Justin Kurzel has never shied away from bold stories. From the beginning he started making waves with his remarkable debut feature, SNOWTOWN. It was adored by critics and the public for its cold and terrifying intensity, and won him an AACTA Award for Best Direction. That is definitely not a bad way to start your career.
Since then his incredible trajectory has lead him to write and direct some of the most memorable independent films of the last decade. From a chapter of THE TURNING, to an adaptation of MACBETH (starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard), and the recently released bushranger film TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG. What can we say? Then man has taste.
We are really excited that Justin has used that impeccable taste to select some of his favourite Madman films for you to enjoy.
Why Justin loves it: Firstly going through the catalogue of Madman makes me appreciate that they really do have the best taste in cinema.
I was already a big fan of Shane Meadows with DEAD MANS SHOES and ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS but this film just hit a spot for me. Shane is a master at colliding brutal worlds with an intimacy, care and kindness very few filmmakers achieve. He is 100 per cent humanity and THIS IS ENGLAND is one of the most distilled and focused character pieces I have ever seen and with some of the best performances put on screen. Shane and his work was a huge influence on SNOWTOWN and he just keeps getting better and better with age. A director with a great sense of who he is and where he comes from.
Why Justin loves it: Saw this one late in my career and thank god for Madman re-releasing it in such an incredible way. The print was nearly lost, stuck in a skip on the other side of the world when editor Anthony Buckley literally picked it out of a bin.
It really is the first truly horrifying film from Australia, which peered into the darkest recesses of our soul. It has never got the true credit it deserves. Martin Scorsese said when he saw it at Cannes “Wake in Fright is a deeply — and I mean deeply — unsettling and disturbing movie”
It really kick-started Australian New Wave cinema and I know has been a huge influence to many contemporary filmmakers.
Also has some of the funniest lines put to screen in Australian cinema: “Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have a taste of dust and sweat, mate? There’s nothing else out here.”
Why Justin loves it: This is just one of the most powerful and honest films about the history of our country and the long journey we still have to go.
I watched it with my kids and it was the greatest history lesson they could have received. It should be played in every school.