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Short List of Aussie and Kiwi Flix

  • Mar 11, 2010
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Next time you're hard up for something to watch you might want to check these out some of my favorite flix from Australia and new Zealand.  Granted, some of them are a bit on the old side, some of them have that strange sense of weirdness they're noted for downunder, but all of them are worth a watch.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Based on the true story of a group of girls from a women's college who go on a Valentine's Day picnic. Three of them and their teacher mysteriously disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. Their bodies were never found either. Very effective telling of an event that was never explained.
The Dish
An entertaining, highly fictionalized version of the problems encountered when an isolated Australian observatory has to pick up the televised feed of the Apollo 11 moon walk.
Strictly Ballroom
Australian film making at it's wackiest. Who ever would have thought that the world of competitive ballroom dancing was the scene of so much hilarious intrigue?
Romper Stomper
Russell Crowe stars as a neo-nazi skinhead in a film based on a real life story about conflict between the skinheads and Vietnamese immigrants in Melbourne.
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Another one based on a true story. This one's about little girls (half white, half Aboriginal) who escape from the "school" in which they have been placed and try to return home--all the while being tracked by those who wanted them back where they belonged. Aboriginal children were separated from their parents in an effort to help them "better" themselves and become servants for the whites.
The Last Wave
Richard Chamberlain in an unusual story of Aboriginal mythos. Highly recommended.
Moulin Rouge
If you haven't seen Baz Luhrmann's film about Bohemians in Paris ( and of course, Love) you really should. It's not as wild and wacky as STRICTLY BALLROOM was but it shares the same inventive spirit.
Coming of age romantic comedy about a boy at a boarding school who falls in love with a girl in a boarding school across the lake. The problem is she's African--actually they have lots of problems. since this is a commentary on Australian hangups in general. Nicole Kidman in a supporting role.
Dead Alive (Unrated) (Sp) (1993)
Before there was LORD OF THE RINGS there was DEAD ALIVE! Every film fan who thinks Peter Jackson is all about fairies, elves, and hobbits should check out his early work like BAD TASTE, MEET THE FEEBLES, and this one!
See the full review, "The Goriest Zombie Comedy Ever Made?".
Whale Rider
The story of a young Maori girl who, through a quirk of fate, finds herself in the position of being the only person available to lead her people upon her grandfather's future death. The Maouri however, are a patrilineal people and she must prove herself worthy.
Ten Canoes
Hoping to teach him a lesson, a tribal elder tells his younger brother an intricate ancestral story about a warrior's sibling battle for his bride's affection.

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March 15, 2010
I absolutely love this list. If I were to move outside of the U.S., New Zealand would be top on my places to live list. I really liked "Rabbit-Proof Fence". I've always been fascinated by the fact that people continued to practice Eugenics up until the '70s in Australia. It's awful!
March 15, 2010
They planned on breeding them out of existence alright. Got to give the Brits credit, as John Oliver says Americans are amatuers at this sort of stuff. I think I'd love New Zealand too. it looks beautiful and the weather seems to be near perfect for me.
March 15, 2010
The only problem with New Zealand is that ever since "The Lord of the Rings" about every other movie seems to be shot there and that would mean a ton of obnoxious tourists.
March 16, 2010
I think most of them are still shot in Canada.
March 16, 2010
Yeah, the other standby country for cheap American film execs. It's funny how often films get made by Americans in countries that America makes fun of all the time.
March 16, 2010
It's cheap and it's conveniently located.
March 16, 2010
True, but you don't see all that many films being made in Mexico by American directors. I think it has more to do with political views and the environment. Canada and New Zealand have such diverse ecosystems and you can literally travel for ten minutes and go from being in a desert to a lush forest in NZ.
March 16, 2010
It's also a lot safer in Canada than it is in Mexico, plus everyone speaks English, and there are no hurricanes.
March 16, 2010
On the coast there must be.
March 16, 2010
On the coast there must be.
March 16, 2010
The coast of Canada? I doubt it.
March 16, 2010
We've had them hit the coast of Maine and we're right next to Canada, so I see no reason why it would get close to Canada and then stop... unless someone put up a sign that said "No Hurricanes Allowed!"
March 16, 2010
They're typhoons on the Pacific coast.
April 03, 2010
No. I'll have to see if NetFlix stocks it.
March 13, 2010
i still have to see # 7 and 11. great list, Karen!
March 15, 2010
So you've seen FLIRTING AND TEN CANOES? I'm impresssed. I wouldn't have though FLIRTING was the kind of flick you'd reach for at all.
March 16, 2010
Flirting was one flick I was 'coerced' to see LOL!
March 16, 2010
I was afraid that might be the case! How'd you like it though? It was pretty good for what might be called (ick) a chick flick.
March 16, 2010
it wasn't as icly as I first feared...LOL!
March 16, 2010
Delicately phrased.
March 12, 2010
Great list! I've read "Rabbit Proof Fence" and taught it in a literature class. Never seen a movie. I will have to check it out sometime. :)
March 12, 2010
I saw it a VERY long time ago so it was a little fuzzy in my mind. I need to rewatch it. Actually it's not all that old, is it? Well, a lot of movies under the metaphorical bridge since then.
March 12, 2010
Yeah, I know what you mean! lol.
March 12, 2010
LOTS and LOTS of movies! lol
March 12, 2010
I believe I have only seen two of these (who can forget Young Einstein with Yahoo Serious?)
March 12, 2010
Many people have tried to forget Yahoo Serious! I thought he was pretty funny--at least in this flick. What was the other one? MOULIN ROUGE  or WHALE RIDER?
April 09, 2010
Moulin Rouge. I like dit.
April 09, 2010
STRICTLY BALLROOM is also by the same writer/director. You might like it too, although it's in a less serious vein.
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karen ()
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I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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