The stunning debut feature from Cate Shortland justifiably received garlands of praise and was also rewarded with decent box office results. Evocatively shot and sensitively written, Somersault follows the fractured journey of sixteen-year-old Heidi a heartbreaking, star-making performance from Abbie Cornish , who runs from a flare-up with her mother and ends up in the bleak, snow-slicked town of Lake Jindabyne. Equal parts tragic and beautiful, Somersault is a quietly wrought masterpiece that stays with you for days. With American money and Hollywood stars Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe to play with, they created a grimly imaginative dystopia on The Gold Coast, and sharpened the fangs of the vampire genre with their tale of a future world where bloodsuckers now outnumber humans.
Though not a massive hit, the film proved to be a winning calling card for The Spierig Brothers. This metaphor just sings in the script. For the entire running time of Down Under , Abe Forsythe expertly walks a tonal tightrope. Thought provoking and profoundly hilarious, Down Under is as entertaining as it is culturally significant. Heinlein, for the big screen. We also wanted to make it about the characters, and not just the sci-fi tricks. While Suburban Mayhem sadly failed to light up the box office, it remains one of the wildest and most shocking Aussie films of the new millennium.
Cogently directed by Connolly, and cannily co-scripted by David Williamson, Balibo positively seethes and pulses with anger.
Though virtually right on our doorstep, what happened in East Timor was barely reported in Australia, and this deeply moving, utterly compelling film finally redressed that imbalance. This was a story that deserved to be told. HEALING Healing is a film of quiet power, filled with vividly drawn characters, and the ability to provoke torrents of emotion without ever once veering into the melodramatic or manipulative. In a masterstroke of tonal control, Healing breaks your heart and lifts you up at the same time, literally soaring on its sweeping breeze of raw, honest emotion, and its moving story of prison inmates who slowly put themselves back together again through a programme that sees them nursing sick birds of prey back to health.
No stock-standard A to B rockumentary with all the usual check-points, Autoluminescent is instead a rich study of a complex man — the late Rowland S. This stunning tribute befit his status perfectly, and captured one of the most vital eras in Australian music. Cover whatever you want. When they discovered skateboarding, older brother, Tas, was the indestructible one, while the more reserved Ben picked things up quietly and easily.
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Whilst only in their teens, they hit the states, hoping to make it big. Quickly rising to the top of the sport, their success was accompanied by all kinds of excess, before ending in tragedy. His resulting documentary, All This Mayhem, is powerful, immediate, and utterly authentic.
Writer-director Amiel Courtin-Wilson who first garnered attention in with his award winning documentary, Chasing Buddha followed legendary Aboriginal icon, Jack Charles at various times an actor, activist, singer, heroin addict, convict, and homeless person over a period of seven years, and — with the charismatic Charles himself providing the commentary — built an unforgettable filmic portrait. I could never have dreamed that this documentary would have such a positive impact when I started filming back in I know now more than ever that making this film together has fundamentally enriched and changed my life.
The American Thriller
It was more about the characters, and it really stands up as that. You know the size of the project is not as important as the interest of the role. An epic adventure set four years after the devastating horrors of the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during WW1, the film follows Australian farmer, Connor Crowe , who travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, and ends up embarking on a journey right to the centre of his very soul.
Like its creator, The Water Diviner is tough but lyrical, and unafraid of reaching for the skies. Jones — is quiet, brutal and elemental. The film picks up with a fictional Jones on the day that he is released from prison. Mated for life with his partner, Leanne, the two are entwined in an affair that transcends the lines on their faces. Hail is a potent vision of the human spark that exists even in the gutters of life, and is based on the real life of Daniel P. We thought that there would be a small but dedicated audience that would enjoy the film and tell their friends to see it.
But when he begins to suspect that Maya is having an affair, David starts to lose ground, and his past threatens to smash everything in his path. If you tell the truth about yourself, really deeply and honestly, people will connect with it. We gotta have one of those!
Hopefully a relationship forms between the film and the audience. Family members, friends, and townsfolk are interviewed, as is a purported psychic medium, and key information is skillfully unravelled, keeping you glued to what turns out to be a wholly original and utterly compelling thriller. As drama, the premise always fascinated me because I could think of nothing worse than a senseless death. Starring the often underrated Vince Colosimo in a career-best performance, and playing against type as a conflicted gay man and the excellent Maria Theodorakis as two friends who help their dying buddy end his life, Walking On Water announced director Tony Ayres and screenwriter Roger Monk as major talents Ayres would follow it with a range of top-flight film and TV projects as both producer and director unafraid of risky, potentially divisive subject matter.
This is an ensemble piece, and ensembles are like jigsaw puzzles — everything has to click together. Thalluri, was accused of creating a fraudulent mythology to give his film instant credibility. A series of X-Files -style conspiracy theories soon emerged which painted the young director as an opportunist faking a tragedy to flog his flick. Murali K. Thalluri pretty much disappeared from view after the controversy surrounding his film which introduced now international talents, Teresa Palmer and Xavier Samuel , leaving audiences to contemplate what he might have achieved as a filmmaker. I hope that it makes a strong impression on people one way or the other.
I wanted it to feel immediate.
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This is a movie about anger. With gritty wonders like Everynight…Everynight , Silent Partner , Blind Company and Em 4 Jay , Tsilimidos has proven himself a master at wringing maximum honesty and style out of minimal, almost crippling, budgets. His most towering work, however, is the brutally uncompromising Tom White , which tracks the sharp, unstoppable downward slide of a white collar salary man a career defining turn from Colin Friels who winds up hitting the skids and roaming the streets as a homeless drifter, where he cuts across the paths of a number of bizarre characters.
I just wanted to take this bunch of characters and give them a sense of dignity and humanity. Pulling details out of her own life, Down mixed a rich visual palette with a keen sense of storytelling in this moving, honest and often wryly amusing story about a teenager the excellent Rhys Wakefield dealing with his autistic brother Luke Ford while also trying to fan the flames of romance with a beautiful classmate Gemma Ward.
With its recognisable setting and hard-fought warmth, The Black Balloon clicked with audiences, and rated as a minor hit. This is me getting this story out of my system. With a haunting script, and highly evocative cinematography from master stylist, Andrew Commis, Beautiful Kate was a visual, aural and thematic feast. When he gets caught, a stand-off ensues: per a strange legal statute, the cops need him to, ahem, unload within seven days, or he can walk free. In short, they want him to shit, and Ray has to hold it in against all odds, squeezing his cheeks and clenching his bowels while a gaggle of smack-filled baggies wriggle around excruciatingly in his guts.
An ingenious film as smart and compelling as it is rude, scatological, and bitingly funny, The Mule is something truly special.
The third step was to get an international audience. An ambitious experiment, 52 Tuesdays goes against the grain in both plot and creation, with Hyde shooting the film piecemeal-style, one day a week for a year. They certainly did… The crippling weight of expectation, combined with lukewarm reviews, sent Ned Kelly most unfairly into the bin. But when viewed today — free from heightened anticipation — this finely burnished and beautifully shot Australian western shapes up beautifully. Towering above the film, however, is Heath Ledger, who breathes passionate life into this truly legendary man.
He delivers an interestingly full-bodied take on Ned Kelly in a film of equal daring. THE TUNNEL Funded via an online campaign and simultaneously released on DVD and as a free internet download, there was the danger that this homegrown horror film may have generated interest because of its unconventional birth, rather than its merits.
But The Tunnel was solid entertainment, filled with spine-chilling scares, Hitchcockian tension, and real human drama. James Station. The result was the minute charmer, Smokes And Lollies , which told of three spunky fourteen-year-olds that Armstrong met at an Adelaide drop-in centre: Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman, and Josie Peterson.
That said, his daring Patrick White adaptation turned out to be an edifying success, helped to no end by the star power of Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling, and appealing to an audience rarely specifically catered to in the cinema, namely intelligent adults. There were a couple of fairly obvious reasons for that. Firstly, unlike just about every other Australian film ever made, Bran Nue Dae is a feel-good movie, principally designed to invigorate rather than provoke.
That said, it was far from lightweight. Secondly, this was an adaptation of one of the most successful Australian stage musicals of all time, and it came with a comfortable recognition factor not afforded most local films. The big-hearted charmer centres on Dylan Ed Oxenbould , a sweet and spirited eleven-year-old boy, who lives with his father Sam Worthington in the West Australian outback. The first local film to be shot in India, The Waiting City was a truly moving, emotional — and international — experience.
Cousins, Jason Gooden and Julian Saggers, had produced a few successful short films when they decided to try and crack the big time. Their lives would never be the same again. If the film worked, the doco would be about how these guys made it. This intimate, fly-on-the-wall feature gets right into the grooves of the burgeoning relationship between two very different people.
Molly Rule is a sweet natured young woman living in the small town of Young. I wanted to go beyond the book.
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That said, there are exceptions like Bra Boys and Mrs. In that case, the cinematic release has been a success in its own right. Truly compelling, Love The Beast at one stage, the biggest box office Australian doco ever offers a view of Bana not glimpsed in his screen performances, nor in his various press appearances.
The film digs into the rarely seriously discussed issue of the bond that can exist between man and machine. There was a great camaraderie and a friendship between us. Our very last scene was Heath and I playing handball on the road in Kings Cross. Introducing two new acting talents — Damian Pitt and Dannielle Hall — the film followed the unusual, largely unspoken relationship that develops between an angry young man, and the slightly less angry young girl that he meets on the road.
Despite its minimalist approach, Beneath Clouds had a lot bubbling away under the surface. None of the stories ever meet, but the characters certainly share humanity, dreams and a purpose that makes them complement each other. Shot on digital, in a documentary-meets-fiction style, The Finished People was unlike any film ever made in Australia.