A newly married happy couple visits a sex therapist to determine why the wife can't achieve an orgasm with her husband. This causes a horrific suppressed memory to emerge and she becomes more and more distant.
Carl Fitzgerald is down-on-his-luck until he meets Sophie, a beautiful Greek girl. He gets a job as a cook, but accidentally kills fellow worker Mustafa. He turns to his unscrupulous best ... See full summary »
Takes place in a prewar Poland. A tubercular young man comes to stay with his brother on a farm. He is in love with life and constantly plays 1930's music on a piano. He gets involved with ... See full summary »
A man's story parallels Hitler's rise. Austrian Klaus Schneider, wounded in World War I, recovers in the care of Dr. Emil Bettleheim. Bettleheim discovers that Schneider possesses powers of... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
In the near future, a teenage couple are trapped in a drive-in theater which has become a concentration camp for social outcasts. The inmates are treated to drugs, exploitation films, junk food, and new wave music.
Lena is the daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Irish father and Vaughn is a Murri boy doing time in a minimum security prison in North West NSW. Dramatic events throw them together on a journey with no money and no transport.
Jenna Lee Connors
The young priest Father Giulio returns to Rome, his hometown, after a long pilgrimage. Don Giulio hopes to live peacefully with his family and his friends, but discovers that many of them ... See full summary »
Ferruccio De Ceresa,
Harry suffers a heart attack and has a near-death experience that changes his outlook on life. His miraculous return convinces him that there is a heaven but that his life on Earth is hell. His wife Bettina has her worst fears realized when she develops brain cancer from gasoline fumes. His son David deals cocaine and receives sexual favors from his drug-addicted sister Lucy. Harry finds love with a kind-hearted prostitute "Honey Barbara" who kills a top oil-company executive, and then herself, with Molotov cocktails. Shocking scenes include cockroaches bursting from Harry's stitches after his open-heart surgery, and fish dropping from in between a woman's legs onto a restaurant floor. This bizarre and often slow-moving film lampoons the luridness of the human condition.Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
It is the most controversial Australian film of 1985. Unedited, 400 people walked out of the cinemas due to the sexual content. Edited, the filmed turned out to be one of the true Australian sleeper hits of all time, achieving critical acclaim, grossing A$1,144,863 in Australia and $660,537 in the U.S., and becoming the best Australian picture of 1985. See more »
There is a Director's Cut version running 135 minutes. The main addition is a lengthy monologue to camera by the protagonist in a police station. See more »
If Lawrence had cut out a third of the film it would have been better. Within reason, I think he could have got rid of ANY third. A third of the storyline could have gone (the beginning, the middle, the end, or fragments throughout), or a sixth of the storyline plus a sixth of the character development, or a third of the quirkiness, or a third of the odd devices (straight-to-the-camera narrative could have stayed on condition the dream sequences went, or vice versa, or some such). It's like the plate of an overly ambitious diner at a banquet, with quail eggs, a potato dumpling, salad, a banana fritter, baked trout, a small slice of quiche, a strawberry, eggplant, satayed parsnip with brown rice, two roast chestnuts and four kinds of cheese. Thankfully, the elements are positioned so as not to ruin one another's flavour, but there's just too many of them.
But at least this is a fault on the right side.
It's as if "Bliss" were a repository, or a central font, of all of the offbeat black humour, all the odd characters, and all the quirky local colour, to have appeared in every Australian film made since. This isn't a bad thing. (My earlier complaint is that its ferociously luxuriant growth could have been cut back by a third and it would STILL have contained all the offbeat black humour, etc.) What makes it great is that it's more sincere than any of its imitators. A mere seventeen years old, it seems to date from a magical, all-but-forgotten pre-digital age, when we REALLY made films, and didn't just play at doing so.
On reflection: I don't care if there IS too much here. So much of it is so good, like the prim, fascist manager of the lunatic ward, the scene in which the cancer map is unveiled (Lawrence makes much out of a mere conversation in a hotel room), and the "love letter" to Honey Barbara. The strength which flows through the film's limbs is probably inherited from the era in which it was made. This decade (from a few years into the 1980s until a few years into the 1990s) saw Australian society at its most optimistic, tolerant and decent. We've come a long way downhill in the short time since.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this