Death in Brunswick

Death in Brunswick (John Ruane, 1991) wr. Boyd Oxlade, John Ruane, prod. Timothy White, dp Ellery Ryan, design Chris Kennedy, makeup Noriko Watanabe; Sam Neill, Zoe Carides, John Clarke, Yvonne Lawley, Nick Lathouris (Mustafa), Nicholas Papademetriou, Boris Brkic, Deborah Kennedy, Doris Younane, Denis Moore

I love the quirky humour in this little film. Not just the set-piece graveyard scene, but right from the start, when Sam Neill's character finds his mother with her head in the gas oven.
I've just seen it again, and think it's wonderful. There is an unusual tension between the humour (and the sexiness) and the real threat around the beating and death of Lathouris's character. It's stylistically disunified, occasionally over the top, even surrealistic (the scene in the church), so clearly it's not perfect, but art rarely is. It's definitely one of my favourites, worth the price for Sam Neill's fine acting alone - strangely naturalistic in such a hyperbolic piece.
I'm really mystified as to why John Ruane has directed nothing since a 2000 telemovie.

John Ruane handles the material with skill and pace, avoiding the trap of pushing it for its comedic value; and the romance, with its undercurrent of tension and danger, is a dramatic balance to the comedy. The result is a well rounded, engaging and lasting work. Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile.


Garry Gillard | New: 5 November, 2012 | Now: 22 March, 2017