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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Australian classic gets the MoC treatment, 6 April 2014
By 
Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
It's no wonder that its such a controversial figure in Australia. It doesn't exactly depict the outback with any lightness of touch, instead opting to place to English teacher lead in a situation of increasingly aggressive hospitality. A situation that leads him down a rabbit hole of beer and hunting, and even though that may not sound too bad its framed in a way that is more in key with a horror film. Especially with the horrifying, unflinching Kangaroo Hunt. Editing and score are the great icons of this. Early on the score is simple and jaunty, but as Grant gets deeper into the Yabba, music gets more and more disjointed and discordant. Echoing his situation. With a career high from Donald Pleasence, this is an uncomfortable, hard to watch and unpleasant film but also one where its impossible to peel your eyes away from the screen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal film, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
If you like 'if' its in the same mold of film - really interesting film and the print and the extras are brilliant.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it - A keeper, 7 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
Wake in Fright was initially released in 1971 and is back with us after a 40 year absence and promises to be one of the more worthy and delightful releases of the year, arriving straight after the Oscars hoopla has been and gone. In its first incarnation, was nominated for a Palme D'Or, had a sub titled long run in a cinema in Paris, then sat undiscovered in an archive for years, and was at one time going to be destroyed. Scorsese is but one of its famous fans and it would appeal to Scorsese's sense of the beautiful and brutal in male chauvinism. It is a film that both compounds the cultural clichés of its native land, rebukes them and not surprisingly was and is controversial in being an honest and true account of the nastier elements of Australian culture - right down to the depiction of an actual kangaroo killing spree, just when 'Skippy' was one of the nation's much treasured exports.
The film is adapted from the book of the same name, a critically acclaimed bestselling novel by Kenneth Cook, with a foreword (and forewarning…), "you may dream of the devil and wake in fright."
Its central protagonist, John Grant (played by Gary Bond who looks like a brown eyed, young Peter O Toole) suffers immeasurably, descending into madness as the menfolk who surround him show him the delights of 'The Yabba.' A wide panning shot of Tiboonda - the one school, arid and heat caked location shows the life for John to escape from, bound for Sydney with a one night stop off at Bundanyabba, where his money is lost on a gambling turn for the worst.
Throughout the film there are flashbacks to a better life, a beautiful girl, a creature given the iconographic stature of a bond femme fatale coming out of the waves of a glorious beach to kiss her man. An image so far, far away from the spiralling madness which is his present and the ever recurring message that the life that is on offer is for a 'good bloke.' The prospect of sex offered to John makes him sick. Little wonder upon the discovery that the woman, Janette, played brilliantly by Sylvia Kay has been with most of the men in the town, the more distasteful aspects of her sexuality welcomed by her soul mate 'Doc' Tydon, a role given over with relish by Donald Pleasence.
This educated man, alone and lost in the world in which he has found himself is gradually taught the ways of the life (the beers in Yabba are called 'West End' offering the promise of a glamorous existence felt elsewhere) and 'Doc' painstakingly offers one empty philosophy after another behind the justification of a nilhistic and nasty life, none of which hold any credence with John's consistent distaste, the fight these two have as drunk buddies though smacks of the wafer thin distance between male bonding and homosexuality. The killings of the Kangaroos is very disturbing and not for the squeamish, but is essential in showing the sheer degradation and impoverishment of spirit abound in Yabba. The director, determined to offer the required realism shot it as real stock footage with a note in the end credits as to the authenticity.
Coming to us in the first quadrant of the year, this delightful gem of a film - a lost classic, deservedly beloved by the great and good in moviedom is most welcome and deserves to be a fair way ahead of Mad Max as iconographic modern Australian Cinema. See first in the cinema, then buy as collectors piece, it's a keeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films about Australia to date..., 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
...and the best I've seen since Walkabout. A genuinely haunting mood piece with deep social leanings and a distinct ugliness no other film can be compared with. Masterfully directed and acted and some of the most effective editing I have ever seen. Top-class cinematography and a beautifully mysterious score. Way ahead of its time.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kangaroo Lovers Avoid, 25 Nov. 2013
A great accidental find for me - I'd never heard of it. Gary Bond is a very English sounding Aussie who wants out of the Outback. Beyond that it'd be giving out too much information to say much more than it is a compelling and very well shot 'wilderness' film which is undeniably brutal, as supposedly civilized (though perhaps rather arrogant) natural city-dweller finds himself trying to get home for Christmas and away from the threat of 'going native'. In fact the threat from the Aussie country lads (and gal) is very well done. However, it doesn't necessarily go all 'Straw Dogs' as you might expect after the first twenty minutes or so. Donald Pleasance heads the grotesques in a subtle, knowing performance of a subtle, knowing man with 'issues'. Gripping stuff.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AUSTRALIAN MASTERPIECE, 31 Oct. 2012
By 
Peter M "cinerama" (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
Truly one of the greatest of all Australian films. Released ( and restored) for the first time and uncut on Bluray and it looks fantastic. A film to see over and again.The bluray has many extras as well.One of the great cinematic films of the century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yabba Dabba Do, 14 Feb. 2015
By 
Arch Stanton (Cornwall, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
A teacher, stuck in an out~backwater school goes to Sydney for the Christmas holidays. At least that's the plan, but unfortunately he stops over in the town of Bundanyabba (A.K.A. The Yabba for short) and never quite makes it. Unfortunately fate plays him a bum note and he ends up spending his time, coerced by the locals, into some sort of existential self discovery into his own heart of darkness, during some regrettable lost weekend.
Will the locals accept him? And if so, can he escape their acceptance, and then accept what he learns about himself along the way..?

This is an absolute cracker it really is, just a joy from start to finish. Yes, at times it's uncomfortable viewing, with unsettling characters, and even more unsettling sequences. But don't be put off by that, because it's overall message (at least for me) is one of discovery, understanding and enlightenment.
Which all makes a film about beer drinking and kangaroo hunting sound very high brow doesn't it? But just watch it and hopefully you'll see what I mean.
The acting is extremely good from all concerned, some of which is delivered by none actors, especially during the gambling sequence, which just makes it all the more impressive for it.
On a final note it maybe worth mentioning that the 'kangaroo hunting' contained may upset some viewers.

The Masters of Cinema Blu Ray looked spot on to me, with several short documentaries as extras and a commentary track.

5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly underrated film. An absolute must see!, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
Cult viewing. An absolute must see!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully shot, great pay off, 15 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
Superbly acted, beautifully shot, great pay off, excellent sound track. Those who found it boring should stick to superhero films.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MoC / Eureka TK - Wake in Fright - BluRay, 1 April 2014
By 
Cookie (Salford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wake in Fright (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1971] (Blu-ray)
Perfect transfer - gorgeous booklet - Terrifying and amazing film!

If you like Loach, Lynch and Leigh - you'll like the 'Yabba!
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