Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is...
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Explores adultery and jealous fantasies, the end of innocence, the moral and spiritual conflicts of a priest and a nun in love. The stories define the exploration of women and the cultural upheaval of the early 70s.
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »
The movie Dons Party is about a wild house party in a suburban Australian neighbourhood. Don Henderson convinces his wife to have another party so that their friends can gather to watch the... See full summary »
In 1962, a prepubescent boy in rural Australia watches painfully as his best friend and first love, an older girl, blossoms into womanhood and falls for a thuggish rugby player, setting off... See full summary »
In a village in the Southwest of France, 1962. Maite and Francois are 18 years old. They are friends, not lovers. In Francois's classroom, there are Serge, whose brother has just married to... See full summary »
At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »
Filmed in the Clare Valley, Gladstone and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, this prison movie was inspired by the true life prison riot at Bathurst Jail in 1974 and its subsequent Royal Commission into New South Wales Prisons.
Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is also the story of the Brothers and how they cope with the demands of their faith. Written by
In Brother Francine's impassioned speech Arthur Dignam read a line "The body won't be denied" with the wrong emphasis. Dignam repeated the line immediately with the correct emphasis: "The body WON'T be denied." Editor Brian Kavanagh thought the repetition "worked" and left both lines in, and it remained in the final cut. See more »
There's one piece of inspired casting: Tom Kenneally (who looks like a jolly monk) as the visiting priest who looks like a jolly monk. Kenneally isn't an actor. (He's an Australian writer, best known overseas as the author of "Schindler's Ark", retitled "Schindler's List" in the US.) In fact, a non-actor suits the part well: like Kenneally, the priest arrives at the school performing his priest act competently but without polish. Like Kenneally, his native charm shines through, even when he's giving an appalling speech about Hell. You find yourself wondering: is he REALLY serious? And you have no way of telling.
That's all that's truly inspired about Schepisi's film. The story takes place at some kind of young-priests-to-be training college, only for a long time it looks as though there is no story at all: instead we get slice after slice of life, and it's a while before we can tell all the characters apart and work out which ones we're meant to be following. Telling a story in this way requires razor precision; every single scene must be inherently interesting AND perfectly crafted. No scene (with one possible exception) is. On the other hand, no scene really falls down, either. This is the kind of reasonably absorbing movie (after the initial boring bits) that's well worth the time it takes to watch - i.e., an hour and a half. (And it's even worth the time spent thinking about afterwards.) There's a difference between satisfaction and pleasure; a film like this is satisfying, and ... well, not UNpleasant. If only the title didn't promise something BIG.
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