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The Weekly Watch: Outstanding Oz

There’s no doubt that there exists plenty of gems within the Australian entertainment industry today. It’s a vibrant and electric scene, and one that has attracted countless crowds over the decades. Yet as we reminisce on both Richmond’s triumphant win on Saturday at the AFL Grand Final and The Royal Melbourne Show’s completion for the 171st  year, let’s now dive into how the nation has expressed excellence within the film and television areas specifically. Whilst the pieces covered this week have been particularly chosen from the noughties onwards, don’t forget to check out distinguished treasures from before the 21st century…because there is an abundance of them.

 Choice 1: Samson and Delilah (2009)

Image credit: Screen Australia

Image credit: Screen Australia

With victories at Cannes as well as numerous film festivals around the nation, Samson and Delilah stands out as a narrative to remember over the past decade of Australian filmmaking. From heartbreak to heart-warmth, the journey which we travel with these two teenagers is simply mesmerising.

One of the largest successes of the film arrives through its investigation into the individual components which drive a love story. From familial conflict to changing emotions to the presence of travel, there is a significant amount of content to explore as an audience. The spark which gradually forms between the two individuals acts as the backbone to the story, remaining eloquently subtle throughout the events on screen.

Throughout this film experience, there will be moments to tear-up and moments to laugh, moments to hold your breath, and then moments to exhale. Put simply, Samson and Delilah is an incredibly powerful story. Let’s not take powerful storytelling for granted. 

Samson and Delilah is available to watch on DVD.

Choice 2: Tidelands (2018-)

If this guy doesn’t get us more readers, I don’t know what will. Image credit: Netflix

If this guy doesn’t get us more readers, I don’t know what will.
Image credit: Netflix

As the first Australian Netflix original series, there was a lot riding on the release of Tidelands. Yet with an eerily stimulating plot, the cool and calm coastal backdrop to set the scene tied in with the lingering mystery of what human life lies within the ocean, what could go wrong? 

It’s an interesting journey through this eight-episode series and the cryptic yet compelling town of Orphelin Bay - mixing together the notions of mystery, romance and thriller proves to be a frequently enjoyable ride. But what stands out most for this particular narrative is its representation of the ocean - this being something attractive yet frightening, reliant yet untrustworthy.

For years, Australian cinema has made an effort to have the landscape a part of the action and a character in the unfolding story. Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mad Max are popular titles known to follow this notion. For Tidelands, where the waves pulsate rhythm into the drama whilst the sea mist breathes life into each scene, it is simply no different. 

Tidelands is available to stream on Netflix.

Choice 3: Lion (2016)

Image credit: Screen Australia

Image credit: Screen Australia

Delving into the realm of true stories and biography, Lion emerges as a piece of entertainment to remind us of the power of our past, expressed through gripping and poignant storytelling. 

It’s always an emotional experience to watch a film which relays someone’s past, present or future reality. And as we voyage through the story of Lion, navigating between the vibrant locations of India and Australia along the way, we as an audience are continually accompanied by the underlying question of: What is the next truth to be told?

Lion represents a film that will not be forgotten soon. Nor will its ending scene which, by incorporating a montage of real-life footage, brought tears to the audience’s eyes (including mine). Give it a watch this weekend, it’s truly a special one.

Lion is available to watch on DVD.

Choice 4: Kath and Kim (2002-2007)

Image credit: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Image credit: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

It’s bold. It’s peculiar. It’s smart.
It’s nice. It’s different. It’s unusual.
It’s Kath and Kim

Arriving on our television screens at the beginning of the 21stcentury, Kath and Kim proved to its audiences that positively cringeworthy storytelling was in fact still alive and could continue to be a huge success. With suburbia as the backdrop and five distinct personalities to drive the storyline, there are no limits in the series straying to the absurd – Velcro wedding shoes, (supposedly) eggplant coloured walls, continually tangling love-hate relationships and our favourite shopkeepers Prue and Trude provide some of the best moments.

Whilst individual episodes are short and sharp, there’s plenty to absorb through the four seasons of the brilliant series. Today, it is still labelled as one of the most popular Australian entertainment pieces to arrive on the scene.

All series of Kath and Kim are available to watch on DVD plus stream on Netflix.

Do you have an idea of a concept to be explored? OR an entertainment piece to be discussed? Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Stay tuned for Week 5 of The Weekly Watch, arriving very soon…

Until then, enjoy the weekend and happy watching!

Swanston GazetteComment