2009 02:37AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments as usual, i'm all for lists...
how about:

picnic at hanging rock
where the green ants dream (i know, herzog directed it and he's german, but it was made in australia)
an angel at my table
the plumber
rabbit-proof fence
the last wave

those come to mind rather quickly. i'm fond of them all.

message 3: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments Phillip wrote: "as usual, i'm all for lists...
how about:

picnic at hanging rock
where the green ants dream (i know, herzog directed it and he's german, but it was made in australia)

good onya Phillip ... I haven't seen them all - where the green ants dream is going on my to see list ;) ...

I hafta admit that what classifies as an Aussie film is a little puzzling fer me - I'm not sure that if it's made here that means it is - but I couldn't tell you the criteria

Flirting is a fab flick I'd forgotten about

The Plumber and Sweetie have me baffled though ... I wonder if they're pictures that have been released elsewhere with different names?

would you tell me why you're fond of An Angel at my Table?

:) ... not going to have a crack at winnin' the Freddo?

message 4: by Phillip (last edited Mar 22, 2009 11:25AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments the plumber is an early peter weir film, where this guy shows up and says he has to fix the the one hour mark, this woman's apartment has become a complex web of piping and there seems to be no end to the absurdity of "repair" that the plumber is willing to execute...

sweetie is jane campion's first film, a movie about a girl who falls in love with a guy and things seem to be going well until her sister shows up and makes a mess of things.

as an artist, i am sympathetic to stories like angel at my table that show how society has scapegoated, marginalized, and rejected anyone who seems "different". and i thought the performance by kerry fox, the lead actress, was outstanding. the cinematography is also quite nice.

i've never seen any of the crocodile dundee films...sad to say. so you'll have to reserve the freddo for someone else.

i played some gigs in melbourne and stayed a few days there a few years ago. i really liked that city. that's about all i know, first hand, of australia.

message 5: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments Phillip wrote: "the plumber is an early peter weir film, where this guy shows up and says he has to fix the the one hour mark, this woman's apartment has become a complex web of piping and there seem..."

thanks so much for that Phillip ... I'm going to add all three to my "need to see" list (gotta love those early peter weir films) ...

i think you can safely go the rest of your days without seeing any of the croc dundee films ... that'll be a few hours of your life you'll never get back ... :)

message 6: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments early peter weir...yes, good stuff. really good stuff.

message 7: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 30 comments Peter Weir. Excellent filmmaker. The Year of Living Dangerously and Gallipoli are both moving portrayals of the personal cost of irresponsible leadership.

What's he been up to lately? Lost track of him.

message 8: by Sam (last edited Mar 25, 2009 05:35AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments Jean wrote: "Peter Weir. Excellent filmmaker. The Year of Living Dangerously and Gallipoli are both moving portrayals of the personal cost of irresponsible leadership.

What's he been up to lately? Lost track o..."

I agree with you Jean ...

ol' Pete's has been a bit quiet lately ... but I hear that he's got a movie coming out next year ... I think it's called The Way Back ... Colin Farrell rings a bell too ... but I can't remember what it's about

message 9: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments peter weir made master and commander, if i'm not mistaken. i film i missed.

message 10: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments he sure did ,... and bloody hell what an epic flick - but i was a bit so so about it - i think it was Russell Crowe's performance ... that was a few years back now though

I've got The Cars that Ate Paris and The Plumber arriving from the DVD fairy v soon!

message 11: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments soooooo ... any comments / thoughts about Australia (Baz Luhrmann's movie)?

message 12: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments i was trying to think why The Plumber sounded so familiar ... and I've finally figured it out

there's a similar scene in Brazil - not an Australian movie (British I think) so I'm off topic again ...

anyway repairmen come to the main character's apartment to fix the internal whatsits - pull it all to pieces - but can't fix it 'cos they don't have the right form ... ha!

message 13: by Phillip (last edited Oct 18, 2011 12:59AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments right, that whole bit in brazil with deniro's character has some echoes of the plumber, but wait until you've seen it - it really goes off in another direction.

i haven't seen luhrmann's film. have you? do you recommend it?

i got really turned off by russell crowe at some point (i think it was the year he was up for an academy award, and threw a fit when he didn't win). that's why i avoided master and commander, but i've had second thoughts because lots of friends liked it a lot. but you were a bit unimpressed it sounds like. would you care to say more? should i check it out?

message 14: by Sam (last edited Mar 25, 2009 07:59PM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments you got the Brazil scene in one Phillip ...

I have seen Australia ... i went under duress 'cos I really didn't want to ... and it surprised me - it was a nice film ... not amazing - but I really enjoyed it ...

Kidman I could leave out - I'm sure there could have been one or two English actors that could have done a better job - she was just too wooden for me ... I read somewhere that Baz directed her like that on purpose

Hugh was fab ... just fab ... and gorgeous ... and on a horse!

The story was a little predictable but set up in a way that kept you interested ...

And the photography was stunning & some of the shots were pretty cool ... but I'm a little biased - it's all of the Australian outback

and now that i think about it - it probably went for a little too long ...

so ... long story short ... yes I'd recommend it ... 2.5 drop bears from me

I hear you about Russell - and I think that's why I felt a bit ... well ... meh is the best word I can come up with - about M&C

so - I think I need to get it into my DVD fairy queue and give it another go ... shall we do it together??

message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments you mean watch master and synch?

sure, i'm game. name a date. i have a lot coming in the next few weeks, but i always have time to slip a film in the dvd player...


message 16: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments no rush man ... but i think it'd be neat if we watched it around the same time :o) ... you can show me up with one of your patent reviews

let's aim for as sync as an Aussie chick and a Californian (??) dude are gonna get anyways ... what about if we both watch it over the next weekend - 4/4?

message 17: by Phillip (last edited Mar 26, 2009 01:12AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments i go on tour on the 3rd and get back on the 9th. a friend from berlin is coming in on monday (march 30) and he's here all week - we're doing concerts and recordings, and mastering a new record. this weekend is really the best time for me. i have a (rare) free day on sunday. that might be too soon for you, but it might be the best i can manage. my life's been kind of crazy since mid-february.


message 18: by Phillip (last edited Mar 26, 2009 01:15AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments are you sure you want to see a film you've already seen, not to mention one that you were "meh" about???

maybe we should watch the plumber in tandem...that's a very funny masculine/feminine dialectic....

message 19: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments Phillip wrote: "i go on tour on the 3rd and get back on the 9th. a friend from berlin is coming in on monday (march 30) and he's here all week - we're doing concerts and recordings, and mastering a new record. thi..."

gosh I'm chatting with a regular rock star ... can I have your autograph?

let's organise something when you get back ... the DVD fairy is probably going to deliver The Plumber this weekend and I won't be able to wait ... I'm hopeless - my family don't send me Christmas present early 'cos I can't help but open them - no will power

message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments so watch it this weekend, and i'll do the same!

message 21: by Sam (last edited Mar 26, 2009 02:52AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments gosh that was easy ... done!

message 22: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments eeek! it's here!!!!

message 23: by Phillip (last edited Mar 26, 2009 10:43AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments funny how things fit into place sometimes. so, we're watching master and commander?...ok, i'll fix my face for a big dose of russell crowe and try not to jeer at the screen too much. on the other hand, that might just make it all the more fun.

or are we talkikng about the plumber...gosh, i'm all in confusion over here.

what the *^@# are "drop bears"???....please illuminate. you're communicating with an ignorant american who knows little aussie jargon. (and i hate to feel stupid, even though it happens all the time)

message 24: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments i thought we were talkin' about The Plumber - and that's here ... cool?

ahh Phillip - ask Rob what drop bears are :)

and don't feel stupid - 'cos you're not

message 25: by Phillip (last edited Mar 27, 2009 02:25AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments cool, i'll rent the plumber. that's awesome, i haven't seen it in years and years. i'm looking forward to seeing it again. it will be interesting to see how it holds up. there's something very much like beckett in it, with this whole idea of stasis and limited movement (it mostly takes place in this one apartment...mostly one room).

i'll hunt down mr rob and interrogate him appropriately.

message 26: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments alright then ... it's Sunday and I'm all geared up - poppin' The Plumber in now :)

message 27: by Sam (last edited Mar 28, 2009 11:16PM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments well how about that then - I liked it ... I couldn't put my finger on the plumber's motivation though - maybe I'm looking for something that isn't there though - maybe he was just a psycho ...

I really liked a particular scene in the middle - Jill & Max were having a sandwich and Max was having a little rant about being gaol ... the camera was following him as he strode around and around the room - it seemed to bring the anger out more

loved all the bathroom stuff - it was almost as if it was the third main character

parts of it did make me cringe - and that's probably because of when it was made more than anything else - it set off my chauvinist alarm bells in a few places ... and one that sticks in my mind was when Jill & her mate were doing their yoga (?? - what the hell were they doing??) class and that man came in to tell them all to get out 'cos other people wanted to use the hall ...

but all in all - it's an Aussie film I'm pretty glad I've seen now :) ...

The Cars that Ate Paris is next!

message 28: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments i went to the local video store and they didn't have it (shucks!!!). i'll see if i can find it on netflix. i should have warned you that it was made in the early 80's, and had some serious potential for being dated.

glad you watched it, and glad you're glad you watched it!

message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 01, 2009 09:48PM) (new)

Phillip already mentioned Walkabout, which was great. I've been wanting very much to see Picnic at Hanging Rock, but haven't gotten to it yet.

One that I'm surprised no one mentioned yet is The Proposition, which was a beautiful western of cruelty and desperation. Written and scored by Nick Cave, with some amazing cinematography and fantastic acting. All around, just a really haunting and affecting film (without affectation).

message 30: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments One that I'm surprised no one mentioned yet is The P..."

ah someone has already reminded me that i need to see this filum Mike (The Prop) ... it's on my DVD fairy list and I'm hoping arrives soon :O)

Picnic is neat - if old style - you need to find the few hours to see it

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)


If you have a fairly strong stomach its an amazing movie. I hope you enjoy it.

message 32: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments i saw the proposition. i liked it pretty well. i remember having some issues with it, but i can't remember what they were. the ol' brain is really starting to fade.

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd be curious to know what your reservations were, Phillip. That movie is rife for discussion.

message 34: by Matt (new)

Matt | 218 comments If I'm not mistaken the guy who directed THE PROPOSITION made the adaptation of McCarthy's THE ROAD. Does anybody know what is going on with that picture? I thought it was supposedly to be released in 2008.

message 35: by Matt (new)

Matt | 218 comments PS Oh, yeah and I noticed the paperback's book jacket (The Road) switched from Spinal Tap's album cover to a nice glossy photo of a bearded/haggard Viggo Mortensen.

message 36: by Matt (new)

Matt | 218 comments Back to the subject of Aussie films: MAD MAX/ROAD WARRIOR and ROMPER STOMPER.

Wasnt a fan of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK always had a certain amount of curiosity regarding THE LAST WAVE but havent gotten around to it.

message 37: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments Well now I feel like i hafta see The Proposition - might need to pop out to the DVD shop instead of waitin' for the fairy ... stay tuned Mike - reaction to follow v soon

Matt - as far as I can tell The Road will be released later this year - but it is a bit vague ... looks neat tho ... and you're right John Hillcoat (Queensland / Aussie boy) directed both

Aaaaaah Mad Max - I was sooooo in love with Mel Gibson ... I remember seeing it at the drive in and being blown away by just how different it was (for it's time) ... I've seen it again since and 'cos I'm older and not so in love with Mel any longer - it felt stilted ... so I've chosen only to remember the drives version :o)

and I really loved Romper Stomper - the soundtrack was neat / a good match ... raw performances with amazing attention to detail ... sucked me in completely

The Last Wave also looks cool - but I haven't seen it either

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Great Sam! If you do watch it I'll probably watch it again too.

message 39: by Sam (last edited Apr 04, 2009 08:26AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments I've just finished watchin' The Proposition - had a very nice bento box to go with it too as an aside :o)

what a nice little flick ... I hear ya Mike about having a strong stomach - but that added to the authenticity of the whole thing for me ...

I was left a little puzzled at Charlie though - didn't really feel the conflict i think he was supposed to be feeling ... and the whole story seemed to grind to a halt in the middle there ... but I thought the Captain and his wife were endearing ... and I loved the use of the poem

"When?" said the moon to the stars in the sky
"Soon" said the wind that followed him home
"Who?" said the cloud that started to cry
"Him," said the rider, dry as a bone

"When?" said the moon to the stars in the sky
"Soon" said the wind that followed him home
"Who?" said the cloud that started to cry
"Me" said the rider, dry as a bone
"How?" said the sun that melted the ground
"Why?" said the river that refused to run
"Where?" said the thunder without a sound
"Here" said the rider,and took up his gun

the little featurette on the DVD about the Aboriginal cultural adviser / approach was also very interesting

message 40: by Phillip (last edited Apr 09, 2009 08:41AM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments i highly recommend the last wave, sam....totally unforgetable film.

OK, i'll go back and watch the proposition. i'll report back soon.

message 41: by Sam (new)

Sam | 547 comments tried to get my DVD fairy to send me The Last Wave - but she doesn't have it ... I'm beginning to think i need a new DVD fairy

message 42: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments mos' def!

message 43: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Australian films- off the top of my head I'm thinking of The Devil's Playground, Babe, Crocodile Dundee, my fave Murial's Wedding, Proof, Candy, Jindabyne, The Piano and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Just naming the ones that I could remember, not necessarily the ones that I enjoyed. I think I saw a couple of those already mentioned.

message 44: by Phillip (last edited Apr 13, 2009 10:40PM) (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments i forgot muriel's wedding, which i like...i'm such a fan of chick flicks! i know that emasculates me in a big way, but real men dig chick flicks...get used to it.

message 45: by Matt (new)

Matt | 218 comments I think THE PIANO is technically New Zealand; but hey if we are including Peter Jackson-land why not add ONCE WERE WARRIORS and HEAVENLY CREATURES.

Hey does anyone remember a film that would have been shown on HBO in the early 1980s that was either animated or blended animation and live action and featured a talking duck-billed platypus?

message 46: by Sam (last edited Apr 14, 2009 06:28AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments (is checkin' the title - yep definitely Aussie flicks)

I know that we're both only little countries down here - but we are two (count 'em - 2) countries ... The Piano, Once were * Heavenly Creatures are all wonderful flicks but not Aussie :o)

but Muriel's Wedding ... ah ... fab Aussie chick flick for sure ...

Matt - I had no idea about the talkin' platypus ... so I did what I always do when I have no idea - had a glass of wine :o) ... and then I Googled

wouldn't be Perry by any chance? ... i think he may be a Disney creation ...

message 47: by Sam (last edited Apr 14, 2009 07:23AM) (new)

Sam | 547 comments amazingly delightful are the only two words I could come up with to describe Mary & Max

(I've just arrived home from a movie detour on my way home from work)

stop motion, clay animation ... written & directed by Adam Elliot and put together by the same team that created Harvey Krumpet ... it also features Toni Collette as Mary & Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays Max (and I was thrilled to see Ian "Molly" Meldrum play a part - he's bit of a Aussie celebrity - I used to watch him every Sunday night when he hosted Countdown - but I digress)

the behind the scenes / production fakts listed on the site are mind blowing enough (shoot took 57 weeks at 4 seconds of footage per day ... 12 litres of water based sexual lubricant for tears, sweat etc ... check them out for yourself )

but you forget all that when the movie starts ... you're not looking at plasticine and puppets and sets (and water based sexual lubricant) ...

the story is set in both Melbourne, Australia and New York, USA - both these little worlds are fantastic and incredibly charismatic

the movie starts in 1976 and the Australian icons used are straight out of my childhood (no one is allowed to do the math on my age though)

but it didn't stop there - oh no! ... the characters were so gorgeously real - bugger I'm fluffin' this up because that statement just doesn't do the whole thing justice ... let's try a quick synopsis

Mary Daisy Dinkle is a lonely but naturally curious 8 year old and she starts writing to Max Jerry Horowitz - who is an obese 48 year old man suffering from Aspergers Syndrome ... their friendship and letters span 20 years and the story takes you through both their lives as they get older ...

it also takes a look at a whole heap of problems such as loneliness, alcohol & drug abuse, mental illness (quite a varied range of these) and more ... but at it's core - Mary & Max is about how two normal people deal with the whole imperfectness of their lives

I was captivated from the minute I saw the suburban Melbourne rooftops ... and I didn't think about anything else (I'm not even sure I blinked) until the last shot faded on the New York skyline

I'm going out to buy a thesaurus because clearly my vocabulary isn't developed enough to say anything more cliched than gorgeous, amazing, delightful ;o) ... but regardless - see this movie!

message 48: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Matt- I was racking my brain for Heavenly Creatures, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it was a NZ flick but when I was posting I was thinking it was Aussie.

Phillip I think it's great you like Muriel's Wedding! It would be lovely to be able to sit down with my DH and watch things like that but within a few minutes he'd be off internet surfing instead.

message 49: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 8860 comments your "dh"?

heavenly creatures is a fantastic film, regardless of its origins. and it introduced me to kate winslet, and i've forever been thankful for that.

hey sam i am, thanks for mentioning mary and max...i haven't heard of it, and will look for it.

message 50: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments "DH"= dear husband, or darling husband. I had to Google it myself the first time I saw it used in the Chick Lit forum.

Mary and Max sounds incredible, I'm adding it to my must see list.

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