7:30 PM, 10th October, 2014
In 1971, indigenous actor, dancer and activist David Gulpilil was just sixteen when he starred in Nicolas Roeg’s masterful Walkabout. The calibre of that film set the standard for his work and he returns here in his third collaboration with Dutch-Australian director Rolf de Heer – the others being The Tracker and Ten Canoes – in the venerated Charlie’s Country, again giving a spectacular performance, winning Best Actor in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Gulpilil also co-wrote the script for Charlie’s Country, basing the story partly on his own experiences of discrimination and hardship.
Charlie is out of sorts – with life becoming more difficult in his remote community, and his health failing, he is becoming bitter and resentful. He is always hungry and feels like he is losing his culture. So Charlie takes off, to live the old way, but in so doing sets off a chain of events in his life that has him return to his community chastened, and somewhat the wiser.
Without romanticising, Rolf De Heer, again, skilfully captures cultural difference and brilliantly utilises symbolism to communicate Charlie’s relationship with the outback and incarceration. This film is compelling and beautiful, but without question Gulpilil’s performance is the highlight, masterfully imbuing Charlie with anger, humour and dignity.
9:28 PM, 10th October, 2014
Canberra is a strange place to live; it is a serene and tiny town where everyone knows everyone within two degrees of separation, filled with two types of people – either you love it and never want to move, or you want to flee to Sydney or Melbourne or London or Berlin as fast as you possibly can.
Either one of these two types of people will appreciate this indie film as it was shot across the whole of the ACT over 5 weeks at the end of 2012. ACTION Buses, Gungahlin Skate Park, Kambah Pool, Scrivener Dam and references to Kingsley’s Chicken will either spark some Canberra pride at the extraordinary beauty of our little Nation’s Capital or, for the expats, at least elicit a twinge of comfort and nostalgia for the place you once called home.
From writer and director Rhys Graham, Galore is a poignant drama about group of reckless teenage friends and lovers, who find their lives in suburbia disrupted by the revelation of a secret in the chaotic days surrounding the 2003 bushfires.
The film features some of Australia’s incredible, rising young stars: Ashleigh Cummings (Tomorrow When the War Began), Lily Sullivan (Mental), Toby Wallace (Never Tear Us Apart) and Aliki Matangi (Chris Lilley’s “Jonah From Tonga”) – all of whom were highly praised after the sold-out Australian premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2013.
This gritty, sexy film will surprise you, lyrically encapsulating the chaos and fire of adolescent friendships, love and lust, angst and violence. It is beautiful, wild and intense… and it’s set in Canberra.