Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Australian cinema


I'm always banging on about how 'A Canterbury Tale' by Powell and Pressburger is my all-time favourite film, so was given a box-set of everything they have ever done by a friend recently, and it included this one, which I had never even heard of, let alone seen.

It is possibly one of the worst and strangest films I have ever watched. All you really need to know is that it features a penniless Italian who arrives in Australia and gets himself a job with a bunch of builders, then ends up marrying the daughter of the local big building company, drinking a lot of beer on the way. That's it.

The disturbing thing about it is that I can detect the quirky influence by Powell on the actors in this 1966 film which have many similarities to the 1943 A Canterbury Tale ones, but in 1943 they are charming and in this one they are excruciatingly irritating.

I don't normally do film critiques (unlike some...) but I just want to know if any of you have ever seen it - especially Sarah Toa!

18 comments:

  1. I haven't actually, but a pirate copy from Bali has been sitting on my bookshelf for yonks.
    The original book was written by a supposed Italian immigrant Nino Culotta, later outed as ordinary Aussie John O'Grady, and one of an illustrious line of literary hoaxes in Australia.
    Coincidentally ... (I actually came here tonight to give my condolences for Dolly. I'm so sorry Tom, dogs are just the best people) ... I don't know if you've read that book of mine yet but I talk about commercial fishers as a 'weird mob' and write 'and there's my nod to you, Nino' as a reference. 'Culotta' also wrote a great book called Gone Fishing about an Italian immigrant (yes) who works for a crusty old commercial fisherman.

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    1. Ah - a bit like T. Lobsang Rampa, who was not a Tibetan Lama, but a little English bloke call Cyril Hoskin. Loads of best-selllers.

      I feel guilty when I admit to not having finished your book, Sarah. It's not because I don't like it, it's because if I read after 8.00pm at night, I immediately fall asleep, no matter how good the book is. I have had that trouble for years now. I will carry on soon, I promise.

      There was a scathing review of a book by - I think - Noel Coward, and he said, "You will not be able to pick this book up". Yours does not fall into that category!

      Yes, I miss Dolly's unconditional love.

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  2. I haven't seen it but I love the drawings on the cover, they're great.

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    1. BTW I saw Soozie from Bath pictured in the paper today. In Nepal.

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    2. Yes, I knew she was alive 12 hours before anyone else in the pub, except for her sister and family. We are so happy - but the other 10,000 don't leave us so happy.

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    3. I gave her sister a big hug last night, and I am looking forward to doing the same to Sooz. WHAT a bloody relief, but I keep thinking about the other thousands...

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    4. They all got back last night, feeling very guilty about leaving the surviving Nepalese in tents with little food. Oh well, they have been through enough already.

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  3. I see it also starred Chips Rafferty; can't have been all bad!

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  4. Agree with Rachel - love the cover. Not a cinema goer though.

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    1. I am a DVD person these days - I don't like mixing with the hoy-palloy.

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  5. ( unlike some)
    You bitch from hades!

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    1. Don't know what you're talking about.

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  6. I remember it. A send up of Aussie slang and accents. Perhaps you need to be an Aussie to appreciate the humour of it's take on Aussies. It introduced the term "Strine" I believe. The book was quite popular way back then I think.

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    1. I don't know if it was a send-up - they are all real, apart from the author.

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  7. Yup, downunder it was called, "These Aussies are crazy" so not sure why it had two names but hey. Completely odd movie. But then I was a kid and was fascinated. New Zealand and Australia are SO different - we share virtually no flora or fauna, and while Aus was inundated with Italian and Greek immigrants, we got the Scots and the Dutch and Dalmatians and other fun European countries in small quantities. So while we sound the same to you lot (but not to us!), we are rilly, rilly dufferent ;-) I used to enjoy going there but not it just gives me the jip.

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    1. I never confuse Kiwis with Aussies, and I never confuse Canadians with Americans ('Oat' for 'Out', etc.) either, but then I've had a lot of experience...

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