wake in fright

is wake in fright the best contemporary australian film? i would imagine that for most people of my generation the film was more or less unknown to them, given the loss of the film itself, the refurbishments, the re-release. coupled with the fact that nobody ever watched the thing over here when it was released, and anywhere else in the world, watched an edited version of it, can we creatively read the film as a contemporary film? i think that we and the film benefit from such an approach. setting aside the questions of what has or hasn’t changed, how site-specific it is or was, i think it works better to read it newly. benjamin suggests that language is offered up to language as such and linguistic works flower eternally and intensively, and translation offers us this hope in tuning the ear to variant modes of intention (gross bending and mnemonic riffing). i don’t know what films are made for. money, i guess, but if we take this film as being good for a collective consciousness, then i think this film is good for us now, we are ready for it. and in reading the film, we translate it. the scenes and the imagery that were a kind of brutal realism in the seventies, the girl at the reception of the hotel for example, are now, in their most accurate and appropriate flowering, our own almodóvar imagery. almodóvar (talk to her, women on the edge of a nervous breakdown, etc) has an amazing ability to reimagine spain, both the remembered kind and the currently existing varieities, through a rich, lense informed by camp/punk aesthetics, as well as the old american comedies that he grew up loving. watch the stylised reception scene at the beginning of women on the verge, and then the offputting, (un)erotic scenes with the jar of water and the fan in wake in fright, and we realised that we have reached the time of our own generation in australian film. most other australian films of our time might as well be beer commercials. there are more things to say about this film, but the most important and obvious thing is that it is our film (generationally).

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One Response to wake in fright

  1. CRANKY says:

    What’s wrong with beer ads? Any other great icons of Straylya you’d like to trash with uncalled for comparisons to (un)Australian films? Sausages maybe? Climbing Uluru? State of Origin? Dame Edna’s spectacles? The ACTU? Martin Bryant? Mad Max 2? Go back to Francoland you closet piece of Eurotrash you, eat some sauerkraut cwoissonts or whatever it is they eat there.

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