Tag Archives: 1970s

Why Mad Max could only have been made in Australia

 

NB: This was originally written as a pitch
for a comedy site and abandoned.

I recently had the chance to see the
recording of the FAQ show for Ozflix with
Bruce Spence. We could only ask one question so mine was 300 words long.
I ended up having to cut it so I asked if the people making the movie
knew that if it was something that could happen in the near future and
not just a movie. He used the word prescient in his answer and said that
George Miller was “a bit of genius”. The first movies were about the
fuel crisis of the 1970s. Fury Road was about water.


So this happened

and then this

Despite there being many Australians
involved in the Hollywood film industry, the country does not have many
iconic film characters apart from Skippy, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max
that are world famous. Wolverine does not count unfortunately.

The original Mad Max film was based
on Dr George Miller’s experience from dealing with a parade of carnage
through his emergency room in a time when cars were much more powerful
than today and more poorly regulated and more importantly, when drink
driving laws were lax.

In the city where the original film
was made there were vast suburbs stretching out in all directions with
lots of well made, straight, flat roads that helped the production. It
also led to many imitators both in Australia and overseas but Mad Max is
still the most iconic.

When the film was made in the late
1970s the gas crisis was a recent memory so the plot about the world
running out of fuel for cars seemed like a real possibility. There are
also a lot of other things that contributed to the movie being what it
is that will become apparent as we go on.

Despite what some fans are saying
about the new movie, it is an Australian production as a crew of 800
people went over from Australia to South Africa and Nambia to shoot the
film and many of the extras were Australian actors.

What I want to talk about in this
article is how the original film could not have been made in any other
country than Australia (an alternate reality of Mad Max being made in
Hollywood could be dealt with in another article.)

1. The political environment

Australia does not have the law that
its Prime Minister can only have two terms so at the start of the 1970s
after two decades of the one political party being in power, people were
ready for a change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jykIqQxEOw

Gough Whitlam tried to institute
real change, but that went about as well as could be expected, he is
famous for being the only Prime Minister to be fired by the Governor
General

While he was in the Whitlam
government did pass a lot of reforms that led to a lot more creative
things going on including kicking into gear the local film industry due
to free university degrees and a lot more people going into creative
industries as a result.

http://www.whitlam.org/gough_whitlam/achievements/environmentcultureheritage

The Australian Film Commission was
created on July 7, 1975 and began making substantial grants to feature
film, documentary, television and short film projects.182
It significantly extended on the support for the Australian film
industry that began with the Gorton Government. This support contributed
to the renaissance of Australian cinema that took place in the 1970s and
1980s, reviving an industry that had stagnated for decades. This support
allowed the expression of a new confident cultural identity through
film. Iconic and critically acclaimed films such as Picnic at
Hanging Rock
, Gallipoli and The Last Wave
were produced with funding from the new Australian Film Commission.

2. The Australian film industry in the 70s

At the start of the decade the
Australian film industry had “had a bit of a lie down” for about 20
years and even some of the more famous Australian films such as

They’re a Weird Mob

Wake in Fright


and

Walkabout

were not even directed by
Australians as while there were still people working in TV and film it
was thought no one would see Australian movies if they made them.

The subject is covered in depth in
the documentary “Not Quite Hollywood” about the “boom” time of
Australian cinema from the introduction of the R-rating (NC-17) and the
10BA scheme through to the slump in the 1980s due to over-investment in
shoddy productions.

http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/statistics/archtax10batype.aspx

When first introduced in June 1981,
10BA allowed investors to claim a 150 per cent tax concession and to pay
tax on only half of any income earned from the investment. Government
concern about the cost of 10BA over the years meant that concessions
were progressively reduced to 100 per cent. Division 10BA was
closed to new applicants in July 2007 with the introduction of the new
Producer Offset. The concessional status for investment in productions
holding a valid 10BA certificate remained available until 30 June 2009.

3. Actors available

While Mad Max was famously one of
Mel Gibson’s first movies that he only got the role for after turning up
for casting with a black eye after getting into a fight, there were also
many other cast members who had been in many other films in the previous
decade that directly contributed to making the film what it was.

No, I was not named after the movie
“Tim” it was the BOOK

Several of the actors had already
been in movies together, namely the movie Stone which is as much the
spiritual successor to Mad Max as any other movie

According to Stone’s producer Sandy
Harbutt Roger Ward went over to the pub that the Hells Angels who were
playing the extras were drinking at and yelled out “All Hells Angels are
poofters!”. Some of the fights in that movie were pretty real.

Not forgetting one of the most
important people involved in the film, stuntman Grant Page who was in a
lot of Australian movies in the 70s and early 80s http://www.abc.net.au/arts/stories/s3306721.htm

 

4. Director

Director George Miller was a doctor
before making the film and famously had to use his own van in one of the
stunts for Mad Max as they were running out of money.

http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max/cast-and-crew/george-miller/index.html

There were a lot of young directors
at the time due to the film industry having a revival in the 1970s
people like Brian Trenchard-Smith, Peter Weir, Phillip Noyce, Gillian
Armstrong, Fred Schepisi amongst others who started off small and then
went off to work in Hollywood or overseas due to the Australian film
industry not being big enough to sustain them all.

http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/xmlui/bitstream/handle/2328/1565/N_Prescott.pdf;jsessionid=54D6B25FEBAC435D8DDE915D695230D0?sequence=1

During the 1970s , following the
confluence of numerous different factors, t ere was an extraordinary
revival of Australian film. The graduation of the first group of
students from the newly-created Australian Film, Television and Radio
School(AFTRS), was one factor; students like Gillian Armstrong and
Philip Noyce left their studies and began to work in the industry, and
settled alongside filmmakers like Fred Schepisi, Bruce Beresford and
Peter Weir, who had entered the industry in other ways. The other
factors ushering in the revival are also significant: in 1970, Philip
Adams and Barry Jones (working with the blessing of then Australian
Prime Minister Gorton) travelled around the world researching
Government-funded film industries, with the brief to prepare a detailed
report recommending ways in which an Australian Film Industry might be
literally “established”. After much wrangling and two changes of Prime
Minister, the new Australian film industry was brought into being.

One of Peter Weir’s first movies
“The Cars that Ate Paris” also has the porcupine VW Beetle that makes a
welcome return in the trailer for the new Mad Max movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q424p7lWD-U

5. Car culture of Australia

Even though they were both USA car
brands, Holden vs. Ford rivalry was the source of many playground fights
growing up, sadly there are not going to be any car manufacturers left
in Australia after 2016 when the last of them shuts down as the current
government has decided to pull the plug.

The peak of car manufacturing in
Australia was in the 1970s where a car manufacturer’s race the Bathurst
1000 was held once per year by cars actually in production. If you go to
see the museum at the track you can see all they did was weld roll bars
into a real production car that still had its back seats installed and
souped-up the engine http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2012/sports/bathurst-1000—the-superstar-70s-32315

While not as money-rich as the
Formula One or having a big a following as NASCAR, the V8 touring cars
still do a series of races around Australia and the Formula 1 race in
Melbourne is the only one where they actually have another class of cars
racing on the track before the big race or nobody would come to it

Australian cars in the 1970s were
big an boxy, if you got into the crash the car would be fine, it was you
would be smashed up. There was famously a car that was deemed “too
dangerous” to release after an incautious motoring journalist took it
for a test drive one Sunday morning.

http://www.drive.com.au/motor-feature/why-they-killed-off-the-aussie-supercar-20120622-20sfx.html

With the popularity of cars in
Australia and the number of road accidents, drastic measures had to be
taken and the Traffic Accident Commission started airing graphic road
accident commercials on network television as part of various campaigns
mirroring the violence in the Mad Max movies but showing the real
consequences

https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/tac-campaigns/20-year-campaign

A 20 year retrospective of all the TAC campaigns
from the past 20 years.

To commemorate this 20 year anniversary, a five minute
retrospective of TAC campaigns from the past 20 years has been
compiled. This montage features iconic scenes and images from
commercials that have helped change the way we drive, all edited to
REM’s moving song ‘Everybody Hurts’.

As an aside I did once borrow a VHS tape from the
Australian Centre for the Moving Image called “The Road Worrier” that
was totally based on Mad Max but had a golden driving instructor robot
and advised students to “DON’T BE A NERD! TAKE YOUR TIME”

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.religion.kibology/UkLvCQWKe8o

Title The Road worrier (304757)
Physical Colour; Sound; 19 min
Produced 1986
Distributor Film Australia (FA)
Synopsis Examines driving hazards encountered by young
people when
they start to drive: inexperience on roads; traps to avoid when
dealing with car dealers. Also looks at how to acquire good
driving skills. Prod Co
Distributor Film Australia (FA)
Prod Co: Film Australia
Director Karl Zwicky
Subjects Automobile driver education; Automobile
driving; Automobiles
Purchasing; Film Australia

Asking ACMI for a copy of “Rolf Harris Water Safety”
is left as an exercise for the reader https://twitter.com/ACMI

6. Geography

Despite being a flat, straight and
six lane freeway, the Melbourne to Geelong road is still dangerous and
claims several lives per year

http://www.theage.com.au/data-point/geelong-roads-deadliest-in-state-20121221-2brv3.html

The Weribee Plain is part of the
Western Volcanic Plains and starts at the You Yangs, that are actually
the remnants of volcanoes that have worn down so much only the lava
plugs in the middle remain.

http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/plntanml/biodiversity/directions/volcanic.htm

This meant a very flat road with
good looking locations such as the bridge where they took the railings
off to do the stunt where the motorcyclists went into the river. Also on
the same bridge one of the stuntmen actually got hit in the head by the
motorcycle’s wheel.

You can actually go see where they
filmed parts of the first movie fairly easily if you are living or
traveling to Melboure. Due to hoons messing up the place in their cars
the author has left some locations off the list

http://www.madmaxmovies.com/making/madmax/

“Note: Some locations I have
discovered are privately owned, and for that reason are not listed.
Additionally, I have noticed evidence at some other locations that
people have been hooning around in their cars. DON’T let this be you.
It’s rather childish, and spoils it for everyone else when I’m forced to
remove locations from the list as a result. Thanks.”

The second and third films were
filmed a lot further out near Broken Hill and do not have the same feel
to them. The outer suburban malaise where all you can do is drive around
and yelling out at people before wrapping it around a power poll at
100mph is a popular thing for younger drivers to do still, the Victorian
government had to change the laws to restrict the number of passengers
probationary drivers could have due to so many accidents.

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/your-ps/p1-and-p2-probationary-licence-restrictions

Australian band TISM also covered
this topic in their song “Greg! The Stop Sign”

There is also the song “Maltby
Bypass” which I cannot find online that is about the region around
Weribee telling the story of Johnny Cash having is photo taken on the
side of the road and a family car breakdown a decade earlier

Woody Allen Retrospective 2017 – Classic Cinema Elsternwick – Screening Dates/Booking/IMDB links


MANHATTAN (1979)

12 February 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Manhattan
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079522/

BANANAS (1971)
19 February 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Bananas
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066808/

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* *(BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK)
(1972)

26 February 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Everything-You-Wanted-To-Know-About-Sex-But-Were-Afraid-To-Ask
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068555/

SLEEPER (1973)
5 March 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Sleeper
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070707/

LOVE AND DEATH (1975)
12 March 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Love-And-Death
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073312/

THE FRONT (1976)
19 March 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/The-Front
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074554/

INTERIORS (1978)
26 March 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Interiors
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077742/

STARDUST MEMORIES (1980)
2 April 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Stardust-Memories
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081554/

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SEX COMEDY (1982)
9 April 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/A-midsummer-Nights-Sex-Comedy
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084329/

ZELIG (1983)
16 April 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Zelig
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086637/

PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985)
30 April 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Purple-Rose-Of-Cairo
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089853/

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)
7 May 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Hannah-And-Her-Sisters
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091167/

RADIO DAYS (1987)
14 May 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Radio-Days
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093818/

SEPTEMBER (1987)
20 May 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/September
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093940/

ANOTHER WOMAN (1988)
28 May 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Another-Woman
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094663/

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989)
4 June 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Crimes-And-Misdemeanors
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097123/

ALICE (1990)
11 June 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Alice
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099012/

SHADOWS AND FOG (1991)
18 June 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Shadows-And-Fog
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105378/

HUSBANDS AND WIVES (1992)
25 June 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Husbands-And-Wives
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104466/

MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993)
2 July 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Manhattan-Murder-Mystery
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107507/

ANYTHING ELSE (2003)
9 July 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Anything-Else
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313792/

CAFE SOCIETY (2016)
16 July 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Cafe-Society
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4513674/

IRRATIONAL MAN (2015)
23 July 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Irrational-Man
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3715320/

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (2014)
30 July 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Magic-In-The-Moonlight
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2870756/

BLUE JASMINE (2013)
6 August 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Blue-Jasmine
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2334873/

TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012)
13 August 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/To-Rome-With-Love
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1859650/

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)
20 August 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Midnight-In-Paris
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605783/

VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (2008)
26 August 2017

https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Vicky-Cristina-Barcelona

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497465/

WHATEVER WORKS (2009)
3 September 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Whatever-Works
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1178663/

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (2010)
10 September 2017

https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/You-Will-Meet-A-Tall-Dark-Stranger


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182350/

MIGHTY APHRODITE (1995)
17 September 2017

https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Mighty-Aphrodite

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113819/

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994)
24 September 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Bullets-Over-Broadway
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109348/

SWEET AND LOWDOWN (1999)
1 October 2017

https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Sweet-And-Lowdown

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0158371/

SMALL TIME CROOKS (2000)
8 October 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Small-Time-Crooks
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0196216/

DECONSTRUCTING HARRY (1997)
14 October 2017
https://www.classiccinemas.com.au/Movie/Deconstructing-Harry
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118954/

Woody Allen Retrospective 2017 – Classic Cinema Elsternwick – All the Trailers

MANHATTAN (1979)

BANANAS (1971)

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* *(BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK) (1972)

SLEEPER (1973)

LOVE AND DEATH (1975)

THE FRONT (1976)

INTERIORS (1978)

STARDUST MEMORIES (1980)

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SEX COMEDY (1982)

ZELIG (1983)

PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985)

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)

RADIO DAYS (1987)

SEPTEMBER (1987)

ANOTHER WOMAN (1988)

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989)

ALICE (1990)

SHADOWS AND FOG (1991)

HUSBANDS AND WIVES (1992)

MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993)

ANYTHING ELSE (2003)

CAFE SOCIETY (2016)

IRRATIONAL MAN (2015)

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (2014)

BLUE JASMINE (2013)

TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012)

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (2008)

WHATEVER WORKS (2009)

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (2010)

MIGHTY APHRODITE (1995)

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994)

SWEET AND LOWDOWN (1999)

SMALL TIME CROOKS (2000)

DECONSTRUCTING HARRY

Action, HK Style – Drunken Master (1978)

Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
Starring: Jackie Chan, Simon Yuen Siu Tien, Hwang Jang-Lee, Lam Kau, Linda Lin Ying

Jackie Chan returns as the young and reckless Wong Fei-Hong whose antics upset his dad (Lam Kau) and also his auntie (Linda Lin) who he ends up fighting by accident not knowing who she is.

When Fei Hung gets into one too many fights, his dad decides to send him off for harsh training with Beggar So (Yuen Siu Tien), but the youngster says “bugger this” and runs away trying to avoid it, only to run in him any way when he tries to scam a free meal at a restaurant and ends being beaten up for his trouble. Beggar So pretty much kidnaps him back to his shack and puts him through harsh training. The one time he tries to escape he ends up being beaten up and humiliated by Thunderleg (Hwang Jang-Lee) who doesn’t think he is even worth killing.

After trying to trick his master into not drinking during a fight, Wong Fei Hong finally learns the secret of Drunken Kung Fu and just in time as a rival of his dad’s wants to put out a hit on him and has called in a contract killer.

I understand that this was made not long after Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and it makes sense that they would use the same actors and director. Some people complain about there being too many sequels in Hollywood, they have not seen anything when it comes to Hong Kong. The original Wong Fei-Hong movies made in the 1940s and 1950s numbered in the hundreds even including Wong Fei Hong’s Battle with the Gorilla and Wong Fei-Hong’s Seven Battles with the Fiery Unicorn. They were also dead serious and all played by the same actor. Kids in Hong Kong would have grown up with them so it would have been like someone doing a funny movie about Dr Who or a beloved 80s kid’s show these days.

With the majority of the movie being taken up with the training sequences, they would want to be good training techniques and they do their job quite well. Once we finally get to see the drunken boxing it does not disappoint with the young impulsive Fei-Hong deciding not to practice one stance as it was “for girls” leaving him in a bind when he had to use it.

Lam Kau as Wong Fei-Hong’s dad does look very fearsome and like he could beat up Jackie Chan in real life. Linda Lin as his aunty also puts in a great performance and I wish she had more than just the one fight scene in the movie.

Simon Yuen retains his ability as Beggar So to steal every scene in he is in by just being in the shot. He does not seem to do as much fighting in this one, preferring to leave Jackie’s character to do most of the work.

The movie seems to end rather abruptly, but at least you do get to see the big fight scene at the end where the evil dude gets his comeuppance. Jackie Chan supposedly almost lost an eye filming the final fight scene, not having learnt to stay clear of Hwang Jang-Lee’s kicks after getting his teeth bashed out in the previous film.

Comparing this film to Drunken Master II would be unfair as there is sixteen years between them. While it is recommended you watch this with Snake in Eagle’s Shadow, it stands up just as well on its own and is well worth tracking down if you want to see the early work of Jackie Chan.

Action, HK Style – Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
Starring: Jackie Chan, Simon Yuen Siu Tien, Hwang Jang Lee, Dean Shek, Hsu Hsia, Roy Horan

This movie is almost as old as me so I am not sure if I really need to explain that much about the plot. Jackie Chan plays the dogsbody at a Kung Fu school who keeps being used as a “human punching bag” by Dean Shek while the master is away. One day he sees an old man being beaten up and invites him back for a meal, unknown to him the “beggar” (Simon Yuen Siu Tien) is actually a kung fu master in disguise who is hiding from the psycho master from the Eagle school (Hwang Jang Lee) who is trying to wipe out the other kung fu styles.

I do not know how I managed to miss this one for so long unless I have seen it and forgotten about it before. It was great to be able to see it on the big screen and I did not mind having to watch the dubbed print as it was in 35mm.

Simon Yuen was famous for playing Beggar So and he is just funny to look at and manages to steal a lot of the scenes from Jackie at the start by just being in the scene. He does get some good fight scenes himself though.

This was one of Jackie Chan’s first big hits so he does look very bright and fresh here. People who complain about the current output of this Jackie should go back and see how he got there, I could not imagine working in an industry for almost ten years before you start to get any major recognition. At the start of the 1970s Jackie Chan was doing stunt work and by the end of the decade was a star in his own right.

The fights are well done and seem to have a raw quality to them as well as an almost Australian “she’ll be right” attitude as seen in the visible sticking plaster on Jackie’s arm after he got slashed by the sword in one fight and not even bothering to wipe the blood off when he accidentally got one of his teeth kicked out.

Well worth your time and a good place to start if you are looking into Jackie Chan’s earlier work.

Action, HK Style – All the trailers*

(*) All the trailers I could find in the original language where possible. In some cases there was a clip I liked better than the trailer.

While my personal preference is for the original Shaw Brothers trailers over than the new Celestial Pictures re-release ones, it is a different marketplace so they have a particular style of their own.

A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow 2

A Hero Never Dies

Aces Go Places

Ashes of Time Redux

Breaking News

Bullet in the Head

Challenge of the Masters

City on Fire

Cold War

Come Drink With Me

Dangerous Encounters – 1st Kind

Dirty Ho

Drunken Master

Drunken Master 2

Election

Election 2

Enter the Dragon

Fist of Fury

Full Alert

Full Contact

Whoops, I mean…

God of Gamblers

Golden Swallow

Hard Boiled

Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs 2

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

Ip Man

Ip Man 2

King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace

Kung Fu Hustle

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

Legendary Weapons of China

Long Arm of the Law

Martial Club

My Young Auntie

Once Upon a Time in China

Once Upon a Time in China II

Once Upon a Time in China III

One Nite in Mongkok

One-Armed Swordsman

Pedicab Driver

Police Story

Police Story 3: Supercop

Portland Street Blues

Reign of Assassins

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow

The 14 Amazons

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

The Big Boss

The Blade

The Boxer from Shantung

The Chinese Boxer

The Five Venoms

The Killer

The Magic Blade

The Man from Hong Kong

The Mission

The Prodigal Son

The Sword

The Way of the Dragon

Throw Down

True Story of Wong Fei-hung, Part One

Vengeance!

Wong Fei-hung, King of Lion Dance

Wong Fei-Hung’s Battle with the Gorilla

Wu Xia

Young and Dangerous

Thanks to the following people for the the trailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/1980Alain
http://www.youtube.com/user/AussieRoadshow
http://www.youtube.com/user/BestMAFights
http://www.youtube.com/user/bobbybulletbobson
http://www.youtube.com/user/Chinesemovietrailer
http://www.youtube.com/user/chinesemovietrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/ChopSockyCinema
http://www.youtube.com/user/EarlKlingi
http://www.youtube.com/user/econdor7
http://www.youtube.com/user/elguaxo
http://www.youtube.com/user/fortunestarmedia
http://www.youtube.com/user/FrankBolte
http://www.youtube.com/user/GoodKineStuff
http://www.youtube.com/user/Heroicbloodshedfan
http://www.youtube.com/user/indebioscoop
http://www.youtube.com/user/karlmaka1
http://www.youtube.com/user/kungfumovietrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/KungFuTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/kungtriadsociety
http://www.youtube.com/user/MadmanOnline
http://www.youtube.com/user/metalduro88
http://www.youtube.com/user/MovieTrailerGrave
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrKungFuFlix
http://www.youtube.com/user/myasianheroes
http://www.youtube.com/user/n1mr0d85
http://www.youtube.com/user/ObscureTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/Ogizzie
http://www.youtube.com/user/ryy79
http://www.youtube.com/user/shiftinTV
http://www.youtube.com/user/spannick
http://www.youtube.com/user/VarianceFilms
http://www.youtube.com/user/VintageFilmTrailers
http://www.youtube.com/user/whanginsik
http://www.youtube.com/user/WorleyClarence
http://www.youtube.com/user/yabbbaaa
http://www.youtube.com/user/yusochau
http://www.youtube.com/user/zhukaiww

Hong Kong cinema season at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) 2013

Action, Hong Kong Style
6 September – 8 November 2013
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/cinematheque/current/action_hong_kong_style

While the website does have all the films listed, they are not listed by date, which is important to those wanting to come up for a weekend and who need to pick between all the movies.

I have done my best to sort through the movies and list them by date, best to check with the official site before making any plans based on these dates.

Friday 6th September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China
Once Upon a Time in China 2

Saturday 7th September 2013 (election night!)
True Story of Wong Fei-hung, Part One
Wong Fei-hung, King of Lion Dance
Drunken Master
Drunken Master 2

Sunday 8th September 2013
Challenge of the Masters
Martial Club

Wednesday 11th September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China III

Friday 13th September 2013
Come Drink With Me
Golden Swallow

Saturday 14th September 2013
One-Armed Swordsman
Vengeance!
The Boxer from Shantung
The Five Venoms

Wednesday 18th September 2013
The 14 Amazons

Friday 20th September 2013
The Big Boss
Fist of Fury

Saturday 21st September 2013
Once Upon a Time in China
Once Upon a Time in China 2
The Way of the Dragon
Enter the Dragon

Sunday 22nd September 2013
One-Armed Swordsman
Legendary Weapons of China

Friday 27th September 2013
The Five Venoms
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Saturday 28th September 2013 (AFL Grand Final Day)
The Chinese Boxer
The Man from Hong Kong (screening during the AFL Grand Final, might be a bit empty)
Last Hurrah for Chivalry
Ashes of Time Redux

Sunday 29th September 2013
The Blade
The Sword

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan
The Magic Blade

Friday 4th October 2013
A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow 2

Saturday 5th October 2013
The Big Boss
Fist of Fury
Bullet in the Head
Hard Boiled

Sunday 6th October 2013 (NRL Grand Final Day)
Vengeance!
The Killer

Wednesday 9th October 2013
A Better Tomorrow
The Killer

Friday 11th October 2013
A Hero Never Dies
The Mission

Saturday 12th October 2013
Bullet in the Head
Hard Boiled
Election
Election 2

Sunday 13th October 2013
Throw Down
Breaking News

Wednesday 16th October 2013
The Way of the Dragon
Enter the Dragon

Friday 18th October 2013
Drunken Master
Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow

Saturday 19th October 2013
Aces Go Places
Pedicab Driver
God of Gamblers
Kung Fu Hustle

Sunday 20th October 2013
Dirty Ho
My Young Auntie

Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Election
Election 2

Friday 25th October 2013
City on Fire
Full Contact

Saturday 26th October 2013
Police Story
Police Story 3: Supercop
Dangerous Encounters – 1st Kind
Long Arm of the Law

Sunday 27th October 2013
Full Alert
Cold War

Wednesday 30th October
Young and Dangerous
Portland Street Blues

Friday 1st November 2013
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs 2

Saturday 2nd November 2013
The Prodigal Son
One Nite in Mongkok
Ip Man
Ip Man 2

Sunday 3rd November 2013
King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace
Wong Fei-Hung’s Battle with the Gorilla

Wednesday 6th November 2013
Infernal Affairs
One Nite in Mongkok

Friday 8th November 2013
Reign of Assassins
Wu Xia

What does this mean to me? September already a wash-out unless I go up for the weekend of the Federal Election.

October a better option with the weekend of the 4 – 6th, 18 – 20th and 25th – 27th available. I already have a ticket to the Handsome Family on the 12th in Melbourne. Watching the four movies listed on 12th October is highly recommended. Be aware that if you recently have had an ear infection, Election 2 can cause physical pain to your body.

November looks good for the Melbourne Cup Weekend, but a lot of people are already going away that weekend.

I am well aware of how much it will cost to fly up to Brisbane for the weekend, but these movies are not going to screen again in this format in Australia.

East Side Story (1997)

Director: Dana Ranga

Tagline: Tractor! The Musical!

I had heard rumours and seen some clips of Eastern European communist musicals before, but I never knew that someone had made a documentary about them until my research on tractors turned up this title.

Through as series of clips of the movies, interviews with the people involved in their production, audiences and recreations of party review committees, this documentary attempts to tell the story of a forgotten era of cinema from behind the Iron Curtain.

I have to say after watching this that some of these films look like the best movies ever. It is very frustrating to find out after my own further research that the amount of these movies that are actually available today can be counted on the fingers of one hand. (When I first watched this documentary back in 2005, a lot less of these movies were available.)

It is a bit sad that these films were never considered as ‘art’ when they were released, as it means that many of them were just forgotten after the fall of communism. The people involved had a hard enough time making them in the first place and they deserve recognition for their achievements.

I also liked the funny anecdotes from this movie, such as Stalin liking to laugh it up with funny movies and having a fantasy for ‘boys photographing tractors’. The views of the audience members interviewed were also great to hear as you don’t normally hear their opinions in this sort of documentary.

This documentary comes very highly recommended and I am planning on buying a copy on DVD (along with the movie ‘Hot Summer’) as soon as I am able to so I can watch it again for the great musical clips.

Rating: 9/10

Buy the documentary on VHS (DVD too expensive)
http://www.amazon.com/East-Side-Story-Margarita-Andrushkovich/dp/6304829825/

Full movie now on Youtube!


DEFA Film Library – Cinema of East Germany
http://www.umass.edu/defa/

Hot Summer clips


No Cheating, Darling! clips

Full list of films in the documentary and availability:

Title Non-english Title Country Year IMDB entry DVD Youtube Clip
Adventure in Marienstadt Przygoda na Mariensztacie Poland 1954 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047373/ http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=cWjNsB06voo
The Antique Coin Antike Münze, Die Bulgaria/GDR 1966 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058911/
AT 6PM at the End of the War В 6 часов вечера в конце войны USSR 1944 http://vobzor.com/page.php?id=1394 http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=qm1e_m23Gks
The Bright Path Светлый путь USSR 1940 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0215582/ http://www.russiandvd.com/
store/product.asp?sku=47932
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=1WofR0OB9K4
Carnival Night Карнавальная ночь USSR 1957 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049397/ http://www.amazon.com/
The-Carnival-Night-Karnavalnaya-Noch/dp/B0002K1SBI
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=6t7SGhEofgY
Cossacks of the Kuban River Казаки Кубани USSR 1946 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041562/ http://www.ozon.ru/
context/detail/id/702225/?item=4700979
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=OiCA3Qy2CiA
Ernst Thalmann, Class Leader Ernst Thälmann – Führer seiner Klasse GDR 1962 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048038/ http://www.amazon.de/
Ernst-Th%C3%A4lmann-seiner-Klasse-F%C3%BChrer/
dp/B00006FMFM
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=uajsrOjQdSA
A Handful of Notes Handvoll Noten, Eine GDR 1962 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0230272/
Hard Work, Happy Holiday GDR 1950
Hot Summer Heißer Sommer GDR 1968 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061756/ https://defafilmlibrary.com/
product/sku/112
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=jzH3uG9Qqbk
I Don’t Want to Marry Nu vreau sa ma însor Romania 1961 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0125960/ http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=tWC89FmmD3M
The Jolly Fellows Веселые ребята USSR 1934 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025946/ http://www.russiandvd.com/
store/product.asp?sku=49641
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=WoCTDCdnZIA
The Lovable White Mouse Geliebte weiße Maus GDR 1964 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058134/ http://www.amazon.de/Geliebte-wei%C3%9Fe-Maus-Der-Reserveheld/dp/B0000AMK3R http://www.veoh.com/watch/
v19196513dJrJrEHa?h1=+
Geliebte+Weisse+Maus
Midnight Revue Revue um Mitternacht GDR 1962 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056411/ http://www.amazon.de/Revue-um-Mitternacht-Christel-Bodenstein/dp/B0012OVDZE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEeUzf6eq8M
My Wife Wants to Sing Meine Frau macht Musik GDR 1958 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051919/ http://www.amazon.de/
dp/B000EFTF4I
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=tgeMNetbs8Y
New Year’s Punch Silvesterpunsch GDR 1960 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175168/ http://www.amazon.de/Silvesterpunsch-VHS-Erich-Franz/dp/B00004RXZ3/
No Cheating Darling Nicht schummeln, Liebling GDR 1973 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068999/ http://www.amazon.de/
Nicht-schummeln-Liebling-Chris-Doerk/
dp/B000MGTVFM/
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=HRfsz7neM0s
The Swineherd and the Shepherd Свинарка и пастух USSR 1941 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034249/ http://www.ozon.ru/
context/detail/id/701897/?item=2973372
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=HxJbbvvxpz4
Tractor Drivers Трактористы USSR 1939 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032050/ http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/701881/?item=2396079 http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=XVscT8bysKg
Vacation on the Black Sea Vacanta la mare Romania 1963 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175289/ http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=sPfGAIIlfrY
Volga, Volga Волга – Волга USSR 1938 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030947/ http://www.ozon.ru/
context/detail/id/505792/?item=3576828
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=lYjzfUflFyU
The Wayward Wife Lots Weib Czechoslovakia/GDR 1965 http://www.umass.edu/defa/
films/lotsweib.shtml
Woman on the Rails Dáma na kolejích Czechoslovakia 1968 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060279/ http://www.csfd.cz/
film/8014-dama-na-kolejich/
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=jRQpy35lpI0