Saturday, June 16, 2007
I enjoyed Peter Weir's disturbing and atmospheric masterpiece Picnic at Hanging Rock. It was a troubling and ambiguous film, almost like a collaboration between David Lynch and Merchant Ivory.
The Last Wave is no masterpiece, but I liked it a great deal. This one is more a combination of George Romero's Season of the Witch and Yeelen.
The late Richard Chamberlain plays a corporate barrister named David who takes on pro bono work in defense of a group of Aborigines charged with the murder of one of their own. The crime makes little sense because the victim drowned in about a cup of fresh water. As he works on the case, David's dreams become strangely prophetic. Meanwhile, a series of Biblical plagues--hail, clear sky thunderstorms, falling frogs and petroleum drizzle--plague Sydney. David finds himself battling an Aboriginal sorcerer in a contest the result of which could immanetize the escaton. But which side is David fighting for? Do his labors aid those who wish to prevent apocalypse, or those who wish it to succeed?
Strange to note that this film popped into the Amazon recommendation software just as I began reading about shamanism and myth again after a long hiatus.