12 April 2006


Movie buff though I am but I don't normally review movies here, yet will make an exception to my usual custom. Last night I went to a preview and Q & A session of Kokoda , a new Australian film about the WW2 fighting in New Guinea between the Japanese and Australian forces.

For more background information see here.

IMO the movie is a very good production (the visuals and sound are excellent) and very compelling viewing.

Alister Grierson, the director, who spoke at the Q & A after the movie (when the MC eventually let go of the microphone) said some interesting things, eg that Peter Weir was a major influence upon him. OK, there are obvious similarities to Gallipoli but the confined spaces of the rainforest made me think more of Terrence Malick's Thin Red Line, which was also filmed in Australia (though in North Qld as opposed to Mount Tamborine).

Other influences I noticed were WW2 newsreels and photos, esp Damien Parer's Kokoda Front Line!
the 1942 doco which was the first Aust movie to win an Academy Award, and in the surrealistic opening scene a nod in the direction of The Passion of the Christ. Is this an oblique acknowledgement of Mel Gibson's role in portraying Australian archetypes (as in Gallipoli)?

Grierson also said that the movie was aimed at the pre-boomers. Unfortunately IMO it doesn't provide sufficient background detail for younger Australians to relate to it. This point was picked up in a recent 7.30 Report item.

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