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The Broken Shore (2013)
A great homage to the book.
I saw The Broken Shore at the Adelaide Film Festival in October 2013, and thought it was a great homage to the book by Peter Temple. Without giving too much away before it airs on the ABC in 2014, there is some good acting by all involved, and the screenplay has been well written by Andrew Knight (using mystery and humour).
The one thing I will say about The Broken Shore is (and this was mentioned on the night of the screening) that it would have been good if it was made into a 6x1 hour mini series, which would have meant that more from the book could have been mentioned/explored. An example of this is the character of Erica Burgouyne, who seems quite interesting in the book (and in the movie as well) however she only has a couple of scenes in the movie.
However, overall, The Broken Shore is quite good for what it is and it will be interesting to read what other people think once it has aired on television.
My Brother Tom (1986)
Nice little telemovie
I happen to have "My Brother Tom" on DVD (converted from an old video tape) and every now and then I watch it to remind myself of what a good Australian telemovie it is. Based on the novel of the same name by James Aldridge, the TV version sticks quite closely to the book, with a few exceptions, like the ending.
Tom Jennings stars as Tom Quayle, a young Protestant man, living in the (fictitious) Victorian town of St Helen in the summer of 1938. He falls in love with Peggy MacGibbon (Catherine McClements), a Catholic, and the two try to hide their love for one another. They know that if it becomes publicly known, there will be backlash/division amongst an already divided town.
Christopher Cummins plays Kit, Tom's older brother, who also narrates parts of the movie, as he reminisces about his brother Tom, and Peggy.
It is quite a cute telemovie, with some good acting by all and despite its 'age', "My Brother Tom" is still quite good to watch now.
Call Me Mum (2006)
Excellent, and rather confronting, Australian film
In my opinion, Call Me Mum is a hidden gem of Australian movies in the 21st century. It is one that probably gets replayed only once every year or two by SBS and is certainly not out on DVD (yet). For a film which only stars five people - and is set in just three places: a plane, a (very 1950s perhaps) house, and a hospital room - it is quite great. The characters don't interact much, with the exception of Keith and Dellmay (husband and wife, otherwise known as DellKeith), and is almost set up in like a monologue/mockumentary style as each of them tell their story to the camera. Kate (Catherine McClements) is a foster mother who is very upfront with the world, Warren (Dayne Christian) is an 18 year old who should have his whole life ahead of him, Flo (Vicki Saylor) is a very ill, very sorrowful woman, and DellKeith (Lynette Curran and Ross Thompson) are very strange people indeed, especially Keith.
Call Me Mum definitely wasn't quite what I was expecting when I recorded it on television recently, but that was the beauty (and surprise) of it.
Crashburn was a 13-part series which aired in Australia in 2003. Like many other Australian TV shows though, the timeslot for the show was dragged back to a later time after only a few episodes.
It was unfortunate because I found the show to be rather intriguing. The acting was quite believable and that is always a plus in any television show.
Crashburn's main stars, Catherine McClements and Aaron Blabey, play Rosie and Ben Harfield, a married couple going through a difficult stage when their marriage hits a brick wall. One of the most intriguing aspect about Crashburn, was it's ability to delve into the characters lives, in a "he says"/"she says" kind of way.
I enjoyed Crashburn, and although it isn't my most favourite show, it certainly deserves some credit.
Murder Call (1997)
Wrongly done by!
I found the Australian cop show Murder Call an intriguing one to watch. Although Murder Call had a small cast, it often had great scripts and captivating "who done its". The show, which stared Peter Mochrie as Detective Steve Hayden and Lucy Bell as Tessa Vance, ran for three seasons from 1997 to 1999 (although some of its last episodes were shown in 2000).
Homicide detectives, Steve and Tessa solved crimes which were all out of the ordinary. Their strategies in solving these crimes were on a contrary, as Steve was a by-the-book cop, whilst Tessa had an unusual method, using her intuition to solve the crimes (which got her results).
Like many shows on TV, the chemistry between the two main characters in Steve and Tessa was great to watch. And also like many other TV shows, the pair never got together in a romantic sort of way. Although, in the very first episode, "Ashes to Ashes", it was made obvious that the pair cared about each other, when they were locked in a cool room together. Thinking that they were going to die, Steve and Tessa huddled together in an attempt to stay warm. Of course, in the end, they were fine. And their nosy colleague, Constable Dee Suzeraine (played by Jennifer Kent) wanted to know all about their 'experience'. "Come on, Steve. We're talking last moments on the planet here. How'd the two of you keep warm?" It was sad to see an interesting show get axed, and while it didn't have many fans, Murder Call continues to be a favourite of mine.