Like our recent excursion with Clean, Shaven, Jane Campion’s Sweetie takes a fairly realistic look at mental illness in the real world. Though unlike Kerrigan’s film where the world ignores the main character until things get much worse, Sweetie’s protagonist is coddled by her loved ones…until things get much worse. Both are intense in their own ways, but Sweetie, true to its name, is a little easier to swallow. At least until the end.
In his 1977 film The Last Wave Peter Weir sought to show what it would be like if a pragmatic person started to have visions. Of course, a pragmatic person who starts to have visions would ignore them, so the premise is flawed in any attempt to make a film longer than thirty seconds. Instead what Weir makes is the classic tale of a white man trying to find meaning in traditional spiritualism after becoming disillusioned with modernity, unfortunately with all the problems such a premise usually comes with. That is not to say this is a racist or even bad film, but it certainly doesn't handle its story nearly as well as Peter Weir probably thinks it does. And yet, it remains interesting and engaging.
Peter Weir's 1975 adaptation of Joan Lindsay's equivocally "true" novel is a trip, and not just because it's a mystery with no resolution. Sure it's success was based almost entirely on people thinking the story was real, but there's also a reason it won the BAFTA and Saturn awards for it's cinematography. It's a lovely movie, even if the answer to its central mystery remains unsolved and the answer Joan Lindsay came up with involves some sort of magic portal. It's probably best that Weir left that part out.
In 1971 Nicolas Roeg made a rather weird movie called Walkabout. Mostly it seemed like an excuse to ogle his under-aged female lead, but only slightly less than that it was a rather good film. Lost in Criterion discusses it this week and talk about how there are so many butts in it. How many butts, you ask? You want me to say a butt load, but I won't.