There’s a bit of a buzz about Aussie cinema at the moment, a sense that we may be in the early stages of a resurgence after years in the wilderness. This may or may not be the case. A lot of the optimism is doubtless attributable to influential At The Movies duo David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz, who have bestowed rave reviews on several 2009 Australian releases – Samson and Delilah, My Year Without Sex and Last Ride – and smiled benevolently upon others such as the Perth-based production Two Fists, One Heart (which I also reviewed favourably – see here).
I await with interest The Duo’s appraisal of new South Australian release Lucky Country. Not that I take much notice of dear old David and Margaret – on the contrary. My interest here is in whether they join the gaggle of online critics gushing with praise for this antipodean Western, which in my view is a barker through and through. I suspect there’s an optimism virus infecting those aboard the Aussie-cinema-resurgence bandwagon. I’m curious as to whether the two senior drivers of the wagon exhibit the shit-detector-failure symptoms of their passengers. Continue reading Lucky Country – Movie Review
I usually take some care over my movie reviews, but I’m not going to waste time on appraising The Boat That Rocked in any depth. This crock of shit isn’t worth the effort.
My best hope for this post is that it might provide a community service – with any luck I might spare a moviegoer or two the ticket price, tedium and irritation I went through watching a long, long 2 hours and 14 minutes of this dross. Come to think about it, this review is probably too late to accomplish its mission, having been sitting around growing mildew while I was engaged in other projects and too despondent to make time to finish it. Oh well, maybe I’ll save someone the cost of renting the video – and the time they would have squandered watching it. Continue reading The Boat That Crocked
Boxing has an enigmatic magnetism for me. Enigmatic, because I was born without a fighting gene. If you don’t count clench-eyed childhood fisticuffs flurries with my brother, I’ve never hit anyone. I copped a whack to the jaw once, in primary school, when I accused an opponent of cheating in “handball” (no resemblance to the European game). Came out of nowhere, sat me on my arse and shocked the hell out of me. I’ve never forgotten it.
So what attracts a wuz like me to boxing? My initial interest probably derived from watching championship title bouts on TV as a kid with my father and brother. In those days, there was no pay TV – all world title fights were broadcast, and were events not to be missed. This was the time of local heroes Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon, and of course the great icon of the 60s/early 70s, Mohammad Ali.
Ali embodied the paradoxes that made boxing so compelling for me. The showbiz pizazz, the sense of theatre. The bemusing cohabitation of bone-rattling brute power and grace that tipped over into kinetic poetry. The pre-fight bragging and playful wit that charmed the media and public while serving a dual function as the psychological weapons of a smiling assassin. The nobility of the great warrior superimposed on the primal savagery that lurks within the athlete killer in the ring.
Then there is the backdrop – the flood-lit roped-off square of canvas sanctifying grievous bodily harm and murderous intent. The crowd baying its blood lust. The enormous stakes, the terrible risk of annihilation, the sweat and the fury, the impossible art of it all.
In the combination of these disparate elements lies boxing’s allure.
My interest in boxing does not generally extend to boxing movies. However, I attended an advance screening of Two Fists One Heart last Sunday with a heightened sense of curiousity, firstly because it was filmed in Perth, and secondly because I was aware that it was the culmination of a 10 year dream of “Northbridge identity” Rai Fazio. Rightly or wrongly, I associate Fazio with seedy suburban gyms and the shady mythologised figures of Perth’s underworld – not the sort of demographic that typically spawns movie makers and artists, you’d think. Intriguing. Continue reading ‘Two Fists One Heart’ – Better Than OK, Not Quite A KO