|Index||3 reviews in total|
I find it incredible that over the years, NO-ONE has sought to write a
review of this particular movie, not so much because it offers stunning
cinematography, dialog to stun the senses, or even because of the awards it
never picked up - simply because of who Slim Dusty IS and what he means to
this country...and HELL, I ain't even Australian myself!!
A simple biography of a simple man but one loved and cherished beyond most others on the Continent. A survivor without peer and an entertainer in the truest and most selfless sense of the word. One had only to see Slim Dusty's rendition of WALTZING MATILDA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to feel the patriotism his voice and presence commands.
The film simply charts the gentle balladeer's rise from small town C & W singer (under his birth name of David Gordon Kirkpatrick) to the most famous and beloved of C & W singers Australia has yet produced or is ever likely to. Jon Blake plays the young Slim in the late 40's early 50's and Dusty plays himself later in the film.
I wouldn't rate country and western as my preferred musical taste, in fact I have only seen Slim Dusty once live - at the Sydney Opera House of all venues in the mid seventies, but I have the greatest respect for the man and this film is a fitting epitaph.
It has been voiced the THE SLIM DUSTY MOVIE (not a great choice of titles I have to go along with) is for devotees only. Perhaps so, but hell, there's a lot of them!
The Jim Sharman featured in The Slim Dusty Movie is not the Jim Sharman of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. The latter was the former's son. Jimmy Sharman Sr was a legend in Australia. He took his travelling show and boxing tent around Australia and young blokes all over Australia would try to take on his people. It was a nice touch to include Jim Sr in The Slim Dusty Movie, a film that doesn't just showcase Slim Dusty's travelling shows, but gives an authentic look at country Australia. You will meet singer/songwriter Stan Coaster and cattleman/bush balladeer Lew Williams, late of Bowen, North Queensland, in this interesting road movie. You will meet the Aboriginal people Slim had a special bond with. And if you come from Bowen, Charters Towers and Mount Isa, you will see a lot of people you know in the audiences. I especially like the scene where Ben De Luca of the Summergarden Theatre welcomes Slim to Bowen. Ben was a great friend of Slim's and is a true townsman. You don't have to like Slim's music to appreciate this historic (and historical) record.
Slim Dusty was an institution in Australia (he passed in 2003)- a much loved entertainer without equal and an almanac of Australian folk law. He continuously toured and recorded for over sixty years (all with the same company EMI - a world record in it'self. He received numerous awards and honours during his career... at the end of it all he was granted a State funeral... a truly amazing life.. So- how do you make a ninety minute movie and ever hope to tell it all? Kent Chadwick thought he could achieve it, and, up to a point, he did. Using an around Australia tour with Slim interlaced with flashbacks. Unfortunately the story at times comes across a little fragmented and somewhat contrived. Even the glorious scenery could not save the choppy and, at times, clichéd script.(Some beautiful scenes 'though, particularly those shot in the outback) At the end of it all you tend to feel a bit jaded, as if you only been told some of the truth...which, of course, you have. It would have made more sense to make this film as a two or three hour documentary rather than a miss mash melodrama. Given these ups and downs, you might think I hated this movie... you'd be wrong to perceive that.... I loved this great entertainer just as much as any true blue Aussie... and any footage of this man in concert is OK by me.
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