Australian Film

Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Quick. What would you do if the school room full of students you were teaching was kidnapped by a guy in a duck mask and another guy in a Santa Claus mask? I don’t know either, but I’m pretty sure there’s a Henny Youngman joke in there somewhere. This Australia gem from 1985 has got everything your heart desires – violence, children, violence against children, accents. Plus, the trailer asks the important existential questions. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Criterion Files

There are five words in the English language that when strung together instantly build a mysterious attraction when they’re attached to a work of art, or literature. They’re not inherently important or powerful words, but their presence alongside a particular work gets used repeatedly as a means to increase whatever importance or effect that piece would receive by a given audience on its own. They’re a proverbial shortcut to accentuating a natural reaction. Those words are; based, on, a, true, story.

In the case of Peter Weir’s adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s novel “Picnic at Hanging Rock” the film opens with a brief written prologue about how three girls from a private boarding school disappeared while on a trip to a geological site, known as Hanging Rock, on Valentine’s Day in the year 1900. From there the film lets you decide on your own whether you want to believe you’re watching a story based on a real mysterious tragedy from 1900, or complete fiction. What sets Picnic at Hanging Rock apart from most films that are allegedly non-fictitious is that its effect on the viewer is not affected by whether they feel the events are true or false.

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The Criterion Collection rebooted two of their early releases these past two weeks, re-releasing Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout on DVD and Blu-ray…and bringing us another amazing restoration of Fritz Lang’s M on Blu-ray. One of these films, I had never seen before. The other film, I have seen…but I have never seen it look or sound so good.

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