8:15 PM, 18th March, 2000
Given the tagline "Sex and drugs in BrisVegas!" (one of the more interesting descriptions of Brisbane that I have heard!) Praise is the story of two confused and strange characters, working out their relationship amid a backwash of low self-esteem, sex, jealousy, drinks, drugs, and eczema (a truly lovely mixture!). Sacha Horler won a 1999 AFI Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the unattractive Cynthia (she should have got it for sheer bravery, considering the makeup she wore!); and Peter Fenton turns in a lovely understated performance as her co-worker Gordon. This is another one of those weird, quirky films that Australia is apparently becoming famous for.
9:52 PM, 18th March, 2000
"She came to the edge of the world to find something more." Bill Bennett (Kiss or Kill, Spider and Rose) and his wife Jennifer Cluff have scripted this story of two married anthropologists who go to an island off Papua New Guinea for field research during the early 1930s. Eventually WW2 breaks out, and their life and marriage come under more and more pressure.
The film features the scrumptious Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Andrew S. Gilbert (1998 AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor Kiss or Kill), Maya Strange (Head On), Max Cullen, Marshall Napier and Martin Donovan. Filmed in Adelaide and the Trobriand Islands near PNG, In a Savage Land is a little over-long and tends to drag in places but is worth seeing for the lush visuals and beautiful wide screen images of the islands and their people. One of the most expensive Australian films made last year, it was nominated for seven AFI Awards and won two, for sound and music.