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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Walkabout (1971)

A father (John Meillon) takes his teenage daughter (Jenny Agutter) and her younger brother (Luc Roeg) out to the Australian outback for a picnic when he suddenly goes berserk and tries to kill them. After the children escape, he commits suicide and the children are left stranded in the outback to fend for themselves. Based on the 1959 novel by James Vance Marshall (although the film is quite different from the book) and directed by Nicolas Roeg. This is a beautiful and haunting film. Roeg, who was also the film's cinematographer, conveys both the majesty and terror of the Australian outback with its desert like terrain and its strange animal life. Some parts of the film are disturbing and hard to watch such as the killing and hunting of animals which are graphic. But it's a film about the death of innocence, not only of the two children but of the Aborigine boy (David Gulpilil) who finds them and leads them back to civilization. The lovely underscore is by John Barry (could that man write!). 

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