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Mushroom Pictures and Pariah Productions have announced that critically acclaimed and multi award-winning Australian cinema classic Chopper will have a strictly limited re-release in theatres across the country from August 26 to celebrate the iconic film’s 20th anniversary.
Never available on streaming services, this will be the first time the film has been available to view for many years – at more than 150 cinemas across Australia, digitally remastered. The screenings will also include bonus footage.
Produced by Pariah’s Michele Bennett with Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Pictures, Chopper is a bona fide Australian classic and a one-of-a-kind cinema experience. And it’s the film that turned Eric Bana into an international superstar.
The movie’s unforgettable dialogue has become part of Aussie folklore and popular culture, with its devastatingly funny one-liners continuing the movie’s enduring legacy 20 years on.
Chopper tells the story of the late Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, real-life convict, bestselling author and self-proclaimed “national icon”. “I’m just a bloody normal bloke,” he says in the movie. “A normal bloke who likes a bit of torture!”
Written and directed by Andrew Dominik, in his feature directorial debut, Chopper stars Eric Bana as the title character – he was recommended for the role by Chopper himself – and co-stars Vince Colosimo, Simon Lyndon, Kate Beahan and David Field.
The story is frightening, savagely funny and twisted. The son of a devoutly religious mother and one-time soldier with a fondness for sleeping alongside a loaded gun, Chopper dreams of making a name for himself as a legendary crime figure. He begins his journey as a wisecracking criminal failure inside a maximum-security prison but manages to twist his violent life into a story that fascinates and polarises both press and public. The film is an insight into what life was like in Pentridge’s infamous H-division in the ’70s and the Melbourne underworld in the ’80s.
Chopper was universally recognised for its outstanding performances and nominated for 9 AFI Awards, winning Best Director for Andrew Dominik, Best Actor for Eric Bana and Best Supporting Actor for Simon Lyndon. The film also won 4 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, 2 Inside Film Awards, Best Actor Award for Eric Bana from 2000’s Stockholm Film Festival and took out 2001’s Grand Prix Award at France’s Cognac Festival du Film Policier as well as winning their Critics Award.
Chopper was a number one smash hit at the Aussie box office, becoming the highest grossing R18+ film in Australian history at the time.
Chopper wasn’t a big fan of critics – “Beethoven had his critics too,” he says in the movie. “See if you can name three of them.” But Chopper was critically acclaimed.
This anniversary re-release of Chopper puts a big story and a big personality back on the big screen, where it belongs.
In cinemas for a strictly limited time across Australia from August 26.