Hot stuff

Hot stuff

Volume 17, Issue 23Catch a FireStarring: Tim Robbins, Derek Luke and Bonnie Henna. Directed by Philip Noyce. 101 minutes. Rated M.Only a few Australian directors whose names are synonymous with the Australian film revival of the 1970s are still making films that matter. Phillip Noyce is one of them. His 2002 films Rabbit Proof Fence and The Quiet American drew audiences in Australia and around the world, not just because he is a master storyteller. They are significant because they shed light on our own times by revisiting the past. This is the achievement of his latest film Catch A Fire,...

The romance of Provence

Volume 17, Issue 22

A Good Year
Starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.
Directed by Ridley Scott. Rated M. 117 minutes.

This is a rather light drama with touches of comedy and romance – not the kind of film audiences might expect to see Russell Crowe in. A strong and imposing screen presence, he is usually in heavyweight dramas like Gladiator, Master and Commander and last year’s Cinderella Man. This time however he joins with his Gladiator director, Ridley Scott, and tries to interpret his character, Max, in the Cary Grant vein. There are some serious moments, a pair of glasses, some slapstick pratfalls in a swimming pool, some repartee. It does not quite come off but he does his best very earnestly.

Reclaimed treasure

ImageVolume 17, Issue 22 

Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines
David Unaipon, edited by Stephen Muecke & Adam Shoemaker, Miegunyah Press, $24.95. Paperback, 280 pages.

David Unaipon (1872–1969) was a remarkable man, possibly more widely known today than in his own lifetime, but chiefly as “the man on the $50 note.”

Unaipon was one of nine children born to James and Nymbulad Unaipon (an anglicised spelling of “Ngunaitponi,)” at the congregational Mission Station at Point McLeay, South Australia. His father was both an initiated man of the Ngarrindjeri people and the first Indigenous deacon in the region, having been converted to Christianity by the missionary leader George Taplin.

Fast food in spotlight

Volume 17, Issue 20

Fast Food Nation
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Bruce Willis, Kris Kristofferson, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette.
Directed by Richard Linklater.

If Morgan Spurlock had seen Fast Food Nation (or read the book by Eric Schlosser, who co-wrote the screenplay with Richard Linklater), there would have been no 30 days of eating at McDonald’s and no Super Size Me. He would have sworn off burgers instantly and forever.

Charmingly vicious

ImageVolume 17, Issue 20 

The Departed
Starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo di Caprio and
Matt Damon. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
149 mins. Rating: Rated R.

In years to come, this will probably be considered one of the best films of 2006. As a remake of the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs, The Departed is easier to follow than the original. A prologue establishes Frank Costello as a gangster chief of over twenty years: protection rackets, moving into drug deals and then trading high tech military equipment. You name it. He is kind to the neighbourhood lads – one in particular, Colin Sullivan, who is indebted to him so that when he graduates as a police officer, he is Costello’s informant in the service.