Saturday, February 04, 2012

Not Quite Hollywood

 This was the second doc from director Mark Hartley that delivers to a lot of us an inside look into the world of Australian cinema during the late 60's to 80's. Packed with boobs, pubes, tubes and a little kung fu as the tag line states and it ain't kidding.

Wonderfully crafted between gathering hundreds of clips from these gems that in some cases never saw American theaters and with interviews ranging from George Miller, John Seale and Steve Bisley to name a very few this is an unabashed good romp. With my notepad beside me I scribbled down title after title and am looking forward to discovering some of these flicks for the first time.

Tarantino of course is peppered throughout flapping his gums, but thankfully Hartley uses him well. And even though the genre is a Tarantino "love fest". His comments playing along side the clips shown dare I say validate his points to the untrained eye.

What I like about Hartley's docs is the unabashed interviews where people don't toe any line on what they feel is politically correct to say about one another's work. You have film critics blatantly wishing certain producers and directors would go away forever to the filmmakers themselves lashing back at these very critics as well as actors who make off the cuff comments about working on certain pictures.

One segment they dive into is the Dennis Hopper film MAD DOG MORGAN where Hartley is able to interweave bits of an interview he did with Hopper before his passing. Though his recent interview is not incredibly insightful it does add to the lore of his behavior in that particular movie and subsequently what we have heard over the years with his reckless behavior.

Much like MACHETE MAIDENS and AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE the filmmakers accumulate shots of posters from that time period which always fascinated me as a kid because as you can see from the tiny collection I gathered here. These movies look like the most badass pieces of cinema. I feel Hollywood much like the car industry has moved towards creating benign adverts to an increasingly mediocre product. Where as in the grindhouse era for example you have these amazing works of art to represent a movie whether it's content was good or bad you always remember the poster. For me one example was ROAD GAMES, the Stacey Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis movie which I've never saw, but if asked I could easily recall the poster art from when I was a kid wandering through the shelves of my local video store.

NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD is a perfect slice of a time in film history when it looked like it was a hellova lot of fun to make movies.