Samantha Lang

The Australian film industry got going in the 1970s perhaps just a little before the resurgence of Australian publishing and perhaps for that reason there has been less interplay between Australian film and Australian writing than there might have been. Patrick White raged and roared about the prospect of Joseph Losey and Max Von Sydow making a film of Voss, but that was the tormenting hope of a more colonial dispensation. There have been bearable films of modern Australian classics like Stead’s For Love Alone and more or less shocking films of such nearly contemporary classics as Monkey Grip (a real monster despite Noni Hazelhurst and Alice Garner as child star doing their best) and, more recently, Lilian’s Story with Ruth Cracknell badly miscast. Cases like Fred Schepisi’s lean, pungent version of Keneally’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith are rarer than they should be though it is encouraging to hear that Mel Gibson owns the rights to My Brother Jack and intends making a film of it one of these days.

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