The Proposition and Fences in Australian Film

A couple of weeks ago I stayed with a friend of inestimable hospitality (@MGElliott) in the picturesque spa town (City, apparently) of Bath. He asked if I minded watching The Proposition, a film I reviewed on here some time ago.  We sat down alongside Matt’s equally generous girlfriend Kim (@nanosounds) to settle into the sweat soaked Australian outback, peopled with all manner of parched violent degenerates and desperate ex-pats (how little has changed).  It was whilst watching that I was struck by the use of fencing in the film (shut up), and the way I’d seen fences and land demarcation used in other Australian cinema before. You see, land and land ownership is a terrifically important and evocative subject in Australian life, it is in danger of becoming the very thing that defines them as a people. If you fancy finding out why then have a read up on the Mabo case and you might want to understand what ‘terra nullius’ means too. Continue reading “The Proposition and Fences in Australian Film”

March 15th: An offer you can’t refuse.

71. The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005)

Nick Cave is the brain behind this nasty, sweaty, brutal Australian film. It is in essence a ‘Western’ – the film would work with very little changes if set in America. And I loved it. Outback lawman Captain Stanley makes captured Charlie Burns an offer, kill his psychopathic elder brother Arthur and he and his younger brother Mike will be pardoned. He has 9 days to achieve this. It’s hot, dusty and dingy. The violence is swift and brutal. Nick Cave’s haunting soundtrack whispers and snarls over the whole affair and those actors look like they are really suffering. It’s a cracking intense affair which I’d recommend to anyone.