Red Kangaroo: Wake in Fright tonight at SFIFF

by Richard von Busack

An intelligent if lofty schoolteacher (Gary Bond) arrives in a desert town that’s drunk 24 hours a day; eagerly, even hysterically befriended by the locals, including a doctor, played by Donald Pleasance, who has given up and embraced barbarism. Matters get worse right away; the funny games of the locals spiral out into random violence toward people, animals and possessions.

It’s the worse-case scenario of living in the desert—not a frontier life, but one in which the humans are devolving. As such, it’s not just a harbinger of the kind of ‘70s revenge film in which the chickens come home to roost, but the kind of movies Australia sold over seas: sci-fi tinged dramas of the apocalypse soon to come.

Any Australianaphile is alerted to tonight’s San Francisco International Film Festival screening of Wake in Fright (1971) tonight, April 26, at 9:45 at the Kabuki Theater; there’s two other screenings this week, April 30 and May 2.
Wake in Fright was released here in 1972 in an expurgated version as Outback. I’m guessing that this film’s revival is due to the scenes excerpted in Not Quite Hollywood.

There’s an expression producers use: “What can I put on the poster?” This means that any film, no matter how sophisticated, has to have some salient feature to be talked about afterward. It’s not the babble of post-modern criminal conversation that sold Reservoir Dogs, or the implicit critique of the hypocrisy of the Reagan Years in Blue Velvet: in both films, it was a severed ear that made audiences sit up and bark. And as Frako Loden notes, regarding her viewing of Wake in Fright, as seen at the Palm Springs Film Festival, what goes figuratively “on the poster” is a gratuitous, vicious slaughter of kangaroos by some drunken oafs in an outback town. Loden’s review here has some spoilers

but Loden records the disgust of the audience with these scenes.

This is for me another reminder how hard it is for someone who saw early 1970s cinema to be shocked by anything these days—it was a nihilist, anything-went cinema reflecting dread and urban decay—“Wake in Fright” is the perfect early 1970s title, because that phrase summed up the zeitgeist.

Wake in Fright is based on a novel by Kenneth Cook, an interesting character, an anti-Viet Nam war activist and a ecologist in addition to being a writer. And scriptwriter Evan Jones has a fascinating QV: a long time collaborator with Joseph Losey (Eva, The Damned aka These Are the Damned, Modesty Blaise); one can suppose a Losey/Pinter influence on these characters in which the malign, dog-eat-dog spirit is candied with disconcerting friendliness.

As an aside, one misses the hell out of Pauline Kael. Her three page review of this film published in the book Deeper Into Movies is a model of how to approach a film in which one isn’t a member of the culture it talks about. People say what they say about Kael’s blindspots and prejudices, but her interest in this film is concise and not clinical; she draws a parallel to Joseph Conrad’s work—and not necessarily the obvious parallel, to Heart of Darkness.

Kael doesn’t do what most of us would do: let the reaction to the mistreatment of ‘roos sicken us so much she can’t carry on. Though she is effected: “The red eyes of kangaroos in the glare of headlights—that’s what you take home from Outback.”

What Kael doesn’t tell you is what Not Quite Hollywood does suggest: the remarkableness of a film like Wake in Fright being made in a nation whose cinema was just beginning,  just emerging from heavy censorship: making the film was an act of serious self-criticism and bravery.

263 comments to Red Kangaroo: Wake in Fright tonight at SFIFF

  • Hi, I just discovered your blog via google. Your post is truly relevant to my life right now, and I’m really pleased I discovered your website.Thanks

  • Art shops have had and also this camera prom dresses. Most of the people lone wear afternoon gowns at the time.

  • Art shops usually have the majority of prom dresses. Many individuals purely clothing morning evening dresses once.

  • imitation rolex Watches are without doubt some of the finest watches in the globe

  • Rolex is a effectively set up imitation rolex in the market place for luxurious watches, designer, with a record and custom of watchmaking that is hundreds of years aged

  • They generally obtain garments that will be actually done or just because of the trademark put away thought to cause place choosing prom dresses.

  • You’ve got a fantastic site here! would you like to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  • Reliable timepieces could be pricey imitation rolex, but they give you the best good quality you can get

  • Check the prom dresses choices on our website.

  • Wow, great blog layout! How slow have you been blogging for? you compose blogging look laid-back. The largely give the impression of being of your situate is magnificent, assent to unaccompanied the content!

  • Wes

    I achieve have the same opinion with all the ideas you have unfilled in your send. They are really influential and will without doubt job. Still, the posts are fantastically tiny on behalf of starters. Possibly will you please go on them a little starting subsequently time? Thanks for the post.

  • That you are able to get some very nice good buys at a very slightly utilized right.

  • Its life is lengthier than you would have expected and the similarity with the actual imitation watches for sale is excellent

  • “wow, awesome blog.Thanks Again. Really Great.”

  • Both replica hublot big bang‘s CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and Zapata were excited to work with each other for this event

  • As is depicted in the picture below, it is a new replica hublot big bang watch launched in 2011

  • And compared with other designer watches, replica hublot big bang watches have a more reasonable and more affordable price, which makes the watches be more popular and more sales

  • All these Replica replica hublot big bang watches are different in their actual own styles and adduce to the users if they accept wish style, comfort, and elegance

  • hublot replica f1 Design ladies watch is an admirable alarm engraved with 20 precious stones on the bracelet, completed with a stainless animate and rose gold accomplishment case

  • Porn Porn PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PoRn Porn Porn POrn PoRN pOrn Porn Porn PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PoRn Porn Porn POrn PoRN pOrn Porn Porn PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PoRn Porn Porn POrn PoRN pOrn

  • buy viagra from us, amazing prices,f ast delivery, includes cialis and levitra

  • I like to read your own entries! Nowhere altogether different encountered this sort of sincere as well as dedicated weblog! You are able to access from the really concerned about the high superior quality of synonyms and This wasn’t admit that you choose to manage it completely!

  • Wow, awesome blog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy. The full look of your website is excellent, as well as the content material!

  • Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

  • Why YouTube video tutorials are shared everywhere? I think one reason is that these are easy to get embed code and paste that code everyplace you want.

  • Excelente oportunidade de negócio Polishop! Com apenas 10x de R$ 59,00 você poderá ser um empreendedor Polishop.

  • Very good post !!! I certainly love this website, keep on it.Take care

  • Thanks for your post. What I want to point out is that when searching for a good online electronics retail outlet, look for a internet site with entire information on key elements such as the privacy statement, basic safety details, payment procedures, and other terms and also policies. Continually take time to investigate the help and also FAQ areas to get a better idea of the way the shop is effective, what they can do for you, and exactly how you can make the most of the features.

  • Things i have usually told men and women is that when you are evaluating a good online electronics retail store, there are a few aspects that you have to take into consideration. First and foremost, you would like to make sure to get a reputable along with reliable retail store that has picked up great assessments and classification from other consumers and business world leaders. This will ensure you are getting along with a well-known store that gives good services and aid to it’s patrons. Thanks for sharing your notions on this weblog.

  • Hey!!! I feel that you need to write extra on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject however typically individuals are not brave enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  • Hi to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to visit this web page, it includes helpful Information.

  • Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.|Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a awesome job with this. Additionally, the blog loads super quick for me on Opera. Outstanding Blog!|Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!|Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Kudos, I appreciate it!|Great blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!|Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thank you!|Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking to swap techniques with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  • Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.|

  • Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!|

  • I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are really good so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend.

  • Hi there, I discovered your blog by way of Google at the same time as looking for a related subject, your web site got here up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • I believe a few other site owners may want to give consideration to this valuable site as an example. Highly clean and user friendly style and design, coupled with excellent information! You are an expert when it comes to this amazing subject matter :)

  • Very superb info can be found on weblog . “Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye wherewith we see God.” by Ambrose of Milan.

  • Merely a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great style and design. “He profits most who serves best.” by Arthur F. Sheldon.

  • I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are really good so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend.

  • Thanks Mark, glad you identified it useful. :)

  • IDNX is something that has been missing for sometime now. Great looking out, Thies Lindenthal

  • I am writing to let you know of the beneficial encounter my child gained studying your web site. She even learned so many things, which include how it is like to possess a wonderful coaching character to get most people with ease comprehend chosen multifaceted matters. You truly exceeded people’s expectations. Thanks for producing such good, healthy, edifying not to mention fun tips on your topic to Lizeth.

  • Woah great article. Just what I needed for dis essay I’m strugglin wiv. Cheers!

  • I saw a lot of website but I believe this one contains something special in it in it

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>