London may get the lion’s share of Australian film screenings in the UK, but cinemagoers in Norwich are getting a taste of Down Under this summer, with Cinema City hosting a mini celebration of recent Australian flicks to coincide with the UK release of Daniel Nettheim’s excellent The Hunter (2011). Cinema City’s Australian season kicked off on Friday with a late night screening of that most influential of cult classics, Mad Max (George Miller, 1979), and continues throughout the rest of the month with some of the best Australian films of recent years:
Monday July 16, 8:30pm: The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005)
Having previously worked together on Ghosts…of the Civil Dead (1988), filmmaker John Hillcoat and rock legend (and occasional scriptwriter) Nick Cave reunited almost a decade later for this grim Australian western, in which the civilizing Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) attempts to eradicate a gang of outlaws by pitting two of the notorious Burns brothers (Guy Pearce and Danny Huston) against each other.
Monday July 23, 8:45pm: Snowtown (Justin Kurzel, 2011)
One of the best films of 2011 – from anywhere in the world – relates the gripping tale of Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), a young man sucked into the inner circle of one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers, John Bunting (played to electrifying effect by Daniel Henshall). It’s a tough, tense watch, but also a truly exceptional piece of cinema.
Monday July 30, 8:45pm: Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton, 2009)
Emerging like a bolt from the blue in 2009, Warwick Thornton’s intensely moving ‘survival love story’ premiered at Cannes, where it won the prestigious Camera d’Or for debut feature. Following the difficult lives of its eponymous duo as they struggle with life on (and off) an Aboriginal settlement outside Alice Springs, the film stood as a quiet, contemplative and resolutely a-political response to centuries of indigenous mistreatment that culminated in the notorious policy of ‘intervention’.
So there we have it, three fantastic examples of recent Australian cinema, each ripe for revisiting or a first watch. Full details and tickets for the Australian season are available on the Cinema City website. The Hunter continues to screen daily until July 19.