There is quite a bit of 1980s Australian nostalgia in Elissa Down's great flick The Black Balloon and because I enjoy screencapping and the '80s I thought I'd put up some of my favourites. One of the shots I didn't get was that moment when they're watching TV and there is a clip of a surfer wearing a hot pink wetsuit with a synthesizer score in the background. Amazing.
I imagine quite a few men who went to school during the 1980s ended up with minor fertility problems later in life due to over-abundance of short shorts with their school uniform and, as the film also points out, the prevalence to budgie smugglers. Frequently.
STACK HATS!!! Although I secretly wished the Gemma Ward character - my oh my, is she talented in front of the camera or what?! - would have worn a similar-styled bike helmet to the one Nicole Kidman wore in BMX Bandits (she's on the right) but we can't have it all, hey? Still, light pink stack hats are very amazing, no?
True Fact: I have a t-shirt that says "Commodore 64 Whiz Kid" on it. It is amazing and so are Commodore 64s. Did you have one? They were the shit.
Boombox! Cassette Tape!! I lived on cassette tapes when I was younger, constantly recording songs off of the radio and off of my parents albums to listen to on my tape player (I had a PlayTape, I believe, before upgrading). In The Black Balloon the character of Jackie (Gemma Ward) makes a mix tape, which is great. I love mix tapes. So much so that when I make a mix CD I tend to still call it a mix tape.
Valiants! I haven't seen one of these in a long time.
So, yes, do see The Black Balloon if you haven't already. It's "dark" and "tough", but done with a lighter touch that makes the end result less depressing and less drab and it's not entirely dreary and ugly to look at either. There are great performances all 'round, especially Toni Collette and the aforementioned Gemma Ward - the word "revelation" isn't used very much around here, but dayum! - and comfortably trumps the similarly-themed film from 2007 Clubland (even though that title was surprisingly strong too). This one has the AFI Award in the bag, doesn't it? B+