Jamie is a young man growing up in the small Australian town of Bundaberg during the early 1940's. Jamie loves his tranquil life, surrounded by the friendly locals, and being brought up by ...
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Jamie is a young man growing up in the small Australian town of Bundaberg during the early 1940's. Jamie loves his tranquil life, surrounded by the friendly locals, and being brought up by his warm caring grandmother. But when a local preacher goes nutty, all hell breaks loose for the community, and Jamie leaves Bundaberg for the city. Written by
First film as a full producer for Australian actor Michael Pate. Pate had been an associate producer on Age of Consent (1969). Pate's second and final film as a producer would be Tim (1979). See more »
The color patch worn by the Light Horse trooper (who assists the Professor in the early scene) is back-to-front. The leading edge of the patch should show the Brigade color (white for the 1st Light Horse Brigade), while the battalion color (green in this instance) should be to the rear. See more »
Well let's get one thing straight - it's the end of World War One not Two when the film is set (look at the cars, planes, sets etc). Anyway it's an interesting and charming film well worth a look as it meanders through the town and the characters of the time. From a film makers point of view though it's a bit frustrating - there's lots of shots where the focus is too shallow and some of the characters and action are out of focus or too soft - partly through the depth of field not being allowed for correctly, and also partly because of the lense not being that sharp to begin with I think. The DVD release also leaves a bit to be desired. The panning and scanning is pretty bad and it's impossible to get an idea of the framing and real feel for the film when 2.35:1 is cut down to 1.33:1 The transfer really should have had some colour correction work done on it too - there are quite a few scenes where the colours fade in and out a little bit. Not enough to ruin it, but enough to be a little bit distracting. There's also a few scratches that could have been improved or removed digitally.
For me the depth of characterisation in the script and then the acting wasn't enough to make it feel like a real piece. But enough of the criticisms it's an enjoyable and charming film that is worth a look if you want a relaxed pace in a film. The cinematography will definitely be worth a look if a proper widescreen release is made, and the film can be given it's due credit.
Helpmann's speech in the rally is interesting - imploring everyone to embrace their country - a speech clearly intended for the film's audience in the 1970's, not the rally audience in the film. If you look at the film in the context of Australian culture at the time, you can see why they were so interested in history - the 70's and early 80's was the tail end of British Australia - and all of these films were analysing that history from the point of view of it being part of their own culture. By the late 80's and early 90's multiculturalism, globalisation, Americanisation and political correctness all set in and history now is largely avoided or viewed through detached revisionist eyes. Not that that's necessarily bad - just that the culture that fueled the film industry here in the 70's is different to the one fuelling it now - each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and to consider the Mango Tree's position in that is interesting too.
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