wake in fright

"bring your own money- anyone's girl."



i came across this movie recently while browsing over at aro video. it was originally released in 1971 and is the story of a young teacher who while passing through a small outback town ends up through a series of circumstances, getting stuck there. what ensues is a sort of lost weekend experienced through a lens of drunken debaucherous encounters with the locals.

the film was just digitally remastered last year and was subsequently made available on dvd for the first time. based on a novel by australian writer kenneth cook, wake in fright sits somewhere at the intersection of the rabbit hole and a deliverance style reality check doled out by the local yahoos. mainly though it is a very strange and close up look at a town somewhat frozen in time and content to remain exactly where it is. the saturated colors, blazing sun, and assorted characters combine to create a landscape that is formed as much by the actual place, as by the odd people who inhabit it and the moment in which the films takes place- yabba circa 1970.

credited by several contemporary ozzy directors as setting off a new wave of australian filmmaking, this is definately worth checking out.


stills from wake in fright, directed by ted kotcheff, 1971