Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Picture Show Man

1977, Australia, directed by John Power

A feather-light film by comparison with much of 1970s Australian cinema, this is still a wonderfully enjoyable romp -- exploring a more distant cinematic past to that of Newsfront with some of the same peripatetic spirit but less ambition to social commentary. The great pleasure is seeing John Meillon in a very rare front-and-center role: so memorable as a sidekick or character actor in everything from Wake in Fright to Crocodile Dundee, here he even gets to show off his song and dance skills. Harold Hopkins is well cast as his son, too: sometimes, he's a bit too caffeinated for my taste, but the youthful energy works well on this occasion. Less successful is the return down under of Rod Taylor as Meillon's nemesis: Taylor seems removed from the spirit of the enterprise both in accent and attitude and I'm sure a locally-based actor like Ray Barrett could have done more with the role.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States