Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bran Nue Dae Blazes

Melbourne International Film Festival

The film of Bran Nue Dae premiered to enthusiastic audiences at MIFF 09. Director Rachel Perkins* and a first class Australian cast have brought the musical to life with energy and fun. Rachel has described the process of bringing this much loved stage musical to the screen as frightening and fun. This indigenous Shakespearean-style comedy is all fun.

Young, star-cross'd lovers are separated. Willie is an aborigine at boarding school in Perth in 1969. He dreams of reuniting with his sweetheart Rosie (Jessica Mauboy) who is back in Broome. He is played by Broome schoolboy, the angel-faced Phillip "Rocky" McKenzie. Geoffrey Rush is the wicked Father Benedictus who wants him to follow in his footsteps into the priesthood. He is determined to stop Willie from getting back home. Willie's unlikely saviour is Uncle Tadpole (Ernie Dingo) a drunk, a conman but a charmer.

Along the way we meet two hippies in a combi wagon (Missy Higgins plays Alice with style), Roadhouse Betty (Magda Szubanski) and the raunchy Roxanne (Deborah Mailman, also stylish).

As befits a classic comedy, many complex relationships are revealed at the finale on the famous Cable Beach. In the words of its theme song:
There's nothing I would rather be
Than to be an Aborigine

* Rachel Perkins directed the indigenous musical film One Night The Moon, which has been turned into a stage production opening in Melbourne’s Malthouse soon.

(Official website is under construction)

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