The FJ Holden

The FJ Holden (Michael Thornhill, 1977) prod. Michael Thornhill, FJ. Films, wr. Terry Larsen, dp David Gribble, design Lissa Coote, Monte Fieguth, ed. Max Lemon, music Jim Manzie, sound Don Connolly; Paul Couzens (Kevin), Eva Dickinson (Anne), Carl Stever (Bob), Gary Waddell (Deadlegs), Graham Rouse (sergeant), Karlene Rogerson (Cheryl), Vicki Arkley (Chris), Sigrid Thornton (Wendy); Eastman colour, 35mm, 101 min.

Derived from a series of comic poems by Terry Larsen, Thornhill's adaptation replaced the humour with an austere and grim description of a conformist society. The film was, in some ways, an extension of Thornhill's first feature, Between Wars (1975), and depicted a society in which the individual offered no resistance to the forces of social unity, and in which alternative courses of action were absent.
... The non-professional leading players came from the western suburbs of Sydney, and the film was shot there in November and December 1976. With a rock music score and a title song aimed at the top 40, it was promoted actively as a film for the youth market. Pike & Cooper: 312.

Thornhill obviously has great affection for his characters, who are presented with sympathy and understanding. Yet the sterility of their lives is distressing ... The sequence where Anne, obviously fancying Kevin, unquestioningly and wordlessly goes into the back of the car to make love with his mate first, is utterly chilling. Seldom has sex been presented so coldly, so unlovingly, so mechanically on the screen. ... Excellently shot by David Gribble, the film is directed with complete assurance. David Stratton: 90.


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