Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Movie a Day, day 84: Not Quite Hollywood

Animal Kingdom made me think about the Australian films of the early 80s – especially my favorites, the first two Mad Max movies. So I watched Not Quite Hollywood, an entertaining documentary about the birth of the Australian movie industry and what Quentin Tarantino, one of the movie’s most enthusiastic talking heads, calls “Ozploitation” films.

The interviewees' talk about social trends behind the movement isn’t very enlightening (it seems distrust of authority, revolt against the status quo, and sex and drugs ran rampant in Australia in the late '60s and early '70s—who knew?). But things get interesting when filmmakers and actors reminisce—mostly fondly and with the same sardonic humor and allergy to self-importance that characterize the films themselves—about how their movies got made. There are entertaining stories about bad behavior on and off the set (two words: Dennis Hopper) and funny potshots at unpopular critics or filmmakers (one director is introduced as “Terry Bourke, producer, director, writer, egotistical bastard.”) The clips that make up most of the film include shots of a baby Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits, eye-searing action, plenty of the marauding gangs of murderous Aussie bad boys that Tarantino identifies as one of the core elements of Australian exploitation films, and generous lashings of nudity. Read the rest on The House Next Door, Slant Magazine's blog.

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