Jun 062014

Seeking direction.

Seeking direction.

Last month TCM (ie, “The Old Movie Channel”) featured a series of films from Australia’s early ’70s New Wave. This gave me a chance to get sucked into Peter Weir‘s hypnotic Picnic at Hanging Rock for the umpteenth time as well as a chance to finally see his commercial breakthrough, The Year of Living Dangerously, which got off to a strong start before petering out in Important Old-Time Movie Cliches and not quite living up to its grand aspirations. (This may have been only the second time I ever saw Mel Gibson in a movie from start to finish. Weird.)

Anyhow, during the introduction to one of these Weir films the series’ host, Jackie Weaver, the Australian actress who played the Philadelphia mom of Bradley Cooper’s Silver Linings Playbook character as Edith Bunker (a topic for another day: when will a Hollywood film get an actor to play a Philadelphia character with an actual Philadelphia accent) mentioned Weir’s 1971 short film, Three Directions in Australian Pop Music. Having dug the Aussie rock from that era that I stumbled across a few years ago (and I’m still looking for a killer comp of that stuff, if anyone has a recommendation), I had to track this short film down. Thankfully, someone had posted it on YouTube. The following directions in Australian pop music were, for the most part, left uncharted. Thankfully. See what you think…after the jump!


  11 Responses to “Three Directions in Australian Pop Music That, Thankfully, Went Nowhere”

  1. My lighting take on this big event:

    1. Wendy Saddington & Teardrop — influenced by Cabaret/Liza Minnelli/Joel Grey?

    2. The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band — ahead of their time? Openers for The Lumineers or Mumford & Sons?

    3. Indelible Murtceps — a very poor man’s Foghat?

    PS — Have you seen Gallipoli with Mel and also direct by Weir? My favorite Mel movie — followed by Year of Living Dangerously.

  2. I’ve never seen Gallipoli, or at least I haven’t seen all of it. Is there a big scene with a foot race and Mel and his opponent wearing white cotton shirts? I seem to associate that scene with what I saw of that movie.

  3. Bingo — Mel runs his ass off in that movie.

  4. misterioso

    I’ve also been watching/recording some of the Aussie films on TCM. Enjoyed seeing Breaker Morant again after many years, and hope to find that Gallipoli holds up as well. Actually, same goes for Year of Living Dangerously, which I haven’t seen since God knows when. Looking forward to seeing The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith for the first time.

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    Where would you place another Aussie movie of that time period, “My Brilliant Career”? It seems to mirror some of the themes from US of a similar time period.

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    A biography of the Go-Betweens I have talks about some of the art-house pretensions and punk attitude that preceded them in the Aussie music scene. Just think, acts like those depicted ahead influenced Nick Cave!

  7. ladymisskirroyale

    Well described, funoka.
    Visuals aside, I liked Wendy Saddington and her guitarist.

  8. 2000 Man

    Here’s what I was thinking while I watched this.

    Song 1

    Can you just buy one pair of tights with a black leg and a white leg, or do you have to make them yourself?

    Is this going to take all ten minutes?

    Is that clown guy getting paid?

    Song 2

    Is that guy playing a crying baby?

    Is this going to end?

    Song 3

    I think this is the kind of Blooze Rock that gets the thumbs down around here, but the blooze rock I like may be dumber, but it’s definitely more fun.

    Do all the popes look the same?

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    Great Aussie indie films: Mad Max (duh), The Last Wave (a truly Great film starring… wait for it… RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN), and a film I saw in high school in Swaziland, which I forget the name of, which featured the same guy who played “Toecutter” from Mad Max as a hippy-ish lawyer in the middle of a radiation scare of some sort. Or something. Man, I wish I could remember what the name of that movie was. I really dug it as a teen; it’s a bit of a holy grail for me.

  10. Could it be this movie, which is advertised as “Mad Max meets The China Syndrome”?


  11. hrrundivbakshi

    You are my hero, Mod! Now to see if I can find this streaming anywhere.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube