L Storm (2018)

Director: David Lam

Starring: Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Kevin Cheng, Stephy Tang, Toby Chan

When the suspect of a bribery case and the main person of interest in a money laundering case manage to give the ICAC investigators the slip, William Luk (Louis Koo) and JFIU Chief Inspector Lau Po-keung (Julian Cheung)  are at a loss what to do next.

Unknown to them a new boss moves in to take over the money laundering game and does away with his competition. He also sets events in motion that will get the ICAC internal investigation unit L looking into Luk’s affairs so he can’t pursue the case any longer.

When the bribery suspect’s girlfriend is killed he decides to turn star witness and meet up with Luk. At the rendezvous they are attacked and Luk’s partner is hospitalised and the bribery suspect runs away (we never see him again).

The rest of the movie follows Luk being chased by the ICAC and arrested by the JFIU to keep him out of harm’s way. After being detained for 48 hours he decides to go it alone and follows the suspects in the money laundering case to a ship, where he ends up being captured by the gang.

The race is on to capture the gang and the client before they can launder $10 billion and get away with it and to clear Luk’s name. Will they do it in time?

This movie was screening up against Mile 22 and I didn’t know which one to go see, but this one was recommended to me so I thought I would give it a shot. I had not seen the previous movies in the series and it did not seem like I was missing anything.

There is a lot of action and chase scenes with Luk jumping across rooftops and car chases with suspects being tailed and Luk trying to get away from people when he is wanted.

The performances are all fine with no one seeming to overdo it.

There are a few fight scenes with the bad guys fighting Luk on occasion with the fight on the boat being pretty good two against one.

Louis Koo’s hair is indestructible as it even survives getting electrocuted and his suit is always immaculate.

A good police drama with some action mixed in and worth seeing.

MIFF 2018: The Spy Gone North (2018)

Director: Jong-bin Yoon

Starring: Jung-min Hwang, Sung-min Lee, Jin-Woong Cho, Ji-Hoon Ju

Based on the real case of the Black Venus spy from the 1990s we follow said spy as he infiltrates the North Korean inner circle in search of information about the North’s nuclear weapons program.

After a somewhat confusing opening of a North Korean spy being arrested we see the spy telling of how he covered his identity after leaving the army by drinking and gambling and ruining his credit rating. His new identity is as a businessman working in Beijing looking for North Korean products to sell. He is warned by his superior that if he is captured or exposed that the government will deny all knowledge.

Due to it being based on real life and less James Bond style theatrics there is a lot of dialog and meetings in this movie. There are the classic spy movie tropes of bugs and tails but the main character knows enough to act accordingly when he goes to North Korea and ends up drugged and interrogated when they take a blood sample.

Great performances all round including from the actor playing Kim Jong Il. His little dog got a lot of laughs from the audience for some reason.

The scenery for North Korea was good but the movie was shot in Taiwan for obvious reasons.

There are political machinations involved when the secret service agency tries to change the election outcome by asking for the North’s help, something which the spy does not agree to and decides to act on his own initiative to change things.

If you like more thoughtful spy dramas and less action then I would recommend this movie.

MIFF 2018: Milan Caliber 9 (1972)

Director: Fernando Di Leo           

Starring: Gastone Moschin, Barbara Bouchet, Mario Adorf, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Ivo Garrani, Philippe Leroy, Lionel Stander

When Ugo (Gastone Moschin) is released from jail the local mob are after him as they think he ripped off $300,000 from them, which he denies. Nobody believes him, not his friend or his ex-lover and he has a bad time of it at first with Rocco and his heavies roughing him up.

He goes to see his friend for help and they end and up in a fight with Rocco. As it turns out the head of the mob the Mikado wants Ugo to work for him. The gang deals in moving large amounts of currency for rich clients and one such job ends in a bomb going off in the railway station.

Ugo’s loyalty is tested when the gang wants him to rub out his friend, leading to an endgame with his friend set on dealing with the mob once and for all.

This movie is 70s to the max with a great soundtrack, excellent characters and costumes and some over the top sets like the apartment of the dancer.

For some reason I am thirsty for J&B whisky as they do about five different product placements for it as it is Ugo’s preferred drink.

The scene with the dancer (Ugo’s girlfriend) is great with a lot of strange angles you would not think they would use for such a scene.

Rocco is pretty stylish with his pencil thin moustache, curly hair and suits. He is a bit dumb but does respect Ugo at least.

In the police station one of the police makes a speech about socialism but it was hard to make out as half the words were not subtitled. “Americano” kept being said in the dialog but was not subtitled.

After the film there was a talk by Malcolm Angelucci from the University of Melbourne who said the bombing was based on a real terrorist attack around the same era and Milan was the centre of the student protests of the late 1960s.

This film is available online or there is a new release by Arrow Films which I would recommend as it has a load of special features.

MIFF 2018: Outrage Coda (2017)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Starring: Beat Takeshi, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tatsuo Nadaka, Hakuryû, Ikuji Nakamura, Sansei Shiomi, Yutaka Matsushige, Kanji Tsuda, Ren Osugi

Otomo (Beat Takeshi) is a former Yakuza retired in South Korea who works as a fixer for Mr Cheng’s gang. When a visiting Yakuza roughs up some working ladies Otomo pays him a visit and demands reparations, instead one of Cheng’s men ends up dead. One of the top Yakuza tries to settle the situation but their money is refused.

Complicating matters is the Yakuza politics as the chairman decides to bump off his right hand man to clear things up. Things don’t go according to plan and Otomo ends up going over to Japan to settle some scores.

This film is the third of a triology but you don’t really need to have seen the other two movies to follow the story. There are a lot of characters introduced in a short time and a lot of dialog in the Yakuza meeting scenes. It is also a sausagefest with a lot of macho on display.

For a Yakuza movie there is hardly any violence at all for the first hour or so, when Otomo finally goes into action it kicks it up a gear with the body count in one scene matching entire movies.

Otomo is not really around for the first part of the movie and there are a lot of scenes with the Yakuza where they are just talking.

There were some laughs from the movie with a few of the situations being a bit absurd.

Beat Takeshi was great in this and is a real force of nature once his character gets more screen time.

It is a shame there won’t be any more in this series as Otomo is a great character but he goes out on his own terms.

MIFF 2018: Animation Shorts Program

The Lost Sound

Director: Steffie Yee

Based on a poem this short had a unique style of animation using modelling clay cut into slices and hand drawn animation.

The story concerns old sounds no longer being heard in new forms of language and the visuals are also abstract.

An interesting short with a unique visual style.

Lost & Found

Directors: Andrew Goldsmith & Bradley Slabe

Two soft toys are best of friends. When one gets into trouble at the fountain the other runs off in a desperate struggle to save it only to get itself snagged on a nail and start unravelling.

I enjoyed the animation in this and the fox and dinosaur toys were cute. The setting was a Japanese house as there was a paper screen and a bamboo water feature that the fox fell into.

A fun film with some enjoyable scenes.

[O]

Directors: Mario Radev & Chiara Sgatti

In this strange world various creatures go about their business and the cycle repeats.

The animation style and creature design reminded me of Terry Gilliam’s work

Was a weird looking film and a bit hard to work out what was going on but I did enjoy it.

Perfect Town

Director: Anais Voirol

In a strange looking town the residents are ejected from their residence whenever they do something too weird. Still other people come in to replace them via the narrow stairs leading into the town.

I enjoyed the animation in this and the character design was very weird and wonderful. There were some funny jokes like the dude sucking his own dick.

The director was a guest of the festival and said the soundtrack was made up of toys and the voices from Google translate.

Mr Deer

Director: Mojtaba Mousavi

Set on the underground, animals dressed as people go about their business. A deer gets onto the train with other animals and various things happen. There is a fight between the animals after a snake sleazes on the lady deer and spits venom at the male deer. Meanwhile an earthquake occurs and the deer exits the train to see who he can save.

A very interesting short with stop motion animation and the animal designs are great. The monkey and the gorilla were good as were the other animals.

Agua Viva

Director: Alexa Lim Haas

A woman from China talks about her life in the beauty salon as the world unfolds around her.

Very nice watercolour painted animation style and some interesting scenes.

Down Escalation

Director: Shunsaku Hayashi

In a strange world a figure in the ruins stands up and is taken by a giant hand, only to be rejected and pushed into the ground.

A strange abstract animation style and negative images with interesting character design. Not really much story to speak of but fun to watch.

Bless You!

Director: Paulina Ziolowska

In a street full of people a sneezing epidemic breaks out with absurd consequences.

I enjoyed the painted animation style in this with some great character designs and effects when the people sneezed. It reminded me of all the old communist animations from the 1970s and 80s.

Obon

Directors: Andre Hormann & Anna Samo

An old woman in Japan talks about her life. A story about her working in the bank ends up being a retelling of the destruction of Hirsoshima during World War II.

I enjoyed the painted watercolour animation in this very Japanese looking in the traditional style. During the scenes of destruction it was very harrowing.

The Subject

Director: Patrick Bouchard

A figure on a mortuary slab is cut into and begins to sprout weird contraptions. The person dissecting then pulls an anvil from the body.

An interesting live action stop motion animation style with interesting mechanical creations for the contraptions that come from the body and I liked that the flesh turned to clay once it was cut. An interesting short with an ambiguous outcome.

Mermaids and Rhinos

Director: Vikoria Traub

A man runs to the sea shore, during the course of the story we find his daughter and mother are living in a hostel and his wife has left him. The family used to be performers in the circus but the mother fell in love with another performer and left them.

This short has a great hand drawn animation style with some interesting character designs. I don’t know why the people keep turning into rhinos but it has something to do with the description at the start about them being “sensitive creatures”.

Inanimate

Director: Lucia Bulgheroni

A woman becomes self-aware that she is in an animation and tries to break free of the world. In the background we see the blur of the animators and the scene pulls back to reveal other scenes being worked on under time lapse.

A great stop motion animated short with good looking characters and sets. Great concept for an animation too and I would like to see more of this director’s work.

MIFF 2018: I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2018)

Director: Jessica Leski

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSQBPzGL8EI

NB: I was one of the Kickstarter backers for this project

I had been looking forward to this ever since I put money into the crowdfunding project and I wasn’t disappointed with it with a lot of laughs and some tears from the participants.

We follow the story of four different women and how their obsession with boybands shape their life.

As the producer said there were male fans interviewed but they decided to go with a limited amount of people so the story could be told better.

Two of the people in the documentary were also at the screening and one of them even taught a boyband dance move to the audience.

The youngest participant is now studying pre-med and is doing fine according to the director.

A lot of the footage and other content in the documentary was provided by the participants such as the Backstreet Boys cruise footage.

As a backer of the project I can say I am happy to have put money into it and hope it goes on to do well on DVD and inspires other young people to follow their dreams and not be ashamed for liking things no other person they know seems to like such as boybands.

23rd September, 2020

Writer’s note: Originally written in 2005 as a fun exercise and not a prediction at all.

[ WarFamine | Disease | Terrorism | Science and Technology |  Entertainment | Transport | Space ]

War

You would have thought that we’d had enough of these in the first few years of this century. George Bush Junior wanted to have his war with his war with Iraq and he got it, in the aftermath many countries borders changed and it led to the greatest mass migration since World War II.

The Australian government gave up on the Pacific Solution after unrest in the smaller countries of the South Pacific over being used as dumping grounds for unwanted arrivals.

Everyone remembers the old refugee camps in the Australian desert, but thankfully after a change in government the majority of new arrivals were settled in the community. You will have no trouble finding a good Middle Eastern take away in any decent sized town in Australia.

Famine

This has continued in Africa and also in the Middle East as a result of the Greater Middle Eastern War of 2003-2008. Eastern Europe also experienced widespread food shortages due to extreme weather conditions beginning with the floods of 2002 and compounded by another massive volcanic eruption in the Philippines that put Mt Pinatubo in the shade for the amount of ash that went into the atmosphere.

Contrary to the rest of the world the situation in Africa has improved compared to the end of the 20th Century. However this is mostly due to the large number of deaths from AIDS and related diseases which have decimated the population. (Some commentators compared its impact to that of the Black Plague in Europe during 1345AD.)

Disease

Despite hopes in the first few years of this century of a cure or vaccine AIDS is still as prevalent as ever.

The deaths in the Third World due to AIDS and related diseases have been horrendous and there has also been a resurgence of infections in more developed countries due to complacency. Of course the treatment for AIDS in the first world has improved to the point that it can be effectively managed by courses of drugs so that people can lead relatively normal lives.

Although there were some scaremongers who though Smallpox would make a reappearance, it has remained safely in containment and various governments looked a bit stupid after stockpiling vaccines for their entire populations. (They thought it better to be safe than sorry.)

Terrorism

This was a major concern in the first few years of this century, but its impact has faded since there have been no major attacks in many years apart from the one that the USA will never let anyone forget. (Some media outlets have now banned ‘that’ footage.)

The September 11th Conspiracy theorists have produced many books, lectures, videos, films, websites and so on which everyone is thoroughly sick of.

The attacks on the forces engaged in the Greater Middle Eastern War were mostly the work of suicide bombers, even though the organizations that were meant to be supporting them were no longer in existence.

Science and Technology

The growth of scientific research especially genetic research has been exponential. Most likely it was accelerated by the dire situations in other areas of the world.

Human cloning was meant to have been banned, but about ten years ago a remote research facility was located in South America with many failed ‘experiments’ who were trying to live as best a life as they could – a modern day Leper colony. Some of the former residents of this research station became quite famous and travelled the world lecturing about taking responsibility for scientific research and the effects it can have on society.

The communications market has exploded with mobile phones turning into portable entertainment and communications centres.

Popular trends in mobiles include built in sound systems, mini movie players and multiplayer games. (There have been a few transporter crashes due to this.)

I remember I used to work in a job where I maintained the a website for a company. People eventually got sick of these and implemented digital secretaries on their home severs to answer customer queries. (I need not explain the DigiSec wars of Microsoft vs. AOL.)

Entertainment

Eventually the major movie studios got sick of people downloading movies from unauthorised sources and put in their own ‘pay per download’ services (which where hacked as soon as they were released – you can’t win.)

Hollywood only releases about half a dozen movies a year now, but they are ultra blockbusters with multi-billion dollar budgets and many concurrent interactive plot-lines.

Some studios have bought entire countries and destroyed them in the process of filming the movie. (The countries are rebuilt with the box office proceeds.)

This has backfired however when an attempt to film Armageddon III ended with the death of several million people when the ‘prop’ asteroid they were using actually hit the Earth when someone missed their cue.

The most popular movie at the moment is the Total Immersion Star Wars Saga which has grossed a record box office and is now in its fourth year of continuous top ten download.

Transport

Although there are still many old cars around many of them are sitting in garages un-driven due to the high cost of registration as part of the environmental regulations.

Running a ‘gas-guzzler’ is viewed as bad as smoking once was, but the people who can afford it don’t care that much as they have the highways to themselves mostly.

The reason cars aren’t so popular anymore was that there ended up being so many of them that the roads were in an almost permanent state of gridlock and it was quicker in the end to walk where you wanted to go.

Personal transports were also the height of fashion for a few years. They were about ¼ the size of a normal car so you could only fit about 1 other passenger apart from the driver. That didn’t stop people playing ‘sardines’ – the record was about 20 I think, at least
that’s what the accident investigators said.

As most of the highways had less cars on them, the trucks got bigger until the Mega Transports got their own roads for safety after one too many caravans was destroyed by a illegal gene modded ‘stay-awake’ driver.

Space

Due to all the problems planet-side, there has been somewhat limited advances in this area. The former International Space Station has been a luxury hotel for quite a few years with discarded rocket housings providing the extra rooms.

The major movie studios have had their space operations licences suspended until they compensate for their damage to the Earth and the Moon caused by some accidents on set (it should only take the profits from two movies.)

Space is still the domain of the rich and powerful due to the high support costs, but a weekend away in the upper atmosphere has become quite affordable in the past few years.

Mineral exploration in space is a major success story with many precious metals being recovered from passing asteroids, leading to a bit of upset on the markets.

Interplanetary mining is very highly paid, but extremely dangerous and a lonely existence.
Some of the first people to mine off-world came from isolated mines in Western
Australia and other Australians are leaders in this field. (One of the first mining colonies in space was called Port Headland.)

Cook up a Storm (2017)

Director: Wip Wai Man

Writer: Liu Yi

Starring: Nicholas Tse, Jung Yong Hwa, Tiffany Tang, Michelle Bai Ge You, Michelle Wai

Accidental comedy masterpiece

My first thoughts were “sacrilege!” borrowing so heavily from God of Cookery and Chicken and Duck Talk but I forgot those movies were also Chinese New Year hits. Maybe I have been burnt out by too many Wong Jing and lame movies but weirdly all the jokes not working made this movie one of the funniest I have seen for quite a while.

It is strange. I am not sure they did it on purpose or it just worked out that way like it does sometimes. It is funny but not for the reasons they were expecting. Just as Good of Cookery predicted many of the food trends around now in the 90s this movie takes all the clichés and supercharges them to turbo levels of stupid.

Also every scene that is trying to be serious is funnier than the actual jokes. Maybe it is due to being friends with a lot of people who work in hospitality and chefs but a lot of the story beats rang true such as them partying hard (throwing bottles of hard liquor at a poster of his dad), not putting up with bullshit, buggering off for a while when they were sick of it, head butting someone, having your partner shack up with your best friend et cetera.

There are characters but that is hardly that important since it is the story that you end up following. Anthony Wong puts on a sterling performance as himself wearing a beanie and leather jacket and crying while eating a bowl of noodles in one scene. His performance is so great it dwarfs the others around it.

As a Chinese New Year movie it is a success but it may be a bit too weird for some people. If you are a fan of Chinese cooking or cooking shows I would recommend it as you would get a lot more out of the jokes.

I still thought Anthony Wong as God of Cookery was bullshit but he did look cool on that giant banner. I would buy one of those if it was available.

I did end up yelling out one of the God of Cookery lines during one scene and “bullshit!” several times. I could not restrain myself due to some things being so stupid.

Clearing out some stuff

Abraxas VHS PAL 1991 release (Ex-Rental)
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=322419860633

SORCERESS VHS PAL THORN EMI RELEASE (Ex-Rental)
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=322419863891

Drunken Master II – Australian Chinatown Video Release VHS (UNCUT)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/-/322417453593?

DIM SUM VHS (PAL)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/-/322417455767?

Macho Man Randy Savage Collector’s Edition (Region 4)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/-/322417465300?

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