3 November 2018

'Lonesome Cowboys' Season @ NFSA

| Ariel Larkey
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Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Brokeback Mountain (2005).

A special four-film season kicks off with a three-way tie this weekend over at the National Film & Sound Archive.

Coinciding with the launch of Spring Out, celebrating the life and career of Heath Ledger in tandem with the current Exhibition Heath Ledger: A Life In Pictures, and launching the ‘Lonesome Cowboys’ film season, the NFSA will be screening contemporary classic Brokeback Mountain (2005) today at 4 PM.

Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, this groundbreaking and sprawling secret love story set between Wyoming and Texas garnered Heath Ledger his first Oscar nomination in a widely lauded powerhouse performance alongside fellow star Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals; Nightcrawler). Also starring Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea; Blue Valentine) and Anne Hathaway (Interstellar; Les Misérables), the film won 3 Oscars for Best Direction, Best Writing and Best Original Score.

Revisit director Ang Lee’s (Lust, Caution; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) masterwork on the big screen 13 years since its initial release.

Next weekend, NFSA will screen a double-feature of home-grown detective frontier westerns Mystery Road (2013) and sequel Goldstone (2016).

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Aaron Pedersen stars as Detective Jay Swan in Mystery Road (2013)

In Mystery Road, Aaron Pedersen (1%; The Code) stars as Indigenous Detective Jay Swan whose return to a small outback town to investigate the murder of a young girl leads to complications beyond the case itself. From writer/director Ivan Sen (Toomelah; Beneath Clouds) this culturally complex thriller heroes plenty of local talent: Hugo Weaving (The Matrix), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Jack Thompson (Breaker Morant) and Tasma Walton (Cleverman). Screening 10 Nov, 1:30 PM.

Goldstone again finds Detective Jay Swan investigating insalubrious happenings, this time in the frontier town of Goldstone. As Swan digs deeper into the case, it becomes clear crime and corruption are rife as the reality of life in Goldstone unravels. Teaming up with local cop Josh – played by Alex Russell (Jungle; Cut Snake) – the two must put aside their own differences if they are to make any difference. Screening 10 Nov, 4 PM.

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Mystery Road (2018) the series is available on ABC On Demand.

Writer/director Ivan Sen’s work across the two films has since given rise to adapted TV series Mystery Road (2018) which is currently screening and available on ABC On Demand. Directed by Rachel Perkins (Jasper Jones; Bran Nue Dae; Radiance), the 6-part drama sees Pedersen reprise his role as Detective Jay Swan alongside Emma James, played by Judy Davis (The Dressmaker).

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Three outlaw siblings in Nick Cave-penned The Proposition (2005).

The final weekend of screenings caps off the season with Australian cult classic The Proposition (2005). From director John Hillcoat (Triple 9; Lawless; The Road) this brutal slice of Australiana packs a punch and smacks of talent across the board. Starring Guy Pearce, David Wenham, Richard Wilson, Noah Taylor, David Gulpilil, as well as Danny Huston, John Hurt and famous English heavy Ray Winstone, the screenplay for this bloody tale was penned by Australian icon and creative powerhouse Nick Cave after he was originally approached by Hillcoat to compose the soundtrack. Delivering a typically excellent score, Cave also turned in a stunning script which would mark his second feature-film writing credit and second screenplay directed by Hillcoat along with Ghostsof the Civil Dead (1998) and Lawless (2012).

This tale of retribution and outlaw justice sees the middle brother of a bandit trio leveraged into taking down his out-of-control elder in order to save his younger sibling from execution at the hands of a lawman hell-bent on his own brand of justice. This gritty, visceral, old-world original definitely deserves another viewing on the big screen. It’s quite the proposition. Screening 17 Nov, 4 PM.

Tickets are only $10/session.

Book online HERE.

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