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John V. Knowles
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As dull as a hot afternoon in a 1960's English Class
I can't see anyone under 50 even being remotely interested in this "Patrick White In Drag" type film (to quote another IMDb user). The 2 hours reminded me of those hours spent in non air- conditioned portable classrooms (for me, in the late 60's) wading through arcane English literature classes wherein Patrick White was regarded as "worthy"...or "significant".
"Storm" has all the features we have come to expect from "quality" Australian film-making - a great cast, polished direction, impeccable production values etc etc ... but it's as dull and disconnected as the world White writes about. Who really gives a stuff about an imploding grazing family presided over by a a dying monster ... nominally set in the 1970s, but really (as in most of White's writing) set in the 1930s?
On a $15m budget ... it probably needs a world wide gross of $100m to break even. Ye Gods - who green-lit this? How much Government funding went into it? (Its $1.6m domestic gross should just about pay for the Prints and Advertising" budget & little more).
We have a bustling new generation - make that two generations - of film-makers pushing the envelope and making "Animal Kingdom", "Daybreakers", "Red Dog" etc who seem to be at least aware of their audience and their responsibility for getting a return for their investors. Film-making is an expensive business ... and "Storm" is just a sad old melodrama, outdated, over-priced and isolated from the real world, doomed to fail financially. I can understand why audiences congratulate themselves for having sat through it ("splendid and intelligent" - another IMDb post), but it's just an Anglo middle class statement from people who are longing for the days of "Careful He Might Hear You" or "The Devil's Playground".
At least the English Class in those old portables only lasted 50 minutes...
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