Shame

Shame (Steve Jodrell, 1988) Barron Films; wr. Beverley Blankenship, Michael Brindley, prod. Paul D. Barron, Damien Parer, dp Joseph Pickering; Deborra-Lee Furness, Tony Barry, Simone Buchanan, Bill McCluskey, Margaret Ford; WA; location Toodyay; social problem drama; 94 min.

Shame is a western: a stranger rides into town and rights wrongs (but it's a woman barrister on a Suzuki). It's also a melodrama. I watched it again on the DVD restored by NFSA and released recently by Umbrella, with commentary by the director, one of the writers (Brindley) and Simone Buchanan. It stands up fairly well, for me as much as anything because of the subtle, deeply-felt performance by Tony Barry as the central girl's father—but it's possibly Furness's strongest performance also. Good to see local (WA) actors in a feature: Patricia Skevington, Faith Clayton, Margaret Ford, Bill McCluskey (whose name on the credits is spelt wrongly—again), Eileen Colocott, Robert Faggetter, Dickon Oxenburgh, Leslie Wright.

Shame exposes, like no feature film since Wake in Fright, the dark side of Australian mateship. ... should have scooped the pool at the 1988 AFI awards: instead, it was deemed to be ineligible by Institute officials. David Stratton: 219, 200.


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