EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|WE OF THE NEVER NEVER (director: Igor Auzins; screenwriters: based on the book by Mrs. Aeneas Gunn/Peter Schreck; cinematographer: Gary Hansen; editor: Clifford Hayes; music: Peter Best; cast: Angela Punch McGregor (Jeannie), Arthur Dignam (Aeneas Gunn), Tony Barry (Mac), Tommy Lewis (Jackeroo), Lewis Fitz-Gerald (Jack), Martin Vaughan (Dan), John Jarratt (Dandy), Ted Morton (Landlord), Donald Blitner (Goggle Eye), Kim Chiu Kok (Sam Lee), Mawuyul Yanthalawuy (Rosie), Brian Granrott (Neaves), Cecil Parkee (Cheon); Runtime: 134; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Greg Tepper; Infinity Arthouse Video; 1982-Australia)|
|"Overlong and dullish outdated
pioneering movie about life on an isolated
Australian outback cattle station (large
ranch) in the early 1900s."
by Dennis Schwartz
Auzins ("The Gold and the Glory") directs this
overlong and dullish outdated pioneering movie about
life on an isolated Australian outback cattle station
(large ranch) in the early 1900s. Though marvelously
photographed on location in the Never Never wilderness
Northern Territory and telling a
classic Aussie story, under Auzin's inexperienced
direction and the limited screenplay by Peter Schreck,
the film is too predictable as melodramatic formula,
too lacking in dramatic punch to hold much interest,
with not too many events that are memorable (watching
the bride fall in the water was one of the
highlights), with too many dreary dying scenes and too
many vignettes that drag on without any purpose.
based on the memoir of Mrs. Aeneas Gunn, the
first white woman to reside in the outback. Filled
with Victorian-age cliches, the long slog on primitive
turf is almost unbearable. The film is all about
depicting the marriage of the 30-year-old
genteel Jeannie (Angela
Punch McGregor) from Melbourne to the
macho shy outback adventurer Aeneas Gunn (Arthur
Dignam), the new boss of
the 4,000-acre cattle
station, and showing how the bride must overcome
hubby's old-fashioned stodgy sexist and racist
attitudes and the three white stockmen's sexism and
racism directed at the nomadic Aborigines, and how
the spunky bride relates in a nice but patronizing
way to the natives who work for her around the house
and receive slave wages.
The film cops out and lets the viewer make of the misogynistic cowhands and Jeannie's patronizing attitude with the natives, whatever they care to. It's a pic about facing challenges, and for me the biggest challenge was not to over-react with sheer contempt at such an action-less colonialism film.
REVIEWED ON 1/11/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ