Emerald City [DVD]
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A couple move to Sydney from a small town, and soon become lured by the bright lights of the big city. Colin, the scriptwriter husband, is corrupted by his editor and then falls for his wife, whilst Colin's wife Kate begins to lose sight of her ideals in a new world of hustlers and cynics.
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The material does work better as a play, not because Williamson's own screen adaptation isn't good - apart from one botched infidelity scene it is - but because the film occasionally seems in danger of becoming the very thing it's satirising too (Chris Neal's catchy upbeat score certainly tends to steer the film more to feelgood comedy than lacerating satire) and often the performances are dialled up to 11, not least of them John Hargreaves' thinly disguised impersonation of the playwright. The autobiographical moments aren't hard to spot: the scene from 'Heroes of the Dardanelles' that a chauffeur describes is actually the finale of Williamson's screenplay for Gallipoli. Yet it manages to get the balance right more often than not and avoids falling into too much in-jokiness, keeping the dilemma recognisably human and universal. It's the kind of story that could just as easily be transposed from Oz to the UK, South Africa, Eire, Canada and any other English-speaking territory desperate to get in with the big boys, but it has certainly proved remarkably prescient about the future of Australian film industry, where being used as a cheap backlot for Hollywood pictures has become more important than telling their own stories and where everyone sells out when big success seems possible, even if it means turning a novel about Aboriginals into a film about blacks in Tennessee. Naturally it never got a presale to the US...
The film was released as a barebones cheap DVD in the UK, but it's worth looking out for the two-disc Australian special edition that boasts a fine transfer and a trio of pertinent documentaries on the film and its author.
and action is virtually non-existent.There are some funny moments and the viewer gets to see a young and relatively unknown (in 1990) Nicole Kidman
acting in a movie from her home country.
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IT WILL NOT WORK ON MY DVD PLAYER
I LIKE TO HAVE A ONE THAT I CAN USE ON A USA DVD PLAYER AND SEND THIS ONE THAT IS NOT USA DVD PLAY BACK TO YOU.