Set in the Melbourne countryside and led by an all female cast spanning three generations, Stan Original Film Relic tells the story of Edna (Robyn Nevin, The Matrix Franchise), an elderly and widowed matriarch who goes missing, and her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer, The Newsroom) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote, Stan Original Series Bloom) who must travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.
Premiering to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, Japanese-Australian director Natalie Erika James’ debut feature serves as a deeply haunting metaphor for the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and is produced by Jake Gyllenhaal (Spiderman: Far From Home) and executive produced by the Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame).
Stan Original Film Relic is now streaming – only on Stan.
The Australian film industry has always had an interesting relationship with the genre of television. Over the years we’ve produced some pretty decent sci-fi programs – shows like ‘Farscape’ and ‘Spellbinder’ immediately spring to mind, but for some reason the people providing the money for the industry seem to shy away from the genre, instead looking to push more dour dramas onto the audience. Well now comes a sci-fi show that will hopefully change all of that – Cleverman. Mark my words this show is guaranteed to become a cult classic… it’s just that damn good.
Cleverman is set in the future, a time when Sydney is living under the threat of ‘hairies’ – a so called ‘subhuman’ species who are currently being considered a threat. People react different to the ‘hairies’, Governmental departments led by the likes of Geoff Matthews (Andrew McFarlane – ‘The Flying Doctors’) and McIntyre (Marcus Graham – ‘Mulholland Drive’) see them as a threat that needs to be contained and eventually eradicated. Business-men like Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen – ‘Game Of Thrones’) see them as a way of making a mountain money, while small-time operators like Koen West (Hunter Page-Lochard – ‘Spear’) and his best mate, Blair Finch (Ryan Corr – ‘The Water Diviner’) also see them as a cash cow. Then there are people like Waruu West (Rob Collins – ‘The Wrong Girl’) who are sworn to protect them as they see the treatment of the ‘hairies’ as the same way their Aboriginal ancestors were treated.
It is hard to put into words just how good ‘Cleverman’ really is. This sci-fi goes a lot further than most other shows in the genre and gets so political at times it makes you see Australian history in a whole different light. The screenwriters of this show have taken the wrongs of Australia’s past and condensed into such a format that anybody can see just how wrong the Government have handled things such as the stolen generation and Aboriginal deaths in Police custody over the years. Like the feature film, ‘Red Billabong’, ‘Cleverman’ also explores Aboriginal culture and mythology… two things I’ve probably learnt more about watching this television show then I ever did in my year at high school.
The political side of things pushed to the background this show also works because of the relationships between each of the characters. The growth surrounding the character of Koen has to be seen to be believed and the resulting conflict that these changes cause with his half-brother Waruu ignite the second half of this season. The real test comes when the audience sits in suspense as you wait to see which brother is going to make the right decisions in the season finale.
The hard edged nature of this show also lifts the program high above most other shows airing on television at the moment. Yes there are moments of violence as hairies and humans clash but is things such as a character knowing impregnating his wife with a hairy for scientific research and a hairy being forced into a sick form of prostitution that really makes this program stand out from the pack.
The edgy nature of the program also brings out the best in its cast. Aussie favourites like Tasma Walton (‘Blue Heelers’) and Deborah Mailman (‘The Secret Life Of Us’) are standouts in their strong roles but the stand out here is Iain Glen who dominates the acting stakes as he plays the mysterious Slade whose intentions are often questionable. Credit must also be paid to Hunter Page-Lochard and Rob Collins who both announce themselves as actors to watch in the future with strong performances that make this show a must see.
While firmly planted in the sci-fi genre ‘Cleverman’ is a show that takes a deep look at Aboriginal history and social issues while also providing enough believable drama between its characters to make you want to watch each week. The fact that Season One builds up to a crescendo that looks set to explode in Season Two means this is a show that you have to watch if you haven’t already done so.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Entertainment Cleverman Season 1 reviews: Nil.
Summary: Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 25th February 2016
Australian DVD/Blu-Ray/On Demand Release Date: 15th August, 2016
Country: USA, Australia
Director: Alex Proyas
Screenwriter: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Cast: Rachael Blake (Isis), Emma Booth (Nephthys), Chadwick Boseman (Thoth), Bryan Brown (Osiris), Gerard Butler (Set), Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus), Yaya Deng (Astarte), Courtney Eaton (Zaya), Alexander England (Mnevis), Lindsay Farris (Older Bek (voice)), Goran D. Kleut (Anubis), Abbey Lee (Anat), Robyn Nevin (Sharifa), Kenneth Ransom (Sphinx), Geoffrey Rush (Ra), Rufus Sewell (Urshu), Brenton Thwaites (Bek), Elodie Yung (Hathor)
Runtime: 126 mins
OUR GODS OF EGYPT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Sometimes when a film comes out and meets negative press you have to wonder whether some of the critics were watching the same film you just did. While ‘Gods Of Egypt’ isn’t exactly an Oscar winning film it is a fun sci-fi film that really does show the creative mind of Alex Proyas (The Crow). If you’re a fan of films like The Scorpion King then you’re really going to want to give this one a look.
Set in ancient Egyptian mythology ‘Gods Of Egypt’ shows what happens after the throne is stolen from Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – ‘Game Of Thrones’) by Set (Gerald Butler – ‘300’) whose plains will bring about the destruction of humanity. With Horus’ power gone he goes into hiding, but some like the innocent Zaya (Courtney Eaton – Mad Max: Fury Road) believe he can still save humanity. After her death the love of her life, Bek (Brenton Thwaites – Maleficent), goes in search of Horus in a bid to try and save the world.
Storywise ‘Gods Of Egypt’ works just like the sci-fi films that many of us grew up watching, films like ‘Never Ending Story.’ While it might just be a little too violent for kids, this is the kind of film that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike as it is nowhere near as violent as a film like ‘300.’ The creativity is there throughout the film and Proyas is a gifted enough director to work with his screenwriters, Matt Sazama (‘Dracula Untold’) and Burk Sharpless (‘The Last Witch Hunter’), to create a film that not only creates suspense and action but also has a storyline that will allow the audience to actually care what happens to the characters at hand.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at this film is that the CGI and special effects don’t look as good as they should but it is very obvious that what Proyas wanted with this film was for it to look and feel like a graphic novel or comic. It is impossible to fathom that a man who brought us a films like ‘The Crow’ and ‘Dark City’ would ever deliver a film that didn’t look the way he wanted it to – especially when he had the effects team who put together ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ working with him as well.
Perhaps one of the most fun parts of watching ‘Gods Of Egypt’ for an Australian audience is playing a simple game called ‘spot the Aussie.’ Aside from Brenton Thwaites in the lead role other Australian actors including Geoffrey Rush (‘Shine’) and Bryan Brown (‘Two Hands’) pop in roles and it is great to see them getting international expose like this. As far as the acting of the leads go Brenton Thwaites again shows that he has more than enough skill to be a leading man in an action film like this while audience members also get to see everybody’s favourite Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, flex his acting muscle and get to play the hero for once. Also announcing herself as a future star is Courtney Eaton, the young, inexperienced, Western Australian showing experience above her years and not being overwhelmed by appearing in a blockbuster like this.
The best way to approach ‘Gods Of Egypt’ is to just look at like you’re going to watch a fun movie. This is the kind of film that is going to be loved by anybody that has any interest in mythology while some of the epic battle scenes will do more than enough to keep the action junkies very happy. Don’t get put off by the negative press and make sure you check out ‘Gods Of Egypt’.
Summary: Seventeen talented Australian directors from diverse artistic disciplines each create a chapter of the hauntingly beautiful novel by multi award-winning author Tim Winton. The linking and overlapping stories explore the extraordinary turning points in ordinary people’s lives in a stunning portrait of a small coastal community. As characters face second thoughts and regret, relationships irretrievably alter, resolves are made or broken, and lives change direction forever. This watershed film reinterprets and re-imagines the work for the screen.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Jonathan Auf Der Heide, Tony Ayres, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Shaun Gladwell, Rhys Graham, Justin Kurzel, Yaron Lifschitz, Anthony Lucas, Claire McCarthy, Ian Meadows, Ashlee Page, Stephen Page, Simon Stone, Warwick Thornton, Marieka Walsh, Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham
Screenwriter: Jonathan auf der Heide, Emily Ballou, Circa Contemporary Circus, Jub Clerc, Marcel Dorney, Rhys Graham, Justin Kurzel, Claire McCarthy, Ian Meadows, Justin Monjo, Kris Mrska, Ashlee Page, Warwick Thornton, Andrew Upton, Marieka Walsh, Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham
Cast: Di Adams (Carol Lang), Dougie Baldwin (Vic Lang), Wayne Blair (Max), Cate Blanchett (Gail Lang), Jarli-Russell Blanco (Max), Jakory Blanco (Frank), Harry Borland (Young Peter), Rose Byrne, Dean Daley-Jones (Bob Lang), Casey Douglas (Vic Lang),Mirrah Foulkes (Fay), James Fraser (Lenny), Colin Friels (narrator), Harrison Gilbertson (Vic Lang), Brenna Harding, Finn Ireland (Young Larwood), Paul Ireland (Mr. Larwood), Lee Jankowski (Ash), Eva Lazzaro, Nikita Leigh-Pritchard, Josh McConville (Vic Lang), Kate Mulvaney (Gail Lang), Matt Nable (Max), Robyn Nevin (Carol Lang), Miranda Otto, Joseph Pedley (Vic Lang), Henri Phillips, Myles Pollard (Dan), Susie Porter (Carol Lang), Oscar Redding (Peter), Richard Roxburgh (Vic Lang), Matthew Shanley (Vic Lang), Libby Tanner (Gail Lang), Hugo Weaving (Bob Lang), Finn Woodlock (Ricky), Meyne Wyatt (Frank), Dan Wyllie (Vic Lang)