In recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to discuss Australian films and filmmakers outside the confines of Down Under Flix.
Over at Senses of Cinema, I wrote a piece on Jane Campion’s short film After Hours (1984). Read the full piece here.
And over on The Last New Wave podcast, I enjoyed a conversation with host Andrew Peirce about Henri Safran’s family classic Storm Boy (1976). Take a listen here.
There’s a lot of other terrific content on Senses of Cinema and Andrew’s site AB Film Review, and plenty of great episodes of The Last New Wave spotlighting local films both old and new, so take the time to explore the bountiful archives.
Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey, Martin Donovan, Viggo Mortensen, Shelley Winters, Shelley Duvall, Richard E. Grant
Second viewing, via DVD
The Portrait of a Lady opens with voiceover of modern liberated women (with predominantly Antipodean accents) talking about kissing. A montage follows during the film’s opening credits, showing contemporary women of different cultural backgrounds lying in a circle, dancing, staring into camera, and so on. The film then cuts to Nicole Kidman—as the film’s heroine Isabel Archer—in 1870s England, dressed in period garb, frizzy hair severely curtailed, and hiding away following an unwanted marriage proposal. The film’s opening minutes nicely encapsulate Campion’s interest—an interest that pervades her filmography— in women both past and present, their spirits and agency, and attempts to domesticate and discipline them by various, frequently patriarchal entities.
Continue reading “Aussiewood: The Portrait of a Lady (1996)”