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Monday, May 20, 2013

Walkabout (1971) d. Nicolas Roeg

The Australian desert is a lead character in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971)

Movie Review
Walkabout (1971)
 d. Nicolas Roeg
Criterion Collection #10

  The more Criterion Collection films I watch the more I realize that my interest lies just as much with the Criterion Collection itself as the individual films in the collection.  I'm interested in the order of release, why they chose the films they released as well as the business side of the Criterion Collection.  At the same time, though having all these Criterion Collection titles available via streaming on Hulu plus is almost like a relief, particularly since I only need to invest a couple hours in a film (vs. 2-20 hours on a book depending on the length.)

Jenny Agutter plays the unnamed "girl" in Walkabout by Nicolas Roeg.

  Walkabout is a stunning outing by director/cinematographer Nicolas Roeg (Australia), produced by the guy who made Clockwork Orange.  It tells the story of a teenage girl and her kid brother, who are abandoned in the outback when there Father commits suicide on a after school outing.  After they are abandoned, they come across an Aborigine who is actually on a real Walkabout- an Aboriginal coming of age ritual that involves the young Aborigine roughing it in the desert for six months.
Lucien John plays the unnamed "boy"- the younger brother of the girl in Walkabout (1971) by Nicolas Roeg
      The source material is a short story that is a kind of Australian analogue to Swiss Family Robinson.  In the original story, they are the sole survivors of a plane crash, here Roeg chose the suicide of the father as the catalyst, making the film a good deal darker then the book in the very first act.  The desert functions as an additional character- and a striking one at that- Roeg intersperses the story of the two children with beautiful shots of the sky and desert wild life.  It makes Walkabout an unforgettable journey, and a journey I would highly recommend, especially if you are wasting your life binge watching network television on Netflix.

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