This month’s Australian Revelations, presented by Revelation Perth International Film Festival, celebrates the late, great John Clark in the classic piece of Australian cinema.
Sam Neill and Zoe Carides stars alongside Clark in this story where the road to love is never smooth and where a strange trip down cemetery lane gives us one of Australia’s most memorable film sequences. Romance, crime and dry comedy abound in as Director John Ruane also sharply mixes more than a pinch of social commentary around multi-culturalism in Australia.
Neill plays Carl a one-step-away alcoholic, loser and cook – that is until he meets Sophie (Carides) a barmaid in the shady joint in which he works. The two find a serious spark but family and friends have other ideas. After an untimely death of a kitchen hand things rapidly spiral well out of control for all as the star-crossed lovers need to deal with family expectations and an unexpected all-out gang war. Along the way Carl is notably assisted by Dave (Clark) in a turn described by The Guardian as “a scene-stealing sidekick powered by a boisterously entertaining performance”
Always enormous fun to watch for the first time or revisit for the second or third it’s a film that rarely makes its way to the big screen but always maintains a notable place in Australian cinema now and in the period.
Death in Brunswick is screening at The Backlot Perth in Monday, 29 May. Tickets and details here.
Six things you may have never known about Death in Brunswick:
• Death in Brunswick was nominated for five Australian Film Institute Awards, but lost out on all fronts to Proof.
• The making of Death in Brunswick was described as a ‘family affair’ with its two leads friends since uni, its cinematographer and director film school buddies, and its writer and cinematographer first cousins.
• The film’s makeup artist was Sam Neill’s wife, Noriko Watanabe.
• Sam Neill appears in every scene of the film bar two.
• Carl’s (Sam Neill) house was built on a sound stage and was made out of paper and cardboard to save money.
• Neill’s improvised humming of the Split Enz song I Got You cost the production $2000 in royalties to the band.