Vivean Gray

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The Last Wave Review


OK
What you say? Aussie lawyer Richard Chamberlain takes a strange trip into his psyche (he constantly dreams of floods and tsunamis) and into Aboriginal mysticism when he defends a young native against a murder charge. The Aborigine takes him into the sewers, where he is pelted with questions like "Are you a fish!? Are you a snake!? Are you a man!?" We're going with fish, but that's just us.

I've never really understood the fascination with this film, widely heralded as a masterpiece from Peter Weir (more widely known now for The Truman Show). It's creepy to watch Chamberlain's David Burton get sucked deeper and deeper into a freaky end-of-the-world prophecy and a secret society living underground (half of which is revealed through dreams, with David bolting awake screaming, every 10 minutes), but drawing any kind of useful conclusion from the film is difficult. (And the nonstop didgeridoo music is enough to drive you crazy.) I've seen the movie a few times and continue to wonder what the point was supposed to be.

Continue reading: The Last Wave Review

Picnic At Hanging Rock Review


Very Good
Long before The Truman Show, Peter Weir put together this sleek yet frustrating story of four prep-school girls who vanish without a trace from an Australian geological site, Hanging Rock. Set in 1900, it's a corseted tale of weird spiritualism and repressed emotions common in the era -- all scored by Zamfir and his pan flute(!) Based on a novel, not a true story, it still recalls later films like Heavenly Creatures, which actually pulled off this kind of moody, brooding tale of wierd teenage girls with more aplomb.
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