Sunday, June 20, 2010

Animal Kingdom and the loss of a great arthouse cinema

Tonight I saw Animal Kingdom at the Academy Twin cinema in Darlinghurst which is closing down in a week. This cinema has been showing arthouse films for more than 30 years and I love it there! Why is it closing?  The problem seems to be the current owners (greek orthodox church) won't renew the lease because they don't want to fork out for the significant upgrades needed. Boo. This could be your last chance to go to the Academy Twin before it's gone for good. Make sure you get there this week!

The movie I saw there tonight was amazing. Animal Kingdom is an Australian tale of underworld crims versus shady cops but it is so much better then the string of film and TV in this genre recently. I agree with everything Mal had to say about the film - it is easily my favourite Aussie film of recent times. Jackie Weaver is incredible as the underworld matriarch and despite her marshmallow exterior she shows herself to be a true cruella before too long. I thought it was written and directed like a Shakespearean tragedy. POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: Josh was at the heart of this tale and seemingly in constant fear of what he was getting involved with. Yet, one by one the crims met their demise and the poor 'defenseless' Josh ends up the King. I thought the actor that played Josh did an amazing job of portraying a troubled teen and the scene when he hits rock bottom and finally cracks was incredible. I loved the way it unraveled at the end and in hindsight I can see that it was all planned out. However, after discussing the film with my partner, in particular the ending, we disagreed about what we thought was going on. Don't want to spoil it for anyone but I thought he knew he wanted to do that from the time he said he wanted to help (if you know what I mean). Because he knew he'd never be safe otherwise. Make sure you go and see this film. It gets 5 stars from me.

Seeing this reminded me of other gutsy Aussie films I've enjoyed such as The Boys, Lantana, Two Hands, Romulus My Father, Japanese Story, Romper Stomper, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Year my Voice Broke, Angel Baby, Bad Boy Bubby, Proof and Candy.
Some still on my list to see are: Beneath Hill 60, Wake in Fright, Suburban Mayhem, Samson and Delilah, The Black Balloon and Amy.
One to look out for: Wasted on the Young - premiered at the recent Sydney Film Festival. Anyone get to see it?

1 comment:

  1. Hope to see Animal Kingdom this weekend. Sad, crazy news about the Academy Twin. I used to go there when I lived in Surry Hills, Clovelly (my good ol' Sydney days...)Kate