Tina Kaufman: Wake in Fright

Kotcheff’s Wake

Jake Wilson

 

Wake in Fright
by Tina Kaufman
Currency Press, $16.95 pb, 72 pp, 9780868198644

 

Eight years after its launch, the Australian Screen Classics series of monographs represents a valuable, ongoing contribution to local film culture – though the notion of a classic, taken too literally, can halt debate at the moment it ought to begin. That said, few could deny that Wake in Fright (1971), directed by the Canadian Ted Kotcheff, has earned its position in the canon: from The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) to Wolf Creek (2005), countless Australian films have echoed its Gothic depiction of an outback settlement as an all-but-literal hell on earth.

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Published in March 2011 no. 329
Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson is a freelance writer who lives in Melbourne and reviews films regularly for The Age. Formerly the Melbourne correspondent for Urban Cinefile and a co-editor of Senses of Cinema, he has contributed to a range of print and online publications, including Kill Your Darlings, RealTime, Bright Lights Film Journal, and Meanjin. Some of his film writings are archived on his personal website.

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