Friday, April 29, 2016

Australia day on TCM

TCM is spending this morning and afternoon with a day of movies set in Australia. The last couple, at least, were definitely made in Australia. I probably should have written a post on Picnic at Hanging Rock (airing at 4:00 PM) last night, but there was other stuff on my plate. For those who haven't seen the movie, it's set at the turn of the last century, and involves a group of adolescent schoolgirls at an Australian boarding school who go for a day trip to a park where there's a mountain. Despite being warned not to, a couple of the girls go up the mountain -- and some of them don't return. It's an interesting story, and one that's very gorgeously filmed, having been made in Australia by Australians. Jackie Weaver, who has a bit part in it, presented it on TCM back in May 2014 I think when she was the Guest Programmer and presented movies from the Australian new wave. The movie is available for purchase, but since it's from the Criterion Collection it comes at a pretty steep price

That will be followed at 6:00 PM by ABBA: The Movie. This is a look at the Swedish supergroup's March 1977 concert tour of Australia. There's a framing story about a rural DJ who has the task of trying to get an interview with the group, and always winding up one step behind them, the poor hapless guy. Along the way, he gets man on the street interviews with "regular" Australians. More interesting, of course, are the scenes with ABBA themselves. The concert scenes are good, while the backstage stuff (obviously a lot of it staged since they're talking in English) are even more entertaining. I think this hasn't aired on TCM since New Years Eve between 2004 and 2005, when they showed a night of concert movies and I actually stayed up until 1:30 AM to watch the end of it. This one is also on DVD and a bit pricey, but not as much as Picnic at Hanging Rock.

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