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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wake In Fright Blu-Ray Review

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Wake In Fright Blu-Ray Review

Synopsis: Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, WAKE IN FRIGHT is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left... Believed lost for many years, WAKE IN FRIGHT has been painstakingly restored by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form.

Review: Wake in Fright is the thing of legend.  This film was underground in the 1980s and would circulate amongst film buffs in dubbed VHS and weird edits that were not quite right.  The film, sometimes known as Outback, is a dark, desolate and isolated view of Australian cinema that harkens back to the era of Mad Max.  This is one of the most important works I've seen in B foreign cinema and I'm so happy that they were able to discover and restore it to this level of quality.  I was blown away by this one.

The special features on this blu-ray include: Audio commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley, To the ‘Yabba and Back…’ featurette by Not Quite Hollywood Director Mark Hartley, Q&A with Kotcheff at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, ’ABC’s 7:30 Report’ on the rediscovery and restoration of the film, Who Needs Art?: Vintage segment on Wake in Fright, Chips Rafferty obituary, Theatrical trailers and 28-page booklet.

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