Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /clientdata/zeus-dynamic-1/j/o/johnmcdonald.net.au/www/index.php:44) in /clientdata/zeus-dynamic-1/j/o/johnmcdonald.net.au/www/wp-config.php on line 53
Australian film | John McDonald

Australian film


December 3, 2011
Film still, X

For some unknown reason Australian cinema has become mired in crime, violence, sadism and horror. This can’t be explained by the popularity of TV series such as Underbelly or the success of an earlier movie such as Wolf Creek. All of a sudden, this sunny, complacent, economically-successful country has gone over to the dark side. … More

Peter Crayford

November 30, 2011
Cressida Campbell, Portrait of Peter Crawford, Woodblock print

For 26 years Peter Crayford wrote the weekly film column for the Australian Financial Revew, an appointment he missed on only a handful of occasions. His consistency and the quality of his work become even more remarkable when one understands the circumstances of his life. When early on Sunday morning, Peter gave up his long, … More

The Eye of the Storm

September 17, 2011
The Eye of the Storm

There is a powerful nostalgia for the 1970s in Fred Schepisi’s film adaptation of The Eye of the Storm. The novel appeared in 1973, the same year that Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I read it when I was a teenager, but still remember the impressively awful Elizabeth Hunter – an … More

Sleeping Beauty

June 29, 2011

True to its title, Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale, as bleak and perverse as something by the Brothers Grimm – if you can imagine the Grimms writing about suburban Melbourne. Lucy (Emily Browning) is a university student studying mathematics. She supports herself with part-time jobs, as a waitress and a filing clerk. In the … More


June 25, 2011

Australian cinema has been in the doldrums for years, but with the recent success of Animal Kingdom, and two acclaimed features by new directors released within the past month, it seems we are experiencing a crime-led recovery. First there was Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown, and now Michael Henry’s Blame, which has already been screened in film … More


May 20, 2011

Snowtown would never be first choice for ‘a nice night’s entertainment’ – the humble goal of Barry Humphries’s character, Sandy Stone. Like Sandy and Dame Edna, the characters in Justin Kurzel’s debut feature are creatures of the Australian suburbs, but this is a very, very dark version of that working class idyll. This controversial film … More