Nadia Tass double bill: The Big Steal (1990) and Mr Reliable (1996)

Steal poster

Director: Nadia Tass

Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan, Steve Bisley, Marshall Napier, Maggie King, Damon Herriman, Angelo D’Angelo

First viewing, via DVD

As someone who doesn’t own a car, I’m fairly oblivious when it comes to cars and car culture. Even so, anyone who’s ever watched a handful of teen movies will recognise the prominent role of cars and the social cachets and personal freedoms they bestow in rites-of-passage films, from Rebel Without a Cause to American Graffiti to Grease to Dazed and Confused and beyond. Even the first act of Transformers hinges largely around protagonist Sam Witwicky’s (Shia LaBeouf) bond with his new car, before switching priorities to pyrotechnics and robots thwacking each other about.

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Crackers (1998)


Directed by: David Swann

Stars: Daniel Kellie, Warren Mitchell, Susan Lyons, Peter Rowsthorn,

First viewing, via DVD

Type “Christmas movies” into Google and a looooong list of titles is generated, featuring popular staples of yore (It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas) and newer titles spanning a multitude of genres, including romantic comedy (Love Actually), family entertainment (Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol), comedy (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged), action (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon), and even horror (The Polar Express). Type “Australian Christmas movies”, however, and only a handful of titles come up, including two versions of Bush Christmas (one starring Chips Rafferty, the other Nicole Kidman), George T. Miller’s Bushfire Moon, and Yoram Gross’s animated Dot and Santa Claus. Should Down Under Flix last half a decade we’ll work through all those, but for the moment let’s tackle David Swann’s Christmas comedy Crackers.

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