Thursday, April 10, 2008

Australian Approved

The Film Finance Corporation are soon to be no more once they merge with the Australian Film Commission at some point in the near future (me = lazy, can't be bothered researching). The FFC have just released their last investment portfolio which looks to have some promising titles on it. There are road movies, Aboriginal musicals, war films and thrillers. Let's take a look.
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The Last Man - This will be directed my Fred Schepisi (The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Evil Angels and American films Fierce Creatures, Roxanne...) It revolves around a group of men who are "trapped on their final Vietnam mission, who do whatever it takes to survive. Twelve years later, they, and their wives, still suffer the emotional consequences." It's to star Guy Pearce and David Wenham, so it'll at least be well acted.

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Bran Nue Dae - This is an adaptation of a 2000 stage musical. The film stars Ernie Dingo and is directed by Rachel Perkins who made a splash (well, with me anyway) with her 1998 feature Radiance and the one-hour musical One Night the Moon with Paul Kelly. It's a road movie and a musical and a whole bunch of other things too. Sounds like it could be really great, actually and it's set for a 2009 release.
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The Last Ride - The director of this movie, Glendyn Ivin, made big news a few years back when his short Cracker Bag won the Palme d'Or for Best Short at Cannes. His first feature is "a contemporary road movie about a young boy and his father on the run from the law, and the price that survival demands of love." It's written by the Mac Gudgeon who wrote the acclaimed Ground Zero.
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South Solitary - This seems like it could become a higher profile film due to it's director and stars. Shirley Barrett won the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 1996 for her film debut Love Serenade and since 2000's Walk and Talk she has only directed episodes of Love My Way. But she's back with a film and has, somehow, gotten Maggie Gyllenhaal and Paul Bettany attached! It is "a dramatic, windswept romance: in a remote lighthouse off the coast of Tasmania a disgraced young woman and a soldier suffering from the ongoing symptoms of shellshock discover a great need for companionship and hope in the face of hostile elements, some made by nature and some by man." Ummm... okay! Sounds great. Plus, I think Maggie should wear the outfit to your left. Nothing says "dramatic windswept romance", right?
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Coffin Rock - This is "an intimate thriller that honestly explores the dark consequences of choices made to satisfy a basic human desire...a family." It's from the producer of Greg McLean's horror outings Wolf Creek and Rogue.
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Red Dress - I love the plot description for this movie by relative newcomer to directing Sarah Lambert. It reminds me of Gillian Armstrong's Starstruck with magic or something like that. "Desperate to dance and escape the realities of home, Ellie changes her age to sixteen, dons a pair of fishnets and heads off on tour. Careful what you wish for!" Amazing, no? Of course it could easily be a disaster, but I like to imagine it'll be brilliant.
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And there are plenty more I'm sure. The roster of upcoming Australian films sounds impressive with titles like Australia, How to Change in 9 Weeks, Black Water, My Year Without Sex, Prey and many others looking promising. Here's hoping they deliver!

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