Article – Australian Survivor has a Huge Representation Problem

TL;DR – They should have done better, and we know they could have.

 

Australian Survivor banner. Image Credit: Channel Nine.

 

Article

Last night the first episode of the new season of Australian Survivor aired down here and there is a lot we need to talk about it. Indeed, there are some really fascinating things, like how a lot of the framing of the show is clearly tapping into the female gaze, the fact that someone acting like a complete ass actually got them booted off the show by the contestants, the Champions v Contender dichotomy that just exists to force more c-list celebrities onto our screens, or how they continue the Australian tradition of taking a format that works in an hour and pad it out to fill in as much runtime as possible. However, the area that we will be focusing on today is the representation and the complete failure of the show on multiple fronts.

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Movie Review – Occupation

TL;DR Occupation is an Aussie take on the Alien Invasion genre, with a fantastic setup and ending, though it does meander a bit in the middle.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Occupation. Image Credit: Pinnacle Films/Sparkefilms

 

Review

For those who have read my work before you would likely know that I am a big fan of the Science Fiction genre, and one of the types of media that falls under that banner is Alien Invasions. They can be on the small scale like Predator, or on the large scale like Independence Day and X-Com, or that one time with Battleship where it was weirdly mid-scale, that was an odd film. However, the basic premise of all these films is that one day everything is normal, you are going about your day without a care in the world and then everything changes. I really enjoy the Alien Invasion sub-genre, indeed I count Independence Day as one of my favourite films of all time, however, a lot of the recent films have been well disappointing, sorry Independence Day Resurgence (see review). Well, today I take a look at a film that is taking the genre in the right direction with an Aussie twist.

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TV Review – Mystery Road: Season One

TL;DR Mystery Road is a mystery ‘who done it’ where every reveal has weight and you have to watch every episode just to see what happened next.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

Mystery Road

 

Review

Australian TV is kind of going through a period of uncertainty, how does it adapt to a changing global marketplace where streaming services are the new norm, or to governments that do not feel like supporting the arts is a good thing any more. Indeed, when you look at the list of currently running drama series in Australia it is almost anaemic compared to even ten years ago. Within this world, it is an unfortunate reality that you have to make each chance count, and with today’s Mystery Road we have a show that does just that. Now before we move onto the review proper just a couple of points. Firstly, this is based off a series of films created by Ivan Sen that I have unfortunately not seen, however, if you are like me in this regard, don’t worry because anything you do need to know about them is told in the show so you are not missing out. As well as this, we will be looking at the series as a whole so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead, but we will leave discussions about the final episode to a paragraph all to itself so you can skip that if you don’t want to find out the conclusion.

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Movie Review – Cargo

TL;DR – A beautiful, haunting, and often brutal look at what we do for those we love.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no end-credit scene

Cargo

 

Review

There was a time not that long ago where zombies were this interesting subset of the horror genre. Now in a world where every second video game has them as an enemy and we have seen nearly every possible permutation of it on the big and small screen, it honestly feels like we have become saturated with the living dead. Now frankly, this is a great pity because out there in the world of media there are still very powerful works of art being made that deals with these issues, like The Last of Us and Train to Busan. Well, today we are looking at a film that is joining these lofty heights with Cargo.

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Movie Review – Breath

TL;DR – This is a film exploring the beauty of the Australian coast, the trying to find your place in the world, and the damage manipulation can do.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

 

Breath

 

Review

When you are growing up there is always those moments that define your life, the first time you do something, the friends that you ride with, and the experiences you find yourself in. However, it is also a time of great fear, what sort of person will you be, what is your future outlook going to be, and how are you going to be remembered. It is an almost universal rite of passage, but it can also lead to devastating outcomes if it all falls apart. Today we look at one of these stories set as the 1970s come to an end in the quiet coast of Western Australia. It is also a film that spends most of its time out in the open deep ocean, so there is like one of my big fears up there on the screen.

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Movie Review – Gurrumul

TL;DR – This might be one of the most important cultural touchstones of Australian cinema that I have ever seen, a beautifully honest look at the intersections that exist in Australia, and a powerful call to action.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – Watch all the credits

Warning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be advised that the following review contains depictions, images and voices of people who have died.
Gurrumul

Review

I truly did not know what to expect when I walked into the cinemas today. I had heard of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu but I honestly to my own shame while I had heard of some of his more famous songs, and the work he did in the opening song for Cleverman, it is clear that this has barely scratched the surface of his body of work. What I was not expecting was that I was about to have one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever experienced watching a work of cinema. I think I spent most of the film with tears rolling down my face. So today we will look at what I feel is one of the best cinematic touchstones to encapsulate Australia, its past, present, and future.

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Movie Review – Sweet Country

TL;DR – Sweet Country is a film I think more people need to see because it confronts our nation’s past and helps contextualise the grief of a people.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Sweet Country

Review
There are some films that are so perfectly timed with their release that they capture a moment in time. We saw that last year with Wonder Woman (see review) and we are likely to see it in a months’ time with Black Panther, and if there was ever a film that Australians needed to watch at the moment it is Sweet Country. It is a film that is both bleak and beautiful, fascinating and demoralising, a difficult film to watch, but also one that everyone needs to see.

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