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Walkabout

Movie Information

In Brief: Cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Nicolas Roeg's first solo film, Walkabout — the story of a pair of orphaned children lost in the Australian outback with only a young Aborigine on "walkabout" to aid them — holds up remarkably well more than 40 years later. It's a strange, quasi-mystical film that tantalizes the viewer with suggestion more than outright statement and wisely refuses to reveal all its mysteries.
Score:

Genre: Drama
Director: Nicolas Roeg (Don't Look Now)
Starring: Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg, David Gulpill, John Meillon, Robert McDarra
Rated: PG

From my original review: “Prior to Walkabout (1971), Nicolas Roeg had co-directed (with Donald Cammell) only one film, the astonishing Performance, so a good deal was riding on the cinematographer-turned-filmmaker’s second outing. Could Roeg pull off a solo film? Indeed he could — and in so doing he established himself as a filmmaker with a unique, if not always completely penetrable, vision. Roeg presents a solitary aesthetic in his refusal (possibly his inability) to create works that concern themselves with traditional notions of dramatic clarity. He suggests much, but rarely explains the real meaning behind the suggestion. Nowhere is this more evident than in Walkabout where we’re given a story predicated on a father taking his children (Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg) on a wilderness picnic — where he proceeds to try to shoot them before setting his car on fire and committing suicide. There are intimations from the onset that things are not as they should be, but that’s all — and the setup seems mostly designed to get us to the basic story of the children wandering through the Australian outback in the most disturbing manner possible. The bulk of the film then deals with their survival with the aid of a young Aborigine (David Gulpill) on his “walkabout” (the Aborigine survivalist rite of passage to manhood) and the clash between the two cultures.”

Full review: http://avl.mx/sl

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Walkabout Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District, upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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