The pride of Australian film for 2017 with 12 wins at the AACTAs, including Best Film, from 12 nominations. In case you’re one of the few who haven’t seen it yet, this uplifting biopic charts adopted Saroo Brierley’s search for his Indian parents using the power of Google Earth. Adorable little Sunny Pawar manages to steal the film from the likes of Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.
“When the gangs take over the highways, remember he’s on your side.” George Miller’s anarchic ode to the road detoured the local film industry away from period frocks and political commentary and on to more dangerous and uncharted highways. It also put Mel Gibson on the map and spawned three sequels – two of which have become as iconic as the gutsy original.
“You’re terrible Muriel!” But this perennial Aussie favourite is anything but. Along with The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, P.J. Hogan’s dark comedy spearheaded a revival of the ailing Australian film industry in the mid-nineties, and sent ABBA back into the charts. It also introduced us to the wonderful Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths.
You’d have to be barking mad not to own a copy of this true blue favourite. The charming real-life story of a stray kelpie who became a Western Australian legend (and was subsequently immortalised as a bronze statue) will warm your heart and then break it. Introducing canine star Koko and featuring the penultimate film performance from the late, great Bill Hunter.
What good is a pool room without a copy of this Aussie classic? Daryl Kerrigan’s struggle to save his humble home epitomises the spirit of the Aussie battler. Loaded with quotes that enriched the local lexicon, and pitch perfect performances (including Eric Bana in his movie debut), Working Dog’s rough diamond was shot in a fortnight and became an Australian institution.
Geoffrey Wright’s angry and uncompromising look at neo-Nazis terrorising Melbourne’s western suburbs possesses the same raw energy as Aussie classics like Mad Max and Stone. Intense performances in edgy indie films frequently create superstars, as was the case here, with good old Rusty’s breakout role opening doors in Hollywood.
WAKE IN FRIGHT
Canadian director Ted Kotcheff’s brilliant 1971 existential thriller involves a British schoolteacher (Gary Bond) grappling with personal demons and feral locals in a remote mining town. Subverting the national custom of mateship with a cavalcade of hard-drinking and unwholesome characters, Wake in Fright is an unflinching look at the ugly side of the outback.
Kate Winslet brings a touch of glamour to rural Oz when she returns to her hometown after making it big in the fashion world. This fifties’ set dramedy is also a homecoming for director Jocelyn Moorhouse, whose last local film was Proof in 1991. Delightfully kitsch and featuring a cracker supporting cast, including national treasures Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving.
Check out the range of Ripper Aussie Films at JB Hi-Fi from 8th Jan 2018 until 11th Feb 2018.